Putin: Russia’s future depends on its competitiveness

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 12, 2013) Amid growing competition in the world in all fields, from art to the defense industry, Russian researchers and scientists should not expect stress-free work, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a ceremony of presenting state awards at the Kremlin on Wednesday. “I will venture to follow up on what today’s laureates have said here […]

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Kremlin official proposes to amend NGO law

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Interfax – June 13, 2013) The law on non-governmental organizations (NGO) acting as foreign agents may be amended, says Ksenia Yudayeva, the chief of the Russian presidential expert directorate. “I think a lot of laws we adopt are later discussed and subjected to an adjustment process,” Yudayeva told journalists at the Civil G20 Summit in Moscow on Thursday. “For any […]

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NGOs Find Loophole in ‘Foreign Agents’ Law

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 13, 2013) Non-governmental organizations in Russia have found a way to bypass the law requiring them to register as “foreign agents,” a news report said Thursday. An official in one NGO told Kommersant that his agency is planning to set up a commercial organization which will officially receive foreign grants. The main NGO will […]

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Human rights ombudsman praises opposition march

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Igor Rozin, based on Interfax – June 12, 2013) Both opposition activists and the Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin seemed satisfied with the results of the protest and did not advance any complaints concerning the police’s behavior. Some 6,000 people took part part in the opposition march in central Moscow on Wednesday, […]

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Russian rights activists, bloggers slam new law on protecting religious feelings

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

(Interfax – June 12, 2013) Russian rights activists and bloggers have criticized a bill protecting the feelings of religious believers, which the State Duma passed in the third and final reading on 11 June. The law, prompted by the controversial Pussy Riot “punk prayer” in 2012 in Moscow’s main cathedral, provides up to three years’ jail for offending religious feelings. […]

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Putin’s Central Banker Nabiullina Recites Verlaine as Regulator

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Evgenia Pismennaya – June 12, 2013) Vladimir Putin is handing the keys of his central bank to a poetry-loving Francophile who pays homage to the victims of Russia’s totalitarian past. The first woman to head a Group of Eight central bank, Elvira Nabiullina’s appointment surprised even herself, according to four colleagues who asked not to be […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Visit to Russia Today television channel

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Kremlin.ru – Moscow, June 11, 2013) Vladimir Putin visited the new Russia Today broadcasting centre and met with the channel’s leadership and correspondents. The President toured the production control room, the sound editing booth, the English, Spanish and Arabic desks, and a visual effects studio. Russia Today is a Russian international multilingual media company, which comprises five 24-hour television channels: […]

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Putin expects extra measures stimulating economy from government

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 11, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin says he expects the government to take extra measures to stimulate the national economy in the near future, but Russia is not going to start a currency emission process. “I hope the Russian government, after our numerous meetings, will propose extra steps to stimulate economic development,” Putin said while taking […]

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Livanov Promises Pay Raises for Professors

Moscow State University

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Winning – June 11, 2013) Embattled Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov said Monday that Russian professors would get a pay rise in September in a move seen as an attempt to appease opposition to his tenure at the ministry. Livanov has been heavily criticized for implementing a series of unpopular reforms since being […]

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Putin says Russia needs more flexible approach to immigration

Migrant Workers file photo

(Interfax – June 11, 2013) Russia needs a more flexible immigration policy to make it possible to attract the specialists the country requires, President Vladimir Putin has said. He was speaking during a visit to state-owned international TV channel RT (formerly known as Russia Today) in Moscow on the same day, as reported by the Russian media that day. “On […]

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Russian Deputy PM Dvorkovich plans to meet with economist Guriev in Paris

Sergei Guriev file photo

(Interfax – PARIS. June 11, 2013) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich plans to meet with former head of the Moscow-based New Economic School Sergei Guriev in Paris on Wednesday. Guriev recently announced that he did not plan to return to Russia from France, where he was on vacation. “I have known Sergei for a long time, we are friends, […]

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Russian justice minister seeks wider range of grounds for NGO checks

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – ST. PETERSBURG, June 11, 2013) Russian Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov has supported the need for a new bill, which is currently being debated, to provide a wider range of grounds permitting inspections of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the country. “The bill that broadens the range of grounds for such inspections is in the stage of preliminary debates at […]

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Russia to Fast-Track New Online Censorship Bill

