Disappointment in Putin Has Doubled Since 2001 – Poll

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 9, 2013) ­ The number of Russians who are disappointed in President Vladimir Putin has more than doubled since his first year in power, according to the latest in a series of nationwide polls that started in 2000. Twenty-two percent of respondents professed disappointment in the country’s long-standing leader last month, compared to 10 percent […]

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No progress in nuke arms reduction unless Russia, US agree on ABM – diplomat

Missile Defense Control Room file photo

(Interfax – August 7, 2013) Further steps towards nuclear arms reduction are impossible unless Russia and the USA come to an agreement on ABM, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has told Interfax news agency as reported on 7 August. “The whole of factors affecting strategic stability lead us to conclusion that today there is very few real and serious prospects […]

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Interfax: Russian analysts believe Obama gave in to pressure of ‘cold war’ lobby

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Interfax – August 7, 2013) Russian political analysts believe that the cancelation of plans of U.S. President Barack Obama to have a one-on-one meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin stems from strong pressure on the U.S. president on the part of hawks in the Congress and Senate. “This indicates that Obama is failing to lead relations with Putin toward […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Interview of the President by Jay Leno, The Tonight Show [excerpt re Russia]

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – NBC Studios – Burbank, California – August 7, 2013) For Immediate Release Q    Now, were you surprised that Russia granted Snowden asylum? THE PRESIDENT:  I was disappointed because even though we don’t have an extradition treaty with them, traditionally we have tried to respect if there’s a law-breaker or an […]

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Thirty Border Conflicts Simmering Among Russia’s Federal Subjects

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 8, 2013) At the present time, there are approximately 30 territorial disputes among Russia’s federal subjects, a situation that makes changing borders anywhere a such an extremely dangerous proposition  that one Moscow commentator calls these conflicts “a slow acting bomb under Russian sovereignty” as a whole. Indeed, Ruslan Gorevoy argues in […]

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Interfax: Russian deputy premier attempts to allay gay fears ahead of Sochi Olympics

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Interfax – August 7, 2013) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitriy Kozak has said that there can be no infringement of the rights of people of nontraditional sexual orientation during the Sochi Winter Olympics, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 7 August. “There will be no infringement of (the rights of) persons on the grounds of sexual orientation during the […]

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Moscow Dismisses Western Criticism of Gay Propaganda Law

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 7, 2013) ­ A senior Russian Foreign Ministry official on Wednesday deflected Western criticism of the so-called anti-gay law, saying the recently adopted legislation did not violate the rights of sexual minorities in the country but was aimed at protecting minors. “As to the criticism of our law banning homosexual propaganda we have to reiterate […]

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New Khodorkovsky Investigation Gathering Pace – Report

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 8, 2013) ­ Deputies from Russia’s State Duma and senior officials could be questioned by investigators looking into a decade-old case against jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, sparking renewed fears that fresh charges against the once powerful businessman are imminent, Vedomosti newspaper reported Thursday. Legal experts were first questioned in September last year in connection with […]

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Amendments to Protest Law Reduce Fines, Organizer Responsibility

Moscow Protest file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 8, 2013) New amendments purport to fix constitutional issues with the 2012 law on public demonstrations, but legal experts say the measure can still be used to infringe on Russian citizens’ freedom of assembly. The amendments, drafted by the Justice Ministry and headed to the State Duma, were based on the results of a […]

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Medvedev-led government still fails to live up to Russians’ expectations – poll

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 8, 2013) The performance of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s government, which was appointed a little more than a year ago, continues to draw criticism from quite a large number of Russian citizens, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax on Wednesday, referring to the results of a recent public opinion survey. Twenty-three percent of respondents said in July […]

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RIA Novosti: 42% of Russians Say Government Cannot Improve Country – Poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 7, 2013) ­ Only 16 percent of Russians think that the federal government could improve the country in the foreseeable future (down from 45 percent in July 2010 and 21 percent in July 2011), while 42 percent think it could not, according to a poll published Wednesday. Only 5.9 percent of respondents to a survey […]

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Obama Snubs Putin in Sign of Tensions in U.S.-Russia Ties

