RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – March 2, 2010


TODAY: Investigative Committee to reconsider arrest of YouTube protest officer; Georgia and Russia reopen border; funds for Ingushetia; Medvedev says Olympic officials will be sacked; military doctrines, warships and fighter jets; Russians less against the US thanks to Obama; Vladislav Listyev.
The Investigative Committee ordered its Krasnodar regional branch to reconsider the January arrest of former police Major Alexei Dymovsky, who published his grievances with the police force in a YouTube protest video, and was subsequently fired and investigated.  Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says Russia will spend around $1.44 billion through 2016 to develop Ingushetia.  Georgia and Russia have reopened their only border crossing more than three years after it was closed.  President Dmitry Medvedev suggests that, if Olympic officials do not resign in the wake of Russia’s poor olympic performance (it came 11th in terms of gold medals, 6th overall), they will be sacked.  Medvedev is only responding to public opinion, says Alexei Pankin – ‘the people are united in their hunger to see not just a proper flogging but a veritable bloodbath for the country’s sports officials‘.  The sports minister is unwilling to admit that Russia performed poorly. ‘I do not consider the sixth place at the Olympics as a failure.

The Moscow Times revisits the wording of Russia’s new military doctrine, saying that the broadly negative Western media response was ‘unwarranted‘.  As Nicolas Sarkozy angers allies by confirming France’s negotiations with Russia over the sale of four warships, the designer of Russia’s fifth-generation stealth jet fighter says the model will be ready by 2015.  Apparently thanks to Barack Obama’s willingness to engage in dialogue, Russians’ attitudes toward the West have improved, with a survey showing that the number of people who dislike the US fell from 54% in 1998 to 31% last month.  
Yesterday was the 15-year anniversary of the death of Vladislav Listyev, a television director whose murder was never solved.  On Stepan Bandera, the WWII partisan still creating friction between Ukraine and Russia long after his death.  
PHOTO: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, 2nd from left, accompanied by Sukhoi Chief Executive Mikhail Pogosian, left, and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, third from left, watches a video of a prototype Sukhoi T-50 fifth-generation fighter during his visit to the Sukhoi Design Bureau in Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 1, 2010. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)