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Feb 25, 2013

Actor Depardieu hits dance floor in Russia’s Chechnya

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Arms flailing to the synthesised beat of a folk tune, film star Gerard Depardieu hit the dance floor in Chechnya and vowed to make a movie in the volatile region on the latest stop of an erratic tour of his new Russian homeland.

The actor, who quit France after criticising a planned 75-percent tax on millionaires, embraced Chechnya’s strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov during a weekend visit, then showed off traditional ‘Lezginka’ dance moves in television footage aired on Monday.

Feb 25, 2013

Actor Depardieu wants to make film in Russia’s volatile Chechnya

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Film star Gerard Depardieu, who received a hug and a Russian passport from President Vladimir Putin last month, has announced he wants to make a movie in Chechnya after dining and dancing with the volatile region’s strongarm leader.

Depardieu abandoned his homeland of France to avoid a planned 75-percent tax on millionaires. He moved to Belgium last year but then continued east to Russia, where Putin granted him citizenship. The two men were shown on state television shaking hands and hugging.

Feb 25, 2013

Syrian government says ready to talk to armed opposition: agency

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Syria is ready to hold talks with its armed opponents, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Monday, in the clearest offer yet of negotiations with rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

But Moualem said Syria would continue its fight “against terrorism”, a reference to its conflict with anti-Assad rebels in which the United Nations says 70,000 people have been killed.

Feb 21, 2013

Russia’s $50 billion Olympic gamble

SOCHI, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Above the Black Sea city of Sochi,
one of Russia’s richest men is spending billions of rubles to
turn a patch of mountainside into a global showpiece.

Metals magnate Vladimir Potanin has paid for new buildings,
new lifts and hundreds of snow canons in the hope of
transforming slopes not far from sub-tropical Sochi into a
world-class ski resort.

Feb 21, 2013

Special Report: Russia’s $50 billion Olympic gamble

SOCHI (Reuters) – Above the Black Sea city of Sochi, one of Russia’s richest men is spending billions of roubles to turn a patch of mountainside into a global showpiece. Metals magnate Vladimir Potanin has paid for new buildings, new lifts and hundreds of snow canons in the hope of transforming slopes not far from sub-tropical Sochi into a world-class ski resort.

Like most of the plans to host the Winter Olympic Games next year, Russia’s ambitions for the ski village and other venues are outsized in scale and ambition. Total investment to make the sleepy region fit to welcome thousands of competitors and the world’s media is expected to exceed $50 billion, according to Russia’s international news agency RIA Novosti.

Feb 15, 2013

Russian meteorite images caught on dashboard cameras

MOSCOW, Feb 15 (Reuters) – It is no coincidence the first
videos that captured the images of a meteorite breaking apart
over central Russia on Friday were shot from drivers’ dashboard
cameras.

The small video cameras, fixed to the dashboard or rear view
mirror of a car to film oncoming traffic and the road ahead, are
immensely popular in Russia because of motorists’ fears about
the corruption, violence and insurance fraud schemes that can
make driving in the country a nightmare.

Feb 14, 2013

Putin orders Russian security on high alert before Olympics

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered security forces to be on high alert on Thursday to protect against attacks by militants ahead of next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Russia, which this week hosts the G-20 meeting of major world economies, is battling an Islamist insurgency in the Caucasus region which grew out of two separatist wars in its Chechnya province since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Feb 14, 2013

Suicide bomber kills three police in Russian Caucasus

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed three policemen and wounded another six in Russia’s North Caucasus on Thursday, hours before President Vladimir Putin was to meet with officials to discuss security ahead of next year’s Winter Olympics.

The Kremlin is fighting to staunch an insurgency that aims to carve an Islamic state out of the Caucasus region, which borders Sochi, Russia’s planned site for the 2014 Games.

Feb 13, 2013

Russian arms exporter says supplies to Syria will go on

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will continue deliveries of arms to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his armed forces, the head of the state weapons exporter said on Wednesday, despite the Middle Eastern country’s civil war.

Russia supplied nearly $1 billion’s worth of arms to Syria in 2011 and has long been an ally of Assad.

Feb 11, 2013

Russia coal mine blast kills 18 – Interior Ministry

MOSCOW, Feb 11 (Reuters) – An underground methane gas
explosion killed up to 18 miners at a coal pit in northern
Russia on Monday, the latest in a long line of fatal accidents
at Russian collieries.

Rescue workers said they had brought 10 bodies to the
surface at the Vorkutinskaya mine, owned by large Russian steel
company Severstal, in the icy Komi region and were
trying to recover eight other corpses.

    • About Thomas

      "Thomas Grove covers politics and general news in Moscow. He worked in Istanbul from 2006-2010, covering political, financial and energy news."
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