Russia 101217 Basic Political Developments

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Last Updated: Friday, December 17, 2010, 07:47 GMT 10:47 MCK
Investigative Committee sent a deputy to the court case the Department of Public Order Ministry of Internal Affairs Russia Evgeny Novikov, who is accused of hooliganism and illegal arms trafficking, reported in the UPC.
"Investigative Department of Insurance for the city of Moscow has completed the investigation of criminal case against Eugene Novikov. It is directed to the court for consideration on the merits" - the report said agency.
General charges, Press staged a fire at a Moscow industrial area, were charged in August of this year.


Russian opposition to sue Vladimir Putin

A group of Russian opposition politicians announced plans to sue the Russian Prime Minister for “slander”. This comes after Putin’s televised Question and Answer session where he accused Boris Nemtsov and other opposition leaders of stealing billions of rubles during the 1990s. Putin alleged that these opposition leaders want to gain power to “line their pockets”.

Vedomosti: Putin contradicts Medvedev

Statements by Prime Minister yesterday in his "Conversation with Vladimir Putin" are contrary to the policy, Dmitry Medvedev, said the newspaper Vedomosti.

Thus, Putin did not hesitate to comment on the trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, even despite the fact that the judge is sitting in the conference room, making the verdict in the second case of Yukos. "A Thief in prison. And in accordance with the decision of the court Khodorkovsky is accused of stealing, rather solid. It's about tax evasion and fraud, and the bill is there for billions of rubles. That accusation, which placing him now, there has been going through hundreds of billions, "- said Prime, do not forget to mention about the killing, which allegedly is guilty of ex-head of Yukos.

Meanwhile, Dmitry Medvedev, said that officials is unacceptable to speak about the trial of Khodorkovsky: "For government officials and the president is no predictability in any trial, including those mentioned by you, is not and can not be." As for punishment, which, according to Putin deserves Khodorkovsky, then in 2009 the president has adopted a policy of liberalization of criminal punishment: the thief does not need to go to prison. Already in force, presidential amendments to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, and for economic crimes, including fraud and tax evasion should not be applied arrest. And in early December, Medvedev has made another set of amendments: for items such as theft, embezzlement, theft, imprisonment may be replaced by fines, house arrest and forced labor. Finally, the Justice Ministry proposed to apply the parole after the expiration of a sentence automatically, without a court order. If such a rule has been applied, Khodorkovsky would have been expected to be at large.

Another landmark statement, Putin did, commenting on the pogroms at the Manege: "And our society, including liberal, must understand: the order must be and must be maintained. State on what exists to protect the interests of the majority. " And he added: If the order does not provide the police, "have our liberal intellectuals to shave off his beard and wear a helmet by - and ahead to the area to fight the radicals."

Comparison of the prime minister of a peaceful political protest "street ugliness nationalist" surprised the co-chair the "right things" Gozman, who did not fail to note that Putin clearly has a negative attitude towards the liberal and opposition-minded intellectuals.

Medvedev also said that to act extra-systemic opposition respects, if there is no violation of our laws. Moreover, as the president wrote in his blog, the state should provide and the rights of minorities should ideally be a voice of even one person.

Pogroms as Medvedev yesterday in a statement xenophobic and wrong actions of the police and not the views of liberals.

According to Gozman, Putin has not spoken as a second, but as the first man in the country, not correlating with the opinion expressed by the president. According to policy, it was clearly a pre-election statement.

Press secretary of Prime Minister Dmitry Peskov said in a statement that "if every communication Putin, with a population classified as pre-election, then it is natural to call such".

Election momentum was not felt, the president of the Effective Policy Foundation Gleb Pavlovsky, a contradiction is not between Putin and Medvedev, but Putin's position within the most: it protects the system and built them at the same time recognizes that it fails - and at the Manege, and Kushchevskaya. Medvedev, in the opinion of Pawlowski, solves more ambitious goal: to build a system that would not depend on manual control, wants to create a legal state. Legal - but not so where the prime minister a week before the verdict commented process concludes Pavlovsky.

Authorities of the Ivanovo region. disrobed the doctor, who called Putin

Authorities of the Ivanovo region called the person's name, call the program "A Conversation with Vladimir Putin. Continued," who spoke about "showing off" during a recent trip to the premiere of the region. It turned out to Ivan Khrenov, born in 1985, according to them, temporarily absorbed in Cardiology.

"Posing as a doctor-cardiologist Ivanovo regional clinical hospital, Ivan Khrenov misled Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Immediately after the end of the internship in internal medicine, he is temporarily employed in Cardiology. In the regional hospital a young person has not worked a single day," - said the head of the regional health department Irina Atroshenko.
She also told me that the average wage II Khrenova as young physicians in Cardiology is about 20 thousand rubles.
"I do not know what spodvigli young man to give biased information to the live broadcast of Prime Minister. Perhaps it was the desire to become famous. We can assume that his behavior is inadequate," - said I. Atroshenko.
"In any case, the facts were heard in the live broadcast, will be thoroughly checked with the Health Ministry of Russia. The results will be released," - she added.
Recall, on the eve of the air a special program "Talking with Vladimir Putin. Continued," commenting on the story of a man who submitted the cardiologists of the Ivanovo regional hospital, the head of the Russian government promised to deal with fraud in the institution, which, according to a doctor, was prepared for it arrival.
I. Khrenov told Putin that his working visit of Russian Prime Minister in the Ivanovo region, the regional hospital, which went to the head of government, installed new equipment, which was then dismantled. It was also announced staff salaries, several times the real, instead of some patients in hospital beds were placed on staff health facilities.
Putin stressed that if all tell the doctor is really true, then "this issue, waiting for his painstaking researcher in the face of controlling organizations." "We will carry out such tests," - he said. According to him, to this hospital from the federal budget was allocated about 130 million rubles. "We will check how the money was spent," - said the prime minister.
"I do not understand why this had to do, we generally could not go to the hospital or attend any other, which would be named governor of the Ivanovo region" - said the prime minister.
Putin promised that next week in the Ivanovo region will be sent to the commission of the Ministry of Health and Social Development (Health Minister) of Russian Federation.
December 17, 2010.

December 16, 2010

The Prime-Time Minister

By Tai Adelaja
Russia Profile

While the Prime Minister Joked that He and President Medvedev Take Turns Sleeping So That the Country is Run Smoothly, Putin’s Call-In Q&A Session Brought Nothing New to the Table

In a tradition that has almost become an annual ritual, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin spent four hours and 26 minutes fielding over 90 pre-screened questions in a nationally-televised marathon question-and-answer session on Thursday, one year after he held a similar call-in show. However, there was no hint in Thursday's program to signal the start of his campaign to regain the presidency, as many observers had anticipated.

Dwelling on questions ranging from the recent disorders in Moscow to pension hikes for the elderly and the 2018 World Cup, the prime minister effectively used the prime-time call-in session to spell out his economic vision for Russia and justify some of the economic measures taken by his government over the past several months. Last year, Putin spoke for four hours and answered 90 questions in a session broadcast live on State television and radio.

Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable questions for the prime minister on Thursday was about the rally of 5,000 racists and hooligans in Moscow that left more than 30 people injured on Tuesday, and which many observers say poses a challenge for the government and its ability to contain xenophobic outbursts. Putin said the violent rampages highlight the need to strengthen public order and raise police prestige. He said the riots were the result of negligence on the part of the authorities over the murder of Yegor Sviridov, a football fan who was killed in a brawl in northern Moscow between football fans and migrants from the North Caucasus. "The government did not respond properly [to Sviridov's death] and this triggered [the disorder]," Putin said. "The people involved in the murder were freed, but this did not give anyone the right to break the law." He also stressed that Russia is a "multi-ethnic" state." “A Slav living in the North Caucasus should feel as comfortable as a citizen from the Caucasus living here [in Moscow]. Russia has always been – and I want to stress this – a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional country," Putin said.

