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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Putin: The dark rise to power (the full text of article of GQ magazine banned in Russia)






Ten years ago this month, Russia was rocked by a series of mysterious apartment bombings that left hundreds dead. It was by riding the ensuing wave of fear and terror that a then largely unknown Vladimir Putin rose to become the most powerful man in the country. But there were questions about the nature of those bombings - and disturbing evidence that the perpetrators might actually have been working for the Russian government. In the years since then, the people who had been questioning the official version of events began one by one to go silent or even turn up dead. Except one man. Scott Anderson finds him.

The first building to be hit was the barracks in Buynaksk housing Russian soldiers and their families. It was a nondescript five-story building perched on the outskirts of town, and when the enormous truck bomb went off late on the night of September 4, 01999, the floors pancaked onto each other until the building was reduced to a pile of burning rubble. In that rubble were the bodies of sixty-four people - men, women, and children.

In the predawn hours of last September 13, I left my hotel in central Moscow and made for a working-class neighborhood on the city's southern outskirts.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

UNGA Passes Georgia IDP Resolution

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 10 Sep.'09 / 11:41

The UN General Assembly passed on September 9 a resolution recognizing the right of return of all displaced persons and refugees and their descendants to their homes in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia and underlining “the urgent need for unimpeded access for humanitarian activities” in those regions.

The resolution, entitled “Status of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Georgia”, was passed with 48 countries voting in favor; 19 – against; with 78 abstentions.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Georgia in Flames

Georgia, Ukraine awaken the Bear

The Kremlin’s recent moves show that Russia is not going to take a step back from its ambitious plans to be a superpower and will “punish” neighboring states that rebel against its “sphere of influence.”

After a series of harsh statements to the Georgian leadership and President Mikheil Saakashvili, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev initiated a bill to create a legal basis to use Russian troops beyond Russian borders.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Teachers In Abkhazia's Gali District Under Pressure To Give Up Georgian Language

By Eka Kevanishvili
TBILISI, March 20, 2009 (RFE/RL) -- Schoolteachers in the southern Gali district of Abkhazia have long been accustomed to operating on a shoestring.

For them, the free delivery of brand-new textbooks should be cause for elation. Unless, that is, the textbooks are in Russian.

Teachers in Gali, the one district in breakaway Abkhazia where at least 40,000 ethnic Georgians are believed to be living, say they are coming under pressure from local officials to drop all Georgian-language instruction and give up their standard textbooks.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008