RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Oct 12, 2010


TODAY: United Russia takes sweeping victory as fraud allegations continue; Luzhkov says he will not quit politics; Iranian official wants to sue Russia over missiles; Medvedev jokingly offers Schwarzenegger a job; Kozmino port to use mollusks to monitor pollution; Resin scraps Luzkhov’s golf course plans; military overhaul.
Unsurprisingly, United Russia is claiming that it won the weekend’s regional elections by a landslide, with an average of 60% of the vote, as opposition candidates protested.  The head of the Communist party called the campaign ‘the dirtiest of all held in the post-Yeltsin period‘, and The Other Russia reports on ‘massive election fraud‘ with a particular focus on the use of absentee ballots.  The FT quotes the head of the Chuvashia central election committee, who stated on her resignation that the commission had been ‘guided by certain political forces‘.  Former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov insists that he ‘will not quit politics‘, and insists that ‘many political structures, movements and some parties are eager to join forces with me‘.  A state program worth $26 million is to be implemented over the next 15 years in a bid to ‘increase patriotic consciousness‘.  An Iranian official is calling on his government to sue Russia for reneging on a deal to deliver S-300 missile systems to Iran.

The Guardian reports that President Dmitry Medvedev jokingly offered California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger the post of Moscow Mayor, after Schwarzenegger called Medvedev a ‘visionary‘, referred to Russia’s potential as ‘a gold mine‘, and Tweeted a picture of himself with the President pumping iron in the gym.  The New York Times suggests that Skolkovo’s backers are lacking in ideas.  Unlike the Russian Church, perhaps: Youtube has a new Orthodox user in the form of Patriarch Kirill.  Twitter says it is planning to introduce a Russian-language interface
The Kozmino port in the Primorye region will be the first in Russia to use mollusks to measure water pollution and filter contaminants.  Acting Moscow Mayor Vladimir Resin’s plan to scrap a decree by his predecessor to develop golf courses in Moscow (including a contract for Yelena Baturina’s Inteko) could pave the way for more popular and profitable projects, says the Moscow Times.  Alexander Golts reports on the plan to boost conscription by transforming Russia’s ‘prison-like military into something comparable to a ‘sports camp‘. 
PHOTO: Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev gestures during his meeting with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the presidential residence Gorki outside Moscow, October 11, 2010. REUTERS/Dmitry Kostyukov/Pool