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Press Review

Izvestia
Kommersant
Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Krasnaya Zvezda
Komsomolskaya Pravda
Moskovsky Komsomolets


Izvestia
www.izvestia.ru

A story describes the latest developments in Iraq, reporting that Baghdad intends to apply to the UN Security Council with a request to condemn the United States as a terrorist state. All central newspapers devote extensive coverage to the war. (1, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1-5, Kommersant, 1,3, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1, 3, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1,4, Vremya MN, 1, 2, Trud, 1,3, Pravda, 1,3, Sovetskaya Rossiya, 1,3, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 2-5, MK, 2

In an interview, U.S. Admiral Steven Baker, who fought in the Gulf War Iraq 12 years ago and who now works at the Defense Information Center, talks about current U.S. military tactics and speaks about differences between the first and second wars in the Persian Gulf. (1)

Famed photographer Helmut Newton, 82, whose photo display in Moscow on Monday will open the Festival "Fashion and Style in Photography," met with journalists Friday. A story describes the meeting. (1,Kommersant, 9, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 23, MK, 1)

The war on Iraq has already provoked a big regional crisis, with Turkey in its center. Turkey's parliament has actually sanctioned bringing Turkish troops into Iraqi Kurdistan. This decision has made the European Union indignant. A story comments on the issue. (2, Vremya MN, 2)

The ecological consequences of the war in Iraq will not affect Russia, even if chemical or bacteriological weapons are used. The war is fraught with many serious ecological problems for Iraq and its neighbors. A story examines several such problems. (2)

Washington has made it known that after it establishes control over the whole of Iraq, it will "deal" with North Korea, which is developing ballistic missiles, according to secret intelligence reports. A story describes the American plans. (2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1,4)

The number of crimes and fatalities due to hazing in the Russian army has considerably decreased over the past year, the Defense Ministry said Friday. Reform of the military press is needed, above all the newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda, which is no longer interesting either for servicemen or the president. A story elaborates on the need to reform military newspapers and magazines. (3)

The General Staff has sent army units a secret directive with a demand to improve the quality of commanders' relationships with their subordinates. This is the only thing the military can do in response to the president's demand to solve the problem of hazing in the army. A story critically examines the directive, focusing on the army's reaction. (3)

A story looks at amendments to the four draft bills concerning elections and the mass media. The bills were submitted to the State Duma by the president. The focus is major provisions of the draft bill on mass media. (3, Vremya MN, 5)

President Putin signed a decree Friday posthumously awarding the Orders of Courage to two Chechen officials. A story describes their heroic deeds. (3, Kommersant, 2)

While speaking in the state Duma on Friday, Defense Minister Igor Ivanov stressed that the U.S.-led "coalition of the willing" has absolutely no legal grounds for military action against Iraq. A story comments on Ivanov's speech. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3,

President Putin said Friday that the military operation in Iraq is a potential threat for the Commonwealth of Independent States. Iraq was a major topic he discussed with security council secretaries of the Collective Security Treaty. Brief. (3, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 3, Kommersant, 3)

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko appointed Sergei Martynov Foreign Minister on Friday. Former Minister Mikhail Khvostov has been appointed Belarussian Ambassador to the USA. Brief. (3)

Newly appointed presidential envoy in the Northwestern federal district, Valentina Matviyenko, met Friday with St. Petersburg governor Vladimir Yakovlev and Komi head Vladimir Torlopov. A brief looks at the issues discussed. (3, Vremya MN, 1)

On Friday the chairman of the Union of Right Forces (SPS) Executive Committee Eldar Yanbukhtin resigned after deciding to join the United Russia party. Brief. (3, Kommersant, 5)

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has drafted a bill concerning a new system of tax collection from small businesses. Its major idea is a transfer of taxes from small businesses to the regions and the municipalities. A story examines the draft being discussed now by State Duma committees, saying that it has chances to be passed. (4)

On Friday the State Duma passed in the second reading the draft bill on the fundamentals of the federal housing policy. A story comments on the document, focusing on a controversial provision, which puts forth the possibility of evicting tenants who do not pay rent. (4, Kommersant, 7, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1,2, Vremya MN, 1,5, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 8, MK, 1,2)

The State Fishery Committee has endorsed the Sakhalin Regional Fishing Council's decision on fishing quotas that fishermen had been awaiting for more than a month. A story reveals the essence of the decision, saying why fishermen were displeased. (4)

On Friday Ferrari announced its financial results for 2002. The company's profits halved. A story gives figures to illustrate the point, focusing on how analysts explain major reasons and noting a high demand for the company's automobiles in Russia. (4)

On Friday the Finance Ministry submitted to the government a package of reworked bills concerning property taxes. A brief names the four bills that have been reworked. (4)

The cargo turnover of all types of transport in January-February 2003 amounted to 665.2 billion tons/kilometers, with a 6.7-percent increase compared to the figure for the same period last year. A brief offers several other figures on the cargo turnover. (4)

According to the State Statistics Committee, vodka production in January and February 2003 decreased by 3.8 percent compared to the figure for the same period last year. The brief offers several other figures. (4)

IKEA plans to open its first furniture shop in the Leningrad region in late 2003 (Dec. 12). Its construction will be launched on Monday March 24. The project will cost between $40 million and $45 million. Brief. (4)

The Dubna United Institute of Nuclear Studies has completed a unique experiment that allows scientists to conclude that there are considerably more chemical elements than indicated on the periodic table. A story examines the experiment and its positive results. (5)

Russian scientists plan to organize a new drift ice research station that will be launched in late April. The project's aim is to resume scientific exploration in the Arctic. Brief. (6)

In an interview, two psychologists talk about how to teach children to play and how playing in childhood affects people's adult life. (7)

After 50 years of vacillation, the Academy of Sciences has officially acknowledged the existence of political science. In this context, the academy will form its new departments. A story describes how these scientists worked underground in Soviet times. (7)

The UN General Assembly has declared the International Decade of Northern Nations. Russia also has taken part in this movement. The magazine Severniye Prostory, or Northern Expanses, has sponsored a six-volume publication from the series "Northern Library of School Pupils." The books have been published within the framework of the federal program The Children of the North. In an interview, Severniye Prostory deputy editor-in-chief Tatyana Yemelyanova talks about this great project as Russia's contribution to the international program. (7)

All secure facilities in Moscow have increased security on account of both the war in Iraq and the Sunday's constitutional referendum in Chechnya. A story describes the special measures. (9)

A newspaper offers an extensive leisure and entertainment program in the city for the spring school vacations that begin on March 24. (9)

Unidentified assailants on Kutuzovsky Prospekt killed two and injured several other visitors in a sushi bar Friday night. A story gives details. (10, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 6, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 7, MK, 1)

Kommersant
www.kommersant.ru

World oil prices continued to fall Friday. Brent cost less than $25 a barrel. If this tendency continues, the story notes, then the price will fall to $20 per barrel in several days. A story looks at the situation on the world oil market, saying how adversely it will affect the Russian budget. (1, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 3, Vremya MN, 4)

A story reports on how France and Germany have gained financially from the war in Iraq, against which they vigorously protested. (1,7)

The State Duma passed a resolution Friday drafted by the Duma's International Affairs Committee condemning the U.S. aggression against Iraq. A story comments on the document. (1,2)

The deputy prime ministers of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine in Astana held a second session Friday to discuss the implementation of agreements signed by their presidents on Feb. 23 on forming the general economic free trade zone. A story describes the session and its decisions. (2)

Demonstrations against the war in Iraq took place in many countries Friday. A story describes some of them. (3)

The war in Iraq has led to a serious split among European Union members. A story asserts that after last week's EU summit in Brussels, a single European foreign policy is unlikely to be proposed any time soon. (3)

The referendum on the Chechen constitution and on the bills concerning the elections of the president and parliament of Chechnya is expected to take place on Sunday. (5,Rossiiskaya Gazeta, 1, Krasnaya Zvezda, 1 Trud, 1,2, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 6)

The TNT-Teleset board of directors on March 20 elected Gazprom-Media director-general Alexander Dybal to the post of chairman of the TNT Board. Dybal said that TNT, starting 2004, will become a profit-making channel. Brief. (6)

Wimm-Bill-Dann Foodstuffs has sold a big package of stock to United Burlington Investment Limited. United Burlington bought a 6.9483-percent stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann from private shareholder Alexander Timokhins. Brief. (6)

The Economic Development Ministry supports the holding of an auction for the right to exploit the Sukhoi Log gold deposit in the Irkutsk region. Brief. (6)

