Russia

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Witness
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Re: Russia

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Suspected Internet Cable Spy Ship Operating In Americas For Over A Month

Russia's controversial intelligence ship Yantar has been operating in the Caribbean, or mid-Atlantic, since October. She is suspected by Western navies of being involved in operations on undersea communications cables. Significantly, she appears to be avoiding broadcasting her position via AIS (Automated Identification System).

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...

Yantar has been observed conducting search patterns in the vicinity of internet cables, and there is circumstantial evidence that she has been responsible for internet outages, for example off the Syrian coast in 2016.

The Caribbean has a large number of undersea internet cables including many which lead to and from the United States. A study by British think tank Policy Exchange described undersea internet cables as “Indispensable but insecure.” It noted that they are “jugulars of the world economy which are a singularly attractive target for our enemies.” The report mentions Yantar, saying that she carries two submersibles capable of "cutting cables or tapping them for information."
https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutton/2 ... -americas/
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More news from the mysterious Russian spy ship:
Coast Guard: Russian spy ship operating in ‘unsafe’ manner off South Carolina, Georgia coast

The Coast Guard broadcast the “Marine Safety Information Bulletin” to alert mariners in the area to the Russian ship’s presence and its behavior on Sunday.

“The United States Coast Guard has received reports indicating that the RFN Viktor Leonov has been operating in an unsafe manner off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia,” read the notice from the Coast Guard in Charleston.

The ship was operating in international waters and not using running lights while in reduced visibility conditions, the Coast Guard reported. Also, the ship was not responding to hails by commercial vessels attempting to coordinate safe passage. The ship was engaged in other erratic movements not detailed in the report.

The notice went on to advise mariners to, “maintain a sharp lookout and use extreme caution when navigating in proximity to this vessel.”
https://www.wspa.com/news/coast-guard-r ... gia-coast/
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Moscow shooting: Deadly attack on FSB security headquarters

At least one person has been killed and five wounded in a shooting at the headquarters of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) in central Moscow, Russian media say.

A gunman who opened fire with an automatic weapon at the entrance of the building was killed by an armed officer, Interfax news agency reports.

Security forces cordoned off the area and moved bystanders into buildings.

The shooting came hours after President Putin's annual press conference.

Details of the incident, which began shortly after 18:00 (15:00 GMT), remain unclear.

The FSB denied earlier reports suggesting there were three gunmen in the attack on its headquarters. The unconfirmed reports said two had been killed in the lobby while the third ran off to a nearby building where he was later killed in a shootout with police.

Among the injured were two seriously hurt officers, the Health Ministry told Russian media. Shortly afterwards, the intelligence agency itself confirmed the death of one FSB officer - though it is not clear if he is one of the two reported injured in the earlier report.

Russian investigators have opened criminal proceedings into the attempted murder of law enforcement officers.

They are looking into whether the attack was timed to coincide with Vladimir Putin's four-hour press conference, which ended during the afternoon.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50858949
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Russian government resigns as Putin proposes reforms that could extend his grip on power

Moscow, Russia (CNN)The entire Russian government is resigning, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced Wednesday, after Vladimir Putin proposed sweeping reforms that could extend his decades-long grip on power beyond the end of his presidency.
Putin thanked members of the government for their work but added that "not everything worked out." Putin added that in the near future he would meet with each member of the cabinet. The mass resignation includes Medvedev.
The surprise announcement came after Putin proposed constitutional amendments that would strengthen the powers of the prime minister and parliament at the expense of the presidency.

Taking power from the presidency and handing it to parliament could signal a power shift that has been long speculated about in Russia.
Putin's critics have suggested that he is considering various scenarios to retain control of the country after his presidential term ends in 2024, including the option of becoming prime minister with extended powers. Similarly, in 2008 Putin swapped places with the prime minister to circumvent the constitutional provision banning the same person from serving two consecutive terms.
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/15/euro ... index.html

Putin shake-up could keep him in power past 2024 as cabinet steps aside

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed constitutional changes on Wednesday that would give him scope to extend his grip on power after leaving the presidency, and picked a new prime minister after Dmitry Medvedev and his cabinet stepped down.

Most importantly, Putin suggested diminishing the powers of the presidency and beefing up those of the prime minister.

The dramatic moves were widely seen as preparing the ground for 2024, when Putin, now 67, is obliged to leave the presidency after occupying the Kremlin or the prime minister’s job continuously since 1999.

Putin nominated Mikhail Mishustin, 53-year-old head of the tax service, as the next prime minister. Mishustin, who will be quizzed by parliament on Thursday, has played ice hockey with Putin but has little public profile and had not been spoken of as a possible candidate.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russ ... SKBN1ZE15J

Sneaky Vlad. :mrgreen:
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Witness
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Misleading title, it's a kidnapping attempt.

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Supreme Ruler Putin? Kremlin non-committal on proposed new job description

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin had no view on a proposal that would see his job description change to Supreme Ruler from head of state after a government commission said it was considering the idea.

The title change is one of an array of possible alterations to the Russian constitution put forward by members of a government commission set up after Putin earlier this month said he wanted to change the Russian basic law.

Putin, 67, proposed his own constitutional changes, which were widely seen as giving him scope to retain influence once his current presidential term expires in 2024, though he has said he does not favour the Soviet-era practice of having leaders for life who die in office.

The overhaul, which triggered a change in government, also cemented Putin's control of the transition process and was seen by some as an attempt to reduce intra-clan infighting between now and 2024, while allowing Putin to show he is responding to public discontent after years of belt-tightening.

...

Other proposals include formally recognising Russia's status as a "victorious power" in World War Two and recognising Orthodox Christianity as the country's main religion, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

"Naturally some (of the proposals) will be eliminated, some will be accepted and from this the commission's sought-after result will appear," Peskov told reporters.

Russia's TASS news agency said Vladimir Zhironovsky, leader of the nationalist pro-Kremlin LDPR party, had suggested the president be known as the Supreme Leader many times in order to move away from job titles derived from foreign languages.
https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/reuters/su ... n/45526044

Lider Maximo! :mrgreen:
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Witness
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↑ In folk etymology Vladimir already means "ruler of the world" – and he's Vladimir Vladimirovitch. So, there.

Pedantic note: Voldemar is a Western variant. :mrgreen:
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Re: Russia

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The man suspected of killing an anti-Putin blogger in France fled to Moscow afterwards, and is linked to one of Putin's closest allies, police say
  • Police in France believe they have identified the man who killed anti-Putin blogger Imran Aliev in France last month.
  • A source told Insider that the man — whom authorities refuse to name — travelled to Germany, then flew to Moscow.
  • Investigators think Aliev's death is linked to Ramzan Kadyrov, the ruler of Chechnya, a semi-autonomous part of Russia.
https://www.businessinsider.com/imran-a ... ice-2020-2
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Russia to consider making ex-presidents immune from prosecution: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian presidents could be made immune from criminal prosecution once they leave office under proposed constitutional reforms, a senior lawmaker said on Tuesday.

The proposal, made by a parliamentary working group, comes after President Vladimir Putin last month announced sweeping reforms to the political system that would shift some powers away from the presidency.

Putin’s initiatives, which were followed by a government shake-up, are widely seen as a way to allow him to extend his grip on power after his term ends in 2024.

The proposals by the parliamentary working group assessing Putin’s reforms include making former presidents immune from criminal prosecution, said Pavel Krashennikov, the group’s co-chair.

“The president of Russia, having ceased to exercise his powers, has immunity. We have this (proposed reform),” he said at a working group meeting, RIA news agency reported.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russ ... SKBN20C18V

Presidents, plural? :mrgreen:

We'll see how long it takes The Donald™ to catch on…
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Winter in Yakutia:




I must sadly say that we had no snow this winter, zilch, nada (save on the nearby mountains, from 1800 - 2000 m upwards), and 18 °C today with some goldfinches singing. :|
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‘United Dissatisfaction’: Tens of Thousands Across Russia Rally for Slain Opposition Leader

The fifth anniversary of Boris Nemtsov’s death came in the midst of what critics are calling a “constitutional coup.”

