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Press Review

IZVESTIA (13/7/2005)

Izvestia has launched its own investigation into a scandal around former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov' s purchase of the posh state-owned dacha " Sosnovka-1" in the elite Troitse-Lykovo district in the north-west of Moscow. The story examines the first results of the investigation. All central papers are continuing to comment on the Kasyanov case. (1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Trud, 2, Vremya Novostei, 2 Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, 7, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 5, MK, 1, 2)

Former London fireman Paul Dadj (Sp. ?) tells how he saved a young girl after the terrorist attack in the London underground on July 7. (1, 4)

In an exclusive interview former world No. 1 tennis - player Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Olympic champion and winner of Rolan Garros and Australian Open, talks about his job today and about his plans. (1, 11 )

A group of politicians and public figures gathered together (behind closed doors) in the Federation Council on Tuesday to discuss how to improve Russia' s image abroad. The story describes the discussion its participants and their viewpoints on the issue. (1, 2, Kommersant, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3)

The St. Petersburg Council on Tuesday made the second attempt over the past two weeks to find a place in the city for the Statue of Peter the Great that has been presented to the city by Moscow sculptor Zurab Tsereteli. The story describes the discussion and a sad fate of the statue. (1, 2)

The passenger jet Boeing-777-200 of the " Hanghong Vietnam" company on Tuesday morning violated the airspace of Russia. The story examines the incident and the reason behind the jet' s airspace violation. (2, Kommersant, 1, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1, Gazeta, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4 )

Documents on expunging Ukrainian ex-Premier Viktor Yanukovich' s two previous convictions have been forged. This was stated on Tuesday by the Prosecutor' s Office of the Donetsk region. .It has launched a criminal case on the fact of falsifying Yanukovich' s past. The story details the case. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8, Vremya Novostei, 1, 5, Gazeta, 3, Trud, 2, MK, 2)

The Federation Council today is expected to consider amendments to 13 election bills that have already been passed by the State Duma. Central Election Commission head Alexander Veshnyakov on Tuesday at a news conference summed up results of wide-scale work to amend the election legislation. The story examines his assessments. (3, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Noviye Izvestia, 2, Vremya Novostei, 4, Gazeta, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 3, MK, 2)

The extremist site Kavkaz-Tsentr on Tuesday posted a statement by " Islam jamaat " Shariat" of Dagestan that announced the bandits' reaction to the recent killing of Dagestani terrorist ringleader Rasul Makasharipov. The story describes the terrorists' threats. (3, Kommersant, 3, Trud, 1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 7)

President Putin on Tuesday unexpectedly arrived in Astrakhan to see how local authorities were cracking down on fish poachers. The story describes his visit, focusing on urgent issues the president tried s solved on the spot. (3, Kommersant, 1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Trud, 2, Gazeta, 3, Vremya Novostei, 2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Zhizn, 2)

The story describes an original method, with the help of which Sergei Morozov, governor of the Ulyanovsk region, hopes to raise the birth rate in the region. (3)

The Prosecutor General' s Office has launched a check-up of the financial performance of the Central Bank after deputies Dmitry Rogozin and Ivan Kharchenko raised an issue on financial violations there. Brief (3, Kommersant, 6, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Vremya Novostei, 1)

The leadership of the US Republican Party has accused New York Senator Hillary Clinton of insulting the president. The story gives details. (4)

The British Sky TV channel on Tuesday evening reported sensational information, saying that all four London explosions on July 7 were committed by suicide bombers. Investigators also believe that they all were British subjects. The story comments on this information. (4, Kommersant, 1, 10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 8, Gazeta, 1, 7)

British BBC on its site on Tuesday corrected all information, in which the organizers of terrorist attacks in London on July 7 were named " terrorists" . The word " "terrorists" in all stories was changed into " perpetrators of the bombing" , " bombers" . Brief. (4, 5)

Tatarstan' s President Mintimer Shaimiyev talks about aviation as a priority trend in the republic' s economy. The focus is on considerable achievements in this sphere. (5)

An unidentified assailant in the center of Moscow at night on Tuesday shot and killed Zaur Akhmedov, an owner of several Moscow restaurants. The story gives details. (6, MK, 3)

Two Dagestanis in the Moscow metro on Tuesday attacked Moscow police officers. The brief says how it happened. ((6)

Chechen police in a special operation on Tuesday killed Chechen rebels ringleader Vakha Mataguyev, the so-called emir of Argun. Brief. (6)

