Russia: Chief Mufti wants Islamic crescent to be included in Russian emblem

Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation (1993-p...

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Tadzhuddin, the head of the Central Muslim Spiritual Directorate in the southwest Russian republic of Bashkiria and the Chief Mufti of Russia proposed adding the Muslim crescent above one of the crowns that decorate Russia’s symbol, the double-headed eagle.

Oh, yeah… I’m sure that Russian Pater Patriae would be delighted.

Tx to IiE.


Russian Reporter Oleg Kashin Beaten Into Coma

Just two days after a security camera caught two men beating journalist Oleg Kashin unconscious on a Moscow street, a second reporter who wrote about a controversial road proposed for a beloved Moscow forest has suffered a concussion at the hands of unknown assailants.

Kashin is in a medically induced coma in a Moscow hospital after a weekend assault that left him with a severed finger, a broken leg and fractured jaws. Video from a closed circuit camera of two men holding Kashin down and beating him with an iron bar that had been hidden in a bouquet of flowers has appeared on a Russian web site and state television. The attack lasted a minute and a half.

I hope that he can work again,” Kashin’s father Vladimir told ABC News. “I hope that he can survive.”

I don’t know why exactly he was attacked,” said fellow journalist Yvgenia Albats, an investigative reporter and editor-in-chief of the magazine New Times. “I know for sure that he was attacked because of his work.”

Kashin has reported on many controversial topics, including political youth groups, but speculation about the cause for the assault centers on Kashin’s coverage of the Khimki road project, a proposed multi-billion dollar highway through the heart of a “green belt” birch forest on the city’s outskirts. Logging for the road began in July, but after fierce public protest construction was temporarily suspended by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev. Kashin, who works for the prominent business newspaper Kommersant, had written about a July protest against the road, conducting an interview with a blogger who said he had led an attack on a government building in Khimki.

Backers of the project stand to lose a huge investment if the highway is scrapped. The project is supported by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and after one of Kashin’s articles on Khimki, the pro-Kremlin youth group Young Guard posted a piece online with the headline “Journalist Betrayers Must Be Punished” as well as a picture of Kashin with the label “Will Be Punished.” Young Guard has denied involvement in the attack on Kashin and condemned it.

via Russian Reporter Oleg Kashin Beaten Into Coma – ABC News.

The limits of freedom of expression should be attacking other people’s lifes. You can’t call for “punishments” of “journalist betrayers”, because they are investigating something you don’t like anyone to investigate, and then, when something like that, has happened, take the unhappy mask and condemn it. I’m sure they are really happy after this: even his father doesn’t know if the journalist will survive. So it’s probable that he won’t be able to work either.

Obama on missile defense shield

“If the threat from Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program is eliminated, the driving force for missile defense in Europe will be eliminated,” US President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

via ‘Without Irania nukes, missile defense won’t be needed’ | International | Jerusalem Post.

Je, but is the threat from Iran program going to be eliminated? But Hasn’t IAEA said Iranian program is peaceful?

Well, the report not only says the Iranian program is peaceful:

In its latest report on Iran’s nuclear program, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, said that Iran continues to expand its uranium enrichment program in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions. The IAEA said that Iran is now operating 5000 centrifuges and has stockpiled more than 1300 kilograms of low enriched uranium.

Uranium enriched to low levels is used for nuclear power plants; at high levels of enrichment it can be used to produce nuclear weapons. Iran has the right to a civil nuclear program, but also has the responsibility to meet its U.N. Security Council and other obligations in cooperating with the IAEA to take all necessary steps to reassure the international community that its nuclear program carries only peaceful intentions.

Has Iran fulfilled all those obligations? Ehh, no…, according to the “official position of the US Gov”:

The IAEA also said that Iran refused its inspectors access to its heavy water reactor facility at Arak, and that the facility’s roofing and “containment structure” do not permit the IAEA to report on the progress of construction at the reactor, as is required by the Security Council. In addition, the IAEA said, Iran has not cooperated with the Agency “in connection with the remaining issues which give rise to concerns and which need to be clarified to exclude the possibility of military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”

More information here:

While international inspectors have never found concrete evidence linking Iran’s nuclear program to weapons development, Iran’s past concealment of its program has fed concerns. In a June 2003 report (PDF), IAEA inspectors reported that Iran had failed to meet obligations under its Safeguards Agreement signed in 1974. Failures included withholding construction and design details of new facilities, and not reporting processed and imported uranium. Some undeclared shipments dated to 1991, the IAEA said. International pressure following the revelations led Iran to temporarily cease its enrichment-related activities, and in late 2003 Tehran signed an Additional Protocol allowing the atomic agency greater access to nuclear sites. Negotiations with members of the European Union quickly followed (PDF). But on August 8, 2005, Iran announced it was resuming uranium conversion at Isfahan. By early 2006, IAEA inspectors confirmed that Iran had once again resumed its enrichment program. Today Iran operates a few thousand IR-1 centrifuges—the majority at Natanz—though the total number of operational devices is unclear. In July 2008, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran already had five thousand working centrifuges, a figure that has been contradicted (WashPost) by the IAEA and Iranian officials. Construction of a commercial-scale facility at Natanz, which will house over fifty thousand centrifuges, is also under way.

Under the terms of the NPT, signatories have the “inalienable right” to produce fuel for civilian energy production, either by enriching uranium or separating plutonium. But the United States and other Western governments accuse Iran of failing to abide by NPT safeguards, and of pursuing technology to produce nuclear weapons. Paul K. Kerr of the Congressional Research Service writes in a June 2008 report (PDF) that the principle proliferation concern is “Tehran’s construction of a gas-centrifuge-based uranium enrichment facility ” at Natanz. CFR’s Samore says it is this enrichment of uranium hexafluoride gas that most troubles international observers, because producing weapons-grade fuel (HEU) is considered the most difficult aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle. Kerr also counts Iran’s construction of a heavy-water reactor at Arak—which contains plutonium in its spent fuel—as another proliferation concern. Nuclear experts, including Marvin Baker Schaffer of the RAND Corporation, say simultaneous pursuit of both technologies is redundant and expensive.

So by no means, except if Iran is not permitted to develop its programs, the defence missile system is going to be necessary. And the perspectives (here) are worrying:

If Iran did acquire atomic bombs, it would put pressure on other countries in the region do the same. Many Arab countries believe it is unfair that Israel has nuclear weapons. If Arab countries, notably Saudi Arabia but also Egypt and possibly Syria, found themselves caught between a nuclear-armed Israel and a nuclear-armed Iran, it would greatly increase pressures to pursue their own nuclear options. This could result in a regional arms race in the Middle East which is likely to be quite destabilizing, given the number and intensity of conflicts and instabilities in the region.

And how about Europe so near Egypt or Saudi Arabia (and the possibility of an Islamist takeover) with a nuclear program?

Obama: “We have resolved to reset US-Russian relations”

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Just watch Medvedev’s faces throughout Obama’s speech. It’s a sign of more or less, this:

Obama, Medvedev Sign Nuclear Understanding: Russia to remain nuclear; Obama to remain understanding

WaPo has more.

Question: what has US given in return of Russia letting US planes travel to Afghanistan through Russian air space?

Read also this post from Heritage Foundation regarding missile defence.

Putin reescribe la historia sangrienta de Stalin

Putin Rewriting Stalin’s Bloody History | NeoConstant:

“El Primer Ministro ruso Validimir Putin está muy ocupado reescribiendo la histria del líder soviético Joseph Stalin y de su dictadura sangrienta sobre la Unión Soviética. Así lo señala la BBC en una historia titulada, “Stalin puede ganar el voto ruso”. Esto es claramente un desarrollo terrorífico considerando el terror bien documentado que el pueblo ruso vivió bajo el gobierno de Stalin. Pero no es algo inesperado considerando la historia propia de Putin, quien estuvo 17 años trabajando para el temible KGB, uno de los más importantes y brutales “servicios de seguridad” en la historia del mundo. Vladimir se ha rodeado de otros matones del KGB, así que en el Kremlin a día de hoy“bajo Putin, la influencia procede de los anteriores órganos de represión soviéticos.””

Ahora imaginemos a Putin considerando la posibilidad de que Medvedev le desobedezca. Ya veremos qué ocurre y cómo influye en esta situación la crisis económica que vive Rusia, que puede ser aprovechada por Medvedev para restar influencia a Putin.

Relacionados: Rusia: persiguiendo a los bloggers, Rusia tiene un plan para monopolizar el acceso de energía a Europa, según el CNI, Obama y Medvedev: guerra Fría II, Elecciones presidenciales rusas: gana Medvedev, Ser opositor en Rusia: el Gulag Neo-Soviético, Educación para la ciudadanía según Putin.

Dios los cría y ellos se juntan…

Medvédev culmina su gira latinoamericana con una entrevista con Fidel Castro · ELPAÍ

El presidente ruso, Dmitri Medvédev, se ha reunido hoy con el ex presidente cubano Fidel Castro, en la última etapa de su viaje por Latinoamérica, que ha aprovechado para reforzar sus lazos económicos y políticos con varios líderes de la región, como el venezolano Hugo Chávez. Llegado ayer de Venezuela, Medvédev fue recibido por el hermano de Fidel y ahora presidente, Raúl Castro.
El viaje de Medvédev se interpreta como una forma de sacar músculo ante EE UU forjando alianzas políticas, energéticas y comerciales con líderes molestos para Washington y en su patio trasero, a apenas unas millas de territorio estadounidense. De hecho, uno de los puntos
fuertes de la visita ha sido las maniobras militares conjuntas realizadas con el ejército venezolano. Varios buques de guerra rusos emprendieron hace algunos meses un viaje para cruzar todo el Atlántico y tomar parte en las maniobras en aguas del Caribe. Las relaciones
entre Moscú y Washington pasan por uno de sus momentos más difíciles en años debido a la pretensión estadounidense de instalar parte de su escudo antimisiles en Polonia y la República Checa, a las puertas de la frontera rusa.

Me ha extrañado la poca notoriedad de esta visita del presidente ruso a Cuba. Desde la perestroika, las relaciones de Rusia con Cuba no habían sido muy buenas. Pero ahora parece que lo vuelven a ser.

Ahora bien, antes se había pasado por Venezuela, donde estuvo con el Presidente Chávez. Martha me pasó una serie de fotos de lo bien que se llevan Chávez y Medvedev:

Veis lo que pone el pie de foto, ¿no? “Medvedev aceptó empezar un programa de energía nuclear en Venezuela”. Traquilizador no es, desde luego. Que ya sabemos lo “pacífico” que es el programa nuclear iraní.
Ahora bien, ¿y esa carita con esos ojitos picarones que le pone Medvedev a Chavez? :D

Visitando un “destroyer” (=destructor) … pues anda que ellos dos…
para qué tendrán que visitar un destroyer teniéndose a ellos dos mismos…

Oyy, Medvedev, otra vez con esos ojos picarones mirando a Chávez… ;) 
Aquí Chávez parece que está diciendo “que te cojo y verás“… Por cierto, el que va en medio, tiene una cara de estar más aburrido… parece que va diciendo “a ver si terminamos ya este paseíto que hay que ver qué rollo de día me están dando estos dos”…

Diossss, ¡¡¡qué foto!!! :D Me partoooo: parece que van a hacer un molinete (ya sabéis, cogerse de las manos y empezar a dar vueltas hasta que uno de los dos se marea tanto que se caen ambos al suelo :D ).
Y por último, uno de los barcos a los que fueron a hacer la visita cultural:
Se trata del crucero nuclear Pedro el Grande (que estaba más loco que ná: ordenó que le cortasen la cabeza a su amante y se divirtió enseñando a los nobles invitados al espectáculo qué partes había seccionado el verdugo al degollarla. Y cuidado con poner cara de “qué desagradable” o “qué asco” porque a lo mejor luego hacía lo mismo contigo…
Se cuenta también que cuando visitaba el rey sueco a Pedro el Grande, intentó éste competir con él para ver quién era el que tenía soldados más fieles. Así que ordenó Pedro el Grande a uno de sus cosacos que se tirara torre abajo a lo que él, obediente, simplemente obedeció después de cuadrarse marcialmente. El pobre rey sueco, impresionado de la obediencia ciega que llevó al cosaco a estamparse contra el suelo de la torre, sólo acertó a decir: “Gracias a Dios, no tengo súbditos tan fieles“).
Pero junto con Catalina la Grande, han sido los dos zares que más han intentado modernizar el país, dentro de lo posible.
Kirov Class (Type 114.2) (Peter the Great) Heavy Missile Cruiser.  El destructor Pedro el Grande fue botado en 1995.

Relacionados: Yoani, la bloguera cubana de Generación X, ha sido “reprendida” por el régimen. Me entero a través de Laz. La causa: un encuentro de blogueros que se iba a celebrar en una casa fuera de La Habana.

Rusia felicita a Obama

desplegando misiles frente a Polonia y acusando a EEUU de tener una política “egoísta“.

¿Desde cuándo Rusia mira a otro lugar que no sea su interés propio a la hora de decidir políticamente?

Por supuesto, Zapatero, que dijo que le daba mucho miedo que ganase McCain porque entonces sí que iba a haber una Guerra Fría 2 como incidiendo en que la culpa de todo esto la tuviera EEUU, no ha hecho ninguna declaración al respecto…