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What the Papers Say, July 31, 2012

MT

Kommersant

1. Natalya Korchenkova and Sergei Goryashko article headlined "All Pieces of Advice to Authorities" comments on the principles of forming the Open Government expert council approved by the authorities; pp 1-2 (749 words).

2. Afsati Dzhusoyti article headlined "Russia Finds Ground Under Tatami" says that another judo wrestler has won a gold medal at the London Olympics; p 1 (268 words).

3. Anna Balashova and Vladimir Lavitsky article headlined "Naum Marder Maintains Communications" says that former senior official from the Press and Communications Ministry Naum Marder is going to become an adviser to the Vimpelcom communications company; pp 1, 7 (555 words).

4. Alexandra Bayazitova et al. report headlined "Retroactive Loan" says that banks selling debts to collectors are facing serious problems as the Rospotrebnadzor consumer rights watchdog is taking the side of borrowers in the issue; pp 1, 7 (619 words).

5. Ivan Safronov and Viktor Khamrayev article headlined "Vladimir Putin Lays Keel of Prince Vladimir" comments on President Vladimir Putin's visit to the Arkhangelsk region where the construction of a new missile carrier ship begins; p 2 (578 words).

6. Alexander Igorev and Vladislav Trifonov article headlined "Interior Ministry Determines Its Own Security" comments on the reshuffle within the Interior Ministry. Police Major General Alexander Makarov has been appointed head of the main directorate of internal security; p 3 (477 words).

7. Maxim Ivanov article headlined "President Gathers 'Rodina'" says that another founder of the Motherland party, Sergei Glazyev, has received a post in the presidential administration. Putin appointed him his adviser; p 3 (548 words).

8. Grigory Tumanov and Anna Solodovnikova article headlined "Punk Rock Held to Account for Publicity" says the Russian Orthodox Church could have spoken out for the members of the Pussy Riot punk group after they apologized for hurting religious feelings of believers. The trial of the women has begun in Moscow; p 3 (671 words).

9. Anna Pushkarskaya interview with the chairman of the Supreme Arbitration Court, Anton Ivanov, speaking on the reform of the courts he is proposing; p 4 (2,211 words).

10. Maxim Yusin article headlined "Syrian Opposition Looses Secularism" says the civil conflict in Syria is turning into a religious war, as Islamists are playing an increasingly important role within the opposition; p 6 (453 words).

11. Pavel Tarasenko article headlined "Bill Clinton to Provide Barack Obama With Economic Support" says that former U.S. President Bill Clinton is to join Barack Obama's electoral headquarters; p 6 (537 words).

12. Pavel Korobov report "Cathedral Takes Reputation Losses to Prosecutor's Office" says that the management of the Fund of Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior has submitted a complaint about the Consumer Rights Protection Society to a prosecutor's office; p 3 (600 words).

Nezavisimaya Gazeta

1. Svetlana Gamova article headlined "Russian Military Base May Be Set Up in Transdnestr Republic" says that Moscow plans to replace its peacekeeping mission in the Transdnestr republic by a military base to counteract the Romanian expansion threat; pp 1-2 (971 words).

2. Andrei Serenko article headlined "Kalmyk People to Present Medvedev With Old Bill" says that the Union of Kalmyk People who Suffered Repression wants to meet Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is visiting Volgograd. The NGO plans to ask the authorities for compensation for the victims and survivors of Stalinist repression; pp 1, 5 (686 words).

3. Olga Shulga article headlined "Pussy Riot Trial Goes On in Guilty Tone" says the Moscow Khamovnichesky Court has rejected all motions by the defense lawyers of the Pussy Riot punk group being tried in the city; pp 1, 3 (446 words).

4. Alexei Gorbachev article headlined "Policy of Intimidation of Opposition Continues" says that more opposition activists are seeking asylum abroad, while the authorities are stepping up prosecution of dissenters; pp 1, 3 (719 words).

5. Igor Naumov article headlined "Land Issue Remains Unresolved" says that privatization of land is not expected in Russia in the near future; pp 1, 4 (632 words).

6. Tatyana Ivzhenko article headlined "Ukraine Joins CIS Free Trade Zone" says the Ukrainian parliament has ratified the agreement on free trade with CIS member states; pp 1, 6 (697 words).

7. Editorial headlined "About Convertible and Nonconvertible Mistrust" analyzes recent public opinion polls showing that the protest mood in Russia is growing while the authorities are losing the support of the electorate; p 2 (514 words).

8. Ivan Rodin article headlined "Interview for Putin" says that Medvedev's interview with The Times, in which he said he would stand for president in the future, shows that Medvedev is ready to continue working with Putin; p 3 (856 words).

9. Nikolai Surkov article headlined "Syrian Opposition Takes Border Under Control" says the West is planning a new diplomatic offensive on Syria in the UN; p 6 (611 words).

10. Vladimir Skosyrev article headlined "Romney Flatters Israelis and Offends Palestinians" says that while visiting Israel, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has noted that the U.S. diplomatic mission may be set up in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority did not welcome the plan; p 6 (496 words).

Vedomosti

1. Yevgenia Pismennaya article headlined "Law of Bureaucracy" says that Putin's top-down command structure requires more officials and the budget has to allocate more financing for them; pp 1, 3 (716 words).

2. Vladimir Shtanov and Yelena Vinogradova article headlined "Private Exception" says the Industry and Trade Ministry has suggested that the so-called utilization tax, paid when importing vehicles into Russia, should be low for individuals and high for companies; pp 1, 10 (718 words).

3. Yulia Garayeva and Yelena Ivanova article headlined "Poor Official" says that a former official from Tatarstan, Alexander Timofeyev, sentenced to a fine of 300 million rubles (around $9 million) for receiving 5 million rubles in bribes, has paid only 610,000 rubles as he managed to have all his property registered in the name of his relatives; p 1 (498 words).

4. Editorial headlined "They Neither Plough, Nor Sow, Nor Build" says that a large number of officials hampers the economic development of Russia and notes that attempts to reduce their number have failed; pp 1, 4 (590 words).

5. Anastasia Kornya article headlined "Without Hatred" says that the members of the Pussy Riot group standing trial in Moscow have said they don't understand the meaning of the charges brought against them; p 2 (446 words).

6. Another editorial headlined "Sublegislative Corruption" says that the new laws on rallies, defamation, NGOs and websites have given rise to corruption in Russia; p 4 (314 words).

7. Alexei Nikolsky et al. report "Bastrykin to Double Staff" says that it may cost 18 billion rubles ($560 million) to set up a single investigation body in Russia; p 2 (600 words).

8. Sergei Guryev report "From Repression to Repression" says that bringing charges against Alexei Navalny, which is expected today, the authorities' reaction to the Pussy Riot case, arrests of participants in the protest on Bolotnaya Ploshchad and searches of opposition activists' homes have proven that a consistent course of political repression has begun in Russia; p 4 (1,000 words).

9. Maxim Tovkaylo article "Quote of the Week" quotes the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, as saying that the Sochi Olympics will be better organized than the London Olympic Games; p 4 (500 words).

Rossiiskaya Gazeta

1. Boris Yamshanov interview headlined "Approach From Rear" with Deputy Defense Minister Dmitry Bulgakov speaking on changes in the service of conscripts; pp 1, 6 (1,449 words).

2. Yakov Mirkin article headlined "Debts Make Waves" says the euro zone may collapse soon and urges the Russian authorities to get involved in EU anti-crisis measures; pp 1, 5 (1,090 words).

3. Leonid Radzikhovsky article headlined "300 Years Rushing After" looks at the reasons for Russia lagging behind the West; p 3 (677 words).

4. Pavel Danilin article headlined "Demons and Dances" accuses gallery owner Marat Gelman, who allegedly has ties with Boris Berezovsky, of plotting the scandalous performance of the Pussy Riot group as an attack on the Russian Orthodox Church; p 7 (683 words).

5. Nikolai Dolgopolov report "Blonds Get to Bin Laden" looks at the classified documents recently published in the U.S.A.; p 8 (600 words).

6. Yury Bogomolov report headlined "Gifts From Heaven" highlights TV programs of the last week; p 13 (700 words).

Izvestia

1. Olga Zhermeleva article headlined "Deputies Revise Immunity" says the State Duma plans to revise the immunity status of its deputies. The lawmakers are to be subject to prosecution in case they are suspected of committing crimes against individuals; pp 1, 3 (516 words).

2. Olga Tropkina article headlined "Rosmolodezh Suspected of Violating Law" says the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has found violations of the law on state purchases in the actions of the Federal Youth Affairs Agency (Rosmolodezh) organizing the Seliger pro-Kremlin youth camp; pp 1-2 (744 words).

3. Maria Parfyonova article headlined "Deficit of Gold and Diamonds Threatens Russia" says the Audit Chamber believes the country is running out of its gold and diamond reserves; pp 1, 4 (463 words).

4. Pyer Sidibe article headlined "'Evolution' Prepared for Sveta From Ivanovo" gives some details of the NTV project, in which a young woman from Ivanovo who expressed support to Putin and United Russia, has been made a TV host; p 2 (527 words).

5. Anna Akhmadyeva article headlined "Media Trade Union Launches Civilian Journalism Project" says the Russian media trade union is launching a website where journalists' investigations in the social sphere will be published; p 3 (337 words).

6. Dmitry Yevstifeyev report "Investigators Ask Voice Samples From Navalny" looks at blogger Alexei Navalny's visit to the Investigative Committee; p 3 (600 words).

7. Konstantin Volkov article headlined "Syrian Christians Want to Set Up Autonomy" says that Syrian Christians are afraid of repression from Muslims if Bashar Assad's regime is toppled, and they want to set up an autonomous region or even an independent state; p 5 (448 words).

RBK Daily

1. Yulia Sinyayeva and Anna Reznikova article headlined "Tax for Forgetful Ones" looks at amendments to the law on property taxes to be introduced in Russia; pp 1-2 (800 words).

2. Article by Andrei Buzin, expert from the Golos NGO, headlined "Making Vote-Rigging Profession" slams amendments to the electoral law drafted by United Russia, under which electoral commissions will be formed once in five years; p 2 (700 words).

3. Yulia Yakovleva article headlined "Apology Punishable" says members of the Pussy Riot punk group are facing maximum punishment for their performance in the cathedral in Moscow despite the fact that they have apologized for hurting the feelings of Orthodox believers; p 2 (600 words).

4. Anastasia Litvinova interview with head of the State Statistics Service Alexander Surinov speaking on the state of the Russian economy and services offered by the body he is heading; p 3 (1,300 words).

Moskovsky Komsomolets

1. Yulia Chernukhina article headlined "Pussy Riot Admits Mistake, Not Guilt" reports on the beginning of the trial of the Pussy Riot group; pp 1-2 (828 words).

2. Mikhail Rostovsky article headlined "Lawyer, Son of Lawyer" says Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev should not have disclosed the university where his son plans to study due to security reasons; pp 1-2 (1,197 words).

3. Anastasia Rodionova report "Alexei Navalny: I Greet You at Czech Security Service!" looks at Navalny's questioning at the Investigative Committee; p 2 (400 words).

Noviye Izvestia

1. Yulia Savina article headlined "Witnesses Lead" says the Interior Ministry is buying luxurious jeeps for 80 million rubles (around $2.4 million) with budget money; pp 1-2 (580 words).

2. Vera Moslakova report "Authorities Could Not Choose Worse Target" looks at the way society may react to Alexei Navalny's arrest; p 2 (700 words).

Moskovskiye Novosti

1. Maria Lepina and Yevgeny Gladin article headlined "I Recognize Events in Church" says that the members of the Pussy Riot group have apologized to believers, but refused to admit their guilt; pp 1, 3 (700 words).

2. Mikhail Moshkin report "Case on Word" says that Putin has signed the law on criminal responsibility for defamation; p 1 (600 words).

3. Alina Garbuznyak report "Scheduled Protest" says that Putin is expected to participate in the work of the pro-Kremlin Seliger summer camp today; p 2 (700 words).

4. Igor Kryuchkov report "Sun Not to Rise in West" says that North Korea has given up reforms and openness; p 4 (600 words).

Komsomolskaya Pravda

1. French journalist Thierry Mayssan report "Is the West Turning Into Terrorist?" looks at the situation in Syria; p 6 (900 words).

2. Yevgeny Lukyanitsa article "Damascus Promises to Put End to Rebels" looks at the conflict in Syria; p 6 (300 words).

Krasnaya Zvezda

1. Vladimir Kuzar interview headlined "Geopolitics of Conflict" with Leonid Reshetnikov, head of the Russian Strategic Research Institute, who speaks on the conflict in Syria; p 3 (1,000 words).

July 31, 2012/BBC Monitoring/©BBC