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Press Review

IZVESTIA (1, 2, 3/4/2005)

Badri Patarkatsishvili, the wealthiest and most influential Georgian businessman will probably move to Ukraine with his business to live and work there. He himself told about his possible decision, without specifying whether it is connected with an intention of his friend and business partner Boris Berezovsky to move to Kiev. The story comments on this news, focusing on its piquant feature. (1, 4)

Israeli prosecutors on Thursday continued to question media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky, who is suspected of laundering money through the Apoalim bank. Gusinsky arrived in Israel at his own initiative to answer prosecutors' questions. But he may be detained there: his personal aide Arnon Perelman reported that police had taken away his passport. The story examines his case. (1, 9, Gazeta, April 1, p. 6, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April 1, p. 7 )

The State Duma on Thursday decided not to apply to the Prosecutor General' s Office with a request to investigate the fight that took place at its session on Wednesday. The story comments on the decision, saying how the Rodina and LDPR factions regarded it. (1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, April 1, p. 3)

Entrepreneur and political emigrant Boris Berezovsky on Thursday filed a suit in the London Court against Alfa-Group head Mikhail Fridman, who in the television program " K Baryery" allegedly accused Berezovsky of threatening him and everyone. The story gives details. (2, Gazeta, April, 1, p. 7)

Terrorist acts survivors will receive a 210, 000 ruble compensation if the State Duma passes a draft bill submitted by the United Russia faction. The story examines how (and when) the idea to insure Russians from acts of terror has originated. (2, Gazeta, April 1, pp. 2, 3)

The State Duma North Caucasus Commission at a round table on Thursday presented 14 pages of its recommendations saying how to resolve conflicts in the Caucasus and how to turn this explosive region into a peaceful one. The story describes the Commission and its proposals. (2, Vremya Novostei, April 1, p. 4)

The Altai Regional Parliament on Thursday endorsed a no-confidence motion against governor Mikhail Yevdokimov. The story describes a standoff between deputies and the governor, who marked one year in power. He intends to defend himself in courts. (1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, April 1, p. 2 and April 2, p. 4, Vremya Novostei, April 1, p. 2, Gazeta, April, 1, pp. 1, 5, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 4, Trud, April, 1, p. 2, MK, 2)

The spring army conscription campaign began on April 1 when almost 158, 000 young Russians received notices to arrive at military registration and enlistment offices. The story examines specific features of this campaign that will last until July 1. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, April 1, pp. 1, 9, Krasnaya Zvezda, April, 1, p. 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April, 1, p. 3, Vremya Novostei, April 1, p. 4)

" The Gospels from Judas" has been found -- this news has come from the Swiss Bazel city. The story describes the find, saying how the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman -Catholic Church regard this find. (1, 3)

Volgograd will not be renamed into Stalingrad, because its residents are opposing it. This was stated by Volgograd Mayor Yevgeny Ishchenko, who supported the idea to place a monument to Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt near the Panorama of the Battle for Stalingrad. The monument at first was supposed to be placed in Yalta, and the proposal to place it in Moscow has caused a scandal due to Stalin' s figure. The story comments on the mayor' s statement. (3)

The newspaper " Russky Kuryer" has suspended its publication for 3 months due to its serious financial problems. Its last edition came out on Thursday. Brief. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, April 1, p. 2)

The Arab channel of Al-Jazeera has aired a transcript that showed three Romanian journalists, who were abducted in Iraq. The story describes how it happened. (4)

Ukraine' s President Viktor Yushchenko today is expected to arrive in Washington on a 4-day visit. On April 4 he will be received by President George W. Bush. The story examines a program of Yushchenko' s visit, saying how the American administration will try to present it. (4)

How could the Orange Revolution in Ukraine have ended on Nov. 28, 2004? Yevgeny Chervonenko, former chief of Viktor Yushchenko' s security service answered this question in his sensational interview to Ukrainskaya Pravda. The story offers his answer. (4)

A rally took place in Bishkek on Thursday when its participants demanded from Russia an extradition of their ousted president, Askar Akayev. Brief. (4)

Who will save domestic football? Will ever changes for the better take place in it? Six politicians, honorable athletes and public figures share their viewpoints. (7)

Izvestia television critic Irina Petrovskaya harshly criticizes an NTV new program " Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov" . (8)

The Cabinet of Ministers on Thursday approved amendments to the law concerning the tax bodies that will receive the right to exercise control over observing the rules in cash operations at all enterprises of tax inspection. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin commented on several amendments. (10)

