TODAY: Alexeyeva attacker given suspended sentence; calls for Trifonova judge to be dismissed; gay activists seek loophole for pride parade; celebrity lawyer speaks out on adoptions. Lukashenko interview; Kokoity visit; alien encounter; GenPlan approved. Stalin’s role in Victory day celebrations gaining momentum, posters and bus
According to the Moscow Times, Anatoly Kucherena, a lawyer and member of the Public Chamber, has argued that the judge behind the arrest of Vera Trifonova, whose death in detention for an untreated illness is gaining media coverage, should be fired. The man who struck rights veteran Lyudmila Alexeyeva on the head during commemorations for the victims of the metro bombings has been given a one-year suspended sentence. Gay activists who are planning to stage a pride parade in Moscow have been asking foreign embassies to act as a venue if the parade is outlawed by City Hall. TV lawyer and childrens’ ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has weighed in on the child adoption scandal in this article in the New York Times. Apparently adoptions of Russian children by Americans have not been halted, despite suggestions to the contrary. Russia and France may sign an adoption agreement this year. Attackers have thrown a grenade into a halal food shop in St Petersburg, injuring three people.
US Vice-President Joe Biden has apparently underscored an interest in discussing a new European security architecture. ‘The sooner the Kremlin declares these Cold War dinosaurs extinct, the better’: a Moscow Times op-ed examines the Kremlin’s hawks. President Eduard Kokoity of South Ossetia has visited Moscow to discuss Russian cooperation in reconstruction and infrastructure development. Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has heavily criticized the West in an interview with Reuters, and lambasted Russia for its support of regime change in Kyrgyzstan. The Moscow Times looks at the democratic aspirations of the new government in Bishek. United Russia’s preparations for the October elections are analyzed here. A State Duma deputy has called on President Medvedev to investigate whether Kalmyk leader Kirsan Ilyumzhinov revealed any classified information when he met with aliens in 1997. (Yes, you read write.)
The Moscow City Duma has approved the controversial 15-year General Plan for property development in Moscow. The city has decided that it will put up small Stalin posters in advance of Victory Day in spite of activists’ concerns about rehabilitating the image of the Soviet leader. A Stalin-themed bus has begun rolling around St Petersburg: the blogger apparently behind the idea for has denied claims of rejuvenating the image of the Gulag-creator: ‘We are just trying to underscore his critical role in our shared Victory.’ The bus has been vandalized but will apparently be re-painted. Anti-Stalin posters are not allowed to be displayed.
PHOTO: A bus bearing the portrait of Joseph Stalin has begun circulating through Saint Peterburg, May 5, 2010 (Photo: EPA)