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What the Papers Say, May 20, 2014


1. Ivan Safronov article headlined "Looking for system in space failures" says that the Federal Space Agency has initiated a check on the joint-stock company Russian Space Systems, which is in charge of the development of the Glonass navigation system. Later, the aerospace corporation RKK Energia will be checked; p 1 (692 words).

2. Alexandra Mertsalova and Khalil Aminov article headlined "Moscow underground to be connected to China" says that Chinese companies will invest in the construction of a metro line in Moscow region; pp 1, 12 (539 words).

3. Petr Netreba article headlined "ruble rate to cover everything" focuses on the Finance Ministry's amendments to the 2014 federal budget; pp 1, 6 (789 words).

4. Alexander Chernykh interview with the head of the Rosobrnadzor education watchdog, Sergei Kravtsov, headlined "'Along with Single State Exams, there appear other procedures'", who speaks about the novelties of the 2014 exam campaign at schools; pp 1, 4 (2,701 words).

5. Natalya Pavlova and Anton Arsenyev article headlined "Governors rush for early elections" says that St. Petersburg governor Georgy Poltavchenko and the head of the republic of Bashkortostan, Rustem Khamitov, may stand in the autumn elections ahead of time; p 2 (615 words).

6. Article by the newspaper's political section headlined "Protest voting postponed for year" says that the State Duma committee for constitutional legislation has approved he restoration of the "none of the above" option in ballot papers but only from 2015 and at the municipal level in regions where the authorities permit this; p 2 (512 words).

7. Vladimir Barinov article headlined "Improper use of funds found in Interior Ministry's targeted program" says that the Prosecutor General's Office has sent to court the materials of the case on the improper use of budget funds opened against two high-ranking officials from the Interior Ministry; p 3 (494 words).

8. Konstantin Sterledev article headlined "Perm businessman sets Uzbekistan against himself" details the arrest of Alexander Pozdeyev, the head of Russia's Western Ural Engineering Concern group (ZUMK, Perm), in Uzbekistan; p 3 (550 words).

9. Galina Dudina article headlined "Extremes rise in number in Europe" says that the election to the European Parliament will be held in the EU member states this week. Representatives of far right parties, which have repeatedly backed Russia, are expected to make a good showing at the election, the article says; p 7 (488 words).

10. Sergei Strokan article headlined "China reminded of rules of conduct in sea" says that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, has united to combat China's expansion in the region and is enlisting international support. Russia has taken a neutral stance and has called on all the parties concerned to hold talks. The article also features a Russian expert's comment on the issue; p 8 (545 words).

11. Ilya Barabanov article headlined "Ukraine's east enters battle for election" details preparations for the May 25 Ukrainian presidential election in the self-proclaimed Donetsk people's republic, whose activists say the election will be illegitimate; p 8 (550 words).

12. Yury Barsukov article published in the regular column headlined "Rules of game" expresses hope for a long-awaited gas contract between Russia and China to be signed in the course of President Vladimir Putin's visit there on May 20-21; p 9 (409 words).

13. Anna Zibrova interview with the head of the Federal Fisheries Agency, Ilya Shestakov, headlined "'It is always difficult to zero something'", who speaks about the situation in the Russian fishery sector; p 14 (2,192 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Mikhail Sergeyev article headlined "Kiev advised to send IMF money to Moscow" reports on Energy Minister Alexander Novak's gas talks with EU Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger. Europe is trying to obtain a gas discount for Kiev, whereas Russia demands that Ukraine's gas debt should be paid off, for which all the money received by Ukraine from the IMF may be used; pp 1, 4 (604 words).

2. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Attack on internet through Criminal Code" says that the State Duma has drafted amendments to the Criminal Code and the law about extremism, toughening punishment for public calls and incitement of hatred or enmity through the internet; pp 1, 3 (882 words).

