The Other Russia: Pro-Kremlin Party Will Hold Presidential Pep Rallies (Updated)

Pro-Kremlin Party Will Hold Presidential Pep Rallies (updated)

UPDATE 1/24/09: The RIA Novosti news agency reports on January 21st that United Russia has pledged to hold a day of support for the president’s anti-crisis measures across Russia on January 31st.  The decision is apparently a direct response to the Day of Dissent put on by the Other Russia.  United Russia has now rescheduled its event twice.

United Russia, the Russian political party led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, will stage street rallies to back the Russian authorities, the Kommersant newspaper reports on January 16th. According to the party’s local branch, the first such positive protest will take place on January 24th in Moscow.

Experts have suggested that the economic crisis in Russia may lead to discontent among the public, and United Russia intends to steer any negative outcry spilling into the streets in a positive direction.

Yury Shuvalov, the head of the Center for Socio-Conservative Policy, and a party officer, said the first event would be held in late January “to support the president and prime minister.” United Russia are not planning to “counteract citizen’s public demonstrations,” Shuvalov added, but on the contrary “are planning to participate in the process and to intellectually guide it.”

“There is an understanding,” he went on, “that we can’t in any case allow the breakdown of the political situation in the country, that we must maintain social stability, but not by those methods previously used.” To do this, he said, “we can’t so much imitate discussion, as lead explanatory work about what the authorities are doing to minimize the strains setting in as result of the changing socio-economic situation.”

“It is very important to tell people the truth,” Shuvalov said, “and not be scared to openly admit erroneous decisions [made by authorities].”

Opposition youth activist Roman Dobrokhotov said the “intellectual guidance” described by United Russia will likely equal a search for an external enemy.

“From the very start, the authorities have tried to channel the public sentiment against a foreign source,” Dobrokhotov told the Sobkor®ru news agency. “Take for instance a meeting of Nashi [youth] by the US embassy, where the schoolchildren admitted it: they are being taught that the US intentionally provoked the economic crisis to weaken Russia; that this was their geopolitical goal.

“In the context of the “gas war,” another line was born from above: comments appeared that the gas war was instigated by the West as part of a strategy of fighting Russia.”

The Russian public, Dobrokhotov believes, is unlikely to buy this official stance. Recent car enthusiast protests in Vladivostok show that the public is prepared to protest, the youth leader said.

“It hasn’t happened in one country, that the ruling party is praised under conditions of a worsening economic situation,” he continued. The United Russia meetings, he said, could even end up counterproductive to the public perception of authorities.

Other opposition leaders have pointed out the double standard applied to demonstrations sponsored by different groups. In Moscow, city officials have repeatedly refused to allow Marches of Dissent put on by the Other Russia opposition coalition, claiming the events would interfere with traffic. Rallies put on by pro-Kremlin groups like Nashi have meanwhile been given free access to locations around the city.

Responding to what it described as unreasonable restrictions by the Moscow mayor’s office, the Other Russia has pledged to hold multiple demonstrations across Moscow in a Day of Dissent. The first such day of protest will take place on January 31st.

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Kavkaz Center:Briton Arrested: Pictures Of Naked Putin Are Russia’s State Secret

From: Eagle_wng

Briton Arrested: Pictures of Naked Putin Are Russia’s State Secret
Publication time: 21 October 2006, 21:44

A British gallery owner says Moscow customs, irked by the unorthodox representation of the Russian dog Putin prevented him from taking several pieces of modern art from the country, The Sunday Telegragh reported.

Five collages depicting semi-naked  Putin were to feature in an exhibition in London’s Matthew Bown Gallery. The gallery owner, Matthew Cullern Bown said customs officials at Sheremetyevo airport detained the collages.

“From talking to various customs and policemen I get the impression that what they are worried about is the satirical representation of Putin, ” he said.

Mr Bown was prevented from getting on his flight while an inquiry assessed whether the images constitute “anti-government agitation”. He is actually under arrest, The Scotsman adds.

