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What the Papers Say, Dec. 27, 2013


1. Alexei Shapovalov and Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Ruthenia scenario" says that as Ukrainian and Russian economies are very similar, the Ukrainian economic crisis should ring alarm bells for the Russian authorities; pp 1, 6 (715 words).

2. Viktor Khamrayev et al. report headlined "Rules start moving" says that the Russian authorities' political decisions repeatedly surprised experts this year; report outlines the most relevant changes; pp 1-2 (1,045 words).

3. Roman Rozhkov article headlined "Pirates of Russian internet: On strange servers" says that defeating all expectations, the anti-piracy law that became effective on Aug. 1, has not resulted in an avalanche of suits from copyright holders; p 1 (562 words).

4. Svetlana Dementyeva article headlined "Central clearing" says that as the Central Bank keeps removing troublesome banks from the sector, experts cannot help wondering whether the regulator will go to the trouble of mending its own supervisory system; pp 1, 10 (731 words).

5. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Equation with one variable" looks at the most significant and memorable events of the year linked to President Vladimir Putin; p 2 (580 words).

6. Irina Nagornykh article headlined "Opposition brought to system" says that the Moscow mayoral election reflects the authorities' renewed approach to elections which will be used during regional elections; p 2 (559 words).

7. Ilya Baranikas article headlined "Pardon replaces anger" looks at how the Kremlin's rhetoric and attitude to former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky has evolved over the last few years; p 2 (512 words).

8. Alexander Voronov article headlined "With smashing score" says that xenophobic sentiments have become more widespread in Russia in 2013; p 4 (528 words).

9. Nikolai Sergeiev article headlined "Forests await Anatoly Serdyukov" says that a criminal case over illegal sale of forests in several regions may be initiated against the former Defense Minister; p 4 (444 words).

10. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "NGOs get grants" looks at what this year has brought NGOs; p 4 (521 words).

11. Anastasia Manuylova and Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Working half day over" says that the unemployment rate has started increasing in Russia for the first time in several years; p 6 (580 words).

12. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Syrian war becoming world one" looks at the evolution of the Syrian conflict over the year and says that now it involves people all over the world; p 7 (484 words).

13. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Russia, U.S. become personal" looks at Russian-U.S. relations this year, the scandal over former NSA contractor Edward Snowden being the main ordeal; p 7 (444 words).

14. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Nuclear reaction weakens in Iran" says that the warming of relations between Iran and the West is one of the main political achievements of the year; p 7 (537 words).

15. Renata Yambayeva article headlined "Rules of game" looks at the most significant events in the Russian business community and says that businessmen preferred to sit out the situation as the rules of game in business are changing rapidly, with the new ones being too weak and the old ones not always in force; p 9 (393 words).

16. Sergei Sobolev report "Sometimes they come back" says that influential official of two previous decades Mikhail Lesin has returned to business and become head of the Gazprom-media holding company; p 12 (500 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Lebedevs' triumph set for Jan. 23 2014" says that the Supreme Court's presidium will consider complaints of defendants in the Yukos cases Jan. 23. The defense is sure that former Menatep head Platon Lebedev will be set free as a result; pp 1-2 (702 words).

2. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Alcohol secrets come up in Russia" says that the Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation has lobbied the prolongation of excise stamps of old design on alcohol until May 2014; pp 1, 3 (578 words).

3.Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Stagnation no better than recession" says that experts have forecast stagnation next year and said that in the existing political system, economic growth can hardly be expected; pp 1, 4 (1,075 words).

4. Olga Loginova article headlined "Sochi activists recognized to be prone to extremism" says that police have demanded that activists in Olympic Sochi should come to police stations to fill in a document for people prone to extremist activities; pp 1, 6 (776 words).

5. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Ukraine keeps running fever" says that the severe beating up of famous journalist and opposition activist Tetyana Chernovil has triggered new protests in Ukraine. Experts draw an analogy between the current situation and the developments which resulted in the dismissal of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma; pp 1, 7 (1,526 words).

6. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Iran threatens West with highly enriched uranium" says that Iranian lawmakers have drafted a bill to force the government to begin uranium enrichment up to 60 percent if new sanctions against Iran are imposed; pp 1, 8 (458 words).

7. Yekaterina Trifonova article headlined "Migrants oust doctors from the Moscow region" says that ambulance staff have complained about an increased number of calls from labor migrants which are not paid for; p 2 (556 words).

8. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "Belarus avoids devaluation" says that Russia's $2 billion loan will help Belarus postpone devaluation of its national currency; p 2 (773 words).

9. Editorial headlined "Putin determines political priorities" says that Putin has defined his political stance and program as conservative and looks at its peculiarities; p 2 (489 words).

10. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev case returned to prosecutor's office" says that the court has returned to the prosecutor's office a criminal case against Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov and activist Leonid Razvozzhayev charged with organizing riots on Bolotnaya Square in May 2012. Hence, despite the amnesty, the Bolotnaya case for them is not over; p 3 (675 words).

11. Andrei Baykov and Igor Istomin article headlined "Carte blanche. Challenges for Russia in Middle East" says that recent changes in the Middle East have opened new opportunities for the Russian diplomacy; p 3 (785 words).

12. Dmitry Orlov article headlined "Russia's hundred leading politicians in December" features a rating of Russia's most influential politicians in December; p 5 (1,695 words).

13. Yury Roks article headlined "Baku, Yerevan reminded that violence is unacceptable" says that Nagorny Karabakh mediators called on Baku and Yerevan to refrain from violence; p 7 (678 words).

14. Artur Blinov article headlined "War in Iraq resumes" says that following a number of terrorist attacks committed by militants based in Syria, the Iraqi government is buying U.S. arms for its army; p 8 (513 words).

15. Darya Tsiryulik article headlined "Egyptian regime tightening screws" comments on the situation in Egypt and says that Egypt's interim government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, which may trigger another wave of violence; p 8 (706 words).


1. Lilia Biryukova article headlined "Pendulum of third term" says that the year 2013 began with attacks on the opposition, NGOs and Dmitry Medvedev's team and ended with two amnesties and grants for human rights activists; p 2 (531 words).

2. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "Politics not for everyone" says that the "political reform" the authorities conducted upon the demand of Bolotnaya Square protesters has not opened a way to power to new political forces; p 3 (510 words).

3. Alexander Rubtsov article headlined "Metaphysics of authorities: Imperial syndrome" comments on Russia's imperial ambitions in the post-Soviet area; p 7 (921 words).

4. Unattributed article headlined "Persons of year 2013" names, among other people, protester Alexei Navalny, former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as persons of the year; pp 1, 8-9 (287 words).

5. Editorial headlined "Something wrong" says that "something wrong" can be said about many political and economic processes in the country and contemplates over the president's recent liberal decisions; pp 1, 6 (740 words).

6. Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "Saving others" says that although Russia can boast of some diplomatic achievements in the Middle East and Ukraine its relations with the U.S. and the EU are getting worse; p 2 (371 words).

7. Maxim Tovkaylo article headlined "Competition for 1,500 billion" says that Russia has managed to prepare for the Olympic Games in Sochi having spent a record-breaking 1,500 billion rubles; p 18 (459 words).

8. Alexei Nikolsky report "Two steps back" says that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has very cautiously revised the legacy of the former minister, Anatoly Serdyukov; p 3 (400 words).

9. Olga Kuvshinova report "Stagnation. First year" says that the year 2013 has become the worst for Russia since the crisis and the next year is unlikely to be better; p 4 (1,000 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Vladimir Kuzmin article headlined "Waiting for better" says that Putin has attended the cabinet's last meeting in 2013; pp 1-2 (900 words).

2. Yury Gavrilov article headlined "Conscription not for all" looks at the changes awaiting conscription service next year; pp 1, 3 (650 words).

3. Taras Fomchenkov article headlined "To be forced from hook" says that oil production in Russia is expected to decrease in 10 years; pp 1, 4 (600 words).

4. Tatyana Zamakhina article headlined "Jubilee victory" says that Putin has become politician of the year 10th time in a row; p 2 (300 words).

5. Valery Vyzhutovich article headlined "Military policeman" welcomes the president's bill on setting up the military police; p 3 (800 words).

6. Tatyana Zykova interview with head of the Federal Customs Service Andrei Belyaninov headlined "Customs giving keys"; p 3 (900 words).

7. Ivan Yegorov article headlined "Returned to prosecutor" says that the Moscow City Court has returned to the prosecutor's office the criminal case against opposition activists Alexei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev; p 5 (350 words).

