TODAY: Youtube policeman faces slander investigation; Omsk students threatened with expulsion; Committee to Protect Journalists urge global attention to threats against media in Russia. Merkel thanks Gorbachev; Medvedev approves new military bill; advocates abolition of death penalty. Delay for Gazprom eyesore?; Nobel Prize winning physicist dies; Kalashnikov goes on; gangsters’ idea of cemetery chic.
Suspicions about the Russian government’s position on the fall of the Berlin wall in the Moscow Times, for being ‘overtly positive’. Angela Merkel has thanked the last Soviet leader, Mikhael Gorbachev, for his role in allowing the wall’s collapse. The BBC is running an interview with Medvedev’s adviser, think tank head Igor Yurgens, about Russia’s current foreign policy. An op-ed in the New York Times on Russia’s tandemleadership suggests that for the US and Europe, ‘ambiguous lines of authorityonly add to the difficulty of working with a corrupt, autocratic andoften inept bureaucracy’. According to the Moscow Times, Medvedev has ratified a bill that widens the legal basis for the use of Russia’s military abroad.
How to combat nationalism by Leonid Gozman in the Moscow Times: a question of education, party politics and policing. The Constitutional Court has opened hearings into whether a ten-year moratorium on capital punishment should be overturned. Apparently President Medvedev supports the ‘gradual abolition’ of the death penalty.
The hearing on a lawsuit protesting the construction of the Gazprom tower in St Petersburg will reportedly be postponed for a week, as the Okhta Center requests extra time to examine the arguments of the Yabloko party. Nobel prize winning physicist, Vitaly Ginzbur, who was one of the godfathers of the Soviet H-bomb, has died at the age of 93. Gun inventor Kalshnikov is 90 today. Bling-bling gangster gravestones are making a statement in Ekaterinburg.
PHOTO: About 1,000 dominoes marking the fall of the Berlin Wall have been placed near the Brandenburg Gate. (Herbert Knosowski/associated Press)