Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 21, 2012 16:27:16 GMT -5
Russia shows USAID the door. US insulted and humiliated.
Pravda.Ru - 20.09.2012 - Oleg Artyukov
The decision to terminate the activity of the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, in Russia has expectedly caused a great deal of noise. Human rights advocates are in shock, State Department is calming them down, Senator McCain said that this was an insult to the U.S., and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains why it shut down USAID.
Before the incident, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the U.S. has recently learned about the Russian government's decision to put an end to the activities of USAID in Russia. She added, "We are extremely proud of what USAID has accomplished in Russia over the past two decades."
The Agency for International Development was established in 1961, and the act of its creation was signed by U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The agency began its work In Russia in 1992. For 20 years, according to Nuland, USAID has spent $2.7 billion in Russia. Of which, not very confidently said the State Department spokeswoman, a third went to "the development of democracy."
Of course, USAID has worked not only with human rights activists, but also with government agencies, large local companies, etc. The human rights activists, of course, are upset the most.
In particular, the decision to close the agency's office in Russia extremely upset the association "The Voice", which monitors elections. "The hastiness and sudden nature of this decision is apparently related to the elections on October 14. We will look for any means to maintain at least the web project (" Map of election fraud.)", said Shibanova. The executive director of "The Voice" is not concerned by the fact that the activities of the association monitoring Russian elections depended entirely on the help of USAID.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, confirmed that the termination of USAID activity in Russia is connected with the attempts to influence the political process. "The Russian Foreign Ministry officially informed the U.S. side that the activities of the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Russian Federation should be discontinued starting October 1st of this year. Such a decision is due primarily to the fact that the nature of the agency representatives in our country did not always meet the stated goals of promoting bilateral humanitarian cooperation," said in his statement Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.
"This decision (to shut down USAID) is made due to attempts of the agency to influence political processes, civil society institutions, and elections at various levels, through distribution of grants," he said.
The longtime "well-wisher" of Russia, Republican Senator John McCain, described Moscow's closure of the USAID mission as "an insult to the United States and a finger in the eye of the Obama Administration."
The Senator's concerns are understandable. The agency mission was not the distribution of grants alone. Media had reports that USAID served as a cover for the activities of organizations that are anything but charitable. Insulting or not, but the incident is indeed not a pleasant one for Washington.
Spetsnaz veterans to launch ‘anti-Maidan council’ in Russia.
RT.com August 04, 2014 10:07
Veterans of the Russian military and special forces, together with rights activists and representatives of Orthodox Christian community, are to jointly launch a group to try and thwart any attempts to forcefully change the political system in the country.
Immediately after the founding convention, scheduled for late August, The ‘Anti-Fascist Anti-Maidan Council’ will concentrate on informing Russian citizens on the methods of Western propaganda that seeks to disrupt the constitutional order in the country and forcefully overthrow the lawfully elected authorities, the activists told the mass circulation daily Izvestia.
The council’s founders claim they possess information that after the nearest all-Russian election day on September 14, anti-government activists will launch their own committees and headquarters for organizing street protest and other actions aimed at sowing discord in the Russian community.
Apart from disclosing the objectives and means of the Western propaganda, the council will organize own rallies and events in order to promote the interests of the Russian state and prevent ethnic tensions in Russian regions.
The body will also work help law enforcers who fight against extremism and other anti-constitutional attempts.
Leading members of the group include deputy head of the ‘Spetsnaz-Army Spetsnaz’ group, uniting the veterans of Russian military intelligence, Yury Kalitov, the head of the ‘Russians’ foundation, Major General Leonid Shershnev, the chairman of the Union of Russian Orthodox citizens of Russia, Valentin Lebedev, and a representative of the Night Wolves motorcycle club and State Duma MP, Viktor Vodolatsky (United Russia), who also represents the major South Russian Cossack organization, the Don Troop.
Analysts have labeled the initiative correct and timely, noting that the current events in Ukraine are a perfect example of where ‘Orange Revolutions’ could lead.
“We understand very well that the Ukrainian conflict is not just an internal event, but a point of application for all forces in the world that have declared a secret war against Russia,” said the head of the Institute of Eurasian Economic Union, Vladimir Lepekhin, who was also invited to participate in the anti-Maidan council.
He noted that the recent appointment of former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Georgia and Lithuania, John Tefft, as a new ambassador to Russia could be a sign that the information war will move on to Russian territory.
The head of the Institute of Political Research, Sergey Markov, agreed that though there was no immediate threat of revolution in Russia, the future situation was not safe, as the “party of war” in Washington was not hiding its desire to repeat the Kiev scenario in Moscow.
Markov also noted that the new anti-fascist committee should study the statements of leading politicians and activists in order to establish their attitude towards the Ukrainian crisis and duly inform the Russian public about the results of this study. He noted that those who had not resolutely denounced the coup in Ukraine and the current policy of terror towards civilians could be among the first to support the anti-constitutional attempts in Russia.
Putin likens part of independent opposition to Bolsheviks, branding them as traitors.
RT.com August 29, 2014 14:34
The Russian President has accused members of the non-parliamentary opposition of betraying national interests, and likened them to Bolsheviks who wanted a Russian defeat in WWI.
President Vladimir Putin was talking to young activists on the last day of the Seliger political forum on Friday and, among other issues, discussed Russia’s current political system.He stressed that in his view the country had a fully-fledged multi-party political system and added that recent elections prove his point.
