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RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – April 5, 2010

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TODAY: 3.5 million attend Easter services; two more bombs detonated over the weekend are linked to North Caucasus, investigators say; second Moscow metro bomber named; Yevgeny Chichvarkin believes mother’s death was murder; banner referencing gays is taken down; Putin in Latin America.
Over 3.5 million people attended night time Easter services across Russia yesterday.  Another suicide attack has killed at least two police officers in Ingushetia, and a bomb on a railway track derailed a freight train in Dagestan, although no one was hurt.  Investigators have linked the attacks to the Moscow bombings and to the North Caucasus.  The Times reports on Doku Umarov’s war, as the second bomber, 28-year-old student Maryam Magomedov, is named.  Masha Lipman in the Washington Post looks at the roots of Russia’s problems with radical Islam.  Boris Gryzlov is trying to connect two newspapers, Vedomosti and Moskovsky Komsomolets, with terrorism, blaming critical articles that were published after the first attacks on the Moscow metro.

Former Euroset mobile phone retailer Yevgeny Chichvarkin, fighting extradition from London to Moscow, says he believes that his mother’s death on Sunday was murder.  Police sources say that Chichvarkin would likely be arrested if he tried to attend her funeral.  A nine-story banner referencing gay people joining United Russia has been taken down to avoid confrontation with the political party, which can now count a boxing champion as its newest member. 
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made his first ever trip to Venezuela over the weekend, overseeing the signing of 31 agreements in oil, nuclear power and trade, and Bolivian President Evo Morales reportedly asked Putin to ensure a greater Russian presence in Latin America.  
PHOTO: Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez after signing commercial agreements at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Friday, April 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)