3. Yekaterina Trifonova article headlined "State Duma seized by idea of amending main law" says that the Communist Party of the Russian Federation has drafted amendments to the Russian Constitution, which envisage strengthening the role of the parliament, among other things. A referendum on whether or not the constitution should be amended is planned to be held in autumn; pp 1, 4 (624 words).

4. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Kiev hoping Kremlin recognizes election results" describes the political landscape of Ukraine ahead of the May 25 presidential election; pp 1, 6 (1,309 words).

5. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Police in Britain to establish control over madrasah" says that British police will strengthen control over private Muslim religious schools to prevent the Islamization of the country. The article also features a Russian expert's comment on the issue; pp 1, 7 (534 words).

6. Artur Blinov article headlined "Russia and China to sign record package" says that President Putin will arrive in China on May 20 for a two-day visit. Experts say that Moscow and Beijing have decided to strengthen ties amidst the complex international situation; pp 1, 7 (783 words).

7. Editorial headlined "About high ratings, which make reforms pointless" says Vladimir Putin's approval ratings have been record high for three months running. Simultaneously, the ruling United Russia party has been enjoying high approval ratings. All this is attributed to Crimea's merger with Russia and the Ukraine crisis, rather than any possible changes of the political landscape in the country; p 2 (511 words).

8. Savely Vezhin article headlined "Vladimir Putin won in Crimea" argues that the Kiev authorities intended to use the Crimean Tatars recent day of mourning to destabilize the situation in Crimea, but failed ; p 2 (500 words).

9. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Putin withdraws troops" says that Putin has instructed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to withdraw Russian troops from the border with Ukraine, where they took part in a drill. Experts consider this to be a signal not only to the West, but also to Ukraine's southeast and say that this is evidence of attempts by Russia and the EU to come to terms on Ukraine; p 3 (894 words).

9. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "Rebellious general excites Libya" says that participants in the largest after the Arab Spring revolt in Libya have seized the building of the parliament and blocked its work. They are being led by retired Major General Khalifah Haftar. Russian pundit Alexander Tkachenko describes him as one of the leading military men on Libya's political scene; p 7 (668 words).


1. Yelena Khodyakova article headlined "Gazprom to open Vladivostok to neighbors" says that Chinese companies may become the Russian gas giant Gazprom's partners in a LNG project in Vladivostok; pp 1, 13 (550 words).

2. Pavel Aptekar article headlined "Chinese hieroglyph" says that Putin's visit to China indicates a turn in Russia's foreign policy to the east. However, China will most likely take advantage of Russia's weakened position over the standoff with the West; pp 1, 6 (400 words).

3. Olga Churakova article headlined "Reform for stability's sake" says that the State Duma committee for constitutional legislation has approved a Constitutional Court reform; p 2 (400 words).

4. Dmitry Kamyshev article headlined "Troops to be withdrawn once again" says that Putin has ordered to withdraw troops from the border with Ukraine and provides background on the subject; p 3 (400 words).

5. Yekaterina Kravchenko article headlined "Fifty percent mark-up for supply disruption" looks at how the EU will survive the possible gas war between Russia and Ukraine; p 4 (400 words).

6. Maxim Tovkaylo and Margarita Lyutova article headlined "100 billion not enough" details and analyses the costs of supporting Crimea, saying that more than 100 billon rubles (about $2.9 billion) of budget funds has been earmarked to go to Crimea as of the moment; p 5 (350 words).

7. National Energy Security Foundation General Director Konstantin Simonov article headlined "Friendship with dragon" says Vladimir Putin's visit to China is meant to show that Western sanctions will not turn Russia into an autarchy and indicates a new level of relations with the old partner; p 7 (500 words).

7. Unattributed article headlined "'We should have better standards of democracy than in Russia'" looks at Ukrainian presidential candidate Serhy Tyhypko and his election manifesto; p 8 (2,100 words).

8. Anastasia Golitsyna and Natalya Raybman article headlined "Twitter and Facebook hear signal" says that Twitter has blocked access to the page of Ukraine's Right Sector group. Facebook has blocked opposition activist Alexei Navalny's page but for a while; p 10 (570 words).

9. Tatyana Bochkareva article headlined "Sanctions versus bonds" analyses how Western sanctions are affecting the Russian bonds market; p 11 (570 words).

10. Darya Trosnikova and Darya Borisyak article headlined "Central Bank employee's family budget" looks at the 2013 income declarations submitted by Central Bank staff; p 14 (470 words).

11. Roza Tsvetkova interview with political analyst Tatyana Vorozheykina analyses the ways Crimea's annexation has reflected on Russians' collective psyche; NG Politika supplement, pp 9, 11 (2,400 words).

12. Velimir Razuvayev article headlined "Another Crimea story and more" analyses Russian media coverage of the Ukraine events; NG Politika supplement, pp 9-10 (800 words).


1. Alexandra Bayazitova and Yelizaveta Mayetnaya article headlined "Officials to be obliged to report on foreign citizenship of their wives and children" says that State Duma lawmaker Oksana Dmitriyeva has suggested amending the pending bill introducing criminal punishment for concealing dual citizenship by obliging state officials to report on whether or not their family members have foreign citizenship; pp 1, 4 (637 words).

2. Dmitry Runkevich article headlined "Prosecutor General's Office to check Navalny's foundation for cyber-attacks" says that the Tipun public movement, which campaigns against offensive behavior in the Internet, has complained to the Prosecutor General's Office about opposition leader Alexei Navalny's anti-corruption fund, having suspected its employees of having organized cyber attacks; pp 1, 3 (567 words).

3. Petr Kozlov and Anastasia Shevardnadze article headlined "Alexander Khloponin entrusted with forest and alcohol" says that Alexander Khloponin has been released from the post of the presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District and appointed the deputy prime minister in charge of alcohol regulation and natural resources development; p 2 (428 words).

4. Irina Nenasheva article headlined "Russia not ready to discuss change of reference gas price" focuses on gas talks between Energy Minister Alexander Novak and EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger in Berlin; p 2 (516 words).

5. Ivan Cheberko article headlined "Talks with U.S. on deployment of Glonass stations resumed" says that Russia's Federal Space Agency, or Roskosmos, has resumed talks with the U.S. on the probable deployment of Glonass navigation equipment on the U.S. territory; p 3 (585 words).

6. Dmitry Runkevich et al. article headlined "Foreign Ministry, OSCE and human rights council demand releasing journalists" says that two Russian journalists from the LifeNews television channel, detained in Ukraine's Kramatorsk, have been transported to Kiev. The Ukrainian authorities have accused them of plans to "shoot a video feature about the murders of Ukrainians"; p 6 (2,258 words).

7. Natalya Gavrileva article headlined "Russians do not leave their people" says that the detention of two Russian journalists in Ukraine has been authorized "by the very top," i.e. the Kiev authorities, as the presidential election will be held soon and the Ukrainian authorities need to mobilize the electorate by any means, including blaming Russia for all troubles and presenting it as an enemy; p 7 (986 words).

8. Political analyst Kirill Benediktov article headlined "Horses of lawlessness" says that the detention of Russian journalists in Ukraine is an attempt by the Ukrainian authorities, which have become bold after realizing that Russia is not planning to use force against Ukraine, to probe Russia and maybe instigate it. However, the most important thing is that lawlessness has been step-by-step dominating in the country, the author says; p 7 (973 words).

9. Political analyst Vladimir Zharikhin article headlined "God's envy" proves that it is the U.S., but not the EU, that is standing behind the developments in Ukraine; p 9 (786 words).

10. Political analyst Timofei Borodachev article headlined "End of punitive peacekeeping" says that international diplomacy is incapable of putting an end to the Ukraine crisis; p 9 (1,227 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Tatyana Zamakhina article headlined "Closer relations with Celestial Empire" says that the day before his visit to China, Putin has given an interview to Chinese journalists, in which he spoke about the goals of his visit; pp 1-2 (785 words).

