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Fradkov Rolls Out the (Un)Welcome Mat for Foreign Investors

Today during a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister (and presidential hopeful) Mikhail Fradkov laid down some tough words for foreign investors regarding foreign stock holdings in so-called strategic assets. Prime Minister Fradkov singles out British investors From Kommersant: “The government may refuse a Mister X, who is the BOD member of some state company and a […]

Massive Gas Field Discovered Near Kovykta

Today Vedemosti broke a story about the discovery of a new field possibly containing more than 1.22 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Angara-Lena, which is located not far from the TNK-BP Kovytka project, is owned by the little-known private Russian firm Petromir. Kommersant reports that this company had recently tried to sell its assets […]

Human Rights Judge Poisoned in Russia?

This snowball is just getting rolling on this story that the former president of the European Court of Human Rights, Luzius Wildhaber, has told Swiss paper Neue Züricher Zeitung early this week that he was poisoned during a trip to Russia last fall. Chairman of the Russian Constitutional Court Valry Zorkin is perplexed by this […]

The Power to Corrupt in the Hands of the Corruptors

Today President Vladimir Putin gave a speech to the Enlarged Collegium of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), calling upon the group to join the fight against corruption and support Russia’s foreign policy objectives, among other issues. (see quotes below, full speech available here). Russia’s foreign policy positions “depend to a great extent” on the […]

Journalists in Russia Face Threats from All Sides

Today Sherry Ricchiardi of the American Journalism Review published an appreciably comprehensive survey of the increasingly dangerous environment for journalists in Russia, based around the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. Ricchiardi points out that investigative journalists face threats from many different parties, both in the public and private sectors. Some excerpts: Over the past six years, […]

Washington Post on Putin’s Protection of Suspects

Today in the Wasington Post: Given the seriousness of the crime, a vigorous prosecution of the Russians might be expected. Only, they have a powerful protector: Mr. Putin’s own government, which, while denying any culpability in Mr. Litvinenko’s killing, is nevertheless blocking British access to Mr. Lugovoy and Mr. Kovtun. During a visit to Moscow […]

Court Finds Khodorkovsky’s Punitive Confinement Was Illegal

From ITAR-TASS: Khodorkovsky put to punitive confinement illegally MOSCOW, January 31 (Itar-Tass) – The Krasnokamensk city court of the Chita region has ruled that ex-Yukos Chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky was put into a punitive confinement last June illegally, a source from the city court told Tass. The court has satisfied Khodorkovsky’s and his lawyers’ appeal that […]

Latynina on Lukashenko’s Graft

Columnist Yulia Latynina on the con artist antics of Europe’s last dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, in regards to his demands that Russia pay $3.5 billion to make up for the lost energy subsidies: Latynina: Russia is averse to supporting opposition movements in Belarus Moscow Times: What the actual sum might be is a moot point, since […]

Grigory Pasko: Political Prisoners in Today’s Russia – Platon Lebedev

Political Prisoners in Today’s Russia: Platon Lebedev By Grigory Pasko, journalist Ex-head of the YUKOS oil company Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested on 25 October 2003, while head of MFO «MENATEP» Platon Lebedev had been arrested four months earlier. Court hearings began on 23 June 2004. The Procuracy-General of the RF charged them under a total […]

Derek Brower: Kovykta’s actors take to the stage

Now fight! By Derek Brower, Journalist NO-ONE is surprised. Everyone knows what the outcome will be. But the motions must still be gone through. So, having dealt with Royal Dutch Shell on Sakhalin during December, the Kremlin was this week gearing up for a fight to win control of Kovykta, TNK-BP’s gas project in eastern […]