MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian Orthodox youth group unveiled a video game on Thursday that gives players a chance to “kill” members of the punk band Pussy Riot, whose profanity-laden protest in a Moscow cathedral last year angered the church and offended some believers.
Two women from Pussy Riot are serving two-year jail sentences for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for the “punk protest”, which the head of the Russian Orthodox Church has called part of a campaign to curb its post-Soviet revival.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – When Edward Snowden finally leaves the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, it will lose its biggest attraction.
The former U.S. spy agency contractor has managed to stay out of sight for two weeks since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23, hoping to fly on to a country that would not send him back to the United States to face espionage charges.
MOSCOW, July 3 (Reuters) – Russian Islamist rebel leaders urged their fighters on Wednesday to use “maximum force” to prevent President Vladimir Putin staging the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
In an online video recorded in a forest, Doku Umarov said an order not to attack Russian targets outside the North Caucasus had been cancelled and likened holding the Games in the Black Sea city to performing “Satanic dances” on the graves of Muslims killed fighting Russian forces there in the 19th century.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian islamist rebels urged followers on Wednesday to use “maximum force” to prevent President Vladimir Putin staging the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
In an online video recorded in a forest, Doku Umarov said an order not to attack Russian targets outside the North Caucasus had been canceled and likened holding the Games in the Black Sea city to performing “Satanic dances” on the graves of Muslims killed fighting Russian forces there in the 19th century.
MOSCOW/NAANTALI, Finland (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed on Tuesday a former U.S. spy agency contractor sought by the United States was in the transit area of a Moscow airport but ruled out handing him to Washington, dismissing U.S. criticisms as “ravings and rubbish”.
In his first public comments since Edward Snowden flew in on Sunday, Putin appeared to make light of the diplomatic uproar over the fugitive, whose flight from U.S. authorities is becoming a growing embarrassment for President Barack Obama. Asked by a journalist about the affair, he smiled fleetingly.
WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The United States increased pressure on Russia to hand over former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who Washington believes is in Moscow waiting for news of an asylum request to Ecuador.
Snowden, charged with disclosing secret U.S. surveillance programs, left Hong Kong for Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday, starting a cat-and-mouse chase that has frayed ties between Washington and Beijing and threatens U.S.-Russia relations.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – The artistic director of Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet, burned in an acid attack allegedly masterminded by a dancer, is nearly blind despite 18 operations to save his sight, a theatre spokeswoman said on Thursday.
The attack on Sergei Filin, which exposed poisonous rivalries over roles, power and pay at the theatre, has cast a long shadow over Russia’s premier cultural symbol, from which it is still struggling to escape.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – More than a hundred Russian ballet fans rallied in Moscow on Saturday in support of a top dancer who says he is being chased out of the Bolshoi Theatre due to disputes in the wake of an acid attack on its artistic director earlier this year.
The attack on Sergei Filin in January stunned Russians and exposed the bitter rivalries and behind-the-scenes power struggles at the theatre, a symbol of Russian culture since the 18th century.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s lower house passed a law on Tuesday banning gay “propaganda”, a measure that human rights groups say has already fuelled attacks on homosexuals as President Vladimir Putin pursues an increasingly conservative social agenda.
As parliament debated the bill, gay activists who had taken part in a “kissing protest” outside parliament to demonstrate against the law were harassed and pelted with eggs by anti-gay protesters, then about 20 of them were arrested.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian police detained more than 20 gay rights activists involved in a “kissing protest” on Tuesday outside parliament where lawmakers were preparing to pass a bill banning homosexual “propaganda”.
The bill is one of a series of socially conservative measures garnering support in the Kremlin-dominated parliament during President Vladimir Putin’s third term.