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By New York Times News Service | September 14, 2007
MOSCOW -- President Vladimir V. Putin's little-known choice to be prime minister suggested yesterday that he might consider running for president next year, stoking speculation about whether he intends to be more than simply a caretaker. "If I succeed in doing something in the post of premier, if I manage to do something, then I do not exclude this alternative, maybe, as well," said the nominee, Viktor A. Zubkov, responding to questions from reporters about his presidential ambitions during an appearance at the parliament in Moscow.
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NEWS
By Alex Rodriguez and Alex Rodriguez,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | September 13, 2007
MOSCOW -- President Vladimir V. Putin dissolved his government yesterday and chose an obscure Cabinet official as the new prime minister, a move widely seen as the Russian leader's first steps in engineering a carefully controlled handover of power. Analysts differed on whether Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov is Putin's surprise choice to succeed him as president when Putin steps down next spring or a caretaker figure, but they agreed that the Kremlin's shake-up marks the initial phase in a leadership change that is likely to be decided long before the election.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,Sun Foreign Reporter | August 26, 2007
MOSCOW -- In the blackness enveloping me, I can tell only that there's something squishy on my plate. Could it be a hard-boiled egg? Maybe it's cheese. No, it doesn't smell sharp enough to be cheese. I taste it meekly, which doesn't help. Another bite; I still don't know what it is, though I do know this: I don't much care for it. This reminds me of a third-grade Halloween party where I donned a blindfold and thrust my hand into a bowl of peeled grapes I was told were eyeballs. Basically, I feel like I am eating eyeballs.
NEWS
By Alex Rodriguez and Alex Rodriguez,Chicago Tribune | August 18, 2007
MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir V. Putin said yesterday that he has ordered the resumption of long-range strategic bomber flights, a return to a Cold War-era practice and another sign that the Kremlin is flexing its military might amid a deepening chill in relations with the U.S. Putin's decision comes a week after Russian fighter jets flew within a few hundred miles of a U.S. military base in Guam. Yesterday, several pairs of Russian Tu-160 and Tu-95MC bombers were flying over Atlantic and Pacific waters, Russian Air Force spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky told the Russian news agency Itar-Tass.
NEWS
By Alex Rodriguez and Alex Rodriguez,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | August 15, 2007
MOSCOW -- Russian investigators launched a terrorism probe yesterday into a bomb blast that derailed an express train from Moscow to St. Petersburg, injuring more than 60 people traveling on one of the country's busiest rail routes. The explosion occurred late Monday near the city of Novgorod, about 300 miles northwest of Moscow. Investigators said they believe a homemade bomb placed underneath the tracks was detonated by remote control as the Nevsky Express train passed with 251 people aboard.
NEWS
By David Holley and David Holley,LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 20, 2007
MOSCOW -- Russia said yesterday that it would expel four British diplomats and suspend counterterrorism cooperation with London in the latest step in a confrontation linked to the radiation poisoning death of a former KGB agent turned Kremlin critic. Britain had announced Monday that it was expelling four Russian diplomats over Moscow's refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, a Russian businessman accused of using polonium-210 to poison Alexander Litvinenko last year in London. The British government also said that it would place restrictions on visas issued to Russian officials.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,Sun Foreign Reporter | May 21, 2007
MOSCOW -- More than a half-dozen types of cheese disappeared from behind deli counters. Small bottles of chili powder, garlic seasoning and lemon pepper - indeed, every spice with the blue Santa Maria label - vanished from supermarket shelves. Old Tallinn liqueur, a sweet staple in a punchy cocktail called the hammer and sickle, suddenly was harder to come by. The word had come down from on high: Estonian products are no longer welcome in Russia. The row over the removal of a Soviet-era war monument and the remains of soldiers from a central square in the Estonian capital first prompted a diplomatic war of words, even looting and civil unrest.
NEWS
By Alex Rodriguez and Alex Rodriguez,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | May 19, 2007
MOSCOW -- Former chess champion Garry Kasparov is finding out what it means to take on the Kremlin. Last month he was arrested by Moscow riot police at a pro-democracy march he helped organize and then grilled by Russian security agents on suspicion of seeding extremism. Yesterday, as he checked in at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport for a morning flight to the Volga River city of Samara to take part in a protest march coinciding with a Russia-European Union summit, a Russian police officer approached.
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | May 19, 2007
MOSCOW -- Kazakhstan President Nursultan A. Nazarbayev could remain in office for the rest of his life under a package of constitutional amendments approved by the parliament yesterday. The measures, which need Nazarbayev's signature to take effect, would remove any limit on the number of terms he can serve. Under the current constitution, Nazarbayev, who has exercised authoritarian rule over the oil-rich Central Asian country since the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, would have to step down in 2012.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | May 18, 2007
Moscow -- The Russian Orthodox Church formally ended yesterday an 80-year global schism triggered when overseas exiles refused to accept the domestic church's subservience to the Soviet state. In a ceremony at Christ the Savior Cathedral, leaders of the domestic and overseas Russian Orthodox hierarchies signed an act of "canonical communion." The document provides for the full restoration of religious unity under the Moscow patriarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church was torn by the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, a subsequent civil war pitting Vladimir I. Lenin's Red Army against a monarchist White Army, and the flight of refugees abroad.
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