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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Watching the NSA Prism scandal from Russia

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief – June 10, 2013) The NSA Prism surveillance scandal is disconcerting for many reasons – all of which I won’t get into here. What is especially curious about it is how meek other Western governments and even rights organizations are sounding when they talk about it. Amnesty International noted that the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting on economic issues

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Kremlin.ru – June 10, 2013) The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin held a meeting on measures to improve business and investment activeness in Russia. Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Ivanov, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, Presidential Aide Elvira Nabiullina, Presidential Aide […]

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Eurozone Recession to Stay Longer – Russian Economy Ministry

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(RIA Novosti -MOSCOW, June 10, 2013) ­ Eurozone recession is lingering and Europe’s unemployment rate is rising amid a slow global economic recovery, Russia’s Economic Development Ministry said in a monitoring report on Monday. Russian Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach said in late May that recession could hit Russia only if recession developed in the global economy and negative […]

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Maternal Mortality Falls by Over Half in Russia – PM

File Photo of Russian Expectant Couple with Mother in Hospital Bed

(RIA Novosti – GORKI, June 10, 2013) Maternal mortality in Russia has fallen by 55 percent since 2005, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday. “We recently obtained data on a decrease in maternal mortality,” Medvedev said at a meeting of deputy premiers. “Since 2005, or in essence since the start of the national healthcare project, it dropped 2.2-fold.” In […]

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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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Garry Kasparov: Out Of The Country, But Not Out Of The Picture

Garry Kasparov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Valentin Baryshnikov – June 11, 2013) Garry Kasparov may be staying away from his homeland for a while, but he has no intention of steering clear of Russian politics. The chess grandmaster turned opposition figure does not mince his words when he speaks of what he calls the “Hitleresque essence” of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime. […]

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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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Most Russians want ‘gay propaganda’ to be banned – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – June 11, 2013) Russians have become more intolerable to homosexuality over the past few years, and the share of opponents of same-sex marriages has grown, the VTSIOM pollster has reported. Eighty-eight percent of Russian citizens welcome the proposed ban on the propaganda of homosexuality, compared to 86 percent in 2012, and only 7 percent support it. “A relative […]

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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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Russian, U.S. leaders ‘keen to move forward’ – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 11, 2013) Relations between Moscow and Washington will develop in a step by step manner despite the existing “irritators”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “Well, I don’t see any challenges which are not insurmountable. I believe that after some pause and some irritators, which appeared rather officially in our relationship some time ago, both presidents […]

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RIANovosti: Russian Minister Condemns West’s ‘Double Standards’ on Syria [Lavrov]

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 11, 2013) ­ Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticized the West’s “double standards” in dealing with foreign regimes it has branded as dictatorial, and defended Russia’s arms contracts with Syria. Speaking in a recent interview with America’s CBS network released on Monday evening, Lavrov said the West had a policy of double standards in […]

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Putin Says ‘Eurasian Integration’ Top Priority For Russia

Vladimir Putin file photo

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, June 10, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin has named promoting partnership with CIS countries, enhancing Eurasian integration in the framework of the Customs Union and Single Economic Space, and creating the Eurasian Economic Union by 2015 as most important priorities of Russia’s foreign policy. At a meeting on federal executive bodies’ action plans to achieve Russian […]

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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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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#105 :: 11 June 2013

Map of Russia

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#105 :: 11 June 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: www.russialist.org JRL on Facebook: www.facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#104 :: 10 June 2013

Map of Russia

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#104 :: 10 June 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: www.russialist.org JRL on Facebook: www.facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: http://russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. Moscow Times: Russia Gearing Up for National Holiday. 2. Interfax: […]

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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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HSBC Blames Russia’s Stunted Growth in May on Extra Holidays

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Rajeev Sharma – June 10, 2013) Russia’s stunted growth in the private sector in May was due to the extended holidays, while India led the pack of BRIC peers for economic growth, a report said. While noting that the economic growth in emerging market economies remained sluggish overall last month, the HSBC composite index, which […]

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Almost 90 Percent of Russians Play Computer Games – Survey

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 10, 2013) A total of 87 percent of Russian Internet users are playing computer games monthly, most of them are women and the average age of a gamer is 34 years, a survey conducted by Mail.Ru Group said. According to the survey, computers remain the most popular device to play games with 87 percent of […]

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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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Russia Beefs Up Arms in Face of New Threats

Russian Nuclear Submarine file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) Russia’s ambitious program to revamp its army and fleet has already produced a “missile defense killer” that “neither modern nor future American missile defense systems will be able to stop,” Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Friday at a lecture organized by the ruling United Russia party. “We live in a forest […]

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Missile Defense Key to Developing US-Russian Ties – MP

Russian Duma Building

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 10, 2013) ­ Resolving differences between Russia and the United States over missile defense is key to developing bilateral relations, a senior Russian lawmaker said Monday. “Missile defense has become a key issue: If we find a common language here, we could speak of a beginning of new positive dynamics in US-Russian relations,” Alexei Pushkov, […]

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Russia No Security Rival to Washington – U.S. Ambassador

Ambassador Michael McFaul file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 10, 2013) ­ The US administration does not regard Russia as a rival in security matters but views Moscow as a partner with whom it can jointly resolve global issues, the US ambassador to Russia said on Monday. “We do not consider Russia as a rival to the United States either in security or in […]

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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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New wave of Russian emigration: Leave or stay?

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, RBTH – June 10, 2013) Within the space of one week, two prominent representatives of the Russian intelligentsia, known for openly voicing their disagreement with the authorities, have announced their political exile. In early June, former world chess champion and opposition leader Garry Kasparov stated at a press conference in Geneva […]

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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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Moscow’s life span reaches European level – Sobyanin

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) Life span in Moscow has almost reach the level common in Europe, said Moscow’s acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. “Muscovites’ life span has increased considerably in recent years, reaching 75.5 years, which is almost as long as in Europe,” he said. The birth rate has risen, too, he said. “About 130,000 births were registered in […]

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Russia Gearing Up for National Holiday

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) On Wednesday June 12 offices around Russia will empty as Russia celebrates Russia Day, one of the nation’s youngest public holidays. Since the day falls in the middle of the week, it will not be rearranged to make up a long weekend. “People will have to organize their working week to take […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#103 :: 7 June 2013

Map of Russia

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#103 :: 7 June 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: www.russialist.org JRL on Facebook: www.facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: http://russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. BBC Monitoring: Putin announces end of marriage on Russian TV. […]

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Nearly One Russian in Four Now Wants to Move Abroad, Survey Finds

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 7, 2013) Twenty-two percent of Russians say they would like to move to a foreign country to live and work, up from only 13 percent in 2009, and an indication that the deteriorating political situation in Russia is forcing not only high profile figures like Gari Kasparov but many others as […]

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Moscow Slams Western Support for Syria Opposition

Syria Map

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) Western support for Syria’s armed opposition will only fuel violence in the war-torn country, Russia’s foreign minister insisted on Friday. “We are disturbed by statements coming from leaders of the so-called Free Syrian Army as well as from some US representatives, to the effect that support for the armed opposition will continue in […]

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U.S. shields won’t stop Russia’s new missiles from reaching their targets – Russian Deputy Premier

Missile Defense Launch file photo

(Interfax – June 7, 2013) U.S. missile defense shields will not be able to stop Russia’s new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which was test launched successfully on June 6, from reaching its target, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in his lecture as part of the Civil University project on Friday. “We closely watched last night’s events. They were […]

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Ukrainians have trust in church, media, army – poll

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(Interfax – KYIV, June 6, 2013) Only three social institutes – the Church, the media and the Armed Forces – enjoy confidence of Ukrainians, according to the survey done by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Razumkov Center. Some 31.7% trust the Church fully, 38.4% are inclined to trust, 10.6% are not inclined, and 9.3% have no confidence […]

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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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More than one in five Russians want to emigrate – poll

Map of Russia

(Interfax – June 6, 2013) The share of Russian citizens who would like to emigrate has risen to 22 per cent, up from 13 per cent in 2009, private-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 6 June, quoting the latest Levada Centre opinion poll. Among students, the figure reaches 45 per cent. The poll was conducted on 23-27 May among […]

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Russian rights veterans issue statement in support of ‘foreign agent’ NGOs

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – Moscow, June 6, 2013) A number of Russian rights activists have stood up for the Golos NGO and other organizations that have been labelled foreign agents, saying that their work should not be labelled political. “Accusations about NGOs taking part in political activities strikes out citizens’ constitutional rights,” reads Rights Council statement released in Moscow on Thursday (6 […]

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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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