8. Alexander Lenin article headlined "Tokyo seeks compromise with Moscow" says that Russia and Japan will discuss signing a peace treaty between the countries in late January; p 8 (800 words).

9. Pavel Dulman article headlined "Opposition finds victim" says that famous Ukrainian journalist and civil activist Tetyana Chernovil has been beaten up and says that a commonplace street brawl is becoming an important factor in Ukrainian politics; p 8 (600 words).

10. Igor Dunayevsky article headlined "Misleading" says that the White House does not comment on the rumors about the divorce of the U.S. president; p 8 (300 words).

11. Ivan Yegorov interview with Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev headlined "Challenge accepted" where he speaks about strategic risks and new challenges that require the strengthening of Russia's national security; p 10 (3,400 words).


1. Yelena Teslova report "Five people pardoned over year" says that several hundred petitions for pardon were submitted in 2013, but only five people were pardoned this year; pp 1-2 (750 words).

2. Dmitry Runkevich report "NGOs to be punished for contributions from foreign criminals" says that the Federal Drug Control Service has prepared amendments introducing a blacklist of foreigners that were convicted of drug trafficking; pp 1, 4 (700 words).

3. Petr Kozlov article headlined "Vladimir Putin calls on cabinet to work more efficiently" looks at the cabinet's last session this year; p 2 (519 words).

4. Alexei Krivoruchek article headlined "Federal Security Service to use for reconnaissance 80 megapixel cameras" says that the Federal Security Service is testing drones with 80 megapixel cameras to be used during special operations; p 3 (636 words).

5. Boris Mezhuyev et al. report headlined "Eurasian project frightens West" says that Western political analysts differ on the prospects of Eurasian integration; p 7 (1,268 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Oleg Bazak article headlined "They want to make Chernovil a defendant" says that the Ukrainian police try to classify the beating up of journalist and activist Tetyana Chernovil as hooliganism and dismiss any hints at political theories; p 3 (451 words).

2. Stanislav Belkovsky article headlined "World of Putin and Khodorkovsky" comments on the reasons behind the release of former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky; p 3 (912 words).

3. Lina Panchenko report "Prosecutor's office gets stuck in Bolotnaya case" says that a court has sent the case of opposition activists Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev for further investigation; p 2 (400 words).

4. Mikhail Zubov article headlined "Platon Lebedev may be released earlier" says that the sentence of former Menatep head Platon Lebedev may be made more lenient and the prisoner may be soon released; p 3 (455 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Veronika Vorontsova article headlined "To get away from Olympics" covers country-wide protest acts in defense of environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko staged by Russia's largest environmentalist organizations who regard Vitishko's criminal case as politically motivated; pp 1, 5 (500 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Sergei Polosatov briefly interviews Pussy Riot band member Maria Alyokhina about her immediate plans after arriving in Moscow and several hours before departing for Krasnoyarsk; p 4 (550 words).

2. Yelena Krivyakina interview with pundit Fedor Lukyanov entitled "They are expecting Russia to become 'Soviet Union-light'" covers 2013's main international political developments that involved Russia and talks about prospects for 2014; pp 1, 12 (2,350 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Pundit Dmitry Bykov interview with former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky in Berlin; pp 2-3 (2000 words).

2. Andrei Kolesnikov interview with economics professor Sergei Guriev whose immigration from Russia is widely regarded as political given the current situation in Russia's society; pp 6-7 (2000 words).

3. Natalia Zotova interview with "Arctic Sunrise" captain Peter Wilcox; p 14 (800 words).


1. Alexander Protsenko article headlined "What else is wrong?" says that President Vladimir Putin joined the government for its final session of the year yesterday and focuses on Putin's appraisal of the government's work; p 1 (550 words).

2. Sergei Frolov article headlined "We were not bored ourselves and did not let others" picks five most important trends of 2013, among which are Russia's achievements on the international arena, including the settlement of the Syrian crisis, and inter-ethnic conflicts in Russia; p 2 (600 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Viktor Ruchkin article headlined "Fighting using mercenaries" says that since the beginning of the Syrian conflict which began 1,000 days ago, over 100,000 people have been killed and almost two million have fled the country; p 3 (600 words).

2. Alexander Tikhonov interview with the commander of the troops of the Central Regional Command of the Interior Ministry Troops, General Colonel Alexander Lvov, who speaks about contract servicemen in the Interior Ministry Troops; p 11 (1,100 words).

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