RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – May 12, 2010

BIZ-1-syria.jpgTODAY: Fears for treatment of ill businessman in prison; Strategy 31 organizers take on City Hall;  GenPlan suspicions; Russia-Ukraine spy tie; Foreign Policy report suggests tensions with the US and Great Britain remain; Obama adviser warns against missiles for Iran; Medvedev voices concern about situation in Middle East; Russian’s belief in the independence of the President

An investigation has suggested that Euroset cell phone retailer Boris Levin, who suffers from hepatitis, has not been receiving the correct medial attention whilst held in  pre-trial detention.  The company’s former CEO, Yevgeny Chichvarkin, who lives in exile, has reportedly accused 11 senior Interior Ministry officials of harassing his company and menacing his business partners.  ‘Modernizing an economy … It implies respect for property rights. It implies greater transparency. It implies respect for the rule of law as opposed to the rule of the gun’: a problem for Russia?  The organizers of Strategy 31 have asked the Prosecutor General to investigate what they believe was a pre-meditated attempt by Moscow City Hall to provoke conflict between opposition activists and pro-Kremlin youth marchers.  The Other Russia looks at the possibility of corruption within Moscow’s extensive property development project, ‘GenPlan’.  An instructor at the School of Government at Moscow State University has been hit with a set of new fraud charges.  According to the Moscow Times, the former mayor of Vladivostok has been detained in Panama and might be extradited to Russia.

Russia’s Federal Security Service and its Ukrainian counterpart plan to reach an agreement that will allow Russian intelligence to officially operate in the Crimean Peninsula.  ‘The military, intelligence and foreign policy establishment of the U.S.A.’ is seeking to ‘return to the confrontational policies of the last administration,’ for all of Barack Obama’s reset efforts, says Sergei Lavrov in a strategy report published on on the website of Russian Newsweek magazine.  Britain has apparently been left off the report’s list of countries with whichRussia is seeking to modernize its alliance.  An Obama adviser has warned Russia that if plans to deliver ananti-aircraft system to Iran are followed through, it will have‘severe consequences’ for US ties with Moscow.  At his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Medvedev has suggested that Israeli-Arab tensions could have catastrophic consequences for the Middle East.  Medvedev called for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held by Hamas, to be freedas soon as possible.’ 

The Washington-based World Association for Children and Parents isinstigating an investigation into whether the Russian orphan, who was’returned’ to Russia alone on a plane has been ‘abused’ by the experience.  A ten-year-old boy who lost both his parents in the Moscow metro bombings has sued federal authorities for $170,000.

Was Victory Day not so victorious for Putin?  A recent poll has found that only 22% of Russians believe President Dmitry Medvedev formulates his policies independently, RFE/RL reports.  The Foreign Ministry has criticized Germany’s alleged failure to protect monuments to Soviet soldiers from vandalization.

PHOTO: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, right, speaking during a press conference on Tuesday with President Dmitry Medvedev, left, at the presidential palace in Damascus.  (Hussein Malla / AP)