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What the Papers Say, Dec. 30, 2013

Nezavisimaya Gazeta (online)


1. Konstantin Remchukov article sums up the political results of 2013 and notes that Russian President Vladimir Putin has finally voiced his political affiliation: conservatism; p 1 (639 words).


2. Unattributed article headlined "Release of Khodorkovsky" calls for the release from prison of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky: a number one event in 2013 and notes that there is no clear explanation why Putin finally changed his mind and freed the businessman; pp 1-2 (540 words).


3. Unattributed article headlined "Navalny's participation in Moscow mayoral election" says the Moscow mayoral election has differed greatly from other regional election campaigns due to the participation of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in it; pp 1-2 (492 words).


4. Unattributed article headlined "Maidan" calls pro-European rallies in Kiev the most significant political event in Ukraine in 2013. The article, however, notes that the Russian economic support to Ukraine has postponed the country's integration with the EU; pp 1-2 (872 words).


5. Unattributed article headlined "Snowden" says U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden was among the ones who influenced history at the beginning of the 21st century; pp 1-2 (548 words).


6. Unattributed article headlined "Academy of Sciences reform" says the reform of the Academy of Sciences has caused controversy among researchers and officials; pp 1-2 (511 words).


7. Article headlined "Vladimir Putin initiates two amnesties" reviews the results of two amnesties carried out by President Vladimir Putin this year: the economic one in summer and the amnesty dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the constitution in December; p 3 (512 words).


8. Article headlined "Arctic Sunrise case helps Moscow's doctrine reach West" says that by persecuting the Greenpeace activists who have staged a protest near the oil rig in the Arctic, Russia has shown that it will not give in its economic interests; p 3 (319 words).


9. Article headlined "Pension reform completed" reviews the results of yet another pension reform in Russia and notes that elderly people's income will now depend on abstract scores calculated by officials; p 4 (542 words).


10. Article headlined "GDP turns out to be worst in all of Putin's years" says the economic results in 2013 showed that Russia had entered a period of economic stagnation; p 4 (643 words).


11. Article headlined "Russia strengthens its positions in big Caucasus" says Putin's visit to Armenia has shown that Russia plans to step up its activities in the Caucasus region; p 6 (413 words).


12. Article headlined "Tehran freezes nuclear program" says a historic breakthrough in resolving the Iranian nuclear problem was reached in 2013. International talks became possible due to the victory of Rouhani in the presidential election; p 7 (405 words).


13. Article headlined "Moscow and Washington unite in search for peace in Syria" says Russia has saved Bashar al-Assad's regime from foreign military intervention as Moscow found a way to scrap the Syrian chemical weapons and the UN supported it; p 7 (442 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Ksenia Burmenko article headlined "Terrorists attack Volgograd" gives details of the explosion at a railway station in Volgograd that has killed 16 people; pp 1-2 (900 words).


2. "Unattributed article headlined "Believe to amended ones" comments on a number of laws that were amended in 2013 and explains the changes in the legislation that are coming into effect soon; pp 1-2 (1,600 words).


3. Yury Gavrilov article headlined "Sky for two" looks at the work to set up a joint Russian-Kazakh missile defense system; p 2 (200 words).


4. Nadezhda Gavrilova interview "Aiming at Expo 2025" with the Sverdlovsk region governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev speaking on the economic and social development of the region; p 3 (1,100 words).


5. Vladimir Kuzmin report "Ukrainian guarantees" says that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is confident that Ukraine and Belarus will repay the loans they received from Russia; p 3 (300 words).


6. Mikhail Falaleyev report "They will protect" says that a law has been adopted that will protect those who have fall victim to crimes; p 1 (450 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Kirill Saltykov et al. report headlined "Bomb on eve of holiday" reports on the deadly explosion at the railway station in Volgograd and features experts' comments; pp 1, 3 (1,516 words).


2. Tatyana Fedotkina article headlined "We have already played this year..." looks at political and business results of 2013 and notes that Mikhail Khodorkovsky has preferred to become a quiet ordinary person living abroad to being a high-profile prisoner in Russia; pp 1, 3 (713 words).


3. Tatyana Filatovich article headlined "Medvedev lets Putin down" says that Medvedev's cabinet is enforcing new energy consumption regulations in Russia that will result in a hike in energy tariffs despite Putin's instruction to revise the plans; p 2 (535 words).


