RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – Dec 19th, 2008

191208.jpgTODAY: Concerns over potential unrest; bill could impose curfews on teenagers; Russia suggests deal with US on missile defense, blocks UN resolution on Holodomor.

Crashing energy prices are stirring concerns about the potential for unrest in Russia.  Yegor Gaidar, prime minister in the early 90s, said, ‘I’ve already seen how things get worse as the result of an oil-price collapse.  It’s dangerous — but people who have not governed a nuclear-armed country don’t quite understand that.‘  Read more opposition concerns about reforms to Russia’s justice system, including recent decisions to suspend crimes against the state from being tried by jury, and to expand the definition of treason.  In a bid to reduce juvenile delinquency, Russia’s parliament is studying a bill to impose a night-time curfew on under 14-year-olds that would ban them from ‘places deemed harmful to their morals‘ after 10pm.

A missile commander says Russia will stop developing certain strategic weapons if the United States abandons its plans for a missile shield in Europe.  The US State Department said it will not meet with Lira Tskhovrebova, the South Ossetian activist who had conversations with a KGB security official.

A Federal Security Service general has dismissed Holodomor – a 1930s famine that Ukraine has asked Russia to recognize as genocide – as an ‘invention‘, and Russia blocked a UN resolution on the issue, forcing the United Nations General Assembly to refuse to include discussions on the famine for the second time this year.

PHOTO: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev walks near an RS-12M Topol ballistic missile at the Plesetsk space lunch pad in October. (AFP/Pool/File/Dmitry Astakhov)