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What the Papers Say, March 7, 2014

Please note that the next edition of "What the Papers Say" will be published on March 11 due to a public holiday in Russia.


1. Renata Yambayeva and Vladislav Novy interview with executive director of the VKontakte social network Dmitry Sergeyev headlined "Conflict is extremely destructive for company," speaking about a shareholders' conflict and ongoing audit in the company; pp. 1, 10 (1,233 words).

2. Galina Dudina et al. article headlined "Crimea goes to referendum" says that the Supreme Council (parliament) of Ukraine's Crimea has voted to join Russia. The question will be put to referendum on March 16. The move gives Moscow an additional tool to exert pressure on the Ukrainian authorities as well as a strong argument in the bargaining with the West, the article says; pp. 1, 4 (930 words).

3. Unattributed article headlined "What can be made of Crimea?" features comments by politicians and experts on the future of Crimea as a part of Russia if the peninsula joins it; p. 1 (490 words).

4. Nikolai Sergeyev and Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Anatoly Serdyukov defends Fatherland and himself" says that former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, charged with negligence, has been granted amnesty. However, he will act as a witness in the Oboronservis corruption case; pp. 1-2 (780 words).

5. Ksenia Dementyeva and Yelena Kovaleva article headlined "Moskomprivatbank explodes on Ukraine" says that a provisional administration has been introduced in Moskomprivatbank, the Russian subsidiary of Ukraine's largest PrivatBank, by the Central Bank of Russia; pp. 1, 8 (869 words).

6. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Winter. Very hot. Ours" reports from Sochi awaiting the opening of the Paralympics in Sochi, focusing on the behavior of the Ukrainian Paralympic delegation, which is considering withdrawing from the Games; p. 3 (1,616 words).

7. Olga Kuznetsova interview with Kostantin Bakharev, a member of the presidium of the Crimean Supreme Council, headlined "Hope Russian authorities will not deceive Crimeans' expectations," in which Bakharev says explains why the Crimean authorities want to join Russia and hold a referendum on the issue as soon as possible; p. 4 (505 words).

8. Dmitry Butrin et al. article headlined "Costly peninsula" says that Russia does not look prepared for the accession of Crimea from the economic point of view. According to experts' estimates, the keeping of Crimea will cost Russia at least $3 billion annually; p. 4 (681 words).

9. Maxim Ivanov and Sofya Samokhina article headlined "Russia fails in PACE" says that State Duma deputies' request to the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe to assess the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities' decisions will most likely not be viewed; p. 4 (619 words).

10. Denis Skorobogatko et al. article headlined "Who Crimea belongs to" says that, from the standpoint of investments, Crimea is not a great loss for Ukraine and a disadvantageous acquisition for Russia; p. 5 (754 words).

11. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Ukraine discussed at forum on Libya" focuses on an international conference on Libya held in Rome. The Ukraine crisis topped the behind-the-scenes agenda at the conference; p. 5 (478 words).

12. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Ukrainian flag returned to Donetsk" says that law enforcers have ousted pro-Russian forces from the Donetsk administration building; p. 5 (615 words).

13. Yury Barsukov and Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Gazprom asked to make room" says that Russian gas giant Gazprom is facing growing pressure from independent gas manufacturers, including the state-run oil company Rosneft, on the Chinese natural gas market; p. 7 (583 words).

14. Yelena Kovaleva et al. article headlined "VTB changes observers" looks at a reshuffle in the supervisory board of the state-run bank VTB; p. 8 (487 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Crimea offers Russia to correct Khrushchev's mistake" says that the Crimean Supreme Council (parliament) has voted to join Russia. Meanwhile, Russia has put forward a set of demands to the West regarding Ukraine; pp. 1, 7 (1,877 words).

2. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Women prescribed for business and state management" says that according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study conducted on the occasion of the International Women's Day, women can play a key role in business development and state management; pp. 1-2 (712 words).

3. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Pro-Kremlin experts expose pro-Western ones" says that Kremlin-affiliated experts have suggested expanding the list of foreign-funded NGOs labeled as "foreign agents." A toughening of laws regulating the work of NGOs may follow, the article says; pp. 1-2 (683 words).

4. Ivan Rodin and Darya Garmonenko article headlined "State Duma waits for Putin's decision" says that the State Duma has discussed the state of affairs in Ukraine and approved the Crimean Supreme Council's vote to join Russia, but will not make an official statement on the issue until a referendum has been held in Crimea and Vladimir Putin has made his stance public; pp. 1, 3 (956 words).

5. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "CIA misses Russian troops' movement" says that Republican U.S. senators have accused the CIA and the Pentagon of incompetence for not having foreseen Russia's actions in Crimea; pp. 1, 8 (552 words).

6. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Policy to isolate Moscow toughens" looks at an extraordinary meeting of the EU in Brussels, a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York and the international conference on Libya in Rome, at which measures to resolve the Ukrainian crisis were discussed. Meanwhile, the U.S. has introduced visa sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian citizens, whose activity, according to the White House, threatens Ukraine's integrity; pp. 1, 8 (948 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Recognition in exchange for federalization" comments on Vladimir Putin's statements on the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities made in an interview to Russian and foreign journalists on 4 March; p. 2 (521 words).

8. Gleb Postnov article published in the regular Carte Blanche column headlined "Kazan plays its own card in Crimea" looks at goals being pursued in Crimea by Russia's republic of Tatarstan, whose representatives have become frequent visitors to the peninsula; p. 3 (677 words).

9. Yekaterina Trifonova article headlined "Foreign agents demand clarifications from Zorkin" says that the Constitutional Court has discussed the legitimacy of the use of the term "foreign agent" for nonprofit organizations financed from abroad. Experts say that the court will share the authorities' view of the issue and laws regulating the performance of NGOs will be toughened; p. 3 (740 words).

10. Alina Terekhova article headlined "Russian officials are most rare species in Europe" says that Gaidar Institute experts have concluded there are relatively few officials in Russia and their expenses are very small; p. 4 (1,061 words).

12. Artur Blinov article headlined "Persian Gulf monarchies quarrel" says that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have revoked their ambassadors from Doha as the Qatari authorities are supposedly not fulfilling commitments not to interfere in neighboring states' internal affairs. The article also features a Russian expert's comment on the issue; p. 8 (671 words).


1. Svetlana Bocharova et al. article headlined "Nine days for preparations" says that the Crimean parliament has voted to join Russia and rescheduled the referendum on the issue for March 16. The Russian parliament has begun to prepare laws making it possible to annex Crimea without Ukraine's consent; pp. 1, 9 (1,050 words).

2. Editorial headlined "Turn of pipe" says that economic sanctions against Russia will hardly be effective just now. However, the Russia-Ukraine conflict may speed up. the reorganization of the energy resources market in the U.S. and Europe, the article says; pp. 1, 6 (600 words).

3. Lilia Biryukova article headlined "Why the referendum?" argues that a more autonomous Crimea will give Russia an advantage in its "game against the West"; p. 2 (400 words).

4. Margarita Lyutova and Filipp Sterkin article headlined "Playing against own economy" summarizes experts' opinions on the economic aftermath of Russia's conflict with Ukraine; p. 4 (500 words).

5. Yevgeny Gontmakher op-ed headlined "Mobilization policy awaits us" argues that the Ukrainian crisis will lead to the Russian authorities enacting a policy of social mobilization by increasing pressure on media and limiting access to some segments of the internet; p. 6 (900 words).


1. Alexei Krivoruchek article headlined "Anatoly Serdyukov clears his institution from excess people" says that layoffs are expected in the Federal Machine-Building Research and Testing Centre, which is part of the Rostec (Russian Technologies) state corporation. Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov headed the centre in November 2013; pp. 1, 5 (635 words).

2. Yegor Kholmogorov article headlined "Collection of Russian lands" comments on Crimea's decision to join Russia from the historical angle; pp. 1, 12 (1,144 words).

3. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "Crimea forcing historical reunion with Russia" says that a delegation from the Crimean Supreme Council will arrive in Moscow to discuss the peninsula's pending accession to Russia; pp. 1, 3 (695 words).

4. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev article headlined "Vladimir Putin wishes luck to Russian athletes" reports on Putin's visit to Sochi, where the Paralympics begin March 7; p. 2 (305 words).

5. Sergei Podosenov article headlined "South America gets interested in nuclear technologies in Dubna" says that ambassadors from 11 Latin American countries have visited the Russian Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in the town of Dubna, Moscow region; p. 2 (626 words).

6. Sergei Podosenov article headlined "Opposition does not want to grant citizenship to everyone" says State Duma opposition factions have opposed a bill proposed by the government that introduces a fast-track procedure for granting Russian citizenship. to all Russian-speaking foreigners and stateless people; p. 3 (555 words).

