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What the Papers Say, Sept. 9, 2013


1. Article attributed to Kommersant's politics desk headlined "No second round expected for Moscow" says early results of the Moscow mayoral election show that acting mayor Sergei Sobyanin gained enough votes for a first-round win. His main rival, opposition candidate Alexei Navalny, says that there should be second round of the voting as part of the data from the polling stations should be checked; pp 1, 5 (1,000 words).

2. Ivan Safronov article headlined "Bulava not behaving serially" reports on the failed test of the Bulava ICBM in the White Sea. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered that state trials of the submarines equipped with the missiles, Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh, be suspended; pp 1- 2 (600 words).

3. Olga Mordyushenko et al. report headlined "Good share games" says the Belarusian prosecution of majority shareholder of the Uralkali potash producer, Suleiman Kerimov, may force him to sell the company. The possibility was reportedly discussed with the Belarussian president last week; pp 1, 7 (800 words).

4. Ivan Kuznetsov and Olga Shestopal article headlined "Central Bank to return state securities home" says the Central Bank is planning to cap foreign banks' ability to purchase government bonds; pp 1, 8 (400 words).

5. Pavel Korobov article headlined "Canonical diplomacy" reports on Russian Patriarch Kirill's visit to Moldova, which is seen as an attempt to show that Moscow Patriarchate exercises considerable control over the country; p 2 (350 words).

6. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Full collection of accomplishments" reports on the presentation of an anthology of works by late St. Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak, which President Putin attended over the weekend. Sobchak was a key mentor for Putin in his early political career in St. Petersburg; p 3 (1,000 words).

7. Alena Tronina and Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Yekaterinburg takes opposition stance" says early results have shown that prominent opposition activist Yevgeny Roizman has won the mayoral election in Yekaterinburg; p 4 (650 words).

8. Natalya Gorodetskaya and Ivan Snegirev article headlined "New take on old strategies" reviews the regional election campaign. Fewer breaches were identified around the country in the course of the Single Voting Day on Sept. 8, however, some new techniques of political foul play have emerged to accommodate changes in the electoral legislation; p 4 (500 words).

9. Article attributed to the paper's political section headlined "Far East does not reject authorities and their party" says candidates supported by the incumbent authorities and the ruling United Russia party won in the elections held in the Russian Far East. The victory of Patriots of Russia candidates supported by businessman Anatoly Bykov in single constituency districts in Krasnoyarsk has become the biggest surprise of the voting; p 4 (600 words).

10. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Barack Obama puts all efforts into Congress" says the U.S. Congress discussion of the operation against Syria will become a serious test for President Obama as some Congressmen oppose his aspirations; p 5 (350 words).

11. Sergei Sobolev article titled "Moscow government backs frequency" provides some transaction details on the merger of two channels belonging to the Moscow city government Center TV and Moskovkia; p 10 (350 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Finance Ministry prepares sequestration of civil service" outlines the Finance Ministry's plans to launch a personnel reform in the civil service in a bid to save state funds. The plan entails stripping half of all civil servants of their status, which means they will also lose their benefits. Meanwhile, the remaining officials will have their wages increased. Experts believe that only senior officials will benefit from the reform; pp 1, 4 (800 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Why Sergei Ivanov is being shown to West" contemplates whether Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov's prominence at top-level talks at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg means he could be a possible successor to Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister; pp 1, 3 (700 words).

3. Ivan Rodin and Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Freedom of choice of different levels of maturity" reviews early results of the single voting day in Russia and notes that in some regions there was real competition and opposition figures had a chance of winning the polls; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

4. Vladimir Ivanov article headlined "Scenario of Syrian bombing becomes known" explains the possible scenarios for a U.S.-led military operation in Syria, as outlined in a draft resolution of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the military operation in Syria; pp 1, 8 (1,000 words).

5. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Medvedev eyeing monopoly tariffs freeze" says it would be hard to implement cabinet plans to freeze the tariffs charged by Russian natural monopolies in an attempt to respond to the deteriorating economic situation in the country; pp 1, 4 (400 words).

6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Trade wars awaken national pride" says the attitudes of Ukrainians towards Russia has deteriorated amid the trade war Moscow is waging against Kiev; pp 1, 7 (700 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Small sought-after victory" says Armenia's readiness to abandon EU integration plans in favour of the Russia-led Customs Union is a very important diplomatic victory for Russia, despite its relatively small scale; p 2 (400 words).

8. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "SCO to protect Syria" looks ahead to the Sept. 13 summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, where the accession of new member-states is expected. This may give the organization more clout to affect the developments around Syria; p 2 (600 words).

9. Viktor Litovkin article headlined "Carte blanche: untimely fall" contemplates the reasons for the Bulava missile test failure and notes that problems with the manufacturing of the missile will have geopolitical consequences for Russia, particularly after Vladimir Putin promised that Russia would help Syria in case of a foreign military intervention; p 3 (500 words).

10. Alexei Gorbachev article titled "In Yaroslavl opposition complained of carousel fraud and ballot buy-ups" rounds up the outcomes of the Duma election in Yaroslavl; p 6 (450 words).

11. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "China comes to Kazakhstan's Caspian shores" features Russian pundit comment on the recent purchase of a stake in Kazakhstan's Kashagan oil field by China; p 7 (450 words).

12. Comment piece by Eduard Lozansky, president of the American University in Moscow, headlined "Obama backed into zugzwang" says Americans do not want their country to start another war in the Middle East. The author argues that Obama has been backed into a corner as a result of a deliberate provocation, and supposes that the best way out of this deadlock is for Obama to focus on greater diplomatic efforts to settle the Syria conflict, which should come on the back of Congress not approving a Syria intervention; p 8 (500 words).

13. Article by political editor Alexandra Samarina titled "Elections behind us, conclusions — ahead" says Vladimir Putin achieved a major diplomatic victory last week by managing to speak to Barack Obama at the G20 summit despite the cancellation of a bilateral meeting amid a deterioration of U.S.-Russian ties; p 11 (300 words).

14. Article by international politics editor Artur Blinov headlined "Obama learning how to pick fights with Putin from Bush Sr" criticizes Barack Obama for his plans for a military intervention in Syria. The author cites a satirical post on the website of New Yorker magazine about a mythical exchange of insults Putin and Obama as evidence of Obama's nervousness about the whole situation; p 11 (500 words).


1. Maria Zheleznova and Maxim Glikin article titled "Low turnout of Muscovites helped Navalny" says that against expectations, low turnout actually worked to the benefit of opposition favorite Alexei Navalny; pp 1-2 (600 words).

2. Editorial headlined "On the waves of tolerance" questions the feasibility of instilling values of tolerance in society without caring for the needs of minorities; pp 1, 6 (400 words).

3. Lilia Biryukova article headlined "Authorities losing cities" says United Russia candidates have lost the elections in a number of regions; p 2 (250 words).

4. Anastasia Kornya and Svetlana Bocharova article titled "Military-style elections" rounds up the different types of violations identified at the Sept. 8 elections around the country; p 2 (400 words).

5. Another editorial headlined "Selective elections" laments the lack of uniformity of the legal space for different levels of elections in Russia; p 6 (300 words).

6. Lilia Biryukova and Anastasia Golitsyna article titled "Internet goes to the Kremlin" comments on a meeting between internet company representatives and the presidential administration; p 17 (450 words).

7. Anastasia Kornya and Svetlana Bocharova report titled "How fair elections are managed" investigates the different types of violations that were identified in the course of the election campaign for Moscow mayor; pp 20-21(1,500 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Lyubov Protsenko et al. article titled "Elections live" praises the Moscow mayoral election, which were apparently taken out by acting mayor Sergei Sobyanin for their transparency, fairness and competitiveness; pp 1-2 (600 words).

2. Sergei Toporkov article headlined "CEC and numbers" rounds up statistical information about the Sept. 8 elections in Russia; pp 1, 4 (650 words).

3. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Obama out of place" says Russia and the U.S. have not managed to come to agreement on Syria at the G20 summit in St Petersburg. Twelve countries, including the U.S., are backing plans for a military operation; pp 1, 7 (700 words).

4. Alexander Meleshenko column titled "Lessons of September" praises the Moscow authorities for doing their best to reinstate people's trust in the election process; p 2 (300 words).

5. Irina Rybnikova article headlined "Andrei Vorobyov's Moscow Region votes" says early results have shown that acting governor Andrei Vorobyov managed a convincing win at the Moscow region gubernatorial election; p 2 (400 words).

6. Alexander Mikhaylov article headlined "Governor's choice" says 10 incumbent regional heads were re-elected at the Sept. 8 elections around the country; p 2 (1,100 words).

7. Gulnaz Danilova et al. piece titled "Political map: Future borders" summarizes the outcomes of the regional elections that took place around the country on Sept. 8; p 4 (1,300 words).

8. Nadezhda Yermolova and Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "White House makes pause?" welcomes an "extremely reassuring" statement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the Syrian conflict may be resolved through diplomatic means; p 6 (250 words).


1. Natalya Bashlykova and Dmitry Yuriyev article headlined "United Russia wins around the country on average" reviews early results of the single voting day in Russia and notes that United Russia and the candidates supported by the party enjoyed greatest support in most of the regions; pp 1-2 (700 words).

2. Mikhail Rubin et al. report headlined "Campaign with surprises" comments on the Moscow mayoral election campaign and its apparent outcomes; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

3. Anastasia Kashevarova and Yulia Tsoy interview with former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov speaking on the Moscow mayoral election and the political situation in Russia; pp 1, 3 (800 words).

4. Maria Kiseleva article headlined "UABC thinks of building supersonic business jet" reports on plans of the Russian United Aircraft Building Corporation (UABC) to develop a supersonic business jet; pp 1-2 (500 words).

5. Melor Sturua article titled "Vladimir Putin backs Barack Obama into a corner" reports on talks between Putin and Obama at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg; p 2 (350 words).

6. Vladimir Zykov article headlined "Volodin proposes that Runet draw up its own rules" reports on a meeting by Kremlin deputy chief of staff Vyacheslav Volodin and representatives of leading Russian internet companies; p 4 (400 words).

7. Konstantin Volkov et al. article titled "Contacts with U.S. Congress could be reduced to zero" features pundit insights on the future of Russian-U.S. ties after a meeting between Russian and U.S. lawmakers was called off; p 7 (450 words).

8. Interview with the Georgian prime minister's special envoy, Zurab Abashidze, speaking about the agenda of a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin in September to discuss the future of Russian-Georgian ties; p 7 (350 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Unattributed article headlined "Political diMAYORsion" report on the mayoral election in Moscow; pp 1-2 (150 words).

2. Mikhail Rostovsky commentary titled "Mayoral election as punishment with candy" says whatever the outcome of the Moscow election, the opposition is to blame for not being able to stimulate potential voters; pp 1-2 (600 words).

3. Yekaterina Pichugina article titled "Muscovites choose couches" deplores the low turnout at the Moscow mayoral election (250 words).

4. Georgy Yans article headlined "Dad runs for governor for the first time, his daughter votes for the first time" says acting Moscow Region governor Andrei Vorobyov has come to the polling station with his 18-year-old daughter who is taking part in the voting for the first time; pp 1, 6 (250 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Yelena Milashina report headlined "Snowden more yours than ours" reports on U.S. President Barack Obama's meeting with Russian rights activists on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg; pp 2-3 (2,100 words).

2. Alexandra Garmazhapova article headlined "Where trolls live and who feeds them" reports on a St. Petersburg company run by former member of Nashi pro-Kremlin movement which hires internet users to write positive comments on Russian official policy and insult the U.S. and the West; pp 4-5 (1,200 words).

3. Kirill Rogov article headlined "Where Alexei Navalny succeeded and where he failed" reviews the election campaign of opposition mayoral hopeful Alexei Navalny; pp 7-8 (1,000 words).

4. Yelena Shafran article headlined "Obama's aims justify Assad's means" says the US airstrikes will make the Syrian regime fall. However, radical Islamists who may come into power as a result of the war will turn Syria into a more dangerous country; p 14 (1,100 words).

RBC Daily

1. Yulia Yakovleva et al. report headlined "Sobyanin more than Putin" says if acting Moscow mayor wins the election in the first round, then he will have achieved a better result that Vladimir Putin in the last presidential election; pp 1-2 (600 words).

2. Yulia Yakovleva and Stepan Opalev article headlined "Governors united with no surprises" looks at preliminary results of the regional elections on Sept. 8 and says United Russia candidates have won in the majority of regions; p 2 (400 words).

3. Inga Vorobyova article headlined "Obama's eleven friends" says 11 countries have agreed to support U.S. President Barack Obama's initiative to launch an airstrike against Syria during the G20 summit in St. Petersburg. However, the EU wants an expert report on the chemical attack in Syria to be published first, the author says; p 4 (600 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Mikhail Nikiforenko et al. report headlined "On the edge" says looks at the Moscow mayoral vote and says that low voter turnout at the election has not reduced the intensity of emotions; pp 1-2 (550 words).

2. Yulia Savina interview with Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak speaking at the prospects and problems of the Russian economy; pp 1, 3 (500 words).

3. Mikhail Nikiforenko article headlined "Yaroslavl: They turned off cameras and started ballot-stuffing" looks at the mayoral election in Yaroslavl on Sept. 8; p 2 (300 words).

4. Mikhail Nikiforenko and Maria Vasilchenko article headlined "Moscow Region: Voted in line" looks at gubernatorial election in Moscow Region on Sept. 8; p 2 (310 words).

5. Mikhail Nikiforenko article headlined "Yekaterinburg: Candidates breathed down each other's neck" looks at mayoral election in Yekaterinburg on Sept. 8; p 2 (600 words).

6. Yulia Savina article headlined "Agreed to disagree" says the participants of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg have had to discuss Syria although it was not on the official agenda of the event; p 2 (500 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Alexander Grishin article headlined "You wanted it fair? Here you are!.." focuses on the Moscow mayoral election on Sept. 8 and says to the disappointment of opposition activists there have been no violations during the vote; p 2 (600 words).

2. Alexander Kots article headlined "Sacred Christian town dying in Syria" looks at an attack on a Christian town of Maaloula in Syria, which, according to the author, may lead to more dire consequences than the chemical attack on Aug. 21; p 5 (900 words).

Tvoy Den

1. Anton Stepanov article headlined "Clear victory" says acting mayor Sergei Sobyanin has won the election in Moscow; pp 2-3 (400 words).

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