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Press Review

IZVESTIA (24/10/2005)

The story describes convict Mikhail Khodorkovsky' s arrival at a labour colony in a Chita region, the colony itself and the region where it is located. Khodorkovsky' s first question was -- Does a priest visit the colony?--and received an affirmative answer. (1, 4, Kommersant, 1, 5, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 6)

It took convict Platon Lebedev two days to get to his labour colony that is located at a distance of 2, 500 km from Moscow. The story features his arrival, the colony itself and picturesque northern surroundings in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area. (1, 5)

In an interview Norwegian coast guard inspector Henning Tune (Sp. ), who, together with his colleague, found himself a hostage for two days at the Russian trawler " Elektron" , tells what it was like to he held hostage. (1, 3, 7)

The Russian public on Saturday bid a hushed farewell to perestroika architect Alexander Yakovlev, who was buried in the Troyekturovsky Cemetery. The story says what person Russia has lost. (2)

President Putin through his decree has created the Council on Priority National Projects that under his personal guidance will control the practical implementation of projects in the sphere of education, health care, affordable housing and agriculture. The story describes the Council' s aims, tasks and functions. A list of its 41 members. (2, Kommersant, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2, Gazeta, 6, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

The State Duma on Friday passed (in the first reading) the presidential draft bill concerning parliamentary investigations. The story reveals the essence of the bill, focusing on its expediency. (2, Gazeta, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Svecha Pamyati(the Candle of Memory) , an act to honour the memory of 130 people, who were killed during the terrorist act at the Dubrovka theater two years ago, was held in front of the Theatrical Center on Dubrovka on Sunday evening. . It was organized by former hostages and victim' s relatives. The story describes this act, focusing on the organizers' written statement. (2, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 7, Vremya Novostei, 4)

Moscow hooligans on Vtoraya Frunzenskaya Ulitsa on Saturday attacked and beat Armenian Artyom Martirosyan and Chechen Deni Bitsoyev, who is a son of Commercial Director of the newspaper " Noviye Izvestia" Said Bitsoyev. Both were hospitalized. Brief. (2, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 6)

Former Guantanamo prisoner Rasul Kudayev, who is suspected of taking part in the recent attacks on Nalchik, was detained in this city on Sunday. Brief. (2, Kommersant, 6, Gazeta, 7, Vremya Novostei, 2 )

The Joint Russian-Norwegian Commission on bilateral fisheries cooperation in Kaliningrad today is expected to discuss the recent incident in the Barents Sea, involving the Russian fishing trawler " Elekton" . The story describes Elektron' s return to Murmansk on Thursday, saying that the Russian Commission investigating the incident has arrived at a conclusion that Norway' s claims to the Russian side are largely groundless. (3, Gazeta, 9, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

Chechnya' s Supreme Court has completed to question Aslan Maskhadov' s aide Vakhit Murdashev, one of those who was near the separatists' leader on the day of his perish. At the previous court session on Oct. 18 Murdashev stated that Maskhadov trained exactly him to take part in peace negotiations with the Russian side. The story examines evidence given by Murdashev that sheds light on several previously little-known factors. (3)

The story examines an explanatory note to the corresponding draft bill that has been developed by presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District Dmitry Kozak. The draft is supposed to be submitted to the State Duma in several weeks. Today it will be discussed at the hearings in the Federation Council. The story examines the draft, focusing on considerable legislative limits it promises to judges and law-enforcers. (3)

Has the Russian fishing trawler violated the law? The newspaper offers two authoritative specialists' opposing viewpoints. (7) s

A big scandal around the decision to ban Boris Berezovsky' s entry to the country has erupted in Latvia. The story focuses on a split in the Latvian gvt caused by the scandal. (8)

US President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have called on the UN to urgently convene the Security Council session to discuss an issue on imposing sanctions against Syria that is allegedly involved in the recent murder of Lebanon' s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. (8, Gazeta, 12, 13)

Economic Development Minister German Gref on Friday proposed to lower VAT by 2 percent rather than by 5 percent that was proposed by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin opposed any lowering of this tax. The story examines the continuing dispute on the issue, revealing the sides' views. (9, Noviye Izvestia, 3, Gazeta, 17)

The net profit of domestic oil companies this year will increase by seven times, though oil extraction volumes are not practically growing. These conclusions were presented on Friday by Kirill Androsov, Director of the Economic Development Ministry' s department. The story examines his report titled " The Long-Term Development of the Oil Industry" . (9)

Ukraine today is selling its main strategic reserve -- the Krivorozhstal metals combine-- for 210 billion hryvnas ($1. 9 billion) . The story comments on the Ukrainian gvt' s decision, saying that the sale will be televised live. (10)

The number of shops selling vodka will considerably decrease, starting Jan. 1, 2006. The story comments on this news, saying how entrepreneurs regard it. (10)

Asian countries, following suit of Europe, plan to impose the single Asian currency. The Japanese authoritative newspaper " Asakhi" reported that, starting 2006, the Bank for Asian Development will launch preparations for introducing the single Asian currency that in the future will be able to circulate in Japan, China, South Korea and also in 10 members of the Association of South-Eastern Countries (ASEAN) . (10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 19)

Moscow City Duma deputies, ordinary Muscovites and even Mayor Yury Luzhkov are demanding to evict gambling facilities outside the Moscow Ring Road. Human Rights activists are supporting their demand. Thus, the public organization " Equality" has presented its project " New Moscow" -- the construction of Las Vegas in the Molzhaninovo District instead of the industrial zone of the casino townlet. The story describes the project. (12, Gazeta, 17, 22)

KOMMERSANT (24/10/2005)

President Putin on Saturday submitted to the Stavropolye Regional Duma a candidacy of the present head of the region, Alexander Chernogorov to be confirmed for the post of president for the next term of office. The KPRF, unlike the United Russia party, wants him, and the president in this case heeded to the party' s advice. (3, Gazeta, 5, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3)

A referendum on merging the Kamchatka region and the Koryak Autonomous Area was held on Sunday. The story examines its preliminary results, saying that over 85 percent of their residents voted in favour of this merger. (3, Gazeta, 4, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3)

The registration of candidates claiming seats in the Chechen parliament completed on Saturday. The elections are scheduled for Nov. 27. The story looks at several registered candidates. (4, Vremya Novostei, 4)

Public Chamber members in Moscow on Friday held a working session to discuss criteria of selecting members from among many candidates proposed by public organizations. The story describes decisions made by session participants. (4)

It became known on Friday that Oleg Kiselyov, head of the Board of Directors of Group Renaissance Capital in his absence had been accused of taking part in an attempt to loot shares of the Mikhailovsky Mining- Enriching Combine (GOK) . The story details his case. (5, Gazeta, 20)

Sergei Kuznetsov, defender of FSB former officer and laywer Mikhail Trepashkin on Sunday stated that he had received a letter from his client, in which he said that a provocation was being prepared against him, with the aim of killing him. The story reveals the content of the letter, saying what actions it may cause. (5)

United Russia has announced a renaming of its Youth Unity wing into a new organizatioan " Molodaya Gvardia" (Young Guard) The story examines how the United Russia party explains the modernization of its youth wing. (7)

The State Duma late last week considered a draft of amendments to the Criminal Code that toughen punishment for ecological crimes. The story examines several amendments. (7)

Bird flu is continuing to kill many chickens and ducks in the Chelyabinsk and Rostov regions. The brief gives figures. (7, Vremya Novostei, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2)

Georgia on Sunday released Russian Lieutenant Colonel Roman Boiko, who was detained on the zone of the Georgian- South-Ossetian conflict and whom the Georgian sided suspected of terrorism. The story comments on his case. (10, Vremya Novostei, 1)

Despite numerous promises by federal authorities to put an end to tax agencies' terror toward taxpayers, busineses do not believe their promises. This is evidenced from a study conducted by the " Public Treaty" Institute of National Projects with a backing from the Liberal Mission Fund. The story says that 75 percent of entrepreneurs are expecting even stronger pressure on business from the state as a whole and from the tax agencies in particular. (13)

VEDOMOSTI (24/10//2005)

The FSB has proposed to oil companies to replace foreign directors-general with the local ones-- according to the law concerning the state secret, foreigners should not see many things in this country. For TNK-BP subsidiaries, the FSB suspended the licenses for their work with state secrets. (A1)

After completing the sale of the Industrial-Construction Bank, its co-owner Vladimir Kogan will deal with a completion of the construction of the St. Petersburg dike. The former banker will head an enterprise that will have to cope with over 10 billion rubles and to complete the project that is monitored by the president

Oligarch Roman Abramovich has become governor of the Chukotka Autonomous Area for another 5 years. The story examines an accounting report about his work in the previous five years that makes it possible to estimate the expenses of the wealthiest Russian. (A1, A2)

Regional and local reform architect Dmitry Kozak has proposed to link regional authorities' powers with successes in the regions' economic development. The story reflects on how successful his efforts may be. (A1, A4)

The United Russia leadership asks regional mass media to attach more attention to party criticism. In its opinion, the press is not doing it now, and the party has no idea how to improve the situation. (A2)

The creation of a new standard of Russian oil will provide $2 billion in additional revenues to oil companies, and $200 million in a profit tax to the budget. (A3)

Structural reforms in Russia have stopped, and an excessive spending of oil dollars threatens to budget stability. Inflation is soaring, since the Central Bank is hindering the consolidation of the ruble but is unable to stop it, which can lead to stagnation. . Experts say that by painting such a gloomy picture, the International Currency Fund has markedly simplified the complicated Russian reality. (A3)

Health Care Ministry Mikhail Zurabov has come out in favour of insuring doctors' professional responsibility. There should be a responsible person, who, in Zurabov' s opinion, should be responsible for the patient' s health rather than for his (her) treatment. Do doctors need their own OSAGO? Four experts share their viewpoints on the issue. (A4)

VEDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENhe Unified Energy Systems (UES) company has selected one from the two Bulgarian electric power stations for buying. UES today is expected to sign documents on buying " TETS Varna" with the Bulgarian gvt. But UES minorities do not understand why to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on assets abroad. (B1)

The FSB has submitted to the Kremlin administration its remarks to the draft decree allowing the gvt to sell up to 75 percent minus one share of Svyazinvest. This was stated by Economic Development Minister German Gref. Brief. (B1)

The AFK Sistema shareholders have approved the deal to transfer AFK' s 56 percent of shares in the MGTS to another subsidiary of the corporation -- OAO Comstar-- United Telesystems in exchange for the shares of Comstar additional issuance. Brief. (B1)

A big deal for the CIS banking sector has been struck in Ukraine--thus, Alexander Lebedev' s structures that criticized Ukraine' s investment climate, have bought a controlling package of Energobank. Experts expect new deals in this s sector. (B1)

Transneft has obtained a chance to launch a construction of the Eastern oil pipeline next year. President Putin has helped the monopoly: he demanded from the gvt that it put the regulation of the project on a fast track. Experts believe that Rosneft has also played its role in this. (B1)

Oil refining in Russia in January- September 2005 amounted to 153. 3 million tons or 106. 0 percent. as compared with the figure for the same period last year. Brief. (B1)

Severstal decided not to spoil its shareholders with high dividends. Thus, the company for the 3rd quarter will pay them out $58 million in dividends. The story comments on the decision, saying how experts regard them. (B2)

The Russian Fund for Federal Property (or RFFI) decided to put up for sale 52. 37 percent of state-owned shares in the diamond-cutting enterprise " Almazny Mir" . The story comments on the decision. (B2)

Gazprom on Friday received 72. 7 percent of shares of Sibneft, thus completing the biggest deal in the history of Russia. The story examines the deal in detail, saying what Gazprom has gained from it. (B3 )

Kazakhstan' s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has approved the deal with LUKoil to absorb Nelson Resources Limited working in that country. (B3)


President Putin has signed a decree on imposing new foreign passports in the country, starting 2006. Can this usual bureaucratic move cause social protests like the monetarization of social benefits? Four authoritative politicians and spin doctors share their views. (13)

The Ivanovo region on Dec. 4 will elect its regional parliament. All political parties have expressed their willingness to take part in the elections, but neither of them would like to collect signatures. They all have preferred to make cash deposits to be registered in the local Election Commission. Its Chairman Viktor Smirnov explains the reason. (1, 3)

