RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – July 30, 2008

300708.jpgTODAY: Medvedev meets Olympic team; transparency report says Russia must fight political corruption; Lake Baikal dive “an advertisement”; nuclear rhetoric is “insanity”; Ukraine wants independent church; Russia’s criminal elite. Russia’s Olympic team attended a Kremlin cathedral service this week and met with President Dmitry Medvedev “for a pep talk”. A new report by the Russian branch of Transparency International says that Russia’s fight against corruption won’t be successful unless the authorities take effective action against political corruption. Russia’s rhetorical position, implying a willingness “to start a nuclear war if its point of view is not accepted”, is viewed by one Russian journalist as “insanity”. A Russian Foreign Ministry official has shrugged off recent criticism from US Senator John McCain. “Let him first become the US president, and then we will listen attentively to him,” he said. Viktor Yushchenko is seeking to separate the orthodox churches of Ukraine and Moscow.

The Lake Baikal conservation dive is “a kind of advertisement for the Russian government and for our science,” although the mission reportedly did not set the new underwater record it had hoped for. Read an article on the recent arrest of some leaders of “Russia’s criminal elite”.PHOTO: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev holds the country’s Olympic mascot Cheburashka during a well-wishing ceremony for its Beijing-bound athletes at the Kremlin in Moscow July 29, 2008. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin (RUSSIA)