Again at WoE, Paul Goble has a review of Russian press articles about the recent attempted assassination of Ingushetia’s President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, and notes with reference to a piece by a North Caucasus specialist that
If the Russian powers that be could understand the nature of their opponents, they might be able to counter them. But the evidence at present is that Moscow and its local backers do not and are thus likely to continue to pursue policies that will fulfill Sukhov’s prediction that the war there “will not end.”
At Prague Watchdog, Andrei Babitsky also presents some reflections on this “comprehension” issue.
Via Paul Goble’s Window on Eurasia blog:
In what many are certain to view as his response to US President Barak Obama’s Cairo address earlier this month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told a meeting of the Arab League there yesterday that Russia is “an organic part” of the Muslim world and opposes Western efforts to promote democratic change in the Middle East.
“Islam,” Medvedev told his audience, “is an inalienable part of Russian history and culture, given that more than 20 million Russian citizens are among the faithful. Consequently, he said, “Russia does not need to seek friendship with the Muslim world: Our country is an organic part of this world” (www.i-r-p.ru/page/stream-event/index-23456.html).
Read it all.
In the wake of the opening of Estonia’s 1919 Victory Monument, Moscow is doing its best to whip up anti-Estonian feeling among Russians.
Marko Mihkelson writes (tr. by Leopoldo, my editing):
As I was leaving [the opening ceremony] at midnight on Monday an Estonian diplomat said to me: “Let’s see what the the Russian media will say about the victory monument to the war of independence. And as might have been feared, out came the story in all its propagandistic glory. To tell the truth, nothing else could have been expected from the official Russian television media (in this case ORT 1). The constant emphasizing of the SS-line, the Estonia-hating positions of Linter and Zarenkov, the manipulation of the Ganin assassination story.
Not a word, of course, about the War of Independence and its meaning in the history of the creation of the Estonian state. It just doesn’t fit into the script of the Kremlin’s “truth commission”. Only a few days ago one learned that the FSB had ordered a documentary film on “Ukraine’s fascism”, the purpose of which is the international discrediting of Ukraine’s authorities.
These news reports go to show that in the so-called “official” version the general stance on Estonia and Russia’s other neighbours has not changed. Nevertheless, at the same time there are also signs of a certain improvement in Estonian-Russian relations, which are not as emotional as those reflected in the Russian TV media.