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What the Papers Say, March 19


1. Maxim Varyvdin interview with Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev headlined "Effectiveness cannot be without legality". He speaks about planned layoffs in the ministry, high-profile dismissals, plans to offer jobs to staff members of the disbanded Ukrainian riot police Berkut and comments on a proposal of a merger between the ministry and the Investigative Committee; pp 1, 6 (2,491 words).

2. Musa Muradov article called "Doku Umarov dies on the Internet" says that several websites linked with groups of insurgents in the North Caucasus have reported the death of rebel leader Doku Umarov; pp 1, 3 (491 words).

3. Vitaly Gaydayev article called "President calms down investors" briefly notes that President Putin's address to the Federation Council on Crimea's merger with Russia sent the Russian stock market and ruble exchange rate growing; p 1 (209 words).

4. Ksenia Dementyeva et al. article headlined "Just in the Ukrainian case" reports on a meeting behind closed doors that was chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to discuss emerging risks to the national banking system given the difficult political and economic situation in Russia; pp 1, 8 (723 words).

5. Andrei Kolesnikov article called "All roads led to Crimea" gives an account of President Putin's address to the Federation Council on Crimea's entry into Russia, including highlights from his speech; pp 1, 4 (2,182 words).

6. Andrei Pertsev et al. article titled "Novosibirsk governor fired in stern words" says President Putin has sacked the Novosibirsk regional governor Vasily Yurchenko, citing a loss of trust; p 2 (588 words).

7. Ivan Safronov and Yelena Kiseleva article called "Vladislav Menshchikov leaving Almaz-Antey" says Vladislav Menshchikov, who has headed the Almaz-Antey air defense concern for over a decade, has been promoted to head of Kremlin's main directorate of special programs; p 2 (518 words).

8. Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "Convicts freed from victims" reports that the Constitutional Court has streamlined the procedure of releasing a prisoner on parole, relieving courts of the need to notify victims about a court hearing that will hear a parole petition; p 3 (513 words).

9. Alexander Chernykh and Alexander Voronov article called "Crimea to take entrance exam" says schoolgoers in their final year in Crimea will get the opportunity to take the Single state exam to be able to enter Russian universities. Local colleges are concerned that they might see a drop in admissions; p 3 (541 words).

10. Maxim Ivanov et al. article headlined "Admission to Russia needs to be verified" scrutinizes the laws that provided the foundation for Crimea's merger with Russia; quotes experts as saying that although President Putin has solidified his status as an "almighty leader", Russia's partners are likely to be scared away by its integration plans; p 4 (1,119 words).

11. Yegor Popov column called "Rules of the game. Russia might lose 'Sevastopol'" points out that Russia could live without French-made Mistral helicopter-carriers and that it is France who is likely to face problems if it suspends the deal to sell them to Russia; p 5 (223 words).

12. Yegor Popov article headlined "Right Sector to ride in grain trucks" gives details of a seizure by Ukraine's Right Sector nationalist group of 43 KamAZ trucks that will reportedly be handed over to the newly established National Guard. The grain trucks that were to be exported to Kazakhstan are not really fit for military purposes, the article says; p 5 (566 words).

13. Yelena Chernenko article called "Crimea and punishment" mulls the possibility of sanctions against Russia and concludes that since Russia is not going to move beyond Crimea, the scope of measures to be taken by the EU is likely to be limited; p 5 (630 words).

14. Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Industry even grew in the end" says industrial growth in February was 1.6 percent compared to the previous month, but the trend will not continue until the end of the year; p 7 (670 words).

15. Vitaly Gaydayev article titled "Stocks not in favor of Crimea" says investors are taking their money to developed markets amid growing geopolitical risks; p 8 (451 words).

16. Olga Mardyushenko and Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Crimea will start by selling offshore" forecasts that gas company Chernomorneftegaz is likely to be taken over by Gazprom; p 9 (520 words).

