The visit of the Free Software Foundation leader Richard Stallman to Russia in March 2008 could be canceled because of the problems with too-late visa application. A part of the trouble appeared to be Stallman's rejection to get help from Victor Alksnis, the State Duma member and the only Russian politician who helps Free Software and Open Source movements in Russia.
Alksnis promoted Stallman's upcoming visit thru his blog posts, and said he could help with "administrative issues" as well. However, the moderator of linux.org.ru Sergey Udaltsov (who lives in Ireland not Russia) wrote
We at Webplanet.ru think the rout of this problem in not politics but the "language barrier" we already described. Western folks don't know much about Russian IT situation 'cos they don't read Russian. The only information channel for them is "former Russians" who live abroad and speak English - like Irelander Sergey Udaltsov who controls linux.org.ru. But these "foreign Russians" usually get pretty paranoid about their "former motherland" calling it a dictatorship daily (perhaps as an excuse for their departure). So we hope Russian linuxoids find some sane local leaders. No need to marry free software and politicians, it's true. Yet we don't see why Free Software activity in Russia should be killed by some old-fashioned Cold War rhetorics from Ireland.Read more in Russian