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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


The Belarussian presidential election was similar to a Soviet era election. Belarus's close neighbors, despite their common past , have slightly moved away from that style, albeit in a different direction and at a different pace. The story examines the spirit of the Sunday Belarussian elections, saying that there was no doubt about Lukashenko's victory. Also covered in Kommersant Daily

The newspaper devotes a whole page to the presidential elections in Belarus, focusing on reasons why Moscow has supported Alexander Lukashenko. The question of what Russia needs from Belarus remains open.

In an interview journalist Pavel Sheremet, who knows a lot about the Belarussian president and about what is happening in his country, shares his view on President Alexander Lukashenko as a human being and as the head of state.

In an interview PLO Executive Committee Secretary General Mahmud Abbas speaks about positive results of his negotiations with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. Also covered in Kommersant Daily

The State Duma today after summer break is expected to resume work with the discussion of the chief financial document, the draft budget for 2002. In an interview Vice-Speaker Georgy Boos focuses on provisions that may cause heated debates.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and his Chinese counterpart Zhu Rongji in St. Petersburg on Saturday signed several documents, which Kasyanov called "historic." The story examines some of them, focusing on the signed agreement on China's purchases of Tu-204 planes. Also covered in Kommersant Daily

The story gives details of a savage murder in Grozny of an old Chechen man, Abas Suleimanov, 86, by several drunken federal soldiers on Aug. 2.

The 14th International Moscow Book Fair will finish today when visitors will be able to buy any books on display. The story sums up results of this event. Vagrius Editorial Director Andrei Ilnitsky shares his good impressions about the book fair. Also covered in Komsomolskaya Pravda

The Russian vessel Avior sank on Sunday about 50 kilometers from the Japanese coast. All 29 members of the crew were saved by the Japanese patrol ship Takya. The story gives details.

On Sept. 9, the 173rd birthday of writer Lev Tolstoy, the railway station Yasnaya Polyana was given back its old name, Kozlova Zaseka. The story comments on this decision by the Tula Regional Duma, saying what the writer's great great-grandson and Director of the Yasnaya Polyana estate and museum, Vladimir Tolstoy, thinks about the event. Also covered in Kommersant Daily

State Duma SPS faction members Eduard Vorobyov and Boris Titenko, who have come back from their trip to Chechnya, stated that SPS faction leader Boris Nemtsov's proposal on peace negotiations with the Chechen opposing side was misinterpreted. The story comments on their statement.

The Cultural Capital City of Povolzhye festival opened in Ulyanovsk on Saturday. Governor-General Sergei Kiriyenko, when opening the festival, commented on financial issues surrounding the event.

Domestic ferrous metals producers have sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin with a request that the government defend Russian interests in steel negotiations on the international market, and to politically support Russian steel makers. Metals producers ask the president to instruct authorities that they officially state their interest in an anti-dumping investigation that the United States initiated several months ago. The story examines the content of the letter.

A Moody's mission is expected to arrive in Moscow today to study the economic situation in the country. This international rating agency's experts will focus on the state budget, tax and debt policies. Brief.

British Petroleum has refused to participate in the competition for the right to build the East-West gas pipeline to transport Russian gas to China. The story examines possible reasons why BP will not participate. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Vremya Novostei

Gazprom deputy head Dmitry Medvedev late last week made public plans to gradually liberalize the marketing of stock of the gas giant. The market has reacted to Medvedev's plans in a nervous way; share price has fallen, and market participants have harshly criticized the plans.

Izvestia last week received a letter from Russian citizen Sergei Li, who lives in France. He writes that people in Western Europe are continuing to die due to mad cow disease. The story offers the letter and commentary.

Chief of all Moscow caves and head of the Moscow Diggers' Detachment Vadim Mikhailov assures that the underground basements of Moscow prisons provide ideal conditions for inmates to escape. The story comments on his pronouncements about the recent escape of three life-sentence inmates from Butyrka Prison.

Special centers for refugees arriving in Russia from abroad by air will be built already next year in Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo airports. The projects have become possible after signing an agreement between the Federation Ministry territorial body for Moscow and the UN Board of the Supreme Commissar on Refugees Affairs. The story examines the document and the project.


The Natural Resources Ministry on Friday announced that it would revoke from Severnaya Neft a license on the development of the Val oil deposit. In an interview the company's Board of Directors head Andrei Vavilov speaks about reasons behind his company's troubles. Also covered in Vremya Novostei

Central Election Commission head Alexander Veshnyakov has applied to the Council of Europe with a proposal to work out a convention on the single standards of holding democratic elections. The story examines his initiative.

Russian and Azeri defense ministers Sergei Ivanov and Safar Abiyev stated that they had agreed on the status of the Gabalinskaya Radar Station, a major facility in the Russian air defense system. The treaty on the station's fate will be signed before the end of this year. The story comments on the issue.

The government has failed to keep its promise to raise wages to civil servants and the military in September. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko.

The efforts of Gazprom's new leadership to get back its former daughter company Zapsibgazprom may become futile, since Zapsibgazprom's main asset ? the license on the Yuzhno-Russkoye deposit ? already belongs to Severneftegazprom, in which Zapsibgazprom, after several additional issuances, lost control. The story examines Gazprom's futile efforts.

Itera Group head Igor Makarov on Friday held negotiations in Vilnius with Lithuania's Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas. After the talks Makarov stated that his company most probably will take part in the privatization of the Lithuanian Lietuvos Dujos gas monopoly. The story examines results of the talks.

