Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Putin facilitates naturalisation procedure for Donabass

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree, which makes it possible for residents of Donbass to obtain Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure. The document has been published on the Kremlin’s website.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko  accused Moscow of crossing a “red line” by signing a decree to facilitate the process of obtaining Russian citizenship in eastern Ukraine.

It’s a fact that this is about the Kremlin preparing the next point of aggression against our country: the annexation of Ukraine’s Donbass or the creation of a Russian enclave in Ukraine,” he said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says that Russian citizenship degree is “the continuation of aggression and interference in our internal affairs,” urges Ukrainian citizens in areas held by Russia-backed separatists “not to accept Russian passports.”

Russia has deprived you of your present lives and now it is encroaching on your future”  Minister concluded.

“Individuals permanently residing in certain areas of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions have the right to apply for Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure,” the decree reads. According to the document, the decision has been made “in order to protect human rights and freedoms” based on generally accepted international laws.

Gratitude to Russia for making a decision on granting citizenship under a simplified procedure. It is an outstanding event all LPR citizens have been waiting for,” said Leonid Pasechnk, Head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).


Sami ask for UN protection from Russian hunting club

Sami, an indigenous people living in the Murmansk region, in north of Russia, appealed to the United Nations (UN) with a complaint against the actions of the regional government. Representatives of the Sami community complained about the transfer of the pasture lands of the state farm in a long-term lease to the Belgorod Hunting Club (BEZRK).

The management of the Olenevod state farm, specialized in reindeer, and the Sami Heritage and Development Fund state in their appeal underlined that the auction for the right to use the land was held without the consent of the indigenous population living compactly in this territory. As a result, the right to the free use of lands necessary for traditional farming, guaranteed by the Federal Law, was violated.

Sami accused officials of violating a number of articles of the International Convention on Indigenous Peoples and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, writes Novaya Gazeta, specifying that the lands on the Ponoi River, where the reindeer migrate and where the wintering grounds for pregnant female moose are located, were transferred to the Belgorod hunting club “BEZRK” this winter.

Earlier Sami activists filed a similar complaint with the Russian presidential administration. They asked to keep the so-called “maternity hospital” for the Ponoi elks in the Lovozero in the Murmansk region, drawing the authorities’s attention to the fact that it would be destroyed by the transfer of land to the hunting club. However, local officials claim that there are no permits for the use of land by reindeer herders, no contracts have been concluded with them, and no official permits have been issued for reindeer herders on the disputed land plots. Having received zero aid from the administration of Vladimir Putin, the Sami decided to apply to the UN.

At present there is a hunting boom among Russian nouveaux riches who dramatically lack political, social and cultural sophistication, confusing killing of wild animals for noble occupation, contributing to upgrading their status. There are numerous avid hunters among members of Russian Duma, an also among Federation Council, reflecting interests of hunting lobby, led by senator – avid hunter Andrei Klishas. The situation explains the decision of the Sami community to address the United Nations because only very few would believe they could win against all-powerful hunting lobby, pursuing the interest  to kill the best of wildlife.

Saami or Sami, Laplanders, Kild are a small Finno-Ugric people,  living in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The habitat of the Sami settlement stretches from the eastern tip of the Kola Peninsula through the north of Finland and Norway to the central part of the Scandinavian Peninsula.

The Sami, 1770 people  in 2010, have a clear national identity, their own flag and anthem, and their rights are represented by elected bodies of cultural self-government – the Sami parliaments.

The main occupations of the Sami have been reindeer herding, fishing, sea and land hunting.

Russian hunting club invasion into their territory is the second blow to Sami people after they suffered a defeat from Norway government in the end of March, deciding to move on with copper mine construction in their traditional habitat. The resolve came after years of Sami struggle in different fora.

Putin’s spokesperson daughter hired by Europarliament

Daughter of President Putin spokesperson Dmitry PeskovElizaveta (21) has been recruited to the European Parliament for a  traineeship with MEP  Aymeric Chauprade (France) at present a vice-chair of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group (EFDD), and a former adviser to Marin Le Pen. Chauprade left Front National (2015) for “moral and political” principles,  and founded his own party  short-lived “Le Francais Libres” (LFL). Image: Elizaveta Peskova.

