What the Papers Say, Feb. 28, 2013

Kommersant


1. Vsevolod Inyutin et al. article headlined "Federation Council to lose man put on Forbes list" says that Nikolai Olshansky will resign soon as a Federation Council member allegedly over health problems, but not over purges in the parliament; pp 1-2 (982 words).

2. Roman Rozhkov article headlined "Mail.Ru package ready for dispatch" says that Ardoe Finance Ltd, subsidiary of businessman Alisher Usmanov's company USM Group, is selling a 7.4-per-cent stake in the company Mail.Ru Group; p 1 (499 words).

3. Pyotr Netreba article headlined "State stays too long in companies" says that the expected terms of privatization of at least two state-run companies have been delayed. The government and relevant ministries and agencies will continue discussing ways of privatization and use of revenues in spring; pp 1-2 (761 words).

4. Svetlana Mentyukova et al. article headlined "Horsemeat gallops to Russia" says that a batch of beef sausages from Austria, which contain horsemeat, has been seized on the Russian border; pp 1, 6 (563 words).

5. Viktor Khamrayev et al. article headlined "Governors prepare to become acting governors" says that Transbaykal Territory governor Ravil Geniatulin and Vladimir Region governor Nikolai Vinogradov, whose terms in office expire on 1 and 24 March, respectively, are ready to become acting governors and stand in regional elections set for September; p 3 (569 words).

6. Ivan Safronov article headlined "Army ordered not to dash aside" says that President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu have summed up the military results of 2012 at a meeting of the ministry's board; p 3 (661 words).

7. Maksim Ivanov et al. article headlined "Russia to be measured by common textbook" says that the Russian Historical Society led by State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin has discussed and approved the issuing of a single history book for Russian schools. National republics are displeased with the idea, and experts are also critical of the move; p 3 (550 words).

8. Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Vladimir Putin assessed in great-power way" says that according to the Levada Center, most Russians still believe that Vladimir Putin has done more good than bad to Russia. His main service is that Russia has returned the status of a great power. Experts attribute this to propaganda; p 3 (472 words).

9. Nikolai Sergeyev and Irina Alexandrova article headlined "Alexei Navalny deprived of legal force" says that the Russian Investigations Committee has revealed that well-known blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny has illegally obtained the status of a lawyer; p 4 (665 words).

10. Andrey Smirnov article headlined "Universiada put up for sale" says that fraud linked to the holding of the 2013 Student Games has been revealed in Tatarstan; p 4 (537 words).

11. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Slavyanka takes money from empty foundation pit" says that a new episode in the large-scale fraud by the leadership of Slavyanka, a subsidiary of the infamous company Oboronservis, has been revealed; p 4 (746 words).

12. Olga Mordyushenko and Yekaterina Yeremenko article headlined "Baikal to be saved from plant" says that the Russian government has decided to shut down the Baikal pulp and paper plant in Irkutsk Region; p 5 (909 words).

13. Mikhail Serov and Aleksandr Gabuyev article headlined "Gazprom sets new term for China" says that the Russian gas giant Gazprom plans to come to agreement with China's CNPC about a gas contract by the end of 2013. The price of gas supplies still remains stumbling block; p 5 (799 words).

14. Roman Rozhkov and Pavel Belavin article headlined "ProfMedia does not hold on to post" says that Vladimir Ryabokon has resigned as the head of the ProfMedia holding company three months after he took the post; p 7 (659 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Putin's promises hard nut to crack for ministers" says that the Russian government has reported that all the instructions given by President Vladimir Putin in his pre-election articles have been fulfilled, but experts disagree with this; pp 1, 3 (772 words).

2. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Fist for Washington, embrace for sportsmen" says that North Korea has threatened the USA with a missile attack. Meanwhile, a delegation of US basketball players has arrived in Pyongyang without obtaining Washington's permission. Experts say that the move may help decrease tension in bilateral relations; pp 1, 7 (551 words).

3. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "State companies undermine budget" says that the Finance Ministry, which is concerned about the poor replenishment of the budget, has suggested limiting cash payments in the country and toughening tax control given that tax privileges for state-run companies are the main cause of the situation; pp 1, 4 (833 words).

4. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Crimea being prepared for forthcoming election" says that a conflict has broken out between the leaders of the Crimean parliament and the Crimean government, which may result in an ethnic confrontation on the peninsula; pp 1, 6 (1,001 words).

5. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Names for wings and fronts" says that the government has submitted to the State Duma a bill which enables political parties, all-Russian public movements and religious organizations to use the words "Russia" and "Russian Federation" and their derivatives in the names of organizations; pp 1, 3 (523 words).

6. Viktor Litovkin article headlined "Army ordered not to dash aside" focuses on a meeting of the Defense Ministry board dedicated to the implementation of the military reform and ways to solve the most pressing problems of the Russian military, held in the Military Academy of the General Staff and attended by Putin; pp 1-2 (1,051 words).

7. Lidia Orlova article headlined "Pope says goodbye to Holy Throne" says that Pope has held his final general audience at The Vatican. He will abdicate today; p 2 (567 words).

8. Editorial headlined "Constructive dialogue in Adlon" focuses on talks held by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Berlin. Probably, a new era in Russian-US relations has begun there, the article says; p 2 (509 words).

9. Valentin Fedorov article headlined "Leave alone South Kurils" criticizes a booklet co-authored by director of the Moscow Carnegie Center Dmitry Trenin, saying that Russia should hand over four disputed islands of the Kurils to Japan; p 3 (352 words).

10. Valeria Khamrayeva report "Volunteer militia to patrol regions" says that public migration patrols may appear in all big cities in Russia; p 3 (700 words).

11. Boris Kagarlitsky article headlined "Era of social wellbeing" says that the 2000s decade has turned to be one of the most successful periods for the population in Russian history; p 4 (968 words).

12. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Russian flag over Osh" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved and submitted to Putin for ratification a Russian-Kyrgyz agreement on the status and the terms of deployment of a Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan. A similar document has been signed with Tajikistan, but the latter is not in a hurry to ratify it, as opposed to Kyrgyzstan; p 6 (527 words).

13. Yury Roks article headlined "Find crocodile in saperavi" says that resumption of trade relations with Georgia is under threat following the Georgian president's impolite remarks about a Russian expert delegation, which is inspecting Georgian enterprises producing wine and mineral water; p 6 (772 words).

14. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Iran begins new nuclear bargaining with Group of Six" says that the talks between Iran and the 5+1 group of international mediators on Tehran's nuclear program, held in Kazakhstan earlier this week, have given rise to optimism. The next round of talks may be held in early April, the article says; p 7 (627 words).

15. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "Chuck Hagel wins battle for Pentagon" says that Chuck Hagel has been sworn in and assumed office as the new US secretary of defense; p 7 (646 words).

Vedomosti


1. Yevgenia Pismennaya article headlined "No to privatization" says that an expert group from the Russian Academy of Sciences led by presidential economic adviser Sergey Glazyev has drafted a number of economic recommendations for the presidential administration and the government, which envisage, among other things, a moratorium on privatization; pp 1, 5 (856 words).

2. Alexandra Kreknina article headlined "Build so much here" says that Russian food retail networks set a record in 2012 in the number of new shops opened, but the trend will not last long; pp 1, 18 (543 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Hunters for migrant workers" comments on the setting-up of special volunteer patrols to reveal and detain illegal migrant workers in Russia; pp 1, 6 (441 words).

4. Another editorial headlined "Hook and crook" says that preparations for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi have shown how ineffective state-private partnership is both for the state and business; p 6 (305 words).

5. Lilia Biryukova and Maksim Glikin article headlined "Pre-election reconnaissance" says that the Institute of Social Economic and Political Studies fund under the All-Russia People's Front will send political analysts to regions, where elections will be held in autumn, to study the pre-election situation there. The experts' reports will be submitted to the presidential administration; p 2 (398 words).

6. Irina Novikova article headlined "No hope for government" says that a study by a Levada Center expert has revealed that the Russian public mood is worsening due to disappointment in the Russian authorities, and, particularly, the government, whose approval rating has fallen 25 per cent since December 2012; p 3 (349 words).

7. Anastasia Kornya report "Company not good enough" says that a representative of the newspaper Vedomosti has not been allowed to become member of a district electoral commission in Moscow on the pretext not mentioned in the law; p 2 (900 words).

8. Alexei Nikolsky report "To continue Serdyukov's business" looks at a Defense Ministry board meeting chaired by Putin; p 3 (500 words).

