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Press Review

IZVESTIA (27/9/2004)

The latest sociological opinion polls conducted by four leading research centers (they are named) show that 63 percent of Russians have failed to understand the essence of new reforms concerning state administration and election legislation. The story examines results of the public opinion polls. Diagrams and pie-charts. (1, 3)

In an interview figure skating Olympic champion Alexei Yagudin living in the USA says why he does not want to come back to Russia. He reveals his creative plans. (1, 7)

The story describes an incident that took place on Moscow' s Sadovoye Koltso on Saturday evening when several dozen bikers were chasing a driver in his Land Rover Defender. When they caught up with the car they turned it upside down and set it on fire together with its owner. (1, 2) The brief also describes an incident on Sept. 23 when 3 bikers were arrested. (2, Gazeta, 6, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Vremya Novostei, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 7, )

Petrol prices in Russia since the beginning of this year have been growing three times faster than inflation, which can foil the gvt' s plans to keep the inflation rate at the 10 percent level. In order not to allow this to happen, the gvt drafted several radical measures. The story examines them in detail. (1, 2)

The latest terrorist acts have surged a wave of anti-Caucasian sentiments in the country. The story gives concrete facts in 3 regions to illustrate the point. (2)

Former guard of St. Petersburg' s Smolny Roman Tsepov, Director-General of the Baltik-Eskort security enterprise, who was called Vladimir Putin' s close friend, died in a hospital on September 24. Special services say that he was poisoned. The story describes how it happened, saying that he will be buried in St. Petersburg today. (1, 3, Gazeta, 6)

President Putin through his decree has introduced amendments to the law concerning the right to receive a deference from army conscription provided to several categories of citizens. They concern people who have graduated from higher schools and have taken up full-time jobs in prosecutor' s offices. A highly-placed official in the Prosecutor General' s Office commented on the amendments. (3)

The brief looks at preliminary results of the parliamentary commission' s investigation of the Beslan terrorist act. (3, Kommersant, 2, MK, 2)

Even those who disagree with the policy pursued by Chechen authorities today will be able to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections in the republic. This was stated on Saturday by Chechen President Alu Alkhanov. Brief. (3)

Police on Saturday detained 11 young people, members of the organization " Vanguard of Red Youth" , who took part in an unsanctioned rally on Red Square, demanding the resignation of the president. Brief. (3, Kommersant, 6, Vremya Novostei, 3, )

The latest terrorist acts will strongly affect not only the political system in the country but the public mood as well. In an interview authoritative Professor and psychologist Mikhail Reshetnikov, President of the National Federation of Psychoanalysis and Rector of the East-European Institute of Psychoanalysis, explains why people should cooperate with special services and why authorities should conduct negotiations with leaders of terrorists. (4)

The Beslan tragedy has made American specialists pay particular attention to security in schools. The story describes measures that will be taken soon, saying that 76 percent of American schools do not have any anti-terror equipment. (5)

The feature story highlights 12-year-old Russian girl Varya Akulova weighing 40 kilograms, who can lift 350 kilograms. Varya lives in Ukraine. She believes that she will become an Olympic champion. (5)

The Tatarstan Supreme Court today will open a trial of a gang of killers, who have committed 25 contract murders in Kazan, Moscow, St. Petersburg and in several other cities. On the dock are 16 ringleaders and members of this gang. The story details their horrific crimes. (6, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 7)

An unidentified assailant in Buinaksk (Dagestan) on Saturday Sept. 25 killed Magomed Gadzhimagomedov, deputy chief of the local Interior Department (Police) .The story gives details. (6, Kommersant, 5, Gazeta, 6, )

Rebels from Shamil Basayev' s gang in Grozny' s Leninsky District on Saturday killed one FSB officer, two Chechen militiamen and one servicemen on duty in a check-point. The brief gives some details. (6, Kommersant, 5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1)

About 80 percent of pensioners can hardly make both ends meet, and half of them do not hope that their life will improve due to the current pension reform In the opinion of Pension Fund head Gennady Batanov, decent pension will be paid not earlier than in 2027 when reform begins to bear fruit. The story comments on his statement. (1. 9)

