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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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

Izvestia
Kommersant
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Noviye Izvestia
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Komomolskaya Pravda
Moskovsky Komsomolets


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

The Agriculture Ministry Friday announced a competition for grain purchases to the intervention fund. This the first such competition in Russian history to result from a bumper harvest. Andrei Sizov, head of the SovEcon information analysis center, and First Deputy Agriculture Minister Anatoly Mikhalyov commented on the intervention fund, focusing on its positive and negative aspects. Also covered in Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The ORT shareholders' extraordinary meeting Friday elected a new Board of Directors. ORT General director Konstantin Ernst stated that part of the company's stock will be pawned under a $120 million credit. Izvestia has obtained irrefutable proof that the state lost control over ORT two years ago, and that the channel as the property structure does not belong to any one. The state has turned out to be unable to keep the channel. ORT former General director Igor Shabdurasulov examined the situation with ORT's credits. The names of the new members of the ORT Board of Directors are given. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Vremya MN

The Gazprom leadership Friday met with the domestic shareholders of the company to explain its financial situation and to try to increase its influence on the rapidly worsening image of the gas concern in the eyes of foreign investors. Analysts say that the Gazprom stock is unstable, and in this context the company's leadership has to take urgent resolute measures to maintain calm among its shareholders. Also covered in Vremya MN

Natural Resources Minister Vitaly Artyukhov on Friday signed a decree concerning an earlier suspension of rights to use the oil deposits Val Gamburtseva, in the Nenets autonomous district.The story examines the ministry's decision. Also covered in Kommersant Daily

Grain harvesting is in full swing in many regions. Voronezh regional governor Vladimir Kulakov comments on the grain situation in the region's farms.

At a continuing court trial on Friday in Novosibirsk, Viktor Tikhonov , who is accused of an attempt upon the life of Kemerovo governor Aman Tuleyev, made a special statement for the press. The brief reveals its content.

A new scandal surrounding Nezavisimaya Gazeta erupted on Friday when NIG publishing group general director Vitaly Tretyakov stated that Boris Berezovsky cannot sell NG, since it does not belong to him. Tretyakov also said that those, with whom Berezovsky cooperated in publishing the newspaper do not honor their agreements and intend to take away the property of other owners. Tretyakov added that they had threatened him. Brief. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moskva Supplement

The rectors of Voronezh higher schools Friday sent a letter to Education Minister Vladimir Filippov with a protest against a new financial law, which says that the ministry's official instruction demands that all higher schools close their non-budgetary accounts in banks and open a single personal account in the federal Treasury. The story examines the conflict.

The story describes President Vladimir Putin's meeting outside Kislovodsk on Friday with heads of southern regions. The president, in a tough manner, responded to SPS leader Boris Nemtsov's initiative to launch negotiations with Chechen rebels, and with their leader Aslan Maskhadov. Nemtsov's reaction to Putin's remarks is also given. Almost all policy makers, except Yabloko politicians, supported Putin. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Noviye Izvestia, Vremya MN, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Krasnaya Zvezda, Komsomolskaya Pravda

At their meeting with Vladimir Putin outside Kislovodsk, governors from the southern districts discussed the Federal Program "The South of Russia". In an interview one of its authors Viktor Krokhmal reveals its essence. Also covered in Vremya MN

The overwhelming majority of Russians consider themselves to be religious believers, but the number of genuinely religious people among them is small ? this conclusion has been made on the basis of results of a recent opinion poll taken by the independent research center ROMIR. The story examines its results.

The NTV+ shareholders' meeting on Friday approved general director Yevgeny Yakovich's request to resign. The story describes an unclear situation in the company. The Gazprom-Media holding, which owns a controlling stake of NTV+, has up to now failed to come into its own as the company's owner.

The St. Petersburg administration has created a state-controlled enterprise, the St. Petersburg Electrical Network, that will govern the electrical networks built with money from the city budget. For the past nine years Lenenergo, UES's St. Petersburg daughter company, had been their owner. The story examines the new enterprise. Also covered in Kommersant Daily, Noviye Izvestia

The story looks at factors that make Western states participate in an ambitious project to lengthen the Trans-Siberian Railway, or Transib, to the Czech Republic.

The international television and film forum "Together" opened Saturday. Television companies from 25 countries will present more than 250 projects. In an interview one of its organizers, Ashot Dzhazoyan, general director of the International Confederation of Journalists Unions, speaks about the event, its participants and the jury.

A sensational statement has been made this week at a large conference in Philadelphia ? an AIDS vaccine may appear in pharmacies already in the next few years. The story offers alarming figures on AIDS patients and victims in the world and in Russia.

A serious demographic crisis has hit Georgia, where due to poverty, young Georgians are leaving their native land for Europe and the United States. This was stated Friday by a Georgian official to the French Press Agency.

Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji on Friday arrived in Russia for an official visit, during which significant economic documents are expected to be signed. The story examines the prime minister's successful political career. Also covered in Kommersant Daily

Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

The Financial Action Task Force on Friday officially declassified its verdict in relation to Russia, which remains in the black list of countries unwilling to collaborate with FATF in a crackdown on illegal laundering money. But this international organization has found some improvement and, therefore, it will not impose additional sanctions against Russia, as was scheduled for Sept. 30. Also covered in Vremya MN

The UEFA Cup soccer match between Anzhi and the Scottish team the Glasgow Rangers that is scheduled for Thursday in Makhachkala is again under the threat of postponement. The story says why.

Belarussian Election Commission head Lydia Yermoshina stated that 5.4 percent of electors took part in the preliminary voting over the past three days. Analysts say that such a voting may become a major ground for falsifying election results.

The Minsk City Court Friday opened a closed trial over the criminal cases of Italian Angelo Antonio Piu, 50, and a young Minsk woman, Irina Ushak, 26. The story details their cases.

Mahmud Abbas, Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, arrived in Moscow on Friday to discuss urgent measures to overcome Palestinian-Israeli confrontation. Palestine views Russia as an unbiased mediator in its conflict with Israel. The story examines the agenda of the Palestinian official's negotiations in Moscow.

The Industry, Science and Technologies Ministry has created a Coordinating Council with the aim of financial boosting of enterprises. This was stated by Minister Alexander Dondukov. The story examines the functions of the new structure.

The Lipetsk television company TVK on Friday gained a victory in its 10-day struggle with the company's new leadership. The story gives details.

Corrida supporters among skinheads and Korroziya Metallov Group leader Sergei Troitsky (dubbed "the spider") staged the first rally in the center of Moscow. The story describes the demonstration, its participants and their demands.

NTV is reported to begin a new season on Sept. 10 with the hit show Namedni, a weekly news analytical program hosted by Leonid Parfyonov. In an interview he speaks about the program.

The first auction to sell part of the state-owned package of the Rosgosstrakh insurance company took place Friday. The first lot, consisting of nine percent of stock, was bought by a Troika Dialog manager. The story describes other results of the first auction.

The Overseeing Council of the German car maker Volkswagen AG on Friday appointed Bernd Pischetsrieder, 53, chairman of the Board of Directors. The story examines his plans.

Microsoft, which has been accused by American authorities of violating anti-trust legislation, will not be spit into two companies. Such was the decision by the Department of Justice. The story discusses the decision.

Central Bank first deputy head Tatyana Paramonova on Friday stated that the CB is considering the possibility of revoking licenses of small banks and issuing new ones ? of credit-depositary organizations. Will this provision be included in a program of reforming the banking system?

The Railways Ministry has refused to follow the instruction of the Anti-Monopoly Ministry to lower prices of bauxite transportation. The story says why, focusing on the ministry's behaviour.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
www.ng.ru

The American magazine Vanity Fair early this month announced the major material of its October issue ? the rating of 50 business leaders of the information era in 2001. Only four positions on the list have been given to non-Americans. The article presents the first 10 personalities, who, according to the magazine, are the core of the "new establishment" of the planet.

The gubernatorial elections in Rostov-on-Don scheduled for Sept. 23 may cause a serious political scandal with negative consequences. This became clear when State Duma Deputy Leonid Ivanchenko, the leader of Don Communists and main rival of current governor Vladimir Chub, was accused of falsifying electors' signatures and removed from the list of candidates. The article examines measures taken by Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov to defend Ivanchenko.

State Duma Deputy Yevgeny Primakov has become the main political newsmaker of the week. Though he explained his reasons, his unexpected resignation from the post of leader of the faction Fatherland-All Russia has given birth to many questions. Three political experts share their views on Primakov's resignation.

Vladimir Pekhtin, leader of the State Duma's Unity faction, has proposed imposition of censorship on school textbooks. In his opinion, the government should create a representative commission to discuss the textbooks' content.

Novgorod regional governor Mikhail Prusak stated that with the creation of the State Council, the Federation Council should be abolished and its deputies should voluntarily quit their posts.

Rudy Dornbush, professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former chief economic adviser at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, examines two possible reasons behind the dollar's weakness today.

Russia's gold currency reserves between Jan. 1-Sept. 1 were up 34 percent, from $27.972 billion to $37.493 billion. Hard currency reserves over this period rose from $24.264 billion to $33.686 billion.

Russia loses $1.5 billion to $2 billion annually due to restrictive measures in relation to exports of its goods. This was stated by Alexander Ananyev, deputy chief of the Trade Policy and Multilateral Negotiations Department of the Economic Development Ministry.

The article describes a major project of boosting the Baikal-Amur Railroad economic zone ? the building of the Chara-China railway, the functioning of which will open an access to a very rich deposit of iron ore and vanadium.