7. Alena Sivkova article headlined "One Russia and KPRF do not agree with Leonid Slutsky" says Just Russia lawmaker Raisa Karamazina has said that Crimea's future "should be determined by its people, not deputies"; p. 3 (200 words).

8. Lyudmila Podobedova article headlined "Tied with gas" looks at three scenarios for the development of Russia-Ukraine gas cooperation given the recent decline in bilateral relations; p. 7 (1,422 words).

9. Natalya Bashlykova article headlined "State Duma begins to analyze laws by Maidan authorities" says that the State Duma will study the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities' laws, then ask international parliamentary organizations to asses them; p. 10 (663 words).

9. Konstantin Volkov article headlined "Demonstrative trial awaits al-Saadi al-Qadhafi" says that Niger has extradited to Libya the second son of late Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, charged with shooting of anti-government protesters in 2011 and corruption. The article also features a Russian expert's comment on the issue; p. 11 (480 words).

10. Yanina Sokolovskaya article headlined "Kiev pins hopes on NATO in Crimean issue" says that the new Ukrainian authorities have headed for joining NATO; p. 11 (452 words).

12. Tatyana Baykova article headlined "Ankara promises not to leave Crimea without attendance" says that Turkey is concerned about the future of Crimean Tatars and has promised them support. According to Russian pundit Yevgeny Satanovskiy, Turkey's support of Crimean Tatars is meant to increase Ankara's influence on the peninsula; p. 11 (504 words).

13. Political analyst Timofei Bordachev article headlined "Total, peaceful, protracted …" comments on Russia-West confrontation over the Ukraine crisis; p. 12 (717 words).

14. Political analyst Andranik Migranyan article headlined "Crushing defeat of Ukraine's west and West in Ukraine" comments on an information war over the Ukraine crisis; p. 12 (919 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Ariadna Rokossovskaya article headlined "Ghost of Bandera" takes a close look at Ukrainian nationalist movements; pp. 1, 9 (1,060 words).

2. Alexander Gasyuk article headlined "Soldiers of fortune visit Kiev" says that hundreds of foreign mercenaries have arrived in Kiev over the past few days; pp. 1, 8 (538 words).

3. Marina Gritsyuk interview with Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets headlined "A man's life 'not social sector,'" speaking about retirement age, maternity capital and state employees' salaries, among other issues; pp. 1, 6 (3,061 words).

4. Maxim Makarychev article headlined "It is for people to decide" says that the Crimean authorities have decided to join Russia; pp. 1, 8 (821 words).

5. Vladimir Kuzmin article headlined "Language to bring passport" says that the cabinet of ministers has approved a bill facilitating a mechanism of granting Russian citizenship to Russian-speaking foreigners; p. 3 (719 words).

6. Natalya Kozlova article headlined "Evidence stays afloat" says Greenpeace has sued the Russian Investigative Committee demanding that the Arctic Sunrise vessel, which is still anchored in Murmansk, be returned to the organization; p. 4 (500 words).

7. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin article headlined "We will print tanks" sets out Rogozin's vision of the Russian military industrial complex's future; p. 17 (1,900 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yulia Kalinina article headlined "Corruption forever" comments on amnesty granted to former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov; pp. 1, 6 (370 words).

2. Alexander Khinshtein article headlined "Investigators will grease palm" details a corruption scandal that has erupted in the Interior Ministry's Moscow directorate; pp. 1, 6 (2,040 words).

3. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Referendum of fate' awaits Crimea" says that the Crimean Supreme Council's vote to join Russia has upped the stakes in the Russia-West political game; pp. 1-2 (911 words).

4. Marina Perevozkina interview with deputy speaker of the Crimean Supreme Council, Sergei Tsekov, headlined "Ukraine will envy us soon," speaking about the state of affairs on the peninsula and the forthcoming referendum on the accession to Russia; p. 2 (1,379 words).

5. Tatyana Melikyan and Mikhail Zubov article headlined "Will Russia accept Crimea as its part?" features experts' comments on the future of Crimea as a part of Russia; p. 2 (664 words).

6. Marina Ozerova article headlined "Okhotny Ryad ahead of sensation" describes a meeting of the State Duma, at which the situation in Ukraine and Russia's policy towards this country was discussed; p. 3 (739 words).

7. Alexander Melman interview with editor-in-chief of state-owned broadcaster RT Margarita Simonyan headlined "Russia Today will not give up. battle for Ukraine" briefly addresses the transformation of the RIA Novosti news agency; p. 4 (100 words).

8. Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Tractor in china shop" reports on the crisis situation in the Federal Machine-Building Research and Testing Centre, which is part of the Rostec (Russian Technologies) state corporation; p. 6 (2,171 words).

9. Dina Karpitskaya article "Winter. Boundless. Ours." focuses on the Winter Paralympics in Sochi, which begin March 7; p. 18 (1,011 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Arina Raksina article headlined "Spain threatens to close entry for Russian tourists" says that Spain is considering visa restrictions for Russian citizens as part of international sanctions introduced against Russia over the Ukraine crisis; p. 2 (353 words).

2. Mark Agatov and Gennady Savchenko article headlined "Referendum of discord" says that Crimeans will most likely vote for the peninsula's accession to Russia at the March 16 referendum; p. 12 (490 words).

3. Dmitry Antonov article headlined "Unusual Olympics" looks at the Sochi Paralympics; p. 15 (904 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Irina Lukyanova article headlined "Crusade against children" ridicules the absurdities of the law protecting children from harmful information; p. 11 (1,273 words).

2. Yelena Kostyuchenko article headlined "Titushki [hired heavies] wearing St. George ribbons" says that Pussy Riot punk band members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina have been attacked in Nizhny Novgorod by unknown young people; p. 10 (366 words).

3. Kirill Martynov article headlined "Deploy troops to Vologda!" says that Russians' interests are more infringed in Russia than in Ukraine; p. 2 (995 words).

4. Andrei Lipsky interview with former Ukrainian Defense Minister Anatoly Hrytsenko, headlined "Russia draws Ukraine into NATO," speaking about the possibility of an armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine and explaining why he thinks the Russian authorities are primarily responsible for Ukraine's wish to join the EU; pp. 5-6 (2,057 words).

5. Yury Safronov article headlined "Lavrov and Kerry. Three dates" looks at three meetings between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his U.S. Counterpart, John Kerry, in Paris; p. 7 (677 words).

6. Nadezhda Prusenkova article headlined "They call Anya object" gives an update on the trial on the case of journalist Anna Politkovskaya's murder; p. 8 (1,406 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Yelena Chinkova article headlined "Crimean parliament's decision: peninsula will enter Russia" looks at the news that Crimea had brought referendum on its status forward to March 16; p. 1 (300 words).

2. Yegor Kholmogorov article headlined "Our Berlin Wall falls down" comments on the Crimean parliament's decision to join Russia; p. 3 (300 words).

3. Alexander Gamov interview with former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, speaking about the situation around Crimea; p. 4 (650 words).

4. Nikolai Varsegov article headlined "Famine may hit Dnepropetrovsk" speaks of a worsening economic situation in one of regions of eastern Ukraine; p. 5 (350 words).

5. Viktor Baranets article headlined "How to save nuclear bomb from Sashka Bily" says Sasha Bily, or Sasha the White, a "revolutionary" from the city of Rivne, is imposing his ways in a city having facilities of strategic importance; p. 6 (200 words).

6. Vladimir Demchenko interview with commander of Crimea's Berkut riot police battalion Yury Abisov headlined "Snipers in Maydan staged executions"; Abisov says his battalion is now going to defend Crimea; 7 (600 words).

7. Vitaly Tretyakov article headlined "Ukraine's independence disappears in two weeks" says Ukraine is now "indirectly" governed by the U.S.; p. 8 (650 words).

RBK Daily

1. Stepan Opalev et al. article headlined "We have our own flag and hymn" looks at the Crimean parliament's decision to join Russia despite legal norms; pp. 1-2 (800 words).

1. Ivan Petrov article headlined "Amnesty covers negligence" says the case of former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who was accused of negligence and later granted amnesty, will not affect President Putin's rating; p. 2 (250 words).


1. Ivan Dmitryevnko article headlined "Games of real people" says the 2014 Paralympics are primarily aimed at improving the lives of all Russians with disabilities; pp. 1-2 (450 words).

2. Alexander Protsenko article headlined "More of hindrance than help" comments on the Federation Council's idea to introduce sanctions against EU and U.S. companies amid a worsening economic situation in Russia; pp. 2-3 (700 words).

March 7, 2014/BBC Monitoring/©BBC

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