The “Tagesschau” reported about a shooting in front of the building of the secret service, the FSB. In addition, the news programme reports that Putin “admitted” at a press conference in Moscow that Russia had not submitted a request for the extradition of Georgian Zelimkhan Khangoshvili. Both messages were only 30 seconds long. The big press conference simply pushed the “Tagesschau” away. Because what are the plus points against the authoritarian Russian ruler?
Instead, they prefer to report on petty bickering over a murder allegedly commissioned by Russian intelligence services.
Khangoshvili, a Georgian of Chechen origin, was shot dead in Berlin’s Tiergarten park on 23 August 2019. According to the German authorities, a Russian named Vadim Sokolov fired the shots at Khangoshvili. The Russian was arrested not far from the scene and is in custody.
The Georgian is of Chechen descent and fought against Russia during the Chechen war. The fact that this Georgian also worked for the Georgian and American Secret Service is not reported by the major German media.
The German Foreign Ministry accused Russia of a lack of cooperation in investigating the murder and therefore expelled two Russian diplomats on 4 December 2019.
Spiegel-Online accuses Putin of “false claim”
On Thursday, during the four-and-a-half-hour press conference in Moscow, Spiegel-Online reported triumphantly, “Putin admits false claims.”
Who was right, the German foreign Minister, or Russia?, asked the correspondent of the “Spiegel” at the annual big annual press conference of the Russian President, which took place in Moscow on Thursday for the 15th time.
The Kremlin chief replied: “he and I, because these issues have been discussed several times at the level of the intelligence services. In fact, there was no official request about the prosecution, because our power organs considered it pointless, because they basically received a negative response.”
The very diplomatic response of Putin can be read in English in the official minutes.
The fact that Putin “admitted a false allegation”, as Spiegel Online reported rapturously, cannot be said of this. In the absence of facts, Spiegel-Online now claims that the alleged murderer Vadim Sokolow has a Tattoo that is typical of Russian special forces. However, the Tattoo is not shown.
A victim of Russia or just a Terrorist?
At the press conference in Moscow, Putin once again pointed out – as he did in Paris-that Zelimkhan Khangoshvili was “an absolutely bloody murderer”. For Spiegel-Online, Khangoshvili was only the “leader of a militia against the Russian forces in the Chechen war”.
But at the press conference in Moscow, Putin substantiates his claim about Khangoshvili with facts. “In an action in the Caucasus alone, he killed 98 people,” the president said.
According to Russian security agencies, Khangoshvili was involved in a raid on 21 and 22 June 2004 by 300 Chechen Islamists on the Caucasus republic of Ingushetia, which belongs to Russia. At that time, the Islamists deliberately killed almost all police officers on duty.
The action, led by the terrorist Shamil Basayev, was intended to create an “Islamic emirate” throughout the North Caucasus, which belongs to Russia.
The Russian president said on Thursday that Khangoshvili was also involved in the bombing of the Moscow Metro. “We have raised this question several times at the level of the intelligence services,” Putin said.
At the press conference on Thursday, Putin also recalled the attack of two Chechen brothers. The attack during a marathon run in Boston in April 2013 killed three people and injured 282 people. The US authorities were told that the Tsarnaev brothers were dangerous and that they should be extradited to Russia. But the warning was ignored by the US authorities.
The Russian president also posed a question to the Spiegel correspondent Christian Esch on Thursday, but it was not reported in the German media.
And when the people sitting in the camps come to you-do you like it? Will they also allow you to walk freely in their cities? So that this does not happen, we need a joint, mutually highly effective work. That’s what we call for. This does not mean that this work does not exist. But their level and character is not sufficient so far.
Doing the maximum possible against climate change
The murder in the Berlin zoo of the Chechen Khangoshvili was not the main topic at the press conference in Moscow. The journalists – many of whom had travelled from Siberia and other remote regions-asked the Kremlin leader about all sorts of topics, including what Putin plans to do in 2024 – after the end of his term – health problems, war veterans ' Social Care and domestic violence. For Russian regions, the president’s annual press conference is an opportunity to bring a burning Problem to Putin personally and ask him for support.
It was surprising that right at the beginning of the event a journalist from the radio station Majak wanted to know what damage Russia could expect as a result of climate change. This question came right at the beginning, it was probably no coincidence. It was a good starting point for Putin.
