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Base In Dagestan Attacked, Altai Governor Nominated, Oil Dispute Continues

Police investigators look for clues at the site of an explosion in front of a transport police base in Dagestan
Police investigators look for clues at the site of an explosion in front of a transport police base in Dagestan

Suicide Bomber Kills 6 In Dagestan

RFE/RL correspondent Timur Salimov reports from Dagestan on a suicide bomb attack Wednesday morning that killed six members of the republic’s transport patrol and injured 14.

The suicide bomber attempted to drive a Niva jeep onto the parade ground of the transport police base where members were receiving instructions for the day. Three guards who rammed the suicide bomber’s vehicle with their UAZ jeep were killed instantly, as were three transport police standing nearby.

Investigators estimate that the explosive device had a force equivalent to 50 kilograms of TNT.

[read in Russian]

Medvedev Nominates Gazprom Man As Altai Governor

President Dmitri Medvedev has nominated Aleksandr Berdnikov as governor of the Altai Republic, subject to almost certain approval from the region’s assembly.

Commenting on the appointment, Nikolai Litovtsev, chief editor of the Altai newspaper “Postscriptum,” tells RFE/RL that Berdnikov’s principal task is to secure Gazprom’s interests in the mountainous republic. “The tragedy is that he will bring a powerful financial group to the region," he says. "And like a bull in a china shop he will impose his rules…This is about the interests of Gazprom, which through the governor will impose its will.”

According to Litovtsev, there is no genuine opposition in the republic, and the three other potential nominees for the post are, like Berdnikov, members of the party of power United Russia (Edinaya Rossiya).

[read in Russian]

Does The Oil Belong To The People?

In an interview with RFE/RL, prominent Belarusian economist Leonid Zaika, director of the Strategiya center in Minsk, says that Belarusian leadership is responsible for the ongoing dispute over deliveries of Russian oil to Belarus.

Zaika claims that certain businessmen in the oil sector who are close to the leadership are attempting to take advantage of the Belarus-Russian Customs Union, which comes into effect this year, to avoid paying export taxes and pocket the money themselves: "Belarusian oil businessmen and all those close to the business would pocket $3 billion. This has absolutely nothing to do with the budget or the people of Belarus!”

[read in Russian]