Tag Archives: Children

‘Russia is the Motherland of Crimea’ – What Crimean Schoolchildren Think

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – YALTA, Crimea – April 30, 2015) “Who do you think is responsible for the war in eastern Ukraine?” asked Masha, a 17-year old student at School No. 12 in Yalta, Crimea. I paused. “Russia.” A gasp went around the classroom. Masha looked at me as if I was mad. “No way,” she […]

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Eastern Ukraine’s Children Fall Prey to War

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Lisa Schlein – March 31, 2015) The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that more than 150 children have been killed and maimed by landmines and unexploded ordnance during the past year in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine. According to the United Nations, the number of people killed in eastern Ukraine […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: In Russia, Exhibition Seeks to Show Ivan Wasn’t So Terrible

File Image of Ivan the Terrible Etching, adapted from image at loc.gov

[“In Russia, Exhibition Seeks to Show Ivan Wasn’t So Terrible; Medieval-history show raises question if Russia’s often-bloody history is being whitewashed to fuel nationalist campaign” – Wall Street Journal – JAMES MARSON – March 31, 2015] The Wall Street Journal covers efforts to rehabilitate the image of Ivan the Terrible, and questions about whether revisions of historical accounts are aimed at remaking the […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: Russian History Receives a Makeover That Starts With Ivan the Terrible

File Image of Ivan the Terrible Etching, adapted from image at loc.gov

[“Russian History Receives a Makeover That Starts With Ivan the Terrible” – New York Times – NEIL MacFARQUHAR and SOPHIA KISHKOVSKY – MARCH 30, 2015] The New York Times reports on a Russian historical exhibition that apparently attempts to rehabilitate the reputation of Ivan the Terrible, blaming foreigners for his negative image. Ivan the Terrible, the Russian czar, should really be considered […]

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Brighter future beckons for Russians with Down’s syndrome

File Photo of Child with Down's Syndrome, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Maria Fedorishina, special to RBTH – March 25, 2015) There are some 2,500 babies with Down’s syndrome born in Russia every year. Many of them are abandoned by their parents at birth. However – mainly thanks to volunteer movements – society is now developing a more enlightened view of the condition, with some […]

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NEWSLINK AP: Ukraine’s grinding war stains innocence of childhood

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Seryozha colors in his drawing of a tank, lost in thought. Like many 7-year-olds in eastern Ukraine, he has trouble recalling a time before the war. “They’ve always been shooting,” he says, vigorously scratching with the brightest of pencils.   http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_UKRAINE_CHILDREN_OF_WAR?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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Russian 7th graders struggle to count and solve math problems, says study

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gleb Fedorov – January 9, 2015) RBTH spoke to experts about the results of the National Study of Education Quality (NIKO), recently carried out in Russia. They illustrated the roots of the problems the country is experiencing with mathematics at school and explained why it is not worth relying on the international PISA assessments. Russia’s first […]

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‘Same-Sex Adoption’ Killed U.S.-Russian FLEX Exchange Program

FLEX Student Exchange Program Logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 2, 2014) David Petrosyan had hoped his 15-year-old sister would spend a year studying at a U.S. high school, something he had done years earlier that had a lasting impact on his ambitious academic pursuits. “For me, doing a FLEX program proved that I can achieve something with my brain alone. It was […]

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Kremlin Moves Away From Aggressive Youth Policy

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 4, 2014) President Vladimir Putin signaled a switch Thursday from the government’s previous youth policy of aggressive political groups toward a more traditional approach to instilling patriotism. “We need to give young people more knowledge about Russia’s historical, cultural and natural riches back in school,” Putin said. “This is, perhaps, the […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Teaching Moscow’s schoolchildren the value of kindness

File Photo of Boy in Wheelchair Being Dragged Along Stairs

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Fefelova, special to RBTH – April 30, 2014) For the past 10 years, schools in Moscow having been providing their pupils with “kindness lessons”. The classes are run by specialists and provide children with a valuable opportunity to communicate with people with disabilities and develop an understanding of their needs. For the […]

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Russian schoolchildren no longer fit into their uniforms

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – April 15, 2014) According to statistics, children in Russia have grown bigger over the past 10 years, largely due to changes in lifestyle and the quality of food. Experts have expressed concern over the trend and claim it is a symptom of a growing health problem among the country’s […]

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New Moscow centers give parentless children a live-in mother

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Tatyana Sudakova, special to RBTH – April 9, 2014) A new breed of children’s home is springing up around Moscow to replace the city’s orphanages. Here parentless children have the chance to get used to a family environment by living in comfortable modern surroundings with a “mother” who spends five days a week […]

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In The Wake Of Crimea Annexation, Patriotism Reigns In Russian Classrooms