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (24/10/2005)

Oct. 23 marked three years since the terrorist act at the Dubrovka theater. Relatives of all people killed in terrorist acts over the past several years are preparing to form a single organization that will be possibly named " The Mothers of Russia" . The new structure has a chance to grow into a serious political force, party. The story describes the plan, saying that it' s impossible to bribe or to intimidate the activists of such a party -- they have nothing to lose. (1, 7)

The new pro-Kremlin Youth Unity movement in Voronezh will hold a congress on Nov. 16 when the organization will receive a new name -- Molodaya Gvardia (Young Guard) and new ideology. This was stated by its would-be leader Ivan Demidov, former host of the television musical program. The story describes the movement. (2)

The story examines results of a recent opinion poll taken by the Levada Sociological Center that asked its respondents to answer the following question -- What should be done with the body of Lenin in the Mausoleum on Red Square? Forty percent of respondents said that the body should remain where it is now. Three politicians also share their views. (2)

Alexander Shokhin, President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) late last week warned about a serious petrol situation in the country facing a serious energy crisis. (3)


Vitaly Kaloyev, who is accused of killing a Swiss air controller, will go on trial in Zurich on Tuesday Oct. 25. Due to Peter Nilsen' s mistake, Boeing 747 and Tu 154 collided on June 2, 2002. The story examines his case. (2)

As a result of the merger of the Kamchatka region with the Koryak Autonomous Area, the Kremlin has got rid of another gigantic budget subsidized region. The story describes a new enlarged region -- Kamchatsky Krai -- saying that it has become already the third united region after the Perm and Krasnoyarsk ones. The story reflects on the next one. (2)

The story describes the fate of Major Valery Troyanov, who piloted the fighter Su-27 that crashed in Lithuania on Sept. 15 of this year. (2)

The feature story is devoted to the 60th jubilee of famed filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov, who on Friday celebrated it with his family and with President Putin as a guest in his house on Nikolina Gora (Moscow region) , and on Saturday Mikhalkov invited his friends (500 people) in a new banquet Forum-Hall on Paveletskaya Ulitsa. (1, 4, 5, MK, 3)

In an interview Sergei Nikolayev, First Deputy Head of the Moscow Transport and Communications Department, talks about what city authorities plan to do to remove traffic jams on city streets that have become a painful headache both for drivers and city authorities. . A city map. (6, 7)

Many pigeons and crows have died in Moscow. Has the bird flu killed them? The story describes in Moscow. (8, MK, 1, 3)


Legendary flautist Yury Dolzhikov has committed suicide at the age of 73. In an interview his friend composer Alexei Rybnikov talks about possible reasons behind this tragic case. (1)

Vandals in the Ramenskoye Cemetery (Moscow region) on Sunday destroyed over 100 graves. The story gives details, saying that it was probably done by Satanists or sectarians. (1)

Chief Sanitary Physician Gennady Onishchenko stated on Sunday that bird flu will not affect the usual seasonal flu that will spread quickly soon. Onishchenko stressed that the present variant of the bird flu is not dangerous for people. Brief. (2 )

Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko with a large group of businessmen (several names are given) on Sunday launched his 14-day visit to the USA. The brief looks at the aims and program of his visit. (2)

The so-called party of power (United Russia) has repeated many times that it will not use the administrative resource in the elections to the Moscow City Duma scheduled for December. The story gives facts that prove the opposite. (2)

The story describes a disturbing situation in the Moscow city housing construction market that is likely not to be controlled by anyone. The fact is that many people, who need new apartment, sign investment agreements with individual construction firms, and, as a result, find themselves defrauded without promised apartments and, of course, without invested money. (1, 2)

The story describes the International Conference of Social Democrats that was held in Moscow on Friday. Secretary-General of the Party of European Socialists Philipp Corderi (Sp. ?) stated in part: " Ninety percent of Russians are Social-Democrats, but they do not know this. "The focus is on Russian participants and the conference decisions. (1, 2)

In an interview Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin talks about the draft budget-2006, about the Stabilization Fund, about the aim of the Investment Fund and about the domestic macroeconomic situation. He also speaks about his hobbies. (5)