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Dagestan Reactions, Muromtsev Dacha Fire, Darkin Renominated

The site of a terrorist attack on the transport police station in Makhachkala, Dagestan
The site of a terrorist attack on the transport police station in Makhachkala, Dagestan

Russians React To Dagestan Terrorism

Following Wednesday's suicide bomb attack on a trasnport police station in Makhachkala, Dagestan, which killed five policemen and the bomber, and the discovery of a bomb on a railway line in the republic later in the day, President Dmitri Medvedev has ordered Russian Minister of Interior Rashid Nurgaliyev and Director of the FSB Aleksandr Bortnikov to take greater command over the security situation in the republic.

RFE/RL asks Ivan Sukhov, observer for the newspaper “Vremya novostei,” for his opinion on the causes of the upsurge in violence in Dagestan. “There is a huge level of militarization in Dagestan," he said. "Here the economic situation is different: the high unemployment by far outstrips the level of support and subsidies. At the same time, a demographic explosion is happening.”

[read in Russian]

Historic Dacha Damaged In Fire

The so-called “Muromtsev Dacha,” which many consider to be a cultural heritage site, has been badly damaged by fire. The dacha in Moscow’s Tsaritsino Park was frequented by Ivan Bunin and other prominent figures of the Silver Age of Russian literature and, later, by Venedikt Yerofeyev, author of the novel Moskva – Petushki.

Several of the building’s residents established a literary museum in the dacha. But municipal authorities want to demolish the building to clear a place for refuse collection vehicles and equipment.

Residents claim that they had received warnings to vacate the building and are convinced the fire was a case of arson. Natalya Samover, a coordinator with Arkhnadzor, a civil movement for protection of architectural and cultural heritage, tells RFE/RL that the dacha must be restored: “Very few such historical sites of this sort remain. For some reason, we don’t value our own heritage from the 20th century.”

[read in Russian / read in English]

Darkin To Remain In Governorship

President Dmitri Medvedev has nominated Sergei Darkin, who has governed the Primorye Region in the Far East for almost 10 years, to retain his post. It is practically assured that the region’s legislative assembly will endorse this nomination.

Darkin has survived a series of scandals, most in connection with corruption and abuse of powers in the Primorye administration. RFE/RL observer Andrei Shary discusses Darkin’s political career and the situation in Primorye with political analyst Vladimir Pribylovsky. “Social tensions in the [Russian] Far East are causing concern in the Kremlin," Pribylovsky said. "This partly explains why Darkin is being kept on. In the Kremlin they think that Darkin can deal with all these problems best of all.”

[read in Russian]