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What the Papers Say, Feb. 1, 2013

Kommersant


1. Pyotr Netreba and Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Government stays on main directions" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's speech in the Kremlin, in which he outlined the key areas of the government's work, shows that the cabinet will not be disbanded at least until the next autumn despite rumors about plans to sack Medvedev; pp 1-2 (1,000 words).

2. Yelena Chernenko et al. report headlined "USA to deny Russia numerous visits" says that U.S. President Barack Obama is unlikely to visit Russia in summer as it was previously planned. He will arrive in St. Petersburg only in September when the G20 summit is held; pp 1, 5 (850 words).

3. Svetlana Mentyukova and Anastasia Gorshkova article headlined "They want to recognize Vladimir Kekhman as well-off debtor" says the Bank of Moscow has asked a London court to cancel bankruptcy of businessman Vladimir Kekhman and open a criminal case against him on fraud charges; pp 1, 10 (800 words).

4. Yelizaveta Kuznetsova article headlined "Aeroflot fails to pass flight registration" says the Interstate Aviation Committee has not issued a certificate for Boeing 777-300ER aircraft making it impossible for the Russian airline Aeroflot to use it. The company blames officials for the delay; pp 1, 7 (900 words).

5. Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Russians add experience to Vladimir Putin" says that a recent public opinion poll has shown that now, Russians value Vladimir Putin's leadership experience most of all; p 2 (600 words).

6. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Elements of crime" reports on President Vladimir Putin's meeting with mayors and says that the president happened to be the only person whom they can complain about prosecutors' work; p 3 (1,100 words).

7. Ilya Shepelin article headlined "Rights activists check Russia's readiness for Olympic Games" says that Human Rights Watch activists plan to complain to the International Olympic Committee about the Russian authorities ignoring human rights violations; p 4 (800 words).

8. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Future Pentagon head swears oath of intolerance of Iran" reports on the U.S. Senate discussing Chuck Hagel nominated for the post of defense secretary. Hagel had to show his anti-Iranian stance to the senators; p 5 (600 words).

9. Alexander Reutov article headlined "Israel intervenes in Syrian conflict" says the Israeli air strike on Syrian territory shows that Tel Aviv believes Syrian President Bashar al-Asad to be incapable of controlling the situation in the country; p 5 (600 words).

10. Maria Yefimova article headlined "Opposition makes contact with Bashar al-Asad" says the possibility of talks with Bashar al-Asad's regime has been discussed at the meeting of the Syrian opposition in Cairo; p 5 (600 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Igor Naumov and Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Dmitry Medvedev's bright future" comments on the economic development plan unveiled by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the government meeting chaired by Putin. Experts note that the Russian leaders do not know how to implement their ambitious plans; pp 1, 4 (1,177 words).

2. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Kazakhstan changes military vector" says Kazakhstan is stepping up military cooperation with the West as an air base in the country will be used by NATO aircraft carrying cargo to Afghanistan; pp 1-2 (678 words).

3. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Political independence of governors has no sense" says that Communists have drafted a bill obliging governors to have no political affiliation. Experts note the party will benefit from the bill as very few regional leaders support Communists; pp 1, 3 (829 words).

4. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Federal budget to be checked for transparency" says that Putin wants to involve independent auditors in checking the federal budget spending. The Audit Chamber is sceptical about the plans; pp 1, 4 (517 words).

5. Yury Roks article headlined "Georgia's former defense minister exposed as bribe taker" says that the former Georgian defense minister has been charged with fraud and bribery; pp 1, 7 (669 words).

6. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "USA leads in Mali behind allies' backs" says the USA has signed an agreement with Niger on deployment of US drones to be used in antiterrorist fight in Africa. The author analyses the new US strategy in waging wars abroad; pp 1, 8 (642 words).

7. Alexandra Samarina report "Presidential human rights council against 'Khodynka'" says that the presidential human rights council has rejected investigators' main theory in the case of mass unrest in Moscow on 6 May; p 3 (600 words).

8. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "New challenge for Gazprom to rise from depth of sea" looks at the Japanese plan to extract gas from methane-hydrates found in the sea. Industrial extraction is expected to begin in five years and it is to hit hard Gazprom's positions on the Asian market; p 4 (980 words).

