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What the Papers Say, Nov. 20, 2013


1. Yulia Gallyamova and Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Railways to be filled up with diesel" says railway operator Russian Railways might raise its fares for shipping diesel fuel in 2014 by as much as 12 percent to make for its projected losses. The tariff hike might drive retail diesel prices up by 1 percent; p 1 (586 words).

2. Dmitry Butrin et al. article headlined "Russia cannot be bought to take away" says the Russian government is working on a bill that would oblige foreign investors to obtain permission to buy property such as land or buildings in Russia. The bill is aimed at preventing the establishment of "ethnic enclaves", but experts say it could only make the investment climate in Russia worse; p 1 (762 words).

3. Oleg Rubnikovich article headlined "Maternity capital withdrawn around the country" says the Russian police have uncovered a fraudulent scheme that was used by criminals for cashing maternity allowance certificates in nine regions ; p 1 (876 words).

4. Vladislav Novy and Denis Skorobogatko article called "Managers asked to make room" says the board of directors of state-owned telecom company Rostelecom might be reshuffled as the government is seeking more control over the company in view of its upcoming merger with Tele 2 Russia; p 1 (940 words).

5. Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Non-parliamentary parties given three minutes" says political parties that are not presented in the State Duma were invited to take part in the hearing on a pension system reform. Eleven of them were able to voice their stance, but their spokesmen were only give three minutes each to do so; p 2 (542 words).

6. Anna Pushkarskaya article called "Constitution court to deal with 'locomotives' rights" says the Constitutional Court is looking at the legitimacy of a law in the Krasnoyarsk region that enables candidates who topped the lists of political parties in elections to hand over their seats in legislatures to other party members regardless of the latter's own results; p 2 (589 words).

7. Andrei Kolesnikov report headlined "Innocently discussed" on a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and leader of the Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov that lasted almost two hours; p 2 (919 words).

8. Irina Nagornykh and Natalya Gorodetskaya interview with deputy head of the presidential administration Magomedsalam Magomedov headlined "We are short of ethno-politicians". Magomedov speaks about Russia's ethnic policy; p 4 (2,273 words).

9. Sergei Mashkin and Andrei Smirnov article headlined "Pilots pitch Boeing into nosedive" reports that the Interstate Aviation Committee has concluded that the pilot of the Boeing-737 that crashed on Nov. 17 in Kazan switched off its autopilot and pitched it into a nosedive. Experts say the pilot might have panicked; p 5 (763 words).

10. Yury Senatorov article headlined "Drug dealers being barred from Russia" says the Federal Drug Trade Control Service has drafted a bill that would bar foreigners who have been convicted of drug crimes from entering Russia. Non-profit organizations that have received sponsorship from such people might be closed down; p 5 (375 words).

11. Anna Perova article called "Three life sentences handed down for Kushchevskaya" reports on the verdict of the Krasnodar regional court in the case of Sergei Tsapok and his five accomplices who were found guilty of 19 murders; p 6 (569 words).

12. Vyacheslav Kozlov and Olga Churakova article headlined "Chamber of lawsuits" says 14 human rights advocates from six regions of Russia are going to sue the Public Chamber over their refusal to include them in a supervisory commission for prison and pretrial detention facilities; p 6 (566 words).

13. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Pakistan slapped on 'strong hand'" says the trial of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf might alienate the military from the country's civilian government; p 7 (545 words).

14. Kabay Karabekov article called "Kyrgyzgas involved in fight against premier" says Kyrgyzstan's parliament will not authorize the sale of the country's gas monopoly Kyrgyzgas to Russia because it wants to use the deal as a pressure tool to secure the resignation of the government; p 7 (490 words).

15. Article by president of the European Economic and Social Committee Henri Malosse headlined "Eastern Partnership should become a bridge, not a buffer" calls on Russia and the EU to take advantage of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius and get closer, rather than to fall apart because of Ukraine's intention to sign an association agreement with the EU; p 7 (719 words).

16. Natalya Yedovina and Vadim Visloguzov article headlined "Taxes have been detected to go down in Russia" reports on the results of a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers showing that the tax burden on SMEs in Russia has gone down by 3.4 percent to 50.7 percent; p 8 (362 words).

17. Roman Rozhkov column "Rules of the Game" says the Russian social network Vkontakte ( was inaccessible to Italian internet users following a complaint about copyright infringement from Italian film company Medusa Film. The author notes that the film maker should have contacted the website administration as it has been highly responsive to copyright holders' requests to remove pirated content; p 9 (359 words).

18. Anastasia Fomicheva article headlined "Far East to be left without wind and sun" says the utility company RAO ES Vostoka (Eastern Energy Systems) has asked the Russian government to suspend funding for renewable energy projects in Russia's Far East, promising to build its own "green energy" capacity. The company fears that it will have to pay excessive prices for renewable electricity generated by its competitors; p 11 (592 words).

19. Maria Yakovleva article called "Pension reform goes through first reading" reports that the State Duma has passed a set of bills on a reform of the pension system, despite a largely critical attitude to it; p 10 (415 words).


1. Maria Dranishnikova article headlined "Man with portfolio" says businessman Alexander Zanadvorov has consolidated his assets in a company called "Mkapital" that owns over 1.2 million square meters of office and commercial premises; p 1 (519 words).

2. Alexander Vorobyev article headlined "FSB's winter games" reports on an anti-terror drill in Sochi in the run-up to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games; pp 1,3 (518 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Federalism not to be borrowed" says Russian regions are effectively prohibited from borrowing abroad. As most of them are short of money to implement President Putin's instructions on welfare, the federal government will have to offer them loans ; p 6 (406 words).

4. Article by Natalya Zubarevich of the Independent Institute for Social Policy headlined "Prospects: The horrors of economic separatism" says the accumulation of power in the hands of the federal government has made the national economic policy ineffective and deprived the regions of the tools to attract investors; pp 6, 7 (1,100 words).

5. Rimma Avshalumova article headlined "Unlicensed migrants" says an estimated 30 percent of drivers working for Russian transportation companies are foreigners. They are required to obtain Russian driving licenses by May 2014. The article looks at how their employers are going to address the issue; p (803 words).

6. Margarita Papchenkova and Lilia Biryukova article called "Government correcting Putin" says Vedomosti has got a copy of amendments to a bill that would enable the Investigative Committee to start criminal proceedings against businessmen without proper evidence from tax agencies. The amendments to the bill that was tabled by the president would require the Investigative Committee to first send its files to the Federal Taxation Service and ask it to conduct a check; p 21 (748 words).

7. Anastasia Golitsyna article called "Americans to have Russian-style fun" Mail.Ru Group, one of Russia's biggest online companies, has launched a mobile app startup called; p 10 (616 words).

8. Lilia Biryukova article headlined "Feast of Putin's instructions" looks at the agenda of a forum of the All Russia People's Front that is due to take place on Dec. 3 to Dec. 4 in Moscow; p 2 (550 words).

9. Editorial headlined "Directorate P" criticizes the Kremlin-initiated project to establish a new writers' union as arrogant and naive. The Kremlin wants to be able to influence literature and, consequently, people's minds through grants and property, exactly as the Soviet leadership used to do; p 6 (344 words).

10. Ilya Klishin column headlined "Maximum retweet: Don't confuse consequence and consequence" says Facebook and Twitter are nothing but campaigning tools; it is impossible to stage a revolution with the help of Facebook only as people's indignation is fuelled by more profound causes; p 7 (438 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Artur Blinov article headlined "Geneva is the only hope" looks ahead at the third round of a conference on Iran's nuclear program that starts today in Geneva. The conference will hopefully change the U.S. senators' mind about imposing new sanctions on Iran; pp 1, 2 (519 words).

2. Yekaterina Trifonova article headlined "Not all 'little ones' will make it to meeting with Putin" says President Vladimir Putin is to meet representatives of around 10 political parties that have no seats in parliament to discuss his future address to the Federation Council; pp 1, 2 (867 words).

3. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Fight for free seat" says the Constitutional Court is looking at the legitimacy of Krasnoyarsk region law that enables candidates who topped the lists of political parties in elections to hand over their seats in legislatures to other party members regardless of the latter's own results. Similar provisions exist in 30 other regions of Russia. Earlier, the United Russia party and A Just Russia party were more than once accused of "selling seats" in legislatures; pp 1, 3 (964 words).

4. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Law on disobedience" looks at a bill that was sent to the State Duma yesterday. It would enable civil servants to disregard their superiors' instructions if they might result in the waste of public funds; pp 1, 3 (943 words).

5. Olga Loginova article called "Sochi migration service chasing spying journalists" reports on an incident at an office of the Federal Migration Service in Sochi where staff members accused a journalist of trying to "compromise" the government agency and of spying; pp 1, 6 (641 words).

6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article entitled "Moscow reprimands Brussels and Kiev has a fight with Washington" looks at the most recent developments in the spat between Russia and Europe over Ukraine's intention to sign an association agreement with the EU, and the U.S.' harsh stance on the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko; pp 1, 7 (1,300 words).

7. Vladimir Mukhin article called "Lukashenko started to speak about Arab arch" says Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has announced an abrupt combat readiness check on the country's army and the overhaul of Su-27 jet fighters. The statement gave rise to speculations that Lukashenko might back off from a plan to allow Russia to locate an airbase in Belarus, but he might as well be haggling with Russia over the sale of Su-27 and MiG-29 aircraft; p 2 (665 words).

8. Editorial headlined "One's own theatre, one's own school" says culture figures who support the Russian leadership are almost sure to get funding for their projects, while those who fall from grace might be stripped of premises; p 2 (511 words).

9. Alexander Knyazev column headlined "Carte Blanche: Manas turns into base again" says the Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan will apparently remain under the control of NATO, although the U.S. and NATO are building up their presence in the south of Kyrgyzstan, further from the border with Russia; p 3 (798 words).

10. Sergei Kulikov article called "Public sector employees getting richer amid stagnating economy" says the salaries of public sector employees have been growing, almost matching the national average, while industrial growth was down 0.01 percent in October; p 4 (767 words).

11. Anastasia Bashkatova article entitled "Treasury problems to be shifted to rich Russians" discusses other countries' experience in adopting a progressive tax system; says the Russian government is considering this in an attempt to fill budget gaps, but experts believe the flat rate system is likely to remain in place until at least 2018; p 4 (906 words).

12. Leonid Vasilyev essay headlined "Nationalism of native Russians" says that historically Russian people enjoyed fewer benefits and advantages in comparison with ethnic minorities living in the country, and calls for tougher control over the influx of Muslim immigrants to Russia. "Russia is not infected with fascism, nationalism and racism. But it has to respond to what many... consider a mere religion," the author says; p 5 (2,331 words).

13. Svetlana Gavrilina article headlined "St. Petersburg prosecutors make compromise" reports on court hearings of the case of the Arctic Sunrise crew members. Nine of them have been granted bail; p 6 (559 words).

14. Anton Khodasevich article called "Belarus promises Russia not to cheat on it with European Union" gives details of the Nov. 19 meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Belarussian counterpart Vladimir Makei; p 7 (566 words).

15. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Turkmen parliament to become bipartite" says two parties will compete for seats in a new Turkmen parliament to be elected on Dec. 15. Russian pundit Alexei Malashenko says the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan is likely to get the majority of seats, but the new formula will still keep everyone happy and make it possible to call Turkmenistan a modern country; p 7 (618 words).

16. Darya Tsilyurik article called "Lebanon finds itself in the center of the Syrian crisis" says the ongoing major offensive by the Syrian army is forcing people to flee to Lebanon and might prevent the opposition from participating in the Geneva-2 peace conference; p 8 (693 words).

17. Excerpt from Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's interview with editor-in-chief Konstantin Remchukov on Nov. 18 headlined "Split between Sunnis and Shiites cannot be 'swept under carpet'" in which Lavrov says the Middle East settlement is bound to be a historic breakthrough, p 8 (800 words).


1. Yury Matsarsky article headlined "'Before we collect bodies, we cannot talk about the funeral'" reports on the situation in Kazan after the Boeing crash on Nov. 17 ; says that the identification procedure is in progress, quotes local senior officials from the republic's health ministry; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

2. Natalya Bashlykova article entitled "'Political reform has not become an answer to protests'" interview with the former head of the internal policy department at the presidential administration and incumbent head of the Civil Society Development Foundation Konstantin Kostin who speaks about the Kremlin's personnel policy and explains the success of pro-Kremlin governors in the elections; pp 1, 4 (1,100 words).

3. Pavel Chernyshev article entitled "Occupational standard for housing managers have been drawn out for the first time" says that from now on those who do not fit the new standard, drawn out for housing facilities management specialists, may be sacked; pp 1, 2 (500 words).

4. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev article entitled "Zyuganov took government to task at his meeting with Putin" reports on the two-hour-long meeting between Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov and the president within the latter's preparations for his address to the Federal Assembly; p 2 (500 words).

5. Andrei Gridasov interview with Vladimir Markin, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman, entitled "Vasilyeva would take witnesses out of the country" who speaks about the high-profile Oboronservis criminal case after on Nov. 18 the Moscow City Court extended house arrest for the former head of the property relations department of the Russian Defense Ministry, Yevgenia Vasilyeva, who is accused of fraud; p 5 (600 words).

6. Dmitry Drobnitsky article entitled "Configuration incompatible with life" comments on the state of aircraft fleet in Russia in connection with the air crash in Kazan on Nov. 18 ; p 9 (500 words).

7. Eduard Limonov article headlined "Premonition of future" gives his view of Russia's role in the world in future. Among other things, he suggests releasing 600,000 Russian prisoners under the obligation that they settle down in the Far East; p 9 (500 words).

8. Ivan Cheberko article entitled "Dnepr sets world record in terms of satellites put in orbit" says that on Nov. 21 the Dnepr booster will place 32 satellites in orbit; pp 1, 4 (400 words).

9. Alexei Krivoruchek article entitled "Defense Ministry to review borders of forbidden forests" says in 2014 the Defense Ministry will issue a digital geographical information system to cost account so-called "military" forests; p 6 (300 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Yelena Ilyina and Marina Gritsyuk article headlined "St. Pete is the capital of migrants" says that last year over 28,000 labor migrants registered as living in St. Petersburg, compared to 9,200 in Moscow; p 1 (658 words).

2. Second part of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's interview headlined "Spetsnaz for embassy". Lavrov speaks about security at Russian embassies, his recent trip to Egypt, issues of migration; p 1 (2,762 words).

3. Vitaly Petrov article called "Essence of firearms" reports on Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's visit to the gun factory Promtekhnologiya. Medvedev encouraged private businesses to engage in the production of firearms for the Russian army; p 3 (671 words).

4. Pavel Danilin op-ed headlined "Achilles' heel of winged transport" calls on the government to do more to develop the Russian aviation industry and at the same time to exert tougher control over flight security and pilot training; p 6 (784 words).

5. Tatyana Shadrina article headlined "Wrong altitude" points out that Russian aviation requirements and safety rules are in line with those of ICAO, but many air carriers ignore them; p 6 (538 words).

6. Yury Gavrilov article called "Spy over clouds" reports that Russian An-30B aircraft are now conducting observation flights over military bases in Denmark under the Open Skies Treaty; p 10 (324 words).

7. Fedor Lukyanov op-ed called "European integration not in our way" says it might do Russia good to focus on fostering its relations with China and other Asian countries rather than fervently fight with the EU for Ukraine; p 11 (704 words).

8. Ivan Kartashov interview with Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo who is visiting Moscow; p 12 (670 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Natalya Rozhkov interview with Zakhid Godzhayev, the former head of the Federal Machine-Building Research and Testing Centre, which is part of the Rostekhnologii (Russian Technologies) state corporation. Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has been recently appointed to head the institute; pp 1, 2 (400 words).

2. Konstantin Smirnov and Tatyana Filatovich article headlined "Spartak fans against pension reform" comments on the debate around the pension reform in the State Duma; pp 1, 2 (500 words).

3. Kirill Saltykov article headlined "Second circle of hell" on the preparations of Russian pilots following the Kazan air crash on Nov. 17 ; pp 1, 3 (400 words).

4. Olga Bozhyeva article entitled "Matter of life and sum" on the moral and financial aspects of the air crash in Kazan; pp 1, 3 (300 words).

