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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

10/30/2003

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Press Review

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

Ukrainian, U.S. Soldiers Attacked

Two American soldiers were killed when their Abrams battle tank was damaged by resistance fighters and seven Ukrainian troops were wounded in the first ambush of a multinational unit in the Polish sector south of Baghdad, coalition officials said Wednesday.

Statoil Cozies Up to Gazprom

Statoil, Norway's biggest oil company, said Wednesday that Russia's Arctic region may become a core growth area for its business as reserves dwindle at home.

Mergers, Acquisitions Rules to Be Slackened

The government wants to streamline the rules for mergers and acquisitions by significantly increasing the size of deals that can be concluded without the approval of the Anti-Monopoly Ministry.

Berezovsky's Prophecy Not Far Off

What if the Yukos attack were to lead to the creation of a real opposition to stand up to the Kremlin?

Presidential Weakness

Putin's actions in the last week cannot be explained away as confusion or the result of his conflicting ambitions. His behavior reveals weakness, pure and simple.

Democracy Is Not a Priority For Putin

Putin knows that political restructuring, like economic reform, is risky.

Scrutinizing Bush and Trust in Administration

The independent commission set up by the U.S. Congress to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington is on a collision course with the White House, which is refusing to hand over intelligence briefing papers that President George W. Bush received before the attacks.

From Tuzla to 'Great Russia'

The transformation of Putin's Russia into an aggressive, nationalistic police state is under way.

Business in Brief

MGTS to Spend $1Bln MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Moscow's leading fixed-line operator Moscow City Telephone Network, MGTS, plans to spend $1 billion on modernizing its network, general director Mikhail Smirnov told a press conference Wednesday. Smirnov said he has been given the task of making MGTS' initial public offering on the international stock exchanges and carrying out a complete modernization program in a tight timeframe. These processes are interrelated, since the attracted funds may speed up the modernization, he said. ""If the IPO is successful, the reconstruction process will take four to five years. If no IPO is made, that is, if the shareholders -- AFK Sistema and Svyazinvest -- cannot agree on this matter, then the reconstruction will take about 10 years,"" Smirnov added. If the shareholders agree, it will take about a year to prepare an IPO worth $200-300 million, Smirnov said.

Gryzlov: Natural Resources Never Privatized

Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov issued a warning to some of the nation's largest private companies Wednesday: Natural resources have never been privatized.

Putin Endorses Liberal Transport Strategy

Russia's vast transport system is in tatters, but annual investment of $20 billion, lifting the government's monopoly and letting investors in should fix it by 2025, according to a new transport strategy endorsed by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Yukos, RTS Fall as Ruble Gains

Stocks fell again Wednesday on fears of another high-profile arrest at oil giant Yukos, though the ruble managed a second day of gains.

11 Miners Rescued, One Missing

Eleven of 13 coal miners who were trapped in a deep shaft in the Rostov region for six days emerged alive Wednesday.

Evenkia Election Challenged

Prosecutors appealed to a Siberian court on Wednesday to invalidate this week's election of a key associate of jailed Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky to the upper house of parliament.

News in Brief

FBI Dubrovka Probe MOSCOW (MT) -- The FBI is conducting its own investigation into the October 2002 Dubrovka hostage crisis to determine the cause of death of a U.S. citizen, Sandy Booker of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who was among the hostages. A U.S. Embassy official, who asked not to be named, said the investigation is being conducted by the FBI together with the Prosecutor General's Office, the Federal Security Service and the Interior Ministry. Booker's fiancee, Svetlana Gubareva of Kazakhstan, will fly to the United States in early November to testify to the FBI, Moscow lawyer Igor Trunov told Interfax. Moscow Cold Kills 5 MOSCOW (AP) -- Five people died of exposure and more than a dozen others were treated for hypothermia in Moscow hospitals over the past day, city medical officials said Wednesday. Some 43 people have died of exposure since icy weather descended on the city earlier this month, Interfax reported. More than 350 people died of exposure in the city last winter.

Kuchma Dismisses Prosecutor for Failing to Cope With Graft

Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma fired the prosecutor general on Wednesday following a wave of criticism of his failure to stamp out graft in the country rated as one of the world's most corrupt countries.

Norilsk Mayor Takes On Potanin

Emboldened by the attack on one oligarch, the new mayor of Norilsk plans to take on another -- and he appears to have the backing of the Kremlin.

Khodorkovsky for President in 2004?

Politicians and analysts suggested Mikhail Khodorkovsky could be used as a third opposition force in next year's presidential elections to force Putin into a second round.

Day in the Life of Mikhail Borisovich

Russian prisons are infamous for overcrowding and rampant tuberculosis, but what is life behind bars like for the country's richest man?
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