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What the Papers Say, Feb. 5

Kommersant


1. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Like a thunderbolt from clear Sochi sky" reports on the first day of President Vladimir Putin's visit to Sochi before the Winter Olympics; pp 1, 3 (1,579 words).


2. Oleg Trutnev article called "Alcohol reaches borderline" says two major whisky producers reported a drop in their exports to Russia last year; pp 1, 10(687 words).


3. Natalia Korchenkova article called "Seven holdings and one statuette" describes new rules of voting for TEFI television awards that will now be overseen by a new organization set up by seven major media companies; p 1-2 (598 words).


4. Irina Nagornykh article called "Moscow United Russia to check mobilization capabilities" reports on the plans of the Moscow branch of United Russia to hold primaries in Moscow to select its candidates for the Moscow City Duma; p 2 (625 words).


5. Ivan Safronov article headlined "No place in service for general" quotes sources as saying that the Deputy Chief of General Staff Alexander Postnikov, has handed in his resignation, allegedly because he failed to get on with his chief Valery Gerasimov; p 2 (539 words).


6. Dmitry Marakulin and Anna Pushkarskaya article called "St. Petersburg court smells of ammonium" says a staff member of the St. Petersburg city court is suing its employer over the safety of the court building that cost an equivalent of $100 million and was inaugurated by President Vladimir Putin in 2012. The concentration of ammonium in some of the offices in the building has been found to exceed the maximum allowable concentration by 150 to 440 percent; p 2 (559 words).


7. Viktor Khamrayev article called "Russian history will unfold in parallel with the world one" says the Russian Historical Society might hire foreign historians to help write a world history text book for schools that would be compatible with a state-approved Russian history text book that the society is now drafting; p 3 (505 words).


8. Petr Netreba report called "Nature too lacks energy for change" gives details of the meeting of the board of the presidential council on economic modernization and innovative development that was chaired on Feb. 4 by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Belgorod; p 3 (664 words).


9. Vadim Visloguzov and Tatyana Grishina article called "Fiscal immobility" previews today's government meeting to discuss possible effects of raising residential property tax; p 3 (719 words).


10. Vladimir Barinov et al. article headlined "School shooter not entrusted to his parents" says the Basmanny District Court of Moscow ruled that the 15-year-old boy who carried out a shooting at a Moscow school, killing a teacher and a police officer, should be remanded in custody for two months pending trial; reports details of the hearing; p 4 (599 words).


11. Vyacheslav Kozlov and Alexander Chernykh article called "Embezzlement found at 'dissertation factory'" says the management of Moscow Pedagogical State University has sent the results of an internal check to the Investigative Committee for launching criminal proceedings against the former head of the university, Viktor Matrosov. The latter was sacked in 2013 over allegations of allowing fake dissertations to be defended at the university and may now face charges of embezzlement; p 4 (660 words).


12. Alexei Chernyshev article called "Primorye Guerilla Fighters deemed robbers and killers" says the jury has passed a guilty verdict in the case of a criminal group known as Primorskye Partizany, or the Maritime Territory Guerilla Fighters, who killed two police officers and four civilians in 2010; p 5 (759 words).


13. Pavel Tarasenko and Galina Dudina article headlined "Rada succeeds in defending constitution" reports on a session of the Ukrainian parliament that failed to bring the 2004 constitution back; p 6 (626 words).


14. Yelena Chernenko interview with the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, headlined "I was no ordinary ambassador"; p 6 (995 words).


15. Yulia Gallyamova et al. article headlined "Suppliers disagree with freezing" says Russian Railways, which is seeking to cut costs, is having a hard time trying to persuade its suppliers not to raise their prices, let alone to bring them down; p 10 (631 words).


Vedomosti


1. Anastasia Kornya article called "They won't call you agent for nothing" says experts from the law school of the Far Eastern Federal University have found the law on foreign agents to be in violation of several articles of the Russian constitution. The case is to be heard by the Constitutional Court; pp 1,2 (500 words).


2. Anton Filatov and Bela Lyauv article headlined "Flat overlooking city" says Capital Group is to build 250,000 square meters of housing near Moscow City business district; pp 1,18 (300 words).


3. Editorial called "Convenient criminals" say the police have been manipulating their crime statistics to make believe that the number of crimes committed by migrants is higher than it is, thus fueling xenophobia in Russia; pp 1,6 (300 words).


4. Maxim Glikin and Svetlana Bocharova article called "No more Olympics" reports the findings of a Levada Centre survey showing that 47 percent of Russians believe a substantial share of funds allocated for the Sochi Olympics has been wasted or embezzled, while only 23 percent said that hosting the Games is good for Russia's image; p 2 (400 words).


5. Polina Khimshiashvili and Maria Zheleznova article entitled "Reset in U.S. embassy" quotes lawmaker Ilya Ponomarev as saying that ambassador Michael McFaul, who is leaving his post, has been staying neutral and objective, while Moscow has always demonstrated that he is a stranger here. The new ambassador will find it difficult to mend the crisis in the Russian-U.S. relations, says members of the Public Chamber Sergei Markov; p 2 (400 words).


6. Sergei Titov et al. article called "Tax not for everybody" looks at the suggested increase in residential property tax; p 4 (450 words).


7. Editorial headlined "Religion and welfare" points to a growing number of people holding religious beliefs in Russia and in the former Soviet countries as people miss an ideology. On the other hand, conservative sentiments induced by religious affiliations prevent economic reforms; p 6 (300 words).


8. Valery Zubov and Vladislav Inozemtsev op-ed headlined "New turn" sets out development ideas for Siberia; pp 6,7 (900 words).


9. Andrei Kolesnikov editorial called "Diplomatic deadlock" criticizes Russian foreign policy and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for always looking for a cause of confrontation with the West; p 7 (350 words).


10. Alexei Nikolsky column "Figure of the week" argues that tougher security measures are unlikely to help prevent incidents like the Feb. 3 school shooting in Moscow as it is the job of teachers and psychologists to identify unbalanced children and make sure they stay out of trouble; p 7 (250 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Mikhail Sergeyev article called "Central Bank goes underground in terms of currency" looks at the controversial policy of the Central Bank that has apparently decided against supporting the ruble exchange rate, but claims to be fighting inflation; pp 1,4 (728 words).


2. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Yanukovych promises peace but prepares for war" reports on the latest developments in Kiev; pp 1,7 (1,100 words).


3. Vladimir Mukhin article entitled "Not all allies like Russian military carrot" looks at the far-from-smooth relations between Russia and its CSTO partners; pp 1,7 (797 words).


4. Yevgenia Novikova article called "Erdogan changes allies" says that the Hizmet movement is under continuing attack by lawmaker Recep Erdogan, who apparently attempts to fend off his critic Fethullah Gulen and find new allies; pp 1,8 (685 words).


5. Alexandra Samarina article called "Questionnaires as anti-terrorism weapon" says the Transportation Ministry has compiled a job application form for potential security staff that asks candidates if they have ever been affiliated with extremist or terrorist organizations. Experts say the questions are not specific enough; pp 1,3 (663 words).


6. Ivan Rodin article called "Neighborhood police inspectors to be held accountable for everything" the Public Chamber is to convene next week to discuss the Feb. 3 school shooting in Moscow; pp 1,3 (732 words).


7. Velimir Razuvayev article called "Putin and leopard" reports on President Putin's visit to the Persian leopard sanctuary ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics; p 1 (330 words).


8. Yury Paniyev article called "The whole EU is affected by corruption" summarizes a report by the European Commission that revealed the scale of corruption in the EU member states; p 2 (513 words).


9. Editorial headlined "Hostages in safety zone" says tension is rising in Bender, Moldova, where the Russian peacekeeping forces have found themselves caught in the middle as Moldova has established migration checkpoints in violation of the security zone regulations, but neither Moscow, nor Brussels respond to complaints from the authorities of the Dnestr region; p 2 (523 words).


10. Vera Tsvetkova article called "Dozhd is truly an optimistic channel" reports on the Feb. 4 news conference of the Dozhd television channel founders who apparently remain upbeat about the future of the television channel, saying it would continue its work despite having lost an overwhelming share of its audience; p 2 (714 words).


11. Grigory Zaslavsky column headlined "Carte Blanche. Everyone for themselves" gives a detailed account of President Putin's meeting with culture figures on Feb. 3; praises Putin for recognizing the importance of supporting Russian theaters; p 3 (1,083 words).


12. Anastasia Bashkatova article called "West gives Putin ultimatum" says it is too early to celebrate Russia's victory in Ukraine as the West is "preparing a new bait" for the crisis-hit country. Rumour has it that the U.S. has given Russia "an ultimatum" as to its involvement in Ukraine's affairs; p 4 (1,032 words).


13. Alina Terekhova article headlined "Countries holding on tighter to arms" says that Russia's military expenditures amounted to $68.8 billion in 2013, third only to the U.S. and China. Analysts say Russia is likely to boost its military budget by 44 percent in the next three years; p 4 (578 words).


14. Oleg Nikiforov article called "Rankings that should not lie" looks at various economic indicators that generally reflect a negative outlook for the Russian economy; p 5 (762 words).


15. Alexander Tsipko essay called "How kolkhoz and Stalin's rule are condoned" seeks to establish the roots of Ukrainians' fear to lose their independence from Russia again; p 5 (1,988 words).