The president said Russia was responsible for only six percent of the carbon dioxide emitted. At the top were China and the USA with 16 percent.
Nobody knows the reason for climate change. There has been dramatic climate change time and again in the history of the Earth. This is probably related to changes in space. Even a small change in the earth’s axis and change the orbit around the sun would have led in the past to climate changes on earth.
How humanity influences climate change is very difficult to measure. “But doing nothing is also wrong.“In any case, one must"make maximum efforts so that the climate does not change dramatically”.
The consequences for Russia are serious. The temperature increase in Russia is two and a half times higher than the global average. Many cities in the far north are built on eternal ice. If the ground thaws now, it will have very serious consequences.
The forest fires in Siberia were not only linked to the logging industry, but also to climate change. Some areas in Russia could turn into deserts.
A journalist from the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk described the harsh ecological everyday life in the city of Krasnoyarsk. In summer, the townspeople suffered from smoke because of the constant forest fires. In addition, a toxic Smog from numerous large companies comes as a permanent load.
Putin said that a Plan has been drawn up in which 300 companies are required to filter and recycle their exhaust gases and waste water. But the president did not say what deadlines the companies would be given and how the conversion of the factories would be financed.
The Garbage Problem
It was not surprising that the Problem with Russian household waste was raised at the press conference. In the vicinity of the Northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk residents have been protesting for months against a new landfill, the waste from Moscow is to be stored.
Waste separation plants have only recently been built in Russia. In Soviet times, the garbage was separated. But nothing has happened in this area in the last 30 years. The garbage mountains grew and grew and there were protests by the population.
A journalist from the Leningrad Region asked the president what to do about a chaotic waste disposal from St. Petersburg to the surrounding area. Many of these garbage shipments are illegal.
Putin declared that order must be established in the field of waste disposal. The entire process of waste disposal must become transparent and verifiable for citizens. If you use state-of-the-art technology, there will also be no protests by local residents about new waste disposal factories. Citizens ' organisations should be involved in the issue of waste disposal. But one must also explain to the people, if now the tariffs for the waste disposal increase.
Prosperity Fund as a currency stabilizer
Putin had answers to all questions. On the issues where resentment has been building up for a long time, such as health care or declining purchasing power, the president went a long way, describing various positive changes or problems that the government, together with local officials, has yet to solve.
Simple solutions – according to Putin’s motto-Do not exist. All problems must be found on the path of dialogue and balancing of interests.
When asked what would happen to billions saved in the Russian wealth fund, whether they could not be used to stimulate the economy and for investment, Putin said no. The president said it was wrong to “simply distribute"the money saved in the prosperity fund. In addition, a fifth of the money from the Prosperity Fund is used for individual economic and infrastructure projects.
The fund is the safety cushion when oil and Gas prices fall. The amount of money saved in the fund had doubled within one year. It corresponds to seven percent of Russia’s gross domestic product.
The fact that a large amount of money was collected in a prosperity Fund, to stabilize the ruble. The inflation rate in Russia is only 3.5 percent.
Modernization of the industry
A Journalist from the Russian TV channel” Zentr " asked the president what he was saying to those who claim that all Russian industrial plants are from the Soviet era.
Putin replied that there had been many successes in the Soviet era, the victory in World War II and the breakthrough into space. But you also have to tell people what was newly built. Since 2000, 75 percent of the processing industry has been created in Russia. The average age of the machines in the processing industry is twelve years. Three new airports, and twelve new stations were built. The number of trunk roads in the renewed state had doubled.
In Soviet times, they still had to buy grain abroad. Today, Russia is the leading export nation for grain, ahead of the USA and Canada.
Health care should become better
A key issue at the press conference was Russian health care, which has been completely reformed in the last seven years. A Journalist of the Internet portal Ura.ru complained about long waiting times and large differences in wages for workers in the health sector. Why is there no positive effect despite numerous reforms, the Journalist asked.
The Kremlin chief admitted that there are problems. But wages in the health sector are higher than in other sectors. That the salaries of the chief physicians and surgeons are very different, agree. This Problem must be solved.
Putin said that he planned to spend an additional 7.8 billion euros on health care. The government plans to modernize or rebuild 10,000 medical facilities, purchase 37,000 new vehicles and 20,000 new equipment. Hopefully, citizens would soon feel these changes.
