News / Europe

Putin Answers Public's Questions About Arrests of Nationalist Rioters

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a call-in session broadcast live on Russian state television and radio in Moscow, 16 Dec 2010
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a call-in session broadcast live on Russian state television and radio in Moscow, 16 Dec 2010
Albina Kovalyova

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin answered questions from phone-ins, letters and audience members in a marathon four-hour question and answer session with the Russian public. 

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin dominated the news agenda of Russia's media as he answered questions ranging from housing and pensions to the actions of the opposition.  One of the leading questions was about the arrests of hundreds of nationalist rioters Wednesday in Moscow.

Mr. Putin says all manifestations of extremism must be suppressed from all sides.  No matter where they stem from.  He says you cannot group all nationalists under the same color, but you have to clamp down hard on any extreme behavior.

Putin praised the security services and their importance to the state.  About 1,000 people were detained late Wednesday, according to Russian media.  The groups of mainly young people were rounded up by police amid fears their protest would lead to inter-ethnic strife.

Tensions have been running high in Moscow since 5,000 nationalists rioted outside the Kremlin on Saturday, leaving dozens injured.

The Saturday protests were headed by a group of Slavic nationalists seeking revenge for Yegor Sviridov's death, a young football fan who was killed by natives from the Caucasus.  

Mr. Putin also answered questions about Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil tycoon who was jailed in 2004 on charges of tax evasion, but who many believe was destroyed simply for defying Mr Putin.  Khodorkovsky he has been on trial again, charged with stealing the oil his company produced.

The verdict was due to be read Wednesday, but when journalists made their way to the court in Moscow, they found a note taped to the court-room door that said the trial had been postponed.

The pime minister said that the there is a reason that the oligarch was in prison.

He says he, like the famous character of Vladimir Vysotsky, believes that a thief has  to be in jail.  Mr. Putin said it had been proved Khodorkovsky had stolen  money.

Masha Lipman of the Carnegie Center in Moscow says that it is strange the prime minister claimed the crime had been proven before a verdict has been announced in court.

"I think if we think about legal nihilism as a problem that Russia is facing, as the president, President Medvedev has repeatedly said, then I think what Putin says in his television communication with the public today plays up to this legal nihilism," she said.

Lipman added that there is no doubt Mr. Putin is still more influential than Russia's President, Dmitry Medvedev

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid