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What the Papers Say, Feb. 8, 2013


1. Khalil Aminov article headlined "Olimpstroy gets Shayba" says that Iskandar Makhmudov's Uralskaya Gorno-Metallurgicheskayal Kompaniya (Urals Mining and Metals Company) has decided to present the state-owned company Olimpstroy with an ice rink worth some 100m dollars; pp 1, 7 (611 words).

2. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Alexander Ignatenko arrives in homeland's detention center" says that the former first deputy prosecutor of Moscow Region Aleksandr Ignatenko, the key figure in the high-profile gambling case in Moscow Region, has been extradited from Poland to Russia; pp 1, 4 (998 words).

3. Dmitry Butrin and Khalil Aminov article headlined "Akhmed Bilalov kicked down all ski-jumps" says that the deputy head of the Russian Olympic Committee and the head of the company North Caucasus Resorts, Akhmed Bilalov, will be dismissed from his posts. Bilalov will be sacked not because of prolonged construction as the official sources have said, but because of his disagreement with the Olimpstroy company over the fate of Sochi and North Caucasus sport facilities after the Winter Olympics in 2014; pp 1-2 (1,068 words).

4. Yevgeny Timoshinov article headlined "Sistema has no plans for liquefied petroleum gas" looks at a long-term agreement between Rosneft and the railway operator SG-Trans, which will affect AFK Sistema's performance; pp 1, 9 (632 words).

5. Andrei Kolesnikov report gives an ironic account of President Vladimir Putin's trip to Sochi to inspect the facilities under construction for the Winter Olympics; p 2 (1,213 words).

6. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Yury Luzhkov admits capital's opportunities" says that former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov has said that he may give some assistance to the leader of the Civil Platform party Mikhail Prokhorov in the election to the Moscow city duma in 2014. Experts do not believe in the prospects of such cooperation and say that Luzhkov has already lost his influence; p 3 (596 words).

7. Nikolai Sergeyev and Anna Petrova article headlined "Elite application found for military base" says that the Investigations Committee has started a pre-investigation check into the abuse of power as a result of which the land allocated to construct a radar station was used to build an elite cottage by former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov's brother-in-law Valeriy Puzikov; p 4 (660 words).

8. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Tunisia smells of jasmine once again" says that the murder of an opposition leader in Tunisia has put the country on the verge of a civil war; p 5 (572 words).

9. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Human rights activists push USA away from Russia" says that Freedom House has advised that Washington should give up attempts to reset relations with Moscow as Vladimir Putin's course signals that liberal reforms have been dropped; p 5 (549 words).

10. Mariya Semendyaeva and Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Congress library to be sued for books appropriated by Hasidic Jews" says that the Russian Foreign Ministry has recommended that the Culture Ministry and the Russian State Library should sue the US Congress library for the seven books from Schneerson's Collection that Moscow handed over for Washington's temporary use back in 1994; p 5 (860 words).

11. Maria Yefimova brief report "Ayatollah Khamene'i does not want talks with USA" says that leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamene'i has spoken against direct negotiations between Tehran and Washington on the Iranian nuclear program; p 5 (100 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Special bureau for special entities" says that next week, the State Duma will consider ratification of Article 20 of the UN Convention against Corruption envisaging, among other things, the setting-up of a special center to counter corruption. Even if the center is created, it will not be dangerous to corrupt officials as it will be subordinate to the state, experts comment; pp 1, 3 (840 words).

2. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Nazarbayev to solve Baykonur's problems" says that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev will meet in Moscow today to discuss the problems that have emerged in the relations between the countries; pp 1, 7 (732 words).

3. Yevgeny Grigoryev article headlined "Blanket party given to German journalists" looks at a scandal escalating in Germany after law enforcers have raided the flats and offices of nine press photographers in search for evidence of a crime against a policeman during a rally; pp 1, 8 (524 words).

4. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "VEB's questionable investment achievement" says that the bank Vneshekonombank's investment returns of pension savings reached 9.21 per cent in 2012 compared to 5.47 per cent in 2011. Experts do not rush to praise the bank for the achievement as bank deposit rates are usually higher; pp 1, 4 (1,065 words).

5. Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Olympic suspended construction" says that Akhmed Bilalov will be sacked from the posts of deputy head of the Russian Olympic Committee and head of the company North Caucasus Resorts. Bilalov and his company were responsible for building the Russkiye Gorki ski jump facility in Sochi that will be completed two years behind schedule, while the final cost of the project has turned out to be several times the original estimate; pp 1, 4 (705 words).

6. Editorial headlined "Tbilisi reaches out for north" says that Russian-Georgian relations have significantly improved since Bidzina Ivanishvili became Georgian prime minister and looks at the reasons behind and prospects; p 2 (503 words).

7. Article by Deputy Secretary of One Russia's General Council Andrey Isayev headlined "With whom and about what is One Russia ready to argue?" about recent discussions among the liberal, social and patriotic wings of the One Russia party; p 2 (1,156 words).

8. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Kremlin bans pre-election confusion" about a meeting at the presidential administration with participation of heads of the regions where elections to regional legislative assemblies will be held in autumn. The presidential administration has instructed the governors to ensure that no violations during election campaigns and on the voting day will be committed; pp 1, 3 (687 words).

9. Konstantin Chikviladze article headlined "Another way for Georgia" says that Georgia should give up its plans to join NATO and begin rapprochement with Russia; p 3 (732 words).

10. Alexei Gorbachev and Vladislav Maltsev article headlined "Rally as criminal activity" says that a Moscow court has arrested another participant in the May rally on Bolotnaya Ploshchad (Square), 24-year-old Ilya Gushchin. The investigation believes that the activist grasped a police officer at his uniform when protecting another participant from arrest; p 3 (555 words).

11. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Medvedev announces beginning of new privatization" says that another wave of privatization of state property worth some R100,000bn may take place in Russia in 2015; p 4 (602 words).

12. Vladimir Pryakhin headlined "Prolonged evaluation" looks at a new concept of Russia's foreign policy; p 5 (2,299 words).

13. Andrei Serenko article headlined "Kalmykia prefers North Caucasus way" says that if the State Duma passes the bill enabling regions to give up direct elections of regional heads, Kalmykia may use it along with the republics of the North Caucasus; p 6 (574 words).

14. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Ukraine creates professional army" says that in 2014, Ukraine plans to have a professional army based on contract principles, which may lead to its joining the CSTO; p 7 (936 words).

15. Yury Paniyev article headlined "US Secretary of State John Kerry takes oath" says that John Kerry was ceremonially sworn in as the secretary of state on 6 February and has already had a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss problems in relations with Russia; p 8 (723 words).

16. Darya Tsiryulik article headlined "Revolution in Tunisia goes second round" says that the ruling party of Tunisia has rejected the prime minister's proposal to dismiss the government and set up a technical cabinet; p 8 (513 words).

17. Vladimir Skosyrev report "USA steps up economic boycott of Iran" says that the USA has introduced new restrictions for Iranian oil exporters; p 8 (550 words).


1. Igor Tsukanov et al. report headlined "Military generation of mobile communications" says that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has written a letter to the president to inform that the communications company Osnova Telekom does not need the frequencies allocated to it by the state radio frequencies commission; hence, the frequencies may be put up for contest; pp 1, 16 (791 words).

2. Maxim Tovkaylo et al. report headlined "Akhmed Bilalov no more comrade" says that chairman of the board of the North Caucasus Resorts company Akhmed Bilalov will be sacked for disruption of construction of a ski jump facility; pp 1, 4 (909 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Playing WTO" says that Russia's violating the WTO rules when trying to protect most inefficient industries will backfire and affect the most efficient industries engaged in export; pp 1, 6 (600 words).

4. Maria Zheleznova and Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "What is in Navalnyy's wallet" says that the flat owned by Vladimir Ashurkov, director of Alexei Navalny's anticorruption foundation, has been searched as part of the case of theft of R100m by Navalny's company Allekt from the electoral fund of the Union of Right Forces; p 2 (637 words).

5. Polina Khimshiashvili and Yekaterina Kravchenko article headlined "OECD not for such" says that the human rights organization Freedom House has called on the US government to limit cooperation with Moscow because of a repressive course that President Vladimir Putin began after he had returned to the Kremlin as president; p 3 (316 words).

6. Editorial headlined "Bonus instead of increment" looks at the reform of the remuneration of labor awaiting Russian higher educational institutions and research institutes; p 6 (284 words).

7. Alexander Rubtsov report "New police state" looks at a police model of the state system in Russia; pp 6-7 (1,200 words).

8. Roman Dorokhov report "Cannot be more harmful" says that Roskomnadzor does not plan to expand a list of criteria on the basis of which the state may limit access to Internet resources; p 16 (500 words).


1. Vladimir Gusev report "Reshuffle ahead of Sochi Olympics begins with Medvedev's man" says that the Kremlin is looking for a replacement for Akhmed Bilalov, who has been dismissed from all his posts; pp 1-2 (1,000 words).

2. Ivan Cheberko report "Proton space launch vehicles to be used until 2025" says that Khrunichev Space Center, the producer of Proton launch vehicles, has not amended production plans after Kazakhstan has limited the number of launches from Baykonur in 2013; pp 1, 4 (600 words).

3. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev report "They want to give Russian names to Kuril Islands" looks at the initiative of One Russia's Young Guard to rename the Kuril Islands; p 3 (650 words).

4. Petr Kozlov report "Kremlin makes blacklists of NGOs" says that the system of giving grants to human rights organizations and other NGOs will be considerably changed this year; p 3 (1,000 words).

5. Konstantin Volkov report "New agency to deal with Kuril Islands in Japan" says that the Japanese government has set up a new agency to promote the Japanese position in territorial disputes with Russia, China, Taiwan; p 7 (650 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Article headlined "Business on blood" looks at how the law cancelling monetary reward for blood donation affects the healthcare system; pp 1, 9 (1,500 words).

2. Galina Bryntseva interview with children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov headlined "Time for children to go home" where he speaks about a huge number of orphans in Russia and what can be done to improve the situation; pp 1, 14 (3,100 words).

3. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Olympic marathon 365 days" looks at President Vladimir Putin's trip to inspect Sochi Olympic facilities; p 2 (1,100 words).

4. Yury Gavrilov article headlined "Dmitry Rogozin calls you" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved the line-up of the military industrial commission under the Russian government; p 4 (750 words).

5. Yekaterina Zabrodina article headlined "Could not keep silent" says that riots have swept over Tunisia after the murder of an opposition leader and features an expert's comment; p 8 (700 words).

6. Andrey Shitov interview with the author of the book titled "Obamians" James Mann headlined "Who rules USA's foreign policy" where he speaks about the line-up of the new US government; p 8 (750 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Anastasia Rodionova article headlined "Thank investigators for Navalny's rating" comments on a recent search in the flat of Vladimir Ashurkov, head of Alexei Navalny's anticorruption fund, and says that law enforcers' activity only fuels Navalnyy's rating; pp 1, 2 (628 words).

2. Alexei Lebedev et al. report headlined "He built like for enemy" looks at a scandal over the sacking of the deputy head of the Russian Olympic Committee, Akhmed Bilalov; pp 1, 5 (970 words).

3. Anzhelika Panchenko and Renat Abdullin article headlined "Pussy Riot sentence to be estimated with money" says that the members of the Pussy Riot band have submitted complaints to the European Court of Human Rights; p 2 (785 words).

4. Article features opposition activist Alexei Navalny's comment on the sacking of the deputy head of the Russian Olympic Committee; p 5 (323 words).

5. Renat Abdullin article headlined "It is stormy again in Tunisia " says that the Tunisian prime minister has disbanded the government after the murder of an opposition leader made people take to the streets; p 15 (566 words).

6. Tatyana Zamakhina report "Medvedev leaves country in darkness" says that Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev has said that it is unreasonable to return to winter time; pp 1-2 (500 words).


1. Yulia Sinyayeva article headlined "Cosmetic amendments" comments on the amendments to the bill on outdoor advertisement drafted by the State Duma; pp 1, 3 (700 words).

2. Ivan Petrov article headlined "NGOs for patriots" says MPs will expand the list the so-called social NGOs, so that they include military and patriotic clubs. Rights activists says the move is part of the attempt to score political points; p 2 (200 words).

Novyye Izvestia

1. Veronika Kogan article headlined "Dmitry Medvedev refuses to return winter time" says the president does not think it is the right moment to switch to winter time, additional assessments need to be gathered before taking the decision; pp 1, 3 (250 words).

2. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "Loyal towards ward neighbors" says the State Duma is making another attempts to adopt a code of parliamentary ethics; p 4 (650 words).

Feb. 8, 2013/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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