Putin: Poland participated in the partition of Czechoslovakia
The history of Russia also played a role at the press conference. The Kremlin leader criticized the Resolution of the European Parliament, in which fascism and communism are equated. He pointed out that with the Munich Agreement of 1938, the Western powers allowed Hitler to occupy Czechoslovakia, and that Poland participated in the partition of Czechoslovakia and occupied two territories. Putin declared that the Soviet Union was the last state in Europe to conclude a non-aggression treaty with Hitler-Germany and that Stalin was afraid of meeting Hitler.
A Reporter of the liberal Moscow’s “Kommersant” did not want to know why Lenin brought out of the Mausoleum and will be buried, where the Russian President had just said again that Lenin’s nationality policy, “a bomb” among the Russian state.
Putin declared that Lenin was not a statesman, but a revolutionary. The formation of Autonomous regions and republics on the territory of Russia have weakened the state. Borders had been drawn according to political considerations and had led to new conflicts. Thus, areas that originally belonged to Russia, such as the Odessa region and the industrial region of Donbass, had been annexed to Ukraine in order to increase the proportion of the proletariat in the Ukrainian, mainly peasant, population.
It was also a mistake to tie the state to communist ideology and the Communist Party. When there were cracks in the party, the state had also disintegrated. Russia does not need ideologization, but “patriotism in the broadest sense”. But burying Lenin is also wrong, as long as there are people in Russia who associate positive memories of the Soviet Union with his Person.
Opposition and Internet
It was noticeable that no well-known representatives of the Liberal Opposition, such as Ksenia Sobchak, appeared at this year’s annual press conference. The climate between the Kremlin and the Liberal Opposition has been very tense since the street protests in July and numerous arrests and convictions of demonstrators.
The law on “foreign agents”, which Vladimir Putin signed at the beginning of December, is causing new anger among the Opposition. Under the new law, individuals must register as “foreign agents” if they receive money from abroad and distribute information as bloggers.
The Kremlin leader said the new law was intended to prevent “foreign interference in Russia’s internal affairs.” For example, the influence could be such that private individuals in Russia receive money from abroad and then pass this money on to Russian civil society organizations, without this being communicated to the Russian authorities. In contrast to the USA, where Marina Butina was imprisoned as an alleged Russian agent, only a fine would be imposed in Russia.
The head of the Kremlin said that in legal practice it was necessary to ensure that the new law “is not interpreted broadly”. Because " by domestic political activity one can understand everything, ecological work and also humanitarian work in the field of health care.”
The daughters of the President
A journalist from the BBC’s Russian Service asked when the president would finally “commit to his two daughters.” A daughter – Katerina Tikhonova – was the founder of an institution at Moscow University. The second daughter, Maria Vorontsova, is now building a clinic in the Leningrad region with the money of the company “Soga”. Friends of the President would help the two daughters in their Professions.
The first question passed the president. Putin answered the second question by describing the usefulness of what his daughters are dealing with.
The Russian president does not like his family being dragged out into the open. The questions of Western correspondents are not simply curiosity. One would like to prove to the Russian President that his daughters develop professionally and earn money only because of their father’s relationships.
A Monarchist attacks the FSB building
Thursday began successfully for Putin, but ended dramatically. On Thursday evening at 18: 00 Moscow time, the building of the Russian secret service (FSB) on Lubyanka Square in Moscow city center was attacked. Initially, the internet portal had Gaseta.ru reported by three attackers who tried to enter the building. Later, however, there was only talk of an attacker who was killed by a sniper after half an hour.
Two FSB employees died. Five people – including one civilian – were injured and are still in hospitals.
The attacker is 38-year-old Yevgeny Manyurov. He was unmarried and lived with his mother. The man had worked in private security, but lost his Job. The Assassin regularly participated in shooting competitions. He is not said to have belonged to an extremist organization. As the” Kommersant " reported, however, many books on the subject of monarchism were found at the attacker’s home.
The date of the attack was apparently not chosen at random. On the one hand, the president’s press conference had taken place in Moscow. On the other hand, December 20 is the holiday of FSB employees.
In November 2015, performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky had installed an entrance door to the FSB building. That was my recollection, the only violent incident in front of the building since the fall of the Feliks Dzerzhinsky monument on Lubyanka square in August 1991.