The presidential task of doubling the pensions by 2008 with the existing mechanism of the pension system cannot be technically fulfilled. This was stated on Thursday by Vladimir Vyunitsky, adviser to the Chairman of the Pension Fund Management Board. The story reveals the essence of his statement. (10)

The deadline of submitting to the Tax Service of Yukos' financial report for 2004 that the company finished with many billion losses expired on Thursday. According to the legislation, the company now should appeal to the shareholders with a proposal on self-liquidation. Experts believe that Rosneft and Yuganskneftegaz, however, will not allow this, because they themselves would like to bankrupt Yukos. (10)

Bankers have drafted their own proposals on boosting the economy. The leadership of the Association of Regional Banks in the Izvestia Media Center on Thursday made public a proposal to create a national bank of development with the aim of expanding a long-term crediting of the economy at the expense of state or borrowed cheap means from the market of capital. The story reveals the essence of the proposal. (10)

The Education Ministry intends to change its approach to a higher education and to the formation of its budget. Thus, the ministry decided to allow employers to take part in drafting educational programs. The story comments on the ministry' s decision. (13)

In an interview Tver regional governor Dmitry Zelenin says what conditions his local administration plans to provide to university graduates to attract them to work in the region. (13)

The first high-speed lift has been put into operation in the Ostankino Television Tower. This was stated by its chiefs at a news conference on Thursday. The story describes the lift. (14)

The Moscow leadership of the Emergency Situations Ministry stated that spring sweeping floods do not threaten Moscow, but a different situation may emerge in the Moscow region. The story reflects on what may happen there. (14)

The Higher School of Economics by order from the Education Ministry has compiled a list of priority trends in boosting science and technologies up to the year 2015. The story looks at the list. (18)

A new HIV variety that is very aggressive and fast has been found in the USA. Where has it come from ? In an interview Professor Vyacheslav Tarantul, Deputy Director of the Molecular Genetics Institute of the Academy of Sciences, answers this and other questions about the new HIV virus. (19)

KOMMERSANT (2/4/2005)

The official Vatican on Friday reported about Pope John Paul II' s last days of his life, saying that the world public was grieving over the impending loss of this person. The story details the pontiff' s disease, saying that his health problem sharply worsened on Thursday evening. (1, 4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Trud, 1, 4)

The preliminary hearings in the Domodedovo City Court on the criminal case linked up to the terrorist acts in the planes in August 2004 ended in a scandal on Friday when Judge Natalya Mishina refused to recognize the perished passengers' relatives as victims in this case. She sent off from the court room lawyer Denis Kolesnikov, who defended their interests. The story gives details. (1, 3)

The Moscow Prosecutor' s Office on Friday indicted Transvaal designer Nodar Kancheli, whose mistakes in the project have killed 28 and injured another 200 people. Kancheli intends to prove his innocence in court. The story comments on the verdict. (1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2)

The elections of a new president of the Russian Football Union were to take place on Saturday April 2. The story looks at candidates to the post, saying that Vitaly Mutko, Federation Council Senator from St. Petersburg has most chances. (1, 11, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 4. )

Unidentified assailants in Abkhasia on Friday made an attempt upon the lives of Prime Minister Alexander Ankvaba and his deputy Leonid Lakerbai. One person from the prime minister' s escort was injured. Brief. (1)

President Putin in Sochi on Friday met with Kemerovo regional governor Aman Tuleyev, who made two radical proposals: to double the coal price and to re-appoint him governor of the Kemerovo region. The story comments on Tuleyev' s proposals, noting that the president agreed. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2)

The State Duma on Friday passed amendments to the law concerning the days of military glory (victorious days) that institute new five memorial dates-- that will be working days. The story names them, commenting on the S. D. 's decision. (2)

The Ryazan Regional Court that considers the suit on canceling the results of the gubernatorial elections, continued to question witnesses on Friday. The story examines what employees from the pre-election headquarters of governor Georgy Shpak told the court. (2)

Nikolai Shepel, Deputy Prosecutor General for the Southern Federal District, stated on Friday that they had established an exact reason for the perish of Ichkeria' s President Aslan Maskhadov: he was shot dead by his own guards in a bunker, where the FSB special forces officers blockaded him. Shepel also reported that the owner of a house, in which Maskhadov hid himself, had disappeared from a military base in Khankala. The story examines Shepel' s report. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2)

What did six Russian and Chechen state officials talk about the perish of Aslan Maskhadov? (3)

Vladimir Krasnov, a lawyer of MENATEP financial head Platon Lebedev, in the Moscow Meshchansky District Court on Friday assured the court that his client has nothing to do with organizing the embezzlement of proceeds from the Apatit company' s products. In his turn, Krainov' s lawyer Igor Ivanov reported that his client pleaded partially guilty of taking possession of 20 percent of shares of Apatit. The story examines the lawyers' statements. (3)

The two leaders of the Kyrgyz opposition --Felix Kulov and Almaz Atambayev--on Friday announced their intention to run for president in the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for June. The story looks at their chances. (4)

Kyrgyzstan' s Acting Vice-Premier in charge of the economic bloc Daniyar Usenov on Friday announced the launching of a check-up of the property belonging to ousted President Askar Akayev and his family. The story comments on Usenov' s statement. (4)

The retail prices of American poultry in Russia this week have reached a record high level--$1. 85 per kilogram. Analysts have called the situation unique, explaining it with delays in issuing licenses for poultry imports within the quotas, which has led to the deficit. The prices will fall only by early May. The story looks at the poultry situation on the domestic market. (5)

The Korshunovsky GOK, part of Steel Group Mechel, on Friday suspended the delivery of iron ore concentrate to China that with intervals took place during the year. In April GOK will increase its delivery to the Chelyabinsk Metals Combine, also part of the Group. The story describes the Korshunovsky GOK, its products and partners. (5)

The magazine " Forbes" on March 31 issued a rating of 2, 000 large world companies Global 2000. The USA is the most broadly represented in it -- 711 companies, while Russia has only 13 lines in it, with Gazprom occupying the 67th place. The story comments on the rating. (5)

The Sverdlovsk Regional Prosecutor' s Office on Friday dropped a criminal case filed by the Verkhnesaldinskoye City Prosecutor' s Office against VSMPO-Avisma. The story details the case. (5)

The story examines two letters that on March 31 were sent to Russian banks by the International Payment Visa System. The letters contain commentaries on machinations with plastic cards on the Ukrainian market. The first letter was designated for bankers, and in the second letter Lu Naumovsky, head of the Russian Visa representation, taught bankers how they should deal with the press. (5)

The unemployment level with the consideration of seasonal fluctuations in the single currency zone in February 2005 amounted to 8. 9 percent. These data are contained in a report by the European statistics Eurostat agency. Brief. (6)

The volume of trading in the section of the RTS Money currency market by the instruments " US dollar for rubles" and " euro for US dollar" in March 2005 amounted to $2. 099 billion, shrinking by 15. 67 percent as compared with the figure for February. Brief. (6)


tate Duma CIS Affairs Committee head Andrei Kokoshin on Thursday arrived in Bishkek to assess and discuss the character and scale of Russia' s aid to Kyrgyzstan. Besides that, a large group of Russian state officials from the Emergency Situations, Agriculture and Defense ministries arrived in Bishkek. But no Moscow spin doctors have appeared in the republic that does not need their services. The revolutions in CIS countries have shown the helplessness of the domestic experts' community. The story comments on the issue. (1, 2)

Kazakhstan' s President Nursultan Nazarbayev this week intended to meet with President Putin to discuss Kyrgyz events, but his trip was canceled. Nazarbayev' s visit to Finland scheduled for April 5 and 6 has been also canceled. Is the Kazakh president afraid to leave the country? The story reflects on the issue. (1, 5)

In an interview Zharmakhan Tuyakbai, leader of the democratic movement " For Fair Kazakhstan" , and former parliament speaker, who visited Moscow recently, analyses the current political situation in the republic, focusing on chances of the united opposition to win power in the country. (5)

The newspaper offers a list of 100 most authoritative politicians in Russia in March. An expert comments on the rating. (1, 11)

Moscow City Duma Speaker Vladimir Platonov on Thursday at a news conference told journalists what issues were worrying him in connection with the next City Duma elections scheduled for Dec. 4. The story examines these issues. (2 )

Regional Bank Association President Alexander Murychev at a news conference on Thursday reported that the president had ordered the association to create banks of development for supporting entrepreneurship in the regions. The story comments on Murychev' s statement, explaining why the country' s top leadership is so interested in the creation of the banks of development(3)

Novosibirsk today is electing its City Council. As many as 250 candidates are claiming 40 deputy seats. The story examines several candidates. (4)

What is a real future for CIS and what are the scenarios of its development with the consideration of Russia' s economic and political interests and also of its security? The story examines three such scenarios. (10)

In an exclusive interview Kseniya Sobchak, daughter of the late St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, talks overtly about her complicated and contradictory nature, focusing on her likes and dislikes. (13, 14)


