What the Papers Say, July 11, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Commissioners" comments on President Vladimir Putin chairing the meeting of the energy commission attended both by the president's commission on energy sector and the government's one; pp 1, 9 (1,940 words).

2. Roman Rozhkov and Roman Ivanov article headlined "Terror — 404" says despite protests by rights activists and Russian Wikipedia the State Duma is to draft a blacklist of domains considered to contain illegal information. Internet providers will be obliged to block access to the websites; pp 1, 10 (567 words).

3. Nikolai Sergeyev and Ivan Safronov article headlined "Money Gets Lost in Glonass" says a criminal case has been opened against the company Russian Space Systems, which is working on the Glonass positioning system. The companies is suspected of misspending more than 565 million rubles' (about $17 million) worth of state funds; pp 1 — 2 (886 words).

4. Yevgenia Pertseva article headlined "Stores Write Off Theft" says Russia's largest food retailers together with the Finance Ministry and auditors are drafting amendments to the tax legislation allowing them not to pay taxes on the goods stolen from stores; pp 1, 7 (667 words).

5. Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Sergei Sobyanin sent to nationwide election" says according to a poll carried out by opinion pollster VTsIOM, 50 percent of Muscovites are ready to support incumbent mayor Sergei Sobyanin at the direct mayoral election of the city head, were it to occur on the coming Sunday; p 2 (562 words).

6. Irina Granik article headlined "Government Not to Give Up Evaluation of Governors' Work" comments on the criteria for the evaluation of governors' work drafted by the presidential administration and the Regional Development Ministry; p 2 (782 words).

7. Tatyana Grishina and Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Free Trade Wins Ahead of Schedule" says the United Russia faction in the State Duma has voted for the ratification of the protocol on Russia's accession to the WTO; p 2 (832 words).

8. Viktor Khamrayev et al. report headlined "Presidential Framework Set for NGOs" says President Putin has made the controversial bill on foreign NGOs more lenient and pledged to increase financing of the organizations from the Russian budget; p 3 (903 words).

9. Maxim Ivanov et al. report headlined "State Duma to Stand Up for Criminal Law" says the State Duma is to amend the laws passed during Dmitry Medvedev's presidency turning libel from a violation subject to a fine into a crime. The opposition is worried about the regime tightening the screws; p 3 (684 words).

10. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Mikhail Prokhorov and United Russia Splitting Brand" says billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov might be forced to change the name for his party, as United Russia claims that it also calls one of its movements Civil Platform; p 3 (521 words).

11. Olga Allenova article headlined "Indigenous Transmigration" says several thousands of ethnic Circassians, who left Russia in the 19th century during the Caucasus war, intend to move from Syria to Russia; p 4 (1,094 words).

12. Olga Allenova interview with Asker Sokht, leader of a Circassian NGO in the Krasnodar region, speaking on the problems with the repatriation of Circassians into Russia; p 4 (680 words).

13. Olga Allenova interview with Ibragim Yaganov, chairman of a Circassian movement in Kabardino-Balkaria, asking for state support to their development programs; p 4 (681 words).

14. Article by Sergei Markedonov, an expert from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, in an opinion column headlined "Price of Issue" speaking on the Circassian issue; he calls on Moscow to think of repatriation to avoid land disputes between the newcomers and people already living in the regions where Circassians are moving; p 4 (353 words).

15. Oleg Rubnikovich article headlined "Fraud on Extremist Basis" says the Federal Security Service has finished a probe into nationalist writer Pyotr Khomyakov (Dr. Evil) charged with fraud and plotting a coup in Russia; p 5 (538 words).

16. Oleg Kashin article headlined "Aid Floods Krymsk" reports on repair work in the town of Krymsk most severely hit by the devastating floods; p 5 (1,072 words).

17. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Barack Obama Declares Rival's Income" says U.S. President Barack Obama has lost a competition with his rival Mitt Romney to raise money for their election campaigns, Obama's headquarters, however, are planning to make use of the scandal with Romney's alleged failure to pay taxes on time; p 6 (579 words).

18. Alexander Reutov article headlined "Parliament Fought Back From Egypt Military" says the Islamists have challenged the Egyptian military by bringing the parliament dissolved a month ago back to work; p 6 (498 words).

