Correspondent, Moscow
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Aug 20, 2015

Minister to replace dethroned Putin ally as Russian railways chief

MOSCOW, Aug 20 (Reuters) – A little-known transport official
from Vladimir Putin’s hometown will replace a demoted ally of
the president as the head of Russian Railways, completing a rare
shakeup in the Kremlin circle of political and economic power.

Deputy Transport Minister Oleg Belozerov was named on
Thursday as the new boss of one of Russia’s biggest and most
important companies, three days after the shock departure of
Putin confidant Vladimir Yakunin.

Aug 19, 2015

Estonian who says Russia abducted him to serve 15 years’ hard labour

MOSCOW/TALLINN (Reuters) – An Estonian police officer who says Russia abducted him in a cross-border raid was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday, stoking tensions between Moscow and the former Soviet republic.

Eston Kohver’s prison term will put further strain on relations that have deteriorated since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine last year, reviving bitter memories of Soviet rule.

Aug 19, 2015

Estonian officer allegedly abducted by Russia sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor

MOSCOW (Reuters) – An Estonian police officer, allegedly abducted by Russia in a cross-border raid, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday, further stoking tensions between Moscow and the former Soviet republic.

Russia arrested Eston Kohver on espionage charges in September last year, saying the Estonian was caught on Russian territory, but Tallin maintains he was taken at gunpoint at a border crossing.

Aug 18, 2015

Putin confidant Yakunin unexpectedly quits powerful railway post

MOSCOW, Aug 17 (Reuters) – Vladimir Yakunin, the powerful
head of Russia’s state railways and an old friend of President
Vladimir Putin, is to leave his post to become a senator, a rare
and unexpected reshuffle in the Kremlin’s inner circle.

The move, revealed while Yakunin was on holiday, appeared to
be a significant demotion for a man who has known Putin since
they set up a cooperative of lakeside mansions for the elite in
St Petersburg in the 1990s, and was named by the U.S. Treasury
as his “close confidant”.

Aug 18, 2015

Falling ruble leaves Russian carmakers with nowhere to turn

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A steep decline in the rouble has hammered Russian carmakers by driving up the cost of the foreign parts they rely on, forcing them to raise prices at home and making them uncompetitive abroad.

After a decade of annual sales growth in excess of 10 percent, the Russian car industry is now a victim of an economic crisis fueled by lower oil prices and Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis.

Aug 17, 2015

Analysis – Falling rouble leaves Russian carmakers with nowhere to turn

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A steep decline in the rouble has hammered Russian carmakers by driving up the cost of the foreign parts they rely on, forcing them to raise prices at home and making them uncompetitive abroad.

After a decade of annual sales growth in excess of 10 percent, the Russian car industry is now a victim of an economic crisis fuelled by lower oil prices and Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis.

Aug 10, 2015

Cosmonauts complete spacewalk outside space station

MOSCOW, Aug 10 (Reuters) – A pair of Russian cosmonauts
began their working week on Monday by cleaning the windows of
the International Space Station (ISS), floating 250 miles (400
km) above the Earth’s surface.

Station commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineer
Mikhail Kornienko closed the hatch on the station’s Pirs module
at 1951 GMT, completing the almost six-hour spacewalk to install
new equipment and carry out maintenance tasks.

Aug 4, 2015

Doping story is ‘unimaginable nonsense’ says Russian coach

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Allegations of widespread doping by Russian athletics stars are “unimaginable nonsense”, the trainer at the center of the latest scandal to engulf Russian sport told Reuters on Tuesday.

Russia’s anti-doping body also promised to investigate the allegations made by German TV, saying it would report back to its global counterpart, but nevertheless said the charges were either untrue or reflected the program makers’ “incompetence”.

Aug 4, 2015

Athletics-Doping story is “unimaginable nonsense” says Russian coach

MOSCOW, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Allegations of widespread doping by Russian athletics stars are “unimaginable nonsense”, the trainer at the centre of the latest scandal to engulf Russian sport told Reuters on Tuesday.

Russia’s anti-doping body also promised to investigate the allegations made by German TV, saying it would report back to its global counterpart, but nevertheless said the charges were either untrue or reflected the programme makers’ “incompetence”.

Jul 14, 2015

Fewer hotels, more campsites as Russia cuts World Cup costs

MOSCOW/NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (Reuters) – Football fans at the 2018 World Cup could find themselves sleeping on boats or pitching tents in Soviet-era summer camps as Russia reins in spending on the tournament by cutting back on the number of hotels.

Back in 2010, when it won the right to host the finals, Russia promised to provide 100,000 rooms for visiting supporters, far exceeding the 60,000 required by football’s world governing body FIFA.