Tag Archives: Russia

Putin approves crossbow hunting

This month Russians have received permission to hunt in an archaic way with crossbows and bows. The “licence to kill” was signed by President Vladimir Putin, who is a hunter himself, explaining it as a part of “national tradition“. The proponents of archery method of hunting underlined that it will allow many more people to join  two million strong ranks of Russian hunters. Among critics of the bow hunting are not only animal welfare defenders, veterinarians, ecologists, and humanists, who denounce it as barbarism, but also economists, who underline that the permission of archaic forms of hunting indicates profound malaise of government, unable to ensure modern urban lifestyle for majority of Russians, providing them with affordable, safe, sanitary controlled food, replacing it by game meats, representing health risks.

Allowing primitive methods of hunting, and engaging broader public into providing themselves with game meat,  is an indirect recognition of food shortage, especially in Siberia, where lately a problem of hungry children falling unconscious in schools occurred. “..And if you are not lucky in hunting with bows, you have to eat grass” Russian social networks react.

This year children’s ombudsman of Kuzbass said that pupils in schools in Kemerovo (West Siberia) region suffered hungry faints, because parents do not have means for breakfast at home, and even less so to give them 50 rubles (EUR 0,7) to pay for school meals.

Allowing hunting with crossbows and bows upon the licence and a permit and registration of weapons, the new law will  have “the most positive impact on the development of the entire hunting industry in Russia, as well as on the image of Russia as a great hunting power”, according to opinion of Russian  State Duma.

Earlier, Vladimir Lebedev, deputy chairman of the Committee of the Federation Council on Agriculture and Food Policy, said that Russians have tens of thousands of such weapons, so its legalization for hunting will be useful for amateur hunters. 

The number of hunters in Russia has almost doubled in recent years, but unfortunately the scale of action of the poachers has also multiplied. Local residents in Siberia complain, that poaching have reached a level of organised industry: some shoot, others transport, skin killed animals to deliver of skilled salesman of game meat. (Tweet below: ad of Siberian bear meat).

Siberian  veterinarians warn of the danger of infection of people from game meats that have not passed sanitary control: the consequences can be devastating for human health, even lethal if not timely diagnosed. A significant proportion of bear meat is unsuitable for consumption, since the animals are  vehicles of a number of diseases dangerous for humans, namely Trichinosisa parasitic disease caused by roundworms. Wild bore, moose, and especially reindeer are the most frequent vehicles of Cysticercosis, fatal to human brain as a frequent site of localization, among other consequences is liver failure.

In Siberia game meat is delivered, in particular, to cafes on the highways, where sanitary inspections are rare. In most places it is unclear if meat has passed sanitary control and the procedures required by food safety standard.

Among exotic meats wolf  flesh is among most expensive in Russia, amounting to 30 euro/kg (RUB2000). Next to bear consumption, it gains popularity under Chinese influences in Siberia, where lately more cases of dog consumption have been reported. There is also a rapidly growing black market of exporting parts of wild life to China for transitional medicine.

Across the European Union the crossbows for hunting is prohibited as barbarism. Having an impact of more than 40 kg, in case of a hunting accident, the damages to human body are incompatible with life, causing internal bleeding. Even in countries where bows are allowed for hunting, crossbows are strictly prohibited.

The bow hunting however is allowed locally in some countries as Denmark, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Finland, Bulgaria and Slovenia practice restricted archery,  Estonia also allows bow hunting, but for a small game.

Bear with cub

Russian animal rights group VITA launched a champagne to veto the law, insisting that archery as hunting method is degrading to human beings, reversing the development of humankind, devastating to nature, and atrocious to animals.

 

 

Russia demands Google to bloc “illegal” protests video

Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media  (Roskomnadzor) sent a letter to Google demanding to stop using YouTube video hosting to advertise illegal demonstrations, the department’s website announced.

