TODAY: Another Hermitage lawyer under attack; United Russia quashes Duma discussion of Monday’s protests; opposition suggest Speaker’s Corner for Moscow; Duma will not castigate no show deputies. Ukraine agrees on no to NATO: military discontent with modernization budget; Russia attitude to wedlock changing; mass of WW2 shells discovered
The Interior Ministry is apparently attempting to strip Hermitage Capital’s legal adviser, Alexander Antipov, of his right to practice law, after he filed a score of complaints regarding Sergei Magnitsky’s death in pre-trial detention. A Communist Party deputy claims he had his microphone switched off when he tried to discuss the police crackdown on Strategy 31 rallies in the Duma this week. Michele A. Berdy translates and analyzes part of the heated exchange between Yury Shevchuk and Prime Minister Putin. Russian Public Chamber member Alexander Brod has suggested that Moscow authorities establish an area of the city where peaceful protests can be held, not unlike Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park; whilst opposition leader Lev Ponomarev believes that protests should not be segregated, but held everywhere. The State Duma is not planning to punish absentee deputies as the Public Chamber has suggested, as it would be unconstitutional, nor will the list of worst-offending truants be published. Finland’s plans to deport a disabled 82-year old Russian woman have caused a storm of outrage among human rights advocates. The New York Times has a feature on the fate of Ingushetian opposition leader Magomed Yevloyev, whose death from from a gunshot ‘accident’ in 2008 has never been fully investigated. An ex-bodyguard for a Chechen anti-Kadyrov clan has been sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison for an an assassination attempt that he claimed was ordered by the Chechen President himself.
The BBC reports that Ukraine’s parliament has approved plans to abandon attempts to gain NATO membership, affirming its ‘non-aligned’ status. ‘There is no understanding in society of the consequences of abandoning NATO‘: says one analyst. The Economist explains why Ukraine’s major concern should not be is not its manoeuvring with Russia or the EU, but rather ‘its domestic politics, its weak institutions and the dire state of the economy’. Does Georgia feel abandoned by Obama’s reset policy? Perhaps not, this article in the Power Vertical argues. Russia’s military wants triple the money it has been promised for modernization.
Russia apparently hopes to reach a conclusion on US adoptions at talks to be held in June. Russian divers are preparing to remove a huge cache of shells from a World War II barge off the Baltic coast. The Moscow Times reports that among young people these days, love and marriage do not go together like a horse and carriage. All of us are late for work sometimes.
PHOTO: Nabiullina, standing at right, and Kudrin, left, earlier this year. Nabiullina said Thursday that her ministry was able to win out over Kudrin’s reservations by convincing Putin and the Presidium that demand for oil next year would surpass supply. (S. Porter / Vedomosti)