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What the Papers Say, Dec. 9, 2013


Kommersant


1. Pavel Korobov interview with Metropolitan Illarion, head of the foreign ecclesiastical relations department of the Moscow Patriarchate headlined "'Church not coalescing with authorities, but establishing partnership relations'" where he speaks about the reform of the church administration and explains why priests are not allowed to take part in the country's political life; pp 1, 4 (2,491 words).


2. Nikolay Sergeyev article headlined "Alexander Bastrykin removed from court distance" says that the Supreme Court has refused to revise the ruling on the high-profile case of protection of illegal casinos in the Moscow region by high-ranking law enforcers; p 1 (464 words).


3. Kirill Belyaninov et al. report headlined "Russian diplomats treated undiplomatically" says that Russian diplomats accused of fraud with medical insurance payments worth $1.5 million will soon leave the U.S. for Russia. Russian diplomatic sources consider the accusations to be politically motivated or even an act of provocation. Kommersant's sources in Washington say the scandal may have resulted from a conflict between the U.S. Department of State and U.S. law-enforcement agencies; pp 1, 3 (943 words).


4. Maria Yakovleva article headlined "Insurance only for loyal" says that the authorities are seeking balance between the interests of private pension funds and their clients; pp 1, 10 (530 words).


5. Viktor Khamrayev interview with head of the State Duma Constitutional Legislature Committee Vladimir Pligin headlined "Frequent changes result from desire to ensure legitimacy" where he speaks about the formation of the country's legal system and recent amendments to the constitution; p 2 (590 words).


6. Natalya Gorodetskaya and Musa Muradov article headlined "Alexander Khloponin cancels elections in North Caucasus" says that presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin has suggested that all North Caucasus republics should give up direct elections of republican heads; p 3 (589 words).


7. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Maidan discourages Ukraine from Customs Union" says that a state of emergency may be imposed in Ukraine as both opponents and supporters of President Viktor Yanukovych are getting increasingly radical in their statements and actions; p 7 (822 words).


8. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "U.S. not to give up interception" says that the U.S. is not going to give up its plans to set up the missile defense system in Europe despite the landmark agreement signed with Iran; p 7 (457 words).


9. Olga Kuznetsova article headlined "Libya being saved from Afghan scenario" comments on the situation in Libya and says that NATO troops are returning to Libya at the request of the country's interim government in order to prevent the country from breaking up; p 7 (446 words).


10. Alexei Shapovalov article headlined "Officials return WTO to themselves and world" looks at the landmark declaration signed at the WTO ministerial summit in Bali; p 8 (496 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Chinese get down to developing Crimea" says that Ukraine will hand over part of Crimea to China for it to set up the so-called Crimean economic development zone where Beijing plans to build a port, an airport, an oil refinery, LNG terminals and recreation facilities. The move may alter the alignment of forces in the discussion of Russia-Ukraine economic projects; pp 1, 4 (911 words).


2. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Energy ration for people to get more expensive" says that the Federal Tariff Service is planning to revise maximum tariffs for electricity within the social norm and above. The regional authorities are trying to ease tension and avert possible public outcry; pp 1, 4 (717 words).


3. Yekaterina Trifonova article headlined "Federal Penitentiary Service gets concerned about religious extremism" says that the Federal Penitentiary Service is drafting a program to counter religious extremism in prisons as over 1,000 people are serving time for terrorist activities and they are trying to involve other inmates in terrorism; pp 1-2 (521 words).


4. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Ilya Ponomaryov to struggle with Pauk" says that State Duma deputy Ilya Ponomaryov is going to run for mayor of Novosibirsk. One of his rivals will be singer Sergei Troitsky aka Pauk (Spider); pp 1, 3 (680 words).


5. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Do not beat, love and protect" says that despite the March of Millions staged in dozens of capital cities all over the world, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych' team is not going to step down, which makes armed confrontation almost inevitable; pp 1-2 (992 words).


6. Yevgenia Novikova article headlined "Israel forecasts nuclear race in Middle East" says that Israel warns that the recent concessions the West has made to Iran on its nuclear program have prompted Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to step up efforts to develop their nuclear program; pp 1-2 (624 words).


7. Editorial headlined "President's instruction to army" says that on Dec. 10, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin is to sum up the results of the Armed Forces' development in 2013 and set new tasks for 2014; p 2 (484 words).


8. Alexei Portansky article headlined "WTO: Breakthrough after 20 years of stagnation" looks at the results of the WTO ministerial conference in Bali; p 3 (743 words).


9. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "It appears Khodorkovsky not to be amnestied" says that the Investigative Committee is said to be investigating another criminal case against former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Experts see behind the new developments President Vladimir Putin's intention to substantiate his refusal to amnesty or pardon Khodorkovsky; p 3 (962 words).


10. Igor Naumov article headlined "Regional Development Ministry sets up new window to accept foreign investors" says that an agency to attract foreign investment to regions may be set up under the Regional Development Ministry by the year end; p 4 (751 words).


11. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "Lukashenka says no to privatization" says that Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has vehemently opposed privatization of the Minsk plant producing wheel-tyre tractors with the participation of a foreign investor, thus eliminating all the agreements achieved with Russia on the implementation of a joint project with this plant; p 6 (574 words).


12. Darya Tsiryulik article headlined "Nelson Mandela's last honors" is dedicated to the first black South African President Nelson Mandela; p 6 (675 words).


13. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Tajik migrants reduce trust in their country" looks at the polls conducted by the state pollster VTsIOM to reveal people's attitude to former Soviet republics; p 6 (746 words).


14. Yury Panyev article headlined "U.S., NATO exert pressure on Karzai" says that U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has arrived in Afghanistan amid escalating tension between the countries over the Afghan president's refusal to sign a security deal with the U.S. at least until the April 2014 presidential election; p 8 (510 words).


15. Ivan Rodin article headlined "President of party and economic activists" comments on Putin's meeting with the participants in the All-Russia People's Front's conference; p 8 (512 words).


16. Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Sour-complicated condition" comments on the most significant economic events of the previous week, growing distrust in private banks being the main trend; p 8 (561 words).


17. Tatyana Ivzhenko report "European integration turns into Ukrainians' new religion" says that a meeting of the Russian-Ukrainian interstate commission with the participation of the presidents of the two countries will take place in Moscow in a week. Moscow is working with the incumbent Ukrainian authorities and does not take into account that it is Ukrainian society, not the opposition, that is against President Viktor Yanukovych; pp 9-11 (1,400 words).


18. Alexei Fenenko report "Kremlin changes course in Pacific" looks at Russia's policy in the Asia-Pacific region; pp 9-10 (1,500 words).


19. Sergei Zhiltsov report "Alignment of forces after Vilnius" says that Russia's support of Viktor Yanukovych will not change Ukraine's course of rapprochement with the EU; p 11 (900 words).


Vedomosti


1. Tatyana Voronova article headlined "Sergei Pugachyov makes withdrawals" says that the Deposit Insurance Agency is trying to prove that it was the bank Mezhprombank's former owner Sergei Pugachyov, who has ordered to withdraw securities worth 68.5 billion rubles, thus causing the bank's bankruptcy; pp 1, 15 (740 words).


2. Svetlana Bocharova et al. report headlined "Khodorkovsky forever" looks at another criminal case that may be opened against former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky; pp 1-2 (669 words).


3. Editorial headlined "In way of high feelings" says that the reports that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has agreed to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in exchange for a major loan and gas discount, have mobilized protests in Ukraine, and looks at the consequences of the move; pp 1, 6 (600 words).


4. Editorial headlined "Ingraining memory" comments on an idea to set up memorial plates on houses where victims of Soviet repression lived; p 6 (322 words).


5. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Law enforcers tire Kanokov" says that head of the Kabardino-Balkaria Arsen Kanokov has written a resignation letter and looks at the reasons behind the move; p 3 (364 words).


6. Polina Khimshiashvili and Maxim Glikin article headlined "Maidan no hindrance to Yanukovych" says that despite the March of Millions in Kiev staged against President Viktor Yanukovych, Mykola Azarov's government and plans for integration with Russia, the Ukrainian leader does not give up his plans; p 2 (556 words).


7. Maxim Tovkaylo report "Thousand billions for disgrace" looks at the funds spent on the Sochi Olympics; p 5 (200 words).


8. Anton Osipov et al. report "Holy man is sinner who is trying" looks at Nelson Mandela; pp 8-9 (2,400 words)


9. Roman Dorokhov article headlined "To bear responsibility for 'black hole'" says that some 12 members of the group headed by notorious hacker Paunch have been detained; p 17 (351 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Tatyana Zamakhina article headlined "No hidden meaning" denies reports that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has vowed to join the Customs Union when meeting Putin in Sochi; p 2 (550 words).


2. Vladimir Kuzmin article headlined "Everyone working" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has summed up the results of the cabinet's work over the year in a live television interview; p 3 (1,600 words).


3. Vladimir Radomirov report "He covers with article" looks at charges brought against former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov; p 3 (350 words).


4. Vladimir Bogdanov et al. report headlined "Eleven variants of amnesty" says that State Duma deputies and factions have already tabled eleven bills on amnesty timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the constitution; p 7 (1,600 words).


4. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "Tongue will not take them to Europe" says that the West keeps enticing Ukraine, this time offering to grant visa-free regime to Ukrainian citizens; p 8 (1,800 words).


5. Yekaterina Zabrodina report "'I was not demigod'" looks at the funeral of Nelson Mandela to take place on Dec. 15; p 8 (450 words).


Izvestia


1. Anastasiya Kashevarova and Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Governor Alexander Khoroshavin being prepared for resignation" says that the Audit Chamber will check the efficiency of use of the Sakhalin region's budget, which may lead to the resignation of the region's governor; pp 1-2 (927 words).


2. Maxim Sokolov article headlined "Too empty conversation" says that Dmitry Medvedev's interview with senior journalists from five television networks, in which the prime minister has summed up the results of his government's work, has not impressed the public, and looks at the reasons; pp 1-2 (698 words).


3. Dmitry Yevstifeyev report "Deputy Voronernkov accused of murder" looks at the fight between a former FSB officer and a State Duma deputy in a restaurant in Moscow; pp 1, 5 (950 words).


4. Yelena Malay report "Officials may be banned from using iPhone" says that Russian legislators and special services are lobbying for a law banning officials from using foreign-made mobile phones; pp 1-2 (1,100 words).


5. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Kabardino-Balkaria given to law enforcer" says that Putin has appointed former head of the Interior Ministry's main directorate for countering extremism Yury Kokov as acting head of Kabardino-Balkaria; p 3 (520 words).


6. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev interview "'Probably, fought against extremism insufficiently" with former head of Kabardino-Balkaria Arsen Kanokov; p 3 (450 words).


7. Alexei Krivoruchek report "Submarines try role of ice breakers" says that strategic missile carriers will be reinforced to be able to quickly raise to the surface in the Arctic region; p 6 (700 words).


8. Maria Gorkovskaya et al. report headlined "Person put on 'Guantanamo list' in charge of Russian diplomats' case" says that the accusation of Russian diplomats of fraud with the U.S. medical insurance and statements that the 'Magnitsky list' will be expanded have marked another round of worsening in Russia-U.S. relations; p 7 (563 words).


9. Vladislav Vdovin article headlined "Town of victorious Maidan" features a correspondent's report about protests staged in the Ukrainian town of Lviv; p 8 (1,329 words).


10. Yanina Sokolovskaya article headlined "Protesters need helmets" looks at recent developments in Kiev; p 8 (768 words).


11. Yanina Sokolovskaya interview with the former speaker of the Ukrainian parliament headlined "Association with EU becomes background for division of power among politicians" where he speaks about the reasons behind the current protests and comments on recent developments; p 9 (1,005 words).


12. Sergei Podosenov article headlined "Nationalists to defend Russians in Ukraine" says that leader of the National Democratic Party Vladimir Tor and his followers are going to Ukraine to make sure Euro-Maidan will not pose threat to Russians in Ukraine; p 9 (615 words).


13. Mikhail Ivanov article headlined "Anti-Olympic phantom" looks at the premiere of the film "Putin's Games" shown as part of the festival Artdokfest, which highlights corruption in Sochi construction; p 11 (583 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Igor Karmazin report "Meeting will stop being languid" looks at protests in Kiev; pp 1-2 (1,100 words).


2. Olga Bozhyeva interview with the head of the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia), Alexander Neradko; pp 1, 6 (700 words).


3. Viktoria Prikhodko report "What did Yanukovych agree on with Putin?" looks at the meeting of Putin with his Ukrainian counterpart in Sochi on Dec. 6; p 2 (600 words).


4. Natalya Rozhkova interview with protest leader and author Eduard Limonov; p 6 (2,300 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Alexander Grishin article headlined "Rumors in Maidan [square]" contemplates on possible reasons behind the reports that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych agreed to join the Customs Union during the meeting with President Putin in Sochi last week; p 2 (450 words).


2. Alexander Grishin article headlined "Ukraine thrown into dilemma" looks at the prospects for Ukraine's development in case it joins the Customs Union or the European Union; p 3 (900 words).


3. Yevgenia Suprycheva and Anastasia Ryabokon article headlined "Maidan split apart" looks at the ongoing protests in Kiev's Independence Square known as Maidan; p 5 (500 words).


RBC Daily


1. Ivan Petrov article headlined "Mikhail Khodorkovsky, third episode" says the Russian prosecutor's office has said that new criminal cases have been launched against jailed Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky; pp 1-2 (600 words).


2. Stepan Opalev article headlined "Russia gives cold shoulder to Maidan [square]" says some 55 percent of Russians describe Russian-Ukrainian relations as "tense", a recent poll has suggested; p 2 (200 words).


Noviye Izvestia


1. Yevgenia Dyatlovskaya article headlined "And they told a baby" says that by adopting prohibitory laws aimed at protecting children, State Duma lawmakers are thus using children's issues as a pretext for putting restrictions on adults' activities; pp 1-2 (1,400 words).


2. Gennady Savchenko article headlined "Barricades close to president's house" says the Ukrainian opposition has laid siege to the governmental buildings in Kiev; pp 1-2 (500 words).


3. Vardan Ogardzhanyan article headlined "Endless 'prospects'" says the Prosecutor General's office has launched new criminal cases against jailed Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky; p 2 (200 words).


4. Sergei Putilov article headlined "Ukrainian illusions" says the reports on Ukraine's decision to join the Customs Union have proved to be untrue; p 3 (600 words).


Novaya Gazeta


1. Vera Chelishcheva article headlined "Khodorkovsky case ahead of amnesty" says with only few days to go before the amnesty is declared in Russia, new criminal cases have been launched against jailed Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky; p 5 (600 words).


2. Pavel Kanygin article headlined "Stressed-out" looks at the latest developments with the ongoing protests in Kiev; p 8 (900 words).


3. Alexander Pumpyansky "Mandela's heritage" pays tribute to the late leader of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela; p 17 (400 words).


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