What the Papers Say, May 22, 2013

Kommersant


1. Vadim Visloguzov article headlined "With all luxury of law" says the tax on luxurious vehicles which cost more than 5 million rubles (around $160,000) will double or even treble in Russia, as the State Duma has passed the relevant bill in the first reading; p 1 (660 words).

2. Oleg Rubnikovich article headlined "Release under cottage arrest" says Education Ministry official Feliks Shamkhalov suspected of fraud with scientific degrees and accused of organizing theft of a Vneshekonombank loan has been released from a detention center and will await his trial under home arrest in his cottage in Moscow Region; pp 1, 5 (715 words).

3. Yegor Popov article headlined "President puts shipyards in their place" comments on the development strategy for the United Shipbuilding Corporation discussed by President Putin; pp 1, 11 (599 words).

4. Olga Shestopal and Dmitry Ladygin article headlined "Rosbank starts commercial buyback" says investors are willing to get rid of Rosbank bonds as the bank head Vladimir Golubkov was charged with bribery; pp 1, 10 (679 words).

5. Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Vladimir Lukin suggests that everybody be respected" says Russian ombudsman Vladimir Lukin making a report on human rights violations in Russia spoke of the need to respect everyone including the defendants of the Bolotnaya Ploshchad disturbances case and people charged with economic crimes; p 2 (609 words).

6. Maria-Luiza Tirmaste interview with Alexei Chesnakov, member of the presidium of United Russia general council, speaking on his decision to leave the party ranks; p 2 (537 words).

7. Maria-Luiza Tirmaste article headlined "Alexei Chesnakov does not want to be United Russia member any longer" says Alexei Chesnakov, member of the presidium of United Russia general council, is leaving the party. He was a close friend of former Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov who had also recently resigned, however, Chesnakov noted that his resignation was just a coincidence; p 2 (632 words).

8. Irina Nagornykh and Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Task made more difficult for Yaroslavl opposition" says the Yaroslavl region parliament has changed some electoral regulations making it more challenging for the opposition to win the local election; p 2 (537 words).

9. Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Government brought to natural state" says experts analyzing the work of the Cabinet have come up to the conclusion that the government is playing a mere technical role with President Putin; p 3 (675 words).

10. Musa Muradov article headlined "Doku Umarov left without successor" says the militant killed in a special operation in Nazran was a deputy of North Caucasus rebel leader Doku Umarov; p 5 (487 words).

11. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Turkmenistan gives up Russian citizenship" says the Turkmenistan authorities demand that some 130,000 people having the country's citizenship together with the Russian one choose only one country they want to belong to; p 8 (576 words).

12. Yelena Chernenko interview with Alexander Sternik, head of the third department of CIS member states at the Russian Foreign Ministry, who speaks about the difficulties talks on dual citizenship may encounter; p 8 (200 words).

13. Maxim Yusin article headlined "West afraid of Syrian Jihad" says Britain, one of Bashar Assad's opponents, has called on the Syrian opposition to start talks with Damascus. The West is afraid of the growing power of Al Qaida among Syrian insurgents; p 8 (485 words).

14. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Russians vote for Leonid Brezhnev" quotes results of a poll conducted by Russian independent opinion pollster Levada Center. The poll shows that out of all former leaders Brezhnev is most popular as he is associated with "prosperity"; p 3 (500 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Alexandra Samarina and Ivan Rodin article headlined "One waited for 20 years for what was promised in constitution" says the State Duma has passed in the first reading a presidential bill on administrative courts. They will allow individuals and NGOs to sue the state over ineffective work of officials, among other things; pp 1, 3 (1,652 words).

2. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Ukraine takes gas break" says the Ukrainian parliament has not passed the bill on the privatization of the country's gas transportation system as previously planned. Experts wonder if it was the Ukrainian opposition or Gazprom that made Kiev take a break; pp 1, 7 (656 words).

3. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "'Big troika' from RPR-Parnas go to Yaroslavl" says representatives of the Republican Party of Russia and Parnas, opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and Mikhail Kasyanov, are ready to top the list of opposition candidates at the local Duma election; pp 1 — 2 (688 words).

4. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Decrease in revenues predicted for banks" says the economic slowdown in Russia is likely to affect the banking sector; pp 1, 4 (907 words).

5. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Dushanbe heads for Beijing" reviews strategic cooperation agreements reached between Tajikistan and China and notes that Dushanbe sees Beijing as its main partner and investor, as Russia has wound down its projects in the country; pp 1, 7 (721 words).

6. Gleb Postnov article headlined "They want to make Kazan Russia's Islamic capital" says a religious forum in Kazan which opens today will discuss the role of traditional Islam in the republic; pp 1, 6 (462 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Ponomaryov effect" says the lack of transparency in the Skolkovo royalties case casts a shadow on the foundation and opposition activist Ilya Ponomaryov; p 2 (511 words).