The article examines the origin of the idea of renaming Volgograd Stalingrad and the idea's supporters and opponents today.

A railway station ? Museum Kozlova Zaseka ? will open on the day of the 173rd anniversary of the birth of great writer Lev Tolstoy three kilometers from his estate. The writer left Yasnaya Polyana from this small railway station on Oct. 28, 1910 for the Shamardinsk Monastery in the Kaluga region to join his sister, nun Maria.

In an interview, sociologist Boris Dubin examines specific features of development of the Russian society at the present stage.

In an interview, TV Tsentr general director Oleg Poptsov examines several novelties in his company in a new season.



Noviye Izvestia

The icon "Christ in a Coffin" painted by a Greek master is on display for journalists in the Moscow auction house Helos. The icon appeared for the first time in Jerusalem in the second half of the 15th century. It will be put up for auction to be sold to museums.

The second Conference on International Anti-Drug Cooperation finished its work in Saratov on Friday. LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky offered his own program of cracking down on drug addiction The article examines its provisions.

Searches for three life-sentence inmates, who fled from high-security Butyrskaya Prison on Sept. 5 are continuing. The article reports on how the Main Punishment Execution Board described their escape. (also in Komsomolskaya Pravda and Rossiiskaya Gazeta)

In an interview, Malta's President Guido De Marco speaks about the state of Maltese-Russian relations over the past 300 years, sharing his view of President Vladimir Putin and his policies.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta
www.rg.ru

The fragments of the Soviet space probe that was launched in 1975 entered the upper layers of the atmosphere over Massachusetts on Friday and burned there. The article gives details.

In an interview at the Moscow International Book Fair, writer Alexander Mikhailov, author of a book about Audit Chamber head Sergei Stepashin, speaks about the main character of his book, and Stepashin talks about his favorite books.

The court trial over Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, who was accused of huge embezzlements, ended in Astana. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with the confiscation of his personal property. The article details his case.

The feature article describes several families with many children in Karelia, in which parents, often drunk, prefer to see their children orphans.

The the exploitation of Kubaki (in the Magadan region), the only gold-ore deposit in Russia, which is being developed with the help of foreign investments, will end in 2003. The article describes the origin of this project and what Russia has gained from it.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev has made a sensational statement, saying that Russia has already exported 1 million tons of grain this year. The article comments on his statement, outlining where Russian grain is exported.

The administration of the Ryazan region and its head Vyacheslav Lyubimov would like to regain control over OKA, the regional television company that they lost in 1998. The article describes how it happened.



Famed chess players Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik early this week refused to take part in the world chess championship scheduled for Nov. 24-Dec. 11 in Moscow under the aegis of FIDE, the International Chess Federation. Despite everything, they will come to Moscow in late November. In an interview, Alexander Gromov, First Deputy Governor-General in the Central Federal District, explains when and where Muscovites will be able to see the chess champions.

Komomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

Tests of the Su-80GP cargo and passenger plane designed by the Sukhoi Central Design Bureau have begun in the Zhukovsky airfield in the Moscow region. The article describes the new plane.

On Sept. 1, the first 19,176 tons of Sakha oil was transported from the Sakha port of Tiksi to the Dutch port of Rotterdam. The article examines why this is significant, focusing on the Sakha oil export program.

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has written a book titled "New Russian Diplomacy: Ten Years of Foreign Policy." It has been published by OLMA-PRESS Publishers. The article reviews the book.

The State Construction Committee has named three cities ? Belgorod; Nizhnekamsk, Tatarstan; and Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Rostov region ? that are the most comfortable cities for living. They have won the competition for the city with the best living conditions. The article examines the standards of living in these three cities.

Zelenograd authorities on Thursday gave up the experiment on paying 100 percent utility bills. Why has the administration of this okrug, one of the poorest ones, agreed to conduct this experiment? Galina Khovanskaya, head of the Moscow City Duma Housing Policy and Utility Reform Commission, answers this question.

The NTV channel will launch on Monday a new game show titled "Alchnost" (Greed) with a 2 million-ruble ($68,000) prize. Its host will be true millionaire and big boss Alfred Kokh, Gazprom-Media Holding head and the chairman of the NTV board of directors. The article describes the game show.

Moskovsky Komsomolets
www.mk.ru

A victim of Moscow racism, Angolan refugee Paul Massa Maioni, 34, died last Wednesday in the Botkin Hospital where he was brought on Aug. 23 when Moscow skinheads savagely beat him outside a refugee center. The article describes the case.

Moscow authorities decided to create a center in the city for breeding animal mutants, which are needed by many research institutes for conducting experiments and for developing new medicines. The article describes the project.

The Booker Committee and its chairman Igor Shaitanov conducted the first session of the jury of the Smirnoff-Booker Prize-2001 within the framework of the fourteenth Moscow International Book Fair last Thursday. The article describes the session, the members of the jury and the session's decisions.