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Press Review

IZVESTIA (31/3/2005)

The Moscow City Court on Wednesday sentenced Alexei Pichugin, former Yukos security head, to 20 years in prison. He is accused of killing a couple and organizing a planned attack on a former Yukos adviser. Prosecutors say that Leonid Nevzlin, who controlled all security issues in the company, had ordered Pichugin' s crimes. Prosecutors said on Wednesday that they are investigating Pichugin' s other crimes. The story comments on the court' s verdict. (1, 3, Kommersant, 1, 5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 2, 3, Russky Kuryer, 4, Novaya Gazeta, No. 23, p. 4, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 6 Komsomolskaya Pravda, 7, MK, 2)

LDPR leader and State Duma Vice-Speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky for his aggressive behaviour in the State Duma on Wednesday will have to answer in the Prosecutor General' s Office. He was stripped of the right to speak and later he can lose his high post in parliament. . The story describes the incident. (1, 2, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Russky Kuryer, 4, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Gazeta, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Zhizn, 6, 7, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, MK, 1, 2)

Russian soccer players in Tallinn on Wednesday due to a draw 1:1 in a match with Estonia lost 2 points and considerably complicated their further struggle for a berth to the 2006 World Cup. The story describes how soccer fans in Tallinn reacted to the result of the match. (1, 15, Kommersant, 1, 24, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 11, Noviye Izvestia, 1, Vremya Novostei, 11, Gazeta, 17, Novaya Gazeta, No. 23, p. 23 Komsomolskaya Pravda, 18, 19 )

In an interview Vyacheslav Koloskov, President of the Football Union, who will resign on April 2, talks about what is worrying him today, saying that he long ago stopped being ashamed of our soccer national. (1, 15)

Israeli police on Wednesday questioned media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky on the case of laundering money via the Apoliam Bank in Tel Aviv. The story details the case. (1, 2, Kommersant, 1, 5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 4, Gazeta, 25, Vremya Novostei, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 7, MK, 1)

The Moscow Variety Theater on Wednesday showed a premiere of the ballet " Rasputin" . The story describes what scenes in the ballet caused Orthodox Muscovites ' s indignation and how they expressed it near the theater. (1, 3, Kommersant, 7)

While the State Duma is discussing whether it should send its deputies to Kyrgyzstan to help it, the Georgian and Ukrainian foreign ministers have offered their concrete aid to their Kyrgyz colleague. The story comments on how Russia is losing tactical moves. (2)

The Moscow City Duma on Wednesday began to consider a draft advertising bill that bans the street amoral advertising billboards. The story examines the draft' s main provisions. (2, Kommersant, 8, Gazeta, 1, 5)

Chief soccer coaches of domestic leading soccer clubs for the first time in the history of Russian football have been fined for smoking on the bench. The story describes the first victims. (2)

Chief rabbi Berl Lazar on Wednesday met with Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov to discuss a new Statement with a demand to ban the " extremist ideology of Judaism" . The Statement has been signed by 5, 000 people and was written instead of the previously retracted similar letter by 20 State Duma deputies. The story describes the meeting, focusing on the rabbi' s statement. (3, Kommersant, 8)

A Statue of Stalin will be placed in the center of Mirny, a city in Yakutia. This decision was made by the city administration. The story comments on the decision. (1, 3, 6, Kommersant, 8)

An unidentified bandit on Ulitsa Akademika Anokhina on Tuesday evening attacked and tried to kill 39-year-old Sergei Shevyrev, head of the Moscow Bar Bureau " Shevyrev and Partners" , who with serious injuries was hospitalized. The story gives details. (4, Kommersant, 6)

The State Heraldic Council under the president has endorsed a new coat of arms and flag of the Sverdlovsk region. The story describes it in detail, explaining why all cities and regions are changing now their old emblems. (4)

Two wolf-hounds guarding an elite cottage in the Podolsk District of the Moscow region on March 29 tore to pieces a nine-year old girl. The story describes the tragedy. (4, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Zhizn, 1, 4, 5, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 7)

The State Duma on Wednesday endorsed the candidacy of famed hockey-player Vladislav Tretyak to the post of head of the S. D. Physical Culture and Sports Committee. Brief. (4, Gazeta, 4, 5)

