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What the Papers Say, Nov. 27, 2013


1. Yelena Kiseleva article headlined "VEB finds universal solution" says the Central Bank has decided against raising more capital for Vneshekonombank (VEB) by handing over its subsidiaries Svyaz-Bank and Globeks bank to the Deposit Insurance Agency. VEB is prepared to develop the banks on its own in case the Central Bank extends terms deposits of Russian state-owned corporations in VEB; pp 1, 9 (796 words).

2. Sergei Mashkin and Afsati Dzhusoyti article called "Arkady Gaydamak goes for extradition" says Israeli businessman of Russian origin Arkady Gaydamak has been arrested in Switzerland. He is wanted in several European countries on fraud charges; pp 1, 5 (1,066 words)

3. Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "Pressure lowered for judges" says the presidium of the Judicial Council has approved the rules of publishing online "non-procedural" recourses to courts. The move is aimed at fighting corruption; pp 1-2 (684 words).

4. Sergei Sobolev article called "Whichever media you take, it is Gazprom's" says Gazprom Media, a holding company headed by Mikhail Lesin, is taking over TV-3, Pyatnitsa and 2X2 television channels, four radio stations and the Central Partnership film making company; pp 1, 12 (1,427 words).

5. Irina Nagornykh and Yekaterina Vyushkova article headlined "Astrakhan authorities to be held accountable for staffing mistakes" says the United Russia party is reportedly going to discipline the leadership of its Astrakhan branch and Astrakhan region governor Alexander Zhilkin for staffing mistakes that allegedly led to Mikhail Stolyarov's appointment as Astrakhan mayor. The latter is now facing charges of accepting a bribe; p 2 (602 words).

6. Roman Knyazhev et al. article called "Nikita Belykh decides to stay for longer" says Kirov region governor Nikita Belykh, whose term of office expires in January 2014, made it clear yesterday that he was going to seek re-election. Meanwhile, the newly appointed first vice governor of Kurgan region Sergei Putmin is named among potential successors to the current governor, Oleg Bogomolov; p 2 (588 words).

7. Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "Presidential council decides to raise its status" says the presidential Human Rights Council has asked President Vladimir Putin to authorize the council members to conduct checks on children's and health care facilities, prisons and military units as well as to exercise control over elections; p 2 (460 words).

8. Ivan Safronov interview with head of the Federal State Defense Order Service Alexander Potapov who speaks about changes in the agency over the past year; p 4 (2,138 words).

9. Sergei Goryashko article called "Generally positive minister" says public attitude to the Russian army has improved since the appointment of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, a VTsIOM poll shows; p 5 (486 words).

10. Ivan Safronov and Vladislav Litovchenko article headlined "Old cases brought to life at Northern Shipyard" reports on a search that was conduced at Severnaya Verf (Northern Shipyard) in St. Petersburg in connection with major fraud; p 6 (580 words).

11. Sergei Sokovnin article headlined "Supreme Court decides that arrests should be milder" says a resolution drafted by the Supreme Court recommends that courts should opt for the mildest option when decided on the measure of restrained in criminal cases; p 6 (583 words).

12. Igor Lesovskikh and Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "Nikita Mikhalkov becomes co-owner of criminal case" says the Federal Security Service directorate in Chelyabinsk region has launched an investigation against a company called Chelprom Diamond that is co-owned by prominent Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov. The company is suspected of illegal trade in diamonds; p 6 (527 words).

13. Olga Kuznetsova article headlined "Thailand gets under siege" says peaceful protests in Thailand have grown into a peaceful revolution. The developments might cause damage to the country's tourist industry as Thailand is a popular New Year destination; p 7 (412 words).

14. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Kabul risks being left without soldiers and money" looks at tensions between the U.S. and Afghanistan. The former imposed an ultimatum on President Hamed Karzai, threatening that the U.S. peaceful corps will be withdrawn from Afghanistan in case Karzai does not sign an agreement on strategic partnership; p 7 (519 words).

15. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "I am Csar" gives an account of President Vladimir Putin's meeting with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta in Trieste; p 7 (1,402 words).

16. Tatyana Yedovina article headlined "Paying taxes in Russia is more complicated than anywhere in Europe" summarizes a survey by Deloitte that found Russia's taxation system to be the most complicated one among 29 European countries; p 8 (305 words).

17. Tatyana Grishina et al. article headlined "Heads of state-owned companies to get promotion" says the Russian government has tabled amendments to the Criminal Code that would make heads of state-owned companies subject to criminal prosecution if their substandard performance causes damage to the state; p 8 (634 words).

18. Yekaterina Mikhaylina article headlined "From Russia with money" says that last year Russian travelers spent almost $43 billion abroad; p 9 (494 words).

