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Russian novelist Ulitskaya attacked at awards ceremony: rights group

Moscow - Activists on Thursday attacked prominent Russian writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya, schoolchildren and other participants at a prize ceremony organised by rights campaign group Memorial, which exposes Stalin-era repression.

Russian artist on trial for torching security service HQ door

Moscow - Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky went on trial Thursday for setting fire to the door of the country's security service headquarters, a charge that risks three years in prison.

Putin hails first rocket launch from new cosmodrome after delay

Russia - Russia launched the first rocket from its new Vostochny cosmodrome on Thursday, with President Vladimir Putin hailing the event after dressing down officials over a delay caused by a technical glitch.

Russia asks UN to list key Syrian rebel group as 'terrorist'

Moscow - Russia has asked the United Nations to blacklist a major Syrian rebel group that is playing a key role in talks to end the conflict, its ambassador to the UN said.

Putin slams Russian space failures after delayed launch

Russia - President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday criticised Russia's large number of space failures after the first rocket launch from the country's new Vostochny cosmodrome was delayed minutes before blast-off.

Russia says Syria's ancient Palmyra cleared of mines

Moscow - Russia's military on Thursday said it had completely demined the UNESCO world heritage site of Palmyra in Syria after it was recaptured by government forces from Islamic State group fighters last month.

Gorbachev urges West to stop 'isolating' Russia

Moscow - The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Thursday urged the West to stop isolating Russia and take a more "constructive" approach in response to President Vladimir Putin's moves towards normalising relations.

Op-Ed: Voice of America or Voice of Castro without any balance?

U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) has just helped Fidel Castro promote his communist legacy in a report without one word of balance.

Russia extraditing Uzbeks to face 'pervasive' torture: Amnesty

Moscow - Amnesty International on Thursday condemned Russia for sending migrants and asylum seekers back to its highly repressive ex-Soviet ally Uzbekistan where they face "pervasive" use of torture.

Shane Mosley calls out Mayweather, Pacquiao, Cotto for rematch

Former three-weight world champion Shane Mosley is set to face Russian welterweight David Avanesyan on May 28 at the Gila River Arena in Arizona. If he is victorious, Mosley wants a rematch with Miguel Cotto, Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather.

Putin, Poroshenko discuss jailed Ukrainian pilot, Russians held in Ukraine: Kremlin

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on Monday discussed the fate of a hunger-striking Ukrainian pilot jailed in Russia and two Russians captured and tried in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

Russian security chief urges sweeping crackdown to counter U.S. influence

Moscow - The powerful chief of Russia's equivalent to the FBI on Monday called for sweeping new rights restrictions, including curbing Internet freedoms and making it illegal to question Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Russia denies flight of jet that intercepted U.S. Air Force plane 'unsafe'

Moscow - Russia's defence ministry denied Sunday that a Russian jet that intercepted a US Air Force plane earlier this week had acted unsafely, dismissing the Pentagon's criticism.

Russians protest over 'homophobic' murder of journalist

Sanktpeterburg - Russian gay rights activists on Friday held a protest over the murder of a journalist in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg, accusing the authorities of hushing up a homophobic hate crime.

Kremlin apologises to German paper for Putin's Panama leak claim

Moscow - The Kremlin on Friday apologised to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung after President Vladimir Putin wrongly claimed it was owned by US bank Goldman Sachs as he sought to discredit leaks from the Panama Papers.

Putin admits Panama Papers 'accurate,' blames U.S.

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday acknowledged the accuracy of the Panama Papers revelations, but claimed funds had been spent on musical instruments as he blamed the leak on the United States.

Putin says banned drug meldonium not 'doping'

Moscow - President Vladimir Putin defended Thursday the use of the banned drug meldonium, saying athletes' use of the performance-boosting drug does not constitute doping. "This drug has nothing to do with doping," Putin said during an annual call-in show.

Coy Putin laughs off remarriage question in annual phone-in

Moscow - President Vladimir Putin on Thursday laughed off a question about Russia's next first lady during his annual phone-in with the nation, but hinted that "maybe" he will remarry one day.

Russian economy in 'grey' zone but reasons for optimism: Putin

Moscow - President Vladimir Putin insisted Thursday that while Russia's crisis-hit economy remained crippled by problems there are reasons for optimism as he held his annual phone-in with the nation.

Russia denies reckless behaviour in US warship flyby

Moscow - Russia denied Thursday its fighter jets were engaged in reckless or provocative behaviour when they flew just metres from a US destroyer in international waters in the Baltic Sea, exacerbating tensions between the rival powers.
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