9. Roman Dorokhov report "Virus in state service" says that Kaspersky Labs has revealed the virus MiniDuke that attacked government agencies in some European countries; p 17 (650 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Yulia Krivoshapko interview, headlined "We have and FAS has", with Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) head Igor Artemyev, speaking about state procurement, petrol prices, etc; pp 1, 10 (1,763 words).

2. Tatyana Zukova article headlined "Tokyo constant. Without tension" looks at the first Russian-Japanese forum in Tokyo; pp 1, 5 (768 words).

3. Maksim Makarychev article headlined "Tipsy" says that the Georgian president has slammed the Tbilisi-Moscow economic cooperation, which the Georgian prime minister is establishing; pp 1, 8 (803 words).

4. Unattributed report "Sent to base" looks at two agreements approved by the Russian government concerning Russian military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan; p 2 (800 words).

5. Yevgeniy Shestakov article headlined "Wedge of Damascus" says that several hours after the talks held by the Russian foreign minister and his US counterpart in Berlin, a source in the US delegation has said that the USA may supply arms and provide humanitarian aid to the Syrian opposition; p 3 (411 words).

6. Vitaliy Petrov report "Don't drink or you'll become journalist" looks at chairman of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) Vladimir Churov's comment on the CEC's TV studio; p 3 (700 words).

7. Aleksey Zudin article headlined "Year of president" looks at the political reform being implemented by President Vladimir Putin since he took office in March 2012; p 4 (2,532 words).

8. Vladimir Skuptsov article headlined "Moon dream" looks at the situation in the Russian space sector; p 6 (689 words).

9. Galina Chulkova article headlined "Smear campaign without elegance" says that a surge in information war was registered in Russia in 2012: PR methods have increasingly resembled the wars of the turbulent 1990s; p 6 (1,010 words).

10. Ariadna Rokossovskaya interview, headlined "Stop at diplomatic mission", with Russian ambassador to Nigeria Aleksandr Polyakov, speaking about Russian sailors, arrested on arms trafficking charges and released on bail; p 8 (551 words).

11. Olga Dmitriyeva article headlined "End to court" says that the UK government has demanded that the details of the probe into the death of former FSB officer Aleksandr Litvinenko in London be classified; p 8 (800 words).

12. Marina Brovkina report "Flies from reconnaissance" says that Russian scientists have designed a modern UAV; p 10 (500 words).

Izvestia


1. Pavel Panov article headlined "Education and Science Ministry asks for R5bn for distance learning" says that a concept and a program to develop online and distance learning for the next five years have been drafted in Russia; pp 1, 5 (795 words).

2. Dmitry Yevstifeyev article headlined "Microsoft finds its things at Interior Ministry and Federal Protection Service" says that the Russian office of Microsoft suspects a Moscow IT company, which supplies IT equipment to the Interior Ministry and the Federal Protection Service, of illegally using intellectual rights to its products; pp 1, 4 (641 words).

3. Sergey Ispolatov article headlined "Government to 'freeze' introduction of social norms on heating" says that the Economic Development Ministry has opposed yet another initiative in modernization of the housing utilities sector; pp 1, 4 (919 words).

4. Dmitriy Yevstifeyev article headlined "Expert review establishes authenticity of Skrynnik's signatures" says that as part of the probe into embezzlement of budget funds in the Rosagrolizing company, Investigations Committee experts have studied financial documents, under which shady contracts were paid, and revealed that it was former Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik who signed them; pp 1, 4 (677 words).

5. Anastasiya Moryleva and Yelizaveta Mayetnaya article headlined "Road to cottage of Serdyukov's son-in-law destroys Astrakhan's fishery" says that Astrakhan scientists have demanded that the Russian Investigations Committee check whether a road built to a cottage owned by former Defence Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov's son-in-law three years ago caused environmental damage; pp 1, 4 (868 words).

6. Mikhail Rubin and Anastasiya Kashevarova article headlined "Vladimir Region governor to be dismissed" says that the presidential administration has decided to dismiss Vladimir Region governor Nikolay Vinogradov, whose term in office expires in late March; p 2 (514 words).

