Election bet. I’ve put mine down: Medvedev will run, Putin will not, there may be a second Team candidate (ie one from United Russia and one from Just Russia).
Putin Q&A. Another session worth reading. He was in Magnitogorsk to open a new cold rolling complex but, as usual, answered all the questions thrown at him with his customary frankness and mastery of detail. As I have noticed on several occasions lately, he seems to be in a reflective mood and is ready to speak about what he believes he accomplished (stability again: “Who is going to invest in a country that is always shaking like a leaf?”). Several times lately he has been looking back in detail but forward in generalities. Is this a (tiny, I agree) indication that he is contemplating retirement?
Legal activity. Quite a lot since my last Sitrep. Contractor arrested for swindling the Navy (and, by the way, a rather easily detected swindle). Four people in the North Caucasus arrested as they were preparing a bomb attack on Moscow. Yet another RosAtom executive arrested on charges of embezzlement. Another traffic cop arrested in another “blue light” affair. Three police sentenced for abuse of office. Criminal investigation into a St Petersburg shipyard. Charges laid in the Bulgaria sinking. Investigation into a “blue light” death re-opened. Extreme nationalist sentenced. Two charged in a laser blinding case (there have been a spate of these lately). A man arrested for a multiple murder. And, in the Magnitskiy case, charges have been laid and the investigation re-opened. That’s what I’ve noticed in three weeks – I wouldn’t say that nothing is being done about corruption and malfeasance.