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What the Papers Say, Aug. 6, 2012

MT

Kommersant

1. Dmitry Butrin article headlined "Prime Minister's Eyes Opened to Budget" says the Open Government expert group are urging Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to spend budget revenues on education, health care and the construction of new roads instead of the defense sector. The Russian budget lacks money for all of Vladimir Putin's election promises; pp 1-2 (1,200 words).

2. Musa Muradov and Anna Petrova article headlined "Alexander Tkachyov Gives Directions to Cossacks to Caucasus" says a recent statement by Krasnodar region Governor Alexander Tkachyov urging Cossacks to oust North Caucasus nationals from the region has triggered a scandal. Lawyers note that the plans contradict the Russian Constitution while the Public Chamber wants this statement to be checked for ethnic hatred; pp 1, 3 (733 words).

3. Unattributed article polls officials, politicians and public figures who comment on the statements by Krasnodar region Governor Alexander Tkachyov urging Cossacks to oust North Caucasus nationals from the region; p 3 (493 words).

4. Olga Shestopal article headlined "Pre-Sale Buyer" says businessman Alexander Lebedev who announced his plans to sell business in Russia used to be interested in buying Absolut bank sold by KBC Belgian group; pp 1, 8 (637 words).

5. Viktor Kamrayev article headlined "Committee for Civil Initiatives Launches Political Classes" says Alexei Kudrin's Committee for Civil Initiatives has launched a new project, School for New Authorities. Participants in the project compared it with the Open Russia project financed by jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovskiy in the past; p 2 (631 words).

6. Andrei Krasnov and Sergei Goryashko article headlined "Dead Militants Cause Quarrel Between Chechnya and Ingushetia Heads" says Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov has heavily criticized the head of the neighboring republic of Ingushetia after the latter questioned the success of a special operation carried out by the Chechen law-enforcement agencies against militants; pp 1, 3 (936 words).

7. Oleg Kashin article headlined "Journalists Master Genre of Complaints" says journalists covering the trial of the Pussy Riot punk group have complained to the Federal Bailiff Service head about the actions of bailiffs during the trial; p 4 (439 words).

8. Kazan-based Andrei Smirnov article headlined "Assassination Attempt on Tatarstan Mufti Investigated Up to Organizers" comments on progress in the investigation of the assassination attempt on Muslim leaders in Tatarstan. Two men suspected of organizing the attack have been put on a wanted list; p 4 (445 words).

9. Maxim Yusin article headlined "They Vote on Syria Against Russia" says the voting on Syria at the UN General Assembly has shown that the world community does not support Russia's and China's stance on Syria; p 6 (410 words).

10. Alexander Reutov article headlined "Turkish Army Demoted in Titles" comments on the dismissal of 55 Turkish generals and admirals considered by experts to be a sign of the growing Islamization of the country; p 6 (413 words).

11. Kirill Belyaninov and Yelena Chernenko article headlined "Magnitsky Law Gets Its Own Force" says the U.S. Congress may approve the controversial Magnitsky law imposing sanctions on a number of Russian officials without cancelling the Jackson-Vanik amendment; p 6 (552 words).

12. Yelena Chernenko interview with William Browder, of Hermitage Capital Management where Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky used to work, speaking on the difficulties with approving the law in the U.S. Congress; p 6 (344 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Yulia Grishina and Andrei Riskin article headlined "Kadyrov and Yevkurov Fail to Split Terrorists" says the argument between the heads of Chechnya and Ingushetia over fight with militants may result in a large-scale rift between the two republics; pp 1-2 (705 words).

2. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Poland May Reject U.S. Missiles" says the Polish president has described the agreement with the U.S.A. on the deployment of U.S. missile defense components in Poland as a mistake. Warsaw still believes Russia to be a potential enemy, but it counts on its European allies within NATO; pp 1-2 (742 words).

3. Olga Shulga article headlined "Cossack Against Migrant" says Krasnodar region Governor Alexander Tkachyov is facing problems due to his nationalist rhetoric; pp 1, 3 (722 words).

4. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Policemen Become Bad Witnesses" says three people suspected of organizing mass disturbances during a May 6 rally may be released from custody as policemen have given evidence acquitting the suspects; pp 1, 3 (672 words).

5. Vladimir Mukhin article headlined "Failed Lines of Collective Defense" says an exercise of the CIS's Collective Rapid Reaction Force which begins in Chelyabinsk region today will imitate a rebel attack similar to the recent events in Tajikistan; pp 1-2 (684 words).