16. Anna Gushchina article headlined "Russian and Chinese depriving Londoners of housing" says millions of people in London cannot afford to buy a flat or a house because rich foreigners, many of whom come from Russia or China, are buying up property in the city, driving prices of housing up; p 8 (471 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Timofei Borisov article called "Hate between lines" outlines amendments to the Criminal Code introducing tougher punishment for extremist crimes. The full text of the amendments are published today by Rossiiskaya Gazeta; pp 1, 3 (536 words).


2. Sergei Ptichkin article headlined "Amazon conquered" says Russian arms exports totaledecord $13.2 billion in 2013; head of foreign cooperation department at Rostec state corporation and adviser to Rosoboronexport CEO, Sergei Goreslavsky speaks in an interview about Russian arms supplies to Latin America; p 6 (1,371 words).


3. Yevgeny Shestakov article called "Abracadabra" says EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton "is openly lying" to Ukrainians when she pledges hefty financial support to the country. Neither the EU, nor the U.S. are going to offer any loans or financial aid to Ukraine; p 8 (888 words).


4. Fyodor Lukyanov editorial called "Borders are not a law" comments on a recent referendum in Gagauzia that asked people if they favor closer relations with the EU or Russia's Customs Union, and criticizes Europe for being complacent about an emerging trend for redrawing of borders; p 8 (729 words).


5. Leonid Mlechin historical essay called "Day of bloodshed in Lviv" reports about a massacre in Lviv on June 30, 1941, when Stepan Bandera's forces entered the town and slaughtered the Jews and Poles; p 9 (2,381 words).


6. Alexander Yemelyanenkov interview with scientific director of the Federal Nuclear Centre of the Research Institute of Technical Physics Georgy Rykovanov called "Peak Rykovanov", who says Russia has all the means for creating its own high-precision weapons; p 12 (2,682 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Matvei Ganapolsky article headlined "Hysteria does not teach anything" comments on the Feb. 3 shooting at a Moscow schools and says such incidents cannot be prevented by bans; p 3 (600 words).


2. Oleg Bazak article headlined "Yanukovych's premier intrigue" looks at the Feb. 4 session of the Ukrainian parliament, which failed to choose a new government; p 5 (250 words).


Izvestia


1. Alena Sivkova article headlined "Public Chamber to show legislative initiative" says the makeup of the Public Chamber is to undergo changes at the president's instruction and the body may be allowed to submit bills; pp 1-2 (350 words).


2. Viktor Loginov and Svetlana Povoraznyuk article headlined "Dozhd put operators in unequal conditions" reports on the situation around satellite broadcaster Dozhd television that was dropped off cable packages after a controversial online poll; 5 (500 words).


3. Irina Nenasheva article "Michael McFaul resigns" comments on the resignation of Michael McFaul as U.S. ambassador to Russia and says he has failed to establish strong ties both with the ruling elite and the opposition in Russia; p 7 (350 words).


4. Maxim Sokolov article headlined "Pereyaslavl-like Kharkiv" looks at the situation in the Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine; p 9 (400 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Vladimir Vorsobin report "East of Ukraine takes the field against Maidan" looks at the situation in Ukraine and says that the eastern part of Ukraine is preparing to free the country from revolutionary forces in Kiev; pp 10-11 (1,700 words).


2. Sergei Vladimirov report "All available means used against Olympics?" says that the alleged publicity campaign against the Sochi Olympics, which, according to Vladimirov, was initiated by the West, has affected airline company Aeroflot; p 9 (600 words).


Novaya Gazeta


1. Alexander Rubtsov article headlined "PR-aces, go ahead!" looks at the recent propaganda campaign against liberal television channel Dozhd; p 7 (600 words).


2. Olga Bobrova article headlined "Yesterday one was mobster, today one is co-religionist" investigates recent arson attacks at Tatarstan churches; pp 8-9 (1,500 words).


3. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Party of sweetness" comments on the recent news that former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was a member of the United Russia party, which has been kept a secret; p 9 (400 words).


4. Yelena Racheva article headlined "It was harder in Mazepa days" provides an eyewitness account of the situation in Ukraine; pp 10-11 (1,600 words).


RBK Daily


1. Inga Vorobyeva report headlined "Two Olympics for one Sochi" looks at the preparations to the Sochi Olympics and the residents' dissatisfaction with the growing prices; p 2 (600 words).


Trud


1. Sergei Rusev article headlined "Yanukovych going to Sochi, to run in election" looks at the chances of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to be re-elected as head of the state; p 2 (900 words).


Argumenty I Fakty


1. Georgy Zotov article headlined "Velvet divorce" says the "battle for Kiev" may result in the split of Ukraine; p 7 (700 words).


Feb. 5, 2014 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC

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