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Is Putin guilty of the Kerch school massacre?

Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of Valdai Discussion Club that the tragedy at the Polytechnic College in the city of Kerch was "a result of globalisation." However, he did not say who has drawn us into this globalisation."In social networks, on the Internet, we can see that whole communities being created. Everything started with well-known tragic events at schools in the United States," the President of the Russian Federation said. Well, it is easy to blame abstract "globalisation" for what happened. In fact, one may come to a completely different conclusion, and one needs to look for it in the policy of the elite, to which Mr. Putin belongs. Russia lacks youth organisations, like the ones we used to have during the Soviet times - Pioneer or Komsomol organisations. In the Soviet Union, there were no such tragedies, nor were there any security guards and metal detectors at schools - there were teachers and students instead. Sergei Komkov, President of the All-Russian Education Fund, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, told Pravda.Ru that the Kerch massacre came as a consequence of the educational reform which Russia had been conducting on the advice of American specialists. "We warned 15-20 years ago that a tragedy like the one that happened in Kerch would be possible in Russia by analogy with what was happening in America," the expert said. The expert referred to the book by Bel Kaufman, "Up The Down Staircase," in which the author talks about the morale at American school in the 60-70s. "I flew to the USA in the 1990s. I was observing how things were working there, and they deported me in 1997 after I told them what it would all end up with," the expert told Pravda.Ru. During the 1990s, in accordance with recommendations from Soros advisors, Russia started reforming its educational system on the American template. "They had eradicated the ideological component, the system of upbringing, and switched to the mere transfer of knowledge and skills," Sergei Komkov told Pravda.Ru.All school youth organisations were taken out of schools. In addition, on the advice of Westerners, all additional education could be received for money. The reform sharply divided the youth based on the income of their parents, Sergey Komkov said in an interview with Pravda.Ru. According to the expert, an army of hopeless children had appeared in Russia already in the late 1990s. Children did not know what to do as their parents were doing their best to try to survive during the time of the crisis," the expert told Pravda.Ru. The system of upbringing should be restored at Russian schools as well. "The first thing we need to do is to kick all Western advisers right out. One needs to close the Higher School of Economics, because this school is a nest of American and British advisers. It was them who introduced the Unified State Exam system, the testing system, the system of sex education - they are trying to prove it to us that the most important thing is the system of education, rather than upbringing.""Security guards cannot protect children. They can be protected if they get engaged in creative work, hiking trips, including to sites of military glory, if they sing in the choir, learn how to dance, how to draw, if they are busy with research activities and history studies. In this case, an idea to grab a rifle and go to school to kill other kids will not occur to them," the expert told Pravda.Ru. "We must have our own brains to do everything the Russian way and avoid the American template," Sergei Komkov told Pravda.Ru.

Fri, 19 Oct 2018 20:13:00 +0300

Chief of Russian National Guards declines Navalny's TV debate offer

Viktor Zolotov, the head of the Russian National Guards, refused to take part in the television debate with opposition activist Alexei Navalny. "A debate? I invited him to something else," Zolotov said when asked whether he would accept Navalny's invitation to take part in a debate on television. "So, we do not agree with him," Zolotov said adding that he would answer Navalny's question later. According to the head of the Russian National Guards, he asked Navalny to a duel - "a sports event, nothing more." Zolotov also said that after the publication of Navalny's investigation, the supplier of food products for the Russian National Guards sued Navalny. "After the court's decision we will see whether he was right or not," said Zolotov.Alexei Navalny, the founder of the Anti-Corruption Fund, tweeted later that he wanted to accept Zolotov's challenge. "There was a duel, I remember it very clearly, there was the word 'duel' there," Navalny tweeted. The conflict between Zolotov and Navalny sparked after the publication of Navalny's investigation into procurement for the Russian National Guards in late August. Navalny said in the report that after the right to supply products to the Russian National Guards was assigned to only one supplier -  the Crimean meat-packing plant "Friendship of Peoples." The deal doubled and even tripled the cost of products purchased for the service. After the publication of the investigation, the meat packing plant filed a lawsuit against Alexei Navalny. Also read: Chief of Russian National Guards threatens to make juicy meat chop out of Alexei Navalny

Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:46:00 +0300

Russia builds her first-ever turbojet engine for civil aviation

Russia's PD-14 aviation engine has received the certificate of readiness signed by the head of the Federal Air Transport Agency Alexander Neradko."The receipt of the certificate confirms the readiness of the PD-14 for operation. We can say that Russia has created its first turbojet engine for civil aviation," Denis Manturov, Minister for Industry and Trade said. By the end of 2018, Irkut Corporation is to receive three PD-14 serial engines.As the Minister noted, the certificate of the PD-14 engine is to be validated at the European Aviation Safety Agency in 2019. At the same time, Russia will conduct the tests of the MS-21 aircraft outfitted with the PD-14 engine. The short-medium-haul MC-21 airplane can carry up to 211 people at a distance of 6,400 kilometers. The aircraft made its maiden flight in May 2017.At present, the MC-21 flies with US-made PW1000G engines.

Fri, 19 Oct 2018 16:10:00 +0300

Edward Snowden does not feel safe in Russia

Edward Snowden, formerly an employee of the US National Security Agency, who was granted political asylum in Russia, said he did not feel safe in the country.During a video conference with the University of Innsbruck, Snowden said that he had doubts whether he would be safe in Russia. "As for my future in Russia, I cannot say that I am safe. But does it matter? If I wanted to live in safety, I would be in Hawaii making a lot of money and keeping track of everyone," he said.Snowden also assured the audience that he had never worked for the Russian government. "I have criticised them, I have criticised the president [of Russia], and their elections process, and I will continue doing it," he added, adding that his priority is to take care of US citizens, because he is an American in the first place.

Fri, 19 Oct 2018 15:41:00 +0300

Putin: Russians will go to heaven in case of nuclear war

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club that Russia will never initiate military actions, including with the use of nuclear weapons. At the same time, Putin noted, Russia would respond to a nuclear strike. "The aggressor must know that retaliation will be inevitable. We, victims of the aggression, we will go to heaven as martyrs. They will just die, because they won't even have time to repent," the president said.Putin also said that Russia was not afraid of anything. "We are not afraid of anything at all. [When your] country with such a territory, with people ready to give their lives for the Fatherland - nobody can do anything about it," he said.Earlier, during his speech, Putin said that the tragedy in the city of Kerch came as a consequence of globalisation.

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:37:00 +0300

Putin blames globalisation for Kerch school shooting that claimed 21 lives

Young people "grab surrogate of heroism instead of genuine heroism," Russian President Putin said noting that the Internet lacks content for the younger generation.Putin believes that the massacre in the Polytechnic College in the city of Kerch, where 21 people were killed during a mass shooting and an explosion, came as a result of globalisation," including social networks.""This, apparently, is a result of globalisation, strange as it may seem. We can see whole communities being created in social networks, on the Internet," Putin said speaking at an annual meeting of Valdai discussion club. Putin also believes that the young man who killed so many people at the Polytechnic College in Kerch was inspired by similar tragedies in the United States. "Young people with unstable psyche create some fake heroes for themselves. All of us, in Russia in particular and in the world, show a bad reaction to the changing environment," he said. "It means that we do not create necessary, interesting and useful content for young people. They grab this surrogate of heroism, and it all leads to tragedies like this one," Putin said. One of the most notorious cases of mass shooting in an educational institution was the massacre in Columbine High School in Colorado, USA, in April 1999, when 13 people were killed and 36 were wounded. The massacre triggered the phenomenon of mass school shootings, when others wanted to be like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the perpetrators of the attack. Also read: Kerch shooter grew up in dysfunctional family

