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Old 08-10-2006, 14:04   #1
erla erla is offline
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Russia - General discussion

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe....ap/index.html

http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/06...ja5-94_438.jpg - Taken away by the ambulance

This is the saddest news in a long time. She was my favorite journalist out there, and now she's dead. I had a feeling it was going to happen sooner or later... but so soon?

It took me quite a while to let it sink in and today I've been near tears everytime I think about it.

She's a true hero. She lived and died for the freedom of speech. Hopefully this will affect Russia in a positive way, and let journalists get the freedom they're supposed to have. There are so many of them who are stalked and threatened and they should not end up the same way as Anna did for wanting to spread the word of truth.
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Old 08-10-2006, 18:00   #2
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Sad indeed.

But let me get this straight... people are actually acussing the goverent of sponsoring, maybe even organizing the hit, right? I hardly see that as an option, imo. The goverment knew damn well all fingers will be pointed at them if something happens to her (since she was so anti-establishment). That was probably her greatest safety measure. If anything I think the opposition forces might be responsible for this horrid crime.
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Old 08-10-2006, 18:06   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
The goverment knew damn well all fingers will be pointed at them if something happens to her.
Since when has that stopped a government?
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Old 08-10-2006, 20:29   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel
Since when has that stopped a government?
They want to be on good terms with the world now that economic gain (especially from the oil industry) is starting to kick in. They know they can achieve a great deal by trading with the rest of the world. To do that at least from the outside things must appear as if Russia is not an iron-fisted dictatorship. This incident works directly against their efforts to perpetuate that image. The whole world's pointing fingers at the Russian establishment. Exactly what the opposition wants.
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Old 08-10-2006, 21:32   #5
erla erla is offline
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It's definetly a political murder though. I don't think Putin or the government made this happen though. If that would be the case, it would have been done with much more carefulness.

Besides, the russian nationalists and racists are getting more and more. It's something president Putin really needs to stop. It's getting way out of hand.
Anna could sometimes seem to defend terrorists and so on so forth, and I believe this has ticked of many nationalists in Russia.

Anna was supposed to publish some very "sensitive" materials to the newspaper today... So this could have been a reason for maybe the "security police" or the "national special forces", I don't know the english names. And President Putins birthday was yesterday, many think that this could've been a "gift" to him, which I kind of think is ridiculous.

The Suspect

http://img.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/0610/08/murd.jpg
http://img.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/0610/08/mord.jpg
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Old 08-10-2006, 21:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
They want to be on good terms with the world now that economic gain (especially from the oil industry)
Governments don't give a shit what another government does as long as they get their oil for a good price. Especially America.
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Old 09-10-2006, 00:32   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel
Governments don't give a shit what another government does as long as they get their oil for a good price. Especially America.
Well... State Department strongly condemned the murder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erla
And President Putins birthday was yesterday, many think that this could've been a "gift" to him, which I kind of think is ridiculous.
One that might lessen his political popularity. Fabulous gift.
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:12   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
Well... State Department strongly condemned the murder.
Oh come on!! You really think they are gonna sat "yes, we approve of this murder." Riiiiiiight. They make it obvious without actually say the words.
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Old 09-10-2006, 13:50   #9
freddie freddie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel
Oh come on!! You really think they are gonna sat "yes, we approve of this murder." Riiiiiiight. They make it obvious without actually say the words.
But they actually DON'T approve it. This writer was a serious pain in the ass for Putin's administration, hence she was also a lovely little agent provocateur for the US goverment, since the US doesn't trust Russia as far as tehy can throw them.

In any case, it's an extremely sad event. Just shows you how ruthless people can be when it comes to ambitions of power and dominance. Even if she wasn't killed by the goverment it was stilll no doubt a political assassination.
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Old 09-10-2006, 14:01   #10
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Freddie, sorry I read your post wrong, I thought you were referring to Russian government *blind*