Russian Duma Building

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 12, 2013) ­ A Russian parliamentary committee approved for review a new controversial anti-piracy law dubbed “the Russian SOPA” by critics after a similar US bill. The bill will undergo on Friday the first of three required readings in the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, and may be passed by mid-July, […]

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‘Blasphemy Bill’ in Effect From July

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 11, 2013) The controversial legislation that introduces tough penalties for offending believers’ feelings is set to come into force in July after State Duma Deputies approved a number of amendments to the bill in a third and final reading. Hefty fines and possible prison sentences for offenders from both Russia and abroad are included […]

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Russians do not expect soonest government resignation – poll

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 11, 2013) Russians doubt the possibility of the soonest government resignation and expect the president and the prime minister to carry on a coordinated policy for the next few years, Levada Center said. Sixty-four percent of the respondents polled in 130 towns and cities in 45 regions in late May said they did not believe that […]

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Russia Day: From independence to summer holiday

Map of Russia

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gleb Cherkasov, special to RBTH – June 11, 2013) Conceived by the founding fathers of the new Russia and in the mold of U.S. Independence Day, “Russia Day” has become just a new summer holiday ­ mainly because no one has ever managed to figure out who Russia gained independence from. For almost […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Speech at reception on Russia Day

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Kremlin.ru – June 12, 2013) The Kremlin, Moscow PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends, Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, I congratulate you on Russia Day. This holiday grows in importance every year. Its meaning, spirit and atmosphere reflect Russia’s development today. It is also a part of our history with all its difficult and sometimes dramatic moments. We all […]

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All-Russia People’s Front Seen as Vehicle to Polish Kremlin’s Image

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 11, 2013) President Vladimir Putin is expected to take the reins of the All-Russia People’s Front on Tuesday at the organization’s founding congress in a move some experts say is aimed at distancing himself from United Russia. As the ruling United Russia party found its reputation plagued by public criticism and […]

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Only Half of Russians Can Name June 12 Holiday – Poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 11, 2013) ­ Only 50% of Russian citizens know the correct name of the June 12 national holiday ­ the Day of Russia, according to a survey by the Levada Center independent pollster. The survey, published on Monday, indicates that another 30% of Russians know this holiday by its previous name ­ the Day of […]

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Russia’s June 12 holiday: birth of a nation

Map of Russia

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – June 10, 2013) Ask a handful of people about Russia Day, celebrated every year on June 12 since 1992, and you are likely to encounter confusion. Meant to celebrate the birth of the Russian Federation, a modern nation with a new Constitution and flag, the holiday does not have a lot of […]

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Russian prominent economist Guriyev does not want to be political refugee in France

Sergei Guriev file photo

(Interfax – June 11, 2013) Former head of the New Economic School (NES) Sergei Guriyev said that the reasons due to which he left Russia were personal and he did not intend to get the political refugee status in France. “I am not a political emigrant. I simply do not want to live in Russia. I repeat once again: [Russian […]

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Navalny Tries to Boot Judge From KirovLes Trial

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – June 11, 2013) The trial against opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his business partner Pyotr Ofitserov on embezzlement charges entered its 12th day on Monday, with the defense demanding that the judge in the case recuse himself for allegedly creating unequal conditions for the defense and prosecution. The judge, Sergei Blinov, of […]

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Russian official accuses rights activists of sowing destructive ideas

Vladimir Markin file photo

(Interfax – June 10, 2013) Official spokesman for the Russian Investigations Committee Vladimir Markin has said that human rights activists do not always take an objective stance on some criminal cases and sometimes come up with ideas which are destructive for law and order, privately-owned Interfax news agency reported on 10 June. “Alas, numerous social commentators and human rights activists […]

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Over 60% of Russians see Putin as good strategist, responsible leader – poll

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 10, 2013) Most Russians are informed about the tasks President Vladimir Putin has set for the government, think they are feasible and note Putin’s “good strategic foresight,” according to a recent opinion poll. “Seventy-three percent of those polled are more or less informed about the tasks Putin set to the government in May 2012, and 46% […]

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Russia’s human rights ombudsman warns against consequences of bill banning ‘gay propaganda’

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Interfax – June 11, 2013) Russian human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin said that he feared “unwise” application of a bill banning propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations, which the Russian State Duma could pass in the the second and third readings on Tuesday. “The main issue will be the administration of the law. Cruel and unwise administration could lead to human […]

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Turkish Turmoil Adds Unpredictability to Putin’s Creeping Coup

Turkey map

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 109 – Pavel K. Baev – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – June 10, 2013) The explosion of public protests in Istanbul makes a strong but ambivalent impression on the development of the vacillating political crisis in Russia; the state-controlled Russian television channels prefer to give them minimal and unsympathetic coverage, focusing instead on the flooding […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Senior MP Says USA Cannot Disrupt Integration In Post Soviet Space

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(RIA Novosti – June 10, 2013) The USA will not be able to hinder integration processes in the post-Soviet space, chairman of the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Aleksey Pushkov has said. He was speaking at a news conference in Moscow on 10 June, as reported by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti on the same day. Pushkov said: […]

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Putin to Let Foreign Banks Check Out Officials

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow TImes – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree allowing foreign banks and international organizations to check foreign property belonging to election candidates running for positions in state bodies, a news report said Monday. The new law will affect all federal and regional elected officials including the president, State Duma deputies, governors and heads […]

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Russian officials worried influx of migrants becomes unmanageable

Migrant Workers file photo

(Interfax – June 6, 2013) The influx of migrants in Russia is becoming alarming, head of the Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovskiy has said, as quoted by Interfax news agency on 6 June. “For the last four years, we have recorded a significant increase in the number of immigrants to Russia. It was especially high in 2012 and 2013. Certainly, […]

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Muscovites don’t see Navalny as serious candidate – analyst

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 9, 2013) Opposition blogger Alexei Navalny, recommended for nomination as a mayoral candidate by the Bureau of the opposition Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS), will not pass through the municipal filter as a serious candidate, said First Vice President of the Center for Political Technologies think tank Alexei Makarkin. “Navalny can act […]

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RPR-PARNAS Bureau’s recommendation to nominate Navalny is not mandatory – Ryzhkov

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 9, 2013) The Bureau of the Opposition Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS) adopted a recommendation on Sunday to nominate opposition blogger Alexei Navalny to run for Moscow mayor, the party’s co-chairman Vladimir Ryzhkov told Interfax. “The recommendation was adopted following a preliminary discussion. By law, the recommendation has no legal force. The […]

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‘Islamic Factor’ Already Looms Large in Upcoming Moscow Mayoralty Race

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 10, 2013) Even though Muscovites will cast their votes for mayor only three months from now, Sergey Sobyanin and other aspirants are already playing the Muslim card to win support among ethnic Russians, a practice that is further alienating the Russian capital’s large and growing Muslim community. In a commentary in […]

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Prokhorov Could Team Up With Luzhkov in Snap Elections

Mikhail Prokohrov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) Businessman and Civil Platform party head Mikhail Prokhorov has announced his plans to work together with former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov in the upcoming city elections, a news report said Monday. “Last Saturday I met with Yuri Luzhkov. We had a two-hour-long conversation during which we discussed the plans for summer,” Interfax […]

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Navalny Judge Digs in Heels Again

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) The KirovLes trial judge Sergei Blinov has once again rejected motions for his removal by Alexei Navalny’s defense team who complained about procedural violations and case prejudice, a new reports said Monday. “The court has taken the decision to reject the defense’s request to remove the presiding judge,” Blinov announced, adding that […]

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Russian Public TV denies canceling programme over Putin divorce jokes

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, June 8, 2013) Russian Public TV is not planning to cancel its Social Network programme, the next episode will air on 10 June. The channel’s press service told Interfax on Saturday (8 June) that the 7 June edition of the programme was not aired for technical reasons. “No-one is closing the programme, it will continue to run. […]

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Peskov: There is no other woman in Putin’s life

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov has dismissed rumors that Putin will re-marry soon after divorce. “There is no other woman in the president’s life,” he said on Ekho Moskvy radio, noting that one should look at Putin’s busy schedule. “It is easy to understand that his life is in no way connected […]

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On disillusionment

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(opendemocracy.net – Dmitry Travin – June 6, 2013) Dmitry Travin is Research Director at the European University in St. Petersburg’s Centre of Modernization Studies. Discontent may soon be the norm across all sections of Russian society. But it’s unlikely to benefit the opposition or professional classes, says Dmitry Travin. Russia viewed from the Kremlin The official Kremlin view goes something […]