8. Rais Suleimanov article headlined "Carte blanche: Wahhabi international, today Syria, tomorrow Russia" warns that having completed the war in Syria, radicals having Russian citizenship who used to fight against official Damascus will return to Russia and may cause security problems here; p 3 (836 words).

9. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Terrorist activists aim at Moscow" says Islamists pretending to be migrant workers will try to organize attacks in central Russia; p 6 (484 words).

10. Alexander Chernyavsky article headlined "Krasnoyarsk region gets tired of 'double-headed' system" says the municipal power as well as personnel policy in the region comes under harsh attack from local parliament leader; p 6 (500 words).

Izvestia


1. Yekaterina Kvon and Andrei Gridasov article headlined "Yedineniye party suspected of extremism" says the Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against the former Yedineniye party that has published a book with anti-Semitic comments on its website; pp 1, 2 (592 words).

2. Yekaterina Panina article headlined "Federation Council to move further from repairs" says the Federation Council office in the center of Moscow is being renovated; pp 1, 2 (494 words).

3. Yulia Tsoy and Anton Mordasov article headlined "Construction projects in Skolkovo to be frozen due to environment" says environmental violations have been found in the construction projects implemented by the Skolkovo Foundation; pp 1, 4 (617 words).

4. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Shoigu to be offered to unite youth into 'Fatherland Guard'" says the new youth patriotic movement, Fatherland Guard, is to be unveiled at the State Duma meeting today. The movement is to be engaged in the patriotic education of the youth; p 2 (486 words).

5. Alexander Yunashev article headlined "Vladimir Putin criticizes OSK (United Shipbuilding Corporation) over failure in the delivery of submarines" reports on meeting chaired by President Putin at which he appointed first deputy director-general of Uralvagonzavod tank manufacturer Vladimir Shmakov head of the corporation; p 2 (500 words).

Vedomosti


1. Yekaterina Sobol article headlined "Kaluga to land Moscow" says another airport for low-cost airlines may be set up near Moscow, in the Kaluga region. It is expected to be linked with the capital by a high-speed train; pp 1, 12 (532 words).

2. Olga Kuvshinova article headlined "Russia like Greece" says the Russian economy will be unable to grow faster that 2 percent a year for the next 10 years and that Russian authorities may borrow more financing abroad, like it was in Greece, some economic experts forecast; pp 1, 5 (799 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Government against science" says charges brought against pollster Levada Center show that the Russian authorities are going to persecute researchers for their scientific work; pp 1, 6 (409 words).

4. Lilia Biryukova and Ksenia Boletskaya article entitled "Cinema after Surkov" says the Kremlin takes Russian film industry under its control as the system drawn up by former Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Surkov and his associate Ivan Demidov is considered ineffective; p 2 (500 words).

5. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "Premier is weak but steady" analyzes the results of the popularity rating of Russian cabinet ministers and concludes that the weakening of the prime minister's team enhances his chances of staying in power; p 3 (200 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Yulia Krivoshapko article headlined "We borrow too much" says Russians tend to borrow more money from the banks in most cases without pledges. The number of unsecured bank loans has reached 64 per cent in Russia; pp 1, 4 (698 words).

2. Yury Gavrilov interview with Deputy defense Minister Anatoliy Antonov speaking on an international conference on European security which opens in Moscow, the situation in Afghanistan and Syria; pp 1, 9 (1,900 words).

3. Mikhail Falaleyev article headlined "Order of magnitude greater" says Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev is visiting the U.S.A. to exchange experience in fighting with crime; pp 1, 6 (496 words).

4. Kira Latukhina article headlined "From plant to water" reports on President Putin's meeting at United Shipbuilding Corporation (OSK) on 21 May; p 2 (1,000 words).

5. Sergei Belov article headlined "Staff of equal ones" reviews income declarations of the Russian government officials; p 3 (718 words).

6. Article by Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of the presidium of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council, headlined "Why arms?" praises Russia's stance on the Syrian conflict and notes that the West has realized that the conflict cannot be resolved without Moscow; p 8 (716 words).

7. Maria Golubkova interview with Fellow of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Nobel Prize winner Zhores Alyofrov, a candidate for the academy president's job, about the future of Russian science; p 5 (600 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Unattributed article headlined "Terrorists pulled out of Moscow Region" gives details of the operation to detain Wahhabi militants in Moscow Region who reportedly plotted attack in Moscow; pp 1, 6 (1,200 words).

2. Olga Bozhyeva article headlined "Air force running low" says representatives of Air Force academies complain of the crisis of the Russian aviation school; pp 1, 5 (1,600 words).

3. Artur Gasparyan article headlined "Will Eurovision see its Bolotnaya?" ponders on the results of the European music contest and the Russian-Azeri spat; pp 1, 7 (700 words).

Novaya Gazeta


1. Yelena Masyuk interview headlined "Surkov is best variant because Surkov is Beria" with opposition MP Ilya Ponomaryov speaking on a rift within the ruling elite and on a lack of leaders among the opposition; pp 7-9 (4,429 words).

2. Olga Prosvirova interview with Levada Center director Lev Gudkov speaking on charges brought by the prosecutor's office against the organization; pp 2-3 (1,166 words).

3. Yulia Latynina article headlined "Political relativity theory" criticizes the so-called "objectivity" approach used by the media nowadays, which allows different sides in a conflict to speak out. The approach often distorts real facts and makes the audience confused, the author believes; p 6 (669 words).

4. Andrei Kolesnikov report "Two again?" says that Levada Center, the most independent pollster, is being ousted from the "big three" leading pollsters in Russia; p 2 (900 words).

5. Report attributed to O.P. headlined "Did politics run by?" says that the interpretation of the notion "political activity" is being expanded in Russia and so is repression against NGOs; pp 2-3 (650 words).

6. Pavel Kanygin report "Sour innovation town" says that influx of Investigative Committee investigators and auditors to the innovation foundation Skolkovo has resulted in foreigners leaving Russia; p 10 (1,200 words).

7. Yevgeny Feldman report "He is dishonest, but good forester" says that the trial of opposition activist and blogger Alexei Navalny over embezzlement from the state forestry company KirovLes nears the end; p 11 (800 words).

RBK Daily


1. Yulia Yakovleva report "Politburo 2.0 headed by Putin becomes closer to business" says that Yevgeny Minchenko, head of the International Institute of Political Expertise and head of the communications holding company Minchenko Consulting, on May 22 will present a report "Year of Dmitry Medvedev's government." The report says that positions of Putin's business entourage are strengthening; the report also notes a crisis of agreements within the tandem; p 2 (900 words).

2. Alexander Litoi report "defense takes floor" looks at Russian presidential human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin's report that he has delivered in the State Duma. Lukin called for an amnesty for businessmen and for the people charged in the case of mass disturbances on Moscow's Bolotnaya Ploshchad on 6 May 2012; p 2 (500 words).

3. Ivan Petrov report "One more member for North Korean club" features comments of military expert Maj-Gen Vladimir Dvorkin on the fact that 22 countries are ignoring ratification of the IAEA additional protocol, which may prove not only their nuclear ambitions, but the work in progress to create nuclear weapons; p 2 (750 words).

Noviye Izvestia


1. Nadezhda Krasilova interview headlined "Prosecutors' campaign aimed against whole civil society" with Levada Center director Lev Gudkov, who speaks about prosecutors' campaign against the center and what consequences for the organization it may have; pp 1-2 (1,000 words).

2. Vera Moslakova report "Article does not come out" says that State Duma deputies have approved amendments to the bill on criminal responsibility for insulting believers' feelings. However, they decided not to introduce another article to the Criminal Code, but to amend the already existing one. Experts believe that there is no need for these steps; p 2 (600 words).

3. Margarita Alyokhina report "Road to blast" comments on the recent explosion in Dagestan and says that local corrupt officials and foreign special services may be involved in it; p 5 (500 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Yelena Krivyakina interview with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev speaking on Russia's economic development, Vladislav Surkov's resignation and income declarations of senior officials; pp 4-5 (2,651 words).

2. Sergei Yefimov report "Was this voting paid for?" looks at a scandal at the Eurovision song contest and says that several countries doubt that counting of votes in the contest has been fair; p 26 (600 words).

3. Dmitry Smirnov brief report "Dear Barack!" says that according to presidential aide Yury Ushakov, secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev is going to the U.S.A. to deliver Putin's reply to US President Barack Obama's letter. The ABM system, cooperation between special services and development of bilateral trade are mentioned in the letter, Ushakov said; p 2 (150 words).

4. Dmitry Steshin report "Urgant with vegetables better than Skoybeda with lampshade" looks at a scandal involving the newspaper's journalist Ulyana Skoybeda and features comments of journalist and member of the presidential human rights council Nikolay Svanidze; p 3 (700 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda


1. Viktor Ruchkin report "Sow wind to reap whirlwind" looks at the situation in Syria and at the Middle East tour of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry"; pp 1, 3 (850 words).

2. Sergei Medvedev report "For stability and peace in Caucasus" looks at the results of the meeting of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with his Azeri counterpart in Baku; p 3 (800 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti


1. Anastasia Petrova interview with head of the Russian Public Opinion Research center (VTsIOM) Valery Fedorov who speaks about the campaign against Levada Center; p 2 (700 words).

Trud


1. Alexander Protsenko report "Chronic innovation impotence" says that construction of the Russian innovation foundation Skolkovo is turning into a "feeding-trough for corrupt officials and businessmen and crooks"; pp 1, 3 (1,200 words).

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