FSB officers have detained Alexander Miskov, deputy head of the Financial Control and Audit Department of the Industry and Energy Ministry, for taking bribes. The story details his case. (6, Kommersant, 4)

Two financial services -- the Central Bank and the Federal Service for Financial Markets-- cannot come to agreement which of them will control the work of the credit bureaus. The story describes how they are dividing the credit histories. (7)

According to results of the latest VTSIOM opinion poll, almost 90 percent of respondents are displeased that the gvt does not use the Stabilization Fund. They believe that the fund' s money should be urgently spent on pensions and wages to budget workers. The story comments on the results. (7)

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on Tuesday presided over a session of the three-party working group responsible for budget- 2006 problems. The group discussed how to distribute revenues from the alcohol excises. The story reveals the essence of this problem. (7, Kommersant, 2)

The story examines the situation on the domestic cellular telephones market, focusing on its results in the first 6 months of this year. (8)

The Moscow city gvt at a session on Tuesday endorsed a concrete program of the development of the metro in the next 2 years. The story examines the program, focusing on several new stations. A metro map. (9)

The Board of the Federal Court Marshals Service for the Moscow region on Tuesday made another attempt to pull down illegally built cottages of the tourist base " Yekaterininskiye Valy" . The story describes this attempt saying what came out of it. (9)

KOMMERSANT (13/7/2005)

Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Shepel on Tuesday stated that special service officers when liberating the Beslan school from terrorists during the storm did not use flame-throwers " Shmel" .Thus, he tried to reject a version brought by former hostages and members of the parliamentary commission of the North Ossetia, according to which flame-throwers shots caused a fire in the school. The story comments on Shepel' s statement. (1, 3)

The story examines Tuesday' s developments in the North Ossetian Supreme Court that continued to consider the criminal case of Beslan school terrorist Nurpashi Kulayev. (3)

Investigators of the recent Ukhta fire that killed 24 people are considering commercial motivation of the arson. The story examines the version. (4)

The Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court on Tuesday backed Gazprom' s initiative to exclude mediators on the way of gas to domestic consumers. The Court recognized as legal the actions of Krasnodarregiongaz, part of Group Gazprom, that has suspended gas delivery to independent Severskayaraigaz. The story describes this precedent, saying who has suffered from it. (1)

The Sumitomo Corp. trading-investment holding and the SPN company today are expected to announce a big deal on the domestic mobile content market The Japanese investors intend to buy out from SPN a minority share in the charter capital of the content-provider Revcom for $10 million. The story examines why the transnational corporation shows such an interest in the small Russian media company. (5, 7)

Vneshtorgbank President Andrei Kostin in New York on Tuesday held negotiations with the Citibank leadership on expanding cooperation. The story describes the results of the negotiations, saying that Vneshtorgbank hopes to attract Citigroup as in investor in its affiliated retail bank being created on the base of Guta-bank. (1, 7 n)

The 7th Kontinent company on Tuesday announced its first regional purchase -- it has bought the Kaliningrad network " Altyn" .The story examines the deal, focusing on its significance for the Moscow retailor. (1, 7)

First Deputy Head of the Central Bank Andrei Kozlov on Tuesday stated that CB is creating a special unit that will be in charge of the organization of the central catalogue of crediting histories, without which the functioning of crediting bureaus is impossible. The story reveals the essence of Kostin' s statement. (6, Vremya Novostei, 7, Gazeta, 12)

VEDOMOSTI (13/7/2005)

Radio Liberty on Tuesday made public Kremlin staff deputy chief Vladislav Surkov' s speech on May 17 at a session of the General Council of Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia, DR) . Surkov tried to persuade DR businessmen to join the party of power. Experts believe that United Russia without their participation at the 2007 elections may fail to get the votes it needs for the constitutional majority. In his speech Surkov concentrated on the national elite, on the re-division of property, on limits for foreign capital, on the fuel and energy complex, on the judicial system, on bureaucracy and on governors. ((A1)

Rodina faction deputies asked the Prosecutor General' s Office to check up whether confidential information leaks from the Central Bank on its interventions on the currency market. Deputies suspect that one of the CB deputy heads could earn huge money on it. (A1)

The Audit Chamber has found a $23 billion hole in the Pension Fund' s budget. According to its estimates, it will be particularly large by 2008 if authorities meet their promise to raise pensions by 1. 87 times and do not revise the lowered single social tax since 2005. (A1)

State Suma deputies have proposed to considerably lower the taxes for companies dealing with offshore programming. The story reveals the essence of this proposed measure. (A1)

