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What the Papers Say, Feb. 19, 2014

Kommersant


1. Yekaterina Gerashchenko et al. article headlined "Oleg Malis takes height" says prominent businessman Oleg Deripaska has sold his stake in the joint stock company City, the developer of the business center Moscow City, to Solvers Group owned by businessman Oleg Malis; pp 1, 10 (777 words).


2. Afsati Dzhusoyti article headlined "Russia forced out of top three" gives an update on the medal count at the Sochi Winter Olympics; p 1 (275 words).


3. Svetlana Dementyeva et al. article called "VEB's subsidiaries have wrong balance" says the subsidiaries of the state-owned VEB bank need extra capital to help them out of trouble; pp 1, 8 (816 words).


4. Sergei Sobolev and Maria Yefimova article headlined "Tour operators do not hear terrorists" says the tourism watchdog Rostourism has not discouraged Russian tourists from traveling to Egypt's Red Sea resorts despite a warning from the Islamist militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, that claimed responsibility for the Feb. 16 blast in Taba ; pp 1, 10 (600 words).


5. Alexei Shapovalov article entitled "Economy does not care for ruble exchange rate anymore" reviews an updated report of the Central Bank on the key trends of monetary policy up until 2016 and concludes that the Central Bank will focus on curtailing inflation that is unlikely to be prompted by the devalued ruble; p 2 (624 words).


6. Irina Nagornykh and Dmitry Komarov article headlined "United Russia introducing institution of guarantors" says the United Russia party is going to adopt a referencing procedure that should make party members mutually accountable. It will be piloted by the Sverdlovsk regional branch of the party; p 2 (516 words).


7. Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "Kremlin to renew Staraya Ploschad" says the Russian presidential administration intends to spend 7 billion rubles ($200 million ) on a major overhaul of three buildings on Moscow's Staraya Ploschad; p 2 (547 words).


8. Natalya Pavlova article headlined "Bashkir ministers play bank" reports on a criminal investigation against deputy prime minister of Bashkortostan Yevgeny Mavrin and former minister of economic development Alexander Maryin on suspicion of financial fraud; p 2 (527 words).


9. Viktor Khamrayev article called "Economic amnesty does not fit into new time frame" says business ombudsman Boris Titov is going to ask the State Duma to extend the amnesty for people convicted of economic crimes for six more months. However, the idea is likely to face opposition in parliament, the article says; p 3 (507 words).


10. Natalya Korchenkova et al. article entitled "General lack of authority" reports that Yekaterina Pavlova has been appointed as managing director of Ekho Moskvy radio station owned by Gazprom Media. Although she promised not to meddle in the radio station's editorial policy, experts think this is exactly what she has been appointed to do; p 3 (1,019 words).


11. Maxim Ivanov and Viktor Khamrayev article called "CIC gives chance to 'reformers'" looks at the findings of a survey presented in a report by former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin's Committee of Civil Initiatives. The report called "Russian politics — Chance for reformers" claims that a large number of Russian people support democratic reforms; p 3 (399 words).


12. Alexander Chernykh article headlined "Victims from Bolotnaya fail to appear in court" reports on the start of a trial against opposition activists Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev; p 5 (346 words).


13. Vladimir Barinov article headlined "Deputy minister sacked instead of getting promotion" mulls over the reasons behind the dismissal of the Interior Ministry's investigations head Yury Alexeiev ; p 5 (732 words).


14. Vyacheslav Kozlov article headlined "Big deal being sewn for prison inmates" says the Federal Prison Service is going to set up a trading company that would be in charge of distributing goods produced by prison inmates. The project is aimed at eliminating middlemen and tackling corruption, the article says; p 5 (606 words).


15. Kirill Belyaninov article headlined "John Kerry unhappy with Russia's behavior towards Syria" says Washington is apparently changing its strategy on Syria as Russia continues to supply Bashar Assad with weapons; p 6 (610 words).


16. Yelena Chernenko article called "Iranian nuclear issue aimed for solution" reports on the start of the first round of talks in Vienna on Iran's nuclear program; p 6 (580 words).


