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What the Papers Say, Aug. 29, 2012

Igor Tabakov


1. Yulia Rybina and Nikolai Sergeyev article headlined "Sheikh and Peace Blown Up in Dagestan" reports on a suicide bombing in Dagestan that killed prominent local religious scholar Sheikh Said Atsayev. The bombing is seen as an attempt to undermine efforts at religious reconciliation in the republic; pp 1, 5 (878 words).

2. Sergei Petunin and Maxim Ivanov article headlined "Party Line Crosses Mayoral Career" says a visit of the first deputy presidential chief of staff Vyacheslav Volodin to Saratov region as part of the local parliamentary campaign has culminated in a scandal. Volodin said the mayor of the town of Balakovo should resign after alleging that federal funding for the town depended on how well United Russia fared at the election. The now ex-mayor took the hint; pp 1-2 (1,015 words).

3. Alexandra Bayazitova article headlined "Small Borrowers Pose Big Risks" says Russian banks are boosting their financial reserves in anticipation of another turn of the financial crisis; pp 1, 8 (579 words).

4. Roman Rozhkov article headlined "Internet Companies Tearing Pages Out of Website Blacklists" says Russian Internet companies have drafted proposals on the implementation of a bill regarding the protection of children from harmful online content. Roskomnadzor, the Russian communications watchdog, is tasked with introducing a website blacklist; pp 1, 9 (526 words).

5. Ivan Safronov article headlined "President Inspects Ancient Bolgar and New Koran" comments on President Vladimir Putin's visit to Tatarstan, where he presented state awards to the mufti injured in a recent terror attack, as well as to the widow of his deputy, who was killed; p 2 (511 words).

6. Alexander Voronov article titled "Sergei Sobyanin Is Looking for Talent" says the Moscow mayor has announced the establishment of an HR pool for senior City Hall officials. Candidates will be selected before the end of the year using an open selection process; p 2 (400 words).

7. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "People Didn't Understand Punk Prayer" says a recent public opinion poll has shown that most Russian respondents believe the jailed members of Pussy Riot punk band are guilty of hooliganism and sacrilege. Only 11 percent of respondents saw a political subtext in the actions of the girls; p 3 (458 words).

8. Grigory Tumanov and Alexander Asadchy article headlined "Sentence Device Goes Off in Smolensk" comments on Tuesday's eight-year jail term handed down to Other Russia activist Taisia Osipova on charges of selling drugs; p 3 (539 words).

9. Alexander Chernykh article headlined "Alexei Navalny Woven Into Wicker" recaps a search that the Investigative Committee carried out at the business of the parents of protest leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday; p 3 (507 words).

10. Anna Pushkarskaya article titled "Karinna Moskalenko Loses Battle for European Court Judge" says Moscow City Court yesterday rejected an appeal from rights activist Karinna Moskalenko, who sought to have the results of a search by the Ministry of Justice for a judge for the European Court of Human Rights from Russia overturned; p 3 (600 words).

11. Khabarovsk-based Yevgenia Sycheva article headlined "Ambitions Beyond Region" compares and comments on the policies of former Khabarovsk region Governor Viktor Ishayev and his successor, Vyacheslav Shport; p 4 (2,402 words).

12. Sergei Mashkin article headlined "Four Killed in Revenge for Terror Attack at Funeral" reports on a special operation carried out in Ingushetia yesterday to capture a local criminal lord, Artur Getagazhev, who is suspected of organizing a terror attack on Aug. 19 in the republic. Getagazhev has not been found, but law enforcement officials have said four rebels have been killed and two of Getagazhev's bodyguards have been captured; p 5 (300 words).

13. Yelena Chernenko and Maxim Yusin article headlined "There Will Be No Syrian Breakthrough" says an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council initiated by France is unlikely to resolve the Syrian problem, as many countries, including Russia, have refused to attend. The authors say this means that the situation in Syria is unfolding along the Libyan scenario; p 6 (667 words).

14. Sergei Strokan article headlined "Mitt Romney Off to Hurricane Start" says not only hurricane Isaac, which has upset Republican convention plans, but also the skepticism of U.S. voters will adversely affect Mitt Romney's election prospects. Romney is set to be nominated as the official Republican presidential candidate at the convention; p 6 (503 words).

15. Olga Mordyushenko and Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Officials Returning to Gazprom" says Russian officials will return to Gazprom's management to oversee the company's investments and business strategy; p 7 (471 words).

16. Olga Mordyushenko article titled "Russia and Belarus to Redivide Common Potash" says Russia and Belarus are ironing out the final details of the joint operations of Uralkali and Belaruskali, two national potash giants, due to commence on Sept. 1; p 9 (350 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Bloggers to Be Caught by the Tongue" says United Russia has prepared amendments to defamation legislation enabling law enforcement agencies to punish anonymous online critics of the authorities. Experts are said to doubt that this initiative can be seen through; pp 1-2 (566 words).

2. Vladislav Malstev article headlined "Cross Response" says that while some unidentified opposition activists have pledged to cut down more crosses around Russia, a group of Orthodox believers associated with the pro-Kremlin Nashi youth movement tried to disrupt a performance dedicated to Pussy Riot. Meanwhile, a United Russia deputy has said he is drafting legislative amendments to toughen punishment for religious vandalism; pp 1, 3 (1,150 words).

3. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Russia Sliding Into Crisis After All" says the growth of the Russian economy has slowed down. Experts are pessimistic about what is in store for the Russian economy; pp 1, 4 (774 words).

4. Igor Naumov article headlined "Petrol Ready for New Price Records" says one liter of fuel may cost 32 rubles (around $1) at Moscow gas stations by the end of the year; pp 1, 4 (794 words).

5. Yury Roks article headlined "Document for the Partially Recognized" says Washington has recognized the neutral passports of the residents of Georgian breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which means that they will now be able to get U.S. visas; pp 1, 6 (526 words).

6. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Japanese Ambassador Offended in China" reports on an aggravation in Chinese-Japanese relations after a flag was torn off the Japanese ambassador's car in Beijing. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Japanese navies have started a joint exercise to practice the liberation of Japanese islands from "foes"; pp 1, 6 (524 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Loyalty and Illegal Enrichment" comments on the "system-defining" role that corruption plays in the present Russian political system, coming to the conclusion that the fight against corruption is unlikely to culminate in success; p 2 (469 words).

8. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Organizational Discrepancies of Collective Defense" comments on the preparations for the first large-scale CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) military drill in the South Caucasus, which is set to begin on Sept. 3. In light of the many regional conflicts and disagreements, representatives of the CSTO member states discussed "improvements to the structure of the system of collective security" at a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday; p 2 (644 words).

9. Olga Shulga article titled "Court Does Not Heed Medvedev" comments on the sentence passed in the Taisia Osipova case Tuesday, which rights activists say is part of authorities' strategy of intimidation; p 3 (500 words).

10. An opinion piece by Professor Viktor Sheinis titled "Difficult Path to Peace" comments on the obstacles in the way of a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan; p 3 (600 words).

11. Anton Khodosevich and Sokhbet Mamedov article headlined "Aliyev Prefers Minsk to Tehran" says the Azerbaijani president has gone to Minsk instead of Tehran. The heads of Azerbaijan and Belarus thus decided to ignore the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Iran; p 6 (554 words).

12. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Cairo Looking for Regional Recipe for Syria" says Egypt has proposed putting together a regional contact group on Syria. In any case, Egypt's vision for a Syrian settlement also turns on the resignation of Bashar Assad as a key point in the plan; p 6 (464 words).


1. Yelena Maznyeva article headlined "Warning to Gazprom" says the Economic Development Ministry is urging Gazprom to become more efficient as the gas monopoly is facing serious problems on European markets as a result of competition from U.S. shale gas exports; pp 1, 8 (828 words).

2. Maria Zheleznova and Anastasia Kornya article headlined "Organizing Democracy" provides an update on the work of the opposition Coordination Council in preparation for elections in October. Opposition activists have started to form regional commissions. Experts say this experience will come in handy for ordinary elections; pp 1-2 (658 words).

3. Ksenia Boletskaya and Yekaterina Sobol article headlined "Fly Aboard Aeroflot Rockets" says Aeroflot's first viral advertising campaign — posters at Brussels airport showing military hardware parading past the Kremlin wall — has been perceived as a threat and a demonstration of Russia's military might; p 1 (352 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Cutting in the Wrong Place" comments on authorities' plans to cut financing for scientific research funds; pp 1, 4 (553 words).

5. Alexei Nikolsky article titled "Bypassing Chemezov" says military enterprises controlled by the Defense Ministry will become direct importers of armaments in three sectors — special vehicles, unmanned drones and simulators for ground forces — without the involvement of Rosoboronexport, the official state arms exporter; p 2 (450 words).

6. Anastasia Kornya article headlined "Not in Accordance With Medvedev" carries pundit comment on the sentencing of opposition activist Taisia Osipova, said to be evidence of a growing confrontation between the authorities and society; p 2 (350 words).

7. Yevgenia Pismennaya and Yekaterina Kravchenko article titled "No Arm Twisting" says First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has said Russia is planning to wrap up negotiations on joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, by 2013 and become a full-fledged member by 2014 and provides expert comment on the negotiation process; p 3 (350 words).

8. Another editorial headlined "More Important Than Sense" criticizes authorities' hard-line intolerance against any dissent, as evidenced by the verdicts in the Pussy Riot and Taisia Osipova cases, among other things; p 4 (299 words).

9. Vasily Kashin article headlined "World Map: Uncertain Future" comments on signs of an Asian arms race and says China's regional policy is reminiscent of a new Cold War; p 4 (725 words).

10. Article by opposition politician Vladimir Milov headlined "Harmful Migrants" slams the current migration policy for giving rise to crime and adversely telling on the living standards of locals; p 4 (392 words).

11. Natalya Kostenko interview with Akhmed Bilalov, CEO of North Caucasus Resorts and vice president of the Russian Olympic Committee, speaking on the development of tourism in the North Caucasus; p 5 (4,586 words).

12. Gleb Sitkovsky article titled "Being Judge Syrova" comments on a Teatr.doc production of an "eyewitness" play about the Pussy Riot case involving first-hand participants that was interrupted by a group of religious activists; p 6 (450 words).

13. Roman Dorokhov and Ksenia Boletskaya article titled "Europe Minus" says major Russian radio stations want to have online radio archive service shut down; pp 7, 11 (400 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Kira Latukhina article titled "Price of Peace" recaps Vladimir Putin's visit to Tatarstan; p 2 (600 words).

2. Yury Gavrilov article headlined "Circle Defense" details security arrangements for the APEC summit in Vladivostok. On Tuesday, Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov explained how Russian servicemen would be providing security at the summit; p 2 (400 words).

3. Sergei Toporkov article headlined "Economy on Two Legs" comments on First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov's approach to Russia's policies in Asia ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok; p 3 (761 words).

4. Vladimir Bogdanov article titled "Police to Come to Church" says police will patrol religious sites in the wake of vandalism attacks on holy relics around Russia; p 3 (350 words).

5. Vadim Davydenko and Akhmed Dagiyev article titled "Act of Godlessness" reports on a suicide bomb attack on a prominent religious scholar in Dagestan on Tuesday; p 5 (350 words).

6. Lev Grishin article headlined "Kurdish Spring Around the Corner" says the Syrian opposition cannot come to an agreement on the future of the country's Kurds, who are said to be supporters of Bashar Assad; p 8 (607 words).


1. Alexandra Yermakova article headlined "Olympic Loans Go Offshore" recaps the results of an Audit Chamber probe into loans made for Sochi Olympics projects. The Audit Chamber has apparently uncovered some significant risks; pp 1-2 (980 words).

2. Dmitry Runkevich article headlined "People to Be Paid for Corruption Reports" says the Russian authorities are planning to reward people who provide information about cases of corruption; pp 1, 3 (591 words).

3. Igor Agapov article headlined "Roskomnadzor Wants to Fine for Foul Language" says the Roskomnadzor communications watchdog wants to fine media for the use of obscenities in their broadcasts and publications; pp 1, 3 (456 words).

4. Pavel Panov article headlined "United Aircraft Building Company Creates New Generation Sukhoi Superjet" details plans by the Russian United Aircraft Building Company to build new-generation Sukhoi Superjet planes; pp 1, 3 (428 words).

5. Ivan Cherebko article titled "Glonass Money Hangs in the Budget" says delays in adopting a federal program for funding Glonass system development may see Russia fall behind competitors with regard to the development of satellite navigation; pp 1-2 (500 words).

6. Olga Zhermeleva article titled "Human Rights Council Weeds Out Candidate List" says the Presidential Human Rights Council has published a shortlist of candidates who will be competing for 13 spots on the council; p 2 (450 words).

7. Alexei Mikhailov article headlined "Russia to Transport NATO Cargo From Afghanistan" says a number of NATO member states including Georgia will use the transit base in Ulyanovsk to take their equipment out of Afghanistan; p 7 (575 words).

8. Kostantin Volkov article headlined "Syrian Refugees Overcrowding Turkey" says the influx of Syrian refugees is becoming a serious problem for Turkey; p 7 (473 words).

9. Igor Yavlyansky article titled "U.S. Converting Arab Revolutions Into Military-Industrial Complex Profits" says U.S. arms exports reached record highs last year, after a number of Arab states purchased large batches of American fighter jets and air defense systems. The article features topical pundit comment, comparing the U.S. position with that of Russia; p 7 (350 words).

10. Konstantin Pukemov article headlined "Russian T-50 Fighter to Be Safeguarded Against 'Freezing'" says the Industry and Trade Ministry will spend 68 million rubles ($2.1 million) on the development of software for the T-50 fifth-generation fighter; p 8 (511 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yulia Chernukhina article headlined "What Things Are Being Woven Against Navalny" reports on a small factory owned by Alexei Navalny's parents whose business was searched as part of a criminal case against the protest leader; pp 1-2 (750 words).

2. Ignat Kalinin article headlined "Osipova Sentenced as Traitor" comments on the eight-year sentence to opposition activist Taisia Osipova; pp 1-2 (586 words).

3. Dmitry Popov article headlined "Interior Ministry Afraid of Its Personnel" comments on the Voronezh police chief banning policemen from driving personal vehicles at night; p 1 (345 words).

4. Anastasia Rodionova article headlined "Nemtsov Losing Sleep Over President's Watches" comments on a new report co-authored by opposition activist Boris Nemtsov that claims that Vladimir Putin has lots of luxury assets; p 2 (505 words).

5. Melor Sturua article headlined "Republicans Open 'Hurricane' Convention" says hurricane Isaac has detracted public attention from the Republican Party convention in Florida; p 3 (781 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Article by prominent lawyer Genri Reznik headlined "Escape From Territory of Law" in which he refers to the verdict in the case of punk group Pussy Riot as an "appalling violation of the basics of a criminal trial"; pp 1-2 (800 words).

2. Andrei Sukhotin report "By Name, Personally, to Kopeck" says that Dmitry Gudkov, a State Duma deputy from the Just Russia party, has begun to publish information about the incomes and property of United Russia parliamentarians; p 3 (700 words).

3. Co-chairman of the combined Republican Party of Russia and People's Freedom Party Vladimir Ryzhkov's explanatory note in which he says the party has prepared a complaint to the regional electoral commission over the refusal to register the party's list of candidates in the election to the Barnaul city council; p 4 (450 words).

4. Andrei Ostrovsky report "Are You Ready for the Summit Yourselves?" says that a special regime has been introduced in Vladivostok ahead of the APEC summit; pp 13-14 (1,500 words).

5. Alexei Polukhin article headlined "Galley Turns Away From Reform Course" analyzes President Vladimir Putin's approach to pension system reform; p 7 (683 words).

6. Alexei Polukhin article headlined "One Tomography Scanner Principle" details violations of the law regarding the purchase of expensive medical equipment in Russia; p 9 (1,135 words).

7. Natalya Zotova interview with musician and public activist Alexei Kortnev headlined "People in Love With Putin Do Not Feel Irony" looks at the protest movement in Russia; p 15 (1,000 words).

RBC Daily

1. Alexander Litoi report "Party's Gold" says that one of the leaders of the Solidarity movement, Boris Nemtsov, has presented a report titled "Life of a Galley Slave: Palaces, Yachts, Cars, Aircraft and Other Accessories" about the life of the Russian elite, while Yabloko party leader Sergei Mitrokhin has published information on the businesses of United Russia deputies; p 2 (600 words).

2. Yulia Yakovleva report "Independence Day" looks at the verdict delivered to opposition activist Taisia Osipova; p 2 (600 words).

3. Valeria Khamrayeva report "Forgotten 'Front'" says that according to a poll conducted by the Levada Center, only four percent of Russians trust the All-Russia People's Front; p 2 (400 words).

4. Yevgeny Basmanov report "Millionaire Goes to White House" says that Mitt Romney has been approved as the Republican presidential candidate; p 4 (600 words).

5. Yulia Mineyeva report "STS Media Shares Considerably Resold Now" says that according to many experts, the shares of STS Media are undervalued; p 9 (500 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Nadezhda Krasilova report "Blood Case" says that Russian migration policy puts in place obstacles for skilled staff and procreates illegal migrants; pp 1-2 (700 words).

2. Article by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon looks at international military arsenals and military spending; pp 1-2 (600 words).

3. Nadezhda Bulanova report "'Generous' Court" looks at the verdict given to opposition activist Taisia Osipova; p 2 (450 words).

4. Yulia Savina report "They Weave Evidence" says that investigators have searched a small business owned by opposition activist Alexei Navalny's parents; p 2 (450 words).

5. Margarita Alyokhina report "On Verge of Breakdown" says that opponents of the Pussy Riot group have attacked a theater during a performance about the group and are ripping T-shirts with the band members' images off people; p 5 (400 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Alina Garbuznyak report "This Is Not to Be Discussed" says that Putin's initiative to make state purchases transparent has failed; pp 1, 4 (600 words0.

2. Alexandra Beluza report "President Needs Dialogue" publishes Russian rights activists' comment on the reasons why they are ready to work in the presidential human rights council; p 3 (500 words).

3. Marina Lepina report "8 Years for Nine Grams" says that a court in Smolensk has sentenced opposition activist Taisia Osipova to a term in prison that is twice as much as the prosecutor asked for; p 3 (800 words).

4. Mikhail Moshkin report "Flying Squad of Cross-Cutters" looks at several instances of Orthodox crosses being destroyed in Russian regions; p 3 (500 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Yelena Chinkova report "You Do Not Know What It Is to Suffer" says Russian radicals have destroyed Orthodox crosses in Arkhangelsk and Chelyabinsk regions in retaliation for "the harsh treatment of defenseless Russian girls from Pussy Riot and for the statements of militants from the Orthodox Church about the setting up of armed units"; p 3 (450 words).

2. Natalia Nesterova report "Hyde Park Named After Gorky" says that two permanent venues to carry out protests are being set up in Moscow; p 5 (600 words).

3. Alexander Kots report "Spiritual Leader Blown Up in Dagestan" says that Islamic scholar Said Afandi Atsayev has been killed as a result of a suicide bomber attack in Dagestan; p 6 (200 words).

4. Viktor Baranets interview with retired Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, the president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, in which he speaks about U.S. policy in relation to Syria; p 16 (1,300 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Viktor Ruchkin report "Tehran Goes to Damascus's Rescue" looks at the situation in Syria and at the 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran that focuses on the settlement of the Syrian crisis; p 3 (800 words).

2. Vladimir Kozin report "Barack Obama: Military and Political Results of His Presidency" looks at U.S. policy and at what may change after the presidential election on Nov. 6; p 3 (700 words).

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