What the Papers Say, Nov. 22, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Anastasia Gorshkova et al. article headlined "Cold war Declared on Defense Ministry" says that the maintenance and repair department, the sole heat energy supplier of the Defense Ministry, may be declared bankrupt. The department owes over 2.2 billion rubles ($70.97 million at the current exchange rate) to electric energy companies and fuel suppliers; pp 1, 9 (1,140 words).

2. Alexei Sokovnin article headlined "Moscow Region Casinos Evidently Become Deserted" says that Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin has asked the Russian Supreme Court to recognize as illegal the arrests of former policemen Temirgaliyev, Kulikov and Sudakov, involved in the high-profile case of illegal gambling business in the Moscow region; pp 1, 5 (688 words).

3. Unattributed interview with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, headlined "'Any Rules of Game Can Change,'" who speaks about the Russian economy, the WTO and the Rosneft-TNK-BP deal; pp 1, 13 (3,093 words).

4. Yevgeny Timoshinov article headlined "'Systemic' Block" says that the AFK Sistema corporation has obtained a court ruling banning the company Russian Railways from selling a 25 percent stake in the First Freight Company; pp 1, 9 (683 words).

5. Maxim Ivanov and Sofya Samokhina article headlined "5 Years Without Right to Replacement" says that the Central Elections Commission has drafted instructions to form district electoral commissions in spring 2013 and their staff reserve for the next five years. The opposition is critical of the novelty; p 3 (776 words).

6. Natalya Korchenkova and Musa Muradov article headlined "Andrei Vorobyov Makes Key Appointment" says that acting Moscow region Governor Andrei Vorobyev has nominated deputy presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District Yury Oleinikov for the post of the first deputy Moscow region governor for political affairs; p 3 (578 words).

7. Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "Human Rights Entrusted Not to Everyone" says that members of the president's human rights council have refused to elect TV journalist Maxim Shevchenko as the head of the council's working group for the North Caucasus and former Central Elections Commission member Igor Borisov as the head of the council's working group for electoral rights; p 4 (630 words).

8. Alexander Voronov et al. article headlined "Investigation Comes to Hat Robbery" says that Left Front activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, charged with preparing mass riots, has been also accused of stealing a video camera and 500 marmot hats in 1997. Razvozzhayev's lawyers referred to the accusation as absurd and said that pressure was being exerted on Razvozzhayev; p 4 (724 words).

9. Pavel Korobov article headlined "Orthodox Domes Do Not Fit Paris's View" says that Russia has asked France to suspend consideration of an appeal to obtain permission to build a religious and cultural Orthodox center in Paris; p 4 (453 words).

10. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Yekaterina Smetanova Left Under Investigators' Control" says that the Moscow City Court has found legal the arrest of Yekaterina Smetanova, involved in the high-profile criminal case on illegal dealings with military property, because any other measure of restraint does not guarantee that witnesses in the case will be protected from possible pressure from Smetanova; p 5 (685 words).

11. Yulia Rybina article headlined "Bank Branch Liquidated by Blast" says that a terrorist attack has claimed the lives of three people in Dagestan; p 5 (552 words).

12. Alexei Tkachenko and Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Vladimir Putin's Attempted Murder to Be Considered in Ukrainian Way" says that the criminal case of Adam Osmayev, charged with preparing an attempt on the life of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, has been sent to court. Osmayev will not be extradited to Russia and will be tried in Ukraine for the crimes committed there; p 5 (625 words).

13. Alexander Gabuyev article headlined "Shanghai's Vertical Chain of Command Built in China" looks at further reshuffles in the Chinese military and political leadership following the 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party; p 7 (553 words).

14. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Hillary Clinton Deployed to Middle East" says that the U.S.A., represented by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who is visiting the Middle East, is doing its best to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Russia is also interested in bringing peace to the region, so it agreed to postpone the consideration of its resolution on settlement of the conflict in the UN Security Council; p 7 (553 words).

15. Alexander Reutov interview with the Palestinian ambassador to Russia headlined "'We Will Not Be Ordinary Spectators,'" who speaks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the consequences of its further escalation; p 7 (408 words).

