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What the Papers Say, Nov. 29, 2012

Igor Tabakov

Kommersant

1. Dmitry Butrin et al. interview with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, headlined "'Economic Situation Is Not Crisis, But There Is Thunder in the Air,'" who sums up the results of the government's performance in 2012 and speaks about plans for the cabinet's work until 2018, the economic situation, the current anti-corruption campaign, the latest legislative novelties, the Rosneft — TNK-BP deal and foreign policy issues; pp 1, 4-5 (8,231 words).

2. Pavel Rudenko and Tamila Dzhodzhua article headlined "Visa Wringing" says that the rules for getting UK visas for investors will be toughened as from Dec. 13; pp 1, 10 (629 words).

3. Article by the newspaper's political section headlined "All-Russia People's Front to Use President's Resource" says that President Vladimir Putin's authorized representatives and members of public organizations will deal with preparations for the founding congress of the All-Russia People's Front; p 2 (742 words).

4. Maria-Luiza Tirmaste article headlined "Vladislav Surkov Recognizes Democracy as Luxury" says that at a meeting with representatives of various organizations at the Skolkovo innovation center, Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov has described innovative work as a priority political task and democracy as a luxury; p 2 (581 words).

5. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "NGOs Included in Anti-Corruption Campaign" says that the Russian government has submitted to the State Duma a bill, under which NGOs that fight against corruption may receive grants as state support. Meanwhile, the recent public opinion poll by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) has shown that 75 per cent of Russians believe that corruption is widely-spread in Russia and some 36 per cent of respondents consider local authorities to be the most corrupt state institution; p 2 (514 words).

6. Sofya Samokhina and Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Different A Just Russia" says that several regional branches of the A Just Russia party, which want party leaders Sergei Mironov and Nikolai Levichev to resign as they are to blame for disorganizing the party and splitting the party faction in the State Duma, will hold a meeting in Moscow today. A Just Russia believes that the organizers of the meeting want to frustrate the party leaders' meeting with Putin; p 2 (564 words).

7. Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "Source of Discrediting Evidence for Hermitage Capital Does Not Return From Jogging" says that Russian businessman Alexander Perepelichny, who is considered to be a super-informer in the UK and a supplier of discrediting evidence against his partners to the Hermitage Capital head, has died. Police have not found any evidence of Perepelichny's being killed; p 3 (596 words).

8. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Oboronservis' Services Cost Increasingly Expensive" says that investigators have combined nine criminal cases over instances of fraud at the Defense Ministry's company Oboronservis. The supposed damage caused to the state exceeds 2 billion rubles (almost $64.5 million). However, investigators still have no questions to former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov; p 3 (815 words).

9. Alexander Zheglov article headlined "Sergei Magnitsky to Be Convicted Posthumously" says that Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin has approved an indictment in the tax avoidance case against Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a remand center in Moscow in November 2009, and against the company's head William Browder; p 3 (353 words).

10. Nikolai Sergeyev article headlined "Boris Berezovsky's Former Aide Gets Caught on First Tranche" says that former Federal Security Service officer Andrei Ponkin, who is considered to be exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky's aide, has been arrested on charges of large-scale fraud; p 6 (450 words).

11. Alexei Sokovnin article headlined "Terrorist's Career Finishes With Red Square" says that Ilyas Saidov, a member of the terrorist group that planned to explode bombs on Moscow's Red Square on the New Year's Eve in 2010, has been sentenced to 15 years; p 6 (609 words).

12. Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "VEB Loan Goes Into Turbine" says that first deputy chairman of Vneshekonombank (VEB) Anatoly Ballo may be questioned as part of a probe into a criminal case on embezzlement of a VEB loan worth 4.5 billion rubles ($145 million); p 6 (404 words).

13. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Court and Square Oppose Egyptian President" says that a political scandal, caused by the constitutional declaration giving extraordinary authority to the Egyptian president, is escalating. Constitutional Court members have accused the president of launching a campaign to discredit them and suspended their work, while Egyptian people continue holding protests on Tahrir Square; p 7 (542 words).

14. Maria Yefimova and Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Palestine Increases Statehood" says that today Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas will present to the UN General Assembly a draft resolution, which gives Palestine the observer state status. Israel is displeased with the initiative; p 7 (535 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Oleg Vladykin article headlined "Hoping for Defense From Former Minister" says that Andrei Lugansky, director of the Bezopasnost i Svyaz [Security and Communications] company, has been arrested. Thus, the number of people involved in illegal dealings with military property has increased to six. Investigators still have nothing to charge former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov with; pp 1-2 (553 words).

2. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Barbarian Recycling to Be Banned by Law" says that first deputy head of the State Duma industry committee, Vladimir Gutenev, has suggested amending the law on the state defense order to ban the recycling of outdated ammunition through blasting; pp 1-2 (930 words).

3. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Government's Mishap" looks at problems that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's government faced this year and features experts' comments on the issue; pp 1, 4 (1,168 words).

4. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Rosselkhoznadzor Answers for Black Sea Fleet" says that Russia is displeased with Ukraine-produced meat and milk, whereas Ukraine is blocking fuel supplies to Russia's base of the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea. A coordination group set up to settle trade conflicts between Ukraine and the Customs Union has held its first meeting in Moscow; pp 1, 6 (1,210 words).

5. Andrei Serenko article headlined "Volgograd Officials No Longer Need Mother Motherland [Monument]" says that the Volgograd authorities no longer consider the Mother Motherland monument to be attractive for tourists and announced a tender for a new symbol of the city. Experts say that the move will not only fail to contribute to the development of foreign tourism, but will also cause new political scandals and protests from Word War II veterans; pp 1, 5 (510 words).

6. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Default Threatens Argentina" says that the international agency Fitch Ratings has decreased by five points the sovereign credit rating of Argentina. Meanwhile, the intergovernmental Russian-Argentinean commission for trade and economic and scientific and technical cooperation has met in Buenos Aires; pp 1, 7 (869 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Even Unskilled Laborers Called Trained Migrants in Russia" says that Russia's innovation and technological development leaves much to be desired. Moreover, Russia risks losing even old technology developed in the 1970-80s. It is necessary to attract to the country foreign specialists and skilled migrants, who are the driving force of innovation in developed countries; p 2 (448 words).

8. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "War in Gaza Awakes Left Israel" says that a new left-wing party, which will focus on achieving peace with Palestine, has been set up in Israel; p 2 (504 words).

9. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Mitvol Punished for Change of Political Orientation" says that the Central Elections Commission has removed Oleg Mitvol from the list of the ruling United Russia party's candidates for the State Duma; p 3 (549 words).

10. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Political Ballet for Europe" says that a European Parliament delegation will visit Russia ahead of the Russia-EU summit, which President Vladimir Putin will attend. The delegates will meet Russian opposition leaders to discuss political persecution, toughening of laws and arrests of civil activists; p 3 (598 words).

11. Article by the Palestinian ambassador to Russia, headlined "Birth of New Arab State Is Not Far Off" looks at Palestinian-Israeli relations and prospects for setting up the independent state of Palestine; p 3 (687 words).

12. Igor Naumov article headlined "Yelena Skrynnik Casts Shadow Over Viktor Zubkov" looks at a corruption scandal escalating in the Russian government. Former First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov is suspected of being involved in fraud at the Rosagrolizing state company, which provides agricultural equipment to local authorities and producers; p 4 (787 words).

13. Alexander Malyshev article headlined "Kopeisk Prisoners to Be Defended With One Case, Riot Policemen With 5 Cases" says that six criminal cases have been opened over a mutiny of prisoners in Kopeisk, Chelyabinsk region; p 5 (355 words).

14. Sokhbet Mamedov article headlined "Baku Equips Army With New Hardware" says that Russia has delivered yet another batch of four multipurpose helicopters Mi-35M to Azerbaijan; p 6 (458 words).

15. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "American Women Want to Rise to Generals" says that four U.S. women have filed a lawsuit against the Pentagon, seeking equal rights with men in combat operations; p 7 (660 words).

16. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Death Puzzle of Witness in Magnitsky Case" says that Alexander Perepilichny, one of the main witnesses in the Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky case, has been found dead in his house in the UK; p 7 (720 words).

Vedomosti

1. Margarita Lyutova et al. headlined "Finance Ministry for Justice" says that the Finance Ministry wants to attract investors to the Russian financial market with tax preferences for deposits and shares; pp 1, 3 (916 words).

2. Bela Lyauv article headlined "Park for Putin" looks at plans to develop a plot of land near the Kremlin, where the Rossia hotel used to be located; p 1 (381 words).

3. Maxim Glikin et al. article headlined "They Get Down to Old Practice" says that the United Russia party will establish its own system of party education to improve the skills of party members and train professional politicians; pp 1-2 (667 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Anti-Corruption TV" says that the Russian television is vigorously covering the recent corruption scandals in Russia. However, this is inefficient as regards propaganda and the population's approval of the Russian authorities because the anti-corruption campaign has not resulted in prison terms for corrupt high-ranking officials, but only in their dismissals; pp 1, 4 (532 words).

5. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "New Centrists" says that the party of opposition activist and blogger Alexei Navalny's supporters, People's Alliance, has presented its political program. Some of its provisions are close to the most popular answers to a questionnaire complied for candidates to the opposition Coordination Council and their voters; p 2 (358 words).

6. Ksenia Dodukina article headlined "Buyer for BP" says that businessman Mishel Litvak has bought BP's fuel assets in Turkey; p 8 (370 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Outgoing Nature" says that the St Petersburg Politics Foundation has studied the career development of Russian governors dismissed from high posts in 2005-12. Most regional heads are no longer in politics; p 4 (286 words).

8. Darya Ilyashenko et al. article headlined "Not to Elect Mayors" looks at prospects for reinstating direct mayoral elections in Russia; p 2 (417 words).

9. Vladislav Inozemtsev article headlined "Development Institution: There Will Be No Transit" says that Russia cannot become a connecting element between Europe and Asia as the Russian political elite does not want it; p 4 (2,393 words).

10. Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "Integration Under Fir Tree" says that the heads of the CIS countries will hold four summits in December; p 2 (453 words).

11. Yevgenia Pismennaya interview with Far East Development Minister and presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Viktor Ishayev, headlined "'No Concentration of Efforts and No Confidence,'" who speaks about investment and preferences necessary for the Far East; p 5 (2,525 words).

Izvestia

1. Maria Kunle article headlined "Program to Develop North Caucasus Reduced by 268Bln Rubles" says that 316.4 billion rubles ($10.2 billion) will be allocated from the federal budget for the state program to develop the North Caucasus Federal District until 2025; pp 1, 4 (748 words).

2. Maria Kiseleva article headlined "Russian Aircraft Builders to Bypass WTO Rules With VEB's Help" says that the Industry and Trade Ministry has drafted a number of measures to stimulate purchases of Russia-made aircraft. One of them envisages making Vnesheknombank (VEB) the sole creditor in the sector; pp 1-2 (585 words).

3. Yelena Sharpayeva article headlined "Owners of Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Power Plant Save on Insurance" says that the insurance payment at the Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric power plant in Siberia in case of accident is so small that it is sufficient to pay compensations to relatives of only five victims. The staff of the plant is about 500 people; pp 1, 4 (793 words).

4. Yelizaveta Mayetnaya and German Petelin article headlined "Defense Ministry's Frauds Covered With Names of Heroes" says that Defense Ministry high-ranking officials have not only used their connections for land frauds, but also illegally received plots of land meant for Heroes of Russia; pp 1, 4 (853 words).

5. Dmitry Yevstifeyev article headlined "Cafe Owners to Be Obliged to Fight Against Terrorists" says that a new bill drafted by the Russian government obliges owners of cafes, restaurants and entertainment places, whose capacity exceeds 50 people, to receive a special security certificate, which includes additional anti-terrorist requirements; pp 1-2 (688 words).