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Lyubov Chizhova and Farangis Najibullah – MOSCOW – April 09, 2014) It will take some time to revise Russia’s history textbooks to reflect the annexation of Crimea. But that’s not preventing the authorities from moving quickly to assure the country’s school curriculum sticks to a politically — and patriotically — correct line on the issue. In recent weeks, a new […]

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The future’s in their hands

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anastasia Maltseva, special to RBTH – April 7, 2014) Sociologists have conducted research on what professions Russian parents would like their children to do in the future. The results follow the changing dynamics of the job market in recent years and show that humanities-based occupations are no longer seen as desirable. Sociologists at […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] State Council Presidium meeting on family, motherhood and childhood policy

File Photo of Russian Expectant Couple with Mother in Hospital Bed

(Kremlin.ru – February 17, 2014) Vladimir Putin held a State Council Presidium meeting on family, motherhood and childhood policy, in particular with regard to implementing the May 2012 Presidential Executive Orders. Taking part in the meeting were Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, Presidential Aide Igor Levitin, the heads of federal ministries and agencies, and a […]

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First-Ever School Shooting Prompts Debate on Security

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov and Matthew Bodner – February 4, 2014) A 10th-grade student killed a geography teacher and a police officer and took children hostage at a Moscow school on Monday in Russia’s first-ever school shooting, triggering a debate on security at educational institutions and over the right to bear arms. The incident was widely compared […]

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Moscow School Shooting Hints at Pain of Forgotten Generation

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, February 3 (Alexey Eremenko, RIA Novosti) – The school shooting, a nightmare scenario most commonly associated with the United States, was visited upon Russia on Monday in an attack that left two people dead. There was little about the suspected perpetrator – a retiring, 15-year-old straight-A pupil – that aroused suspicion. Some education experts fear, however, that the boy […]

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Domestic Adoptions Policy Showing Results, Astakhov Says

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – January 21, 2014) The number of Russian orphans and abandoned children has dropped from 140,000 to a little under 107,000 in the past five years, due to state policies encouraging domestic adoptions, children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said Monday. Following the controversial ban on U.S. adoptions that took effect in January 2013, the […]

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Interfax: Over 65,000 children were adopted in Russia in 2013 – Astakhov

Pavel Astakhov file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 16 (Interfax) – The number of children adopted in Russia went up almost 7% in 2013, Russian presidential children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said. “In 2013, 65,600 children were adopted, which is a 6.7% increase from the previous year,” Astakhov told a press conference. At the same time, Astakhov said there were no special financial incentives for people […]

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Teachers, parents concerned Russia’s state exam harming classroom learning

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitriy Romendik, RBTH – December 19, 2013) The quality of secondary education is an issue widely debated by the Russian public, as parents are increasingly concerned by falling teaching standards. The most objective measurement of schoolchildren’s academic performance is the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). It tests 15-year-old schoolchildren every three years. […]

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VIDEO: U.S. Ambassador McFaul Says No Boycott Of Sochi Olympics, Addresses U.S.-Russian Relations, Ukraine, Adoptions, other issues

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

Ambassador Michael McFaul, U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, addresses U.S.-Russian Relations, Ukraine, the Sochi Olympics, adoptions and other matters, in this video by RFE/RL’s Russian Service. McFaul is interviewed in Russian, with English subtitles. The video was dated December 17, 2013.

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Undercover at a Russian Hospital

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eradzh Nidoev – December 13, 2013) It’s 10 a.m. on a Sunday. A thin layer of fog hangs in the air, but I can clearly see the dilapidated concrete building in front of me. It is one of the biggest children’s hospitals in Moscow. I am here to work as an unpaid volunteer. “Do you […]

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Interfax: Most orphans who did not go to U.S. were adopted by Russian families – diplomat

Russian Orphanage file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 26 (Interfax) – Most Russian orphans whose adoption by American families was prohibited by the Dima Yakovlev law have already been adopted by Russian citizens or have been returned to their biological mothers, Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s human rights envoy, told Interfax on Tuesday. “Most of these children have already been transferred to their new Russian […]

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Interfax: Astakhov Criticizes Western Juvenile Justice, Nontraditional Families

Pavel Astakhov file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 19 (Interfax) – The Western form of juvenile justice will not work in Russia, Russian children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov said. “My principled stance is that the Western style, a virtually bankrupt form of juvenile justice is not viable,” Astakhov told reporters on Tuesday. “It is not viable in Russia because the equality between parents and a child […]

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Number of Orphans Six Times Larger Than Russians Ready to Adopt

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 19, 2013) For every six orphans awaiting adoption in Russia, there is only one family in the country hoping to take in a child, government statistics show. More than 100,000 orphans are listed in a registry maintained by the Education and Science Ministry, the head of its child protection department, Yevgeny Silyanov said, Interfax […]

