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Nov 9, 2012

Russia’s Putin fires top general after graft scandal

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin replaced the chief of his military staff on Friday in a reshuffle that stamped the authority of the Kremlin chief, and his new defense minister, on the armed forces after a corruption scandal.

Putin removed General Nikolai Makarov after four years as the nuclear power’s top general and replaced him with General Valery Gerasimov, 57, a commander who fought Muslim separatists in the Chechnya region.

Nov 8, 2012

Russian defense chief crossed Putin’s political “family”

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Viktor Zubkov was the friend Russian President Vladimir Putin turned to when he wanted help blowing out his birthday candles 12 years ago.

At the time, Zubkov was an obscure tax man but had already forged the close relationship with Putin on which the political career of Russia’s defense minister may have foundered this week in a tale of alleged corruption, adultery and Kremlin rivalries.

Nov 6, 2012

Ex-KGB dusts off Cold War prize: UK spy Blake at 90

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia wheeled out one of its treasured Cold War trophies on Tuesday, publishing a rare interview with a 90-year-old British double agent who recalled sharing martinis outside Moscow with fellow spies in their KGB retirement.

Nearly five decades after he escaped from a British jail and was smuggled to East Berlin in a camper van in one of the classic cloak-and-dagger stories of the 20th century, George Blake lives quietly in the Moscow suburbs with his wife Ida.

Oct 31, 2012

Russia’s election Magician pans “undemocratic” U.S. vote

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Tired of being lectured on democracy, the man known in Russia as “The Magician” for overseeing fraud-marred elections won by Vladimir Putin turned the tables on Wednesday by lambasting the U.S. electoral system.

Using language usually reserved for U.S. and European criticism of Russia, Vladimir Churov said American voters will choose a president on Tuesday under an electoral system that is flawed and undemocratic.

Oct 5, 2012

Russia’s Putin in charge at 60, but facing threats

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin turns 60 on Sunday, his grip on power weaker than in the past but under little immediate threat if the oil price stays high.

Adoring supporters will celebrate in cities from Siberia to Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia, where the ruling party’s loyal Young Guard will unfurl a banner on a bridge which they say symbolizes Putin’s role by uniting Asia and Europe.

Sep 19, 2012

Russia says U.S. aid mission sought to sway elections

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia accused the United States on Wednesday of using its aid mission in Moscow to influence Russian elections, a charge likely to push relations between the former Cold War foes to a new low after Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a tough statement explaining Moscow’s decision, announced by Washington on Tuesday, to give the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) until October 1 to cease operations in Russia.

Sep 11, 2012

Insight: If Caucasus erupts, war could spread

LINE OF CONTACT, Azerbaijan (Reuters) – A dusty trench, interrupted every few meters by lookout posts and gun positions, winds its way as far as the eye can see.

“Put your head above the trench and they’ll shoot you,” says a young ethnic Armenian soldier, peering through a narrow slit in a concrete watchtower at Azeri lines 400 meters away where he says snipers lie in wait.

Sep 11, 2012

If Caucasus erupts, war could spread

LINE OF CONTACT, Azerbaijan, Sept 11 (Reuters) – A dusty
trench, interrupted every few metres by lookout posts and gun
positions, winds its way as far as the eye can see.

“Put your head above the trench and they’ll shoot you,” says
a young ethnic Armenian soldier, peering through a narrow slit
in a concrete watchtower at Azeri lines 400 metres away where he
says snipers lie in wait.

Sep 9, 2012

Asia-Pacific nations promise growth, free markets

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Asia-Pacific nations
including China, the United States and Russia will promise
measures to boost growth on Sunday and reject limits on food
exports to try to revive the flagging global economy.

Countries on the Pacific Rim were expected to end a two-day
summit on an island off the Russian port city of Vladivostok by
expressing concern about the fragile state of the world economy,
global food security and growing signs of protectionism.

Sep 8, 2012

China, Russia sound alarm on world economy at APEC summit

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept 8 (Reuters) – China and Russia
sounded the alarm about the state of the global economy and
urged Asian-Pacific countries at a summit on Saturday to protect
themselves by forging deeper regional economic ties.

Chinese President Hu Jintao said Beijing would do all it
could to strengthen the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) by rebalancing its economy, Asia’s biggest,
to improve the chances of a global economic recovery.

    • About Timothy

      "Timothy Heritage is Brussels Bureau Chief and European Affairs Editor, responsible for coverage of the European Union. He has previously been based in Moscow, Jerusalem, Paris, London, Warsaw and Belgrade, covering events ranging from the fall of Communism and conflict in the Balkans and Middle East to the euro zone debt crisis."
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