6. Vladimir Dergachev article headlined "Opposition Demands That Kremlin Set Up Coalition Government" says that the parliamentary opposition has demanded that the Russian authorities introduce a mechanism to form a coalition government in order to prevent corruption scandals; p 2 (516 words).

7. Lolita Belova and Andrey Gridasov article headlined "Kyrgyzstan Asks Russian Interior Ministry to Give It All Police Uniform" says that the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry has asked Russia to render humanitarian aid to it due to a difficult financial situation at the ministry; p 3 (531 words).

8. Igor Yavlyansky and Konstantin Volkov article headlined "EU to Catch Smugglers on Border of Gaza Strip" says that Germany has drafted a set of priority measures to be taken by the EU to maintain peace between Israel and the Hamas; p 5 (572 words).

9. Yury Matsarsky article headlined "Egyptian President Accused of Betraying Revolution" says that about 300,000 Egyptians have taken part in a protest on Tahrir Square to demand that the constitutional declaration giving extraordinary authority to the Egyptian president be cancelled; p 5 (492 words).

10. Alexander Pavlov article headlined "Descending" says that the latest foreign policy rating of "global thinkers" includes several Russian natives, including the Pussy Riot punk band girls and opposition activists Alexei Navalny and Yevgenia Chirikova; p 9 (652 words).

11. Kirill Benediktov article headlined "Non-Contact Fight Against Corruption" comments on the latest broadcast of the "Special Correspondent" program dedicated to corruption at the Rosagrolizing state company when it was headed by former Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik and says that the current anti-corruption campaign will hardly decrease protest sentiments in society because no high-ranking officials accused of corruption have been sentenced; p 9 (827 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Roman Markelov article headlined "Grant from Resident" says that Russian people transferred $21.6 billion abroad in January-September. Most money is earmarked for grants and donations; pp 1, 3 (632 words).

2. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Sharp Coal" gives an account of Putin's meetings with Kemerovo region Governor Aman Tuleyev and Tula region Governor Vladimir Gruzdev; p 2 (712 words).

3. Tamara Shkel article headlined "Place of Meeting Cannot Be Changed" says that the leaders of the non-parliamentary opposition will take part in the State Duma session on Nov. 30; p 2 (546 words).

4. Sergei Toporkov article headlined "Day of Money" says that the Federation Council has approved the federal budget for 2013-15, heard a report from Far East Development Minister Viktor Ishayev and passed a bill on a mechanism to form the upper chamber of the parliament; p 2 (899 words).

5. Yury Gavrilov article headlined "Served With Luxury" quotes the head of the Main Military Investigations Directorate of the Russian Investigations Committee, Alexander Sorochkin, as saying that former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov may be questioned as part of the probe into the Oboronservis corruption case when there are sufficient grounds for this; p 4 (623 words).

6. Ivan Yegorov article headlined "Yelena Skrynnik Becomes Witness" says that the latest broadcast of the "Special Correspondent" program by TV journalist Arkady Mamontov has focused on the luxury life of some Russian officials and attacked former Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik over fraud; p 5 (1,387 words).

7. Susanna Alperina brief interview headlined "'Let Her Go to Court,'" with TV journalist Arkady Mamontov, the author of the "Special Correspondent" program, whose latest broadcast was dedicated to corruption at the Rosagrolizing state company when it was headed by former Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik, who speaks about the film and Skrynnik's reaction to it; p 5 (300 words).

8. Vladislav Vorobyov article headlined "Beauty Parade of Pharaoh" says that Western countries are concerned about protests in Egypt and compares the U.S. stance on the Syrian president and on the Egyptian one; p 8 (558 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Alexander Minkin article headlined "High Treason" ridicules Russian investigators looking into illegal dealings with military property and corruption at the Defense Ministry for their having no grounds for questioning former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and says that the minister may be easily accused of high treason instead of theft; pp 1-2 (600 words).

