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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russia Update: January 19, 2017

Publication: Russia Update
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Spanish Police Arrest Russian Computer Programmer at Request of FBI and Interpol
Spanish police have arrested a Russian computer programmer Stanislav Lisov at the request of the the FBI and Interpol, apparently on allegations of his relationship to hacking of computers in the US, Gazeta reported, citing RT and the wife of the detained programmer.

Lisov is reported to have worked as a programmer in the southern Russian port city of Taganrog near the Ukrainian border, and is said to have been involved in design and support of web sites. He and his wife had come to Spain on vacation.

Darya Lisova, Stanislav's wife told RT:

"We were detained in the Barcelona airport when we came to return our rental car before flying to Lyons and to continue our trip to visit friends. When we got out of the car, two policemen showed their badges and said they were detaining my husband and began checking the telephone, the tablet and the laptop."

RT said it was unable to get a comment from either the FBI or Interpol.

Lisova said no charges were presented to her husband and that currently he is being held in the Brians Prison in Martorell.
The Russian Embassy in Spain has sent an inquiry to the Spanish government regarding the reasons for Lisov's detention.

RT characterized the US as running a "hunt for Russian programmers" and characterized his arrest as a violation of human rights and diplomatic protocol because the Russian Embassy was not informed in advance. RT noted that the US was looking for hackers in relation to the breach of the Democratic National Committee's computers before the US election as well as the release of a dossier said to contain kompromat [compromising material] regarding president-elect Donald Trump.

Yesterday, a Dutch lawyer was detained and interrogated for 14 hours by Spanish police, and Spanish media a case involving a Russian telecom related to a Russian oligarch mentioned in the Trump dossier.


The Dutch lawyer was released.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russian Weapons Foundry Mints 1-KG Silver and Gold Commemorative Coins of Donald Trump's Inauguration

TASS reported yesterday that Art-Grani, a weapons foundry in the Ural Mountains city of Zlataoust has minted silver and gold coins to commemorate the inauguration January 20 of US president-elect Donald Trump:

"We have produced the first coin of the Donald Trump collection. This is a limited edition dedicated to Trump’s inauguration and will consist of 25 silver coins, 15 silver and gold coins and five gold coins," the Art-Grani foundry’s press service said.

The coin’s obverse features Trump’s profile image as well as an inscription "Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America" and the country’s flag. The reverse bears the image of the Statue of Liberty with the US flag on the backdrop and the inscriptions "In Trump We Trust" and "The United States of America."

Each of the coins weighs about one kilogram and is about 12 centimeters in diameter. That puts the value of the silver in the coin at least at US $17, but given their historical value, they are expected to sell for thousands more, Valery Vasyukhin, head of the foundry, told AP TV.

AP TV published a video of the unveiling of the coins, noting that only a limited edition of 45 of the coins were issued. For some reason, they are printed in English, not Russian.

Vasyukhin also told AP:

“There are more hopes associated with Trump with regards to the lifting of sanctions; maybe the environment (between the U.S. and Russia) will change".

We can't recall such a commemorative coin related to a US president in either the Soviet or Russian era.  When the first international space flight was conducted by US astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts in 1975, numerous buttons, badges, and coins marked "Apollo-Soyuz" for the name of the spacecraft were issued and became a symbol of detente.

Russians are famous for making matryoshka nesting dolls and souvenirs for all kinds of public figures so it may be that there has been such a presidential coin in the past but we haven't found it.

This story is now on its way to saturation coverage in the US where Trump's relationship to Russia is a matter of intense scrutiny. But the minting mainly seems to be an event of importance for the US, not Russia, as so few coins are being printed. The Russian media has covered the coin, but not as much as the US press.  Vasyukhin said he hopes to get a coin to Trump personally. 

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

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