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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid