Preparing a Child for a School Year Gets Too Expensive For Russian Parents

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – August 31, 2015) As Russian children get ready to start a new school year this week, their parents have to cough up a record amount of money to equip them with everything they need, according to the latest study by a state-run pollster. An average Russian family will spend almost 20,000 rubles […]

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Russian Schoolchildren to Learn Two Foreign Languages

Russian Children File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 1, 2015) All Russian students will be required to learn two foreign languages before graduation, Education Minister Dmitry Livanov was cited as saying by the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta Tuesday. The new mandatory education program came into effect in all Russian schools at the start of the new school year on Tuesday. “Starting on […]

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Russians Consider Marrying, Giving Birth and Education Most Important Things

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 28, 2015) When asked what the most important things to do before turning 30 are, most Russians chose getting married, giving birth and receiving an education, while things like starting a business or traveling the world were at the bottom of the list, a poll released Wednesday by an independent Russian […]

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Adoption in Russia: Families Helping Families

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexandra Tyan – August 27, 2015) It would be hard to find a better advocate for adoption in Russia than Ulia Khashem. With her pink curls, big eyes and handmade jewelry, it’s easy to see why people on social media call her a fairy godmother. Her job is to organize a summer camp for seriously […]

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Muscovites Having More Children Amid Drive to Promote Family Values

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Elizaveta Vereykina – July 5, 2015) Residents of the Russian capital are having more children and having them closer together – a trend that may increase as the state continues to fight the country’s demographic crisis and promote traditional family values. “While in the beginning of 2014 there were 90,000 families with three or more […]

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RBTH: How effective is Russian drive to combat ISIS recruiters?

Map of Area Spanning Portions of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, highlighting military engagements against ISIL

People in both Russian diplomatic circles and the security forces have been describing Islamic State (ISIS) as a “real threat” for a long time now. On Aug. 1 a hotline will start working in Russia for those whose friends or family members have joined ISIS. With experts warning that ISIS cannot be defeated with force alone, RBTH found out what […]

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Classes Aimed at Raising a New Generation of Russian Businessmen

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexandra Tyan – July 28, 2015) The newly renovated VDNKh park in northern Moscow is investing in the future with the Young Investor School, which will open at Pavilion 14 early next month. Starting on Aug. 6, every Thursday and Friday, children between the ages of 8-14 can learn about the career of investment banking […]

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A Moscow Education, in More Ways Than One

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Haddad – July 27, 2015) A recent article published in British weekly Times Higher Education revealed that one in seven Russian undergraduates admits to cheating on exams. The figure is probably much higher. Any expat in Moscow teaching English will confirm that. Cheating in the Russian educational system is rampant, even acceptable. I experienced […]

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Poll: Russian Parents Hope to Raise Doctors, Not Priests

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 2, 2015) Despite the fact that a significant majority of the population identifies as Orthodox Christian, fewer than 1 percent of Russians wish to see their children or grandchildren grow up to be priests, according a survey conducted by independent pollster the Levada Center. Similar polls conducted by the Levada Center over the past […]

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Juvenile delinquency rates down three-fold in Russia since early 1990s

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

MOSCOW. May 28 (Interfax) – Juvenile delinquency rates went down three-fold in Russia in the past 15 years, Russian First Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Gorovoi said on Thursday, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the juvenile delinquency service. “Juvenile delinquency rates peaked in the early 1990s. The rates are down three-fold in the past 15 years,” he said. […]

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‘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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