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Press Review

IZVESTIA (10/3/2005)

President Putin by his decree on Wednesday discharged Vladimir Loginov from the post of Koryak governor. It was the first case when the president has used his right to sack governors. The story examines reasons behind Loginov' s dismissal. Oleg Kozhemyako has been appointed acting head of the region. (1, 3, Kommersant, 1, 4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 9, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, Gazeta, 5, Trud, 4, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 6, MK, 2)

Officials from the North Caucasian Board of the Prosecutor General' s Office and also friends and relatives of Aslan Maskhadov on Wednesday identified his body that was delivered to the Khankala military base outside Grozny. The story describes the procedure and also the bunker where Ichkeria' s president spent his last days. All central papers comment on the death of Aslan Maskhadov, reflecting on its consequences. (1, 4, Kommersant, 1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1-3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Gazeta, 2, 3, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Russky Kuryer, 1, 2, Trud, 2, Novaya Gazeya, No. 17, p1. 2, Zhizn, 1-3, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6, Moskovskaya Pravda, 1, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 1-3, MK, 1, 4, Sovetskaya Rossiya, 1, Pravda, 2)

In an interview Chechnya' s First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov gives details of the killing of Aslan Maskhadov, saying how his death will affect the further political developments in the republic. Ramzan says in part that it was his joke when he stated that Maskhadov was accidentally shot by his bodyguard. (1, 4, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4, 5)

Ekho Moskvy journalists today for the first time will elect the editor-in-chief of this radio station. According to the company' s new charter, both the shareholders and journalists can nominate candidates. The staff has nominated the present Editor -in-Chief Alexei Venediktov, who has been heading Ekho for 7 years already. The main shareholder Gazprom-Media has failed to nominate its candidate, and as a result, Venediktov is the only person claiming the post. In an interview Venediktov talks about results of his negotiations with shareholders. (1, 2)

Actor Nikolai Karachentsev, who was gravely injured in a road accident on Feb. 28, has been still in a coma, but when his condition slightly improved, he contracted pneumonia. The story gives details. (1, 2, Kommersant, 8, Zhizn, 4, 5, MK, 1)

The 9th World Russian National Sobor festively opened in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow on Wednesday. Its main theme is the anti- fascism and anti-extremism struggle. The story features this event and its participants. (1, 3, Kommersant, 8, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 6, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 5, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3)

The State Duma on Friday is expected to consider the Rodina faction' s legislative initiative concerning introducing amendments to the federal constitutional law on the procedure of admitting new states into the Russian Federation. Rodina faction leader Dmitry Rogozin revealed the essence of the proposed amendments. (2)

Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov and Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev in the State Duma on Wednesday reported to deputies about their departments' work in 2004. Their reports sparked an inter-departmental scandal when Ustinov strongly criticized the Interior Ministry for whitewashing the crime situation in the country. The story examines Ustinov' s criticism. (2, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3 Noviye Izvestia, 2, Gazeta, 2, Russky Kuryer, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 6, MK, 2)

The popularity of the first and last Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev, in the Russian society is higher than his perestroika. Such is a conclusion of the report made public on Wednesday by specialists at the Institute of Comprehensive Social Studies of the Academy of Sciences. The story examines the report' s main provisions. (2, Russky Kuryer, 4)

Several scores of political rallies in protest of governor Konstantin Titov' s policy are expected to take place in Samara on March 12-14. And on Tuesday the governor' s press service spread a strange note accusing several commercial structures of all economic problems in the region. Titov does not exclude that kompromat on him may be sent to the president, and in view of this, he intends to apply to the Kremlin with a request to assess his work three months prior the expiration of his term. (3)

President Putin and Tatarstan' s President Mintimer Shaimiyev on Wednesday discussed preparations for the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Kazan. The brief looks at several proposed events. (3 )

Caucasus history scholar Georgy Derlugyan, Professor of the North-West University in Chicago, positively assesses the life and military service of Ichkeria' s late President Aslan Maskhadov. (5)

Ukraine before March 29 will impose a visa-free regime for the European Union citizens. This was stated by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko during his recent visit to Germany. Such a regime will be valid in May during the Eurovision Song Contest. The story comments on the statement. (6)

Professor Nikolai Korpan, who treated Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in an Austrian clinic, stated that his face will fully recover in several months. Brief. (6)

Three leading Western newspapers comment on how Aslan Maskhadov' s death will affect Chechnya' s relations with Russia. (6)

The Economic Development Ministry has submitted to the gvt its own proposals on dividing the Stabilization Fund. Minister German Gref has proposed to create a new " money-box" for oil export revenues -- the Investment Fund. The story reveals the essence of Gref' s proposals. (1, 9)

The gvt today is expected to endorse a draft bill concerning the special economic zones. The story examines the draft, focusing on what the companies will gain from it. (9)

Several anti-virus companies on Monday announced the emergence of a virus with Russian roots that is spreading in the new mobile technology MMS. The story describes its danger. (12)

Megafon' s three main shareholders on Wednesday announced the signing of an agreement that actually is spearheaded against Megafon' s fourth co-owner -- Alfa-Group. The story reveals the essence of the agreement, saying how Alfa Group regards it. (12, Kommersant, 1, 13)

KOMMERSANT (10/3/2005)

resident Putin on Wednesday signed a decree on appointing Colonel-General Igor Puzanov, 58, former Secretary of State of the Defense Ministry, Commander of the Troops of the Leningrad Military District. The story comments on the appointment. (2)

The newspaper offers excerpts from eight leading Western newspapers showing how they have commented on the death of Ichkeria' s President Aslan Maskhadov. (3)

The story examines how the West has responded to the killing of Aslan Maskhadov. (3)

President Putin on Wednesday submitted to the Yamalo- Nenets Duma a candidacy of the present governor Yury Neyelov for endorsing him as head of this autonomous area. (5)

The gvt at a session today will decide the fate of the Russian Antarctic Expedition, the head of which Alexander Bedritsky has asked Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to allocate $4 million in addition to $15 million that is annually allocated from the budget for Polar exploration. (8)

Education Ministry officials at a collegium session on Wednesday stated their intention to strip the institutes and universities controlled by the Transportation Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry and the Fishery Committee of budget funds. The story reveals the essence of this intention. (8)

Russia as an observer intends to take part in the 135th session of OPEC that is scheduled for March 16 in Iran. Iran' s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangaze (Sp. ?) announced the aim of the session. Brief. (9)

The Georgian Parliament on Wednesday decided to postpone the endorsement of the planned decree concerning the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of the republic. The decree envisaged to immediately outlaw the Russian military bases in Georgia. The story comments on Georgian authorities' changed stand, focusing on what it could mean. (10)

Ukraine' s Prosecutor General' s Office has summoned Ukrainian former President Leonid Kuchma for a meeting with criminal investigators What would they like to hear from him? (10)

The State Duma on Wednesday had to pass (in the second reading) the draft bill allowing the banks to close the so-called dead accounts of their clients. But the consideration of the draft was postponed after the gvt submitted a significant amendment The story examines it in detail. (13)

Gazprom and the state-run Kazmunaigaz company have agreed to launch a joint venture to process gas of the Karachaganak deposit in Kazakhstan. The story examines the deal, saying what both sides b will gain from it. (13, 15)

The Housing Mortgage Crediting Agency' s Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a big deal with Gazprombank that opened a one billion ruble credit line for the Agency. The story examines the deal. (13, 20)

Technopromexport is willing to pass over to Inter RAO UES a contract on electrical energy export to Finland. Brief. (13)

VEDOMOSTI (10/3/2005)

The IPOC Fund and Telekominvest have decided to use TeliaSonera as their ally in the struggle against Alfa-Group for Megafon. The story describes what experts expect from Alfa. (A1)

