RUSSIA – UNSTABLE RECRUITS GUARD RUSSIAN NUCLEAR FACILITY

August 28, 2006

UNSTABLE RECRUITS GUARD RUSSIAN NUCLEAR FACILITY

Moscow – According to a Reuters news report that the unit assigned to guard a facility that produces weapons-grade plutonium and stores tons of radioactive waste is plagued by “sordid living conditions, psychologically disturbed conscripts and officers powerless to help. In the past eight years, 17 of the recruits have died. Most committed suicide, the rest were killed by fellow conscripts or died in firearms accidents and from beatings.”

Anti-nuclear campaigners fear a unit this troubled is not up to the job of defending a facility which, security analysts say, could be a terrorist target.

 

August 28, 2006

EX-GERMAN CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER, WIFE ADOPT RUSSIAN BOY

Moscnews.Com reports that former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his wife Doris have adopted a second Russian orphan, having adopted a girl two years ago.

According to the article, “some 870,000 children live in orphanages. Most of them so-called ‘social orphans’ whose parents have been stripped of parental rights, either over ill treatment of their children or alcoholism. Many of those children spend their entire childhood in orphanages and take to drinking and drugs themselves or become criminals.”

Thursday, August 10, 2006 (Moscow Times)– 5 Babies Beaten in Orphanage

Five children under the age of three have been badly beaten in a Krasnoyarsk orphanage, and a nurse is the chief suspect, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The case comes at a time when international adoptions have slowed to a trickle due to Russian claims that foreigners were abusing adopted children.

Prosecutors believe the nurse repeatedly struck the children in their faces at orphanage No. 3.

MOSCOW, May 15 (Xinhua) — Trainloads of heavy weapons and equipment from a Russian military base in Georgia departed on Monday as Russia continued its pullout from its bases in the Caucasus Mountain nation.

The first echelon of weaponry, including seven T-72 tanks, 12 armored personnel carriers and troops carriers, and communications vehicles from the base in Akhalkalaki, has left for Russia, said Igor Konashenkov, Assistant Commander of the Russian Land Forces, the Interfax news agency reported.

Georgia has provided security guarantees for the echelon, which is due to reach Russia via Azerbaijan, Konashenkov added.

Russia and Georgia signed an agreement in late March that set out the deadline and details of the pullout of Russian military bases from Georgia.

Under the accord, the two sides agreed to complete the phased withdrawal of the Russian bases and other military installations in Georgia by the end of 2008.

The foreign ministers of the six countries in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are holding talks today in the Chinese city that gave the group its name. Ministers were expected to discuss regional security issues, among them international tensions over the Iranian nuclear program. The meeting of the ministers from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan comes in advance of next month’s scheduled summit of the six countries’ heads of state, ITAR-TASS news agency reports.

China and Russia, both veto-holding permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have argued against tough measures to force Iran to freeze its nuclear program that are being urged by the U.S., with limited backing from Britain and France.

The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, reportedly also plans to attend the meeting. Gholam Hossein Elham, an Iranian government spokesman, said that Iran, which has observer status in the regional security organization, intended to be a proactive participant in the summit, RIA Novosti news agency reports .

April 12, 2006 — Nalchik, Russia: Assailants shell police station in southern Russia

“A duty officer at the ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there are no casualties. Witnesses, however, reported that a soldier who had been guarding the station and one of the attackers had been killed.

“The attack occurred in Kabardino-Balkariya, one of several regions in Russia’s troubled Caucasus, where violence is increasingly spilling over from war-wrecked Chechnya into nearby republics.

“Meanwhile, three Russian soldiers and an officer were wounded in the southern Shatoi district of Chechnya by a radio-controlled explosion that went off as their armored vehicle was passing on Tuesday. Several servicemen were wounded by shrapnel, the Chechen Interior Ministry said.” – AP

April 12, 2006 — Moscow: Russia Slams Iran After Enrichment Announcement

“Russia’s Foreign Ministry Wednesday criticized Iran after its president said Tehran had successfully enriched uranium for the first time, a potential step toward developing nuclear weapons, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.”

The case comes at a time when international adoptions have slowed to a trickle due to Russian claims that foreigners were abusing adopted children.

Prosecutors believe the nurse repeatedly struck the children in their faces at orphanage No. 3.

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