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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press Review

Izvestia
Kommersant
Vedomosti
Vedomosti. Companies and Markets
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Novaya Gazeta
Komsomolskaya Pravda
Moskovsky Komsomolets


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

The International Criminal Court will that is to handle crimes against humanity will start to operate on Monday. The Russian authorities have not ratified the Court's status, but nevertheless its impact on the Russian judiciary system could be quite strong. In particular the international Court may dispute the recent verdict which declared Colonel Budanov irresponsible for the death of a Chechen girl. (1,4)

A number of new laws will take effect from July 1 that will greatly alter the entire Russian judiciary system. These include the Criminal Procedure Code the Administrative Code and the law on legal support. The object of the reform is to make the judiciary system more liberal by getting rid of the Soviet prosecution system. (1,4, Kommersant 1,2, Gazeta 7)

Izvestia arranged a telephone question and answer session with famous showman Leonid Yakubovich -- the anchor of popular ORT TV show Pole Chudes. He was asked about his plans to take part in new projects and about his experience as an amateur airplane pilot. (1,3)

On Saturday an extraordinary event took place on the reality show Za Steklom aired on the TVS channel. After a participant from Ukraine left the show the instructor Korzhov who coached the Ukrainian group locked himself in the premises of Za Steklom, fired a burst from a Kalashnikov and took a nurse hostage. Airing was interrupted. Later it became clear that the incident was part of a scenario. (2)

On Saturday the Slavneft oil company held its yearly shareholders meeting, despite the fact that the company's main office remains sealed. The reelected Board did not include the company's former president Mikhail Gutseriyev, who does thus not recognize the vote as legal. The company's president-elect Yury Sukhanov addressed President Putin, Mikhail Kasyanov, the Prosecutor General and the Interior Ministry with a request to take care of the situation. (2, Kommersant 9, Gazeta 9)

Moscow has voiced its official reaction to the tragic accident in the Yellow Sea between North and South Korea by calling for prudence and sense from both parties. Russia wishes for the peaceful dialog between Seoul and Pyongyang to restart -- an official Foreign Ministry representative told Izvestia. (2, Kommersant 5)

At Sunday's closing ceremony of the XXIV Moscow Cinema Festival, head of the panel Chinghiz Aitmatov announced the result of the competition. An Italian TV film based on Tolstoi's novel "Resurrection" was awarded the grand prix. (2, Kommersant 1,13)

The International Olympic Committee is putting more and more pressure on Russian skiers Larisa Lazutina and Olga Danilova -- both suspected of using performance enhancing drugs. The two Olympic winners appealed to the Sports Arbitration Court in March, but the hearing has been constantly delayed by motions from the IOC. (3)

The Ekho Moskvy radio station -- owned by Gazprom-Media -- held its shareholders meeting on Saturday. The new board includes four people from Ekho Moskvy, four from Gazprom-media and one independent -- Yevgeny Yasin, a former Minister of Economics. Brief. (3, Kommersant 3, Gazeta 3)

An Izvestia correspondent wrote from the Barsukovskaya village that suffered the greatest damage from the recent catastrophic flood in the south of Russia. The death toll in Barsukovskaya has reached 23 people. Local authorities have denied that they received adequate warning from meteorologists to prevent anything. (3)

The President's decree to raise the salaries of the military starting from July 1 is under threat. The move will require some 22 billion rubles of funding from the state budget and the source of the money has not yet been determined. As well as this the calculation of new salaries will take considerable time. (4)

On Saturday a new political party emerged in Russia -- the Party of Life which Federation Council speaker Sergei Mironov defined as "the honest party for the people." He said that he himself may join the party in the near future. (4, Kommersant 3)

Saturday's Alrosa shareholders meeting elected a new observing board, of which deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin is a member. It is perceived as evidence that the government is not quite satisfied with the work of the diamond monopoly. (5, Kommersant 11)

In April Prime Minister Kasyanov signed a decree according to which state-owned enterprises should remove themselves from the capital of most Russian commercial banks. They must pass their shares to the State Property Ministry by July 1. The proposed deadline has not been observed which may cost some officials their jobs. (5)

On Sunday, Norilsk Nickel held a shareholders meeting which elected two independent members onto the board of directors: The first deputy of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Guy de Sellier and a Krasnoyarsk public leader Vladimir Dolgikh. The company's statute was amended giving additional authority to those independent directors, creating a better image of the company. (5, Kommersant 11)

Friday's shareholders meeting in KamAZ truck plant was marked by a riot of minority shareholders who demanded the paying off dividends for the last year from the plant's net profit of 272 million rubles. The plant may also face considerable worker layoffs. (5)

At a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese premier Koizumi at the G-8 summit in Canada the Japanese leader voiced his wish to visit Moscow in December or January. The writer supposed that this attitude with Moscow was forced by the West. (6)

Izvestia published its report about last week's court process on the murder of journalist Dmitry Kholodov. They interviewed the defendant, the prosecutor, the lawyers and witnesses. (7)

Starting from August 7, air travelers will be able to check in their baggage at Paveletsky station, from where a fast train will take them to Domodedovo airport. This will take only 40 minutes. (10)

Last week at the Moscow city construction committee's meeting it was decided to pull down the Moskva hotel, which was built in 1938 by Shchusev. (10)

Izvestia interviewed Alexei Vorontsov, the author of the reconstruction project that will turn the old trading building across from the Kremlin into a modern complex, accommodating a luxurious hotel, gold and diamond exchanges and an auction house. (10)

Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

Last Friday, Vladimir Putin visited the flooded areas of the Stavropol krai. He accused regional authorities of not taking the required actions to prevent danger and to alleviate the situation after the catastrophe. Various federal commissions followed the presidential visit and criminal proceedings have already been initiated against responsible officials (2).

The plenum of the Socialist Joint Party of Russia took place on Saturday. It condemned the party's leader Ivan Rybkin for his open letter to President Putin where he called for cease-fire in Chechnya. (3)

A statutory congress on the new Communist party was held on Sunday in Moscow. The delegates -- led by Andrei Brezhnev, grandson of the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev -- severely criticized the well-established KPRF party. (3)

On Saturday the government commission on investigating of the Kursk tragedy held its final meeting. The commission found out the reason for the catastrophe was an explosion of one a 65-76 torpedo. However, the final act of the commission's conclusions has been declared classified, meaning the public will never learn the whole history. (4)

In a Grozny suburb the leader of a criminal group was killed. He was identified as Rizvan Akhmadov who was involved in many kidnappings in Chechnya, including presidential representative Yury Vlasov and a representative of the "Doctors without Borders" international organization Kenneth Gluck. (4, Gazeta 4)

NATO's military exercises in Georgia were conducted last week. Russia refused to send its observers. Meanwhile, in the Georgian breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetiya fear is mounting that force against them may start soon. (6)

The Russian state TV and radio company VGTRK could purchase a 20 percent stock of Euronews. Talks were conducted in Moscow last week. (9)

The State Duma passed amendments to the bill on private pension funds, which is meant to open access to the multi-billion dollar pension market to private funds. (10)

Vedomosti
www.vedomosti.ru

The Presidential office and the government have prepared the first bill for the proposed reform of the state service. The bill, which was submitted to the State Duma in October, contains unprecedented provisions regarding conflict of interest for public officers. The bill also proposes to establish independent collegiums at each ministry that will supervise ethics and legality in their respective bodies. (A1).

Former Sibur president, Yakov Goldovsky, who is now in police custody on fraud charges, may give up his assets in Sibur and in its parent company Gazprom in exchange for freedom. (A1)

Famous financier George Soros believes that the American dollar will lose a third of its value in a couple of years. He attributes the continuing fall of the national currency to the current policies of Bush's administration. (A3)

In an interview, Minister of Agriculture and Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Gordeyev, answers questions pertaining to the stimulation of grain export from Russia, limitations on food imports and American poultry imports. (A2)

On Friday the State Duma took a vote on changing excise duties on cigarettes, which was heavily lobbied by British American Tobacco (BAT). The regional deputies, where Philip Morris has numerous plants, were opposed to the bill, but were eventually defeated by deputies from regions where in BAT is present. (A5)

Vedomosti. Companies and Markets

TVEL has sold its stake in Conversbank to former rival MDM. The sale marked a victory in the long war that MDM head Andrey Melnichenko has waged for control over the funds of the Nuclear Power Ministry. (B1)

In the past year Germany's Ruhrgas bought 0.3 percent of Gazprom natural gas monopoly stock and now wishes to increase its package to 8-10 percent. Ruhrgas CEO Burkhard Bergman recently made this announcement. (B1)

Victor Belyaev, a companion of Sibirsky Aluminiy head Oleg Deripaska, purchased Zarubezhneftegazstroi (Zangas) and has become the company's general director. Zangas specializes in construction of pipelines abroad. Its net profit in 2001 was 17 million rubles. (B1)

Anatoly Chubais wants to hold another shareholders meeting that would expand the authority of the UES board of directors. (B2)

On Friday Gazprom deputy board chair Alexander Ryazanov announced the launching of an experiment in July to exchange natural gas. According to Ryazanov, it is expected that the main participants will be the regional divisions of the RAO UES energy holding. (B2)