19. Sergei Strokan article headlined "U.S.A. and China Splitting Asia" comments on the U.S.-Chinese fight for leadership in the Asia-Pacific Region. The ASEAN forum is used by the countries to demonstrate their influence in the region; p 6 (536 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "President Bans Cheap Privatization" comments on President Putin chairing the meeting of the energy commission and notes that experts are uncertain about prospects for the privatization of Russian energy companies due to their low market cost; pp 1, 4 (817 words).

2. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Ticket to WTO Estimated at 445 billion rubles (about $13.5 billion)" says it was the opposition who made Russia's accession to the WTO completely legitimate as they appealed to the Constitutional Court that backed the move; pp 1, 3 (780 words).

3. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Alexander Bastrykin's Ticker" says the Investigative Committee is to provide first results of the probe into the deadly flood in the Krasnodar region in a week; pp 1, 3 (785 words).

4. Vladislav Maltsev article headlined "Pussy Riot Equalled to Harry Potter" says the European Court of Human Rights has received an appeal by the lawyers of the Pussy Riot punk group prosecuted for their performance at Moscow's central cathedral. Meanwhile, a group of activists have appealed to the Prosecutor General's Office demanding that a humorous award to Russian Patriarch Kirill be classified as an act of extremism; pp 1 — 2 (582 words).

5. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Scale of Governors' Effectiveness Cut" says Moscow is still working on the criteria of the evaluation of governors' work; pp 1, 4 (855 words).

6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Ukrainian Bacon Threatened With War" says Moscow has used another chance of persuading Ukraine to join the Customs Union, as Russian inspectors are checking the quality of meat and dairy products in Ukraine; pp 1, 6 (730 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Political Measurement of Calamity" says the opposition is right to demand the resignation of Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachyov after the deadly floods in the region; p 2 (470 words).

8. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Corruption in Shoulder Straps" reviews the statistic data on law violations committed within the armed forces made public by military prosecutors; p 2 (491 words).

9. Anatoly Koshkin article headlined "To Exchange Judo for Sumo" looks into the Russian-Japanese territorial problem in the light of Prime Minister Medvedev's recent visit to Kunashir; p 3 (773 words).

10. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Bolotnaya [Protest] Case Falling Apart in Front of Our Eyes" says lawyers of activists arrested over their participation in a May 6 protest in Moscow claim that the investigation is fabricating evidence against protesters; p 3 (663 words).

11. Igor Naumov article headlined "Authorities Tested by Fire, Water and Popularity Among Electorate" says Russian authorities seem to be repeating their mistakes by demanding that new housing for people who suffered from the floods be built in three months. Two years ago housing for people who lost their homes as a result of wild fires was also built quickly, and people were disappointed with its quality; p 4 (669 words).

12. Oleg Nikiforov article headlined "Is Public TV That Necessary?" analyzes statistics showing that an increasing number of young Russians prefer surfing the Internet instead of watching TV and advises the opposition to focus on the development of Web-based resources rather than on Public TV; p 5 (825 words).

13. Kirill Rodionov article headlined "Lost Chance" says the West also bears responsibility for the failure of Russian liberal reformers' efforts to build a lawful state where human rights are observed; p 5 (1,154 words).

14. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Russia's Influence in South Eastern Asia Declining" says the ASEAN forum has turned into a battle between the U.S.A. and China over the influence in the region; p 6 (569 words).

15. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Moscow Gets Down to Syrian Opposition" comments on the Syrian opposition talks with Moscow over the future of Bashar Assad's regime; p 6 (542 words).

Vedomosti

1. Oxana Gavshina et al. report headlined "He Addresses Wrong People" says the energy commission designed by Igor Sechin has not yet helped him to make decisions bypassing the government's approval. President Putin told Sechin to seek the government's approval before carrying out the privatization of Rosneftegaz; pp 1, 8 (821 words).

2. Olga Plotonova and Tatyana Voronova article headlined "Discount for Victims" says Russian banks are ready to provide people affected by the Krasnodar region floods with special treatment. People who lost their housing and jobs may be freed from paying back loans completely; p 1 (386 words).

3. Bela Lyauv and Dmitry Kazmin article headlined "Moscow Takes Its Due" says Moscow city authorities want to get the right to seize land from its current owners on the territory recently handed over to the city to allow developers build housing there; p 1 (431 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire" says Vladimir Putin's return to the president's post was treated by the law enforcement agencies as a signal to put business under additional pressure, so Putin's plans to improve the business climate in the country are unlikely to be implemented; pp 1, 4 (511 words).

