TODAY: Journalist’s children taken over Avtovaz article; prison visit for US and Russia delegates; Amnesty International recommends ICC for Russia. Lavrov rebuffs Iran criticisms; British Council refuses to take part in Nashi youth camp; Putin-Medvedev divide on environment? Iosif Kobzon’s income raises eyebrows.
The Other Russia reports that a female journalist from Tolyatti has had her children taken from her, after she wrote an article on Avtovaz which authorities found objectionable. Two advisers from the reset delegation, the Civil Society Working Group, have paid a visit to one of Russia’s most famous prisons, Prison No. 2 in the city of Vladimir. Mark Brzezinski in the Washington Post reports on President Obama’s attempts to tackle international bribery. Amnesty International is urging Russia, China and the United States to join the International Criminal Court as a way of ensuring that human rights are protected on a global scale. RFE/RL has more on Amnesty International’s findings in its annual global report here. The organization is wondering whether the EU will manage to speak out against human rights abuses at the upcoming EU-Russia summit. Gay activists are apparently determined to hold a pride march this weekend, despite the City Hall ban. Activist Peter Tatchell believes that Mayor Luzhkov should stand trial for his stance on gay rights.
The British Council, at the center of contention in Britain-Russia relations, has declined to participate in a Nashi-run summer camp, due to a heavy summer schedule. The camp’s director maintains that bilateral relations are ‘extremely good’. Michael Bohm refutes theories about the US maintaining nuclear supremacy in an op-ed in the Moscow Times. Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has rebuffed Iran’s lambasting of Russia as an ’emotional outburst’ and pledged to assist in the negotiation process. Russia plans on full steam ahead for naval exercises near North Korea in June, despite the escalating tensions between the two Koreas.
President Medvedev has apparently criticized Putin’s government for failing to recognize environmental issues: it appears that ‘ecological nihilism‘ is one of the President’s new bugbears. The Telegraph reports on the poll which suggests that only one in five people in Russia believe that Medvedev wields the most power.
The Moscow Times reports on the meeting between one US veteran and one Russian veteran to celebrate the anniversary of Elbe. Colin Graham in the Guardian takes issue with the media’s fixation on re-stalinization. Is Ukrainian Viktor Yanukovich taking the lead from Russia? – the new head of state is proposing staging the 2022 Winter Olympics in the Ukraine’s Carpathian mountains. The income declarations keep on coming: this time State Duma Deputy Iosif Kobzon has revealed that he earned $160,000 last year and has four luxury cars, which should suffice for him to visit all of his seven homes.
PHOTO: Russians attending a summer session at the Seliger camp used by pro-Kremlin youth. (Igor Tabakov / MT)