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What the Papers Say, Aug. 29, 2013


1. Svetlana Mantyukova and Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Belarus being checked for liquids" says that Russia has become concerned about the quality of milk supplied by Belarus and has cut down oil supplies to Belarussian oil refineries. This comes amid the scandal with the arrest of a Russian potash company CEO in Minsk; pp 1, 9 (995 words).

2. Khalil Aminov article headlined "Moscow Region seals off land bank" says that the Moscow region authorities have examined usage of the local land and concluded that almost 4,000 acres of land is used ineffectively; pp 1, 10 (551 words).

3. Yury Yarotsky interview with Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, headlined "'The absence of scandals was the flip side of publicity'", who speaks about the state's culture policy; pp 1, 4 (2,228 words).

4. Nikolai Sergeyev article headlined "VAT returned from Lefortovo" says that businessman Alexander Milushkin, a defendant in a high-profile VAT fraud case, has been released; pp 1, 3 (664 words).

5. Taisia Bekbulatova article headlined "Municipalities to be spared unplanned checks" says that the government has tabled a bill with the State Duma which reduces the number prosecutor's office checks of municipal bodies; p 2 (487 words).

6. Tatyana Yedovina article headlined "G20 countries do half of what was promised" says that G20 member-states have fulfilled only half of the commitments they took on since 2010. Russia, the current chair of the G20, considers this to be a good result. The article also considers the messages in Vladimir Putin's address to summit participants; p 2 (485 words).

7. Sergei Goryashko and Irina Nagornykh article headlined "Communist idea takes hold of Patriots of Russia" says that the Patriots of Russia party will hold a meeting today to discuss the establishment of a "national breakthrough government". The party believes that Russia is on the brink of a crisis but the current cabinet of ministers is not performing vital tasks; p 2 (536 words).

8. Yekaterinburg-based Maria Plyusnina article headlined "Yevgeny Roizman's links to be checked" says that the Sverdlovsk Region prosecutor's office has launched a check on Yekaterinburg mayoral candidate Yevgeny Roizman following the "Moment of Truth" weekly program on St Petersburg's Channel Five TV on 26 August, which accused Roizman of having criminal links; p 3 (504 words).

9. Natalya Gorodetskaya et al. article headlined "Valentina Matvyenko speaks out against vote rigging" says that Federation Council speaker Valentina Matvyenko has arrived in Vladimir to support acting regional head Svetlana Orlova, who is standing in the Sept. 8 governor election. Matvyenko called on the local authorities to prevent election fraud; p 3 (513 words).

10. Irina Nagornykh and Taisia Bekbulatova article headlined "Recipients of president's grants expanded" looks at the distribution of presidential grants to noncommercial organizations (NGO), details of which were announced yesterday. Sixty-four human rights organizations, including Moscow Helsinki Group and For Human Rights have received funding; the Golos election watchdog will not be getting any financing from the Kremlin; p 3 (667 words).

11. Vladimir Vodo article headlined "Russian extradited to U.S. for hunter's scopes" says that Russia has condemned Lithuania's decision to extradite Russian native Dmitry Ustinov to the U.S., where he is accused of illegal export operations with dual-purpose optical devices; p 5 (460 words).

12. Vyacheslav Kozlov and Grigory Tumanov article headlined "Criminals and guests of capital city" says that the Moscow prosecutor's office asserts that migrants perpetrate up to 50 percent of crimes in the city, whereas the Moscow Main Interior Directorate places that figure much lower, at around 17 percent. Experts attribute the discrepancy to an anti-migrant campaign that the city authorities are currently pursuing; p 5 (522 words).

13. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "European Parliament stands up for Ukraine" says that the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee has accused Moscow of unleashing a trade war with Ukraine in a bid to retain control over Kiev. For its part, Moscow has accused Brussels of blocking Kiev's attempts to cooperate with both the EU and Russia; p 6 (648 words).

14. Maria Yefimova et al. article headlined "Syria put on pre-martial law" says that NATO has given the go-ahead to a military operation against Damascus despite the fact that the UN Security Council has not backed the move. The article rounds up the views of different players (both in the region and outside it) and notes that there is a widely-held expectation that a strike will be delivered on Syria in the early hours of Aug. 30; p 6 (813 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Tatyana Dvoynova article headlined "Territory of never-ending promises" looks ahead to President Vladimir Putin's visit to Maritime Territory on Aug. 31. On Putin's agenda is a meeting at a ship-building plant and possibly a look at the 2012 APEC summit facilities one year on; p 1, 4 (1,038 words).

2. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Ukrainian gas insufficiency" says that Ukraine recently dramatically boosted the volume of Russian gas that is being pumped into its underground gas reserves. However, experts doubt that this will be enough to ensure uninterrupted gas supplies to Europe in winter. The possible gas crisis will likely once again bring up the issue of Ukrainian gas transit; p 1, 6 (1,085 words).

3. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Law enforcers not comfortable with legitimizing elections" says that the Civil Platform party considers the Aug. 26 edition of the "Moment of Truth" weekly programme on St. Petersburg's Channel Five TV, which accused Yekaterinburg mayoral candidate Roizman of having criminal links, to be a well-thought-out act of provocation. Experts view this as a sign of a stand-off between law-enforcement agencies and the Kremlin, which is seeking to ensure maximum legitimacy of the Sept. 8 election results; p 1, 3 (1,116 words).

4. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Sinking season" says that Russia's Far East will face hard times this winter due to the recent heavy flooding, the consequences of which will not be eliminated in time; p 1, 4 (851 words).

5. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Dniester region as EU's near abroad" says that after Ukraine and Moldova sign a free trade agreement with the EU, Dniester region will have to live by European rules and the situation around the Dniester region conflict settlement will change; p 1, 6 (764 words).

6. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "Thunderous war expected in early hours of Friday" says that according to U.S. media, a Western military operation against Syria will most likely be launched in the early hours of Aug. 30. Experts say that this will be not an attempt to depose the ruling regime in Syria in a military way, but an act of a psychological war; p 1, 7 (818 words).

7. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Crime returns to barracks" says that crimes and emergencies are on the rise in the Russian Armed Forces. The regional human rights organization Soldier's Mothers of St. Petersburg have asked President Putin to take urgent measures; p 2 (705 words).

8. Editorial headlined "Free cheese not only in mousetrap" contemplates free and paid services at Russian cultural establishments; p 2 (540 words).

9. Andrei Serenko article headlined "Volgograd doomed to matriarchy" looks at expectations for the Sept. 8 regional election campaign in Volgograd; p 2 (569 words).

10. Kost Bondarenko comment published in the Carte Blanche column headlined "Russia may lose Ukraine as it lost Baltic states" contemplates prospects for Russian-Ukrainian relations in the context of recent tensions between Moscow and Kiev over Ukraine's EU integration aspirations; p 3 (813 words).

11. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Public
control may be frustrated" says that there is a shortage of public observers for the Sept. 8 election — both in Moscow and in the regions; p 3 (776 words).

12. Igor Naumov article headlined "G20 leaders to discuss investment and fight against corruption" looks at President Putin's address to G20 member-states in which he summed up the results of the group's performance — both more generally and during Russia's chairmanship, and previews the agenda for the September summit in St Petersburg; p 4 (824 words).

13. Petr Mordasov article titled "Right to donation" analyses a recent initiative from the LDPR Party to stop practising homosexuals from being blood donors; p 5 (250 words).

14. Sergei Kiselev article headlined "Lvov's defence" criticizes the anti-corruption campaign in Russia for being selective; p 5 (495 words).

15. Svetlana Gavrilina article headlined "St. Petersburg prepares for natural disaster — the G20" looks at preparations, including security tests, for the G20 summit in St. Petersburg; p 5 (518 words).

16. Vladimir Skosyrev article titled "Beijing rejects Tokyo's proposal on top-level meeting" features Russian pundit comment on the lack of progress in Russian-Japanese talks on the disputed Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands; p 7 (400 words).


1. Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "Potash spoils milk and pipeline" says that Russia has introduced economic sanctions against Belarus following the arrest of the CEO of a Russian potash manufacturer; pp 1, 3 (778 words).

2. Editorial headlined "In his element" contemplates President Putin's visit the flood-stricken Russian Far East. The authors say that Putin will use this trip to compensate for some of the unfavorable media coverage the socio-economic situation in the country; pp 1, 6 (431 words).

3. Anastasia Kornya and Svetlana Bocharova article headlined "No trust in scanners" says that the Central Elections Commission has allowed manual vote-counting at polling stations equipped with KOIBs (electronic ballot paper processing machines) in Moscow Region and probably Moscow to verify the automated results. Experts see this as a way for the authorities to protect themselves against getting disastrous results; p 2 (593 words).

4. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Air defence systems more popular than aircraft" says that Russian state arms export agency Rosoboroneksport has 40 percent more delivery contracts for air defence systems than for aircraft; p 2 (402 words).

5. Lilia Biryukova article headlined "People's Front preparing Wiki-stealing" looks at an internet project to control public purchases and state-run company procurements that the People's Front (ONF) is planning to launch soon; p 3 (431 words).

