What the Papers Say, Aug. 23, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "Conqueror of the Lands of Ruza Being Made of Vasily Boiko" says that the Investigative Committee has accused Vasily Boyko-Veliky, the chairman of the board of directors of the company Your Own Financial Caretaker, of establishing a criminal group in the Moscow region; pp 1, 5 (1,020 words).

2. Maria Plyusnina et al. article headlined "Working People Being Led Away From United Russia" says that presidential envoy in the Urals Federal District Igor Kholmanskikh, the organizer of the movement In Defense of Working People, has suggested making the movement nationwide, but he is not going to make a political party of it. The movement is critical of the United Russia party; pp 1, 3 (791 words).

3. Ksenia Dementyeva and Olga Shestopal article headlined "Foreign Currency Credits Shrink Under Ruble" says that the share of foreign currency loans in the portfolio of Russian banks has reduced 10-fold since the end of 2008; pp 1, 8 (775 words).

4. Yelena Kiseleva et al. article headlined "VEB Promotes Globex" says that the VEB bank is considering establishing a special housing construction and mortgage bank on the basis of the Globex bank, in which it owns a 99 percent stake; p 1 (927 words).

5. Alina Sabitova article headlined "Corruption Multiplied by 33" says that the Russian nationwide anti-corruption public organization Clean Hands has published a report on corruption. The average bribe has grown from 9,000 rubles to 300,000 rubles (about $9,400 at the current exchange rate) since 2008 when an anti-corruption campaign was launched by then President Dmitry Medvedev; p 2 (592 words).

6. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Russia Does Without Protest" says that a public opinion poll conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) has shown that 77 percent of Russians do not want to take part in protests, and 69 percent of respondents believe that protests are hardly probable in their towns. A mere 19 percent of respondents are ready to participate in protests; p 3 (497 words).

7. Maxim Ivanov and Maria-Luiza Tirmaste article headlined "Politicians Agree in Khimki" says that today the Yabloko party may officially announce support for Khimki forest defender and opposition leader Yevgenia Chirikova in the mayoral election in the Moscow region town of Khimki. The Green environmental party may back acting Khimki mayor Oleg Shakhov (United Russia) in the election; p 3 (474 words).

8. Maria-Luiza Tirmaste and Anna Perova article headlined "Canvassing Image Being Chosen for Dmitry Medvedev" says that the United Russia party will use Medvedev's photographs and quotes during the autumn election campaign. The party is pinning hopes on its heavyweights in the elections: acting governors top the party lists in five of six regions where elections will be held; p 3 (494 words).

9. Arina Borodina article headlined "Television to Become Differently Accessible" looks at changes that the new law protecting children from harmful information, which comes into effect on Sep. 1, will introduce on Russian TV channels; p 4 (2,146 words).

10. Alexander Chernykh et al. article headlined "Khimki Forest Defender Arrested in Spain" says that anti-fascist activist Pyotr Silayev, charged with organizing an attack on the Khimki administration in the Moscow region, has been detained in Spain. A Spanish court will make a decision on his extradition to Russia soon, but the situation is complicated by the fact that Finland granted political asylum to Silayev in April; p 4 (520 words).

11. Anna Perova and Ivan Buranov article headlined "Rain With Fatal Consequence" says that four people were killed and 2,000 were injured as a result of floods that hit the town of Tuapse in the Krasnodar region. Environmentalists claim the reason for the flood may have been the flood protection measures taken two years ago. The Investigative Committee has launched a probe into people's deaths; p 5 (500 words).

12. Yelena Chernenko et al. article headlined "Central Asia Divided by Base Principle" says that competition between the U.S.A. and Russia for influence in Central Asia is becoming fiercer with Washington strengthening relations with Tashkent and Russia beefing up ties with Bishkek. Russia and Kyrgyzstan are going to sign three strategically important agreements in military technical, economical and ecological spheres; p 6 (968 words).

13. Kirill Melnikov article headlined "TNK-BP Loses Trader" says that Jonathan Kollek, vice president for sales and logistics at the Russian-British joint venture TNK-BP, has decided to leave the company; p 7 (529 words).

14. Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "Special Administration to Be Introduced in Smolny" looks at the changes in the St. Petersburg governor's administration as the responsibilities have been shared between his two deputies, and a number of key city committees are to be dealt with by the governor himself; p 2 (600 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Olga Shulga article headlined "People Prefer Series" says that according to a public opinion poll conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation, 45 percent of Russians do not discuss political issues and 30 percent of respondents talk about them rarely. People have begun to understand that nothing depends on them in the Russian political life, experts say; pp 1, 3 (656 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Political Class Loses Orientation" quotes experts as saying that recent steps taken by Medvedev are yet another display of his independence. Moreover, the struggle within the ruling elite has not only not calmed down, but has been gathering pace, which may result in the resignation of the government in autumn; pp 1, 3 (790 words).

3. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Kiev Gets Into Legal Trap" says that Ukraine has decided to wait for the European Court of Human Rights' decision as to whether to extradite to Russia Adam Osmayev, detained on suspicion of preparing an attempted murder of Russian President Vladimir Putin, or not; pp 1, 6 (1,118 words).

4. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Washington Not Interested in Initiatives From Damascus" says that the U.S.A. has not taken account of the Syrian authorities' willingness to begin a dialogue with the opposition, including discussing the Syrian president's resignation. Meanwhile, Russia wants to give Damascus economic aid and preserve its military presence in Tartus despite the ongoing instability in Syria; pp 1, 7 (604 words).

5. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Moscow Breaks Through to Global Trade Club" says that Russia has become a WTO member, looks at the advantages of the move and features an expert's comment on the issue; pp 1, 7 (1,098 words).

6. Tatyana Dvoynova article headlined "Owners Being Looked for Vladivostok's Star Hotels" says that two five-star hotels built in Vladivostok for the APEC summit will not be put into service by the summit. Moreover, the future of these facilities is unknown. Regional deputies and auditors will check the use of budget funds on these facilities; pp 1-2 (722 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Russian Courts Need Purity of Genre" says that recent controversial court decisions undermine stability in Russia and split society; p 2 (514 words).

8. Alexei Romanov article headlined "A Just Russia Members Declare Cold War on Ruling Party" says that State Duma deputy from the A Just Russian party, Gennady Gudkov, has officially announced the setting up of a movement against political repression called Anti-GULAG. Also, the A Just Russia party will begin to publish information about business activity and actual incomes of United Russia members with seats in the parliament on Aug. 27; p 3 (610 words).

9. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Mitrokhin and Chirikova Conclude 'Non-Aggression Pact'" says that today the leader of the Yabloko party, Sergei Mitrokhin, and the leader of the movement in defense of the Khimki forest, Yevgenia Chirikova, will hold a joint news conference dedicated to the forthcoming mayoral election in Khimki. Yabloko is ready to withdraw its candidate on certain terms. Experts say the opposition is using the election to make itself known again; p 3 (494 words).

10. Igor Naumov article headlined "Government to Have Respite From Meetings" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has gone on leave, but will continue to guide ministers, thus imitating the style of former Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and features experts' comments on the issue; p 4 (612 words).

Vedomosti

1. Milana Chelpanova article headlined "Russian Railways Loses 2018 Championships" says that a project to construct high-speed railways by the 2018 FIFA World Cup will not be implemented because it will not be financed from the federal budget; p 1 (552 words).

2. Natalya Kostenko article headlined "Medvedev Leaves Sports" says that Putin has changed the membership of the president's council for physical culture and sports by excluding from it Medvedev and some members of the government and the Russian Olympic Committee; pp 1-2 (693 words).

3. Yevgenia Pismennaya article headlined "Friendship for 10%" looks at the economic situation in Syria and how Russia is ready to cooperate with Damascus; pp 1, 3 (885 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Who Is Responsible for Price Hike?" comments on a sharp rise in the prices on petrol, foodstuffs and housing utilities bills and says that monopolists are to blame for this; pp 1, 4 (593 words).

5. Maria Zheleznova et al. article headlined "Forest Competitors" says that environmental activist Yevgenia Chirikova may become the single opposition candidate in the Khimki mayoral election, while the parliamentary candidate will do his best to fight against Chirikova and her forest protection campaign; p 2 (550 words).

6. Another editorial headlined "Exchange of Awards" says that the English-language TV channel RT has been nominated for the International Emmy Awards and suggests nominating foreign journalists for a Russian award; p 4 (286 words).

6. Oksana Gavshina article headlined "Conoco, Go Away" says that the Russian oil company LUKoil has bought a 30 percent stake owned by the U.S. company ConocoPhillips in the Russian joint venture Naryanmarneftegaz; p 8 (504 words).

7. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Indispensable Helicopter" says that Russia and China have concluded a $600 million contract on the delivery of 55 Russian transport helicopters Mi-171E; p 2 (335 words).

8. Maxim Tovkailo article headlined "War in WTO" says that Russia's accession to the WTO may trigger trade wars; p 3 (520 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Tatyana Zykova and Yelena Kukol article headlined "Goodbye Both Dollar and Central Bank" features experts' comments on an initiative by a group of State Duma deputies to change the fiscal and lending policy in Russia; pp 1-2 (779 words).

2. Timofei Borisov interview with Svetlana Vasilyeva, a high-ranking Interior Ministry official in charge of housing policy and property relations, headlined "Millionaires From Queue", who speaks about the provision of policemen with housing; pp 1, 3 (1,124 words).

3. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Which Kind of Deficit in Trend" gives an overview of a budget discussion by Putin and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov; p 2 (500 words).

4. Vladislav Kulikov article "Charges Broadcast Live" says that common law courts will join the nationwide project, which will launch a system of video streaming from the court. This will make the Russian judiciary system more transparent; p 3 (600 words).

5. Ivan Yegorov article headlined "They Climb Pole" says that the Moscow City Court has dismissed a complaint filed by the lawyers of the convicted members of the Pussy Riot punk band, seeking cancellation of the Khamovnichesky District Court's decision of July 20 to extend a term in custody for the girls; p 7 (596 words).

6. Anna Fedyakina article headlined "Women Give Away Obama" says that a U.S. journalist has published a book about the U.S. president, which says that Barack Obama gave an order to kill al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden under the influence of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; p 8 (301 words).

Izvestia

1. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Bolotnaya Participants Suspected of Having Schizophrenia" says that four of 16 people who were detained in the criminal case on May 6 riots in Moscow's Bolotnaya Ploshchad sought psychiatric support at different times. They will undergo a mandatory forensic psychiatric expert examination; pp 1-2 (778 words).

2. Alexei Mikhailov article headlined "Servicemen Compelled to Give Up Their Rights" says that the Defense Ministry has obliged contract servicemen to sign a list of restrictions and bans for military men, otherwise they will be discharged. The list restricts a number of rights and freedoms granted by the Russian constitution; pp 1-2 (431 words).

3. Polina Potapova article headlined "Kiselev Replaced With Revenko on VGTRK" says that TV presenter Yevgeny Revenko has become the deputy general director of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK). His predecessor in the position, Dmitry Kiselev, has become a TV presenter; pp 1-2 (458 words).

4. Dina Ushakova interview with Mikhail Dmitriyev, the president of the Centre for Strategic Developments, headlined "'Refusal From Savings System Will Be Treated by Society as Benefits Monetization,'" who speaks about a new pension reform; pp 1, 3 (1,697 words).

5. Dmitry Runkevich article headlined "Prison Terms for Waste of Ecclesiastical Property" says that the Criminal Code will be amended by toughening punishment for desecrating shrines in the wake of the Pussy Riot court trial; p 3 (382 words).

6. Article by political analyst Kirill Benediktov headlined "Julian Assange and End of National Sovereignty" details a scandal between Ecuador and Britain over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's concealment in the embassy of Ecuador in London and says that if Britain dares arrest Assange in the embassy, it will be the "funeral of the concept of national sovereignty"; p 5 (846 words).

7. Article by pundit Sergei Roganov headlined "Pussy Riot and Gay Parades" says that women have taken the lead in protest movement; p 5 (550 words).

8. Dina Ushakova article headlined "Finance Ministry and Federal Tax Service Cannot Carry Out Putin's Commission" says that the Finance Ministry and the Federal Tax Service are looking for ways out of a complicated situation as they cannot abandon the parallel tax accounting scheme as ordered by Putin; pp 1-2 (750 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yulia Kalinina article headlined "Actual Zombies Forbid Fake Ones" criticizes the Omsk city authorities who have banned young people from holding a zombie parade following instructions from the Russian Orthodox Church; pp 1-2 (600 words).

2. Yeva Merkacheva article headlined "Pussy Riot Girls Serve Term as VIPs" describes prison conditions of the convicted members of the Pussy Riot punk band; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

3. Viktoria Prikhodko report "Deputies Are Afraid of Being Raped at Work" says that members of the Chechen parliament will be insured, while officials in Volgograd take a great interest in VIP services; pp 1-2 (600 words).

4. Ignat Kalinin article headlined "Are They Ready to Lynch for Budanov?" says that a man charged with murdering Col Yury Budanov has been severely beaten up just before a court session. Avengers are said to be behind this; p 1 (400 words).

5. Mikhail Zubov article headlined "Political Reform Does Not Harm KOIBs" says that 3,000 polling stations will be equipped with KOIBs (electronic ballot paper processing machines) in the regional elections set for 14 October. The use of KOIBs makes vote rigging difficult, the article says; p 2 (300 words).

7. Matvei Ganapolsky ironic article headlined "Long Live Year-Round Aggravation!" praises newsmakers for providing the Ekho Moskvy radio station journalists with work year after year; p 3 (700 words).

8. Anastasia Rodionova interview with writer and anarchist Alexei Tsvetkov, headlined "Whose Mother Is Anarchy?" who talks about the Russian anarchist movement, which has recently appeared on the political arena; p 5 (900 words).

9. Konstantin Smirnov report "WTO Will Eat Our Sausage" looks at Russia's accession to the WTO; p 2 (500 words).

RBK Daily

1. Anastasia Mishanina article headlined "Bad and Good Oligarchs" says that residents of a Sverdlovsk region town are displeased with businessman Oleg Deripaska, who owns an aluminum plant there, and plan to hold a rally in early September to demand that the plant be handed over to its former owner, businessman Viktor Vekselberg; pp 1, 6 (600 words).

2. Katerina Kitayeva report "Bitter Pill for Adverts" says that TV companies may lose up to 10 percent of profit if amendments banning advertisements of over-the-counter medicines are introduced to the federal law on advertising; pp 1, 10 (700 words).

3. Tatyana Kosobokova et al. article headlined "Where It Is Paid More" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order that obliges the staff of state corporations and their family members to report on their incomes and property; p 2 (550 words).

4. Alexander Litoi article headlined "Court Front" says that the Moscow City Court has cancelled a district court ruling that human rights activists' information about law violations made by Vladimir Putin and the All-Russia People's Front during the 2011 election campaign should be checked; p 2 (500 words).

5. Yulia Yakovleva article headlined "Gudkov Invited to Mayoral Post" says that a State Duma deputy from the A Just Russia party, Gennady Gudkov, may be nominated as a party candidate for the mayoral election in Khimki; p 2 (600 words).

6. Ilya Shepelin report "Inciting Religious Idea" says that the Orthodox movement Sacred Russia is forming special teams to protect Christian sacred places. The State Duma intends to work out a bill to toughen punishment for damage caused to church property; p 2 (600 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Svetlana Basharova article headlined "Opium for Child" says that almost all TV programs and books for children may be banned under the new law protecting children from harmful information, which comes into effect on Sep. 1; pp 1, 5 (800 words).

2. Arfi Gevorkyan and Sergei Manukov article headlined "Moscow's New Weapon?" looks at how Russia's accession to the WTO will influence the economic situation in the country; pp 1, 3 (550 words).

3. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "Either Single Candidate or We Lose" says that the opposition is considering nominating a single candidate for the mayoral election in the Moscow Region town Khimki. The decision is expected to be announced today; p 2 (700 words).

4. Nadezhda Bulanova article headlined "Archipelago Anti-GULAG" says that a public movement aiming to eradicate repression and political persecution has been established in Russia; p 2 (350 words).

5. Yana Sergeieva article headlined "Looking for Asylum" says that Adam Osmayev, who was detained in Ukraine on suspicion of preparing an attempted murder of President Vladimir Putin and whom Russia wants to be extradited, has asked Georgia to grant him political asylum; p 2 (450 words).

6. Sergei Manukov article headlined "How Much Is Fighter Against Regime" says that Syrian servicemen are paid big money for taking the opposition's side; p 2 (450 words).

7. Yulia Savina report "'Locomotive' on Side Track" says that Krasnodar Territory governor Alexander Tkachyov will not top the United Russia party list in the local parliamentary election; p 2 (650 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Anastasia Matveyeva report "Not a Day Without Protest" says that the main reasons for social discontent of working people are wage arrears, low salaries and the authorities' policy; p 4 (700 words).

2. Artyom Mikhailov report "Chinese Virus Attacks" says that Chinese hackers have created a new mobile phone virus; p 5 (500 words).

3. Yevgeny Gladin article headlined "Pussy Cola" says that the convicted members of the Pussy Riot punk group have decided to register the name of their band as a trademark. Experts say the move is very timely; p 7 (500 words).

4. Irina Sabzi article headlined "Questionable Asylum" says that a British parliamentarian and a former diplomat have expressed support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been hiding in the embassy of Ecuador in London; p 5 (600 words).

5. Larisa Sayenko report "Madonna Will Not Respond" looks at a protest, resembling that of Pussy Riot, staged by two feminist activists in a cathedral in New York; p 6 (800 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Sergei Semushkin report features excerpts from the verdict delivered to the Pussy Riot punk group; p 4 (800 words).

2. Alexander Kots brief report says that the personnel of the Russian base in Tartus, Syria, will not be evacuated; p 5 (150 words).

Trud

1. Sergei Frolov report "Pussy Riot's Games" looks at the consequences of the punk prayer of the Pussy Riot group; p 2 (700 words).

Zavtra

1. Vladislav Shurygin report "Live and Dead" looks at the film "Lost Day: The Whole Truth About the War 08.08.08" on the 2008 war in the Georgian breakaway republic South Ossetia, which has been posted on the Internet; pp 1, 3 (1,000 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Viktor Ruchkin report "Dialogue Fails" looks at the situation in Syria and the chances of achieving national reconciliation in the country; pp 1, 3 (800 words).

Aug. 23, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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