Aeroflot plans to cut expenses by 10 to 12 percent this year, thus saving 150 to 170 billion dollars. The company's profits were badly affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist acts in the United States. Aeroflot plans to use only four types of planes instead of the present-day eleven types, which will hopefully reduce maintenance costs. (B2)

The St. Petersburg division of the Anti-Monopoly Ministry has prohibited the sale of canned products containing vegetable oil under the "Condensed milk" brand name. The will greatly affect the market, which sells 480 million cans a year. (B7)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
www.ng.ru

In an interview, Ivan Rybkin, a former security secretary once responsible for settlement in Chechnya, speaks about his address to President Putin, in which he called for the resumption of peace talks with Chechen President Maskhadov. Rybkin also speaks about the criminal lawsuit connected with a peace treaty signed in Khasavyurt in 1996 that ended the first Chechen war and about prospects of ending the current war. (1,7)

It has become apparent that Boris Yeltsin intends to make a return to politics and hopes to use the Russia-Belarus union as a springboard for his return. Nezavisimaya Gazeta consulted with the head of Effective Politics Fund Gleb Pavlovsky, INDEM Fund President Georgy Satarov and others, about Yeltsin's probable re-appearance on the political stage. All analysts unanimously agreed that Yeltsin's return is highly unlikely. (1,2)

The government has failed to consider a proposal for the transition of contract service in the Russian Army, which the president ordered to be done by July 1. The government recently issued a resolution to transfer the 76 landing troops division to contract service, which the General Headquarters called "a castrated variant of the experiment." (2).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta has published its rating of Russia's one hundred leading politicians. Among the experts chosen to carry out the survey were academics and leading journalists from Moscow and other cities. (1,3)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta interviewed leading economists about prospects of the dollar-euro standoff and its impact on the Russian economy. Apparently, the growing strength of the euro against will make Russian imports more expensive. (5)

Valeria Litskaya, foreign Minister of the breakaway Trans-Dnestr republic made an appearance at the "We are Russia" forum, which was held in Tiraspol last week. Her speech was a sensation at the forum, because she denied any positive historical results of Russia's presence in the region. This has marked a new step in Trans-Dnestr republic's rapprochement with Ukraine and shocked the Russian Duma deputies present at the forum. (6)



Rossiiskaya Gazeta
www.rg.ru

Sunday night Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov flew to Paris to promote Moscow's candidacy to host of the 2010 World Exhibition. (1,7)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta interviewed SPS leader Boris Nemtsov about the results of the Duma's spring session. Nemtsov also spoke about the inadequate distribution of budget funds between the federal center and the regions and about the onset of "managed democracy" at the state television channels. (1,7)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta has published documents pertaining to the fate of one of the daughters of the last Russian Czar - Princess Anastasia. According to one version, the princess was living in Georgia under the name of Natalia Bilikhodze. The results of genetic testing gave a negative conclusion on this version. (2)



Novaya Gazeta
www.novayagazeta.ru

A new trend in social movements has appeared in Voronezh, where residents are physically beating local authorities. Citizens also steal jeeps and rob summer cottages belonging to top city. (3)

Novaya Gazeta has published excerpts from a book written by former FSB Colonel Alexander Litvinenko, who is now in exile in London and was recently tried and convicted in abstentia in a Russian court. Livinenko's novel address crimes perpetrated by the FSB, which he himself witnessed during the past decade. (6)

Renowned journalist Anna Politkovskaya writes about the continuing practice of cleansing operations in Chechnya. (8, 9, 10).

In an interview, Nikolay Korischenko, professor of biology and director of the Institute for New Technologies, speaks about the threat biological weapons pose to Russia and about the country's inadequate protection against biological terrorism. (10-11)

Novaya Gazeta has published a report regarding the unprecedented pressure put on Kazakhstan's free press. In the republic, media are being closed and independent journalists are beaten and arrested. (15)



Komsomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

4,280 high school graduates in Moscow have been awarded golden and silver medals for their scholastic achievements this year. Such medals give students many privileges, such as access to free education, but these privileges are shrinking as the medals are not always honestly earned. (3)

According to Moscow epidemiologists, there are ten times more rats in the capital as there are people. At one time, rats ate a glove that former Russian President Boris Yeltsin had left in his Kremlin office. (8)

Moskovsky Komsomolets
www.mk.ru

A rare book was stolen from the State Library of Socialism and Politics ( formerly the library of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism). The book, a 16th century edition of Thomas Moore's Utopia, was stolen by a library user who registered using some one else's passport. (1).