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About 70% of Russians have no problems with Putin divorce – poll

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) More than two-thirds of Russians don’t believe that the status of a country’s president deprives him or her of the right to divorce, an opinion poll suggests. Asked, “Does the president have the right to divorce, in your opinion?”, 71% of those questioned by the Superjob.ru portal on Friday answered in the affirmative. Every […]

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News of Putins’ Divorce Met With Shrugs

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – June 10, 2013) Ordinary Russians reacted with a mix of compassion, skepticism and indifference to Thursday’s announcement that President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila would divorce after 29 years of marriage, the first time a Russian leader has dissolved his marriage in over three centuries. “Honestly, it’s a circus, it’s funny, […]

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Interfax: 41% of Russians See Putin as Ideal Leader

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) Almost half of Russian people consider President Vladimir Putin an ideal or “close to ideal” president of Russia, a nationwide survey conducted by Levada Center said. Overall, 64 percent of respondents said that they approve of the president’s dealings. Of the 41 percent of people who consider Putin an ideal leader, 6 […]

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Revised Russian ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban To Be Put To Key Vote On 11 June

Russian Duma Building

(RIA Novosti – June 6, 2013) A controversial piece of Russian legislation banning the promotion of homosexuality among children has undergone significant changes since it won preliminary approval in January and is to be put to its key second reading in parliament on 11 June, Russian news agencies reported on 6 June, quoting senior MPs involved in pushing for the […]

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Sobyanin has more supporters than opponents amongst Muscovites – poll

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 6, 2013) The Moscow mayor’s rating has grown over the past few months, sociologists said. Thirty percent of Muscovites support Sergei Sobyanin at present. The number was 26% in March, shows a Superjob.ru portal survey done on May 17-20 amongst 2,000 economically active respondents. Men (31%) are more inclined to approve of the mayor’s work than […]

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Putin wants information about ministries’ work to be made public

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) The ministries and executive agencies’ work and its results must be made open to the public, said President Vladimir Putin. The government presented a plan to Putin in the Kremlin on Friday for implementing the presidential decrees passed in May 2012, followed by Putin’s remarks. “A concrete and clear picture must be drawn to […]

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Putin Slams Ministers’ 5-Year Plans

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he was not satisfied with the quality and contents of plans compiled by Russian ministers to show what they intend to do within the next five years in order to fulfill the tasks set by the president in May 2012. On May 7, 2012, the […]

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Putin’s spokesman Peskov calls for treating president’s life with respect

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov has called for treating the president’s private life with respect and not intruding into it. Peskov refrained from answering Interfax how Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin’s daughters had taken the news about their divorce. “Anything that concerns Vladimir Putin’s private life concerns only him, and he has […]

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Court Extends Detentions as Bolotnoye Trial Begins

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow TImes – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – June 7, 2013) The trial against 12 people charged with violence against police and participation in alleged mass riots in the so-called Bolotnoye case ­ a case observers say is one of the largest politically motivated trials in recent history ­ opened at the Zamoskvoretsky District Court on Thursday. More than 400 […]

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Can Alexey Kudrin Be The Next Russian Prime Minister?

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – June 6, 2013) As Russia’s economy slows, corruption worsens, and current Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s political stature shrinks, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin’s name is mentioned more and more frequently as a potential candidate for Russia’s next prime minister. However, Donald N. Jensen, Resident Fellow at the Center for […]

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Lyudmila Putina Once Called Her Husband a Vampire

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 7, 2013) Lyudmila Putina once called President Vladimir Putin a vampire, while he in turn has suggested that anyone who could put up with her for three weeks was heroic and deserved a monument. These and other observations about the private family life of the Putins were detailed in a 2001 book that provided […]

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Memorial wants independent evaluation of May 6, 2012 events in Bolotnaya Square

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 6, 2013) The human rights center Memorial has called for an independent legal evaluation of the events that occurred in the Moscow Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012 and the trial of the people charged in the riots, which is now beginning. “We believe it is extremely important to conduct an independent legal evaluation of the […]

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The art of remaining Moscow mayor

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – David Burghardt – June 6, 2013) Sergei Sobyanin made an unexpected move by resigning as the Moscow mayor and instigating snap elections for September in order to secure the next five years in City Hall. In actuality, Sobyanin holds a solid popularity rating of well over 50 percent among Muscovites, has done a lot to […]

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