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What the Papers Say, Dec. 12, 2013


1. Anna Balashova and Olga Kudrina article headlined "4G to be served as 2G" says the State Radio Frequencies Commission has allowed Russian mobile network operators to use the frequencies that were earlier allocated to them for 2G networks for deploying their LTE service; pp 1, 12 (727 words).

2. Yelena Kiselev and Alexander Gabuyev article called "Guard for single-industry towns" says the state-run Vneshekonombank (VEB) is setting up a project office for the development of single-industry towns. The bank has been put in charge of distributing an unprecedented budget of $10 billion allocated for the purpose in 2014; pp 1, 6 (805 words).

3. Svetlana Dementyeva et al. article headlined "Eight bankers' rule" says the Russian Central Bank has published a draft set of regulations on a remuneration scheme for bankers; pp 1, 9 (1,055 words).

4. Vladislav Novy et al. article headlined "Rostelecom mobilizes Tele2" gives details of the merger between state-run telecom operator Rostelecom and mobile company Tele2; pp 1, 9 (756 words).

5. Viktor Khamrayev article called "Citizens half-ready to changes in Constitution" looks at the results of a poll showing that only 35 percent of Russians believe that the Constitution plays a significant role in their lives; p 2 (508 words).

6. Artur Asafyev article headlined "Rustem Khamitov could become Khakim" says the legislative assembly of Bashkortostan has approved amendments to the republic's constitution that abolish the post of president and introduces that of head of the republic. Rustem Khamitov's term in office expires in 2015. By then, the republic's legislators are to have decided how to name their regional head in the vernacular; p 2 (633 words).

7. Ivan Safronov article headlined "Dmitry Rogozin was in high spirits in front of deputies" reports on Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin's upbeat speech at the State Duma. He spoke about a project to retaliate against a U.S. new fast-strike weapons platform; p 2 (535 words).

8. Maxim Ivanov article called "State Duma approves judicial reform" reports on how the State Duma passed in the first reading three bills paving the way to the merger of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Arbitration; p 2 (575 words).

9. Vyacheslav Kozlov article headlined "FSKN gets dose of public disapproval" discusses a bill that would extend the mandate of the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN); p 3 (564 words).

10. Sergei Goryashko and Taisia Bekbulatova article called "People ask authorities for intelligence" says an opinion poll has found that 66 percent of Russian people believe the national security service should be spying abroad, with the U.S. being the primary target of intelligence efforts; p 3 (438 words).

11. Alexei Sokovnin article called "Lesson shortened for teacher" says the Tver regional court has reduced Ilya Farber's prison term from seven to three years. Teacher Ilya Farber was found guilty of accepting a bribe from a contractor, but his severe punishment caused a public outcry; p 5 (520 words).

12. Vadim Visloguzov article headlined "Privatization reaches beauty parlor" says the government has so far failed to meet its plan for privatization of state-owned assets; p 6 (523 words).

13. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Russia and Iran rescuing future deals" reports on Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif as well as with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani; p 7 (566 words).

14. Yelena Chernenko interview with Steven Pifer of the Brookings Institution as to why "Russia should not be concerned about Pentagon's plans" to deploy fast-strike missiles; p 8 (534 words).

15. Military expert Mikhail Remezov column "Price of issue" comments on the U.S.' plan to deploy a global anti-ballistic missile defense shield; p 8 (434 words).

16. Yelena Chernenko and Ivan Safronov article headlined "Acceleration of arms" looks at the U.S. Global Strike program and says Russia and the U.S. are likely to engage in a race against each other to build new generation high-precision weapons; p 8 (1,128 words).

17. Yelena Chernenko interview with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov who says that the deployment of Prompt Global Strike systems would be perceived by Russia as a dangerous and destabilizing factor; p 8 (506 words).

18. Olga Shestopal and Ksenia Leonova article headlined "Wily cards" says that according to a report by cyber crime analytical company Infowatch, retailers account for almost 50 percent of credit card detail leaks internationally; p 10 (624 words).

19. Anatoly Dhumaylo and Alexander Konstantinov article headlined "Russian pipe makers to protect Kazakh borders" says Russian pipe makers are concerned that after joining the WTO, Kazakhstan might lobby for the reduction of import duties on pipes in Russia; p 11 (612 words)

20. Vladislav Novy interview with Rostelecom president Sergei Kalugin on the future of the company; p 13 (2,246 words).


1. Darya Borisyak and Tatyana Voronova article headlined "Rehabilitator found" says Probiznesbank might be appointed to rehabilitate the troubled Solidarnost bank based in Samara; pp 1, 15 (454 words).

2. Maxim Tovkaylo et al. article headlined "State to evaluate its bosses" says Rosimushchestvo has published instructions for state-owned companies on introducing Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for top managers; pp 1, 5 (722 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Francis the first" says the fact that Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year shows that social issues in developing countries are at the center of the world agenda at the moment; pp 1, 6 (421 words).

4. Polina Khimshiashvili article called "Yanukovych ready for talks" comments on recent developments in Ukraine, says the readiness of President Viktor Yanukovych to negotiate with the opposition may secure him his post until 2015; p 2 (519 words).

5. Lilia Biryukova article called "Single registry against checks" says business ombudsman Boris Titov has suggested that the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office should set up a single registry where all scheduled and abrupt checks on businesses would be recorded; p 4 (382 words).

6. Olga Kuvshinova article called "Regional budget crisis" summarizes a report by Standard and Poor's that points to declining revenues of the Russian regions and warns that they might default on their debts if the federal government does not review its budget policy; p 4 (828 words).

7. Margarita Lyutova and Natalya Tikhonova article headlined "Marriageable country" says Ukraine is on the brink of economic collapse, but investors are not selling Ukraine's government bonds as they believe the country will get financial aid; p 5 (774 words).

8. Editorial headlined "Price of growing minimum" argues that increases in minimum wage have an adverse effect on employment; p 6 (334 words).

9. Vladislav Inozemtsev essay headlined " Madness of imperial integration" looks at migration trends in Russia and concludes that the current influx of immigrants from Central Asia will not solve any of the problems that this country is facing; p 6 (1,295 words).

10. Arina Dmitriyeva and Yekaterina Khodzhayeva article headlined "Loss-making security guard unit" analyses the work of the security guard unit affiliated with the Interior Ministry. This police subdivision is supposed to make a profit, but does not; p 7 (712 words).

11. Oleg Salmanov article called "Dvorkovich gives go-ahead" says Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has instructed the representatives of the state on the Rostelecom board of directors to vote for the merger with mobile network operator Tele2; p 16 (573 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Ivan Rodin article called "Third branch of power contradicts president for the first time" says the State Duma has passed in the first reading three bills paving the way to the merger of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Arbitration despite strong objections from both courts; pp 1-2 (624 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Kremlin looks ahead into 2024" comments on the government's alleged plans to adopt a completely new constitution; pp 1, 3 (893 words).

3. Anastasia Bashkatova article called "Regions failing to cope with Putin's May instructions" comments on the results of a survey by Standard and Poor's showing that the Russian regions are failing to implement President Putin's instructions on raising the salaries of public sector employees due to the lack of funds; pp 1, 4 (908 words).

4. Svetlana Gamova article called "Moldovans barred from Russia" says Romanian authorities and experts expect Russia to introduce quotas on the number of labor migrants from Moldova following the signing of an association agreement between Moldova and the EU; pp 1, 7 (579 words).

5. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Yanukovych cuts off escape routes" says yet another attempt by the Ukrainian authorities to break up opposition protests in central Kiev has changed the attitude of the EU and the U.S. to the Ukrainian leadership to negative; pp 1, 7 (1,373 words).

6. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Chinese blame Gorbachev for collapse of U.S.S.R." says Chinese officials have been watching documentaries about the history of the U.S.S.R. to figure out the causes of  country's collapse as they want to avoid liberalization of the Communist Party of China; pp 1, 8 (510 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Shaky foundations of the Constitution" predicts that the ruling elite will not stop trying to amend the Russian Constitution to ensure their own future; p 2 (489 words).

8. Sergei Konovalov op-ed headlined "Carte Blanche. Wrong kind of Communists" says the top membership of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation largely consists of rich businessmen, while the party continues to make believe it represents the poor; p 3 (871 words).

9. Igor Naumov article called "Productivity driven up by retail workers" comments on contradictory statements by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev about plans to boost productivity in the economy; p 4 (706 words).

10. Alina Terekhova and Sokhbet Mamedov article "Gazprom's pipe to undergo rigidity test in Brussels" looks at the opposition to the South Stream gas pipeline project in Europe; p 4 (768 words).

11. Roza Tsvetkova interview with co-author of the Russian Constitution, law professor Sergei Shakhray headlined "Russian Constitution is a time machine". He speaks about its history, prospects of new amendments and its compliance with international law; p 5 (2,939 words).

12. Sergei Nikanorov article headlined "Maidan hits Ukrainian economy hard" considers the possible economic implications of the ongoing opposition protests in Kiev; p 7 (676 words).

13. Yevgenia Novikova article called "Lavrov returns Russia to Iran" views the Dec. 11 visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Teheran as an attempt to secure Russia's influence on the country that is making progress on the world arena; p 8 (706 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Anna Fedyakina article called "Chisinau at crossroads" says many Moldovans are concerned about losing their sovereignty as the country has signed an association agreement with the EU and Romanian has been declared a national language in Moldova; pp 1, 8 (1,067 words).

2. Yulia Krivoshapko article headlined "Case worth three trillion" says the total debt of Russian regions might exceed $3,000 billion in the next two years, as reported by Standard and Poor's. Experts say weaker regions might find themselves fully dependent on the federal government soon; p 1 (615 words).

3. Vitaly Petrov article called "Farewell visit" reports on a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt; p 2 (649 words).

4. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "Teheran — 13" notes that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to Iran took place amid the latter's growing role as a foreign policy actor; p 2 (702 words).

5. Tamara Shkel interview with chairman of the State Duma Committee on Civil, Crime, Arbitration and Procedural Legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov titled "The citizen is the basic element" about the Russian Constitution that was adopted exactly 20 years ago; p 3 (1,264 words).

6. Leonid Radzikhovsky op-ed headlined "Unchanged" says the Russian Constitution could be considered liberal, but in fact it enables the country and its government not to fall apart; p 3 (706 words).

7. Ivan Yegorov interview with Russian Prosecutor-General Yury Chayka headlined "Prosecutor's first rule" on how his agency ensures the enforcement of the Russian Constitution; p 3 (957 words).

8. Tamara Shkel article called "'Kalashnikov will be back" reports the highlights of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin's speech on the state defense order at the Russian State Duma; p 5 (737 words).

9. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "To Maidan with check" effectively accuses the EU and U.S. envoys in Kiev of hypocrisy as their governments more than once forcibly dispersed peaceful protests in their countries, but now they are condemning the Ukrainian authorities for doing the same; p 8 (757 words).


1. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Extension of Magnitsky list will not remain unanswered" covers State Duma International Relations Committee Head Alexander Pushkov's reaction to U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul's statement on the possible extension of the U.S.' "Magnitsky list"; pp. 1, 4 (700 words).

2. Andrei Gridasov and Yekaterina Kvon article headlined "Investigators find 25 million rubles ($760,000) in Vasilyeva's accounts" covers developments in the case against Yevgenia Vasilyeva, a suspect in a high-profile Defense Ministry corruption case; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

3. Olga Rogozhina and Alexander Yunashev interview with one of the Russian Constitution's authors Sergei Shakhrai headlined "It has to be hammered into the Constitution that marriage is a union between a man and a woman"; pp 1, 4 (1,000 words).

4. Dmitry Runkevich article headlined "Gennady Ovechko to represent Russia in WTO" says diplomat Gennady Ovechko is the most likely choice for the post of Russia's envoy to the WTO; pp 1, 5 (680 words).

5. Yelena Teslova interview with human rights campaigner Lyudmila Alexeyeva headlined "Volodin gave me a ride but it is nothing special" focuses on why Alexeyeva arrived at President Vladimir Putin's meeting with human rights activists in the same car as State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin; p 3 (650 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Marina Lemutkina interview with Russia's Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov focuses on measures the Ministry will take to raise trust in the Single State Exam; pp 1, 4 (2,000 words).

2. Marina Ozerova article headlined "Outcry in three boxes" covers Russian human rights campaigners' and opposition's appeal for a broad amnesty in Russia; p 2 (370 words).

3. Darya Fedotova article headlined "Medics refuse to treat Yevgenia Vasilyeva" talks about complaints of pressure from the lawyer of a high-profile Defense Ministry corruption case suspect; p 3 (350 words).

4. Yeva Merkacheva article headlined "Pussy Riot guilty but not on all charges" covers a ruling by the Supreme Court that proclaimed the sentence against punk band Pussy Riot unlawful; p 3 (300 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Yekaterina Dyatlovskaya article headlined "Measure of mercy" says that a petition to free all political prisoners in Russia, signed by 20,000 people, was submitted to the State Duma yesterday. The article also quotes human rights activists as saying that amnesty is not the most important thing today, the legislators should turn their efforts to improving the legal system and reforming the prosecutor's office and the investigative bodies; p 2 (600 words).

2. Arina Raksina article headlined "Hidden threat" says that Russian companies underestimate the threat of cyber attacks and do not invest enough money in cyber security programs; p 3 (550 words).

Tvoi Den

1. Anton Stepanov article headlined "Pork chop" says that activists of the Khryushi Protiv (Pigs are against) movement, who defend consumers' rights in Russia, have been beaten up at a Moscow market during one of their raids; pp 1, 5 (150 words).

RBK Daily

1. Alexander Litoy and Inga Vorobyeva article headlined "Migrants to try ombudsman" says that human rights activists have come up with an initiative to introduce the post of migrants' rights ombudsman in Russia. They also suggested that the former deputy head of the Federal Migration Service, Vyacheslav Postavnin, should be appointed to the post and started collecting signatures in support of this initiative; p 2 (600 words).

2. Nadezhda Gurina article headlined "One-third of Russians haven't read Constitution" says that according to a poll conducted by the SuperJob portal, one-third of Russians have not read the Russian Constitution and some have said that there is no sense in reading it because its laws do not work; p 2 (240 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Alexei Ovchinnikov article headlined "'We don't want to join Europe with Bandera's supporters'" comments on the latest developments in Kiev and says that protests there have much in common with protests in Bolotnaya Square in central Moscow; p 5 (900 words).

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