The formation of the Russian presidential administration has been virtually concluded. The new Kremlin apparatus features a system of checks and balances on strategic directions, raising some tensions among newly appointed officials.
Most of the newly created Russian political parties will be unable to campaign for regional elections due in the fall.
Anti-corruption activist and opposition leader Alexei Navalny has faced criticism from both ordinary Russians and Igor Sechin, influential ex-deputy prime minister and current CEO of the state-run Rosneft energy company.
(Moskovskiye Novosti, Izvestia)
Lawmakers from the pro-Kremlin United Russia party are ready to step up cooperation with the parliamentary opposition by launching inter-faction working groups in the State Duma.
Russia has begun preparations for the evacuation of its citizens from Syria in case of growing military confrontation between the Syrian government and the opposition or a foreign military intervention.
A continuing standoff between the military and Islamists in Egypt may make some Egyptians feel nostalgic about the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. The long-standing political crisis may grow acute and lead to new violence and bloodshed, putting the country near the brink of civil war.
Discussions at a G20 summit in Mexico were limited to the green economy and food security. During a news conference after a G20 summit in Mexico, Russian President Vladimir Putin reminded journalists that he had long quit his career as a spy and explained the difference between the Mexico talks and a G20 summit to be hosted by St. Petersburg next year.
(Kommersant, Moskovskiye Novosti, Vedomosti)
Russian President Vladimir Putin may announce the name of the ombudsman for entrepreneurs’ rights during the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. The head of the Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia) lobby organization, Boris Totov, is the main candidate for the post who is likely to receive unprecedented powers, business sources say.
Moscow officials have moved to prompt investors to build cheap hotels in the capital.
The St. Petersburg city administration has introduced a bill banning public demonstrations in the city center to the local legislature. The bill is to be considered in the fall.
The Russian military are discussing how to avoid damage and injury to soldiers while disposing of old ammunition, after a string of fatal accidents this year.
A Russian Interior Ministry major general recognized for this contribution to the war in Chechnya has been caught by police attempting to flush a bribe of 2.5 million rubles ($77,000) down the toilet.
Two Russian professors have been sentenced to 12 and 12.5 years in jail for passing information concerning the Russian Bulava ballistic missile to China.
(Kommersant, Moskovskiye Novosti)
The European Court of Human Rights has ordered the Russian authorities to pay 1.3 million euros ($1.64 million) in compensation to people who were taken hostage by Chechen militants in a Moscow theater in 2002. The actions of officials in charge of a special operation to release the hostages should be evaluated to establish and punish those responsible for dozens of deaths during the operation.
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.