In weekend voting for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics mascot, Russians chose a wide-eyed, snowboard-toting leopard. But many claim the vote was rigged to ensure Prime Minister Putin's favored mascot would win.
Egypt’s military has suspended the country’s Constitution and tasked experts with overhauling its fundamental law. Other countries in the region may also soon be in line for such a make-over – redesigning government institutions, enshrining individual liberties, entrenching guarantees of democratic accountability. But not all constitutions are created equal. Here are a list of six big issues to consider when creating a Constitution from scratch:
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is outspoken about Russia's vulnerabilities to 'the Egyptian scenario' – something the Kremlin denies.
While Russian President Dmitry Medvedev came into office advocating political and cultural reforms, so far he hasn't delivered significant change.
During the trial of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the judge's original decision 'didn't suit higher ups, so he received a different verdict which he had to deliver,' a court assistant told Russian media.
Mikhail Prokhorov, one of Russia's richest men – and the owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team – has announced that he will challenge Vladimir Putin in the March 2012 presidential elections. His move to throw his hat in the ring has thrown the spotlight once again on Russia's billionaires. A record number of billionaires now call Russia home – 114 of them, according to an annual list of the 500 richest Russians published in February by the Moscow-based Finans magazine. The number of billionaires is up from a mere 77 in 2009. To make this year's list, a Russian tycoon had to be worth at least $160 million. The assets of the top 10 grew last year by a whopping 30 percent to a combined worth of $182 billion. The bonanza has yet to reach Russia's struggling middle class; average incomes rose a paltry 4 percent last year, according to the state statistics agency Rostat. To be a former associate of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin helps, apparently. According to the magazine, Arkady Rotenberg, who did judo training with a teenaged Mr. Putin, jumped 17 places to become Russia's 63rd richest person, worth $1.75 billion. Two neighbors from Putin's summer home community near St. Petersburg also shot through the ranks this year to become the 115th and 184th richest persons. Here are the top five:
Luke Harding, Moscow correspondent of Britain's Guardian newspaper, was told that 'Russia is closed to you.' Even in Soviet times, expulsions of international journalists was rare and usually connected with a diplomatic crisis.
The body of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin has been on display in downtown Moscow for 87 years. A growing number of Russians appear finally willing to bury him.
The New START treaty, which Russia's Federation Council ratified today, is a major step in resetting US-Russia relations, yet many major issues remain.
Russians are asking whether the repeated ability of jihadists from the turbulent northern Caucasus to strike at will in Moscow means that the country is losing its own war on terror.