“Parliamentary opposition parties can work really hard at elections when they feel they have a real chance. Let us look at the 2012 campaign – were they really playing to lose? Of course, not,” Putin told the forum.
Putin said recent political reform had drastically liberalized the registration of new political groups, and because of it the number of officially registered parties in Russia now exceeds 70. At the same time, he defended the system of restrictions on political elections saying that the excessive number of candidates would make voting harder.
Vladimir Putin accused a part of the non-parliamentary opposition of “rocking the country” and warned of the possible dire consequences of such behavior.
“The Bolsheviks openly wished their motherland be defeated in the First World War. When heroic soldiers and officers were shedding blood at the fronts of WWI some people were rocking Russia from the inside and this rocking caused the country to engineer its own defeat. It was a nonsense, a delirium, but it did happen. It was a betrayal of national interests,” Putin told the young activists.
“Such people exist in our country today. Unfortunately no society can do without them,” the President added.
In May this year the VTSIOM agency conducted an all-Russian opinion poll that showed that the broad public remained uninformed and skeptical about the party system in the country, the recent reforms, and the activities of the political opposition.
Sixty-four percent of respondents said the current number of political parties in the country was sufficient. Thirty-five percent replied that there was no party that could represent their interests, and 39 percent of Russians said they did not understand what political parties were for.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 10, 2014 23:36:22 GMT -5
Anti-Maidan activists blast Yabloko party over US-funded protests.
RT.com September 09, 2014 09:34
Representatives of the recently-founded anti-Maidan council claim that the veteran pro-democracy party has received millions from the US and plans to overthrow the Russian government with the help of Ukrainian and Georgian spin doctors.
The head of the Anti-Fascist anti-Maidan council, Evgeny Shabayev has told the popular mass circulation daily Izvestia that his group possessed information about Ukrainian and Georgian citizens who played major roles in preparations to the violent events leading to displacement of governments and dissolution of parliaments in these countries – the so-called ‘color revolutions’. Now these people arrive in Russia and start talks with representatives of the pro-democracy opposition party Yabloko and other opposition groups in order to prepare and launch a similar regime change in Russia, the activist claimed.
According to Shabayev, at present stage Yabloko together with members of the Solidarity group are holding a string of single-person protests. Over 1,000 people have been hired to participate in them and each signed a contract to picket for 15 days for a $2,500 fee. The total budget of the event amounts to over 90 million rubles (about $2.4 million) and it will end with a massive rally on September 21.
The activist noted that the timing of protests is tied with the approaching national voting day, which falls on September 14. He said that the most intense and numerous protests will take place in major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg (Moscow is holding elections to the city legislature and St. Petersburg is holding its mayoral poll).
Shabayev also said that it was obvious for him that the whole scenario is backed by the US Department of State as the United States is interested in changing the political system in Russia, as already happened in Georgia, Ukraine, Libya and other countries where the ‘color revolutions’ had succeeded.
Boris Nemtsov of the opposition party Parnas (People’s Freedom Party) has confirmed that a major rally called the March of Peace was scheduled for September 21 and that it was organized together with Yabloko.
The Yabloko party has strongly denied receiving funds from any foreign state as well as organizing any protests. However, a source in the Moscow City Hall has told Izvestia that the pickets in the city center had been organized by Yabloko and the participants were protesting for fees.
The Anti-Maidan Council was formed in August this year by veterans of the Russian military and special forces together with rights activists and representatives of Orthodox Christian community. The main goal of the group was announced as thwarting attempts to forcefully change the political system in Russia by informing citizens of the methods of Western propaganda. The council also plans to organize own rallies and events in order to promote the interests of the Russian state and prevent ethnic tensions in the nation’s regions.
The Yabloko party was founded in 1993 and is one of the oldest in Russia. The party promotes the ideas of democracy and social liberalism and it was fairly popular in mid-1990s, winning about 10 percent of seats in the lower house in 1995. However, since then the public support for Yabloko has dwindled and the party got no seats in the State Duma in 2007 and 2011.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 15, 2014 16:54:44 GMT -5
Russia holds record-breaking elections across the country.
RT.com September 14, 2014 20:08
Local and regional election took place across Russia on Sunday as millions went to the polling stations to elect 30 governors, 14 regional parliaments, three mayors and thousands of municipal assemblies, including Moscow's City Duma.
A record number of 75 million eligible voters were registered this year for the single election day on Sunday, according to the election commission chairman Leonid Ivlev.
The elections at all levels were held in all Russian regions except in the republic of Ingushetia. Thirty Russian regions elected their heads and governors, 14 regions elected legislative assemblies, while three administrative centers of Russian regions elected their mayors.
For the first time the elections were held in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which joined Russia in March after the majority of Crimean residents voted to secede from Ukraine at a regional referendum. The regional election commission head said that 45 percent of registered voters at the peninsula had cast their ballots as of 6 pm local time (2 pm GMT).
In general the voter turnout was rather low. In Russia’s capital Moscow the turnout was registered at some 18 percent by 6 pm local time (2 pm GMT). For the first time 45 MPs from eight political parties instead of the usual 35 members were elected to the Moscow City Duma.
However in some regions the turnout exceeded 50 percent. A high turnout was reported at the governor elections in Orel, Samara and Tyumen regions, and in elections of heads of the republics of Komi and Kalmykia. The highest turnout – over 60 percent - was registered at elections to legislative assemblies in the republics of Tyva, Tatarstan, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia.