Gazprom's daughter company Tyumentransgaz on Friday signed an agreement with the Motor Leasing company that markets the products of the Kazan Motor-Production Association. The story comments on the document.

Michael Fux, head of the program of the private and financial development sectors of Europe and Central Asia of the World Bank stated that WB recommended to Russia's Central Bank to sell its Vneshtorgbank to a foreign investor.

The amendments to the second part of the Tax Code concerning excises will take effect today. The story describes how they can cause confusion on the alcohol market.

In an interview Loza Corp.'s general director Andrei Fedyai describes the present situation on the alcohol market.

General Gennady Troshev on Saturday, within the framework of the Moscow International Book Fair, presented his book titled My War (in Chechnya). The story reviews the book.

An attempt to set a new culinary record for the Guinness Book of Records was made in Nizhny Novgorod on Saturday. Local cooks made a 16 square meter sandwich, which was eaten by about 2,000 people. The story describes the event.

The Moscow City Court has launched a trial over Zaurbek Daayev, former assistant of the Chechnya's plenipotentiary representative in Russia and son of the former Chechen Vice-Premier. Zaurbek Daayev is accused of extortion, kidnapping, murder and robbery. The feature story describes his famous family in Chechnya and his crimes.

Moscow Mayakovsky Theater artistic director Andrei Goncharov has died at the age of 83 due to a heart attack. The story features his brilliant theatrical career. Also covered in Vremya Novostei

A painting titled "The Landscape with a Woodcutter" by British 18th century artist Thomas Gainsborough has arrived at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow from the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston within the framework of the treaty on long-term partnership relations with the Pushkin Museum. The painting will be on display till March of 2002. The story describes the masterpiece.

Novaya Gazeta

The Swiss newspaper Le Temps" on Sept. 4 published a story titled "A Mysterious Rendezvous Between Russians and Chechens on the Swiss Riviera." Though the Kremlin officially rejects the idea of negotiating with Chechens, a meeting in Switzerland took place recently between State Duma members of parliament and Chechen separatists. The Federal Foreign Affairs Department confirmed that the meeting took place, though officials from Bern did not take part. The story describes the meeting, citing State Duma deputy Yury Shchekochkhin's transcript of the talks.

Environmental expert Alexander Nikitin, who himself was once accused of espionage and spent two years in a prison, came to Vladivistok on Sept. 2 with the aim of supporting military journalist Grigory Pasko, who is also accused of espionage. Today Nikitin is creating an ecological human rights center for environmentalists who have become targets of the FSB. The story features the project.

Official numbers indicate that about 1,000 people disappeared in Chechnya this year, and unofficial numbers indicate a rate twice as high. They disappeared from Chechen villages under varying circumstances. The story examines two common features in all cases.

The story is devoted to the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, that for many years has been providing Russian diabetics with insulin.

A year ago President Vladimir Putin signed the Doctrine on Information Security, thus declaring the information sphere a "strategic sector" having a direct impact on state security. The president has put information in the same category as military projects and strategic resources, meaning that the information sphere should be under direct state control. Two weeks after the doctrine was signed, information leaked to the press saying that a special agency responsible for measures against independent mass media had been created in the presidential administration. The story features the fate of the doctrine a year after. Two experts and four public figures share their views on the doctrine.

Television journalist Sergei Dorenko stated to Ekho Moskvy that he intends to take part in the elections to the Moscow City Duma as a member of Mayor Yury Luzhkov's new list of candidates. It was journalist Dorenko, who destroyed Luzhkov's hopes for the presidency more than a year ago. Dorenko intends to meet with Luzhkov to show him his respect before the official registration ceremony in the Moscow City Election Commission.

Huge debts from the Defense Ministry and Baltic Fleet local branches in Kaliningrad may lead to a dramatic situation in winter when city residents will be left without heat and electricity. The story names several such branches and their debts.

More than 20 serious terrorist acts have been committed on the territory of Russia between 1996 and 2001. Novaya Gazeta decided to observe the fate of criminal investigations into terrorist blasts in Russian cities. The newspaper is running special issue called the "Chronicles of Provocations," describing incidents from the summer of 1996 to the summer of 2001, and is devoted to finding out the fate of victims of the terrorist acts.

This year federal authorities accompanied by armed OMON soldiers arrived at many farms to expropriate grain for debts in the Vorenzh region. The story describes how farmers have dealt with this.

Komomolskaya Pravda

Since the beginning of this year tax authorities have registered 3,935 Muscovites, whose spending has exceeded their declared incomes. In this context, letters have been sent to the offenders with requests to submit new declarations. The story notes that tax agencies, despite many difficulties, are able to determine taxpayers' incomes.

All facilities in Lefortovo Park will be renovated in the next 2 years. In addition a tunnel of undetermined depth will be built under Lefortovo. Milkhail Rudyak, construction adviser to the Moscow mayor and general director of Ingeocom Corp. answers questions from Komsomolskaya Pravda readers, most of whom are Lefortovo residents, about how the projects will affect them.

During his visit to the Moscow International Book Fair on Saturday, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov paid special attention to the Moscow Publishers' Programs stand, where he promised to give money for publishing the Great Russian Encyclopaedia. The story is devoted to the Moscow International Book Fair, that has been a regular event since 1993.

The story describes new programs that leading television channels have prepared for the new season, especially for children and teenagers.

Moskovsky Komsomolets

In an interview State Duma deputy Vyacheslav Volodin, who recently replaced Yevgeny Primakov at the post of the State Duma Fatherland of All Russia faction leader, speaks about his previous job, about his faction's ideas for the draft budget for 2002 and about his future plans.