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Video: Georgians Randomly Shoot Civilian Buildings in S. Ossetia

Video: Georgians Randomly Shoot Civilian Buildings in S. Ossetia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it_T60OY9bc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3PsLD7xUXg

 

German weekly: Georgia planned attack on sleeping civilians

Russia Today
September 1, 2008

Evidence of “numerous erroneous decisions of the Georgian leadership which led to the beginning of a crisis in the Caucasus” are accumulating in the OSCE headquarters, says the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel in an announcement of an article to be published on Monday.

The magazine says that “a lot of corresponding reports by OSCE observers in the Caucasus have unofficially fallen into the hands of some governmental authorities in Berlin.”

According to this data, Georgia had been actively preparing a military strike against South Ossetia and began the attack before Russian tanks entered the Roksky tunnel connecting South Ossetia and Russia.

Also, there are reports of observers who say that the Georgian authorities ordered that the attack on South Ossetian civilians at night when they were sleeping, the announcement says.

Russia Wins Support From China
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24256861-401,00.html

Russia rejects rumors it plans to cut oil supplies to Europe
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080829/116385723.html

Kremlin announces that South Ossetia will join ‘one united Russian state’
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4635843.ece

Russian Americans not content with U.S. coverage of conflict
http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/29726

OSCE report points finger at Georgia for S. Ossetia crisis
http://en.rian.ru/world/20080830/116412855.html

Russian analyst points to link between Georgian attack and Iran
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080827/116318584.html

Russia: Any country could be next, warns Ukrainian president
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/28/ukraine.russia

Russia demands Georgian troops retreat
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/itn/20080828/tw..roops-retre-41f21e0.html

South Ossetia To Host Russian Military Base
http://en.rian.ru/world/20080827/116324837.html

Belarus To Recognize South Ossetia’s Independence
http://en.rian.ru/world/20080828/116357547.html

 



Putin’s Successor Wins Amid Election Irregularities

Putin’s Successor Wins Amid Election Irregularities

Swiss Info
March 2, 2008

As Dmitry Medvedev headed for victory in the Russian presidential election on Sunday, election observers noted a certain number of irregularities.

Swiss parliamentarian Andreas Gross, head of the Council of Europe’s monitoring mission, is due to present his report on Monday, and will not comment until then. He spent election day listening to people in the field and monitoring the voting.

However, one monitor told Reuters news agency that voters’ ballots had been visible to election officials in three polling stations he had visited.

An independent Russian organisation, Golos, told the agency it had seen evidence of fraud all over the country.

First exit polls on Sunday evening gave Medvedev, currently Russia’s first deputy prime minister, and the candidate favoured by outgoing president, Vladimir Putin, nearly 70 per cent of the vote.

Pre-election concern

The run-up to the election had already aroused concern.

Following a two-day pre-electoral trip to Moscow in February, the Council of Europe mission highlighted the limited number of candidates.

In addition to Medvedev, three other men were in the running to take over from Putin, who is stepping down at the end of two four-year terms. But Medvedev was always widely expected to win.

“It is much too difficult to be a candidate in Russia and the obstacles are too high. This was done on purpose by legislative reforms which limit access to political power,” Gross told swissinfo ahead of his current trip to Russia.

Coverage of Medvedev has also dominated prime time television – the key to reaching the population, added Gross.

The 25-member observer mission from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has been in Russia since Wednesday.

It is the only group of European election monitors in the country. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) decided against sending its observers last month, citing too many restrictions by Moscow. Russia has called the move “unacceptable”.

Gross said that the OSCE’s work normally formed the basis of his team’s short-term work.

“But in these elections the long term is so easy to understand that we will be able to fulfil our task even though the OSCE’s observers won’t be there,” he said.

Others will be present, explained Gross. “We are the only observers with a democratic standard because the other ones come from China or from former Soviet Union countries that are not so reliable when it comes to democracy,” he said

Gross, a member of the centre-left Social Democratic Party, has carried out 45 election observations in the past 12 years, including the Russian parliamentary poll last December, which was declared unfair by European monitors.

Foregone conclusion?

Polls suggested that there would not be much doubt about the winner.

“[One] showed that 80 per cent of the Russian people were ready to accept the man Putin chooses as his successor. This is quite extraordinary because the logic of a term limit is that you have to reshuffle the political power redistribution,” said Gross.

On the other hand, Gross told swissinfo, credit had to be given to Putin for not changing the Russian constitution to allow him a third term as president. This would have been possible because he has a constitutional majority in parliament.

Putin also did not choose a hardliner, but the more moderate and “civilised” Medvedev, Gross said.

“But on the other hand the fact that the majority of people is ready to choose who Putin proposes shows the real problem of the development of democratic mentality in a society,” warned the Swiss parliamentarian.

“This problem was increased by the legislation which prevented, for instance, the former Prime Minister [Mikhail Kasyanov] from being a candidate in order to be real competition for Putin’s choice and to give the people a choice,” added Gross.