4. Ilya Baranikas article headlined "Russia and U.S.: Not everything too bad" says that U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden has summed up the results of the work of the Russian-U.S. presidential commission and noted a number of improvements in the relations between the two countries; p 2 (423 words).


5. Unattributed article headlined "Vain pursuit 2013" about 15 events in 2013 that looked the most bright ones to the authors; pp 6-7 (600 words).


Izvestia


1. Andrei Gridasov and Pavel Kochegarov article headlined "Pain returns to Volgograd" looks at the explosion at the railway station in Volgograd; pp 1-2 (1,396 words).


2. Lyudmila Podobedova article headlined "LuKoil becomes only owner of Italian oil refinery" says the Russian oil company LuKoil will complete the deal to buy the Italian oil refinery ISAB by the end of 2013; pp 1, 3 (477 words).


3. Tatyana Shirmanova article headlined "Financial ombudsman helps only one-third of those who appeal to him" looks at the results of the Russian financial ombudsman's work in 2013 and notes that mostly, it is people with insoluble financial problems who appeal to the ombudsman; pp 1, 3 (595 words).


4. Vladislav Vdovin article headlined "Weakest link" looks at the reasons making militants choose Volgograd for another attack; pp 1-2 (638 words).


5. Pavel Kochegarov report "Deputy head of research institute of applied chemistry could be killed for Osa batch" says that the Moscow region Investigative Committee does not rule out that the murder of the head of the research institute of applied chemistry in Sergiev Posad is linked to a contract to produce non-lethal weapons Osa; pp 1, 3 (450 words).


6. Yelena Sheremetova report "Son of deputy prosecutor-general detained for brawl" says that the son of the deputy prosecutor-general, who works at a Moscow district prosecutor's office, has been detained for violent behavior after a minor traffic accident in the Moscow region; p 1 (150 words).


7. Natalya Korchmarek report "Muftis to call on migrants to pay debts" says that bailiffs have asked Muslim spiritual leaders in Moscow to call on Muslim labor migrants to repay their debts; pp 1, 4 (700 words).


8. Article by political scientist Kirill Benediktov headlined "To learn toughness" links the explosion in Volgograd with the radical Islamist underground that must have been formed in the city and predicts more attempts to carry out suicide bombings ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi; p 2 (1,032 words).


9. Dmitry Runkevich report "Voluntary patrols and death penalty for terrorists to save from terrorist attacks" says that the blast in Volgograd has shown once again the vulnerability of strategic facilities, including railway stations and airports; p 2 (600 words).


10. Vladimir Zykov interview headlined "VGTRK does not quit Russian Television Academy" with new president of the Russian Television Academy Alexander Akopov speaking on the work of the academy and on the future of the Tefi television award; p 3 (531 words).


11. Anna Akhmadiyeva report "Total of 5.6 million Russians watch Putin's news conference" says that according to TNS Russia, the provider of audience measurement data, 5.6 million people watched President Vladimir Putin's news conference on Dec. 19 ; p 3 (600 words).


12. Yury Mastarsky article headlined "Muslim Brotherhood reject terrorism charges" comments on the situation in Egypt and says that the Muslim Brotherhood movement plans to stage anti-government protests in the country; p 5 (469 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Yekaterina Malinina report "Stepped towards suicide bomber. And saved lives..." looks at the explosion at the railway station in Volgograd. Policeman Dmitry Makovkin has saved the life of dozens of people at the station; he has been killed in the blast; pp 1-2 (600 words).


2. Brief unattributed report "Friend of 'bus' suicide bomber stages blast at railway station" names a woman who has allegedly staged an explosion at the railway station in Volgograd; p 2 (150 words).


3. Alexander Grishin report "Terrorists do not leave us choice" looks at the blast in Volgograd and says that "it is not ruled out that state of emergency should be introduced in some regions"; p 3 (500 words).


4. Brief unattributed reports "Who wants to spoil our holiday?" and "Do they take revenge on us for accomplices?" features politicians' and experts' comments on the explosion in Volgograd; p 3 (250 words).


5. Alexander Gamov interview with Sergei Gaplikov, head of the Olimpstroy state construction corporation, who speaks about construction of Olympic facilities in Sochi; p 4 (1,300 words).

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