Aeroflot Director-General Valery Okulov on Friday reported that the company has already allocated funds for the construction of the terminal Sheremetyevo-3 and in a couple of days will announce a tender to select a general contractor. All this means that Aeroflot has ignored Transport Minister Igor Levitin' s recommendation to put aside the project till the gvt decision, all the more so that presidential adviser Viktor Ivanov will be endorsed as a candidate to Aeroflot' s Board of Directors, and he can take decisions at a high level. (9)

The Moscow gvt and the United Confectioners holding have drafted technical and economic specifications of their joint venture. This was stated by the holding' s Director -General Sergei Nosenko, who said that soon all documents will be submitted to City Hall' s Property Department. Brief. (9, Kommersant, 13, 16)

The Tax Ministry in the Arbitration Court today will continue to recover from Yukos about 40. 6 billion rubles in fines for 2001. The brief mentions Yukos' other debts to the ministry. (9)

Russia and China have signed an agreement concerning the terms of mutual access to the markets of goods and services. The story examines the document' s main provisions, saying that China no longer objects Russia' s accession to the World Trade Organization. (10)

The story examines positive results of Gazprom leadership' s negotiations in the USA, saying that already in 2005 the company will begin to deliver liquefied natural gas to the American market. (10)

Microsoft in Moscow today will present a cheap truncated version of the Windows XP operation system that the company has developed specially for developing markets. The story examines the new system, citing experts' views. (10)

Moscow authorities on Sunday launched the first stage of road traffic reorganization inside Sadovoye Koltso. The story examines the project. A scheme. (13)

In an interview First Deputy Moscow Mayor Boris Ustyugov talks about the city budget-2005 in connection with the city' s economic realities. He also says what the size of the city budget means for ordinary Muscovites. (13)

OMMERSANT (27/9/2004)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Saturday evening signed a directive on appointing Irkut President and co-owner Alexei Fyodorov to the post of Director-General of the MiG aircraft-building corporation. The story comments on the appointment, noting that it can lead to serious changes in domestic arms export. ((1)

Representatives from Yabloko and the KPRF and also several Committee-2008 members today intend to apply to the Supreme Court with a demand to declare illegal the results of the State Duma elections on Dec. 7, 2003. They are also demanding to cancel the protocols and resolutions of the Central Election Commissions concerning the distribution of deputy mandates. The story examines the document to the Supreme Court, focusing on those who have signed it. (1, 3)

Bryansk Communists intend to expel former State Duma deputy Communist Vasily Shandybin from the KPRF if he decides to run in the Regional Duma in a one-mandate district. The story comments on the local Communists' intention, citing several views. (3)

Former leader of the Rodina bloc and State Duma faction Sergei Glazyev can lose his deputy mandate. The Moscow Regional Court today will continue to decide to fate. The examines his case. (3)

Famed theatrical and cinema actor Vasily Lanovoi on Friday officially notified the Election Commission about his intention to run for a seat in the State Duma from the 181st Ulyanovsk one-mandate district. The story comments on his decision. (4)

Former wife of retired Captain Alexander Pumane, who was allegedly detained in a car with explosives in the center of Moscow on Sept. 18 and then during the questioning by police was beaten to death, could not identified the body of her former husband in a morgue. Pumane' s civil wife Ksenia Vologdina could not do either, saying that the body belonged to another person. The story gives details. (5)

Novosibirsk law-enforcers have detained Konstantin Rudnev, the founder of the " Ashram Shambaly" organization, who is suspected of organizing associations limiting the citizens' rights. He is viewed as a socially dangerous guru. The story gives details. (6)

Hotel Sport on Leninsky Prospekt on Saturday was demolished by means of explosives. It was built in 1980 by the Moscow Olympic Games. The brief says what will be in its place. (6)

Former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov over the weekend received became a winner of the prize " Man of the Year" awarded to him by the magazine" GQ" The story describes what he received the prize for. (8)

Georgia' s Defense Minister Georgy Baramidze, who last week visited the USA, stated that Georgian-American military cooperation will continue after the completion of the American program" Teach And Equip" . The story comments on his statement. (10)

American Alcoa has finally refused to take part in the project " Komi-Aluminum" to build an alumina plant to process bauxites of the Sredne-Timansky deposit. This was stated on Friday by Viktor Vekselberg, head of the SUAL- holding Board of Directors. The story comments on Alcoa' s decision, saying that it has been actually left without Russian projects. (13)

