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Press Review

IZVESTIA (5/11/2004)

French doctors on Thursday refuted information that the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, had died. They said that he was in a coma. Arafat companions-in arms do not conceal that Arafat is in grave condition and that they should prepare for the worst. Arafat is leaving at the most inappropriate moment -- he did not have time (or did not want?) to prepare his successor. The story covers his career as a staunch fighter for independent Palestine and the leader of the Palestinian people. (1, 4, Kommersant, 4, Vremya Novostei, Nov. 5, pp. 1, 3, Gazeta, Nov. 5, p. 4, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Nov. 6, p. 2, Trud, 1, 4, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6, MK, 2)

In an interview Vyacheslav Fetisov, head of the Federal Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism Agency, talks about the problem of the resignation of Vyacheslav Koloskov, the President of the Soccer Union. (1, 10)

In an interview Yukos Management Board head Steven Theede talks about how his company will try to avoid its bankruptcy and how to evaluate the damage inflicted to Yukos by authorities. (1, 13, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Nov. 5, pp. 1, 2)

President Putin in the Kremlin on Thursday met with athletes from the Olympic team to congratulate them with their good performance at the Summer Olympic Games in Athens. The story describes the hearty meeting. (2)

The Kaliningrad City Court has dropped a scandalous criminal case that was filed by the local Prosecutor' s Office against a Kaliningrad supporter of the Limonov Party, who insulted the president. The story details the case saying when and why it has been dropped. (1, 2)

The Institute of Comprehensive Social Studies of the Academy of Sciences on Thursday made public its Analytical Report. The story examines its major provisions, concluding that the majority of Russians need neither freedom, nor market. (3)

In an interview Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin talks about the fate of Russian-Ukrainian relations that, in his opinion, will be good with either of the two presidential candidates --Viktor Yanukovich and Viktor Yushchenko. (3)

In an interview American University Professor Thomas Remington answers the following questions -- Will re-elected George W. Bush continue his policy that has caused protests from 50 percent of Americans and the rest of the world? What policy will the Bush Administration pursue in relation to Russia? What was the reason behind the Republicans' convincing victory? (4)

The feature story is devoted to the Pitcairn Island, the remotest place on earth that is controlled by Britain. It has become known due to an unusual court trial of seven islanders, who are accused of numerous acts of rape committed against minors. The trial as itself would not be interesting if the male adult population of the island were not 14 people. (5)

The Kaliningrad Regional Court on Thursday delivered a verdict on the criminal case of the gang of the so-called sea seals. They were accused of 12 murders. The story details the case. (6)

The story gives a list of 17 out of the 32 Beslan terrorists, who have been identified by the Prosecutor General' s Office special investigation group in Beslan. (1, 6)

Police in Balashikha (Moscow region) have detained a local entrepreneur Azerbaijanian Kazim Imanov, who is suspected of extortion and taking people hostage, including a three-year-old girl. When he was detained he named himself as an FSB officer. The story details the case. (6)

The story compares two armies -- Russian and American -- that are fighting one in Chechnya and the other one-- in Iraq. The story compares them in its own way -- by how people live where these are fighting. In this respect, the story highlights two women -- Olga in Iraq and Raisa in Chechnya -- with similar fates--both were born in the Soviet Union, graduated from institutes, married and raised children. Both have survived the war. (7)

Izvestia special correspondent Irina Petrovskaya looks with a critical eye at how central television channels commented on the presidential elections campaign and elections in Ukraine and president Putin answering numerous questions live on Ukrainian television. (8)

The State Duma on Nov. 10 is to consider (in a first reading) a draft bill that envisages to abolish several state holidays, to institute one new holiday, to legalize 10-day New Year vacations and to make May 2 a working day. Six politicians and public figures share their views on the draft. Results of the latest opinion poll taken by the Public Opinion Fund. (9, Trud, 1, 2)

Yukos owners have demanded from the gvt that it compensate the company' s losses, referring to the Energy Charter. The latter, signed by Russia envisages a compensation of the damage done to foreign investors. Menatep, in case the gvt refuses to compensate the losses, promises in 3 months to apply to the International Arbitration Court. The story examines a conflicting situation. (13, Vremya Novostei, Nov. 5, p. 7, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 3)

