MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin, defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, signed a treaty on Tuesday making Crimea part Russia but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine.
In a fiercely patriotic address to a joint session of parliament in the Kremlin, punctuated by standing ovations, cheering and tears, Putin said Crimea’s disputed referendum vote on Sunday, held under Russian military occupation, had shown the overwhelming will of the people to be reunited with Russia.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian riot police detained hundreds of Kremlin opponents on Monday, moving swiftly to curb protests over the jailing of activists convicted of attacking police at a rally against President Vladimir Putin.
With the turmoil in Ukraine adding to tension between the Kremlin and its opponents, Putin foes including Alexei Navalny and members of protest band Pussy Riot were hauled away twice by police, first outside a courthouse and later near the Kremlin.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian riot police detained over a hundred protesters on Monday outside a Moscow courthouse where a judge was expected to sentence eight defendants convicted of attacking police at a 2012 demonstration against President Vladimir Putin.
Demonstrators shouted “Maidan” – a reference to the square in Ukraine’s capital at the heart of anti-government protests that have driven President Viktor Yanukovich from power – and called the Russian police “Berkut” after the Ukrainian riot police that battled protesters in Kiev.
SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – The main roads and boulevards of Sochi have been plastered over with Olympic Games posters, slogans in Cyrillic and billboards welcoming sports fans to the Russian Black Sea resort.
But for most visitors the real Sochi will be what they find when they travel off the beaten path of the Winter Olympics, which run from Feb 7-23, to soak up the sounds, flavors and even the waters of this Soviet-era spa city.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – An anti-corruption campaigner said on that Monday Russia was spending far more on the Winter Olympics than President Vladimir Putin has estimated and accused politicians and businessmen of profiteering.
Alexei Navalny, who led anti-Putin street protests in 2011-2012, published data culled from government budgets and construction companies on a website (sochi.fbk.info) that he said highlighted overspending and corruption.
MOSCOW, Jan 27 (Reuters) – A leading opponent of President Vladimir Putin criticised what he said was huge overspending on the Winter Olympics on Monday and accused Russian officials and businessmen of making big profits from the Games.
The report, culling information from government budgets and data from companies involved in construction for the Olympics, was the latest by the opposition to pour scorn on a project on which Putin has staked his personal and political prestige.
SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – It may not come naturally to all Russians and, in the run-up to the Winter Olympics, Sochi hotel managers are getting crash courses in how to smile.
In line with President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to show Russia’s modern face at the $50-billion Sochi Games, an initiative has been launched to break down enduring stereotypes of Russians as cold, severe and unsmiling.
SOCHI, Russia, Jan 23 (Reuters) – It may not come naturally
to all Russians and, in the run-up to the Winter Olympics, Sochi
hotel managers are getting crash courses in how to smile.
In line with President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to show
Russia’s modern face at the $50-billion Sochi Games, an
initiative has been launched to break down enduring stereotypes
of Russians as cold, severe and unsmiling.
MOSCOW, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that any large-scale corruption surrounded the Sochi Winter Olympics and challenged those with allegations of misconduct to come forward with proof.
Western and Russian opposition critics have made allegations that large amounts of money have been stolen during construction for the 2014 Olympics in the Black Sea city, but have provided little concrete evidence.
MOSCOW/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The Syrian government, preparing for peace talks with rebels next week, handed the Russian co-sponsors of the conference a proposal on Friday for a local ceasefire and an exchange of prisoners.
There was no immediate response from President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents, whose very attendance at the talks due to start on Wednesday in Switzerland remained in doubt – prompting a last-minute appeal to them from the United States.