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What the Papers Say, March 18, 2014


1. Maxim Ivanov et al. report headlined "Annexation movement" says President Vladimir Putin has recognized the independence of Crimea. He is to respond to the Crimean request to join Russia today. The State Duma is going to speed up the process; pp 1-2 (1,883 words).

2. Natalya Gorodetskaya interview with Regional Development Minister Igor Slyunyayev speaking on Russia's support to Crimea and the cost of the work to be done; pp 1, 4 (1,550 words).

3. Vadim Visloguzov article headlined "Taxes to grow without growth" comments on the Finance Ministry's plans to impose more taxes on businesses and individuals in 2015 — 2017; pp 1, 8 (968 words).

4. Alexander Zheglov article headlined "Founder of Partya robbed before death" says the Moscow law-enforcement agencies have opened a criminal case over a fraud with real estate. Fraudsters have forged documents to get hold of 21 shopping malls; pp 1, 7 (1,674 words).

5. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "Armed ones lack forces" says the Ukrainian forces have announced mobilization to gather 40,000 people to protect the country's borders. The mobilization became a response of the Ukrainian authorities to the recent developments in Crimea; p 5 (540 words).

6. Yelena Chernenko et al. report headlined "U.S. and EU check Crimea with lists" says Washington and Brussels have started imposing sanctions against Moscow and drafted a list of Russian officials to face assets freeze and travel restrictions. More officials are to be put on the list if Crimea becomes part of Russia; p 5 (923 words).

7. Sofia Samokhina et al. report headlined "Position being searched for Lukin" says well-known rights activist Ella Pamfilova is to be appointed new Russian ombudsman. Vladimir Lukin, who worked on the post before, is expected to be engaged in the Russian integration with Crimea; p 6 (636 words).

8. Vyacheslav Kozlov article headlined "Officials face petitions" says 100,000 people signed a petition for stripping officials' cars of flashing lights. A group of activists came up with the idea at the Russian Public Initiative website; p 7 (486 words).

10. Yury Barsukov et al. article headlined "Replacement punishment" says if the West responds to the results of the Crimean referendum with an embargo on Russian oil sales, this will be painful, however, the complete embargo is unlikely; p 8 (500 words).

11. Vladimir Dzaguto opinion section headlined "Rules of the game" says cooler relations between the West and Russia are a threat to high-tech industries; p 9 (300 words).

12. Alexandra Mertsalova and Khalil Aminov article headlined "Investors mark Crimea" says the Crimean authorities are receiving investment proposals from Russian business people; p 12 (400 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Cold war, but in Russia" comments on drastic changes within the Russian home policy amid the Ukrainian crisis. Pro-Kremlin forces have already started accusing activists, who disagree with the Russian official stance on Crimea, of treason; pp 1, 3 (1,142 words).

2. Alina Terekhova and Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Crimean rubles to be calculated using whatever possible" says Crimean residents are going to receive pensions in rubles starting from April. Moscow will need to allocate at least 5 billion rubles (about $138 million) for the project; pp 1, 5 (904 words).

3. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Kiev lays claims on Soviet property" says President Putin will make an extraordinary address to the Federation Council today to speak on the Crimean referendum as Crimean leaders arrived in Moscow for talks; pp 1, 6 (1,174 words).

4. Ivan Rodin and Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Political potential of new Russian entity" says Crimean leaders are going to join United Russia, as the party is expected to play a leading role in the region; pp 1-2 (1,069 words).

5. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Ukraine to pour 'Spring Shower' over Russian border" says Kiev has started partial mobilization to respond to the Russian threat; pp 1, 4 (852 words).

6. Andrei Serenko article headlined "They want to add politics to chess" says former Republic of Kalmykia head Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and opposition activist Garry Kasparov are to compete for the post of FIDE president. The Russian opposition are willing to turn the organization into an anti-Kremlin tool; pp 1, 4 (689 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Putin makes himself dependent on political radicals" says President Putin is making mistake when relying heavily on leftist electorate who dream of taking revenge after the collapse of the Soviet Union; p 2 (462 words).

8. Alexei Malashenko opinion column headlined "After Crimea" says President Putin has won a tactic victory by taking Crimea under control, however, he lost strategically, due to a large number of problems caused by Crimea's joining Russia; p 3 (591 words).

9. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Islom Karimov cuts down his own powers" features Russian pundits' comments on a constitutional reform in Uzbekistan; p 6 (1,000 words).

10. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Referendum that will never be recognized" says the West is going to distance from Moscow, as the independence referendum held in Crimea is not recognized by any country except Russia; p 7 (976 words).

11. Roza Tsvetkova article headlined "For fear's sake" is an interview with Lev Gudkov, the director of Russian pollster Levada Centre, who says Russians are getting increasingly anxious and uncertain about their future; pp 9, 11 (3,100 words).

12. Alexander Chernyavsky et al. selection of articles "One-headed and two-headed cities: Regions disappointed" focuses on mayoral elections in the Russian regions; pp 12-13 (3,900 words).


1. Margarita Papchenkova et al. headlined "One should pay for Russian oil in Russia" says Moscow is considering changes in paying oil taxes as Russia is to adjust its taxation to other member states of the Customs Union; pp 1, 5 (700 words).

2. Editorial headlined "People correcting mistakes" says Russian businesses are trying to minimize the negative effect on their work of Moscow's policy in Crimea; pp 1, 6 (400 words).

3. Lilia Biryukova et al. article headlined "Plus republic and city" forecasts what Putin will say in his address to the politicians and public today. He is expected to back the independence of Crimea; p 2 (500 words).

4. Svetlana Bocharova and Lilia Biryukova article headlined "Transdnestr region as Crimea" says the Transdnestr region is willing to join Russia following Crimea; p 3 (300 words).

5. Polina Khimshiashvili et al. article headlined "Nobody upset with sanctions" says the Western sanctions against Russian officials are of a symbolic nature. The future sanctions will depend on how the situation develops; p 3 (500 words).

6. Editorial headlined "Socialism for their own people" says Russia has turned from an oligarchic state to a predator state. The authorities are raising their stakes in this game, and this could turn the "crony capitalism" into the "crony socialism"; p 6 (300 words).

7. Girsh Khanin and Dmitry Fomin article headlined "Sly number against Russian economy" says the Russian authorities may repeat the Soviet mistakes as they are guided by fake statistics; pp 6-7 (1,500 words).

8. Alexei Levinson article headlined "Only for their own people" analyses Russian opinion polls on events in Ukraine, saying that it is dangerous to divide the world into "our people" and "strangers"; p 7 (500 words).

9. Kirill Kharatyan article headlined "Quote of the week" says the effects of EU sanctions against Russia will be insignificant comparing to the benefits Russia may get in Crimea; p 7 (400 words).

10. Yulia Orlova article headlined "ruble gets rest in Crimea" says the position of the Russian currency and shares have strengthened on the news from Crimea; pp 11, 14 (700 words).


1. Alena Sivkova article headlined "Duma to offer Crimea two variants of merger " says the Russian parliament is discussing the ways of the Russia-Crimea merger and the new status of the region within the Russian Federation; pp 1, 4 (593 words).

2. Yelizaveta Mayetnaya and Alexandra Bayazitova article headlined "Banks of peninsula get ready to join ruble zone" says the Crimean businesses are getting ready to work independently from Ukraine. ruble will become the main currency in the region as from March 30; pp 1, 5 (1,034 words).

3. Dmitry Runkevich and Yelena Malai article headlined "Criminal responsibility over state websites hacking to become more serious" says hackers staging cyber attacks on websites of the Russian government bodies are likely to face tougher punishments; pp 1-2 (519 words).

4. Konstantin Volkov interview with Federation Council chairwoman Valentina Matveyenko speaking on the Western sanctions against Russian officials over the Crimean crisis; pp 1, 5 (1,613 words).

5. Article by A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov headlined "Our people not abandoned" welcomes the results of the Crimean referendum and pledges support and protection to the region from Russia; p 4 (483 words).

6. Alena Sivkova interview with State Duma lawmaker Yelena Mizulina commenting on the Western sanctions against Russian officials including herself; p 6 (543 words).

7. Tatyana Shirmanova article headlined "Crimea may become centre of profit" says Russia may receive great profits if it invests in Crimea; p 6 (500 words).

8. Crimean journalist Natalya Gavrileva opinion column headlined "Motherland, we are back!" says that Crimeans understand that they will not enter a heaven by joining Russia but that they are certain that they have "avoided a hell"; p 9 (900 words).

9. Andrei Ashkerov opinion column headlined "Dream about Taurida" says Crimea should not be turned into a Russian region or federal district. Instead, it should be a parliamentary republic within the orbit of the "presidential republic" of Russia; p 9 (900 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Yury Snegirev article headlined "To Russia" reports on the celebration of the independence referendum results in Crimea, where an overwhelming majority voted for joining Russia; pp 1, 8 (640 words).

2. Yury Snegirev interview with Deputy Prime Minister of the Crimean government Rustam Temirgalyev speaking on the economic side of the republic's merger with Russia; pp 1, 10 (1,642 words).

3. Yevgeny Shestakov article headlined "Who laughs at democracy" says that many European countries are willing to keep friendly relations with Moscow despite the U.S. pressure over sanctions against Russia; p 9 (686 words).

4. Article by political expert Leonid Radzikhovsky headlined "Place in world" says the West will not benefit from sanctions against Russia economically or and politically, as these sanctions may push Russia closer towards China; p 9 (819 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Jumping over their head" says the West can disagree with the Crimean merger with Russia but residents of the peninsula have made their choice; pp 1-2 (997 words).

2. Olga Bozhyeva article headlined "Kiev does not want to remove army from Crimea" features pundit comments on the Ukrainian military presence in Crimea; p 3 (500 words).

3. Nikolai Makeyev article headlined "Peninsula to bring us $1 billion to $2 billion a year" says Russia may profit from Crimea joining it if it invests $10 billion in the region; p 3 (200 words).

4. Nikita Krichevsky article headlined "Peninsula-treasure" analyses possible consequences of the Crimean merger for the Russian economy; p 4 (800 words).

5. Igor Lavrentyev article headlined "West's mental attack" says the future of the Russian share market will depend on the Crimea-related developments; p 5 (400 words).

RBK Daily

1. Yevgeny Krasnikov article headlined "Usmanov's Chinese bet" says that Russian pro-Kremlin tycoon Alisher Usmanov has sold his shares in Apple and Facebook and is buying up Chinese internet companies; p 1 (300 words).

2. Maria Makutina and Alexander Litoi article headlined "Message to Crimea" details the procedure of Crimea's merger with Russia and legislators' plans to create the legal conditions for the merger; pp 1-2 (900 words).

3. Vladimir Pavlov et al. article headlined "Sanctions. Light version" analyses the list of anti-Russian sanctions approved by the EU and the U.S. on 17 March; pp 1-2 (700 words).

4. Stepan Opalev and Sergei Petrov article headlined "Moscow time" covers the situation in Crimea, focusing on its businesses and military bases; p 2 (800 words).

5. Andrei Kotov et al. article headlined "Calm before storm" argues that President Vladimir Putin's March 18 statement on Crimea will drastically affect Russian stock markets; p 5 (500 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Daria Aslamova article headlined "Will Donbass follow Crimea to Russia?" examines the situation in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian protests have reportedly been on the rise as of late; pp 1, 8-9 (2,000 words).

2. Andrei Ryabtsev and Alexander Rogoza article headlined "96.77 percent of Crimeans for reuniting with Russia" covers the Crimean referendum on joining Russia which took place on March 16; p 3 (200 words).

3. Valery Butayev article headlined "How to connect peninsula to Russia" details measures Russia could take to integrate Crimea; p 4 (700 words).

4. Alexander Kots and Dmitry Steshin article headlined "Crimea wakes up without Ukraine" chronicles Crimea's first day as an independent state following the referendum; p 5 (650 words).

5. Galina Sapozhnikova article headlined "Kiev never understood anything" describes Kiev's reaction to the Crimean referendum; p 5 (300 words).

6. Maxim Brusnev article headlined "Obama takes revenge for Crimea" sets out sanctions against Russian officials announced by recent U.S. President Barack Obama; p 6 (300 words).

7. Andrei Ryabtsev article headlined "Lies from powerlessness" analyses the coverage of the Crimean referendum by Ukrainian media; p 7 (500 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Anatoly Stepovoy et al. article headlined "Taking of Crimea" outlines economic and political challenges the Russian authorities are facing over the merger with Crimea; pp 1-2 (1,987 words).

2. Yana Sergeyeva article headlined "Agenda or ultimatum" says the Ukrainian authorities have not recognized the Crimean referendum and summarizes the measures they took following the vote; p 2 (380 words).

3. Sergei Putilov article headlined "It will reflect and hit guns" says that Western economic sanctions against Russia may hit Russian arms export; p 3 (650 words).

4. Anna Alexeyeva article headlined "Case long past" covers the March 17 sentencing of nationalist Dmitry Demushkin, found guilty extremism, and argues that the sentence has put a stop to Demushkin's political career; p 5 (450 words).

Tvoi Den

1. Sergei Ivanov article headlined "Ukrainian nationalist Dmytro Yarosh threatening to blow up Druzhba pipeline" says that Yarosh has threatened to damage oil and gas infrastructure in Ukraine; pp 4-5 (200 words).

March. 18, 2014 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC

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