RBK Daily

1. Alexei Sinyakov report "Law against ghetto" says that the Economic Development Ministry has drafted a bill that introduces an authorization-based procedure of purchasing property by foreigners. If the authorities believe that a deal may pose a threat to the national security, they it can be banned; pp 1, 9 (850 words).

2. Denis Puzyrev report "Berlusconi closes VKontakte" says that Silvio Berlusconi's company Medusa Film has obtained a judgment to block the website in Italy over posting a pirate copy of an Italian film on the website; pp 1, 9 (600 words).

3. Alexander Litoy interview headlined "Investors took all proceeds to Sofia and paid us salary from loans" with Anton Bortyakov, head of the trade union committee of engineering and aviation services of the airline Tatarstan, who speaks about the situation in the company; p 2 (650 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Irek Murtazin report "Nose diving Tatarstan airline" looks at the history of the airline Tatarstan and says that the tragedy with its passenger aircraft, that happened on Nov. 17 could have occurred any time; pp 1-3 (1,000 words).

2. Boris Bronshteyn report "Air alert" says that people's perception of air crashes in Russia is aggravated by mistrust of political elites; p 3 (800 words).

3. Newspaper publishes an open letter of the Committee to Protect Journalists to President Vladimir Putin; p 4 (650 words).

4. Yevgeny Feldman report "Arrest replaced with bail for defenders of Arctic" looks at the trial of Greenpeace protest detainees and says that as of the moment of the newspaper's publication, St. Petersburg courts have delivered seven out of eight verdicts in favour of the defense; p 5 (800 words).

5. Vladimir Pastukhov report "Why Dmitry Anatolyevich quarrelled with Vladimir Vladimirovich" looks at a row between Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev when the latter spoke out publicly against a bill Putin submitted to the State Duma. The argument between them concerns a fundamental question: the limit of repression violence in the economy, article says; pp 7-8 (1,900 words).

6. Pavel Felgengauer and Semen Novoprudsky reports "New appointment" looks at Putin's elite and says that the conditional rehabilitation of former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov is a signal that the authorities will protect "their own people" as long as they remain such and do not plot treason; p 9 (1,600 words).

7. Gennady Osinov report "Factory of leaders" looks at billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's Civil Platform party; p 11 (1,300 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Diana Yevdokimova report "Arithmetic of lie" says that a rise in salaries promised by the authorities to public sector employees, has in fact, made them work harder than ever, write open letters and stage protests; pp 1, 5 (2,100 words).

2. Veronika Vorontsova report "Silence of pilots" says that a device that recorded the conversations of the crew of the crashed airliner in Tatarstan, has been damaged and is unlikely to be restored; pp 1, 5 (600 words).

3. Margarita Alekhina report "Until last rights activist" says that the number of representatives of security agencies in public supervisory commissions is rising; pp 1, 5 (800 words).

4. Dinara Surmeyeva report "Price of freedom" says that Russian courts continue to release Greenpeace protest detainees on bail; p 5 (350 words).

5. Arina Raksina report "Risky instrument" says that according to economists, increasing tax burden on the population will not help Russia avoid crisis; p 3 (700 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Unattributed interview with Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who speaks about economic and social problems of the city; pp 1, 8-9 (2,900 words).

2. Unattributed interview with Axan Giniyatullin, general director of the Tatarstan airline, who speaks about the situation in the company following a crash of one of its aircraft; p 5 (250 words).

3. Alexander Gamov report featuring comments of Vladimir Kozhin, head of the presidential property department, on problems of small Russian airlines; p 5 (500 words).

4. Viktor Baranets report describes the luxurious flat of Yevgenia Vasilyeva, the main defendant in the Oboronservis fraud case over the sale of Defense Ministry's property; pp 1, 12-13 (1,700 words).

5. Viktor Baranets report on the Defense Ministry's fraud case says that the people, who could give information about embezzlement in the ministry, were brought outside Moscow; papers and mobile phones were taken away from them; p 13 (600 words).


1. Sergei Ilchenko report "Much money" looks at Ukraine's European integration plans; pp 1-2 (1,400 words).

Argumenty i Fakty

1. Alexander Kolesnichenko interview with the president of the institute of national strategy, Mikhail Remizov, who speaks about ethnic issues faced by Russia; p 8 (850 words).

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