MOSCOW (Reuters) – Thousands of Russians joined hands to form a human chain around Moscow city centre on Sunday in protest against Vladimir Putin’s likely return as president in an election next week.
The protesters stood side by side around the wide 16-km (10-mile) Moscow Garden Ring Road in gently falling snow, many of them wearing the white ribbons that symbolize the biggest opposition protests since Putin rose to power 12 years ago.
MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Russia faces a growing international outcry over its arms sales to Syria but shows no sign of bowing to pressure and has even increased deliveries of arms that critics say are helping keep President Bashar al-Assad in power.
The biggest importer of arms to Syria, Russia sold Damascus nearly $1 billion worth of arms including missile systems last year, while shipments of hard-to-track Russian small weapons have risen since the uprising against Assad started, government defectors say.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday Russia needed a stronger military to protect it from foreign attempts to stoke conflicts around its borders.
In a newspaper article intended to burnish his image as a strong leader before a presidential election, Putin said Russia would spend 23 trillion roubles ($768.46 billion) over a decade to modernize the former superpower’s armed forces.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Russians defied bitter cold in Moscow on Saturday to demand fair elections in a march against Vladimir Putin’s 12-year rule, and thousands of others staged a rally supporting the prime minister.
Opposition protesters also organized smaller protests in other cities across the vast country, one month before the March 4 presidential election which Putin is expected to win.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Militants fighting to carve an Islamic state from Russia’s southern flank should avoid attacks on the country’s citizens now that they are protesting Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s 12-year rule, the leader of the insurgency said.
In a video posted on a rebel-affiliated website on Friday, Islamist militant leader Doku Umarov said rallies against a disputed election that gave Putin’s ruling United Russia party a parliamentary majority last year showed his support had fallen.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is counting on President Bashar al-Assad keeping his grip on power to see through potential arms contracts worth up to $6 billion (3 billion pounds) (3 billion pounds) and help Moscow reach a record defence export year, according to the CAST defence and security think-tank.
Russia has been Assad’s main defender as Western and Arab countries push for a U.N. Security Council resolution which would call for him to step down.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Moscow can do no more for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a top Kremlin aide said on Monday, opening the way to a shift in Russia’s position after 10 months of bloodshed.
Russia has resisted pressure to call for Assad’s resignation and, with China, blocked a Western-crafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have condemned a crackdown that has killed thousands of Syrians.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has signed a deal to sell Syria nearly 40 fighter jet trainers for over half a billion dollars, a Russian newspaper reported on Monday, despite growing international criticism over its military trade with the violence-ridden country.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used troops and tanks to try to crush a 10-month-old popular revolt and thousands of people have been killed.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will offer Washington no explanation for arms deliveries to Syria and together with China will prevent the U.N. Security Council from approving any military intervention in the conflict-torn nation, its foreign minister said on Wednesday.
Using his annual news conference to draw lines in the sand on Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said veto-holding Security Council members Russia and China would stand firm against foreign intervention.
MOSCOW/NICOSIA, Jan 13 (Reuters) – A Russian-operated
ship carrying a cargo of ammunition has reached conflict-torn
Syria after being temporarily halted during a refuelling stop in
Cyprus, sources in Russia and Cyprus said on Friday.
A source in Cyprus, where the ship made an unscheduled stop
for refuelling late on Tuesday, said the ship had given written
assurances to authorities its destination would not be Syria but