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Talking START in Moscow, Disrupted Demonstration, Kalashnikov's Winning Proposals

An "Iskander" ballistic missile system during a military equipment exhibition in Nizhny Tagil, undated
An "Iskander" ballistic missile system during a military equipment exhibition in Nizhny Tagil, undated
U.S. Top Brass In Moscow For START Talks
The White House has announced that National Security Advisor General James Jones and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen are in Moscow to discuss outstanding disagreements over the terms of a new START treaty. The previous START agreement expired on December 5, 2009. Travis Sharp of the Washington think tank Center for a New American Security told RFE/RL that the two sides differ on procedures for verifying the treaty’s implementation. " the U.S. is not producing new missiles, but Russia is and doesn’t want to share information about them with us. On the other side, Russia considers that the U.S. should provide them information about its anti-missile defense system in Europe. The U.S. is not willing to make such a concession," Sharp said.
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Remembrance Protest Too Big; Ponamarev Arrested
On Wednesday, demonstrators in Moscow gathered in memory of Anastasia Baburova and Stanislav Markelov, both of whom were gunned down on a main city street one year ago. About 1,000 people attended the meeting which was broken up by police, who arrested between 20 and 50 people including prominent human rights activist Lev Ponomarev. Ponomarev, who had organized the meeting, told RFE/RL that he faces charges for breaching the permitted size of the protest: police granted permission for a demonstration of up to 200 people, although previous demonstrations were authorized for as many as 500 protesters. "Such a charge is clearly not prescribed by laws. It’s a ruse by the police to exert more pressure on organizers of demonstrations," Ponomarev said.
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On Innovation, Kalashnikov Wins Over the Academy
The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN) will approve several proposals put forward by the infamous blogger Maksim Kalashnikov, who openly declares his admiration of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin and advocates dictatorship as the most effective means for implementing innovation. President Dmitri Medvedev, speaking on national television in September 2009, ordered his government to review the proposals, which Kalashnikov submitted to in response to Medvedev’s article, "Forward Russia!" Vladimir Ivanov, Doctor of Economics and RAN member, told RFE/RL that even though Kalashnikov is not an academic, some of his proposals are valid and deserve consideration: "This is an exceptional case insofar as the request came from the country’s leadership. Therefore we want to make the discussion as open as possible and the presence of the press would be an obstruction."
[read in Russian]