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Jamestown Foundation: Russia: Stuck In A Year Of Events And Little Change

posted by eagle on September, 2010 as Imperialism

Russia: Stuck in a Year of Events and Little Change

Publication: North Caucasus Analysis
September 27, 2010 05:23 PM 

Last year was for Russia both extraordinarily hard and very unlucky –but it saw strikingly little economic reforms and practically no political development. Opinion polls show that a significant majority of Russians (62 percent) consider it as worse than 2008, when the arrival of the economic crisis coincided with the war with Georgia, but the approval ratings of President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin remain steadily above 70 percent (, December 24). The sudden death of Yegor Gaidar, the leader of the team of "young reformers” in the early 1990’s, showed how small the present-day camp of liberal "Westernizers” has become and the depth of the legacy of Stalinism –inherently hostile to the concepts of democratic freedoms and human rights (, December 16; Ezhednevny Zhurnal, December 28).

In the first half ...

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VOR: Lavrov warns UN court against tackling Georgia’s lawsuit

posted by circassiankama on as Imperialism

Lavrov warns UN court against tackling Georgia’s lawsuit

Sep 16, 2010 22:15 Moscow Time
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Photo: EPA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has urged the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) not to grapple with Georgia's lawsuit against Russia, news agencies reported on Thursday.

August 2008 saw a brief Caucasus war between Russia and Georgia over South Osesetia, with  Russian troops finally compelling  Georgian forces to peace. Moscow then recognized South Ossetia and another breakaway republic of Abkhazia as independent states.

On August 12, 2008, Georgia filed its lawsuit with the ICJ, accusing Russia of discriminating against the Georgian population since 1990.

On September 13, 2010, the ICJ started the public hearings to this effect.  

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NEWSWEEK: Russia’s Occupation Won’t Last

posted by eagle on as Imperialism

Russia’s Occupation Won’t Last

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is a troubled darling of the West, a Columbia-trained lawyer now struggling to reassert Georgia’s independence after losing the 2008 war with Russia over two disputed territories. He spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Jerry Guo. Excerpts:

The Obama administration has been delinking Georgia from the U.S.-Russia relationship. Do you feel like Georgia is being forgotten?

So far, we’ve been getting support from Washington. I think it’s most encouraging that at every high-level meeting, America has been raising the Georgia issue. Hillary Clinton just described at the last meeting Russia’s presence in Georgian regions as "illegal occupation,” which is dramatic in diplomatic terms. So I don’t agree with the assumption that there is a delinking. Georgia, in fact, has been a testing ground for further improvement between the U.S. and Russia.

Should the U.S. restart its supply of lethal military aid to Georgia?

Leaving Georgia defenseless doesn’t help the situation. ...

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Window On Eurasia: Should Russia Restore ‘Nationality’ Line In Official Documents?

posted by eagle on as Imperialism


Window on Eurasia: Should Russia Restore ‘Nationality’ Line in Official Documents?

Paul Goble

Staunton, September 8 – "Nationality is sufficiently important to define the state structure of the country but insufficiently so to mentioned in official documents,” a situation that politicians and religious figures say is problematic, but today not so much for non-Russian minorities as for members of the ethnic Russian majority.
In Soviet times, the so-called "fifth” line in passports and official documents required the bearer to declare his or her ethnic nationality, a rule that was often used to discriminate against Jews and other groups. But after the collapse of Soviet power, this line was eliminated because that the Constitution specifies that a Russian citizen can declare his nationality or not.
When the nationality line was dropped, many people expected that would lead to a diminution of ethnic problems, although in fact the consequences have been almost exactly ...

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Window On Eurasia: Russia’s Small Nationalities Need State Autonomy To Survive

posted by eagle on as Imperialism


Window on Eurasia: Russia’s Small Nationalities Need State Autonomy to Survive

Paul Goble

Staunton, September 9 – As ever more of their members recognize, Russia’s numerically small nationalities need state autonomy if they are to survive, a conclusion that puts them on a collision course with Moscow which is seeking to amalgamate some of them with larger and predominantly Russian units and to reduce the meaning of autonomy for those who retain it.
But it is not only the threat from Moscow that is of concern for many groups, either because they are combined together in officially bi-national republics like Karachay-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria or because they are subordinate to another non-Russian group either one completely different as in Daghestan or one relatively similar as in Mordvinia.
The last case is especially instructive about the state of place of ethnic relations in the Russian Federation, and today, on the Svobodnaya pressa portal, ...

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