17. Yelizaveta Kuznetsova and Yegor Popov article called "Small airport to be opened to investors" says the Transport Ministry and the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service are working to simplify the certification requirements for smaller airports in order to boost air traffic; p 9 (396 words).


1. Lilia Biryukova and Yekaterina Kravchenko article called "Putin did without economy" offers experts' comments on President Putin's address to the Federation Council with regard to Crimea's entry into Russia; pp 1, 2 (600 words).

2. Editorial called "Post-Crimean Russia" says the "Crimean campaign" proved an effective tool for consolidating Russian society; pp 1, 6 (800 words).

3. Svetlana Bocharova et al. article titled "Kremlin in transition" looks at the technical details of Crimea's merger with Russia; p 2 (600 words).

4. Anastasia Kornya article headlined "Peculiarities of Moscow regime" says the Constitutional Court is to consider the legality of higher traffic fines in Moscow as compared to other regions in Russia; p 3 (300 words).

5. Yelena Morozova article called "Yurchenko not trusted with elections" alleges that the dismissal of the Novosibirsk regional governor Vasily Yurchenko might have taken place due to criminal proceedings against local government officials; p 3 (450 words).

6. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Air defense to be handed over to deputy" says Yan Novikov is likely to succeed Vladislav Menshchikov in the post of director of the Almaz-Antey air defense concern; p 3 (400 words).

7. Sergei Titov article called "Housing at state-controlled prices" gives details of a new state-sponsored program called "Housing for Russian families" that is aimed at building affordable housing for families. The government is to provide developers with land allotments and is to pay for infrastructure; p 5 (600 words).

8. Mikhail Overchenko and Alexei Nevelsky article titled "Blow to trust" says foreign companies appear to be concerned about the prospects of operating in Russia in view of the economic slowdown, but even more so because of the unpredictable Russian government; p 5 (400 words).

9. Andrei Zakharov essay called "Imperial federalism" looks at how Russia has used the concept of federalism for expanding its territory; p 6 (800 words).

10. Kirill Titayev op-ed called "Arrest impacts court" criticizes the common practice of courts to put suspects under pre-trial arrest; p 7 (800 words).

11. Alexei Rozhkov column "Figure of the week. 80 medals" voiced the hope that the success of the Russian team at the Winter Paralympics will help make Russia a better place for people with disabilities; p 7 (350 words).

12. An op-ed by Andrei Kolesnikov of Novaya Gazeta headlined "U-turn over Atlantic" gloomily announces the start of a new Cold War as Russia's "annexation of Crimea" has shaped a new "world chaos"; p 7 (400 words).

13. Bela Lyauv and Anton Filatov article headlined "Investors wanted for new Moscow" discusses the feasibility of a program to develop the so-called "new Moscow". The budget of the program is estimated at 7,000 billion rubles ($189 billion) until 2035; p 11 (600 words).

14. Mikhail Serov and Galina Starinskaya article titled "Oil producers asking for concessions" says Rosneft, Gazprom and Surgutneftegaz have asked for lower export duties for several of their projects; p 13 (500 words).

15. Darya Borisyak article headlined "CB tired of waiting for cash" reports that the Central Bank has withdrawn licenses from three more banks and the Migom money transfer system; p 14 (700 words).

16. Mikhail Overchenko and Alexei Nevelsky article called "Investors have their own sanctions" supposes that Russian companies may find it hard to borrow money abroad because of "informal" sanctions against Russia; p 15 (500 words).

17. Anastasia Golitsyna article called "Vkontakte shared between two" details a deal between Mail.ru Group and Bullion Development Ltd. that left the former with a controlling stake of shares in Russia's largest networking website VK.com; p 16 (400 words).

18. Alexander Silonov and Igor Tsukanov article titled "Microsoft in charge of ATMs" reveals that most of ATMs in Russia are powered by Windows XP. This will make them vulnerable to hackers' attacks as Microsoft suspends support for Windows XP as of April; p 17 (400 words).


1. Yegor Sozayev-Guryev article headlined "Historic signature" reviews President Putin's address to the Federation Council on Crimea's entry into Russia, including the reaction of senators ; pp 1-2 (1,250 words).