5. Kirill Rogov article headlined "Results of Political Season: Borders of Putin's Power" says President Putin has chosen a wrong line in response to the protest movement as his demonstration of power and refusal to hold dialogue will result in losing most allies and supporters; p 4 (1,574 words).

6. Another editorial headlined "Engine of Commerce" says the opposition has earned political dividends by criticizing Russia's accession to the WTO; p 4 (301 words).

7. Andrei Kolesnikov commentary headlined "Political Economy: to Seek Order in Amsterdam" slams the authors of the bill on foreign-funded NGOs and notes that Russians historically have mixed feelings toward the West; p 4 (453 words).

8. Oleg Salmanov article headlined "Number of Week: 89417-6" slams the United Russia faction in the State Duma over their haste in passing the controversial first reading of the bill on Internet censorship; p 4 (280 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Tamara Shkel article headlined "Here is WTO" says the State Duma has ratified the protocol on Russia's accession to the WTO; p 1 (1,310 words).

2. Tatyana Pavlovskaya article headlined "With Packed Lunch in Hand" says the situation in Krymsk is being aggravated by the lack of true information on the flood; p 1 (1,183 words).

3. Mikhail Falaleyev article headlined "Fight on Pekhotnaya Street" says young men have beaten up the deputy chief of a police district in Moscow who told them to stop swearing in the street; p 1 (682 words).

4. Yekaterina Zabrodina article headlined "Missiles Above Head" comments on a scandal in London where residents of a block of flats have complained about missile defense elements installed on the roof of the building as part of the preparation for the London Olympics; p 8 (336 words).

5. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "Russia Gives a Free Hand?" says Moscow will no longer supply state-of-the-art arms to Syria or sign new contracts with Damascus; p 8 (683 words).

Izvestia

1. Yulia Tsoi article headlined "Public Chamber Personnel Suspected of Misuse of Public Funds" says some members of the Public Chamber are displeased with the way their funds are used; p 1 (661 words).

2. Maria Zhebit article headlined "Government to Save Money on Housing and Roads" says a number of social programs have been set aside due to anti-crisis measures adopted by the Russian government; p 1 (858 words).

3. Anastasia Alexeyevskikh and Dina Ushakova article headlined "Sberbank Reduces Personnel Ahead of Crisis" says Russia's Savings Bank, Sberbank, has started laying off employees, experts attribute the trend to the upcoming financial crisis the bank has to overcome; p 1 (690 words).

4. Interview with State Duma Deputy from A Just Russia Ilya Ponomaryov, speaking on the responsibility of the local authorities for the high death toll at the flood in Krymsk; p 2 (676 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. "Bedeviled Glonass" comments on a new round in the conflict between the Roskosmos space agency and the Russian Space Systems company, the latter has been charged with misuse of public funds; pp 1, 4 (600 words)

2. Marina Ozerova article headlined "To the Slanderers of United Russia" slams United Russia for its haste over passing the controversial bill on libel; pp 1, 3 (579 words).

3. Igor Karamzin article headlined "There Were Some Discussions, But No Measures Were Taken" says the authorities have not drawn any conclusions from the flood that hit the town of Krymsk 10 years ago and killed 109 people then. The author interviews the press secretary of the former presidential envoy in the Southern Federal District, Arkady Murzayev, who recalls the previous flood; pp 1, 2 (532 words).

4. Yekaterina Sazhneva interview with new Interior Minister of Tatarstan Artyom Khokhorin speaking on the scandal with policemen torturing a detainee and on measures taken to improve the work of the police; pp 1, 5 (2,162 words).

5. Georgy Yans article headlined "Krymsk Is a Burnt Offering" slams the Russian authorities for their failure to prevent human casualties die to natural and man-made disasters; p 2 (486 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Unsinkable Tkachyov" says that the efforts to keep Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachyov may do harm to the federal authorities; p 1 (450 words).

2. Denis Voroshilov article headlined "You Never Can Tell: What Is the Difference Between the Election Promises of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney" focuses on the U.S. election campaign; p 4 (1,300 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Yulia Latynina article headlined "Offshore Waters" says the corrupt Russian regime made the deadly flood possible in Krymsk and stresses that the authorities have not drawn any conclusions from previous disasters; p 6 (1,073 words).

2. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Putin Drawn to Munich" comments on President Putin's speech on foreign policy addressed to diplomats; p (717 words).

July 11, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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