Weekly News #20
Russia spent this weekend celebrating Orthodox Easter, and will be spending the rest of this week on the buildup to the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of VE Day. Despite that, 1.2 million people found the time to take part in rallies across Russia, a defense minister interrupted his schedule to announce that Russia has scrapped 1,740 nulcear warheads in the last five years, and Soviet plans to invade Blackpool, a British coastal resort, were revealed…
- May Day saw 1.2 million people take part in rallies across Russia. Some called for greater democracy, others lamented the death of Stalin.
- Russia has scrapped 1,740 nuclear warheads in the last five years, says Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kislyak.
- For the first time in 10 years, the Russian arms industry will sell more equipment to the Russian military than it exports abroad. Sales to Russia are expected to be worth $6.8 billion, compared to sales of $5.1 abroad.
- The Committee to Protect Journalists has released its 2005 report of the "Most Murderous Countries for Journalists." Russia made the top five, with contract killings being noted as a particular problem.
- Heinz have bought a stake in Russia’s second largest ketchup firm.
- 14 Russian pro-democracy activists have been released after their sentences were reduced. They were arrested during a rally in Minsk, Belarus to mark the 15th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Their five Ukrainian compatriots remain in jail, as do 12 Belarussians arrested at the rally.
- Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia have signed an agreement that will link the three countries by a railway able to ship 20 million tonnes of cargo per year.
- North Korea will conduct a test of a "nuclear device" this June, reports Russian Duma representative Konstantin Kosachev.
- Former Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov has been arrested in Switzerland. The US has requested he be extradited on charges of stealing up to $10 million of money sent to increase security at Russian nuclear sites.
- The European Union has thrown its weight behind the clamour for Russia to recognise that the USSR occupied, rather than liberated, the Baltic states during the Second World War.