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RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – Sept 1, 2008

010908.jpgTODAY: Ingush opposition figure shot dead; EU summit to be held today; Medvedev reveals foreign policy plan to preserve nearby territories; South Ossetia to join Russia; Turkey and Russia heading for “trade war”; Putin “saves” television crew from tiger; textbooks whitewashing Stalin. The EU will hold its emergency summit today to decide on its next steps in relation to Russia. President Dmitry Medvedev has already warned that Russia will retaliate against any hostile moves, but what is the likelihood of economic sanctions? A German MP has called for Russia to be temporarily excluded from the G8. Magomed Yevloyev, the prominent owner of an Ingush opposition news website and Kremlin critic, has been shot dead after being detained by police. Medvedev has revealed a new five point foreign policy plan, which includes Russia’s intention to preserve geographical spheres of “privileged interest” around its borders. Medvedev is reportedly treating “vague Central Asian support” for Russia’s actions in Georgia as a diplomatic victory. Georgia has severed its diplomatic ties with Russia. “South Ossetian militias, facilitated by the Russian army, are carrying out the worst ethnic cleansing since the war in former Yugoslavia.” Russia plans to deliver aid to both of Georgia’s breakaway regions. South Ossetia has announced that it will soon become part of Russia.

Tensions between Turkey and Russia have increased, with the former planning to impose curbs on Russian exports and possibly withdraw support for its WTO membership, moving the two sides a step closer to a “trade war”. Russia is planning to send members of its security forces to train police in Afghanistan.The Russian media is reporting that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin saved a television crew from an attack by a Siberian tiger over the weekend. One British newspaper is repeating the story with reservation. New school textbooks are being slated by teachers for “attempting to whitewash Stalin’s crimes”. Read an obituary of former KGB agent Yuri Nosenko.PHOTO: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin looks at the tranquilized five-year-old Ussuri tiger as researchers put a collar with a satellite tracker on the animal in a Russian Academy of Sciences reserve in Russia’s Far East on Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)