Pushkov sees start of non-American world order in Russia and China’s common position on Syria

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 18, 2013) Chairman of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov of the United Russia faction said Russia and China’s position on the Syrian settlement marks an important stage in global politics. “Russia and China’s common position on Syria is seen in the West as a disappointing misunderstanding. But in fact, it marks the beginning […]

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Putin says not ‘alone’ on Syria

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – June 19, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin bristled over claims that he alone was opposing seven world leaders over how to deal with the Syria conflict during the G8 Summit this week in Northern Ireland. Asked by a reporter if he felt “lonely,” Putin said: “Of course not. That’s absolutely not true. […]

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U.S. tops Russian ‘most hostile’ countries – poll

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

(Interfax – June 18, 2013) The United States has overtaken Georgia as the state Russians consider the most hostile to their country even though positive overall perceptions of the US continue to outweigh the negative, according to a new opinion poll reported by the Russian news agency Interfax. Asked to list the top five countries they regard as being “most […]

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Fund to Support Small and Medium Businesses Could be Created

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 19, 2013) The Finance Ministry has proposed using a state guarantee fund to increase support for promising small- and medium-sized businesses, Vedomosti reported Wednesday. The proposals were prepared in response to the order made by President Vladimir Putin a week ago to stimulate business activity. This year the ministry has allocated 20 billion rubles […]

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Russia Lost $25 Bln in 3 Years in Transfer Scams – Banker

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 19, 2013) Shell companies have illegally funneled 760 billion rubles ($25 billion) from Russia in the past three years, outgoing Central Bank chief Sergei Ignatyev said on Wednesday, Vedomosti business paper reported. Ignatyev who is leaving his post next week after serving three consecutive terms, made the statement in a report to the Russian parliament […]

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Rainbow Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – Sergey Khazov – June 18, 2013) Sergey Khazov is a New Times journalist and a writer based in Moscow. What is life like for gay men and women in Russia? Sergey Khazov looks at the country’s gay infrastructure, and discovers a very fragmented picture. Until a couple of years ago homosexuality was, if not a forbidden topic (it […]

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“Under 16”: A Web Documentary on Teen Motherhood in Russia

Map of Russia

(RIA Novosti – June 14, 2013 – Article also appeared at http://en.ria.ru/society/20130614/181666437/Under-16-An-Interactive-Documentary-on-Teen-Motherhood.html) “Under 16: Monologues on Teen Motherhood” is RIA Novosti’s first web documentary. Its title reflects the central story line: All of the girls featured in the film became pregnant under the age of 16, but chose to keep their babies. The viewer can navigate freely, from character to […]

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Over 6,000 people were convicted for corruption in Russia in 2012 – newspaper

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 19, 2013) The judicial department of the Russian Supreme Court has published statistics of punishments for corruption in 2012, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported on Wednesday. “A total of 6,014 people were convicted for corruption in 2012,” Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported. According to the paper, some one-third of these people were convicted for giving bribes. “It is equally illegal […]

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Russia’s Youth Population ‘In Steady Decline’ – Official

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 18, 2013) Russia has seen both the number of young people in the country and their share in the total population decline steadily in recent years, an Education Ministry official said on Tuesday. “According to the Federal State Statistics Service, in 2012 there were 31.6 million people in the 15-29 age group ­ making up […]

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Interfax: Russia can liquidate ‘foreign agent’ NGOs but cannot force them to register

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – Moscow, June 18, 2013) Russian Justice Minister Aleksandr Konovalov has not ruled out that the register of non-commercial organizations – (serving as) “foreign agents” will never contain a single entry because there is no legal mechanism to forcibly register NGOs as such. “In accordance with the law, there is a chance that the list of these foreign agents […]

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Russian Court Refuses To Hear Defence Witnesses In Navalnyy’s Embezzlement Trial

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(RIA Novosti – Kirov, June 18, 2013) Judge Sergey Blinov refused on Tuesday (18 June) the request of the defence that 13 witnesses, including an auditor and several experts, be summoned to court in at the Kirovles (Kirov Timber) trial, a RIA Novosti correspondent has reported from Kirov’s Leninskiy court. On Monday, defence lawyer Svetlana Davydova submitted a request for […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Opposition Figure Charged with Plotting Mass Riots

Leonid Razvozzhayev file photo with hand to ear, as if holding cellphone

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 19, 2013) Russian prosecutors have charged opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev with plotting mass riots during a demonstration in Moscow last May, his lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky told RAPSI on Wednesday. Razvozzhayev, who had previously been accused by investigators of attempting mass disturbances, has been now formally charged with having organized riots, followed by violence, property destruction, […]