“According to the information available,” writes Roskomnadzor, “a number of players with YouTube channels purchase advertising tools from YouTube (such as push notifications) in order to disseminate information about unauthorized (illegal) public events, including those aimed at disrupting elections of federal and regional significance. “

“If Google does not give a response,” the agency underlined, “the Russian Federation will regard this as interference in the sovereign affairs of the state, as well as a hostile influence and obstructing the holding of democratic elections in Russia, leaving the right to an adequate reaction. “

Neither Roskomnadzor, nor Council of the Federation (Upper Chamber of Parliament) have yet explained what “forces”, “players” and “opponents” are in question.

Russians demand fair elections

Around 50 thousands of Moscovites  expressed their solidarity with rejected the access to elections opposition politicians participating in a demonstration “For Freedom and Justice” . The last five weeks the demands for fair elections and inclusion of independent candidates in upcoming municipal ballot united people from different views and backgrounds.

The crowd gathered under umbrellas in spite of rain, while riot police and vans have cordoned off the area in anticipation of a possible further march of participants through the city center following the event.

People chanted that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “thief”,

White Counter”, an independent activist group that tracks attendance at Russian demonstrations, estimated the Moscow crowd at around 47 thousand by 3:30 PM local time, but people still were arriving.

Moscow police, suspected by critics of deliberately diminishing the numbers of protesters in official statistics,  assess that  20,000 people participated in the event.

In spite of the outstanding support independent candidate Lubov Sobol was arrested, according to TASS Russian news agency wire.

The participants of the demonstration are putting forward the following demands:
1. Withdraw the criminal and administrative cases that have been opened against participants of peaceful protests during last five weeks.
2. Release the illegally arrested in the criminal case of the so-called riots and withdraw the case.
3. Publicly investigate and prosecute those responsible for violating election laws and building a mechanism of political repression.
4. Resignation of the head of election commission Valentin Gorbunov and lustration of the members of election commissions at all levels.
5. At the fall session of the State Duma, amend the electoral law and lift the signature barrier.

Simultaneously there were demonstrations in support of independent candidates and fair and free elections in the other Russian cities.

AMENDED: video of independent candidate Lubov Sobol arrest in Moscow. She has registered video of storming of her accommodation by OMON (anti-riot police).

EU expects release of Moscow protesters

Tbe European Union expects an “immediate release” of over 600 peaceful protesters, detained by police in Moscow,  the spokesperson of the European External Action Service wrote in her Twitter micro blog.

More than 600 people, including opposition activists, were detained by riot police in Moscow on August 3 after authorities warned they would take “all necessary measures” to prevent  the unsanctioned rally.

A week after police detained more than 1,300 people at a similar protest in the Russian capital, hundreds of OMON riot police were deployed ahead of the intended protest to demand free elections in Moscow.

Siberia fires: illegal timber trade with China

Among major causes of devastating Sibera fires Duma Ecology committee chair Vladimir Bourmatov points at the activities of illegal lumberjacks, or “black loggers”. At present upon the request of the State Duma, the government and the Investigative committee of the Russian Federation, have launched the investigation into the occurrence of 500 epicenters of forest blaze as cause of illegal human activities. (Image above: Russian social networks).

The entire forest industry in Russia is in the “shadow” sector. A temporary timber export embargo has been suggested earlier this year. The statement was made by the chairwoman of the Federation Council (upper house of Russian parliament) Valentina Matvienko, requesting an imposition of embargo on the export of timber from Russia until rules are in place. She suggested to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to take measures without delay in February this year.

Matvienko explained the ways of illegal logging and illegal export abroad. The entire trade is oriented toward China as the largest importer of round timber in the world. Thus, massive deforestation is conducted under the pretext of sanitary protection of removing the diseased and rotting trees, instead the companies which are supposed to take care of the forests, are cutting down the best of spruces, pines and oaks and transporting them to China. The lucrative illegal trade is masked by ecological activities across the entire Siberia.

The forest fires in Siberia began almost a week ago, but because of the negligence of Russian officials, who were unwilling to take an action, the area of ignition has been steadily and rapidly increasing reaching an epic scale: more than three million hectares in flames, and smoke stretches for 700 km. At present it has already reached the coast of the USA and Canada, cities touched Vancouver and Seattle.