16. British Prime Minister David Cameron article headlined "'G8 to Return to Its Roots'" looks at the agenda of the G8 summit to be held in Northern Ireland in 2013; p 7 (947 words).

17. Alexei Shapovalov article headlined "Moscow Gets Lost in Kyoto-2" quotes the Russian president's special representative for climate issues, Alexander Bedritsky, as saying that Russia's stance on adoption of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will remain unchanged. Yet another round of climate talks will be held in Doha on Nov. 26; p 8 (387 words).

18. Kirill Melnikov and Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Rosneft Catches Interests" details the Rosneft-TNK-BP deal; p 11 (458 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "Hunting 'Bloody Minerals' in Congo" says that Congolese rebels have seized the strategic town Goma in the east of Congo. Experts believe that Rwanda and Uganda are backing the rebels and say that the conflict is between tribes, although it is a fight for natural resources, in fact; pp 1, 7 (639 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "SMS of Happiness From Government" says that a special service will poll Russians, who have used state services in regions, as from summer 2013 to reveal those displeased and punish guilty officials. Experts are critical of the initiative; pp 1, 3 (722 words).

3. Igor Naumov article headlined "Car Market to Liven Up Thanks to Fitness" says that mass-market car sales have sharply decreased in Russia in expectation of a new economic crisis. However, the trend has not affected premium car sales; pp 1-2 (658 words).

4. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Terrorist Conflict Wave in Gaza Strip" says that the first terrorist attack in the last six years has been staged in Tel Aviv and an expected armistice between Israel and Palestine has been disrupted. Israel and the Hamas continue fighting and intensifying an information war and the fight for support from the international community; pp 1, 7 (677 words).

5. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Migrants' Incomes Grow Even Amid Crisis" says that according to the World Bank, migrants have increased cash transfers to their motherland despite a complicated economic situation in the world. About $7.7 billion was transferred from Russia to the CIS in January-June; pp 1, 4 (990 words).

6. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Deputy Anti-Corruption Tribunal" says that former director of the Federal Security Service, Nikolai Kovalev, has been nominated for the head of the State Duma commission for control over deputies' income and property declarations; pp 1, 3 (734 words).

7. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "President's Council Splits Into Interest Groups" looks at a meeting of the president's human rights council; p 2 (428 words).

8. Editorial headlined "Washington Plays Trump Diplomatic Queen" says that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting the Middle East to help find a way out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The U.S.A. is acting single-handedly, pushing aside the UN and the Middle East Quartet from settling the issue, although Russia could be of use, the article says; p 2 (535 words).

9. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Camouflaged Army Shortage" looks at the problem of recruitment for the Russian army, focusing on the suggested solutions to the problem, and features an expert's comment on the issue; p 3 (739 words).

10. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Interior Ministry Plays Cat-and-Mouse With Europe" says that the Russian Interior Ministry has announced that taxmen and law enforcers have nothing to do with embezzlement of federal budget funds, exposed by Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a remand centre. The statement drew harsh criticism from the European Parliament. Experts consider this to be the Russian authorities' response to the Magnitsky bill passed by the US Senate; p 3 (642 words).

11. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "Russian Oil Can Ruin Belarussian Ruble" says that Minsk considers the recent talks on Russian oil supplies to Belarus, held in Moscow, to be a failure, although not definitive. The Belarussian authorities want to calm down the population and postpone the devaluation of the Belarusian ruble, some experts say; p 6 (747 words).

12. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Moldovan Authorities Pull Into EU, But People Want Customs Union" says that a recent public opinion poll in Moldova has shown that most people would have voted for joining the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan if a referendum on Moldova's accession to either the EU or the Customs Union had been held now. The Kremlin is using these sentiments to exert pressure on the Moldovan authorities to compel them to the Eurasian integration, the article says; p 6 (798 words).

13. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Pensioners Elect Leaders of China" looks at possible successors of recently elected Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2022; p 7 (515 words).

Vedomosti

1. Timofei Dzyadko et al. article headlined "Some £1Bln for Time" says that the Russian oil company Rosneft will additionally pay some $1 billion as interest to BP and the AAR consortium, the shareholders of TNK-BP; p 1 (691 words).

2. Margarita Papchenkova article headlined "Russian Discount" says that the state's active participation in the Russian economy and political risks have affected the Russian stock exchange so that it is stagnating and if nothing changes, investment in Russia will begin to decline in 2013; pp 1, 3 (1,229 words).

3. Yelizaveta Sergina article headlined "Getting Through to Independent Ones" says that the commission for nominating independent directors to state-run companies at the Federal Agency for the Management of State Property has decided to preserve Rostelecom board members, Ivan Rodionov and Sergei Kuznetsov, in a list of candidates for the forthcoming election to the boards of state-run companies; p 1 (423 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Magic of Gold" says that gold deposits remain the most reliable source of investment in the world; pp 1, 4 (552 words).

5. Roman Dorokhov article headlined "Marketing Editor" says that Yelena Kolmanovskaya has left the post of editor-in-chief of the Yandex search engine; p 7 (478 words).

6. Ksenia Dodukina article headlined "Following 1,000Bln Rubles" looks at the Russian gas giant Gazprom's investment program for 2013; p 8 (423 words).

7. Ivan Grigoryev and Arina Dmitriyeva article headlined "Extra Jus: Time for Decentralization" contemplates problems that the Russian police are facing and looks at the police reform; p (696 words).

8. Maxim Tovkailo and Filipp Sterkin article headlined "WTO Worse Than Crisis" says that at a Security Council meeting dedicated to Russia's accession to the WTO, President Vladimir Putin has admitted that risks for Russia from joining the WTO have increased due to an economic crisis; p 3 (559 words).

9. Editorial headlined "Waiting for Agents" says that the law on NGOs, the so-called "foreign agents," has come into effect in Russia; p 4 (250 words).

10. Natalya Kostenko and Irina Novikova article headlined "Laws of Front" says that an expert center will be set up at the All-Russia People's Front to help United Russia lawmakers draft laws; p 2 (424 words).

11. Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "Terrorist Attack Before Peace" looks at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; p 2 (500 words).

Izvestia

1. Ivan Cheberko article headlined "Roskosmos Head Gives All Powers to New Deputy Head" looks at areas of responsibility of new Federal Space Agency deputy head Oleg Frolov; pp 1, 4 (568 words).

2. Anastasia Alexeyevskikh article headlined "Rosfinmonitoring Suspects Caucasus Banks of Money Laundering" says that the Rosfinmonitoring financial watchdog has revealed a number of violations in the performance of banks in the North Caucasus Federal District; pp 1, 4 (744 words).

3. Mikhail Rubin article headlined "Platforms Set Up in All-Russia People's Front" says that three groups — for ethnic issues, creative activity and protection of workers' rights — will be established at the All-Russia People's Front; p 1 (337 words).

4. Anna Semenova interview with deputy Moscow mayor for economic issues Andrei Sharonov, headlined "'One-Third of Jobs in Moscow Taken Up by Migrants'"; pp 1, 6 (1,194 words).

5. Pyotr Kozlov article headlined "Public Chamber Asks to Strengthen Army Morally" says that the Public Chamber national security commission has sent a letter to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, which lists measures to improve Russian servicemen's morale and strengthen their spiritual values; p 2 (545 words).

6. Vladimir Dergachev et al. article headlined "'Deputy With Gun' Turns Out to Be Businessman" says that State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Roman Khudyakov is combining deputy work with business activity. Khudyakov has denied this; p 2 (574 words).

7. Mikhail Popov article headlined "FAS Gets Interested in Boris Berezovsky's Debts" says that the law companies that have lost a Samara Region government tender to recover debts from exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky to the British company Pinsent Masons have asked the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) to check the tender for corruption; p 3 (549 words).

8. Vladimir Voloshin article headlined "They Demand That Shoigu Extend Military Service to 1.5 Years" says that the State Duma Defense committee has asked Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to extend the term of military service from one year to 1.5 years; p 4 (656 words).

9. Yury Matsarsky article headlined "'While Israel Wails, We Have Good Time'" says that citizens of Russia and other CIS countries have been evacuated from the Gaza Strip to Egypt, but their whereabouts is not known; p 7 (962 words).

10. Vladimir Barinov and German Petelin article headlined "Prosecutors to Assess Russians' Handing Over to Libyans" says that State Duma deputies and Public Chamber members have asked the Prosecutor General's Office to check who among Russian diplomats in Libya have decided to hand over Russian citizens to Libyan rebels, who later jailed them for cooperation with late Libyan leader's regime; p 7 (869 words).

11. Anna Akhmadiyeva article headlined "Russia Today Catches Up With Murdoch's Sky News" says that the Russian English-language TV channel Russia Today has been ranked third among news channels in the UK; p 8 (324 words).

12. Olga Uskova article headlined "5 Years of Russia's Innovation Development" says that Russia's future as a strong country depends on development of innovation in the country; p 9 (654 words).

13. Vladimir Milov article headlined "Nationalization Is Bad Word" contemplates privatization in Russia; p 9 (927 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Konstantin Novikov interview with Minister for Relations with the Open Government Mikhail Abyzov, headlined "Opening of Government," who speaks about the fight against corruption; pp 1, 4 (712 words).

2. Vitaly Petrov article headlined "There Are Things to Respond With" says that Putin has instructed the Foreign Ministry, Economic Development and Industry and Trade ministries to remove discriminating sanctions against Russian companies after Russia's accession to the WTO; p 2 (700 words).

3. Another article by Vitaly Petrov headlined "Glance On-Site" says that the Central Elections Commission is not going to give up sending observers to foreign countries to monitor elections there; p 2 (424 words).

4. Yury Gavrilov article headlined "Shoigu's Nine Deputies" looks at Russia's new deputy defense ministers; p 3 (421 words).

5. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "Unadorned Gaza" says that Israel and the Hamas have come to an agreement on ceasefire; p 8 (555 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Marina Ozerova article headlined "With Bullet in Head" says that State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Roman Khudyakov has threatened deputies with a toy pistol at a meeting dedicated to the law on short-barreled guns; pp 1-2 (435 words).

2. Yulia Kalinina article headlined "Housing in President's Environment" looks at how the housing problem of high-ranking Russian officials is solved at the cost of the state; pp 1, 4 (1,152 words).

3. Yekaterina Karacheva article headlined "Agency Fails to Grow" says that the setting-up of a single investigations agency in Russia has been postponed again, at least for a year; pp 1, 10 (1,408 words).

4. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Suicide of Russian Opposition, or Who Steals 500 Hats" ridicules Left Front activist Leonid Razvozzhayev's new accusation of stealing 500 hats and says that the Russian opposition itself is assisting the authorities in treating it as a laughingstock, but not a threat; pp 1-2 (938 words).

5. Mikhail Zubov article headlined "Maxim Shevchenko Leaves Presidential Council" looks at the first meeting of the newly composed president's human rights council; p 2 (771 words).

6. Vadim Syromyatnikov article headlined "'Parex List' may follow 'Magnitsky list'" says that Latvia may introduce sanctions against Russian officials and businessmen, who have received "politically motivated" loans from the Latvian bank Parex Banka; p 2 (754 words).

7. Alexander Rozenzaft article headlined "Israel Uses 'God's Weapon'" says that Israel and Palestine are far from concluding a truce; p 3 (399 words).

8. Igor Subbotin article headlined "Any Missile Can Frustrate All Diplomatic Talks" features a comment by Sergei Pashkov, the chief of the Middle East bureau of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; p 3 (373 words).

9. Matvei Ganapolsky article headlined "Russia, Are You Man Anyway?" says that Russia is behind the failed attempts to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as it is strongly opposing the condemnation resolution of the side that has begun the firing; p 3 (1,049 words).

10. Andrei Yashlavsky article headlined "Who Is Xi?" looks at the new Chinese leader elected at the 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party; p 4 (1,744 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda 

1. Yevgeny Chernykh article headlined "Russian Trace in Case of CIA Ex-Director" looks at the affair of former U.S. CIA head David Petraeus, which made him resign from the post; pp 6-7 (1,300 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda 

1. Viktor Ruchkin article headlined "Will Pillar of Cloud Fall on Ground [?]" analyzes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; pp 1, 3 (650 words).

Trud

1. Alexander Protsenko article headlined "Knocking. Open the Door!" looks at the recent corruption scandals in Russia and public reaction to them; pp 1-2 (600 words).

Nov. 22, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC 

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