What the Papers Say, Aug. 15, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Ksenia Dementyeva and Alexandra Bayazitova article headlined "Sberbank Works Without Insurance" says the Russian Savings Bank, Sberbank, has managed to spend nearly half of all money borrowed from individuals on saving certificates without any state insurance using it position of the state-controlled financial institution; p 1 (862 words).

2. Pyotr Sokovich and Sergei Mashkin article headlined "All Borders Now Open for Terrorist" says only the European Court of Human Rights can prevent the extradition of Chechen national Adam Osmayev charged with plotting the attempted assassination Russian President Putin from Ukraine to Russia; pp 1, 4 (891 words).

3. Kirill Melnikov and Yelena Kiseleva article headlined "Igor Sechin Takes 2nd Seat" says Igor Sechin has become chairman of the Rosneftegaz oil company board of directors, however the government has yet to approve the appointment; pp 1, 9 (630 words).

4. Yelena Kiseleva article headlined "Reconnaissance in Varvarka [Ulitsa]" says the son of the Foreign Intelligence Service head Mikhail Fradkov, Pavel, is set to become the head of Rosimushchestvo, the Federal Property Management Agency; pp 1, 9 (646 words).

5. Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Vladimir Putin Ready to Move to Big Moscow" says President Putin has discussed the project for the enlargement of Moscow with government officials; p 2 (654 words).

6. Grigory Tumanov and Alexander Asadchy article headlined "Case Smells Like Heroin" says the case of opposition activist Taisia Osipova, who is accused of selling drugs, is falling apart as one of the witnesses admitted that the police could have forged evidence on finding the heroin in the woman's possession; p 4 (606 words).

7. Maria Yefimova article headlined "Damascus Excluded From Muslim World" says the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has suspended Syria's membership in the body. Damascus in fact has only two Islamic allies left — Iran and Algeria; p 6 (389 words).

8. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Swedish Come to Grips With Essence of Saudi Regime" comments on a scandal between Sweden and Saudi Arabia after the former called the Arab country a dictatorship; p 6 (511 words).

9. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Tribal Zone to Be Annexed to Pakistan" says Pakistan is preparing an anti-terrorist operation against the Taliban; p 6 (480 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Mikhail Sergeyev and Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Space Hole" says the discussion of the recent failures of the Russian space sector chaired by Prime Minister Medvedev has shown that officials have not come up with any ideas how to resolve the problem; pp 1, 4 (968 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Gray Area of Total Mistrust" reviews recent protests like the blocking of roads and hunger strikes used by individuals and groups of people to attract public attention to their problems. People have lost trust in government institutions completely, the author concludes; pp 1, 3 (892 words).

3. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "United Russia Members Attack Independent TV Project" says the ruling United Russia party opposes the opposition's plans to launch an independent online TV channel, while opposition bloggers have accused the ruling party of using fake Twitter messages to increase the popularity of their websites; pp 1, 3 (773 words).

4. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "One Can Pay Public Utilities Bills Without Commission" says an increasing number of small financial companies are competing with Russian banks for the business of clients who are paying their public utilities bills. Small companies do not charge commission fees for the payments; pp 1, 4 (891 words).

5. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Scandalously Comical Campaign" reports on the parliamentary election campaign in Ukraine; pp 1, 6 (867 words).

6. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "Rebels Open 2nd Front in Syrian Sky" says Syria is getting ready to use Russian banks to circumvent international sanctions against it; p 7 (595 words).

7. Editorial headlined "New Iron Curtain" says Germany is questioning the expedience of the annual Russian-German forum, the St. Petersburg Dialogue. The article calls on the EU not to prevent its citizens from communicating with Russians, as it is the only way to promote European values in Russia, p 2 (519 words).

8. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Indian-Buryat Anti-Terrorist Front" reviews the results of the Russian-Indian joint military exercise codenamed Indra 2012 held in the Buryatia republic; p 2 (562 words).

9. Mikhail Vyugin article headlined "Urals Officials Clamp Down on District Papers" says local press outlets have come under attack in four municipal districts of the Sverdlovsk region despite laws guaranteeing more freedom to local media; p 5 (372 words).

10. Anton Khodosevich article headlined "Sergei Lavrov's Special Mission" says Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is visiting Minsk is to explain to the Belarusian authorities that they should not go too far in their disagreements with the EU; p 6 (585 words).

11. Vladimir Skosyrev interview with Indian ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra, titled "India Is Committed to Principles of Secular State," who speaks about the economic and political development of the country, which is marking its 65th anniversary of independence, and the state of Indian-Russian relations; p 7 (614 words).

Vedomosti

1. Mikhail Overchenko et al. article headlined "Hopes for Russia" comments on reports by the U.S. press saying that Syria has asked Russian banks for help in getting around international financial sanctions against it. Although Russian banks have not started dealing with Damascus, they would not face sanctions even if they decide to help Syria; pp 1-2 (846 words).

2. Bella Lyauv and Dmitry Kazmin article headlined "Shoigu Not Giving Land Away" reports on measures taken by new Moscow region Governor Sergei Shoigu to settle simmering land issues in the Moscow region; p 1 (361 words).

3. Oksana Gavshina et al. report headlined "He Calls Himself Chairman" says Rosneft president Igor Sechin has been elected the chairman of the board of directors of Rosneftegaz, the oil company has reported, however Prime Minister Medvedev has not yet approved the appointment; p 1 (428 words).

4. Editorial headlined "No Place for Money" reviews the problem of the lack of investments in Russia; pp 1, 4 (551 words).

5. Natalya Kostenko and Anastasia Kornya article headlined "4 Brave Souls" says that four recently registered parties are to take part in regional gubernatorial elections; p 2 (450 words).

6. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "Defenders From TV" says many public figures have applied for membership in the presidential Human Rights Council; p 2 (400 words).

7. Article by opposition politician Vladimir Milov headlined "Public Politics: Reaching Out to Real Voters" says he does not want to take part in opposition performances without any political agenda, but wants to discuss the reforms Russia needs instead; p 4 (409 words).

8. Maxim Glikin article headlined "Figure of Week: 1 Day Before War" says the controversial film on the beginning of the Russian-Georgian war in 2008 has shown that officials who are associates of President Vladimir Putin are entitled to criticize PM Dmitry Medvedev; p 4 (345 words).

Izvestia

1. Anna Akhmadiyeva article headlined "Playboy Wants Pussy Riot on Front Page" says Playboy Ukraine wants to print photos of Pussy Riot punk band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova on its cover; p 1 (366 words).

2. Anastasia Kashevarova and Anton Lednev article headlined "One More Ombudsman" says another ombudsman in charge of ethnic issues may be appointed in Russia; pp 1-2 (607 words).

3. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev article headlined "Georgian Villages to Be Demolished in South Ossetia" says several Georgian villages abandoned by their residents in South Ossetia are to be demolished, the authorities of the breakaway Georgian republic have decided; pp 1-2 (514 words).

4. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Okhlobystin to Lead Right Cause to Elections" says actor and nonserving Russian Orthodox Church priest Ivan Okhlobystin has been appointed head of the Right Cause party's supreme council; p 2 (687 words).

5. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Communists Create TV Channel for Themselves" says the Communist party plans to launch an online TV channel; p 3 (692 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Tatyana Zykova article headlined "Bushel Beats Barrel" comments on growing food prices, grains in particular; pp 1,5 (656 words).

2. Timofei Borisov article headlined "Whom Do You Live With?" details a decree signed by the FSB head obliging people who are seeking civil service or who aspire to work at the Federal Security Service or any other law-enforcement agency to provide information on their relatives and friends; pp 1,3 (495 words).

3. Anna Bondarenko et al. report headlined "Kiosks Under Pressure" says newspaper kiosks are being closed in many Russian regions, so people have less access to the press; pp 1,4 (733 words).

4. Vitaly Pyotrov and Anna Zakatnova article headlined "6 People for One Seat" comments on preparations for gubernatorial elections, which will be held in five Russian regions in autumn. Newly set up parties want to take part in the voting as well as political old timers; p 2 (472 words).

5. Andrei Vasyanin article headlined "Concert by Orders" says more Russian pop stars have condemned the Pussy Riot performance. A verdict in the case is due to be delivered on Aug. 17; p 7 (801 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Sergei Titov article headlined "Gennady Gudkov's Persecution of Church Remembered" says opposition MP Gennady Gudkov has been accused by a France-based Russian priest of persecuting the church while he was working for the KGB; p 3 (350 words).

1. Rinat Nizamov interview with presidential envoy to the Urals Federal District Igor Kholmanskikh speaking on his work; p 5 (1,201 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Putin vs. Putin" comments on the first 100 days of President Putin's third term in office and says there has been no development of political processes in Russia; pp 1, 9 (2,918 words).

2. Yekaterina Sveshnikova article headlined "Where Does a Priest Get a Sports BMW?" reports on a road accident caused by Russian Orthodox church priest in Moscow; pp 1-2 (1,291 words).

3. Marina Ozerova article headlined "Why Has Gudkov Become Key Target?" looks into business and political problems faced by opposition MP Gennady Gudkov; pp 1, 3 (667 words).

4. Mikhail Vinogradov article headlined "Putin Begins And?" looks at the political challenges before Vladimir Putin; p 2 (931 words).

5. Yulia Kalinina interview with A Just Russia member Dmitry Gudkov, who describes an opposition online TV project; p 3 (467 words).

6. Igor Savelyev article headlined "Vladimir Vladimirovich, Time for Jail" says Russians fed up with corruption want President Putin to start tackling problems at all levels, starting with municipal ones; p 3 (1,152 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Vladimir Pastukhov article headlined "State of Lumpen Proletariat Dictatorship " slams the present Russian regime for breeding people without initiative and unwilling to work; pp 3-5 (4,193 words).

2. Andrei Uspensky article headlined "Will You Bring Me a Gold Medal?" analyzes the performance of the Russian Olympic team; p 23 (835 words).

3. Vladimir Mozgovoy article headlined "Games Over :(" praises the organization of the London Olympics; p 24 (899 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Yulia Savina article headlined "Picnic on Side of Protest" reports on the growing number of summer discussion camps set up by the opposition in different parts of Russia; pp 1-2 (1,102 words).

2. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "10 Applicants for One Seat" says there are more candidates than expected who want to join the presidential Human Rights Council, even after the withdrawal of the majority of human rights activists; p 2 (600 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Darya Luganskaya interview with Ivan Okhlobystin, who recently became the head of the supreme council of the Right Cause party. The showman speaks on his ideology and slams the Pussy Riot performance; p 1 (750 words).

2. Irina Novikova article headlined "Capital Awaits Opposition Weekend" says that opposition activity will be on the rise again during the forthcoming weekend as civil activists plan various rallies including one in support of Pussy Riot punk band; p 2 (500 words).

3. "Tandem 2.0" reviews the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev 100 days into Putin's third presidential term; p 7 (400 words).

RBK Daily

1. Yevgeny Basmanova and Yekaterina Belkina article headlined "Syrian Oil to Flow Past Sanctions" says Russian banks may help the Syrian regime get around international sanctions; pp 1, 4 (450 words).

2. Commentary by Nikolai Levichev, chairman of A Just Russia party, headlined "Olympics: Victory Not the Most Important Thing" analyses the performance of Russian athletes at the London Olympic Games; p 4 (600 words).

Trud

1. Sergei Frolov article headlined "Three Lots of 100" compares the first 100 days of Putin's first, second and third presidencies, saying that he has subscribed to the same approach as before this time around; p 2 (350 words).

Aug. 15, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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