What the Papers Say, Feb. 5, 2013

Kommersant


1. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Freedom for word" says that the key figure in the case of major frauds with the Defense Ministry's property, Yekaterina Smetanova, has signed a pre-trial agreement on cooperation with the prosecutor's office and has been released under a written pledge not to leave the city; pp 1, 4 (754 words).

2. Vitaly Gaydayev article headlined "State banks help their [affiliates]" says that the management companies affiliated with the banks Sberbank and VTB have taken the lead on the market of collective investment; pp 1, 8 (586 words).

3. Irina Alexandrova et al. report headlined "Confidence shakes under Nikita Belykh" says that 19 deputies of the Kirov Region legislative assembly have called for an extraordinary meeting to put forward a vote of no-confidence in regional governor Nikita Belykh; pp 1, 3 (946 words).

4. Maxim Ivanov and Irina Nagornykh article headlined "Public initiative handled wrongly" says that the government and the Kremlin cannot agree on the mechanism of consideration of internet petitions; pp 1-2 (1,196 words).

5. Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Finance Ministry determines degree of toughness" says that Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has demanded that the budget rule policy should be followed and rejected the idea of reviving the Investment Fund in the form of the Development Fund; p 2 (523 words).

6. Taisiya Bekbulatova et al. report headlined "Governor elections gain new experience" says that acting Magadan Region governor Vladimir Pecheny has announced his intention to stand for governor in September. The Kremlin may use the same scenario in Vladimir Region and Transbaikal Territory, dismissing incumbent governors and appointing new candidates for the post; p 3 (593 words).

7. Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "[They] come to Marshall Capital for loan" says that law enforcers have searched the office of the Marshall Capital investment fund and seized documents in line with a probe into theft of a loan of 225m dollars from VTB; p 4 (665 words).

8. Alexei Sinilo article headlined "Adam Osmayev charged in maximum way" looks at the developments in the trial of Adam Osmayev charged with plotting the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin and head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov; p 4 (595 words).

9. Igor Lesovskikh article headlined "Officers listen to militia men" looks at the latest developments in the hearing of the case of three mutineers in Yekaterinburg; p 4 (474 words).

10. Alexei Sokovnin article headlined "Prosecutor puts Vladimir Kvachkov at head of riot" looks at the trial of retired colonel Vladimir Kvachkov and former Interior Ministry's officer Aleksandr Kiselev charged with preparing an armed riot; p 4 (734 words).

11. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "Opposition to touch on traffic jams" says that the opposition will start preparations for the election to the Moscow city duma with a march for Muscovites' rights on 2 March; p 5 (565 words).

12. Sergey Strokan article headlined "Fight against Taleban reaches London" looks at the London meeting of British, Pakistani and Afghan leaders dedicated to the security in the region amid the upcoming withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan; p 6 (528words).

13. Svetlana Styazhkina article headlined "Swedish army is not strong enough for Russia" looks at a scandal escalating in the Swedish leadership over joining NATO; p 6 (528 words).

14. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Ukrainian parliament unleashes presidential campaign" says that today the Ukrainian parliament begins its second session, which is expected to become even more scandalous than the previous one due to preparations for the presidential election; p 6 (861 words).

15. Kirill Melnikov article headlined "Rules of game" says that two weeks ago, Rosneft and Gazprom managed to get from the government at least 80 per cent of hydrocarbons offshore resources. However, LUKoil's president Vagit Alekperov has not abandoned the hope to persuade the government to allow private companies to develop offshore resources; p 7 (377 words).

16. Svetlana Mentyukova et al. report headlined "Gennady Onishchenko unseals Georgia" says that Russia's chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko forecasts that the import of Georgian wines, mineral water and some agricultural products may be permitted this spring; p 7 (703 words).

17. Pavel Belavin article headlined "Aleksandr Lebedev breaks through to broadcasting" says that Alexander Lebedev's son's company ESTV will launch the London Live TV channel in London; p 10 (492 words).

18. Alexander Petrov report "European football loses in stakes" looks at match fixing in European football; p 12 (700 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Salaries in capital approach 2,000 dollars" says that the average Moscow salary is expected to increase by 11 percent by the year end and reach R51,338; pp 1, 4 (576 words).

2. Yury Simonyan article headlined "Return of Saperavi" says that three-day talks between Russian and Georgian officials have started in Moscow, which may lead to the lifting of the trade embargo on Georgian wine and mineral water; pp 1, 6 (888 words).

3. Alexandra Samarina and Darya Garmonenko article headlined "Generator of fear" says that today, co-chairman of the RPR-Parnas party Boris Nemtsov will be questioned about the Alexei Navalny case at the Investigations Committee. The authorities are using the case to generate fear both among the protesters and its own establishment; pp 1-2 (953 words).

