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Press Review

IZVESTIA (19/1/2005)

he gvt' s attempts to relieve public tensions after abolishing the social benefits will cost the federal budget about 100 billion rubles. (Before abolishing, the benefits cost the budget 70 billion-75 billion rubles. ) The gvt will easily find additional money, but the consequences will be soaring prices and inflation. This fact was confirmed by the Central Bank on Tuesday. The story examines these consequences, citing figures. (1, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, 3, MK, 1, 5 )

The Moscow Prosecutor' s Office on Tuesday opened a criminal case on beating on Friday two rabbis by skinheads. Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar in this connection called on law-enforcers to better defend national minorities. The number of such crimes in Russia is continuing to rise. The story gives concrete facts and figures to illustrate the point. (1, 2)

North Ossetia' s Interior Ministry decided to check whether Beslan children and their relatives have received money donated to them by the soccer club CSKA. What has confused the ministry is the fact there are no documents on that money distribution. The story describes the club' s charity act and its consequences. (1, 4, Kommersant, 8)

The State Duma opposition has no intention to give up its attempt to topple the Mikhail Fradkov gvt. Being well aware that this attempt is unrealistic, the Communists are making ever new proposals, and centrists are persistently explaining why it' s inexpedient to replace the gvt now. The story examines deputies' views on the issue. (2, Kommersant, 1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Russky Kuryer, 4)

The Institute of Comprehensive Social Studies of the Academy of Sciences on Tuesday made public its report " The Citizens of New Russia: Who Are they in Their Opinion and in What Society They Would Like to Live" . The story gives several interesting answers by participants in opinion polls. Levada Center sociologist Irina Palilova comments on several answers. (2)

The world' s biggest nuclear submarine designed by the 941 type " Taifun" will soon be turned into scrap metal. Once the most powerful submarine with the plant number 712 capable of carrying 20 intercontinental ballistic missiles will be cut at the Severodvinsk machine-building plant. Later one more such submarine will be liquidated. The story describes the project that will be funded by the USA. (3)

Relatives of Beslan killed hostages have presented results of their unofficial investigation to the parliamentary commission investigating the tragedy. The story describes how these results differ from the official ones received by the commission. (3, MK, 2)

The Chechen leadership on Tuesday made public one of the most mysterious documents of the past years -- a draft of the treaty on dividing powers between Moscow and Grozny. Chechen President Alu Alkhanov promised to shed light on the document 6 months ago, but the procedure has been delayed several times. And now the reason is clear: Chechnya is demanding full financial independence. The story examines its major provisions, saying that it' s difficult to believe that the treaty in its present form will be signed. (1, 3, Kommersant, 4)

The story examines the final results of the Kremlin negotiations between President Putin and Kazakhstan' s head of state Nursultan Nazarbayev, focusing on documents they signed. (4, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Trud, 1, 2, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, MK, 2 )

US President George W. Bush does not exclude a military operation against Iran unless the latter gives up its military nuclear program. The story comments on Bush' s statement. (4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8, Krasnaya Zvezda, 3, Russky Kuryer, 1, 8, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 5, Trud, 1, 4, MK, 2)

Captain Ulman and his three soldiers in Rostov-on-Don on Tuesday again went on trial --this time by jury. They are accused of killing 6 Chechen civilians. The story details the case. (5, Kommersant, 5)

The story describes an emergency case that happened on Monday in an office building of the Interior Ministry and that shocked even city police. Building seniour guard Dmitry Kolosov snatched out a pistol from his subordinate and killed himself. (5, MK, 1)

Bryansk regional governor Nikolai Denin in the outskirt of Obninsk on Monday hit and killed a 54-year-old woman with his car. The story gives details. (1, 5, Kommersant, 6, MK, 2)

Edvard Mursin, State Assembly deputy of Bashkortostan, and Ed Mishin, Editor-in-Chief of the gay -magazine " Kvir" in Marriage Registration Palace Number 4 on Tuesday submitted an application of the same-sex marriage. The story examines the case. (5, Kommersant, 8)

Special services know the whereabouts of Shamil Basayev. This was stated at a news conference on Tuesday by FSB top official Sergei Ignatchenko. Brief. (5)

