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Press Review

IZVESTIA (12, 13, 14/8/2005)

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov at a gvt session on Thursday stated that the gvt next year would actively use budget funds to boost economic growth, which is a new trend of the gvt' s economic policy. The gvt approved the volumes of state investments and economic sectors they will be used in. The size of spendings on investments and federal programs will increase by 32 percent and exceed $22 billion. The story examines the decisions of the gvt session. (1, 9, 5, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Aug. 12, pp. 1, 3, Nezavisimauya Gazeta, 1, 3 )

In an interview Stuart Gold, head of the group of British rescuers, who worked with the submarine Scorpio vehicle on Aug. 7 to rescue the seven Russian sailors on the mini-submarine AS-28 reveals the details of the rescue operation and expresses surprise and regret that his group was not allowed to meet the sailors they rescued. (1, 3 )

US Vice-President Dick Cheney may be nominated as a candidate from the Republican Party for the presidential elections-2008. Such a forecast has been made by influential American journalist Bob Woodward (Sp. ?) , one of the authors of the journalistic investigation that in 1974 resulted in the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The story examines how Woodward justifies his forecast. (1, 4)

President Putin in Novo-Ogaryovo on Thursday met with artistic stage directors of Moscow leading theaters and theatrical higher schools to tell them about his new decree, according to which the federal budget will allocate 400 million rubles as grants to support theaters financially. The story describes the meeting, saying who received the grants. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Aug. 12, p. 3, Vremya Novostei, Aug. 12, pp. 1, 10, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Aug. 12, p. 2, MK, Aug. 12, p. 2)

Kazan decided to refuse to unveil on its streets the statue of Peter the Great that has been given to the city as the 1, 000th birthdayresent. This means that Tatar authorities have agreed with local nationalists' demands expressed in their slogan --No to Unveiling in Tatarstan of the Statue of the Russian Colonizer. (2)

KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov on Thursday stated that the party intends to work for national referendum that, should embrace about 20 million people. . The story comments on his statement, saying that Zyuganov has also submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg materials on violations during the State Duma elections -2003. (2, Kommersant, 3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Aug. 12, p. 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2, Gazeta, Aug. 12, p. 2)

The All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTSIOM) has conducted an opinion poll among young people to see whom among VIPs in Russia they view as their idols. The story examines interesting results. (3)

Newly-appointed head of the Nizhny Novgorod region Valery Shantsev at a news conference on Thursday said that he would deal with a radical reforming of the system of governance in the Nizny Novgorod region. He also said that he intends to install several posts of governor deputies. Brief. (3, Gazeta, Aug. 12, p. 4, Vremya Novostei, Aug. 12, p. 1)

Highly- reputed Indian writer Salman Rushdi in the British newspaper " The Times " has published an article about the lack of correspondence between Islam and the present - day reality. The story focuses on the author' s religious views, concentrating on his call to reform Islam. (4)

The MAGATE Managers Council on Thursday endorsed a resolution on Iran. The document contains a demand to Iran to suspend work to enrich uranium. Brief. (4)

Friday marked 5 years since the perish of the nuclear submarine Kursk In what cases should Russia ask for foreign help? Nine authoritative politicians, State Duma deputies, party leaders and public figures share their viewpoints. (6)

The Moscow Tagansky District Court on Thursday accepted a suit filed by Mikhail Shvydkoi, head of the Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography, against Culture Minister Alexander Sokolov. The story examines the case, focusing on Shvydkoi' s demand. (8)

Highly-regarded spin doctor Marat Gelman on Aug. 8 was detained in the resort city of Antalia by Turkish police and had to spend several hours in a police station. He beat a local nationalist, who hated Russians and who insulted them. The story features the incident. (8)

Unidentified vandals in a cemetery in Yakutsk on Thursday destroyed graves of local special task officers, who were killed in Chechnya. The story gives details. (8)

KOMMERSANT (13/8/2005)

Group IST on Friday announced the sale of 88 percent of shares of the St. Petersburg Baltic Plant of the Unified Industrial Corporation (OPK) . The latter also owns Severnaya Verf in St. Petersburg. The merger of these OPK plants by Mezhprombank head Sergei Pugachev, Federal Council deputy, will result in the creation of a holding that will make ships for the state-run defense program. The story examines the deal. The focus is on how Baltiisky Zavod (Baltic Plant) and Severnaya Verf were sold. (1, 5)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov at his meeting with United Russia (UR) Moscow activists on Friday for the first time stated in public that he would lead the party' s list in the upcoming elections to the Moscow City Duma if " the Moscow organization entrusts him to do it" . UR Moscow organization head Yury Karabasov said that his organization would entrust. The story comments on Luzhkov' s statement, focusing on the decisions of Friday' s meeting of the UR Supreme Council Bureau. (1, 2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2, Trud, 3, MK, 2)

The Finance Ministry on Saturday submitted to the gvt the draft budget-2006. The gvt plans to spend considerably more money next year than in 2005. The upgraded oil prices will allow it to do it. The story examines the draft, focusing on its parameters. (1)

Journalist Mariya Pashkova from the state-run Television and Radio Corporation " Novosibirsk" suspected of being infected with bird flu was hospitalized in Novosibirsk on Friday. She worked in the quarantine zone. The story details the case, saying that officials before said that bird flu was not dangerous for humans. (1, 4)

Presidential envoy in the North-Western Federation District Ilya Klebanov on Friday stated that he was conducting consultations on candidacies to the post of governor of the Kaliningrad region. In Klebanov' s opinion, it is not excluded that a new regional head will be a person either from Moscow or St. Petersburg. The story comments on Klebanov' s statement, saying that the present governor has shown poor work. (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2)

St. Petersburg parliament deputy Igor Rimmer (United Russia faction) has submitted to the City Legislative Assembly a draft bill extending the president' s term of office. The deputy has proposed to amend Part 3 of Article 81 of the Constitution. The story reveals the essence of his proposal. The idea of the president' s third term of office was backed on Friday by governor of the Novosibirsk region Viktor Tolokonsky (2, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 2)

Representatives from the KPRF, Yabloko and the Committee-20008 have submitted to the European Court of Human Rights a complain about numerous violations during the 2003 elections to the State Duma. Their interests in the European Court will be represented by Committee-2008 head Garry Kasparov, leader of the United Civil Front. The plaintiffs decided to apply to Strasbourg after the Supreme Court denied to rule in the united opposition' s favour. The story examines their suit. (3)

Unidentified armed people in Urus Martan (Chechnya) in the small hours of the morning on Friday abducted Natasha Khumadova, a sister of Ichkeria' s Vice-President Doku Umarov. Several months ago his father, brother and nephew went missing in the same way. Ichkeria' s officials believe that Chechen siloviki have abducted Umarov' s relatives with the aim of blackmail. The story gives details. (3, Zhizn, 2, Vremya Novostei, Aug 12, p. 4 )

Admiral Vladimir Masorin, chief of the Navy Headquarters, stated on Friday that a submarine rescue Panther vehicle for the Navy will be bought soon in Britain. Brief. (3, MK, 2)

The Patrol ship " Neukrotimy" on Friday again became operational after repairs in Severnaya Verf in St. Petersburg. On July 30 it was seriously damaged on the eve of the Navy parade (see Kommersant of Aug. 1) . The Baltic Fleet Commission that investigated the case decided that Vice-Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov should be responsible for that accident. The story examines results of the Commission' s investigation. (3, Izvestia, 3, MK, 2)

A festive unveiling of the monument to 118 Kursk submarine perished sailors took place in Kursk on Friday on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Kursk tragedy. Photo caption. (3, Gazeta, Aug. 12, spp. 1, 6-8, Noviye Izvestia, Aug. 12, p. 6, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Aug. 12, p. 3 )

Russian-Polish relations have considerably worsened lately. The story examines scandalous cases in Warsaw and Moscow that have made them extremely tense. The presidents of Russia and Poland at the initiative of the Polish side spoke over the phone on Friday evening. They stressed the need to take measures aimed at improving the climate of bilateral relations. (4, Izvestia, 8, Gazeta, Aug. 12, p. 9, Vremya Novostei, Aug 12, p. 2, Trud, 2, Noviye Izvestia, Aug. 12, p. 3, Zhizn, 2, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Aug. 12, p. 2, MK, 1, 2)