7. Rafael Fakhrutdinov report "Criminal case may be opened against lawyer Navalny" says that according to the Investigations Committee, blogger Alexei Navalny has illegally received a lawyer status and he may be prosecuted; p 3 (450 words).

8. Alexei Mikhaylov report "Navy gives up invisible corvettes" says that the Russian Navy has decided not to work on invisible corvettes of the 20385 project; p 5 (600 words).

9. Oleg Shevtsov article headlined "French president comes to save special relations with Moscow" looks ahead at the French president's two-day visit to Russia, which begins today; p 7 (525 words).

10. Anna Akhmadiyeva article headlined "RIA Novosti to earn on shopping" says that Russia's largest media holding company RIA Novosti plans to launch a new e-commerce project; p 8 (640 words).

11. Viktor Toporov article headlined "State master key" contemplates prospects for the setting-up of the financial police in Russia; p 10 (707 words).

12. Yelena Rykovtseva article headlined "Balanced betrayal" looks at the relations between TV journalist Vladimir Pozner and the head of Channel One Konstantin Ernst given recent scandals; p 10 (1,018 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Alexander Minkin article headlined "Leave Astakhov", written as a letter to Putin, criticizes Russian children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov's performance on the post, which does more harm than good to Russian children and Russia's image abroad; pp 1, 5 (648 words).

2. Anastasiya Rodionova article headlined "Does Navalnyy's double come to Investigations Committee?" says that the Russian Investigations Committee has posted on its website a press release of opposition activist Alexei Navalny's questioning two hours before the man was questioned; pp 1-2 (531 words).

3. Mikhail Rostovskiy interview with Dmitry Badovskiy, head of the Institute of Social Economic and Political Studies, headlined "Evident adviser of chief", who speaks about the Russian authorities and the opposition; pp 1, 4 (2,851 words).

4. Yuliya Kalinina article headlined "Not about Depardieu" says that the Russian authorities are giving French actor Gerard Depardieu, who has been recently granted Russian citizenship, various presents, including housing, which negatively affects Russian people's sentiments as there are lots of people in Russia who need housing; pp 1, 3 (428 words).

5. Georgiy Yans article headlined "Single history from One Russia" comments on Putin's idea to issue a single history book for Russian schools and slams Russian officials for fulfilling any initiatives by Putin without demur and taking into account any counterarguments; p 3 (1,140 words).

6. Zhanna Golubitskaya interview with Russian children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, headlined "Astakhov: Protection of children is parents' business", who speaks about recent killings of Russian children in the USA and Russia; p 5 (591 words).

7. Natalya Rozhkova report "Living media outlets to be punished for dead people's reputation" says that the State Duma wants to make journalists and bloggers silent on the pretext of protecting private life; p 2 (600 words).

8. Yevgeniy Krasnikov report "Legislative shirt to be put on Russian Internet" says that the concept of the bill on regulation of the Internet will be ready by April 2013; p 11 (400 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta (weekly)


1. Irina Krasnopolskaya and Irina Nevinnaya interview, headlined "Free transplantation", with Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova; p 4 (811 words).

2. Irina Nevinnaya article headlined "Who lives in 'rubber flats'" says that the State Duma has approved in the first reading a bill on the tougher regulation of residential registration in Russia; p 7 (756 words).

3. Mikhail Barshchevskiy interview with Federal Drug Control Service head Viktor Ivanov, headlined "Get under 'candies'", who speaks about the fight against drug abuse in Russia; p 8 (1,500 words).

RBK Daily


1. Anastasia Litvinova article titled "Business beyond courts" says the number of arbitration courts in Russia may be reduced tenfold pursuant to instructions from President Putin outlined in his state-of-the-nation address in 2012; pp 1, 3 (800 words).

2. Ivan Petrov article headlined "Stand down on zigzagging" recaps on President Putin's statements at yesterday's Defense Ministry collegium session; pp 1-2 (500 words).

3. Aleksandr Litoy article titled "Time not done" says that the lawyer for opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, one of the suspects in the so-called Anatomy of Protest-2 case, has said Razvozzhayev believes that an attempt on his life was being prepared while he was being remanded in a pre-trial detention center in Irkutsk; p 2 (300 words).

4. Nikolay Mikhalev and Andrey Kotov article titled "Baturina settles down in Dublin" says the wife of former Moscow mayor Yuriy Luzhkov, Yelena Baturina, has launched her first real estate project in Ireland — a four-star Morrison Hotel in Dublin, which she invested 29m euros in; p 9 (450 words).

Novyye Izvestia


1. Nadezhda Bulanova article headlined "No case" says that a Moscow court has dismissed a complaint challenging a decision by investigators not to open a criminal case against officials who led a hostage-freeing operation at the Dubrovka theatre in Moscow in 2002; p 1 (340 words).

2. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "No more, no less" says that Moscow police wants to fine rally organizers for lower-than-expected participant turnout; pp 1-2 (660 words).

3. Konstantin Nikolayev article titled "Rank 'rascals'" contemplates possible ways to improve the combat readiness of the Russian army, by looking at foreign moves to this end and considering the challenges faced by the Russian armed forces; pp 1-2 (800 words).

4. Nikolai Snezhkov article headlined "Sergeant heads Pentagon" says that Chuck Hagel's approval as the new US secretary of defense was one of the most contentious defense chief appointments in the USA; p 2 (433 words).

5. Vera Moslakova article headlined "Boomerang effect" says that opposition MP Ilya Ponomarev has published compromising information about two State Duma deputies, Igor Ananskiy from the LDPR party and Andrey Kolesnik from One Russia, as the war of damaging documents continues; p 2 (793 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Military observer Viktor Baranets article "'We need a fine polish of the military machine'" looks at President Putin's appearance at the Defense Ministry collegium session yesterday; p 2 (600 words).

2. Sergey Titov article "Multimillionaire becomes Pentagon head" gives a brief backgrounder on the new US defense secretary, Chuck Hagel; p 3 (150 words).

3. Vladimir Vorsobin article titled "Indians jealous of China's relationship with Russia" looks at the agenda of the Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko's visit to India; p 4 (600 words).

4. Aleksandr Grishin article headlined "In trouble over experience" says protest leader Alexei Navalny has been accused of forging his experience as a legal practitioner to obtain his lawyer status; p 4 (550 words).

5. Aleksandr Grishin article titled "Alleviating sorrows of US ambassador" criticizes remarks by the US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, about Russian media coverage of the recent death of Maksim Kuzmin, a Russian boy adopted by US parents; p 15 (900 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda (weekly)


1. Svetlana Kuzina article titled "Gay marriages dangerous for adopted children" relays the findings of a report by a US sociologist about the effect that gay marriage has on children, prefaced with an account of the plight of Russian children adopted by US families; p 10 (800 words).

Trud (weekly)


1. Comment by political editor Sergey Frolov titled "Verbal diarrhoea" criticizes Russian officials for not being accountable for their promises; p 2 (500 words).

Tvoy Den


1. Anton Stepanov article titled "CarNaval Lawyer" says the Russian Investigations Committee have accused protest leader Alexei Navalny of illegally obtaining his lawyer qualifications; p 2 (150 words).

2. Maksim Korolev article titled "Poem spying" says a Sverdlovsk Region deputy has asked the Russian Investigations Committee to check the legality of earnings for a member of the opposition Coordination Council, popular poet and writer Dmitriy Bykov; p 2 (100 words).

Zavtra


1. Oleg Shchukin article titled "USA preparing war against China" mulls Russia's position amid escalating geopolitical tensions between USA and China; p 1 (700 words).

2. Dmitriy Yershov comment "Challenge for Russia" blames the leadership of USA and the Arab monarchies for "commissioning" the bomb attack outside the Russian embassy in Damascus on 21 February; p 1 (300 words).

3. Petr Ivanov article titled "What do you want?" comments on perceived challenges of integration across the former USSR; p 4 (750 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda


1. Yelizaveta Orlova article titled "First meetings, first impressions" reports on the meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry in Berlin on 26 February, and the appointment of Chuck Hagel as the new US defense secretary; pp 1, 3 (800 words).

2. Aleksandr Tikhonov and Leonid Khayremdinov article titled "Relying on traditions and professionals" looks at President Putin's comments at yesterday's session of the Defense Ministry collegium.

3. Sergey Medvedev article titled "5+1 and Tehran satisfied with meeting" looks at the outcomes of the talks on the Iranian nuclear program held in Almaty, which wrapped up yesterday; p 3 (600 words).

Feb. 28, 2013/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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