Voices from Russia

Friday, 21 February 2014

Doubt Grows About “Deal”… Russia DIDN’T Sign Off on It

signing-on-the-dotted-line

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On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said that President Vladimir Putin conferred with the permanent members of the RF Security Council (SBRF) to discuss the Ukrainian situation. Taking part in the meeting were Chairman of the Government Dmitri Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and other high-ranking officials. Federation Council Chairman Valentina Matviyenko, RF Gosduma Chairman Sergei Naryshkin, Head of the Presidential Administration Sergei Ivanov, SBRF Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, his deputy Rashid Nurgaliyev, Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev, FSB Director Aleksandr Bortnikov, SVR chief Mikhail Fradkov, and SBRF permanent member Boris Gryzlov also attended the conference. Peskov said, “The meeting discussed the situation in the Ukraine”.

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A source close to the negotiations said that Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin, sent by President Putin to Kiev to act as a mediator in negotiations between the Ukrainian government and oppositionists and EU representatives, refused to sign the final document dealing with the present Ukrainian crisis. This information lacks official confirmation.

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On Friday, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and three oppositionist leaders signed an agreement to end the present crisis, to put a stop to the violent street clashes between rioters and police in Kiev. The agreement followed an announcement by Yanukovich to hold early elections, to form a national unity government, and relinquish some of his presidential powers. Two EU foreign ministers who brokered the deal witnessed the agreement.

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On Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) said that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the Ukrainian peace deal with EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. Lavrov and Ashton discussed the deal, “and the prospects for its implementation in the conditions of continuing activity by extremist forces”, and Lavrov urged the EU to condemn the “radicals” responsible for the violence.

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The MID said that Russia and the EU shall coöperate to settle the Ukrainian crisis, showing respect to Ukrainian sovereignty and the powers of its legitimate government. Particularly, the people must approve any amendments to the constitution in a vote in a nationwide referendum {a key KPU demand: editor}. The fact that Russian envoy Vladimir Lukin didn’t sign off on the Ukrainian crisis settlement document doesn’t mean that Russia isn’t interested in a compromise.

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KPRF First Secretary Gennady Zyuganov lent his support to the agreement settling the Ukrainian political crisis. He told Interfax on Friday, “I believe the political decision to hold presidential elections in the Ukraine in December is generally right, but they shouldn’t have let that fire happen in the first place”, adding that they could’ve made a draft version of such an agreement earlier. Zyuganov went on to say, “Establishing peace and preparing for elections is the best option. However, if they want to hold elections, the first thing they need to do is normalise the situation in the country and act using healthy forces. Otherwise, we won’t have elections per se, but a settling of accounts”. Zyuganov said that Foreign Minister Lavrov could help normalise the Ukrainian situation, saying, “Lukin wasn’t enough. Lavrov should go there; he’s the most experienced specialist”.

21 February 2014

Voice of Russia World Service

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_21/Putin-meets-Russias-Security-Council-members-to-discuss-Ukraine-crisis-3747/

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_21/Russias-Lukin-didnt-sign-document-on-outcome-of-Ukrainian-govt-opposition-ad-EU-officials-talks-4223/

http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_02_21/Ukrainian-President-oppositiona-sign-agreement-9316/

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_21/Russian-FM-Lavrov-urges-EU-condemn-radicals-responsible-for-Ukraine-violence-1401/

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_21/Russia-EU-to-cooperate-on-settling-crisis-in-Ukraine-amid-respect-for-its-sovereignty-Moscow-4722/

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_21/Zyuganov-praises-decision-on-early-presidential-elections-in-Ukraine-7156/

Editor’s Note:

There is much left unsaid in the reportage, from both “Eurasian” and Western sources. That’s what’s most interesting to me. Also, note well that there are THREE oppo leaders, NOT one figure. That is, if any of the three dissents, the deal goes in the shitter. Look at Tyagnibok… he’s the spoiler, I’d say. There’s much LESS to this than meets the eye. In fact, the New York Times only talked to Yatsenyuk, not Klichko, nor Tyagnibok. That means that the Grey Lady got only a partial view (of course, they pumped it up more than they should, but they always do that, don’t they?). By the way, Zyuganov’s guarded approval of the deal means that the KPU has a similar attitude to it… it means that the commies are for peace, but aren’t quite sure about the extremists (which means that all decent folks should stand with the commies, not with the American-funded extremists).

As I said, there’s much left unsaid, and I’m not mentioning some of it, because the plug-uglies may not know it (or overlooked it), and I’m not going to hurt the good guys. The takeaway is that it’s not much really, and it may not last. Stay tuned… the (in)Human Comedy goes on its merry way…

BMD

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Thursday, 20 February 2014

20 February 2014. The Situation in Kiev Develops

00 Kiev riots 02. 20.02.14

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On Thursday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Ukraine and the West should distance themselves from radicals. He said in a press conference in Baghdad, “Russia thinks that the Ukrainian opposition and Western countries should keep a distance between themselves and extremists and other radicals”. During a Rada session today, oppositionists insisted on return to a parliamentary-presidential form of government and on readopting the Constitution of 2004. Aggressive rioters approached the Rada building, seizing buildings in the centre of Kiev, burning tyres as a smokescreen, and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at security forces. According to the MVDU, the radicals used firearms.

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Dmitri Peskov, the Presidential Press Secretary, said that President Vladimir Putin sent Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin to Kiev as a mediator in the negotiations with the opposition at the request of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, saying, “A telephone conversation between President Putin and President Yanukovich occurred, on the initiative of the Ukrainian side, during which the Ukrainian President suggested that the head of the Russian state should send a Russian representative to Kiev to take part in the negotiations with the opposition as a mediator, so, Putin decided to send CommissionerVladimir Lukin on this mission. As everyone knows, Vladimir Petrovich (Lukin) has abundant experience of diplomatic service, and a considerable reputation among human rights advocates; besides that, he headed a major opposition party”.

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On Thursday, Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Vitaly Zakharchenko said that MVDU units have permission to use deadly force, after two days of fierce fighting on the streets of Kiev killed more than 50 people. A month-long stand-off between Berkut spetsnaz troops and protesters demanding régime change erupted in fresh violence this week and the government is under pressure from both Russia and the West to regain control of the situation. Zakharchenko said in a statement published on the MVDU website, “I signed an order for police to use combat weapons, which they can use within legal guidelines”. Television video showed police firing bursts from assault rifles; in another video, an opposition militant in a helmet opened fire from behind a tree. Zakharchenko urged protesters to hand in their weapons and opposition leaders to condemn radical actions.

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Orthodox clergy in Kiev held a service to commemorate the victims of the continuing violence at the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra. The Chancellor of the UOC/MP, Metropolitan Antony Pakanich of Borispol and Brovary, served a pannikhida for those who died in the violent street clashes in Kiev. At the service in the Assumption Cathedral, Metropolitan Antony said, “Today, we’ve come here to pray for those who perished. We should pray to God for the end of violence that’s split our nation so that He’ll bestow love and tolerance on us”.

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Reports say that downtown Kiev residents are fleeing en masse after a shaky truce between the legitimate government and oppositionists collapsed. A Golos Stolitsy correspondent said that the fighting caused huge traffic jams at the bridges as downtown residents hurried to cross over from the Dneper‘s troubled right bank.

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Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Western mainstream media are distorting the situation in the Ukraine. Speaking at a press conference in Baghdad, Lavrov accused Western media of giving biased coverage on the Ukrainian political crisis. The latest accounts estimate the number of dead at 35 following clashes that erupted across the country, with over 500 injured in Kiev alone. Moscow accused extremist oppositionists of pushing the country towards the edge, adding that the rhetoric of foreign officials incited radicalism and contributed to the unrest.

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On Thursday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) official spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich issued a statement saying, “Now that rebel fighters use firearms on an increasingly greater scale, one should see this, beyond any doubt, as an overt attempt to stage a coup d’état and use force to seize power. We strongly denounce action by radical extremists, who’re chiefly responsible for the violence and bloody outrage”.

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Russia issued an official warning to oppositionist leaders in Kiev, saying that they must put an immediate stop to bloodshed. On Thursday, MID spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said that the oppositionist leadership must resume peaceful dialogue with the government and refrain from all threats and ultimatums, noting, “We’d like to reiterate our demand that the ‘Maidan’ leadership immediately end this bloodshed and start looking for a peaceful way out of the crisis, without any threats or ultimatums. We can and must settle this situation within a constitutional framework, with the current Ukrainian government”.

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Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the West incorrectly interprets the extremists’ actions in Ukraine and threaten the legitimate government with sanctions. At a press conference in Baghdad, Lavrov said, “Our Western partners in Europe and the USA are laying all the blame on the country’s authorities and fail to properly qualify the extremists’ actions. We’re really concerned about this, because double standards are obvious here, they’re threatening [the government] with sanctions, and not only threatening, but the Americans already imposed them, thereby encouraging the opposition to dismiss any compromises”.

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On Thursday, the Lvov municipal administration posted on its Facebook page that a Russian diplomatic mission came under attack overnight in Lvov, in the Western Ukraine. Across the city, shopping malls and administrative headquarters had to go on the defensive to fight off looters, some of whom believed to be both underage and drunk. Andrei Sadovy, Mayor of Lvov, said, “We managed to fend off attempted attacks on shopping malls, a Russian consulate, and the Sikhovsky Raion administration; we stopped a few other incidents. What we saw here was obviously a foreign scenario for destabilising the situation in Lvov”. Sadovy also warned owners of liquor shops who reportedly sold spirits to minors that he’d punish any such offence with a complete ban on alcohol sales in the city. He emphasised, “I’ll issue a complete ban on all alcohol sales in the city if there’s a single report that someone sold liquor either after 22.00 or to an underage person”.

 20 February 2014

Voice of Russia World Service

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_20/Ukraine-and-western-countries-should-stand-apart-from-radicals-Russia-1642/

 http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_20/Russias-Putin-sending-envoy-to-Kiev-as-mediator-at-request-of-Yanukovych-0447/

 http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_20/Ukrainian-police-force-armed-with-combat-weapons-ministry-9856/

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_20/Kiev-holds-prayer-service-for-unrest-victims-3978/

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_20/Traffic-jammed-as-masses-flee-downtown-Kiev-and-right-bank-reporter-8651/

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_20/Russian-FM-accuses-Western-media-of-distorting-truth-about-Ukraine-unrest-9792/

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_20/Coup-dEtat-and-seizure-of-power-are-currently-attempted-in-Ukraine-Russia-9500/

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_20/Russia-demands-Kiev-protest-leaders-put-immediate-stop-to-bloodshed-0377/

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_20/West-wrongly-interpreting-extremistsactions-in-Kiev-by-threatening-Ukrainian-authorities-with-sanctions-Russian-FM-1806/

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_20/Russian-diplomatic-mission-malls-in-Ukraine-fend-off-night-attacks-8158/

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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Pussy Riot Prisoners Qualify for Amnesty… RF Supreme Court Sends Case Back to Lower Court

00 Pussy Riot. 17.08.12b

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Editor’s Note:

Rosbalt posted arrant shit (yet again) on the Pussy Riot case (Stetson picked it up, but labelled it unreliable). It’s like Portal-Credo.ru (here’s some info on Roman Lunkin, the nutter behind Portal-Credo) and Civil Georgia… many see them as Langley-financed running dogs (I agree with that assessment), who post mostly white propaganda (truthful as far as it goes, but it never goes far enough), along with some outrageous black propaganda. Nevertheless, these sites are a “must read”; they tell you the Langley “party line” of the moment. For instance, it’s why Orthodox people should attend to Potapov, Mattingly, Dreher, Reardon, Paffhausen, and Webster; they toe the Republican Party line blindly, thoughtlessly, and unswervingly (indeed, they’re modern analogues of “Stalinistcadres), so, they can tell you the latest about that lot… fancy that.  Some of the intel on these sites is legit, just “spun” in a pro-American direction. In any case, Rosbalt just lost its registration in October, so, it may not be long for this world… good riddance to bad rubbish…

BMD

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Jailed Pussy Riot members seem eligible for release under the terms of an amnesty that the RF Gosduma debated on Tuesday. The amnesty, to mark the 20th anniversary of the current Russian Constitution, applies to people serving sentences of up to five years for non-violent crimes, who haven’t previously served prison time. On Tuesday, Vladimir Lukin, RF Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the amnesty would apply to as many as 22,000 people. Mariya Alyokhina, 25, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, are serving two-year terms for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for taking part in Pussy Riot’s brief “punk prayer” protest against President Vladimir Putin at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow in 2012. Their conviction caused a stir amongst human rights groups both at home and abroad.

The text of the amnesty conditions published on the RF Gosduma official website specifically lists mothers of underage children as being eligible for amnesty. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova each have a child aged under seven. The text of the amnesty, presented to the RF Gosduma by Putin for consideration, excludes those who “deliberately violated the established terms of their punishment”, although it wasn’t immediately clear what would constitute such violations. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, who deny their guilt, both received reprimands whilst imprisoned that judges cited in repeated rejections of parole appeals. Both women have release dates of March 2014.

Dmitri Vyatkin, deputy chairman of the RF Gosduma constitutional legislation committee, said that the authorities would consider each case on an individual basis. Vyatkin told RIA-Novosti, “People might not agree to be amnestied, if, for example, they don’t consider themselves guilty”. The publication of the conditions for amnesty shed light on the fate of several other high-profile prisoners or people facing charges in Russia. The 30 people from 18 countries arrested by Russian authorities on board a Greenpeace ship after a protest against oil drilling in the Arctic in September are also eligible for pardon. They faced charges of hooliganism and now await trial in St Petersburg. Former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, charged with negligence amidst a scandal over the misuse of state funds, is also eligible for amnesty.

However, the amnesty won’t apply to all non-violent crimes. Opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, who got a suspended sentence this summer for large-scale theft in what critics said was a politically-motivated case, won’t see his conviction erased under the amnesty. Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, a former Defence Ministry property department head charged over the illegal sale of government property, faces trial for crimes including large-scale fraud and money laundering, which aren’t included under the terms of the amnesty.

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On Tuesday, the RF Supreme Court referred an appeal by three members of Pussy Riot against their prison sentence back to a Moscow court. On its website, the court said that it referred the case involving Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich to the Presidium of the Moscow City Court, a panel of judges tasked with reviewing sentences already in force. The women received two-year sentences to a general-level correctional colony in 2012 after being convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, for staging a “punk prayer” in Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow’s, against Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency. Their imprisonment caused an international stir. Later, Samutsevich left prison on probation after appeal, but Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova now serve out their sentences, due for release next March. The Moscow City Court rejected an appeal against their sentences on 29 May. The defence team then appealed that ruling to the RF Supreme Court. Alyokhina, 25, and Tolokonnikova, 23, could be eligible for release under a proposed amnesty that the RF Gosduma began to consider Tuesday. The amnesty is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the current Russian Constitution. The amnesty includes a provision for mothers of young children. Both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova have children under the age of seven.

