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Press Review

IZVESTIA (21/8/2004)

The Mercy and Charity Day was marked in Russia for the first time on Saturday Aug. 21. The city hosting this holiday was Murom, the native land of Saint Iuliania Lazarevskaya, the Murom philanthropist, who lived 400 years ago. Holiday sponsors say that Russians have lost the charity traditions. Is that really so? The story gives several concrete facts showing that it is not. (1, 2)

Law-enforcers outside St. Petersburg on Wednesday liquidated the only illegal domestic laboratory that made the synthetic drug metadon (Sp. ?) . And several days before Moscow police closed a Moscow State University chemical laboratory that illegally made amphetamine (Sp. ?) . The story describes these labs, their products and police successful operations, saying that the majority of synthetic drugs is produced in Russia. (1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Trud, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 7, MK, 3)

The story gives the 7th day' s news from the Olympic Games-2004 in Athens: new medals, disappointments, expectations and interviews. (1, 5, 6, Kommersant, 1, 9-11, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, 7, 8, Gazeta, Friday, 20, pp. 1, 5, Trud, 1, 5, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3, 16-19, MK, 6-9)

Iraqi authorities reported on Friday evening that police without fighting seized Najaf' s imam Ali shrine that for 2 weeks had been kept by Shiites headed by sheik Moqtada al-Sadr. The story describes these events. A commentary by mufti Ismagil Shangareyev, co-Chairman of the Mufti Council of Russia. (1, 2, Kommersant, 4)

US Senator from Massachusetts Edward Kennedy stated that he has found himself on the so-called no-fly list that is the list of potential terrorists. The story comments on the case. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2)

The story features the pre-election situation in Chechnya, where, as the local Election Commission assures, everything is ready for the presidential elections scheduled for Aug. 29. Seven candidates are taking part in the election race, using 2 Chechen television channels, one republican and 12 district newspapers in their election campaign. (3, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3)

President Putin in his Sochi residence on Friday hosted Armenia' s President Robert Kocharyan. The story examines results of their negotiations, focusing on one problem --a decline in the Russia-Armenia trade turnover. (3, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Trud, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

Georgia on Friday withdrew its troops from the zone of the conflict in South Ossetia. Georgian peacekeepers alone stayed in the zone. Mixed Peace-Keeping Forces Commander Svyatoslav Nabzdorov commented on the situation. (3, Kommersant, 4, Trud, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2)

The Moscow Meshchansky District Court considering the Khodorkovsky-Lebedev case, on Friday began to question witnesses of the prosecution, with the first one being Apatit former Director-General Anatoly Posdnyakov. The story examines his testimony. (4, Kommersant, 1, 3)

The Kondopozhsk (Karelia) City Court has accepted a suit filed by the republic' s Legislative Assembly deputy Anatoly Papchenkov against local GAI inspectors. The story reveals the essence of the suit that could radically affect drivers-GAI inspectors relationships. (4)

The Sverdlovsk Regional Court on Friday sentenced Yekaterinburg resident Alexei Raskovalov to 6 years in prison. He was accused of terrorism. The story details his case. (4)

The story describes a new type of art -- street wall painting (graffiti) that was born in Moscow in the early' '90s. (7)

All world information agencies a month ago reported that a suitcase with the lost archive of Mal Evans, the Beatles' guest performances administrator, was bought by a British tourist at a market place in Pinkerton (Australia) . The story describes the content of the suitcase that caused a big scandal. (1, 7)

The story features the largest declassified military facility in the world -- the underground complex for submarines. Due to this complex, the Crimean small town Balaklava near Sevastopol for many long years had been the most secret and mysterious towns in the former Soviet Union. (8)

The story reveals the meaning and the origin of the term " nanotechnologies" , saying that American specialists have just published a 600-page report devoted to funding research work in this sphere in 2004 by state and commercial organizations and also by private individuals. Where is Russia' s place in the nanotechnological boom? (8)

Specialists in Britain, the USA, New Zealand and Australia have uncovered the mystery of the canis dingo. The story examines brilliant results of their concerted efforts. (8)

British archaeologist Simon Gibson in a cave of Jerusalem have found artifacts evidencing that Ioann Baptizer conducted his baptizing ceremonies in this cave. And though not all scholars agree with this fact, this discovery is of great significance. The story describes it in detail. (9)

The story examines major provisions of the state document titled " The Hygienic Demands for the Conditions of Education in the Institutions of General Learning " The document took effect on Sept. 1, 200e and is obligatory for all schools. Dina Sinyakova, head of a department in the Moscow Center for State Sanitary Epidemiological Surveillance, comments on the document. (11)

KOMMERSANT (21/8/2004)

A plaster bust of Vladimir Putin that was unveiled in Pskov and exited for only 10 hours was removed in the early hours on Friday, because it was placed without permission from above. The story takes a critical looks at this incident. (1, 4, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 5)