Preliminary results showed the dominance of the parties and candidates supporting the ruling United Russia party. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he was content with the Sunday results.
“United Russia had shown a very good result,” he said at videoconference at the party’s headquarters in Moscow on Sunday. “I think the voter turnout demonstrated the interest for elections in the conditions of the current actual political competition.”
The elections had been held in a “serious competitive landscape,” he said adding that “in the current conditions, when the turnout is not very high, our party is capable of mobilizing the electorate,” he stressed.
The country’s Central Election Commission said it received no complaints during the All-Russian Election Day.
“Not a single complaint,” Ivlev said on Sunday evening though adding that the commission had received 140 calls most of which had been questions. “As many as 41 calls reported possible violations in the activities of election commissions,” he added.
A man casts his ballot papers at a polling station set up in a cafe hall, with a Russian flag at right in the background, during regional parliament and municipal election in Sevastopol, Crimea, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Residents of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in March, are voting for their regional parliament in elections expected to be dominated by Russian President Vladimir Putin's backers. A sign on ballot boxes reads Sevastopol. (AP Photo/Alexander Polegenko)
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 18, 2014 14:30:50 GMT -5
Support of Russia’s national interests key to poll victories - Putin.
RT.com September 18, 2014 08:51
President Putin has praised the solidarity of Russian citizens and their support of politicians who are ready to defend the national interests in view of various threats.
“The community has demonstrated its consolidation before various threats and I would like to emphasize that the people’s support went to the political forces that can stand for our national interests, that promote the development and strengthening of our state,” he said at a meeting with freshly-elected governors who won the recent regional polls.
“I would like to draw your special attention to the fact that it is not the victory itself that is important, nor the percentage of votes you received. The most important thing is the citizens’ trust in the elections system and the voting results. We aspire for the open, competitive elections that are held fully in line with the letter and the spirit of the law,” Putin added.
The president also advised the regional leaders to avoid confrontation with the defeated candidates but form broad coalitions for joint work.
According to the Central Elections Commission, the centrist conservative United Russia party won 28 of the 30 gubernatorial seats in the September 14 polls. A Communist candidate won the race in the Oryol Region and an independent with a liberal pro-business agenda was re-elected as governor of the Kirov Region. United Russia also got the majority of seats in 14 reelected regional legislatures, including the Moscow City Duma.
The governors noted in press comments after the meeting that their victories were largely due to the present political situation, with growing pressure from abroad as well as the extremely high political rating of President Putin.
“It is difficult to describe the emotions that we see when we meet with voters, the level of their support for you. It was your trust that became the main decision making factor during the polls. Now we must live up to it and this means hard work,” Volgograd Region Governor Andrey Bocharov told Putin during the meeting.
“People in the Oryol Region are smiling when they hear about sanctions – we have a record harvest this year,” said Governor Vadim Potomsky.
At the end of the meeting Putin wished all elected regional leaders good luck with their work.
US seeks to overthrow political leadership in Russia - Foreign Ministry.
RT.com December 08, 2014 13:48
By imposing sanctions on Moscow, the US aims to change the political leadership, says the Russian Foreign Ministry, adding that Washington is “twisting the arms” of its allies so that they can continue an “anti-Russian front.”
“Behind the formally-declared aim to make us alter our position towards Ukraine, [we] see the [US] plan to form social and economic conditions to change leadership in Russia,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
According to Ryabkov, first of all Western countries wanted “to punish” Russia for “free will of people in Crimea and [the city of] Sevastopol,” who in a March referendum decided to separate from Ukraine and to join Russia.
Then they decided “that Russia has to, according to US opinion, totally change course towards the Kiev authorities and Eastern Ukraine in general, and to re-evaluate its foreign policy,” he said.
Ryabkov noted that apart from plans to destabilize Moscow leadership, US are “twisting arms” of their own allies so that they could continue “Anti-Russian front” and follow US policies on sanctions against Russia.
“But the US is not ashamed of insisting on cooperation with us [Russia] on matters affecting its own interests,” he said. He used the example of the Iranian nuclear talks, in which both Russia and the US take part.
Ryabkov added that the Kremlin is not planning to start talks with US and its Western allies in order to get the sanctions towards Russia repealed.
He criticized the US resolution strongly condemning Moscow's actions against its neighbors, and labeling them a policy of aggression.
“We see this document as the next step and further elaboration of those tendencies which have recently dominated Washington’s policy towards Russia.”
Passed December 4, the resolution slams Russia’s “continuing political, economic and military aggression” against Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and the “continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.”
Ryabkov doesn’t exclude that there will be further complications with the US in the future.
Moscow is “trying hard to stabilize relations” with Washington, but the resolution is a barometer of quite different attitude in the US towards Russia, he added.
“We are not ready to make concessions to the US on principal questions, but we are ready and will be looking for the balance of interests and common denominator where it is possible,” he said.
‘Anti-Maidan’ movement launched to oppose color revolutions in Russia.
RT.com January 16, 2015 10:55
A broad movement uniting war veterans, nationalist bikers and conservative politicians has been launched in Moscow to oppose the so called ‘color revolutions’ – changes of political regime through street protests rather than elections.