10/11 December 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20131210/185428310/Pussy-Riot-Prisoners-Qualify-for-Russian-Amnesty-.html

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20131211/185436305/Pussy-Riot-Appeal-Sent-Back-to-Moscow-Court.html

Thursday, 6 September 2012

6 September 2012. The Team Russia Payloader Keeps Diggin’ Up Those Medals at the Paralympics

Konstantin Lisenkov, after winning the men’s 100-metre backstroke

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Denis Tarasov and Konstantin Lisenkov, winners of the silver and gold in swimming

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Darya Stukalova took bronze in women’s swimming

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Svetlana Moshkovich, winner of the bronze in women’s cycling

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The sixth day of the London Paralympics saw Team Russia win seven golds, two silvers, and four bronzes in a variety of disciplines. Swimmers Konstantin Lisenkov and Olga Savchenko, runners Yelena Pautova and Fyodor Trikolich, as well as shot-putter Aleksei Ashpatov grabbed gold medals. Silver medals went to swimmers Denis Tarasov and Alexander Nevolin-Svetov, whilst swimmers Alexander Golintovsky, Darya Stukalova and Olesya Vladykina, as well as archer Stepanida Artakhinova took the bronze. Right now, Russian athletes hold third position in the overall standings.

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British police investigated an incident where someone fired a shot at the bus of the Russian Paralympic volleyball team. According to the police, it wasn’t a gunshot; someone threw a rock at the bus. Russian Paralympic team officials met with the British police. Vladimir Lukin, the President of Russian Paralympic Committee, said, “They offered apologies on behalf of the British authorities and said they’d do their best to effectively ensure the safety of the Russian team until the end of the games”.

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After six days at the Paralympics, Team Russia has 63 medals under its belt, making it the biggest medal winner after China and the UK. In the gold medal count, it is neck-and-neck with the hosting country.

Day Six brought 13 medals… seven gold, two silver, and four bronze. The bronzes were in swimming and archery. Both silvers were in swimming, in the men’s 100-metre backstroke and the men’s 100-metre freestyle race. The winners were Denis Tarasov and Alexander Nevolin-Svetov, respectively. Both say their silver medals are good stimuli to win gold one day. Tarasov already won gold on Day Five. Of the seven gold medals, five were in track, and two in swimming. The swimmers are Konstantin Lisenkov, who bagged the top award in the men’s 100-metre backstroke, and Oksana Savchenko, who took gold in the women’s 100-metre freestyle event.

Oksana Savchenko spoke to VOR, saying, “My Spanish competitors were very strong, as were the girl from Poland and the girl from Azerbaijan. The latter struck me with her absolute serenity ahead of the race. Anyway, their presence was very stimulating”. Oksana’s gold is her third at the current Paralympics.

The track golds were in the men’s 400 metres, the women’s 1,500 metres, the men’s 100 metres, the women’s 4×100-m relay, and the men’s shot put. The shot-putter was Aleksei Ashpatov. His gold medal is his fourth in his Paralympic career, and it marked a new Paralympic shot-put record of 16.20 metres. He said, “This result is my best ever. I put it down to strong support from the terraces and I dedicate it to my girlfriend. We’re going to get married shortly”.

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On Wednesday, Russian athletes won five gold, three silver, and three bronze medals at the Paralympic Games in London. The two “golds” were won by Russian swimmers, Oksana Savchenko, who won the women’s 100-metre backstroke and Aleksandr Nevolinsvetov, who won the analogous race in the men’s competition. Track n’ fielder Gocha Kugaev won in the long jump. Russian athletes also excelled in the 4man x100 meters men’s relay and in archery. “Silver” was won by Russian national team athletes Yegor Sharov and Nikol Rodomakina and swimmer Olesya Vladykina. Bronze medals were won by Vladimir Sviridov in the long jump, Dmitri Kokarev in the 50-metre backstroke, and Svetlana Moshkovich in cycling.

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5/6 September 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_09_05/Russia-third-in-Paralympic-medal-count/

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_09_05/British-police-Stone-throwing-not-shooting/

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_09_05/Russia-massive-Paralympic-medal-hauler/

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_09_06/11-medals-in-London/

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