MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Both rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are intensifying violence in Syria and striving for military gains rather than peaceful transition, the chief U.N. monitor in Syria said on Friday.
Major-General Robert Mood’s comments came as Russia further dug its feet in against Western pressure to topple Assad, insisting it would not discuss a post-Assad Syria.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Syria’s ambassador to Moscow said on Thursday that Russia is not supplying Syria’s government with attack helicopters, the most specific denial yet from Moscow or Damascus of remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Russia is not delivering any helicopters to Syria,” Ambassador Riad Haddad told Reuters, speaking two days after Clinton said the United States had information that attack helicopters were on the way from Russia to Syria.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – When Russia opens a “billion-dollar bridge” on its Pacific coast this summer, Vladimir Putin can expect an enthusiastic audience among the 5,000 islanders whom it will connect to the mainland, at an eye-popping cost per head.
But the president will be looking, too, for attention from a few miles further off, in China, whose rise as a trading and diplomatic partner but also as a potential rival for control of thinly populated Siberia’s resources has brought a new focus in Moscow on both business and military investment in the far east.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Almost a decade after Russia’s richest man was jailed after funding groups opposed to Vladimir Putin, a former top bank manager is chipping at the wall between politics and business in a renewed challenge to the Russian president.
With his Wharton Business School degree and expensive suits, Vladimir Ashurkov, 40, cuts an unlikely figure within the rag-tag ranks of Russia’s political opposition.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow was deeply alarmed by the killing of at least 108 people in the Syrian town of Houla but that it was clear both President Bashar al-Assad’s government and rebels were to blame.
“We are dealing with a situation in which both sides evidently had a hand in the deaths of innocent people,” Lavrov said after talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Countries that “sow chaos” in Syria could find the tables turned, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a state-run Russian television station in comments aired on Wednesday.
Assad gave one of the few interviews he has conducted during a 14-month crackdown on anti-government protests to a station from Russia, which has supported him with arms supplies and vetoes in the U.N. Security Council.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Several members of Russia’s presidential human rights council said on Wednesday they planned to leave the advisory council, reflecting doubts that President-elect Vladimir Putin was dedicated to improving human rights.
During Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency, the rights council has drawn attention to reported abuses including in the case of Sergei Magnitsky, whose 2009 prison death has drawn widespread condemnation and strained Russian-U.S. ties.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia accused Syrian rebels on Thursday of using terror tactics and suggested they were more to blame for ceasefire violations than President Bashar al-Assad’s troops.
The remarks by the foreign ministry differed from assessments by Western states which have been calling on government forces to end attacks and withdraw from cities and towns under a U.N.-backed truce.
MOSCOW, April 25 (Reuters) – Pro-Kremlin activists are
increasingly using underground hacker networks to suppress the
political opposition and independent media which they believe
pose a danger to Vladimir Putin’s hold on power in Russia, a
report said on Wednesday.
Cyber attacks on websites of independent-minded news outlets
such as Ekho Moskvy radio and cable and Internet TV channel
Dozhd around the time of a December parliamentary and election
have raised concerns about a crackdown on dissent.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia urged the Syrian government on Tuesday to act “more decisively” to implement international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan but said the opposition must also comply and called on other nations to use their influence to promote a ceasefire.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking after talks with his Syrian counterpart, balanced a message of pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government with pointed words for his foes and for Western and Arab states.