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What the Papers Say, Jan. 31, 2013

BBC Monitoring
A roundup of today's Russian-language newspapers

Last Year's Repression 'Worst' in Decades

A leading rights group lashed out at President Vladimir Putin on Thursday by saying he had “unleashed the worst political crackdown” in the country’s post-Soviet history after returning to the Kremlin last year.

After Attack, Rivalries at Bolshoi Draw Scrutiny

Ballet may be high art onstage, but last month's acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet chief Sergei Filin has drawn attention to the fact that it's a dirty business behind the scenes.

Thrill-Seeking Russian Judge Wounded in Syria

That very nearly describes Sergei Berezhnoi, a 57-year-old arbitration court judge in Belgorod who traveled to Syria last week to observe the country's civil war and write firsthand accounts for an obscure Abkhazian news portal.

No Obama Visit Planned Before G20, Kremlin Says

The Kremlin said Friday that it does not expect U.S. President Barack Obama to visit Russia before the Group of 20 summit in September.

Report: RusHydro to Take Over Water Services

The Moscow Times
RusHydro, Russia's largest hydropower company, wants to take over management of the country's water and wastewater services, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Imprisoned Pussy Riot Member Hospitalized

The Associated Press
A jailed member of the Pussy Riot feminist punk band has been hospitalized and had complained of headaches and of suffering from overwork at a prison colony known for its tough conditions, a fellow band member said Friday.

Metro Map to Get Makeover

The Moscow Times
The map of the Moscow metro will get a facelift, with the new version to be posted in trains and station lobbies by the end of this month, City Hall said Friday.

Church Seeks to Restrict Access to Solovki

Access to the Solovetsky islands, home to one of Russia's most important monasteries, could be restricted in a bid to preserve the archipelago's "special way of life," a top ranking clergyman said.

Capsule Hotel Opens in Moscow

The Moscow Times
Moscow's first "Sleepbox" hotel has opened on 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya Ulitsa, conveniently located next to the Belorussky train station, the city's committee on tourism and hospitality announced Thursday.

Lavrov to Meet With Biden at Munich Conference

The Moscow Times
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is set to attend the International Security Conference that opened in Munich on Friday to deliver a speech and to meet with U.S. and United Nations officials.

$50Bln Price Tag Seen for 2014 Olympics

The Moscow Times
The Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi in 2014 will cost more than 1.5 trillion rubles ($50 billion) of public and private funds, with three quarters of that sum already spent, according to the state commission overseeing preparations for the games, which released the figure Friday.

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