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“Our quiet little place is in turmoil,” writes author and journalist Andrey Malgin. “Yesterday, only a kilometre away from where I am staying, Svetlana Medvedeva, wife of Russia’s placeholder president, Dmitry Medvedev, accompanied by 30 bodyguards, arrived at the Grand Hotel & La Pace in Montecatini Terme in Italy’s Tuscany,” Mr Malgin reported. Ms Medvedeva has reserved the entire five-star hotel until 21 March 2012.
Russian music critic and journalist Artemy Troitsky gave an interview to the Finnish publishing house, Into Kustannus, which publishes the Finnish edition of Novaya Gazeta. Speaking on the eve of renewed pro-democracy demonstrations planned for 24 December 2011, Mr Troitsky spoke about the change in the Russian people’s protest mentality, the dismal state of the country’s political party system, and the impending collapse of Vladimir Putin’s regime. Below, an edited transcript of Mr Troitsky’s comments.
Teemu Matinpuro, executive director of the Finnish Peace Committee, and Kerkko Paananen, information secretary of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM), gave an interview to Lyudmila Mamina, editor-in-chief of Kasparov.Ru, about the Finnish edition of Novaya Gazeta, the attitude of Finnish society to Anna Politkovskaya, the war in Chechnya, and the current political situation in Russia. Below, an edited translation of the interview.
Several journalism students were detained for posing awkward questions to Russia’s placeholder president, Dmitry Medvedev, during his visit to Moscow University. Opposition-minded students were not allowed to attend lessons during Medvedev’s visit. Kremlin’s youth affairs commissar, Vasily Yakemenko, arrived in Medvedev’s entourage, flanked by members of his Nashi movement.
The European Union should join Russia in creating a counterbalance to the US, Chinese, and Indian economies, Jean-Pierre Thomas, special representative of the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, on French-Russian business relations, said. Speaking in an interview with Russia’s Vedomosti daily, Mr Thomas said President Sarkozy would present a report in autumn 2011 that would include a plan on creating a common economic area between Russia and France.