The St. Petersburg City Court on Tusday sentenced policeman Konstantin Olenchikov to life in prison. He was accused of killing 4 people in a computer games hall. Brief. (5)

Russia and China next week may sign an inter-gvt agreement on the delivery of 48. 4 million tons of oil to China until 2010. The contract on the delivery of oil by Rosneft to China will be signed during Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko' s visit to Beijing. In exchange China is willing to provide Rosneft with a $6 billion credit that the company will use for clearing off its debts for Yuganskneftegaz. The story examines the project. (9, 10)

The Moscow Arbitration Court on Tuesday declared Vneshagrobank bankrupt. Brief. (9)

Russia in January-November 2004 decreased its poultry import by 9. 5 percent. According to customs, Russia in that period imported 940. 6 thousand tons of poultry (costing $564. 8 million) . Brief. (9)

A representative from Runicom controlled by Roman Abramovich stated on Tuesday that the company has no intention to pay by claims from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Brief. (9)

The Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) and the European Space Agency (or ESA) today plan to sign an agreement on cooperation and a contract on the creation of a space center in Guyana, Brief. (9)

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service is suspecting Gazprom of violating the law concerning competition. The fact is that last year Gazprom bought shares of Mosenergo and of Atomstroiexport without notifying the Service. The story comments on the case. (10)

The International Grain Company (or MZK) that belongs to Swiss Grencore International bought the Rostov bread combine on Tuesday. The story describes the deal, saying that the Swiss giant plans to continue its expansion to the Russian market. (10)

The American dollar Tuesday grew by 14 kopecks -- up to 28 rubles 11 kopecks. This upsurge followed immediately the growth of the dollar on the world markets. The story describes the dollar' s good behaviour. (11)

The market of depositary receipts can be created in Russia already this year. This new financial instrument will above all attract the attention of small foreign firms and small domestic investors. The story describes this new financial instrument. (11)

KOMMERSANT (19/1/2005)

VympelCom Tuesday officially announced that Turkey' s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund made a $5. 5 billion claim to its 100 percent subsidiary Kar-Tel. The story describes this incident, saying how analysts regard it. (1, 16, Izvestia, 12)

Independent Media (IM) may change its owner soon. Finnish SanomaWSOY, a leading mediaholding in Europe, may become a buyer of the controlling interest of IM. The story reports on how experts comment on this deal. (1, 13)

The story reports on how several gvt ministers today when meeting the president' s instruction, will seek ways to preserve free rides on public transport for pensioners. (2)

Several activists of unsanctioned mass rallies were detained in St. Petersburg on Wednesday after governor Valentina Matviyenko' s words that activists mass protests should not go unpunished. The story gives details. (3)

Pensioners in various cities on Tuesday were continuing to protest against the monetarization of social benefts. The story describes several such protests in Perm, Krasnodar, Kazan, Lipets and Vladimir. (3 )

The Samara Regional Court on Tuesday dropped the case on the suit filed by Gubernatorial Duma Vice-Speaker Natalya Bobrova against governor Konstantin Titov. The story examines the court' s ruling, saying that Titov will remain the governor until July 2005. (4)

The Nenets Autonomous Area (or NAO) Election Commission on Tuesday excluded NAO head Vladimir Butov from the voting ballots for the gubernatorial elections scheduled for Jan. 23. The story comments on the decision. (4)

The International Federation of Journalists has presented its annual report on mass media people, who were killed while on assignment in 2004. The story examines the report. (7)

The Ukrainian Supreme Court Tuesday officially announced Viktor Yushchenko winner of the presidential elections, and results of their third round may be announced already on Jan. 20. The story comments on the Court' s ruling. (10)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov at a session of the city gvt on Tuesday instructed the City Tender Committee to suspend holding closed competition. The story comments on his order. (13, 16)

VEDOMOSTI (19/1/2005)

Group Menatep has lost an asset, fir the purchase of which Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev were taken into custody. The Group has sold its 50 percent share in the Fosagro company to its management Notorious Apatit is part of Fosagro. (A1)

No sooner had VympelCom settled its tax claims in Russia than it came up against new ones in Kazakhstan. Thus, Turkey' s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund has demanded $5. 5 billion from the Kazakh subsidiary of VympelCom -- KaR-Tel. (A1)

The dollar is continuing to win back its lost positions. Thus, on Tuesday it cost 28 rubles, and since the start of this year it has won back already 36 kopecks. In bankers' opinion, what plays the decisive role here is the consolidating American currency on the world market. (A1)

The money circulation on the black market in the education sphere amounts annually to about $1. 5 billion This was stated by Education Minister Andrei Fursenko at his meeting with Rodina faction deputies in the State Duma on Tuesday. Brief. (A1)

Mass public protests in many cities are organized by the KPRF, Yabloko and other opposition parties. Authorities' short-sightedness has make it possible for the opposition to score political goals. (A2)

The story reflects on where the Finance Ministry can find money to increase social cash payments without using the stabilization fund. (A3)

Rosimushchestvo head Valery Nazarov has obtained a new aide --Sergei Sysoyev, former deputy head of the St. Petersburg State Property Committee. The story covers his career, starting 1983. (A3)

In an interview Group Menatep co-owner and chief lobbyist Leonid Nevzlin and another Group Menatep shareholder Mikhail Brudno talk about what has happened toYukos and about what is awaiting the company in the future. (A5)


The customs authorities intend to radically change the rules of game on the market of home electrical and electronic appliances with a circulation exceeding $13 billion a year. The story examines their plans. (B1)

One of the largest deals in the whole history of the domestic media market can take place very soon: the Scandinavian Sanoma media corporation may become an owner of the Independent Media Publishing House. The story examines the upcoming deal, saying that, according to experts' opinion, it will be profit-making for IM. (B1)

Alfa-Eko has sold the Rostov Bread Combine, one of the leading ones in the south of Russia, to Swiss Glencore corporation. The latter intends to continue to buy up Russian grain assets in order to launch an elevator network. (B1)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov Tuesday signed a directive on merging Moscow state-control pharmacies into one state unitary enterprise " Stolichniye Apteki" . Brief. (B1)

Ecuador may again join OPEC, said oil minister Eduardo Lopez, . He said that his country will try to increase oil daily extraction to bring it to 900, 000 barrels a day by 2010. Brief. (B1)

Rosneft President Sergei Bogdanchikov held a teleconference with the Yuganskneftegaz leadership, at which he recommended Yugansk top managers to work for a 5 percent annual growth of oil extractions. Brief. (B1)

Krasnaya Polyana has announced an additional issuance of shares worth 60 million rubles. This was stated in the company' s Press Service Brief. (B1)

ALROSA President Alexander Nichiporuk has appointed Vladimir Kalitin First Vice-President of the company on technical policy. Brief. (B1)

Non-commercial partnership " Administrator of Trading System" (ATS) on April 1 intends to launch a free market of electrical energy in Siberia. (B1)

Private shareholders of KrasAir have launched a deal to buy 40 percent of shares of the aviation company " Samara" from RASIP and Polyot. The deal will be completed in March. Brief. (B2)

Gazprombank has unexpectedly come to like once popular but forgotten depositary certificates. In November 2004 the bank placed these securities to the tune of 33 billion rubles. (B3)

BIN-Bank intends in the summer of 2005 to conduct an additional issuance of shares worth $100 million. This was stated by bank President Mikhail Shishkhanov. Brief. (B3)


Sociologists expect President Putin' s approval rating to markedly fall this year. The story examines several factors that adversely affect his rating (1, 2)

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov today is expected to make a speech in the State Duma, in which he may state the gvt' s intention to postpone to one year the decision on army conscription deferrals. This was stated by an information source in the Defense Ministry. From all indications, authorities fear that students can join protesting pensioners. (1, 2)

The story reports on how Kyrgyzstan' s President Askar Akayev and heads of other CIS states are doing everything in their power to help their daughters take over high political posts. (1, 5)

