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What the Papers Say, Aug. 21, 2012

Igor Tabakov


1. Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "Using Lakhta Method" says that the St. Petersburg governor has authorized construction of Gazprom's skyscraper in the city despite protests by the public and UNESCO; pp 1-2 (891 words).

2. Ilya Barabanov article headlined "External and Defense Policy to Be Made More Global" says the editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Politics magazine, Fyodor Lukyanov, is expected to be appointed new chairman of the council for external and defense policy; pp 1, 3 (558 words).

3. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Measure of Severance" says the European Court of Human Rights has protested against the planned extradition of Chechen national Adam Osmayev from Ukraine to Russia where he is facing a trial on charges of plotting an attempt on the life of President Vladimir Putin; pp 1, 5 (544 words).

4. Pyotr Rudenko et al. report "Closed for Ban" says the Russian Federal Service for Financial Markets has issued sanctions against the Transstroi private pension fund that failed to pay its office rent on time; pp 1, 8 (698 words).

5. Sofya Samokhina article headlined "Boris Titov Distributes Assistants Among Branches" says business ombudsman Boris Titov has appointed ombudsmen in charge of different branches of economy; p 2 (561 words).

6. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "Opposition Grows Up to Fair Elections" says an election campaign for the opposition coordination council has begun. The organization is to focus on planning protest activities; p 3 (498 words).

7. Alina Sabitova article headlined "Gennady Gudkov Ready to Fight Against Repression" says that opposition MP Gennady Gudkov is going to set up an anti-repression movement, AntiGULAG; p 3 (464 words).

8. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Everything Goes on in Accordance With Clan" says that a report by the holding company Minchenko Consulting compares officials close to Putin with the Soviet-time political bureau; p 3 (918 words).

9. Alexei Sokovnin article headlined "Anna Politkovskaya Case May Lead to Paul Klebnikov Murder" says former Moscow police officer Dmitriy Pavlyuchenkov charged with involvement in the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, has agreed to cooperate with the investigation and give evidence against suspects of the murder of another journalist Paul Klebnikov; p 5 (532 words).

10. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Sergei Lavrov Proved to Be Sports Diplomat" comments on Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to Finland, where he held talks with Finnish authorities and spoke on the Syrian conflict and the Russian foreign policy; p 6 (646 words).

11. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Julian Assange Unites South America" says that Ecuador's support to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has united South American countries that condemned the British stance on the case; p 6 (495 words).

12. Kirill Melnikov et al. report headlined "TNK-BP Evaluates Former Employee" gives details of the TNK-BP court case against its former manager Igor Lazurenko, who was in charge of the logistics department. He is suspected of receiving $13 million worth of kickbacks from companies transporting oil in Russia; pp 7-8 (969 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Minus Economy" says the State Statistics Service has published information on economic growth; however, the trend makes neither businesses, nor individuals optimistic; pp 1, 4 (835 words).

2. Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "War Declared on Electronic Copies" looks at the amendments to the Civil Code regulating the purchase of scientific literature by Russian libraries; pp 1, 4 (630 words).

3. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Sequel of Yukos Case" says Russian law enforcement agencies are allegedly preparing the third case against former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky currently serving his second sentence. The author believes that the Russian authorities are trying to influence the European Court of Human Rights in this way, as it is planning to hear the case of Yukos shareholders demanding that Russia pay compensation for bankruptcy of the company; pp 1-2 (1,059 words).

4. Yulia Grishina and Alexander Deryabin article headlined "Unsanctioned Khimki Siege" says the opposition cannot unite over one candidate to stand in the Khimki mayoral election; pp 1, 5 (805 words).

5. Savely Vezhin article headlined "'Punk Prayer' Not Worth the Stake" says experts believe that opposition politicians expressing support for Pussy Riot are unlikely to get political dividends; pp 1, 3 (1,093 words).

6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Ukraine Turns Into Gulaypole" says that the law on the special status of the Russian language in Ukraine has split the country; pp 1-2 (983 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Pension Reform Becomes Farce" reviews the Russian authorities' plan for yet another pension reform; p 2 (456 words).

8. Olga Shulga article headlined "Russian Orthodox Church Gets Involved in Conflict Nevertheless" says the Russian Orthodox Church has to answer a letter by a cleric from Tambov accusing the Moscow patriarchate of persecuting the Pussy Riot punk group; p 3 (494 words).

9. Alexei Gorbachev report "10,000 for Mandate" says that a procedure to put forward candidates for the election of the opposition coordination council has begun; p 3 (600 words).

10. Pavel Salin report "Start of Autumn Marathon Race" looks at general trends in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Russia; p 3 (600 words).

11. Andrei Serenko article headlined "Udaltsov Supports 'the Lesser of 2 Evils'" says Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov has agreed to form an alliance with the Communists in Volgograd; p 5 (719 words).

12. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Tokyo's Asian Experiment Fails" says Japan has replaced its ambassadors in China, South Korea and the U.S.A. after diplomatic scandals with its neighbors over the disputable islands. The reshuffle shows changes in the Japanese foreign policy; p 6 (440 words).

13. Yury Paniyev report "UN to Deal With Drone Killers" says that international legal regulation is needed for use of UAVs; p 6 (600 words).

14. Ruslan Milchenko report "Once Again About Who Is to Blame" looks at causes and sources of corruption in Russia; p 4 (700 words).

15. Gleb Postnov report "Another Explosion in Tatarstan" looks at the recent blast in Tatarstan and says that Kazan's traditional imams could have been the suspected terrorists' target; p 5 (500 words).


1. Oksana Gavshina and Alexandra Terentyeva article headlined "Compulsion to Peace" says Putin has decided to act as a referee in the argument of the owners of the Norilsk Nickel mining and metals company; p 1 (654 words).

2. Olga Kuvshinova article headlined "Consumer Pause" says Russian economic growth is slowing down and consumption of products by individuals is decreasing; pp 1, 3 (595 words).

3. Margarita Lyutova article headlined "Unhappy Owners" details problems that the new owners of the Rosdorlizing company are facing with the management of the firm; pp 1, 3 (737 words).

4. Editorial headlined "How to Make Money for Pension" analyzes problems associated with Russian pension reform and gives examples of successful pension funds operating abroad; pp 1, 4 (544 words).

5. Anastasia Kornya article headlined "Not Everybody Jailed" says the police are looking for the remaining members of the Pussy Riot punk group after three of them have been jailed for two years; p 2 (364 words).

6. Ksenia Boletskaya article headlined "It Is Not Harmful to Eavesdrop" says that Russia's state pollster VTsIOM will study the audience of TV channels via mobile phones of TV viewers; p 7 (472 words).

7. Another editorial headlined "Restoration of Poltavchenko" reviews ambitious and costly plans to restore St. Petersburg's historical center announced by governor Georgy Poltavchenko; p 4 (263 words).

8. Maxim Glikin report "President of Political Bureau" says that there is no longer a tandem in Russia as Putin is acting as the only supreme referee; p 2 (600 words).

9. Maria Zheleznova report "Internal Selection" looks at the election of the opposition coordination council; p 2 (550 words).

10. Alexei Levinson of the Levada Center polling agency article headlined "Our 'Us': Who Got What They Wanted" looks at the current political situation in Russia; p 4 (500 words).

11. Alexei Zakharov report "Corruption Is Cause, Not Consequence" looks at the causes of corruption in Russia; p 4 (800 words).

12. Kirill Kharatyan report in the column "Quote of Week" looks at opposition activists taking part in public and political life of the country; p 4 (300 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Alexei Kupriyanov article headlined "To Take Away and Split" details regulations to be introduced in Russia that ban officials from owning property abroad; pp 1, 9 (600 words).

2. Interview headlined "Business Lunch With Merkury" with academician and former state official Yevgeny Primakov speaking on the work of the Merkury Club discussion platform for the authorities and business; pp 1, 3 (800 words).

3. Tatyana Zykova report "No More Bank Secret" looks at amendments to the Criminal Code that will give tax authorities access to information on individuals' financial operations; pp 1, 5 (600 words).

4. Leonid Radzikhovsky article headlined "Orange Summer" analyzes the political situation in the country and says that at present any revolution is impossible in Russia; p 3 (800 words).

5. Yekaterina Zabrodina report "Prayer After Visit" looks at the visit of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, to Poland; p 5 (750 words).

6. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "Russia Ready for Rafting" comments on Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to Finland where he spoke on the Russian stance on the Syrian conflict; p 8 (700 words).


1. Tatyana Shirmanova article headlined "Economic Development Ministry Suggests That Sberbank Privatization Be Sped Up" says the Economic Development Ministry has called for simplifying the procedure for the privatization of the state stake in Russia's savings bank Sberbank; pp 1, 3 (536 words).

2. Igor Agapov article headlined "849M Rubles Taken Away From Information Agencies" comments on a dispute over state financing for the RIA-Novosti and Itar-Tass news agencies; pp 1, 3 (417 words).

3. Anastasia Kashevarova report "State Duma to Impose Limit on Registration of Migrants" says that the State Duma, at President Putin's suggestion, is preparing amendments to the Housing Code to remove loopholes in the law that make it possible to register dozens and even hundreds of labour migrants in one flat; pp 1-2 (600 words).

4. Dmitry Runkevich and Svetlana Subotina article headlined "Nationalists to Back Chirikova in Fight for Khimki Mayor Chair" says the leader of the movement against illegal migration, Alexander Belov, has supported environmentalist Yevgenia Chirikova standing for Khimki mayor; p 2 (570 words).

5. Anastasia Novikova and Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Opposition Sets Up Media Holding Company" says the opposition plans to set up an Internet-based newspaper and radio in addition to an online TV channel; p 2 (391 words).

6. Yekaterina Karacheva report "Colleague of Interior Minister to Become New Head of Moscow Criminal Investigation" says that Col. Alexander Trushkin may be appointed the new head of the Moscow criminal investigation office soon; p 2 (550 words).

