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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
One of Russia's two state-owned news agencies, RIA Novosti, has been subordinated to the Press Ministry where it is going "to shape and promote Russia's positive image abroad". Press Minister Mikhail Lesin said the transfer was the first step on the way to reform the state-owned mass media. The following is the text of an article by Mila Kuzina, headlined "Press Ministry acquires its own news agency" by Russian newspaper Izvestiya on 24 December:
RIA Novosti is no longer subordinated to VGTRK [All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company] Chairman Oleg Dobrodeyev. From now on its top chief is …