19. Pavel Belavin column "Rules of game" looks at the issue of overpriced cinema tickets; p 9 (397 words).

20. Svetlana Dementyeva and Afanasy Sborov article headlined "Instability in words" says that despite the Central Bank's recent efforts to clean up the national banking sector, as a result of which small banks experience great difficulties, it is yet too early to speak of a system crisis in the banking sphere; p 10 (845 words).

21. Yelizaveta Kuznetsova and Ivan Safronov article called "Aviators to have grace period extended" says Russian air carriers might have customs duty concessions for three more years to enable them to buy new aircraft; p 11 (638 words).


1. Mikhail Serov and Yelena Khodyakova article headlined "Total to swap sea" says that French oil and gas company Total might swap its 25-percent stake in Shtokman Development AF (operator of the Shtokman offshore project in the Barents Sea) for a share in Gazprom's LNG project; pp 1, 12 (670 words).

2. Maxim Tovkaylo article called "Olympics call for restructuring" says Vneshekonombank will have to restructure nine major loans that it offered to companies investing in Olympic projects in Sochi; pp 1, 5 (862 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Under siege again" says an opinion poll shows that 78 percent of Russians are afraid of an external enemy. Such sentiments make people trust their government more, but discourages progress; pp 1, 6 (388 words).

4. Svetlana Bocharova article headlined "Pension Fund to get a rise" says the heads of the Pension Fund, the Social Insurance Fund and the Health Insurance Fund are to get a pay rise. Together with hefty monthly bonuses, their earnings might amount to $6,000 a month this year; p 3 (345 words).

5. Anastasia Kornya et al. article headlined "Judges to publish income" says that in an effort to make courts more transparent, the Judicial Council has recommended that courts publish information about judges' income; p 3 (468 words).
6. Margarita Lyutova article headlined "Medvedev takes free ride" reports on the test launch of Russia's first federal toll road that was built as a public-private partnership; p 4 (620 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Childish rhetoric" says that all the arguments behind a ban on the adoption of Russian children by American citizens proved to be empty words as the number of adoptions in Russia has not gone up since the ban was introduced; p 6 (333 words).

8. Dmitry Nekrasov article headlined "Pension reform: Guess the year" says the State Duma has been passing more bills related to the ongoing reform of the pension system, but the issues seems to be of little interest to the general public, probably because it is too complicated to understand; p 6 (777 words).

9. Andrei Kolesnikov op-ed headlined "Political economy: Ice-cream for children" criticizes a concept of children's information security that is being drafted by Roskomnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision in Telecommunications, Information Technology and Mass Communications); p 7 (430 words).

10. Ksenia Boletskaya article called "Potanin goes off air" says Vladimir Potanin's Profmedia holding company is to be taken over by Gazprom Media. The author notes that Profmedia is a private company, while Gazprom Media is partly controlled by the state; p 10 (566 words).

11. Vitaly Petlevoy article called "Mechel does not pay its workers" says the debt-ridden metals company Mechel has delayed paying October wages to its employees in Moscow; p 10 (455 words).

12. Natalya Ishchenko article called "Chase after buyer" says the growth of online shopping in Russia has slowed down, and more Russians are now buying online abroad; p 11 (339 words).

13. Vladimir Shtanov article called "Subsidies for remoteness" says car makers based in Russia's Far East and in the Kaliningrad region might get bigger subsidies from the government next year; p 12 (554 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Vladislav Maltsev article called "'Man with axe' goes into politics" says a founding conference of the National Conservative Party is to take place in Moscow in December. The party, which is led by the head of a karate federation, focuses on patriotism, sports, Orthodox Christianity and anti-immigration policies; pp 1, 2 (777 words).

2. Yekaterina Trifonova and Alexandra Samarina article called "Vyacheslav Lebedev against unlawful arguments of investigators" says the board of the Supreme Court has advised courts to opt for house arrest as a measure of restraint more often; pp 1, 3 (1,026 words).

3. Igor Naumov article headlined "Finance Ministry to turn rustle of banknotes into exotic sound" says the Russian government has approved a bill drafted by the Finance Ministry that would outlaw cash transactions over 300,000 rubles as of 2015; pp 1, 4 (875 words).

4. Anton Khodasevich article called "Plants on strike in Belarus" says tension is rising in Belarus where a number of factories have gone on strike over wage delays, and more are facing shorter working weeks; pp 1, 7 (728 words).

5. Svetlana Gamova article called "Moldova moving to Russia" says between 700 and 800 Moldovan families have been applying for immigration to Russia each month. People of Russian origin face discrimination in Moldova, while businessmen are moving to Russia because they may not be able to compete after European companies come to the country following the signing of an association agreement with the EU; pp 1, 7 (713 words).