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:38:00 +0300

Russia receives super long range missile for S-400 anti-aircraft systems

The Russian army receives the missile that has the longest range. A source at the Russian military-industrial complex said that the S-400 Triumf SAM system would be armed with a 40N6 long-range anti-aircraft missile."The long-range missile 40N6 [40N6E is the export version] was put into service, all necessary documents were signed in September, after which the Ministry of Defence proceeded to purchasing these missiles," the source said.Within the scope of the state armament program before 2027, over 1,000 40N6 missiles are to be purchased for  S-400 regiments of the Aerospace Forces. The program stipulates for the establishment of 56 divisions of S-400. In July of this year, a source close to the Russian defence industry said that the state trials of the 40N6 missile were successful.The 40N6 is an anti-aircraft guided missile (SAM) of super-long range of over 400 km. The missile can intercept targets in near space for S-400/S-500 air defence systems. The 40N6 is designed to destroy air command posts, strategic bombers, hypersonic cruise and ballistic missiles with a maximum speed of more than 4800 m/s. The missile is capable of destroying targets beyond the visibility of ground radars.According to official information, the destruction range of the missile makes up nearly 380 km for aerodynamic purposes and up to 15 km for ballistic ones with an altitude from ten meters to 35 kilometres. The average flight speed is 1190 m/s. Owing to the new homing head, the missile can destroy aircraft outside radio visibility of ground-based radars.In addition, the 40N6 missile is capable of finding and striking targets on its own, after losing communication with ground systems.Previous anti-aircraft missiles of the S-400 complex (9M96, 48N6, 48N6DM) that were in service with the army of the Russian Federation, ensured the destruction of targets at a distance of up to 250 km.The US anti-aircraft missile system Patriot PAC-3 is capable of hitting targets at a maximum distance of up to 80-100 km.

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:01:00 +0300

Russia will not let NATO warships into Sea of Azov

Representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation commented on the state of affairs in the Sea of Azov.Member-countries of the North Atlantic Alliance intend to hold naval drills in the Sea of Azov. Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, excluded such a possibility and said that NATO countries would need to obtain Russia's consent for such an event. Needless of say that Moscow will never give its permission for NATO drills near Russian borders. Lavrov said that it was Ukraine that was trying to invite Western countries to the Sea of Azov. However, Russia keeps her eye on the ball. According to Lavrov, Russia is well aware of Ukraine's efforts to build up its military presence on the border with Russia. It is also obvious, Lavrov added, that Europe was remaking its transport system so that Western countries could approach Russia's borders as quickly as possible.

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:10:00 +0300

Deputy head of the Crimea arrested in Moscow

Deputy head of the Crimea, ex-chairman of the committee on economic, fiscal and tax policies, Vitaly Nakhlupin, was arrested in Moscow on charges of bribery. It was said that Nakhlupin was in charge of road construction, where he was responsible for the implementation of a federal road construction program. On Wednesday, October 17, officers of the Federal Security Bureau withdrew documents from the Competition Policy Committee of the Crimea, and the service supervising the construction of roads in the Crimea.Sergei Aksyonov, the head of the Crimea, who returned to the peninsula after a visit to Syria, confirmed the arrest of his deputy and ensuing searches in the above-mentioned departments. According to him, the authorities of the Crimea provide all necessary assistance to law enforcement agencies in the investigation.

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 13:52:00 +0300

Russia will not be de-dollarized

The Russian economy will not be de-dollarized, because those responsible for the process are not happy with it, expert Valentin Katasonov told Pravda.Ru. Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said that the Russian government developed a plan to de-dollarize the economy. The plan is to be approved by the end of the year, the official said. However, the project causes technical disagreements between the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Central Bank and will not be published after approval as the document is for official use only. The plan does not prohibit the use of the US dollar in the Russian federation, but includes measures to expand the use of the national currency, the Russian ruble, in foreign trade settlements.Valentin Katasonov, the chief of the Russian Economic Community, said that sometimes documents can be classified to conceal the stupidity of those officials who wrote them. "There is no de-dollarization and one does not have to expect it to happen. By and large, this is a political, rather than an economic question. The Russian government expresses the interests of Russian oligarchs, who are not interested in de-dollarization. Russian oligarchs get increasingly wealthy due to exports, but exports want the ruble to be weak. If the ruble is weak, how can you make others use the ruble?" the economist said."Legal entities and individuals tend to use a strong currency, but the Ministry of Finance is interested in the weak currency, because it is easier to implement the budget. The main beneficiary of the dollar's circulation is the master, because if the ruble is strong, then everyone will abandon it.""We follow the ruble rate every day, because we are zombified by the media. In order to change this trend, one requires a politician, who can think about real, rather than speculative economy. Those in power in Russia will not do it," Valentin Katasonov told Pravda.Ru.

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 17:34:00 +0300

World Cup brings one trillion rubles to Russian economy

The Russian economy has received 952 billion rubles during five years of preparations for the World Cup that Russia hosted in the summer of 2018. In the next five years, the positive influence of the championship is expected to bring another trillion rubles. The total effect that the World Cup 2018 has shown on Russia's GDP for 2013-2018 was evaluated at 952 billion rubles (about 1% of GDP), a study conducted by the organising committee of the 2018 World Cup said. More than half of the total profit fell for 2017-2018, while GDP growth reached 0.4%.The report indicates that Russia spent 688 billion rubles to organise and conduct the tournament. At the same time, 79% of the total effect (751 billion rubles) was received owing to the influence of investments and operating expenses.The increase in GDP due to preparations for the World Cup in 2013-2018 created up to 315,000 jobs and increased tax revenues of the budget by 164 billion rubles.Experts indicate that the aftermath of the 2018 World Cup is to bring about 150-200 billion rubles. annually during the period of five years. The 2018 World Cup was held in Russia from June 14 to July 15, 2018. France won the tournament in the match vs. Croatia with the score 4:2. After the end of the championship, the Russian national team climbed 24 positions up in FIFA rankings and took the 46th position.

Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:32:00 +0300

Russia shows top secret X-101 cruise missile

Russia's Defence Ministry uploaded on the net several videos of the drills of strategic nuclear forces.One of the videos shows the installation of the X-101 missile on the external suspension of the Tu-95MS strategic bomber, as well as in the inner compartment of the Tu-160.One X-101 cruise missile weighs 2,500 kilos, of which the warhead weighs 400 kilos. The length of the missile is about 8 meters; it can develop the speed about 1,000 kilometers per hour. The expected error of the X-101 target impact is accounts for tens of meters.It was said that the Tu-95 is capable of carrying eight X-101 missiles on the external suspension, while the Tu-160 can carry 12 missiles housed in the internal compartment. This cruise missile became known for its use during operations of the Russian Air Force in Syria.

Mon, 15 Oct 2018 13:30:00 +0300

The Iron Curtain is falling on Russia again

Foreign companies get rid of their assets in the Russian Federation, while Russian businesses cut their investment in foreign countries.Experts analysed the data of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and concluded that the Russian economy is standing on the verge of the isolation crisis. The crisis may develop further, and many socio-economic projects in Russia are likely to be shelved. There is a different point of view to the problem: new regional centres have started forming in the world, and the process will cause a redistribution of investment flows. For example, certain US funds have increased their investments in Russian bonds despite sanctions. Nevertheless, foreign businesses prefer not to keep assets in Russia and tend to sell them. "The net incurrence of liabilities in the non-financial sector in direct investments in the third quarter was negative: minus $6 billion. This suggests that non-residents sell real assets and leave Russia," Kirill Tremasov, formerly a chief representative of the Ministry of Economic Development said."Russian companies have practically ended direct investments abroad too. The net acquisition of assets by the non-financial sector under "direct investments"  in the third quarter was minus $100 million, the economist said.Tremasov sees these processes as "a clear illustration of the fact that the Russian economy has embarked on the way of isolationism." "Nothing like this has been observed in Russia's modern history before," he added. Tamara Kasyanova, first vice-president of the Russian Club of Financial Directors, believes that Russia has secluded itself and can seclude itself even more. Yet, the expert does not think that the Russian authorities are pursuing the policy of "isolationism." It would be more appropriate to say that sanctions and growing external pressure scare investors away from Russia, the financier said.According to Alexei Antonov, an analyst at Alor Broker, "the Iron Curtain" sounds too dramatic. "At the same time, isolationism, even insignificant, does not bring good to anyone. This is just a waste of time and resources, a technological lag, which becomes insurmountable over time," he said. According to the expert, the Russian leadership understands this. Russia has been building its foreign policy in a way to maintain ties with Asian countries in the first place, the analyst said. Ekaterina Novikova, an associate professor of the Russian University of Economics, said that markets are being redistributed now. "The international market has its limits - the supplies of additional products to existing markets is limited. Therefore, a question arises as to how existing markets should be divided. For this reason, Western countries are pursuing the policy of sanctions against Russia, Iran, China, Turkey in order to get access to additional markets for their products. In this situation, the Russian economy has to defend itself by pursuing the policy of import substitution, de-dollarization, restrictions on foreign investment, and so on," the expert said. Many experts also believe that foreign investors are concerned with Russia's internal problems, such as low GDP growth. International capital thus leaves Russia behind to avoid significant risks and low dollar returns.Surprisingly, the State of California has entered the top 10 of foreign holders of Russian debt obligations. The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) invested about $450 million in Russian securities. Investments have grown by an average of eight percent since the end of 2017.

