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What the Papers Say, Sept. 4, 2013


1. Ivan Safronov article headlined "Roscosmos to be uncoupled from production" says the government is to consider Wednesday a proposed reform of the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, which might be split into two units, with production entities being grouped into a joint stock company called United Rocket and Space Corporation; pp 1-2 (1,019 words).

2. Alexandra Bayazitova article headlined "Card fraudsters to get jail term" says the Central Bank has backed a bill that stipulates a prison term for card skimming; pp 1, 7 (547 words).

3. Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Higher school of economizing" says the Finance Ministry has published proposals for federal budget cuts, which were suggested by the Higher School of Economics. The initial proposals included mergers of ministries and the suspension of military draft, but the Finance Ministry only used a portion of them for its final plan to cut spending; pp 1-2 (759 words).

4. Maria Yakovleva et al. article headlined "There cannot be too much cheap money" says that the United Capital Partners fund is going to buy two non-government pension funds. The president of the UCP, Ilya Scherbovich, is a former member of the Rosneft board of directors; pp 1, 8 (610 words).

5. Taisia Bekbulatova article headlined "Mikhail Prokhorov take up political science" says billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's party, Civic Platform, has drafted a report on the ongoing and past election campaigns in Moscow and other regions of Russia. Prokhorov personally wrote about the Moscow mayoral election and the situation in Yaroslavl where mayor Yevgeny Urlashov is facing criminal charges; p 3 (519 words).

6. Maxim Ivanov and Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Elections have party participation reduced" says the State Duma might amend election legislation to increase the share of local lawmakers elected in single-seat constituencies from 25 to 50 percent; p 3 (638 words).

7. Vadim Visloguzov and Dmitry Butrin article called "Small business left with rate" says Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has sent a report to President Vladimir Putin suggesting that the current social security tax rate for small businesses should not be raised; p 4 (494 words).

8. Alexander Voronov article headlined "Wishing good health to migrants" says the Moscow authorities have drafted a bill requiring that immigrants should undergo medical checkups when applying for work permits; p 4 (493 words).

9. Tatyana Serbina article headlined "Market blast case being heard without witnesses" reports on the start of a trial in Vladikavkaz of a group of rebels who face murder charges and are believed to have been involved in a terrorist attack at Vladikavkaz' central market in 2010; p 5 (679 words).

10. Dmitry Marakulin et al. article headlined "Museum director uncovers military kickbacks" says Andrei Lyalin, former director of the Central Naval Museum of the Defense Ministry, has accepted a plea bargain and admitted having received a kickback from the director of a moving company; p 5 (592 words).

11. Sergei Strokan article called "France not to abandon America in war" says France is likely to be the U.S. key ally in the planned military action against Syria; p 6 (476 words).

12. Yelena Chernenko and Ivan Safronov article headlined "Barack Obama to gather rights activists in St. Petersburg" says President Barack Obama, who canceled a bilateral meeting with President Vladimir Putin, is reportedly going to meet Russian human rights activists on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg; p 6 (542 words).

13. Yevgenia Pertseva article called "Rules of game" looks at a proposal by controversial lawmaker Yelena Yarovaya to bar migrant workers from being employed in retailing; p 7 (358 words).

14. Vladimir Dzaguto article headlined "Rosatom to engage in trade" says the state nuclear power corporation Rosatom and its Finnish partner Fennovoima have finalized an agreement on the construction of a nuclear power plant in Finland. Experts look at the potential risks to the project due to volatile electricity prices and environmental concerns in Europe; p 7 (501 words).

15. Natalya Skorlygina article called "Fighting floods more important than economizing" looks at the inconsistent energy police of the government amid disastrous floods that hit Russia's Far East; p 9 (466 words).

16. Sergei Sobolyov article headlined "After Rain on Friday" says the opposition-minded Dozhd (Rain) TV channel competes for being included into a pull of television channels to be broadcast digitally; p 9 (536 words).

17. Sergei Sobolyov interview with chief producer of Rossia 1 television Dmitry Mednikov who speaks about the channel's plans for the new season and the distribution of funds within the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK); p 10 (2,456 words).


1. Olga Proskurnina interview with Gennady Gudkov, candidate for Moscow region governor, headlined "Business does not exist outside of politics". Gudkov speaks about his security company that was "destroyed" by authorities because of his opposition stance and the election campaign in the Moscow region; p 8 (5,261 words).

2. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Life after elections" considers the future of Alexei Navalny after the Moscow mayoral election ends; p 7 (443 words).

3. Lilia Biryukova article headlined "Chamber of democrats" looks at a proposal to rotate board chairs in the Public Chamber; p 3 (518 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Frightening associations" says Ukraine's and Moldova's steps towards signing trade agreements with the EU show that Russia's influence in the post-Soviet space is declining; p 6 (391 words).

5. Sergei Titov article headlined "Disclosure for 1Bln Rubles" says under a law on state procurement that comes into force in 2014 companies that win state procurement contracts worth over 1 billion rubles ($30.3 million) will be required to disclose the names of its beneficial shareholders; p 5 (444 words).

6. Anastasia Kornya and Maxim Glikin article headlined "Party says: Don't!" heads of district electoral commissions in Moscow have been instructed to make sure that no rigging occur during the voting to elect a new mayor on Sept. 8; pp 1, 3 (845 words).

7. Igor Tsukanov and Yekaterina Derbilova article headlined "Slobodin responds to call" former TNK-BP executive vice president Mikhail Slobodin is to take over as Vimpelkom CEO, while Anton Kudryashov is leaving the post to become a member of the company's board of directors; pp 1, 16 (802 words).

8. Yelena Khodyakova article headlined "'Power of Siberia' to arrive later" quotes a source in the Russian gas giant Gazprom as saying that the company has postponed the start of construction of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline project for a lack of a binding contract with China; p 11 (740 words).

9. Editorial headlined "Power of forecasting" says mass protests are likely in Moscow in the wake of the Sept. 8 mayoral election, but the authorities' fear of rallies actually shows the emptiness of their declarations of democracy; p 6 (310 words).

10. Polina Khimshiashvili and Yekaterina Kravchenko article called "Armenia turns to north" looks at Armenia's decision to join the Russia-led Customs Union. Expert Alexei Malashenko says Armenia will not reap a lot of economic benefits from its entry into the union, but the decision is Russia's "absolute victory" in implementing its project of Eurasian integration; p 2 (701 words).

 Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Kremlin to filter out smaller parties" quotes a source in the State Duma as saying that election legislation is likely to be amended to introduce filters barring smaller parties from federal elections; pp 1,3 (964 words).

2. Igor Naumov and Ivan Shvarts article headlined "Federal budget sinking in Amur" says the Amur River is unlikely to go back within its banks until mid-October and that it is too early to estimate flood damage; pp 1,4 (899 words).

3. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Lack of money is people's key problem" looks at the results of a recent opinion poll by Levada Center showing that 70 percent of those interviewed are concerned about growing prices and 55 percent are worried by the rise in poverty; pp 1,4 (1,205 words).

4. Svetlana Gavrilina article headlined "Art experts in police uniforms" reports on the arrest of the director of a contemporary art museum in St. Petersburg and seizure of paintings from the museum by police on the initiative of St. Petersburg city councilor Vitaly Milonov; pp 1,6 (592 words).

5. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlines "Black Sea debt of Ukraine" says yet another row might break out between Russia and Ukraine, this time over duties and taxes charged by Ukraine on supplies for Russia's Black Sea Fleet stationed in Sevastopol; pp 1,7 (952 words).

6. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "U.S. conducting backroom negotiations with Iran" says the U.S. has sent its envoy to Iran for talks to prevent the furthering of the latter's uranium enrichment programme as the U.S. is preparing for a strike on Syria; pp 1,8 (495 words).

7. Viktor Litovkin article called "Missile commotion" looks at the mysterious launch of two missiles in the Mediterranean that were detected by the Russian radar station in Armavir ; p 2 (632 words).

8. Editorial headlined "Shadow of Syrian crisis over G20 summit" suggests that advantage should be taken of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg to resume the Russian-American dialogue on the Syrian issue; p 2 (477 words).

9. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Opposition preparing to take to streets" says opposition protests might take place in Moscow Sept. 9 if mass vote rigging incidents are registered during the Sept. 8 vote; expert Igor Bunin says the city authorities will try to avoid being blamed for falsification; p 3 (597 words).

10. Leonid Radzikhovsky article headlined "Carte blanche in inverted commas" looks at Alexei Navalny's controversial statements about Jews and Holocaust and accuses him of the lack of good taste; p 3 (783 words).

11. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Central Bank giving up currency" says the Central Bank is failing to prevent the ruble exchange rate from falling, while experts say there is no reason to panic yet; p 4 (699 words).

12. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Syrian foothold of Caucasus insurgents" quotes head of ANNA news agency Marat Musin as saying that there are some 4,000 well-trained insurgents from Russia in Syria now. They are likely to learn how to handle chemical weapons and make improvised bombs and will use these skills upon their return to Russia or the U.S. or Israel; p 7 (549 words).


1. Olesya Yelkova and Dmitry Yuriyev article headlined "Armenian president offers hand to Russia" says Armenia has expressed its readiness to enter the Customs Union and CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization); pp 1-2 (600 words).

2. Vladimir Markin, the spokesman of the Investigative Committee, article entitled "Professionalism and not populism is insurance of society" dwells on the many domestic problems Russia as a state is facing and on ways it is trying to resolve them; pp 1-2 (500 words).

3. Denis Telmanov article headlined "U.S. has checked Syrian air defense in the Mediterranean Sea" quotes a source in the Russian General Staff who says that the launch of two missiles on Sept. 3 was an attempt to test the Syrian air defense system and to identify its location; pp 1, 3 (400 words).

4. Petr Kozlov et al. article entitled "Due to differences Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama will not sit next to each other at G20 summit" says the summit organizing committee has preferred the English alphabet to the Russian one as a result of which the two presidents are going to sit at the opposite ends of the table; p2 (500 words).

5. Sergei Podesenov and Svetlana Subbotina article entitled "Receiving country to pay for deportation for illegal migrants" says lawmakers intend to submit corresponding draft amendments to the law on migration; pp 1-2 (350 words).

6. Sergei Podosenov interview with Moscow mayoral candidate from A Just Russia Nikolai Levichev headlined "Navalny's activities coordinated with mayor's office" hints at some agreements between the incumbent Moscow authorities and the opposition candidate; p 5 (500 words).

7. Oleg Shevtsov article entitled "Why France is putting the cart before the 'Syrian horse'" looks at the risks French President Francois Hollande is running when he supports the U.S. in its decision to launch a strike against Syria; p 7 (600 words).

8. Oriental studies expert Said Gafurov article entitled "American rake" says the U.S. strike against Syria may result not only in the suffering of civilians and other losses, it may be yet another unsuccessful operation for the U.S.; p 9 (400 words).

9. Political analyst Kirill Benediktov article headlined "False start" says the launch of ballistic objects on Sept. 3, carried out by Israel and the U.S., could have become the beginning of a world war; p 9 (600 words).

 Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Roman Markelov interview with Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak headlined "G20 topic" in which Storhcak looks at the G20 summit agenda; pp 1,5 (2,000 words)

2. Yevgeny Shestakov article entitled "Obama burns down 'pipe of peace'" says Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Barack Obama "personally persuaded Congressmen to declare a war on Syria"; pp 1, 8 (600 words).

3. Nadezhda Yermolayeva interview with lawman Kamil Bekyashev headlined "Hunt for tourists" looks at the warning to Russian citizens abroad that the Foreign Ministry has made public recently; p 8 (700 words).

4. Chairman of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council presidium Fedor Lukyanov article entitled "Iraq the other way round" looks at President Obama's evolution since the Iraqi campaign in 2008, when he won the election largely due to his serious criticism of the U.S. operation in Iraq; p 8 (700 words).

5. Yury Gavrilov and Sergei Ptichkin article " Spotted to death" says the missile attack warning system (SPRN) at the Armavir radar station did an excellent job detecting the ballistic target launches on Sept. 3; p 3 (600 words).

 Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Igor Subbotin interview with Edward Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena entitled "Snowden has learnt the word 'glass'" in which the lawyer says he is constantly in touch with his client, who is doing fine and has picked up a few Russian words. Kucherena adds that Barack Obama's stance on Snowden and on Syria is wrong and unjustified and that he should give back his Nobel Prize if a war on Syria begins; pp 1, 3 (977 words).

2. Svetlana Pleshakov article headlined "Scientific degree of degradation" looks at recent revelations by the Dissernet project that checks PhD theses of Russian politicians for cheating; pp 1, 3 (565 words).

3. Svetlana Samodelov interview with scientist Sergei Sirotsky headlined "Sunken utopia country" looks at anti-flood measures proposed in the wake of disastrous floods in the Far East; pp 1, 3 (644 words).

4. Mikhail Zubov article headlined "Populist disaster" presents the views of Maxim Suraykin of the Communists of Russia party and chair of the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva on Alexei Navalny, an opposition candidate for Moscow mayor; p 2 (711 words).

5. Ignat Kalinin article headlined "Shoygu 7 and half times more efficient than Serdyukov" says Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu and his team have been able to arrange the speedy handover of military compounds and utility infrastructure to municipalities; p 2 (472 words).

6. Yelena Gamayun article headlined "Maids in uniform for Kerimov" reviews the Belarusian media coverage of the criminal proceedings against Uralkaly CEO Vladislav Baumgertner and the company owner Suleiman Kerimov; p 2 (831 words).

7. Mikhail Zubov interview with chairman of the presidential human rights council Mikhail Fedorov who says he is going to spell out his criticism of the law on NGOs at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday Sept. 4; p 3 (552 words).

8. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Big pause for big front" says the All-Russia People's Front is to submit its registration application to the Justice Ministry on Thursday Sept. 5 and notes that three months have passed since the movement's founding conference on June 12 this year, supposedly to enable the United Russia party to conduct its election campaign; p 3 (476 words).

9. Vladislav Inozemtsev article headlined "13th year" compares today' Russia with what the country was like 100 years ago and concludes that Russia had more prospects for growth back then, but a revolution came about nonetheless four years later; p 3 (1,045 words).

10. Konstantin Vykhodtsev article headlined "Political circus" says three parties — Yabloko, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and Rodina — have complained to President Vladimir Putin about rigging during early voting ahead of the Sept. 8 city council election in Volgograd; looks at the problems that United Russia is facing in the city; p 4 (845 words).

11. Melor Sturua article headlined "Obama has taken up Congress" says the Republican Party has found itself split by the forthcoming hearing on military action against Syria; p 4 (775 words).

12. Vladimir Platonov article headlined "Alexei Navalny's legislative buzz" looks at six bills that have been drafted by Alexei Navalny's team and would, if passed, considerably improve Muscovites' life. The author describes the election promise as "cynical" and "populist" and accuses Navalny of lying; p 5 (1,067 words).

13. Yelena Gamayun article headlined "Komsomolsk to go underwater?" looks at the situation in Komsomolsk-on-Amur that has been hit by a flood; p 5 (568 words).

14. Tatyana Cherednikov interview with Petr Biryukov, acting deputy mayor of Moscow in charge of utilities, who speaks about the city authorities' efforts to make the city more beautiful and comfortable; p 6 (2,270 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Vitaly Klimov and Georgy Tuz article, headlined "2nd Beslan thwarted in Dagestan", says that the security services have prevented rebels from carrying out a bomb attack at a school in Buynaksk, a town in Dagestan in Russia's North Caucasus, that was timed to coincide with the start of the school year; p 1, 4 (500 words).

2. Alexander Grishin article, headlined "Slight aftertaste from campaign video", criticizes one of opposition Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny's latest campaign videos, which features ammunition boxes containing pens with Navalny's name on them; p 3 (100 words).

3. Arkady Melnikov article, headlined "Twisting and turning", levels accusations at opposition Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny; p 8 (1,000 words).

4. Israel Shamir article, headlined "Putin's sacred word", suggests that remarks by President Vladimir Putin may have played a role in preventing, or at least delaying, U.S. military action against Syria; p 3 (300 words).

Argumenty i Fakty

1. Yekaterina Svetlanova article, headlined "How will bombing of Syria end?", which quotes pundits Leonid Ivashov, Ariel Cohen and Said Gafurov, as well as recent statements by President Vladimir Putin and his top foreign policy aide, Yury Ushakov, on the likely scenario in Syria; p 2, 9 (700 words).

2. Mikhail Leontyev article, headlined "Rowdy financial beastliness", blames Russia's economic problems on the Finance Ministry and Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev; p 5 (250 words).

3. Unattributed transcript of meeting between Argumenty i Fakty journalists and Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin, headlined "Sergei Sobyanin: 'What have I myself done for the country?'", in which Sobyanin sets out his position on a range of issues ahead of the Sept. 8 mayoral election; p 6-7 (1,500 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Mikhail Nikiforenko article, headlined "Pre-election mathematics", says that the number of voters in Moscow fell by 125,000 in the first half of 2013; p 2 (250 words).

RBC daily

1. Boris Titov article, headlined "Culture of separation", in which Titov, Russia's business rights ombudsman, looks back at his first year in the job; p 5 (600 words).

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