9. Dmitry Orlov article headlined "100 leading Russian politicians in January 2013" says law-enforcement agencies are apparently losing power in Russia and One Russia members are becoming more influential judging by the January political rating; p 5 (1,960 words).

10. Yury Paniyev article headlined "America argues about barrels and magazines" reports on the U.S. Senate hearing of restrictions on firearms ownership; p 8 (624 words).

11. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Israel gets involved in Syrian war" says the Israeli air strike on the Syrian territory risks turning into a new regional war; p 8 (564 words).

Vedomosti


1. Natalya Biyanova article headlined "Thousands of billions of rubles for mortgage" says that fewer that one million of Russians take mortgage loans a year; p 1 (391 words).

2. Anastasia Golitsina et al. report headlined "To clean up Russian Internet" says the Russian Communications Ministry has invited mobile phone operators to join the Pure Internet partnership, which would develop criteria and regulations for Internet content and ban access to the websites with illegal information; pp 1, 16 (439 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Discrediting degree" calls on the authorities to investigate the illegal market of false dissertations and scientific degrees in Russia; pp 1, 6 (416 words).

4. Another editorial headlined "They find scapegoat" says that recent criticism of the Russian Central Bank by businesses and Putin is irrelevant as it cannot affect inflation; p 6 (282 words).

5. Alexei Nikolsky and Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "Thousand of warheads enough" says Washington may suggest that the USA and Russia should reduce their nuclear arms down to 1,000 warheads; p 3 (490 words).

6. Polina Khimshiashvili report "Israel's Syrian front" says Israel has delivered air strikes on a Syrian convoy with Russian-made missiles meant for Hezbollah; p 3 (500 words).

7. Alexander Rubtsov report "Power as mega project" looks at the political situation in Russia; pp 6-7 (1,700 words).

Izvestia


1. Yelizaveta Mayetnaya and German Petelin article headlined "They search for money for takeoff strip at summer cottage of Serdyukov's brother-in-law" says the Chkalov Avia company, which brought VIP guests and construction workers to the summer cottage of the former defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov's brother-in-law, may be involved in the theft of public funds. Investigators are checking state contracts for revamping the Chkalov airfield; pp 1, 4 (848 words).

2. Sergei Ispolatov article headlined "Gazprom to reduce prices for Europeans" looks at changes in Gazprom's price policy and says the Russian gas monopoly will charge Poland and Macedonia less in 2013; pp 1, 4 (909 words).

3. Dmitry Yevstifeyev and Andrey Gridasov article headlined "Governor Belykh and TV presenter Solovyev to be questioned as part of Navalnyy case" says the investigation will question Kirov Region governor Nikita Belykh and TV host Vladimir Solovyev as part of the criminal case opened against opposition activist Alexei Navalny suspected of fraud; pp 1, 4 (529 words).

4. Viktor Loginov article headlined "Microsoft creates foreign agents in Russia" says Microsoft has allowed small Russian media outlets and NGOs to use its software even if it is a pirate copy. The State Duma believes the move to be illegal; pp 1, 4 (570 words).

5. Vladimir Gusev article headlined "Presidential human rights council accuses police of acts of provocation at 6 May march" says the human rights council under the Russian president has finished a probe into clashes with police during the 6 May rally in Moscow. Rights activists came to the conclusion that it was the police who provoked the clashes; pp 1, 3 (623 words).

6. Tatyana Sharapova interview with State Duma member Yelena Mizulina who comments on the bill banning promotion of homosexuality; p 3 (950 words).

7 . Mariya Gorkovskaya article headlined "Damascus accuses Israel of military invasion" says Israel has destroyed a military research center in Syria to prevent the country from handing over chemical weapons to Hezbollah; p 7 (421 words).

8. Oleg Shevtsov report "Egyptian president flees Berlin" says that the Egyptian president has disrupted his European tour, cancelling a visit to France, over continuing unrest in Egypt; p 7 (650 words).