4. Valeria Khamrayeva article headlined "Good will in law" says that the Federation Council is putting finishing touches on the bill on volunteers, which is not supported by the majority of volunteer organizations as it bans official volunteering for NGOs; pp 1, 3 (622 words).

5. Darya Tsiryulik article headlined "Barack Obama appoints himself hacker number one" says that US President Barack Obama will soon sign a decree regulating the use of cyber weapons; pp 1, 7 (652 words).

6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "EU-Ukraine summit to be held against complicated background" says that the Ukrainian parliamentary opposition plans to push for decisions aimed to protect former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko whose health has significantly deteriorated; pp 1, 6 (1,109 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Washington turns face to Asia" says that judging by the statements made by US Vice-President Joseph Biden at the International Security Conference in Munich, Washington is striving to improve relations with Beijing and may alter its stance on territorial disputes between China and other Asian countries; p 2 (522 words).

8. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Deadly sluggishness of authorities" says that Dutch society has demanded that the authorities conduct a probe into the suicide committed by Russian opposition activist Alexander Dolmatov, who was denied political asylum in the country; p 3 (634 words).

9. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Head of China encourages intelligentsia" says that General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping has called for observing the constitution, which Chinese intellectuals perceived as a signal for political reforms; p 7 (585 words).

10. Roza Tsvetkova article headlined "Victim of lawmaking ardour" says that the Criminal Code is turning into a mechanism of settling accounts with citizens; pp 9, 10 (1,401 words).

11. Alexander Ryabushev article headlined "Kaliningrad Region's business climate suffers from geopolitics" says that the business atmosphere in Kaliningrad Region has deteriorated; p 12 (408 words).

Vedomosti


1. Maxim Tovkaylo and Filipp Sterkin article headlined "Votes in state networks" looks at the draft shareholders' agreement between the Federal Agency for the Management of State Property and Russian Networks about the management of the Federal Network Company; pp 1, 5 (722 words).

2. Olga Plotonova et al. report headlined "Trainee Abramovich" says that the Russian tycoon's 19-year-old son is working for the VTB group as a trainee; pp 1, 14 (408 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Understanding Soviet nature" says that strengthening the union of the state and the church will not benefit the church and may result in the rise in ethnic tension; pp 1, 6 (430 words).

4. Alexei Bayer article headlined "Martin Luther King's Russia" says that nationalism is on the rise in Russia nowadays and looks at the reasons behind it; p 6 (785 words).

5. Editorial headlined "Matter of trust" ponders over the article published by deputy finance minister Sergei Storchak about the Russian Financial Agency to be set up; p 6 (275 words).

6. Yelizaveta Sergina article "Special task force to arbitrate" says that the Moscow office of Konstantin Malofeyev's Marshall Capital investment fund has been searched again; p 11 (667 words).

7. Anastasia Kornya report "They do not recruit agents post factum" says that the Justice Ministry has told regions not to declare NGOs foreign agents without Moscow's authorization; p 2 (750 words).

8. Maxim Glikin report "Control, nor censorship" says that the authorities regard the Internet as a threat to stability; human rights activists believe that this is the cause of restriction of freedom in the Internet; p 2 (600 words)

9. Anastasia Golitsyna report "Shelter for pirate" says that the Russian Pirates' Party has suggested that the Internet resources that may be blocked should move to the foreign servers they lease; p 16 (950 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Interview with Far East Development Minister and presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Victor Ishayev headlined "Better you come to our Far East" where he speaks about the situation in the Far East and plans for the region's development; pp 1, 6 (3,700 words).

2. Interview with children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov headlined "Ranch of incorrigible" where he says that gay families from France will not be allowed to adopt Russian orphans and speaks about the ranch in the USA where the children, whom adoptive parents have given up, are kept; p 7 (1,000 words).

3. Alena Uzbekova report "Turkey: not destined" says that Russia has refused to purchase US meat; p 5 (600 words).

4. Unattributed article headlined "'Damascus to be left behind wall" says that Israel has admitted striking at targets on the Syrian territory as a preventive measure against arms supplies to Lebanese militants; p 8 (350 words).

5. Unattributed report "Got to Asia" looks at a match fixing issue in Europe; p 15 (150 words).

Izvestia


1. Ivan Cheberko article headlined "New manned spacecraft to cost Russia R160bn" says that the rocket space corporation Energia is working on technical parameters of a new manned transport spacecraft to replace the current Soyuz; pp 1, 4 (435 words).

2. Viktoria Minina article headlined "Caucasus trace found in Kvachkov case" says that the prosecutor in the trial of retired colonel Vladimir Kvachkov has voiced testimony of a secret witness, according to which the mutineers counted on the help of their supporters in the North Caucasus when planning an armed riot and terrorist attacks; pp 1, 3 (455 words).

3. Alexander Grigoryev et al. report headlined "Yekaterina Smetanova released on pledge not to leave town" says that the measure of restraint chosen for Yekaterina Smetanova, a key figure in the criminal case of embezzlement at Oboronservis, has been changed from an arrest to a written undertaking not to leave; pp 1, 4 (549 words).

4. Vladimir Dergachev article headlined "Opposition Coordination Council drafts new constitution" says that the opposition Coordination Council is working on a new constitution aimed at ensuring the transition from a "super-presidential" to parliamentary republic; p 2 (627 words).

5. Anton Lednev article headlined "USA calls Voice of Russia's partner foreign agent" says that US law enforcers suspect that the company LLC RM Broadcasting, engaged in broadcasting the Voice of Russia radio station on the US territory, is working for Russia; p 3 (482 words).

6. Igor Yavlyansky article headlined "Pyongyang prepares nuclear blast by eastern New Year" says that North Korea plans to conduct its third nuclear test by 10 February and features experts' comments; p 7 (488 words).

7. Yanina Sokolovskaya article headlined "Yulia Tymoshenko exchanged for Customs Union" says that the leaders of factions in the Ukrainian parliament are ready to sign an agreement envisaging that the ruling party will give up the idea of joining the Customs Union in any form, whereas the opposition will not oppose Yulia Tymoshenko and Yury Lutsenko's staying in prison; p 7 (409 words).

8. Article by political analyst Boris Mezhuyev headlined "Unsinkable Medvedev and unelectable Kudrin" speculates why the rumors about Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's resignation have not come true; p 9 (831 words).

9. Maxim Kononenko article headlined "Sergei Magnitsky's second act" says that lawyers of the founder of the Hermitage Capital investment fund William Browder have informed a London court that Browder will not reply to the libel and defamation lawsuit of former investigator Pavel Karpov whom Browder accused of corruption; p 9 (756 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Dmitry Popov report "Freedom in Oboronservis case" says that Yekaterina Smetanova, against whom charges have been brought under two articles of the Criminal Code, has been released; pp 1-2 (400 words).

2. Mikhail Zubov report "Russia against Stalin?" says that according to experts, only 17 per cent of Russians would vote for renaming Volgograd Stalingrad at a referendum; pp 1-2 (800 words).

3. Anastasia Rodionova report "Gozman leaves Bastrykin behind" says that opposition politician Leonid Gozman has published his evidence for questioning at the Investigations Committee beforehand; p 3 (400 words).

RBK Daily


1. Ivan Petrov article headlined "Where Kolokoltsev's road goes" comments on the road map of reforming the Interior Ministry presented by its head Vladimir Kolokoltsev; p 2 (500 words).

2. Alexander Litoy article headlined "Prosecutive mitigation" says that opposition activist Daniil Konstantinov charged with murder will not be judged by the jury as the court has reduced the severity of charges against him. However, he will now be judged by professional judges, which brings the possibility of a non-guilty verdict to a minimum; p 2 (350 words).

Novyye Izvestia


1. Yulia Savina article headlined "Killer laces" says that the Interior Ministry is ready to spend R35.4m of the state budget on gadgets for conducting forensic tests; pp 1-2 (350 words).

2. Vera Moslakova article headlined "Season of appointees" quotes pundits as saying that low ratings of regional governors may result in their retirements ahead of schedule; p 2 (550 words).

3. Sergey Manukov article headlined "Without shooting or ransom" says that two Russians and one Italian citizen kidnapped by local militants in Syria have been set free, while the destiny of Ukrainian journalist Ankhar Kochneva still remains unknown; p 2 (350 words).

4. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "Forward thinking punch" analyzes the article in the Izvestiya newspaper, saying that opponents of the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, are trying to attack him by criticizing his press-secretary Natalya Timakova; p 2 (400 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Viktor Baranets article headlined "Military men are to be given money for buying property" comments on new initiatives proposed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu; pp 1, 4 (900 words).

2. Viktor Baranets article headlined "Smetanova chose pillow over jail bed" says that one of the key suspects in the Oboronservis embezzlement case, Yekaterina Smetanova, has been released under a written undertaking not to leave; it may not be safe for her to remain out of prison as former accomplices may try to contact her, the author says; p 9 (500 words).

3. Alexander Grishin interview with retired Maj-Gen Aleksandr Gurov on organized crime in Russia; pp 12-13 (2,200 words).

Feb. 5, 2013/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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