2. Pavel Chuvilyayev article headlined "Fraudster to Steal More, But Serve Larger Prison Term" says that the Federation Council has approved amendments to the Russian Criminal Code article on fraud, which envisages including fraud in the entrepreneurial sector into separate proceedings and banning law enforcers from initiating criminal proceedings against businessmen without a complaint from the injured party; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

3. Yevgeny Krasnikov article headlined "'Madame Lizing' Not in Hurry to Return Billions" says that former Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik has denied fraud allegations and promised to sue the authors of the TV program that leveled the accusations; pp 1-2 (600 words).

4. Yekaterina Petukhova interview with Dagestani martial arts champion Rasul Mirzayev, accused of dealing a fatal blow to Russian student Ivan Agafonov in a nightclub brawl in 2011 and set free in the courtroom as he has already served his term, headlined "Rasul Mirzayev's Final Word," who speaks about his criminal case and the time spent in a pre-trial detention center; pp 1, 4 (1,300 words).

5. Tatyana Zamakhina article headlined "Putin's Task Fulfilled by 8%" says that Russia has been ranked 112th in the Doing Business international ratings made by the World Bank, thus improving its position by eight points; p 2 (550 words).

6. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Elections Commission Members Become Scarce" looks at problems that the Central Elections Commission is facing in forming district electoral commissions, whose staff is to be elected for five years now; p 2 (600 words).

7. Ignat Kalinin article headlined "Investigators Get Closer to Serdyukov" details the probe into the illegal dealings with military property and wonders why investigators have not yet questioned former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov; p 2 (550 words).

8. Matvei Ganapolsky article headlined "'Mirzayev Should Be Jailed!'" comments on the surge of xenophobia and nationalist sentiments in Russia after Dagestani martial arts champion Rasul Mirzayev, charged with dealing a fatal blow to Russian student Ivan Agafonov in a nightclub brawl in 2011, was set free in the courtroom as he has already served his term; p 3 (650 words).

9. Igor Subbotin article headlined "Egypt Endures Protracted Revolution" features an expert's comment on protests in Egypt; p 3 (400 words).

10. Irina Bobrova article headlined "'If You Want to Be Released on Parole, Pay 100,000 Rubles'" details a mutiny of prisoners in Kopeisk, the Chelyabinsk region, and questions local residents on the issue; p 10 (1,500 words).

11. Zurab Nalbandyan report "Death of super-informer" says that a witness in Magnitskiy case has been found dead in the UK; p 3 (300 words).

RBK Daily

1. Alexander Litoi and Ivan Petrov article headlined "Friday of 13" says that a probe into mass disturbances during a 6 May rally may be finished on Nov. 30. Four out of 17 suspects may be cleared of charges; pp 1-2 ( 400 words).

2. Ivan Petrov article headlined "Suspects With Red Stripes" says that four people have already been detained and fraud worth 4 billion rubles has been revealed in the Oboronservis case; p 2 (500 words).

3. Yulia Yakovleva article headlined "English Patient" says that the death of the key witness in the Magnitsky case in the UK has increased tensions between Russia and the West; p 2 (500 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda (weekly)

1. Yevgeny Chernykh interview with director of the Institute of Problems of Globalization Mikhail Delyagin on possible variants of China's development; p 4 (900 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Dmitry Nadezhdin article headlined "Egypt: 'Revolution Has No End...'" investigates whether Egypt is on the verge of a new Arab spring; p 4 (400 words).

2. Yevgeny Suchkov article headlined "'Russians, Hands Off My Husband's Body'" says that the widow of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat does not want Russian scientists to take part in the investigation of the cause of her husband's death; p 4 (300 words).

3. Veronika Rangulova article headlined "How We Tried to Pass Package for Pussy Riot" presents a report on the life in the Perm prison where one of the jailed Pussy Riot punk band members Maria Alyokhina is currently serving her term; p 8 (1,200 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Alexander Alexandrov article headlined "Commonwealth Covers Sky With Air Defense Shield" comments on the exercise of the joint air defense system forces of the CIS; p 1 (500 words).

2. Valery Gavrilov interview with pundit Sergei Trush on U.S.-Chinese bilateral relations; p 3 (1,500 words).

Nov. 29, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC 

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