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Russian media reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry had asked the UN Security Council’s so-called Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee to add Mikael Storsjö, Vice-Chairman of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM), on its list of international terrorists. According to the Russian statement, Britain, France, and Luxembourg blocked Moscow’s request, however.
Russia justified its request by referring to Mikael Storsjö’s activities in support of the Swedish-registered Islamic news agency, Kavkaz Center. Moscow contends that Kavkaz Center is part of the so-called Caucasus Emirate organisation, which is a party to the armed conflict in the North Caucasus. Swedish authorities have found no illegalities in Kavkaz Center’s activities.
Viktor Bout, who has been dubbed the “lord of war” and the “merchant of death,” has had his fingers in many bloody conflicts over the years. The Russian arms dealer, who has been in a Thai prison since 2008, is now likely to be extradited to the United States. Will he reveal the names of his backers?Bout allegedly made hundreds of millions of dollars in the illegal international arms trade. If the allegations are true, his network of companies has provided weapons shipments to virtually every armed conflict of the last few decades. Some Western experts are convinced that Bout has spread more terror and is responsible for more deaths than Osama bin Laden. The “Lord of War” has been in a Bangkok prison since 2008. After a prolonged legal tug-of-war, it now seems likely that Thailand will imminently extradite him to the United States. His trial promises to offer an unprecedented glimpse into the shadowy world of the arms dealer, a prospect that undoubtedly has politicians and generals in Africa, Asia and Latin America deeply concerned. But they are not the only ones. Bout’s secretive connections reach all the way up to senior levels of government in Moscow and Washington. If he talks, the revelations could cause a serious rift between the two countries — what Time calls a “new ice age.”
The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has accused the country's opposition of encouraging terrorism, Vedomosti reported. "Ideologists of Western-style democratisation of Russia" coordinate radical youth groups, and the number of terrorist attacks carried out by the groups has grown, Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin said.Grin said that terrorists were trying to influence public opinion by "encouraging supposed defenders of human rights, opposition activists, separatists, and members of armed rebel groups." Leonid Gozman, leader of the right-wing Right Cause party, noted that the Prosecutor General's Office has thus admitted who it is really fighting against. Grin identified two groups — the banned National Bolshevik Party and the ultranationalist Movement Against Illegal Immigration — and accused them of engaging in extremist activities. Grin said the National Bolsheviks have been trained to fight law enforcement officers similar to the uprisings in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Grin's statement was in reply to a question from the Russian State Duma's Committee on Security. Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov and Federation Council speaker Sergey Mironov expressed anger at press articles, which appeared after the metro bombings in Moscow, saying the articles reflected the views of Islamist terrorists. http://www.vedomosti.ru/newspaper/article/2010/05/18/234519
As the Moscow bombings remind, the simmering insurgency and brutal crackdown in the Caucasus have left a landscape of damaged women, some all too ready to spread their pain to Russia’s heartland.The last time Patimat Magomedova saw her daughter, she was puttering around the house, manicuring her nails and using henna to dye her hair bright red. Maryam Sharipova, 27, had traveled a thousand miles to Moscow and climbed onto a crowded subway train at rush hour with an explosives-packed belt strapped around her waist. She was accompanied by a 17-year-old girl, also from Dagestan, who blew herself up at another station. In the Russian news media, the women were immediately dubbed “black widows.” Their assault on the subway was taken as proof that the country had been shuttled back to the fearsome days when hollow-eyed female militants stalked Moscow and other cities far from the wars where their men fought Russian forces. The subway bombings also sent ripples of unease across the turbulent, mostly Muslim republics strung along Russia’s southern edge. But it came as slim surprise that women were ready to die. This is a landscape of damaged women, grieving losses they dare not dwell upon. The closer you get to the fighting in the Caucasus, the murkier it appears. The violence in Dagestan, Chechnya, and Ingushetia is not easy to classify — it is a mix of rebels who want independence, Islamist extremists bent on waging jihad, local clan and gang warfare and sectarian strife. And as the fighting intensifies, it is the men who disappear. Masked agents pound on the door and cart them off for questioning. They come back beaten, or not at all. Sometimes the men are rebels; other times, their affiliations are bafflingly vague. It is the women who are left behind, their status and material comforts tangled up in the choices of their fathers, sons and husbands.