Ukraine' s President Viktor Yushchenko with his wife on Friday arrived in Tbilisi on an unofficial visit. Both presidents signed a joint statement. Besides that, in Borzhomi they signed the Borzhomi Declaration. The story comments on both documents. (4, Izvestia, 1, 4, Vremya Novostei, Aug. 12, p. 5, Zhizn, 2)

Georgia' s Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili on Friday held a news conference devoted to an emergency case in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. The story describes that case, focusing on the minister' s statement on Russian peacekeepers in Georgia. (4)

Group Societe Generale on Friday announced its purchase of the Russian Deltakredit bank. Thus, one of the former owners of the bank -- the managing company Delta Private Equity Partners -- has sold its last banking asset in Russia. And another shareholder of Deltakredit--the International Financial Corporation (IPC) -- behaved as a real speculator. Having bought a week ago about 10 percent of shares of Deltakredit, IPC soon has re-sold them to Societe Generale. The story describes the deal. (5)

AFK Sistema on Friday announced its purchase from the Bashkir Capital company of minority packages of shares of seven enterprises of the fuel and energy complex in Bashkortostan for $502. 9 million. The story describes the deal, saying that it was monitored by Dmitry Medvedev, head of the presidential administration and head of the Gazprom Board of Directors. (5)

The news about AFK Sistema' s purchase of minority packages of shares of the Bashkir fuel and energy complex has caused a sharp increase in prices of all securities of these enterprises. The brief gives figures to illustrate the point. (5)

The British Airways (BA) company on Friday reported that almost two-thirds out of its 1, 000-strong staff, who took part in the strike (see Kommersant of Aug. 12) resumed work, which made it possible to continue part of the flights. The cancellation of practically all BA flights affected approximately 70, 000 passengers, including those of the London-Moscow flights. The story focuses on BA' s losses due to the strike. (5)

Samsung Electronics has to be responsible for a high-profile scandal in its own country. The Asia Pulse information agency reported that several thousand Koreans, who have bought the mobile telephone Samsung V4400 have accused the company of defrauding consumers and complained to control agencies. V4400 owners say that the quality of their videocameras is much worse than their producers stated in their ads. The story details the scandal, saying that similar cases have occurred in Russia with Siemens and Nokia cellular telephones. (6)

The shareholders of the Chelyabinsk Metals Combine, part of Mechel, have approved the combine' s 5 billion ruble borrowing from a Swiss affiliate of Mechel Trading AG. The brief looks at the aim of the deal. (6 )

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA (12/8-13/8/2005)

The post of secretary of state in the rank of deputy minister is to emerge in the Defense Ministry any day now in accordance with the recent presidential decree. This means the beginning of a re-shaping of the administrative reform. Experts believe that this decision shows the presence of serious defects in the recent administrative reform. The story examines the latest novelties in this sphere. (1, 2)

The internal conflicts in the Union of Entrepreneurs and Industrialists (RSPP) today make the situation in the Union very tense. Thus, all employees in the RSPP administration have been proposed to write applications concerning resignation by their own wish. This was demanded by Nikolai Tonkov, new RSPP Executive Secretary. , who only several months ago replaced Igor Yurgens on this post. Experts believe that the resignation of the administration will become the first move to restructuring relations between the state and the business elite. The story describes the situation in the RSPP. (1, 3)

There are several versions of reasons behind the tragic death in Sochi of Kirovsky Zavod Director Pyotr Semenenko on Aug. 10. . The story examines them in detail. (1, 8)

The statistical data on the death toll of servicemen in hot spots, including the North Caucasus, are, as before, being concealed. Making such information public is very important for the Russian civil society. But why do the Interior Ministry, the FSB and other similar structures fail to do it? The story tries to answer this question. (2)

The story describes a fierce power struggle in the Altai region after the tragic death of its governor Mikhail Yevdokimov. (2)

The upcoming elections to the local Duma of the Chukotka Autonomous Area scheduled for Dec. 25, 2005 may be foiled. The story says why, focusing on what parties intend to participate. (2)

