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What the Papers Say, Aug. 1, 2012

MT

Kommersant

1. Sergei Mashkin and Fedor Maximov article headlined "Discharge Ruled for Mikhail Khodorkovsky" says a statement by Russian Supreme court chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev has created conditions for freeing former Yukos owners Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. The judge acknowledged that the verdict in the Yukos case needs revision; p 1 (899 words).

2. Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Do Response to 'Occupy'" comments on President Putin's visit to the Seliger pro-Kremlin youth camp. The author notes that this time representatives of the opposition were invited and Putin answered their questions as well; pp 1, 3 (1,025 words).

3. Ivan Buranov and Irina Alexandrova article headlined "Hour of Embezzlement Comes" comments on the charges brought by the Investigative Committee against opposition activist Alexei Navalny. Experts note that the authorities put the opposition under additional pressure; pp 1, 4 (645 words).

4. Alexandra Bayazitova article headlined "Banks Invest in Depositors" says Russian banks doubled their advertisement spending in the first half of 2012. They aim to attract depositors; pp 1, 7 (588 words).

5. Ivan Safronov article headlined "Yury Dolgoruky to reach Servicemen in Autumn" says the new nuclear-powered submarine Yury Dolgoruky is to be commissioned no earlier than in September; p 2 (532 words).

6. Natalya Korchenkova article headlined "Regions to Fight for United Russia's Executive Committee" says United Russia has completed the process of submitting applications from candidates for the post of the party's executive committee head; p 3 (562 words).

7. Natalya Bashlykova et al. report headlined "A Just Russia Members in Ryazan Stake on General" says the Ryazan and Bryansk regions are facing real competition at the upcoming gubernatorial elections and A Just Russia and the Communists are nominating their candidates for the gubernatorial posts; p 3 (661 words).

8. Vladislav Litovchenko article headlined "Gennady Gudkov Becomes Even More Unarmed" says St. Petersburg security company owned by the family of State Duma Deputy and opposition activist Gennady Gudkov is being checked by the law-enforcement agencies; p 4 (476 words).

9. Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Protest Returns From Holidays" says another unauthorized rally as part of the Strategy 31 was held on Moscow's Triumfalnaya Ploshchad yesterday; p 4 (206 words).

10. Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Hackers Invited to Join Government Service" comments on a proposal by the U.S. authorities to hackers who should defend U.S. national interests in cyber space. Russia accused the U.S.A. of using double standards; p 6 (591 words).

11. Kirill Belyaninov et al. report headlined "Jackson-Vanik Amendment Leaves on Holidays" says the consideration of the controversial Jackson-Vanik amendment has been postponed in the U.S. Congress; p 6 (551 words).

12. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Japanese Military Surround Themselves by Threats" comments on a report by the Japanese authorities on the growing military might of neighboring China and Russia's geopolitical ambitions in the Far East; p 6 (554 words).

13. Maxim Yusin article headlined "U.S.A. speaks out for hijab and Wahhabi" says the U.S. secretary of state has issued a report on human rights violations in which it criticized not only Russia and China, but also some EU countries for violating religious freedoms; p 6 (391 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Alexander Deryabin and Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Fire-Fighting Apocalypses" says Russia cannot cope with forest fires spreading in Siberia and the Far East; pp 1-2 (1,019 words).

2. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Way to Odessa Forbidden to Romanian Legionnaires" says the Ukrainian authorities will not allow Moldovan nationalists enter the country as they call for the handover of some Ukrainian territory to Moldova; pp 1-2 (619 words).

3. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Navalny Gets Under Written Pledge Not to Leave City" details charges brought against opposition activist Alexei Navalny; pp 1, 3 (384 words).

4. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Predictable Alternative" says democratic practices are unlikely to be adopted by United Russia despite the fact that the new party leader launched the selection of the head of the party's executive committee; pp 1, 3 (558 words).

5. Milrad Fatullayev article headlined "Dagestani Robin Hoods in Shoulder Straps" says the security situation in Dagestan is aggravated by masked people declaring war on each other in the Internet; pp 1-2 (845 words).

6. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Vkontakte With Police" says it is getting dangerous to criticize the authorities in blogs and forums as the law on control over the Internet came into effect in Russia; pp 1, 3 (565 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Controlled Filter" slams the Russian authorities for introducing the so called "municipal filter" at the gubernatorial elections; p 2 (380 words).

8. Olga Shulga article headlined "Vladimir Putin Cuts Down the Interior Ministry" comments on the ongoing reshuffle within the Interior Ministry and notes that the public hopes that President Putin would carry out a real police reform; p 3 (477 words).

9. Dmitry Orlov article headlined "Top 100 Russian Politicians in July 2012" says the new Russian ministers are strengthening their positions among the ruling elite, while President Putin remains the most powerful politician; p 5 (1,217 words).

10. Nikolai Surkov interview with Palestinian ambassador to Russia Fayed Mustafa speaking on the plans to seek statehood within the UN and comments on harsh statements by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney; p 5 (757 words).

11. Yury Simonyan article headlined "Getting Motherland" says the Armenian airlines company is ready to assist Armenians fleeing Syria in the midst of the civil war; p 6 (724 words).

12. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Turkish Tanks Approach Syrian Border" says the plan to evacuate Russian citizens from Syria is becoming more feasible as Turkey is deploying troops to the border with Syria; p 7 (431 words).

13. Darya Tsilyurik article headlined "Romney Slips on Foreign Policy" reviews the "scandalous" foreign tour of Republican candidate Mitt Romney; p 7 (532 words).

RBK Daily

1. Svetlana Makunina article headlined "Study and Rule" says the Kremlin is going to study the influence of the Russian businesses on the situation in the CIS member states. The presidential administration is allocating financing for experts studying the problems; p 1 (600 words).

2. Inga Vorobyeva article headlined "Putin and White Ribbons" reviews questions asked by pro-Kremlin and opposition youth to President Putin during his visit to the Seliger camp; p 2 (400 words).

3. Valeria Khamrayeva article headlined "Thief of Forest" says the same judge who refused to return money seized from TV host Ksenia Sobchak will hear the case of opposition activist Alexei Navalny charged with embezzlement; p 2 (600 words).

4. Natalya Starostina interview with deputy chairwoman of Sberbank board of directors Bella Zlatkins speaking on the planned privatization of the bank and the Russian stock market; p 3 (2000 words).

Vedomosti

1. Yevgenia Pismennaya article headlined "Gref Warns" says Sberbank head and one of the authors of the pension reform German Gref has spoken out against the plans to give away with the cumulative part of Russian pensions; pp 1, 3 (863 words).

2. Yelena Mazneva and Oksana Gavshina article headlined "Money Box No. 3" says giant savings of Surgutneftegaz energy company have grown by $2.4 billion in six months and reached $28 billion; p 1 (370 words).

3. Grigory Milov article headlined "Milner's Prize" says Russian billionaire Yury Milner has founded an annual prize in physics. Physicists would receive $3 million for their achievements; p 1 (809 words).

4 Editorial headlined "Punk Process" says the ridiculous trial of Pussy Riot punk group makes Russians lose trust to the country's legal system; pp 1, 4 (548 words).

5. Article by opposition politician Vladimir Milov headlined "Public Politics: New Wave of Nationalization" warns against the purchase of a 50 percent stake in TNK-BP Russian-British joint venture by the Rosneft state-controlled oil giant; p 4 (362 words).

6. Another editorial headlined "Ignoramus Engaged in Government Service" says a large number of Russian officials either studied different majors at universities or did not get higher education at all; p 4 (310 words).

7. Oksana Gavshina article headlined "Figure of Week: 100.4Bln Rubles ($3.1 Billion)" comments on Rosneft plans to get a stake in TNK-BP; p 4 (331 words).

8. Alexei Nekrasov article headlined "War in Syria: Quasi-War With West" analyzes differences in the coverage of the Syrian conflict by Russian and Western media and comes to the conclusion that the Kremlin is supporting Bashar Assad as they are afraid of the similar fate; p 4 (633 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Roman Markelov article headlined "Banks Lack Money" says Russian banks owe 1,400 billion ($42 billion) to the Central Bank; pp 1, 4 (700 words).

2. Viktor Feshchenko article headlined "Revolution Replaced by Jihad" looks into the growing influence of al-Qaida on the Syrian rebels; p 8 (500 words).

3. Alexander Mikhailov article headlined "One More Party" says Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov's Civic Platform party has been registered at the Russian Justice Ministry; p 2 (200 words).

Izvestia

1. Olga Tropkina article headlined "Law-Enforcement Officers to Be Prohibited to Have Assets Abroad" says United Russia is drafting a bill prohibiting law-enforcement officers and servicemen buying housing abroad; pp 1, 3 (847 words).

2. Anna Akhmadiyeva article headlined "Zvezda TV Channel May Lose State Subsidies" says Zvezda TV company will lose state support and handover its frequencies to the Public TV being set up in Russia; pp 1-2 (464 words).

3. Tatyana Shirmanova article headlined "Abramovich's Son Escapes Raider" says Roman Abramovich's elder son Arkady is protecting the company he has a stake in, Zoltav Resources Inc., from a raider takeover; pp 1 — 2 (435 words).

4. Pyotr Kozlov interview with Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mahmud Reza Sajjadi speaking on Tehran's claims over S-300 missile systems; p 4 (940 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. Nina Kuzmina et al. interview with Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov speaking on the economic crisis and the state of the Russian economy; p 6 (2,860 words).

2. Alina Alyatutdinova and Yevgeny Lukyanitsa article headlined "States Stump Up $15M to Syrian opposition" says the U.S. State Department is ready to give financial support to the Syrian opposition to overthrow Assad's regime; p 4 (400 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Anastasia Rodionova article headlined "Navalny Caught by Written Pledge Not to Leave City" analyzes charges brought against opposition activist Alexei Navalny; pp 1-2 (525 words).

2. Yulia Chernukhina article headlined "Pussy Alyokhina not Allowed to Eat Cucumber" reports on the progress in the trial of the Pussy Riot punk group; pp 1-2 (635 words).

3. Alexei Lebedev article headlined "Olympic Failure" urges Olympic fans not to count medals won by different athletes representing different countries as they are not equal in different kinds of sports; p 1 (364 words).

4. Darya Tyukova article headlined "Why Are Olympic Seats Empty?" comments on a scandal over empty seats at Olympic stadiums while fans cannot find tickets for the games; p 4 (519 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Yelena Masyuk interview with professor from Moscow Spiritual Academy, well-known cleric Andrei Kurayev speaking on the Pussy Riot case; pp 7-9 (3,277 words).

2. Vladimir Kozlovsky article headlined "To Hand Over Bout to Russia? You Must Be Crazy!" looks into prospects for Russian national Viktor Bout, serving a 25-year sentence in the U.S.A., being extradited to Russia; p 4 (481 words).

3. Yulia Latynina article headlined "Voltaire Topicality" says inquisition is the only institution borrowed by the Russian authorities from the West; p 6 (612 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Sergei Putilov article headlined "We Will Not Spread Our Eings" says Russian civic aircraft engineering is in great recession; pp 1-3 (750 words).

2. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "New Indictment Issued" says new charges were brought against Russian key opposition figure Alexei Navalny; p 2 (450 words).

3. Vera Moslakova article headlined "Unauthorized Fight Against Corruption" says human rights activists from Oryol who organized an anti-corruption forum may face punishment due to the recently adopted law on tougher penalties for violations during rallies; p 2 (400 words).

4. Margarita Alyokhina article headlined "Proof Test by Justice" says the Pussy Riot band members are complaining about lack of sleep and hunger; p 5 (450 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Pavel Nikulin and Natalya Rozhkova article headlined "Will Walk Into the Woods" says Alexei Navalny faces 10 years behind bars due to new charges brought against him by the Investigative Committee; p 1 (600 words).

2. Marina Lepina article headlined "Apologies Not Accepted" gives an overview of the most memorable moments of Pussy Riot's second trial day and says the defense of the band members infuriated the victims and they did not accept the girls' apologies; p 2 (600 words).

3. Darina Shevchenko interview headlined "The Situation With Them Going to a Dead End" with Valery Fedotov, a United Russia member, who wrote an open letter in support of Pussy Riot; p 2 (350 words).

4. Yelena Mishina article headlined "We Had to Deal With a Series of Different Revolutions" says President Putin held a question-and-answer session at a pro-Kremlin youth camp at Seliger and answered questions of the opposition; p 2 (550 words).

5. Mikhail Moshkin article headlined "For Christ's Sake" says the Moscow Prosecutor General's Office has begun the probe into the Consumer Rights Protection Society's accusations against Christ the Savior Cathedral Foundation misappropriating funds; p 3 (500 words).

Aug. 1, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC