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What the Papers Say, Sept. 3, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Anna Zanina and Anastasia Gorshkova article headlined "Boris Berezovsky Inspires Distrust" says that the High Court of London has rejected exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky's suit against billionaire Roman Abramovich. Berezovsky was seeking $5.6 billion in damages for purported lost profit in the early 2000s; pp 1-2 (1,219 words).

2. Maxim Ivanov and Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "State Duma Determined to Deprive" says A Just Russia deputy Gennady Gudkov may be stripped of his State Duma seat without a court ruling; pp 1-2 (942 words).

3. Fyodor Maximov and Vadim Visloguzov article headlined "Elements of [Criminal] Article Founded in Rostek" says an adviser to the head of state-controlled company Rostek, engaged in providing broker services for customs clearance, is suspected of bribery; pp 1, 5 (805 words).

4. Konstantin Andrianov and Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "Oleg Deripaska Leaves Zenit-Arena" says that St. Petersburg authorities have decided to break a contract with Oleg Deripaska's company Transstroi, which is building a stadium for football club Zenit. Gazprom, the club's owner, is displeased with delays in the construction; pp 1, 10 (817 words).

5. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Only Name to Be Left of Civil Platform" says the founder of the Civil Platform party Mikhail Prokhorov has returned to a traditional party organization, having abandoned the concept of "500 lawyers"; p 2 (567 words).

6. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Victorious People" reports on the spectacular reconstruction of the Borodino battle watched by President Vladimir Putin and his French guests; p 3 (1,734 words).

7. Taisia Bekbulatova and Alina Sabitova article headlined "Yabloko Held Off in Election" says opposition parties, namely Yabloko, are having problems registering for regional elections to be held Oct. 14; p 3 (528 words).

8. Arina Borodina article headlined "Politics Gets Fresher Face" reviews changes on Russia's leading TV channels made ahead of the new TV season; p 4 (1,714 words).

9. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Kenya Finds Itself Between Two Fronts" reports on the situation in Kenya, which is on the verge of a religious war; p 6 (487 words).

10. Alexander Reutov article headlined "Hungarian Image Evaluated at 3 billion Euros" comments on a diplomatic scandal involving Hungary, Azerbaijan and Armenia as the former gave up an Azeri ex-officer who was found guilty of killing an Armenian colleague to Baku. The man was freed in Azerbaijan. The article says the deal was reached after Azerbaijan promised to purchase 3 billion euros worth of Hungarian state bonds; p 6 (547 words).

11. Maria Yefimova article headlined "London Stamps 'Magnitsky List'" says the U.K. has become the first country to adopt the so-called Magnitsky list, naming Russian officials who face visa bans. Other Western countries are ready to follow suit; p 6 (429 words).

12. Yelena Chernenko interview with Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Federation Council committee for international affairs, speaking on how to improve Russia's image abroad; p 6 (944 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Finance Ministry and Labor Ministry Fight Over Pensions" reviews disagreements between the Finance Ministry and the Labor Ministry over pension system reform; pp 1, 4 (999 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Deputy Gudkov's Letter of Happiness" says that an unnamed senior official is reportedly going to furnish a letter to State Duma deputies asking them not to strip opposition Deputy Gennady Gudkov of his Duma seat; pp 1-2 (914 words).

3. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "People Indexed Twice" says that public utilities tariffs have grown again in Russia, and another hike is expected next year; pp 1, 4 (763 words).

4. Yury Roks article headlined "Cost of Freedom for Officer Safarov" says the West is awaiting explanations from Budapest and Baku after Hungary handed over a former serviceman found guilty of a murder to Baku, where he was freed; pp 1, 6 (612 words).

5. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Democrats Join Battle for White House" says the Democratic Party convention is opening in North Carolina today. Barack Obama is to be officially nominated the party's presidential candidate on Sept. 5; pp 1, 6 (489 words).

6. Vladivostok-based Tatyana Dvoinova article headlined "Primorye Region Compares Debit to Credit" sums up the results of the preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vladivostok; pp 1-2 (833 words).

7. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Damascus Faces Air Blockade" says the Free Syrian Army has warned that from now on they may down any aircraft, including commercial and passenger jets; p 2 (526 words).

8. Editorial headlined "Doing of Believers" considers the state of religious tensions in the country, as crosses are being cut down in central Russia, while religious leaders are being killed in the North Caucasus; p 2 (515 words).

9. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Caspian Water Truce" looks at the Kavkaz-2012 (Caucasus 2012) military drill, to be held in the Caspian region; p 3 (752 words).

10. Sergei Kiselyov article headlined "Flagship Over Abyss" says that Russian rocket-building corporation Energia is failing to ensure that Russia remains competitive among leading space developers; p 4 (400 words).

11. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Signs of Liberalization in Beijing" says the Chinese Communist Party plans to curb the powers of the secret services chief; p 6 (500 words).

12. Article by U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul headlined "My First 6 Months as U.S. Ambassador to Russia" reports on the senior U.S. diplomat's work in Moscow; pp 9, 10 (1,889 words).

Vedomosti

1. Yevgenia Pismennaya article headlined "Deficit for Old Age" says disagreements over the cumulative component of the pension system have paralyzed the work of the government. President Vladimir Putin has not found a solution to the problem either; pp 1, 3 (727 words).

2. Mikhail Overchenko and Irina Reznik article headlined "Plaintiff Takes All the Blame" says the High Court of London has rejected Boris Berezovsky's suit against Roman Abramovich. The ruling threatens Berezovsky with bankruptcy, as Abramovich is seeking compensation of legal expenses; pp 1, 12 (2,053 words).

3. Maxim Glikin et al. report headlined "$200 million to Eat, Drink and Travel" reviews the costs of the APEC summit for Russia; pp 1-2 (836 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Stalin-Style Military-Industrial Complex" questions the correctness of the Russian leadership's belief that the defense sector could be a locomotive of economic development as long as the industry is pumped with investment. The editorial notes that the principle worked only in Stalin's time; pp 1, 4 (502 words).

5. Lilia Biryukova article headlined "Election of No Authority" says that the government has proposed picking all heads of municipal districts through a popular vote. But the decision on whether they will receive actual authority will still be in the hands of local lawmakers; p 2 (400 words).

6. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Rockets Get Money" says that the Security Council has set priorities for financing the country's military industry; p 2 (450 words).

7. Another editorial headlined "Squads of Hatred" criticizes the authorities over Orthodox, Cossack and other ethnic and religious patrols, as they may provoke ethnic clashes; p 4 (270 words).

8. Roman Shleinov article headlined "Man of the Week: Boris Berezovsky" says tycoon-in-exile Boris Berezovsky was unsuccessful in his lawsuit against Roman Abramovich before London's High Court; p 4 (303 words).

9. Bela Lyauv interview with Andrei Sharov, chairman of the Moscow region government, who speaks about the investment policy of the regional authorities; p 5 (3,587 words).

Izvestia

1. Pyotr Kozlov article headlined "Labor Ministry Worsens Conditions for Migrants" reviews amendments to be passed to the Labor Code regulating the activity of migrant workers in Russia; pp 1, 5 (423 words).

2. German Petelin article headlined "Defense Ministry Stuck in Mine Fields" says the Defense Ministry cannot cope with the task of clearing mines from lands in Chechnya and Ingushetia. The ministry has asked the government to hire commercial companies to help them; pp 1, 5 (710 words).

3. Ivan Cheberko article headlined "Space Budget Endures Cuts" says Federal Space Agency head Vladimir Popovkin has appealed to President Vladimir Putin not to cut the agency's funding; pp 1, 5 (640 words).

4. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Gennady Gudkov Attempts to Split United Russia" says letters from opposition Deputy Gennady Gudkov to 50 members of United Russia have created some confusion in the ruling party, as he warned his colleagues about the risks of persecution; pp 1, 2 (980 words).

5. Denis Telmanov article headlined "Vladimir Popovkin Prepared for Dismissal" says Federal Space Agency head Vladimir Popovkin may be dismissed after a spate of space failures; p 3 (348 words).

6. Olga Zhermeleva article headlined "Ethnic Conflicts to Be Traced Online" says that a service for resolving ethnic conflicts will be established in Moscow in September; p 2 (500 words).

7. Anastasia Kashevarova article "Collective Security Organization Builds Military Factories" says that Russia has initiated construction of new scientific and military-industrial facilities on the territory of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO); p 3 (500 words).

8. Burkhon Mukhtarov article headlined "Deputies Decide to Rename Combat Vehicle Terminator" says the State Duma is displeased with the name of a new experimental tank, Terminator; p 4 (569 words).

9. Konstantin Volkov interview with Anna Neistat, associate emergencies director for the emergencies division of the organization Human Rights Watch, who speaks about the humanitarian situation in Syria; p 7 (1,131 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Tatyana Shadrina interview with Roskomnadzor communications watchdog head Alexander Zharov speaking about the implementation of a law to protect minors from harmful information distributed by media. The law came into effect Sept. 1; pp 1, 6 (2,000 words).

2. Yury Gavrilov interview with Chief Military Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky, speaking about kickbacks and other cases of corruption in the armed forces; p 7 (650 words).

3. Anna Fedyakina article headlined "Visa-Free Regime" says the British embassy in Moscow has received lists of Russian officials believed to be involved in the Magnitsky case, who will be denied entry visas to the U.K.; p 9 (300 words).

4. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "Word Ammunition" says Iran has pledged to support Syria in case the West starts a military campaign against Damascus; p 9 (400 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Marina Ozerova article headlined "Place for Scandal" says plans to strip opposition Deputy Gennady Gudkov of his seat in the State Duma will result in a scandal; pp 1-2 (700 words).

2. Svetlana Samodelova article "Who Has Set Traps for Strizhi'" says that the detention of the commander of aerobatic group Strizhi on bribery charges was a provocation; pp 1, 4 (500 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Yelena Chinkova and Yekaterina Rozhayeva interview with Russian Orthodox Church cleric Vsyevolod Chaplin, who speaks about the aftermath of the Pussy Riot case and the attitudes of the Russian public toward the church; pp 1,9 (1,306 words).

2. Viktor Sokiro article titled "Gudkov Has Asked United Russians Not to Take Away His Seat" describes a letter that Gennady Gudkov sent to around 50 United Russia deputies, asking them not to support an expected vote to strip him of his deputy status on Sept. 12; p 4 (250 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Alina Garbuznyak article titled "Church to Tackle Politics Online" describes a large-scale online project launched by religious activists; pp 1, 3 (600 words)

2. Alexandra Ilina article titled "Obama Is Loved for Kindness, Putin for Stability" compares and contrasts the pre-election campaigns of the Russian and U.S. leaders; p 5 (600 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Andrei Sukhotin article headlined "Kickback Declarations" says Berezovsky's defeat at the High Court of London has reminded the Russian elite that their property lacks legal status; pp 1-3 (1,772 words).

2. Yulia Latynina article headlined "But Then Russian Shareholders Change" comments on the Berezovsky vs. Abramovich case; p 2 (658 words).

3. Vera Chelishcheva article titled "Krysha, Nothing More" looks at the impact of the Berezovsky vs. Abramovich case; pp 7-9 (1,000 words).

4. Alexander Panov article headlined "Romney's Foreign Ministry" looks at the members of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's team; p 8 (1,065 words).

5. Nikita Girin article headlined "Street Fighters for Faith" reports on movements and nongovernmental organizations opposing the Russian Orthodox Church; p 9 (948 words).

RBC Daily

1. Yelena Sharpayeva and Vitaly Petlevoi article titled "Take Glonass Against Traffic Jams and Protocols" says that the Russian Union of Car Insurers has proposed to the Ministry of Finance that simplified processing of car accident protocols be made contingent upon the car having the Glonass navigation system installed; p 1 (400 words).

2. Yevgeny Basmanov article headlined "'Krysha' Has Lost" features an overview and pundit comments on the London High Court's Aug. 31 decision in the Berezovsky vs. Abramovich case; pp 1, 4 (700 words).

3. Yulia Yakovleva article titled "Juicer for 'Yabloko'" gives a rundown of the difficulties the opposition Yabloko party is having with registering its candidate in an election in Krasnodar region; p 2 (550 words).

4. Alexander Litoi article headlined "'Agents' Summoned to HQ" says that Russian human rights groups that receive foreign funding and thus become "foreign agents" under a new law for nongovernmental organizations have been trying to develop a joint strategy on how to conduct themselves in view of the controversial law coming into effect. Boycotting is said to be the most popular strategy; p 3 (400 words).

5. Anastasia Fomicheva article titled "Court Shows Material Interest" says Uzbek authorities have arrested the assets of the local subsidiary of Russian mobile communications operator MTS over cases opened against individual staff of the company; p 10 (350 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Margarita Alyokhina article titled "Involuntary Sufferers" say the Supreme Court of the Komi republic has ruled that the conditions in which Russian convicts are transported are inhumane; pp 1, 5 (1,200 words).

2. Svetlana Basharova article headlined "A Check of Faith" says that the Agora rights protection group is drafting a request to the Prosecutor General's Office asking for an inquiry into five instances of violations of the law by Orthodox activists; pp 1, 5 (600 words).

3. Vera Moslakova article titled "Punishment for the Anonymous" looks at a bill championed by United Russia to institute punishment for anonymous online defamation that is set to be introduced to the State Duma this fall. Analysts see this as a sign of the ruling party being afraid of criticism; pp 1-2 (350 words).

4. Natalya Zhuravleva article titled "Berezovsky Loses to Abramovich" summarizes the decision of London's High Court pursuant to which Boris Berezovsky lost his court case against Roman Abramovich; p 2 (150 words).

Sept. 3, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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