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RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Jan 7, 2010

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TODAY: 2009 in review from the Other Russia; governor appointment causes dismay among opposition; history falls foul of real estate value.  Militant attack kills 7 police in Dagestan; Dubai refuses Yamadayev suspects bail; South Ossetia reaches out to EUMM; starting again with START; Russian Orthodox Church says Merry Christmas.

According to the Other Russia, ‘2009 was a year of continued contradictions laced with increased strife throughout Russian society’.  The site has its rundown of last year, featuring not just sobering examples of political and violent repression but also positive actions from the opposition.  According to RFE/RL, President Medvedev has proposed the reappointment of Sergei Darkin, a man with apparent ties to criminal groups, as governor of the far eastern Primorsky Krai, a move which, says Communist Viktor Ilyukhin, shows the emptiness of the President”s corruption-busting promises.  RFE/RL also examines the case of a mysterious fire which destroyed one of Moscow’s only remaining historic dachas.  Residents fear foul play: apparently local authorities had long been eyeing the site for a potential car park.


A militant bomb has killed 7 policemen in Dagestan and injured another 20 people.  President Medvedev has ordered that security be increased and the explosion be thoroughly investigated.   According to Ria-Novosti, a court in Dubai has turned down bail applications for two men accused of involvement in the murder of ‘Hero of Russia‘and Chechnya commander Sulim Yamadayev.  The EU Monitoring Mission inGeorgia has entered Tshkinvali for the first time to consider thedetention of a South Ossetian man by Georgian police.  South Ossetiahas previously turned down EUMM requests to enter its territory.  An article in Time magazine runs us through the issues surrounding the negotiations on the START treaty – which are to imminently resume.

President Medvedev has offered his Christmas wishes to the nation, as the Russian Orthodox church celebrates Christmas according to the Julian calendar.  Patriarch Kirill has apparently told worshipers that despite the financial crisis, Russia is progressing.  As a cold spell descends on Britain, the Times asks Siberians for tips on coping with cold weather.

PHOTO:  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, and Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill, left, greet each other during an Orthodox Christmas service in Moscow’s Christ The Savior Cathedral, in Moscow, Russia, January 6, 2010. Christmas falls on Jan. 7 for Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land, Russia and other Orthodox churches that use the old Julian calendar instead of the 16th-century Gregorian calendar adopted by Catholics and Protestants and commonly used in secular life around the world. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)