Moscow political forces have formed their teams that will take part in the elections to the Moscow City Duma scheduled for Dec. 4. As many as 35 deputies will be elected, of whom 15--from the one-mandate regions. (A2)

National investment projects next year may not receive money from the investment fund. The fact is that the gvt, the Finance Ministry and the Industry and Energy Ministry strongly criticized the principles of the state' s participation in the investment projects that were worked out by German Gref. (A3)

The Audit Chamber proposes to limit the regional tax benefits. Its recent check-up in the Republic of Altai showed that the region has turned into an internal offshore where companies are registered there to pay fewer taxes. (A3)

The story describes the Shanghai Cooperation Organization that is becoming a new strategic bloc. (A4)

In a far-ranging interview Donald Peterson, head of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Avaya company, talks about his company that is a leading one on the world telecommunications market. He also talks about his company' s clients in Russia. (A5)


Japanese Mitsubishi Motors and French PSA Peugeot Citroen have decided to launch a joint venture to make a new off- road vehicle. It will be made in Japan and sold under three trade marks --Citroen, Mitsubishi and Peugeot. (B1)

Gazprom is willing to sell cheap its media assets in order to buy energy assets. Thus, the concern has valued its Gazprom-Media at only $100 million, and at this price it is willing sell it to Gazprombank in exchange for the shares of Unified Energy Systems. (B1 )

American Metromedia has found a method to accelerate the sale of 71 percent of shares of PeterStar, a leading alternative operator in St. Petersburg. In this case the new owners of PeterStar --First National Holding and Emergent Telecom Ventures -- will have enough time to merge it with Moscow ComStar unless it has entered the London Exchange. Analysts doubt that this merger will take place. (B1)

Tatneft' s extracted reserves amount to 5. 963 billion barrels (837. 1 million tons) The figures have been presented by audit Miller and Lents. This was stated by Tatneft chief geologist Rais Khisamov. Brief. (B1)

Kiev is willing to discuss with Moscow the payments for Russian gas not on Ukraine' s border with the European Union, but on the Russian-Ukrainian border. This was stated by First Vice-Premier of Ukraine Anatoly Kinakh. Brief. (B1)

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) has sent inquiries to the Eko Telecom Limited (part of Alfa-Group) and Telenor in order to establish their possible affiliency with the minority shareholders of Vympelcom. This was stated by the press service of FAS. Brief. (B1)

Oligarch Roman Abramovich may invest in the construction of a big soccer stadium in Moscow. This was stated in the air of the TVTsentr channel by Vice-Mayor Valery Shantsev. Brief. (B1)

The story describes how LUKoil has upheld its right to have its own logo in Europe. (B2)

Sibneft' s operational report by US GAAP for 2004, says that that year the company paid the profit tax at $874. 7 million, which is 5 times more than in 2003. (B2)


The Interior Ministry in the next several months will considerably increase the number of its troops in the North Caucasus. Federal authorities in reply to rebels' actions in Chechnya, Dagestan and in other regions of the North Caucasus are preparing forceful counter-measures connected with a further militarization of the whole region. This was stated by the Interior Ministry' s Interior Troops Chief Commander Nikolai Rogozhkin. The story comments on his statement. (1, 3 )

The inter-faction group " Stolitsa" that was created 4 months ago by deputy banker Alexander Lebedev to take part in the upcoming elections to the Moscow City Duma (scheduled for December) may break up soon. The story examines reasons behind a possible split. (1, 2)

Representatives from the American Senate, Congress and the US administration in Washington today will listen to a report about the Yukos case. It will be delivered by MENATEP Group shareholder and Yukos co-owner Leonid Nevzlin. He will take part in the briefing of the American Helsinki Commission to discuss the consequences of the Yukos case for the policy and business in Russia. The story comments on these events. (1, 6)

The recently announced visit of Ukrainian Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko to Moscow may again not take place. Timoshenko has gotten offended by President Putin' s statement, who recently said that Russia will cooperate with Ukraine in the gas sphere if the republic does not steal Russian gas. The story examines how Timoshenko commented on Putin' s statement. (1, 5)


In a farewell interview American Ambassador in Moscow Alexander Vershbow says that Moscow is his passion and it will remain such for ever. He assesses results of the recent G-8 summit in Scotland. (1, 4)

The results of the latest opinion poll taken by the Public Opinion Fund show that slightly more than 50 percent of Russians believe that lawyers are respected by the public, and one in every 5 is sure that lawyers in general are not worthy of respect. The story comments the main results. (1, 6)

The British magazine " The Economist" has made public its annual rating of 127 most expensive cities in the world. The story examines the rating, focusing on Moscow' s place in it. (1, 3)

Kyrgyz newly-elected President Kumanbek Bakiyev is forming a gvt, which is a widely-discussed problem today. The story looks at its candidates. (1, 4)

The Krasnodar City Election Committee has postponed the mayoral elections to Sept. 18 from Oct. 23. The story explains why it has been done. (2)

The domestic human rights community has split in its assessments of what is going on in Chechnya today. Thus, International Human Rights Assembly head Mikhail Arutyunov stated that a peaceful life has practically been restored in the Republic, and only mass media are unwilling to notice it. Human rights activists from Memorial and Moscow Helsinki Watch Group agreed that the number of killings and abductions has decreased in the republic lately, but they believe the restoration of a peaceful life is far ahead. (2)

MN newly-appointed Director-General Sergei Gryzunov in Ekho Moskvy on Tuesday spoke about his newspaper, saying that there won' t be any serious changes. Brief. (2)

In its recent opinion poll taken by the Levada Sociological Center, respondents were asked how they treat businessmen. Fifty percent of them answered in the negative, though businessmen provide them with jobs. The story comments on the results. (3)

The average rate of the dollar at the single trading session of the Moscow Inter-Bank Currency Exchange on Tuesday fell by more than 12 kopecks and amounted to 28. 6 rubles per dollar. Analysts say that this is happening against the background of financial authorities' official statements on the need to considerably consolidate the ruble. The story comments on these statements, saying that if the Central Bank leaves the market the fall of the dollar will continue. (3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4)

The Finance Ministry on July 15 will complete the transfer of money within the framework of the first tranche ($13 billion) of an earlier clearing off of the debt to the Paris Club of creditors. This was stated on Tuesday by Minister Alexei Kudrin. Brief. (3)

The replacement of social benefits with cash payments has led to an impressive growth of the number of benefit recipients, which has become a dangerous factor for reform itself. This was stated on Tuesday by Andrei Isayev, head of the State Duma Labour and Social Welfare Committee. Brief. (3)

According to the Moscow State Statistics Service, prices on the consumer market of goods and services in Moscow grew by 8. 1 percent in the first 6 months of this year. Brief. (3)

Ukraine' s possible denial of its participation in the creation of the Single Economic Space will not prevent Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus from continuing integration processes. This was stated on Tuesday by Dmitry Sukhoparov, Russia' s national coordinator in the Group of High Level on forming this economic space. Brief. (3)


In a far-ranging interview Academician Yevgeny Velikhov, President of the Kurchatov Institute, talks about a miserable state of domestic science and of domestic education. He also answers the question whether the location of his institute in the center of Moscow is dangerous for health. (3)

The story explains the following paradox-- Russia by its gas reserves and by its sales abroad is the world leader, and it is also leading the world by the number of people living without gas. (8)

In an interview convict Mikhail Khodorkovsky' s mother Marina Khodorkovskaya talks about her letter to Cosmonaut Georgy Grechko, who has supported the court' s verdict. She also talks about the boarding-school " Koralovo that her son opened for children of killed border-guards. (12)

The Moscow City Duma will soon pass a draft bill concerning social guarantees to city top officials. The story examines the bill' s major provisions, saying what such officials will receive when they retire. (13)


The story examines what dachas former prime ministers have and how many millions they have paid for them. (5)

Spin doctor Andranik Migranyan presents his analysis of the political process in the world and in the former Soviet republics, focusing on how it has been affected by the recent Andijan turbulent developments. (6)

President Putin on Monday met with Gennady Khodyrev, the governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region. Will Putin nominate the candidacy of Khodyrev to be confirmed by the local Duma to the post of governor for the next term? (7)

The newspaper offers excerpts from a secret report by Kremlin staff deputy chief Vladislav Surkov that on Tuesday was posted on the Kompromat. RU site with a reference to Radio Liberty. Surkov delivered this report on May 17 at a closed session of the General Council of the Delovaya Rossiya entrepreneurs association. The report contains very important explanations of the Kremlin' s policy today. (8, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1, 3, Zhizn, 6, 7)

The Moscow city gvt at a session on Tuesday endorsed a detailed plan for building new metro stations in 2005- 2007. The story examines the plan. A metro map, showing the new stations. (12)