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russia’s fsb launches raids over suspected missile tech leak to west
russia’s security services have reportedly launched an investigation into state treason after a suspected leak of secret hypersonic missile technology to the west from inside some of the country’s leading research labs.the federal security services (fsb) raided two research facilities linked to the country’s federal space agency, roscosmos, over the suspected leaks, according to anonymous law enforcement officials cited by the kommersant business daily friday. the news came one day after russia’s defense ministry said it had conducted tests of the new kinzhal hypersonic missile, which president vladimir putin touted ahead of his re-election in march.as part of its investigation, the fsb reportedly searched the offices of the central research institute of machine building (tsniimash), which develops rockets and space technology, and the office of the united rocket and space corporation’s head of research, dmitry payson.“it’s been established that tsniimash employees are responsible for the leak,” one of the sources familiar with the fsb case materials was cited as saying by kommersant.`what do you think i'll tell you? 'he declined to comment,'` payson was cited as saying by the rbc news website on friday when asked to comment the allegations.`the less you mention my name in this context, the better for everyone,` he added.a roscosmos official told rbc that the agency was cooperating with fsb officers investigating the case.the tsniimash employees suspect...
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russian investigators launch probe into gruesome jail torture video
a recently published video of prison guards torturing a detainee has spurred russian authorities to launch an investigation into abuse, in a case that had previously been ignored by regional officials.on friday, the novaya gazeta newspaper published body cam footage of the alleged torture of yevgeny makarov, the detainee in the video, in yaroslavl, showing men in correctional uniforms and plain clothes beating and waterboarding a prisoner for at least 10 minutes. after the video’s publication, russia’s investigative committee said it had opened a case investigating the guards for violent abuse of power, a criminal offense that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. regional investigators declined to open proceedings into the beating last year despite two interventions by the european court of human rights, according to an analysis of the case by public verdict, a human rights group that offers legal assistance to victims of law enforcement abuse in russia.  “he’s like thor,” a voice is heard saying in the video, as one of the men repeatedly punches the prisoner’s soles while at least four uniformed officers hold him down.meanwhile, the regional federal prison service allegedly met to discuss how the video was leaked, according to the mash telegram channel.
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vladimir mayakovsky’s voice still rings out
birthday wishes are in order for vladimir mayakovsky, the soviet poet whose 125 anniversary of his birth was july 19. mayakovsky was also a painter, actor, playwright and co-founder of the futurist movement. in case you forgot to mark the occasion by delivering a forceful poetry reading or watching one of his films, an exhibition at vdnkh offers the perfect opportunity to appreciate the poet and his legacy. man-artist-myththe “100th april” exhibition is located in the pavilion under vera mukhina’s worker and collective farm girl monument at vdnkh. it borrows items from the state museum of v. v. mayakovsky to present a comprehensive picture of mayakovsky as a man, artist and mythical figure. the distinction between these identities is key: as mayakovsky grew more famous, his cult image clouded the man he really was. curator maria gadas writes on the exhibition website that the show is “based primarily on the desire to show mayakovsky in real life … after his death, vladimir mayakovsky lost his rights to his own satire of the late 1920s, to early love poetry and private life`.the exhibition begins with projected photos from his childhood in georgia. at age 13, mayakovsky moved with his family to the russian capital in 1906 where he soon became a dedicated student activist. his revolutionary activities got him sent to prison for 11 months at the age of 16. this is when he began to write poetry. mayakovsky-the-writer is represented by the original typewritten and an...
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putin proposed eastern ukraine referendum to trump, bloomberg reports
president vladimir putin reportedly proposed holding a referendum in war-torn eastern ukraine to u.s. president donald trump at their joint meeting earlier this week, bloomberg reported thursday.ukraine has been at war for control of two of its eastern regions, donetsk and luhansk, after an uprising of pro-russian separatists there in 2014. russia has been accused of stoking the conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced more than 1.6 million people, a charge that the kremlin denies. putin told a closed-door gathering of russian ambassadors this week that he had proposed the eastern ukrainian referendum, which would be held under international auspices, to trump at their summit in helsinki on monday, bloomberg reported, citing two anonymous sources who attended the meeting.trump reportedly asked putin not to announce the proposal at the summit’s press conference in order to have time to consider it, according to one of the sources.ahead of the summit, ukraine had expressed concerns that the u.s. and russian leaders could strike a “grand bargain” on the conflict without consulting kiev.the residents of the two regions took part in a separatist-led referendum shortly after russia’s annexation of the crimean peninsula in 2014. the vote, which was not recognized by the international community, produced overwhelming results in favor of independence, though it was met by a muted reaction from moscow.when asked to comment on the details of what putin had told...
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muddling the masses, russian style
пенсия: pension, that thing our parents used to get in old agesince the dawn of time, when leaders have wanted to do something their subjects aren’t going to like, the first thought is not how to change their plan to make it easier on them, but rather what to call it to make them think it’s better than it is. the russian government is no exception. they want to do something almost none of their 130 million citizens is going to like — raise the pension age five years for men and eight years for women. their task, as they reportedly told the major russian news outlets, is to ensure that the law to raise the pension age восприниматься позитивно (или хотя бы нейтрально) (is perceived positively — or at least neutrally). to that end, they are not using the word повышение (raise), lest people focus on five to eight more years of hard labor, or реформа (reform), since that is associated with the economic upheavals —i.e., impoverishment of the population — during the 1990s.instead, they are using the word изменение (change) and phrases like совершенствование пенсионного законодательства (improving pension legislation), and they are recommending — i.e., ordering — everyone else to do so, too. and so they are. if you check the reports on the main television channels pre- and post-request, you see that folks have toed the new line. on one channel, за?...
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russia ready to discuss putin visit to washington
president donald trump has invited russian president vladimir putin to washington this autumn, the white house said on thursday, a daring rebuttal to the ... of criticism in the united states over trump's failure to publicly confront putin at their first summit for moscow's meddling in the 2016 election.russia is ready to discuss a proposed new meeting between russian president vladimir putin and his u.s. counterpart donald trump, interfax news agency cited russia's ambassador to the united states, anatoly antonov, as saying on friday.four days after trump stunned the world by siding with putin in helsinki over his intelligence agencies, the president asked national security adviser john bolton to issue the invitation to the russian leader, said white house spokeswoman sarah sanders.what happened at monday's one-on-one between trump and putin with only interpreters present remained a mystery, even to top officials and u.s. lawmakers who said they had not been briefed.trump's director of national intelligence, dan coats, said in response to a question at the aspen security forum in colorado: `well, you're right, i don't know what happened at that meeting.`the coveted invitation was sure to be seen as a victory by putin, whose last official visit to the united states was in july 2007, when he spent two days at the bush family compound.the russian ambassador was cited as saying it would also be good to organise a meeting between russian defence minister sergei shoigu an...
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what the world cup meant to russia’s kids
igor chudaikin, 11, eduard movsisyan, 15, sasha novozhilov, 11; (bottom) vadim shiryayev, 12, and stepan surikov, 10, alexander ogloblin, 11, artyom pavlovsky, 14.pavel zelenkov / mtthe world cup has come to an end. for most people who watched around the world, it has likely already faded into distant memory. but for a new generation of russians who had never experienced an event of its magnitude, the tournament will have a lasting impact.“it was my first time really watching a world cup all the way through and getting to see russia do so well,” said artyom pavlovsky, 14. “i can’t even begin to explain all the emotions i felt.”during a water break at a summer football camp in central moscow, five russian national team hopefuls spoke about their favorite memories from tournament.the home team’s performance surprised them all. asked if they had expected russia to not only advance out of the group stage but to get all the way to the quarterfinals for the first time in 48 years, the young footballers answered with a chorus of “no.”against the oddsrussia’s national team, a dark horse candidate to win the tournament, rallied an apathetic nation around it with surprise performances. as the lowest-ranked team heading into the world cup, it sent shockwaves around the world by advancing all the way to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1970.“i highly doubted that russia would get out of the group. i thought they would finish third, maybe even fourth,” said...