The Federal Property Agency (Rosimushchestvo) has chosen Morgan Stanley as a state consultant in the deal to join Rosneft to Gazprom. The work of the valuer will last about a, but the gvt most probably will complete the deal next year. (13, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3)

The feature story highlights the founder of the Japanese famous company " Sony" , focusing on how he started it. The focus is on his latest achievements. (14)

The story by several concrete examples gives recommendations, saying how people should seek jobs in the Internet. (15)

The Public Jury of the Architectural Prize-2004 on Thursday discussed several architectural projects to select the best one for the prize. The story describes the jury' s choice. (16)

The exhibition " Tin Toy Soldiers " opened in the People' s Handicrafts Fund building on Leontyevsky Pereulok in Moscow on Nov. 4, the Day of Reconciliation and Accord. The story describes the exhibition featuring soldiers of all peoples and times. (16)

Geophysicists from several Moscow research organizations have presented their comprehensive study showing how the geological environment affects human health. Specialists have singled out districts in Moscow where it' s risky to live. The story examines them in detail. A map of Moscow showing these places. (17)

Piloted expeditions to the Moon and Mars are a key element of George W. Bush' s program that was made public during his first presidential term. The story examines several suits that have been proposed by NASA for these expeditions. (18)

A new medical preparation to be used in lungs cancer treatment was presented at the Congress of the European Oncologists Society last week that became its sensation. The story describes the preparation. (21)

Former Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi, head of the Federal Culture and Cimena Agency, comments on the continuing conflict between Mayor Yury Luzhkov and federal authorities over the acute issue concerning the ownership rights for the architectural and historical monuments in Moscow. (23)

KOMMERSANT (6/11/2004)

Rumours about a serious breakdown in the Balakovskaya nuclear power plant (Saratov region) have made residents in the Saratov, Samara and several other regions panic-stricken. The story describes what really happened in the plant on Nov. 4, focusing on local authorities' failure to tell people the truth on time. (1, 3)

The Surgut Garrison Military Court on Friday delivered a verdict to Lieutenant- Colonel Vladimir Zavadsky working in the regional military registration and enlistment office. He was accused of abusing power, which resulted in the death of 11th-grader Alexander Bochanov during a military training session in September 2003. The story describes the case, focusing on the court' s verdict. (1, 3, Gazeta, Nov. 5, p. 3)

It became known on Friday evening that President Putin had proposed to the EU leadership to postpone the holding of the Russia-EU summit scheduled for Nov. 11 in The Hague. The story gives the official reason, focusing on the true reason behind Putin' s proposal. (1)

The dollar rate on Friday lost another 10 kopecks, going down in price to the level of 28. 665 rubles/$. After massive interventions to support the American currency on Thursday Nov. 4, the Central Bank took time off. But from all indications, this is only an intermediate stop -- the dollar on the world market is swiftly weakening. The story describes the dollar situation, saying that the euro on Friday reached the $1. 295 mark. (1, 5, Gazeta, Nov. 5, p. 10, Vremya Novstei, Nov. 5, p. 8)

President Putin on Friday signed a decree appointing Colonel-General Alexei Maslov, 51, new Chief Commander of the Ground Troops. Before that, Maslov was chief of the Headquarters of the North-Caucasian Military District. The story comments on the appointment. (2)

The military intelligence officers on Friday marked their professional holiday. The brief looks at its origin in 1918. (2)

President Putin at his meeting with Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko on Friday stated that the petrol prices should be the market rather than the speculative ones. The president let it be known that the anti-monopoly legislation does not fully control price formation on the home market of oil products. The story comments on the president' s recommendations, saying that with the existing taxation system, the petrol prices will go up as long as export oil prices are rising. (2 )

President Putin at the meeting with Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko on Friday stated his displeasure at the pace of forming the market of affordable housing in the country. The story comments on Putin' s statement. (2)

The Jury Court in Krasnoyarsk on Friday delivered a new verdict in relation to physicist Valentin Danilov, who was found guilty of passing over secret information to a foreign state and of embezzling 466, 000 rubles that belonged to the Krasnoyarsk Technical University. The Court has to decide now whether the passed information was the state secret, which will determine the punishment. The story details Danilov' s case, saying how Danilov' s regards the verdict. (3, Trud, 1)

Kalmykia' s President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov at the opening ceremony of the Days of Tibetan Culture in Elista on Friday stated that the spiritual leader of Buddhists dalai lama is expected to arrive in Kalmykia on Nov. 13. The story looks at the aim of his visit. (4)

The Political Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of Ukraine with Alexander Moroz as its leader stated on Friday that it decided to support Viktor Yushchenko in the second round of the presidential elections. The story comments on the decision. (4)

Airbus has struck a $6 billion contract with the Air Berlin and Niki avia companies, bypassing its main competitor --American Boeing. By the end of this year Airbus will sell by 30 planes more than Boeing -- 315 against Boeing' s 285. The story examines the contract and its terms. (5)

A seasonal slump in sales has hit the domestic auto market. Despite the fact that the demand for new autos is as high as never before, 3 Russian auto plants in October and November had to temporarily suspend their production. The story says how plant managers explain this suspension. (5)

The struggle for the trade mark " Gzhelka" between Kristall head Sergei Zivenko and Federation Council member Alexander Sabadash has moved from the judicial sphere to the marketing one. The story reports on how this struggle is proceeding. (5)ustrian Airlines (AA) Commercial President Josef Burger (Sp. ?) has announced his company' s plans to expand its presence on the Russian market. AA plans to increase the number of its regular flights to Moscow. The brief reveals these plans. (6)

Kazakhstan this year plans to deliver to Russia 4. 5 billion kilowatts/hour of electricity. This was stated by KEGOC Vice-President Yesbergen Abitayev at the Third International Conference " Power Kazakhstan 2004" in Alma-Ata. Brief. (6)

According to the Finance Ministry, the federal budget in January-October was fulfilled with a 504. 94 billion ruble surplus. Brief.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (5/11-6/11/2004)

A real clash for authoritative posts in the new administration began between policy-makers and bureaucrats after an official announcement of George W. Bush' s re-election to the second term. The story reports on the fate of several concrete American politicians from the present administration, referring to The New York Times. (1, 6)

Panic has hit the Ukrainian currency market due to a disturbing political situation in the country. The opposition stated that authorities are deliberately holding back the announcement of results of the first round of the presidential elections on Oct. 31. The story describes the critical situation on the currency market. (1, 5)

In an interview First Deputy State Duma Speaker Lyubov Sliska answers the following questions -- Why have the gubernatorial elections been abolished ? Will a Kremlin appointee replace Dmitry Ayatskov on the post of region governor? Who from among the ministers will be admitted to United Russia? What have State Duma observers seen in Ukraine? (1, 10)

Various non-traditional practices lately have become a passion of the domestic power elite of all levels-- the legislative, business, cultural and even scientific elite. This is evidenced by the recent Festival " Tibet, Tradition, Art and Philosophy" that was officially held in Moscow last week. The story describes the event, its program, participants, and their discussion. (1, 9)

In a Radio Rossii program on Wednesday Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky and Sergei Glazyev, the leader of the national public organization " For Decent Life" , did not deny the possibility of their union. The story reports on how Glazyev commented on the idea of uniting with Yabloko. (2)

The story describes Nov. 7 holiday events that Communists planned to mark the red-letter day. Ivan Melnikov, First Vice-Chairman of the KPRF Central Committee, stated on Nov. 4 that it was impossible to abolish the Nov. 7 holiday. The story comments on Melnikov' s statement. (2)

In an interview Dmitry Lepetikov, Executive Director of the Center for Development, answers the following questions -- Is a new banking crisis possible in Russia? What could provoke it? Are the Central Bank' and siloviki' s actions to toughen control over credit organizations right? (3)

In an interview Federation Council Regional Policy Committee head Alexander Kazakov, former chief of the Territorial Board of the presidential administration, shares his negative view on the presidential draft bill abolishing the direct gubernatorial elections. (4)

In an interview Marianna Maksimovskaya, a leading analyst of REN TV, says what distinguishes her channel from all other state-run channels. (13, 16)

TRUD (6/11/2004)

The story presents an analysis of the present state of the migrants labour market in Russia that was discussed at the recent seminar sponsored by the National Confederation of Labour Unions. Several reports revealed the position of illegal migrants, whose number in Russia and particularly in Moscow has considerably increased lately. (1, 2)

