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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A brief look at the stories making headlines in the Russian-language press

Novaya Gazeta
Komomolskaya Pravda
Moskovsky Komsomolets


A year has passed since the fire at the Ostankino TV tower that left three people dead and took all TV channels off the air. Experts say that the tower may fall since it was built with structural defects. A story examines the difficulties, saying that the Tower will be fully restored by 2004. (1,2, Kommersant Daily, 7, MK, 1,2)

The Israeli army's current special operations in Palestinian territory autonomy aim on cracking down on Palestinian terrorist acts. Israel's government has put all responsibility for them on Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat. A story describes the weekend's developments in the Middle East, noting that any talks on the vital issue today are useless. (1, Kommersant Daily, 8)

Kirghizia on Aug. 31 will mark its Independence Day. This small republic with a population of 4.8 million has managed to survive the dissolution of the Soviet Union and has found a place in the world community. In an interview, its president, Askar Akayev speaks about his republic's modest accomplishments over the past 10 years. (1,6)

In an interview, famed Latvian actress Viya Artmane speaks about her new role as Catherine the Great in a new film "The Golden Age". (1,8)

The 2002 draft budget was submitted to the State Duma Sunday, and is expected to be consider in the first reading in October. Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin assured journalists that the draft will pass without any complications, saying that the Cabinet has been considering the document for some time. (2,5, Kommersant Daily, 4, Vremya Novostei, 2)

Chechen rebels stated Sunday that they were again in control of the Vedeno District and that they had razed to the ground the military commandant's office there. Official federal sources have flatly rejected this information. A story describes what really happened in the district. (2, Kommersant Daily, 1)

Filmmaker Karen Shakhnazarov Saturday was appointed Director General of the federal state unitarian enterprise — "Cinema Concern 'Mosfilm'". The appointment was signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov. (2)

A story describe the struggle over power and money that raged among Russian Germans in Marx, a district in the Saratov region, on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the ousting of Povolzhye Germans and the opening in Moscow today of the Congress of the Federal National Cultural German Autonomy. (2)

A prison in Kozmodemyansk has leased 5 kilometers of the Volga River, where several teams of convicts and prison employees will fish. A story describes this unusual business. (3)

A feature story highlights Afghan citizen Abdul Vares Mohammed Saleh, 43, who lives in Ivanovo and who is displeased at his present life. He has even declared a hunger strike in protest of his miserable existence. He says that he, like Pushkin, is in exile in Ivanovo and that his dream is to travel to civilized countries. (3)

On Aug. 27 Moldova celebrates the 10th anniversary of its independence. Moldavians, in those August days believed that life outside the USSR would be a fairy-tale, but were soon disappointed. Even the problem of Trans-Dniestria, which will celebrate the 11th anniversary of its independence early next month, has remained unresolved. A story examines Moldova's economic position today, and focuses on the plans of its President Vladimir Voronin. (4, Kommersant Daily, 8, Vremya MN, 6)

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko received State Secretary of the Russia-Belarus Union State Pavel Borodin Sunday, to discuss the agenda of the forthcoming session of the Union Council of Ministers scheduled for Aug. 29. The session will pass without Borodin, who has been summoned to Geneva for questioning. (4)

The recently published Marine Doctrine attaches much significance to the Northern Sea Route for Russia's steady development. Experts and mariners are worried that Russia may lose its position in the Arctic. Though there is some political prestige as well as economic advantage in controlling the area, the fact is that foreign carriers are seriously considering the possibility of using the route for the transportation of used nuclear fuel. A story examines this issue. (4)

An auction will take place in the Ukraine Monday, to sell 76 percent of stock of the Khartsyzsk Pipe Plant. What is unclear today is who will buy it. (5)

"Slavneft" head Mikhail Gutseriyev and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko will meet in Moscow Aug 28, to discuss a project to launch a joint venture "Slavyanskaya Oil Company". (5)

A story tries to answer the following question — Have the Russian financial authorities launched the dedollarization of the economy? (5)

The Japanese "NTT DocoMo" telecommunications company has announced its cooperation with three European cellular operators. A story examines the deal and its participants. (5)

The Moscow International Book Fair will open Sept. 5 at the All- Russian Exhibition Center (former VDNKh). A story describes this event and its participants. (7)


Natural Resources Minister Vitaly Artyukhov has signed a directive canceling his June suspension of the issuing of licenses to using mineral resources. Along with this, the minister has compiled a list of oil and gas companies that will lose their licenses. The first candidates on the "black" list will be announced Sept. 10. A story names some of them. (1)

The military exercises of all types and ranks of the Belarussian Armed Forces began in Belarus on Aug. 26. The opposition has accused the president of saber rattling not long before the presidential elections. (2)

The Belarussian KGB Sunday announced the deportation of American citizen Robert Fielding, who is accused of coordinating the election campaign "When Electing, Elect," that is allegedly being funded by the U.S. State Department and the US Congress. A story details the case. (2)

The Commodity Exchange Commission attached to the Anti-Monopoly Ministry extended the license of the Moscow Stock Exchange late last week, granting it the right to organize trading in the commodity section. A story comments on the new initiative. (4)

The story compares the situation last week on both American and Russian stock markets. (5)

In an interview Vice-President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Valery Nikulin shares his negative view on the 2002 draft budget. He also explains how his agency functions and how it influences the country's economic policy. (6)

Another length of the third Ring Road was opened for traffic on Ulitsa Nizhnyaya Maslovka Saturday. The long-awaited tunnel connects the city's north with the northeast. A story describes the festive ceremony attended by Mayor Yury Luzhkov and his team. (7)

Sensational archive documents about the end of World War II have been published in Britain. They reveal the true reason behind destroying scores of German cities by allied bombing in 1945. A story examines some of the documents. (7)


Severstal plans to build a modern production facility on the territory of its Ulyanovsk auto plant that in 2008 will launch a serial assembly of a new domestic jeep. Severstal and AvtoVAZ agreed late last week that Toghliatti engineers and designers will create the new model. A story examines Severstal's ambitious plans. (A1)

Russia this year is expected to gather a rich grain harvest — 75 million tons compared to 65.4 million last year. It would like to export between four and 5 million tons, but the country lacks the port capacities for that. Director General of the Grain Systems company, Yury Voichishin comments on the problem of grain export. (A1)

The Natural Resources Ministry is willing to issue licenses to use the mineral wealth although in a new way. Minister Vitaly Artyukhov intends to bring together oil company heads this week to explain to them the new tough procedure. A story examines some of its aspects. (A1)

According to the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, the volume of foreign investment to the Russian economy in the first six months of this year amounted to $6.68 billion, which is 40 percent more than the figure for the same period last year. (A1)

The government draft of the 2002 budget was submitted to the State Duma Sunday. Deputy head of the State Duma Budget Committee, Vitaly Shuba stated that the document would be considered in the first reading in October. (A1)

Anatoly Khodorovsky, deputy editor-in-chief of the magazine Russky Fokus, reflects on the fate of the dollar in Russia, saying that the prognosis by economist Tatyana Karyagina on the dollar collapse last week did not materialize. The author also examines an interesting pronouncement by Sberbank deputy head Gennady Melikyan, who justified the expediency of keeping money in dollars (A2)

The Ukraine has filed a precedent suit in the London High Court claiming a building of the Russian trade mission. The Ukrainian parliament has failed to ratify the so-called "zero" variant, according to which Russia inherited both the USSR's debts and assets abroad. What is the possible outcome of the Ukraine's suit against Russia? Six experts share their viewpoints on the issue. (A2)

Three months have already passed since Alexei Miller was appointed Gazprom head. Though Miller was expected to bring about revolutionary changes in the company, nothing has happened. A story comments on his interview published in KD several days ago. (A2)

Unified Energy Systems monopoly on electricity exports may be violated. The Anti-Monopoly Ministry declared Friday that Rosenergoatom's claims against UES that up to now had blockaded the nuclear agency's independent electricity deliveries to Georgia and Ukraine. (A3)

President Vladimir Putin is expected soon to sign a decree on launching a Concern PVO, which will be composed of producers and designers of missile defense devices. One of its major participants will be the Russian-Belarussian enterprise Defensive Systems, which was initiated the creation of the state-controlled concern. In an interview, its Director-General Sergei Batekhin speaks about the business and elaborates his views on reforming the defense sector. (A5)

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets
The Kalina concern's first attempt to create a large production cosmetic holding after a Western model was unsuccessful. After failing to establish cooperation with a Moscow grease combine, Kalina has sold 9 percent of its stock to outside structures. A story examines Kalina's affairs. (B1)

Coca-Cola's fate in Uzbekistan shows how local and foreign companies become profitable in the former Soviet republics through partnerships with top political leaders, their friends and relatives. A story gives several concrete facts illustrating the point. (B1)

The press service of the Orsha-Khalilovsk Metal Combine Sunday stated that its director has been arrested by a new security service. The story describes how it happened. (B1)

Negotiations on a sale of the Krasnodar Kuban GSM company have entered the final stage, but a buyer has not yet been selected. Communications Minister Leonid Reiman is to personally settle the situation this week (B1)

The Finance Ministry will conduct an open auction Sept. 25 to sell unpolished natural diamonds of special size with a mass of 10.8 carat and more. (B1)

Ruspromavto, a branch of Siberian Aluminum, and ASM-Holding (formerly Minavtoprom) signed a cooperation agreement Monday. (B1)

The pension LUKoil-Garant Fund has received from LUKoil has been settled at 5.5 percent of its stock, which exceeds $490 million. This deal's non-transparency has made a bad imprint on LUKoil's quotations. A story examines the deal and its possible consequences. (B2)

Novaya Gazeta

This NG special issue is devoted to a book titled The FSB Rips Russia Open by former FSB Colonel Alexander Litvinenko (a former participant in the KGB secret operations who is now living in Britain) and history scholar Yury Felshtinsky who lives in the USA), which has not yet been published. The authors have made an attempt to show that the major problems of Russia today have been caused by sabotage orchestrated by the Russian special services rather than by radical reforms of the liberal period of Yeltsin's rule. The authors have given their manuscript to the NG newspaper, which has printed several excerpts in Monday's edition. (1-23)

Komomolskaya Pravda

Legendary Soviet and Latin-American hockey player Vyacheslav Fetisov has been appointed chief coach and head of the Olympic national hockey team of Russia. In an interview Fetisov speaks about the large responsibility given to him at his new post and about his recent meeting with President Vladimir Putin. (1, 26, 27)

The Indian summer this year is expected to be much warmer than last year. The newspaper gives next month's weather forecast for Moscow and the Moscow region. (3)

The 18th International Exhibition Flowers 2001 will open in the All-Russian Exhibition Center (formerly VDNKh) on Aug. 31. A story features the event and its participants. (5)

Lyubov Kezina, head of the Moscow City Education Committee, answers KP readers' questions regarding the novelties awaiting school pupils in the new academic year. She says in part that parents should not pay for an overhaul of school buildings. (6,7)

Vitaly Sednev, leading expert in the Geostrategic Studies Fund, reflects on the fate of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and his Cabinet, saying that it's not expedient to change the Cabinet and its leader this year. (7)

Moscow will turn 854 in September. A story reports on how each of its 8 administrative districts will mark the city's birthday Sept. 1 and 2. (13)

A story features the extensive cultural program to be offered on the occasion of Moscow's 854th birthday. (16,17)

The Moscow Center for Archaeological Studies intends to launch excavations to help establish a more precise age of the city. A story features the Center's most recent interesting finds. (19)

Moskovsky Komsomolets

If Western leaders prefer inexpensive watches so as not to irritate their electors, Russian top policy-makers and the president give preference to expensive watches. A story examines the watches and their price tags of several leaders. (1

A road accident, the worst one this year, which occurred Saturday in Odintsovo left 6 people dead and another 4 injured. A story gives details. (1)

Moscow doctors have decided to treat many children's maladies using the help of horses. With this aim in view, a real school for so-called hippotherapy will be opened in the city. A story describes the project. (1)

The legendary Animal Theater marks its 90th birthday this year with Natalya Durova, the theater's chief artistic director opening the new season. In an interview Durova speaks about the theater's problems. (2)

Rumor has it that oligarch in disgrace Boris Berezovsky has become a participant in the American program of defending witnesses. Is he dangerous for Russian leaders? Three policy makers share their viewpoints on the issue. (2)

Former Estonian variety show star Anne Veski has been invited to attend celebration events of City Day on Sept. 2 and 3. In an interview, she speaks about her life today and her creative plans. (3)

A new type of crime has appeared in Moscow — vandals rob underground passageways, stealing all non-ferrous metals in them. A story gives several details. (3)