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Press Review

IZVESTIA (21/6/2005)

Authorities have immediately reacted to Izvestia' s story (see Iz. of June 20) about fleeing Chechens to the neighbouring Dagestan: presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District Dmitry Kozak has taken the investigation of that unprecedentedly brutal mop-up under his control. And Chechen police on Monday tried to forcefully return refugees to Chechnya. The story describes how they did it. (1, Kommersant, 4, Noviye Izvestia, 2, 6, Zhizn, 2)

As many as 1, 390, 000 seniour pupils finished school on Monday, which is by 140, 000 more than the figure for last year. They all will try to enroll at institutions of higher learning, in which only 441, 000 school-leavers will study at no cost. This means that the total volume of bribes will grow again. Last year it was approximately $300 million. The story describes school-leavers' problems connected with receiving a higher education. (1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 3, Trud, 1, 2, Tverskaya, 13, pp. 1, 8, Gazeta, 4, s Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3, MK, 3, Sovetskaya Rossiya, 1, Pravda, 5)

Economic development in Russia has stopped, and even high oil prices are failing to prop up its economic growth -- such a conclusion was made by gvt officials at the conference of investors in Moscow on Monday. Thus, Deputy Prime Minister cited concrete figures to illustrate the point. The story comments on his statements. (1, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 2, )

The Unified Energy Systems (UES) holding on Monday made public its official report explaining reasons behind the energy outage that began on May 25 in Moscow city and. Moscow City Hall and Mayor Yury Luzhkov have disagreed with UES' reasons. The story examines the report, focusing on Luzhkov' s reaction. (1, 2, Kommersant, 7, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 5, Vremya Novostei 1, 2, Gazeta, 2, Trud, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 9, MK, 3 )

The German magazine Spiegel on Monday published an interview with deputy head of the Kremlin administration Vladislav Surkov, who has confessed that he respects Mikhail Khodorkovsky and believes that we (Russians) should more often ask ourselves why the West is treating us with such distrust. (1, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4)

Activists from the youth movement Oborona in Moscow and St. Petersburg on Monday held their anti-presidential rallies. The story describes their participants and their demands. (2, Gazeta, 5, Vremya Novostei, 4)

The Defense Ministry has returned to Ukraine more than 40 navigation equipment facilities in Crimea. Ukraine' s Prosecutor General' s Office, however, is demanding another 80 similar facilities that, in the Ukrainian side' s opinion, illegally belong to the Black Sea Fleet. The story examines this conflicting situation, saying that the Kremlin has no intention to pass them over to Ukraine. (2)

Vyacheslav Fetisov, head of the Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sports is happy that the gvt has stripped his agency of the functions to issue gambling licenses. Fetisov previously was more than once accused of issuing too many of them. (2)

The summit and the Council of Defense Ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (ODKB) scheduled for June 22-23 in Moscow will discuss how to further organize its work. The presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan (ODKB member-states) will decide what to do with the headquarters for coordinating CIS military cooperation. In an interview ODKB Secretary-General Nikolai Bordyuzha focuses on vital issues to be discussed in Moscow. (1, 3)

The elections to the Moscow City Duma may take place in December this year rather than in March 2006. The brief says why. (3)

Ingushetia' s President Murat Zyazikov has signed a decree on the resignation of the republic' s gvt. This was stated by the press service of the president. Brief. (3, Vremya Novostei, 1)

The working group for parliamentary investigation at its first session on Wednesday discussed a draft of the State Duma' s bill concerning the additional functions of the Parliamentary Investigation Commission. The story examines the draft. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 2, )

Residents of the Orel region respect their governor Yegor Stroyev so much that they give his name to villages, and parks, create museum devoted to him and devote their poems and paintings to him. The local Council of People' s Deputies last week decreed to rename the local village Dudkino into Stroyevo. (4)

Tax authorities have demanded from the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society that it pay additional one million rubles in taxes on its profit from foreign grants. The story describes the conflicting situation. (4)

Two policemen (their names are given) on Monday went on trial in the Moscow Presnensky District Court. They are accused of their involvement in the death of officer- submariner Alexander Pumane on Sept. 18, 2004. The story details the case. (4)

The Prosecutor' s Office of the Altai Republic has accused the chairman (his name is given) of the regional gvt information policy committee of his pressure on journalists. The story details the case. (4)

In an interview governor of the Tver region Dmitry Zelenin talks about the hepatitis situation in the region, saying that it' s not the first case, but local authorities prefer to conceal such information. (4)

The PACE summer session opened in Strasbourg on Monday. The story examines issues it will discuss, saying that it intends to criticize Russia again, but this time not for Chechnya. (5, Vremya Novostei, 2, Gazeta, 6, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 8 )

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov in his lengthy article says what it has cost his city to participate in the race for the Olympic Games-2012. (6)

The story examines results of the Russian-Norwegian negotiations in the Kremlin on Monday when President Putin stated that Russia and Norway will become " strategic partners in the soil sphere" . (9, Kommersant, 2)

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OESR) on Monday presented its titled " Russia: the Creation of Market Rules" . The story examines its main provisions, concluding that OESR recommends to Russian authorities that they create another more effective administration. (10, Kommersant, 1, 7, Noviye Izvestia, 3)

One in every 16 Russians (almost 2 million people) does not receive wages on time In may the wage arrears of domestic enterprises and the budget increased by 2. 1 percent and reached 11. 5 billion rubles. The story comments on the problem, citing experts' views. (10)

Two plants belonging to Severstal lost their leadership on Monday due to personnel changes in both management boards. The story looks at the reshuffles. (10)

Several youth clubs in Moscow' s Khamovniki on Saturday will have to vacate their offices by order from the local district administration. The story reveals the content of administration head Vladimir Nazarov' s letter to them. (12)

Crimea' s Economic Court has recognized as illegal Moscow' s right to own the children' s health resort in Yevpatoria. The brief looks at Moscow' s reaction. (12)

Moscow authorities are seeking a method of minimizing the provision of free housing, according to the new Housing Code. The story examines their efforts. (12)

KOMMERSANT (21/6/2005)

Two international organizations -- the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OESR) and the World Bank (WB) -- on Monday made public their reports with harsh criticism of Russian authorities. The story examines their reports, focusing on what OESR and WB dislike in Russia. (1, 7)

The presidential service on Monday reported that President Putin through his decree introduced amendments to the membership of the commission in charge of importing used uranium to Russia. According to the presidential decree, Nikolai Laverov, Vice-President of the Academy of Sciences, has been appointed new chairman of the commission instead of Academic Zhores Alfyorov. The story examines how the Russian Greens explain this personnel reshuffle. (1, 4)

The consolidation of assets of Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH) can last for a very long time. The fact is that several minority shareholders of Baltika, a leading asset of BBH, on Monday opposed the upcoming merger of the holding' s domestic breweries. Baltika former President Taimuraz Bolloyev acted as Speaker on behalf of protesters, and Alfa-Eko is his ally. (1, 7)

The presidential official site on Monday posted an announcement on a competition for the creation of software for monitoring the social, economic and political situation in the regions. The story examines why the Kremlin needs this software. (1, 2)

Governor of the Saratov region Konstantin Titov on Monday appointed Andrei Ishchuk, Senator from the Ryazan region and his long-standing friend, his representative in the Federation Council. The story looks at Titov' s choice. (2)

A group of deputies from the S. D. United Russia faction, on Monday submitted to the State Duma an amendment to the law concerning the main guarantees of the citizens' election rights and their right to participate in the referendum. The story reveals the essence of the amendment. (4)

Rzhepivo on Monday submitted to the Regional Arbitration Court its complaint against the deputy chief sanitary physician of the region, saying that the company has nothing to do with the outbreak of hepatitis A in the region. The story comments on Rzhepivo' s actions. (4)

Group Kaskol controlled by Sergei Nedoroslev and his partner Viktor Grigoryev on Monday announced the creation of a managing company and an invitation for Alexei Shavrov, former head of the Istok company, to take up the post of its director-general. The story comments on the decision, focusing on Kaskol co-owners' plans. (5)

Transmashholding (TMH) has bought from Severstaltrans more than 75 percent of shares of the Kolomensky Diesel-Locomotive-Building Plant. The story describes the deal, saying that TMH' s next purchase may become Ukrainian Luganskteplovoz. (5)

The gvt four days before the Gazprom shareholders' meeting has made public a list of candidates from the state to be elected to the company' s Board of Directors. Presidential aide Igor Shuvalov and Rosenergo head Sergei Oganesyan have been nominated, and the Gazprom Board of Directors is against them. The story describes the situation. (5, 7 )

Yevrazholding on Monday announced its refusal to buy Georgian Chiaturmarganets and Kaskad Vartsikhe GES. The company may lose $20 million on the deal, having saved $112 million. Instead of the Georgian companies, Yevrazholding can buy the Vitkovice Steel combine in Czechia. (7)

VEDOMOSTI (21/6/2005)

Domestic corporations have received access to cheap money of American teachers, bureaucrats and pensioners. The Pension Fund of state employees in California, a leading state fund in the USA, is willing to buy Russian bonds. Other investors-conservatives, following it, will also pay attention to Russia, but state corporations alone will be able so far to use their money, experts warn. (A1)

The computer, starting December, will assess the efficacy of governors' work. The presidential administration is willing to pay $25, 000 for software monitoring the efficiency of the regional leaders' activity. In the opinion of experts, the new instrument will help the Kremlin dismiss undesirable governors with reference to " objective data" . (A1)

The Unified Energy Systems (UES) company has found out reasons behind the energy crisis in Moscow city and region on May 25 that left 4 million people without electricity. The story looks at them. (A1)

The story comments on Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov' s optimistic statements on Monday about Russia' s financial position, saying that " never before it was so solid and steady as today" . (A1)

Sociologists from Eurasian Monitor have taken an opinion poll to see how Russians regard associations among states. The story examines its interesting results. (A2)

The State Duma United Russia faction is trying to make the mortgage crediting system less burdensome for Russians. With this aim in view, faction deputies headed by Vice Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin have proposed to subsidize from the budget two- thirds of the interest rate on housing credits. The story comments on the proposal, saying how experts regard it. (A3)

In a far-ranging interview President and Director-General of Telenor Jon Frederick Baksaas (Sp. ?) talks about how his company has come to Russia, about its strategic aims and plans and about what it intends to do with VympelCom. (A5)


Gazprombank may own more than 30 percent of shares of Mosenergo. This was supposed by UES CEO Anatoly Chubais. The brief cites facts showing Gazprom' s desire to increase its share in Mosenergo. (B1 )

Yukos has sold its 34 percent share in oil-extracting Geoilbent to Russneft. The deal was completed this spring. Brief. (B1)

Norway will be able to take part in developing the Shtokmanovsky gas condensate deposit. This was reported by Norway' s Prime minister Kjell-Magne Bondevik. Brief. (B1)

Promsvyazbank, one of the most closed banks in Russia, will soon receive foreign shareholder. Slovenia' s bank Nova Ljubljanska intends to obtain almost 8 percent of shares. The story reports on what experts think of it. (B1)

The KazAZ shareholders have approved striking credit deals with Vneshtorgbank to the tune of 4. 5 billion rubles. This is said in the press release of the company shareholders' general annual meeting. Brief. (B1 )

A hired managers will govern the aircraft-building corporation " Irkut" . The company' s two co-owners -- Alexei Fyodorov and Velery Bezverkhny-- will be replaced by the corporation Board of Directors head Oleg Demchenko. His candidacy will have to be endorsed by the Irkut shareholders' annual meeting scheduled for June 24. (B2)

The Siloviye Mashiny concern will release 1. 05 billion additional ordinary shares with the nominal cost of 0. 01 rubles for converting the company' s privileged shares in it. (B2)

Environmentalists, who have declared war on the Sakhalin Energy company, controlling the Sakhalin-2 project, have gained another victory. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development decided to postpone the crediting of the project. The story says why. (B3 )

British lawyers took almost one year to investigate several deals of Tatneft, due to which Ernst & Young auditors were not able to sign the company' s financial accounting report by US GAAP for 2003. (B3)

Sibneft and TNK-BP have lost all hope to find a way to divide the assets of Slavneft they control. They decided themselves to trade in oil it extracts. (B3)

Vneshekonombank deputy head Vasily Kirpichev is preparing to head the investment business of Vneshtorgbank. If the gvt approves his move, Kirpichev will have to boost trade on the shares market in the country' s second large bank. (B5)

The British Aviva insurance company plans to open its office in Moscow. Aviva will assess the prospects of its work on the Russian life insurance market. Brief. (B5)


Domestic and Western human rights activists may help solve the continuing dispute between Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and the Main Prosecutor General' s Office. A two-day International Conference " The Legal Position of Servicemen and Civic Control over the Military Organization" will open in Moscow today, and it will most evidently discuss issues that have caused that top military dispute. (2)

The Institute of Psychology of the Academy of Sciences on the threshold of summer vacations has asked several specialists to answer two social questions --ho in Russia live well today?Do you believe that time will come in a foreseeable future when those who deserve it will live well in Russia? The story offers interesting answers. (1, 3)

First Deputy Central Bank Head Alexei Ulyukayev at a news conference on Monday reported that by the results of three quarters, inflation should not exceed 8 percent. He added that by the results of this year, prices will increase by not more than 10 percent. The story comments on his optimistic statement. (3, Noviye Izvestia, 3)

President Putin at Monday' s gvt session criticized the gvt for the lack of systemic work with law-makers. The president allowed himself to do it in the presence of journalists, which he never did before. The story examines his remarks. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 3, MK, 2)

Moldova' s President Vladimir Voronin has toughened his demands to replace Russian peacekeepers in Trans-Dniestria with Ukrainian soldiers. The story comments on this demand, focusing on those who has initiated it. (5)

Mexico' s President Vicente Fox (Sp. ?) has arrived in Moscow. President Putin will receive him in the Kremlin today. The Mexican president will also meet with Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov and with Russian entrepreneurs. The story examines the program of his visit, focusing on its main aims. (8)

Mosvodokanal is sure that the ecological catastrophe in the water reservoirs of the Tver region will not affect the quality of drinking water in Moscow. Several specialists share their viewpoint on the issue. (9)


Famed British filmmaker Peter Greenway (Sp. ?) arrived in Moscow on Monday. The story explains why he was irritated and refused to talk with journalists. (1, 13)

Estonia' s parliament has ratified the treaties on the border with Russia. The document' s final text has not suited Moscow due to references to legal acts that directly talk about the " annexation" and " occupation" of Estonia by the Soviet Union. The story examines the document' s main provisions. (2)

Border-guards in Primorye are mounting new video-camera systems that will allow them to oversee the whole stretch of the state border. The story examines the new system. (2)

Political parties in Chechnya are beginning to prepare for the parliamentary elections in the republic that are scheduled for the fall. In an interview Franz Klintsevich, Secretary of the Political Council of the Chechen regional branch of United Russia, talks about how the party plans its election campaign in the republic, focusing on its rivals. (3)

Attempts to resolve the Trans-Dniestrian conflict without Russia' s participation will have a weak imprint on Russia, but can lead to serious consequences and problems in the neighbouring countries, above all, in Ukraine. Such is the viewpoint shared by Akhmed Bilanov, First Deputy Head of the State Duma Committee on the CIS Affairs. In an interview he reveals his viewpoint. (4)

The decisive round of negotiations on Russia' s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will begin in Geneva today. The Russian delegation is headed by Economic Development Minister German Gref. The negotiations participants are to finalize the document on the conditions of accession. Economist Margarita Maksimova, Professor at the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations, reveals the essence of the issue, focusing on how it depends on Russia-Ukraine relations. (5)


The story describes the first victim of the so-called " computer epidemic" -- a 12 year-old school pupil from Yaroslavl, where he spent 12 hours playing at a computer game and lost consciousness. He was taken to a hospital, where he died from a stroke. (1, 7)

Illegal import of home electrical and electronic appliances has been growing with each passing year--such a conclusion has been made by experts from the Ekspert RA rating agency. Consumers gain a lot from this situation, since such goods are cheap, but the state loses much money, and for its accession to the WTO it will have to give up such a practice. (1, 3)

Ukraine' s chief strategic task is its integration into the European Union and NATO. And in order to resolve it, Ukrainian authorities are doing everything in their power to reform the legislation, the state structures and the armed forces. How does it all proceed? Does Kiev' s new policy course affect its relationships with Russia? In an interview Ukraine' s Defense Minister Anatoly Gritsenko answers these and other questions about bilateral relations. (1, 4)

The re-division of the market of the printed press has started in Russia. What factors have caused the s changes on the information market? Three experts share their viewpoints. (2)

The current situation on the world oil market provides Russia with a unique possibility of speeding up its economic growth, but its gvt does not want to spend oil dollars either on social programs or on home investments. The story comments on its stubborn approach to the issue. (3)

Two exhibitions of erotic drawings by famed Italian filmmaker Federico Felliniave been opened in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and at the Municipal Gallery " Na Solyanke" . These exhibitions are part of the Fellini Week within the framework of the Moscow International Film Festival. The story describes the best works at these exhibitions. (5)


Thirteen men and two women, who visited the Tver region have brought hepatitis A to Moscow. They got infected between May 1 and 10. The story describes the hepatitis situation in Moscow. (1)

The State Duma this year will propose to Russians to celebrate Nov. 4 as the Day of National Unity rather than Nov. 7. The Bureau of the Supreme Council of United Russia has endorsed a plan of party events dedicated to this new holiday. (2)

The Audit Chamber has summed up results of privatizations over the past 10 years and made an analysis of these results. The brief looks at two main conclusions made by the Audit Chamber. (2)