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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Russian beatings follow-up

Russians at odds with Putin over Poland

The government Russian Public Opinion Research Centre conducted the survey this weekend, that is after the mugging of Russian diplomats' children in Warsaw, which president Putin described as a hostile act by anti-Russian Polish nationalists and which sparked off Russian mass media attacks on Poland, followed by a series of beatings of Poles in Moscow.

True, over 40 percent of those polled said the mugging of the Russian children in Poland was a nationalistic excess, but almost 30 percent did not believe the official propaganda and assumed it was the doing of hooligans. Thirty five percent of Russians regard Poland as a normal European country, for 13 percent it is a nice place which they would like to visit. As many as 30 percent remembered that Poland was Russia's ally during the 2nd world war and over 40 percent spoke of the common fight during the war as an important chapter in Polish-Russian relations. All that despite president Putin's failure during anniversary events last May to mention Poland's contribution to the allied victory over Nazi Germany. Despite the tensions between Poland and Russia, almost 50 percent of those polled believe that there is more that unites the two nations than divides them. An opposite view is expressed by slightly over 30 percent of the Russians. A Polish correspondent, Pawel Reszka, who has been beaten in Moscow, says his back is aching and his face is bruised, but the assault did not change his friendly attitude to Russia. He is not going to leave at least until 2006. Russia for me, he says, is much more than thugs who beat up foreigners.


Blogger Gustav said...


Russia to rescue Polish climbers

An operation is under way to rescue four Polish mountain climbers in Russia, two of whom are reported to have fallen into an ice crevasse.

Officials said the men had been found alive in the Elbrus region, near the border with Georgia, early on Thursday.

The search started on Wednesday but had to be called off after night fell, Russian news agency Itar-Tass said.

The rescue bid comes amid tension between Russia and Poland following a wave of anti-Polish violence in Moscow.

Two Polish diplomats and a journalist have been assaulted in the Russian capital in the past few days.

The incidents were thought to be revenge attacks for the mugging of three children of Russian diplomats in Warsaw.

Treacherous chain

Russian officials said two of the four Poles lost near Mount Elbrus were thought to have fallen into a crack in the ice at about 4,000m (13,124 ft).

The other two called for help but communications were lost before the rescue team could find them on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

The narrow Elbrus mountain chain separating Russia and Georgia is a popular destination for climbers but can be treacherous.

Eight Polish mountain climbers had to be rescued from Mount Elbrus two years ago after a snow bridge collapsed.

8/19/2005 12:47:00 AM  

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