Gazprom and China National Power Corporation (CNPC) in mid-October will sign an agreement on strategic cooperation. This was stated on Saturday by Gazprom head Alexei Miller. Brief. (13)

VEDOMOSTI (27/9/2004)

The capital flow from Russia has stopped in September. According to economists' estimates, the domestic private sector for the first time since February this year has taken away from the country less hard currency than it has brought. (A1)

President Putin' s desire to take control of the elections of regional leaders has thrown Russians into confusion. On the one hand, they would be glad to back the president, but on the other hand, they do not want to give up their right to elect the governors. Experts have made such conclusions from the results of three sociological polls. The story looks at the results. (A1)

Rosbank has gotten interested in the production of saw-timber in the Krasnoyarsk region and is obtaining the controlling interest of the Lesosibirsky LDK-1. The bank does not reveal the essence of this investment, but experts suppose that Rosbank is implementing governor Alexander Khloponin' s plan to create a regional timber holding. (A1)

The Transport Prosecutor' s Office has brought in an indictment against 3 arrested persons (their names are given) on charges of the terrorist acts in the airliners Tu-134 and Tu-154 on Aug. 24 when 89 people were killed. Brief. (A1)

After successful tests, Iran now can use a new strategic missile. Iranian authorities assure that the country now can rebuff any threat from the outside. (A2)

Leningrad regional governor Valery Serdyukov threatens to seriously complicate the life of the owners of gas filling stations in the region. He has promised to create unbearable conditions for those who do not agree to pay petrol excises to the territorial budget. Businessmen say that this fee is paid for them by the oil refinery. (A3)

The gvt is continuing to promise China to build an oil pipeline, making it an arm of the Taishet-Nakhodka pipeline. So far the main project has not been officially endorsed, and the gvt intends to step up the oil export by railway. (A3)

Does Russia need a common market with China? Four experts share their viewpoints. (A4)

The world' s leading bureau of credit histories " Experian" late last week announced the creation, on the parity basis, of the credit bureau Experian Interfax together with the Russian information group Interfax. In an interview Experian Commercial Director John Hadlow (Sp. ?) reveals the meaning of the notion " credit bureau" , saying what ordinary people can gain from such bureaus. (A5)EDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENoreign shareholders of the International Moscow Bank has resolved two tasks at once -- they have increased the bank' s capital by $100 million and made clear who are the bank' s owners and who are its strategic partners. The story examines them in detail. (B1)

Group Guta and the Moscow gvt are willing to launch a confectionery holding. The story examines both sides' interests and gains from the deal. (B1)

The gvt is concerned over the absence of bids for the state-owned package of shares of LUKoil. Economic Development Minister German Gref hopes that the package will be sold at a good price. Brief. (B1)

Representatives not connected with the Mechel company will make a majority in the company' s Board of Directors. Experts believe that in this way Mechel is preparing for a primary placement of securities on foreign markets. (B1)

State-run Belneftekhim would like to pass over the Mozyr oil refinery in trust of Slavneft. The Russian company has long wanted it But in order to complete the deal Slavneft and Belneftekhim have to wait for Belarussian authorities' permission. (B2)

The gvt of the Kirov region was unable to hold trading to sell 19 percent of shares of the Kirovo-Chepetsky chemical combine. By the suit of a private person, the summing up of results of the trading has been postponed till Oct. 29. (B2)

According to NAUFOR, the United Financial Group (OFG) by the volume of tradings based on the results of the second quarter has taken up a second line among Russian brokers. Market participants connect OFG' s success with a purchase of 40 percent of its shares by Deutsche Bank. (B5)

Gubernsky Bank (Moscow) is launching a retail network on the basis of affiliates of the bankrupt bank Dialog-Optim. Gubernsky Bank President Andrei Kulik stated that the bank has leased part of the premises on Profsoyuznaya Ulitsa. Brief. (B6)

The Management Board of the Association of Russian Banks (ARB) will begin work to create the institution of banking ombudsman in Russia. This is stated in ARB' s press release. Brief. (B6)


When describing what President Putin told the heads of the world leading news agencies on Friday about mass media' s role and the freedom of speech, the story stresses that the Kremlin of late has been paying much attention to its work with foreign mass media that are creating a very negative image of Russia abroad. In the Kremlin' s opinion, something should be done about. (1, 2)

