TODAY: US-Russia adoption issues remain thorny; Sochi land seizures apparently ‘resolved’; Ukrainian journalists protest; message of trust for Poland from Putin. Plea from Georgian ambassador to UK to Abkhazia; has Lukashenko overplayed his hand? US reveals size of nuclear arsenal at WMD conference; Iran and Russia to launch joint satellites.
‘Russia has more orphans now, 700,000, than at the end of World War II, when an estimated 25 million Soviet citizens were killed’: the New York Times looks at the Russian children who will spend their lives in state care. Apparently a senior State Department official believes that some in Russia wish to see all US adoptions ended (given that 17 Russian children have been killed by their adoptive US parents since the 1990s.) The Deputy Prime Minister had told President Medvedev that issues surrounding land seizures in Sochi have been resolved through redistribution, ‘with a maximum attention for citizen’s interests’. The Other Russia has a round-up of the weekend’s May Day protests and rallies. Leaning Westwards? A group of Ukrainian journalists in Lviv have chained themselves to a train to Europe in protest about crack downs on freedom of speech in the Ukrainian press.
Vladimir Putin had a message for Poland on Constitution Day, suggesting that a ‘strengthening of trust and understanding’ between the two nations was crucial, as Poland continues to mourn the loss of its President. Georgia’s ambassador to the UK, Giorgi Badridze, has penned an article in the Guardian arguing why Abkhazia risks exploitation by pursuing Russian-protected independence. Has Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko played hard to get one too many times for Moscow? ‘In the United States, those who fought in World War II and worked on the home front are called ‘the Greatest Generation’. Their Soviet contemporaries were, by contrast, ‘the Miserable Generation’: this op-ed suggests that Victory Day offers little to celebrate.
The US has made the bold move of revealing the size of its nuclear arsenal at the Non-Proliferation Conference (5,113 nuclear warheads in its stockpile), where Hillary Clinton is urging Iran to comply with the non-proliferation regime. RFE/RL has an interview with analyst Henry Sokolski discussing Iran’s presence at the non-proliferation talks, including Russia’s (increasingly pro-sanction?) stance. Iran will apparently launch two satellites with Russia this year. This article looks at China’s piqued interest in Russian aviation technology.
PHOTO: A child at Orphanage No. 11. Of the 45 to 50 children there, just one has been adopted this year. (James Hill for The New York Times)