17. Yelena Chernenko interview headlined "Situation can get back into explosive state" with Russia's permanent representative at international organizations in Vienna Vladimir Voronkov who says the risk is high that the Vienna talks will be disrupted and that Tehran is unlikely to give up on its uranium enrichment program, but still hopes for a positive outcome; p 6 (391 words).


18. Sergei Strokan article called "People dying for Maidan" reports on renewed violent clashes between opposition forces and police in Ukraine's capital Kiev; p 6 (658 words).


19. Roman Rozhkov and Anna Balashova article headlined "RSPP stays in touch" says the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) has criticized an anti-terror bill that would require Internet services providers to store all content of Internet communications for six months. According to the RSPP, IT companies would have to invest as much as $1 billion in new equipment to comply with the new regulations; p 7 (525 words).


Vedomosti


1. Olga Kuvshinova and Margarita Papchenkova article called "People more important than oil" says for the first time ever tax revenues from income tax and social security tax exceeded those from subsoil tax and duties. This won't make the government feel more responsible to tax payers, though, the authors conclude; pp 1, 5 (700 words).


2. Editorial headlined "Science of hatred" comments on a film by journalist Konstantin Semin headlined "Biochemistry of treason", says it incites people's hatred for educated citizens and compares it to Soviet-time propaganda; pp 1,6 (350 words).


3. Polina Khimshiashvili and Alexei Nikolsky article called "Blood being shed in Kiev" says the opposition leaders are to meet President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 19 amid violence in the streets of Kiev. According to experts, the bloodshed could have been prevented, had the authorities made at least some concessions; p 2 (500 words).


4. Maria Zheleznova and Anastasia Kornya article headlined "Tax depends on country's interests" says the Arbitration Court has ordered NGO Golos to pay tax on grants provided by USAID because the money could not be considered a donation; p 2 (400 words).


5. Margarita Papchenkova et al. article headlined "Russia to pay for U.S." looks at how the Federal Reserve's decision to cut its third quarter stimulus program will make it more expensive for Russia to service its debt; p 4 (300 words).


6. Dmitry Badovsky and Aleksandr Pozhalov article headlined "Transition from quantity to quality" reviews a new bill on electing State Duma deputies that is to be considered by the Federation Council on Feb. 19 ; p 6 (1,700 words).


7. Andrei Kolesnikov op-ed called "Arctic bond" mocks attempts to turn the Arctic into a new patriotic symbol for Russia; p 7 (400 words).


8. Yulia Gribtsova article headlined "Terrorists against tourists" quotes a spokesman for tourism industry watchdog Rostourism as saying that there are some 35,000 to 40,000 Russian tourists in Egypt at the moment, however, it is too early to panic despite the threat of terrorist attacks; pp 10, 18 (400 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Yekaterina Trifonova article called "Deputies debating price of their status" says all political parties have come up with proposals to set a maximum waiting time for lawmakers' appointments with a government official. Ruling United Russia party suggested that legislators should not wait for more than 30 days to see an official; pp 1-2 (582 words).


2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "President interferes in struggle of security services" provides some background to the dismissal of the Interior Ministry's investigations head Yury Alexeiev; pp 1-2 (855 words).


3. Sokhbet Mamedov article headlined "Spy row in Baku" gives an account of a spying scandal involving two staff members of the U.S. Senate, the leaders of the local opposition and journalists; pp 1-2 (455 words).


4. Igor Bolotin and Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Ilya Ponomarev to get cover from Alliance" says opposition lawmaker Ilya Ponomarev has not been registered as a candidate for the Novosibirsk mayoral elections because too many signatures for his nomination were deemed invalid. He may try to seek support from the Alliance of the Greens and Social Democrats, the article says; pp 1, 6 (355 words).


5. Tatyana Ivzhenko article entitled "From Euro-integration to all-Ukrainian chaos" reports on the latest developments in Kiev where three people have reportedly been killed and hundreds injured in clashes between Ukrainian opposition forces and the police; pp 1,7 (1,669 words).


6. Editorial headlined "Russia spends more on space than U.S." points at the inefficiency of management in the Russian space industry as hefty funding does not yield any tangible results in terms of research breakthroughs or revenue; p 2 (488 words).


7. Igor Naumov article headlined "Olympians have healthy appetite" details catering arrangements at the Sochi Olympics; p 2 (500 words).


8. Ilgar Velizade column headlined "Carte Blanche. Will Sochi Olympics make Caucasus safe?" calls for talks between Russia and the Caucasus states to ensure long-term stability and security in the region after the Winter Olympics; p 3 (698 words).


9. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Rulings of Constitution Court should be implemented substantially" says the Russian State Duma has not yet amended an overly restrictive law on public gatherings despite a verdict of the Russian Constitution Court, saying it violated the Constitution; p 3 (1,050 words).


10. Alexei Gorbachev article entitled "Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev accused of attempt to seize power" reports from the trial of opposition activists Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev; p 3 (516 words).


11. Alina Terekhova article headlined "Skolkovo drafts list of future professions" says the Strategic Initiatives Agency and the Skolkovo management school has compiled a list of professions that will become obsolete by 2020 and those that will be in demand after 2020. Many of the jobs from the second list look too futuristic for Russia, the article says; p 4 (676 words).


12. Alina Kukhta article headlined "Russia pouring new portion of funds into Ukraine" says Russia is to transfer 2 billion rubles ($57 million) to Ukraine this week in line with agreements reached earlier. Experts say the money will be sent back to Russia as payment for gas supplies; p 4 (831 words).


13. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Russians getting deeper in debt" says people in smaller towns have 50 percent more debt that those living in bigger cities; p 4 (817 words).


14. Vera Alperovich and Natalia Yudina article called "Right-wing radicals shrug" discusses a recent growth in ethnically motivated crime and xenophobic sentiments in Russia; p 5 (2,056 words).


15. Gleb Postnov article headlined "Islamists playing role of Tatarstan liberators" reports that the banned Islamist movement Hezb-e Tahrir al-Islami has launched a website in Ukraine that claims Muslims in Tatarstan are being persecuted for their religious views; p 6 (474 words).


16. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Narrowing circle around Gulnara Karimova" says Uzbek security services are apparently stepping up investigations against the associates of the Uzbek president's daughter Gulnara Karimova ; p 7 (694 words).


17. Yevgeny Grigoryev article headlined "Berlin takes Moscow's stance on Ukraine into account" looks at a leading role that Germany has taken on in settling the political crisis in Ukraine; p 8 (530 words).


18. Yevgenia Novikova article headlined "Tehran and group of six not looking for easy ways to peace" reports on the start of the first round of talks between Iran and the 5+1 group in Vienna; p 8 (732 words).


19. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Kim Jong-un might be brought to trial" looks at the latest UN report, accusing North Korea of crimes against humanity and warning the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, he could be held personally accountable t; pp 1, 8 (500 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Marina Gritsyuk interview with Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets headlined "Painkiller" who answers questions ranging from access to narcotic painkillers for terminally ill people to healthcare provisions at the Sochi Winter Games; pp 1, 7 (723 words).


2. Taras Fomchenkov article headlined "Nabiullina's list" says the Central Bank is to make up a list of 60 systematically important banks that are unlikely to receive any preferential treatment, but will be closely monitored by the regulator; p 7 (687 words).


3. Fedor Lukyanov column headlined "Geneva 2: Crisis of growth" looks at an apparent deadlock in the process of Syrian peace settlement; p 11 (720 words).


4. Pavel Dulman "Maidan crosses line" looks at the latest developments in Kiev where several people have reportedly been killed and hundreds injured in clashes between Ukrainian opposition forces and the police; pp 1, 11 (500 words).


Izvestia


1. Yanina Sokolovskaya article headlined "Crowd beats computer expert from Party of Regions to death" looks at the renewed violent clashes between opposition forces and police in Ukraine's capital of Kiev; pp 1, 7 (600 words).


2. Svetlana Naborshchikova interview with Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky speaking, among other things, about the recent controversy sparked by Dozhd TV's opinion poll; pp 1, 4 (1,500 words).


3. Anastasia Kashevarova and Dmitry Runkevich article headlined "Bloggers to be made to acquire press accreditation" looks at the new initiative voiced by State Duma lawmakers that wants popular bloggers to have press accreditation; pp 1, 3 (500 words).


4. Anastasia Kashevarova and Ruben Garcia article headlined "SPCh wants to hand control over citizens' appeals over to Kremlin" says the presidential human rights council wants the Kremlin to take the control over cooperation between rights activists, the authorities and ordinary citizens, lodging complaints about violation of their rights; p 2 (400 words).


5. Commentator Yegor Kholmogorov article headlined "Maidan cannot end successfully" views prospects for the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine; p 9 (800 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Oleg Bazak article headlined "Ukraine covered in blood" looks at the renewed violent clashes between opposition forces and police in Ukraine's Kiev; pp 1, 3 (500 words).


2. Mikhail Zubov et al. article headlined "Pussy Riot make show in Sochi" says that freed Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina have been detained in Sochi on suspicion of theft; pp 1, 3 (300 words).


3. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev cut off from energy" reports on the start of a trial against opposition activists Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev; p 2 (400 words).


Novaya Gazeta


1. Olga Musafirova report "Chronicle of diving Kiev" looks at the situation in Ukraine and says that "combat operations" have resumed in Kiev. Security forces and the opposition accuse each other of using weapons, article says; pp 6-7 (1,300 words).


2. Olga Musafirova report "'Ukraine now resembles no-one's country"' features an interview with Ukrainian Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh who comments on the situation in the country; pp 7-9 (2,600 words).


3. Maria Yepifanova report "Coordination expected from dissenters" says that the main players are not in a hurry to join the first informal bloc of opposition parties that is coordinating the joint struggle against United Russia in the upcoming City Duma election; p 9 (800 words).


4. Slava Taroshchina report "How Balmont ruined Russia" looks at the documentary "The biochemistry of treason" shown on official state television channel Rossiya 1 on Feb. 17, portraying several opposition figures as traitors; p 24 (950 words).


RBK Daily


1. Yevgeny Krasnikov report "Durov calls UCP to London" says that Pavel Durov, co-owner and general director of the social network Vkontakte, has accused the partner of the foundation UCP, Viktoria Lazareva, of defamation and intends to file a lawsuit with a London court; pp 1, 9 (600 words).


2. Alexander Litoy report "Revolution 2.18" says that a lack of agreements between the Ukrainian authorities and the opposition has again resulted in deaths. At least seven people have died in clashes in Kiev; p 2 (800 words).


3. Katerina Kitayeva report "Voice of Russia erupts on Ekho Moskvy" says that the general director has been replaced at the Gazprom-owned, editorially independent radio station Ekho Moskvy for the first time over the last 20 years. Yekaterina Pavlova, deputy chairman of state-owned international radio service the Voice of Russia, was appointed to the post instead of Yury Fedutinov; p 9 (700 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Yevgenia Suprycheva report "Kiev on fire again" looks at clashes in Kiev on Feb. 18 and says that "militants from Maidan" have been preparing for the decisive assault for a long time; p 9 (1,500 words).


2. Alexander Gamov report looks at the reaction of the leadership of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia to Viktor Shenderovich's recent remarks, in which he likened figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya's role in Russia's victory in the team competition at the Olympics in Sochi to German triumphs at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin; p 11 (800 words).


3. Sergei Novikov report "Doctors will come to pilot Yaroshenko jailed in U.S." says that Americans have agreed to let doctors examine Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko who is serving a prison sentence in the U.S.; p 15 (400 words).


Trud


1. Sergei Ilchenko report "Maidan, fire, blood" says that armed hostilities began in Kiev on Feb. 18 ; pp 1-2 (1,200 words).


2. Sergei Frolov report "How Putin failed to become St. Valentine" says that a Canadian athlete has been hassled in the internet for a photo with President Vladimir Putin; pp 1-2 (800 words).


Krasnaya Zvezda


1. Alexander Alexandrov report "Is this a way to change constitution?" says that the situation in Kiev has sharply deteriorated; pp 1, 3 (800 words).


2. Nikolai Balukov report "Patriotism in American way" says that the U.S. authorities do not begrudge money for patriotism; p 3 (1,700 words).


Argumenty i Fakty


1. Sergei Osipov interview "Best facilities are in Sochi" with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul who speaks about his impression of Sochi, the situation in Ukraine and Edward Snowden; p 12 (1,700 words).

Feb. 19, 2014 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC

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