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world cup stewards to be disciplined over pussy riot protest
the stewards who failed to stop a pitch invasion by members of the pussy riot protest group at the world cup final between france and croatia will face disciplinary action, tournament organizers said on friday.four protesters wearing fake police uniforms ran onto the pitch at moscow's luzhniki stadium on sunday, causing play to stop briefly at the match, which was attended by president vladimir putin and other senior officials.alexei sorokin, the head of russia's world cup organizing committee, said they had `behaved without respect for the work of thousands of people,` but they should have been stopped by stewards.`this is a violation, the stewards will face disciplinary measures. but on the other hand the incident was a one-off. even more so as it was the final of the tournament,` he was quoted as saying by russia's sports-express newspaper.the pitch invasion was the first significant security lapse in the five-week tournament that has won hosts russia widespread praise for organization and efficiency.the members of the group received 15-day jail sentences on monday and have been banned from attending sports events for three years.pyotr verzilov, one of the pitch invaders, said the performance was meant to show how `the state, in the form of the police, intrudes into people's lives.`olga kurachyova, a member of the group, said their stunt, which held up the game only briefly, was meant to promote freedom of speech and condemn policies of fifa, football's global g...
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russia's foreign ministry launches #freemariabutina campaign
russia’s foreign ministry has launched an online campaign in support of accused russian agent maria butina, drawing a mixed bag of public support and snark.butina, 29, was arrested last sunday in the united states and charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of the russian government. a judge ordered butina, a recent graduate of american university in washington d.c. and founder of a pro-gun russian advocacy group, to be detained until her trial after u.s. prosecutors argued she was a flight risk.  the russian foreign ministry launched a twitter flashmob on thursday calling for followers to change their profile pictures to an image of butina with the hashtag #freemariabutina.the ministry’s english-language accounts shared butina’s photograph with another hashtag saying #newprofilepic.online responses to the flashmob ranged from supportive to incredulous, with a heavy dose of trolling.on the snarky side, twitter users reinterpreted the wording of the hashtag to read as an ad campaign offering a free maria butina.the twitter curation website twitchy compiled an extensive list of #freemariabutina hashtags with photos of redhead pop culture figures, including singer ed sheeran, actress scarlett johansson and standup comic carrot top. the inspiration, it wrote, came after a u.s. national security council staffer photographed at a white house meeting with russian officials was confused for butina because of her red hair.the #freemariabutina hashtag’s popularity surged ...
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writer lyudmila petrushevskaya at 80
lyudmila petrushevskaya, one of the most acclaimed russian writers and truly a “living legend,” turned 80 years old in may. to celebrate this important anniversary, the moscow museum of modern art (mmoma) mounted a show about her life and times. in the west she's primarily known for her publications in the new yorker and bestselling collection of “scary” stories “there once lived a woman who tried to kill her neighbor’s baby,” which received the world fantasy award. the new yorker compared petrushevskaya’s work with edgar allan poe's. she is also famous for her somewhat eccentric musical cabaret noir performances, which she has performed not only in russia, but in new york’s most famous russian restaurant, the russian samovar. a crazy journeythe exhibition is called “petrushestviye” in russian, which sounds like the writer’s name combined with words “sumaschestviye” (craziness) and “puteshestviye” (journey). “the exhibition’s title partly conveys its concept,” curator anna narinskaya told the moscow times. “petrushevskaya’s real life, represented by documents, manuscripts and artifacts, is immersed in the atmosphere of her works. by combining the real and fantastic, just like petrushevskaya does in her stories, we show how these texts, their mood and their particular universe exist in today's world, proving to be very much in sync with it.” narinskaya is better known as a literary critic and writer than a curator, but two year...
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russia, china coordinate to save highly endangered leopard
russia is coordinating efforts with china to monitor the population of a rare leopard that was on the brink of extinction in the late 1990s, according to a recent report on the results of conservation endeavors.the wild amur leopard subspecies is only known to reside in russia’s far eastern primorye region and northeast china’s jilin province. the numbers of the solitary big cat dwindled to approximately 30 in the early 2000s before increasing to 70 in 2015 after international conservation efforts.a team of scientists from russia, china and the united states used cameras set up in the forests of primorye and jilin to report that the total population of the amur leopard grew to 84 adults this year. their findings were published in june in the conservation letters journal.“this first rigorous estimate of the global population of the amur leopard represents an excellent example of the value of international collaboration,” the report’s co-author dale miquelle wrote last week.the researchers touted chinese-russian efforts, which include a coordinated transboundary monitoring agreement, as a “first step in building trust” for future conversations efforts and “a rarity anywhere in the world.”  “today’s news is the most hopeful in many years for the sleek species and proof that concerted action can work to recover a seemingly lost wild species,” the siberian times wrote this spring, when the data from the russian side of the border was first published.
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what's on this weekend in moscow
cityjuly 19 2018 - 14:07by andrei muchnik @amuchnik how do they do that? come to the `inspiration` festival at vdnkh park and find out.ksenia marinnkikova / vdnhkasta july 20kasta, pioneers of russian hip hop from rostov-on-don, released their first new album in nine years in 2017 after pursuing solo careers. kasta's new songs are marked by their trademark irony, as well as political undertones. highly acclaimed by critics and fans alike, the album put kasta back in the major leagues, so expect park muzeon to be packed this friday.2 krymsky val. metro oktyabrskaya, park kultury. ponominalu.ru/event/kastavdokhnoveniye from july 20vdokhnoveniye (inspiration) is a new summer theater festival that will take place at vdnkh park. the festival is curated by roman dolzhansky, deputy art director of the theater of nations and co-director of the new european theater (net) festival. one of the highlights is “situation rooms,” a production by the german company rimini protokoll, known for their immersive experiences. “situation rooms” is a “multiplayer video piece` that explores gun violence  and today's conflicts around the globe. 119 prospekt mira. metro vdnkh. vdohnovenie.vdnh.ru formajuly 21forma (form) is an annual art festival with live music and theater performances, and contemporary art. its seventh edition will be held at the trekhgornaya manufaktura, a former industrial space turned into a hip cultural and social center. musical line-up includes kawabat...
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putin warns nato against including georgia and ukraine
russian president vladimir putin on thursday warned nato against cultivating closer ties with ukraine and georgia, saying such a policy was irresponsible and would have unspecified consequences for the alliance.the issue has been a source of anger for russia — which shares a border with both countries and does not want to see them join what it regards as a hostile military bloc — since 2008 when nato leaders promised ukraine and georgia they would one day join the alliance.putin, speaking to russian diplomats from around the world assembled in moscow, said on thursday there was a need to restore trust in europe and spoke out against what he said was nato's attempts to deploy new bases and military infrastructure near russia’s borders.`we will respond appropriately to such aggressive steps, which pose a direct threat to russia,` said putin.`our colleagues, who are trying to aggravate the situation, seeking to include, among others, ukraine and georgia in the orbit of the alliance, should think about the possible consequences of such an irresponsible policy.`the russian leader said he had discussed the matter with u.s. president donald trump at a summit in helsinki on monday.trump has called for nato members to spend more on defence, but has queried whether montenegro, the alliance's newest member, should be part of the bloc at all calling its people `aggressive.`russian forces entered two breakaway georgian regions in 2008 and annexed ukraine's crimea in 2...
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putin receives invitation from trump to visit washington despite summit uproar
president donald trump has invited russian president vladimir putin to washington this autumn, the white house said on thursday, a daring rebuttal to the ... of criticism in the united states over trump's failure to publicly confront putin at their first summit for moscow's meddling in the 2016 election.four days after trump stunned the world by siding with putin in helsinki over his intelligence agencies, the president asked national security adviser john bolton to issue the invitation to the russian leader, said white house spokeswoman sarah sanders.what happened at monday's one-on-one between trump and putin with only interpreters present remained a mystery, even to top officials and u.s. lawmakers who said they had not been briefed.trump's director of national intelligence, dan coats, said in response to a question at the aspen security forum in colorado: `well, you're right, i don't know what happened at that meeting.`the coveted invitation was sure to be seen as a victory by putin, whose last official visit to the united states was in july 2007, when he spent two days at the bush family compound.both trump and putin earlier on thursday praised their first meeting as a success and blamed forces in the united states for trying to belittle its achievements, trump citing discussions on counterterrorism, israel's security, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, ukraine, middle east peace and north korea.in one twitter post, trump blamed the media. `the summit...
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ancient bones of elephant-like creatures discovered in crimean cave
scientists in crimea are poring over a mass of preserved animal bones dating back half a million years after workmen discovered a sprawling underground cave during the construction of a motorway.work on the road has been temporarily halted while the scientists study the contents of the cave, which include the bones of rhinos, elephant-like creatures and hyenas.dmitry startsev from the crimean state university's museum of zoology called the site unique for crimea and said it was unparalleled in russia too.he said the area had been inhabited at the time by a variety of animals including mastodons, an ancestor of the elephant which had a coat of shaggy hair and long curving tusks.`if it is — as we believe — a hyenas' lair, then it is the most well-preserved, large place of its type,` startsev said.the bones bear teeth marks on them, suggesting predators had brought back their prey to the cave, he added.`we have seen an almost untouched vault where those predators once feasted. and there is also hope that we will find human traces there as well. but so far these are just assumptions,` he said.the discovery was made about 10 km east of sevastopol on a road under construction that will stretch from the west of the black sea peninsula to kerch in the east, which was connected this year to russia by a new bridge.the peninsula of crimea is recognized internationally as part of ukraine, although it has been largely integrated into russia after moscow annexed the territo...
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moscow public transport ranks world’s most efficient
moscow’s sprawling public transport system has been ranked as the world’s most efficient in a recent report on transportation in global cities — with minimal waiting times and increased transport speed during morning rush hours.the mckinsey & company consulting firm assessed the public and private transportation systems of 24 global cities, including moscow and st. petersburg, in a june 2018 report on urban mobility. the analysis broke down the criteria into five aggregated metrics, including availability, convenience and sustainability.moscow leads all 24 cities in public transport efficiency with an “intelligent transport system” that uses more than 2,000 cameras and 3,700 sensors to ease congestion and synchronize traffic lights, mckinsey reported.st. petersburg ranked the fifth-most comfortable city for public transit riders, with strong wheelchair accessibility and a relatively modern fleet of metro cars.however, moscow’s rail infrastructure, affordability, convenience and safety all fell outside the top five.in terms of overall transport efficiency that combines public and private transport, mckinsey said moscow’s network ranked second to that of seoul. the city placed fifth behind chicago in the overall transportation affordability metric. moscow’s public and private transportation system was named the sixth-most convenient. mckinsey contrasted recent technical advances in moscow’s public transportation with surveyed residents perception of the networ...
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russia and vodka: a history primer
in russia, almost every day is a holiday. in addition to public holidays such as victory day and new year’s day, russians also annually celebrate over 400 professional holidays. there is even a day in january dedicated to vodka — the official birthday of russian vodka, the day on which dmitry mendeleyev defended his doctoral dissertation “on combining water and alcohol” in 1865. in his dissertation, he continued his exploration of chemistry, a study that would see mendeleyev four years later publish his groundbreaking periodic table. the periodic table established mendeleyev as one of the leading scientists of his age, and honors were heaped upon him. he served the imperial government as director of the bureau of weights and measures, and it was this job that got mendeleyev into the vodka business. legend has it that in 1894, tsar nicholas ii ordered mendeleyev to create a standard recipe for russian vodka. mendeleyev supposedly simply rounded up his dissertation number of 38 percent alcohol to a more marketable 40 percent (80 proof), the number still in use today. mendeleyev’s actual participation in the vodka recipe was probably far more minor than the legend purports, but the marketing people are still using it to great effect in the brand building of modern labels such as russian standard. russian vodka, of course, dates much further back than 1894, though not, perhaps, as far as we might imagine, just as vodka is not as russian as we might think. poles were dis...
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what's on this weekend in moscow
cityjuly 19 2018 - 14:07by andrei muchnik @amuchnik how do they do that? come to the `inspiration` festival at vdnkh park and find out.ksenia marinnkikova / vdnhkasta july 20kasta, pioneers of russian hip hop from rostov-on-don, released their first new album in nine years in 2017 after pursuing solo careers. kasta's new songs are marked by their trademark irony, as well as political undertones. highly acclaimed by critics and fans alike, the album put kasta back in the major leagues, so expect park muzeon to be packed this friday.2 krymsky val. metro oktyabrskaya, park kultury. ponominalu.ru/event/kastavdokhnoveniye from july 20vdokhnoveniye (inspiration) is a new summer theater festival that will take place at vdnkh park. the festival is curated by roman dolzhansky, deputy art director of the theater of nations and co-director of the new european theater (net) festival. one of the highlights is “situation rooms,” a production by the german company rimini protokoll, known for their immersive experiences. “situation rooms” is a “multiplayer video piece` that explores gun violence  and today's conflicts around the globe. 119 prospekt mira. metro vdnkh. vdohnovenie.vdnh.ru formajuly 21forma (form) is an annual art festival with live music and theater performances, and contemporary art. its seventh edition will be held at the trekhgornaya manufaktura, a former industrial space turned into a hip cultural and social center. musical line-up includes kawabat...
