What the Papers Say, Jan. 20

Kommersant


1. Ilya Barabanov et al. article headlined "People's freedom without republicans" says the RPR-Parnas party may split soon and lose its registration if representatives from the Republican Party of Russia (RPR) headed by Vladimir Ryzhkov quit it; pp 1, 5 (1,831 words).


2. Anna Pushkarskaya and Anna Zanina article headlined "To be arbitration court" looks at a draft federal law regulating the performance of arbitration courts in Russia, presented by the Justice Ministry for public discussion on Jan. 17; pp 1-2 (877 words).


3. Alexander Zheglov article headlined "Recycling of budget held in Rosatom" says that a probe into embezzlement of budget funds at the Rosatom state corporation has been completed. The case, in which former deputy head of the corporation Yevgeny Yevstratov and his five deputies are targeted, has been sent to court; pp 1, 5 (554 words).


4. Yegor Popov and Yulia Galliyamova article headlined "Car industry to be fueled with subsidies" says that the government will allocate up to 270 billion rubles (some $8.2 billion at the current exchange rate) from the federal budget to the Russian car industry by 2016; pp 1, 9 (678 words).


5. Yury Belov et al. article headlined "Former Chelyabinsk region head to go to State Duma" says that President Vladimir Putin has appointed incumbent governor of the Republic of Altai Alexander Berdnikov the acting governor. Astrakhan region head Alexander Zhilkin will stand in the autumn regional election for re-election. Meanwhile, former Chelyabinsk region head Mikhail Yurevich will take a vacant seat in the State Duma; p 2 (661 words).


6. Natalia Korchenkova and Irina Nagronykh article headlined "Governors' image costs cut" says that Putin has instructed regional heads to cut expenses on media coverage of their activity. Experts say that the move will make it easier for the president to exert pressure on undesirable regional heads; p 3 (595 words).


7. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Not enough enmity for extradition of nationalist" says that it will be difficult for the Investigative Committee to obtain the extradition of Russian nationalist Maxim Martsinkevich aka Tesak, who has been put on the international wanted list and has been detained in Cuba, because ethnic enmity does not exist in Cuba, so there is no criminal responsibility for inciting it; p 4 (554 words).


8. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "Human rights activists ask to distinguish them from politicians" says that the president's human rights council has drafted amendments to the federal law on noncommercial organizations, or NGOs; p 5 (754 words).


9. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Magnitsky list returned for extension" says that members of the U.S. Senate committee on international affairs have demanded that the head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin and the former owner of Universal Bank of Savings, Dmitry Klyuyev, be included in the U.S. Magnitsky act; p 6 (578 words).


10. Angelina Shunina brief report "Syrian opposition to come to Geneva 2" says that the Syrian opposition National Coalition, recognized by the West, has agreed to participate in the peace conference on Syria; p 6 (150 words).


11. Sergei Sobolev article headlined "Worked good" looks at the performance of Russian television channels in 2013; p 7 (678 words).


12.Yury Barsukov article headlined "Günther Oettinger flies to Moscow to no purpose" says that the recent Russia-EU talks over the South Stream gas project have yielded no results; p 9 (531 words).


13. Dmitry Butrin brief report "Russia's program in Davos" looks at Russia's part of the annual session of the World Economic Forum to be held in Davos this week; p 2 (150 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Ivan Rodin article headlined "No obstacles for majority voting system in capital city" says that the State Duma has passed a bill authorizing regional heads to endorse the scheme of single-seat constituencies in their regions four months before the voting day, instead of six months; pp 1-2 (890 words).


2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Putin's apologia" says Putin has given an interview to a number of foreign and Russian media outlets. The head of state explained to journalists why he had switched to the manual control of the government, among other things. The article also features political experts' comments on the issue; pp 1, 3 (884 words).


3. Alina Terekhova article headlined "Excess gas in Alaska pumped in ground" says that a new LNG plant is planned to be built in Alaska. Large oil and gas companies, such as ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips, TransCanada and Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, will take part in the project. The article also features Russian experts' comments on Russia's position on the gas market in the Asia-Pacific region to this respect; pp 1, 4 (526 words).


4. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Ukraine is on brink of war and split" says that civil confrontation and a split is looming over Ukraine after eastern and southern parts of Ukraine have backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's legislative initiatives and western and central Ukraine organized yet other protests; pp 1, 6 (1,173 words).


5. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "China not to fight against Japan over islands" says that the Political Bureau standing committee of the Chinese Communist Party has held a secret meeting, at which it was decided to escalate a war of words in the territorial dispute with Japan, but not to bring the issue to a real war. The article also features a Russian expert's comment on the issue; pp 1, 6 (503 words).


6. Daria Tsilyurik article headlined "World does not believe Obama's crisis PR campaign" says that U.S. President Barack Obama has announced long-expected reforms in the U.S. intelligence agencies. The changes have turned out to be superficial, the article says; pp 1, 6 (785 words).


7. Viktor Myasnikov article headlined "China holds military drills in frost, whereas Russia not" says that the 39th Army of China's Shenyang military district has begun a large-scale winter military drill and wonders why Russia does not carry out military training in winter; p 2 (596 words).


8. Savely Vezhin article headlined "World hears Russia" says that Putin has topped the rating compiled by the U.S. magazine American Interest. It is noteworthy that the foreign influence rating reflects the views of Russians to a large extent, the article says; p 2 (578 words).


9. Editorial headlined "'Coming-out' of church democracy" comments on a row between protodeacon Andrei Kurayev and archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin over gays in the Russian Orthodox Church; p 2 (518 words).


10. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Europe fears inflow of Russian political refugees" says that Russia-EU talks on easing visa restrictions, held on Jan. 17, have not yielded results. A corresponding agreement will not be signed at the Russia-EU summit in Brussels on Jan. 28; p 3 (622 words).


11. Nikolai Mironov article published in the Carte Blanche regular column headlined "Russian leader's responsible conservatism" praises Putin for becoming step-by-step a global leader, who is respected both in Russia and on the international arena, as this is undoubtedly the success of entire Russia; p 3 (793 words).


12. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Foreign debts and offshore companies deplete economy" says that capital flight from Russia in 2013 stood at almost $63 billion; p 4 (1,091 words).


13. Yury Panyev report "Geneva 2 is only beginning" looks at the Geneva 2 international peace conference on Syria; pp 9-10 (1,600 words).


14. Alexei Fenenko report "Integration challenge for Russia" says that free trade zones in Atlantic and Pacific oceans create problems for Moscow; pp 9-10 (1,500 words).


15. Andrei Fedorov report "North Korea: Is movement toward changes possible?" looks at the situation in North Korea following a generation change in the country's leadership; p 10 (1,700 words).


16. Sergei Zhiltsov report "Political concussion of Ukraine" looks at the political crisis in Ukraine; p 11 (1,300 words).


Vedomosti


1. Yelena Khodyakova article headlined "Europe agrees to South Stream" says that the European Commission and Russia have agreed to jointly look for a decision on the South Stream gas project without revising intergovernmental agreements with transit countries; pp 1, 4 (850 words).


2. Editorial headlined "Export of reaction" contemplates the possible development of the political situation in Ukraine following the adoption of several oppressive laws on Jan. 16; pp 1, 6 (600 words).


3. Liliya Biryukova et al. article headlined "Ombudswoman needed" says that well-known human rights activist Ella Pamfilova may become the Russian human rights ombudsperson instead of Vladimir Lukin, whose term in office expires on Feb.18; p 2 (600 words).


4. Maria Zheleznova article headlined "No successor in sight" says that a public opinion poll conducted by the independent pollster Levada Centre in late December 2013 has shown that 47 percent of Russians want Putin to be replaced after the 2018 presidential election, but only 12 percent of respondents can name Putin's possible successor; p 3 (500 words).


5. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Snowden cuts special service" details reforms in the U.S. intelligence agencies announced by U.S. President Barack Obama on Jan. 17; p 3 (450 words).


6. Editorial headlined "Khaki-coloured diploma" comments on the Defense Ministry's plans to militarize higher education in Russia through establishing interuniversity military training centres; p 6 (400 words).


7. Anastasia Korniya article headlined "Man of week: Mikhail Yurevich" comments on the dismissal of Chelyabinsk region head Mikhail Yurevich; p 7 (350 words).


8. Roman Shleynov article headlined "Rosneft without conflicts" tries to reveal conflicts of interest among the board members of the Russian oil company Rosneft; pp 20-21 (2,000 words).


9. Polina Khimshiashvili report "Not law for Maidan" comments on the situation in Ukraine and says that the Ukrainian opposition has said it will not obey toughened rules concerning the holding of rallies; p 3 (500 words).


Izvestia


1. Anastasia Kashevarova interview with acting Kirov region governor Nikita Belykh headlined "'Our contacts with Navalny ended several years ago'", speaking about the forthcoming governor election in the region and explaining why he does not consider himself an opposition activist; pp 1, 3 (1,640 words).


2. Dmitry Yevstifeyev article headlined "Rosagrolizing slows down amnesty for Skrynnik's partners" says that the state-owned company Rosagrolizing, where large-scale embezzlement of budget funds is being investigated, intends to prevent by any legal means the granting of amnesty to defendants and suspects in the case; pp 1, 5 (660 words).


3. Taras Podrez article headlined "Government to pay for mooring of Arctic Sunrise" says that the cost of mooring of Greenpeace's detained Arctic Sunrise ship has already reached 3 million rubles (about $91,000). Under the maritime law, Greenpeace must pay for the mooring, but Russia has not demanded money from environmentalists so far; pp 1, 5 (883 words).


4. Viktor Loginov article headlined "Communications Ministry uses 1.7 billion rubles improperly" says that the Audit Chamber has revealed that in 2012 the Telecommunications and Mass Communications Ministry remitted money allocated for the innovation city Innopolis to another company having similar name. The materials of the audit have been handed over to the Prosecutor General's Office; pp 1, 5 (562 words).


5. Yelena Teslova article headlined "After New Year people begin to trust head of state more" says that a public opinion poll conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation has shown that 49 percent of people are ready to back President Vladimir Putin in an election, which is by three percent more than in December 2013; p 2 (450 words).


6. Vladimir Zykov article headlined "Federal Guard Service to create single internet access point for state bodies" says that a single internet access point will be created for the federal and regional bodies on the basis of the PSNet computer network, owned by the Federal Guard Service; p 2 (451 words).


7. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev article headlined "Vladimir Putin wishes tenacity to volunteers" says that Putin has met volunteers who will work during the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi; p 2 (396 words).


8. Dmitry Runkevich and Yelena Malay article headlined "Roskomnadzor to block extremist video" says that State Duma lawmaker Mikhail Markelov has asked the communications watchdog Roskomnadzor and the Prosecutor General's Office to block the website and two YouTube video hosting sites of Dagestan's radical group Vilayat Dagestan; p 3 (601 words).


9. Svetlana Povoraznyuk et al. article headlined "State-run companies to bring staff and foreign partners to Sochi" says that Russian state-run companies will bring their foreign partners to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Moreover, they will reward their best employees with Olympic tickets; p 6 (505 words).


10. Andrei Gridasov article headlined "Cuba may deny extradition of Tesak" says that the Cuban authorities have not yet decided what to do with Russian nationalist Maxim Martsinkevich aka Tesak, who was put on the international wanted list by Russian law-enforcement agencies and was detained in Cuba; p 7 (500 words).


11. Konstantin Volkov interview with Foreign Ministry's envoy on human rights Konstantin Dolgov headlined "'I do not know to what extent Ravil Mingazov is free in decision-making'", speaking about the case of Russian citizen Ravil Mingazov, who has been kept in the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay for more than 11 years without official charges; p 8 (703 words).


12. Yury Matsarsky and Dinar Shakirov article headlined "'We do not need bloodshed, we even do not need power'" reports on the situation in Kiev where clashes between the opposition and law enforcers have sparked off again; p 8 (642 words).


13. Igor Karaulov article headlined "Mechanical tightening" comments on a package of anti-terrorist laws submitted to the State Duma for consideration; p 9 (595 words).


14. Anna Akhmadyeva report "Lika Blank becomes general director of television channel Domashny" looks at staff changes at the television channel Domashny; p 6 (600 words).


15. Daria Tsoi report "Ukrainians may be put on Magnitsky list" says that U.S. senators want to extend the so-called Magnitsky list; p 8 (800 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Yulia Krivoshapko interview with Federal Anti-Monopoly Service deputy head Anatoly Golomolzin, headlined "Shame and spam", speaking about SMS advertising, petrol prices and low cost air carriers, among other things; pp 1, 4 (1,868 words).


2. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Whose question is faster" features Putin's most interesting statements made in an interview given to leading Russian and foreign media outlets; p 2 (997 words).


3. Yury Politov article headlined "Assessment for leader" says that Russians still associate stability in the country with Vladimir Putin. This support has predetermined Putin's top positions in global rating; p 2 (650 words).


4. Tamara Shkel article headlined "On those who are against" says that the State Duma has passed in the first reading a bill restoring the "none of the above" option in ballot papers; p 3 (765 words).


5. Tatyana Zamakhina article headlined "Authorized to replace" looks at candidates for the post of the Russian human rights ombudsperson; p 3 (461 words).


6. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "Alphabet and geography" says that the U.S. and Russia have begun to arrange U.S. President Barack Obama's probable visit to Russia; p 7 (541 words).


7. Eduard Gushchin report "Opposition to come to Geneva 2" looks at the forthcoming Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria; p 5 (300 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Vladimir Putin and Elton John" comments on the most interesting statements made by Putin in an interview with leading Russian and foreign media outlets; pp 1-2 (720 words).


2. Igor Subbotin interview headlined "'If authorities have complaints, announce them'" with U.S. journalist David Satter, who has been denied entry to Russia, speaking about whether the U.S. may take retaliation measures and how the incident may affect Russia's image in the world; p 3 (814 words).


3. Leonid Berres article headlined "Deputies decide to kill online trade together with terrorism" criticizes antiterrorist bills submitted to the State Duma for consideration in early January; p 4 (1,303 words).


Novaya Gazeta


1. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Healthy conformity" contemplates conformity in Russia; p 10 (453 words).


2. Pavel Felgengauer article headlined "To keep line" comments on the Defense Ministry's recent initiatives to make military service more attractive; p 15 (913 words).


3. Diana Khazhaturyan article headlined "Vitya Russky crosses up Moskovsky Komsomolets" says that one of the pages on the website of the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets has been included in the list of extremist materials by a court ruling because of a comment on the December 2011 rally on Moscow's Bolotnaya Ploshchad; p 14 (709 words).


4. Nikolai Vardul article headlined "What not to do?" criticizes the results of the Gaidar Forum, which ended in Moscow on Jan. 19; p 10 (568 words).


5. Yulia Polukhina interview with Denis Lutskevich, targeted in the Bolotnaya case on the 6 May 2012 riots on Moscow's Bolotnaya Ploshchad, headlined "Any court decision in our case is failure for authorities", speaking about his political views and his criminal case; p 16 (973 words).


6. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "'We do not need such expert'" says that Mikhail Dmitriyev has not been re-appointed as the president of the Centre of Strategic Development; p 4 (458 words).


7. Olga Bobrova article headlined "If not Dokka Umarov, then who?" says that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has confirmed in his internet account the probable death of the leader of Islamist insurgents in the North Caucasus, Dokka Umarov; p 6 (737 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Yevgeny Arsyukhin and Valery Rukobratsky interview with Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev headlined "Stagnation in economy: Problem worse than inflation" where he speaks on the future of Russia's economy; pp 8-9 (2,300 words).


2. Anastasia Koretskaya interview with lawyer Mikhail Barshchevsky headlined "Berezovsky wrote three repentant letters to Putin, but did not take buy-off from Abramovich", where Barshchevsky presents his new book about the court battle between two Russian tycoons Mikhail Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky; the latter died in London; p 11 (1,050 words).


RBK Daily


1. Alexander Litoi article headlined "Seven hundred against one" says that Russian human rights activists have asked the Investigative Committee to expand its staff of investigators dealing with the crimes committed by policemen; p 2 (450 words).


Noviye Izvestia


1. Artyom Lunkov article headlined "Feudal self-administration" says most Russians are against the idea of giving up direct elections of republican heads quoting the results of the recent poll by Levada Center; p 2 (500 words).


Jan. 20, 2013 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC

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