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What the Papers Say, Jan. 24


1. Yury Barsukov et al. report headlined "Pipes to be separated from production" says that the Energy Ministry has published the country's energy strategy until 2035, which envisages a reform of the gas monopoly Gazprom; pp 1, 9 (534 words).

2. Alexei Sokovnin article headlined "Platon Lebedev telegraphed to freedom" says that the Supreme Court has ruled to reduce the imprisonment term by three months for former co-owner of the Yukos oil company Platon Lebedev and telegraphed to the prison to speed up his release; pp 1, 4 (907 words).

3. Vladislav Novy and Roman Rozhkov article headlined "Parcels of long delay" says that the association of express delivery companies has stopped delivering parcels to individuals because new rules of customs clearance for parcels from foreign internet shops make it impossible to provide quality service; pp 1, 9 (556 words).

4. Dmitry Butrin and Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Russia, U.S. to bargain without hitch" says that at the World Economic Forum in Davos Russian and U.S. officials have discussed agreements to facilitate trade between the countries; pp 1, 5 (784 words).

5. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Public Chamber pushes new law" says that the Public Chamber has drafted a bill on public control which envisages setting up public councils under federal bodies, their departments in the regions and under governors; p 2 (527 words).

6. Sergei Goryashko and Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Sergei Sobyanin spares seats for opposition" says that Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin has appointed members of the Yabloko and Patriots of Russia parties to the Moscow city electoral commission. The mayor has decided to make a public present to the opposition and show his open-mindedness ahead of the autumn election to the Moscow City Duma, experts comment; p 2 (393 words).

7. Alexei Shapovalov article headlined "Low industrial growth" says that although the Federal State Statistics Service registered some industrial growth in December 2013, experts are pessimistic about the prospects for the country's economy; p2 (599 words).

8. Petr Netreba and Yelena Kovaleva article headlined "Guarantees of discord" says that in early February the government is to make a decision on the procedure of providing guarantees for companies' crediting; p 2 (703 words).

9. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Promptly authorized" gives account of the president's meeting with human rights activists where he approved the candidacy of Ella Pamfilova for the post of Russian human rights commissioner; p 3 (1,820 words).

10. Grigory Tumanov et al. report headlined "Constitutional Court appealed to on friendly terms" says that the presidential human rights council is going to take part in the hearing on the compliance of the law on NGOs with the constitution; p 3 (634 words).

11. Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Hassan Rouhani shows halvah" says that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made a speech at the World Economic Forum for the first time since 2004 and looks at the reaction of the participants in the forum; p 5 (316 words).

12. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Edward Snowden considering Russia" says that in the near future former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is expected to make a decision on whether he will prolong his status of refugee in Russia; p 5 (510 words).

13. Ilya Barabanov article headlined "Maidan decreasing, but not giving up" looks at the latest developments in Ukraine; p 5 (724 words).

14. Vitaly Gaidayev and Olga Shestopal article headlined "State banks choose the dollar" says the ruble is currently very vulnerable to fluctuations; p 8 (800 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Yekaterina Trifonova and Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Platon Lebedev allowed to go to Mikhail Khodorkovsky" says that as the opposition is celebrating victory following former Yukos co-owner Platon Lebedev's release, whereas experts view the move as a publicity stunt ahead of the Olympics and an attempt to balance elites rather than a friendlier stance on the part of Vladimir Putin towards his political rivals; pp 1, 3 (1,265 words).

2. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Weak ruble helps coffers, but hampers modernization" says that Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev has signaled that the authorities are not going to prevent the Russian currency from weakening and looks at the consequences; pp 1, 4 (1,300 words).

3. Alina Terekhova article headlined "Youth becomes main reserve for saving on salaries" says that amid the escalating economic crisis in Russia, businessmen tend to prefer to hire fresh-baked specialists in order to save on salaries; pp 1, 4 (832 words).

4. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Foreigners to be offered to get fingerprinted" says that an experiment of finger-printing foreigners who are granted Russian entry visas will begin in summer as retaliation to the EU's move which makes fingerprinting of Russians entering the EU obligatory as of 2015; pp 1, 3 (450 words).

5. Svetlana Gavrilina article headlined "Insoles for veterans and chaos with posters" says that the International Leningrad Blockade Survivors Congress has opened in St Petersburg; pp 1, 6 (557 words).

6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Russia benefits from lending to Ukraine" says that Moscow is to provide another $2 billion to Kiev in line with the $15 billion agreement within a week. Although the new injection of money is unlikely to help ease the tension between the authorities and society, it is bound to increase Kiev's dependence on Moscow and consequently, will protect Russia's interests irrespective of how the situation in Ukraine will unfold; pp 1, 7 (1,325 words).

7. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Putin finds replacement for Lukin" says that Putin has approved Ella Pamfilova's nomination for ombudsperson and provides experts' speculations on Pamfilova's relations with the Kremlin when she takes office; p 2 (505 words).

8. Velimir Razuvayev article headlined "Dagestan's extremists being eliminated" says that ahead of the Olympics in Sochi, Dagestan's law-enforcers have stepped up their struggle against the military underground: three leaders of illegal military groups and some 20 militants have been eliminated; p 2 (702 words).

9. Editorial headlined "Opposition not ready for long-term alliances yet" comments on the possible split in the RPR-Parnas party over differences between leaders on the party's strategy and says that opposition leaders turn out to be unprepared for long-term cooperation, which reduces their chances of success in the struggle for power; p 2 (488 words).

10. Yury Panyev article headlined "Carte blanche. Geneva 2 stumbles over Assad's problem" says that the Geneva 2 conference has begun with mutual accusations and emotional exchanges. Although the conflicting sides are ready to discuss humanitarian aid, partial ceasefire and prisoner swaps, official Damascus rules out the possibility of Syrian President Bashar Assad stepping down, which is the rebels' key condition; p 3 (676 words).

11. Igor Naumov article headlined "Sergei Shoigu's north crusade" says that this year the Defense Ministry will be preoccupied with creating military infrastructure and the deployment of troops to the Arctic to ensure the protection of Russia's interests there; p 4 (775 words).

12. Sergei Turanov article headlined "Russia's best lobbyists in December, outcomes of 2013" features a rating of the most influential representatives of commercial and state structures, lawmakers based on their achievements in lobbying the interests of certain structures, industries or layers of society; p 5 (1,758 words).

13. Anton Oleynik article headlined "Confrontation in the streets" looks at the peculiarities of the current protests in Ukraine and draws analogies with Russian protests back in 2011-12; p 5 (1,159 words).

14. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "Political prisoners not to ask Lukashenko for pardon" says that the main political prisoner in Belarus, former presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich, has stated that he is not going to ask President Alexander Lukashenko for pardon, which means that the authorities will not be able to boost Belarus' image abroad ahead of the Ice Hockey World Championship to be held there; p 7 (588 words).

15. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Astana awaits breakthrough in Caspian problem" looks ahead at a session of the special working group on the level of deputy foreign ministers of Caspian states to take place in Astana and experts' comments; p 7 (700 words).

16. Daria Tsiryulik article headlined "Internet must change after Snowden " says that an independent international commission to work out proposals on controlling the internet is to be set up. The decision was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos and was allegedly prompted by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. special services' overall surveillance; p 8 (766 words).

17. Yevgenia Novikova interview with Egypt's new ambassador to Russia headlined "Cairo to let Russians buy property" where he speaks about Cairo's further steps in implementing reforms and peculiarities of the country's current foreign policy; p 8 (879 words).

18. Anna Gushchina article headlined "EU slows down struggle against global warming" looks at a plan of regulating climatic changes drafted by the European Commission; p 8 (472 words).


1. Tatyana Voronova et al. report headlined "VIP depositors save their bank" says that today the Central Bank is to make a decision on the fate of the Moi Bank, or My Bank, whose rehabilitation is lobbied by famous film director Nikita Mikhalkov and presidential advisor Sergei Glaziyev; pp 1, 14 (650 words).

2. Roman Shleynov article headlined "Igor Shuvalov and $100 million" says that the company owned by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and his wife used to own more than 10,000 square meters. in the Moskva hotel in Moscow; pp 1, 5 (1,200 words).

3. Editorial headlined "Released on conditions" comments on the release of former co-owner of the Yukos oil company Platon Lebedev and other steps of the authorities aiming to brush up Russia's image ahead of the Sochi Olympics; pp 1, 6 (450 words).

4. Anastasia Kornya article headlined "Lebedev to be released, but not far" says that Platon Lebedev may be banned from leaving the country as, according to the court ruling, former owners of the Yukos company still owe 17 billion rubles ($498 million) to the budget; p 2 (500 words).

5. Lilia Biryukova article headlined "Rights require delicacy" says that at a meeting with human rights activists, the president has vowed to nominate Ella Pamfilova for the post of Russian ombudsperson; p 2 (600 words).