Banks will not survive without state protectionism--this was stated on Tuesday by Garegin Tosunyan, President of the Association of Russian Banks, in the presence of his colleagues-bankers, whom he told about results of his latest meeting with First Deputy Head of the Central Bank Andrei Kozlov at the recent conference in Ufa. The story reveals the essence of his statement. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 5)

Kalmykia' s President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov reports on how he and his gvt have managed to conduct social benefits monetarization in such a way that people do not need to protest. (4)

Forty-six Armenian servicemen on Tuesday went to Iraq to serve there under the Polish flag. The story comments on the move, saying how Russia regards it. (5)

A new trial of Alexei Pichugin, chief of the Yukos Internal Economic Security Department, is expected to begin soon. He is accused of several crimes. The story reveals them in detail. (6)

Highly-regarded filmmaker Vadim Abdrashitov has turned 60 today. In an interview he talks about his films with an outspoken anti-Soviet message that were not banned that time and about his work today. (7, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 13)


In an interview Alexander Zherikhov, head of the Federal Customs Service, talks about a new procedure of crossing the customs borders for CIS citizens and about the so-called shuttle-trader (chelnok) as a profession in Russia. He also reveals the essence of future rules of transporting cargo across the border. (1, 2)

FSB officials on Tuesday held a special news conference. Since such events are very rare, all expected some sensational news, like an arrest of Shamil Basayev. But nothing of the kind happened. The story describes the news conference and what was reported to journalists. (1, 2)

The US National Intelligence Council early this month made public its forecast " Global Tendencies -2020" made by analysts of American special services. The document depicting the world nearing the year 2020, contains a special chapter devoted to Russia. The story examines the document and the chapter about Russia. (1, 12)

Tyumen regional governor Sergei Sobyanin describes how his regional administration and he have managed to avoid social tension when replacing social benefits with cash payments. (1)

Many small parties would like to survive today. The Political Council of the Party of National Renaissance " People' s Will" with Sergei Baburin as its leader decided on Tuesday how it should join the Rodina party -- as a whole or by parts. (2)

Presidential mass media adviserMikhail Lesin on Tuesday talked about his vision of domestic television. The story looks at what he said. (2)

Audit Chamber head Sergei Stepashin on Tuesday reported that in March-April 2005 he will make a long-awaited report in the State Duma to tell deputies about the results of privatizations in Russia. The story examines some of its main provisions. (2)

The Federation Council (FC) will devote its first session this year (scheduled for Jan. 26) to the replacement of social benefits with cash payments. The FC Council on Tuesday decided that FC by this day will prepare an expert' s conclusion on putting into effect the benefit monetarization law. (3)

In an interview Kemerovo regional governor Aman Tuleyev says that there is no public tension and there are no public protests in his region. He explains how his regional authorities have managed to avoid them. (4)

Officers from the Federal Service for Control of Narcotics have closed an illegal laboratory in Protvino (Moscow region) that made a banned drug. The story describes the laboratory, its product and a police operation. (4)

According to the Federal State Statistics Agency, the average wage of Russians in December 2004 increased by 16. 6 percent as compared to the figure for the same period in 2003. The story examines what factor, despite all this, made Russians' lives very difficult. (5)

The main events devoted to the 250th jubilee of Moscow State University will begin on Jan. 25 marking Tatyanin Day. The story examines several events, saying that one of them is the opening of the exhibition " The First Russian University" in the Moscow State History Museum. (6)


In an interview ombudsman Vladimir Lukin talks about his job and about how he tries to help people, who have sent him numerous complaints from against the monetarization of social benefits. (3)

Officials in the upper echelons of power have forgotten that social benefits are the Motherland' s duty before the war and labour veterans, rather than a tip. The story describes what people today speak about in public buses and in the street. (4, 5)

In an interview Saratov regional governor Dmitry Ayatskov says how they have managed to avoid public protests when they replaced social benefits with cash payments. He also shares his view on the new procedure of nominating the governors. (5)

In an interview Georgia' s President Mikhael Saakashvili talks about the current political and social situation in his republic. The president focuses on Georgia-Russia relations. (12)

The Moscow region by the number of killings is leading the country. In an interview Moscow region Prosecutor Ivan Sidoruk talks about several concrete grave crimes. (20)