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New book shows Russia through the looking glass Special

Edinburgh - “Moscow was an exciting place to be for a 24-year old. It was an oil boom and bust town. You could go around the block and the city would be transformed by the time you came back.”

Putin says Assad agrees to early parliamentary polls

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was willing to hold early parliamentary elections and share power with the "healthy" opposition.

Europe migrant crisis was to be 'expected': Putin

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called Europe's migrant crisis a predictable result of its policies in the Middle East and said he had personally warned of the consequences.

Putin slams 'tragic' clashes in Kiev over autonomy for rebel east

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday condemned the deadly clashes that took place this week between police and nationalists in Kiev and questioned how long Ukrainians would "put up with" the instability rocking the country.

Premature to talk about Russian military action against IS: Putin

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday it was premature to talk about Russia taking part in military operations against the Islamic State group, as the US said it was checking reports of Russian troops in Syria.

Op-Ed: Another dead alien in Russia? A few too many, maybe?

Sydney - A new alien corpse, or bit of corpse, found in Russia near a nuclear power plant has raised the usual furore. This one is a bit more interesting than usual, but the circumstances are equally dubious.

L.A.Lakers allows Jordan Clarkson to play for Gilas Pilipinas

Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson has been granted permission by the L.A. Lakers to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Championship from Sept; 23 to Oct' 3 in Changsha, China.

Op-Ed: U.S. sanctions ban Russian parliamentarian from global conference

New York - Valentina Matvienko is speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council. She is one of seven Russian officials targeted by U.S. sanctions including a travel ban.

Obama urges more ice breakers in Arctic Circle amid global race

The Obama administration is proposing an increase in the number of American Coast Guard icebreakers to be used in the Arctic Circle. The move comes as the region becomes an important global hotspot for resource exploitation and other activities.

Op-Ed: Maria Yudina, Stalin's favourite pianist

Moscow - Maria Yudina, an influential Soviet pianist was born on September 9, 1899 and died on November 19, 1970. After graduation from the Petrogad Conservatory Yudina taught there until 1930.

Here is what surfing on a moving train looks like

Pasha Bumchik is an 18-year-old vlogger from Russia and he has uploaded a video showing what it is like to surf on top of a moving train.

Hundreds protest smashing of 'Mephistopheles' in St Petersburg

Sanktpeterburg - More than a thousand Russians rallied in Saint Petersburg on Sunday after a century-old bas relief of a mythical demon was destroyed amid fears of increasing religious intolerance under President Vladimir Putin.

Russia probes smashing of 'Mephistopheles' figure claimed by Orthodox group

Sanktpeterburg - Russia has launched a probe after a century-old figure of Mephistopheles was ripped down in Saint Petersburg, with Orthodox activists claiming responsibility amid fears of an increasing intolerance in the country.

Organiser of liberal Russian MP's murder jailed for 17 years

Sanktpeterburg - A Russian court on Friday sentenced the organiser of the 1998 killing of prominent opposition politician Galina Starovoitova to 17 years in prison.

Europa League Draw: Long trips for Liverpool and Tottenham

Both Liverpool and Tottenham will need at least one long excursion on a Thursday night, as the Premier League sides face long-haul opposition from Russia and Azerbaijan respectively.

U.S. envoy to Syria visits Moscow in fresh diplomatic push

Moscow - Russia on Friday hosted the newly appointed US special envoy for Syria as world powers intensify efforts to end the four-year civil war raging in the country.

Former Ukraine rebel head starts support group for Russian fighters

Moscow - A former leader of pro-Russian separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine on Thursday announced he was launching a support network for Russian volunteers who fought in the conflict and the families of those killed.

Sentsov: Film director turned political prisoner

Moscow - Oleg Sentsov, jailed by Russia Tuesday for 20 years on "terrorism" charges, is a promising young film director who financed his first movie from the proceeds of his children's computer and video-gaming club.

Russia lifts Wikipedia ban after it edits drugs entry

Moscow - Russia's media watchdog said Tuesday it had lifted a short-lived ban on Russian-language Wikipedia over an entry on a form of cannabis.

Russia court jails Ukrainian filmmaker for 'terrorism'

Rostov-on-don - A Russian military court on Tuesday sentenced a Ukrainian filmmaker to 20 years in a prison colony on terror charges in a trial condemned by Kiev, Western rights groups and top film directors.
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