Tag Archives: Government

Jews Are Fleeing Russia Because Of Putin

Torah Scrolls

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Roman Super, Claire Bigg – July 3, 2015) Just a year ago, Russian journalist Vladimir Yakovlev was one of Moscow’s most influential media figures. Today, he lives a quiet life in Tel Aviv and has swapped his Russian passport for an Israeli one. Yakovlev, the founder of the respected Kommersant publishing house and the Snob magazine, […]

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NEWSLINK Euromaidan Press: Putin regime can’t be reformed, only replaced, like its Soviet predecessor, Yakovenko says

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“Having unleashed the imperial self-consciousness of the population, Yakovenko continues, ‘Putin not only does not want but cannot stop this insanity. He already lacks the powers to stop the war he began in Ukraine, even if he wanted to. He lacks the power to stop the hysteria of hatred in the media.’

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Russia’s state banks are rotten

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – June 29, 2015) Banks epitomise capitalism, but not in Russia. The financial industrial empires of men like JP Morgan, Rockefeller, Rothschild and Harriman are intimately tied up with creating the vibrant no-holds-barred capitalism in the US. In Russia the top five banks are all state-owned and their power comes […]

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Nothing on Horizon Now Could Cut Into Putin’s High Poll Ratings, Gudkov Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Paul Goble – Staunton, July 1, 2015) Many Russians “genuinely support the actions and lies of Putin” because as Moscow’s propaganda machine suggests, he is a guy willing to use force to stand up to America and defend the national interests of the country, according to Lev Gudkov, the head of the Levada Center. They recognize only “very poorly” that […]

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Primakov was Putinism’s ‘Godfather,’ Russian Analysts Say

Yevgeny Primakov file photo, with William Cohen in partial profile

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 28, 2015) Many Western obituaries and appreciations of the late Yevgeny Primakov portray him as an alternative to Vladimir Putin and someone who would have led Russia in an entirely different direction than the current Kremlin leader. But two Russian analysts argue that in fact Primakov laid much of the groundwork […]

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Russian reaction to same-sex marriage ruling in the USA

U.S. Supreme Court Facade

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Yegorov, special to RBTH – June 29, 2015) On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages were legal on the whole territory of the country. The ruling generated a strong reaction [in] Russia, with some conservative politicians slamming it, while some liberals voiced support for the U.S. and the global […]

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Interfax: Russia should get less aggressive towards sex minorities – senator

Federation Council file photo

(Interfax – June 28, 2015) Deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Constitutional Legislation Konstantin Dobrynin has suggested that the American “don’t ask, don’t tell” principle be enshrined in the Russian law with respect to people of non-heterosexual orientation. One may laugh at America or a tolerant Europe for as long as one likes; it should be admitted, however, […]

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Most Russians Want State to Remain Secular

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – June 25, 2015) The majority of Russians want to live in a secular state but almost half of the population is happy for the church to influence societal morality, a survey by state-run pollster VTsIOM has found. Sixty-four percent of those polled said they were in favor of the continued separation of […]

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Interfax: Extension of Russian countersanctions for one year meets interests of national economic development – Peskov

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. June 24 (Interfax) – The extension of Russian countersanctions for a year meets the interests of the country’s economic development, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. “Our interests, I mean the interests of the Russian Federation from the viewpoint of the economic development of the country,” he said to journalists answering the question in relation to what Russia […]

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Kremlin chief-of-staff against moving Russian presidential election

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – June 20, 2015) It doesn’t make sense to move the 2018 presidential election to an earlier date, head of the Russian presidential administration Sergey Ivanov has said. “If you ask my opinion, I see absolutely no sense in this,” Ivanov said in an interview in the Vesti v Subbotu with Sergey Brilev programme on state-owned official Rossiya 1 […]

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Communists Storm Out of Moscow Duma Hearing on Monument to Feared Secret Police Chief

FSB Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – June 25, 2015) The Moscow City Duma courted controversy Wednesday with its determination that a proposed referendum question on the restoration of a monument to feared Soviet secret police chief Felix Dzerzhinsky was consistent with the law. But Dzerzhinsky – a Bolshevik revolutionary and founder of the dreaded Cheka secret police, which […]

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Consumer-Rights Advocate Calls Putin ‘Paranoid’ After ‘Foreign-Agent’ Slur

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, June 24, 2015) A Russian consumer-protection group lambasted by President Vladimir Putin as a “foreign agent” after giving cautionary advice to Russians traveling to annexed Crimea has accused Putin of “paranoia” and called him “badly informed.” Mikhail Anshakov, chairman of the Moscow-based Society for the Protection of Consumer Rights (OZPP), said his […]

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Russia Is Biggest Force Against Democracy In Eurasia, Report Finds

Eurasia Map

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Patricia Hill and Ron Synovitz – June 23, 2015) Russia saw its biggest loss of democracy in a decade last year, while it and other authoritarian states took aggressive action to block efforts to form new democracies elsewhere in Europe and Eurasia, a new report by Freedom House finds. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s moves to annex […]

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Early Election Would Benefit Putin, Not Russia

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 18, 2015) Russia’s former finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, came up with an interesting idea for turning Russia’s recent economic woes to the country’s advantage: moving up the scheduled 2017 presidential election. The problem with this suggestion — which may have been floated as a trial balloon with the Kremlin’s approval — is […]

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Interfax: Chechen leader on Nemtsov murder, investments, oil, Ukraine, marriage

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

(Interfax – June 18, 2015) The Kremlin-backed leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has suggested that the murderers of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov should be sought in Ukraine, rather than in Chechnya. He praised his region’s economic potential and oil reserves. Kadyrov also slammed Committee Against Torture Russian human rights organization, accusing them of following the West’s guidelines to Russia’s detriment. […]

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Kremlin Weighs Early Presidential Vote as Economic Worries Mount

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ott Ummelas, Henry Meyer – June 18, 2015) The Kremlin said experts will study the idea of calling early presidential elections, a move that could give Vladimir Putin a fresh term while his approval rating remains near a record high. “This is a new proposal,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told reporters on a conference call just […]

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Interfax: Over 40 per cent of Russians do not believe corruption could be defeated – poll

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

  (Interfax – June 17, 2015) A public opinion poll conducted by the independent pollster Levada Centre has shown that two thirds of Russians believe that President Vladimir Putin is making progress in fighting corruption, but, at the same time, more than 40 per cent believe that it will be difficult to defeat it because corruption cannot be eradicated in […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Russia’s Struggling Economy Clouds St. Petersburg Economic Forum. Corporate executives head to President Vladimir’s Putin hometown for annual event

St. Petersburg

Corporate executives head to President Vladimir’s Putin hometown for annual event.

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Putin’s unrealizable dream vs. his all too-real nightmare

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – June 15, 2015) That Vladimir Putin lives in a different reality than do other world leaders is now more or less common ground. Now, two commentators have described respectively what the Kremlin leader dreams about and what his worst nightmare might turn out to be. In a commentary of Kyiv’s “Novoye vremya,” Yury […]

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‘Almost No One in Russia Wanted Real Democracy with Division of Powers,’ Gudkov Says

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 14, 2015) Vladimir Putin and his regime are a logical reflection of the fact that “almost no one [in Russia] wanted a real democracy with division of power and a vital civil society,” according to Levada Center head Lev Gudkov. Consequently, it is possible to say that “Russians have received what […]

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Banned if they do, banned if they don’t; Unable to change things in their own country, Russians are quietly leaving for good – but they will still check out Crimea

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Julia Reed in Moscow – June 11, 2015) Each week in Russia some obscure Duma deputy no one has ever heard of before proposes a new law. Usually, the proposal gets instant and almost unanimous approval of the legislative body and within days becomes law, signed by the head of state. Usually it’s a […]

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Russia Day Holiday Important for only 3% of Russians

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – June 11, 2015) Only 3 percent of Russians consider the upcoming Russia Day national holiday, celebrated on June 12, among the important celebrations of the year, according to a recent poll by the analytical Levada Center. By far the most significant holiday for Russians is New Year’s, which more than 80 percent […]

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‘Russians are the Soviet Slaves of Today,’ Panfilov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 10, 2015) The Soviet system transformed the population of the USSR into slaves of a particular type, and “the present-day Russian slave is a direct descendent of the Soviet ones,” according to Oleg Panfilov, the director of the Center for Extreme Journalism (2000-2010) and now a professor at Georgia’s Iliya State […]

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Russians against Kremlin spending money on Crimea or World Cup

putin-fifa-meeting

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – June 4, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/bnechart-russians-against-kremlin-spending-money-crimea-or-world-cup] An overwhelming majority of Russians are against state money for health and education being redirected toward other areas of the economy, according to a recent poll by the Levada Center. In the wake of announcements that Russia’s revised 2015 budget will increase defence […]

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Russian economy in “full-blown crisis” – ex-finance minister

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(RIA Novosti – June 3, 2015) Speaking at the Russian Federation Council in Moscow, ex-Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin has once again criticized overblown defence spending that squeezes the funds out of other areas of Russia’s economy. A large part of the budget deficit that the country is faced with today comes “not from decreased government earning but from the need […]

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Kremlin Critic Emerges From Coma

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – June 2, 2015) Friends and allies of prominent Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., who mysteriously fell ill with poisoning symptoms in Moscow, say he has regained consciousness after a weeklong coma. “Vladimir has come out of a coma,” former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky said in a June 2 tweet. Kara-Murza, 33, is a coordinator for Open […]

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Interfax: Probable Nemtsov murder weapon found

Nemtsov March of Mourning

(Interfax – June 3, 2015) The police have found a handgun which probably killed opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, a source familiar with the situation has told Interfax. “The murder weapon has been found and enclosed in materials in the proceeding, examinations are in progress,” he said. The source added that the detectives had found several handguns, each of which was […]

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Interfax: Documentary about 1968 events passes no judgments, features historians’, witnesses’ accounts – VGTRK

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

(Interfax – June 2, 2015) The all-Russia state television and radio broadcasting company VGTRK said the film, titled “Warsaw Treaty, the Declassified Pages” accumulates accounts by witnesses and participants in events dating back to 1968, without passing any judgments. “The film conveys opinions by historians, witnesses and participants in those events. Nothing is said in the voice-over narration that this […]

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Interfax: Book on Kremlin history since 12th century brought out in Russia

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – June 2, 2015) A book, titled ‘Moscow Kremlin. Monuments and Shrines’ was presented in Moscow on June 2. The author, spokesman for the Federal Security Guard Service Sergei Devyatov, said that he had worked on the book for about six years. The book has been released with a print run of 1,350 copies. It has more than 2,000 […]

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A dissident’s tale

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(opendemocracy.net – Gleb Morev, Gleb Pavlovsky – May 29, 2015) Gleb Morev is a Russian journalist and literary critic based in Moscow. He edits the Culture section of Colta.ru. One of the grey cardinals of modern Russian politics, Gleb Pavlovsky talks dissent, history and politics in the late-Soviet era. Born in Odessa in 1951, Gleb Pavlovsky is famed for being […]

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Election Shifts Show Kremlin Wary Of Fallout From Recession

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, June 1, 2015) The Kremlin is moving to bring next year’s parliamentary elections forward and set up snap gubernatorial votes in several provinces this year, maneuvering that analysts say shows the authorities fear a deepening recession could weaken them and galvanize the opposition. The State Duma elections in December 2011 catalyzed the […]

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Leading Russian liberal economist does not rule out he may come back to power

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Interfax -June 1, 2015) Head of the Committee for Civil Initiatives, former Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin does not rule out he may come back to power structures if the country is going to carry out reforms, political among them. In his interview to the Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax on 1 June he said: “I’ve never ruled out a comeback […]

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Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin Sets Conditions for Return to Government

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 2, 2015) Former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who left his position over personal disagreements with the Kremlin in 2011, said in an interview with the Interfax news agency Monday that if the authorities would undertake sweeping reforms, he would be willing to return to the government. “I have never ruled […]

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NEWSLINK International New York Times/Michael Khodarkovsky: Putin’s Disunited Nation

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

During those tense days in early March when Vladimir Putin disappeared from public view, the Russian president issued only one official statement: He instructed his prime minister to prepare a blueprint for a new federal agency that would work toward ‘consolidating the unity of the multiethnic nation of the Russian Federation.’The move passed relatively unnoticed, but it raises provocative questions. […]

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Russia Could Use Prison Labor For 2018 World Cup

putin-fifa-meeting

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, May 25, 2015) A prominent member of parliament for the ruling United Russia party has drafted a bill to allow enterprises to employ thousands of convicts as a cheap workforce to build infrastructure for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The legal amendments reported on May 25 in leading business daily Kommersant create a mechanism […]

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Russia Is Using Mobile Crematoriums to Hide Ukraine’s Dead

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Josh Rogin – May 26, 2015) Josh Rogin is a Bloomberg View columnist who writes about national security and foreign affairs. He has previously worked for the Daily Beast, Newsweek, Foreign Policy magazine, the Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly and Asahi Shimbun. Russia is so desperate to hide its military involvement in Ukraine that it has brought […]

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Putin Faces New Kind of Parade of Sovereignties in Degraded Russian Regions

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 27, 2015) Russian governors, “even the most loyal” to the Kremlin, as a result of the intensification of the economic crisis, find themselves between a rock and a hard place and are beginning to complain about Moscow’s failure to articulate an anti-crisis strategy which takes the interests of their regions into […]

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Shoigu at 60: The Man Who Would Be Russia’s King?

Sergei Shoigu file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – May 22, 2015) Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, a close ally, friend and rumored potential successor of President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, turned 60 on Thursday. “A servant to the tsar, a father to soldiers,” political pundits say of Shoigu – one of the country’s longest-serving government officials – citing Mikhail […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Move to Shift Vote for Russian Duma Seen Benefitting Putin. Support grows for holding parliamentary elections three months earlier, in September 2016

Russian State Duma Building file photo

Senior ruling-party politicians are throwing their weight behind a proposal to move Russia’s next parliamentary elections up three months to September 2016, a shift that could put opposition candidates at a further disadvantage by relegating the campaign to vacation season.

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Interfax: Over 80% of Russians against same-sex marriages

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

(Interfax – May 18, 2015) The percentage of Russians who are positive about the law banning the propaganda of homosexuality is increasing and is now 77 percent against 67 percent in 2013, Levada Center told Interfax. Fifteen percent of the respondents do not support this law and 7 percent said they are not interested, a poll surveying 800 people conducted […]

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Looking after yourself in Siberia

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

The ‘rationalisation’ of medical and social services in rural Russia has compelled people to acquire new skills in order to survive, but life for the weakest is very hard – and very expensive. (opendemocracy.net – Georgy Borodyansky, an Omsk-based correspondent for Novaya Gazeta – May 12, 2015) Circumstance has forced the inhabitants of Kurganka, a village in Russia’s Omsk Region, to […]

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NEWSLINK American Enterprise Institute: Putin’s Russia: How it rose, how it is maintained, and how it might end

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

Vladimir Putin’s Russia faces not only international sanctions due its aggression in Ukraine and low oil prices that threaten its economy, but also several underlying crises that are not frequently discussed outside of expert circles. On Thursday, nine leading Russian scholars who contributed chapters to the just-released volume “Putin’s Russia: How it rose, how it is maintained, and how it […]

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NEWSLINK American Enterprise Institute: Political values in ‘Putin’s Russia': A Q&A with Mikhail Dmitriev

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

In 2013, the demand for political change began to shift from Moscow to other regions. At times, other regions even surpassed Moscow in their aspirations. Thus, a political system other than liberal democracy was the preferred option for 46% of Moscow’s residents, but for only 32% nationwide. The greatest demand for democracy was in St. Petersburg (69%) and other cities […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russia plans detailed discussion on raising retirement age: document

retirees-500

The Russian government has for the first time said officially it will hold discussions on raising the retirement age, a step whose supporters say is vital because the country’s workforce is shrinking. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/14/us-russia-crisis-pensions-idUSKBN0NZ27R20150514

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Putin Declares War on Russians’ Health

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Marc Champion – May 14, 2015) At what point will Russians begin to question the choices being made by their government? Maybe when those choices start killing them. As Bloomberg’s Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer report, Russia’s health system has suffered a severe reversal as a lower oil price has reduced government revenue and spending. Forced to pick […]

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NEWSLINK Daily Bruin: Former ambassador speaks at Anderson as part of lecture series. (Michael McFaul)

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

A former U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation argued domestic Russian politics are the main cause of renewed tensions between the United States and the Russian Federation at a lecture at the Anderson School of Management Tuesday

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: Russian Court Quashes Latest Bid to Jail Kremlin Critic Navalny.

Alexei Navalny file photo

Reuters covers the latest attempt to jail Russian lawyer, whistleblower and opposition figure Alexei Navalny. A Moscow court on Wednesday rejected a bid by law enforcement officials to have Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny jailed for violating the terms of his suspended five-year sentence on embezzlement charges. Navalny, who led mass street protests against President Vladimir Putin in 2011-2012, denies any […]

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In Putin’s Russia, Universal Health Care Is for All Who Pay

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer – May 13, 2015) Expectant mothers in Moscow must wait as long as six weeks for ultra-sound scans, up from three days last year. Hospital outpatients pay for blood tests and X-rays that were free 12 months ago. And Marif Alekberov, a 27-year-old fireman with leukemia, is being told to find […]

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Russian Polluters Evading Huge Environmental Fines

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – May 12, 2015) Russia’s environmental protection watchdog is failing to collect penalties imposed on polluters worth tens of millions of dollars per year. Penalties worth 2 billion rubles ($40 million) ordered by the Federal Service for Supervising Natural Resources, or Rosprirodnadzor, went unpaid in 2014, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov told […]

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