The movement was introduced by one of its founders, deputy head of the Combat Brotherhood veterans’ group, Dmitry Sablin at a conference. Other key members include deputy head of the majority United Russia parliamentary caucus Franz Klintsevich, co-chairman of the Great Fatherland party Nikolai Starikov and Aleksandr Zaldostanov, the leader of the Night Wolves motorcycle club, known for its support for President Vladimir Putin and Russian national interests.
Movement members are using ‘anti-Maidan’ to describe it. The term comes from the Ukrainian word maidan that means city square, but is now used to describe the street protests and clashes with police that eventually led to the ousting of President Yanukovich of Ukraine last year.
“Maidan has not appeared in Ukraine in one day. It was unwound gradually, step by step. People received money for participation as well as for every thrown cobblestone or bottle. We understand that the processes are now taking place in Russia is just a testing step for a similar process,” Sablin said at the founding conference.
“We also understand that all street movements and colored revolutions lead to bloodshed. And children, women and elderly people are the first to suffer. Of course we will oppose this movement at every step,” the activist added.
The first meeting of the anti-Maidan activists took place on the same day as a demonstration in central Moscow’s Manezhnaya square. The idea was to counter supporters of the famous anti-corruption blogger-turned opposition politician Aleksey Navalny, who wanted to protest against the suspended sentence for embezzlement handed down on him in late December. According to police reports there were 500 protesters, and conservative activists outnumbered Navalny supporters nine to one. About 10 people were detained for public order offences and taken to the nearest police stations.
“We will just look each other in the eye, look in the eyes of the young people who fall victim of deception,” Sablin said, describing his movement’s preferred tactics. “We will be there to make sure that other people are not violating any laws when they express their opinion. And also to demonstrate an opposite position, the majority position and the position of the people on behalf of which the opposition is trying to speak,” he emphasized.
Nikolai Starikov added in press comments that the new movement would also launch several propaganda projects that would explain to ordinary people that behind the attractive slogans used by the opposition there is nothing but a desire to split Russia into several parts that would be small and weak.
It should be noted, however, that the first success of the new movement can be explained by the fact that earlier this month Navalny called upon his supporters to change the time of protests from mid-January to mid-February as this could supposedly give the various opposition movements more time to work out a unified position.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 13, 2015 15:06:03 GMT -5
Ukrainian Maidan scenario will not work in Russia, Communist leader tells US ambassador.
RT.com February 12, 2015 10:48
Russian people are interested in better relations with foreign nations, but the country will never succumb to pressure from abroad or follow imposed policies, Communist leader Gennadiy Zyuganov said during talks with US Ambassador John Tefft.
“Russian society has the good intention to strengthen the relations with both East and West, but we will no longer allow anyone to torment us. This is our principled stand,” the leader of the Russian Communist party was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
Zyuganov also told the US diplomat that Russia would never have its own “Maidan,” adding that the plans to install anti-corruption blogger turned opposition politician Aleksey Navalny as the Russian leader are doomed to fail. The politician also compared Navalny to a young Boris Yeltsin and noted that the only difference between the two figures was that the former remained sober. Russian people have had a good vaccination against “Yeltsinism,” the Communist leader said.
The Russian politician expressed his indignation over the fact that the United States played a role in the current crisis in Europe. He noted that if the situation persists “the worst times of the Cold War” could return. Another issue of primary concern was the surge of neo-Nazi sentiments in the region, especially in Ukraine, Zyuganov noted.
The Communist leader told the US ambassador that it was wrong to call the armed resistance in southeast Ukraine “separatists” as these people only wanted to maintain economic ties with Russia and defended the right to speak their language. Zyuganov stressed that people from Donbass had never attacked anyone in Kiev or Lvov. “They simply defend their motherland, their homes, their families. This is why the Russian Communist Party is sending humanitarian aid to the people of Donbass.”
He also said he was surprised by the persisting US policy in post-Soviet countries as it was not bringing any dividends to the United States, but only creating new division lines that, in Zyuganov’s words, “were already bleeding.”
Tefft was appointed US Ambassador to Moscow in 2014. Before that he worked in in Georgia and Ukraine and his stay in these countries coincided with major troubles. Tefft was Ambassador to Georgia in 2008 when Georgian troops attacked South Ossetia, leading to a brief war with Russian involvement. He also left the post of ambassador in Kiev shortly before the Maidan protests of 2013, which led to the deposing of democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovich and eventually to the full-scale war between the pro-Kiev military and federalist militia in the southeast of the country.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 15, 2015 10:06:10 GMT -5
Putin’s trust rating hits 85% historical high.
RT.com February 13, 2015 14:55
The latest poll has shown that 85 percent of Russian citizens trust President Vladimir Putin and 74 percent say they would vote for him if presidential elections were held next weekend.
The poll, conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation on February 7-8 and released on February 13, shows that the current 85 percent trust rating is up from 75 percent in February 2014. The share of those who said they were ready to vote for Putin was also up from 45 percent one year ago.
84 percent of those polled said they approved of Putin’s work as president and only 7 percent admitted they were discontented with it.
The general attitude toward Putin was also mostly positive – 75 percent of Russians said they sympathized with their leader. Fourteen percent said they had both positive and negative sentiments about him and 7 percent reported that their attitude to the president was purely negative.
