TODAY: Russia denies that UN Human Rights Council will probe Magnitsky investigation; RuLeaks posts pictures of ‘Putin mansion’; Bout’s Kremlin ties; Nemtsov supporters detained; footage of Markelov march; Poland will take Smolensk grievances to EU; police reforms bill ‘crippled’ by cuts; mammoth tusks seized; time to bury Lenin?
Human rights experts appointed by the UN have announced plans
to explore the ‘dire conditions
‘ and ‘general failures apparent in the Russian legal system
‘ exposed by the death of Sergei Magnitsky; but the Foreign Ministry says that a UN investigation would be impossible
under Russian law, and denies that members of the Human Rights Council have launched a probe. The Telegraph
has a timeline of the Magnitsky investigation. RuLeaks
, which presents itself as Russia’s answer to WikiLeaks and said to consist of members of the anti-copywrite Pirate Party, is causing a stir
with photographs of a $1 billion Black Sea mansion that, it says, belongs to Vladimir Putin. The Moscow Times looks at the safety of leaking information on the internet
. Viktor Bout had ‘close relations
‘ with Kremlin officials dating back through Putin and Yeltsin’s rules, reports the BBC. RFE/RL has footage from marches
and memorials held this week to mark the deaths of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasya Baburova. Two supporters of Boris Nemtsov have been detained in Moscow
for a courtside protest.
Poland intends to take its complaints about the Smolensk crash to the EU, to ‘raise awareness
‘ about ‘problems in co-operating […] so that people in the EU know that it’s not so easy to work with the Russians.
‘ A book of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s writings is winning praise
from popular Russian novelist Boris Akunin, who calls it ‘a “black-and-white” story of good and evil
‘. The latest anti-corruption lip service
from President Dmitry Medvedev pertains to the courts.
The draft police reform bill has had many of its ‘crucial
‘ amendments cut, ‘effectively crippling‘ it
, with minority parties accusing United Russia of cheating them. A former policy advisor for the Canadian government has spoken out
against various Russian injustices such as ‘lawlessness
‘ and state control, questioning why the country is ‘accommodated by Western powers
‘. Three tons of mammoth tusks, preserved for thousands of years in Siberian permafrost, have been seized from a criminal gang
in St Petersburg.
PHOTO: Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with lecturers and professors of Higher School of Economics State University in Moscow, December 30, 2010. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Pool