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What the Papers Say, Aug. 22, 2012

Igor Tabakov


1. Dmitry Butrin et al. report headlined "Direct Presidential Control" says the Russian presidential administration will reserve the right to appoint heads of the largest state-controlled corporations, as President Putin is consolidating control over strategic sectors of economy; pp 1-2 (1,077 words).

2. Ivan Safronov article headlined "There Are No Tasks More Important Than Exploring Roskosmos" says the Federal Space Agency will be reorganized into the Roskosmos state corporation; pp 1, 3 (700 words).

3. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "One Confession Enough for Mass Unrest" says that as one of the men charged with inciting mass unrest during the May 6 rally in Moscow has pleaded guilty, the other people facing the same charges will find it hard to prove their innocence; pp 1, 5 (693 words).

4. Natalya Skorlygina and Olga Mordyushenko article headlined "Gazprom's Prospects Liquefied" says that as the U.S.A. is prepared to export LNG to the Asia-Pacific market, Russia's Gazprom will face tough competition in the region; pp 1, 9 (952 words).

5. Alexander Asadchy and Natalya Korchenkova article headlined "United Russia Punishes 'Self-Eliminators'" says that the presidium of the party's general council has dismissed the political council of the Smolensk region and fired its secretary Andrei Shmatkov for supporting the regional governor in his critical statement on United Russia; p 2 (400 words).

6. Maxim Ivanov et al. report headlined "Public TV Launch Being Disrupted" says director general of Public TV Anatoly Lysenko has complained that he might miss the deadline for the launch of the public TV channel as the Defense Ministry remains reluctant to hand over the frequencies and production facilities of the Zvezda TV channel; p 3 (585 words).

7. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "State Mayor to Be Put Next to 'People's' Mayor of Khimki" says United Russia is contemplating supporting the incumbent mayor of Khimki, Oleg Shakhov, as a compromise figure who would suit other political forces; p 3 (469 words).

8. Maria-Luiza Tirmaste article headlined "Boris Titov Submits Sentence for Expert Examination" says business ombudsman Boris Titov is to examine the Yukos case and the second sentence of the former company owner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Experts believe that Titov's probe into the case may pave the way for the release of Khodorkovsky from prison; p 3 (619 words).

9. Pyotr Netreba and Darya Nikolayeva interview with Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets headlined "'It's Now or Never'" speaking on the planned social reforms in health care and pension systems; p 4 (2,889 words).

10. Alexander Reutov article headlined "Turkey Gets Terrorism Invitation" says Turkey may use bombing attacks staged by Kurds in regions bordering Syria as a pretext for military intervention into the neighboring country; p 6 (419 words).

11. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Syria Threatened With Its Own Chemical Weapons" says the U.S.A. sees Syrian chemical weapons an excuse for a military operation in Syria, while Russia has been working with Syrian authorities to neutralize this threat ; p 6 (549 words).

12. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Ethiopia Buries Alliance With U.S.A." says Islamic radicals may use the death of the Ethiopian prime minister to destabilize the situation in the country; p 6 (659 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Land Issue Spoils Defense Ministry" says Moscow Region governor Sergey Shoigu has criticized the Defense Ministry over its right to sell land. Shoigu suggested that the local authorities should be in charge of putting state-owned land on the market to avoid housing utilities problems of people living in military towns and garrisons; pp 1-2 (784 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Itch of Disobedience" says that the Officers of Russia NGO has suggested that tougher penalties should be imposed on those who disobey orders from law-enforcement agencies, especially during rallies. Lawyers considered the existing legislation to be tough enough, while observers believe the authorities were stepping up a clampdown on protest activity; pp 1, 3 (1,179 words).

3. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Independent Lawyers Play Their Own Game" outlines topics to be raised at the independent congress of lawyers to be held in Moscow in late October; pp 1, 3 (656 words).

4. Olga Shulga article headlined "Investigators' Questions Hang in Air" says the Investigative Committee has asked Ekho Moskvy radio to provide radio recordings of Ksenia Sobchak interviews, presumably in search of extremist statements; pp 1, 3 (469 words).

5. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Moldova Faces German-Russian Protectorate" looks ahead at German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Moldova, as Berlin is believed to be looking for a solution of the territorial dispute between Moldova and the Transdnestr republic; pp 1, 6 (826 words).

6. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Insurance for Each Square Meter" says the government is drafting a bill on obligatory housing insurance following the deadly flood in Krymsk; pp 1, 4 (829 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Cairo and Tehran Lay Bridges" says Iran and Egypt are restoring their relations as the new Egyptian president is to visit Tehran for the first time in 30 years. Egypt may reclaim a leading position in the Arab World, the article notes; p 2 (489 words).

8. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "West Afraid of Syrian Islamists" says Moscow sees talks between the opposition and Bashar Assad as the only possible way to stop the conflict in Syria; p 2 (523 words).

9. Viktor Litovkin article headlined "Money Instead of Barter" says military technical cooperation between Russia and the CIS countries will become market-driven, as Moscow and Kiev have signed an agreement on military pilots training; p 3 (904 words).

10. Igor Naumov article headlined "Customs Union May Stumble on WTO Doorstep" says delays with Belarussian accession to the WTO may have adverse effects on the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan; p 4 (714 words).

11. Nikolai Surkov interview with Carlos Pascual, the State Department's Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, speaking on U.S. energy companies' interest in the Russian energy market; p 5 (753 words).


1. Rinat Sagdiyev article headlined "Credit of Highest Achievements" says the former president of the Russian Football Union, Sergei Fursenko, left the Union with the debt of 800 million rubles (around $25 million) most of which came from a large loan from the Rossia bank; p 1 (731 words).

2. Olga Kuvshinova and Ksenia Dokukina article headlined "We Lack Good Climate" analyzes the capital outflow trend in Russia which is attributed to a bad investment climate in the country; pp 1, 3 (734 words).

3. Irina Mokrousova and Yekaterina Sobol article headlined "Emergency Landing" looks into the prospects of Moscow's airport Domodedovo to remain in private hands amid government plans to consolidate control over Moscow airports; p 1, 8 (703 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Big Legalization" comments on an anti-corruption campaign led by President Putin who came up with the initiative to ban Russian officials from owning foreign property; pp 1, 4 (541 words).

5. Anastasia Kornya article headlined "Most Easy Defendants" says that Sergei Kosenko, who was found mentally unfit, and Maxim Luzyanin, who pleaded guilty, were charged with inciting mass unrest on Bolotnaya Ploshchad on May 6; p 2 (400 words)

6. Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "Assad Is Our Friend" says most of Russians back the country's stance on the Syrian conflict; p 2 (383 words).

7. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "'Antonov' Never Surrenders" Russia and Ukraine fail to agree on further steps for building An-70 military cargo planes; p 2 (500 words).

8. Commentary by Andrei Kolesnikov headlined "Political Economy: Systematic Approach (Campaign)" welcomes attempts by some opposition activists to take part in municipal elections as it will be the only way to become known to general public and influence the political situation in the country; p 4 (446 words).

9. Another editorial headlined "They Surround Putin" compares officials surrounding President Putin with a Soviet-era political bureau; p 4 (292 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Elena Kukol interview with Maxim Medvedkov, a senior official from Economic Development Ministry, headlined "Time for WTO", says that Russia is today becoming a full member of the WTO after 18 years of negotiations; pp 1, 3 (1300 words).

2. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "Obama Crosses Border" says Washington must be considering a scenario for a military operation in Syria as President Obama has said that the U.S. may attack Syria in case Damascus uses chemical weapons; pp 1, 8 (701 words).

3. Mikhail Falaleyev article headlined "We Share the Same Blood" says Russians can now volunteer for genome registration; pp 1, 7 (535 words).

4. Ivan Egorov article headline "Court Seeks Defense" reports that the website of Moscow's Khamovnichesky District Court has been subjected to a hacker attack; p 3 (450 words).

5. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "They Will Pay With Their Lives" says Turkey has to pay for Ankara's support for Syrian rebels with the security trouble in regions bordering Syria, after eight people died in a recent bombing; p 8 (606 words).


1. Polina Potapova article headlined "Federal Officials Delay Privatization" says Russian government bodies have ignored Dmitry Medvedev's instructions to speed up the privatization of state-controlled enterprises; pp 1, 3 (388 words).

2. Roman Vetrov and Dmitry Yevstifeyev article headlined "Special Forces Catch Graduates of 'Terrorist School'" says the Russian secret service has information on a "school for terrorists" operating in the North Caucasus. For example, it is said to have trained bombers for recent attacks in Ingushetia and Chechnya; pp 1, 3 (633 words).

3. Denis Telmanov article headlined "Russian Seamen Evacuated From Base in Syria" says around 80 people working at the Russian base in Tartus have been evacuated as battles between rebels and pro-government forces are approaching the city; p 1 (442 words).

4. Pyotr Kozlov article headlined "Finance Ministry Intervenes for Officials' Vehicles" says the Finance Ministry has spoken out against plans to replace some privileges like office cars with additional payments for Russian officials; pp 1, 3 (394 words).

5. Olga Zhermeleva article headlined "Young Guard Launches Online Youth TV Channel" outlines plans of the Young Guard pro-Kremlin youth movement to launch an online TV channel; p 2 (372 words).

6. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Dmitry Gudkov Goes to Anti-GULAG" says that opposition MP Dmitry Gudkov wants to create a new anti-repression movement on the wake of the Pussy Riot court trial; p 2 (550 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yeva Merkacheva and Anastasia Gnedinskaya article headlined "Speeding Priest Sent to Prison Not for First Time" reports on grave road accidents in Moscow, where two priests were to blame; pp 1-2 (937 words).

2. Mikhail Zubov article headlined "Why Was Okhlobystin Crossed With Dunayev?" analyzes the reasons for showman and former priest Ivan Okhlobystin's appearance in the Right Cause party; pp 1 — 2 (526 words).

3. Vladislav Inozemtsev article headlined "Super-United Russia" analyzes 21 years of Russia's independence and notes that at present, the powerful center has left regions without political or economic rights; p 3 (1,071 words).

4. Rinat Abdullin article headlined "Will Syria Be Turned Into Iraq?" says Syria is now facing the Iraqi scenario, after Washington has expressed concern over chemical weapons stock in the country; p 4 (366 words)

RBK Daily

1. Yulia Yakovleva and Anastasia Litvinova article titled "Can't Carry Any More" considers a think tank report about corruption in Russia reaching the absolute maximum level. A collapse of the country's political and economic systems may ensue beyond this level; p 1 (850 words).

2. Alexander Litvoy et al. article headlined "Defense Outrage" considers the prospects of legislating an initiative to make police disobedience a criminal offence; p 2 (750 words).

3. Yulia Sinyaeva interview with Russia's chief WTO negotiator Maxim Medvedkov headlined "'WTO Is Not a Magic Wand'" on what Russia's WTO membership, which officially commences today, will mean for the country; p 5 (1,700 words).

4. Anastasia Fomicheva article titled "Russians Master E-Mail" says that Russian e-mail services Yandex and have been outpacing the growth of their Western rivals in Europe recently, coinciding with a growth in the number of e-mail users in Russia; p 10 (500 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Sergei Polosatov and Yevgeny Vladimirov article titled "Having Failed to Get Construction of the Moscow-St. Petersburg Highway Cancelled, Chirikova Is Planning to Vie for Khimki Mayor" considers the public profile of environmental activist and opposition leader Yevgenia Chirikova. The article's tone is laced with doubts about Chirikova's capacity to be a good city administrator; pp 1, 14 (2,200 words).

2. Yelena Chinkova article titled "Fans of the Girls Climb Cathedral Tower in Zurich" recaps on a dangerous stunt in support of Pussy Riot in Switzerland; p 4 (150 words)

3. Alexander Boiko article titled "Chess Player Plays Using White Teeth" says the fate of chess champion and opposition leader Garry Kasparov, who allegedly bit a policeman outside the court during the Pussy Riot verdict has spawned many jokes; p 5 (200 words)

4. Yelena Chinkova article titled "Obama Threatens Assad With War" recaps on a recent statement by President Barack Obama, warning that the use of chemical warfare was a "red line" that would prompt military interference if crossed; p 7 (200 words)

Novaya Gazeta

1. Yelena Milashina article headlined "2nd Submersion" looks at the current state of affairs with the investigation into the 2008 Nerpa submarine accident; pp 2,3 (950 words).

2. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Cemetery of Elites" comments on a Minchenko Consulting Holding report on the Russian ruling elite surrounding Putin who are said to be most interested in the transfer of power by inheritance; 2.0 p 3 (681 words).

3. Andrei Kapustin article headlined "Cheese in Exchange for Terrorist" says Ukraine has suspended the extradition of Chechen national Adam Osmayev to Russia, who is suspected of plotting an assassination attempt on Putin. The move may be attributed not only to the involvement of the European Court of Human Rights but also to Kiev attempts to bargain over some economic deals with Moscow; p 6 (739 words).

4. Yelena Masyuk interview with Pussy Riot punk band member Maria Alyokhina, who has been sentenced to two years' jail time, speaking on their verdict and the performance at the cathedral with resulted in the case; pp 12-13 (2,579 words).

5. Slava Taroshchina article headlined "What Will Happen to Margarita Simonyan?" says the work of the RT TV channel aimed at improving Russia's image abroad has suffered after the Pussy Riot case, as even WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, with whom the channel wanted to cooperate, expressed public support to the Russian punk group; p 24 (826 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Igor Kryuchkov article headlined "In Accordance With Iraqi Scenario" says Syrian chemical weapons may become a pretext for a foreign military campaign against the country; pp 1, 4 (1000 words).

2. Vlad Shustov article titled "Diplomat Without Right to Enter" says that Belarussian President Alexander Luskashenko has appointed a new foreign minister who does not have EU entry rights; p 4 (450 words).

3. Darina Shevchenko article titled "'For They Do Not Know What They Do'" looks at the public perceptions of controversial Ukrainian feminist group Femen ; pp 6-7 (1000 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Yulia Savina article headlined "Selective Law" says that charges for violence against police are being brought increasingly often against opposition activists, while police violence toward protesters remains unpunished; pp 1-2 (1000 words).

2. Margarita Alyokhina article titled "In Search of Lost Ones" says investigators have put the two Pussy Riot members who took part in the "punk prayer" in February and who were not put on trial afterward on a wanted list; pp 1, 5 (400 words).


1. Sergei Frolov article titled "Pussy Riot Games" looks at the impact of and support for Pussy Riot in Russia and abroad; pp 1-2 (700 words)

Tvoi Den

1. Irina Desyatnichenko article headlined "Unholy Madonna" says a "monstrous scandal" has broken out following Madonna's St. Petersburg concert earlier in August. The singer is accused of inciting religious hatred; p 7 (200 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Andrei Gavrilenko article "At Arctic Latitudes" looks at the Northern Eagle-2012 Russia-Norway-U.S.A. naval drills that have now commenced in the Norwegian Sea; p 1 (650 words)

2. Viktor Ruchkin article headlined "U.S.A. Looking for Pretext for Military Interference" considers a statement by Barack Obama on possible U.S. military action in Syria if official Damascus uses chemical or biological warfare; p 3 (650 words)

Aug. 22, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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