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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Kremlin to Protect Venezuelan Interests Even If Opposition Wins

Russian ties with Venezuela will not remain as close as under late President Hugo Chavez, but the Kremlin will be able to protect its interests even if the opposition wins, analysts and government officials said.

Local Self-Government Flounders in Obscurity

Two municipal deputies picketed outside the Moscow City Duma last month, but nobody seemed to notice. Few passers-by stopped to ask what their handmade signs meant, and only a handful of journalists showed up to record their entreaties.

Police Break Up Women's Day Rallies

Three opposition rallies in support of women's rights were held around town on Friday, International Women's Day. Two of the events ended in a wave of detentions.

Local Airlines Need Funding, Pilots and New Planes to Improve Safety

The Moscow Times
Insufficient investments, a deficit of qualified pilots and continued use of outdated equipment are to blame for a poor safety record in the Russian aviation industry, a report said Thursday.

Lawyer of Ukrainian Ex-Premier Under Fire

The Associated Press
The top lawyer for jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was stripped of parliamentary immunity and his seat in the Ukrainian legislature on Wednesday, in a move that is likely to further strain Kiev's ties with the West.

Dmitrichenko Was 'Coerced,' Source Says

Bolshoi Ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko could have been "physically coerced" into confessing that he ordered the acid attack on the theater's artistic director, Sergei Filin, a colleague said Sunday, days after Dmitrichenko was accused of paying $1,600 for an acquaintence to do the deed.

Assad 'Not Bluffing' About Staying Put, Lavrov Says

The Associated Press
Syrian President Bashar Assad "is not bluffing" about his determination to stay in power, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in comments broadcast Friday, as the United Nations said arrangements had been made for the release of 21 UN peacekeepers held by Syrian rebels.

IKEA Stops Selling Sausages After Horse Meat Found

Swedish retailer IKEA has stopped selling sausages in its 14 Russian stores after tests showed that sausages from its local supplier contained horse meat, the company said Thursday.

Investigators to Look Into Ex-Olympic Head for Cost Overruns

The Associated Press
Russia's prosecutor general is asking investigators to look into whether to file misuse-of-funds charges against the former deputy head of the Olympic Committee who came under fire from President Vladimir Putin for delays and cost overruns in building the ski jump complex for the Sochi Olympics.

Lithuania to Spin Off Gas Grid, Force Gazprom to Sell Out

Lithuanian gas utility Lietuvos Dujos said it would spin off its gas transportation arm by the end of July and EU rules would force Gazprom and E.ON Ruhrgas to sell their stakes in the new firm.

Maslenitsa Is a Week, Pancakes Are Forever

Get ready to butter a tower of blini, slather on the sour cream and dip them in caviar. Maslenitsa, a week of festivities and a healthy dose of gluttony, is finally upon us.

China's Greatest Fears

Two fears keeping China awake at night are a possible U.S. cyber counter-attack and the country's two restless minorities, the Tibetans and the Muslim Uighurs, who are struggling for autonomy or even independence.

Venezuela Without Chavez

Up until the late 1990s, Venezuela experienced profound economic problems and declining living standards. It was the people's deep disappointment in the political leadership at the time that enabled revolutionary and left-wing populist Hugo Chavez to win the presidential election in 1999.

The Georgian Art of Drinking and Toasting

David Manjiashvili slipped on his high-tops early one morning, intent on finally getting his father off his back by going for what would be the first of a program of jogs to reduce his expansive stomach.

Why Iran Is Standing Firm

Despite being isolated and ostracized, Iran has gained some strategic breathing room thanks to China, Russia, India, Syria and Venezuela.

How Stalin Instilled a National Sense of Survival

When I learned as a high school student of the tragedies and crimes under Josef Stalin, I immediately wished that I could go back in time to stop the madman.
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