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RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – June 2, 2011

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TODAY: Navalny anticipates revolt; Serdyukov assures students on conscription; Lib Dem bill would put cameras in pretrial detention; gay rights protester attack investigated; All-Russia People’s Front gathers momentum; U.S. releases arsenal data; Troitsky benefit canceled; Medvedev backs media privatization.
Alexei Navalny says that the Russian political system is weak due to systemic corruption, and that Vladimir Putin could face a revolt within five years if he fails to implement reforms: ‘There is a shaky balance between the different interests.‘  Moscow police have launched an investigation into the attack of a Novaya Gazeta reporter at Saturday’s gay rights demonstration.  Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov is reassuring postgrad students that they will not be conscripted after a group complained to the President.  A Liberal Democratic Party bill would equip pretrial detention centers with surveillance cameras, as a measure to prevent human rights abuses.  Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that the All-Russia People’s Front is at an ‘advanced stage‘ of formation, with 450 social organizations and activist groups ready to join.  Hermitage Capital employees are protesting the involvement of Prosecutor General Yury Chaika in the Sergei Magnitsky case, implicating him as having had a hand in the lawyer’s death.  Anna Politkovskaya’s daughter says that the people who ordered her mother’s killing are still at large.

The arsenal data have been released: the U.S. has 30% more deployed long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads than Russia.  Artemy Troitsky, the music critics currently facing two lawsuits, says that a canceled benefit, originally due to be held in his support, had come under pressure from the authorities.  A new Russia-EU agreement will allow five-year visas
The Moscow Times applauds President Dmitry Medvedev for the balanced story that state-controlled NTV ran on Mikhail Khodorkovsky earlier this week, as well as the arrest of Rustam Makmudov and the conviction of Stanislav Markelov’s killers: ‘a Medvedev who has freed Khodorkovsky, tamed nationalists and punished Politkovskaya’s killers would look like a strong crusader for the rule of law‘.  Medvedev has announced that he is pro-media privatization, although he has frequently changed his mind on the issue to date. 
PHOTO: Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) kisses a patient’s hand after receiving a present as he visits a new hematology, immunology and oncology children’s centre in Moscow June 1, 2011. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Pool