In an interview Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin talks about the stabilization fund, its aims and tasks, saying that it will amount to 570 billion rubles by Jan. 1, 2005. What will its money be spent on ? (3)

In an interview photographer Valery Plotnikov, who often photographed famed bard and theatrical and cinema actor Vladimir Vysotsky, reminisces about little-know facts from his life (5)

KRASNAYA ZVEZDA (6/11/2004)

Colonel-General Yury Baluyevsky in July was appointed chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces that today are undergoing major renovation. In a far-ranging interview the general talks about measures taken in order to put the Armed Forces into the state of combat alert to rebuff any terrorists' attack. He also says what problems of boosting the Armed Forces will be priority in 2005. (1-3)

In an interview Marshal of the Soviet Union Dmitry Yazov, who is celebrating his 80th birthday, reminisces about his war years, focusing on Stalin' s Order No. 227 that threatened to punish severely those who would showed cowardice. (5)

MOSKOVSKIYE NOVOSTI #42

American Ambassador in Moscow Alexander Vershbow on the occasion of the Nov. 2 presidential elections in the USA hosted a reception in his residence in Spaso-House. Editor-in-Chief Yevgeny Kiselyov, who was among the guests, describes the event and its participants, whose rather small number is compared with those Spaso-House receptions in the mid ' 90s attended by the whole list of 100 most influential politicians of Russia, except Boris Yeltsin. (1, 10)

The story examines new facts that appeared in the Mikhail Khodorkovsky-Platon Lebedev case after 75 witnesses testified. On Nov 9 after a short interval the court will resume the trial, at which the defense will speak. Khodorkovsky' s lawyer Yury Shmidt says what can be expected from them. (2)

The overall wage arrears in Russia as of Oct. 1, 2004 amounted to 21 billion rubles. As many as 3. 4 million Russians fail to receive their wages on time. The figures of the week on top of the page. (2)

The Yury Levada Public Verdict Fund has taken an opinion poll to see how Russians regard siloviki. Three questions and respondents' answers in pie-charts. (3)

Authoritative politicians at the Moscow English Club (Alexander House) on Tuesday discussed the Russian power system. Political scientist Sergei Markov, one of the main opponents taking part in that discussion, shares his view on the event. (3)

The domestic elite is returning to the Soviet method of administering the country when the top authorities' will surpassed the common sense and the logic of figures. Thus, specialists after weighing everything in favour and against the completion of the construction of the St. Petersburg dam, proposed to postpone the work to 2012. President Putin said --Net! The dam to protect the city from floods was ordered to commission not later than 2008. The story reveals the essence of the project. (3)

Abkhazian presidential candidates Raul Khadzhimba and Sergei Bagapsh early last week went to Moscow for consultations. In interviews both of them say what they gained from the Moscow consultations. (5)

Georgian Parliament Speaker Nino Burdzhanadze visited Moscow last week. In an interview she talks about Georgian-Russian relations, saying what prevents them to improve. (6)

Ichkeria' s President Aslan Maskhadov has shown his willingness to launch negotiations with federal authorities. And what about the Kremlin? Is it ready for talks and with whom? (7)

The Soldiers' Mothers Committee headed by Valentina Melnikova has announced about the creation of its own political party. Its founding Congress will take place in Moscow over the next weekend. The story features the project. (17)

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA (6/11/2004)

The story describes how international and Russian observers regard the Nov. 2 presidential elections in the USA, focusing on numerous violations of the voting procedure. (2)

What will be an outcome of the criminal case opened against Ildar Bicharov, who is accused of an attempt to give a bribe to a GAI inspector, who stopped his car. The story offers several possible variants. (3)

Nov. 7 marked the 87th anniversary of the October Revolution. The holiday has been cancelled, but the date has remained. Eight politicians, top military officers and public figures share their views on whether they will celebrate this holiday and how. (3)

A special high state commission from the Moscow Construction Board has completed its check-ups of more than 40 unique structures and high-rise buildings in Moscow. This was stated by Board Chief Alexander Dmitriyev at the commission' s session on Friday. The story examines results. (6)

Moscow authorities decided to provide all retail trade enterprises (restaurants, cafes and market places) in the city with so-called security passports. The story reveals the essence of the measure. (6)

The story examines in detail what can be used as the Russian national idea and what from the proposed things cannot fulfill such a role. (10. 11)