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What the Papers Say, March 26, 2014


1. Ksenia Dementyeva article headlined "Ukrainian banks handing in Crimean portfolios" reports that Ukraine's Platinum Bank is selling the loan portfolio of its branch in Crimea as the bank is winding up its operations in the region. Other Ukrainian banks are likely follow suit; p 1 (798 words).

2. Olga Mordyushenko article called "20 million euros not found for Ukraine" says the European Commission has failed to broker a deal between Slovakia and Ukraine on exporting gas to Ukraine via a Slovak pipeline. Slovakia is reluctant to invest 20 million euros in arranging the reverse flow; p 1 (556 words).

3. Oleg Trutnev article called "Champagne separated from vodka" looks at how a conflict between the French champagne producer Louis Roederer and the state-owned spirits maker Soyuzplodoimport over the brand name Cristal has been resolved; p 1 (557 words).

4. Sergei Mashkin and Nina Sokolova article titled "Radical treated radically" gives details of an operation that resulted in the killing of ultranationalist leader Oleksandr Muzychko. Experts warn that his death might leader to a split between radicals on Maidan and Ukrainian law enforcers; p 1 (731 words).

5. Vadim Visloguzov article called "Finance Ministry and Federation Council don't see eye to eye on budgets" says the Federation Council is lobbying for a revision of fiscal relations between the federal government and Russian regions that in 2013 ran a cumulative deficit of 642 billion rubles ($17.8 billion); p 2 (673 words).

6. Taisia Bekbulatova et al. article headlined "Secretaries of district committees and art figures to be put on 'Zyuganov's list'" looks at how the Communist Party (CPRF) is selecting candidates for the City Duma election due to take place in September this year; p 2 (581 words).

7. Natalya Gorodetskaya article called "Government to help Crimea with constitution" says the Ministry of Regional Development has drawn up a road map of Crimea's switchover to Russian legislation; p 3 (637 words).

8. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Crimea is dearer than sanctions" looks at the results of a poll by VTsIOM that was conducted on March 16 and showed that only 25 percent of Russians thought the prospects of sanctions against Russian were a good enough reason not to annex Crimea ; p 3 (376 words).

9. Anna Pushkarskaya article called "PACE calls for decisive measures" reports from the 26th session of the PACE Congress of Local and Regional Authorities that is taking place in Strasbourg. The congress opened with a debate on Ukraine and Crimea; p 3 (560 words).

10. Yulia Rybina article called "Babayurt helped kill even their kin" reports the details of an FSB-led operation that eliminated four members of the so-called Babayurt terrorist group in Khasavyurt, Dagestan; p 4 (433 words).

11. Alexander Chernykh article headlined "Scientists preparing for Single State Exam" reports from a conference of scientists that took place in Moscow on March 25. The gathering agreed that the situation at the Russian Academy of Sciences was "catastrophic" and strongly criticized all reforms of the academy that were recently initiated by the Russian government; p 5 (779 words).

12. Vyacheslav Kozlov article titled "HIV does not fit into contract" warns that prices of antiretroviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV infection might go up because of an ineffective procurement system in the regions of Russia. This could further the spread of HIV/AIDS in Russia; p 5 (658 words).

13. Sergei Strokan article called "Barack Obama flying between sheikhs and NATO" previews the US-EU summit today in Brussels that is to be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama. He is also to meet with the NATO leadership. Obama is seeking to build a new containment strategy against Russia, hopefully with the involvement of Saudi Arabia. Obama is due to travel there on March 28; p 6 (485 words).

14. Viktor Khamrayev and Maxim Ivanov article titled "Migration service wants to get police functions" says the Federal Migration Service is drafting a bill "On immigration control" that might further expand its powers; p 5 (455 words).

15. Pavel Tarasenko article called "Brothers get under court attack" looks at how the EU and the U.S. respond to an Egyptian court's verdict sentencing over 500 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death; p 6 (510 words).

16. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "OSCE deploying in Ukraine" reports on the summit on nuclear security that ended on March 25 in The Hague and notes that the OSCE that is sending a monitoring mission to Ukraine with Russia's consent is turning "the aging" organization into a key tool in the settlement of the Ukraine crisis; p 6 (593 words).

17. Natalya Skorlygina column "Rules of the game" concludes that Crimea's dependence on electricity supplied from Ukraine is giving the latter leverage to negotiate with Russia; p 7 (325 words).

18. Vitaly Gaydayev article called "Exporters support Bank of Russia" analyzes factors that boosted the ruble's recovery on March 26 ; p 8 (536 words).


1. Maxim Tovkaylo et al. article called "Trutnev resettles Sechin and his company" quotes its sources in the federal government as saying that oil company Rosneft, one of Russia's key tax payers, is on the list of corporations that will relocate their headquarters to the Far East; pp 1, 5 (800 words).

2. Editorial headlined "Alternative world" is skeptical about Moscow's prospects of finding support in the East amid tense relations with the EU and the U.S.; pp 1,6 (400 words).

3. Lilia Biryukova and Vitaly Petlevoy article titled "Territory without Kuznetsov" forecasts that the Krasnoyarsk regional governor Lev Kuznetsov is about to resign; p 2 (400 words).

4. Maria Zheleznova and Anna Afanasyeva article called "Alexei Navalny left out of print" says the media watchdog Roskomnadzor has rejected an application for the registration of a newspaper called "Popular Politics". The newspaper was founded by Alexei Navalny's affiliate Vladimir Ashurkov; p 2 (400 words).

5. Svetlana Bocharova and Anastasia Kornya article headlined "With right of exit" notes that Crimea, like another other region of Russia, will not be able to secede from the Russian Federation; p 2 (300 words).

6. Margarita Papchenkova article titled "Cuttings served" says that in an attempt to cut regional deficits the Ministry of Finance might allow Russian regions to slash some of the social security benefits that are not related to Putin's so-called May orders; p 4 (400 words).

7. Anastasia Agamalova and Mikhail Overchenko article called "To Ukraine for reforms" reports that the U.S. Senate has backed a bill allocating $150 million in financial aid to Ukraine; p 5 (200 words).

8. Editorial called "Ethical purges" condemns the sacking of history professor Andrei Zubov from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations following the publication of his article "It happened before" in Vedomosti that drew parallels between Crimea's annexation and Hitler's Anschluss with Austria; p 6 (300 words).

9. Ramazan Alpaut essay headlined "Caucasus: old songs about main things" calls for a new government model for Dagestan as it has always been the civilization centre of the North Caucasus; pp 6, 7 (700 words).

10. Alexei Rozhkov column "Figure of the week: 1.5 billion rubles" comments on the commercial success of the Sochi Winter Games; p 7 (300 words).

11. Tatyana Voronova et al. article called "Russian financiers occupying Crimea" examines the situation in Crimea's banking and insurance sector to see how Russian financial operators may enter the market; pp 11, 15 (400 words).

12. Irina Mokrousova and Alexei Nikolsky article titled "Sukhoi Superjet flying to China" says that a group including Henan Oberoi Aircraft Company, China Tianli Aviation Technology Co. and Shanghai Yuan Fei Aviation Technology Company have signed a memorandum with the United Aircraft Corporation on the purchase of one hundred SSJ 100 aircraft. The United Aircraft Corporation might shift some of the production to China; p 12 (400 words).

13. Yelena Khodyakova article called "Rosneft considers supplies to India" looks at Rosneft's plans to sell oil to India and start a joint offshore drilling project; p 12 (300 words).

14. Milana Chelpanova et al. article headlined "Change of steersman at USC" says the head of the United Shipbuilding Corporation Vladimir Shmakov might be removed from the job this week; p 13 (200 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Yekaterina Trifonova article titled "Single voting day might be moved to December" says the Communist Party has suggested that voting day should be moved from September to December so that parties do not have to conduct their election campaigns during the summer holiday lull; pp 1,2 (730 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina article called "Crimea issue to become foundation for new ideology" looks at an idea of the Education Ministry to hold lessons at schools and colleges in order to explain to students "the details of Russia's policy in Crimea"; pp 1,3 (672 words).

3. Anastasia Bashkatov article headlined "Russia enters mobilization and crisis regime" looks at the uninspiring figures on Russian economic activity and concludes that the only industry that is likely to benefit from sanctions against the country is the defense sector; pp 1,4 (1,005 words).

4. Alina Terekhova article called "Ministry of Industry and Trade says hello to Angela Merkel" views a proposal by Industry Ministry Denis Manturov to restrict the purchase of foreign-made cars for government fleets as a reciprocal sanction. Experts doubt, however, that there are locally made alternatives to German premium class sedans such as the ones produced by BMW and Mercedes-Benz ; pp 1,4 (502 words).

5. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "West will not place stakes on Tymoshenko" notes that Ukrainian society does not seem to have taken notice of Yulia Tymoshenko's alleged conversation with Nestor Shufrych in which she appears to have said that the 8 million Russians living in Ukraine should be killed with "nuclear weapons". Pundits believe that Tymoshenko is unlikely to be backed by the U.S. and the EU if she runs for Ukrainian presidency; pp 1,7 (1,396 words).

6. Yury Paniyev article called "People in Brussels to pay $10 million for one day with Obama" previews U.S. President Barack Obama's trip to Brussels where he is to attend the US-EU summit; says the one-day visit will cost Belgian taxpayers $10 million ; pp 1,8 (984 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Sanctions to mask problems in Russian economy" delivers a call to action from Russian leading businessmen who attended the "Week of Russian Business" conference last week and warned the government that the business climate needs to be radically improved in the country; p 2 (516 words).

8. Ivan Rodin article called "Russian guarantees for Ukrainian deposits of Crimean people" says the Bank of Russia insurance now covers the deposits of Crimea's people in Ukrainian banks; p 3 (670 words).

9. Andrei Riskin column called "Carte Blanche. Maybe, it's better to hand rusty ships back to Ukraine?" cautiously criticizes Russia for seizing Ukraine's warships, thus violating maritime laws, and doubts the loyalty of the former Ukrainian Navy chief, Denis Berezovsky who defected to Russia; p 3 (913 words).

10. Mikhail Sergeiev article called "Moscow backs Ukraine with scientific forecast" compares the outlook for the Ukrainian economic as viewed by the Higher School of Economics and Raiffeisen Bank. The former forecasts that Ukrainian GDP will drop a mere 1 percent this year, while Raiffeisen believes the economy will slow down by 7 percent; p 4 (636 words).

11. Unattributed text headlined "Program for market economy" calls for new industrialization, sets out potential challenges; p 5 (1,945 words).

12. Oleg Vladykin article called "Readiness for massive nuclear strike" reports on the start of command staff drill of the Omsk and Orenburg missile formations; p 6 (581 words).

13. Viktoria Panfilova article headlined "Gulnara Karimova appeals to father via Internet" quotes pundit Adzhar Kurtov as saying that by nipping his daughter's ambitions, Uzbek President Islam Karinov is not only saving his own reputation, but is actually protecting her from numerous adversaries ; p 7 (829 words).

14. Vladimir Skosyrev article called "China to help settle Ukraine crisis" looks at China's policy with regard to the Ukraine crisis and supposes that China might play a mediating role in the conflict between Moscow and Kiev; p 8 (604 words).

15. Artur Blinov article headlined "Tokyo hopes for Moscow's return to G8" concludes that Japan's well-balanced stance on the Crimea crisis is aimed at keeping its relations with Russia intact; p 8 (750 words).


1. Natalya Bashlykova article entitled "Valery Semenov to become senator in Krasnoyarsk" says that Semenov, the secretary of United Russia's branch in Krasnoyarsk will represent the region in the Federation Council; pp 1, 4 (400 words).

2. Natalya Bashlykova interview with Nenets autonomous district Governor Igor Koshin headlined "'Influence of oil companies on authorities reduced to zero'" on the governor's plans for the area as well as on peculiarities of management in this constituent part of the Russian Federation; pp 1-2 (800 words).

3. Petr Kozlov article entitled "Bosco Sport leaving Ukraine" says Russian businessmen Mikhail Kusnirovich has decided to close down six shops in Ukraine but leave one open in Yalta, Crimea; pp 1, 5 (400 words).

4. Dmitry Runkevich and Yelena Malay article entitled "State Duma suggests launching criminal case against Tymoshenko" says deputies want to put former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on an international wanted list for her statement calling for the 8 million Russians living Ukraine to be killed; p 4 (300 words).

5. Arseny Pogosyan and Taras Podrez article headlined " U.S. Department of Commerce freezes its business mission" says the business visit to Russia due to be held in September is up in the air over the situation around Crimea; p 5 (500 words).

6. Sergei Podosenov article headlined "Officials find island belonging to Russian Orthodox Church among U.S. property" says Yakutsk Mayor Aysen Nikolayev says Spruce Island off Alaska's shores should be brought back to the Russian Orthodox Church as it is its property in accordance with the documents signed in 1867 and recently found by a Yakutian expedition in the archives of Russian emigres in the U.S.; p 5 (400 words).

7. Dmitry Runkevich and Yelena Malay article entitled "Google will be compelled to show Crimes as Russian constituent" says lawmaker Alexander Sidyakin has filed a statement in which he also asks to check Wikipedia that is still referring to Crimea as moot territory between Russia and Ukraine; p 6 (400 words).

8. Yelena Teslova article headlined "Moscow and Washington fighting over Arab world" looks at Russia establishing and maintaining contacts with various countries in the Middle East and beyond, "one step ahead of the U.S.", as the authors puts it; p 8 (900 words).

9. Timofey Bordachev article "Diplomacy is just beginning ..." looks at what diplomacy can do in a changing world to prevent the armed forces from intervening in the standoff between the West and the humankind; p 9 (600 words).

Rossiisskaya Gazeta

1. Oleg Kiryanov interview with Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev headlined "Gusty wind from East". Ulyukayev speaks about expanding economic cooperation with South-East Asia, notes that uncertainty is more harmful than sanctions and forecasts that GDP might grow 2 percent this year; pp 1, 4 (1,132 words).

2. Ivan Yegorov article called "Bullet of revolution" reports on the killing of ultranationalist leader Oleksandr Muzychko; points out that his death saved him from life in prison in Russia; pp 1, 8 (1,012 words).

3. Alena Uzbekova article titled "Roman holiday" says that Italy and Greece are taking steps to simplify visa procedures for Russians, while the Russian authorities are working on subsidies for air carriers to make Crimea a more attractive destination for Russian tourists; pp 1, 5 (744 words).

4. Editorial by lawmaker Vyacheslav Nikonov called "Short wire: Don't strain yourself" responds to the article by former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul that was published on March 24 in the New York Times. Russia cannot be isolated, nor can it be harmed by sanctions, the author says; p 3 (1,660 words).

5. Fedor Lukyanov op-ed headlined "Why do we need America?" looks ahead at Russia's foreign policy to conclude that the U.S. will probably cease to be its strategic opponent and the focus is likely to tilt to the East; p 10 (748 words).

6. Yevgeny Shestakov article called "Yulia said" notes that Yulia Tymoshenko's conversation with Nestor Shufrych in which she allegedly said that the Russian population of Ukraine should be killed with "nuclear weapons" might have been leaked by herself because she is trying to win the votes of the right-wing electorate; p 10 (948 words).

7. Vladislav Vorobyev article called "Without vodka" reports on the results of the Hague summit on nuclear security where Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held two dozen bilateral meetings, including one with his Ukrainian counterpart ; p 10 (670 words).

8. Igor Dunayevsky article headlined "U.S. keeps an eye on Russia and China" comments on U.S. foreign policy; p 8 (453 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Igor Karmazin article entitled "We shall avenge the death of our brother!" says the Right Sector declared a war on the provisional government of Ukraine after Oleksandr Muzychko, also known as Sashko Bily, was killed; pp 1-2 (400 words).

2. Alexander Yashlavsky article entitled "Window on Europe for Crimea will be closed" says residents of Crimea will have to go to Ukraine to get a Schengen visa; pp 1-2 (300 words).

3. Sergei Gaponov article headlined "Story of Professor Zubov" looks at corporate ethics at Moscow State Institute of International Relations that recently sacked history professor Andrei Zubov following the publication of his article "It happened before" in Vedomosti that drew parallels between Crimea's annexation and Hitler's Anschluss with Austria; p 3 (700 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Yulia Polukhina interview with opposition politician Ilya Ponomarev who says that Russian security officials attempted to prove that Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov was behind the mass unrest on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square in 2012; pp 2-3 (1,800 words).

2. Andrei Kolesnikov and Andrei Lipsky interview with former Polish Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor Leszek Balcerowicz speculating on the impact of the EU and U.S. sanctions on Russia over the situation in Crimea; pp 7-8 (1,300).

3. Maria Yepifanova and Andrei Kapustin article headlined "Getting our ears ready ..." reports on the ongoing information war waged between the Russian and the Ukrainian mass media; p 10 (600 words).

4. Elena Shafran article headlined "Chechnya of Promise" reports on the opening ceremony of a mosque named after Akhmat Kadyrov in Israel. The Chechen authorities claim the funds for its construction have not been taken from the republic's budget; p 20 (1,000 words).


1. Sergei Frolov article called "'Grey geese' fly over Ukraine" reports on the news that the private military company Greystone Limited was hired to impose order in eastern Ukraine; pp 1-2 (800 words).

2. Vladislav Rzhevskiy article headlined "Good zone requires bridge" compares the situation in Crimea and Kaliningrad, which has been a special economic zone for about 20 years; p 4 (500 words).

Argumenty i Fakty

1. Mikhail Delyagin article headlined "How Ukrainian oligarchs made money on Russia" says that all Russian assets of Ukrainian businessmen who sponsored the unrest in Ukraine should be confiscated; p 5 (300 words).

2. Darya Buravchikova and Ekaterina Donskikh interview with Valentin Katasonov, professor of the Department of International Finances of the Moscow State International Relations Institute , on the future of the Russian economy; p 15 (900 words).

3. Georgy Zotov article called "Vegetables of Wehrmacht" reports on the situation in western Ukraine; p 7 (1,000 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Veronika Vorontsova interview with the editor-in-chief of Yezhednevny Zhurnal, Alexander Ryklin, saying the website was supposedly blocked by Roskomnadzor following a preview of the rally against war with Ukraine; pp 1, 5 (400 words).

RBK Daily

1. Elena Malysheva article headlined "Revolution is not scary" says that the political crisis in Ukraine may not turn into an economic one, quoting the latest forecast of pundits from the Higher School of Economics (HSE); p 3 (600 words).

2. Denis Puzyrev and Valeriya Zhitkova article headlined "Peninsula of opportunities" reports on how the lives of Russian businessmen working in Crimea changed after the peninsula's merger with Russia; pp 1, 6 (1,300 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Evgenia Suprycheva article headlined "Weapons sold on Maidan overtly" reports on the situation on Maidan in Kiev; pp 1, 6 (1,000 words)

Source: BBC Monitoring / © BBC

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