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What the Papers Say, Aug. 10, 2012

MT

Kommersant

1. Anna Balashova et al. report headlined "Telenor Treated With Due Parity" says that the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service may demand that Telenor reduce its share in Vimpelcom; pp 1, 10 (660 words).

2. Yelena Kiselyova article headlined "VEB's Top Manager to Rest in Social Camp" says that Nikolai Kosov, who has been first deputy head of Vneshekonombank for 14 years, may become chairman of the board of the International Investment Bank; pp 1, 8 (759 words).

3. Irina Nagornykh and Sofya Samokhina article headlined "Russia Becoming Ever More Expensive for Officials" says that the Kremlin seems to be ready to pass the tougher version of a bill on state officials' property, one that bans them from having real estate abroad and accounts in foreign banks. Experts, however, think that the tough bill will have some loopholes; pp 1 — 2 (907 words).

4. Roman Dolzhansky article headlined "Teacher of Theater" says that famous Russian theater director Pyotr Fomenko died yesterday and revisits his life and work; p 1 (736 words).

5. Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Citizens Do Not Believe in New Parties" says that polls conducted by the Levada Center show that Russians are skeptical about the appearance of numerous parties in Russia and think that they are created to satisfy the ambitions of politicians. At the same time, the number of Russians who consider United Russia to be "the party of crooks and thieves" has dropped; p 3 (458 words).

6. Anastasia Novak article headlined "Tandem's Rating Approaching Historical Minimum" refers to polls conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation showing that the approval rating of the president and the prime minister has significantly dropped in August; p 3 (173 words).

7. Grigory Tumanov article headlined "March of Millions Exits in Pairs" says that yesterday two defendants in the case over May 6 disorders at Bolotnaya Ploshchad were released under a written pledge not to leave the city as they managed to prove that they were not on Bolotnaya Ploshchad during the disorders. The charges, however, were not dropped; p 3 (507 words).

8. Anna Pushkarskaya article headlined "Former Kremlin Officials Declared Persona non Grata" says that the Latvian Foreign Ministry has declared persona non grata publisher Modest Kolerov, who owned the Regnum information agency till May 2012, and deputy Regnum's editor-in-chief Igor Pavlovsky, as they pose a "threat to the territorial integrity and economic security" of the country; p 3 (518 words).

9. Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "Former Prefect's Case Turning Into Family Case" says that former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov's wife Yelena Baturina has asked law enforcement officials to initiate criminal proceedings against the wife and mother of the former prefect of Moscow's Northern District, Yury Khardikov. Baturina says that both women as well as Khardikov were involved in the theft of funds and assets from the Sochi-based company Olimp-2014 owned by her; p 5 (523 words).

10. Alexei Sokovnin article headlined "Investigation Puts Things Right in Yukos Case" says that the Investigative Committee has arrested in absentia and put on the wanted list Yukos' former chief accountant Irina Golub. Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Palton Lebedev's lawyers used to refer to Golub's case as proof of their innocence; p 5 (561 words).

11. Maria Yefimova article headlined "Libya Narrows Range of Interests" says that the new Libyan authorities are trying to revive the Arab Maghreb Union. The success of the idea depends on whether the countries of the union will manage to settle long-standing territorial disputes; p 6 (445 words).

12. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "China Experiences Consequences of Poisoning of British Man" says that the trial of Gu Kailai for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood has ended in the Chinese city of Hefei; p 6 (599 words).

13. Olga Kuznetsova article headlined "Syrian War Reaches Kurds' Front" says that Ankara has accused Damascus of encouraging Kurds to take actions in Turkey to exert pressure on Turkey, which has been pressing for Bashar Assad to step down; p 6 (386 words).

14. Ivan Safronov et al. report headlined "Suit for S-300 Being Turned Against Iran" says that Moscow has decided to deprive Iran of international support and to take a tougher stance on the Iranian nuclear problem if Iran does not revoke its suit over Russia's refusal to supply S-300 missiles; p 6 (785 words).

15. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Nicolas Sarkozy Bursting to Go Into Action With Bashar Assad" says that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Union for Popular Movement have demanded that military intervention in Syria in line with the Libyan scenario be launched. Given Russia and China's stance on the issue this may happen only by bypassing the UN Security Council; p 6 (473 words).

16. Natalya Skorlygina and Vladimir Dzaguto article headlined "Russia Loses Role of Energy Exporter" says that Russian energy supplies abroad have dropped, especially to Finland; p 9 (454 words).

17. Olga Mordyushenko article headlined "Shakh Deniz to Lay Pipe Past Gazprom" says that the Azeri consortium Shakh Deniz has agreed to finance the designing of the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline; p 9 (472 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Anastasia Bashkatova article headlined "No More Cheap Food" says that food prices are expected to grow by 10 to 12 percent by the end of the year. The Federal Statistics Service lays the blame for the growing inflation on seasonal fluctuations and excessive monopolization of the economy as well as the state policy of increasing tariffs and excise duties; pp 1, 4 (894 words).

2. Alexandra Samarina article headlined "Platon Lebedev 'Almost Happy'" ponders the consequences of the reduction of former Menatep head Platon Lebedev's prison sentence. Lebedev's lawyers describe the court ruling on the reduction as "obscure" and call into question Lebedev's upcoming release. The newspaper's sources in the State Duma say the lawyers are wary, as they are aware of the psychology of the authorities; pp 1, 3 (694 words).

3. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Some 250 Euros for 'Tea, Coffee and Dancing'" says that the Brussels authorities have decided to impose a fine of 250 euros for sexism and sexual harassment of women in the street after a film shot by Sophie Peeters showing a young woman repeatedly harassed as she walks around the Annessens area of Brussels city center posted on the Internet sparked an avid discussion; pp 1, 7 (422 words).

4. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Garrison Poverty" says that Far East Development Minister and presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Viktor Ishayev demanded Thursday that Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Prosecutor General Yury Chaika personally take control of the preparation of military settlements for the heating season; pp 1 — 2 (809 words).

5. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Ukraine Acquires New Strategic Partner" says that China may soon become Ukraine's biggest partner as two projects worth $6.6 billion have already been approved; pp 1, 6 (811 words).

6. Grigory Zaslavsky article headlined "Fomenko's Death for Theater is Similar to Losing Gravity" is devoted to Pyotr Fomenko, famous theater director, who died yesterday; pp 1 — 2 (739 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Reputation Self-Undoing" says international polls show that the number of people in the West with a positive attitude toward Russia has dropped by 10 to 17 percent in 2012 mostly due to the persecution of protesters, the Pussy Riot case and statements made by influential officials, and wonders why Russian officials do not care about the country's reputation; p 2 (447 words).

8. Ada Gorbacheva article headlined "Punishment With Motherland" comments on a bill that obliges state officials' children to get education in Russia; p 3 (703 words).

9. Olga Shulga article headlined "In Search of Democratic Quality" looks at the intrigues and scandals linked to the election of the head of United Russia's central executive committee; p 3 (633 words).

10. Igor Naumov article headlined "Russia Expecting Well-Bred and Qualified Foreigners" looks at the measures to improve migration policy the government is going to take; p 4 (602 words).

11. Tatyana Dvoinova article headlined "Maritime [Territory] Las Vegas Shows Signs of Life" says that investors willing to invest over $600 million in the ten land plots of the future gambling zone in Primorye region have finally shown up. However, the concept of development for the gambling zone to be created in the territory by 2022 has not been drafted yet; p 5 (646 words).

12. Svetlana Gamzayeva article headlined "Opposition Suspected of Sparkling" says that the camp Volga+Urals in Nizhny Novgorod region to discuss prospects of the Russian protest movement had not sparked any public interest until the police interfered; p 5 (715 words).

13. Mikhail Vyugin article headlined "Putin's Present Vanishing in Urals" says that Sverdlovsk region authorities have failed to prepare grounds for the special economic zone the Titan Valley. Moreover, the head of the management company to deal with the project has disappeared; p 5 (413 words).

14. Grigory Mikhailov article headlined "Pensioners Forced to a Diet" says that the Kyrgyz finance minister has suggested that in times of crisis working pensioners should get only half their salary; p 6 (508 words).

15. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Russian Respected Finally" says that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed into law the controversial language bill that elevated the status of Russian but stopped short of making it a second state language; p 6 (419 words).

16. Anton Khodasevich article headlined "Brussels Selecting Punishment for Minsk" says that Brussels on Friday is expected to voice its stance regarding the conflict between Belarus and Sweden and to take counter measures; p 6 (663 words).

17. Vsevolod Gnety article headlined "Silvio Comes to New Fatherhood" looks at former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's attempts to return to big politics and a new scandal involving his female friend; p 6 (1,054 words).

18. Darya Tsiryulik article headlined "U.S.A. Deploying Southern ABM" says that as the U.S.A. is deploying a large-scale missile defense system targeting Iran, the countries of the Persian Gulf are seeking alternative routes of food and water supplies, fearing that the Strait of Hormuz might be blocked; p 7 (753 words).

Vedomosti

1. Natalya Biyanova and Alexei Rozhkov article headlined "Open Deal" says that Nomos Bank's shares dropped by 10 percent Thursday after the news that its shareholder PPF Group had sold 26.5 percent of the bank's shares; pp 1, 9 (736 words).

2. Roman Dorokhov article headlined "Coupon for Leak" says that spammers have begun offering a database of 760,000 Muscovites who use discount services online. The information may be used not only for spamming but also for fraud, experts warn; p 1 (497 words).

3. Oxana Gavshina and Margarita Lyutova article headlined "Soluble Petrol" says that Russian oil companies have stopped supplying straight-run gasoline to Belarus as they suspected that Belarussians make motor gasoline out of it and export it to Europe without paying duties; p 1 (279 words).

4. Editorial headlined "To Help Helpers" looks at an initiative put forward by the Economic Development Ministry to re-introduce tax privileges for charity funds, religious organizations and socially oriented NGOs; pp 1, 4 (493 words).

5. Yevgenia Pismennaya article headlined "Putin's Stagnation" looks at a report substantiating Russian credit ratings published by the Standard and Poor's agency; p 3 (629 words).

6. Alexei Nikolsky article headlined "Thing of Week: Mars Rover Curiosity" comments on Curiosity's landing on Mars; p 4 (318 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Credits Out of Fear" says that Russians are flocking to take bank loans just like before the 2008 crisis, as they expect the situation will only deteriorate; p 4 (340 words).

8. Maxim Tovkailo et al. report headlined "Olympics Behind Bars" says that two criminal investigations have been launched into over-spending on the construction of Olympic facilities for the Sochi 2014 Olympics; p 3 (513 words).

9. Mikhail Fishman article headlined "Public Interest: Putin's War" comments on the discrepancies in President Vladimir Putin's and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's recollections of the beginning of the August war with Georgia and wonders why Putin has started re-writing the recent history; p 4 (483 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Pyotr Orlov article headlined "Check for Honesty" says that international experts are evaluating the Russian system of countering corruption; p 7 (470 words).

2. Ksenia Kiselyova article headlined "Power Handed Over — Who Takes It?" says that the National Transitional Council has officially handed over powers to Libya's National Congress and ponders what Russia might expect from the new authorities; p 8 (370 words).

Izvestia

1. Olga Tropkina interview with former Kirov region deputy governor Sergei Karnaukhov headlined "Navalny's Case Was Kept in Nurgaliyev's Safe for Over a Year" where he speaks about the resumption of the Kirovles criminal case against opposition activist Alexei Navalny; pp 1 — 2 (883 words).

2. Anastasia Novikova article headlined "Russian Army to Be Protected Against Foreign Software" says that the State Duma's Defense Committee is going to draft a bill to ban the use of foreign software and electronic elements in the Russian army; p 3 (473 words).

3. Boris Mezhuyev article headlined "Right Turn. What Will It Bring Us?" says that following President Vladimir Putin's response to musician Andrei Makarevich's open letter, the latter and the part of the business community supporting his appeal may offer definite measures aimed at reducing corruption and increasing the efficiency of the economy; p 5 (814 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Anastasia Rodionova interview with opposition activist and writer Eduard Limonov headlined "I Owe 547,000 Rubles to the State" where he speaks about the fine imposed on him for organizing a Strategy 31 rally in July; pp 1 — 2 (405 words).

2. Anna Vlasova article headlined "Protest Ending Up Without Management" says that experts do not expect growth in protest sentiments in fall; p 3 (767 words).

3. Marina Ozerova interview with the leader of the Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov headlined "'Our Authorities Not Ready for Complex Politics'" where he speaks about the political situation in Russia and prospects for the non-systemic opposition; p 4 (4,803 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Alexander Pinchuk interview with Air Force Commander-in-Chief Major General Viktor Bondarev who speaks on the future of the Air Force; pp 2 — 3 (1, 700 words).

August 10, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC