RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – June 28, 2011


TODAY: Medvedev praises Prokhorov; rights group says it receives threats; legislation could create break with European Court; union snubs All-Russia People’s Front as Mironov slams ‘rebranded’ United Russia; middle-class emigration; humans, meet aliens.
President Dmitry Medvedev is praising Mikhail Prokhorov’s labour initiatives, put forward in his new role as leader of the Right Cause party, as ‘quite revolutionary‘; the President is also backing Prokhorov’s call to decentralize power in Russia.  The Guardian has a profile on the new party leader: Prokhorov is Russia’s third-richest man, is Kremlin-approved, and has major designs for reforming the workplace.  Many anticipate that his ideas for labour reform could ‘spell disaster for the Russian workforce‘.  The Interregional Committee Against Torture, a rights group with bases in Chechnya and Nizhny Novgorod, says its activists are coming under threat for their critique of law enforcement activities.  New legislation is being introduced by the Federation Council which, if passed, could avail Moscow of its obligation to the European Court of Human Rights and potentially lose Russia its Council of Europe membership.

The Russian Union of Architects is the first public group to refuse the advances of Vladimir Putin’s All-Russia People’s Front, saying that its ‘professional activity should be free of any political component‘.  A Just Russia party leader Sergei Mironov has slammed the front, calling it a simple ‘rebranding‘ of the United Russia party.  Senior intelligence official Colonel Alexander Poteyev has been convicted of high treason and desertion and sentenced in absentia to 25 years in prison for betrayal last year of ten sleeper agents working in the United States.  Solidarity leader Vladimir Kara-Murza writes in the WSJ today about the recent failure to allow Parnas to register for the next elections. 
A ‘deep loss of confidence‘ in Russia is spurring a new wave of middle-class emigration to Eastern Europe, says the New York Times.  Two parallel streets in the breakaway Georgian republic of South Ossetia are being ceremoniously named after Putin and Medvedev.  A Russian astronomer anticipates that humans and aliens will meet at some point over the next two decades.
PHOTO: Russian businessman and billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. (Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images)