Russian armed forces reach their determined numerical strength – minister
MOSCOW. Dec 17 (Interfax-AVN) - The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed a plan regulating the use of the country's armed forces for the period up to 2015, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.
"The armed forces application plan for the 2011-2015 period was drafted and confirmed in 2010," Serdyukov said at a session of the ministry's public council in Moscow on Friday.
"The armed forces have already reached their determined numerical strength of one million servicemen," he said.
Riot control measures can be used in case of mass unrest - Nurgaliyev
/TRANSLATION FROM RUSSIAN/
December 17, 2010 9:39
Nurgaliyevpermitsthe use ofspecial equipment forriot control
http://www.interfax.ru/news.asp?id=169652 Moscow. December 17. Interfax - Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev not exclude the use of special equipment against participants of massive unauthorized gatherings.
"We will act as the law allows us, and only within the law. We will strictly act in those cases where there would be inappropriate activities, and we'll see whether they may escalate into riots. We will use all means at our disposal"- said Nurgaliyev to Interfax.
Asked about the possibility of using water cannons or tear gas Nurgaliyev said: "This is all provided by law, and we will strictly prevent unauthorized activities. "
Moscow police search for drive-by shooters as city remains tense
Moscow police are searching for the people who shot at passers-by from a vehicle in the Russian capital early on Friday, a police source said.
"The car's license plate has the number of Region 05, which indicates the republic of Dagestan [in Russia's North Caucasus]," the source told RIA Novosti.
He added that the shootings occurred in three different locations in the south of the city (Bratislavskaya street, Perervinsky boulevard and near Kuzminki park).
There are no reports of casualties and the report has not yet been officially confirmed by police.
The development comes as Moscow remains tense following race-hate riots in the centre of the city on centre and further disturbances on Wednesday evening.
Inter-ethnic tensions expoded after the death of of Yegor Sviridov, 28, who was killed in a brawl with migrants from Russia's North Caucasus region.
Nurlan Kerimov of Uzbekistan has held various construction jobs in Moscow for five years but has never registered anywhere.
“That’s not as easy as it may seem,” he said. “You’ll have to stand in line to register for a full day and may still not get your papers accepted that day. And there are too many documents required – people are always mixing them up.” But living that way has a price and Kerimov said he now feels deprived of his rights and constantly on the run from authorities in Moscow.
“Having no registration certificate, I always run from the police,” he explained. “If someone forces you to work 12 hours a day, you have no one to complain to – you’re nobody here.”
That is why a unified database on migrant workers is needed, Aslan Dudoyev of the Migrant Labour Agency of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Labour and Social Protection said.
On the eve of International Migrants Day (December 18), the member nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have decided to compile such a database.
Migrant database would help fight human trafficking
The purpose is to facilitate international information exchanges, Mikhail Tyurkin, First deputy director of Russia’s Federal Migration Service (FMS), told journalists December 6, adding that a full-fledged database will take about two years to complete.
The system will ensure that all labour migrants are registered.
“But there’s nothing to fear,” Dudoyev said. “Registration, in the first place, will give the migrants a set of rights – to healthcare services, to a limited work day, etc. And there’ll be no need to flee the police anymore.”
“Such a system will also help fight human trafficking, drug smuggling, the illegal arms trade and terrorism,” Kazakhstani migration analyst Serik Kirbetov said.
He recalled job seekers who headed to Russia and Kazakhstan but found only forced, even sexual, servitude.
“That was because they went there all on their own, chaotically and without documents,” Kirbetov explained. “Now cases of this kind, if not uprooted altogether, will become rarer. And the governments will be able to crack down on the drug trafficking and terrorist networks in which migrants sometimes get involved.”
For example, Russian authorities earlier this month nabbed a migrant worker from Tajikistan. He had been working as a vendor in Russia, but Interpol was pursuing him on suspicion of terrorism.
A unified database on migrants is of particular importance to Tajikistan, Okhmodkhon Zarifi of the Tajik Interior Ministry’s Migration Service said.
“Considering the great threat posed by terrorists, such a system seems an ideal solution.”
A database will also make healthcare services accessible to migrants.
“The other day I talked to a woman who lived with her migrant worker husband in Tyumen,” Zarifi said. “She was pregnant, but since they lived there illegally and she lacked even a temporary residence permit, she couldn’t apply for medical assistance. She was compelled to give unassisted birth at home, which could have harmed the baby. Now the legal migrants will have a set of rights, including healthcare.”
But Kyrgyz migration analyst Nariman Sypykbayev expressed one concern: “If the unified database enables people to contract for seasonal jobs only through legal channels, one shouldn’t forget that the legal quotas for migrant workers in Russia and Kazakhstan are below 20% of the actual migrant worker flow. What will the rest do, I wonder?”
That is hardly a valid argument, Maratzhan Bayimov of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Labour, Employment and Migration contended.
“An illegal migrant not only has zero rights – he can expect to be expelled anytime. Besides, with the financial crisis over, the economy is again growing and so may the quotas.”
Meanwhile, migration services have set out to develop programmes for migrant workers.
Tajikistan and Russia have agreed to launch training courses for migrants to learn Russian, study Russian culture and familiarise themselves with legal procedures.
Kazakhstan, too, plans to organise courses for migrants.
“This kind of initiative and the very idea of a unified database should not only help the migrants but also unify our region (Central Asia),” Dudoyev noted.
According to the 2010 UN report on labour migration policy in Central Asia, Russia issued more than 1.4m official job authorisations in 2009, 80% of them to CIS countries.
Those figures account for only 20-25% of total labour migration, Sypykbayev said.
“The number of people annually leaving Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (in search of seasonal jobs) totals about 4m.”
Sanzhar Sharipov and Ulan Nazarov contributed to this report.