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What the Papers Say, Aug. 20, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Dmitry Butrin and Alexandra Bayazitova article headlined "Income Is Being Made Clean" reviews anti-laundering legislation drafted by the Rosfinmonitoring financial watchdog; pp 1-2 (1, 000 words).

2. Alina Sabitova article headlined "Road to Mayoral Post Being Laid via Khimki Forest" says environmental activist Yevgenia Chirikova has decided to stand for mayor of the Moscow region town of Khimki. Some opposition figures have backed the idea while United Russia called the plans "self PR"; pp 1, 3 (450 words).

3. Svetlana Dementyeva article headlined "Risks Presented to Banks" says the Central Bank's regulators are to check the work of banks stepping up work with consumer credits; pp 1, 7 (800 words).

4. Vladislav Novy article headlined "Apple Increases Wholesale Trade in Russia" says the Apple company has registered its subsidiary in Russia to sell computers in the country. The company plans to start direct computer supplies to Moscow and St. Petersburg as early as in 2013; pp 1, 10 (600 words).

5. Natalya Bashlykova et al. report headlined "Oleg Kovalyov in Position Worse Than Governor" says the meeting of President Putin with acting Ryazan region Governor Oleg Kovalyov nominated by United Russia for the regional election has not taken place. Putin is said to have decided not to support Kovalyov due to his low rating in the region; p 2 (700 words).

6. Anton Zaritsky et al. report headlined "Parnas Not to Hamper Yabloko" says the Yabloko party and Parnas (Party of people's freedom) are holding talks over cooperation at the upcoming regional elections; p 2 (550 words).

7. Article attributed to the paper's political section headlined "Cities Adjust to Direct Elections" reviews the municipal authorities' reaction to the Russian government plans to make all cities and towns elect their mayors; p 3 (500 words).

8. Pavel Korobov article headlined "Patriarch Gives Hope to Pope" reviews the results of Russian Patriarch Kirill's visit to Poland; p 5 (350 words).

9. Alexander Reutov article headlined "Julian Assange Finds Himself in One Group With Pussy Riot" comments on a statement by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaking on the freedom of speech and a U.S. witch hunt; p 6 (550 words).

10. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Japan and China Compare Their Flags" says an argument between Japan and China over disputable islands is growing into a real conflict as a group of Japanese nationalists landed on one of the islands and erected their national flags there; p 6 (370 words).

11. Maria Yefimova article headlined "Syrian Rebels Supplied With Russian Arms" says Libya is sharing weapons it got after Colonel Gadhafi's regime was toppled with the Syrian rebels. Most of the arms are made in Russia; p 6 (250 words).

12. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Israeli President and PM Split by Operation Against Iran" says the Iranian problems have caused a rift within the Israeli leadership. The president does not support the hard line which the prime minister adheres to; p 6 (560 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Defense Deficiency" looks ahead at the cooperation agreement in the defense sector to be signed by Russia and Ukraine and notes that Russia's relations with its neighbors are now based on pragmatism and commercial benefits rather than on partnership; pp 1, 6 (600 words).

2. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Japanese Politicians Swim Further Than Life Buoys" says argument over islands in East China Sea between China and Japan may result in an armed conflict; pp 1 — 2 (450 words).

3. Igor Naumov article headlined "State Budget Sliding Down Into Debt Pit" analyzes the growing debt in the Russian banking sector being a warning signal for the country's economy; pp 1, 4 (700 words).

4. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Officials to Make Revenues Maximum Transparent" says amendments to the tax legislation drafted by the Economic Development Ministry are to give tax collectors access to individuals' bank accounts; pp 1, 4 (800 words).

5. Lidia Orlova and Vladislav Maltsev article headlined "Patriarch Kirill Tries to Reconcile Russians with Poles" reviews the results of Russian Patriarch Kirill's visit to Poland; pp 1 — 2 (450 words).

6. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "UN Mission Falls Apart Earlier Than Assad's Regime" comments on the recent developments in Syria where the powers of the UN mission have ended; pp 1 — 2 (350 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Pussy Riot and Avalanche of Absurdity" slams the stance of the authorities and the Russian Orthodox Church in the Pussy Riot trial, as well as the punk group for neglecting church traditions. The case is splitting Russian society, the author notes; p 2 (420 words).

8. Sergei Markov article headlined "Freedom Without Good Is Evil" says the Internet is trying to affect public opinion over the Pussy Riot case and is wrong in doing so as freedom should have a moral basis; p 3 (800 words).

9. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Russia Underestimates 'Shale Gas Revolution'" predicts that Russian revenues from hydrocarbons sale will fall due to growing shale gas extraction worldwide; p 4 (870 words).

10. Alexei Petrov article headlined "German Investigation Helping to Overthrow Assad" says German secret agents are reportedly assisting Syrian rebels; p 6 (270 words).

Vedomosti

1. Anastasia Kornya et al. report headlined "Sentence They Prayed For" says the Russian authorities believe the sentence to the Pussy Riot punk group to be fair, while the opposition believes the case will give rise to a new wave of protests; pp 1-2 (1, 200 words).

2. Yelena Myazina and Irina Mokrousova article headlined "Declaration and Life" says the new law on state service prohibiting officials to own property aboard is unlikely to scare anyone in Russia; pp 1, 12 (1, 500 words).

3. Yevgenia Sobol et al. report headlined "Domodedovo Against" says the owners of Moscow's Domodedovo Airport are trying to affect the decision taken by President Putin to merge Moscow airport facilities; pp 1, 8 (900 words).

4. Editorial headlined "National Cacophony" says the Pussy Riot case has become a national discussion of the state of Russian society and further development of the country; pp 1, 4 (500 words).

Izvestia

1. Anastasia Alexeyevskikh article headlined "Banks Losing Capital" reviews the recent trends of the Russian banking sector where four of the country's largest banks lost some of their capital; pp 1, 3 (750 words).

2. Anna Lyalyakina article headlined "State to Allocate 20Bln Rubles [$615M] for Public" outlines financing plan for the Russian Public TV; pp 1 — 2 (400 words).

3. Maxim Sokolov article headlined "Sad Sentence" justifies the guilty verdict in the Pussy Riot case; p 1 (400 words).

4. Pyotr Kozlov interview headlined "Mitvol to Fight With Chirikova for Khimki" says former head of the Federal Service for Natural Resources Use (Rosprirodnadzor) may run for the post of Khimki town mayor; p 2 (450 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Vladislav Vorobyov article headlined "Proud to Be Mr. 'Nyet'" sums up Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's interview for the Sky News Arabia channel on the situation in Syria; pp 1, 3 (800 words).

2. Yelena Kukol article headlined "Protecting Ruble Against Falling" says experts polled by the paper have come to the conclusion that the Russian economy would survive a fall in oil prices to below $60 a barrel; pp 1-2 (1,200 words).

3. Olga Dmitryeva article headlined "He Fled Into Computer" comments on Julian Assange's latest public statement and notes that London will find it hard to resolve the diplomatic scandal with Ecuador; p 2 (650 words).

4. Ivan Yegorov article headlined "Damned Days" looks at the conclusion of the Pussy Riot trial on Friday. An inset to the article contains comment from various public figures; p 5 (1,200 words).

5. Ivan Yegorov, Marina Alyoshina piece "One's Own Head Is Not Enough" gives a critical account of various actions in support of Pussy Riot held in Russia and abroad; p 5 (400 words).

6. Tatyana Vladykina article "Visit of Friendship" sums up Russian Patriarch Kirill's visit to Poland; p 2 (450 words).

7. Full-page interview with the head of the Federal Directorate for the Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons, Col-Gen Valery Kapashin, as the agency marks its 20th anniversary; p 8 (2,200 words).

8. Yevgeny Solovyov's interview with a member of China's State Council, Dai Bingguo, who is beginning a visit to Russia today. The interview touches upon Russian-Chinese relations and the situation in Syria; p 10 (1,400 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Lina Panchenko and Svetlana Samodelova article headlined "What Awaits Pussy Riot in Prison" looks ahead at the future of the three members of the Pussy Riot punk band sentenced to two years in a penal colony; pp 1-2 (600 words).

2. Mikhail Rostovsky commentary headlined "Triumph of Bolshevism" criticizes the Russian authorities over the prosecution of Pussy Riot, which has created a major problem for Russia's image abroad; pp 1-2 (450 words).

3. Denis Larionov article "Verdict to PR Lives Up to Expectations" outlines observers' comments on the conclusion of the Pussy Riot trial; p 3 (650 words).

4. Alexander Dobrovolsky interview with academician Igor Reshetin, who has served a prison term on charges of handing over secret information to China. Reshetin speaks on his time in prison and his work after his release; pp 1, 5 (1,300 words).

5. Vasily Mironov article headlined "Petrol Prices Getting Ready for Leap" says petrol prices are expected to rise as petrol retailers are currently bearing losses due to the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service's regulations; pp 1, 4 (450 words).

6. Andrei Yashlavsky article headlined "UN is Leaving Syria" comments on the recent developments in Syria, as UN observers are leaving the country; p 2 (300 words).

7. Alina Fadeyeva article headlined "No Way to Retreat: Khimki Behind Us" says environmental activist Yevgenia Chirikova has agreed to take part in the Khimki mayoral election, a number of prominent opposition figures have supported her; pp 1, 3 (450 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Mikhail Moshkin article "We Shall Not Forget, But We Shall Forgive" gives details of a joint statement signed by Russian Patriarch Kirill and the head of Polish Bishops' Conference, Josef Michalik, during Kirill's visit to Poland; p 4 (900 words).

2. Arkady Dubnov article "Dushanbe Makes Concessions to Moscow" looks at latest developments in the talks between Russia and Tajikistan on the presence of the Russian military base in that country; p 4 (600 words).

3. Igor Kryuchkov article "Algerian 'Elder' to Deal With Syrian Crisis" profiles Lakhdar Brahimi who has been appointed the UN's new envoy for Syria and looks at the implications of his appointment; p 5 (700 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Margarita Alyokhina article "They Prayed in the Wrong Way" looks at the conclusion of the Pussy Riot trial, details actions in support of the three members of the band; pp 1, 5 (1,600 words).

RBK Daily

1. Svetlana Makunina et al. article "Precedent in Balaclavas" looks at how the Pussy Riot trial and verdict has split Russian society; pp 1, 3 (1,700 words).

2. Sergei Kovalchenko piece "Forcing Into Dialogue" gives an account of an opposition White Forum that was held outside St. Petersburg over the weekend; p 4 (600 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Maria Yepifanova et al. article headlined "When Sentence Was Announced, Street Was Confused" reports on proceedings outside Moscow's Khamovnichesky District Court on Friday and the initial public reaction to the verdict in the Pussy Riot case; pp 2-3 (1,100 words).

2. Yelena Kostyuchenko article "Wash Your Hands After Court" details the conclusion of the Pussy Riot trial; pp 3-4 (950 words).

3. Alexei Polikovsky article headlined "Police Rule" slams the Russian authorities over the persecution of Pussy Riot; p 5 (1,000 words).

4. Yelena Masyuk interview with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of the Pussy Riot members sentenced to two years in prison, speaking on the trial and the political situation in Russia, p 6 (700 words).

5. Yelena Kostyuchenko interview with other members of the Pussy Riot group speaking on their sentence; p 7 (700 words).

6. Andrei Kolesnikov commentary headlined "Mirror Cracks" says the Pussy Riot sentence has aggravated a rift within Russian society and the current authorities are responsible for that; p 10 (350 words).

7. Boris Tumanov article headlined "President of 'Mini-Russia'" comments on plans to set up a theme park in the Moscow region dedicated to Russian economic development and notes that President Putin advocating the project is living in an unreal world, as he is ignoring urgent domestic problems; p 11 (400 words).

Aug. 20, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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