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Interfax: Demographic situation in Russia among reasons behind U.S. adoption ban – Astakhov

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

MOSCOW. Nov 13 (Interfax) – One of the reasons why Russia has banned U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children is the demographic issue, Russian children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov said. “We have a demographic forecast: the infant population in Russia will be about 22 million by 2025. And the United States will have 105 [million] by 2025. Is there a […]

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Interfax: Russia did not violate intl law by banning homosexuality propaganda among minors – children’s ombudsman

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – Russia did not violate international law by imposing a ban on propaganda of homosexual relations among minors, Russian presidential children’s rights envoy Pavel Astakhov says. “Propaganda of homosexuality among children violates commonly accepted principles and norms of international law,” the envoy’s press service quoted him as saying at the international parliamentary forum on ‘Constitution. Democracy. […]

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Russians Back Domestic Adoptions but Don’t Want to Be Parents

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 13, 2013) While most Russians believe that orphans should be adopted by Russian families, only 16 percent are willing to bring a child into their homes, according to a survey released Wednesday. Some 62 percent of Russians say that growing up in an adoptive family is better than in a Russian orphanage, and more […]

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Interfax: Russia has fewer orphans but too few of them find new families – Astakhov

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

MOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) – Russia has fewer children without parents – the number of orphans registered yearly dropped 40%, Russian children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov said. At the same time, the number of children in orphanages is “unacceptably high,” Astakhov said. The commissioner spoke at an all-Russian congress of orphanage heads on Tuesday. Russian courts rule less often in […]

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Only ‘One of 33 Orphans’ Denied U.S. Adoption Finds Russian Home

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 6, 2013) Out of the 33 St. Petersburg orphans who were set to be given new homes by U.S. families last year before their moves were blocked by Russian legislation, only one has been legally adopted by Russian parents, a news report said. The 33 children already had potential American families, but were prevented […]

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Domestic Adoptions Expected to Double

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – October 8, 2013) Ten months after the government banned adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens, authorities say the number of children adopted domestically will more than double by this year’s end amid increased state allowances. Thanks to a range of government measures, the number of adopted children in the country will […]

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Russia, U.S. have a lot in common in children’s rights protection issues – Astakhov

Pavel Astakhov file photo

(Interfax – KHANTY-MANSIYSK. September 23, 2013) Russia and the U.S. are running into similar problems with the protection of the rights of children left without parental care, Russian presidential children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said. “The number of adopted children and the number of children living in foster families is about the same in Russia and the United States. For […]

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Astakhov confirms commitment to ban adoption of Russian children for U.S. citizens

Pavel Astakhov file photo

(Interfax – September 23, 2013) The demands to rescind the law banning U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children are inhumane, bizarre and anti-patriotic, Russian children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov said. “Any normal person should take the speculations and absolutely unlawful demands of certain abhorrent politicians and public activists [in Russia and in the United States] to cancel the ban, to […]

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Russians put career before having a family

Empty Boardroom

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – August 26, 2013) A third of Russians think raising children gets in the way of having a successful career. People younger than 24 years of age are putting career before family, a poll by major recruiting web portal Superjob showed. Experts are not surprised and believe the trend is […]

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Russians Flocking to Britain’s Boarding Schools

File Photo of British Parliament Building Including Saint Stephen's Tower Containing Big Ben

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Des Brown – August 12, 2013) Come September, more than 2000 schoolchildren across Russia will be packing their luggage and decamping to the houses of the most traditional of British institutions – the boarding school –  entering a world of prep and pastoral care, a world of Mr. Chips, the Eton Boating Song and Harry […]

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Russia’s ‘Traditional Values’ Lawmaker Faces Online Backlash

Russian Duma Building

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Dmitry Volchek – August 14, 2013) Russian investigators are pressing ahead with a controversial defamation probe following a complaint by Yelena Mizulina, a lawmaker best known for her crusade to promote what she considers “traditional values.” Mizulina, who heads the parliament’s committee on family, women and children, has authored a number of controversial initiatives over the […]

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U.S. provides list of 60,000 children previously adopted in Russia – Astakhov

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 12, 2013) The U.S. authorities have provided Russia with a list of children adopted by U.S. families in Russia in the past, Russian children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov said. “The list has 61,625 children. But these are those whom adoptive parents brought from Russia into the country officially, with a migration visa,” Astakhov said in an […]

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TRANSCRIPT [Putin]: Seliger 2013 Youth Forum

