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By Megan K. Stack and Megan K. Stack,Los Angeles Times | February 14, 2008
MOSCOW -- Kosovo's looming independence, and promises of quick U.S. and European recognition, have undercut and infuriated Russia at a moment when this oil-rich behemoth is eager to show that its global clout has been restored, analysts say. Russian officials have spent weeks issuing dire assessments of the U.N.-administered province's pending declaration of independence from Serbia, expected to be announced this weekend. The Russians have repeatedly derided Kosovo's possible change in status as a "Pandora's box" that will destabilize Europe by setting off a chain reaction of shifting borders.
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NEWS
By New York Times News Service | December 18, 2007
MOSCOW -- President Vladimir V. Putin formally declared yesterday that he intends to become prime minister next year, ensuring his dominance of the Russian government even after his term ends. Putin said at a meeting of his party, United Russia, that he had accepted an offer from his close aide, Dmitri A. Medvedev, to move to the prime minister's office if Medvedev wins the presidency in March, which is likely. "If our people will trust Mr. Medvedev and elect him the new president of the Russian federation, I will be prepared to continue our joint work, in this case in the position of premier of the government," Putin said.
NEWS
By Megan K. Stack and Megan K. Stack,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 4, 2007
MOSCOW -- European officials and vote monitors denounced Russia's parliamentary elections yesterday as an undemocratic exercise engineered by President Vladimir V. Putin and his party. "Neither a free, fair nor democratic election," said a German government spokesman. "Steered democracy," said the Swedish foreign minister. "Not a level playing field," added the European observer mission. With Putin's second presidential term drawing to a close and political uncertainty shadowing the country's future, Russians trooped to the polls Sunday to elect a lower house of parliament, balloting widely regarded as a plebiscite on the president's ability to run the country.
NEWS
By Megan K. Stack and Megan K. Stack,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 3, 2007
MOSCOW -- Heeding their popular president's ominous warnings that Russia's future dangled in the balance, voters flocked to the polls yesterday to cast ballots in an unorthodox parliamentary election. Bombarded with the message that they should treat the election as a referendum on President Vladimir V. Putin's rule, voters turned out in large numbers, with lines forming at some polling stations as people waited for their chance at the ballot box. As expected, Putin's United Russia swept up more than 60 percent of the vote, according to early estimates.
NEWS
By Alex Rodriguez and Alex Rodriguez,Chicago Tribune | November 25, 2007
MOSCOW -- Riot police broke up a march against President Vladimir V. Putin in the Russian capital yesterday and arrested former chess champion Garry Kasparov and several other opposition leaders, a clampdown on pro-democracy protesters a week before Russia's pivotal parliamentary election. Police armed with truncheons moved in on marchers as they tried to make their way toward the Central Election Commission building, where they had planned to submit a petition questioning authorities' adherence to democratic principles before legislative elections Dec. 2. The march followed an authorized rally held by Kasparov and fellow opposition activists in downtown Moscow, attended by about 2,000 Russians.
FEATURES
By John Anderson | November 21, 2007
In the realm of sensitive-assassin movies like Hitman, the viewer is expected to come equipped with all kinds of knowledge about genetic engineering, corporate espionage, and the nuanced machinations of post-Soviet governments. Yet, when the film cuts to the snowy Dr. Zhivago landscape, the subtitle tells you we are now in "Moscow -- Russia." Just in case you thought it was Idaho. But Hitman is like that. This killer-with-a-heart-of-gold thriller, the newest film based on a video game, leads one by the hand, and ear, through a world of fantasy violence and cartoon people.
NEWS
By Kim Murphy | November 10, 2007
MOSCOW -- Russia has sharply reduced the number of European monitors permitted to observe upcoming parliament elections and has imposed restrictions that may impede the ability of opposition parties to run successful campaigns, one of Europe's main monitoring delegations said yesterday. An assessment before the Dec. 2 vote by a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe raises questions about whether political opponents can counter the government of President Vladimir V. Putin and its pervasive control over parliament and the electronic media.
NEWS
October 30, 2007
Serial killer in Russia gets life term for 48 killings MOSCOW -- The Moscow City Court gave a life sentence yesterday to a serial killer who had said he wanted to be the most prolific murderer in post-Soviet Russian history. Alexander Y. Pichushkin, 33, was convicted last week of murdering 48 people and trying to kill three others. The total was considerably smaller than the number of killings he claimed. In a television interview, Pichushkin said he had killed at least 60 people, part of a bid to kill a person for each of the 64 squares on a chessboard.
FEATURES
October 23, 2007
Oct. 23 2002 Gunmen seized a crowded Moscow theater, taking hundreds hostage and threatening to kill them unless the Russian army pulled out of Chechnya.
NEWS
By Peter Spiegel and Peter Spiegel,Los Angeles Times | October 13, 2007
MOSCOW -- Top Russian officials publicly rejected a new proposal personally presented by senior U.S. Cabinet secretaries, meant to convince Moscow to withdraw its objections to a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Moscow's rebuff yesterday was made both in substance and tone, with President Vladimir V. Putin coming close to openly ridiculing the anti-missile system and the Russian foreign minister saying the U.S. had failed to make a case that Europe faces a long-range missile threat from Iran.
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