The Moscow Khamovnichesky District Court on Friday failed to rule in favour of father Igor Smykov in his suit against a central television channel that showed an American animated cartoon that has negatively affected the state of mind of his 6-year -old son Kostya. The story comments on the court' s ruling, focusing on how Smykov' s lawyer Larisa Pavlova regards it and on what Smykov intends to do. (1, 2)

The Permanent Council of the Russia-European Union Partnership in Luxembourg on Friday held a session at the level of foreign ministers. The story describes the session, its participants, discussion and decisions. (2, MN, No. 13, p. 7, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 5)

April 2 was marked as the Day of unification of the peoples of Belarus and Russia. The story describes events that were devoted to this day. (2)

Kyrgyzstan' s President Askar Akayev is ready to quit his post, which he has stated himself. But he will do it after he is allowed to make a farewell speech in the parliament. The story comments on Akayev' s statement, saying how Kurmanbek Bakiyev, head of the new Kyrgyz gvt, regards it. (3)

The State Duma on Friday passed (in the first reading) a draft bill, that imposes a 100-ruble fine for drinking beer in unsanctioned places. The story describes how this bill was selected from 4 alternative drafts. (4)

The State Duma has decided to mark Sept. 3 as the Day of Solidarity in the Anti-Terrorism Struggle. In an interview writer Fazil Iskander shares his view on this decision. (4)


In an interview Mikhail Khodorkovsky' s mother Marina Khodorkovskaya answers the most frequently asked question -- how she managed to bring up such a courageous and staunch son, who has spent already 523 days in Matrosskaya Tishina Prison?(1, 5)

The sociological Romir Monitoring service for the third time over the past 9 months tried to find out how Russians (1, 500 respondents in 100 cities) assess the domestic economy. Three poi-charts offers results. (2)

Central Election Commission head Alexander Veshnyakov has proposed to hold all elections in one day -- the second Sunday of March. Vladimir Pligin, head of the State Duma Constitutional Legislation Committee, and Irina Khakamada, leader of the party " Our Choice" , share their views on the proposal. (2)

Editor -in-Chief Yevgeny Kiselyov congratulates all MN readers on April 1, All Fools' Day, citing an interesting political joke on this occasion. (3)

Nikolai Petrov, an expert in the Carnegie Foundation, analyses the latest complicated developments in the post- Soviet space, focusing on how they affect the psychological state of people. (7)

US Congress is expected to begin to consider a draft bill on promoting democracy, which is called upon to become an ideological basis of American foreign policy. The US administration intends to legalize the export of democracy. The story examines the draft bill, focusing on its effects in CIS countries. (8)

The story examines how the recent revolution in Kyrgyzstan threatens China' s plans in Central Asia, focusing on how Beijing has regarded power change in Bishkek. (9)

What does Vladislav Surkov, deputy head of the presidential administration, think of making Russia a parliamentary republic ? The story comments on his stand on the issue. (11)

Bella Tsukerman, MN former employee, reminisces about her war years, during which she started her career as a soldier and finished as a military translator. (19)

Television Channel One is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Over these years the channel fulfilled several significant tasks. The story examines them in detail, focusing on the ideological tasks that were the most difficult ones. (20)


The story describes a present that domestic aviation companies have prepared for war veterans on the occasion of May 9 Victory Day. (2)

What practical jokes were played on you on April 1, All Fools' Day? Nine politicians, State Duma deputies, party leaders and public figures speak out (3)

The newspaper KP on Tuesday sponsored a round table, at which the KP Club of Business Reputation jointly with the Association of Corporate Media of Russia discussed the role of corporate mass media in managing internal and external communications. The round table participants discussed bow corporate editions can influence the shaping of the companies' positive image. The story describes the discussion. (6)

In an interview film star Sergei Shakurov, who played Leonid Brezhnev in the television feature " Brezhnev" , say that he disliked the film, because many scenes have been cut out. Several people share their impressions about the film. (16 )


A powerful fire in the headquarters of the Land Troops on Frunzenskaya Ulitsa on Friday left three people injured. The story describes the accident. (1)

Russia' s foreign debt in January increased by 12, 2 percent and amounted to $196. 4 billion. The overall sum of the country' s foreign debts (including debts in rubles) , amounts to $211. 4 billion. Brief. (2)

As many as 8, 900 Moscow army draftees are avoiding the army services. They will be sought and forcefully delivered to military registration and enlistment offices. This was stated by Valery Karnaukhov, deputy chief of the Moscow Internal Department. The story comments on his statement. (2)

Ukrainian information agencies on April 1 reported that Boris Berezovsky had arrived in Kiev at last-- probably it' s an April 1 joke, but Berezovskyss today is a very dangerous person not only for Russian but also for Ukrainian authorities. The story says why. (2)