What the Papers Say, Nov. 16, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Maxim Ivanov and Roman Rozhkov interview with the head of the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service, Alexander Zharov, headlined "'I Have Not Got Orders Like 'Get Ready, We Will Give You Club'," in which he speaks about the new law on blacklists of websites containing information that may harm children; pp 1, 4 (3,214 words).

2. Mikhail Serov et al. report headlined "Russia Lays Channel for South Stream" says that now Gazprom has all the approvals required for construction of the South Stream gas pipeline after it got Bulgaria's consent in exchange for a significant gas discount; pp 1, 11 (657 words).

3. Vladislav Novyy et al. report headlined "Mega Option" looks at MegaFon's IPO to begin on Nov. 28; pp 1, 13 (906 words).

4. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Saying Goodbye to Slavyanka" says that top managers from Slavyanka, the company servicing military towns, are suspected of major fraud; pp 1, 3 (523 words).

5. Taisiya Bekbulatova et al. report headlined "Andrei Vorobyov Wants to Fulfill 2 Duties" says that acting Moscow region Governor Andrei Vorobyov has initiated amendments to the regional rules to combine the posts of governor and head of the regional government, which were separated under former Moscow region Governor Sergei Shoigu; p 2 (630 words).

6. Irina Nagornykh article headlined "Governors Proposed to Be Appointed as Elected Ones" says that experts have suggested four ways to make elections of regional heads less direct. Meanwhile, some State Duma deputies are ready to vote for reinstatement of appointment of governors; p 2 (701 words).

7. Nikolai Sergeyev and Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "Prosecutor General's Office Approves Deal on Anna Politkovskaya Murder" says that former police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, charged with involvement in journalist Anna Politkovskaya's murder, will be tried separately as law enforcement officials say he has fulfilled the conditions of a pre-trial agreement; p 3 (568 words).

8. Yury Senatorov article headlined "Organizer of APEC Summit Fails to Find Common Language With Investigation" says that law enforcement officials have brought charges against former Deputy Regional Development Minister Roman Panov, suspecting him of involvement in the embezzlement of 93 million rubles allocated for preparation for the 2012 APEC summit in Vladivostok; p 5 (493 words).

9. Tatyana Drogayeva report "Aksana Panova Becomes Regular Visitor at Investigator's Office" says a second extortion case has been launched in relation to Aksana Panova, chief editor of the Ura.ru news agency. She is also suspected of fraud; p 5 (550 words).

10. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Barack Obama Enters Post-Election Fight" says that U.S. President Barack Obama's first news conference after his re-election has resulted in a scandal after Obama warned the Republicans that if they did not stop criticizing U.S. envoy at the UN Susan Rice, they would have problems with the president; p 7 (553 words).

11. Alexander Gabuyev article headlined "China's Communist Party Announces Layout" says the new leadership of China has been formed, but the struggle for power among the leaders is likely to continue, which is fraught with instability; p 7 (849 words).

12. Roman Yanushevsky and Maria Yefimova article headlined "Pillar of Cloud Tougher Than Cast Lead" says the Israeli counterterrorism operation in Gaza Strip is turning into a full-fledged war; p 7 (499 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Israel and Hamas Begin Another War" says the escalation of tensions between Israel and Hamas has put the Middle East on the verge of a new crisis as an exchange of fire between them claimed the lives of 11 people; pp 1, 8 (508 words).

2. Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Economic Effect From Migrants' Inflow Very Doubtful" says the uncontrollable flow of labor migrants has raised the question of whether Russians will be able to preserve their identity or will have to put up with aggravating conflicts and the changed environment; pp 1, 4 (1,022 words).

3. Igor Naumov article headlined "Modified Soya Not to Improve Taste, but to Spoil Appetite" says the Public Chamber has discussed the spread of genetically modified organisms in Russia. Experts differ on the harm that GMO may cause, but agree that the situation in Russia is rather ambiguous, as production of GMO in Russia is prohibited while import of some GMO is allowed; pp 1, 4 (818 words).

4. Alexandra Samarina and Olga Markelcheva article headlined "Pre-Election Governor" says that acting Moscow region Governor Andrei Vorobyov has announced his determination to win the gubernatorial election in the region in 2013; pp 1, 3 (732 words).

5. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Striking Sentence" says that martial arts champion Rasul Mirzayev, whose fight with student Ivan Agafonov resulted in Agafonov's death, may be sentenced to only two years in prison, since the fifth expert review stated that Mirzayev's blow was not the cause of the student's death; pp 1, 3 (731 words).

6. Viktor Litovkin article headlined "Army Expects Assessment of Serdyukov's Reform" says that President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree allowing the sacking of servicemen over loss of trust. Meanwhile, reshuffles in the army continue as the military community wonders what will happen to the army reform; pp 1-2 (771 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Centralization in Culture as Symptom" ponders the current trend to unite culture and research facilities in an attempt to reduce expenditures; p 2 (488 words).

8. Ilya Shablinsky article headlined "Fate of Council" looks at the role and prospects of the presidential human rights council; p 3 (755 words).

9. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Finance Ministry Dismisses Health Ministry's Ambitious Program" says the Finance Ministry has refused to finance the Health Ministry's new program of healthcare development to 2020; p 4 (820 words).

10. Sergei Alexeyev report "On Man's Constitution" looks at the current state and prospects of the Russian Constitution; p 5 (3,000 words).

11. Yury Roks article headlined "Georgian Dream Begins to Arrest in Bulk" says that another group of top police officers has been arrested in Georgia, this time for kidnapping Bidzina Ivanishvili's bodyguard ahead of the parliamentary election; p 7 (776 words).

12. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "Big Bride Show in Minsk" doubts that a Belarussian investment forum will attract major foreign investment to the country; p 7 (804 words).

13. Article by Leonid Radzikhovsky headlined "Cheating Brother" says that Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko is successfully using Russia's resources to his advantage; p 7 (749 words).

14. Darya Tsiryulik article headlined "Republicans Threaten Obama With Libyan Watergate" says that at his first news conference as the newly elected U.S. president, Barack Obama had to counter the attack of Republicans who blamed him for the tragedy at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi; p 8 (520 words).

15. Yevgeny Grigoryev article headlined "Angela Merkel in Moscow Again" looks ahead to the Russian-German intergovernmental consultations to take place in Moscow on Friday; p 8 (718 words).

16. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "'Great Seven' to Rule China" looks at the new leadership of the Communist Party of China and at the prospects for the country; p 8 (519 words).

Vedomosti

1. Pyotr Tretyakov and Vladimir Shtanov article headlined "Ford Drained of Blood" says that the management of the Ford Sollers plant in Vsevolozhsk has stopped the assembly line officially due to a lack of components. Meanwhile, the plant's trade union has been conducting an Italian strike at the plant since the beginning of the week; p 1 (673 words).

2. Irina Kezik article headlined "Expensive and Excessive" says that construction of the South Stream gas pipeline will begin on Dec. 7; pp 1, 8 (622 words).

3. Irina Novikova and Anastasia Kornya article headlined "Vague Frauds" says that State Duma deputies have said that when drafting amendments on fraud to the Criminal Code, they took into account critical comments of the business community. Experts, however, point out that there is still room for abuse and misuse of the amendments; p 1 (416 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Generation of Heirs" looks at the recent appointment of 42-year-old Andrei Vorobyov as acting Moscow region governor and 34-year-old Alexei Merkushin as deputy prime minister of the Mordovia republic. Both are not only efficient managers, but also the sons of high-ranking officials. These appointments may be a signal that the establishment has started openly forming the layer of hereditary quasi-aristocracy that combines bureaucratic power with control over financial flows in the course of implementation of major projects; pp 1, 4 (600 words).

5. Mikhail Fishman article headlined "Public Interest: Putin's Last Bastion" comments on reports about the appointment of former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as advisor to the head of the Russian Technologies state corporation. It seems that Putin is not yet ready to attack his last bastion, the elite loyal to him; p 4 (443 words).

6. Editorial headlined "Business for Hour" says that most heads of private and family companies in Russia do not plan to pass the business on to their heirs and plan to sell it instead; p 4 (329 words).

7. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "Matter of Time" says that members of the opposition Coordination Council are to meet on Nov. 24 to discuss a date for the opposition's next rally and to decide on its format; p 2 (355 words).

Izvestia

1. Olga Zhermeleva report "They Suggest That Country's Republics Be Renamed" says that Dagestan plans to initiate change of the names of practically all republics in Russia; pp 1-2 (600 words).

2. Yelena Sharpayeva report "They Forgot to Insure Baikonur and Russia's Military Bases Abroad" says that officials, when drafting a law on insuring hazardous facilities, forgot to include Russia's hazardous facilities abroad; pp 1, 3 (650 words).

3. Anna Polyukhovich report "Disconnected States" says that people from seven U.S. states have collected the number of signatures necessary to file a petition to secede from the union; p 1 (150 words).

4. Vladimir Zykov report "State Duma to Deal With Total Control of Internet" says the State Duma will continue its course of controlling Internet users' activities; p 2 (650 words).

5. Vladimir Gusev report "Rights Council Fails to Gather" says the first working meeting of the presidential human rights council may not take place because many of its members have not confirmed their presence to make a quorum; p 2 (600 words).

6. Alexei Mikhailov report "Kalibr to Allow Submarines to Go Onto Ground" says that Russian submarines will be fitted with Kalibr missiles; p 3 (550 words).

7. Konstantin Vilkov report "Israel Deals With Gaza" looks at Israel's operation in the Gaza Strip; p 5 (600 words).

8. Vladimir Zykov interview with Yelena Mizulina, one of the authors of the so-called bill on blacklisted websites; p 7 (1,300 words).

9. Igor Agapov interview with deputy head of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), Sergei Arkhipov, who speaks about the fate of radio station Mayak; p 7 (1,000 words).

10. Dmitry Saims report "Obama Thanks Hero" looks at the scandal involving the former head of the CIA; p 8 (800 words).

11. Leonid Zlotin report "What Do We Make Missiles for" looks at the problem of the Russian armed Forces; p 8 (750 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "Saudi Roller Coasters" looks at Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to Saudi Arabia, which yielded no breakthrough on Syria; p 3 (700 words).

2. Valery Vyzhutovich article headlined "Right for Council" looks at the first session of the presidential human rights council and the role it may play; p 3 (900 words).

3. Vladimir Kuzmin article headlined "Insurance Against Gas Crises" says that Russia and Bulgaria have signed the final investment deal on the South Stream gas pipeline; p 4 (600 words).

4. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "Pillar-Throwers" wonders if the Pillar of Cloud operation that Israel is conducting in the Gaza Strip is a rehearsal of a war with Iran; p 8 (700 words).

5. Yevgeny Solovyev article headlined "Comrade Xi" looks at the first speech of general secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping; p 8 (550 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yulia Kalinina report "Serdyukov's Amazon Women Turn Off Lights in Army" looks at numerous instances of fraud at the Defense Ministry; pp 1-2 (700 words).

2. Ignat Kalinin article headlined "Counter-Reform Without Counter-Corruption" comments on the rumors about former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov's appointment as advisor to the head of Russian Technologies and decisions of new Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu cancelling Serdyukov's decisions; p 2 (1,012 words).

3. Article by Stanislav Belkovsky headlined "General Kadyrov's Victory" gives an ironic account of the conflict between Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Ingushetia head Yunus-bek Yevkurov; p 3 (1,208 words).

4. Igor Subbotin article headlined "Conflicts in Gaza Not to Stop" features a comment by Middle East Institute president Yevgeny Satanovsky on the counterterrorism operation that Israel is conducting in the Gaza Strip and the UN's role in settling it; p 15 (400 words).

RBC Daily

1. Alexander Litoy article headlined "Navalny's Propaganda" says that opposition blogger Alexei Navalny's teammates will start consulting policemen regarding their rights and tactics of behavior in conflict with higher officials; the Interior Ministry and the United Russia party think the project has no future; p 2 (400 words).

2. Vladimir Pavlov article headlined "'Glorious Seven' in Chinese Style" says the number of China's Standing Committee members has been reduced to seven from nine; pundits link the names of two politicians excluded from the committee to revitalization of reforms; p 4 (500 words).

3. Kristina Yust and Polina Stroganova article headlined "Pipeline of Ruin" says that shareholders have finally signed an agreement on the final investment plan for construction of the South Stream pipeline, which will considerably increase Gazprom's export capacity; p 5 (600 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Veronika Kogan article headlined "Rasul Mirzayev May Be Released in 2 Weeks" says the final examination in the trial of mixed martial arts champion Rasul Mirzayev has failed to confirm his guilt in the death of a 19-year-old student; p 3 (300 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Lidia Glazko article headlined "Souvenir Democracy" says that deputies of the Moscow region legislature have ordered a set of 80 new iPad 3 tablets and accessories as presents for the New Year; p 2 (300 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Andrei Sukhotin article headlined "Board of Directors of Federation Council" investigates business activities of members of the Federation Council; pp 4-5 (900 words).

2. Oleg Lepilin article headlined "Comrades 'Pioneers'" says the arrest of the top Chelyabinsk region health official may be just the beginning of a large anti-corruption operation; the author predicts that Chelyabinsk region Governor Mikhail Yurevich and high-ranking federal officials may be involved in the scandal as well; p 8 (1,000 words).

3. Vasily Golovnin article headlined "Who Is Xi?" probes into the biography of newly elected Chinese Communist leader Xi Jinping; p 10 (900 words).

4. Irina Perovskaya article headlined "Corruption 2: Mice" analyzes the latest film on corruption produced by controversial pro-Kremlin journalist Arkady Mamontov; p 24 (700 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda (weekly)

1. Anna Potekhina article headlined "Starting Visit" says the launch of the Soyuz carrier rocket on Nov. 14 was observed by new Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for the first time; p 2 (1,200 words).

2. Viktor Ruchkin article headlined "Israel-Palestine: Gates of Hell Opened" says that Israel and Palestine are on the verge of a new war; p 3 (500 words).

3. Oleg Pochinyuk article headlined "Field test" looks at the way a six-week training course of military training was organized in the Western Military District; pp 6-7 (1500 words).

Nov. 16, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC 

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