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"Change power, not the constitution"

In what has become an annual Russian tradition, thousands rallied across the country on Saturday to march for Boris Nemtsov, a key opposition figure shot and killed five years ago this month on a Moscow bridge just steps from the Kremlin.

While the killer has been found guilty and sentenced to prison, Nemtsov’s family and allies claim that the authorities have neglected to bring the masterminds to justice. Activists say they will continue marching every year until those responsible are found and prosecuted.

Each year, however, new indignities pile up — and the march, which is approved by the authorities, has become a platform for the beleaguered Russian opposition to express all that is irritating it.

“We must fight to ensure that there are no contract killings and torture in our country, that the police are honest, that the courts are impartial and that punishment for committing a crime is inevitable,” Russia’s main opposition critic Alexei Navalny wrote on Facebook in a call for people to attend the march.

The weeks leading up to this year’s event offered much for the opposition to be dissatisfied about. Among the most prominent affronts was what critics are calling a “constitutional coup.”

During his annual state-of-the-nation address in mid-January, President Vladimir Putin proposed a raft of constitutional amendments that critics said could allow him to stay in power beyond the end of his term in 2024. This week a lawmaker announced that Putin had agreed to a nationwide vote on the amendments on April 22.

Observers have argued that among Putin’s proposed changes to the 1993 document, some would strengthen parliament and other government bodies. Analysts say the Russian leader appears to be keeping various doors open for a new position after he leaves the Kremlin.
https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/02/ ... der-a69461
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Putin proposes to enshrine God, heterosexual marriage in constitution

Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted to parliament a number of new constitutional changes, including amendments that mention God and stipulate that marriage is a union of a man and woman.

Putin in January unleashed a political storm by proposing an overhaul of the constitution, the first changes to the basic law since 1993.

Last month the Russian parliament's lower house unanimously approved the constitutional reform bill in a first reading after less than two hours of debate.

Ahead of a second and key reading set for next week, Putin submitted 24 pages worth of amendments, said State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

"The president's amendments are the result of his dialogue with representatives of all factions (and) civil society," he said in comments released by the State Duma.

The amendments enshrine the mention of Russians' "faith in God" and also stipulate that marriage is a heterosexual union, Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy told AFP.

Most Russians identify as Orthodox Christians but Russia is officially a secular state.

The new amendments also ban giving away Russian territory and any call promoting such a move would also be outlawed.

A member of a Kremlin-appointed constitutional working group, actor Vladimir Mashkov, has suggested that such an amendment would ensure that Russia keeps Crimea -- which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014 -- or the Kuril Islands -- disputed with Japan for decades -- even after Putin quits power.
https://www.france24.com/en/20200302-pu ... nstitution
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Unsurprising news:
Coronavirus lockdown drives jump in vodka and whisky sales in Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian retailers have seen a sharp spike in alcohol sales in recent weeks, with consumers rushing to buy vodka, whisky and beer at a time when Moscow and other regions have imposed partial lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

In the last week of March, vodka sales across Russia’s largest retail chains jumped 31% in year-on-year terms, while whisky and beer purchases increased 47% and 25% respectively, Nielsen, a market research firm, found.

President Vladimir Putin last week prolonged until April 30 a paid non-working period across Russia, which has so far reported 10,131 cases of the novel coronavirus.

...

Magnit, one of Russia’s largest food retail chains, said it had seen double-digit growth in alcohol sales since partial lockdowns were introduced across the country.

Lenta and O’Key said alcohol sales had increased by a third.

The manager of a major alcohol supplier said sales of inexpensive imported alcohol had doubled in annual terms since the measures came into force.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKCN21R171
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Russia Passes Dual Citizenship Law, Hoping to Add 10M Citizens

Russian lawmakers from both houses of parliament have passed legislation Friday allowing dual Russian citizenship for foreigners, sending it to President Vladimir Putin’s desk less than two weeks after introducing it.