At present there is a variety of form of traineeships in the EU institutions: yearly more than a thousand young people are offered a chance to increase their professional skills, develop their personal qualities, and enhance their EU knowledge through the EU trainee programmes. Most of the EU institutions organise traineeships for young university graduates, each lasting usually between 3 and 5 months.

Traineeships are available in a wide range of fields and offer a great insight into the work of the European institutions. The content of the job largely depends on the service  one is assigned to. Opportunities are available in the fields of competition law, human resources, environmental policy, communication and many others.

The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) select trainees freely from the list of the applicants: there is no formal procedure required. The monthly fee is determined by the MEP, amounting to €1,500, plus the package of benefits as healthcare and travel insurances, and the coverage of the other related to parliamentary activity costs as monthly trips to Strasbourg, in some cases language lessons, or contributions to rent.

However traineeships at MEPs offices in the European Parliament are limited to two terms of six month within five years, in the other words to one year within one political cycle. The positions of a trainees, or how they are usually called in Brussels “stagiares” are highly sought after by the universities graduates, seen as a chance to come closer to jobs in the EU institutions, but there is no obligation to hire a graduate, trainee can also be a student in a relevant field.

At this point in time there is no information available about the plans of Ms.Peskova for the future engagement with the EP.  MEP Chauprade has confirmed that the contract was validated by the Human resources department. It is unclear if Ms.Peskova has French nationality, or dual. According to Russian media Ms.Peskova was raised in a boarding school in Normandy, and lives with her mother in Paris, from time to time visiting her high-profile father in Moscow.

Ms.Peskova cooperation with the major EU political body promoting anti-Russian sanctions caused frown brows not only among  Mr.Chauprade fellow MEPs, but by Russians, who did not approve of her choice of work place:

“…The daughter of the press secretary Peskov undertakes an internship at the European Parliament, which imposed sanctions for Crimea. It would be logical to have the next internship on the American missile cruiser Donald Cook, which entered the port of Odessa today”, Russian politician Mark Feygin wrote in his Twitter micro blog.








Japan considers visa-free for Russians

Moscow has welcomed the deliberations in Tokyo for ending the visa system for Russians travelling to Japan, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Such discussions are undoubtedly welcomed and this fits into the general course towards further developing [bilateral] relations,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

Although the visa issue was not discussed at the latest talks between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the spokesman added.

The Japanese newspaper Sankei earlier reported that Tokyo was looking into cancelling short-term entry visas for Russian citizens, which means that they would be able to enter Japan visa-free for 90 days, if they register data of their passports in any Japanese consulate in advance, the newspaper writes.
Earlier Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there can be a pilot visa-free prjoect between  Sakhalin and Hokkaido.

The visa  issue might be discussed between the Russian and Japanese foreign ministers, at during Munich Security Conference set for February 16, the newspaper writes.

Tourism to Japan is booming: last year 31 travelers enjoyed visit to the Land of the Rising Sun.


Armistice 100: Patriotism versus nationalism

“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is its betrayal,” the   President of  France Emmanuel Macron said after paying tribute to the fallen soldiers. one hundred years after the end of the First World War.  Some 70 leaders including Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Angela Merkel celebrated in Paris the commemoration of the Armistice 1918.  However the peace today is threatened according to Emmanuel Macron by the “demons” of the past and a return of nationalism.

At 11:00 am, a hundred years ago to the day, hour by hour, in Paris and throughout France, the bugles sounded and the bells of all the churches sounded,” Emmanuel Macron said in his speech. “It was the armistice, it was the end of four long and terrible years of deadly fighting“.”During these four years, Europe failed to commit suicide. Humanity had sunk into the hideous labyrinth of merciless clashes in a hell that engulfs all the fighters, “added the head of state. “Remember, let us not forget because the memory of these sacrifices exhorts us to be worthy of those who died for us“.

We commit to defending with all means available our common EU values, first and foremost, liberty and peace. This is what patriotism is” said the president of the European Parliament Antonio reacting upon the words of Emmanuel Macron.

‘The longest period of peace in written history in Europe started with the formation of the European Communities” said the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker,  who participated in commemoration ceremony.



Donetsk independence leader assassinated in explosion

A key figure of self-proclaimed  Donetsk Republic died in an explosion at a cafe he owned in Donetsk city сenter, the local media reports.

Alexander Zakharchenko‘s assassination was reported by Donetsk news agency DNR.

There was no secret that  Zakharchenko has an argument with Kremlin, vividly criticizing Russian inconsistent policy towards self-proclaimed entities.

Authorities in the “Donetsk People’s Republic” have blamed previous assassinations of pro-independence leaders on the Ukrainian government, which repeatedly denies any involvement.

Some observers have attributed the deaths to infighting among the rebels, or moves by Moscow to eliminate inconvenient separatist leaders, who are not prepared to perform as puppets following ever changing geopolitical context.

Meanwhile Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling for an investigation, and expressing believe Kiev is behind the assassination.

There is no further information available on the number of victims perished in the blast, however the photos from the site of explosion circulating in the social networks show considerable damages to the building.

AMENDED:  Together with Zakharchenko the minister of budget of Donetsk Republic Alexandre Timofeev was transported to hospital intensive care. Names of two other victims of explosion remain unknown.

Russia regards bears as ‘strategic good’

Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation put forward a proposal of recognizing the bears as a strategically important resource of the country and prepared a draft of a relevant government resolution. The document was published on the federal portal of draft normative legal acts.

As such strategically important goods and resources, the draft resolution proposes to determine all populations of brown and Himalayan bears, as well as musk deer, taking into account their high demand in illegal foreign markets, which requires the establishment of special legal protection measures,” says the explanatory note.

On June 27, President Vladimir Putin signed the law passed by the State Duma earlier this month on amending this article of the Criminal Code, providing for criminal liability for the smuggling of strategically important goods and resources, including especially valuable wild animals.

According to the document, now “for certain types of strategically important goods and resources determined by the government of the Russian Federation, their value exceeds 100 thousand rubles.”

The draft of this law was submitted to the State Duma in January 2018 by a group of deputies who proposed amendments to the Criminal Code in the field of countering the smuggling of parts and derivatives of wild animals.

Earlier in June, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia sent a letter to the government proposing to include brown and Himalayan bears in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. According to the agency, this will help protect the spice from “illegal extermination” for the sake of selling “their parts and derivatives.”

In the letter, the Prosecutor General’s Office referred to official data, according to which “in 2016-2017 the customs authorities of the Trans-Baikal, Primorsky Krai, Amur Region and the Jewish Autonomous Region seized or confiscated 189 paws of bear, 23 of them Himalayan, 122 canines, 54 claws, over 2 kg of bile of a bear in a dried form”.

At the end of last year, the Federal Security department for Transbaikal reported the detention of a local resident, who found 468 bear paws and 37 facial parts of elk heads in his car. This is the largest batch of animal derivatives seized in recent years, noted in the special services.

According to the department, the “goods” were intended for resale to Chinese citizens and smuggling to China. “To get such a number of bear paws and elk heads, the poachers had to kill more than 150 animals.

The letter of the Prosecutor General’s Office also included information from the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation on the reduction in the number of brown bears in Russia from 225.1 thousand individuals in 2015 to 143.7 thousand in 2017. “Despite the significant decrease in the number of brown bears, the limit of its permitted production is increasing every year,” the supervisory agency noted.

Bear gallbladder, liver, bile and testicles are prized in Chinese medicine, mostly as aphrodisiacs. A gall bladder can fetch up to $3000. Most bear parts are smuggled into China, Taiwan, and Korea from the Russia, Canada and Alaska (U.S.).

Bear meat is valued by Chinese as sexual-performance and health booster. A bowl of bear paw soup—prized delicacy at restaurants in China, Hong and Taiwan sells for hundreds of dollars.

Live animals are also highly praised in China for ‘bear banquet’. The bear is tortured to death in front of the diners. They enjoy the process explaining it makes the meat taste better. the coast of the bear banquet starts from  $10 000, depending on size of the animal to be consumed, conservationists report.




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