The gvt on Thursday considered the Finance Ministry' s proposals on conducting the so-called tax amnesty. They mainly concern introducing amendments to the legislation, making it possible for people to declare their money in a simplified manner. The discussion, however, showed that the concept of the amnesty shaped according to the idea made public in the presidential annual state of the nation address was erroneous. The story reveals the essence of the concept. (3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 4)

The upcoming transfer of part of Russian military machines from Georgia to Armenia creates serious problems for the security of Azerbaijan, its Defense Ministry believes. Armenian authorities for Russian machines have allotted territory very near to the border with Azerbaijan. The story reveals the essence of the problem. (4)

The story offers an in-depth analysis of the situation on the cellular telephones market in Russia today, focusing on expanding mobile services offered by cellular communications operators. (5)

Ivan Starikov, Secretary of the Federal Political Council of the Union of Right Forces (SPS) reflects on reasons behind the unwillingness of SPS and Yabloko democratic forces to unite. The author stresses that the platform for unification does exist, because both parties today have the common adversary -- the ruling regime. (6)


Russian warships that will take part in the Russian - Chinese joint exercises " Peace Mission -2005" arrived in the Chinese Tsindao port on Friday. The exercises will begin on Aug. 18. The story describes what Russian ships will take part, focusing on who will monitor the exercises from both sides. (1, 2 )

A big scandal caused by hazing has erupted in the Baltic Fleet. Its Military Prosecutor Grigory Kuleshov has launched a criminal case on the violation of charter rules concerning relations between servicemen when relatiaons of subordination between them are absent. The story details the case. (1)

Ukraine' s Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko in a categorical manner has demanded from regional governors and tax services that they increase deductions to the state budget. She also stated about a possible fireing of heads of regional tax boards and of customs. . The story comments on Timoshenko' s statement. (1, 2 )

The countries of the Eurasian Economic Community decided to launch a " shadowing" over internal prices (of their own) of big companies doing business on the territory of the former USSR. These prices are lower than the market ones, which is good for enterprises making up large holdings, but which is bad for the tax agencies. The Russian gvt on Friday approved a draft protocol on exchanging information between customs officers and tax agencies. The story examines the document. (2)

The cost of all drugs in an illegal circulation in Russia amounts to $6 billion. This was stated at a briefing on Friday by Alexander Yelin, deputy head of the Interior Ministry' s Department on Crack Down on Organized Crime and Terrorism. The story comments on his report, saying that the drug situation worsened in the first 6 months of this year. (3)

Seven nidies of rabies have been registered in the city of Kamensk-Uralsky and the Kamensky district. The story describes concrete cases. (3)


Mikhail Gorbachev has arrived at his native village Privolnoye (Stavropolye region) to help farmers establish cooperation with Americans. He also went to see his house, in which he spent his childhood, and which stood empty. After discussing the issue with his villagers, Gorbachev decided to present his house to a local church. The story describes the present. (2)

Where does the legislation in Russia diverge from morals? Nine human rights activists, lawyers, teachers, writers and entrepreneurs share their view points. (3)

The story reveals the essence of two very strong factors -- oil prices and strengthening of bureaucracy-- that affect the country' s life today. Bureaucrats' corruption threatens to the unity of Russia. (8)

The newspaper gives the names of equestrian centers in Moscow city and region (their addresses and telephones) , that teaches children and adults to ride horces. (13)


The feature story is devoted to two lovers from the Moscow region, whose Zhiguli car sank together with them five years ago, and was found only recently with two dead. bodies. (1, 4)

An apartment block will be built in the west of Moscow specially for Orthodox priests, who will be able to improve their housing conditions. The story describes the project. (1)

An unidentified assailant in the Leninsky District (Moscow region) on Friday killed former lawyer Natalya Medvedeva. The story describes how it happened. (1)

The Moscow gvt has endorsed a list of Moscow social benefit recipients, who will receive medicines either free of charge or with a 50 percent discount. The story examines the list. (1)

Krasnopresnensky Prospekt that will connect Krylatskoye with Sadovoye Koltso will be now called Zvenigorodsky by order from Mayor Yury Luzhkov, The story examines this road construction project, saying that part of it will be opened by City Day. A map. (2)

An attempt will be made in the former VDNKHa on Aug. 27 to make the biggest ice-cream around the People' s Friendship Fountain with the aim of setting up a record. The story describes the project. (2)