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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

05/21/2004

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Press Review

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

News in Brief

No Ayatskov Charges MOSCOW (MT) -- Charges against Saratov Governor Dmitry Ayatskov were dropped Thursday on orders of federal prosecutors, who said regional prosecutors had ""prematurely"" opened the case. The Prosecutor General's Office also said Saratov prosecutors failed to follow the required procedures to open their investigation and provide proper documentation of the financial operations of Ayatskov's office. Ayatskov was charged with abuse of office this week in an investigation into his administration's decision to authorize the payment of 70 million rubles ($2.4 million) in customs fees for harvest combines. Official Shot Dead MOSCOW (MT) -- A Justice Ministry official was gunned down Thursday in central Moscow in what police believe was a contract killing. Marat Gazizov, director of the ministry's research center, was walking from his apartment building at 49 Prospekt Mira to his car at 9:40 a.m. when an attacker opened fire, Itar-Tass and RIA-Novosti reported. Gazizov was 42.

Business in Brief

Sodbiznesbank Hotline MOSCOW (MT) -- The Central Bank moved to calm clients of the recently defunct Sodbiznesbank on Thursday, pledging to honor deposits and opening a hotline to answer questions. Central Bank Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov said the Central Bank would start paying back depositors in 70 days. There is enough money in the bank to repay at least part of all deposits, he said. Another deputy chairman, Viktor Melnikov, cautioned depositors not to sign any papers or hand over account statements to anyone. Clients and creditors of the bank can call a special number, 771-4444, for more detailed information. Chukotka Audit Due MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia's audit office is to release a report alleging millions of dollars of financial abuse in the Arctic region run by Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich, a source at the office said Thursday. The report, due Friday, will say the administration of the windswept Chukotka region misused 1 billion rubles ($34.5 million).

Lebedev Trial Opens, New Fines Requested

Yukos billionaire Platon Lebedev went on trial on Thursday in a case likely to signal how justice will handle charges against the country's richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Officials Play Down EU Summit

On the eve of a summit with the European Union, Russian officials on Thursday played down expectations of a breakthrough, signaling that Moscow would not immediately cave in to EU pressure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on combating global warming.

RZD Plans $100M Rail Link to Persian Gulf

State-owned rail giant Russian Railways Co., or RZD, will help build a $100 million rail link connecting Russia to the Persian Gulf via Azerbaijan and Iran, RZD president Gennady Fadeyev said Thursday.

U.S. Voices Concern Over Iran

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton held nonproliferation talks with high-ranking Russian officials on Thursday, including discussions of Russia's nuclear aid to Iran and a U.S. initiative that would halt illicit commerce in weapons transported by land, sea or air.

Poll: 25% Victimized by Police

A quarter of Russians consider themselves victims of police abuse, according to a survey released Thursday and commissioned by a new organization to help such victims.

Kommersant Board Deciding Editor's Role

Kommersant editor Andrei Vasilyev was poised Thursday to hand over responsibility for the newsroom to his deputy, Alexander Stukalin.

Whither EU-Russian Relations?

On Friday, the EU and Russia convene for one of their six-monthly summits.

U.S. Embassy: Spaso House Not so Simple

We at the U.S. Embassy are a little mystified as to the sourcing for Matt Bivens' column about Spaso House on Monday. He certainly did not talk to one principal party to the story -- namely, us.

How to Answer the Call of Nature

One of the rites of passage for foreigners in the United States is hearing one's date say, ""I'm going to see a man about a dog.""

Reiman Gets Back His Own Ministry

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday resurrected the Communications Ministry along with its longtime chief, Leonid Reiman, with the signing of a decree that officially lays out the structure of the new, leaner government.

Designer Takes On Reebok Over Wages

When Sergei Suchkov took a job as Reebok Russia's store designer last September, he never imagined he would be suing the sportswear giant only a few months later.

Joining Forces to Keep the Peace in Atropia

Something is rotten in the state of Atropia.
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