Thu, 11 Oct 2018 15:09:00 +0300

Russia develops special strategy in Africa

While the attention of the United States of America and the European Union is focused on the Middle East, the Russian Federation is developing cooperation with North Africa, Swiss publication Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote. The authors of the article believe that Russian President Putin is expanding Russia's influence in Africa. Not that long ago, the article says, Russia handed over another submarine to Algeria. The publication also said that the Russian government actively supports Libyan military leader Khalifa Haftar. Tunisia has recently announced plans for "nuclear cooperation" with Russia.It is not the first submarine that Russia has delivered to Algeria over time, the newspaper wrote. The  Kilo submarine that Russia delivered to Algeria is known in NATO member states as "black hole" as it hardly makes any noise during navigation. Russia has a strategy in Africa, the goal of which is to gain more allies, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper concludes. Also read: Russia's African comeback - better late than never

Thu, 11 Oct 2018 14:32:00 +0300

Schengen visa applications in Russia increase by 22 percent

As many as 3,885,899 Russian citizens applied for a visa at Schengen embassies in 2017. The number marked an increase by 708,278 people (23%) in comparison with 2016, a recent report released by said. This growth had also affected the Russians' percentage share of global Schengen visa application during 2016 and 2017. In 2017 these applicants shared almost the quarter (24%) of the total applications worldwide, while in 2016 Russians amounted to 21% of the total number of Schengen visa applications globally. In 2017, most Russians went to Finland embassies to apply for Schengen visa. Official recordings show that the consulate in St. Petersburg received more than half a million of visa applications. Exactly 591,581 Russians filed a Schengen visa application at the Finland embassy during that year. That's much higher than 355,612 applications that this consulate received the year before. Other Finland's consulates located in Moscow and in Murmansk (in northern Russia) contributed with 70,718 respectively 27,636 visa applications.

Wed, 10 Oct 2018 20:06:00 +0300

Russian Central Bank warns of risks for oil to drop to $35

A risk scenario of the Central Bank of Russia stipulates a ruction in oil prices down to $35 per barrel.Ksenia Yudaeva, first deputy chairwoman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, said during her speech speech at the Council of Federation that the bank proceeds from its forecasts, in which Western sanctions against Russia are not going to be lifted. The risk scenario is based on expectations for the sanctions ti be tightened further during the upcoming years, while prices on oil are going to decline sharply. In the beginning of October 2018, the cost of a barrel of Russian Urals oil was fluctuating above the level of $80. The basic scenario of the Central Bank of Russia suggests the reduction of the cost of a barrel of Urals oil to an average of $55 in 2020-2021. For the risk scenario, the cost of a barrel of Urals may halve already in 2019. Such a decline will speed up inflation and halt the growth of Russia's GDP.

Mon, 08 Oct 2018 19:13:00 +0300

Russian Finance Minister urges Russians not to cash dollars

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov stated that Russia was not going to restrict the circulation of the US dollar. There is no reason for Russian citizens to cash their dollar deposits, the minister said on "Moscow. Kremlin. Putin." TV program on Rossiya 1 TV channel. It is up to people to decide how and in which currency they want to save their money. "If someone thinks that they should rush to banks to withdraw currency from accounts, then this is absolutely not the case," the minister noted.Siluanov also said that the government intends to create favourable conditions for participants of foreign economic activity, who use the national currency in financial activities. Earlier, President Vladimir Putin said that reducing the role of the US currency would contribute to the stability of global economy and reduce the possibility of using the dollar as an instrument of political pressure.It was reported last week that many Russians started withdrawing cash from their dollar accounts because of the tightening of sanctions against Russia. In August, the Russians withdrew $5.1 billion from deposits in state-run banks. Later, it was said that the government was preparing a project to abjure the use of the US dollar in the Russian economy, although the reports received no official confirmation.

