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Window On Eurasia: Moscow Adopts New Strategy To Weaken North Caucasus Republics

posted by eagle on October, 2010 as Imperialism


Window on Eurasia: Moscow Adopts New Strategy to Weaken North Caucasus Republics

Paul Goble

Staunton, October 31 – Aleksandr Khloponin, Presidential Plenipotentiary for the North Caucasus Federal District, has called for the formation of a special "Caucasus Mineralny Vody agglomeration” tax district consisting not of whole federal subjects but rather of portions of Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia and Stavropol kray 
On the one hand, this arrangement which will involve only parts of the three federal subjects will have the effect of reducing still further the powers of the regional heads who will lose part of their authority to direct development in a significant portion of the territory of their republics or region.
And on the other, it will further anger people in Stavropol who are seeking to have their kray transferred from the North Caucasus to the Southern Federal District but who will now have three districts and eight cities of their kray, ...

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Window On Eurasia: Russian Experts Push For Revival Of Early Soviet Model For Regional Amalgamation

posted by eagle on as Imperialism


Window on Eurasia: Russian Experts Push for Revival of Early Soviet Model for Regional Amalgamation

Paul Goble

Staunton, October 29 – Experts from the Rostov Effective Administration Institute have suggested that Astrakhan and Volgograd oblasts be combined into the single Lower Volga Kray they formed in the 1920s, a proposal that could provide a model for further regional amalgamation not only there but elsewhere in the Russian Federation.
Yesterday, the Rostov experts speaking at a round table devoted to the prospects for the development of the Lower Volga enclave Volga unanimously agreed that unification of the two oblasts would both help Volgograd overcome its economic problems and promote modernization in the new federal unit (нижнее-поволжье/).
While there is no indication that Moscow is currently behind this idea, ongoing discussions about restarting Vladimir Putin’s regional amalgamation project suggest that at the very least some ...

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Civil Georgia: Reports: Georgia Arrests 20 Alleged Russian Spies

posted by eagle on as Imperialism

Reports: Georgia Arrests 20 Alleged Russian Spies
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 29 Oct.'10 / 18:10

Reuters reported on Friday evening, citing unnamed Georgian security sources, that 20 people have been arrested on suspicion of spying for Russia.

According to the report detainees, all Georgian citizens, are suspected of creating a spy network and delivering secret information to Russia.

Details remain sketchy and the Interior Ministry representative declined to comment.

"We do not comment on the matter; I can neither confirm nor deny [the report],” Shota Utiashvili, head of the information and analytical department of the Georgian Interior Ministry, told

Russian MFA: Moscow Unaware of ‘Spies’ Arrest Details
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 30 Oct.'10 / 16:06

Russia is not aware of details of reported arrest by Georgia twenty of its citizens on suspicion of spying for Moscow, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said on October 30.

"As far as I know, we are talking about the Georgian citizens. We ...

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The Other Russia: Kremlin At Odds With Council Of Europe Report

posted by eagle on as Imperialism

Kremlin at Odds with Council of Europe Report

The Council of Europe has released a report criticizing Russia for policies that it says damage the level of democracy in the country, reports.

Authors of the report say that while Russia is making progress towards fulfilling the 1985 European Charter on Local Self-Government, which calls for the political, administrative, and financial independence of local government authorities, it must reintroduce direct elections for regional leaders, defend citizens’ current ability to elect mayors,  and begin seriously fighting against corruption.

Particularly problematic, notes the report, is Russia’s federal law regulating local self-government, especially a recent amendment that allows mayors and regional leaders to be fired by the Kremlin.

If Russia brought back direct elections for regional leaders, it could "bring back the former level of regional democracy that Russia enjoyed until 2004,” the authors say.

There was also a recommendation that Russia ease the ...

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Window On Eurasia: Yet Another ‘Far from Ideal’ Russian Census, Moscow Analysts Say

posted by eagle on as Imperialism


Window on Eurasia: Yet Another ‘Far from Ideal’ Russian Census, Moscow Analysts Say

Paul Goble

Staunton, October 25 – The just completed 2010 Russian census was "far from ideal,” according to most Moscow commentators, with many census takers again as in 2002 falsifying reports to minimize the size of the decline of the country’s population and to maximize the share of ethnic Russians in the country as a whole and of non-Russians in particular republics.
Today, Anton Razmakhnin of "Svobodnaya pressa” surveys the shortcomings of the just-completed enumeration (, while Russian experts describe similar problems in 2002 ( 
In addition to failing to include all residents of the country, many of whom appear to have refused to take part, the 2010 census was "far from ideal” with regard to declarations about nationality, Razmakhnin says, noting that many non-Russians feared Russification and many Russians feared both overall decline and declarations of regional ...

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