Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 2, 2001, p. 2

The St. Petersburg Prosecutor’s Office has officially charged Mikhail Mirilashvili, a well-known businessman, with conspiring to commit abduction. Consequently, Mirilashvili will remain in custody.

Mirilashvili was arrested on January 23. Three more suspects in this criminal case were detained on January 31: Vitaly Mamaev, Alexander Aksenov, and Dmitry Fyodorov, all security guards at the Konti corporation. Aksenov was a security guard at Mirilashvili’s head office in St. Petersburg.

Three of Mirilashvili’s assistants are also in detention: Victor Petrov, head of the Konti Group security service; Andrei Demenko, deputy foreign business manager at Konti; and Yevgeny Kazemirchuk, Mirilashvili’s bodyguard.

Yury Novolodsky, Mirilishvili’s lawyer, considers the charges brough by the St. Petesburg prosecutor’s office to be “nonsense”. He refused to reveal whom the businessman had allegedly conspired to kidnap, saying this was confidential information.


Izvestia, February 2, 2001, p. 3

A branch office of the Foreign Ministry will be opened in Yekaterinburg. It will coordinate international and foreign trade for the regions which comprise the Urals federal district.

Vladislav Tumanov, deputy presidential envoy for the Urals federal district, recently discussed the details of this plan with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. If this idea is approved by the Cabinet, the Foreign Ministry will open branches in each region of the Urals federal district. Consequently, Moscow will take over all diplomatic functions of the regions. Petr Latyshev is the first presidential envoy who is trying to comply with Putin’s request to restrain the ardor of regional leaders in this field.

It’s not surprising that the first branch office of the Foreign Ministry will be opened in the Urals federal district. The regions in this district are very active in foreign trade. The Urals district regions produce and export oil, gas, and products of the machine-building and defense industries. Each governor aims for exports without intermediaries, to keep the revenues in the region.

It is very likely that this situation will change. Russia will be represented in the West by officials of the Foreign Ministry.


Izvestia, February 2, 2001, p. 2

President Vladimri Putin arrived at the Central Clinical Hospital at 10 a.m. on February 1, to wish his predecessor Boris Yeltsin a happy birthday. The president expressed regret that Yeltsin’s birthday had coincided with his hospitalization. Putin expressed the hope that in the near future they will be able to meet elsewhere, in a large company of their supporters.

Doctors say that Yeltsin’s health is stable; the danger presented by a viral infection is past. However, he still has a fever, and will remain in hospital for a few more days.

Yeltsin also received the congratulations of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov and Alexander Voloshin, head of the Presidential Administration. Yeltsin’s entire family came to the hospital to wish the former president a happy 70th birthday.


Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 2, 2001, p. 2

The creation of the Tax Police has turned out to be a very profitable business venture for the state. Each ruble spent on the Federal Tax Police Service has returned 22 rubles to the treasury. On average, each tax police officer has returned 1.27 million rubles to state coffers.

These figures were given by Kuzma Salenkov, Chief of the Main Operational Department of the Federal Tax Police Service. According to Salenkov, last year the Tax Police detected 33,800 violations of tax regulations. The number of such crimes has increased seven-fold in recent years. In 1998 there were only 4,200 such violations. The Tax Police have discovered 66.1 billion rubles in tax evasion, of which 40.3 million rubles has been recovered.