The Russian capital saw its biggest public disturbances in almost a decade on Saturday, when a 5,000-strong crowd of nationalists and football hooligans clashed with the police near Red Square over the death of the Spartak Moscow supporter. Rioters attacked people from the country's North Caucasus region during the chaos. Putin also used the occasion to express support for the country's anti-riot police officers, saying that they were doing an import job. "We, with justification, criticize law enforcement agencies a lot, and serious reforms being carried out in this sphere are not accidental. But we should not paint everyone with the same brush," Putin said. "We should understand that they perform an important duty in the state and we should not humiliate them," he said, adding that "otherwise, our liberal intelligentsia will have to shave their beards, put helmets on and take to the streets to fight radicals."

The prime minister's remarks came amid concerns over police brutality. In an attempt to improve the image of the law enforcement agencies, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered large-scale police reform in December of 2009, including cutting the number of policemen and increasing salaries.

Putin also gave an upbeat assessment of the Russian economy, saying that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will see a return to pre-crisis levels in the first half of 2012. "A number of experts have said that the GDP will reach pre-crisis levels by the end of 2012, and other experts say it will happen by the end of 2011," Putin said."I believe, that the truth, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle." He described the GDP growth of 3.8 percent in 2010 as satisfactory. "This figure is much better than in many countries with so-called developed market economies," Putin said. "We are finishing the year in an entirely satisfactory way," he said. "Ordinary people are already feeling a turn for the better." The Russian economy, he said, was not much worse than in several other European countries. "When you have a deficit of 11 percent (of GDP) in Ireland, 13 percent in Britain, then 3.5 to 3.8 percent is a pretty good indicator," he said. Putin said that the authorities had feared a deficit of 6.8 percent of GDP earlier this year, but the situation turned out "much better than we planned."

Putin also said that this year's heat wave, drought and wildfires have had a significant effect on the country's agrarian sector. He said agricultural production fell by 9.9 percent in 2010, while the grain harvest would be 60.5 million tons, compared to 108 million tons in 2009. "The drought made itself known," he said. By contrast, industrial production will show a growth of 8.5 to 8.6 percent in 2010, compared with a fall of 9.8 percent on 2009.

In what could be an ominous sign for supporters of jailed former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky who is facing fresh charges of money laundering and embezzlement, Putin said that he should remain in prison.  Referring to a line from the Soviet film "The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed," Putin said: "I think that a thief should be in jail." Putin said Russia’s judicial system is more “liberal” than in other countries like the United States. “If we look at the practice in other countries, Madoff received 150 years in prison for a similar crime,” Putin said. “I think things look a lot more liberal here.” In a bit of irony, he added: “Our courts are the most humane in the world."  Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev, who have already spent seven years behind bars for tax evasion, are facing new charges of embezzling 218 tons of oil from Khodorkovsky's former oil firm Yukos and laundering over 3 billion rubles ($97.5 million) in revenues. If found guilty, the two men could face another six years in jail. Moscow's Khamovniki district court has postponed the announcement of the verdict in the new trial until December 27. The announcement of the verdict was originally planned to begin on December 15.

On the country's perennial problem of bribery and corruption, the prime minister said that the statistics that show an increase in the number of arrests and prosecutions point not to an increase in the incidence of corruption, but rather demonstrate that more criminals are being netted. "The number of persons indicted for bribery and corruption has, unfortunately, been growing steadily over the past few years,” Putin said. “This is not because they [corrupt officials] have grown in number, but because the indictment rate was higher." He said the government should maintain its focus on the eradication of misconduct.

The prime minster also fielded many flattering questions, one of which credited “his sheer luck” for FIFA's decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia. In reply to a question from a student from Siberia, Putin flashed a complacent smile before saying “yes.” He hastened to add, though, that Russia had won the contest thanks to its persistent and tactful efforts to persuade FIFA of its merits. The weekend's riots that came just days after FIFA's decision embarrassed the Kremlin and raised questions about Russia's ability to safely hold international sporting events, including the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Putin insisted that the Sochi Olympics and the World Cup will help modernize Russia's infrastructure and improve living standards.

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