RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – July 22, 2010


TODAY: Hydropower attackers named; same-sex couples to be denied Russian adoptions; blue bucket protesters detained in Moscow; Moldova wants Russia out; Foreign Ministry accuses US of ‘kidnapping’; Medvedev in Finland; Siberian woman sectioned for prosecutor attack; the high cost of road-building. 
RFE/RL reports that the perpetrators of the Baksan hydropower plant (video footage here) have been identified.  Having recommenced negotiations on child adoptions with the US, Russia insists that it will not allow same-sex US couples to adopt Russian children, because it does not recognize same-sex marriages.  RIA Novosti reports on a case in point, in which a Russian lesbian couple are appealing to the European Court of Human Rights to get their marriage registered.  A small group of ‘blue bucket‘ protesters who staged an ‘absurd walk‘ against the sirens used by government officials to get through traffic have been detained in Moscow.  Moldova has renewed its call for Russia’s 1,200 troops to get out of Transdnestr, with a parliamentary speaker blaming the ‘occupation army‘ for Moldova’s economic problems.

The Foreign Ministry are accusing the US of ‘kidnapping‘ the Russian pilot that was detained in Liberia in May, while the US insists that the man was given consular access on his arrival in the US.  President Dmitry Medvedev, still in Finland for talks, played down the imminent ‘technical‘ ban on Finnish meat and dairy products, saying that it would likely be lifted within two weeks.  Medvedev’s visit coincides with the fourth annual Finnish-Russian Civic Forum, which is pressing for Russian opposition activists to be granted the right to free assembly, and urging Medvedev to discuss the issue with President Halonen during his visit.  Russia and Lithuania have agreed to cooperate on trade and infrastructure along their joint border.  
An elderly Siberian woman has been sectioned after throwing a hatchet at a city prosecutor general who denied her a meeting, reports RIA Novosti.  Russia’s Esquire magazine is drawing attention to the inflated cost of Russia’s road projects using caviar, foie gras, truffles and fur coats to make its point.  Boris Berezovsky’s divorce is causing a stir in the UK, as it looks set to hit a new payout record. 
PHOTO: Medvedev and Finnish President Tarja Halonen visiting the Island of Seili on Archipelago Sea on Wednesday. (Heikki Saukkomaa / AP)