6. Sergei Kulikov article headlined "Moscow Suspected of Energy Sabotage" says Kaliningrad has tested an autonomous energy supply system which frightened the neighboring Baltic states; pp 1, 4 (640 words).

7. Editorial headlined "Great Deeds Awaiting Us" says a building in Moscow that is a historical and architectural monument to the Russian-French war is falling apart despite Russia's plans to spend much money on the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the war with Napoleon; p 2 (507 words).

8. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Citizens to Rarely Complain About Press" says the Communications and Press Ministry has drafted regulations for control over how the law on media is observed; p 3 (472 words).

9. Oleg Matveychev article headlined "Not Too Just Russia" says the political dividends of the A Just Russia party are falling as it is losing supporters; p 5 (2,086 words).

10. Yury Paniyev article headlined "Kofi Annan Quits Syrian Game" says UN envoy Kofi Annan's decision to quit the negotiation process in Syria has escalated the confrontation between Russia and the West; p 6 (871 words).

11. Unattributed article headlined "Minsk Responds to Teddy Bear Stunt" says Minsk has ousted the Swedish ambassador following the so-called "teddy bear stunt" in which a Swedish plane air-dropped teddy bears with democratic slogans over a Belarussian region; p 6 (679 words).

Vedomosti

1. Dmitry Kazmin and Maxim Tovkaylo article headlined "The More Powerful, the Cheaper" says Russia's accession to the WTO will help people having powerful vehicles pay less for their purchase. Russia is to reduce import duties on powerful cars whose equivalents are not manufactured in the country; pp 1, 10 (819 words).

2. Bela Lyauv article headlined "Capital's Cows" says Moscow city authorities are going to support 29 farms which are now operating on the region of the city after a large part of Moscow region land was handed over to Moscow; p 1 (447 words).

3. Irina Mokrousova article headlined "Air Boom" says investors are becoming increasingly interested in developing regional airports in Russia; pp 1, 12 (2,326 words).

4. Editorial headlined "Agents From Caucasus" says Krasnodar region Governor Alexander Tkachyov's nationalist rhetoric shows the attitude of Russian politicians toward economic and social problems. While Moscow blames foreign agents for the growth in protest mood, Tkachyov accuses North Caucasus nationals of problems in the region; pp 1, 4 (531 words).

5. Another editorial headlined "Pollution of Money" slams President Putin for fighting with fly-by-night companies instead of improving conditions for doing business in Russia; p 4 (356 words).

6. Polina Khimiashvili article headlined "Man of Week: Kofi Annan" says UN envoy Kofi Annan's decision to quit the negotiation process on Syria will strip Moscow of another argument in its standoff with the West over Bashar Assad's regime; p 4 (320 words).

7. Article by former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer headlined "Middle East After Assad" tries to predict further developments in Syria; p 4 (677 words).

8. Vladimir Shtanov article headlined "Lebedev Gives In" say billionaire and Aeroflot co-owner Alexander Lebedev has announced his plans to sell his Russian assets under alleged pressure from the secret services; p 8 (495 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Irina Nevinnaya article headlined "To Save Money in Different Way" says Russian financial market players have sent a letter to President Putin over plans to cancel the cumulative part of Russian pension savings; pp 1, 3 (756 words).

2. Vladislav Vorobyev and Vasily Voropayev article headlined "Return of Damascus" says the Syrian authorities have regained control over Damascus; pp 1, 9 (836 words).

3. Nikolai Dolgopolov interview with Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko; p 7 (400 words).

Izvestia

1. Alexandra Yermakova article headlined "Opening of Olympic Games in Sochi Under Threat" says the Audit Chamber has complained about the company building the Olympic stadium in Sochi. Auditors believe the company is deliberately delaying the construction process to make more money on it; pp 1-2 (733 words).

2. Yury Matsarsky article headlined "Ossetia Afraid of Terrorist Export From Syria" says the North Ossetian authorities are considering an appeal of the Ossetian community in Syria to receive people fleeing from the conflict in the country; pp 1-2 (459 words).

3. Oleg Shevtsov and Igor Yavlyansky article headlined "Offence of Faith Equals Up to 3 Years Behind Bars in Europe" says that a disturbance in a cathedral is regarded as a criminal offence in France and in Germany; p 5 (600 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Alexander Lebedev article headlined "What Can Be Answered to Mutko" comments on the Russian Olympic team's performance in London and on the harsh criticism of the athletes by Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko; pp 1, 8 (455 words).

2.Yulia Kalinina article headlined "What Is Governor Tkachyov Stirring Up?" slams Krasnodar region Governor Alexander Tkachyov for getting Cossacks involved in problems with illegal migration in the region; pp 1-2 (560 words).

3. Lina Panchenko and Ignat Kalinin article headlined "English Law of Maj Karpov" says Interior Ministry investigator Pavel Karpov —part of the so-called "Magnitskiy list" — has appealed to the High Court in London to defend his reputation; p 2 (743 words).

4. Melor Sturua article headlined "Was It Day of Jam or Indigestion?" says the Republicans used Barack Obama's birthday to criticize him ahead of the presidential election; p 3 (1,711 words).

5. Anastasia Rodionova article headlined "The Further One Goes Into Forest, the Longer Sentence He Will Get" gives details of the charges brought against opposition activist Alexei Navalny; p 5 (2,357 words).

Novaya Gazeta

1. Irek Murtazin article headlined "Frustrated Accident" says that yet another Sukhoi Superjet-100 aircraft had a malfunction while carrying passengers from Kazan to Moscow; officials, however, have denied any problems during the flight; p 2 (400 words).

2. Yelena Kostyuchenko article headlined "Cruelty Not to Be Explained by State Order" observes the ongoing Pussy Riot trial in a very bitter manner; p 3 (1000 words).

3. Alexander Mineyev article headlined "Syria and Siesta" says Europeans are worried by the threat of a full-scale war in Syria as they do not want refugees to flood the EU; p 6 (704 words).

4. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Plagiarism of History" compares the recent developments in Russia to Soviet repressions of dissenters in the 1970s; p 8 (459 words).

5. Andrei Kolesnikov article headlined "Two Positions of Opposition" says that the Russian opposition has been divided between the two projects of coordinating the future of the opposition movement presented by Alexei Navalny and the Republican Party of Russia –Party of People's Freedom; p 10 (600 words).

6. Alexei Polikovsky interview with Mark Feigin, the lawyer of one of the Pussy Riot girls; pp 14-15 (2,200 words).

7. Vladimir Mozgovoi article headlined "Silver Rain From London" analyses the failure of Russian Olympic athletes to win gold medals at the London Olympics; p 22 (1,395 words).

8. Yulia Latynina article headlined "Housing Issue Spoilt by State" slams the authorities for the demolition of a block of flats built illegally in the Moscow region, as people who bought flats there were left without housing; p 18 (717 words).

RBK Daily

1. Sergei Kolobkov article headlined "Superjet Frightens Buyers Away" says the Armavia Armenian airline has cancelled its plans to buy a second Sukhoi Superjet-100 aircraft and may return the first one bought from Russia; pp 1, 5 (500 words).

2. Svetlana Makunina interview with A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov speaking on the financing of his party and on the planned relocation of the Russian parliament from the centre of Moscow; p 3 (1,950 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Nadezhda Krasilova article headlined "Play for Low Stakes" says a great number of parties has emerged in Russia, but only few of them are ready to actually fight for people's votes; pp 1-2 (850 words).

2. Vera Moslakova article "If Not a Drug Addict, Then You Don't Pay Alimony" quotes opposition activists' lawyers claim that a huge campaign has been launched to discredit them using false accusations; p 2 (450 words).

3. Margarita Alyokhina article headlined "New Bar of Madness Cleared" gives an account of the fifth day of the Pussy Riot trial, saying that only three out of 17 witnesses for the defense were allowed to be questioned, while two of those rejected were real witnesses of the punk prayer; p 5 (500 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Mikhail Moshkin article headlined "Agents of Faith Under Ban" says that after Islamic leaders have been attacked in Tatarstan, foreigners have been prohibited from establishing religious communities there; pp 1-2 (550 words).

2. Vadim Kantor article headlined "Dams of Trash destroyed Krymsk" quotes the official report on the Krymsk tragedy that says the flood was caused both by nature and human factor, i.e. three dams made of rubbish and river channels that weren't cleaned; p 3 (500 words).

3. Darina Shevchenko interview with Motilda Ivashchenko, a witness for the prosecution in the Pussy Riot case, who refused to give testimony in court; p 3 (600 words).

4. Igor Kryuchkov article headlined "Test for Being Bad" says that Russia is dissatisfied with the UN resolution on Syria; p 4 (500 words).

August 6, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC