RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – June 7, 2011

storypic-business.jpgTODAY: Rights worker beaten outside home; the increasing difficulty of protesting in Moscow; Luzkhov mulls return, but not to ruling party; Khodorkovsky denied parole. Communist and Just Russia parties take a leaf out of United Russia’s book; women’s movement; Medvedev criticizes Putin’s ‘outdated’ politics; Moscow takes the lead in lethargy

Bakhrom Khamroyev, an employee of leading rights group Memorial has been attacked outside his home by a group of strangers in an assault fellow rights workers suggest is linked to his activities for the NGO.  The Other Russia reports on the increasing repression of small-scale protests by Moscow city authorities, with Mayor Sergei Sobyanin arguing ‘it’s a few dozen debauchers who gather for the sake of their own scandalous behavior, then it would be illogical to close a prospect for them’.  The former mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, has affirmed he is not quitting politics, but has denied rumors about his possible return to the United Russia party.  After being barred from the Central House of Artists, possibly under pressure from authorities, organizers of a free rock concert to support music critic Artemy Troisky have found a new venue for the event.  A Moscow court has refused a parole requests by Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev on the grounds of insufficient paperwork.

The Moscow Times reports on how the Communist and Just Russia parties are creating organizations to rival Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s All-Russia People’s Front ahead of the State Duma elections.  ‘The people’s front has already accomplished a number of important tasks by bringing countless individuals and groups under its auspices, diverting the focus away from “the party of crooks and thieves” and reinforcing Putin’s role as national leader’, says this op-ed.  Tom Bamforth considers how an all women’s movement involving Anna Chapman, dressing in white and being top students, is supposed to increase women’s participation in politics.  Talk of a rift in the tandem has emerged following comments by President Medvedev which suggested that the model of centralized Kremlin rule, consolidated under Putin, is outdated

The future of the Defense Ministry’s top weapons official Alexander Romanovsky looks shaky as the clean-up operation at a fire-ravaged Urals arms depot begins.  According to the New York Times, a man who said he had been paid by Russia to detonate a bomb near a NATO office in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, has been arrested.

Moscow has won the unlikely accolade of being the laziest city in Russia.

PHOTO: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, seen here congratulating Gazprom head Alexei Miller at the opening ceremony of a gas pipeline on June 6 2011, refused to give any “final parameters” for potential alterations to the social tax in a May 26 speech. (Alexei Druzhinin / RIA-Novosti / Reuters)