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Kremlin.ru – August 2, 2013) Vladimir Putin visited the Seliger 2013 National Youth Education Forum, taking place in Tver Region on July 14-August 5. The President met with the Seliger-2013 forum participants and examined the best youth projects and public initiatives. This was Vladimir Putin’s fourth visit to Seliger. He previously visited the forum in 2009, 2011, and 2012. Seliger […]

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1,700 children live in Moscow region orphanages, over 22,000 have already found families – Astakhov

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Interfax – DUBNA, Moscow region, July 23, 2013) The number of children who live in orphanages in the Moscow region has decreased by more than 22,000 in the past year, Russian children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov said. “Whereas there were 124,000 orphans in Russia in 2008, last year this figure stood at 74,700. It was an almost 50% reduction. Of […]

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Russia’s New Digital Vigilantes

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – July 10, 2013) MOSCOW — It’s sort of a freelance sting operation aimed at suspected pedophiles. And it works like this: An activist logs into an Internet chat forum and poses as a minor. If an adult man shows interest and suggests inappropriate contact, he is gently warned that his interlocutor is underage. […]

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Russia’s Youth Population ‘In Steady Decline’ – Official

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 18, 2013) Russia has seen both the number of young people in the country and their share in the total population decline steadily in recent years, an Education Ministry official said on Tuesday. “According to the Federal State Statistics Service, in 2012 there were 31.6 million people in the 15-29 age group ­ making up […]

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Russian Orphans Receive ‘Oscars’ for Filmmaking

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Simone Peek – June 14, 2013) International news and changing regulations around orphaned children have been in a whirlwind since January’s Dima Yakovlev law: the ban on the adoption of Russian children by Americans. Amidst the political turmoil are, of course, the orphans themselves. Charity organization “Krilya” (Wings) decided to give children living in orphanages […]

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Windows on Eurasia: Russia’s Future Belongs Not to the Opposition but to the Stalinized Young, Pavlova Says

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 5, 2013) The supporters of Stalin and those who want to continue his political approach have in fact “triumphed” in today’s Russia, and these people consist not of the older generation but of the young who have grown up in the course of the re-Stalinization of the country during the last […]

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Russian orphans trapped in poverty

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Julia Reed in Moscow – June 3, 2013) Much has been said about the miserable plight of Russian orphans, especially following the recent ban on all American adoption in Russia in retribution for Congress’ so-called “Magnitsky Act”, which penalizes some Russian officials on human rights grounds. After decades of inaction, suddenly the issue has […]

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Adoption of Russian children by foreign families down 70 percent in five years – Astakhov

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Interfax – May 30, 2013) The number of Russian orphans adopted by foreign families has dipped by 70 percent in the past five years, Russian Children’s Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said. “The number of children adopted by foreign families has declined; the decline has been rather significant. Even before January 1, 2013 [when the Dima Yakovlev law entered into force] […]

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Young people should know ‘true essence’ of Bolotnaya Square protests – Smolensk governor

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – SMOLENSK, Russia, May 28, 2013) The governor of the Smolensk region has insisted on organizing discussions at local secondary schools and higher education institutions to tell students about the “true essence” of opposition rallies on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square, an Interfax correspondent reported from a regional conference. “Stories are being widely told about events on Bolotnaya Square, about protest […]

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Strict Measures in Works to Boost Population

File Photo of Russian Expectant Couple with Mother in Hospital Bed

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – May 29, 2013) Senior federal officials on Tuesday discussed at the Kremlin the country’s draft plan for the next 12 years to support families with children and ultimately reverse the natural population decline. As part of the plan to boost Russia’s dwindling population ­ which declined for a 20th consecutive year in […]

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No Country for ICU Patients

File Photo of Patient in Russian Hospital

(RIA Novosti – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief of The Moscow News – May 27, 2013) Here is a bit of uncomfortable information for Western expats who are new to Moscow: If you or your loved ones, God forbid, end up in intensive care, few hospitals will allow you to have visitors. The rule even applies to very young children. The […]

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Russia refuses to let Americans adopt 33 children

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Interfax – ST. PETERSBURG, May 21, 2013) Thirty-three orphans, including 12 disabled children, who were supposed to be adopted by U.S. nationals, will be unable to join their would-be parents because of this year’s Russian ban on the adoption of Russian children by Americans, the office of the St. Petersburg commissioner for children’s rights said on Tuesday. The commissioner, Svetlana […]

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Interfax: Three-fourths of Russians insist government should ban public display of homosexuality – poll

Map of Russia

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 17, 2013) Homophobia is rather common in Russian society and attitudes toward the LGBT community have been changing slowly throughout the past year, sociologists said. The same as a year ago, three-fourths of Russians brand gays and lesbians as morally loose (43%) or mentally deficient persons (35%). Only 12% acknowledge homosexuality’s right to existence, the Levada […]

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