No 'Reset' In US -Russia Cooperation On Afghanistan
Russian and U.S. officials and military experts tell RFE/RL that the transit of military supplies to coalition forces in Afghanistan via Russian airspace has been virtually blocked by Russia, despite agreements made last year by presidents Dmitri Medvedev and Barack Obama.
Military expert Pavel Felgenhauer tells RFE/RL that instead of the planned 12 flights a day through Russian airspace, there has been just one test flight in the past six months. “The official explanation is that they can’t settle technical and bureaucratic issues... but of course there is a political aspect," he says. "A consensus has formed in Moscow that the American-led coalition will lose and that the current situation is very similar to that with the Soviet army in the 1980s.”
President of the Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee Viktor Ozerov, Pentagon spokeswoman Almarah Belk, Senior Policy Fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations Daniel Korski and Julian Lindley-French, a professor at the University of Leiden, also comment.
Kyiv Court Finds Stalin, Others Guilty Of Genocide
On January 13, the Appeal Court in Kyiv ruled that Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Pavel Postyshev and Ukrainian Communist party leaders Stanislav Kosior, Vlas Chubar and Mendel Khatayevich are guilty of genocide for engineering the Holodomor -- the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 in which 3 to 10 million Ukrainians died.
The court case followed an 8-month investigation by the Ukrainian security service that produced more than 300 volumes of evidence including testimonies by survivors and witnesses, and recently declassified materials. The court’s ruling does not contain any claims against Russia as the legal successor of the Soviet Union, though legal experts say the case could result in international organizations officially recognizing the Holodomor as genocide.
“This ruling establishes historical justice and provides an opportunity to build Ukraine on honest and democratic principles,” Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said.
Khodorkovsky Wins Literary Prize
The jailed founder and former owner of the Yukos oil company Mikhail Khodorkovsky and writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya have been awarded a literary prize by the journal “Znamya” for their series of letters titled “Dialogues,” published in the journal’s October 2009 edition.
In an interview with RFE/RL, Ulitskaya reveals plans for continuing the debate with Khodorkosky and discusses the influence their discussion may have on public opinion and on Khodorkovsky’s plight. “I would very much like to see a person with the standing, talent and conscientiousness of Mikhail Borisovich [Khodorkovsky] in a position where he could be of benefit to the country, which he loves,” she says.