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Press Review

IZVESTIA (1/6/2005)

Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev on Tuesday were sentenced to 9 years in prison. After the guilty verdict was announced, Natalya Vishnyakova, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General' s Office, confirmed that everything in essence only begins, and that Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are facing new charges. The story comments on the guilty verdict and its possible consequences. All central papers devote their front-page stories to this high-profile court trial. (1, 2, Kommersant, 1, 4, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 1, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, 2, Gazeta, 1, 4-8, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 2, Trud, 1, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2, 3, MK, 1, 2)

The newspaper offers the full text of the Statement made by Mikhail Khodorkovsky after the verdict was announced. (3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3)

Andrei Krainov is the most mysterious figure among the three defendants. He headed the Volna company that won the investment competition for the shares of the Apatit combine. And it was an illegal privatization of Apatit that sparked the so-called Yukos case. The story details his case, saying why he has received a 5-year suspended sentence. (2, Gazeta, 7)

President Putin in the Kremlin on Monday received leaders and activists of the youth movement " Nashi" . The press was not invited. The story describes the meeting, focusing on its meaning. (1, 4)

North Ossetia' s President Alexander Dzasokhov on Tuesday handed in his resignation, though his term of office expires in January 2006. How has he explained his decision? (1, 4, Kommersant, 1, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 9, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4, Gazeta, 9, Vremya Novostei, 1, 4, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Trud, 2)

Immediately after the Meshchansky Court sentenced Mikhail Khodorkovsky to 9 years in prison, it became known about 2 many- billion-dollar suits filed by Yukos against Yuganskneftegaz auction participants and Sibneft owners. The story describes this move, saying that experts view it as the legal and efficient one. (3, Kommersant, 13, 16, Vremya Novostei, 3, Gazeta, 17, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2)

The story examines how the domestic stock market has responded to the verdict in the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Gazeta, 18)

The newspaper offers views shared by politicians (including US President George W. Bush) , State Duma deputies and public figures on the guilty verdict delivered by the Meshchansky Court in the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. (3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Gazeta, 8, Vremya Novostei, 1-3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, 3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3)

The Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled that Article 5 of the Law concerning the obligatory insurance of the civic responsibility of transport means owners does not correspond to the Constitution. The story comments on the ruling. (4, Kommersant, 1, 13, Vremya Novostei, 5, Gazeta, 19, Noviye Izvestia, 6, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 3)

As many as 30 activists from radical youth movement " Vanguard of Red Youth" on the territory of the Moscow Kremlin on Tuesday demanded a resignation of President Putin. The story describes their protest. (4, Kommersant, 8)

The State Duma may pass the draft federal bill on the creation of the new region -- Krasnoyarsky Krai-- before July 9, the last day of the S. D. spring session. Brief. (4)

On the occasion of the World Day of the Protection of Children, marked today, mothers of children with serious kidney problems, on Tuesday staged a protest in front of the Health and Social Development Ministry building, demanding state protection for their kids. The story describes this act. (4, Kommersant, 8)

Ukraine' s President Viktor Yushchenko has violated his pre-election promise-- his team has launched a struggle with the Russian language by banning it from radio and television. (5)

Beijing is willing to send its troops to Kyrgyzstan to help this republic control the tense revolutionary situation. This was stated by a Chinese Foreign Ministry official on May 25. Brief. (5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 5)

Russia does not see any possibility for a compromise with Japan in its dispute over the Southern Kurils and is in no hurry to set the date of President Putin' s visit. to Tokyo. This was evidenced from the 4-hour negotiations conducted by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Japanese capital. The story comments on their results. (5, Kommersant, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 5)

Yelena Bruskova, President of the Russian Committee " Children' s Villages-SOS" , on the occasion of the World Day of the Protection of Children marked today, describes the children' s villages in Russia, saying how they have managed to become home for many children, who either have lost their parents or cannot live with them. (6, Trud, 2, Noviye Izvestia, 6)

French police for several months already have been investigating two cases involving Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. The story examines them in detail. (8)

The North Ossetia' s Supreme Court in Vladikavkaz on Tuesday resumed the trial of terrorist Nurpashi Kulayev, who is the only survived one in the Beslan tragedy. The story describes the developments in the court, saying that Kulayev tried to assure Beslan mothers that he did not kill their children. (8, Kommersant, 6, Trud, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 4)

The euro on Tuesday went down in price to 34. 91 rubles, which is the most affordable price since June 2004. Experts give their optimistic predictions of the euro cost at the end of this year. (9)

Yukos' subsidiary -- the East-Siberian Oil Company -- on Tuesday announced that it had completed a closing - down of its last (the 8th) bore-hole in the Yurubcheno-Tokhomsky oil and gas deposit (Evenkia) . This deposit was an investment-political project of Mikhail Khodorkovsky' s company. Evenkia' s authorities regularly received money from the company for funding the heating season. (10, Kommersant, 13, 16)

A new aviation company with the largest fleet of planes will appear in Russia. KrasAir has applied to the gvt with a proposal to create a holding from several carriers. (they all are mentioned The story comments on the proposal. (10)

The strike of Finnish border-guards may bring losses to Russian glossy magazines owners and timber industrialists. The story reveals the essence of the issue, looking at publications that are printed in Finland. (10, Kommersant, 17)

The number of those wishing to open a summer cafe in Moscow increases with each passing year, but to open it has become a very difficult problem due to bureaucratic red tape. The story reveals the essence of the problem. (12)

The number of Muscovites, who, suffered during the recent electricity outage, has amounted to 72 percent. This was stated by the Yury Levada Analytical, in which sociologists polled 500 Muscovites about reasons and consequences of the power crisis. The story examines results of the poll. (12)

Georgian film star Archil Gomiashvili has died in Tbilisi. The story describes his best film roles. (13, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 20)

Bolshoi Theater head Anatoly Iksakov will retain his post for another tem of office. This was decided by yesterday' s collegium of the Federal Culture and Cinematography Agency. The story comments on the decision. (13, Vremya Novostei, 10)

KOMMERSANT (1/6/2005)

The gvt session presided over by First Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov tried to work out its stand on the taxation of presents. The story examines the discussion, remarks, different opinions and preliminary decisions. (2)

The Ulyanovsk regional administration intends to persist on endorsing the candidacy of Rustem Shiyanov, President of the SOK Group companies as the governor ' s representative in the Federation Council. The story describes a conflicting situation. (2)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday continued to consider applications from members of the group of support on conducting a national referendum, 15 of the 17 questions of which the Central Election Commission (CEC) has recognized as illegal. Communists have proposed to the court to listen to CEC members, who voted against the ban of the referendum. (3)

In a far-ranging interview (15 months before the arrest) Mikhail Khodorkovsky shares his view on the status of big business in Russia. He also says that the law-enforcement system in Russia does not protect people, and he in particular does not feel himself protected. (5)

The Moscow Coty Prosecutor' s Office on Tuesday continued to question managers from Mosenergo and UES in connection with the energy crisis on May 25. Investigators also withdrew documents in the offices of both companies. (6)

President Putin on June 2 will visit Kazakhstan with the aim of attending festivities devoted to the 50th jubilee of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This was reported by the presidential press service. Brief. (9)

CIS Executive Committee head Vladimir Rushailo on Tuesday arrived in Tbilisi on a 4-day visit with the aim of preparing a summit of CIS gvt heads. Brief. (9)

The WPP Group advertising-communications holding and Video International have announced their joint launching of an advertising group. The story looks at its participants. Brief. (13)

Scandinavian Svenska Hundelsbanken has announced that it has received a license from the Russian Central Bank for its financial performance in this country. Brief. (13)

The dollar rate at the trading on the Moscow Inter-Bank Currency Exchange on Tuesday rose up to the level of 28. 2615 rubles/$. The dollar in relation to the euro also went up. The story explains the dollar' s successes in the world. (14)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Tuesday presided over a session of the city gvt that discussed Moscow' s social and economic development in 2006-2008. The story examines the plan and its optimistic goals. (14)

VEDOMOSTI (1/6/2005)

The Meshchansky District Court on Tuesday sentenced Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev to 9 years in prison. The authors of the story view this sentence as too tough. (A1)

Domestic business did not hope that Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev will be freed, by the verdict' s toughness shocked many. some businessmen have drawn a lesson from this case-- to take up politics in order not to become a victim of arbitrary rule-- which is the opposite to the one expected by the Kremlin. (A1)

Overseers have already called the verdict in the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev a verdict to Russian law. The story says why. (A1)

The story reports on how the USA (particularly President George W. Bush) has responded to the verdict in the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. (A2)

Russia for the second year already has been occupying one of the first places in the index of the " tax happiness" of the American magazine " Forbes" . The story gives several figures showing that to work in Russia is more profitable than in Italy. (A3)

Stanislav Belkovsky, President of the National Strategy Institute, reflects on the further fate of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, saying that he now has become a tragic figure, and only a hero of the tragedy in Russia can claim the leading post. (A 4)

The lawyers of Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky have filed their complaints in the European Court on Human Rights against inhuman and insulting treatment and violations of freedom and personal immunity guarantees. Will international court agencies help? Five experts share their viewpoints. (A4)

In a far-ranging interview John Brown, Chief Managing Director of BP, talks about his company, focusing on its profit-making business in Russia, above all its joint projects. (A5)


Dmitry Pyatkin and Alexander Fraiman are again becoming the owners of the Alba Alyans bank and its 100 percent subsidiary Sovlink. Several months ago they gave 50 percent of Alba Alyans to Viktor Vekselberg and Leonard Blavatnik in exchange for a share in chemical enterprises, and now they have bought out a bank from them. Along with it, Pyatkin and Fraiman have received the Sovlink investment company and the building with a high-profile address -- 1, Kremlyovskaya Naberezhnaya. (B1)

The Yukos company has filed a suit against the Finance Ministry, Rosneft and Gazprom that have stripped it of Yuganskneftegaz. Meanwhile, experts are guessing whether Group Menatep will be able to keep 60 percent of shares of Yukos. (B1)

The European currency is continuing to fall, but experts believe that in the second half of this year its rate will come closer to $1. 4. (B1)

The MDM financial group in December 2004 sent $170 million in dividends to its shareholders Andrei Melnichenko and Sergei Popov. This is stated in the bank' s accountancy report for the nine months of 2004. Brief. (B1)

The Novolipetsk metals combine has obtained coal assets. The enterprise on Tuesday took part in the trading to sell licenses for developing Zhernovsky-1 and Zhernovsky-3 in the Kemerovo region. The story describes results of the trading. (B2)

The Natural Resources Ministry has made a move to meet the American oil companies Chevron and Exxonmobil halfway that would like to continue to develop the Sakhalin-3 project. Minister Yury Trutnev on Tuesday stated that these companies will have advantages in receiving the minority share in this strategic deposit. (B3)

The proceeds and profit of Transneft last year increased by 40 percent. Analysts examines what has contributed to the company' s progress. (B3)

It will take much time for Mosenergo to recover from the consequences of the large-scale electricity outage in Moscow city and region that took place a week ago. The company' s Director-General Arkady Yevstafyev is willing to initiate the cancelation of 2004 dividend payments. (B3)

The Moscow gvt plans in 2006 to release bonds worth 31 billion rubles as against 42. 3 billion rubles planned for this year. This was stated by Sergei Pakhomov, head of Moskomzaim. Brief. (B5)

The Renaissance Capital managing company announced the beginning of work of the Renaissance Ukraina fund. This is an open fund dealing with investments in securities of Ukrainian companies. Brief. (B5)


Irina Khakamada, leader of the Our Choice party, shares her negative view on the final verdict in the Khodorkovsky-Lebedev case, focusing on her relation to the ruling regime. (2)

Party leaders, State Duma committee heads and representatives from the business community have expressed hope that the Khodorkovsky-Lebedev case will be revised and the punishment eased. Eight such officials share their viewpoints. The Statement by the American Embassy in Moscow. (3)

Six authoritative officials in the West and mass media share their first harsh reaction to the verdict in the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. (3)

Georgia is celebrating victory. On Monday evening President Mikheil Saakashvili convened an extraordinary briefing, at which he called the results of Monday' s meeting in Moscow of his Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili with her Russianounterpart Sergei Lavrov historic for Georgia. The story describes the briefing. (5 )


The loss from the energy crisis that hit Moscow a week ago is preliminarily estimated from 2 billion rubles up to $1 billion. These days firms, enterprises, shops and restaurants are applying to insurance companies with their applications on compensating losses. Insurance agencies in turn are preparing big suits against those guilty of the accident, who have not so far been officially named. . The story describes the situation, saying that the official or the agency that will have to pay will become a major Russian bankrupt. (1, 3)

If Russia does not give up its policy of double standards in determining the border with Ukraine in the area of the Sea of Azov, Kiev will have to apply to international organizations for help-- such a menacing statement has been made by Ukrainian diplomats And Russia' s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday responded in a corresponding manner. The story examines its response. (1)

Strong evidence says that Alfa-Group is losing last confidence from the part of its foreign partners. Thus, Norway' s Trade and Industry Minister Berge Brend (Sp. ?) stated that the Norwegian gvt has no intention to strike a deal on the sale or exchange of shares of the state-run telecommunications operator Telenor with Russian Alfa-Group. The story reveals the essence of the minister' s statement. (3)

The Economic Development Ministry, the Central Bank and the Finance Ministry today are to submit to the State Duma a draft package of anti-inflation measures. The story examines some of them. (3)

The Netherlands today is to vote in the referendum on the European Constitution. Though the country is not large (16 million people) , the outcome of this referendum is significant. Two experts share their views on what can be expected from it. (4)

The European Union has ordered Tallinn that it provide residence permits to Russian military pensioners. And what is the situation with them today? (4)


Will UES CEO Anatoly Chubais leave or stay to head the company after the recent energy crisis? The story examines what will happen in UES without him and what will happen in the company if he stays. (3)

What political weather will be in the country this summer?Six experts make their forecasts, saying what we this summer can expect from our oligarchs, gvt ministers and from our neighbours. (4)

The feature story describes the expanding market of Putin memorabilia in Moscow, saying how much some of the products cost. (4)

TRUD (1/6/2005)

The Internet-portal 1. ru will present soon an electronic version of the first volume of " The Orthodox Encyclopaedia" .That was stated on Tuesday by Patriarch Alexy II. Brief. (1)

The story describes a 26-year-old Muscovite, who made and sold eavesdropping devices and was arrested by Moscow police. FSB expert Alexei Orlov comments on the case. (2)

Promsvyazbank has promised private bank account-holders its extensive program of cooperation Bank President Alexander Levkovsky says what financial services are offered by his bank to its clients. (2)


Igor Syrtsov, Director-General of the Federal State -Owned Enterprise " Post of Russia" , answers questions from KP readers about training post personnel and about too high prices of newspaper and magazine subscription and delivery. (5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3)

In an interview (on the eve of the International Day of the Protection of Children) First Lady Lyudmila Putina talks about her family, focusing on her relations with her two daughters. She also says that her husband -- President Putin-- comes back home very late and they not always have time to talk. (8, 9, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 7, Trud, 1, 3)

The story examines the Unified System of Providing Tenants with Gas that was created mostly in Soviet times and that has been inherited by Gazprom. The company invests much money to ensure the system' s safety. (10)

The story examines food products that will go up in price this month. Dmitry Yudin, expert at the Institute of Agrarian Marketing, comments on the situation. (11)