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Russia to Hold G8 Summit in Sochi on June 4-5, 2014 – Putin

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

(RIA Novosti – LOUGH ERNE, June 19, 2013) The next G8 summit will take place in the southern Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi in June 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday. “The Group of Eight summit I have invited my counterparts to will be held on June 4-5, 2014, in Sochi,” Putin told journalists after a G8 summit […]

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U.S. and Russia Sign New Anti-Proliferation Deal

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – June 19, 2013) Russia and the United States have a signed a bilateral agreement for protecting, controlling, and accounting for nuclear materials, continuing important aspects of a now-defunct program that was seen as a cornerstone of post-Soviet cooperation between the former foes. President Barack Obama hailed the deal as an example of […]

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Obama, Putin call for U.S.-Russia constructive cooperation as tool to overcome Cold War mentality

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

(Interfax – June 18, 2013) Constructive cooperation between the United States and Russia will allow both countries to overcome the Cold War mentality, U.S. President Barack Obama said. The U.S. and Russia agreed to continue cooperation that started with the Nunn-Lugar program, Obama told a news conference in the wake of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines […]

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G8 leaders tackle taxes, Syria, North Korea and terrorism

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yuri Paniyev, special to RBTH – June 18, 2013) With the G8 summit in full swing in Northern Ireland, the world’s leaders try to tackle financial and international challenges including tax evasion, the Middle East stand-off, the Syrian crisis and the North Korea nuclear problem. G8 leaders began their two-day summit at the […]

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Russians Divided Over Europeans’ Attitude Towards Moscow

EU Map

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) ­ While admitting that Russia and Europe have cultural differences, Russians are divided whether Europeans have a friendly attitude towards them, a recent opinion poll said on Monday. A total of 39 percent of Russians said Europeans are friendly to Russia while some 35 percent of respondents said Moscow is viewed negatively in […]

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Russia might adopt Foreign Account Compliance Tax Act in 2014

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Tatyana Lisina, special to RBTH – June 17, 2013) Despite initial reluctance, Moscow might help the U.S. hunt down tax evaders.   Russia appears to have finally yielded to American pressure to adopt a tax dodgers’ law known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Arguments advanced by Russian economists may have […]

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RIA Novosti: Most Russian Orthodox Don’t Read Bible, Pray, Go to Church – Poll

Church Domes with Crosses file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) ­ About 64 percent of Russians identify themselves as belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church, but many of them have never read the Bible and rarely go to church or pray, a recent poll showed. Some 52 percent of Russian self-identified Orthodox Christians said that they have never read the New Testament, the […]

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Watchdog Cites ‘Troubling Deterioration’ For Civil Society In Eurasia

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Heather Maher – June 18, 2013) Countries in Central Europe and Central Asia are increasingly being ruled by autocratic governments with little regard for democracy, according to the 2013 “Nations In Transit” report by democracy watchdog Freedom House. The result has been a worsening of existing corruption, media censorship, and violence against political opposition, the group […]

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U.S. Group Slams Transfer of Jewish Texts Praised by Putin

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti, WASHINGTON, June 17, 2013) ­ A New York-based Orthodox Jewish group has said it is not satisfied with Russia’s recent decision to transfer a disputed collection of Jewish religious texts to the newly built Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, a move proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to resolve the row. Moving the so-called Schneerson Library […]

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Russia’s privatization plan to become far less ambitious – paper

Empty Boardroom

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) Russia’s privatization plan, which has been very ambitious in the past two years but slow to be implemented, will become more realistic. The government came up with its big plans to divest a number of key assets in the summer of 2011, when current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was still president. Last June the […]

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Russia’s Putin Calls for IMF Overhaul, Bigger Role for BRICS

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 14, 2013) Russia will use its presidency of the G20 to push for a radical overhaul of the International Monetary Fund and changes to its voting system to give developing economies a stronger voice, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday in an interview with RIA Novosti. “The IMF frequently fails to keep up with the rapidly […]

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Khodorkovsky’s son says has no official info on ‘third Yukos case’

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) The family of Mikhail Khodorkovsky has no information on the possible third criminal case against the former Yukos CEO. “No charges have been filed, and the Investigations Committee and the prosecutors have not sent anything yet. However, I know what they say about the questioning of experts who stated their opinion on the second […]

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Navalny says his brother’s home searched by detectives

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, founder of Anti-Corruption Foundation, wrote on Twitter on Monday that detectives were currently searching his brother’s apartment. Interfax has been unable to obtain confirmation of Navalny’s words. In December, brothers Alexei and Oleg Navalny were charged with fraud and money laundering. “Alexei Navalny set up a limited liability company […]

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Navalny Defiant in KirovLes Testimony

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – June 18, 2013) Opposition leader Alexei Navalny took the stand in court on Monday, denying charges that he stole 10,000 cubic meters of timber from KirovLes in 2009 and saying he had tried to fight corruption at the state-owned company. Navalny, who is also a prominent anti-corruption blogger and a lawyer, began […]

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United Popular Front supports economic amnesty

Empty Boardroom

(Interfax – June 18, 2013) Russia’s United Popular Front (ONF) supports the idea of economic amnesty. “We support amnesty for businessmen on economic counts,” Alexander Galushka, co-chairman of the ONF’s central staff and co-chairman of the Business Russia organization said at a press conference at Interfax on Tuesday. “The presumption of guilt” for businessmen must be scrapped and this chapter […]

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Putin’s Front: the end of politics?

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

(Moscow News – Anna Arutunyan, editor and correspondent at themoscownews.com – June 17, 2013) Remember the season finale of “Game of Thrones,” when Daenerys Targaryen liberates thousands of slaves, and then tells them that she didn’t give them their freedom because it’s not hers to give? The people are so struck by her gesture that they physically rally around her, reaching […]

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New Putin-Led Movement Tool for Kremlin, Not Society – Experts

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

(Alexey Eremenko, RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 18, 2013) ­ Last week President Vladimir Putin took the helm of a quasi-political movement officially meant to help ordinary Russians inform the Kremlin of problems that need solving. But analysts remained skeptical about the organization’s stated aims, wondering why genuine feedback from society should have to go through the president’s office. More […]

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Putin’s Popular Front to replace United Russia?

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, RBTH – June 18, 2013) Vladimir Putin welcomes wary supporters of United Russia to the Russian Popular Front. The pro-Kremlin United Russia party has been taking blow after a blow to its reputation, as several of its high-ranking members have been accused of plagiarizing their postgraduate degree theses; others have been […]

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Aral Sea Stopped Shrinking Says Russian Scientist

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 18, 2013) The Aral Sea, which has been shrinking for almost half a century causing an environmental disaster in Central Asia, has finally stopped drying up, a Russian scientist said on Tuesday. “The sea is currently close to a balance because its surface has shrunk so much that evaporation has gone down too, so that […]

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Russian Politicians Show Varying Degrees Of Concern About G20 Snooping Story

G20 Logo

(RIA Novosti – June 17, 2013) The revelations about eavesdropping on foreign delegations during a G20 summit in the UK in 2009 could seriously affect international relations, a Russian senator said on 17 June, although another believes they will have only a limited impact. “The Russia-US reset was called in 2009, while at the same time US intelligence was listening […]

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PRISM and SORM: Big Brother is watching

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Kristen Blyth – June 17, 2013) George Orwell’s “1984” was, when it was published, purely a work of fiction. “There was, of course, no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment,” Orwell wrote. “You had to live in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in […]

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Unscheduled inspections trigger push to amend NGO law

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – June 18, 2013) The Law on Nongovernmental Organizations will be adjusted and its provisions dealing with unscheduled inspections will be amended, the Russian government said on its website citing its resolution of June 17. Article 32 will be amended and it will list the following reasons for ordering unscheduled inspections on nonprofit organizations: expiration of the deadline for […]

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Young G20 entrepreneurs discuss future at Skolkovo

Skolkovo File Photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com  – Nathan Gray – June 17, 2013) As the 2008 economic crisis took hold worldwide, the impact began to spur a change in the direction of economic policy. The most notable change was the replacement in 2009 of the G8 in the field of economic development by the G20, a more diverse organization that reflected a […]

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Moscow to host Russia-U.S. summit on Sept 3-4

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

(Interfax – LOUGH ERNE, UK, June 18, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama have agreed to hold a Russia-U.S. summit in Moscow on September 3-4. “In order to nail down a constructive nature of our relations we are going to uphold regular contacts at the highest level and hold a Russian-U.S. summit in Moscow on […]

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Putin’s Unfunded Mandates Costing Moscow Support East of the Urals

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 17, 2013) Siberia and the Russian Far East are supposed to come up with the money to pay for Vladimir Putin’s promise to develop those regions, an arrangement officials say that in the absence of new revenues they will not be able to do and that is undermining support for Moscow […]

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Things picking up? Rencap-NEC upgrade 2H13 growth forecast

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – June 17, 2013) The great debate in Russia is if growth has stalled or if the economy is only going through a soft patch at the moment. GDP growth fell to 1.6% in the first quarter (revised up from the initial estimate of 1.1%). But that is still not very good. Industrial production growth […]

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Russian Orphans Receive ‘Oscars’ for Filmmaking

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Simone Peek – June 14, 2013) International news and changing regulations around orphaned children have been in a whirlwind since January’s Dima Yakovlev law: the ban on the adoption of Russian children by Americans. Amidst the political turmoil are, of course, the orphans themselves. Charity organization “Krilya” (Wings) decided to give children living in orphanages […]

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Russian Clans’ Ongoing Feud

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – June 13, 2013) The fundamental driver of Russian elite politics is the clan: a network of personal contacts that cuts across facile divisions between “state” and “oligarchs,” liberals” and “conservatives,” and “reformers” and “siloviki.” According to Donald N. Jensen, Resident Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the […]

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State Duma’s internet piracy bill stirs public outcry

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexandra Guzeva, RBTH – June 14, 2013) Attempts to toughen Russia’s piracy laws were met with hostility among bloggers and advocates, resulting in a softer version in parliament. A draft bill to fight Internet piracy is moving forward in the Duma after a more punitive version provoked a firestorm of criticism. Attempts to […]

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Russia Welcomes Winner of Iran’s Presidential Elections

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 17 ,2013) President Vladimir Putin reached out to congratulate Hassan Rouhani on his victory in Iran’s presidential election on Sunday, voicing his readiness for bilateral cooperation in various spheres to “ensure international stability.” As Iranians took to the streets to celebrate the victory of the election’s most moderate candidate after two […]

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Obama, Putin will try to come closer on Syria but unlikely to succeed – pundits

Syria Map

(Interfax – June 17, 2013) Analysts believe that the leaders of Russia and the United States at their bilateral meeting in the framework of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland are likely to pay most of their attention to the Syrian conflict and preparations for the Geneva conference on Syria. “I believe with a probability of 60 percent or even […]

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Monitoring Medvedev’s Calls Easy for US Spies – Ex-FSB Head

File Photo of Barack Hussein Obama and Dmitry Medvedev with Flags, Shaking Hands

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) ­ There would have been few technical difficulties for US spies wanting to listen to the secret communications of then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during the 2009 G20 summit in London, a former head of Russia’s security services said Monday. A report detailing the surveillance of Medvedev by British and US intelligence organizations was […]

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Moscow expresses indignation on alleged U.S. phone tapping at G20 summit

Edward Snowden file photo

(Interfax, combined report – June 17, 2013) The Russian Federal Protective Service is taking necessary measures to ensure confidentiality of communication between state leaders, the service told Interfax. “The Federal Protective Service is taking every necessary measure to provide the appropriate level of confidentiality of information for top-ranking officials of the country,” service spokesman Sergei Devyatov said on Monday. “Protection […]

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Amid Turkey’s unrest, Russians torn by conflicting emotions

Turkey map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Elizaveta Maetnaya, special to RBTH – June 17, 2013) Some emigres are considering a return to Russia, while some are actively participating in the protests. Every evening at 8pm, Sophia Khadzhibekirova, 45, comes out on to her balcony and starts banging on a saucepan with a steel spoon. That is how many Turkish […]

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Georgian wine starts flowing across Russian border

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – June 17, 2013) A Georgian vintner exported its first shipment of wine to Russia in seven years on June 14, as the lifting of Moscow’s ban on wine imports from its small southern neighbour is finally sealed. The Dugladze winery announced that it had delivered an initial shipment of 30 bottles, which will be […]

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Rogozin leads Rodina’s militarized party congress

Dmitry Rogozin file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Natalia Bespalova, special to RBTH – June 14, 2013) Russia is witnessing the revival of Rodina, whose members consider themselves Putin’s “black-ops”. In early June, the conservative party Rodina, whose unofficial leader heads the national defense industry, held a congress at a location outside Moscow. Disbanded in 2006, the party is today enjoying […]

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Prokhorov Doubts Navalny’s Credentials for Mayor

Mikhail Prokohrov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 17, 2013) Billionaire politician Mikhail Prokhorov has challenged the candidacy of lawyer Alexei Navalny for the Moscow mayoral election, saying that he wouldn’t be able to cope with the demands of the job, a news report said Monday. The Civil Platform party leader Prokhorov, who last week pulled out of the mayoral race, also […]

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Opposition Candidates Woo Municipal Deputies in Mayoral Race

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov and Natalya Krainova – June 17, 2013) In a preview of what to expect in the fight for post as Moscow mayor, several opposition candidates presented their campaign platforms to municipal deputies on Saturday in an effort to gather the required amount of deputies’ signatures to run in the election set for Sept. […]

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