2. Yelena Domcheva article headlined "Counting in Chinese " says that Russian gas supplies to China is the key issue on the agenda of Putin's visit there on May 20-21; p 2 (695 words).

3. Roman Markelov article headlined "Aircraft, atom, grain" outlines Russian-Chinese economic cooperation; p 2 (720 words).

4. State Duma Deputy Chairman Sergei Neverov article headlined "Self-government: a model for assembly" addresses a bill on regional governments' reform to be viewed in second reading by the State Duma; p 3 (600 words).

4. Yury Gavrilov article headlined "They will not fly with one wing" denies media reports that the Air and Space Forces that will combine the Air Force and the Aerospace Defense Troops will be established in Russia by the end of the year; p 4 (445 words).

5. Taras Fomchenkov article headlined "Buying hryvnya" says Russia's Central Bank intends to start buying Ukrainian currency; p 4 (200 words).

6. Former prime minister Yevgeny Primakov article headlined "The most important economic police problem" analyses the economic situation in Russia's provinces; p 6 (700 words).

5. Yevgeny Shestakov interview with Sergei Luzyanin, deputy director of the Far Eastern Studies Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences, headlined "On way to Silk Road?," who speaks about Putin's visit to China on May 20-21 and prospects for the development of bilateral relations; p 8 (684 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yelena Yegorova and Andrei Yashlavsky article headlined "Why Putin brings 46 top managers to China" focuses on Putin's visit to China, which begins today, on 20 May, and features an expert's comment on the issue; pp 1-2 (958 words).

2. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Why Putin withdraws troops" says that Putin's decision to withdraw troops from the border with Ukraine does not mean that Moscow has given up its interests in Ukraine, but it is evidence of the Kremlin's reconsidering its stance on the Ukraine crisis and of taking only those steps in Ukraine that are advantageous to Russia; pp 1-2 (655 words).

3. Renat Abdullin and Nikolai Makeyev article headlined "Kiev intends to sue Moscow in several international courts" says that the Ukrainian authorities are preparing several lawsuits against Russia, including Moscow's "gas blackmailing" and its "occupation of Crimea"; pp 1-2 (935 words).

4. Darya Fedotova article headlined "Mastermind of Politkovskaya's murder already serving term?" gives an update on the trial on the Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskya's murder case; p 2 (720 words).

5. Vladislav Inozemtsev article headlined "Triple stupidity with dual citizenship" condemns a bill introducing criminal punishment for concealing dual citizenship; p 3 (1,114 words).

6. Vasily Kunitsyn article headlined "Trap for Kremlin" says Russia and Belarus' relations within Russia-led economic bloc EurAsEC have become troubled as of late; p 4 (600 words).

RBK Daily

1. Yulia Zabavina et al. article headlined "In charge of alcohol and oil" looks at Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin's new powers; pp 1, 3 (800 words).

2. Stepan Opalev article headlined "People's militia found local" says that a public opinion poll conducted by the state-owned Russian Public Opinion Research Centre, or VtsIOM, has shown that 78 percent of Russians think that ongoing antiterrorism operations in Ukraine's southeast are an attempt by the Ukrainian authorities to suppress lawful protests and 70 percent of respondents say that self-defense forces in Donetsk region are formed and backed by locals; p 2 (500 words).

3. Ivan Petrov et al. article "Suspected cosmopolitan" says that the State Duma has decided to preserve criminal responsibility for concealing dual citizenship despite criticism from the government and the Supreme Court. This will let law enforcers conduct searches of those people whom the authorities consider "suspicious", first of all those who go abroad; p 2 (850 words).

4. Timofei Dzyadko report "Crib note for Miller" says that a contract to supply Russian gas to China may be signed today; p 5 (400 words).