6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article called "Oligarchs might support students' revolution" offers an update on the recent developments in Ukraine where President Viktor Yanukovych might call a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council to discuss plans for integration with the EU; pp 1, 7 (1,401 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Role play with Constitution" doubts the expediency of lawmaker Yelena Mizulina's proposal for amending the Russian Constitution to declare the fundamental role of the Russian Orthodox Church in shaping Russian identity and culture; p 2 (490 words).

8. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Commissar selected for Vostochny cosmodrome" looks at problems in the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome in Amur Region; p 2 (761 words).

9. Alexei Gorbachev and Maria Bondarenko article called "Opposition activists owes 42M rubles to state" gives details of criminal cases against Rostov-on-Don journalist and blogger Sergei Reznik and points to an increase in criminal proceedings against journalists in Russia; p 3 (587 words).

10. Nadezhda Arbatova op-ed headlined "Carte Blanche. How not to lose victory?" says Ukraine's decision to suspend the singing of an association treaty with the EU is a tactical victory for Russia, but the latter might lose in the long run. The EU's Eastern Partnership will not be very solid unless it involves Russia as a partner at some point; p 3 (900 words).

11. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Utility reforms lead to dead end" looks at the deplorable situation in the Russian housing and utilities sector; says leaky pipes have already caused outbreaks of intestinal infections in several regions; p 4 (885 words).

12. Sergei Turanov article headlined "Russia's best lobbyists October 2013" reports the results of a survey by the Economic News Agency that compiled a list of Russia's most successful lobbyists in October. The list is topped by head of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Ivanov.

13. Anton Oleynik op-ed headlined "Global trade and national issue" doubts Moscow's prospects of becoming a world financial center unless immigration procedures are streamlined; p 5 (839 words).

14. Unattributed article headlined "World Expo is expected in Urals" says the International Bureau of Exhibitions is to vote today for the host city of the World Expo 2020. Yekaterinburg is among the candidates. It has received a lot of praise from highprofile European officials, and the bidding team has done its best to promote the city; p 6 (557 words).

15. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "Karzai stands up for Guantanamo prisoners" offers comments on Susan Rice's "failed" mission in Afghanistan; p 8 (715 words).


1. Vladimir Zykov article headlined "FSB warns civil servants against foreign e-mail services" says that the Federal Security Service (FSB) has warned the state functionaries against using foreign-based e-mail services like Google-owned Gmail following the revelations of former CIA employee Edward Snowden; pp 1, 4 (550 words).

2. German Petelin and Andrei Gridasov article headlined "Oboronservis case suspect cancels deal with investigation" says that one of the suspects in the high-profile Oboronservis case, who earlier witnessed against former Slavyanka head and a close friend of former Defense Minister's Alexander Yelkin, has withdrawn his testimony; pp 1-2 (500 words).

3. Anna Lyalyakina et al. article headlined "Suitcase did not fit into Red Square" says that a giant pavilion in the shape of a Louis Vuitton suitcase constructed right near the Moscow Kremlin may soon be deconstructed due to public outrage; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

4. Yegor Sozaev-Guryev article headlined "Vladimir Putin saw wrecked Italy" looks into Putin's two-day visit to Italy; p 2 (600 words).

5. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Opposition looks for ways of cooperation at Moscow City Duma elections" says that prominent opposition figure Gennady Gudkov has come up with an initiative to set up a single committee that would coordinate the actions of the entire opposition ahead of the elections to the Moscow City Duma; p 3 (900 words).

6. Yury Matsarsky and Vladimir Suvorov special report headlined "Ukrainian opposition aims to throw old Maidan in shade by new one" looks into the latest developments in Kiev, where Ukrainians protest against the pause in the eurointegration process; p 7 (700 words).

7. Konstantin Vilkov and Mikhail Vignansky article headlined "Turkey to help protect Sochi from terrorists" says that during the recent talks in Moscow, President Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan agreed on the cooperation in providing security at the winter Olympics in Sochi; p 7 (400 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Yevgeny Shestakov article called "Through Maidan" says Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has made it clear that the country won't sign an association agreement with the EU unless it gets new loans from the IMF. The author notes that the opposition has "not been very successful" in mobilizing protesters at Maidan and says Yulia Tymoshenko's hunger strike is unlikely to continue for more than two days because after the Vilnius summit there will be not point in it; pp 1, 8 (739 words).

2. Yelena Kukol and Georgy Panin interview with Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev called "Ulyukayev's interest rates"; pp 1, 3 (916 words).

3. Kira Latukhina article called "Two days in the Apennines" reports on the second day of President Vladimir Putin's visit to Italy; p 2 (680 words).

4. Marina Gritsyuk article headlined "Who counts them?" shares the latest immigration statistics for Russia; p 4 (585 words).

5. Yury Gavrilov article headlined "Armed and dangerous for criminals" summarizes a bill that, when passed, will provide a legal framework for military police; p 6 (624 words).