Other politicians’ ratings remained generally unchanged. Five percent of respondents said that if presidential polls were to be held next Sunday they would vote for the head of the populist-nationalist LDPR party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Four percent pledged support to the head of the Russian Communist Party, Gennadiy Zyuganov and 1 percent said they would vote for billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the founder of the pro-business party Civil Platform.
The head of the Russian Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Research, Dmitry Badovskiy, connected the new surge in Putin’s ratings with Russia’s strong position on the Ukrainian crisis and personal diplomatic success of the president demonstrated at this week’s summit in Minsk. Another factor was people’s hope for Putin’s ability to cope with the ongoing economic crisis and return stability to the national economy.
According to the expert, the results of the research mean that in the conditions of a real presidential election, Putin would win with a result approaching 90 percent.
Putin’s approval ratings were on the rise in Russia last year and in December an overwhelming majority citizens named their president the “Man of the Year” when they chose among other serving Russian politicians.
At the same time, the poll conducted by the Levada Center in October 2014 showed that the majority of respondents did not see the president’s popularity as a potential cult of personality. Only 19 percent said they had noticed features resembling a cult, compared to 27 percent in 2013.
In early December, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov commented on the surge in the president’s popularity in an interview with RT. Peskov said that in his opinion Putin did not need any publicity, bad or good, and the people’s love for Putin was a manifestation of their love for Russia.
If in January 2014 less than 1/3 of those polled expected crisis, now its a main topic for every second person asked.
1) More than 50% of those polled believe that the biggest threat to Russia right now is disenfranchisement of the population and economic crisis.
2) Around 50% believe that it is connected to the falling RUB exchange rates.
3) 20% stated that their own living standards have already decreased, and 50% more stated that they are experiencing financial difficulties even though their living standards haven't changed yet. That is more than 70% have already experienced the economic decline.
4) 60% of the population are now spending half or more of their whole income on food.
5) 45% believe that it is unlikely or extremely unlikely that the current gov't would be able to tackle the problem.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 21, 2015 12:46:49 GMT -5
40,000 take to Moscow streets in ‘Anti-Maidan’ demo.
RT.com February 21, 2015 11:29
Up to 40,000 people have joined a so-called “Anti-Maidan” demo to mark the first anniversary of the bloody events during the Ukrainian coup on Kiev’s Independence Square, Russian police reported on Saturday.
The 40,000-strong march against violence and revolutions, organized by the “Anti-Maidan” movement in the center of the Russian capital has been approved by local authorities, Moscow police said in a statement.
“The number of participants was declared as not exceeding 10,000 people, but currently it is already far higher than stated before,” said Aleksey Mayorov, the head of the city’s police department, according to RIA-Novosti.
The march had a slogan: “A year since Maidan. We won’t forget, we won’t forgive!” The banners people were carrying read: “No to Maidan – no to war”, “Russia against Maidan”, “Maidan is deceit”. According to its organizers, the rally numbered 50,000 people.
Aleksandr Zaldostanov, the leader of Russian motorcycle club “The Night Wolves”, said: “When the mobilization of Russia’s enemies takes place, I call to rally round Russia’s president,” TASS reported.
The “Anti-Maidan” movement was founded this January in Moscow by a group of social activists to counter what they believe could pose a threat to Russia. Its main goal is to prevent so-called “color revolutions” in the country.
Last February, central Kiev saw several days of bloody clashes between rioters and the police at the ‘EuroMaidan’ rallies, where approximately 100 people were killed on a single day – February 20, 2014.
Events led to then-President Viktor Yanukovich fleeing the country and the opposition forming a new government. In April, the new Kiev authorities started an anti-terrorist operation against breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, who didn’t recognize the coup-imposed authorities in Ukraine. According to the latest UN estimates, the resulting civil war has claimed the lives of at least 5,600 people.
People attend an "Anti-Maidan" rally to protest against the 2014 Kiev uprising, which ousted President Viktor Yanukovich, in Moscow February 21, 2015 (Reuters / Sergey Karpukhin)People attend an "Anti-Maidan" rally to protest against the 2014 Kiev uprising, which ousted President Viktor Yanukovich, in Moscow February 21, 2015 (Reuters / Sergey Karpukhin)
Last Edit: Feb 21, 2015 13:11:34 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Now, with that context, lets get to the news today...
Opposition politician Boris Nemtsov killed in the center of Moscow.
RT.com February 27, 2015 21:46
Famous Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov has been shot dead in the center of Moscow. The shots came from a vehicle. Reportedly, Nemtsov had previously received death threats on social media sites.
Nemtsov was shot four times in the center of Moscow at Vasilyevsky Spusk, a bridge leading to Red Square, according to police.
A law enforcement source told Interfax news agency that a white vehicle approached Nemtsov, fired the shots, and sped away. Police later said there were three white cars on the bridge during the shooting, according to footage from street cameras. Two of them were later cleared of any link to the murder. Some witnesses said the car containing the suspects was without a license plate.
Shortly before the deadly shooting, Nemtsov had dinner at a restaurant inside GUM, a department store on Red Square, with the woman he was with when he was shot. The two then went for a walk. Her name is not being released due to the ongoing investigation.
“Nemtsov was walking on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge with a visitor from Ukraine. It was then when he was shot from a car that was passing by,” said the ministry’s official representative, Elena Alekseeva, as quoted by Rossiya 24 TV channel.
“The woman who was with him is currently being questioned in a police department,” Alekseeva added.
Police said they believe the murder was planned well in advance.
“Nemtsov’s route has been established. Someone apparently followed him from GUM and told the accomplices the [politician’s] location,” Tass reported citing a source.Police found six bullet casings at the crime scene, Alekseeva said.
Nemtsov’s family lawyer, Vadim Prohorov, said the politician began receiving various types of threats – including death threats – on social media sites a few months ago.
The politician’s family members arrived at the crime scene early on Saturday. Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev spoke to them at the site. Television host and opposition activist Ksenia Sobchak was among those at the scene.
Before authorities could confirm Nemtsov’s death, the politician’s colleagues spoke out.
“Unfortunately, I'm currently looking at the body of Nemtsov," opposition leaders Ilya Yashin, confirmed to RIA Novosti. “I see the body, and a lot of police.”
Nemtsov, 55, has been in Russian politics for over two decades. He gained popularity as a governor to Nizhegorodsky region, staying in the office from 1991 to 1997. He served as energy minister and deputy prime minister under former President Boris Yeltsin, while being regarded at some point as his successor. After 1998 he participated in the creation of several liberal movements and parties, serving as a Parliament member. Since 2003 he was more involved in business than politics. However, Nemtsov voiced opposition to President Vladimir Putin, criticizing the government and its policies. Since 2012, he had co-chaired the liberal party RPR-PARNAS (Republican Party of Russia – People's Freedom Party). Nemtsov’s assassination comes just one day ahead of the Vesna (“Spring”) opposition rally slated for March 1 in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was “immediately informed” about Nemtsov’s assassination, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told RT.
“Putin has stressed that this brutal murder has all [the] signs of a contract murder and is extremely provocative,” Peskov said.
“The president has expressed his deep condolences to the family of tragically deceased Nemtsov,” he added.
Nikita Belyh, governor of the Kirov Region, said he was shocked to hear about Nemtsov’s death and expressed his sincerest condolences to the politician’s family. “This is a nightmare. Boris Nemtsov was killed. I can’t believe this, I talked to him just four hours ago – we laughed, reminisced about something,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Human Rights Watch representative Tanya Cooper called for a “thorough” and “unbiased” investigation into Nemtsov’s murder, adding that police must consider all angles, including the victim’s political career.
US President Barack Obama has condemned Nemtsov’s death, describing it as a “brutal murder,” the White House National Security Council said on Twitter. The council also called on Russia to conduct a “prompt, impartial and transparent investigation” and to “ensure those responsible are brought to justice.”
Boris Nemtsov’s killing was 'one hundred percent provocation,' the Press Secretary of the Russian President Vladimir Putin said during an audio statement in Moscow late on Friday evening. Dmitri Peskov made the comments after Nemtsov was murdered by unidentified assailants in central Moscow.
Why wasn't his Ukrainian whore killed?
Russia: US Ambassador to Russia lays personal Nemtsov tribute.
RuptlyTV Feb 28, 2015
United States Ambassador to Russia John F. Tefft laid a personal floral tribute at Vasilyevskiy Spusk in Moscow on Saturday in memory of killed Russian politician Boris Nemtsov.
'Nemtsov murder is act of political terror, provocation'
RT Feb 28, 2015
Political commentator Anna van Densky thinks Nemtsov's murder was designed to provoke political tensions, and that it's better for all sides to avoid falling for that trap.
Nemtsov was no threat to Russian govt - presidential spokesperson.
RT.com February 28, 2015 03:18
Boris Nemtsov did not pose a threat to the Russian government, according to presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov. The murder of the Russian opposition figure has been called a "provocation" by a number of politicians and public figures.
Boris Nemtsov was killed Friday evening in the center of Moscow. A veteran of Russian politics, he was an influential figure in the 1990s and held the post of deputy prime minister under former President Boris Yeltsin. Though he had been more involved in business than politics since 2003, he was a critic of the Russian government.
“With all due respect to the memory of Boris Nemtsov, in political terms he did not pose any threat to the current Russian leadership or Vladimir Putin. If we compare popularity levels, Putin’s and the government’s ratings and so on, in general Boris Nemtsov was just a little bit more than an average citizen,” Peskov said on Saturday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the assassination and expressed his condolences to the family, Peskov added. “Putin has stressed that this brutal murder has all [the] signs of a contract murder and is extremely provocative.”
Irina Khakamada, an opposition figure who was Nemtsov's ally in the SPS party (Union of Right Forces), called the murder a "provocation" aimed at destabilizing Russia.
"It is definitely not beneficial to Putin and it is aimed at destabilizing everything to tatters," she said.
Human Rights Watch representative Tanya Cooper called for a “thorough” and “unbiased” investigation into Nemtsov’s murder, adding that police must consider all angles, including the victim’s political career.
US President Barack Obama has condemned Nemtsov’s death, describing it as a “brutal murder,” the White House National Security Council said on Twitter. The council also called on Russia to conduct a “prompt, impartial and transparent investigation” and to “ensure those responsible are brought to justice.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry said he was “shocked” when he found out about Nemtsov’s death, and called on Russian authorities to investigate what happened.
“Nemtsov committed his life to a more democratic, prosperous, open Russia, and to strong relationships between Russia and its neighbors and partners, including the United States,” Kerry stated.
The UK's Foreign Office said it will closely follow the developments of Nemtsov’s murder investigation.
“We are shocked and saddened by news that former Russian deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov has been shot and killed in Moscow. Our thoughts are with his family and we offer our condolences to them. We deplore this criminal act. Those responsible must be brought to justice. We will continue to follow the situation closely,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called Nemtsov a friend and “a bridge between Ukraine and Russia.” He said on Twitter that he is sure those responsible for Nemtsov's death will be found.
"Shocked. Boris was killed. Hard to believe this. I do not doubt that the murderers will be punished,” Poroshenko said.
Nemtsov's death: ‘Putin is the last person to be interested’
RT.com February 28, 2015 03:42
Although Boris Nemtsov was an open critic of Vladimir Putin, he had little political influence, says political analyst Dmitry Babich. The analyst says the tragic death is a "huge gift to Putin-haters in the West” who wish to blame the Russian president.
Dmitry Babich: It’s clearly a huge tragedy. It’s a very cruel murder. But certainly I would not say that Mr. Nemtsov was in any way a threat to President Putin. He had absolutely zero chances of winning any elections at least since the 1990s, when he had some electoral successes. So to say that Nemtsov was killed in order to influence Russian policy on Ukraine, I think it’s clearly an exaggeration.
RT: And of course, the last person in the world who was interested in this murder is President Putin, because it’s quite clear how this story is going to be spun by the Western media.
DB: In general I would say that, if you look at history, whenever there is a deterioration of relations between Russia and the West, opposition figures, sometimes liberal politicians, are murdered under mysterious circumstances. And all of them at a certain moment had connections with powerful oligarchs, like Mr. Berezovsky – who is now also dead – and others. And these are always shady stories. So it’s a tragedy of the Russian liberal movement that almost all of its leaders die violent deaths under mysterious circumstances.
President Boris Yeltsin and deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov, February 5, 1998 RIA Novosti / Vladimir Rodionov)President Boris Yeltsin and deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov, February 5, 1998 RIA Novosti / Vladimir Rodionov)
RT: So, what about the reaction to Nemtsov’s death? What are people saying out there?
DB: Liberal opposition leaders, people like Alexei Kudrin (former finance minister) and Mikhail Kasyanov (former prime minister), they all say this is a tragedy for Russia, that he was a great politician. I wouldn’t quite agree that he was a successful politician, at least during the last 15 years of his political activity. But certainly, his figure is connected to the 90s. And various people have various feelings about this period. It was the period of, I would say, political youth of Russia, when we first got a taste of democracy, and Mr. Nemtsov is associated in our memory with that time – which was difficult, but also interesting. So I don’t think a lot of people consider Mr. Nemtsov a hero, but certainly everybody has been made very sad and angry by the cruelty of this murder.
RT: Another opposition figure, Mikhail Kasyanov, has said that he has no clue who could possibly want Nemtsov dead. What do you think the possible motives could be? We know that he was an opposition figure, a popular opposition figure. What could these motives be? We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, and we know this is speculation.
DB: Well I agree with former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov that it is very difficult to guess who would be interested in this murder. Certainly, I would repeat my thought that President Putin is the last person to be interested in this kind of development. Nemtsov was not only a critic of Putin; he insulted Putin many times – in public, in the mass media. He was an open political opponent of Putin, to put it mildly. So having that person killed right now, of course it’s a huge gift to Putin-haters in the West, who will immediately start spinning the story the same way they spun the story of the murder of Anna Politikovskaya, or the murder of Sergei Yushchenkov…These terrible murders were always blamed by the mainstream media on President Putin, although absolutely no facts would support those theories.
RT: Moving on down the road, what possible implications could we be seeing of Nemtsov’s murder for the Russian political arena?
DB: Well I think the main implications will be in the way the Western press will react to it, because I don’t foresee any significant changes in the Russian political landscape. Since the 1990s, Nemtsov was not a successful politician. He was not particularly popular among the general public. Just about six months ago, he won a small regional election in Yaroslavl, became a deputy in the local legislature. Before that, for about 10 years, he could not win a single election. So, most of the implications will be in the media sphere, how the Western media will play this terrible tragedy, especially in the context of the war in Ukraine, which the Western media also blames on Putin and on Russia, I think quite unjustly.
Nemtsov murder: Russian investigators probing several possible motives.
RT.com February 28, 2015 10:30
The assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow was well-planned, investigators said. Versions of the crime range from a political provocation to a revenge killing by radical Islamists.
“There is no doubt that this crime was carefully planned. The location and timing of the killing indicated that as well. The investigation found out that Boris Nemtsov was going with his female friend to his apartment, which is located close to the murder scene. The organizers and the executers apparently knew his route,” Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigative Committee, told journalists.
Markin said the best detectives and forensic experts are involved in the case, which is considered a top priority by law enforcement authorities.
Preliminary results show that the politician was killed from a Makarov pistol. Experts found six 9-mm cartridge cases at the scene, Markov said. The cartridges were produced by several different manufacturers, he added.
At the moment the investigation is focused on questioning the eyewitnesses and studying mobile traffic data in the immediate area of the crime, which may provide an insight into communications of the criminals. Footage from CCTV cameras is also being studied.
The investigation is looking into five possible motives behind the high-profile assassination, Markin said.
“The murder could be a provocation to destabilize the political situation in the country. Nemtsov could have been chosen as a sort of 'sacral sacrifice' by those who don't hesitate to use any methods to reach their political goals,” he said.
“There are reports that Nemtsov received threats due to his position over the shooting of Charlie Hebdo staff in Paris,” Markin said, adding that a possible link to the Ukrainian civil war was also being investigated.
“It's no secret that both sides of that conflict have among their ranks very radical figures who take no orders from any authority,” he said.
Other versions voiced by Markin involve Nemtsov's business interests and a possible assault related to his personal life.
Later in the day, the car allegedly used in the attack was discovered not far from the scene of the crime. Russian media reported that it had Ingushetian license plates.
The Kremlin called on political commentators not to pressure the investigators.
“This is a top priority case now and it's important that the investigation produces results as soon as possible. Don't hamper their work, just be patient and wait,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Dozhd television.
President Vladimir Putin has himself pledged that the people behind this “despicable and cynical crime” will be held accountable.
Boris Nemtsov, a veteran opposition figure in Russia, was gunned down in a drive-by attack in central Moscow on Friday night. The murder triggered worldwide condemnation and calls to bring the killers to justice.
Everything will be done to punish those behind ‘vile’ murder of Nemtsov - Putin.
RT.com February 28, 2015 12:55
Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised that everything will be done to punish those responsible for the organization and execution of the murder of opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov.
“Everything will be done for the organizers and executors of this vile and cynical murder to receive the punishment they deserve," the statement on the Russian President’s official website said.
Boris Nemtsov, a veteran opposition figure in Russia, was gunned down in a drive-by attack in central Moscow overnight Friday.
The murder, which happened just away from the Kremlin, triggered worldwide condemnation and calls to bring the killers to justice.
Previously, Putin expressed his condolences to Nemtsov’s mother and said that he shared her grief.
"Please, accept my deepest condolences on this irreparable loss. I sincerely share your grief,” a telegram by the President, posted on the Kremlin’s website, said.
Boris Nemtsov "left his mark in the history of Russia – in its political and public life. He occupied on important positions in the difficult transition period of our country. He stated his point of views in an honest and straight forward manner and always defended his stance,” Putin stressed.
Investigators are doing their best to solve the murder of the opposition politician, said Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigative Committee. Previously, he said that the investigators are looking into five possible motives behind Nemtsov’s assassination.
According to Markin, the politician’s murder could have been a provocation to destabilize the political situation in Russia. It could have also been linked to the threats Nemtsov received over his stance on Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris or the current war in Ukraine. The politician’s business activities and a possible assault related to his personal life are also being looked into.
Moscow city authorities meanwhile have given permission to Russian opposition leaders to hold a march to commemorate Nemtsov after they canceled a planned protest rally due to the murder. The Sunday rally will cross the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge where the politician was shot dead.
Nemtsov, 55, gained popularity as a governor to Nizhny Novgorod region, staying in the office from 1991 to 1997. He served as energy minister and deputy prime minister under former President Boris Yeltsin. After 1998 he participated in the creation of several liberal movements and parties, serving as a Member of Parliament. Since 2012, he had co-chaired the liberal party RPR-PARNAS (Republican Party of Russia – People's Freedom Party), being more involved in business than politics.
What impact will Nemtsov’s death have on Russian opposition?
RT.com February 28, 2015 18:20
Opposition figure Boris Nemtsov was killed in Moscow on Saturday night. RT sat down with analyst Dmitry Babich, who knew Nemtsov personally, to discuss the possible impact of the murder on the Russian opposition.
RT: Boris Nemtsov's political prominence plays back to the 1990s...Was he in any way significant today to the Kremlin, as has been claimed by some Western media?
Dmitry Babich: No, I don’t think he was dangerous to the Kremlin politically, because his electoral support was very low. The last election that his party – the Union of Right Forces – the last election that they actually managed to show good results at was in 2001. In 2001, his party got about 10 percent of the vote. Since then, he never managed to pass the threshold of five percent. So electorally, he wasn’t strong. But, certainly, he represented a certain minority view in Russia and especially on the events in Ukraine. He full-heartedly supported the new regime in Kiev.
RT: The Russian opposition has been noted for not being united and not offering people something to go with. Is his death likely to unite or spread further the opposition here in Russia?
DB: Well, in the short run, of course, the opposition – especially the liberal opposition – will be buoyed by this death, so they will present him as a victim, as someone whom the Kremlin feared. But in the long run, I don’t think his death will have a strong impact on the opposition. The main problem of the liberal opposition is not it's being divided; its problem is that they are trying to unite around wrong ideas. Right now, the reliant point of the liberal opposition is support for the new regime in Kiev.
A certain minority in Russia may be sympathetic with that view, but certainly not the huge majority of Russians.
RT: The timing of his death comes during the very fragile – but ongoing – ceasefire in Ukraine that's been going on for two weeks...
DB: Well, that’s true. In general, I think his death is a tragedy for all Russians, even those who disagreed with him. First he was a very nice and friendly person. I, as a journalist, took a lot of interviews from him and I remember that he was one of the few politicians who actually befriended journalists. He changed his views. I would say that, for example, he was very much against the NATO strike against Yugoslavia in 1999. Now, you know, in the last few years he suddenly started to support new Ukraine. So, he was not always consequential; he was not always logical. But thanks to television, he became almost like a member of the family, you know, for a lot of Russians who watched him on television during all of the 1990s. So his death is, of course, a very, very bad blow to all of Russia.
What a scumbag...
Last Edit: Apr 12, 2015 3:38:52 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
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