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what will russia do with its giant world cup stadiums?
months after the 2014 world cup in brazil, the stadiums built for the tournament had already started to decay. it wasn’t just venues in the country’s furthest reaches that were crumbling. even the $500-million maracana stadium in rio de janeiro seemed to be coming apart at the seams. now with russia’s world cup finally over, the fate of the country’s massive infrastructure investments is in the spotlight. how will cities that don’t have major football clubs be able to fill the massive stadiums, and how will regional governments operating on shoestring budgets cope with the enormous maintenance costs? little leaguerussia spent an estimated $3.4 billion on constructing nine new stadiums from scratch and renovating three others, in addition to building 96 training grounds, which will reportedly be passed on to youth teams after the tournament, according to fifa.in samara, a city with a population of more than 1.1 million, officials are scratching their heads over how they’ll afford the upkeep of their new stadium. during the tournament, the 42,000-seater arena hosted heavyweight teams including england, uruguay, brazil and russia. but the teams scheduled to play there next might not have the same drawing effect. the city’s local club, krilya sovetov, which has luckily just been promoted to russia’s top league, is only scheduled to host around 18-20 games per year. the ticket sales from those matches, local officials say, are insufficient to pay for the costs ...
Tags : what will russia do with its giant world cup stadiums? - will ,stadiums ,that ,world ,with ,million ,football clubs ,billion rubles ,like saransk ,government’s legacy ,legacy program ,government’s legacy program what will russia do with its giant world cup stadiums?
annexed crimea compiles ‘enemies of reunification’ list
local authorities in crimea have compiled a list of artists and officials opposed to moscow’s annexation of the peninsula. russia seized crimea from ukraine in 2014 after a contested referendum that was unrecognized by the international community. several crimean activists opposed to the annexation, including a ukrainian film director now on hunger strike, face charges that supporters say are politically motivated.crimea’s civic chamber announced on wednesday that it had drafted a so-called “crimean dossier” that includes celebrities and politicians who have publicly spoken out against the annexation.“the figures included in the ‘crimean dossier’ spread unreliable information that incites national hatred against crimea, becoming the main heroes of fake news,” the chamber said.the institution accused several prominent russian cultural figures, including journalist ksenia sobchak and filmmaker alexander sokurov, of falling victim to “anti-russian propaganda.”in doing so, “they ignore the crimeans’ conscious choice of march 2014,” it said, referring to the march 16, 2014 referendum.they “offend the residents of the peninsula,” the institution added.the chamber, which describes itself as an organization that ensures cooperation between crimean authorities and residents, said that an updated list would be handed over to law enforcement officials at an unspecified future date.
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what's on this weekend in moscow
cityjuly 19 2018 - 14:07by andrei muchnik @amuchnik how do they do that? come to the `inspiration` festival at vdnkh park and find out.ksenia marinnkikova / vdnhkasta july 20kasta, pioneers of russian hip hop from rostov-on-don, released their first new album in nine years in 2017 after pursuing solo careers. kasta's new songs are marked by their trademark irony, as well as political undertones. highly acclaimed by critics and fans alike, the album put kasta back in the major leagues, so expect park muzeon to be packed this friday.2 krymsky val. metro oktyabrskaya, park kultury. ponominalu.ru/event/kastavdokhnoveniye from july 20vdokhnoveniye (inspiration) is a new summer theater festival that will take place at vdnkh park. the festival is curated by roman dolzhansky, deputy art director of the theater of nations and co-director of the new european theater (net) festival. one of the highlights is “situation rooms,” a production by the german company rimini protokoll, known for their immersive experiences. “situation rooms” is a “multiplayer video piece` that explores gun violence  and today's conflicts around the globe. 119 prospekt mira. metro vdnkh. vdohnovenie.vdnh.ru formajuly 21forma (form) is an annual art festival with live music and theater performances, and contemporary art. its seventh edition will be held at the trekhgornaya manufaktura, a former industrial space turned into a hip cultural and social center. musical line-up includes kawabat...
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russian duma moves to hike retirement age amid popular opposition
russia’s state duma passed controversial legislation to raise the retirement age in a first reading on thursday, amid protests outside of the parliament building.the government announced legislation on june 14, the eve of the world cup, to progressively raise the population’s retirement age over the next decade and a half, starting in 2019. despite widespread opposition according to opinion polls, russian authorities argue that the pension reform is necessary to ease pressure on the budget, which has been hit by weak economic growth and an aging population.the bill passed the first of three readings in the state duma on thursday with 328 lawmakers voting in favor of the reform and 104 voting against.the controversial vote took place as several hundred activists gathered outside the state duma to rally against raising the pension age. at least 14 activists were detained during pension protests in st. petersburg on wednesday.under the plan, the retirement age for men would increase from 60 to 65 years by 2028, and from 55 to 63 by 2034 for women. opponents cite life expectancy figures in asserting that a significant part of the population, especially russian men, will not survive to retirement.“while we were marveling at the goals scored during the world cup, the medvedev government decided to score a goal against every one of us,” communist party leader gennady zyuganov said during the hearing of the legislation.“your children and grandchildren won’t forgive you f...
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russian official accused of trying to destroy evidence of deadly mall fire
russian prosecutors have accused an emergency official suspected of malfeasance in a deadly mall fire in siberia of attempting to destroy evidence to hinder an investigation of the incident.sixty-four people, most of them children, were killed in march when a fire erupted at the winter cherry mall in kemerovo. an investigation found that the fire had been caused by faulty wiring and poor safety standards at the mall, including a lack of fire alarms and blocked exits. alexander mamontov, the head of the kemerovo region’s emergency situations ministry, is one of 11 emergency responders, mall executives and contractors to have been arrested in connection with the fire.“attempts were made to hide and destroy information. in particular, the accused gave orders to destroy the accounting ledger,” an investigator was quoted as saying at mamontov’s court hearing on thursday.the former emergency official is accused of negligence and embezzlement.kemerovo’s central district court upheld the investigation’s request to extend mamontov’s arrest until sept. 25. in early july, the colleagues of a fireman accused of negligence in the incident had reportedly threatened the survivors of the mall fire outside of a courtroom. “who will extinguish you when you catch on fire?” chief investigator rustam gabdulin quoted the firemen as saying, adding that the victims were also told they “should have burned with the children.”
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putin accuses 'powerful' u.s. forces of trying to derail trump summit success
russian president vladimir putin on thursday accused forces in the united states of trying to undermine the success of his first summit with u.s. president donald trump, but said the two leaders had begun to improve u.s.-russia ties anyway.putin and trump sat down for their first summit in helsinki on monday, an event that sparked a storm of criticism in the united states after trump refused to blame the russian leader for meddling in the 2016 u.s. election, something putin denies.trump later said he had misspoken and accused `some people` of hating the fact that he got along with putin. the white house has been struggling to contain a political outcry and confusion over the summit ever since.putin, speaking to russian diplomats from around the world assembled in moscow, said on thursday the helsinki summit had been successful.`it was successful overall and led to some useful agreements. of course, let's see how events will develop further,` he said, without disclosing the nature of the agreements he referred to.however, putin said `powerful` u.s. forces were trying to sabotage what the summit had achieved.`we see that there are forces in the united states that are prepared to casually sacrifice russian-u.s. relations, to sacrifice them for their ambitions in an internal political battle in the united states.`those same forces appeared ready to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of u.s. jobs and hurt u.s. business and security while waging their divisive political b...
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in siberia, trump burger joint draws customers, occasional ire
a new burger joint named after donald trump has been drawing in customers in siberia, its manager said on wednesday, amid increased russian interest in the u.s. president after his summit talks this week with president vladimir putin.trump burger, which opened in the city of krasnoyarsk in december, is trying to cash in on the buzz around trump, who reaffirmed his wish to improve chilly russian-u.s. ties during his meeting with putin in helsinki.the walls of the burger joint are decorated with paintings of the u.s. president, while its signature dishes include a trump burger with bacon and a melania chicken burger named after u.s. first lady melania trump.`demand is really not bad for a restaurant that opened just recently,` manager igor vinogradov told reuters.however, inebriated russian customers who have no great liking for the united states — russia's traditional rival on the global stage — have occasionally taken umbrage at the café's theme and behaved rowdily, he added. he did not elaborate.there were celebrations in russia after trump won the 2016 presidential election, as he had called on the campaign trail for improved relations with moscow and had praised putin.at monday's summit, trump stunned the world by casting doubt on the conclusions of u.s. intelligence agencies that moscow had meddled in the 2016 election. trump also praised putin's `strong and powerful` denial of any russian meddling. 
