A brief look at what is in the Russian papers today
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited South Ossetia on Wednesday to mark the 4th anniversary since the beginning of a five-day Russian-Georgian war in August 2008. Medvedev promised to continue to support the breakaway Georgian republic and insisted that his decision to repel the Georgian attack on South Ossetia on August 8, 2008, was timely and efficient despite criticism expressed by some Russian generals.
Syrian rebels have announced that they had killed a retired Russian general who they said was serving as an advisor to the Syrian defense minister. The general was identified as Vladimir Kuzheyev. Several hours later, General Kuzheyev appeared before journalists in Moscow to declare that he was “fit and well and living in Moscow.” Meanwhile, the rebels said they were planning to hand the body over to Moscow.
(Kommersant, Moskovskiye Novosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia)
U.S. Republican Senator Richard Lugar has visited Russia and called on Moscow to cooperate with the United States in destroying Syria’s chemical weapons to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorist groups. But the idea failed to gain support among Russian officials.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed into law a controversial bill granting the Russian language official status in about half of Ukraine’s regions.
(Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
Three members of the Russia’s Pussy Riot punk band have given their final testimonies, triggering applause from many in the courtroom. The verdict in the controversial case is to be announced on August 17.
(Kommersant, Moskovskiye Novosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
Russian prosecutors have accused protest leader and anti-corruption lawyer Alexei Navalny of publishing extremist materials on his website. He may face criminal charges if found guilty.
Lawmakers from Russia’s nationalist Liberal Democratic Party have introduced a bill legalizing possession of handguns by ordinary citizens. Police have opposed the legislation.
More and more middle-class Russians have been buying seaside houses and apartments abroad.
The Russian opposition is planning to launch an online public television channel in mid-September, opposition lawmaker Ilya Ponomaryov said.
Russia has allocated 14 billion rubles ($443 million) in aid to regions where wildfires have destroyed large swaths of the crop. Despite the fires, Russian farmers are expected to collect 75-80 million tons of grain this year. Unlike in 2010, the Agriculture Ministry has no plans for a grain export embargo.
The Russian authorities have moved to ease the country’s gold mining regulations to encourage foreign companies to invest in the industry.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has admitted that it has been bribing doctors and officials in several countries, including Russia, to win business and boost sales.
Some 500 million rubles ($15.8 million) will be allocated to the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) created by Russian President Vladimir Putin during the next three years.
A court has reduced the sentence of Platon Lebedev, jailed business partner of Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, by three years and four months, making him eligible for release in February next year.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Moskovskiye Novosti)
The Russian Air Forces will receive dozens of advanced aircraft in the next few years, the Air Forces commander, Major General Viktor Bondarev, said.
The Russian Justice Ministry has unveiled amendments to a law on religious organizations, banning foreigners whose stay in Russia is undesirable, as well as suspected extremists, from joining such organizations.
(Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
A company involved in the construction of a bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track in Russia’s Black Sea city of Sochi which will host the 2014 Winter Olympics is accused of inflating the price of the construction. Two criminal cases have been opened over the case.
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