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What the Papers Say, Dec. 10, 2013

Kommersant


1. Natalya Korchenkova et al. report headlined "He gets order to go West" says President Putin has closed news agency RIA Novosti. The Rossia Segodnya agency to be set up on the basis of RIA and to be headed by deputy head of All-Russia State Television and Broadcasting Company, or VGTRK, Dmitry Kiselev will focus on re-shaping Russia's image abroad; pp 1 — 2 (1,828 words).


2. Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Fight against corruption reminded about future" says Russia may ratify the UN anti-corruption convention in the near future, as the relevant bill has already been submitted to the State Duma; pp 1, 3 (590 words).


3. Denis Skorobogatko et al. report headlined "MASh [Moscow airport of Sheremetyevo], but not ours" says the state is likely to lose control over Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport as TPS Avia is likely to get a control stake in the airport. pp 1, 9 (624 words).


4. Anna Balashova et al. report headlined "Mobile release" says the first Russian mobile phone subscribers have changed their providers without changing their phone number. More than 6,300 people are willing to use the service; pp 1, 13 (591 words).


5. Sofya Samokhina et al. report headlined "Well-deserved amnesty" says eight people involved in the Bolotnaya square rioting case, members of the Pussy Riot band and Greenpeace activists will be covered by the amnesty as President Putin has submitted the relevant bill to the State Duma; p 3 (540 words).


6. Igor Lesovskikh article headlined "Aksana Panova's case becomes lighter" says the prosecutor's office has dropped one of the charges against founder and editor-in chief of the Ura.ru agency Aksana Panova. She is still charged with money extortion, abuse of office and fraud; p 4 (486 words).


7. Alexei Sokovnin article headlined "BORN in 30 volumes" says investigators have completed an inquiry into the case of four members of the Combat Organization of Russian Nationalists (BORN), accused of committing grave crimes; p 4 (350 words).


8. Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "Moscow and St. Petersburg not far from Biryulyovo" says a recent public opinion poll has shown that 60 percent of Muscovites and St. Petersburg residents support the anti-migrant disturbances which took place in the Moscow district of Biryulyovo in October; p 5 (478 words).


9. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "Bolotnaya case studied with conscience" says Amnesty International NGO has recognized most of the defendants in the so called Bolotnaya case, launched following disturbances at a Moscow rally in 2012, to be prisoners of conscience; p 6 (564 words).


10. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Ukrainian opposition being pushed to roadside" says the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have ousted opposition protesters from the government district and the municipal services started dismantling their camp. The EU warned that any use of force against the opposition will close to the present authorities the path to cooperation with Europe; p 8 (739 words).


11. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Bahrain prince envies Moscow friends and advises U.S. to follow Russian example" says the U.S. foreign policy mistakes may result in the Gulf states revising their pro-American policy and closer cooperation with Russia, the Bahrain crown prince said ; p 8 (349 words).


12. Yelena Chernenko interview with Igor Lyakin-Frolov, Russian Ambassador to Tajikistan, who speaks on security threats posed by Afghanistan after NATO forces leave the country; p 8 (583 words).


13. Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Russians dislike Ukraine's European choice" says a recent public opinion poll has shown that 69 percent of Russians believe that Ukrainian should develop ties with Moscow rather than with EU, only 6 percent of the respondents support Ukraine's pro-European policy; p 8 (420 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Petr Tverdov article headlined "Moscow voice to sound more conservative abroad" says the reform of the RIA Novosti news agency shows that the Kremlin is going to consolidate the ruling elite around Russian national interests and conservative values; pp 1, 3 (800 words).


2. Viktor Litovkin article headlined "Container sees through entire Europe" says a new missile defense radar, Container, has become operational in Mordovia; pp 1 — 2 (600 words).


3. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Maidan shifts to state of siege" says EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton is to arrive in Kiev for talks with the Ukrainian authorities in an attempt to prevent the violent crackdown on the opposition protesting in the streets of Kiev; pp 1, 6 (1,200).


4. Yekaterina Trifonova and Ivan Rodin article headlined "Justice Ministry wants more transparency in officials' revenues" says the State Duma is to consider the UN anti-corruption convention that requires prosecuting of corrupt officials; pp 1, 3 (650 words).


5. Vladislav Maltsev article headlined "Islamic protest to be made to Moscow" says representatives of North Caucasus public movements want to stage a rally in Moscow to protests against nationalist policy; pp 1, 5 (600 words).


6. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Europe does not need at all what is good for Moldova, " says the EU opens its market for Moldovan wines, however the country will not be able to sell even half of the volume of wine it exported to Russia before; pp 1, 6 (500 words).


7. Editorial headlined "Unfiltered conservatism Russian style" comments on Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's interview with leading television channels in which he compared Russian legislation with U.S. laws and came to the conclusion that there were enough ridiculous laws in the U.S. but nobody criticizes the country; p 2 (400 words).


8. Yevgenia Novikova article headlined "Karzai finds allies in Tehran" says the Afghani authorities are seeking Iranian support in search for an alternative to U.S. support. Afghani President Karzai has visited Tehran and has been received by his Iranian counterpart; p 7 (500 words).


Vedomosti


1. Margarita Lyutova et al. report headlined "He finds use for 200 billion rubles" says the Direct Investments Fund will invest 200 billion rubles ($6 billion) from the National Welfare Fund in the development of infrastructure projects; pp 1, 4 (529 words).


2. Ksenia Boletskaya and Maxim Glikin article headlined "Putin disposes of news" comments on President Putin's decision to turn the RIA Novosti news agency into Rossia Segodnya to work on the Russian image abroad. Officials explain the decision by an attempt to save budget money; pp 1, 24 (708 words).


3. Editorial headlined "Fear of today" says Putin's reshuffle at the PR front, which resulted in the closure of the RIA Novosti news agency, has become the Kremlin's response to the Ukrainian political crisis. The article concludes that propaganda is becoming the official information policy in Russia; pp 1, 6 (412 words).


4. Another editorial headlined "Official's constitution" welcomes a proposal by the State Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin to test officials for their knowledge of the Russian constitution; p 6 (284 words).


5. Igor Tsukanov and Oleg Salmanov interview with Communications Minister Nikolai Nikoforov speaking on fighting against piracy, the work of the Russian Post and the state electronic services; p 8 (3,659 words).


Izvestia


1. Yelzaveta Mayetnaya and German Petelin article headlined "Audit Chamber checking ex-minister Serdyukov's contracts again" says the Audit Chamber has started checking contracts signed by the Defense Ministry when it was headed by Anatoly Serdyukov; p 1 (513 words).


2. Dmitry Runkevich article headlined "President to discuss main law changes with judges" says President Putin is to meet with the Constitutional Court judges to discuss amendments to the constitution the Kremlin drafted; pp 1 — 2 (703 words).


3. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Replacement found for North Ossetia and Volgograd region heads" says the heads of North Ossetia and the Volgograd region are to be replaced soon due to the lack of popularity among the electorate and poor economic development of the regions; pp 1, 3 (522 words).


4. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev article headlined "President to have another council set up" says President Vladimir Putin has ordered the creation of a council that will be responsible for working out professional standards for the personnel of state companies; p 2 (250 words)


5. Svetlana Povoraznyuk article headlined "State media become larger" gives details of the reshuffle in the Russian state media such as RIA Novosti news agency, Voice of Russia, VGTRK, Itar-Tass news agency and the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper; p 5 (564 words).


6. Boris Mezhuyev and Igor Yavlyansky article headlined "Pulitzer Prize winner exposes Barack Obama's Syrian deceit" says well-known U.S. journalist Seymour Hersh has published an article on the London Review of Books website in which he claims that Barack Obama's administration jiggled with facts on the use of chemical weapons in Syria to get the approval of their plans to bomb the country; p 7 (726 words).


7. Article by historian Vladimir Shubin headlined "Last hero?" analyses the role of Nelson Mandela in making South Africa a democratic country; p 9 (469 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Yelena Kukol article headlined "Ruble shifts to reception" welcomes the fact that the free use of ruble was allowed by the Chinese authorities in the town of Suifenhe on the border with Russia. The author is upbeat about the future of the Russian currency; pp 1, 5 (608 words).


2. Tatyana Zykova interview with Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov speaking on the development of the Russian aviation industry and plans to design and build mid-size planes for regional airlines; pp 1, 5 (1,156 words).


3. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "At full European speed" accuses EU politicians of financing the Ukrainian opposition and at the same time calling on the Ukrainian authorities for talks; p 8 (1,233 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Alexander Minkin article headlined "Russia the day before yesterday" criticizes President Putin's decision to shut down the RIA Novosti news agency and create another information agency, Rossia Segodnya, aimed at improving Russia's image; pp 1 — 2 (838 words).


2. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "News is over or welcome to today" pays tribute to Svetlana Mironyuk who managed to turn the RIA Novosti news agency into one of the most respectable sources of information in Russia and laments the fact that the agency will be replaced with a propaganda organization. The author notes that the Kremlin sacked Mironyuk as she managed to find common ground with both the authorities and the opposition; pp 1 — 2 (474 words).


3. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Five theories for Ukraine" polls political experts who try to predict further developments in the political crisis in Ukraine; pp 1, 3 (578 words).


4. Pundit Stanislav Belkovsky article headlined "Maidan and Bolotnaya: has Russian protest waned?" compares the ongoing protests at the Maidan square in Kiev, Ukraine, with the Dec. 10 rally in Moscow's Bolotnaya square in 2011; p 3 (600 words).



RBK Daily


1. Yulia Sinyaeva report "'We do not care'" says that Russian business does not see any particular threats, about which the Kremlin and the government have warned more than once, of Ukraine's possible joining the EU free trade zone; pp 1, 3 (650 words).


2. Inga Vorobyeva report "Operation 'Dissolution'" says that President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to dissolve the news agency RIA Novosti. The Rossia Segodnya international news agency will be set up to replace it, article says; pp 1, 8 (1,100 words).


3. Alexander Litoy report "Amnesty goes middle way" says that the Kremlin has tabled with the State Duma a draft amnesty to mark the 20th anniversary of the constitution. Among those who will be amnestied are minors, women with underage children, pregnant women, people of pension age and disabled people convicted for the first time for the term less than five years. Article features comments by a lawyer and a journalist; p 2 (400 words).


Noviye Izvestia


1. Yekaterina Dyatlovskaya article headlined "Foothold for propagandists and canvassers" says the authorities have decided not to waste money on journalism and focus on funding propaganda, as the Rossia Segodnya international news agency will replace the RIA Novosti news agency; p 2 (1,098 words).


2. Artem Lunkov report "Awaiting new persons" says that according to sociologists, Russians want a new president, but, so far, do not see an alternative to Putin; p 2 (500 words).


3. Yana Sergeyeva report "Before storming" comments on the situation in Ukraine and says that central Kiev may become the venue of confrontation between the riot police and the opposition; p 2 (650 words).


4. Elya Grigoryeva report "Price of forecast" says that inflation in Russia may fall outside the limits set by the authorities in 2013 and reach 6.5 percent; p 3 (400 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Yelena Krivyakina report "RIA Novosti turns into Russia Today" says that under Putin's decree, the Rossia Segodnya international news agency will be set up to replace the news agency RIA Novosti. The new agency will promote Russia's image abroad; p 2 (350 words).


2. Yelena Suprycheva report "Proletariat pulls Lenin apart for souvenirs" says that protesters have toppled a monument to Lenin in central Kiev; p 3 (300 words).


3. Alexander Grishin report "Yanukovych's salvation is in Russia" comments on the situation in Ukraine and says that President Viktor Yanukovych has only one way out: to make an alliance with Russia; p 4 (500 words).


4. Vladimir Vorsobin report "They will come to in 2 to 3 years and realize what they have done..." looks at what could happen if the opposition scored a victory in Ukraine; p 4 (450 words).


5. Anna Mamonova report "Ukraine may fall apart" says that the "Maidan confrontation" in Kiev may result not only in the paralysis of power in Ukraine, but also in the disintegration of the country into two, and possibly, into three parts; p 5 (800 words).


6. Yelena Chinkova interview with Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the Natsionalnaya Oborona (National defense) magazine, who comments on the situation in Ukraine and says that the "U.S. Department of State has brought $15 million for Maidan"; p 6 (600 words).


Trud


1. Sergei Ilchenko report "Why should they break New Year trees?" looks at protests in Kiev; p 2 (550 words).


Moskovskiye Novosti


1. Irina Granik report "Front nears government" looks at Putin's speech at the conference of the All-Russia People's Front and says that the front's proposals may be included in the president's annual address to the Federal Assembly; pp B2-B3 (1,100 words).


2. Yelena Malysheva report "In regime of contour forecast" looks at economic forecasts for 2014 and says that the Kremlin is displeased with pessimistic forecasts that economic agencies are making; pp B4-B5 (1,500 words).


3. Alexandera Beluza report "Limits of compromise" looks at how Moscow's policy towards Kiev will change after the Euro-Maidan; pp B6-B7 (2,000 words).

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