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RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Nov 11, 2009

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TODAY: Kremlin admits police failings; criminal cases opened into state corporations’ use of funds; Moscow corruption; slow technology progress; Rossel replaced; Kalashnikov a ‘hero’, says Medvedev.
The scandal sparked by Major Alexei Dymovsky’s YouTube protest has prompted the Kremlin to admit that parts of the police have been turned into what Dymovsky described as criminal businesses, reports the BBC. Russia’s Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has revealed that 22 criminal cases have been opened in connection with ‘inappropriate and ineffective spending of state funds and material resources‘ by state corporations, with most of the cases relate to enterprises owned by Russian Technologies. President Dmitry Medvedev responded to the news by giving preliminary approval to a set of measures intended to streamline larger state-owned corporations and increase their transparency. A new criminal case has been opened against the Mayor of Korolyov for misuse of public funds, along with two other cases against Moscow officials for similar offenses. ‘Could it really be that our leaders care nothing about the country and worry only about their private villas and other assets overseas?‘ wonders Yulia Latynina in an article on slow, expensive technology developments.

Eduard Rossel, the veteran governor of a Urals mountain region who wielded a significant amount of power in recent decades thanks to Boris Yeltsin’s 1990s calls for autonomy, has been replaced. Russia’s influence on Bulgaria is viewed positively by 45% of Bulgarians, says this report. Russia and Georgia will meet today at the United Nations to discuss arrests, security, and displaced people.  
Mikhail Kalashnikov was invited to the Kremlin to celebrate his 90th birthday yesterday, where Medvedev named him a ‘Hero of Russia‘. Journalists have not yet tired of the Russia-loves-Stalin story. 
PHOTO: Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian inventor of the globally popular AK-47 assault rifle, toasts with Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev during festivities to celebrate his 90th birthday at the Kremlin in Moscow, November 10, 2009. (REUTERS/Natalia Kolesnikova/Pool)