9. Anna Akhmadiyeva interview with Nikolay Uskov, head of the Snob project set up by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, speaking on changes in the Snob magazine; p 8 (627 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Vladimir Kuzmin article headlined "Ministers called to Kremlin" reports on the government meeting chaired by Putin in the Kremlin, where Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev outlined key plans for the government's work; pp 1, 3 (1,731 words).

2. Natalya Kozlova article headlined "Millionaires from barrack" says that fraud with the repair of military barracks in Maritime Territory by the Slavyanka company has become another episode in the large-scale fraud within the Defense Ministry; pp 1-2 (532 words).

3. Susanna Alperina brief report "Faces on Channel One" looks at staff changes on Channel One TV and the radio station Mayak; p 2 (100 words).

4. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "They push boundaries too far" says that Lebanon, Jordan and Syria have threatened Israel with a war as the Israeli air force delivered an air strike on the Syrian territory; p 8 (510 words).

5. Yevgeny Shestakov report "Ten years — one answer" looks at an investigation launched by French law enforcers in relation to businessman Boris Berezovskiy; p 8 (500 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Olga Bozhyeva article headlined "Superjet from hammer" looks at the budget spending on the development of Sukhoi's Superjet 100 airliner, which has proved ineffective and unsafe in Russian weather conditions; pp 1, 5 (2,648 words).

2. Alexander Minkin article headlined "You even do not imagine us" claims that the freedom of speech rating, where Russia is listed 148th, is wrong as there are no problems with freedom of speech in Russia, but there are security issues for some journalists; pp 1, 6 (895 words).

3. Stanislav Belkovskiy article headlined "Dao forum" analyses the performance of Dmitry Medvedev on the post of prime minister and comments on rumors saying that he will be sacked soon; p 3 (1,001 words).

4. Ignat Kalinin report "Serdyukov not to be taken by starvation" looks at the fraud cases involving the companies affiliated with the Russian Defense Ministry; p 3 (600 words).

5. Darya Tyukova report "Why did they need air strike on Syria?" looks at the reasons behind Israel's attack on Syria; p 6 (450 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Andrey Kolesnikov comment headlined "We will show you reset" says that Moscow's current anti-American policy is used as a way to affect the Russian electorate, as Russia's economic development is impossible without the West; pp 1; 3 (685 words).

2. Alexander Panov article headlined "McFaul of last hope" looks at deteriorating Russian-US relations and notes that new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has a tough job to do in relations with Russia; p 2 (1,173 words).

3. Boris Bronshteyn report "And also distillery!" looks at searches in the office of Kirov Region governor Nikita Belykh; p 4 (700 words).

4. Mariya Yepifanova report "It's not a problem for me to go to Investigations Committee and answer their questions" says that opposition activists Boris Nemtsov and Leonid Gozman are confident that investigators use them to exert pressure on Alexei Navalny; p 4 (500 words).

5. Tatyana Vorozheykina report "Chavez's chain of command" says that the regimes in Russia and Venezuela have much in common; p 9 (1,700 words).

6. Vasily Golovnin report "North Korea pulled out of shade" says that Google has presented a computer generated map of North Korea; p 10 (1,000 words).

7. Article by Lev Gudkov, head of the Levada Center, saying that the basis of the Russian authorities is indifference. According to polls, some 50 per cent of Russians do not know what will happen to them in a few months, article says; pp 15-16 (2,100 words).

RBK

1. Anastasia Litvinova article headlined "Inspector not to come" comments on Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech about the investment climate in Russia; p 3 (400 words).

Novyye Izvestia

1. Sergei Manukov article headlined "Israeli aircraft launch strike on Syria" looks at the situation in Syria; p 2 (200 words).

Trud

1. Mikhail Makarov article headlined "No-one canceled fight against narcotics" says Russia's decision to cancel accords with the USA on fighting drugs has sparked controversy; p 1 (300 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Viktor Ruchkin article headlined "Syria: Israel aggravates conflict" comments on mounting tensions in the Middle East; p 3 (700 words).
2. Vitaly Makarchev article headlined "Do Americans prefer shadow?" looks at the US decision to abstain from taking part in any large-scale military operation in Syria; p 16 (1, 500 words).

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