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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid