RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – August 27, 2009


TODAY: Russia sets its sights on milestone warship purchase; Putin says ‘no one wants to be a vassal’ of US; Medvedev steadfast on South Ossetia and Abkhazia independence; no illusions on question of international recognition.  Channel One documentary faces challenge from Novaya Gazeta journalist.

In an historic deal, the army hopes to buy a top-notch French helicopter carrier, the Mistral, in what would be the biggest foreign military purchase for the country in many years.  Three or four additional carriers would then be produced in Russia with French cooperation.  Russia is also discussing the possibility of a joint missile monitoring center with the US.  Despite recent murmurings, apparently Russia does not intend to replace the Baluva missile with the Sineva missile.  The Chief of the General Staff of the army has avowed his faith in the power of the unpredictable weapon.

Prime Minister Putin has asserted ‘that Russia will not permit any reprisal attempts or any repeat of military ventures’in South Ossetia and Abkazia and suggested Russia may provide moremoney to the former for infrastructure.  He also markedthe one-year anniversary of the countries’ independence by attacking US influence over nation states’ foreign policy decisions, suggesting most countries are ‘executing its political will without penetrating — and not wishing to penetrate — the gist of the events’.  President Medvedev has stated that he has no regrets’ regarding last summer’s conflict and the decision to recognize the breakaway regions ‘is irreversible’.  The President also said that whilst he hoped that international recognition would follow, ‘not all the processes in the world move quickly’. 
The Moscow Times reports that a Channel One documentary on Western misrepresentations of the war in Georgia has itself been attacked as fallacious.  Novaya Gazeta journalist Arkady Babchenko says that a photo used in the documentary, purported to be a picture from Iraq, was actually a photo of a Russian soldier in Georgia which had already been published in the newspaper.

The leader of Russia’s opposition Yabloko party says police in Moscoware obstructing the party’s campaign to collect signatures to registercandidates for the city Duma elections.  Konstantin Sonin in the Moscow Times throws his weight behind Solidarity candidate Ilya Yashin.  Find out here why some people in Tatarstan think the republic’s leader, Mintimer Shaimiyev, deserves a Nobel Prize.

PHOTO: The discount grocery chain Magnit fares well during a crisis. The company says  net income increased to $117.9 million in the first half of 2009, from $65.9 million a year earlier.  (File Photo Sergei Porter / Vedomosti)