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What the Papers Say, Feb. 17, 2014


1. Kirill Melnikov and Alexander Gabuyev interview with Deputy Prime Minister and presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev, headlined "'Short-term task is handover of powers'", speaking about the development of Russia's Far East; pp 1, 4 (2,771 words).

2. Vladislav Novy article headlined "Rostelekom selects dissenters" says that Russia's largest government-owned telecommunications company Rostelekom will buy at least 30 percent of shares from minority shareholders who have disagreed with the handover of the company's mobile phone operator business to a joint venture with Tele2 Russia; pp 1, 10 (624 words).

3. Anna Pushkarskaya and Ivan Safronov article headlined "Be unbiased" says that President Vladimir Putin has excluded the chairmen of the Supreme and High Arbitration courts Vyacheslav Lebedev and Anton Ivanov, respectively, from the presidential commission for preliminary consideration of candidates for judges. Both chairmen can now run for the single Supreme Court; pp 1, 3 (762 words).

4. Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "Regions not ready to give up elections of mayors" says that most Russian regions do not back an idea to cancel mayoral elections; p 2 (501 words).

5. Anton Arsenyev et al. article headlined "Opposition prepares to take capital cities" says that the St. Petersburg branches of the A Just Russia party, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the Yabloko party will sign an agreement on not rivaling each other in municipal elections in autumn. The opposition in Moscow intends to establish an informal bloc to make a single list of opposition candidates and share districts in the capital city; p 2 (469 words).

6. Ivan Safronov article headlined "Fighters of non-Syrian use" says that gliders assembled as part of the Russian-Syrian contract to produce MiG-29M/M2 fighters can be used to construct aircraft for the Serbian Air Force or MiG-29SMT fighters for the Russian Air Force. This is attributed to Damascus's financial problems and Moscow's inability to deliver military output to Syria with the West's counteraction; p 3 (596 words).

7. Nikolai Sergeyev article headlined "Ruse found for corruption fighters" says that searches have been carried out in the offices and flats of officers from the Interior Ministry's main directorate for economic security and combating of corruption. They are suspected of instigating bribery; p 3 (483 words).

8. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "Konstantin Yaroshenko complaints about heart" says that Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, convicted in the U.S. of drug trafficking, has complained about health problems to his lawyer via phone. The U.S. authorities believe that Yaroshenko does not have any health problems; p 5 (621 words).

9. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Citizens do not know who will protect them" says that a public opinion poll conducted by the independent pollster Levada Centre has shown that 46 percent of Russians do not know who Ella Pamfilova, the most probable candidate for the Russian human rights ombudsman, is. Meanwhile, 75 percent of respondents say that the human rights ombudsman is needed in Russia; p 5 (341 words).

10. Yelena Chernenko and Sergei Strokan interview with Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sana'i, headlined "'Russian friends should have advantages on Iranian market'", speaking about Russian-Iranian economic cooperation; p 6 (749 words).

11. Maria Yefimova article headlined "Geneva 2 multiplied by zero" says that a second round of talks on the settlement of the Syrian crisis in Geneva has yielded no results; p 6 (311 words).

12. Alexander Zilbert report "Have patience, Cossack, and you will become Olympian" looks at the role of Cossacks in ensuring security at the Olympic Games in Sochi; p 7 of the KommersantBoscoSport supplement (1,000 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "State recalls protection of victims" says that a mechanism of paying compensation to the victims of crimes will be reformed in Russia; pp 1, 3 (1,185 words).

2. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Pact of attacking United Russia concluded" says that the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the A Just Russia party and the Green and Social Democrats' Alliance have signed an agreement ahead of the Moscow City Duma election in September, in which they give up mutual criticism and smear campaigning and promise to jointly fight against United Russia and advocate fair elections; pp 1-2 (618 words).

3. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Army already uses striking unmanned aerial vehicles in Caucasus" says that the Russian Armed Forces have begun to actively use UAVs. Earlier Russia lagged behind developed countries in terms of producing and using UAVs; pp 1, 3 (827 words).

4. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Gazprom top managers' bonuses grow by 60 percent in 2013" looks at salaries and bonuses paid by Russia's largest state-run companies and banks to their top managers in 2013; pp 1, 4 (960 words).

5. Grigory Mikhaylov article headlined "Moscow should choose between Bishkek and Astana" says that both Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have demanded extradition of the first Kyrgyz president's son-in-law detained in Moscow; pp 1, 5 (542 words).

6. Editorial headlined "We are losing it" says that Russia is losing Ukraine by not keeping cultural ties, which also affects bilateral political relations; p 2 (559 words).

7. Igor Naumov article headlined "Volunteers bring optimism to athletes and fans" reports on the performance of volunteers at the Winter Olympics in Sochi; p 2 (510 words).

8. Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Trade war with Europe escalating" says that the European steel association Eurofer has accused Russian electrical steel exporters of dumping. For its part, Russia is going to launch an anti-dumping investigation as regards European dairy products; p 4 (809 words).

9. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Ukrainian truce may last until tomorrow" gives an update of the Ukrainian political crisis; p 5 (1,241 words).

10. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Britain sleepwalks to disaster" says that the British Labour Party has taken advantage of the flooding in the country to attack the Conservative Party; p 6 (492 words).

11. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Inter-Syrian dialogue takes indefinite leave" says that a second round of talks on the settlement of the Syrian crisis in Geneva has turned to be futile; p 6 (660 words).

12. Yury Roks report "Notorious British diplomat sent to Georgia once again" says that Georgia has expressed concern about the recent appointment in the EU Monitoring Mission in the country; pp 1, 5 (650 words).

13. Viktor Pavlyatenko report "Confidence and disagreement between Moscow and Tokyo" looks at Russian-Japanese relations and at the territorial dispute, in particular; pp 9-10 (1,300 words).

14. Sergei Tolstov report "Maidan awaits outcome" says that Ukraine may remain an "intermediate link" between Russia and the West; p 11 (1,500 words).


1. Editorial headlined "Internet disconnection" contemplates prospects of the Internet becoming sovereign, which many European countries as well as Russia, China and Iran have been trying to obtain; pp 1, 6 (550 words).

2. Lilia Biryukova and Svetlana Bocharova article headlined "Five problems of business" says that businessmen's rights ombudsman Boris Titov will deliver a report on problems facing business in Russia and solutions to them on April 15; p 2 (700 words).

3. Editorial headlined "To reposition barriers" says that the Economic Development Ministry has suggested obliging foreigners to ask permission from the authorities before buying property in Russia; p 6 (450 words).

4. Alexander Gubsky article headlined "Man of week: Yevgeni Plushchenko" praises Russian figure skater Yevgeni Plushchenko's services; p 7 (350 words).

5. Alexandra Terentyeva article headlined "Compensation to arrested one" looks at salaries and the so-called golden parachute compensations in the Uralkali potash producer; p 10 (700 words).

6. Tatyana Voronova et al. article headlined "High-profile dismissal" says that Sberbank deputy CEO Andrei Donskikh has decided to resign; p 11 (500 words).

7. Vitaly Petlevoi article headlined "Saving on top managers" says that the metals company Mechel has almost halved salaries, bonuses and golden parachute compensations in 2013; p 12 (400 words).


1. Mikhail Shakhnazarov article headlined "Theatre of hockey absurdity in Bolshoy [ice arena]" comments on the refereeing "scandal" at the Russia-U.S. ice hockey match at the Winter Olympics in Sochi; pp 1, 9 (835 words).

2. Andrei Gridasov and Pavel Kochegarov article headlined "Eight officers from B department caught instigating bribery" details a scandal in the Interior Ministry's directorate for economic security and combating of corruption, whose officers are suspected of instigating bribery; pp 1-2 (961 words).

3. Anna Semenova and Anna Ivushkina article headlined "Governors to be assessed by amount of second shifts" says that the number of schools operating in two or three shifts will become a criterion to assess the effectiveness of Russian governors' performance; pp 1, 4 (847 words).

4. Petr Kozlov and Sergei Podosenov article headlined "Sberbank top manager to fight for seat in Moscow City Duma" says that deputy head of the Moscow branch of Sberbank Denis Konstantinov will stand in the Moscow City Duma election in September as a candidate from the Civil Platform party; p 2 (505 words).

5. Petr Kozlov article headlined "Head of staff of the Federation Council to resign" says that Federation Council head of staff Vladimir Svinarev has resigned; p 2 (693 words).

6. Svetlana Povoraznyuk and Pavel Chernyshov article headlined "Gutseryev to change Finam FM for Stolitsa FM" says that the Finam FM business news radio station will be renamed into Stolitsa FM and its content and broadcasting zone will be also changed; p 5 (648 words).

7. Andrei Gridasov article headlined "Yevgenia Vasilyeva accuses investigators of violating freedom of religion" says that former Defense Ministry official Yevgenia Vasilyeva charged with fraud has accused investigators of violating her right to the freedom of religion. Vasilyeva's request to visit a temple not far from her home was rejected; p 6 (490 words).