2. Alexander Yunashev article headlined "We are together" says that tens of thousands of people took part in rallies across Russia to celebrate Crimea becoming a part of Russia. A rally and a concert in Moscow's Red Square gathered more than 120,000 people, the author says; pp 1, 4 (400 words).

3. Boris Mezhuyev op-ed headlined "Separation of civilizations?" says that Russia "took Crimea and Sevastopol" not from a brotherly Ukraine but from a different hostile Euro-Atlantic state; pp 1, 9 (800 words).

4. Natalya Bashlykova and Yelena Teslova article headlined "Vasily Yurchenko not trusted anymore" looks into the dismissal of Novosibirsk regional governor Vasily Yurchenko, quoting pundits as saying the dismissal was sudden but predictable due to Yurchenko's low rating and alleged involvement in corruption schemes; p 2 (1,000 words).

5. Tatyana Borodina article headlined "Moscow and Moscow region to find jobs for Ukrainian refugees" says that Moscow and the Moscow region have expressed a readiness to accept refugees from Ukraine and provide them with working placements; p 4 (400 words).

6. Alexander Yunashev interview with former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov on the most recent political events including Crimea joining Russia; p 5 (1,100 words).

7. Maria Gorkovskaya article headlined "Ukraine states Firtash extradited to the U.S." looks at the fate of Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, who was earlier detained in Vienna at the request of the FBI. Court officials in Vienna, however, deny his extradition; p 5 (400 words).

8. Maria Gorkovskaya article headlined "EU split over energy supplies" says that at the EU summit in Brussels, the members of the EU failed to find a single solution as regards a possible new "gas war" between Russia and Ukraine; p 5 (600 words).

9. Sergei Podosenov article headlined "Crimean communists to join CPRF" says that the Crimean branch of the Ukrainian communist party is willing to become a part of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation; p 6 (600 words).

10. Alexandra Bayazitova and Vladimir Zykov article headlined "Mail.ru gains control over Vkontakte Ltd" looks into the deal between the Mail.ru Group internet holding and Russia's largest networking site VK.com; p 7 (450 words).

11. Maxim Kononenko op-ed headlined "What's in my sanctions for you" looks into the list of Russian high-ranking officials and politicians who fell under the restrictive sanctions of the EU and the U.S.; p 9 (700 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Russian spring unbends" says President Putin's address to the Federation Council devoted to Crimea joining Russia was "the best speech he has ever given while being the supreme leader of Russia"; pp 1-2 (600 words).

2. Irina Bobrova article headlined "Viktor Yanukovych and his love" features an investigation into ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's whereabouts. Rumor has it he is living in the luxury village Barvikha in the Moscow region; pp 1, 5 (800 words).

3. Marina Ozerova article headlined "State Duma drawing fire upon itself" says 353 out of 450 State Duma deputies have asked U.S. President Barack Obama to impose sanctions on them as well for their stance on Ukraine; pp 1, 3 (400 words).

4. Mikhail Zubov op-ed headlined "More sanctions, more diversity" says the sanctions imposed on Russia for the "annexation of Crimea" are actually harmless; pp 1, 3 (300 words).

5. Renat Abdullin and Igor Subbotin article headlined "Russia expelled from G8" features an interview with German expert Alexander Rahr on the matter; p 2 (300 words).

6. Olga Bozhyeva article headlined "Thanks to France for this" says that Russian navy will get rid of "additional headache" in case France cancels the contract envisaging the delivery of two Mistral helicopter-carriers to Russia; p 3 (400 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Yan Vaslavsky article headlined "Whims of West's foreign policy" argues that Russia's membership of the G8 has actually been preventing it from making a bigger contribution to "constructive international activity" and that expulsion from the group should by no means be considered a sanction against the country; pp 1-2 (1,211 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina and Ivan Rodin article titled "Putin's 'Fulton speech'" summarizes President Putin's address to the Federation Council on Crimea's entry into Russia and draws a parallel with Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech; pp 1-2 (1,904 words).

3. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "2013 might be new 1913" looks at Russia's economic performance in 2013 as reported by government statistics agency Rosstat; forecasts that the national economy is likely to slide down further in 2014; pp 1, 4 (1,054 words).

4. Igor Bolotin article called "Yurchenko loses pre-election trust" discusses the reasons behind the abrupt dismissal of Novosibirsk regional governor Vasily Yurchenko; pp 1, 6 (521 words).

5. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Russian hole in Moldovan border closed" says Ukraine has closed the border for residents of Moldova's self-proclaimed Transdnestr republic who hold Russian passports, effectively putting it in isolation; pp 1, 7 (717 words).

6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article titled "Kiev waiting for refugees" concludes that Ukraine will almost certainly break up diplomatic relations with Russia after the latter's merger with Crimea, says Kiev expects an influx of refugees from Crimea as Crimean Tatars might be forced to cede their "illegally seized" land plots; pp 1, 7 (1,245 words).

7. Actor Alexander Kalyagin op-ed called "I have something to say about Crimea referendum" argues that international law establishes the right of nations to self-determination and that the choice of Crimean people to join Russia deserves respect; p 2 (423 words).

8. Editorial called "'War' already going on on stage and in theater" looks at reciprocal cancellations of tours by Russian and Ukrainian musical bands and dance companies amid the confrontation between the two countries; p 2 (522 words).

9. Alexei Gorbachev and Alexandea Samarina article headlined "Powers of Human Rights Council curtailed" warns that the presidential human rights council might become yet another organization "without an opinion" as an amendment to its regulations has already prohibited the members of the council to publish their opinion on the website of the organization; p 3 (749 words).

10. Olga Loginova article titled "Sochi returning to normal life" reports from Sochi that is getting back into its routine after the Winter Games; p 3 (814 words).

11. Oleg Vladykin op-ed called "Carte Blanche. Competition of military oaths" suggests that the Defense Ministry should not create false hopes in the Ukrainian military personnel stationed in Crimea and tell them plainly that most of them are not professional enough to be hired by the Russian army; p 3 (829 words).

12. Alina Terekhova article titled "Russian currency still has change to get stronger" gives a largely gloomy outlook for inflation in Russia and the ruble exchange rate until the end of the year; p 4 (637 words).

13. Alexander Ryabushev article headlined "Polish voivodes asked to keep cool" says the Polish leadership is concern about possible acts of provocation on the Russian-Polish border in view of the Crimea crisis; p 6 (350 words).

14. Alexander Chernyavsky article called "Senator Klishas makes history" quotes pundit Yury Moskvich as saying that U.S. authorities might know something about the unreported property of Russian Senator Andrei Klishas who was among those on the U.S. blacklist of Russian officials whose assets in the U.S. have been frozen. Klishas, who is considered one of the wealthiest Russian politicians, vehemently denied the allegations; p 6 (433 words).

15. Yury Paniyev article called "Sanctions to cost every Latvian 50 euros a month" looks at how tougher sanctions against Russia that are being mulled by the EU might hit Latvia; p 8 (694 words).

16. Yevgenya Novikova article called "Conflict of Russia and EU does not disrupt nuclear talks with Tehran" reports on the start of the second round of talks in Vienna between Iran and six world powers; p 8 (639 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Full text of the Russian president's address to the Federation Council on March 18; pp 1-3 (4,436 words)

2. Full text of the treaty between the Russian Federation and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on the latter's entry into Russia; p 3 (884 words).

3. Fedor Lukyanov op-ed headlined "World without West?" points out that Russia has always had strong bonds with the West and Europe in particular, but if the latter adopts sanctions over the Crimea crisis, this country will have to shift its focus to Asia, which is not bad because the former "Third World" has grown much stronger; p 8 (709 words).

4. Yury Gavrilov article called "Mistral under pressure" weighs the implications of France's threat to halt the delivery of Mistral helicopter-carriers to Russia and comes to the conclusion that neither the Russian Navy, nor Russian shipbuilders would suffer much from it; p 8 (517 words).

5. Igor Dunayevsky and Vladislav Vorobyev article headlined "Behind all the noise in Kiev" says the U.S. leadership does not care for Ukraine and Crimea, but is actually trying to solve its own problems. For example, President Barack Obama has managed to "pull through" Congress a reform of the U.S.' participation in the IMF; p 8 (642 words).

6. Yevgeny Shestakov article called "NATO loses faith" is sceptical about NATO's plans to scale down its cooperation with Russia as for Moscow "there has never been anything strategic or important" in such cooperation; p 9 (639 words).

7. Alexander Yemelyanenko interview with president of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN) Vladimir Fortov discussing the merger of the Russian Academy of Medicine, Russian Academy of Agriculture and RAN; p 12 (2,898 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Andrei Kolesnikov article called "Russia adds a peninsula" analyses Putin's speech on Russia's annexation of Crimea; p 2 (400 words).

2. Editorial headlined "After Crimea" speculates on possible developments after Putin and the Crimean leaders signed a treaty incorporating the Black Sea peninsula into the Russian Federation; p 2 (400 words).

3. Viktoria Makarenko article called "Brotherly people's ambassadors" says that some anti-government protesters in southeast Ukrainian cities have come from Russia's Rostov region; p 5 (400 words).

4. Alexander Mineyev article headlined "Russia is now fearsome" says the EU does not intend to fight with Russia over Crimea, but has already introduced sanctions against Russian officials and parliamentarians; p 7 (800 words)

5. Pavel Kanygin interview with Refat Chubarov, chairman of the Crimean Tatar Majlis (self-styled government), saying that Crimean Tatars will continue to obey Ukrainian law and strongly oppose Crimea becoming a part of Russia; pp 8-9 (1,000 words).

6. Pavel Kanygin interview with pro-Russian Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev on the future of Crimea following the March 16 referendum on its status; pp 8-9 (900 words).

Argumenty i Fakty

1. Vyacheslav Kostikov article headlined "Why boys reap the whirlwind" says the most active conflicting party in the Ukrainian crisis is the U.S. ; p 6 (1,100 words).

2. Georgy Alexandrov article headlined "Return home" reports on expected changes in Crimea after it becomes a part of Russia through the eyes of Crimeans themselves; p 7 (1,100 words).

3. Oxana Zagorulko article called "Billions to boot" provides expert opinions on possible economic benefits for Russia following Crimea's accession; p 11 (700 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Alexei Pankin interview with German political analyst Alexander Rahr headlined "One used to consider Russia as defeated..." speculating on the results the West wants to achieve with the new sanctions against Russia; p 5 (300 words).

2. Vitaly Tretyakov op-ed headlined "How not to give Crimean victory to looters" speculates on Russia's victory in geopolitical battle over Crimea; p 6 (550 words).

3. Viktor Mukhin article headlined "War of images and meanings" speculates on Russia's position on the world stage and on public sentiments within the country; p 9 (900words).

4. Yevgeny Arsyukhin article headlined "Crimea to help restore Russian economy health" reports on possible economic benefits for Russia after Crimea joins it; p 13 (700 words).

Tvoi Den

1. Anton Stepanov article headlined "Crimea is our history and pride" reports on the presidential address to the Federal Assembly in connection with the Crimea referendum vote to join Russia; pp 2-3 (600 words).

RBK Daily

1. Evgeny Novikov et al. article called "At expense of Crimea" says Kiev has claimed compensation from Moscow for the loss of Crimea; as a result, Russia may lose its state assets worth between $2 to $4 billion on the Ukrainian territory; pp 1, 3 (750 words).

2. Maria Makutina et al. article headlined "How to become Russia in 200 days" says the transitional period of Crimea becoming a part of Russia might be over by the end of 2014; pp 2-3 (1,300 words).

Source: BBC Monitoring/ ©BBC

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