The State Duma on Wednesday announced the creation of an inter-faction deputy association " Stolitsa" (Capital City) , consisting of 15 deputies from different factions. Alexander Lebedev, deputy head of the S. D. CIS Affairs Committee, has become its coordinator. Brief. (4)

St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko on Wednesday made an annual address to her constituents. The story examines her address, focusing on new tasks set in it. (4, Vremya Novostei, 2)

The story comments on results of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili' s visit to Kazakhstan, focusing on his promise to President Nursultan Nazarbayev " not to export revolution" . (5, Kommersant, 10)

Kyrgyzstan' s Parliament on Wednesday discharged at his request Felix Kulov from the post of siloviki chief. He told deputies that he had fulfilled his task to stabilize the situation in the country. The story comments on his decision. (5, Kommersant, 10)

Writer Albert Likhanov, President of the Children' s Fund, raises a painful theme of homeless and runaway children, whose number has considerably increased lately. He reflects on their fate. (6)

Yekaterina Kurbangaleyeva, Deputy Director-General of the Region-Inform Agency looks at non-gvt organizations, small opposition parties, associations and Islamic unions in Kyrgyzstan that are the basis of national statehood. (7)

Passions are raging around Transneft that can be stripped of the construction project of the Eastern Oil Pipeline. Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev on Wednesday stated that the joint-stock company cannot be responsible for pipeline transport, and, therefore, Transneft should be placed under control of a new federal agency. The story comments on Trutnev' s statement, saying that experts call it the beginning of war for control over many-billion oil flows. (9, Vremya Novostei, 7)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Wednesday made another concrete step to his long-cherished dream -- to spend part of the stabilization fund. The story reveals its essence. (9, Kommersant, 2)

From all indications, state monopoly on alcohol turnover is to be abolished. Thus, the State Duma tomorrow, will consider a reworked bill on regulating the alcohol market that does not contain Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev' s controversial proposal. (9)

Vneshtorgbank (VTB) can buy out from the Central Bank its banks abroad before the end of this year. This was stated at a news conference on Wednesday by VTB head Andrei Kostin. The story comments on his statement. (10)

The newspaper Supplement is devoted to Azerbaijan, above all, to its State Customs Service. (11, 12)

Moscow authorities intend to sell part of city-run shares of taxi parks to private individuals. The story comments on the decision. (13)

The Kremlin Palace of Congresses has become an architectural monument-- such was a decision of the City Urban Planning and Reconstruction Commission. The story describes its origin and history. (13)

KOMMERSANT (31/3/2005)

The story examines amendments to the Tax Code that promise to liberalize tax administering and will considerably simplify entrepreneurs' business. (1, 14)

President Putin in his Sochi residence met with Chechnya' s President Alu Alkhanov to discuss the republics urgent problems pertaining to building a peaceful life. The story examines concrete problems they discussed. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Gazeta, 4)

The Tula Regional Duma on Wednesday confirmed the candidacy of president-nominated Vyacheslav Dudka to the post of governor. Dudka has replaced Communist Vasily Starodubtsev. (3, Vremya Novostei, 2)

Semyon Akerman, President of the Insurers Union " Ural-Siberian Agreement" , stated on Wednesday that more than 50 percent of insurers will have to leave the market after July 17, according to the law concerning the organization of the insurance matter in Russia. The story examines such a provision in this law. (13, 14)

The story analyses the reasons explaining the situation with the world oil prices that, starting March 15, have been falling (13, 20)

Voronezh governor Vladimir Kulakov and American company Bunge Ltd Director Ben Pirci (Sp. ?) have signed an agreement on building a plant in the Kashira District to process sunflower and make oil. The story examines the document. (13)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Wednesday held an extraordinary session of the Military- Industrial Commission to discuss the creation of a united aircraft-building corporation. The brief looks at the taken decision. (13)

The Central Bank on Wednesday published a new provision concerning an additional issuing of banking cards and operations made with the use of payment cards. The story examines the provision, saying how it differs from the previous one. (14)

Mizuno Bank reported on Wednesday that it had lost confidential information about 270, 000 of its clients. The bank stated that the data most probably have been destroyed rather than stolen. (14 )