8. Anastasia Kashevarova article headlined "ONF to check how many orphans governors sent to Olympics" says that despite recommendations for regional heads to abstain from visiting the Winter Olympics and send their best workers and orphans to Sochi, the head of Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous district and a number of regional officials have visited the Olympic host city. The All-Russia People's Front movement, or ONF, promised to keep an eye on regional heads to this effect; p 6 (702 words).

9. Yanina Sokolovskaya article headlined "Maidan protesters lose ground" says that Kiev's Maidan protesters have made concessions to the Ukrainian authorities by agreeing to vacate the building of the city administration and offices of regional administrations in other cities; p 7 (505 words).

10. Igor Maltsev article headlined "Our networks bring corpse" says that Russian media outlets have been step-by-step turning into social networks full of false information; p 9 (665 words).

11. Yelena Malai report "Adoption into countries with child euthanasia to be banned" says that a State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic faction has suggested that adoption of Russian children by Belgians be banned following a child euthanasia law passed in that country; pp 1, 3 (850 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Yulia Krivoshapko interview with Andrei Kolesnikov, director of the Internet Network National Domain Coordinating Centre, headlined "Blog to give", speaking about the development of the Internet in Russia; pp 1, 9 (1,647 words).

2. Tamara Shkel article headlined "One for all" says that the new Russian human rights ombudsman will be appointed before March 18. Incumbent ombudsman Vladimir Lukin's term in office expires on Feb. 18; p 2 (631 words).

3. Igor Dunayevsky report "They may kill Yaroshenko" says that "Americans are denying medical assistance" to Russian pilot jailed in the U.S.; p 8 (750 words).

4. Nikolai Dolgopolov interview "I am not ashamed of this national team" with Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko who sums up the results of the first week at the Games in Sochi; p 3 (500 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yeva Merkacheva article headlined "Corruption fighters caught in ruse" says that the publication of a telephone conversation between an Interior Ministry officer and a man who often "orders" criminal cases to get money from suspects has played a significant role in the scandal in the Interior Ministry's directorate for economic security and combating corruption; pp 1, 2 (678 words).

2. Olga Bozhyeva article headlined "Russia's air raid alarm" looks at the situation in the Russian aircraft-building sector and problems it is facing; pp 1, 5 (2,176 words).

3. Andrei Yashlavsky article headlined "Geneva 2 almost fails" looks at the Geneva 2 talks on the Syrian settlement; p 2 (391 words).

4. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "No division of districts by opposition in Moscow City Duma election" says that opposition parties have failed to come to terms on the division of single-seat constituencies in the Moscow City Duma election in September; p 2 (897 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Yelena Masyuk interview with Left Front opposition movement leader Sergei Udaltsov, headlined "'However they try to besmirch us, you should not believe this'", speaking about his criminal case of the organization of the 6 May 2012 riots on Moscow's Bolotnaya Ploshchad; pp 2-3 (2,671 words).

2. Olga Musafirova article headlined "Guides of blind through Maidan" says that the Ukrainian opposition and the Ukrainian authorities are looking for compromises to go out of the political crisis; p 5 (629 words).

3. Viktoria Makarenko article headlined "An unexpected article" says charges with desecrating the Russian flag have been pressed against a Rostov journalist; p 5 (300 words).

4. Vera Chelishcheva article headlined "Slim or fat" covers court proceedings in the case of deceased Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya; p 7 (1,348 words).

5. Pavel Felgengauer article headlined "Muster at lecturing desk" comments on the restoration of military training at Russian higher education institutions; p 8 (776 words).

6. Olga Prosvirova article headlined "Checks of tip-offs" comments on a bill establishing additional grounds for carrying out unscheduled checks of non-commercial organizations passed by the State Duma last week; p 9 (762 words).

7. Vasily Zharkov article headlined "Farewell to Ukraine " contemplates Russia-Ukraine relations given the political crisis there; p 11 (781 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Ulyana Skoybeda article headlined "Caucasus pogrom in city with no Caucasus nationals" analyses a 2013 outbreak of ethnic violence in the city of Arzamas, which was caused by ethnic tensions, and revisits the city; pp 1, 10 (2,600 words).

RBK Daily

1. Unattributed interview with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul headlined "What is happening to Dozhd is a bad signal"; pp 1-2 (700 words).

2. Alexander Litoi article headlined "No saw, no cutting" says Russia's opposition parties have agreed to cooperate in the Moscow City Duma election; p 2 (300 words)

Feb. 17, 2014 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC

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