6. Anastasia Kornya et al. article headlined "Too much Sobyanin" says that Moscow mayoral candidate from the Yabloko party Sergei Mitrokhin has accused acting Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin of taking advantage of his post in his election campaign. Sobyanin has been taking part in various public events that are not part of his direct responsibilities; p 3 (435 words).

7. Yekaterina Kravchenko article titled "Oil storm" features comments from Russian experts about the impact of the escalation around Syria on global oil prices; p 4 (350 words).

8. Margarita Lyutova article headlined "Partial union" examines Ukraine's aspiration to integrate with the EU while maintaining a good relationship with Russia by signing certain agreements with the Customs Union; p 5 (465 words).

9. Editorial headlined "Eternal witness" says that former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov remains untouchable despite revelations of numerous instances of abuse in the high-profile Defence Ministry corruption case. The editorial says that he will be definitely not prosecuted; p 6 (333 words).

10. Alexei Makarkin article headlined "Authorities and society: science of reforms" contemplates the best way to carry out reforms; pp 6-7 (1,060 words).

11. Yekaterina Sobol article headlined "Rostec on someone else's wings" says that the Rostec state technology corporation has signed memoranda of intent with Canadian company Bombardier and the Franco-Italian company ATR, which lend themselves to launching production of foreign regional aircraft in Russia in the future; p 13 (506 words).

12. Yelena Khodyakova article titled "Ukraine fills its reserves" says Ukraine is boosting the volumes of gas at its storage facilities to ensure uninterrupted gas supplies to Europe in winter; p 12 (400 words).

13. Anastasia Golitsyna and Ksenia Boletskaya article headlined "Pirates to be dealt with without court" says that the Culture Ministry has drafted a bill on a pre-trial settlement internet piracy cases; p 18 (707 words).


1. Anastasia Kashevarova article headlined "Suleiman Kerimov pays dearly for working on two fronts" says that the Russian authorities' apparent lack of interest in securing the release of Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner, who was detained in Belarus, could be evidence of their bad attitude to businessman Suleiman Kerimov, a major stakeholder in the potash producer; pp 1-2 (819 words).

2. Alena Sivkova article headlined "Olga Golodets asked to sort out Education Ministry" examines the latest development in the controversy with Single State Exam answers appearing online before the start of the testing; pp 1-2 (583 words).

3. Maria Kunle article headlined "Interior Ministry proposes blocking online casinos" says that the Interior Ministry has drafted amendments to the Russian Criminal Code toughening punishment for organizing illegal gambling; pp 1, 3 (981 words).

4. Anna Akhmadyeva and Vladimir Zykov article headlined "Media now violate law on protecting children 80 times less often" says that according to the Roskomnadzor media watchdog, media outlets are more strictly observing the law on safeguarding children against harmful information over the last year; pp 1, 3 (420 words).

5. Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Seventy-one State Duma deputies never speak at plenary sessions" says that some 16 percent of State Duma deputies have never made speech at plenary sessions over 1 ½ years of the sixth convocation of the lower chamber of parliament; p 2 (839 words).

6. Election advertisement for LDPR party candidate in the Moscow mayoral election, Mikhail Degtyaryov, titled "LDPR on guard of purity!" encourages people to vote for Degtyaryov because he knows how to evict illegal migrants from Moscow; p 3 (703 words).

7. Konstantin Volkov article headlined "Egypt may lose U.S. aid" features Russian pundit comment on the apparent increase in the number of U.S. lawmakers who oppose allocating money to Egypt; p 4 (605 words).

8. Maxim Kononenko opinion piece headlined "President's mistake" comments on the arrest of a Russian businessman in Belarus and says that the Belarussian president has made a big mistake; p 5 (679 words).

9. Kirill Benediktov commentary headlined "To see Minsk and be jailed" comments on the arrest of a Russian businessman in Belarus and says that the incident has shown that oligarchs who have made a fortune on raw materials are not omnipotent and the scope of their influence strongly depends on political will; p 5 (912 words).

10. Leonid Zlotin opinion piece headlined "The Grenade is not mine" comments on Russia's stance on Syria. Having exercised restraint in the Syrian conflict, Russia has thus shown that its national interests are more important than vying for global influence; p 5 (620 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "West cooks up in Syria" says that the U.S. and the U.K. have not provided evidence that official Damascus used chemical weapons on Aug. 21. The UN secretary-general said that no decisions on Syria can be taken without the results of the UN probe that is currently under way, but this has not stopped the West's preparations for an attack on Syria; pp 1, 8 (673 words).

2. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "Did he lose his nerve?" says that U.S. President Barack Obama's admission that he had tears in his eyes when he watched a film about a White House employee was a publicity move to make him seem more humane against a background of preparations for a U.S.-led intervention in Syria; p 8 (365 words).

3. Olga Dmitryeva article "War to victorious beginning" draws parallels between the likely intervention in Syria and the 2003 war in Iraq; p 8 (350 words).

4. Natalya Yachmennikova interview with the head of the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Vitaly Lopot, headlined "To fly to the Moon", who speaks about a new spaceship, whose model has been exhibited at the MAKS-2013 airshow in the Moscow region town Zhukovsky; p 10 (1,439 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta (weekly)

1. Natalya Yachmennikova and Sergei Ptichkin article titled "To break free of ground and rumors" lauds the virtues of the Sukhoi Superjet-100 aircraft; pp 8-9 (900 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Melor Sturua article headlined "Syria of missile attacks" contemplates prospects for a military intervention into Syria. The U.S. will likely use Tomahawk missiles and will attack Syria's military facilities, the article says; pp 1, 3 (1,323 words).

2. Viktoria Prikhodko article headlined "How an MK journalist built a dike in Khabarovsk" reports on a situation in flood-stricken Khabarovsk; pp 1-2 (810 words).

3. Igor Karmazin article headlined "Not United Russia in places" look ahead at the Sept. 8 election campaign, highlighting some regions that could see the defeat of the party of power; pp 1, 9 (1,722 words).

4. Yulia Kalinina column headlined "Tolik's love games" suggests naming the flooding in Russia's Far East after former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov or head of the Defence Ministry's property relations department Yevgenia Vasilyeva because the damage to the state that resulted from their actions is comparable to that caused by the floods; p 1 (606 words).

5. Mikhail Zubov article headlined "Why Prokhorov will not vote at Moscow mayoral election" says that the leader of the Civil Platform party, Mikhail Prokhorov, will send observers from his Civil Platform party to keep watch at the Sept. 8 election; p 2 (503 words).

6. Igor Nikolayev commentary headlined "Uralkali and conspiracy theory" comments on the arrest of the potash producer Uralkali in Belarus; p 4 (543 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Margarita Alyokhina et al. article headlined "Misdirected punch" says that the campaign against illegal migrants will only damage the Russian economy, but will not change the situation for the better; pp 1, 5 (1,174 words).

2. Yulia Savina report headlined "Cold fear" describes the situation in flood-stricken Khabarovsk; pp 1, 5 (704 words).

3. Sergei Manukov article headlined "No unity" says that not all U.S. allies will take part in a military operation against Syria; p 2 (441 words).

4. Alexei Aronov interview with economist Sergei Zhavoronkov headlined "'We could do without Belarussian services, but not without those from Ukraine'", who speaks about Russian-Ukrainian and Russian-Belarussian relations; p 3 (967 words).

5. Sergei Putilov article headlined "Petrodollar grief" says oil prices have hit record highs amid expectations of a foreign intervention in Syria; p 3 (500 words).

RBC Daily

1. Alexei Kuzmenko et al. article headlined "Milk-and-oil quarrel" says a new trade war may start between Moscow and Minsk over the arrest in Belarus of Russian businessman Vladislav Baumgertner; pp 1-2 (800 words).

2. Yevgeny Krasnikov article headlined "CPRF speaks out for Jolly Roger" says the Communist Party candidate for Moscow mayor, Ivan Melnikov, has spoken against a new anti-piracy, which has been hugely unpopular with the public; p 2 (700 words).

3. Alexander Litoy article headlined "Golos almost lost" says the election monitoring group Golos had difficulties finding a proper office for mayoral election observers; p 2 (300 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Varvara Onishchenko article headlined "West may strike on Syria in the next few days" features Russian experts' comments on the Syrian crisis; p 3 (600 words).

2. Election manifesto of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia's candidate for Moscow mayor, Mikhail Degtyaryov; p 10 (1,200 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda (weekly)

1. Yevgeny Chernykh article headlined "Strike on Syria is strike on Russia" is an interview with the director of the Systemic and Strategic Analysis Institute, Andrei Fursov, about the Syrian crisis; p 2 (800 words).


1. Pavel Orlov article headlined "War inevitable" features Russian experts' comments on the Syrian crisis; p 4 (400 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Viktor Ruchkin article headlined "Critical moment" quotes Russian pundit Fedor Lukyanov as saying that the West's military operation in Syria will be similar to the 1999 NATO bombings of Yugoslavia; p 3 (800 words).

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