Lawmakers have described the amendments to Russia’s citizenship law, which among other steps strike down a requirement to renounce one's existing citizenship, as “revolutionary.” Their authors expect up to 10 million people, primarily from Russian-speaking populations in the former Soviet republics, to obtain Russian passports as the country tries to fix its demographic crisis.

The bill relaxing current citizenship rules passed the lower-house State Duma unanimously in a 302-0 vote in a rare session Friday. The Duma usually convenes between Tuesday and Thursday.

Russia’s upper-house Federation Council, which traditionally gathers once a week on a Wednesday, passed the bill shortly after.

Both votes took place within 10 days since the Russian government submitted the legislation for consideration.

Russia’s dual citizenship bill will become law 90 days after Putin signs it and Russia’s official gazette publishes it.

The bill also exempts spouses and children of Russian nationals from the five-year continuous residence requirement in order to become a naturalized Russian.

Putin’s migration policy guidelines for 2019-2025 state that there should be clear and simple conditions for acquiring Russian citizenship. Last year, he expanded the list of people eligible for fast-tracked passports to include residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine.
https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/04/ ... ens-a70036
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Ditto. But is there an advantage in being a Russian citizen?
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Abdul Alhazred wrote: Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:14 pm There is if you already live there.
Of course, but for people like you and I? Not so much… :(
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Social distancing in Novosibirsk. :)
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Abdul Alhazred wrote: Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:09 am Why so sad?
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+

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+

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:( :( :(
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Witness
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  • The International of the grannies! :)
  • I'd like to see a source for that.
  • You have to do it yourself – or, more precisely, your granny has to do it for you, with love. :mrgreen:
To elaborate on point 3: she used also to make fizzy kvass from fruit juice, about a dozen bottles at a time. They were stored for a time in the cellar to let the yeast do its job, and invariably two or three were lost to catastrophic explosion. Which impressed me a lot as a young know nothing. :)


[Typo edited.]
Last edited by Witness on Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Russia

Post by Hotarubi »

Witness wrote: Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:21 am
Abdul Alhazred wrote: Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:09 am Why so sad?
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:( :( :(
Cant get the video in the second picture to work.
Yep, you totally outsmarted me ~ Wildcat.

:ball2:

I'm sure I came up with Twatter first. ~ Moi
I only steal from the rich. :BigGrin3: ~ Witness
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Abdul Alhazred wrote: Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:38 am The borsht is really Lithuanian anyway
Seriously, a source? (Not a Lithuanian one, quite evidently…)
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Image

Kyrill Ies'kov
The Last Ringbearer
History of Middle Earth – through the eyes of the Enemy

:wink:
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Abdul Alhazred wrote: Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:16 pm That was easy. :)

https://www.enjoyyourcooking.com/soup-r ... rscht.html
Very funny.

I never doubted the existence of Lithuanian borsht (or Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Slovenian… for that matter). But you wrote:
borsht is really Lithuanian
Which implies, I think, that it originated there or, at the very least, that it's rare outside of Lithuania (ha!).

Now waiting for a source for that, as I'm genuinely interested.
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Re: Russia

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Suspected Russian cannibal arrested after severed penis found in garden
https://nypost.com/2020/04/22/suspected ... in-garden/

In fairness, it seems to me that the Post is jumping to conclusions. The random severed penis does not strike me as sufficient cause to jump to hurling the "cannibal" epithet. There might be perfectly innocent explinations for their presence in his garden, a possibility not explored by this main stream outlet in it's persuit of lurid headlines.

... "headlines" see what I did there?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
This space for let
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Russian communists defy lockdown with Red Square parade for Lenin's 150th

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Dozens of Russian communists defied Moscow’s coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday by marching across Red Square to lay flowers outside Vladimir Lenin’s tomb to mark 150 years since the birth of the Bolshevik leader.

Led by Gennady Zyuganov, head of Russia’s Communist Party, a small group of people, some holding red flags, marched to the granite mausoleum where Lenin’s embalmed body lies to pay their respects.

The ritual, which is observed annually on April 22, comes with Moscow in its fourth week of a lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of the new virus.

Muscovites are only allowed outside to buy food or medicine nearby, receive urgent medical treatment, walk the dog or take out the trash.

A policeman guarding Red Square, which has been closed off to the public and was otherwise empty as it snowed on Wednesday, told Reuters the communists had received special permission to stage the event.

The Moscow police and the mayor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Speaking to reporters on Red Square, Zyuganov said the Russian authorities’ efforts to contain the virus were no match for the Soviet approach to fighting a smallpox outbreak in Moscow in 1960.

“Now they can’t even produce masks in three months,” he said, referring to the current Russian authorities.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-leni ... SKCN22423L

And the trains were on schedule? :mrgreen:
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Russian city removes “untruthful” plaque commemorating thousands of Poles murdered by Soviets

On the building that once housed the local headquarters of the Soviet secret police in the Russian city of Tver, where 80 years ago thousands of Polish prisoners of war were murdered, plaques commemorating the victims of Stalinist crimes were today removed.

The prosecutor’s office sought the removal of the plaques last year, arguing that they had been placed on the building “unlawfully” and that “the information presented on them does not reflect the actual truth”, reports Gazeta Wyborcza.

The removal itself was carried out by the leader of a local nationalist movement and the deputy rector for security at the medical university now housed in the building, according to Alexander Guryanov of Memorial, a Russian society that commemorates the Soviet Union’s totalitarian past.

Guryanov told Polish website RMF24 that there was “no legal basis” for the action. He noted that the university’s security official is someone usually appointed by the FSB, Russia’s state security agency.
https://notesfrompoland.com/2020/05/07/ ... y-soviets/ for details on the Katyn massacre and how its memory irks the local nationalists.
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Russia calls Ukrainians in Crimea ‘foreigners’ and forces them to sell or lose their land

Russia’s new move to strip Ukrainians of their own land in Crimea is in flagrant violation of Ukrainian and international law and will bring consequences, both for Russia and for those Russians who ‘buy’ land illegally expropriated from Ukrainians.

At a joint briefing on 6 May, the Crimean Prosecutor’s Office, Office of the President’s Representative on Crimea and human rights groups spoke of methods to protect Ukrainians from losing their land following the illegal decree issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 20 March 2020.

As reported, the decree makes amendments to a list of “coastal territories” which “foreign nationals, stateless persons and foreign legal entities” cannot have land rights to. The list includes most parts of occupied Crimea, except for three regions without access to the Black Sea. Since Russia, as invader and occupying state, is treating Ukrainians as ‘foreign nationals’, the decree effectively strips Crimean Tatars and other Ukrainians who have not taken Russian citizenship of their land rights.

Russia’s new move is in breach of the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians which expressly prohibits the destruction or expropriation of property by occupying powers. The trouble is that Russia is brazenly violating all international treaties with its ongoing occupation of Crimea, and simply stating this will not help the Ukrainians who now face having to sell their land, or have it forcibly sold, almost certainly for very little money, by 20 March 2021.
http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1588801601
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Destroyed by Stalin (I posted the pic), rebuilt 1995 – 2000, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow:

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Yeltsin in Rostov, 1996.
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Malta seizes $1.1 billion worth of counterfeit Libyan currency printed in Russia

Malta has seized $1.1 billion worth of counterfeit Libyan dinars earlier this week, the U.S. State Department said Friday.

The counterfeit money was "printed by Joint Stock Company Goznak – a Russian state-owned company – and ordered by an illegitimate parallel entity," the State Department said in a statement, commending Malta for successfully confiscating the fake dinars.

"The influx of counterfeit, Russian-printed Libyan currency in recent years has exacerbated Libya’s economic challenges," the statement added.