However the smoke from the blaze continues to stretch further: is now visible in Alaska. In total, three million hectares of forest burn in Siberia. It roughly reaches the size of Belgium.

Meteorology professor from Moscow State University, Alexander Kislov said that the burning particles can fly around the entire planet from west to east, following the movement of Earth in space.

Under wave of international criticism Roscosmos Corporation revealed the gravity of the situation publishing the images of fires swiftly spreading along territories of Russian Federation in the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Republic of Sakha, Buryatia, the Irkutsk Region, the Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk Territories.

After the situation caused grave international concern, Russian authorities started to act under direct orders of President Putin, who sent army to resolve the ecological crisis.

At present more than 2.8 million hectares of forest are consumed by blaze, withe the largest area in fire is in Yakutia, where 1.1 million hectares of forest are in flames, in the Krasnoyarsk Territory the flames spread to more than one million hectares, and in the Irkutsk Region – 700 thousand hectares.

This week only 2.700 people, 390 units of ground equipment and 28 aircraft take part in extinguishing on the territory in flames equal to Belgium. The Siberians claim the response in not relevant to the scale of drama.

Among the other causes of Siberia fires Bourmatov names the inefficient and insufficient measures of prevention.

President Trump spoke with President Putin on July 31, and offered U.S. help in fighting according to a Kremlin account of the call.

Putin, in response, expressed his “sincere gratitude” to Trump and said that if necessary, he will accept the offer, the Kremlin said.

Putin, has called in the army to fight the forest fires, enveloping entire Siberian cities in black smoke for weeks. The local authorities has been explaining to population that measures against forest fires are not “economically viable“. They added that rains will stop the advancement of blaze, while meteo scientists clarified that hot air raising from fires prevents formation of clouds. There are no natural heavy rainfall expected until mid-September.

 

EU blames Moscow “disproportionate use of force”

“Over a thousand peaceful demonstrators, including prominent opposition figures and journalists, have been detained in Moscow today. They were calling for free and democratic elections in Moscow in September 2019.

These detentions, and the disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters, follow the worrying series of arrests and police raids against opposition politicians carried out in recent days, and once again seriously undermine the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly. These fundamental rights are enshrined in the Russian constitution and we expect them to be protected.

For the upcoming local elections in September 2019 to represent a genuinely democratic process, it is essential to create the conditions for a level playing field and an inclusive political environment.

We expect the authorities of the Russian Federation to respect Russia’s OSCE commitments and other international obligations when conducting the upcoming local elections.

Navalny suspected poisoning

Russian  opposition politician Alexei Navalny‘s doctor Anastasia  Vasilyeva (43) said to AFP he was “not allergic to anything”. (Image: archive)

It was a toxic reaction to a chemical, it was definitely some chemical agent,” she said. “It’s absurd to call it an allergy.”

According to  Vasilyeva, Navalny needs to be under close medical supervision”, and should be allowed to call his relatives.

Kateryna Yushchenko, the former Ukrainian first lady whose husband Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned 15 years ago, wrote in her Twitter micro blog:

This brings back horrific memories of September 2004. Our doctors also balked at diagnosing what happened to my husband as poison. And some doctors with security pasts tried to cover it up. Recommend Alexei get treatment in Europe ASAP.”

There’s been no evidence that Mr Navalny was poisoned. But his doctors – and his supporters – are keen to know what sparked such sudden symptoms.

Two years ago Alexei Navalny was the victim of an assault. He suffered a chemical burn in his right eye after someone threw green-coloured antiseptic in his face.

Navalny green

The personal doctor said the jailed Russian opposition leader was discharged from a Moscow hospital after a possible exposure to an unidentified “toxic agent“, while health officials insisted his condition was satisfactory.

Anastasia Vasilyeva-told Russia’s Dozhd broadcaster that Navalny was returned to the prison on July 29.

“We cannot rule out that toxic damage to the skin and mucous membranes by an unknown chemical substance was inflicted with the help of a ‘third party‘,” Vasilyeva  wrote on Facebook page.

 

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