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Young Russians increasingly view Stalin as strong leader

AFP – No wall plaque honours the victims of Josef Stalin’s purges, who met their end in the execution cells of headquarters of the feared Soviet security services on Lubyanka Square in central Moscow. Instead the traffic races round a busy square and the building itself, known everywhere in Moscow…

Putin signs law banning smoking in public places in Russia

President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning smoking in public places in Russia from June, a cornerstone of the government’s bid to improve public health in the nicotine-addicted country, the Kremlin said Monday. The law makes smoking illegal in restaurants, cafes, hotels, trains and a host of other places…

Russia considers smoking ban

In a familiar scene of Russian daily life, Ivan Alexandrov smoked a cigarette outside a Moscow metro station as other commuters stepped out of the heavy doors and immediately lit up. But under a draft law already passed by parliament banning smoking in public places, from next year such scenes…

Nervous Kremlin seeks to purge Russia’s Internet of ‘western’ influences

Unlike other media, the internet in Russia, has developed largely untouched by the arm of the state. The protests have prompted many to wonder: is that about to change? “It’s too late to change things,” said Anton Nossik, an internet guru. “Kids are now born into the internet and grew…

Putin-backed mayoral candidate loses race in another rebuke to Moscow

President-elect Vladimir Putin suffered a tough political blow Monday after seeing his party’s candidate trounced in a mayoral race that became the focus of Russia’s nascent protest movement. Official results from the central city of Yaroslavl showed ruling United Russia party candidate Yakov Yakushev picking up just 27.8 percent of…

U.S. ambassador says Russia is a ‘wild country’

The US ambassador to Moscow questioned Friday how a Kremlin-linked television channel accessed his private schedule, calling Russia a “wild country” in an altercation with its reporters. Michael McFaul wrote on Twitter that NTV, a state-run broadcaster that has aired smear documentaries against the opposition, seemed to know his appointments…

Two cannibalism suspects arrested in Russia

Two men have been arrested for separate acts of cannibalism in Russia, authorities told The Moscow Times this week. One man, in Vladivostok, allegedly killed a friend and disposed of his body by eating it. The human remains were reportedly shared with another man. Another individual, in Belinsky, was arrested…

ISS crew takes shelter to avoid passing space junk

A piece of an old Russian satellite whizzed by the International Space Station on Saturday, forcing its six-member crew to temporarily take shelter in two Soyuz escape capsules, officials said. The incident was the third of its kind in more than a decade of continuous inhabitation of the orbiter, whose…

St. Petersburg bans ‘homosexual propaganda’

By Miriam Elder Twenty years after homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia, anti-gay legislation is making a rapid comeback, with St Petersburg becoming the latest city to ban “homosexual propaganda”. The law, signed by St Petersburg’s governor last week, came amid increasing calls by leading Russian politicians and Orthodox Church officials…

Russia opposes ‘unbalanced’ new UN draft on Syria

Russia said Friday it opposed an “unbalanced” UN draft resolution on the Syria crisis because it did not contain a call for a simultaneous halt in violence by the government and rebels. “We cannot agree with the draft resolution in the form it is being presented in today. The text…

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