Chechen Interior Minister Sultan Satuyev reported that 1, 000 interior troops alone are continuing a military operation to catch or destroy Chechen terrorist Number One Shamil Basayev and rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov. The story describes their efforts. (1, 3)

Yukos on Sunday stated that all top managers (their names are given) of the company are constantly living and working in Russia, leaving it only for short trips abroad. The necessity of such a statement was caused by the fact that several mass media outlets have reported about the absence in Russia of the company' s leaders. They are all devoted to the principle of the company' s former president Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who before his arrest said a year ago -- " I would rather go to prison than leave e Russia. "(3)

A series of terrorist acts that shook Russia in August-September has turned out to be a serious blow for the country' s political system. President Putin had to acknowledge in public that this system is inadequate to the challenges of the time. Then the head of state made public his proposals that have caused negative and positive assessments by political and expert circles both in Russia and abroad. In an interview Lilia Shevtsova, an expert on the Russian presidency at the Carnegie Moscow Center, shares her views on Putin' s initiative, reflecting on his further possible moves. (1, 3)

Ministers Alexei Kudrin, Alexei Gordeyev and Viktor Khristenko can actively respond to United Russia (UR) party leader Boris Gryzlov' s fall call to join the party. This was stated by UR General Council Secretary Oleg Bogomolov. The story comments on his statement. (1, 2)

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev last week continued to talk in public about his disagreement with President Putin' s latest initiatives. Former First Russian President Boris Yeltsin also shared his view on them. Has both former presidents' criticism affected Putin' s policy? What consequences can it lead to? Will Gorbachev and Yeltsin be able to affect Russia' s policy? Six authoritative politicians and political scientists share their views. (2)


The first and the most representative week of general political debates has ended at the 59th session of the UN General Assembly session. In an interview Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who made a report at it, talks about Russia' s new initiatives, revealing their essence. (1, 3)

Khabarovsk residents on Sunday elected their mayor. The story examines preliminary results, focusing on specific features of this year' s mayoral elections there. (1, 2)

Sunday Sept. 26 marked 1, 000 days since the euro emerged as the world financial system. The story reports on how experts from the European Central Bank regard it, saying that the population in Europe has 474. 8 billion euros. (3)

All newspaper kiosks and individual private traders have been removed from the Moscow metro. The story notes that the action began in the first decade of September, though Mayor Yury Luzhkov signed the appropriate decree last week. The story reflects who needed this hasty cleansing of the metro from newspapers and magazines. (4)


Hotel " Sport" on Leninsky Prospekt was demolished on Saturday by means of explosives, and residents in neibouring apartment blocks, who previously were not warned about the planned blast were shocked when they heard it. They thought that it was another terrorist act, and many even left their homes. The story describes how the hotel was demolished, saying that siloviki and bureaucrats in other cities too do not allow people to relax. (1, 6, MK, 2)

Experts from the Economic Development Ministry report on the inevitable growth of meat prices. They have named several reasons. The story examines them in detail. (1, 3)

The Association of Russian Banks will soon submit to the State Duma a draft bill concerning education credits. The story examines some of its provisions, saying that several banks already today are issuing such credits on higher education. (3)

Gvt officials assure that, starting Oct. 1, petrol prices will begin to go down. Thus, Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Sharonov late last week stated that due to a seasonal cut in petrol consumption, petrol prices will decrease. Independent experts, however, believe that petrol in Russia will only go up in price and at a very quick pace. (3)

The volume of the population' s ruble bank deposits in July decreased by 17. 3 billion rubles or by 1. 3 percent. The savings in foreign currency increased. Brief. (3)

Winter this year for some regional leaders will begin with criminal cases to be filed against them, because their regions are not ready for upcoming very cold winter. The story comments on thus acute issue, citing what Federal Construction and Housing -Utility Sector Agency Vladimir Averchenko said about it. (3)


An exhibition of souvenirs for foreign tourists was held in Moscow' s Gostiny Dvor. The story describes several interesting exhibits, focusing on a casket with Putin' s portrait on its lid that costs 25. 500 rubles. (1, 3)

The story describes how the Statue devoted to war heroes will look like. The Statue will be placed in the Central Administrative District of Moscow. (1)

Two Soviet bombers from the 1941-1945 war were found by searchers from the special group " Poisk" in the Moscow region. The story describes the rare finds. (1)