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RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Nov 11, 2010

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TODAY: Kashin, Beketov, and Domnikov cases handed to Investigative Committee; Beketov convicted; police say Adamchuk staged his own beating; Surkov in the spotlight, legal nihilism, Republican denounces attacks on journalists; Medvedev meets UK PM at G20 summit, may allow NATO troops to access Afghanistan through Russia; Right Cause backs Medvedev; START in jeopardy; Sobyanin traffic plan crashes website.
An investigation into the beating of journalist Oleg Kashin has been handed to the top department of the Investigative Committee.  The Committee has also ordered new probes into both the 2000 murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Igor Domnikov and the 2008 beating of journalist Mikhail Beketov.  Meanwhile Beketov, who suffers from brain damage as a result of the attack, has been convicted of criminal slander.  Moscow police are saying that yesterday’s attack on Zhukovskiye Vesti reporter Anatoly Adamchuk, in which he was punched twice in the head by teenagers, was ‘staged‘.  The Other Russia sees a similar, thinly-veiled position in comments made by Nashi Commissar Irina Pleshcheyeva at a Public Chamber session concerning the Kashin attack.  Brian Whitmore says that the attack puts Vladislav Surkov into the spotlight as the manager of pro-Kremlin youth groups like Nashi.  ‘A corrosive combination of what Mr Medvedev has termed “legal nihilism” and corruption means Russians cannot feel safe that law enforcement authorities will protect them from harm,says the FT.  A Republican in the US House of Representatives has spoken out about the Kashin incident, suggesting that ‘the brutal nature of the regime‘ in Russia and the ‘savage attacks‘ on Kashin and Adamchuck, should give President Barack Obama pause to consider his ‘reset‘ of relations with the country.

President Dmitry Medvedev met with UK Prime Minister David Cameron at the G20 summit in South Korean where the two pledged jointly to strengthen ties and made plans to meet in Russia next year.  Under new NATO agreements, it is thought that Medvedev will permit armored vehicles to use routes through Russian territory to access Afghanistan.  The Right Cause party has officially thrown its support behind Medvedev to win the presidency in 2012, to the unimpressed responses of other opposition parties: ‘This exactly shows what they are. They cannot do anything but support the powers that created them,‘ said a spokesperson for Yabloko.  Russia will join UN Women, the new United Nations entity on gender equality. 
The Independent considers what’s at stake with regard to the new US-Russia START treaty, which the Washington Post says ‘is now in jeopardy‘ as the last opportunity to agree on the treaty approaches in the US Senate.  Officers connected to the tax evasion case against Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky have apparently been given Interior Ministry awards.  Boris Kagarlitsky reports on union proposals to mandate a 12-hour workday and fixed-term contracts.
The eagerness of Muscovites to read Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s plan to fight traffic jams, which was posted online yesterday, caused City Hall’s website to crash. 
PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron meets with Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev as part of the G20 Summit in Seoul, November 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Dmitry Astakhov/RIA Novosti/Kremlin)