The world' s second large retail network Carrefour is preparing this year to begin work in Russia. Unlike its French " sister" Auchan, Carrefour intends to open its shops in Russia on the basis of franchises. (A1)

Business unjustly feared that Sergei Stepashin' s analysis of the results of privatization will lead to their large-scale revisiting. The Prosecutor General' s Office knows nothing about massive violations during the privatization campaign-- the Audit Chamber reported to it about only 4 shady deals. (A3)

Russia may withdraw from the most high-profile armament agreement-- the Soviet-American Treaty on Prohibiting medium-range missiles. . In any case Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has already discussed this issue with his American colleagues. The story examines experts' view. (A2)

The number of domestic companies may drastically decrease this summer. Presidential amendments to the Civil Code allow to liquidate all legal entities that during a year do not conduct any banking operations and do not present their tax accountancy reports. (A3)

American engineers are sounding the alarm: they assert that the infrastructure in the USA is swiftly degrading. Its restoration in the next 5 years will demand over $1. 6 trillion, the allocation of which is not envisaged. The federal budget from year to year cuts its investments in the infrastructure. (A3)

The Ukrainian Naftogaz company from Deutsche Bank will receive an unprecedented 2 billion euro credit. This money will be used in raising extraction and seizure of the European market. (A3)

Presidential representative in the Southern Federal District Dmitry Kozak has proposed to extend the governors' duties and at the same time to make them annually report on how they have met their obligations. Is it an adequate compensation for the cancelled direct gubernatorial elections? Four experts share their viewpoints. (A4)

Denis Manturov, Director-General of the state-controlled Oboronprom company, talks about its key asset -- the Helicopters Mi holding -- and its helicopters that are famous all over the world. (A5)EDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENT

The banking Group Kazkommerts in 2004 withdrew from the charter capital of Gazprom, having sold 0. 82 percent of shares of the concern. This is stated in the bank' s accountancy report. Brief. (B1)

TNK-BP has installed the post of vice-president for contacts with state organizations for implementing projects in the sphere of gas business. Brief. (B1)

Unified Energy Systems (UES) has fully cleared off its $100 million credit to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (YBRD) This was stated by YBRD leading banker Sergei Bubnov. Brief (B1 )

The Rambler Media holding that owns one of the most popular searching systems in the domestic Internet, will hold the first public placing in April on the London Stock Exchange. The company intends to borrow $50 million, for which it is willing to sell up to 30 percent of shares. (B1)

ALROSA intends to work in Canada. This was stated by First Vice- President of the company Vladimir Kalitin, who said: " Today we are trying to find potential partners in order to work on the territory of Canada and apply Canadian geologists' experience in Yakutia. Brief. (B1 )

SUAL will receive a $100 million syndicated credit to prop up its working capital. SUAL and Raiffaizenbank signed the corresponding agreement on March 2. Brief. (B1)

In an interview to German Frankfurter Allgemeine Arun Sarin, Director-General of the British cellular operator Vodafone, stated that the 20 percent growth of the company' s business in the next several years will be ensured at the expense of absorption. Brief. (B1)

Alfa- Group is buying 51 percent of shares of Serbia' s leading cellular operator Mobtel from local entrepreneur Bogolyub Carich (Sp. ?) . (B1)

Yevrazholding, like Steel Group Mechel, would like to make profits not only on the production of steel but also on the extraction of coal. The story reveals its plans. (B2)

Sibneft on Wednesday bought through a tender 5 plots of land for the construction of gas filling stations in St. Petersburg. (B3)

The Economic Development Ministry plans to change the charter of the Unified Energy Systems holding at its annual meeting. The story examines the ministry' s initiative. (B3)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (10/3/2005)

The Inter-Departmental Commission on Budget Planning at a session on Friday March 11 is expected to finally resolve the issue on lowering the tax rates. Thus, the standoff between the prime minister and the ministers of the economic bloc will end at last, and those who will win will largely determine the further direction of the economy. The story reflects on what direction can it be. (1, 4)

Both chambers of the Japanese Parliament have unexpectedly changed the conditions, under which Tokyo is willing to sign a peace treaty with Moscow. The text of the resolution that was endorsed by both chambers contains a new paragraph demanding a return of the four South Kuril islands and other northern territories to Japan. Tokyo previously never claimed " other northernerritories" . The story comments on Japan' s new claims to Russia that threaten President Putin' s visit to Japan scheduled for this summer. (1, 3)

In an interview Alexander Koval, President of the All-Russian Insurers' Union, talks about problems and prospects of development of the domestic insurance market. (5)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (10/3/2005)

Almost a year has passed since the beginning of the administrative reform of the gvt. In an interview Sergei Movchan, head of the new Federal Registration Service in charge of the activity of political parties, public and religious organizations, says how reform has affected the Justice Ministry and its departments. (3)

Israeli police are suspecting former Russian oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky of laundering illegal money. The story gives details. (4)

Thirty German new mini-buses Volkswagen appeared on Moscow roads on Wednesday to replace notorious Gazel mini-buses. The story describes the first day of their work as passenger transportation means. (4)

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (10/3/2005)

The State Duma Defense Committee today is to discuss amendments to the law concerning the militia and military service stripping firemen, police and emergency situations rescuers of army service deferments. Deputies say that the bill will be passed already by April 1. The story describes what is expecting the fire service and police in case the bill becomes law. (1, 6)

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has acknowledged that his ministry is considering a pessimistic variant of developments when by the end of this year inflation will reach 10 percent. The majority of experts, however, view this index as rather optimistic, saying that 16 percent would be the worst forecast. The inflation figures in 2000 and 2001 were even worse. This means that practically all food and non-food products will go up in price prices. (1, 3)

The story comments on the results of the parliamentary elections in Moldova on March 6, saying that Russia has lost its influence on the region, ceding it to the West. (1, 4)

Radio Liberty tomorrow will begin its broadcasts in a new format. In an interview Sergei Korzun, chief correspondent of the Liberty Moscow bureau. talks about the aim of the planned changes, focusing on its programs and authorities' reaction. (1, 2)

The Patriots of Russia coalition with Gennady Semigin as its leader in the House of Unions today will present the so-called people' s (shady) gvt that will consistently oppose all decisions made by the existing Cabinet of Ministers. The story examines its members. (2)

Ukraine intends to create a new gas alliance with Poland and Germany. Russia, the main part of gas of which is exported through Ukraine' s territory, is absent from this alliance. The story comments on Ukraine' s stand on the issue. (3)

The story examines the situation on the Moscow housing market with pre-New Year prices. (3)

Vodka retail trade in January 2005 decreased by 3. 6 percent as compared with the figure for January 2004. This is stated in the Federal State Statistics Service report. Brief. (3)

According to preliminary data, the surplus of the federal budget in January-February 2005 amounted to 224. 543 billion rubles. This is 8. 5 percent of the gross domestic product forecast for the first 2 months of this year. This was stated by a source in the Finance Ministry. Brief. (3)

The number of all users of cellular communications in Russia by the end of this year will amount to 119 million. This forecast has been made by analysts from the Advanced Communications & Media company. Brief. (3)

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA (10/3/2005)

Will the situation in Chechnya change after the death of Ichkeria' s President Aslan Maskhadov? Eight politicians, State Duma deputies and public figures speak out. (3)

Spin doctor Alexander Dugin says that the situation in Chechnya and outside it after the death of Aslan Maskhadov will radically and qualitatively change. He examines these changes in detail. (3)

In an interview Chechnya' s First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov talks about what changes he expects in his Chechnya after the death of Aslan Maskhadov. He also says how he treats Shamil Basayev and why the latter needed Maskhadov. (4, 5)

The feature story describes how President Putin on Wednesday presentedar veteran Antonina Yefremova, living in Serpukhov, with a Volga car on the occasion of the March 8 Women' s Day. (6)