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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press Review

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Noviye Izvestia
Komsomolskaya Pravda
Moskovsky Komsomolets


Dec. 21 marked Stalin's 123rd birthday, whom people remember in a different way: some as a national genius, others as a leader, still others as a murderer and world villain. A story looks at stories mass media outlets have devoted to Stalin lately, focusing on President Vladimir Putin's view on changing Volgograd's name back to Stalingrad. (1, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 9)

President Vladimir Putin has ordered that his Archives' historical part, starting 1917, be passed over to the State Archives of Socio-Political History, including Stalin's personal archives. True, 300 Stalin cases have remained classified, because almost each case has pages containing special secrets. SASPH has begun to declassify these pages to allow historians to use them. A story examines several opened Stalin cases. (2)

In an interview Ruslan Nigmatullin, goalkeeper of the Russian national football team, reveals his plan to go back to Italy to play for Verona (1)

The Iz. story titled "Two Countries of One President" (Dec. 16) that analyzed Russia's political results in 2002 has caused wide-scale response. Thus, today's story "Moral Default" by Andrei Ilnitsky, highly regarded publisher and Deputy Director-General of the Vagrius Publishing House, examines the present-day state of the Russian society, asking the following question -- Is Russia capable at last to pay its historical debts? (1,4)

Ukraine's Defense Minister Vladimir Shkidchenko on Dec.23-24 is expected to pay a visit to Russia. In an exclusive interview he speaks about Ukrainian military reform today and about the problems of the Black Sea Fleet and Sevastopol. The minister also says with whom his army is going to cooperate in the conditions of new threats and challenges. (1)

Army deserters today prefer to apply for help to military prosecutor's offices rather than to the Committees of Soldiers' Mothers. First Deputy Military Prosecutor of the Privolzhsko-Ural Military District Alexander Devyatko explains why, citing as an example the latest case of 13 servicemen, who on Dec. 19 left their artillery unit outside Yekaterinburg and came to him. (2, Kommersant, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2)

The State Duma on Friday passed (in the second and third readings) the draft amendments to the existing law concerning currency regulation and currency control. The new bill allows all residents and nonresidents to take out $10,000 from the country. A story comments on the document, focusing on negative views by government and presidential representatives. (2, Kommersant, 2, Vremya MN, 1, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

Kamchatka region Governor Mikhail Mashkovtsev on Friday sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin in which he complains against Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Mayor Yury Golenishchev, who, in his opinion, is squandering budget money. A story gives details. (2)

The State Duma on Friday held an act based on the permanent exhibition "Buy Russian Goods" at the All-Russia Exhibition Center (former VDHKh) with the aim of supporting domestic producers. A story describes the act, looking at deputies' common stand on the issue. (3)

Do the Russian people need such online conversations with the president like the one on Thursday ? Twelve people share their views. (3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4)

Former President Boris Yeltsin and his wife Naina after a weeklong rest in Kazan returned home Friday evening. A story describes the cultural program of his visit. (3)

Despite Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Zubrin's optimistic statements on progress in solving criminal cases (one of them being the murder of State Duma Deputy Galina Starovoiteva) in St. Petersburg, nothing new has been done. A story looks at his statements, focusing on an investigation of a scandalous criminal case involving St. Petersburg Vice Governor Viktor Krotov, who is suspected of squandering budget money. (3, Kommersant, 2)

First lady Lyudmila Putin in the public fund "The Center of the Russian Language" on Friday took part in a round-table discussion devoted to vital problems of today's secondary schools and children's rights. A story comments on her remarks. (3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

Conoco Phillips on Friday stated that together with TotalFinaElf it intends to buy a 50 percent share in developing the Shtokmanovsky gas condensate deposit. The license to develop it is owned by a Rosneft-Gazprom joint venture, Sevmorneftegaz. A story looks at the foreign companies' chances. (5)

Another round of negotiations on Russia's accession to the WTO was completed in Geneva on Friday. The Russian side is willing to make concessions to foreigners and open services markets for them. Thus, for example, the maximum share of foreigners' participation in the capital of domestic insurance companies has already been increased up to 25 percent from 15 percent. Ilya Mikhailenko, director-general of Renaissance-Insurance Group, explains why the negotiations on Russia's accession to the WTO have unexpectedly been aggravated. (5)

According to government officials and experts, there will be neither reforms nor crises in the domestic economy in the next two years due to the 2004 presidential elections. The World Bank, however, has a different view: Stable and authoritative "groups of interests" that are not interested in change are hindering reforms. (5)

Rosneft next year will deliver to Afghanistan 2.5 million tons of oil products worth $500 million. The Rosneft press service reported on Friday that a contract had been signed in Moscow by Rosneft and the Russian-Afghan joint venture on Dec. 18. Brief. (5)

The Financial Action Task Force on has recommended to its member states that they impose sanctions against Ukraine due to its ineffective struggle against laundering illegal incomes. Brief. (5)

Russia in the 11 months of this year increased the extraction and production of gold by 12.1 percent (up to 162.5 tons) as compared with the figure for the same period last year. Brief. (5)

Breweries today are resisting the government's tax novelties that could slow down the pace of the development of this sector. Thus, Baltika president Taimuraz Bolloyev made a serious warning, saying that the beer increased excises, starting 2003, will result in a loss of investment attractiveness.. A story comments on views by Bolloyev and by Vyacheslav Mamontov, head of the executive of the Union of Russian Breweries. (5)

Chechen rebels' supporters in Paris held two events -- one in support of Chechnya and the second one against Russian policy in the Caucasus. A story describes them in detail. (6)

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed a decree on the transition of the Summer Gardens in St. Petersburg under the jurisdiction of the Russian Museum. In an interview its director Vladimir Gusev shares his view on his museum expansion. (8)


The Financial Action Task Force that is combating the laundering of illegal incomes Friday decided to impose additional sanctions toward Ukraine. A story describes how all this directly concerns Russia that seemingly is on friendly terms with FATF. (1,4)

U.S. newspapers Friday reported that the Bush administration has already selected Ukraine and Nauru for illustrating the financial effectiveness of the Patriot Act, the anti-terror law signed in October 2001. A story reveals its essence. (1)

The story describes what Russian companies, ministries and departments own and control in Ukraine. (1)

The Federation of Air Flight Controllers Labor Union and the Labor Union of communications workers in Moscow on Friday announced that on Dec. 22 they will launch a protest act demanding higher wages. A story looks at several stages of their wage struggle. (1)

During a 2 1/2 hour call-in show on Thursday, 11-year-old Natalya Buyanova, a resident in Birobidzhan, asked the president why there was an artificial Christmas tree on the main square in her city, and Vladimir Putin asked the governor of the Jewish autonomous region, Nikolai Volkov, to replace the artificial fir tree with a natural one. But the president's request has not been met, and most probably will not be met. (1,3)

The State Duma on Friday passed in the second reading a new wording of the bill concerning the elections of the president. A story looks at the new wording. (2, Vremya MN, 2)

Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Kolesnikov in the Samara region prosecutor's office on Friday held a news conference at which he told journalists about new mop-ups at AvtoVAZ and also about new facts of embezzling budget money in the region. (2)

The Georgian Prosecutor General's Office on Friday reported that two rebels (their names are given) had been detained in Chechnya. They are suspected of attempting upon the life of President Eduard Shevardnadze in February 1998. The Georgian side now is preparing documents necessary for their extradition. (3)

State Duma budget committee head Alexander Zhukov in early December received a letter signed by representatives of major Western oil and gas companies with a request to complete work over the tax regime of the production sharing agreements before the end of this year. In response, the budget committee at a session on Friday considered the Tax Code chapter devoted to PSA taxation. A story examines results that are hardly favorable for PSA supporters. (4

LUKoil announced Friday that it had signed an agreement with the Japanese Inpex Corp. on selling it 10 percent in the Azeri-Chirag-Gyuneshli project for $1.37 billion. A story examines the deal that is profitable for LUKoil. (4)

The Paris Court on Friday declared U.S. billionaire George Soros guilty of using insider information to profit from the stock of Societe Generale, a French bank. The size of the fine defined by the court was 2.2 million euros. A story reveals the essence of the court indictment. (4)

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that New York banking surveillance agencies had fined Western Union, which was accused of repeated violations of the Patriot Act, a law on counteracting financial terrorism. A story examines the case. (4)

The State Duma tried Friday to introduce amendments to the Tax Code, particularly, to its existing procedure of taxing small businesses that is to take effect on Jan. 1, 2003. A story looks at a main obstacle, holding back the introduction of a new procedure of taxing small businesses. (4)

The Finance Ministry agreed Friday with the Central Bank on a draft bill, defining the notion of real owners of the credit organization and establishing demands for them to make their information open. The brief looks at the draft. (5)

The state, as a major Aeroflot shareholder, intends to approve the deal with the Airbus GIE company on buying 6 A-319 and 2 A-320 planes on the basis of leasing. Brief. (5)

The KamAZ board of directors on Friday endorsed a business plan for 2003. The brief mentions two major trends of the plan. (5)

Spartak football club president Andrei Chervichenko on Friday confirmed that former forward Dmitry Sychyov had been sold to a French club. A story looks at the deal, saying that it can be viewed as a victory for the club and for 19-year-old Sychyov. (11)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

In an interview Colonel General Georgy Shpak, Commander of the Paratroopers, comments on the situation in his forces today, focusing on his vision of the future. (1,2)

No one excludes that General Gennady Troshev, former commander of the North Caucasian Military District, could become President of Chechnya. President Vladimir Putin fired Troshev after he refused to go to Siberia to head the Military District there. A story looks at those who would support Troshev if he agrees to run for president in Chechnya. (1,3)

Gazprom may soon experience gas shortages that can cause serious concern not only among domestic consumers but among its foreign clients as well, above all in Germany. A story examines how this situation has become possible. (1,3)

Presidential representative in the Central Federal District Georgy Poltavchenko on Friday gathered together all his governors in Moscow to sum up the results of the year. The focus was the social and economic development of territories and what was holding it back. A story examines the results. (2)

The sale of LUKoil and Slavneft has helped the government get rid of a major headache, and Russia now will be able to pay out part of the foreign debt servicing planned for 2003. A story comments on Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov's statement. (3)

Not a single Chechen refugee camp should remain on the territory of neighboring Ingushetia after Dec. 20. A story reflects on the fate of thousands of refugees. (4)

In his foreign policy Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev has managed to combine orientation toward both Moscow and Washington. In an interview he says how he has done it. (5)

President Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed the fate of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kremlin on Friday. Nazarbayev stated that he is interested in the continuation of Russian-Kazakh cooperation and in using Baikonur in the interests of Russia, Kazakhstan and the whole world. In reality, Kazakhstan can offer Russia the cosmodrome in exchange for the political support of President Nazarbayev. This support has already been received -- 2003 has been declared the Year of Kazakhstan in Russia. A story examines what both states will gain from this Year. (5)

The mortgage system could be used for building housing for servicemen. The State Duma Commission on boosting mortgage credit has worked out a program for building housing and farms for former servicemen using a credit system. In an interview Commission head Ivan Grachov talks about the program and its advantages. (9)

Noviye Izvestia

According to the Chief Moscow Physician Nikolai Filatov, mad animals, including dogs, cats, foxes and even hedgehogs, have been registered in the Moscow region. Filatov stressed that their bites are very dangerous for humans. Brief. (1)

AvtoVAZ from Dec. 28 until Jan. 7 will not produce cars for sale and the work shifts up until Feb. 2 will last only seven hours with Saturday and Sunday being days off. AvtoVAZ experts justified this work schedule by too many cars on the automobile market. (1)

St. Petersburg governor Vladimir Yakovlev reported that no vodka will be sold in the city on New Year's eve. A story examines his statement with a critical eye. (1)

The situation with freedom of speech is worsening in the country, evidenced by events taking place in the regions. Authorities in the Ulyanovsk region have actually declared war on "undesirable" mass media outlets. The sensational statement made by a deputy governor on local television has shocked the local public. The bureaucrat has called the Ulyanovsk mass media the accomplices of terrorism. A story looks at other similar cases with a critical eye. (1)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (20-27/12/2002)

During a 2 1/2 hour call-in show on Thursday President Vladimir Putin answered the most interesting questions that he himself selected. A story offers these questions and the president's answers. (2)

Over 1,400,000 Russians on Thursday called their questions, requests and complaints to President Vladimir Putin on a hotline. A story describes the president's impressions. (3)

The State Duma on Friday passed a new version of amendments to the federal law on state regulation of electricity tariffs and heating. This version has been agreed upon with the Federation Council. A story comments on the document's major provisions. (4)

Georgian sports commentator Kote Makharadze, who was very popular in the Soviet Union, died in Tbilisi on Dec. 19 due to a heart attack at the age of 77. (4)

The government on Thursday decided to create a stabilization fund. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin explained its major aim. (5)

In an interview Colonel-General Sergei Lebedev, head of the most hush-hush department in Russia, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service, speaks about his agency, about its cooperation with commercial structures, about its participation in weapons trade with foreign countries and about the investigation into the latest terrorist act in the Dubrovka theater. Includes a scheme of the structure of the Foreign Intelligence Service. (6, 7)

The Department of Homeland Security that has been created in the U.S. will be able to establish total control over the American society. A story reveals U.S. President W. Bush's plan for this special government body. (8)

The State Duma has put off until next week considering (in the second reading) a draft energy bill. Passions have been raging around this document up until now. In an interview Yekaterinburg governor Eduard Rossel comments on the situation. (10)

Document. The presidential decree endorsing a list of posts which includes the periods of service used for calculating the size of the federal state employees' pensions for long service. Full text. (11)

Komsomolskaya Pravda

Starting Jan. 1, 2003 Russians will not have to pay a 1 percent tax when they buy dollars or euros in currency exchanges. This tax existed only in Russia and yielded the budget 4 billion rubles annually. (2)

The Cabinet on Friday discussed a plan for the country's economic development up to the year 2005. The feeling is that Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin have began to put into effect an idea of their main critic -- presidential economic adviser Andrei Illarionov -- to create a stabilization fund. How will it be built? A story looks at their different approaches to solving this problem. (2)

According to the Emergency Situations Ministry a powerful cyclone is expected to hit Moscow over the weekend when it will bring heavy snowfall and strong wind that may damage trees and weak structures. (6)

The League of Honorary Consuls has been registered in St. Petersburg. A story examines the aim of this new non-profit organization, stressing that its cooperation with foreign analogues -- the General European and World leagues of Honorary Consuls -- is of great significance. (9)

In an interview FSB Major-General Murat Zyazikov, who six months ago was elected President of Ingushetia, speaks about his new job and about his priority tasks. (11)

In an interview the head of the Moscow city construction complex Vladimir Resin talks about his tough style of work that has been unchanged for 17 years. Resin also talks about new districts of mass housing construction in the city today. (14, 15)

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs that have sponsored the annual competition "The Best Russian Enterprises" summed up their results on Dec. 19. A story looks at several laureates and their winning products. (15)

In an interview Sergei Dudnikov, head of the Department of the Federal State Employment Service, talks about today's employment situation in Moscow and the country, focusing on the types of specialists the labor market needs today. (20)

Moskovsky Komsomolets

Park Pobedy is a new metro station that is planned to be opened by May 9, 2003. It will be the deepest station in the city metro. A story examines the project that was launched in 1989. (1,2)

The Moscow City Central District administration decided to close the flea market on Tishinskaya Ploshchad due to unsanitary conditions and violations of trade rules. (1)

Many Muscovites on New Year's eve receive parcels and letters from their foreign friends. What do they send and write to Moscow? A story describes how letters and parcels are opened and scrupulously examined at the Moscow International Post Office and in the customs office. (8)