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What the Papers Say, Oct. 25, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Dmitry Butrin and Darya Nikolayeva article headlined "Certification Courses" says that the Strategic Initiatives Agency has drafted a "road map" to reform the Russian labor market, which envisages creating 25 million highly-qualified jobs by 2020; pp 1, 8 (1,072 words).

2. Arina Borodina article headlined "Moscow Hands Over TV Center" says that the head of TV Center, owned by the Moscow city government, Alexander Ponomaryov, has been unexpectedly dismissed. Yulia Bystritskaya, deputy general director of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), will head the TV channel from Oct. 29; pp 1, 3 (1,091words).

3. Yelena Kiseleva article headlined "Faceting Squad" says that the Russian diamond manufacturer Alrosa is close to a trade agreement with the Chinese company Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group. In future, the Chinese company may seriously rival Alrosa's Indian partners, which facet about a half of all diamonds extracted in Russia; pp 1, 9 (865 words).

4. Grigory Tumanov and Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Left Front Beyond Borders" says that the U.S. authorities have officially expressed concern about the case of Left Front activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, charged with preparing riots, and asked the authorities to investigate his statements about being tortured to give evidence against opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov; pp 1, 4 (754 words).

5. Sofya Samokhina and Irina Nagornykh article headlined "Officials' Foreign Property Banned Nationwide" says that State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin has criticized a bill banning officials from having property and bank accounts in foreign countries. Experts say that Naryshkin has reflected the Kremlin's stance on the bill. Meanwhile, the ruling United Russia party has collected over 550,000 signatures from voters who are opposing officials having property abroad; p 2 (666 words).

6. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Cossacks Announce Gathering for Congress" says that a founding congress of the Cossack party will be held in the Moscow region in late November. The party will be set up to support President Vladimir Putin and aims to defend the interests of the Cossacks and participate in election campaigns. Experts believe that the party may join the All-Russia People's Front; p 2 (653 words).

7. Unattributed article headlined "Why Do Cossacks Need Party?" features comments by experts and celebrities on the Russian Cossacks' plans to set up their own political party; p 2 (553 words).

8. Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "National Policy Lacks Ministry and Billion" says that the State Duma has discussed a concept of the state national policy and concluded that it is necessary to reinstate the ministry for nationalities and allocate at least 1 billion rubles (some $32.3 million at the current exchange rate) to finance the national policy; p 2 (556 words).

9. Viktor Khamrayev and Ivan Safronov article headlined "Defense Minister Reveals Monetary Potential" says that Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has delivered a report to the State Duma on the military reform and defense spending; p 2 (557 words).

10. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Vladimir Putin Not Seen as Pensioner" says that a public opinion poll conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) has shown that 62 percent of respondents consider 60-year-old Vladimir Putin to be in his prime rather than elderly. Over 80 percent of Russians have described Putin as active, strong and sensible; p 3 (522 words).

11. Arina Borodina interview with Alexander Gorbenko, deputy Moscow mayor and deputy head of the board of directors of TV Center, headlined "TV Center Fits Its Times, But Times Have Changed,'" who speaks about a reshuffle at the TV channel; p 3 (723 words).

12. Tatyana Drogayeva and Nikolai Sergeyev article headlined "Article on Extortion Found in Ura.ru" says that criminal proceedings have been instituted against the editor-in-chief of the Yekaterinburg-based news agency Ura.ru, Aksana Panova, on suspicion of extorting money from officials for not publishing critical reports about them; p 4 (777 words).

13. Ilya Shepelin article headlined "Judges and Investigators Blacklisted" says that the opposition has begun to draw up a list of policemen and judges who are involved in prosecuting the participants in the so-called Bolotnaya case (mass riots in Moscow on May 6). The authors of the blacklist want these people to be banned from entering foreign countries and their bank accounts abroad to be seized; p 4 (404 words).

14. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Presidential Candidates to Shake Up Swing Ones" says that the U.S. presidential nominees have embarked on a trip to the swing states to enlist support of voters there; p 7 (535 words).

15. Georgy Dvali and Maxim Yusin article headlined "Georgia Changes Side in War" says that Georgian Prime Minister-designate Bidzina Ivanishvili has accused President Mikheil Saakashvili and his associates in the United National Movement of unleashing the 2008 war with Russia; p 7 (465 words).

16. Olga Mordyushenko article headlined "Gazprom Loses Advance Payment to RWE" says that the Czech company RWE Transgas has won a lawsuit against the Russian gas giant Gazprom; p 9 (600 words).

17. Kirill Melnikov and Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Rosneft Starts Skidding on Shelf" says that the Russian oil company Rosneft has failed to receive 14 government licenses to develop new offshore projects; p 11 (592 words).

18. Kirill Melnikov interview with Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi, headlined "'State Should Get Maximum From Business", who speaks about the development of offshore projects, among other things; p 14 (2,564 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Vladislav Maltsev et al. article headlined "Migrants Being Driven Into Reservations" says that the Russian authorities have put forward a number of initiatives concerning labor migration. The life of foreign expatriates will be facilitated, whereas labor migrants will be gathered in labor camps; pp 1, 3 (732 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina and Ivan Rodin article headlined "Alexander Kudrin's Not Quite Civil Initiative" says that the Strategic Development Center has presented a report on three scenarios for Russia's development, written following a request from former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin's Civil Initiatives Committee; pp 1-2 (1,094 words).

3. Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Expensive Credits Slow Down Economy" says that Sberbank head German Gref believes that a lack of investment will slow down development of the Russian economy and the current fiscal and credit policy should be seriously changed; pp 1, 4 (843 words).

4. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Melnychenko Arrested in Kiev, Lazarenko Next in Turn" says that former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko will be released from a U.S. jail in a week. The man fears that he may become an arbiter in the fight between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko; pp 1-2 (820 words).

5. Yury Roks article headlined "Saakashvili Unleashes War With Russia" says that Georgian Prime Minister-designate Bidzina Ivanishvili has taken part in a meeting of the United National Movement. He placed responsibility for the 2008 war with Russia on President Mikheil Saakashvili and expressed the hope to restore trade relations with Russia; pp 1, 6 (699 words).

6. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Fedotov Waits for Answer From Bastrykin and Chaika" says that the opposition plans to hold an unauthorized rally in support of their arrested associates on Oct. 27. Meanwhile, members of the Public Supervisory Commission met detained activist Leonid Razvozzhayev. The head of the president's human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, asked the Prosecutorm General's Office and the Russian Investigative Committee to investigate the issue; pp 1, 3 (447 words).

7. Editorial headlined "They Try Their Best" comments on the results of the Oct. 14 gubernatorial elections, focusing on the reasons behind the victory of the incumbent governors from the ruling United Russia party; p 2 (521 words).

8. Alexander Karavayev article headlined "Kiev Deadlock" contemplates Russian-Ukrainian relations and prospects for their development; p 3 (702 words).

9. Ivan Rodin article headlined "United Russia Members Clear State Duma From Businessmen" says that the State Duma has approved a request filed by United Russia deputy Alexei Knyshov to voluntarily vacate a deputy seat. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation fears that its deputies may be next in turn to vacate deputy seats; p 3 (778 words).

10. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "International Financial Center to Be Strengthened With Mega-Regulator" focuses on a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, at which prospects for the setting up of an international financial centre have been discussed; p 4 (942 words).

11. Igor Naumov article headlined "Russia's Modernization to Be Entrusted to Distinguished Inventors" looks at a meeting of the council for the modernization of the economy and the innovation development of Russia chaired by Putin; p 4 (560 words).

12. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Defense of Union State Being Strengthened With Russian Ruble" describes the recent Russian-Belarussian meetings, at which military cooperation between the two countries was discussed; p 5 (670 words).

13. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "Military Alliance of Moscow and Minsk Becomes Stronger" says that Russian and Belarussian experts have been instructed to jointly prepare an intergovernmental agreement on military and technical cooperation and update the current laws in the sector; p 6 (618 words).

14. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Beijing Reshuffles Army Command" says that China has reshuffled its military command. According to Western experts, this means that Beijing will allocate more money to defend its interests in a confrontation with the U.S.A.; p 7 (535 words).

15. Yevgeny Grigoryev article headlined "Russia and Germany to Set Record in Trade" contemplates Russian-German relations and prospects for their development; p 7 (721 words).

16. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "Surgery Waits for Mali" says that a military operation in Mali may be held in January-March 2013; p 7 (763 words).

Vedomosti

1. Bela Lyauv and Dmitry Kazmin article headlined "To Take Away in 30 Days" says that the seizure of plots of lands for state needs on new territories annexed to Moscow will be sped up; p 1 (702 words).

2. Ksenia Dodukina et al. article headlined "Kovalchuk Calls Sechin" says that the state-run company Rosneftegaz may acquire a stake in RusHydro and thus will be able to take part in the privatization of the Russian fuel and energy sector; pp 1, 10 (635 words).

3. Alexander Vorobyov and Yevgeny Rakul article headlined "Alexei Knyshov to Roll Asphalt" says that a company owned by former State Duma deputy from United Russia Alexei Knyshov has won a tender to build a road in the Rostov region; p 1 (514 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Planned Scandal" comments on persecution of Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, on the role of Left Front activist Leonid Razvozzhayev's case in this and the Russian authorities' stance on the issue; pp 1, 4 (520 words).

5. Anastasia Kornya et al. article headlined "Tortures Confirmed" says that at a meeting with human rights activists, opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev has retracted his confession and confirmed that he had been abducted in Kiev and subjected to psychological pressure; p 2 (379 words).

6. Irina Kezik article headlined "Last Oil" says that the Russian oil company Rosneft plans to sell the largest ground oil deposits by the end of the year; p 10 (656 words).

7. Polina Khimshiashvili et al. article headlined "Economist Putin" looks at the agenda of today's meeting between Putin and members of the Valdai international discussion club; p 2 (448 words).

8. Dmitry Gudkov et al. article headlined "Pension Reform: After Us the Deluge" criticizes the pension reform being debated by the government; p 4 (1,601 words).

9. Editorial headlined "Visa for Spy" comments on the controversial law on state secret and high treason approved by the State Duma on Oct. 23; p 4 (278 words).

10. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Procurement at Ever-Increasing Rate" looks at Russia's defense spending until 2015; p 2 (419 words).

Izvestia

1. Alexander Gudkov article headlined "Energy Ministry to Teach Rosneft to Trade in Oil" says that the Energy Ministry has drafted proposals to the Russian-Kazakh agreement on counter oil deliveries. Experts are skeptical about them; pp 1, 3 (774 words).

2. Vladimir Barinov article headlined "FSO to Be Armed With Toy Kalashnikov Guns" says that the Federal Protection Service (FSO) will buy a batch of exact copies of the Kalashnikov gun for tactical exercises; pp 1, 4 (717 words).

3. Yelizaveta Mayetnaya and German Petelin article headlined "Aksana Panova Lays Information Quitrent on Ural" says that three criminal cases of fraud and extortion have been instituted against Aksana Panova, the owner of the Ura.ru news agency; pp 1, 4 (971 words).

4. Pyotr Kozlov article headlined "Public Chamber Sees Threat to Political Stability in Budget" says that the Public Chamber has criticized the draft budget for 2013 and the 2014-15 planned period because it overestimates a threat of a new economic crisis and puts at risk implementation of social tasks set by Putin after his election to the post, which may worsen the socio-political situation in the country; p 2 (644 words).

5. Vladimir Gusev article headlined "Fedotov and Volodin Debate List of Candidates to the Human Rights Council" says that a list of candidates to the president's Council for Promoting the Development of the Institutions of Civil Society and Human Rights has been submitted to the presidential administration for consideration; p 2 (656 words).

6. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "America Invites Churov to Study Observer Courses" says that the International Fund of Electoral Systems (IFES) has invited Russian Central Elections Commission members to take part in training at the cost of the Russian side and promised to show the U.S. electoral system afoot; p 2 (522 words).

7. Anna Akhmadiyeva article headlined "Moscow TV Channel to Earn Under Management of Newcomer From VGTRK" says that Yulia Bystritskaya, deputy general director of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), has replaced Alexander Ponomaryov as the head of TV Center owned by the Moscow city government; p 3 (430 words).

8. Igor Agapov article headlined "VimpelCom Continues to Be Overgrown With Trials" says that Telenor has filed a lawsuit against a subsidiary of Russia's mobile phone company VimpelCom; p 5 (339 words).

9. Alexei Bayev article headlined "Putin's Visit to Delhi Postponed for 2 Months" says that Putin's visit to India has been rescheduled from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24. Indian media outlets attribute this to Russia's displeasure with problems in economic cooperation with its ally; p 5 (608 words).

10. German Petelin interview with Moscow lawyer Mark Feigin, who will defend Left Front activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, charged with preparing riots, headlined "'We Came to Agreement With Razvozzhayev Long Time Ago,'" who speaks about the issue; p 7 (413 words).

11. Alexander Birman article headlined "Fight Against October Ghosts" comments on the Rosneft-TNK-BP deal; p 9 (752 words).

12. Sergei Roganov article headlined "I Am Not Myself and This Ass Is Not Mine" looks at a "war of compromising evidence" being waged by Russian lawmakers; p 9 (804 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Tatyana Smolyakova interview with deputy head of the State Statistics Service (Rosstat), Konstantin Laykam, headlined "Not at Your Service," who speaks about recent research on Russians' health; pp 1, 5 (1,207 words).

2. Tatyana Zykova interview with Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, headlined "Aircraft to Lose Weight," who speaks about the use of new composite material to produce aircraft; pp 1-2 (769 words).

3. Anna Zakatnova article headlined "Time for Repairs" says that the Central Elections Commission has approved a new format of political parties' financial reports, which from now on will be submitted once in three years instead of annually as before; p 2 (483 words).

4. Tamara Shkel article headlined "To Cut Roots, Not Trunk" says that at a meeting on Oct. 24, State Duma deputies discussed the fight against corruption and military reform; p 3 (673 words).

5. Mikhail Barshchevsky interview with Audit Chamber head Sergei Stepashin, headlined "Try to Judge," who speaks about judicial reform in Russia, independence of the judicial branch of power and its cooperation with other branches of power; p 4 (994 words).

6. Boris Yamshanov interview with Alexander Kanshin, head of the "Megapir" National Armed Forces Reserve Officers Association, headlined "No One Invited to Officer Club With Arms," who speaks about Megapir's accession to the International Advisory Committee for Reserve Officers; p 7 (909 words).

7. Vyacheslav Prokofyev article headlined "Messenger From Paris" says that French Senator Jean-Pierre Chevenement will become the French Foreign Affairs Ministry special representative for economic ties with Russia; p 8 (431 words).

8. Vladislav Vorobyov report "Post Accepted" says that Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko has been appointed as Russia's permanent representative to NATO; p 8 (600 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Svetlana Samodelova article headlined "'Sir, Will You Save Me?'" features comments by members of the Alfa special-purpose unit of the Federal Security Service on the hostage release operation at the Dubrovka theater in Moscow in 2002; pp 1-2 (2,860 words).

2. Yulia Kalinina article headlined "Muhammad Goes to Kindergarten" says that the fundamentals of Islam will be taught in kindergartens in Chechnya from Nov. 1; pp 1-2 (464 words).

3. Anastasia Rodionova article headlined "Illogical Anatomy" says that the incident with Left Front activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, charged with organizing riots, is full of discrepancies; pp1-2 (589 words).

4. Dmitry Popov report "Terrorists' Kazan Trace" says that a large-scale special operation to eliminate a group of terrorists was carried out in Kazan on Oct. 24; pp 1-2 (500 words).

5. Marina Ozerova article headlined "Fresh 'Pretzels' Already Put in Oven" says that United Russia deputy Alexei Knyshov has voluntarily vacated a State Duma seat for combining deputy work with business activity. Meanwhile, A Just Russia members Dmitry Gudkov and Ilya Ponomaryov have published a new batch of compromising evidence against United Russia members; p 2 (582 words).

6. Mikhail Zubov article headlined "Revolution's Dead End Branch" says that a research conducted by the Strategic Development Center has shown that over 50 percent of Russians believe that a revolution is the only way out for Russia. Two years ago, the overwhelming majority of respondents said that they were afraid of a revolution; p 2 (475 words).

7. Matvei Ganapolsky article headlined "With Feeling of Deep Self-Satisfaction" comments on a research made by the Strategic Development Center and criticizes the Russian authorities for their policy; p 3 (848 words).

8. Andrei Yashlavsky interview with a U.S. presidential nominee from the Third Position party, headlined "America Being Inclined to 3rd Position," who speaks about the party and the U.S. presidential race; p 10 (680 words).

9. Melor Sturua article headlined "Is Obama Hypnotist?" looks at the final debates between the U.S. presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and tries to explain why Romney assented to Obama many times; p 10 (422 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Margarita Alyokhina article headlined "To Check for Words" says that a bill introducing fines for using obscene language by media outlets has been submitted to the State Duma for consideration; pp 1, 5 (703 words).

2. Sergei Manukov et al. article headlined "To Survive One at a Time" says that separatists have strengthened their positions in Europe, but experts say Russia should not be afraid of the move; p 1-2 (1,112 words).

3. Nadezhda Bulanova article headlined "Season of 'Witch Hunting'" says that the lawyers of the detained opposition activists Lebedev and Razvozzhayev have challenged their arrests. Rallies in support of the arrested men have been held in front of the Federal Security Service's headquarters in Moscow; p 2 (898 words).

4. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "Tired of Authorities and Protests" says that judging by the results of a research conducted by the Strategic Developments Center, Russian people do not trust the authorities, but are disappointed with the protest movement; p 2 (446 words).

RBK Daily

1. Anastasia Novikova and Svetlana Makunina article headlined "Clearing Out Deer" says that an expert council has been set up in the United Russia party to "filter" unpromising and populist initiatives; p 1 (500 words).

2. Anna Reznikova article headlined "Reward According to Deserts" says that the Strategic Initiatives Agency has drafted its own proposals to estimate the effectiveness of regional heads' performance as it is critical of those suggested by the Economic Development Ministry; p 2 (550 words).

3. Alexander Litoi article headlined "Food for Protest" says that the opposition Coordination Council has launched a human rights campaign on the criminal cases opened following the film "Anatomy of Protest 2"; p 2 (600 words).

4. Denis Puzyrev article headlined "Boycott of 40%" says that the U.S. newspaper Daily News has called on Americans to boycott Russian vodka in protest against the prosecution of the Pussy Riot punk band; pp 1, 7 (700 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta (weekly)

1. Irina Nevinnaya article headlined "Principle of Justice" details the pension reform being debated by the government; p 7 (1,051 words).

2. Mikhail Barshchevsky interview with Audit Chamber head Sergei Stepashin, headlined "Investigation Secret," who speaks about an initiative to set up a single investigative body in Russia; p 8 (600 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Anna Potekhina article headlined "3 Officers on Board" gives details of the launch of the Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome with two Russian and one American astronaut onboard; p 1 (400 words).

2. Alexander Pinchuk article headlined "Bystrov Stirs Up Mess" looks into details of the autumn call-up campaign and investigates the case of the Draftees Protection Society head Mikhail Bystrov accused of fraud; p 2 (900 words).

3. Alexander Gerasimov article headlined "Revitalizing Military Cooperation" says that Russian and Vietnamese military officials have discussed ways to boost military cooperation between the two countries and cooperation to provide security in the Asia-Pacific region; pp 1-2 (400 words).

4. Konstantin Lobkov article headlined "Pacific Hits Vladivostok" looks at an exercise of the Russian Interior Ministry forces in Amur Bay; p 4 (800 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Alexander Grishin article headlined "Russia Threatened With 'Ghost of Revolution' Yet Again" skeptically comments on three rather pessimistic scenarios of Russia's development outlined by pundits; p 4 (600 words).

2. Alexander Grishin article headlined "Detective Razvozzhayev" says that opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev might have been in Moscow and not in Ukraine on the day of detention as he posted Facebook messages and tweets on that day; p 5 (550 words).

3. Leonid Zakharov interview with head of Russian Emergencies Ministry Vladimir Puchkov; p 19 (1400 words).

Oct. 25, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC 

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