1 juli 2014
Manezhnaya riots case: A Moscow district court has sentenced to three years imprisonment Pavel Vazhenin in connection with ethnically motivated riots on Moscow's Manezhnaya Square in December 2010. The riots have been sparked by the killing of a football fan by a native of the North Caucasus. (MT, RG)
7 juli 2014
'Khasavyurt agreements' for Eastern Ukraine?: Addressing further actions by the Ukrainian armed forces in Ukraine's rebellious regions, the Ukrainian authorities announced that they plan to lock in siege Donetsk and Lugansk. In the view of military expert Viktor Murakhovsky, contacted by Vedomosti, the next task for Ukraine's law enforcement agencies would be an attempt to take full control of the border with Russia and capture the militia-controlled area of Lisichansk with a view to isolate Lugansk from Donetsk. Ukrainian expert Alexei Arestovich, cited by RBK daily, does not rule out that further developments may eventually result in a deal similar to the Khasavyurt agreement which ended the first Chechen war. Meanwhile, Duma deputy Frants Klintsevich believes that the Donbass militias have gloomy perspectives without Russia's support. (RBK daily, Vedomosti)
Five militants, one policeman killed Dagestan shootout: Five militants were killed in an operation which started on Sunday in Dagestan's Untsukulsky district. One police officer was killed and three others were wounded in the incident. (RIAN)
9 juli 2014
The Russian blogosphere discusses domestic and international developments.
In an interview with Ekho Moskvy, Gleb Pavlovski said that Kiev's problem is that it treats some territories of its country as "foreign" or "colonized". The authorities use the word 'victory' in the discourse surrounding the operations in Eastern Ukraine. This gives an indication of the attitude of the Ukrainian government towards these territories. Even Russia did not use this word during the Chechen Wars.
Regarding the Crimean events, Pavlovski admits that the "logistics" of such an operation were in place, and this is something natural from the strategic and military points of view. Speaking about a decision to intervene or not in Eastern Ukraine, the expert stated that the "intellect has won over emotions and improvisation"- that characterized the decision surrounding Crimea- for which Russia is paying today.
Anton Orekh comments on the arrest by the US secret service of Roman Seleznyov, the son of a Russian lawmaker, while on a holiday in the Maldives on charges of internet fraud. Russian officials condemn the arrest and classify it as 'kidnapping'. Orekh compares Seleznyov to Edward Snowden, who has stolen more valuable data from the Americans and is now protected by the Russian government.
Denis Dragunski quotes the Russian "conservative publicists"- who in 2012 were condemning the Bolotnaya protests- criticizing the opposition. According to these "publicists", if one considers the government or power illegitimate, one should wait till the next elections and express his point of view there. Why then, Dragunski asks, "these conservatives don’t apply the same logic to the people in Eastern Ukraine", who should wait till the election and not seize buildings and cities?
10 juli 2014
Makhachkala former mayor sentenced to ten years in jail: The North Caucasus District Military Court has sentenced to 10 years imprisonment suspended mayor of Makhachkala (capital of Dagestan) Said Amirov on charges of plotting a terrorist attack with the use of an anti-aircraft missile. Amirov's nephew, former deputy mayor of Kaspiisk Yusup Dzhaparov was sentenced to 8 1/2 years imprisonment. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia, RG)
28 juli 2014
EU expands sanctions list over situation in Ukraine: The EU has expanded its sanctions list over the situation in Ukraine, adding 15 individuals and 18 entities. The names of FSB head Bortnikov, Russian Security Council Secretary Patrushev, head of the Foreign Intelligence Service Fradkov, Krasnodar governor Tkachev, Chechen leader Kadyrov and others, have been added to the list. The Russian Foreign Ministry has slammed the EU for its decision to impose sanctions against top security officials. Novye Izvestia cites a proposal by European Council President Van Rompuy, who proposed to impose sanctions that would target Russia's financial, defense and energy sectors. At the same time, the proposed sanctions would not apply to Russia's gas industry. Dailies (e.g. NG) mention that Germany's Vice Chancellor Gabriel proposed that new sanctions should affect Russian oligarchs. RBK daily writes that the US and Canada intend to vote against the World Bank's projects in Russia. The newspaper also reports on further sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities announced by Canada. Vedomosti writes that "the positions of the US and EU on the Ukraine crisis are becoming closer. This is now a key circumstance for Russia as it complicates Moscow's negotiating positions and limits the room for manoeuvre." The newspaper adds that "rhetoric on both sides of the Atlantic is becoming less and less diplomatic." (Interfax, KP, MK, MT, Novaya Gazeta, NG, Novye Izvestia, RBK daily, RG, RIAN)