6. Polina Khimshiashvili article headlined "President making concessions" says that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has suggested that the parliament should discuss the cabinet's dismissal and abolition of the recent repressive laws; p 3 (500 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Economizing instead of saving" says that Russians do not tend to save money and looks at the reasons; p 6 (500 words).

8. Maxim Trudolyubov article headlined "Politics of outer shocks" says that Russia's policy towards Ukraine, Syria and other foreign issues results from the failure of reforms of institutions inside the country. The president seems to have given up attempts to improve the domestic situation and focused on foreign policy instead; p 7 (450 words).

9. Olga Kuvshinova article headlined "ruble falling" looks at the reasons behind the ruble's weakening against other currencies; pp 10, 15 (800 words).

10. Vladimir Shtanov article headlined "AvtoVAZ cuts staff" says that the new CEO of the Russian car giant is going to lay off some 11.2 percent of the staff; p 12 (600 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Yury Snegirev article headlined "Kiev in black" features a correspondent's report on the situation in Kiev; pp 1, 8 (1,450 words).

2. Kira Latukhina article headlined "On human rights" covers President Vladimir Putin's Jan. 23 meeting with Russian rights campaigners where he approved Ella Pamfilova's candidacy for the office of Russia's ombudsperson; p 2 (700 words).

3. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Palestinian express" covers Vladimir Putin's Jan. 23 meeting with Palestinian National Authority President Mahmud Abbas; p 2 (650 words).

4. Sergei Belov article headlined "Moskovskiye Novosti will belong to Moscow" says the Moskovskiye Novosti, or Moscow News, newspaper, currently a part of the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency, will be handed over to the companies affiliated with the Moscow mayor's office; p 2 (150 words).

3. Valery Vyzhutovich article headlined "Return to ballot papers" welcomes the return of the "none of the above" option to ballot papers; p 3 (950 words).

4. Tamara Shkel article headlined "Cannons must be silent" says that the State Duma is going to pass a resolution to call for "a cease-fire" during the Olympics in Sochi; p 4 (850 words).

5. Tatyana Zykova interview with Vneshekonombank state bank deputy chairwoman Irina Makeyeva headlined "'Reds' in the city" is dedicated to problems of Russia's single-industry towns, comparing them to the city of Detroit; p 5 (1,300 words).

6. Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "Montreux does not believe tears" looks at the first days of the Geneva 2 conference; p 8 (600 words).


1. Dmitry Runkevich article headlined "Tyahnybok, Yatsenyuk may be banned from entering Russia" says that member of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Yan Zelinsky has suggested that some leaders of the Ukrainian opposition must be banned from entering Russia; pp 1, 3 (471 words).

2. Petr Kozlov interview with head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva headlined "Few suitable for unique post of ombudsman" where she speaks about her meeting with the president and what an ombudsman should be like; p 2 (531 words).

3. Alexei Krivoruchek article headlined "Navy to buy Canadian submersibles" covers some of the Russian navy's future purchase plans; p 4 (700 words).

4. Anna Akhmadiyeva and Alexandra Yermakova article headlined "Metro newspaper left without general director" says the general director of the Russian version of the Metro newspaper has quit his job; p 6 (600 words)

5. Yelena Teslova brief interview with the first Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev headlined "We must prevent split" where he says he has asked Russian and U.S. presidents to help settle the Ukrainian crisis and explains his move; p 7 (368 words).

4. Yury Matsarsky article headlined "Choice offered to Viktor Yanukovych" says that Kiev is waiting for the Ukrainian president's reaction to the ultimatum: cabinet dismissal and new elections or a civil war; p 7 (482 words).

5. Maxim Sokolov article headlined "What Russia was spared of" compares the current Ukrainian protests with protests in Moscow in 2012; p 9 (671 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yeva Merkacheva article headlined "Lebedev luckier than Khodorkovsky" gives highlights of the Supreme Court's meeting that has resulted in the ruling to release former Yukos co-owner Platon Lebedev; pp 1, 6 (632 words).

2. Igor Karmazin article headlined "Will central Kiev fire be extinguished?" gives an update on the situation in Kiev; pp 1, 3 (618 words).

3. Pundit Stanislav Belkovsky article headlined "Viktor Yanukovych's fear, despair" says that fear prevents the Ukrainian president from moving back or forth: either suppressing the protesters with tanks or making real concessions to the opposition; p 3 (1,296 words).

4. Newspaper publishes first President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev's letter to Russian and U.S. presidents asking them to help Ukraine settle the political crisis; p 3 (321 words).

5. Mikhail Zubov article headlined "Scenarios for Maidan. Klitschko to save Yanukovych?" features comments of Russian and Ukrainian experts on the situation in Ukraine; p 3 (956 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Pavel Kanygin report "Kiev's zugzwang" looks at protests in Ukraine and says that confrontation in Maidan looks like a civil war; pp 2-3 (1,200 words).

2. Olga Musafirova "Defending Kiev" looks at the situation in Kiev and says that some people are protecting Maidan from agents provocateurs while others are sending them to the city; pp 4-5 (2,000 words).

3. Newspaper publishes Mikhail Gorbachev's letter to the presidents of Russia and the U.S. saying that they should become involved in the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine; p 5 (200 words).

4. Yulia Polukhina report "Do prison terms come from Maidan?" looks at the trial of the people involved in the so-called Bolotnaya case and says that the defendants are "collateral damage" of the fight against the orange revolution; pp 6-7 (1,200 words).

5. Maria Yepifanova report "Putin chooses new ombudsperson" says that President Vladimir Putin has supported the candidacy of Ella Pamfilova for the post of Russia's ombudsperson; p 7 (450 words).

6. Newspaper publishes the text of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's speech he made at a meeting dedicated to lawyer Yury Shmidt in Berlin on Jan. 20; pp 8-9 (1,400 words).

7. Vera Chelishcheva report "Platon Lebedev to be released" says that former head of Menatep Platon Lebedev has been freed by a Supreme Court ruling; p 9 (900 words).

8. Alexander Mineyev report "Pathos of grandeur: 'Sochi today, world tomorrow"' looks at a controversial slogan used by Russia's Sberbank at the economic forum in Davos; p 11 (500 words).

9. Semen Novoprudsky report "Maidan sentiments" says that Ukraine is becoming a proving ground of Russia's new "super-hardline" policy; p 11 (700 words).

RBK Daily

1. Alisa Shtykina report "Verdict remains with money" says that the Presidium of the Russian Supreme Court has ruled that former head of Menatep Platon Lebedev should be released from prison. However, the court refused to revoke the demand that former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky should recover 17 billion rubles; pp 1-2 (800 words).

2. Tatyana Ternovskaya report "Goal is 40 rubles per dollar" says that the ruble will continue to lose its value due to the Central Bank's policy and the slow development of Russia's economy; pp 1, 6 (600 words).

3. Yulia Sinyayeva et al. report "Crisis begins beyond Moscow Ring Road" says that the government is looking for solutions of the problem of regional budgets' crisis; pp 1, 3 (950 words).

4. Alexander Litoi interview headlined "'If the president came and said: Yes, I made many mistakes'" with representatives of the Ukrainian authorities and the opposition who comment on the situation in the country; p 2 (1,200 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Artyom Lunkov report "Question solved" says that Putin has supported the candidacy of Ella Pamfilova for the post of Russia's ombudsperson; pp 1-2 (400 words).

2. Gennady Savchenko report "Combative draw" says that the Ukrainian president will hold the second round of talks with the opposition today; p 4 (600 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Alexander Gamov interview with the president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov headlined "'Russia will never intervene in Ukraine's internal affairs'"; pp 1, 8-9 (2,900 words).

2. Dmitry Smirnov report "'She will eat us!'" looks at the appointment of Ella Pamfilova as Russia's ombudsperson; p 2 (500 words).

3. Dmitry Smirnov brief report "Abbas asks Russia to conciliate Middle East" looks at Putin's meeting with Palestinian National Authority President Mahmud Abbas; p 2 (200 words).

4. Alexander Grishin interview headlined "Hero-city being seized by Ukrainian fascist units" with Ukrainian MP Oleh Tsarev who comments on the situation in the country and in Kiev, in particular; p 5 (1,000 words).

5. Irina Boyeva interview headlined "Can Ukraine fail to repay debt to Russia" with Russian experts commenting on Russia's loans to Ukraine; p 5 (400 words).


1. Sergei Ilchenko report "'Everyone should understand that he can die..." looks at protests in Kiev and at the reaction of some Western states to the situation in Ukraine. Article also features comment of a Russian analyst; pp 1-2 (1,500 words).

2. Pavel Orlov report "Bugs keep crawling" says that the Federation Council has discussed the fight against computer bugs; p 1 (600 words).

Jan. 24, 2014 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC

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