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What the Papers Say, Oct. 11, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Pavel Korobov and Grigory Tumanov article headlined "Suspended Sentence Put on Pussy Riot's Motive" says that the Moscow City Court has released one of the convicted activists of the Pussy Riot punk band, which organized an anti-Putin performance at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. Lawyers and human rights activists attributed the move to a change of the lawyer by the girl. The article is followed by comments on this matter by politicians and analysts in the column "Direct Speech"; pp 1, 5 (700 words).

2. Andrei Kolesnikov report headlined "Wing Span of $4.5Bln" gives an account of President Vladimir Putin's meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki; pp 1, 7 (900 words).

3. Sergei Sobolev article headlined "Rules of Outdoor Consumption" says that the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has drafted regulations for outdoor advertising tenders to be held across Russia until 2014; pp 1, 13 (600 words).

4. Irina Nagornykh and Taisia Bekbulatova article headlined "Sergei Sobyanin Puts Moscow Up for Competition" says that within the next few days Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin will announce an open competition to fill the vacancies in the city councils in 125 Moscow districts; pp 1-2 (600 words).

5. Taisia Bekbulatova et al. article headlined "Election Observers Become Fewer in Number" says that the work of observers in the forthcoming regional elections on Oct. 14 has been discussed at a meeting of Central Elections Commission Chairman Vladimir Churov and activists from the observer group For Fair Elections. The activists said that the observers' movement was declining as people were disappointed with the March 4 presidential election results; p 2 (700 words).

6. Ivan Safronov article headlined "Arms Redistributed in Defense Ministry" says that the Defense Ministry's Main Armaments Directorate has been reassigned from First Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Sukhorukov, responsible for the execution of state defense orders, to Deputy Defense Minister Dmitriy Chushkin. Sources deny speculations that Sukhorukov will be dismissed; p 2 (600 words).

7. Maxim Ivanov and Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Vladimir Putin Is Right About Guilty" says that a public opinion poll conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) has shown that 84 percent of respondents have backed Putin's recent criticism of three ministers; p 2 (500 words).

8. Maria Plyusnina article headlined "Regions Do Not Need Stranger" looks at the state of affairs in Khanty-Mansiisk and Yamal-Nenets autonomous districts, where the governors were replaced in 2010-12; p 4 (2,000 words).

9. Makhachkala-based Yulia Rybina article headlined "Flood Outstrips Warning" says that a major flood in Dagestan has claimed the lives of six people; p 5 (350 words).

10. Alexei Sokovnin article headlined "No Client in Anna Politkovskaya's Murder" says that today the Investigative Committee is expected to complete the probe into Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya's murder committed in 2006. The supposed murderers have been officially charged, whereas the mastermind of the murder has not been established; p 6 (600 words).

11. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Republicans and Democrats Stake on No. 2s" looks ahead at today's debates between the Republican and Democratic vice-president nominees, Paul Ryan and Joseph Biden, respectively; p 7 (500 words).

12. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Pentagon Protects Syrian Border" says that 150 U.S. servicemen have been sent to Jordan to keep the situation in neighboring Syria under control. Experts do not rule out that Jordan is next after Damascus for "Arab revolutionists"; p 7 (450 words).

13. Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Oil Truce" focuses on Russian-Iraqi oil cooperation and prospects for it given the Iraqi prime minister's visit to Russia; p 9 (600 words).

14. Anna Zanina report "Dead Souls Found in Avtorskoye Televideniye" says that the tax authorities have accused the TV company Avtorskoye Televideniye of using fly-by-night companies; pp 9, 14 (600 words).

15. Roman Rozhkov report "Internet Gets Share in GDP" says that the volume of the Russian Internet market in 2011 has been estimated at 553 billion rubles; p 14 (500 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Yury Roks article headlined "Sky Badly Shared in Caucasus" says that a group of Turkish lawmakers wants to close Turkish airspace for aircraft flying to Armenia in response to the opening of an airport in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia believes that it is Azerbaijan that is behind the idea; pp 1, 6 (600 words).

2. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Energy Ministry Between Sechin and Dvorkovich" says that the Russian Energy Ministry has become hostage to the struggle between the government and presidential commissions for the fuel and energy sector; pp 1-2 (600 words).

3. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "They Make Personal Remarks" says that Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko has instructed the committee on defense and security to monitor a fact-finding check on the anti-opposition film "Anatomy of Protest 2" shown on Gazprom-owned TV channel NTV on Oct. 5 and features comments by opposition activists and experts on the issue; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

4. Vladislav Maltsev and Lidia Orlova article headlined "Illegality to Defend Believers' Feelings" says that in an interview with an Orthodox media outlet, a senior priest from the Russian Orthodox Church, Sergiy Rybko, has allowed his parish members to use force against blasphemers and not to observe the law if it contradicts the Gospel; pp 1-2 (700 words).

5. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Pussy Riot Verdict to Go to Supreme Court" says that lawyers believe that the Moscow City Court's decision to release one of the convicted members of the Pussy Riot punk band is meant to split the supporters of the group; pp 1, 3 (650 words).

6. Editorial headlined "Northern Patrol" contemplates Russia's policy in the Arctic region; p 2 (450 words).

7. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Fight Against Corruption in Strict Limits" says that the Justice Ministry has been asked to authorize regional authorities to examine bills and enactments on instances of corruption. The ministry has turned down the initiative, saying that there are specific regulations to this effect approved by the government three years ago; p 3 (550 words).

8. Ilya Shablinsky article headlined "Russia at Constitutional Crossroads" looks at a report on the effect of and prospects for constitutional changes in Russia; p 3 (500 words).

9. Andrei Serenko report "Will Stalin's Name Be Returned to Hero City?" says that Volgograd may be renamed and get its previous name Stalingrad; p 5 (600 words).

10. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Baghdad Needs Russian Air Defense Systems and Oil Company Workers" describes the results of the Iraqi prime minister's visit to Russia and features an expert's comment on the issue; p 7 (650 words).

11. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "U.S.A. Gets to Syria via Jordan" says that the U.S.A. has deployed over 150 servicemen in Jordan to help control the situation on the Jordanian-Syrian border; p 7 (600 words).

Vedomosti

1. Bela Lyauv and Yevgenia Pismennaya article headlined "Medvedev's Formula" looks at a new affordable housing program presented at a meeting on housing construction chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev; p 1 (800 words).

2. Bela Lyauv article headlined "Road Worth $1Bln" says that the Moscow city authorities are looking for a contractor to build a section of a new road between Moscow and St. Petersburg. The winner of the tender is expected to be announced on Oct. 30; p 1 (450 words).

3. Darya Ilyashenko and Maria Zheleznova article headlined "White Cranes Stay" says that an ornithological experiment in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district, in which President Vladimir Putin took part, has failed; pp 1-2 (600 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Russia Refuses" says that Russia is quitting a number of international agreements and the closure of the Russian branches of international organizations should show that Russia is a developed country and it cannot only cope with problems on its own, but help other countries solve their problems; pp 1, 4 (600 words).

5. Anastasia Kornya report "She Did Not Raise Her Legs" says that the Moscow City Court has freed Yekaterina Samutsevich, one of the members of the Pussy Riot punk band; p 2 (700 words).

6. Natalya Kostenko report "War Gets in the Way" says that Putin has postponed his visit to Turkey. Disagreement over Syria may be one of the reasons for the delay; p 2 (450 words).

7. Editorial "Inside Absurdity" looks at the decision of the Moscow City Court to free one of the members of the Pussy Riot group; p 4 (300 words).

8. Igor Tsukanov interview with head of the one of the leading Russian mobile telephone operators, MegaFon; p 6 (2,300 words).

9. Timofei Dzyadko report "Sechin's Plan" says that Putin has backed the deal as a result of which BP will sell 50 percent of TNK-BP to Rosneft; p 10 (400 words).

Izvestia

1. Arina Sukhareva report "Gazprom Steals Up to Great Britain With Help of Wintershall" says that participants in the Nord Stream project have unveiled the corporation's expansion plans; pp 1, 4 (700 words).

2. Olga Zhermeleva interview headlined "I Am Not Going to Be Engaged Neither in Repression, Nor in Protection of Those Guilty" with Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko; pp 1-2 (1,900 words).

3. Anton Lednev report "They Will Make People Get Registered Using Passport Information in Social Networks" looks at a new initiative of the State Duma Information Policy Committee regarding the use of social networks; p 2 (500 words).

4. Madina Shavlokhova report "Ivanishvili's Government Invites Businessmen in Exile" looks at the process to form the new Georgian government; p 5 (600 words).

5. Denis Telmanov report "They Stopped Calling Up Men From Dagestan" says that the number of conscripts called up from Dagestan has considerably decreased this autumn; p 7 (700 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Vladimir Barshev article headlined "Streets of Crushed" says that well-known Russian actress and TV presenter Marina Golub has died in a traffic accident in Moscow; focuses on the general situation on Russian roads and contemplates whether punishment for traffic rules violations will be toughened; pp 1, 7 (1,005 words).

2. Ivan Yegorov article headlined "One at Large" says that the Moscow City Court has changed the verdict for Pussy Riot punk band activist Yekaterina Samutsevich from two years' imprisonment to a suspended sentence with a two-year probation period; pp 1, 7 (938 words).

3. Konstantin Novikov article headlined "Days of Slightly Opened Doors" says that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has delivered a report at the Federation Council, mainly focusing on relations between Russia and NATO. After the minister finished the report, senators discussed the anti-opposition film "Anatomy of Protest 2" broadcast by NTV on Oct. 5; p 2 (742 words).

4. Sergei Belov article headlined "Denin's Day" says that the Supreme Court will consider today an appeal filed by the Bryansk region elections committee, seeking the cancellation of a regional court's decision annulling the registration of United Russia candidate Nikolai Denin in the local gubernatorial election. The Russian Central Elections Commission has held a meeting to discuss the October 14 regional elections; p 3 (739 words).

5. Mikhail Barshchevsky interview headlined "How Many Heads Investigation Has" with Vladimir Platonov, a member of the presidium of the Association of Lawyers of Russia, who speaks about the plan to set up a single investigations agency; p 6 (721 words).

6. Yury Gavrilov article headlined "Patrol Near Barracks" focuses on a bill introducing the military police in Russia drafted by the Defense Ministry and submitted to appropriate agencies for endorsement; p 7 (351 words).

7. Vladislav Vorobyov article headlined "Rating Calls to War" says that incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has been losing support in the country, yielding to his Republican rival in the presidential election Mitt Romney. Some U.S. experts say that a victorious war against Iran will help Obama stay in office; p 8 (698 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Freedom From Pussy Riot!" comments on the Moscow City Court's decision to release one of the convicted Pussy Riot girls, supposes that the move is an element of a new game initiated by the Russian authorities and says that the Russian authorities should put an end to this story as soon as possible; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

2. Alexander Melman article headlined "Is Everything Quiet in Baghdad?" comments on the closure of media outlets in Russia and the role of the Russian authorities in this; pp 1-2 (550 words).

3. Darya Fedotova factual report headlined "Court Does Not Form Threesome" focuses on a session of the Moscow City Court, at which one of the convicted Pussy Riot girls has been released; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

4. Anastasia Rodinova article headlined "Man Who Encroached on Opposition's Money Withdrawn From Elections" says that the League of Voters coordinator and a member of the opposition youth movement Resistance, Nikolai Belyayev, has misappropriated 500,000 rubles (some $16,000) from the opposition's charity online purse. Belyayev was registered as a candidate for the opposition Coordination Council election, but asked to withdraw his candidacy; p 2 (500 words).

5. Konstantin Smirnov article headlined "WTO to Be Adjusted to Needs of Russian Business" looks at measures suggested by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs to support the Russian economy in the light of the country's joining the WTO; p 2 (450 words).

6. Marina Ozerova article headlined "Those Who Disagree With Zyuganov to Pay for 'Split' From Their Pockets" says that the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov, has been accused of betraying the Communist ideology by his own party fellows. The party leadership considers the move to be part of an electoral strategy in the run-up to the Oct. 14 regional elections; p 3 (450 words).

7. Matvei Ganapolsky article headlined "Light Candle for Communist Party" comments on the attack on the Communist leader, Gennady Zyuganov, by his party fellows; p 3 (700 words).

8. Melor Sturua article headlined "Duel of Vice-Presidents" explains why the debates between the U.S. vice-president nominees play a significant role in the U.S. presidential race; p 4 (500 words).

9. Dina Karpitskaya article headlined "Dirty Games 2014" says that a thermal power plant is planned to be put into operation for the needs of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The move will kill the resort there, experts say; p 9 (1,300 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Margarita Alyokhina article headlined "Suspended Sentence for Relative Dancing" describes the court session at which one of the Pussy Riot girls was released; pp 1, 5 (650 words).

2. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "Process Goes" says that according to a public opinion poll conducted by the Levada Center, 13 percent of Russians back protest rallies, which is by 1 percent higher than in December 2011, and 17 percent of respondents are ready to take part in protest rallies if they are held during the next few days, which is 2 percent more than in December 2011; pp 1-2 (500 words).

3. Yulia Savina article headlined "Split in Red Camp" says that the recent attack on Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov may be a conspiracy of several party members, aiming to dismiss him from the post; p 2 (520 words).

4. Nadezhda Bulanova article headlined "Minus One" says that Regional Development Minister Oleg Govorun has been dismissed from his post; p (380 words).

5. Vera Moslakova article headlined "New Wheel of Security Agency" says that the Defense Ministry has drafted a bill introducing military police in Russia; p 2 (500 words).

6. Sergei Putilov article headlined "Plans Go on the Rocks" says that Ukraine will not join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan even if Russia gives it a discount on gas supplies; p 3 (600 words).

7. Yevgenia Zubchenko article headlined "Ruble Goes to West" says that Serbia will begin to use Russian rubles on its currency market in order to develop Russian-Serbian cooperation in the fiscal sector; p 3 (500 words).

RBK Daily

1. Anna Reznikova article headlined "To Succeed in 5 Years" says that according to a research conducted by the consulting company SBS, most Russian cities chosen to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup are not prepared for the event. About 9 billion rubles (some $290m at the current exchange rate) should be invested in the cities' infrastructure; pp 1, 3 (500 words).

2. Anastasia Litvinova article headlined "To Defend From WTO Invasion" says that the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs has prepared a list of extra support measures for the most vulnerable sectors in the Russian economy given Russia's accession to the WTO; p 3 (600 words).

3. Alexander Litoi article headlined "Expensive Rallies" says that political activists who have been fined under the new law toughening punishment for violations made during rallies plan to file a complaint to the Constitutional Court to challenge their penalties because they consider it unconstitutional that fines for administrative offenses exceed those for criminal offenses; p 2 (530 words).

4. Yulia Yakovleva article headlined "Split in Pussy Riot" says that the Moscow City Court has left unchanged the verdict passed on Pussy Riot punk group activists Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, but replaced a real prison term with a suspended sentence for Yekaterina Samutsevich; p 2 (320 words).

5. Anastasia Sotnikova article headlined "LUKoil to replace TNK-BP" says that the Russian oil company LUKoil is considering buying a stake in the Russian-British joint venture TNK-BP in the Russian National Oil Consortium project to extract oil in Venezuela. The Russian oil company Rosneft is considering buying Surgutneftegaz's stake in the project; p 6 (1, 000 words).

6. Kristina Yust article headlined "BP to Remain With Rosneft?" quotes Rosneft head Igor Sechin as saying that President Putin has backed the company's plan to buy a 50 percent stake in the Russian-British joint venture TNK-BP; p 6 (600 words).

7. Vitaly Petlevoi article headlined "Dismiss, Not Leave" says that Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov has failed to achieve a change of leadership in the communications company Rostelecom; p 10 (220 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta (weekly)

1. Tamara Mikhailova article headlined "Anatomy of Viewing" looks at the reaction by politicians and the Russian Investigative Committee on the anti-opposition film "Anatomy of Protest 2" shown on NTV channel on Oct. 5; p 6 (520 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Marina Lepina article headlined "Minus One" says lawyers of the jailed Pussy Riot girls will fight for their early release; p 2 (370 words).

Zavtra

1. Alexander Prokhanov article headlined "Putin as Messianic Figure" comments on Putin's personality and its perception home and abroad; p 1 (750 words).

2. Alexei Kasymin article headlined "Art Is Impossible" sums up comments by retired General Leonid Ivashov of the Institute of Geopolitical Problems on Russia's military strategy; p 3 (1, 100 words).

Oct. 11, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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