Anyway, as I wanted to say even if there was proof Russian government were behind this it would make no difference America would carry on getting their oil regardless as with most governments. Most governments wouldn't give a shit what was happening as long as it didn't effect their country in any way (and yes I have to say it again, especially America.) American goverment are just saying what they know they have to say.
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Old 13-10-2006, 12:49   #11
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What surprises me the most is the reaction of the Russian press. She's called "enemy of the nation", "a person who professionally betrayed her motherland", etc. I got this freaky feeling of déjà vu when a row of repressions took place during the time of Soviet. Is Russia getting back to the Soviet lies and denial era? I can't believe it.
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Old 13-10-2006, 13:09   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forre
She's called "enemy of the nation", "a person who professionally betrayed her motherland", etc
Really? Then it is really presumable that Putin's administration (ex-KGBists) is behind the murder. I had never thought that he will make such an obvious move. Perhaps he is not afraid at all... and thinks that the opinion of West will not affect anything any more. When it is so, then it really a very dangerous signal. Also for us, in my country.
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Old 13-10-2006, 15:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda16
Also for us, in my country.
Estonia is now an EU Member State and part of Nato, Russia won't risk any conflict with the EU or Nato. However, we can expect CIS countries to be more and more controlled by Russia again.

The EU commission was right in thinking that after the collapse of the USSR, the window of opportunity to expand to the East would be very narrow before Russia would grow stronger again.
Fortunately with Romania and Bulgaria joining in 3 months, the process will be complete and the EU will be in full contact with the CIS border from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea, a border which could very well become a new iron curtain in the coming years.
The fast EU enlargement will probably be seen as a smart political move when people will look back at that period in the future.
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Old 17-10-2006, 01:40   #14
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More signs of Russia slipping deeper into totalitarianism and wanting to regain control over the former USSR countries, this interview with Russia's EU ambassador Vladimir Chizhov is quite telling.
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Old 19-10-2006, 14:20   #15
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And another political assassination in Russia, in the far east this time.

I especially like this:
Quote:
The town prosecutor, the police chief and the local judge had all taken annual leave and had left Dalnegorsk during the election campaign
Talk about looking the other way while the dirty work is being done. Kinda shows the state of Russia these days.

The man was a member of Putin's party though, so there seem to be an opposition as radical as the party in power.
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Old 20-10-2006, 14:53   #16
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I have widened the topic to Russian politics in general.

Here's a disturbing article on Russian juries acquitting people who have committed hate crimes. Racist attacks have greatly increased in recent years and now juries are simply acquitting the attackers as if killing foreigners is not even a crime anymore.


*****
Vladimir Putin has pulled a Dubbya, he was having a press conference with Israeli President Moshe Katsav (who is currently accused of multiple rapes) and at the end as he was about to leave, he said:
"What a mighty man he turns out to be! He raped 10 women - I would never have expected this from him. He surprised us all - we all envy him!"
The comment was only meant for the presidential entourage but journalists overheard it.
The Kremlin admits the Russian President said that, but says that you have to understand Russian to get the finesse of the comment.
BBC
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Old 20-10-2006, 20:10   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haku
Racist attacks have greatly increased in recent years and now juries are simply acquitting the attackers as if killing foreigners is not even a crime anymore.
It's not a problem of law but of selecting the lay judges. They represent the society and it's not easy to sort out racists. What can a presiding judge do, when he sees that he is surrounded by people who will certainly bend the law to their private (or public) opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haku
... he said:
"What a mighty man he turns out to be! He raped 10 women - I would never have expected this from him. He surprised us all - we all envy him!"
Quite obviously pure sarcasm and a sign of deep contempt, but anyway, such words should never be said by the leader of any nation.
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Old 21-10-2006, 15:02   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argos
It's not a problem of law but of selecting the lay judges. They represent the society and it's not easy to sort out racists. What can a presiding judge do, when he sees that he is surrounded by people who will certainly bend the law to their private (or public) opinions?
Oh i totally agree, popular juries are completely unreliable, i've never been in favor of popular juries, they introduce too much prejudice in the trial process.

*****
Vladimir Putin was at an EU-Russia meeting yesterday evening and he openly hinted at a Russian military intervention in Georgia. He accuses Georgia of wanting to "take back" the secessionist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Russian army could therefore intervene to "defend" those regions.
The Russian parliament has been looking for legal ways to annex Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the Russian Federation for quite some time now.
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Old 25-10-2006, 13:39   #19
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Vladimir Putin is warning the Russian people of Geogia's war plans. That kind of public speech is generally to prepare the public opinion to an imminent military intervention.
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Old 24-11-2006, 21:13   #20
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Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko who was investigating the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya has been assassinated by radioactive poisoning, polonium-210 to be precise, which is something extremely difficult to obtain unless you work for the secret services of a country with nuclear capabilities of course.
Quote:
Radioactive element found in blood of Russian ex-spy

Traces of radioactive polonium have been found in the blood of the deceased Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko, the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) said on Friday. His urine also tested positive for radiation.

“This is an unprecedented event in the UK,” said HPA chief executive Pat Troop. “It is the first time someone in the UK has apparently been deliberately poisoned with a radioactive agent.”

The agency is now assessing the health risks posed to members of the public who may have come into contact with Litvinenko, including family members and hospital staff who cared for him during the weeks he spent in hospital. They are also trying to decide the safest way for pathologists to conduct an autopsy of his body, and indeed whether such a procedure is safe enough to be performed at all.

Litvinenko, aged 43, died on Thursday of heart failure after claiming he had been poisoned in a London restaurant. He was formerly an agent of the Soviet, then the Russian, security service. He specialised in investigating organised crime and its involvement with corrupt officials.

High levels of radiation have been discovered in a central London hotel that Litvinenko frequented, and at the sushi restaurant where he said he ate on 1 November 2006. The restaurant has now been closed, said the HPA.

“Tests have established that Mr Litvinenko had a significant quantity of the radioactive isotope polonium-210 in his body,” the HPA announced on Friday. “It is not yet clear how this entered his body. Police are investigating this.”

Dissolvable salt

Litvinenko was not admitted to London's University College Hospital until 17 November. His symptoms, reported to include hair loss, dehydration, vomiting and a very low white blood cell count, are consistent with poisoning by a radioactive material.

To poison someone, polonium would most likely have been chemically combined in some type of dissolvable salt, for example polonium nitrate, experts told New Scientist. In this form the material could easily have been added to his food and ingested.

Polonium is a radioactive element that is used industrially as an anti-static material. It is difficult to get hold of and not used regularly by research scientists, but very small traces of it occur naturally. The metal is usually made by bombarding the element bismuth with neutrons.

"To poison someone, large amounts of polonium-210 are required and this would have to be manmade, perhaps from a particle accelerator or a nuclear reactor," said Dudley Goodhead at the UK's MRC Radiation and Genome Stability Unit. “Polonium has a half-life of 138 days. This means that if that was the poison it will still be in the body and in the area – which makes it relatively easy to identify.”

Knocking out electrons

Polonium-210 decays to lead-206, which is stable. During the decay it emits alpha particles – two neutrons combined with two protons. These are not able to penetrate most materials, including skin. This means that Litvinenko would have had to ingest the polonium or have it enter his body through a wound or by inhaling it, said Roger Cox, director of the UK’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards.

“Alpha particles are ionising. When they strike tissue they knock electrons out of molecules. Such damage can in serious cases wreck cellular machinery resulting in cancer, radiation sickness, or worse," said chemist Andrea Sella at University College London.

But the short-range action of alpha particles decreases the risks faced by people who may have come into contact with Litvinenko. Normal hygiene practices would reduce the risks still further, since people would have to ingest or breathe in his bodily fluids or faeces to be at risk, Cox added.

Many details are still unknown, such as how much of the material may have been given to Litvinenko. Cox was only able to say that a fatal dose would have to be something greater than 5 grays (a gray is a measurement of the amount of radiation absorbed by body tissue).

Organ malfunction

Determining the amount of polonium originally given will involve a “backwards analysis”, taking into consideration the radiation currently in his body, the days that have passed since it entered his body, and the half-life of the isotope.

In low doses over a long period of time, radiation poisoning produces few symptoms, but an increased risk of cancer. In high doses – as in this case, apparently – organs begin to malfunction within a few days to a few weeks, Cox said.

Radioactive poisoning was once used against dissidents by the Stasi, the former security service of East Germany. The Stasi favoured the element scandium (see Cold war, hot secret).

Litvinenko left Russia after reportedly falling out with President Vladimir Putin over a failure to crack down on corruption. His job is said to have made him many enemies. Those enemies, he claimed, poisoned him at a meal in a London restaurant on 1 November 2006. He was reportedly a close associate of exiled Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky, himself a politically controversial figure in Russia.

On Friday, the British Home Secretary John Reid stated that police have called in experts “to search for any residual radioactive material at a number of locations".

New Scientist
And a BBC article.
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