RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – April 6, 2010


TODAY: Ingushetia double bombings still unclaimed; new law bans media from printing terrorists’ statements; Khodorkovsky article investigated for ‘extremism’; drivers protest against flashing blue lights of government cars; protests a challenge to Putin’s power vertical?  Nato experts argue for Russian reciprocity in withdrawing tactical weapons; Katyn massacre ceremony to be attended by Putin.
The first of the double bombings outside a police station in Ingushetia is thought to have been carried out by a male suicide bomber linked to last week’s attacks, although no one has yet claimed responsibility.  The Moscow bombings have shattered the myth that Putin is effective in controlling terrorism, says the Moscow Times, which also notes the different responses of the ruling tandem to the events. Too bad the authorities are ‘focusing their efforts against the people and not against the terrorists‘.  A new law, written by a United Russia member and adopted this week, will ban the media from reproducing any statements issued by anyone deemed to be a terrorist, reports The Other Russia.  The Washington Post writes on Russia’s concession to Polish history in Vladimir Putin’s scheduled attendance at today’s 70th anniversary commemoration ceremony of the Katyn massacre.

Sergei Abeltsev, a State Duma deputy, complained that he found elements of extremism in a March article by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, causing prosecutors to conduct an investigation of Nezavisimaya Gazeta, which published the piece.  The paper said that the complaints were ungrounded, and prosecutors found no reason to charge the newspaper, although a final decision is still pending.  Angry drivers are helping to grow a Moscow movement against government officials who use flashing blue lights on top of their vehicles to beat jams, causing irritation to other drivers and, in some cases, accidents. A protest is scheduled for this weekend.  Vladimir Ryzhkov notes that 2010 has already seen more Russian protests than many recent years put together, suggests that a few more could cause Putin’s power vertical to collapse, and says that liberal voters need to have representation in parliament.  
Nato experts don’t want tactical nuclear weapons to be withdrawn unilaterally across Europe without a deal to secure Russian reciprocity on the issue, on which ‘for many years [it has] remained inflexible and stagnant‘.  Iran is urging Russia not to bow to Western pressure to distance itself from Iran over its nuclear program, and to follow through on plans to deliver a missile defense system to the country.  An informal meeting between Russian and Ukrainian officials yesterday was purely personal‘.  Female crime is reportedly on the rise.
PHOTO: Chavez and Putin walking past a Venezuelan honor guard on Friday. The troops are armed with Kalashnikov rifles. (Jorge Silva / Reuters)