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Feb 6, 2013
via FaithWorld

Orthodox Church should have more control over Russian life: Putin


(Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill attend a meeting with Russian Orthodox church bishops in Moscow February 1, 2013, in this picture provided by Ria Novosti. REUTERS/Sergei Gunyeev)

President Vladimir Putin has said the Orthodox Church should be given more say over family life, education and the armed forces in Russia, as he celebrated the leadership of its head Patriarch Kirill.

Feb 4, 2013

Russian Bolshoi ballet chief says knows in heart who attacked him

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director left hospital on Monday saying he knew in his heart who was behind the acid attack that threatens his sight and the reputation of one of the world’s great theatres.

Sergei Filin, his face scarred and eyes hidden by dark glasses, hinted last month’s attack was linked to his work in the fiercely competitive world of ballet. He said his attacker had looked at him from behind a mask “with fear in his eyes”.

Feb 1, 2013

Church should have more control over Russian life: Putin

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Friday the Orthodox Church should be given more say over family life, education and the armed forces in Russia, as he celebrated the leadership of its head Patriarch Kirill.

Faith runs deep in Russia after the fall of the officially atheist Soviet Union and Putin has looked to the largest religion in Russia for support since he began his third term as president after a wave of protests against his rule.

Feb 1, 2013

Mysterious YouTube video accuses Russia’s Medvedev of treason

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Dmitry Medvedev is glimpsed exchanging confidential smiles with Barack Obama as sinister music plays. The dead body of Russian ally Muammar Gaddafi, driven from power by the West, is dragged through the dirt. A camera homes in on the prime minister sweating and shifting uneasily in his chair.

The word ‘treason’ is uttered by a narrator.

A more than hour-long Internet video employs methods reminiscent of the Soviet past in excoriating a prime minister already laboring in President Vladimir Putin’s shadow.

Jan 30, 2013

Russia scraps law enforcement deal with U.S. in new blow to ties

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia scrapped a law enforcement agreement with the United States on Wednesday, further turning back the clock on a “reset” in relations since President Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin last year.

An order to end the deal, signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, was posted on the government’s website. It said the agreement, under which Washington provides financial assistance for law enforcement and drugs control programs, “does not address current realities and has exhausted its potential”.

Jan 28, 2013

Russia presses on with plans to try dead whistleblower

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia pushed forward with plans for the posthumous trial of a lawyer on tax evasion charges on Monday, despite a boycott by relatives and lawyers who said President Vladimir Putin’s government was “dancing on the grave of a dead man”.

Sergei Magnitsky died in 2009 after complaining repeatedly he was denied treatment as his health declined in jail, prompting the United States last month to bar entry to Russians accused of involvement in his death or serious rights abuses.

Jan 23, 2013

Relieved Russians return home after fleeing Syria violence

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Dozens of Russians arrived home on Wednesday after fleeing Syria, relieved to be escaping the deprivation and horror of civil war but worried about an uncertain future back home.

“The Free Syrian Army is getting closer. We’ve been left without money, without light, without water,” Natasha Yunis, who ran a beauty salon in her adopted home of Damascus after meeting her Syrian husband, said of rebel advances on the capital.

Jan 21, 2013

Georgian Patriarch in Russia, looking to better ties

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Georgia’s Patriarch Ilia, on a rare trip to Russia on Monday, said religion was the strongest tie still binding the two countries that fought a short war in 2008 and said he was optimistic about future relations of the two post-Soviet states.

One of the most prominent Georgians to visit Russia since the war, the leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church received an award from his Russian Orthodox counterpart, Patriarch Kirill – a move analysts said used the politically powerful churches to help improve the countries’ ties.

Jan 21, 2013

Russia sending aircraft to evacuate citizens from Syria

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is sending two planes to Lebanon on Tuesday to evacuate more than 100 of its citizens from Syria, the Emergencies Ministry said, in the clearest sign yet that Moscow may be preparing for President Bashar al-Assad’s possible defeat.

Russia has been Assad’s main foreign protector during a 22-month uprising against his rule, but a diplomat conceded last month the government had lost territory and the rebels fighting Assad could win the war.

Jan 19, 2013

Surgery scheduled to restore Bolshoi ballet director’s eyesight

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The artistic director of Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet will undergo surgery next week to try to save his eyesight after an attacker threw acid in his face, the theatre’s chief said on Saturday.

Sergei Filin, 42, spoke to investigators in a Moscow hospital, Bolshoi director Anatoly Iksanov said, adding that they also questioned his colleagues, who said the attack was likely triggered by envy, rivalry or competition for roles in Russia’s most prestigious theatre.

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      "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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