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Landing At Pushkin: Putin Decree Assigns Russian Airports The Names Of Cultural Figures

May 31, 2019           |                                       

It’s already pretty hard to travel to Russia without hearing the name of the beloved 19th-century poet Aleksandr Pushkin. Now it may be impossible, if you fly into Moscow. President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree attaching the names of historical figures to dozens of airports across Russia, from Moscow to Magadan. Under the decree […]

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Russian Censors Cut Gay-Sex Scenes Out Of Elton John Biopic

May 31, 2019           |                                       

All intimate same-sex scenes have been removed from the Russian release of Rocketman, a new biographical film based on the life of British rock star Elton John. Dozhd TV journalist Mikhail Kozyrev and cinema critic Anton Dolin, who presented the film at the Oktyabr movie theater in Moscow on May 30, said that scenes with […]

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Taliban Expects US to Announce Afghan Pullout Date During Next Round of Talks

May 30, 2019           |                                       

Taliban negotiator spokesman Mohammed Sohail Shaheen, currently in Moscow from the recent talks between Taliban and Afghan officials, reported that he expects, during the next round of talks with the US, the Americans will announce a specific date for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. The US and Taliban have been known to be advancing toward a […]

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France, Germany Call For Resumed Ukraine Peace Talks During Visit To Kyiv

May 30, 2019           |                                       

France and Germany are seeking the resumption of stalled peace talks for the bloody conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Western nations’ foreign ministers say. Germany’s Heiko Maas and France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian made the comments on May 30 after what they called an “exceptionally good discussion” in Kyiv with new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. France […]

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Russia Calls U.S. Accusation Of Nuke-Treaty Violation A 'Smear'

May 30, 2019           |                                       

Russia has reacted angrily to an assertion by a top U.S. defense official that Moscow “probably” violated an international nuclear test ban treaty. The assertion is a “crude provocation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on May 30. The statement comes the day after the head of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency suggested […]

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As Ukraine Elects A Comedian, Russians Declare Its Election A Joke

April 22, 2019           |                                       

MOSCOW — Ever since he clinched Ukraine’s presidency at the outset of its war with Russia-backed militants, Petro Poroshenko has been relentlessly attacked and trolled by Russia’s state-dominated media machine. Confronted by Russian reporters at international summits and other high-profile events, the 53-year-old billionaire businessman has at times succumbed to seeming provocations, serving up material […]

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Moscow Close To Finalizing Deal To Lease Syria’s Tartus Port For 49 Years

April 20, 2019           |                                       

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met senior Russian officials for talks in Damascus on April 20, with both countries’ state media saying a deal was close to lease out Syria’s Tartus port to Russia. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Assad met over two days with Moscow’s special envoy to Syria, Aleksandr Lavrentiev; Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin; […]

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Lukashenka Lambasts Moscow For 'Sanctions,' Threatens To Suspend Russian Oil Flow To Europe

April 11, 2019           |                                       

MINSK — Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has lambasted Moscow for what he called “sanctions” against Belarusian goods and hinted he could block Russian oil deliveries to Europe. Speaking at a cabinet meeting in Minsk on April 11, Lukashenka said Russia had “closed” its market for a number of Belarusian goods. “They [Russia] are under [Western] […]

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Theatergoers Greet Russian Director After Release From House Arrest

April 10, 2019           |                                       

Russian theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov, who spent nearly 20 months under house arrest, showed up at a theater performance of a play he directed on April 9 in Moscow after he was released the previous day. Serebrennikov and two associates are on trial in an embezzlement case they say is politically motivated.

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Final Ukraine Results Give Zelenskyy 30 Percent Of Presidential Vote

April 4, 2019           |                                       

Ukraine’s election commission has released the final results of the March 31 presidential vote, giving political newcomer Volodymyr Zelenskyy just over 30 percent of the vote. With no candidate getting 50 percent, Zelenskyy will meet incumbent Petro Poroshenko on April 21 in a runoff. The Central Election Commission announced on April 4 that Zelenskyy secured […]

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U.S. Vice President Warns Turkey, Germany Over Dealings With Russia

April 3, 2019           |                                       

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has warned Turkey and Germany about their dealings with Russia, telling Ankara it is “reckless” and warning Berlin it risks becoming a “captive” of Moscow. Pence’s comments came on April 3 in Washington as part of events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of NATO, of which Turkey and […]

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Ukraine Bans All Flights To Russia After Opposition Politicians' Moscow Visit

April 3, 2019           |                                       

The Ukrainian government has banned unscheduled flights to Russia after a recent visit to Moscow by two opposition politicians. The action was initiated by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who said on April 3 that presidential candidate Yuriy Boiko and Opposition Platform — For Life party official Viktor Medvedchuk had “used a loophole in Ukraine’s […]

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NATO Chief Meets Trump As U.S. President Calls For Increased Defense Spending

April 2, 2019           |                                       

WASHINGTON — NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for his “strong commitment” to the military alliance, while the president pressed his demands that the allies do more to pay for their own defense. Trump, in his April 2 meeting at the White House with the NATO chief, also said he hopes […]

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Russia Threatens VPN Services To Prevent Access To Telegram, Banned Websites

March 28, 2019           |                                       

Russia’s communications watchdog has threatened to block access to popular VPN (virtual private network) services that give Russian Internet users access to websites outlawed by Moscow. Russia’s strict Internet laws require search engines to delete some results, messaging services to share encryption keys with law enforcement, and social-media networks to store users’ personal data on […]

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Pompeo Says Hopes To Set New Measures Soon Against Russia Over Actions In Ukraine

March 27, 2019           |                                       

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he hopes to be able in the coming days to announce additional measures along with Western allies to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine. “Next week I am hopeful, when our NATO colleagues are in town, we will be able to announce another series of actions that […]

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