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Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.
The previous issue is here.
Recent Analysis and Translations:
Anna Politkovskayaâs Last Interview to the Regional Russian Press On Day of Her Murder
âThe Dirty Deeds of the Pentagon in Syriaâ: An Example of Russian Propaganda
– What Has Ramzan Kadyrov Been Up To? Quietly Cultivating Regional and Kremlin Officials, Now He Meets with Putin
– RBC Publishes Report Sourced in FSB and Military on Wagner Private Military Contractor with 2,500 Fighters in Syria
Fingers were instantly pointed at Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov because of yet another scandal that had broken out last week related to Fedor Emelianenko’s criticism of Chechnya including children in a mixed martial arts (MMA) competition (hisInstagram post has since been deleted).
Popular fighter Fedor Emelianenko, head of the MMA Union which governs the sport in Russia, led the criticism, commenting on Instagram:
“Needless to say that kids under age of 12 cannot even attend MMA fights (in Russia) as spectators, but here we had little ones as young as eight beating each other up in front of happy adults.”
According to the official rules of the MMA Union that were approved by Russian government, all athletes under the age of 21 must wear helmets and special ankle protection while participating in MMA, and children under 17 cannot perform shirtless.
“I am outraged by the fact that the head of Chechnya was watching over it. Didn’t [the Chechen] sports minister tell him about the fact that children under 12 cannot participate in MMA under any circumstances?”
The Chechen reaction grew so vitriolic that Kadyrov himself was forced to step in and urge others “under the influence of emotions” to stop attacking Emelianenko — after the damage was done (translation by The Interpreter), Interfax reported:
“I am confident that Fedor Vladimirovich has admitted his mistake. This is proven by the removal from his page of the photo of the boy,” Kadyrov commented, using Emelianenko’s patronymic.”
“On the whole, an attack on a child is completely impermissible, this requires the most resolute measures to discover who has committed this assault. But in this case I would recommend avoiding any parallels, some sort of suspicions, before it is established who did this.”
Police say they have studied the tapes from video surveillance cameras on Mytnaya Street in the Zamoskvorechye District in Moscow where the attack took place but “did not discover any useful information.”
A source in law-enforcement told TASS that police are looking at multiple hypotheses regarding the attack on Emelianenko’s daughter and are leaning toward an explanation that is not in fact related to her father’s statements about the children’s MMA in Chechnya, RBC reported.
The source said the attack took place October 11, but the girl didn’t say anything at first, and only later told her parents when she pain persisted — as the controversy in the media continued to flare.
Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that a source said Emelianenko’s daughter could not describe her assailants, but seemed afraid, and there was concern that they intimidated her.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
The ruble is trading at 63.37 to the dollar and 69.62 to the euro. Brent crude is selling for $51.63.
The following headlines were taken from 7:40 na Perrone, Gazeta, RBC, Meduza, BBC, RosBalt, AP, Currenttime.TV
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