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Terry Atlas & Margaret Talev – August 8, 2013) President Barack Obama’s decision to snub Russian President Vladimir Putin sends their relationship to a new low. In effect, Obama is replacing his effort to “reset” relations between the two nations with Cold War-style realpolitik, after a series of Russian actions contrary to U.S. interests. Even before […]

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Poll suggests positive shift in Russians’ attitude to Georgia

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Interfax – August 7, 2013) Ahead of the fifth anniversary of the so-called “five-day war” between Russia and Georgia back in August 2008, more Russians show a positive attitude towards Georgia, Russian privately-owned Interfax news agency reported on 7 August, quoting the results of a recent poll conducted by an independent pollster, the Levada Centre. The full results of the […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#144 :: 8 August 2013

Map of Russia

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#144 :: 8 August 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: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#143 :: 7 August 2013

Map of Russia

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#143 :: 7 August 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: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. Interfax: Medvedev has no doubt about decision to force Georgia […]

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Five Years After The War, South Caucasus Still Caught Between Russia, The West

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – August 7, 2013) Azerbaijan is arming to the teeth. Armenia is growing increasingly disillusioned with Russia, its main protector. And the potential for armed conflict in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region appears higher than it has been in years. The increased tensions surrounding the Armenian-controlled separatist enclave inside Azerbaijan — where there have been […]

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‘Migrant Camp’ Inspires New Facilities

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – August 6, 2013) The Federal Migration Service has drafted a bill to set up 83 new detention centers for illegal immigrants across the country as Moscow’s three holding facilities run out of space following a week of raids on city markets. Some 1,400 alleged illegal immigrants from Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Syria, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, […]

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Navalny loses potential voters in Moscow, Sobyanin gains – poll

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 6, 2013) The number of Moscow citizens intending to vote in the upcoming Moscow mayoral elections for Sergei Sobyanin is growing, while the share of those planning to support his main rival Alexei Navalny is decreasing, the research center of Superjob.ru portal said. “Over a half (53%) of those who have already decided on their votes […]

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Russians rate tobacco, alcohol low amongst disease causes – poll

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 6, 2013) Russians tend to blame their diseases on themselves, while low living standards and bad environmental conditions are deemed less significant, sociologists said. Daily stress and fears top the list of causes of diseases, Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) told Interfax. Other essential factors are bad environmental conditions (26%), age (24%), a shortage of […]

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Putin Blasts Rogozin Over Rearmament Failures

Dmitry Rogozin file photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 145 – Roger McDermott – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – August 6, 2013) Moscow’s highly ambitious military rearmament plans to 2020 always appeared destined to encounter major setbacks linked to the capacity of the domestic defense industry to deliver the modernization of weapons and equipment for the Armed Forces. However, on July 31, within […]

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Investigation into State Duma deputy Starovoitova’s murder reopened – aide

Russian Duma Building

(Interfax – ST. PETERSBURG. Aug 6, 2013) The Federal Security Service (FSB) department for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region has reopened an investigation into the 1998 assassination of State Duma deputy Galina Starovoitova, Ruslan Linkov, Starovoitova’s former aide, told Interfax on Tuesday. “The investigation was reopened on August 1. It was done because certain investigative procedures can be conducted […]

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Sentence Reduced In Yukos Case

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – August 7, 2013) The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to cut the sentence of former oil tycoon and Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev by two months, but their supporters called the move a “pathetic gesture” and their lawyers promised to appeal the court’s decision. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were […]

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‘Dissident’ Priest Stabbed to Death in Pskov

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 7, 2013) One of Russia’s most revered priests, widely considered a “dissident priest” for his strong criticism of the Russian Orthodox Church, was stabbed to death on Monday night in the northwestern town of Pskov. Pavel Adelgeim, 75, was found dead by his wife late Monday, with the suspect still at […]

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Thirty-Seven Business Leaders Back Navalny in Moscow Mayoral Race

Alexei Navalny file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 7, 2013) ­ A group of 37 CEOs and entrepreneurs from Russian internet companies and start-up businesses have announced their backing for opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s bid to become mayor of Moscow, in a rare intervention in favor of opposition politics by Russian business. Their support for Navalny at the upcoming election, at which he […]

