RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – June 24, 2011


TODAY: Navalny says Putin’s Front breaks the law; Football League to investigate racist incident; government to reconsider Parnas registration? Transport Ministry says ground Tupolevs; Medvedev in Kazan to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh; healthcare campaigns, Bonner’s last words.
Alexei Navalny is calling on prosecutors to disband Vladimir Putin’s All Russia People’s Front, suggesting that the Prime Minister is misusing government resources to fund the group – he notes that a 1997 law bans state officials from using state resources for ‘out-of-office purposes‘.  Plus, the Front violates Putin’s own legislation on non-profits, says Navalny, because it has not registered with the Justice Ministry.  The Football League is opening an investigation after a banana was thrown at league player Roberto Carlos during a match this week, the second such incident since March.  Russia could reconsider its ban of Parnas (the Party of People’s Freedom) following comments from U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who said she was ‘troubled‘ and ‘disappointed‘ by the news.  President Dmitry Medvedev has apparently defended the registration denial, saying that it was based on real violations.  Parnas’ leaders are planning to hold a large civil protest against the decision.  But some State Duma speakers, like United Russia’s Boris Gryzlov, just aren’t interested in party plurality, notes Brian Whitmore.

The Transport Ministry is advising that the government ground the fleet of Tupolev Tu-134 airliners.  President Dmitry Medvedev is meeting with the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Kazan today to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, with Russia hoping for a breakthrough.  ‘Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running unresolved dispute in the former Soviet Union, dating back to 1988.‘ 
The New York Times reports on Darya Makarova’s campaign against Russia’s healthcare service who failed to save her son’s life, and who, she says, are responsible fro a grave catalogue of errors and incompetence.  RFE/RL has a three-part interview with rights activist Yelena Bonner, who died this week. 
PHOTO: From left, leaders of Russian opposition party Parnas (People’s Freedom Party), Boris Nemtsov, Mikhail Kasyanov, Vladimir Milov and Vladimir Ryzhkov announce that authorities denied registration to their party barring them from participating in upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections during a news conference in Moscow, Thursday, June 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)