London Lord-Mayor Gavin Arthur wrapped up his visit to Moscow on Saturday. In an interview, he shares good impressions about his visit, about his meetings in Moscow and issues he discussed with Moscow leaders. (7)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
www.ng.ru

Nezavisimaya Gazeta offers the full text of President Vladimir Putin's statement made in the Kremlin on March 20 regarding the launch of the U.S. military operation against Iraq. (1, 2)

In an article, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow tries to justify his country's war against Iraq, saying that it will not affect U.S.-Russian relations, because the two countries have much in common. (1, 4)

No one doubts that, apart removing Saddam Hussein from power, Washington's goal is also to seize major oil deposits, including those where Russian companies operated. The divvying up of Iraqi oil will probably take place, but it's uncertain what role Moscow will play. An article examines Moscow's concerns. (1, 4)

Alexei Pushkov, host of the television program "Postskriptum," examines what it would mean for Russia to support the United States in its military operation against Iraq. (2)

Will the war in Iraq be an issue in upcoming election campaigns? Can political parties use the issue to their advantage? Leaders from five political parties give their opinions. (2)

In an interview, Fyodor Ladygin, former Main Intelligence Board head, shares his views on the role of the Russian special services in light of the latest developments in Iraq. (4)

War developments on March 20 in the Persian Gulf are published in chronological order. (4)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta military analyst Yevgeny Verlin examines many negative consequences of the U.S. led military operation in Iraq. (5)

The international press believes that the military operation in Iraq will drag on. An article cites extracts from five leading Western newspaper. (5)

An article reports on how 20 world leaders have responded to the beginning of the war in Iraq. (5)

Rossiiskaya Gazeta
www.rg.ru

Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin Friday told journalists that, in his opinion, the government has taken all necessary measures to prevent the war in Iraq from negatively affecting the incomes of ordinary Russians. An article comments on his statement and describes how lowering oil prices can affect the domestic economy. (1, 3)

An article discusses worldwide dissemination of information about military developments in Iraq? (1, 4)

In an interview, Dmitry Lvov, director of the Viral Institute of the Academy of Medical Sciences, talks about new fatal pneumonia strain that has emerged in southeast Asia. (2)

In an interview, Nuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumayntsev shares his view on possible consequences of the US-led military action against Iraq from the point of view of maintaining collective security in the region. (3)

From a military-professional viewpoint, the war against Iraq began a month before March 20 when more than 1,000 American and several hundred British saboteurs were sent to Iraq with special assignments, 250 of them being specially trained to assassinate Saddam Hussein. Colonel-General Valery Manilov, head of the State Duma Defense Committee, examines that undeclared U.S. aggression. (3)

Despite all warnings, Americans have used their ground troops in Iraq. A story examines Iraqi forces that are resisting the American and British troops. (3)

Mayor Yury Luzhkov late last year proposed resuming discussions on the old project of reversing part of the flow of West Siberian rivers to Central Asia. The idea has prompted various responses. Omsk regional governor Leonid Polezhayev shares his view on the project. (6)

Latvia has opened a consulate in Kaliningrad, but Kaliningraders should go to Moscow for visas starting March 1. Why? In an interview Laura Mezetska, head of the consulate at the embassy of Latvia in Russia, answers this question, focusing on several other issues connected with crossing the Latvian-Russian border. (9)

According to the State Statistics Committee, wage arrears throughout Russia have exceeded the March 2002 figure and reached 34 billion and 703 million rubles. In February alone the wage debt increased by 4.5 percent. Brief. (9)

The Health Ministry will deliver aid to Chechnya, irrespective of political reforms in the Republic. This was stated by Deputy Minister Viktor on Friday, who said that the ministry has worked out a special program aimed at restoring the health care system in Chechnya up to the year 2004. A story looks at several aspects of the program. (9)

Krasnaya Zvezda

The Audit Chamber has checked how the federal program of providing servicemen with apartments is being implemented. What the chamber found is that over the past 5 years, the number of servicemen without their own housing increased by 7 percent rather than decreased. Today they number 173.6 thousand people. A story examines this acute issue, trying to find an explanation to such a situation. (1,2)

Komsomolskaya Pravda
www.kp.ru

This year's Oscars, scheduled for March 23, will be one of the most restrained ones in the 75-year Oscar history due to the war in Iraq. A story looks at its sad features. (21, 2, 22, 18, Vremya MN, 1,8)

Washington has launched a re-carving of the world with Iraq. The US-led military operation is actually the first colonial war of the 21st century. A story describes the essence of the operation, focusing on how Russia should react. (21,3)

Over the past 10 years the United States of America has been conducting three large-scale military operations. A story features them all, looking at troops that were used.(21,4)

The new provision on military-medical expertise went into force last week. A story comments on this vitally significant document for army draftees. A list of diseases that relieves young people from the army service. (21,5)

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko (on a hotline) answers numerous questions about the future fate of the Belarus-Russia union, about two major obstacles on the way to creating the union and about several other aspects relating to Belarus-Russia integration. (21,6,7)

In an interview composer Sergei Galoyan talks about how he has managed to create the pop music duo Tatu with an artificial image of lesbians. (21,8,9)

In an interview Savik Shuster, host of weekly NTV program "Svoboda Slova," talks about his program, its participants and problems. He also says what price he has to pay for his television "Olymp." Televizor Supplement. (21,4)

What entertainment programs are awaiting Moscow school pupils during their spring vacations from March 23-March 30? Dosug Supplement. (21,27, MK, 3)

President Putin made a statement at a meeting with high-ranking officials in the Kremlin on March 20 in connection with the US-led military action against Iraq. The full text of the president's statement. (22, 4)

A snow-storm, minus-16 degree weather and ice-covered roads on March 20 left many Muscovites injured. Bad weather caused many road accidents and numerous traffic jams in the city. A story gives terrible figures to illustrate the point. (22, 1,6, MK, 2)

The icon of the Mother of God will be brought to the Moscow Saint Danilov Monastery from the Pokrovsky Cathedral in Serpukhov on Monday March 24. The icon that was made in the 14th century heals people suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction and smoking. A story describes this miracle-working iron. (22, 7)

Bank of Moscow, the second largest bank after Sberbank, has amassed more than 25 billion rubles of private individuals' accounts. The volume of their deposits last year more than tripled. President Andrei Borodin stated that his bank this does not plan to lower the pace of the growth rates. (22,7)

The Moscow Inter-Bank Currency Exchange and United Telecom signed an agreement late last week on pushing a new technology to the market that makes it possible to receive exchange and news information without delays throughout Russia. A story describes the new pager. (22,7)

Roman Vilfand, Director of the Hydro-Meteorological Service Center, examines the Moscow weather in the next six months, saying that summer will be hot and dry. (22, 9)

The best Soviet spy, KGB Major-General Rem Krasilnikov, has died at the age of 76. A story describes his career. (22, 9)

The World Meteorological Organization emerged on March 23, 1950. The first system of meteorological and magnetic observations was created in Russia in 1727 at the initiative of the Academy of Sciences. Brief. (22,9)

Moskovsky Komsomolets
www.mk.ru

Doctors say that people with psychological problems often feel bad in spring. Many cases happening in the State Duma can illustrate the point. A story describes one such case that happened with Communist deputy Nikolai Ivanov last week when he fell asleep in a bathroom stall.(1,2)

Moscow specialists at the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems have created unique boots for bed-stricken patients that allow them to imitate walking on the ground. A story reveals the essence of the principle of so-called "passive walking," saying that some foreigners got interested in such boots that will be demonstrated at the 2nd European Congress in Berlin on March 27. (1)

The Justice Ministry this week is expected to submit to the State Duma a draft bill on holding protest rallies, pickets and mass marches. A story examines the draft, saying that if it passes, demonstrators will be banned from protesting near the president's residences or near the foreign missions. (2)

Iraqi Ambassador in Moscow, Doctor Abbas, attended two TV programs Thursday -- Pervy Kanal's "Main Instinct" and NTV's Svoboda Slova, both of which he left indignantly left early. A story gives details. (2)

According to results of the OSCE's recent checks, human rights are non-existent in Turkmenistan. A story comments on the commission's conclusions. (2



In an interview U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow reveals the essence of this US-led war against Iraq, saying that other situations may emerge in the future when America will find it necessary to use force. The ambassador also examines possible political consequences of the defeat of Saddam Hussein. (5)

In an interview Iraqi Ambassador in Moscow, Abbas Khalaf, says that he would like to assure all that the war for Americans will not be a pleasant outing and that the ground operation will become a real slaughter for American and British troops, because Iraqi soldiers are willing to defend their native land to the end. (5)

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