Weekly News #4

Weekly news returns after a slightly extended holiday hiatus.  Happy New Year, one and all!

The focus this week is on elections and the spread of democracy throughout the CIS.  There are even (very small) signs of increased opposition to Putin in Russia itself.

CIS

  • The Ukrainan election saga seems to be drawing to a close.  Yushchenko’s victory in the December 26th re-run has been endorsed by the Central Electoral Commission.  Yanukovich is still blustering away and plans to appeal but, in reality, Yushchenko’s election is a done deal.  This doesn’t, however, mean that Yanukovich will simply go away – he still has strong support, particularly in the East.
  • Deja vu as the breakaway Georgian province of Abkhazia today makes its own second attempt at electing a President.  This time, it was Russia, not the West, that took exception to the victorious candidate and demanded a re-run.  Sergei Bagapsh and Raul Khadzhimba, the two previous candidates, have agreed to run on a joint President/Vice President ticket with Bagapsh, the marginally less pro-Russian candidate, getting the top job.
  • Protests demanding free and fair elctions in next month’s parliamentary poll have been going on for several days now in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.  The Argus has more.
  • Democratic opposition is having trouble expressing itself elsewhere in the CIS, though.  Kazakhstan has closed opposition party Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan.  And Belarus leader Aleksander Lukashenko has promised that there will be no revolutions on is watch, whether "rose, orange or banana."
  • In a brave move Turkmenistan cut off gas supplies to both Russia and Ukraine.  Turkmenistan wants $60 per 1,000 cubic metres.

Domestic

Foreign Affairs

And finally

  • Police officers in Krasnoyarsk dressed as Granfather Frost (Santa Claus) and spent the Christmas and New Year period wandering the streets looking for dangerous drivers.  Instead of hitting them for a bribe they gently reminded drivers to take care – "if a driver smiles, he will be courteous on the roads, which means there will be fewer accidents and a stronger festive spirit."  Umm, yeah. 

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1 Response

  1. Titan says:

    Thanks for the SI.com link on Russian players being allowed to play in EU countries without condition.

    Titan