‘Putinand his government have got increasingly intolerant of any kind ofindependence of these countries. Putin likes the idea of empire’, says Mikhail Saakashvili in the Times. Georgia will defeat Russia not by war, but by ‘peacefully strengthening our democratic institutions’ says a (Biden-tinged?) Saakashvili. The Georgian blogger Cyxymu, who was the apparent target of a major cyberattack, has laid the blame on the Kremlin. The Independent wonders why this blog, which has on average 200 hits a day, inspired such a large-scale attack.
The Washington Post suggests that after ten years in power Putin is likely to hold the reins for some time to come. Ramzan Kadyrov says the current Prime Minister should be ‘President for life’. The Chechen President has said that murdered rights activist Natalya Estemirova did not have ‘honor, dignity ora conscience‘ in an interview with RFE/RL. The relatives of journalist Anna Politkovskaya have expressed disappointment that their request for the case to return to the prosecutor was thrown out.
A catastrophic week for Russian vehicles: bus crashes and helicopter death traps. For rocketing crime rates among the police, see the BBC.
PHOTO: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev leaves his plane after arriving in Russia’s southern city of Vladikavkaz, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009. Medvedev awarded medals Saturday to servicemen who fought in the war against Georgia a year ago, and promised Russia would not reverse its recognition of two breakaway Georgian provinces. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)