It became known on Friday that Dutch ING Bank and French Societe Generale are leaving the syndicate of banks that are supposed to release a big credit to TNK-BP. This was reported by The Financial Times. The story reflects on possible reasons behind such a decision. (1)

The quotations of crude oil futures in New York on Friday reached a record high level --$49. 27 per barrel. OPEC is creating a special crisis commission that by a September OPEC meeting should work out measures aimed at lowering oil prices. Meanwhile, market players believe that oil prices will continue to skyrocket even after a new " psychologically significant" level of $50 per barrel. Super-high oil prices have already provoked the growth of oil internal prices in several countries, Russia included. (5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2)

The gvt on Friday discussed the draft budget-2005 that was worked out by the Finance Ministry. The story examines its major parameters. (2)

Thirty-one-year-old Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky, who is willing to pay almost $13 million for a flight to the international cosmic station, received a refusal due to his height and weight Now Lieutenant-Colonel of Cosmic Troops Yury Shargin is claiming his place. (3)

The Dagestani Supreme Court on Friday opened a trial of 8 rebels from Chechen terrorist Ruslan Gelayev' s group that late last year made several attacks on the republic. The convicted Chechens confirmed that they took place on those attacks, but they did not fire at anybody. The story details the case. (3)

The Union of Right Forces (SPS) intends to initiate a holding of a national referendum on canceling the military service conscription. This was stated on Friday by former party leader Boris Nemtsov, member of the SPS Political Council. Brief. (4)

US Department of State official representative Adam Erely (Sp. ?) stated on Friday that the decision on granting asylum to so-called foreign minister of Ichkeria Ilyas Akhmadov was judicial rather than political. The brief states the US administration' s stand in relation to Chechnya. (4)

The State Public Scientific-Technical Library, a leading one in Russia, was evicted on Friday from its building on Slavyanskaya Ploshchad that came into possession of the commercial organization " Intermetservice" . The story describes the case. (4)

Gazexport on Friday announced results of its sales in the 7 months of this year --its sales in CIS countries increased by 4. 9 times. At the same time, Itera' s deliveries to CIS decreased by more than 5 times. Itera does not plan to revive its export gas contracts--instead, the company is seeking sources of funding its new projects connected with deep processing of hydrocarbons. (5)

Ukraine' s President Leonid Kuchma on Thursday made an unexpected decision to suspend the privatization of the Odessa port plant (OPZ) and Ukrtelecom. Now the fate of these enterprises that are being claimed by Russian investors depends on the results of the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine. The story examines the stands on the issue by two rivals -- Viktor Yanukovich and Viktor Yushchenko. (5)

The Moscow vodka distillery " Kristall" has returned to the former system of selling its products. Apart from the distillery' s main distributor--Kristall-Lefortovo-- Kristall vodka is again being sold by the Gross group of companies. The story comments on Kristall' s decision. (5)

It became known on Friday that the National Reserve Corporation (NRK) had transferred its 26. 1 percent of shares in Aeroflot-Russian Airlines to Grabor Trading (Overseas) Limited (Cyprus) and to Transinvest Control S. A. (Luxemburg) . Brief. (6)

Russia before the end of October will declassify data about the volume of extraction, export and import of raw diamonds. This was stated by Finance Ministry' s Administration Department head Sergei Vyazalov. The corresponding presidential decree has been drafted. (6, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3)

The GM-AvtoVAZ joint venture (JV) can replace a supplier of the distributary box for Chevrolet Niva. Its production will be passed over to the JV' s dealer -- the Inkomcentr company. Brief. (6)

World leading oil companies such as Shell, Chevron Texaco and BP in the second quarter increased the volumes of oil transportation by water and the number of their chartered vessels. The brief gives figures to illustrate the point. (6)

The volume of the monetary base in Russia this week has increased by $14. 8 billion. This is stated in the Central Bank' s press release. Brief. (6)

The general volume of payments as part of Russia' s state foreign debt to be cleared off in 2005 is planned at $11. 5 billion. This is stated in the draft budget-2005 that has been submitted to the gvt by the Finance Ministry. . Brief. (6)

Parmalat manager Enrico Bondi (Sp. ?) is suing Swiss bank Credit Suisse First Boston. Brief. (6)


The Federal Agency for Construction and the Housing Utility Sector has applied to the gvt with a request to impose external administration in Ulyanovsk. The story examines the situation in the city that has caused such a request A commentary by Agency deputy head Yury Tyrtyshov. (1, 4)

In an interview Vyacheslav Fetisov, head of the Federal Agency for Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism, shares his view on intermediate results of the Olympic Games in Athens, focusing on the position of sports in Russia today. (1, 3)

Document. The Federal Law concerning introducing amendments to Part 2 of the Tax Code of Russia and to some other legislative acts. Full text. (2)

The story presents an in-depth analysis of the draft budget-2005, focusing on its specific features, and on the position of regions in it. (2)

Two blasts on a second-hand goods market in Kiev on Friday evening left 13 people injured. The story gives details. (2)

At a news conference in Sochi on Friday after the completion of the negotiations with Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, President Putin proposed to Tbilisi, Tskhinvali and Sukhumi his own variant resolving the conflict. He made public three components of the universal formula. The story reveals their essence. (3)

. In October the whole truth about domestic diamonds -- their extraction volume and their exports -- will be available. Why has the most secret economic sector has become transparent In an interview Chairman of the Kimberley (Sp. ?) Process Tim Martin, who this week has visited Russia, talks about his unique organization uniting governments of 43 countries, focusing on its role in combating crime in the diamond sector. (3)

TRUD (21/8/2004)

The story describes a real marriage boom in Russia this August. The situation in different regions and cities is considered, focusing on what distinguishes today' s weddings from those in Soviet times. (1)

Workers in the Ulyanovsk Mechanical Plant have failed to receive wages for 5 months. The situation has become unbearable, and 4, 000 workers have staged a protest act. Viktor Sluzhivoi, Chairman of the Federation of Labour Unions in the Ulyanovsk region, described that event. (1, 2, Sovetskaya Rossiya, 1)

Many newspapers early this week reported about US President George W. Bush' s global shift of American troops and military bases located outside the USA. Does this plan threaten to Russia? Vyacheslav Nikonov, President of the Politika Fund, examines the issue. (2)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov has signed a directive on building on Tverskaya Ploshchad a traffic roundabout, under which an underground many-level parking garage for 1, 410 autos and a trading center will be built. The story examines the project. (2)

Computer games are dangerous for health of children under the age of 16. In an interview Natalya Markova, head of the Research Communications Center attached to the Institute of Social-Economic Problems, talks about results of the latest research in this sphere. (3)

Aug. 22 marks the Day of the State Flag of Russia. Aug. 22 officially became a holiday only in 1994 when President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree on the Day of the State Flag of Russia. The story describes this historic date. (3)


The Defense Ministry has drafted a bill that practically cancels all deferments from army conscription. It' s not excluded that the bill will be considered by the State Duma already in the fall. It has become known that former deputies from the S. D. SPS faction headed by Boris Nemtsov are preparing a referendum connected with the General Staff' s and the Defense Ministry' s plans. In an interview Boris Nemtsov shares his view on the issue. (1-3)

If authorities decide to call up students to serve in the army, how will electors respond? Will the anti-militarization struggle unite the opposition? In an interview highly-regarded sociologist Yury Levada talks about results of an opinion poll taken by his Analytical Center to see how people regard the canceling of deferments from army conscription. (3)

Authorities' full victory over Yukos today is as close as never before. But authorities, as strange as it may seem, are likely to doubt the need for such a victory. The story says why. (4)

The story comments on the court' s verdict to Russian scientist Igor Sutyagin, who has received 15 years in a maximum security prison for high treason. In an interview his lawyer Anna Stavitskaya comments on the case. (5 )

Two recent articles in the London Times shed light on the mystery around the notorious first tranche of the IMF credit --$4. 8 million -- released to Russia not long before the 1998 default to stabilize the ruble rate. The author of the publications Times political observer Dominique Kennedy (Sp. ?) got access to an accounting report on the results of investigations conducted by Swiss authorities. In an interview the political observer talks about the content of the report. (6)

The story comments on the recent appointment of Doku Zavgayev to the post of Director-General of the Foreign Ministry of Russia. The focus is on how Zavgayev' s rule was over on Aug. 6, 1996. (11)

Baltika brewery head Teimuraz Bolloyev has shown no resistance to beer advertising limits that were unanimously backed in the State Duma. The story says why. (12)

Through reshuffling NTV leading anchorwoman Tatyana Mitkova to another post, the Kremlin administration intends to thoroughly secure a propaganda cover for its future moves. Among them are the possible amendments to the Constitution, decisions on the elections of the next president and any other odious initiatives. The story describes the project of tele-elite rotation that answers the Kremlin' s interests. (15)


In a short interview President Putin shares his view on Russian athletes' performance in the Olympic Games in Athens. (1, 2)

Russian Olympic Committee President Leonid Tyagachev at a new conference in Athens admitted that not everything is going well for Russian athletes. He called on fans to pray for them. The story criticizes Tyagachev for his call. Seven political and public figures share their views on KP' s question --Will you pray for our Olympians? (3)

The story looks at aphorisms that Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov used at a gvt session on Friday when he did everything in his power to look more effective and cleverer than his subordinates -- Economic Development Minister German Gref and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, especially when they talked about the doubling of the gross domestic product. (4)

The feature story describes how former President Boris Yeltsin with his wife Naina, his daughter Yelena, his son-on-law Valery Okulov and his 7-year-old grandson Ivan is holidaymaking in Norway. (5)

The feature story is devoted to the expedition headed by Yury Lavbin that between July 23 and Aug. 3 explored the area of the Tunguska tragedy in Evenkia. Yury Lavbin believes that his expedition has found objects of extraterrestrial origin. (8, 9)