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‘Melting of Permafrost is Converting Much of Russia into a Swamp’

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 7, 2013) Two-thirds of the territory of the Russian Federation is covered by permafrost, and the melting of this ice is rapidly “converting a large part of Russia into a swamp,” according to studies by British and Russian scholars reported and discussed this week in Moscow’s “Novyye izvestiya.” Researchers at the […]

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TRANSCRIPT [Putin]: Seliger 2013 Youth Forum (transcript continue)

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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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with the Position programme for Georgia’s Rustavi 2 TV network

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – August 6, 2013) Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with Nino Shubladze, host of the political talk show Position, broadcast by Georgia’s Rustavi 2 TV network on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the war in South Ossetia. Nino Shubladze: Thank you very much, Mr Prime Minister, for granting us an interview. There are, of course, very many important topics […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#142 :: 6 August 2013

Map of Russia

[links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#142 :: 6 August 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: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. Moscow Times/BBC Monitoring: […]

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Aleksei Navalny takes on ‘the fools and the roads’

Alexei Navalny file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Loginov – August 5, 2013) Mikhail Loginov is a journalist and novelist based in St Petersburg. He is the author of the recently published bestselling political thriller “Battle for Kremlin”. As the saying goes: ‘Russia has two misfortunes: the fools and the roads.’ Aleksei Navalny is just about still standing for election as Mayor of Moscow, but, […]

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Is Russia Turning Protestant?

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

(Voice of America – James Brooke, VOA Moscow Bureau Chief, covering Russia and the former USSR – July 30, 2013) RIO DE JANEIRO ­ In 1990, an American anthropologist wrote a controversial book: “Is Latin America Turning Protestant?” Two decades later, that same provocative question can be asked of Russia. Who will win: The Church of the Golden Domes? Or […]

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Russia’s judicial system: summertime sadness

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief – August 6, 2013) It was a bit of throwaway news last week: A young man behind the wheel of a Ferrari had struck and killed a pensioner in Moscow in early July. The young man in question, rumored to be the son of a well-known businessman, was let go under […]

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Russia Looks East, Yet Again

File Photo of People Working on Car Amidst Siberian Woodlands and Meadows

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Dan Wisniewski – August 6, 2013) Moscow’s efforts to develop its eastern regions over the last couple of centuries could be encapsulated in the rallying cry “Go east, young Russians!” But perhaps nowadays that might be rephrased as “Go east, young Uzbeks,” according to EurasiaNet’s Evgeny Kuzmin. Kuzmin notes that more and more Central Asian migrants […]

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Moscow’s killing fields: inside a Stalinist execution site

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Joy Neumeyer – August 5, 2013) Across from the sprawling Gazprom offices on Moscow’s southern fringes, there is a forest. It is quiet, full of mushrooms and dead leaves. The only people usually there are a pair of monks, who live by a church built on the property. The forest is part of a village […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Experts Comment On Chance Of Dialogue Between Iran And The West

Map of Iran with Stylized Radar Sweep and Radiation Symbol Background Image

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, August 5, 2013) Under its new president Hasan Ruhani, Iran will have to make concessions to the international community over its nuclear programme, but specific results of negotiations will not become apparent any time soon, experts polled by RIA Novosti have said. Yesterday, after being officially inaugurated, President Ruhani said that the only way to interact […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#141 :: 5 August 2013

Map of Russia

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#141 :: 5 August 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: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. Civil Georgia: On Fifth Anniversary of August War, Medvedev Speaks […]

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U.S. Rock Group Ignites New Tensions

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – August 5, 2013) The performance of popular U.S. rock band Bloodhound Gang was canceled over the weekend after one of its musicians shoved a Russian flag into his underpants at a concert in Ukraine, prompting outrage from Russian officials and calls for an investigation into the possibility that the flag fiasco was […]

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RIA Novosti: No Changes to Planned Putin-Obama Meeting – Kremlin Spokesman

File Photo of Barack Obama Sitting at Desk with Mike McFaul Standing Next to Him Facing Him

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 5, 2013) ­ Russia has not received any official notification that US President Barack Obama intends to cancel a planned bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month, Putin’s spokesman said Monday. “We haven’t received any changes, or any notifications. We don’t, therefore, have any information,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told Russian […]

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Russians like EU more than USA – poll

EU Map

(Interfax – August 2, 2013) The Russians’ attitude toward the USA is gradually getting worse, Russian Interfax news agency reported on 2 August, quoting a poll carried out by Levada Centre sociologists in July. Compared with 2010, positive views of the USA have dropped from 60 per cent to 53 per cent, and negative views grown from 27 per cent […]

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Russian nationalism: tip of the iceberg

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – August 5, 2013) Every few years, the specter of Russian nationalism rears its head, sending people who think they understand a thing or two about this country screaming in horror in all directions. The reason, I think, is that in Western democracies, “nationalism” is understood as a chauvinistic sense of supremacy that […]

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Russians aren’t enthusiastic about new parties – Public Opinion Foundation

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Interfax – August 5, 2013) Russians are not enthusiastic about new parties and the only interest they take is that in the very fact of their appearance, Public Opinion Foundation General Director Alexander Oslon concluded from their sociological studies. “People do not expect any concrete results from the appearance of large number of political parties. I would say they are […]

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RIA Novosti: Putin Younger Than His Age, Swims to Deal With Stress – Kremlin Doctor

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Pilot in Hang Glider Airborne Next to Flying Cranes

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 4, 2013) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin’s love of sport means that, from a medical point of view, he is “much younger than his age,” the Kremlin’s chief doctor, Sergei Mironov, said in an interview to be published Monday. “He is a very sporty person. Not everyone at such a mature age starts to play […]

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Interfax: Putin says Russia needs no chaos, no new priests Gapons

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Interfax – SELIGER, Tver region, August 2, 2013) The attempts to plunge Russia into chaos will lead to the situation as in some Middle Eastern countries and Russia does not need new priests Gapons (Georgy Gapon was a Russian priest and a popular working class leader before the Russian Revolution of 1905), Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Seliger […]

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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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Russian human rights organization opens website to report September 8 election violations

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

(Interfax – August 3, 2013) The Russian movement for the protection of the rights of voters, Golos, has opened a website with a map [http://www.kartanarusheniy.org/] which will record all violations at local elections on 8 September, Interfax news agency reported on 2 August, quoting the movement’s press service. The press service said that people would be able to add information […]

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Moscow Helsinki Group head says law on NGOs must be cancelled

Lyudmila Alekseyeva file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 2, 2013) Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva said she disagreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said he was opposed to toughening or liberalizing the law on non-governmental organizations (NGO) – foreign agents. “I think that this law must be cancelled over its absurdity,” Alexeyeva told Interfax on Friday. “We, NGOs, do not […]

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RIA Novosti: Activists Who Reported ‘Putin’s Palace’ Jailed for Extortion

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 5, 2013) ­ Four environmental activists in southern Russia have been given lengthy jail terms for extorting money from a real estate developer, though they denied the accusations, Russian media reported. Four employees of the Gelendzhik Human Rights Center in the Krasnodar Region were given jail terms of between eight and 13 years in a […]

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Snowden: Protagonist in a tragicomedy

Edward Snowden file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines/ Rossiyskaya Gazeta – rbth.ru – Fyodor Lukyanov, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy – August 5, 2013) Edward Snowden’s story started out as a spy thriller, went on to become a farce, and is about to turn into a drama laced with elements of human tragedy. The genre […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview to Russia Today TV channel

Map of Georgia

(Government.ru – Gorki, August 4, 2013) Dmitry Medvedev is interviewed by Russia Today correspondent Oksana Boyko on the events in August 2008 and consequences of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict. The interview was recorded on July 24, 2013. Oksana Boyko: Mr Medvedev, thank you for your time… Now that it’s been five years, the international community has all but forgotten this […]

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Russia had no intention to occupy Tbilisi, topple Saakashvili in Aug 2008 – Medvedev

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Interfax – MOSCOW, Aug 4, 2013) The Russian government had no intention to occupy Tbilisi and topple the Mikheil Saakashvili regime in its peace enforcement operation against Georgia in August 2008, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “As the Supreme Commander in Chief I never gave an order to enter Tbilisi, change their political regime and execute Saakashvili,” Medvedev, the […]

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