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What the Papers Say, March 11, 2014


1. Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Half-ruble zone" says the Crimea republic is planning to shift to using rubles, instead of the Ukrainian currency. The region, however, plans to keep its autonomous status within Russia; pp 1, 3 (968 words).

2. Maxim Ivanov and Natalya Gorodetskaya article headlined "Constituent part 84" says the State Duma is drafting legislation simplifying Crimea's accession to Russia. The legislation will allow Moscow to bypass an international agreement with Kiev, as 71 percent of Russians back the Kremlin policy towards Crimea; pp 1, 3 (726 words).

3. Olga Shestopal et al. report headlined "VIP clients bypassing cash register" says around 30 VIP clients of Master Bank cannot prove that they had accounts in the bank. Experts are divided over the possibility of the depositors to return their money; pp 1, 8 (786 words).

4. Oleg Trutnev article headlined "Brewers to pour beer drop by drop" says Russian breweries are looking for ways to cut costs amid falling beer sales. Russian beer brand Baltika will reduce the size of its bottles while keeping the price at the same level; pp 1, 10 (568 words).

5. Irina Nagornykh article headlined "Ruling party invites voters to primaries" says United Russia branches have decided to hold open primaries involving public activists in the regions where elections will be held in September 2014; p 2 (525 words).

6. Vsevolod Inyutin article headlined "Alexei Gordeyev prepared for easy win" says Voronezh region governor Alexei Gordeyev has been appointed acting head of the region until the next election in September 2014. He is expected to win the vote; p 2 (528 words).

7. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Russia and U.S. become farther apart at meeting" says President Putin has received Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the situation in Ukraine, however, the planned meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been postponed; p 4 (637 words).

8. Galina Dudina article headlined "Variations in pressure observed in Europe" says residents of the EU member states do not support their politicians calling for economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis. At the same time, many Europeans are against economic support of Ukraine; p 4 (460 words).

9. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Ukrainian South East developing tactics" says pro-Russian activist and their opponents continue rallies in the south-east of Ukraine. Experts are skeptical about the success of pro-Russian protesters, as they have no leaders; p 5 (699 words).

10. Ivan Safonov article headlined "Roscosmos announces police admission" says Russia's Federal Space Agency, or Roscosmos, has hired a number of former Interior Ministry's employees; p 2 (500 words).

11. Petr Netreba article headlined "Practice defeats theory" says Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach leaves his post in the government and is expected to be appointed vice-chairman of Vneshekonombank state corporation; p 2 (650 words).


1. Alexandra Terentiyeva article headlined "Rostec goes to copper" says it took Metalloinvest company controlled by tycoon Alisher Usmanov six years to come to agreement with Rostec state corporation over the development of Udokan copper deposit. Rostec will hold a control stake in the new enterprise; pp 1, 13 (600 words).

2. Editorial headlined "Patriotism to write everything off" explains the trend of growing President Putin's popularity among Russians despite economic problems. The article notes that the Kremlin is appealing to people's national pride so Russians are ready to put up with difficulties for the sake of the country's geopolitical gains; pp 1, 6 (400 words).

3. Svetlana Bocharova et al. report headlined "Yanukovych to have a say" says that as fugitive Ukrainian President Yanukovych is to speak out on the upcoming referendum in Crimea, he is expected to propose his way out of the Ukrainian crisis; p 2 (500 words).

4. Maxim Tovkailo article headlined "Crimea to help Sochi" says the Russian state-owned VEB bank is expected to receive 10 billion rubles ($274,8 million) as compensation for losses in "Olympic credits" losses. Meanwhile, the situation in Crimea might help the Russian government to get out of paying extra charges for the Winter Olympics in Sochi; p 4 (450 words).

5. Anna Afanasiyeva article headlined "RIA Novosti without third" says that about 30 percent Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti employees will be fired during its transformation into the new Rossiya Segodnya, or Russia Today, international news agency; p 19 (400 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Oleg Kiryanov article headlined "Secret covered with sea" provides update on the search for the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing in the South China Sea; pp 1, 4 (550 words).

2. Vladislav Vorobiyev article headlined "Crimea to Crimea" says the West is trying to increase pressure on Russia in the run-up to the Crimean referendum where the residents of the region will decide whether to stay within Ukraine or to join Russia; pp 1, 8 (800 words).

3. Alena Uzbekova interview with Rosselkhoz forestry watchdog head Vladimir Lebedev speaking on wildfires forecast for this spring and summer; pp 1, 5 (1,200 words).

4. Petr Likhomanov article headlined "Yarosh spoiling for arms" says the leader of Ukrainian ultra-radical movement Right Sector, Dmytro Yarosh, is willing to take part in the early presidential election in May; p 8 (600 words).

5. Leonid Radzikhovsky article headlined "Point of imbalance" says he has no doubts about the positive outcome of the Crimean referendum on joining Russia. The author notes that Kiev may respond to this by joining NATO; p 10 (1,000 words).

6. Igor Elkov interview with the Crimean politician and leader of the anti-Majlis Crimean Tatar party, Vasvi Abduraimov, on Crimea's possible accession to Russia; p 9 (1,100 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Konstantin Smirnov article headlined "How much is Crimea?" says that as Crimea is getting ready to start using the ruble as its currency, the Russian budget is to spend between $2 billion to $3 billion on the accession of the new territory; pp 1, 3 (700 words).

2. Mikhail Zubov article headlined "What Russia will be like when Crimea joins it?" polls political experts who predict the political consequences of Crimea's accession to Russia. Experts believe that patriotic mood will help the Kremlin pursue any policy it wants and United Russia is likely to win regional elections in September; p 3 (400 words).

3. Viktor Mironenko article "What is left? Underdevelopment?" forecasts that the Russian-Ukrainian crisis will put declared modernization in Russia to a halt; p 3 (700 words).


1. Ivan Cheberko article headlined "U.S. ban chip supplies to Russian satellites" says that the U.S. State Department has refused to sell an electronic component base for Russia's Geo-IK-2 geodesic satellite in June 2013 at the height of the scandal with NSA leaker Edward Snowden; pp 1, 4 (1,200 words)

2. Lyudmila Podobedkova article headlined "Gazprom demands its competitors be obliged to supply regions" says Russia's state gas company Gazprom demands equal working conditions with independent gas producers within Russia; pp 1, 5 (1,100 words).

3. Yelena Malai article headlined "Russians do not leave their own behind" says that participants in the rallies in support of Russians in Crimea that took place across Russia during the weekend called the authorities to act as a guarantor of free expression of the Crimean population's will; pp 1, 3 (600 words).

4.Svetlana Povoraznyuk article headlined "Dozhd to become less golden by third" says that Dozhd television channel will cut its employees wages by a third over the financial difficulties; p 5 (450 words).

5. Vladimir Zykov article headlined "Turchinov, Tymoshenko and Yarosh added to internet stop list" says that the names of current political leaders in Ukraine are added to a stop list and no one in Ukraine can buy a local domain mentioning them unless they resign; p 6 (450 words)

Noviye Izvestia

1. Yana Sergeyeva interview with Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Danila Lubkyvsky headlined "Ukraine open for dialogue" addresses Russian-Ukrainian relations against the backdrop of the current situation in Crimea; pp 1-2 (1,820 words).

2. Konstantin Nikolayev article headlined "Global scale event" covers former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky's public speech in Kiev's Independence Square and explores some reactions to it; p 2 (300 words).

3. Sergei Putilov article headlined "Kiev jam" argues that Russia's Gazprom may stop supplying natural gas to Ukraine which may result in the gas being stolen on its way to Europe; p 3 (500 words).

4. Alexander Kolesnichenko op-ed headlined "Ukrainian idea versus Russian idea" explores the historical development of relations between Russia and Ukraine; p 5 (500 words).

RBK Daily

1. Dmitry Koptyubenko and Katerina Kitayeva article headlined "Liquidation of news" covers in detail the ongoing transformation of Russia's largest, state-owned news agency RIA Novosti into the multi-language news service Rossya Segodnya, or Russia today; pp 1, 9 (700 words).

2. Vladimir Pavlov and Gleb Kostarev article headlined "Obama's last trump card" says that NATO is increasing military presence on its borders with Russia that can be used to put pressure on Russia regarding the situation in Ukraine; pp 1, 3 (800 words).

3. Alexander Litoi article headlined "March for peace" argues that the Russian political opposition is becoming increasingly similar to an anti-war movement due to the abundance of anti-war protests that it is conducting. Next large-scale rally's prospects detailed; p 2 (750 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Viktor Baranets article headlined "Ukrainian army preparing to storm Crimea" says the Ukrainian armed forces are on the move, possibly to counteract Russia's actions in Crimea; pp 1, 5 (900 words).

2. Asya Khovanskaya article headlined "Russia prepared suggestions on Ukraine" covers a recent meeting between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Vladimir Putin; p 2 (400 words).

3. Alexander Rogoza, Andrey Ryabtsev interview with head of Crimea's Supreme Council Volodymyr Konstantynov addresses Crimea's economic prospects and expectations; p 3 (600 words).

4. Alexander Gamov interview with Viktor Yanukovych's former spokesperson, Ukrainian Party of Regions deputy Anna Herman covers moods in Ukraine's parliament; p 4 (700 words).

5. Vladimir Demchenko interview with a pro-Russian volunteer in Crimea headlined "If we do not join Russia, I will get a rifle and go into the mountains"; p 6 (1,300 words).

6. Andrei Ryabtsev and Alexander Rogoza article headlined "They promised the army rewards but blocked all the accounts" argues strongly that the armed men who have been seizing facilities in Crimea are pro-Russian volunteers; p 7 (300 words).

7. Andrei Ryabtsev and Alexander Rogoza interview with Ukrainian Navy Gen Igor Voronchenko headlined "Ukrainian servicemen will leave Crimea immediately after referendum", in which the general says Ukraine's armed forces will withdraw from Crimea following the referendum on its accession to Russia; p 7 (230 words).

8. Editor in chief of Russian English-language broadcaster RT Margarita Simonyan article headlined "Our journalists have never been persecuted like this" says the global media community is putting pressure on RT journalists for their stance on Ukraine; p 8 (400 words).

March 11, 2014 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC

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