Irkutsk regional governor Boris Govorin on Wednesday agreed with the leadership of Surgutneftegaz and Verkhnechonskneftegaz to build an oil pipeline between the Talakansk and Verkhnechonsk deposits. Later it may be prolonged up to the main pipeline Taishet-Nakhodka. The story comments on their agreement. (15)

The Gorky Film Studio will launch a commercial project -- it has decided to make copies of films for movie-theaters. The story examines the project, saying what market participants think of it. (15)

VEDOMOSTI (31/3/2005)

The number of claims to Yukos and its subsidiaries is growing. Thus, the Sandheights company that is being consulted by Yukos' long-standing adversary Yevgeny Rybin, is demanding from Tomskneft over $200 million according to the agreement that Yukos abrogated way back in 1997. Expects expect new claims to the company. (A1)

The basic insurance law in its new wording took effect on January 17, 2004, but it still contains several weak points that should be amended. The story looks at some of them. (A1)

The Korean Lotte Group company got interested in the construction project of a toll Moscow-St. Patersburg road. State officials assure that not Koreans alone are eager to invest money in the road costing over $6 billion. (A1)

Irkutsk City Gall has launched Anti-Corruption Week. The story examines its aim and visual aids. (A1)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov with the help of the privatization fund has found money for social expenses and state investments. The story examines his sources. (A3)

US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wulfovits (Sp. ?) today should be elected President of the World Bank. The European Union on Wednesday spoke in favour of his candidacy. The Europeans in exchange, however, would like for themselves additional levers of bank management. (A3)

State Duma deputy Alexander Lebedev shares his view on Ukraine' s de-privatization plan, focusing on several controversial points in it. (A4)

Presidential aide Igor Shuvalov stated that the Yukos case was instructive. What did it show you ? Four Experts share their viewpoints. (A4)

Despite increasing numbers of oil dollars in Russia, the quality of roads is becoming worse and worse. Why? In an interview Oleg Belozerov, head of the Federal Road Agency (Rosavtodor) , answers this and many other questions about domestic roads. (A5)

Mark Herd, 48, m Director-General of the American NCR company, has been appointed Director-General of Hewlett-Packard. The story describes his work career. (A5)

VEDOMOSTI. COMPANIES & MARKETS SUPPLEMENT

Gazprom confirms its unique character: Since the start of new year, its property has gone up in price by 72 percent and now surpasses the concern' s market capitalization by $12 billion. (B1)

Coca-Cola today will announce its purchase of the controlling stake of the St. Petersburg juice company Multon. This was stated by a source who knows the terms of the deal. Brief. (B1)

AFK Sistema has announced the sale of its shares in the alternative operators MTU-Inform (20. 3 percent shares) , MTU-Intel (70 percent of shares) and Telmos (60 percent of shares) . Brief. (B1)

Aeroflot' s commission for holding a tender to buy 50 regional planes has rejected a proposal to obtain Tu-334. This was stated by a source in the company. Brief. (B1)

The Transport Ministry favours the privatization of airports ad marine ports, where the state does not have controlling stakes. This was stated by Minister Igor Levitin. Brief. (B1)

Yevrazholding, a leading domestic mining-metals company, announced a completion of the consolidation process of railway assets into a single holding company Mastercroft Limited. It is stated in its press-release. Brief. (B1)

At the annual meeting the shareholders of the Baltika brewery re-elected its Board of Directors. Only two independent officials -- Vympelcom Director-General Alexander Izosimov and Independent Investors Association Chairman --became its members. Brief. (B1)

Airport Sheremetyevo being sick and tired of waiting when Russian Railways builds a railway to its terminals decided to seek potential investors itself for the construction of the railway. In case of a failure, it is willing to launch the construction project itself. (B2)

The Transportation Ministry wants to take a pipeline from Transnefteprodukt and itself to deliver kerosene to Moscow airports. The story comments on a statement by Minister Igor Levitin. (B2)

The Sakhalin Energy company, an operator of the Sakhalin-2 project, has agreed to change the trail of the underwater pipeline for pumping Sakhalin-2 oil and gas for export. This is done to save the life of rare sea animals. (B3)

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (31/3/2005)

he current CIS situation is such that Putin is urgently seeking reliable allies. Will he be able to find such? The Kremlin administration hopes to find such an alley in the face of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, who is expected to meet with President Putin in Sochi soon. The story comments on the issue of Russia' s reliable CIS allies. (1, 5)

In an interview Pavel Krasheninnikov, head of the State Duma Committee on Civic, Criminal, Arbitration and Procedural Legislation, talks about planned changes in the domestic judicial system. (1, 3)

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA (31/3/2005)

Document. The presidential decree on the regular spring army conscription campaign. Full text and a commentary. (1)

Document. The Report of Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin on observing the human rights in Russia and respecting the interests of every individual. Full text. (13-15)

Document. The Main Indices of the Regions' Social and Economic Development in 2004. Full Text. (16)

NOVIYE IZVESTIA (31/3/2005)

A campaign to enroll children in the first grade will begin tomorrow. The story compares this enrolment with that one at institutes and universities. Education authorities acknowledge that the citizens' rights are violated, but they put the blame on parents rather than on school principals. The story examines several serious problems. (6)

Yenisei, the main river in Eastern Siberia, is in danger : its banks are covered with a thick layer of oil products, and fuel oil in its waters has killed all fish. The story describes the catastrophic situation on the river. (1, 6)

The All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (or VTSIOM) on Wednesday made public results of its opinion poll to see what youth organizations Russians know and how they regard them. The story examines results, saying that " Nashi" has turned out to be the most popular organization. (2)

The spring army conscription campaign will begin tomorrow, and this time, too, military registration and enlistment offices will do their best to send young people to serve in the army. The Coalition " For the Democratic Alternative Soldiers' Service" together with the Union of Soldiers' Mothers Committees on Wednesday presented a report featuring concrete cases of violations during the army conscription campaign in the fall of 2004. The story examines the report. (2)

The Moscow city gvt on Wednesday announced April as a month to clean the city. In Soviet times such days were called Subbotniks (voluntary unpaid work on days off, originally on Saturdays) . The story describes their origin, history and a program of this April cleaning month. Will you take part in this subbotnik? Four politicians and public figures answer this question. (7)

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA (31/3/2005)

President Putin for one week has moved to his beloved residence " Bocharov Ruchei" in Sochi, where he will continue to work. The story examines whom he will receive there. (3)

Latvia' s notorious President Vaira Vike- Freiberga is expected today to arrive in Sweden. Its central newspapers not long before her visit published sensational news saying that she would like to receive valuables that Swedes captured in the 30-year war (in the 17th century) .The story comments on the Latvian president' s disgraceful acts. (3)

The story describes little-known facts, saying that drug dealers have funded the revolution in Kyrgyzstan. (4)

In an interview Bermet Akayeva, elder daughter of Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, whose family from presidential has turned into refugee, talks about the fate of her family, now living in the Moscow region, focusing on the present developments in her country. (5)

The feature story describes a new office that former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has opened in Moscow' s Cheryomushki. He works there as a consultant. On April 1, he will have to vacate a state-run dacha in the Moscow region. (8)

The feature story highlights 2-year-old boy Klim living in the Volzhsky city in the Volgograd region, who after the death of his parents in an aircraft crash in August 2004 inherited a large network of shops with a million turnover. A commentary by a specialist. (12, 13)

MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS (31/3/2005)

Highly-regarded figure-skating coach Yelena Chaikovskaya shares her impressions about the recent Figure-Skating Championship in Moscow, focusing on serious problems in domestic figure-skating. (1, 10)

A powerful fire in an apartment block on Staropimenovsky Pereulok on Wednesday afternoon left 8 people injured and another 50 without apartments. . The story describes the incident. (1)

Regional Development Minister Vladimir Yakovlev at a session of the Inter-Departmental Commission on Social and Economic Development, on Wednesday cited terrifying figures: the country with a 144 million population has up to 60 percent of the elderly, children or disabled and one million prisoners out of the 20 million able-bodied men. Four million are chronic alcoholics. Brief. (2)

A monument to the Yalta troika --Churchil-Roosevelt -Stalin--will, despite everything, appear in the Crimea--such a decision has been made by the Livadia administration. Protests by Crimean-Tatar residents are expected to take place, but local authorities are ignoring them. The story comments on the decision. (2)

In an interview Svetlana Kuznetsova, Chairwoman of the Management Board of the Union of Soldiers' Mothers Committees, shares her view on serious problems of the spring army conscription campaign. (4)