News Summary

The Vostok Report

The news to 16 August 2013

Photo sourced from DBDuophotography

Photo sourced from DBDuophotography

A suspect allegedly involved in the 2006 killing of Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya has been shot by an unknown attacker in Moscow. Murad Musayev, a lawyer for Dzhabrail Makhmudov, said on August 15 that his client underwent surgery on his leg after he was shot overnight and his current condition is stable.

Source: RFE/RL

An assembly representing the Serb minority in Kosovo has voted unanimously to boycott upcoming EU-backed local elections, despite pressure from the Serbian government. On August 16, all 91 members of the Interim Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo-Metohija voted in favor of a resolution that said the election planned for November 3 violated Serbian law.

Source: RFE/RL

Working in top secret over a period of 17 years, Russian and American scientists collaborated to remove hundreds of pounds of plutonium and highly enriched uranium — enough to construct at least a dozen nuclear weapons — from a remote Soviet-era nuclear test site in Kazakhstan that had been overrun by impoverished metal scavengers, according to a report released last week by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard.

Source: New York Times

Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov says he is stepping down as leader of the ruling party to promote a multiparty system.

Berdymukhammedov has led the Democratic Party since 2006, taking over after the death of Saparmurat Niyazov, his predecessor as president and party leader. Formerly the Turkmen branch of the Soviet Communist Party, it was the country’s only party for two decades. Last year, a new law authorized the creation of a new political party called the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

Source: RFE/RL

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Sunday the country’s controversial anti-gay legislation is for the protection of its young generation, “whose psyche has not been formed,” and lumped in the promotion of homosexuality with that of alcohol and drug abuse.

“We want to protect our young generation, whose psyche has not been formed,” Mutko said at Luzhniki Stadium on the last day of the championships, which began August 10. “We want to protect them against the propaganda of drunkenness, drugs and non-traditional sexual relations. When they grow up and become adults, they have to define what they want for themselves.”

Source: RIA Novosti

Russian border guards imposed new time-consuming checks on all Ukrainian exports last week as Putin piles pressure on Kiev to join a Moscow-led regional trade bloc.

Ukraine has refused to join because it hopes to sign a free trade and political association agreement with the EU in November and the two deals are mutually exclusive. Russia is the largest consumer of Ukrainian exports but ties between the two have deteriorated over Kiev’s European aspirations as well as trade and gas rows.

Source: Reuters

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has said a victory by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev in the country’s October presidential election would be the best outcome for resolving the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

In a statement, Sarkisian said “the negotiating process is active” and that Aliyev has the best chance of overcoming “Armenia-phobia” in Azerbaijan.

Source: RFE/RL

Russian and French Air Force pilots have started a four-day joint exercise in central Russia, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Monday. The tactical drills in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod and Tver regions will run through Thursday, Defense Ministry press secretary Col. Igor Klimov said.

Source: RIA Novosti



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