6. Fedor Lukyanov op-ed headlined "Ukraine at ambition fair" says Ukraine will not sign an EU association treaty at the Vilnius summit this week. Nor will it join Russia-led Customs Union. Paradoxically, Europe is not interested in eastward expansion because debt-ridden Ukraine would only give it more headache; p 8 (688 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Secret of Putin's arriving late revealed, or hi to Pope Francis from Mahatma Ghandi" says that the fact that Putin came in 50 minutes late for the meeting with Pope Francis in Vatican is no surprise as he is always late for the meetings with international leaders. The habit is annoying, the author says; pp 1-2 (500 words).

2. Eva Merkacheva interview with opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, suspected of plotting mass riots at a Moscow rally on May 6, 2012. Razvozzhayev says his health condition is deteriorating rapidly; pp 1, 6 (450 words).

3. Oleg Bondarenko article headlined "Kremlin accused for nothing" says that the role of Kremlin in Ukraine-EU spat is minimal; p 3 (300 words).

4. Viktoria Prikhodko article headlined "Pussy Riot trace found in Rome" says that President Putin came in late for the meeting with Pope Francis as he was waiting for the rally in support of the Pussy Riot punk band, which was allegedly staged near his hotel, to be dispersed; p 2 (300 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Olga Musafirova report "Sunday of independence" comments on protests in Ukraine after its government has decided to suspend preparations for signing the EU association agreement; pp 2-3 (2,700 words).

2. Olga Prosvirova report "Mopping out human rights" says that public and human rights activists are being squeezed out of civil society institutions and replaced with people from security agencies; pp 7-8 (1,700 words).

3. Pavel Felgengauer report "Iranian nuclear deterrence" looks at the agreement recently reached on the Iranian nuclear program; pp 8-9 (1,200 words).

4. Yelena Shafran report "Iran's 'peaceful' atom" comments on the results of the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program; pp 8-9 (500 words).

RBC Daily

1. Katerina Kitayeva report "ProfMedia" gets into pipe" says that the holding company Gazprom-Media is buying television and radio assets. It will purchase the company Central Partnership from Interros; pp 1, 9 (600 words).

2. Alexander Litoy report "Not to imprison for nothing" says that the Supreme Court has reminded lower courts that terms in custody cannot be extended simply because investigators want it; pp 1-2 (800 words).

3. Irina Yuzbekova report "Copypast in Euro-Maidan" says that head of the Russian agency Social Networks has discovered that the design of the website, set up to post information on protests in Ukraine, is an exact copy of his own website; p 9 (600 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Margarita Alekhina report "Controller for himself" says that the number of former employees of security agencies in the commissions supervising how prisoners' rights are observed, is rising; pp 1, 5 (1,700 words).

2. Yekaterina Dyatlovskaya report "Nu, beware!" says that the Russian Federal Service for Supervision in Telecommunications, Information Technology and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) has drafted a concept of information security for children undertaking the functions of their moral and aesthetic education; pp 1-2 (750 words).

3. Yana Sergeyeva report "Do not say 'yes' and 'no'" comments on protests staged by supporters of European integration in Ukraine; p 2 (600 words).

4. Konstantin Nikolayev report "Lukashenko's distant war" says that information on Russians killed in Yemen has proved to be wrong. The two murdered people turned out to be Belarussian citizens; p 2 (350 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Alexei Tumanov report "Banker Lebedev given spade" says that businessman Alexander Lebedev has begun a community service sentence, working at a kindergarten in the Tula region. He was sentenced to 150 hours of work for hitting businessman Sergei Polonsky during a television talk show; pp 1, 6 (800 words).

2. Anastasia Pleshakova report "If trunk appears near Kremlin" says that a giant Louis Vuitton suitcase has been installed on Red Square; pp 1, 7 (300 words).

3. Dmitry Smirnov report "Putin gives Orthodox icon to Pope Francis" looks at Vladimir Putin's visit to Italy; p 2 (900 words).

4. Vladimir Vorsobin report "Why Ukraine worships Europe, not Russia" is final part of correspondent's article looking at the political situation in Ukraine and its attitude to Russia; pp 12-13 (1,900 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Sergei Medvedev report "Dialogues in Vatican and Trieste" looks at Putin's visit to Italy; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

2. Viktor Ruchkin report "Geneva-2 set" says that the international conference on the settlement of the Syrian crisis Geneva-2 has been set for Jan. 22, 2014; p 3 (1,200 words).


1. Alexander Protsenko report "Hungry stomach is deaf to politics" looks at Russian-Ukrainian relations and economic cooperation and features Russian analysts' comments on the issue; pp 1-2 (1,400 words).

Argumenty i Fakty

1. Sergei Osipov report "What is Yanukovych up to?" says that having suspended the association agreement with the EU, Ukraine has "turned its face to Russia" again; pp 2, 12 (1,400 words).

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