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Kremlin laughs off rumors that Putin married former Olympic gymnast

The Kremlin on Wednesday rubbished rumours that President Vladimir Putin had got remarried in a monastery to a former Olympic rhythmic gymnastics gold medallist, saying the talk had “nothing in common with reality”. The Russian strongman’s private life has been the subject of intense speculation since he and his wife…

McCain tells Russia Putin ‘doesn’t believe in you’

US Senator John McCain penned a blistering column for Russian media, telling the Russian people that their President Vladimir Putin is a dissent-quashing tyrant who “doesn’t believe in you.” The senior US lawmaker, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, accosted Putin and his associates for rigging elections, imprisoning and murdering opponents,…

New York Times fends off criticism after publishing Putin op-ed

President Vladimir Putin won’t be getting a check from The New York Times as a “freelance journalist” but his controversial article on Syria was accepted for its newsworthy viewpoint. The newspaper’s public editor Margaret Sullivan said Thursday that the Russian leader’s editorial, submitted via a US public relations firm, created…

Putin ally Sobyanin wins tight Moscow election, challenger Navalny cries foul

Moscow’s pro-Kremlin mayor was set to win tight elections Sunday in the Russian capital, just escaping a second-round run-off after a strong challenge from protest leader Alexei Navalny, who denounced the results as falsified. Initial results showed that Sergei Sobyanin, a leading ally of President Vladimir Putin, would narrowly win…

Syria says it will never give up ‘even if there is World War III’

Syria said Wednesday it had taken “every measure” to retaliate if hit by a feared US-led military strike and would never give in, even if a third world war erupts. In an exclusive interview with AFP, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad also insisted that Russia had not wavered in its…

‘Putin in women’s underwear’ painting seized by Russian police

Russian police said Wednesday they had raided an exhibition and confiscated a painting that portrayed President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev lounging together in women’s lingerie. Police said they confiscated four paintings by artist Konstantin Altunin and closed down the exhibition of his work in Russia’s second city…

Russian runners astonished by ‘gay kiss’ claims

Two Russian female gold medal winners at the Moscow World Athletics Championships expressed bewilderment Tuesday over media claims that their passionate podium kiss was a symbol of gay defiance against a new Russian law banning homosexual “propaganda”. Kseniya Ryzhova and Yulia Gushchina, who kissed each other on the lips after…

Russians smell something fishy in Putin’s latest stunt

MOSCOW (Reuters) – There was a time when Vladimir Putin’s macho antics inspired pride among Russians, but many are finding it hard to believe the president’s latest stunt – catching a huge pike in Siberia. Video footage released by the Kremlin last week showed Putin dressed in camouflage fatigues and…

Snowden announces plans to apply for asylum in Russia

MOSCOW — Edward Snowden could stay in Russia if he stops issuing leaks that damage the United States, the Kremlin said Friday after the US fugitive told rights activists in a Moscow airport that he is seeking asylum in Russia. “Mr. Snowden could hypothetically stay in Russia if he: first,…

New England Patriots owner: Putin stole my Superbowl ring

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said this week that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin stole his Superbowl ring in 2005 when Kraft and a group of American businessmen were visiting St. Petersburg, Russia. According to CBS Sports, what has been portrayed in the media as a “gift” of the $25,000…

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