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May 20, 2015

Russia budget crunch shows no quick end to economic pain

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov warned on Wednesday the country would face no choice but to rein in public spending over the next few years, highlighting how Russia is still in deep economic trouble even if it has dodged an immediate meltdown.

Russia was tipped into crisis by last year’s sharp drop in oil prices, compounded by Western sanctions for the annexation of Crimea and alleged support for rebels in eastern Ukraine, causing sharp falls in the value of the rouble currency.

May 3, 2015

Maya Plisetskaya overcame terror legacy to redefine ballet

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Maya Plisetskaya, a star of Russia’s Bolshoi ballet who overcame a legacy of Stalinist oppression to redefine her art and be feted as the greatest ballerina of her generation, has died in Germany aged 89.

Plisetskaya died of a heart attack in Munich, Russian media reported on Saturday evening, citing the director of the Bolshoi theatre Vladimir Urin. Her death was “a huge loss not only for Russian culture, but also for the whole world of ballet”, he told RIA news agency.

Apr 30, 2015

Russia cuts key interest rate, hopes worst of crisis over

MOSCOW, April 30 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank cut its
main lending rate by 1-1/2 percentage points on Thursday, its
third rate cut this year, a sign that it believes the worst of
an economic crisis is over.

The cut to 12.5 percent follows the rouble’s recovery in
recent weeks after a dramatic decline last year as global oil
prices fell and Western economic sanctions over Moscow’s role in
the Ukraine conflict bit.

Apr 25, 2015

Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists trade accusations as Minsk deal frays

KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine traded accusations on Saturday, reviving concerns that a peace deal signed in Minsk in February may collapse, although monitors said the violations were still relatively limited.

One Ukrainian serviceman was killed and two were wounded when separatists shelled Ukraine’s National Guard on Saturday at Shyrokyne, a village east of the port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov in Ukraine’s southeast, Kiev’s military said.

Apr 25, 2015

Moscow to investigate amid struggle over Chechen authority

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia announced on Saturday it would investigate the shooting dead of a Chechen that has highlighted tensions between central police authorities and a hardline Chechen regional leader brought in by President Vladimir Putin to quell separatism.

Police from the neighboring Stavropol region shot a man dead in the regional capital Grozny last Sunday, infuriating regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who urged his own police to “shoot to kill” if officers from outside Chechnya acted there without permission. Russia’s Interior Ministry responded by calling his comments “unacceptable”.

Apr 23, 2015

For Western companies, Russia’s recovery is worth waiting for

MOSCOW, April 23 (Reuters) – Western companies are sticking
with Russia, waiting for an economic rebound that they expect
will once again bring rich rewards although some have cut
operations to weather the slump.

Russia is expecting a steep recession this year, caused by
low international oil prices and Western sanctions over the
Ukraine conflict even though international tensions have eased.

Mar 13, 2015

Russia central bank says cuts key rate to 14 percent

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Russian central bank cut its main lending rate on Friday, for the second time this year, putting concerns about the declining economy before worries about high inflation.

The bank reduced its one-week minimum auction repo rate by one point to 14 percent, continuing an easing cycle that began in January when it unexpectedly cut the rate by two points.

Mar 13, 2015

Russia c.bank says cuts key rate to 14 pct

MOSCOW, March 13 (Reuters) – The Russian central bank cut
its main lending rate on Friday, for the second time this year,
putting concerns about the declining economy before worries
about high inflation.

The bank reduced its one-week minimum auction repo rate by
one point to 14 percent, continuing an easing cycle that began
in January when it unexpectedly cut the rate by two points.

Mar 12, 2015

Nemtsov killing exposes cracks in Kremlin unity

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The killing of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov within sight of the Kremlin has exposed rarely seen tensions between different camps inside President Vladimir Putin’s system of rule.

No outsiders can know with any certainty what is happening behind the red-brick walls of the Kremlin, but some of Nemtsov’s associates say his shooting is being used by one faction to send Putin a message that they are unhappy and need to be reckoned with.

Mar 8, 2015

Two charged with Nemtsov killing include former Chechen policeman

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian authorities said on Sunday they had charged two men over the killing of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov and said one of them was a former senior policeman from the mainly Muslim region of Chechnya who had confessed to involvement in the crime.

The two were among five men, all ethnic Chechens, frogmarched into a Moscow courtroom on Sunday, forced by masked security officers gripping their bound arms to walk doubled over, a Reuters reporter at the court said.