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What the Papers Say, April 28, 2014

Kommersant


1. Dmitry Butrin and Alexei Shapovalov article headlined "Trade turnover aspect" says that the Ukrainian crisis has aggravated the industrial decline in the country. Ukraine's trade with Russia has significantly decreased, which has undermined the economy of pro-Russian Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions; pp 1, 8 (1,102 words).


2. Natalia Korchenkova et al. article headlined "Justification of Nazism escapes responsibility" says that the Federation Council has disagreed with the wording of the bill introducing criminal responsibility for "rehabilitation of Nazism" and may return it to the State Duma; pp 1, 3 (740 words).


3. Kirill Melnikov article headlined "Eduard Khudainatov enters alliance" says that the oil company belonging to former Rosneft head Eduard Khudainatov, Independent Oil and Gas Company, and Alliance Oil have set up a joint venture; pp 1, 12 (664 words).


4. Olga Shestopal article headlined "Finance Ministry goes to SWIFT" says that the State Duma has approved in the second and third readings a bill establishing the national payment system in Russia. The Finance Ministry has suggested amending the bill with provisions regulating the use of the SWIFT system as well; pp 1, 10 (640 words).


5. St. Petersburg-based Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "Early voting considered immature" says that Constitutional Court judge Sergei Kazantsev has opposed the court ruling returning voters a right to early voting; p 2 (476 words).


6. Petr Netreba article headlined "Following Crimea, Russia to increase by ministry" says that the newly-established Crimean Affairs Ministry will not have any exclusive functions. It will focus on drafting state programs for the peninsula's development; p 2 (445 words).


7. Tatyana Yedovina article headlined "Business fears internal sanctions" looks at a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and foreign businessmen, who are concerned about domestic economic measures more than about pending anti-Russian economic sanctions being considered by the West over Russia's stance on the Ukrainian crisis; p 2 (548 words).


8. Maxim Ivanov et al. article headlined "Crimeans put in electoral position" says that the regional parliamentary elections in Crimea and Sevastopol will most likely be held in a simplified way because the slow issuance of Russian passports in these regions will complicate the collection of signatures necessary for standing in the elections, by political parties, except for the parliamentary ones and Yabloko; p 2 (642 words).


9. Alexander Voronov article headlined "Deputies and officials out of step with time" says that the government and the State Duma have clashed over a bill introducing the winter time in Russia; p 3 (511 words).


10. Natalia Gorodetskaya article headlined "Heads of city parliaments need president's intervention" says that the Union of Parliaments of Russian Cities has opposed the local government reform that will abolish direct mayoral elections in large cities that are divided into districts. Its proposals will be summed up in a resolution that will be sent to the president and the parliament; p 3 (460 words).


11. Sofia Samokhina et al. article headlined "They threaten NGOs with enforcement to foreign things" says that State Duma lawmaker from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Andrei Lugovoi has suggested amending the law on nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, with a provision saying that any NGOs that are financed from abroad and are engaged in political activities should be forcibly included in a list of foreign agents; p 3 (510 words).


12. Ivan Safronov and Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Operation of closure begins against NATO" says that the NATO Information Office in Moscow may be shut down in response to the alliance's decision to suspend cooperation with Russia and restrict Russian diplomats' access to its headquarters over Russia's stance on the Ukrainian crisis; p 8 (546 words).


13. Yegor Popov and Ivan Safronov article headlined "Ship-building sector being led to staff maneuvers" says that the president of the United Ship-Building Corporation, Vladimir Shmakov, has been dismissed by the board of directors over his uncoordinated trip abroad given that he has an access permit to information constituting a state secret; p 9 (673 words).


14. Yury Barsukov and Galina Dudina article headlined "EU forges energy weapon" says that the German chancellor has backed the Polish prime minister's idea to set up an energy union in the EU to curb Europe's energy dependence on Russia. However, experts are skeptical about the idea; p 12 (582 words).


15. Ilya Barabanov report "Slovyansk collects detainees" looks at the situation in Slovyansk, Donetsk region; p 8 (650 words).


16. Pavel Belavin report "NTV Plus signs up to "Russkaya Noch" says that the satellite company NTV Plus owned by Gazprom-media is buying the holding company Red Media that manages 13 niche television channels including Europa Plus TV; p 13 (300 words).


Nezavisimaya Gazeta


1. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Indian ships aim at Arctic region" says that the final conference to prepare the joint Russian-Indian counterterrorism naval drill Indra-2014 in the Sea of Japan in mid-July has ended in Vladivostok. The details of the drill are not provided, but it is known that the exercise will serve the interests of not only counterterrorism security, but also bilateral economic cooperation; pp 1-2 (528 words).


2. Ivan Rodin article headlined "United Russia leader given ultimatum" says that the State Duma, including the ruling United Russia party faction, has given a month to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to decide on Russia's switch to the so-called winter time. For the first time ever, United Russia members have publicly disagreed with their leader, which is attributed to the Kremlin's approval of the switch, the article says; pp 1, 3 (886 words).


3. Alina Terekhova article headlined "Gas transit fells victim to conflict" says that trilateral talks on gas supplies to Europe between Russia, the EU and Ukraine are expected to be held this week; pp 1, 4 (778 words).


4. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "Number of donor regions drastically decreases" says that the Audit Chamber has reported that the number of donor regions has halved over the last eight years and the total deficit of regional budgets has doubled over a year. Experts attribute regions' problems to the worsening economic situation, the improper tax policy and regions' increased spending on the execution of President Vladimir Putin's decrees issued in May 2012 when he was re-elected; pp 1, 4 (1,011 words).


5. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "West encroaches on Putin's entourage once again" says that the West may introduce new sanctions against Russia today in response to the Kremlin's refusal to fulfill the agreements reached at the Geneva consultations. Meanwhile, Kiev has offered Moscow to hold direct talks, but experts say that this is hardly probable due to Ukraine's dependence on the U.S.; pp 1, 6 (788 words).


6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Kiev demands talks, Moscow prepares peacekeepers" says that Kiev is insisting on holding talks with Russia in Vienna as regards the observance of the Vienna Document on Confidence and Security-Building Measures. It has also suggested holding a new quadrilateral meeting between the U.S., Russia, the EU and Ukraine; pp 1, 6 (1,502 words).


7. Editorial headlined "Invasion of foreigners' army to Russia" says that illegal migration has reached an unprecedented scale and looks at problems that migrants cause to Russia; p 2 (518 words).


8. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Donetsk does not accept Khodorkovsky" says that former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky has not been admitted to the Donetsk region administration building, where he wanted to communicate with people's militia. Khodorkovsky came to Ukraine for the forum called Russia-Ukraine: Dialogue, which has failed; p 3 (681 words).


9. Igor Naumov and Ivan Shvarts article headlined "Crimea to be connected to South Stream" looks at plans to provide electric energy to Crimea; p 4 (730 words).


10. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Obama calls on China not to become close friends with Russia" focuses on U.S. President Barack Obama's Asian tour. He has promised support for Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Philippines in their standoff with China and called on China to take the West's side in the confrontation with Russia over the Ukrainian crisis, the article says; p 6 (485 words).


11. Victor Myasnikov report "Self-defense fighters capture SBU professionals" looks at the counterterrorism operation in Ukraine's eastern regions; p 2 (800 words).


12. Artur Blinov report "Barack Obama's failure in Asia" looks at the U.S. president's visits to Asian countries; p 8 (600 words).


13. Svetlana Gamova report "Kiev: Game without rules" looks at the situation in Ukraine and says that Moscow may "lose the region as a whole"; pp 9, 11 (1,100 words).


Vedomosti


1. Andrei Sinitsyn article headlined "Strong, sovereign" says that the Russian authorities have evidently preferred Russia being a super power to Russians having a good life and the bulk of the population has backed this stance; pp 1, 6 (500 words).


2. Olga Kuvshinova and Yulia Orlova article headlined "Russia descends" says that the agency Standard and Poor's has downgraded Russia's long- and short-term sovereign ratings due to the Ukrainian crisis; p 4 (1,200 words).


3. Yekaterina Kravchenko article headlined "They tighten assault" says that the leaders of the G7 member states, the Council of Europe and the European Commission have agreed to introduce new sanctions against Russia over its stance on Ukraine; p 5 (550 words).


4. Pavel Aptekar article headlined "Sowing discord" says that the Russian authorities are bearing some responsibility for the developments in Ukraine since ethnic hostility gaining a foothold between Russia and Ukraine will have unpredictable consequences for decades; p 6 (400 words).


5. Konstantin Sonin article headlined "Life after Crimea" looks at how Crimea's merger with Russia has influenced the Russian economy; p 7 (450 words).


6. Mikhail Overchenko article headlined "Person of week: Vladimir Putin" criticizes the Russian authorities' policy towards the development of the IT sector; p 7 (400 words).


7. Roman Shleynov and Anastasia Golitsyna article headlined "Whether Shcherbovich is in contact with Sechin" says that Pavel Durov, the founder of the social network Vkontakte, who has recently left Russia over a conflict with shareholders, believes that Rosneft head Igor Sechin is standing behind his dismissal; pp 20-21 (3,900 words).


Izvestia


1. Dmitry Runkevich and Yelena Teslova article headlined "Pavel Durov receives citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis" says that Pavel Durov, the founder of the social network Vkontakte, who has recently left Russia over a conflict with shareholders, has received citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis by having contributed $250,000 to one of its enterprises; pp 1, 4 (1,262 words).


2. Andrei Gridasov and Alexei Krivoruchek article headlined "President of United Ship-Building Corporation wants to return his power through court" says that the president of the United Ship-Building Corporation, Vladimir Shmakov, who has been dismissed by the board of directors, thinks that he has fallen victim to an internal corporate conflict and is planning to challenge his dismissal in court; pp 1-2 (1,170 words).


3. Anastasia Kashevarova et al. article headlined "Officials to be attached to code of ethics" looks at key provisions of the pending code of ethics for public sector employees, being considered by the government; pp 1-2 (551 words).


4. Sergei Podosenov and Yelena Klimacheva article headlined "Union of Journalists to complain about Ukrainian special services to OSCE" says that the Russian Union of Journalists will complain about the Ukrainian authorities' treatment of Russian journalists to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and to the International Federation of Journalists; p 2 (397 words).


5. Alena Sivkova article headlined "ONF sets up centre of legal support for journalists" says that the All-Russia People's Front, or ONF, has established a centre of legal support for journalists at its central headquarters and a department for communication with regional and local media outlets to protect independent journalists from local officials and oligarchs; p 2 (461 words).


6. Sergei Podosenov article headlined "Nationalists find words for liberal opposition and Khodorkovsky" says that the unregistered National Democratic Party considers the international conference called "Russia-Ukraine: Dialogue", co-organized by former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky, as betrayal of Russia's national interests; p 3 (602 words).


7. Konstantin Volkov article headlined "West prepares new sanctions" says that according to U.S. President Barack Obama, who is on an Asian tour, the U.S. and Europe should adopt collective sanctions against Russia because "Moscow has done nothing to de-escalate the Ukrainian conflict" despite the April 17 Geneva agreements; p 8 (477 words).


8. Anastasia Kashevarova and Svetlana Subbotina article headlined "Georgia recruits mercenaries to send them to Ukraine" says that volunteers from among Georgian nationalists are being recruited in Tbilisi to fight against pro-Russian forces in Ukraine; p 8 (598 words).


9. Alexander Birman article headlined "Play for sure" says that sanctions imposed by the West against Russia over its stance on the Ukrainian crisis, have consolidated the Russian political class to such an extent that even opponents have found a common language; p 9 (653 words).


10. Opposition politician Eduard Limonov article headlined "War in Ukrainian way" comments on the Ukrainian authorities' operation to seize the town Slovyansk being held by the people's militia; p 9 (608 words).


11. Igor Karaulov article headlined "Rules of crisis" says that the April 17 Geneva agreements on Ukraine have not helped settle the Ukrainian crisis, but they have established certain rules for the further development of the conflict; p 9 (810 words).


12. Writer Alexander Prokhanov article headlined "If not 'civil', then which?" comments on the situation in Ukraine; p 9 (561 words).


Rossiiskaya Gazeta


1. Tatyana Zykova article headlined "We go to Crimea" looks at the development of tourism in Crimea; pp 1, 4 (861 words).


2. Kira Latukhina article headlined "Pantsyr [missile system] becomes leader" looks at a meeting of the commission for Russia's military and technical cooperation with foreign countries chaired by Putin; p 2 (732 words).


3. Grigory Porozhnyak brief interview with one of the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people's republic, Vladimir Makovich, headlined "Referendum, what next?", speaking about the state of affairs in the region; p 5 (565 words).


4. Grigory Porozhnyak report "Grad systems threaten Slovyansk" looks at the situation in Slovyansk, Donetsk region, and says that the Ukrainian authorities have suggested that the local population should evacuate; pp 1, 5 (950 words).


Moskovsky Komsomolets


1. Yelena Gamayun report "Third world information war has already begun" says that the exhibition "Beware, Russians" has opened in Kiev; pp 1-2 (350 words).


2. Natalia Rozhkova report "Ratcatcher Khodorkovsky" looks at former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky's visit to Ukraine and says that local people in Donetsk have refused to talk to him; pp 1-2 (450 words).


3. Mikhail Zubov report "When will Euro-holodomor begin?" says that the collapse of the Ukrainian economy is inevitable and tries to answer a question about whether the West will manage to feed the Ukrainian population; pp 1, 4 (1,500 words).


4. Yeva Merkacheva interview "Leader of Luhansk resistance movement: "We are not seen, but we exist!"' with Volodymyr Karasyov, "coordinator of the resistance movement" in Ukraine's southeast; p 2 (550 words).


5. Ignat Kalinin report "Tanks surround self-defense forces" says that according to satellite photos, the Ukrainian army has increased the number of armored vehicles on the outskirts of Slovyansk; p 2 (350 words).


6. Marina Perevozkina interview "Slovyansk surrounded by snipers" with a representative of security forces of "Donetsk people's republic" who comments on the situation in the conflict zone; p 2 (450 words).


Novaya Gazeta


1. Human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina article headlined "How Crimea is living: passports, banks, health care, education, moods" describes the state of affairs in Crimea as seen by journalists; pp 10-11 (2,513 words).


2. Economist Oleg Buklemishev article headlined "Is there a chance for Crimean economic miracle" says that Crimea's merger with Russia has seriously undermined the Russian economy; p 12 (582 words).


3. Economic observer Maxim Blant article headlined "Up the down staircase" looks at the economic policy, carried out by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's government in the times of the economic crisis and Western sanctions over Crimea; p 3 (629 words).


4. Viktoria Makarenko article headlined "Pathway of Strela" says that the trial of former Makhachkala mayor Said Amirov and former Kaspysk deputy mayor Yusup Dzhaparov, charged with having masterminded an attempted murder, has begun; p 6 (481 words).


5. Olga Musafirova article headlined "Map and territory" says that the 25 May presidential election in Ukraine could only be cancelled due to war; p 5 (664 words).


6. Alexei Polukhin article headlined "Do not touch internet, it is developing as it is" says that the search engine Yandex, but not the Gazprom has giant, is Russia's national legacy; p 9 (646 words).


7. Nina Petlyanova article headlined "'Do lesser for me'" gives an update on the trial of former member of the State Duma from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, businessman Mikhail Glushchenko, charged with masterminding the killing of lawmaker Galina Starovoytova in 1998; p 7 (667 words).


8. Alexei Polukhin article headlined "Besieged fortress: between two fires" looks at presidential aide Sergei Glazyev's "rescue plan" aimed at saving Russia from Western sanctions; pp 2-3 (1,635 words).


9. Kirill Martynov article headlined "Mitrofanov's and Yarovaya's blog post" condemns the law obliging popular Russian bloggers to act as media outlets; p 9 (624 words).


RBK daily


1. Vladimir Pavlov and Ivan Tkachev article entitled "West against Russia" says the U.S. and EU have agreed to increase pressure on President Putin over Crimea and south-east Ukraine. More sanctions may against Russian officials appear on April 28; pp 1, 3 (800 words).


2. Dmitry Koptyubenko article headlined "Not a word about sanctions" quotes First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov as saying that the problems the Russian economy is facing are caused by pressure from the outside, while foreign investors say the problems are brought about by Russian officials; p 3 (500 words)


3. Anastasia Mikhaylova and Maria Makutina article entitled "One can be made a 'spy' behind one's back" details a bill proposing to allow the Justice Ministry to register NGOs as foreign agents without their consent; p 3 (450 words)


4. Svetlana Reyter article headlined "Khodorkovsky's university" details former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky's initiative to found a university in Ukraine; p 3 (400 words).


5. Marina Kotsubinskaya article headlined "Crimea owes Akhmetov" says the Ukrainian energy company Krymenergo, which supplies electricity to Crimea, has said it may cut supplies due to Crimea's accumulated debt; p 6 (300 words).


Noviye Izvestia


1. Vialy Slovetsky article headlined "Navalny's court pressing" details yet another case opened against opposition politician Alexei Navalny following a lawsuit from a United Russia lawmaker; p 2 (300 words).


2. Dmitry Durnev article headlined "Two referendums" covers the situation in east Ukraine ahead of the Ukrainian presidential elections and the referendum on federalization announced by pro-Russian activists; p 2 (400 words).


Komsomolskaya Pravda


1. Andrei Kots and Dmitry Steshin interview with Ukrainian Security Service members detained by pro-Russian activists in east Ukraine headlined "Militia captures three officers of Kiev's 'Alfa'"; p 4 (600 words).


2. Alexander Kots and Dmitry Steshin interview with a pro-Russian activist leader in eat Ukraine's Slovyansk headlined "We want to continue and liberate Ukraine from junta"; pp 1, 5 (500 words).


3. Alexander Kots and Dmitry Steshin interview with the mayor of Slovyansk Nelya Shtepa headlined "People are ready to go to Russia. Protect us!"; p 8 (300 words).


Tvoi Den


1. Anton Stepanov article headlined "Inglorious bastards" covers the detention of three Ukrainian Security Service officers by pro-Russian activists in east Ukraine; pp 1,3 (300 words).


2. Andrei Dedov article headlined "They bullied us and made us get down on our knees" is a brief interview with LifeNews reporter Yulia Shustraya, who was detained by Ukraine's law-enforcement; p 2 (100 words).

April. 28, 2014 / BBC Monitoring / ©BBC


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