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BREAKING: Police in Moscow are storming an apartment where supporters of the Russian opposition’s mayoral candidate in Moscow, Alexey Navalny, are holed up. Apparently, the authorities suspect that the apartment is an “illegal campaign headquarter.” The police has no search warrant.
A few moments ago, police were hacking away at the door with a sledgehammer and a chainsaw. Oleg Kozlovsky, Board Member of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum, is one of the people inside the apartment. Oleg is tweeting live (in Russian), and there is live video feed from the scene.
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.
“Russians should not bury Lenin until they uncover his lies,” writes Walter Rodgers, former senior international correspondent for CNN, in Christian Science Monitor. Russians must face up to Lenin’s brutal legacy – as Germans did Hitler’s, he says. “Burying Lenin would be terribly dishonest. It would risk erasing the brutally violent communist legacy he spawned. His strain of socialism bankrupted Russia morally and economically, leaving it in many respects a third-world country – even today,” Rodgers opines. “When new nationalist saviors like current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin appear on stage, flaunting the same arrogance Lenin practiced with his messianic vision, Russians ought to be able to look at Lenin’s tomb for a chilling reminder that rigid, intolerant ideologies are usually flawed and destructive beyond imagining,” Rodgers writes.
FINROSFORUM board members Mikael Storsjö (left), Kerkko Paananen, and Ville Ropponen.
(Photo: Jouko Kämäräinen.)
The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) conveyed an appeal in support of the campaign to defend Khimki Forest, near Moscow, to the French Embassy in Helsinki on 1 March 2011. At the same time, the Movement to Defend Khimki Forest (EcoOborona) delivered its appeal to the office of the French construction group, Vinci, in Moscow. Below, the text of FINROSFORUM’s appeal to the French Ambassador in Finland:
A coalition of Russian environmental organisations has appealed to José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, to halt the participation of European financial institutions, including the EBRD and EIB, in motorway projects in Russia.
The coalition in defence of the forests of Moscow region called on the EU to withdraw its support for the projects until the rights of local residents were taken into account. The forest coalition includes WWF Russia, Greenpeace Russia, the Biodiversity Conservation Center, the Russian Birds Conservation Union, the Social-Ecological Union, and the Movement to Defend Khimki Forest.
The coalition pointed out that almost all major motorway projects currently under construction or planned in the near future in Russia have been “carried out without taking into account the principles of sustainable development, conservation of biodiversity, or public opinion.” The coalition noted the continued violations of human rights that environmental campaigners have been subjected to in connection with the motorway projects.
Russia’s anti-government opposition has announced that it plans to march on the Kremlin. Opposition leaders Eduard Limonov, Vladimir Bukovsky, and Konstantin Kosyakin left notice to the Moscow mayor’s office about a planned rally in defence of the freedom of assembly on Moscow’s Triumfalnaya Square on 31 January 2011. The rally would be followed by a march to the Kremlin.