The U.S. said the incident again highlighted "the need for Russia to cease its malign and destabilizing actions in Libya."

Russia is a staunch supporter of putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) fights against the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) for control over the Libyan capital Tripoli. An estimated 800 to 1,200 fighters from Russia's Wagner Group are backing Haftar's offensive.
https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/mal ... ussia/news
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Russian Police Colonel Being Treated For COVID-19 Falls From Moscow Hospital Window

A female police lieutenant colonel has fallen from a window on the fifth floor of a Moscow hospital treating coronavirus patients, Russian media reported.

The reports said the incident occurred at Moscow City Clinical Hospital No. 24 on the evening of May 30.

The woman, identified as 45-year-old Yulia B. by Komsomolskaya pravda, was described as a senior expert at the Forensic Center of the Interior Ministry.

The newspaper reported that the police lieutenant colonel died on the spot, but Russian media organization RBC said she survived the fall and was placed in an intensive-care unit.

Komsomolskaya pravda said the police colonel left her ward to go into the corridor, then "fell" from the fifth floor window, and landed on the grass below.

...

The incident comes after three physicians in Russia fell out of windows amid mysterious circumstances during the coronavirus outbreak.
https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-police- ... 46886.html
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Rogue Russian Priest Seizes Convent With Cossack Brigade, Sparking Public Showdown With Church

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MOSCOW -- The Russian Orthodox Church is struggling to wrest back control of a convent in the Urals after a cleric it suspended for disobeying its coronavirus-prevention policies occupied the compound with help from Cossack guards.

Father Sergiy Romanov, the abbot of a nearby men’s monastery who has praised Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and called the coronavirus a Western plot, commenced the standoff with church authorities on June 16 after he took over the Sredneuralsk Women’s Monastery and called on his followers to join him.

Local media reported that a group of Cossacks, members of a paramilitary group with deep historical roots in Russia, surrounded the convent until its abbess and nuns decided to vacate it.

In a statement on June 17, the Yekaterinburg diocese said that Romanov had shown disobedience to Russian Orthodox Church authorities and called on him to seek penance for his actions while a clerical court investigates his conduct.

“The Yekaterinburg diocese encourages prayer for the sake of bringing Father Sergiy around, so he uses the time until the next hearing of the ecclesiastical court to change his ways and repent,” it said.

Romanov is a prominent figure among the faithful in and around Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city, where some consider him a spiritual leader of the Tsarebozhniki, a breakaway sect of the Orthodox Church whose adherents worship Nicholas II, the last tsar, as a saint who suffered a martyr's death for them, and advocate a return to monarchy. The Russian Orthodox Church canonized the last tsar and his family in 2000, but not as martyrs killed for their faith.
https://www.rferl.org/a/rogue-russian-p ... 78343.html

:mrgreen:
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Re: Russia

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Abdul Alhazred wrote: Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:55 am Cossacks! :o
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:wink:
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Abdul Alhazred wrote: Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:55 am Cossacks! :o


Couldn't resist. :mrgreen:
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Sketches used by the police in the USSR to identify suspects based on race

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Apparently it wasn't "race" but "nationality".
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Russians grant Putin right to extend his rule until 2036 in landslide vote

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russians opened the door to Vladimir Putin staying in power until 2036 by voting overwhelmingly for constitutional changes that will allow him to run again for president twice, but critics said the outcome was falsified on an industrial scale.

Official results, after 98% of ballots had been counted, showed that the former KGB officer who has ruled Russia for more than two decades as president or prime minister had easily won the right to run for two more six-year terms after the current one ends in 2024. That means Putin, 67, could rule until the age of 83.

The Central Election Commission said 78% of votes counted across the world’s largest country had supported changing the constitution. Just over 21% had voted against, it said.

Ella Pamfilova, head of the commission, said the vote had been transparent and that officials had done everything to ensure its integrity.

Opposition politician Alexei Navalny had a different view and called the vote an illegitimate and illegal show designed to legalise Putin’s presidency for life.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russ ... SKBN24254A