7. Svetlana Subbotina report "Roskosmos Prepares Plan of Transformation Into State Corporation" says that Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) chief Vladimir Popovkin is drafting a document to reform the agency; p 3 (700 words).

8. Yury Matssarsky report "Pussy Riot's Supporters to Be Taught Democracy in Europe" says that a member of the German parliament has suggested that the procedure for issuing visas to young Russians should be simplified; p 4 (600 words).

9. Igor Yavlyansky report "German Intelligence Works Against Assad" says that a specially equipped German warship is heading for Syria to monitor the movement of the government forces; p 4 (600 words).

10. Andranik Migranyan article headlined "Pyrrhic Victory" comments on the Pussy Riot verdict; p 5 (878 words).

11. Boris Mezhuyev report "To Spite Grandmother" looks at the verdict delivered to Pussy Riot and possible consequences for the authorities and the Orthodox church; p 5 (700 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Kirill Saltykov article headlined "$15M Bribe" details the investigation into the extortion of a bribe from Rosenergomash president Vladimir Palikhata by an Investigative Committee investigator; pp 1, 3 (565 words).

2. Andrei Yashlavsky article headlined "PR Protest Held in Cologne Cathedral" says Pussy Riot supporters have organized a performance at a German church; pp 1-2 (844 words).

3. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "This Path Leads Away From the People" says the Pussy Riot case has split opposition activists as some of them believe the girls to be heroes, while others believe them to be mistaken; pp 1-2 (832 words).

4. Brief article by archimandrite Tikhon explains the stance of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Pussy Riot case; p 2 (992 words).

5. Leonid Mlechin report "Freedom Is Shorter Than Lack of Freedom" looks at the events of August 1991 and why they have failed to open a road of democracy to Russia; p 3 (700 words).

RBK Daily

1. Alexander Litoi article "Donation for Revolution" looks at the start of the election campaign into the Russian opposition's coordination council; the election is set for Oct. 20-21; p 1 (700 words).

2. Tatyana Kosobokova article "Business Is Being Incorporated Into the Kremlin" says a new department may be set up in the Russian presidential administration to be headed by the newly appointed business ombudsman, Boris Titov; pp 1-2 (500 words).

3. Yulia Yakovleva piece "Sparrow, Squirrel and Balaclava Are on Wanted List" looks at the latest developments in the Pussy Riot case as a criminal investigation has been launched against the remaining members of the controversial female punk band; p 2 (550 words).

4. Ilya Shepelin piece "Argument Over Khimki" says the opposition forces are unable to agree on a single candidate for the town's mayoral election; p 2 (250 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Marina Lepina article "Cowed by Transportation" looks at conditions in which convicts and defendants are transported in Russia as the Supreme Court of the Komi republic has ruled that these conditions violate human rights; pp 1, 3 (750 words).

2. Interview with politician Oleg Mitvol, who used to head the Rosprirodnadzor environmental watchdog and a district administration in Moscow, who explains his intention to run in the mayoral election in the Moscow region town of Khimki; p 2 (550 words).

3. Alexandra Beluza piece "Autumn Internet Marathon" looks at the start of the election campaign into the Russian opposition's coordination council, with the election to be held on the Internet; p 3 (550 words).

4. Pundit Fedor Lukyanov article "Oriental Connection" in the paper's supplement dedicated to the upcoming APEC summit in Vladivostok looks at Russia's role in the integration of the Euro-Atlantic and Asia-Pacific regions; pp I-II (800 words)

Noviye Izvestia

1. Anatoly Dmitriyev article "Dead Votes" analyzes the recent announcement by Central Elections Commission chairman Vladimir Churov that the number of voters in Russia has dropped by 700,000 people since the presidential election in March; p 2 (550 words).


1. Sergei Frolov article "We Live While Factories Keep Working" analyzes President Putin's recent statements to conclude that the Kremlin has decided to seek support from the working class and is preparing "a purge" among oligarchs and corrupt officials. An inset to the article contains a comment from political analyst Sergei Markov; pp 1-2 (650 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Yelena Chinkova interview with the head of the Russian Orthodox Synod's information department, Vladimir Legoida, in which he explains why the Russian Orthodox Church asked for mercy in relation to the three Pussy Riot members who stood trial for performing an anti-Putin song in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral after the court handed down its verdict; pp 1, 4 (350 words).

2. Alexei Mukhin commentary headlined "Those Who Commissioned It Have Remained Behind Scenes" suggests that the Pussy Riot stunt was masterminded by the gay community in order to "increase its influence in Russian society"; p 5 (400 words).

3. Alexander Grishin piece "5 Minutes of Fame for Herostratus" says Russian society should resist attempts to split over the Pussy Riot case; p 4 (250 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Interview with the head of the Federal Directorate for the Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons, Col-Gen Valery Kapashin, headlined "Farewell to Chemical Arms"; pp 1-2 (1,900 words).

Aug. 21, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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