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RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – April 21, 2008

210408.jpgTODAY: Paper that alleged Putin was to re-marry is shut down; Boris Berezovsky launches lawsuit against Roman Abramovich; Russia to ease tensions with Georgia amidst US “concern”. Following accusations by Vladimir Putin of “snotty noses and erotic fantasies”, the Russian tabloid responsible for starting the rumor that Putin had left his wife and was planning to marry a 24-year-old gymnast has “suspended operations”. The paper’s deputy editor commented, “We proved that Russia is not a democracy.” The paper, Moskovski Korrespondent, part of a company owned by billionaire Alexander Lebedev, is claiming that the suspension is “a business decision”. Boris Berezovsky has launched a $4 billion lawsuit against Roman Abramovich, Russia’s third-richest man, claiming he used “threats and intimidation” to force him to sell shares at a knockdown price. Read a special report on Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s “firebrand” envoy to NATO.

Putin’s intended complete control over the government and parliament “creates a situation in which Medvedev will not be able to change his prime minister or Cabinet until December 3.” Putin ordered his government to take steps to ease tensions with Georgia. The US is concerned over Russia’s recent boost of cooperation with Georgia’s breakaway regions.PHOTO: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Russian gymnast Alina Kabayeva at a meeting with the Russian Olympic team in Moscow’s Kremlin, in this November 4, 2004 file photo. Putin on April 18, 2008 denied reports he was planning to marry Kabayeva. (Itar-Tass/Kremlin/Files/Reuters)