After the dog Putin, the former KGB terrorist and spy, came to power in 2000, the Kremlin sent strong signals to media that mocking pictures of the Kremlin leader  were not welcome any more.

Within months, the most popular puppet show of independent NTV television where the dog Putin featured as a key character disappeared. Other media obediently followed the lead.

Kremlin officials have said they did not like Pitin  to be humiliated by the media.

Prosecutors in a central Russian town of Ivanovo have charged a local journalist with “abuse of an official” for publishing an article headlined “Putin as a Phallic Symbol of Russia”.


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Caucasian Knot: Congress Of The Nation Opens In Ingushetia

Congress of the Nation opens in Ingushetia


jan 31 2009, 13:00


Today, the Congress of Ingush Nation was opened. Its agenda has three points: public and political situation in the Republic and ways to improve it; adoption of the Law on Local Self-Government; and counteraction to corruption. All the audience was unanimous in adopting the agenda.

According to the organizing committee, 346 delegates from all dwelling settlement of the Republic were elected. Besides, there are about 2000 invitees to the forum, including members of Ingush Diasporas abroad and in the regions of Russia. Also the participants of the Congress are representatives of NGOs and clergy, former chairpersons of the government and parliament, officials from the federal power bodies.

The RIA “Novosti” remarks that ex-presidents of the republic Ruslan Aushev and Murat Zyazikov, who had been invited, as reported, failed to arrive. One of the leaders of the opposition of Ingushetia Magomed Khazbiev refused to take part in the Congress. He motivated his refusal by the fact that his colleagues, who fought against Zyazikov’s rule, were not invited to the event.

This is the first Congress of Ingush Nation during the last 7 years. It is chaired by the President of the Republic.

See earlier report: “Mutsolgov: Congress of Ingush People will be democratic“.

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MosNews: Former NATO Chief Robertson Gets Top Post In Russia’s TNK-BP!

From: Eagle_wng

Former NATO Chief Robertson Gets Top Post in Russia’s TNK-BP



Russian-British oil major TNK-BP has appointed Lord Robertson, the former secretary-general of NATO, as its Deputy Chairman.

The British Financial Times reported on Thursday, July 27, that BP nominated Lord Robertson, 60, as its leading representative on the Russian company’s board and the former defence secretary will join the board in October.

The Labour peer told the paper that the challenge of his new role was to promote TNK-BP as a showcase joint venture in Russia’s oil industry.

“I know Russia and I strongly believe in Russia being a trusting and trusted partner in the common issues we all face,” he said. “This post will give me a unique opportunity to be engaged in a remarkable company in a vital area of geo-economic interest.”

Lord Robertson replaces Dick Olver, the former BP deputy chief executive.

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YAHOO NEWS: Two Die In Moscow Contract Killings: Reports


Two die in Moscow contract killings: reports


Thu Feb 5, 1:28 AM


AFP Photo: File image shows a Russian

policeman guarding a desolate Red Square

in Moscow. Two people…


MOSCOW (AFP) – Two people were gunned down on Moscow’s streets overnight in what appeared the latest in a spate of contract murders in the capital, Russian news agencies reported Thursday .


A former deputy mayor of the Chechen capital Grozny was shot three times in the head outside his home, Interfax quoted a police source as saying.


The man, 36-year-old Gilani Shepiyeva, had survived an assassination attempt in 2006.


Separately, an oil trader of Georgian origin was shot while walking his dog.


“The signs are this was most probably a contract killing,” Interfax quoted a police source as saying.


The incidents come after a well-known human rights lawyer and a young female journalist were gunned down in Moscow last month, amid a resurgence in contract killings, many thought to be connected to Chechnya.


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CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Kremlin Is Fastest-Growing Part Of Economy

From: Eagle_wng

Kremlin is fastest-growing part of economy
Under the stewardship of Vladimir Putin, Russia is gradually putting the Kremlin in control of everything that matters: energy, the economy, politics and the media

Alex Rodriguez writes from M

By Alex Rodriguez
Tribune foreign correspondent
Published January 15, 2006

MOSCOW — Russia’s newest, most powerful corporate enterprise doesn’t have a logo or a balance sheet. It doesn’t hold shareholder meetings and isn’t bound by any charter. Observers say it doesn’t need one because it makes its own rules, and changes them as it sees fit.

It doesn’t even have a name, though the brand several critics have suggested–Kremlin Inc.–is as good as any. In 2005 its CEO, Vladimir Putin, put into full swing Kremlin Inc.’s corporate strategy: reassert state influence over Russia’s economy and use energy to muscle its way back onto the world’s top shelf of economic powerhouses.

Under Putin’s stewardship, Russia is gradually putting the Kremlin in control of everything that matters: energy, the economy, politics and the media. Last year, Russian authorities engineered takeovers and deals that gave the state partial or complete control in some of the country’s most lucrative enterprises. The most significant of those deals involved the acquisition of Russian oil major Sibneft by state-owned Gazprom, the world’s largest natural gas producer.

The state also wrested control of Russia’s leading carmaker and took over the company that makes nuclear turbines for Russian submarines. And it tightened its grip on the media; in June, Gazprom bought Izvestia, one of Russia’s largest newspapers. The state already has control over Russia’s television networks.

In 2005, the Russian government was the most active player in Russia’s mergers and acquisitions market, engineering nearly a third of all deals.

The Kremlin’s push for legislation imposing severe restrictions on non-governmental organizations was widely seen as its stratagem for snuffing out the one element of Russian civil society that authorities had yet to control.

On the surface, this centralization of power and influence has all the markings of a reversion to Soviet-style governance, but there’s a difference: To a certain extent, Putin embraces Western-style market reforms as vital to Russia’s economic rebirth. Foreign investment should be nurtured, he believes. So should growth in small- and medium-size business.

The problem is that Putin cherry-picks where market reforms should be applied. He clearly wants Russia’s natural resources sector, the engine behind its economy, placed squarely in the hands of the state. He bemoans the size and influence of Russia’s bloated bureaucracy, even as he puts Kremlin apparatchiks at the helm of some of the country’s most powerful enterprises.

Economists say the Kremlin’s strategy risks stifling competition and ultimately imperiling economic growth. One of those economists, Andrei Illarionov, a top Putin adviser, quit in December in protest of Kremlin policies.

“The state can be inept, irrational and pursue strange interests, but those interests were always seen as in the national interest,” Illarionov told the Russian newspaper Kommersant. “What I could not foresee was that state interests could evolve into corporate and private interests to such an extent.”

Russia began 2006 with another highly criticized policy move that could haunt it in coming months. When Ukraine’s pro-West government balked at agreeing to a fourfold price increase for natural gas it buys from Russia, Gazprom shut off gas supplies to its western neighbor Jan. 1. The move caused sharp reductions in gas Russia sends to European customers via Ukrainian pipelines, and it triggered strong concerns from the West about Russia’s reliability as an energy partner.

Those concerns couldn’t have come at a worse time–on Jan. 1, Russia assumed this year’s chairmanship of the Group of Eight club of leading industrialized nations and will push an agenda of energy security.

Europe already depends on Russia for a quarter of its natural gas, and Gazprom is building a pipeline between Russia and Germany that eventually will supply Europe with 20 billion cubic meters of gas annually. But in the wake of Russia’s decision to cut off gas to Ukraine in the middle of winter, European leaders are murmuring about the need to look elsewhere for energy sources.

As G-8 chairman, Putin faces criticism on other fronts. As much of the rest of the world condemned Uzbekistan’s authoritarian government for shooting to death hundreds of demonstrators in Andijan last spring, Russia joined China in sidling up to Uzbek President Islam Karimov, firmly backing his handling of the crisis. Human-rights groups are urging G-8 leaders to raise concerns about the pending non-governmental organizations bill, which would significantly hinder the work of foreign and domestic NGOs in Russia. Putin has yet to sign the bill into law.

The rollback of democracy in Russia has become a familiar theme at summits between Putin and Western leaders. The criticisms never seem to faze him, in part because Russians themselves have never made democracy a burning issue with their president.

For Russians, the priorities have remained the same throughout the Putin presidency: better health care, better schools, higher wages. And after six years in office, Putin still struggles to deliver the basics that Russians need most. It’s why he gave his chief of staff, Dmitry Medvedev, a new job–improving health care, housing and schools.

Time will tell whether Medvedev can fix what other ministers couldn’t. If he fails, Putin could face a wave of criticism at home — criticism he would have no choice but to heed.,0,6764911.story?coll=chi-newsopinionperspective-hed

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Caucasian Knot: Today Is Nine Years After Novye Aldy Residents Were Executed In Chechnya

Today is nine years after Novye Aldy residents were executed in Chechnya

feb 05 2009, 18:00

According to human rights activists, nine years ago, in the course of a wide-scale “zachistka” (clean-up) conducted in the settlement of Novye Aldy and adjacent districts of Grozny, 56 persons were killed. In spite of the fact that the power units, which held this “special action”, have been established, those guilty of assassinating unarmed people remain unpunished.

In winter of 1999-2000, Novye Aldy settlement and other districts located in the outskirts of Grozny were constantly exposed to bomb attacks and artillery shelling by federal troops. The shelling of the settlement continued also after groups of militants had left the capital of Chechnya.

“On February 3, 2000, about 100 residents of the settlement raised a white flag and marched to the line of the militaries deployed in the vicinity of the settlement. However, they opened fire on them without any warning. A local resident, Russian national, was heavily wounded and later died,” an employee of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Memorial” in Grozny told the “Caucasian Knot” correspondent.

On the following day, residents managed to meet the command of that military unit, and later on that day militaries held a check of passports in Novye Aldy.

The human rights activist has added: “According to local residents, some of the soldiers told them that ‘monsters’ would come after them, who have the order ‘to kill everybody’, and offered them to immediately leave their homes. The residents didn’t pay any special attention to the warnings.”

In the morning on February 5, 2000, special militia units entered Novye Aldy. (According to the data of the HRC “Memorial”, these were OMON (Special Police Force) units from St-Petersburg and Ryazan Region.) Faces of the fighters were covered by camouflage paste.

Within several hours, over 50 persons became victims of extrajudicial executions, a one-year-old baby, nine women and eleven elderly residents of the settlement among them. The OMON fighters not only shot dead innocent citizens and set their houses on fire, but were marauding and extorting money and golden decorations from them under threats of physical execution.

No serious investigation of the facts of extrajudicial executions of Novye Aldy residents was ever held. On March 3, 2000, the military prosecutor’s office made a decision to refuse to initiate a criminal case on the fact of the massacre in Novye Aldy. The main reason of the refusal was that “the militaries of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, who are under jurisdiction of the military prosecutor’s office, did not conduct any warfare in those days in Aldy settlement, as well as checks of passports,” therefore, “there were no crime attributes in their actions.”

Later, some Novye Aldy residents filed complaints to the Strasbourg Court on Human Rights. In summer of 2007, four of these complaints were satisfied by the European Court.

Today, the office of the Scientific and Information Centre “Memorial“, located in St-Petersburg at No. 23, Office 103, Rubinstein Street, д. 23, will host a public function in memory of Novye Aldy tragedy victims. A documentary will be shown at the event, filmed a couple of days after the massacre in the settlement. On February 6, at 5-6 p.m., a mourning picket will be held in Malaya Konyushenaya Street, near the monument to Gogol.

See earlier reports: “Picket in memory of “zachistka” victims in Novye Aldy held in Moscow,” “Anti-War Committee: murderers of Novye Aldy residents live in St. Petersburg,” “HRC “Memorial”: European Court’s decisions animate investigation into crimes committed in Chechnya.”

Автор: Sultan Abubakarov; источник: CK correspondent

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