5. Irina Yuzbekova report "Crimea is locked" looks at the situation in Crimea and says that local people have encountered rising prices for goods and services in the peninsula; p 9 (2,000 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Diana Yevdokimova article headlined "Storm after lull" says that the State Duma will consider today a bill authorizing the Justice Ministry to forcibly include nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, financed from abroad in a list of "foreign agents". Meanwhile, a new wave of audits of NGOs has begun in Russia; pp 1, 5 (819 words).

2. Yekaterina Dyatlovskaya interview with Valentin Gefter, director of Human Rights Institute, headlined "'Danger of new law on dual citizenship is its selective use,'" criticizes the pending bill introducing criminal punishment for concealing foreign citizenship; pp 1-2 (1,165 words).

3. Sergei Putilov article headlined "To spite Western neighbor" details the expected Russian-Chinese gas deal and features experts' comments on the issue. The deal will not be profitable to Russia, article says; p 3 (670 words).

4. Vitaly Slovetsky report "Army fright" says that according to the Crimean and Ukrainian mass media, conscripts from Crimea will be sent to serve in Dagestan. Apart from that, despite the Defense Ministry's promises, spring conscription into the Russian Armed Forces has begun in Crimea; p 2 (650 words).

5. Sergei Manukov report "Deputies ran for their lives" says that a coup d'etat has happened in Libya; p 2 (600 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Maxim Brusnev report "Russia withdraws troops from Ukrainian border" says that President Vladimir Putin has ordered Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to withdraw the troops that participated in military exercises in Rostov, Belgorod and Bryansk regions, to their places of permanent deployment; p 2 (300 words).

2. Unattributed report featuring excerpts from Putin's interview with the Chinese mass media that he has given ahead of his visit to China; p 2 (450 words).

3. Alexander Milkus report "Proton will fly again" says that despite the recent failed launch of the Proton carrier rocket with a communications satellite, the Federal Space Agency, or Roskosmos, does not intend to give up Proton rockets; p 3 (200 words).

4. Alexander Kots report "National Guard finds those guilty: Russian journalists will be made responsible for everything" says that a crew of the television channel LifeNews has been detained near Ukraine's Kramatorsk. They were accused of "helping terrorists", article says; p 4 (550 words).

5. Alexander Gamov report "Kiev wants to get from Moscow $100 billion" says that the Kiev authorities want to file a lawsuit with an international court against Russia demanding that the latter pay $100 billion. Article features a comment by Russian expert Dmitry Abzalov; p 5 (450 words).

6. Galina Sapozhnikova interview headlined "Ten years of talks are better than one day of war" with Prof Vladimir Zorin who speaks about conflicts in the former Soviet Union; pp 12-13 (1,700 words).


1. Alexander Protsenko report "Moscow — Beijing. Hereafter everywhere" says that Putin begins an official visit to China today. Important agreements in energy, trade and economic spheres are to be signed, article says; pp 1, 3 (1,700 words).

2. Vasily Koltashev report "Kolomoysky's oil fraud" says that a "large-scale fraud with process oil is happening in Ukraine"; p 2 (800 words).

3. Sergei Frolov report "Tragedy, drama and a little vaudeville" says that with a few days to go before the presidential election in Ukraine, "government authorities are being actively formed in the country's southeast which is not controlled by Kiev"; p 2 (600 words).

Tvoi Den

1. Anton Stepanov report "Scum, release guys!" looks at the detention of a Russian television crew in the southeast of Ukraine and says that "Banderites are bullying captured LifeNews reporters, accusing them of terrorism"; pp 1-2 (300 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1.Alexander Alexandrov interview headlined "Over abyss of humanitarian catastrophe" with official representatives of the "Donetsk people's republic" in Russia Andrei Kramar and Alexei Muratov, who speak about the situation in Donetsk region and the results of the recent referendum; p 3 (1,200 words).

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