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british police identify russian suspects behind skripals’ poisoning, media says
uk investigators have reportedly identified several russian suspects believed to be behind the novichok nerve agent attack on the skripals, the press association reported thursday.russian double agent sergei skripal and his daughter yulia were struck down with the poison in march before later recovering. british authorities blamed russia for the attempted murder, an accusation that moscow has repeatedly denied.“investigators identified the suspected perpetrators through cctv and have cross-checked the footage with records of people who entered the country around that time,” the press association was cited as saying by itv.“they [the investigators] are sure they [the suspects] are russian.”in recent weeks, british counter-terrorism police have also been investigating the murder of a woman who died on july 8, just over a week after being exposed to novichok near the city of salisbury.reuters contributed reporting to this article.
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russian police to resume publishing rape and murder news with world cup over
russian police have reportedly been released from a gag order on publishing crime reports days after the world cup was brought to a close.reports surfaced on june 14, the eve of the football tournament, that an interior ministry directive had ordered its branches to self-censor their usual crime reports. instead, the law enforcement websites were instructed to share exclusively positive stories, such as successful police operations.the operational reports will resume on july 25, an anonymous interior ministry source told the flashnord news website on wednesday.“the ministry’s federal and regional websites were banned from publishing reports on murders, rapes, suspect searches, robberies and deadly road accidents from june 5 to july 25,” the source was quoted as saying.interior ministry websites in 19 russian regions published 100 times fewer negative stories between mid-june and mid-july, compared to the preceding month, the 7x7 news website tallied after the world cup final.
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flying ants invade moscow
while the airborne ants may be a nuisance, moscow city hall’s environmental protection department told the moskva news agency that they are not dangerous.“the insects settle to create new colonies,” the department’s press service was cited as saying wednesday.
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protesters rally outside state duma in moscow over pension reform
opposition activists and muscovites gathered on thursday to protest the government’s pension reforms that would see a hike in the country’s retirement age. the plan to raise the pension age was first announced on june 14, the opening day of the world cup, in what critics say was an attempt to obfuscate the unpopular measure. since the announcement, opinion polls have seen president vladimir putin’s approval rating drop to below 50 percent for the first time in five years amid dozens of protests organized across the country against the measure.hundreds gathered on thursday morning in front of the state duma as deputies discussed the bill, which would see the retirement age for men increase from 60 to 65 years and for women from 55 to 63 years.  protesters wore red ribbons and chanted “shame” at lawmakers passing into the duma, while deputies from the communist party and the just russia party approached the protesters to express their opposition to the bill. “this is an inhumane tendency in our country,” yury shaposhnikov, a 59-year-old protester, told the moscow times. “a person should have to serve the country for a certain period of time and then be able to have time to themselves. at this age a person isn’t even able to work,” he said. sergei shatsky, a 50-year-old demonstrator, told the moscow times that he has been out of a job for two years and that he doesn’t know how he’ll survive until the proposed retirement age of 65 years. “the depu...
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russians raise their fists (and posters) against pension reform
over 750 protesters came out to the center of omsk. their posters say: `we are against raising the pension age!`dmitry feoktistov / tassthis poster in mosocw reads `live fast, die young.` the proposed pension age for men exceeds many russians' life expectancy.sergei savostyanov / tasspeople of all ages rallied on behalf of the aging population.sergei savostyanov / tassprotesters show some solidarity in st. petersburg.peter kovalyov / tasspolicemen reportedly detained 14 people at the protest in st. petersburg.peter kovalyov / tassat the st. petersburg rally, riot police came prepared to make arrests.peter kovalyov / tasswhile the first draft of the law was read in the state duma, representatives vladimir kashin and valery rashkin spoke to protesters outside the building.vladimir gerdo / tassthe communists of russia party showed the greatest official opposition to the pension reform. the party's chairman maxim suraikin (right) took part in the rally outside the duma building.vladimir gerdo / tass
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