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RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – April 22, 2008

220408.jpgTODAY: Russia-Georgia row escalates after spy plane is shot down, Russia-Kyrgyzstan relations worsen. Moscow play banned; wireless devices to be government-registered; US presidential candidates show anti-Russian sentiment; US pastor sentenced. The UN Security Council agreed to a Georgian request to hold a special meeting this week regarding the latest dispute with Russia, which intensified after Tbilisi released footage of what it claimed was a Russian fighter jet shooting down a spy plane over a breakaway region. Russia has denied the allegation, with one newspaper saying, “Georgia has again tried to shift the blame for its own internal headache onto the healthy.” The country is engaged in a new diplomatic row with Kyrgyzstan after a Russian soldier was shot by a Kyrgyz policeman. One journalist sees Vladimir Putin’s acceptance of the United Russia leadership as “an act of desperation”.

A play about the Moscow theatre siege has been banned by Russian authorities after just one performance. All wireless devices owned by Russians will need to be registered with two government agencies.John McCain’s labelling of Putin’s Russia as “revanchist” has inspired this article from the Moscow Times on anti-Russian sentiment amongst US presidential candidates. A Moscow court has sentenced Phillip Miles, the US pastor convicted of smuggling a box of ammunition into the country, to more than three years in prison. The $25 box of ammunition was reportedly a gift for a hunting enthusiast in Perm. The investigator leading the high-profile embezzlement case against Sergei Storchak has been fired.The procedure for ethnic Russians to receive Russian citizenship has been simplified. A special report on Moscow’s disabled.PHOTO: File picture shows Russian MIG-29s at an air show. Russia’s pro-Kremlin media chastised Black Sea neighbour Georgia on Tuesday over claims by Tbilisi that Russia had shot down a Georgian spy plane over one of Georgia’s separatist territories. (AFP/File/Maxim Marmur)