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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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



Nezavisimaya Gazeta

Noviye Izvestia

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

Moskovsky Komsomolets


The All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTSIOM) conducted an opinion poll on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the August 1991 putsch to see how its participants in 33 regions viewed those three days of confrontation. The story examines some of the more remarkable and uplifting answers. All leading newspapers devote their main stories to this anniversary. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Noviye Izvestia, Krasnaya Zvezda, MK.

A report focuses on the behavior of the Izvestia editorial board during the August 1991 putsch.

Six top policy-makers share their viewpoints on the August 1991 putsch.

Four female Russian athletes, who had to fly to Seattle on Aug. 17 to take part in the world youth championship, were denied entry visas. The story gives details. Also covered in Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko on Aug. 17 presided over a government session that discussed regions' preparations for the winter heating season. Khristenko promised to cut winter spending on fuel and energy through mass layoffs. The story examines the government program aimed at lowering heating expenses. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Noviye Izvestia, Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Aug. 22 marks the Day of the State Flag, the tricolor, that was restored 10 years ago. Vladislav Krainik, first deputy chairman of the organizing committee on celebrations of this date, presented an overly modest cultural program devoted to the holiday that will not demand much money. Krainik also criticized President Vladimir Putin for his response to the holiday this year. Also covered in Vremya MN.

The Supreme Court on Aug. 17 canceled the resolution adopted by the Krasnoyarsk Regional Legislative Assembly that had prohibited the local prosecutor's office from submitting deputy Anatoly Bykov's case to court. The story concludes that a serious precedent has been created: from now on a deputy's immunity from prosecution may be considered to have conditional character. The story comments on the court's sensational verdict. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Vremya MN, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Gangsters Aug. 17 attacked a hotel in Balchik in Bulgaria, in which Russian and Belarussian tourists usually stay. They opened metal safes and stole 61 foreign passports and $4,500 that vacationers had asked the hotel administration to save for them. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in an interview to the American PBS television company said that Russia still has a Cold-War mentality, treating the West with fear, apprehension and anxiety. The story comments on his pronouncements. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Vremya MN.

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the August 1991 coup Vagrius Publishers put out the first Russian biography of Mikhail Gorbachev, a 400-page work by Andrei Grachev, press secretary and long-standing assistant of the former Soviet president. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

Major-General Nikolai Tarakanov, who was a trustee of President Vladimir Putin during his presidential campaign, has written a book about the campaign, which is reviewed here. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

Sibneft on Aug. 17 promised to pay out dividends to the tune of 3.79 rubles per share. All in all, the company intends to pay out $612 million (90 percent of its profits). The story comments on the company's decision, focusing on analysts' views. Also covered in Kommersant Daily.

China Mobile, a major cellular operator in that country, has released results of its excellent performance in the first six months of this year. The country now has the second-most (after the United States) number of mobile telephone users in the world.

Hewlett-Packard, a leader in the computer market, Aug. 17 made public results of its performance in the second quarter of this year — profits were 89 percent down on the figures for last year. The story comments on the results.

Pavel Kasparov has been appointed director of the information, public-political and sports programs on the TV-Tsentr Channel. In an interview Kasparov examines several new programs on the channel.

The RTR Channel will show a documentary "The Hot August of 1991" devoted to the 10th anniversary of the August 1991 coup by filmmaker Alexander Stefanovich. In an interview he speaks about the origin of the idea to create this film, focusing on former Defense Minister Pavel Grachev's role in those events.


President Vladimir Putin's visit to Armenia scheduled for Sept. 14-16 may be foiled due to the World Bank's decision to come out against the Russian-Armenian program to be signed during the visit. The story reveals the essence of the program and the World Bank's view on it.

Lawyer Mark Bonnan, who represents the interests of Swiss entrepreneur Nessim Gaon, owner of the Noga firm, has filed a suit in France against an unidentified person, in connection with the French authorities, who helped Russian planes to evade arrest.

The Cypriot company Porto Leone Management Ltd has opened a case in the Moscow Arbitration Court demanding that the Moscow region be declared bankrupt and that external administration be imposed on it due to evading taxes. This is the first such case in Russian history when a foreign company through court demands to bankrupt a region.

Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko has submitted to President Vladimir Putin a report on results of checkups of the Unified Energy Systems company. No financial violations have been registered. The story describes who urged those checkups and why.

Customs officers at Sheremetyevo-2 Airport denied Demyan Kudryavtsev, general producer of the Cityline company and main assistant of Boris Berezovsky, entry into Russia. The officers explained that his Russian visa had been annulled. The story details the case.

Gosstroi head Anvar Shamuzafarov and Tyumen Governor Sergei Sobyanin have signed an agreement, according to which the region in 2002 will conduct experimental reform of the housing and utility sector. If the experiment is a success then the housing and utility payment system will be reformed throughout Russia. The story describes a government session in Tyumen to discuss the reform.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov confirmed Aug. 17 that the decision on how to build the Lefortovo tunnel and the contractor will be determined at a special tender scheduled for September. The most probable winner, Organizator, should lower the cost of building the tunnel to be sure of victory, the mayor noted.

The Izhevsk Radio Plant announced Aug. 17 its plans to make in 2-3 months the first domestic pager combined with radio-receiver. What is unclear is who will buy it. The story describes the new domestic pager.

Germany's Transport Minister Kurt Bodewig has announced the Cabinet decision to impose, starting 2003, payments on truck drivers using highways. This is the first step in Germany to create toll roads. The story comments on the measure.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin officially admitted Aug. 17 the existence of a conflict at the Moscow Mint. The minister in an Ekho Moskvy program stated that he had personally sanctioned a change of the leadership at this enterprise. The story describes the conflict.

The privatization of the aluminum sector was completed Aug. 17. The Russian Federal Property Fund sold at an action the last state-owned shares of the Novokuznetsk Aluminum Plant (NkAZ), amounting to 14 percent of stock. Russian Aluminum (Rusal) bought the securities. The story describes the deal, focusing on Rusal's further plans to buy another 66 percent of NkAZ stock.

The Ford Motor Company, currently building a plant in Vsevolzhsk (St. Petersburg region) to make Ford Focus cars, is considering the possibility of assembling Volvo and Landrover cars in Russia.

Severny Zavod in St. Petersburg plans to sell its production facilities, a move that is viewed as a stage of the bankruptcy procedure.

In an interview on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the August 1991 coup, former U.S.S.R. Vice President Gennady Yanayev states his version of those events, explaining why the State Committee on Emergency Situation was created.

In an interview on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the August 1991 putsch Irina Virganskaya, the daughter of Mikhail Gorbachev, reminisces about those tragic developments.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The story describes a new way of discrediting rival businessmen or governors before the gubernatorial elections by enlisting the help of their former wives to complain about them or file lawsuits. What is attractive about the new method is its undoubted legality. Several examples illustrate the point.

Commenting on several factors that led to the August 1991 coup, the story notes that it was predetermined by a deep split in the upper echelons of power.

President Vladimir Putin is expected to submit to the State Duma draft amendments to the election law before the start of the fall session, stated Central Election Commission head Alexander Veshnyakov. Also covered in Noviye Izvestia.

The story examines the results of the Moscow international air show "MAKS-2001" that finishes Aug. 19. Also covered in Vremya MN.

The head of the government in 1991, Ivan Silayev, reminisces about the August 1991 putsch, its participants and initiators.

A report examines the essence of the current Baku-Tehran conflict in the south of the Caucasus, saying that, according to American analysts, unless Azerbaijan and Iran fail to reach consensus, the situation in the region will further aggravate, bringing it to the brink of new war.

Noviye Izvestia

Stavropolye has gathered the best grain harvest in the past decade — about 4.74 million tons — with the help of Turkish agrarian firms that arrived in Stavropolye with their combine harvesters. The story describes their efforts to gather the whole harvest. Also covered in Vremya MN.

The sanitary and epidemiological situation in Lensk, which suffered from floods last month, is critical.

The brief gives several figures showing the number of registered patients.

The first open competition of tattoo-lovers took place in Vladimir, bringing together 23 participants in four nominations.

Small businessmen have been on strike for the third week in bazaars in 35 cities in the Moscow region. They are demanding that the Moscow regional government cancel the governor's previous directive imposing cash-registers in all working places. The story describes the protest.

The bankruptcy procedure at the gas-extracting enterprise Rospan International has been proceeding for three years now. A group of its managers, with Mikhail Rubtsov as its head, has submitted a detailed plan to lead Rospan out of bankruptcy, which has been approved at the creditors' meeting. The story examines the plan.

Voronezh specialists from the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance on Aug. 17 found in water taken for test from the Usmanka River a cholera vibrio. In order to evade an epidemic, city authorities decided to ban swimming in all Voronezh water reservoirs. The story describes the cholera vibrio O-139. Also covered in Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

After the official registration of four candidates running for the presidency in Belarus, it has become clear that the major struggle for the high post will rage between the present head of state, Alexander Lukashenko, and leader of the Federation of Labour Unions of Belarus Vladimir Goncharik. The story examines their strong and weak points.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

The Cambridge International Biographical Center has awarded prima donna Alla Pugachyova with a medal as one of "2,000 Outstanding Musicians of the 20th Century." Her name will enter a special encyclopedia with the other winners of this medal.

Obshchaya Gazeta, which has Yegor Yakovlev as its editor-in-chief, is celebrating its 10th birthday. The report describes its origin, focusing on the major problems for journalists that are worrying Yakovlev today.

Communists intend to remove leader of the Federation of Independent Labour Unions and State Duma deputy Mikhail Shmakov from his high post at the upcoming trade-union congress scheduled for November. The story examines two candidates aspiring to the post.

The story looks at the present jobs of nine top officials from the former team of ex-President Boris Yeltsin and of former putschists.

The Karbolit enterprise was created 85 years ago in the village of Krestovozdvizhenskoye (Moscow region) to make dielectric material called "karbolit." This gave birth to a whole trend in the domestic economic sector — the chemistry of polymers. The enterprise today has turned into a profit-making plant, producing 150 types of synthetic resin and plastics. Its director-general Anatoly Vetlov speaks about its past and present.

Moskovsky Komsomolets

Five doctors from the Lviv regional clinical hospital are suspected of trading in healthy kidneys that they removed from road-accident victims. The story describes the case.

More than 74,000 6- and 7-year-old Muscovites will go to school on Sept. 1 for the first time in their lives. Ten new schools for 7,890 pupils and three new high schools will open in the city by Sept. 1. The story describes major novelties to be introduced in schools this year.

The Public City-Building Council supervised by the Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov made the decision on Aug. 17 to restore the Bell Tower in the Church of the Big Ascension near Ulitsa Nikitskiye Gate, in which poet Alexander Pushkin and Natalya Goncharova were married. The story examines the project.