Mon, 08 Oct 2018 11:57:00 +0300

Russia wants to switch the world to its own SWIFT system

Foreign companies will be able to access the Russian equivalent of the SWIFT payment system. The State Duma is preparing a bill designed to protect the companies that have fallen under Western sanctions in order to give them a possibility to conduct mutual settlements with foreign counterparties. Russian MPs believe that the system will function most effectively if the BRICS countries, as well as Iran and Turkey, join it. "Although they plan to use national currencies in settlements with Russia, but they do not exclude that settlements can be conducted through the Russian equivalent of SWIFT," Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets said. Earlier, first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, Olga Skorobogatova, said that connecting foreign companies to the financial messaging system would expand possibilities for mutual exchange of messages and settlements between sanctioned companies that do not have access to making payments through the original SWIFT system, and foreign contractors.The Russian equivalent to SWIFT is a financial messaging system known for the Russian initials as SPFS. The bill stipulates for direct messaging between both Russian and foreign legal entities.According to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, there are more than 400 participants in the SPFS system, including banks, the federal treasury, legal entities, and corporate clients. "Inside the country, our system covers the exchange in financial messages completely," a source at the Central Bank of Russia said. "If we talk about cross-border operations, they can be implemented only on the basis of the agreement between several countries. There are such discussions happening already on the level of both the Eurasian Economic Union and BRICS."In the near future, SWIFT may have another competitor in Europe. The head of the German Foreign Ministry, Heiko Maas, said in August that the European Union was in need of its own and independent SWIFT system to protect the financial stability of European companies from US sanctions. Russia found such an intention of European partners quite natural. After the appearance of the European SWIFT system, Russia intends to offer European companies to incorporate a Russian analogue to SWIFT."The possibility to connect foreign countries to the Russian system depends on a number of factors. As for Iran, a lot depends on the volume of economic cooperation that is going to happen. So far, it has not been large at all, but there are reasons for it to grow, especially in the oil and gas sector," Nikolai Kozhanov, a researcher at the European University at St. Petersburg Energy Policy Research Center said. Turkey is already showing willingness to cooperate with the Russian SWIFT. "The Russian equivalent to SWIFT is a revolutionary innovation in the digital world. The possibility of its use by Turkish companies can provide an important development of trade relations between our countries," Mehmet Yolcu, chairman of the board of directors of FinExpertiza Turkey said.According to Dmitry Mosyakov, director of the Center for Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, China's position on the matter will depend on its relations with the United States. The worse China's relationship with the States goes, the better it is for the Russian SWIFT system. "The relations between China and the USA have been quite intense lately, but if the United States shows positive signs to China, then taking into account the volume of their trade ($500-600 billion) and China's trade volume with Russia ($100 billion as of 2018), China will demonstrate loyalty to the United States and will not connect to the Russian project," the expert said. SWIFT is an international interbank system for transmitting information and making payments. The system incorporates more than 11,000 financial institutions in 200 countries of the world. After 9/11 attacks, the United States gained access to SWIFT network in order to track possible transactions between terrorist groups. Thus, US authorities have access to information related to any payment that goes through SWIFT. Russia launched its own version of SWIFT - SPFS - for domestic financial operations in December 2014. Also read: SWIFT refuses to cut Russia off

Thu, 04 Oct 2018 15:13:00 +0300

Putin's ratings decline seriously to where they were before Crimea referendum

Public opinion research center Levada conducted a poll among Russian citizens asking them whether they trust President Putin. The results of the survey were more than curious.It turned out that the level of confidence in the national leader has declined. The poll showed only 58 percent of those who still trust Putin. Interestingly, the same percentage of respondents spoke in favour of President Putin back in 2013, prior to Russia's move to reunite with the Crimea and the ensuing euphoria that swept across Russia afterwards as people were more than just impressed with Putin's power and determination. In 2017, as many as 75 percent of Russians were supportive of Putin's policies. The percentage of those who believe that Vladimir Putin "does not deserve" their support has seriously increased from four percent in 2017 to 13 percent in 2018. Putin's ratings skyrocketed again in late 2017, on the eve of the presidential election, when the naive Russians were promised higher salaries and bigger support to regions. However, Putin "pleased" Russian citizens with the highly unpopular pension reform. It is the reform, which basically raises the retirement age in Russia for both men and women, that cut the level of people's confidence in Putin, Levada Center. Also read: Putin loses everything he has

Thu, 04 Oct 2018 12:39:00 +0300

Putin calls Skripal scumbag and traitor, likens him to prostitute

President Putin set out a hope that the media campaign that has been artificially generated around the case of Sergei Skripal is going to end soon. Speaking at the meeting of the Russian Energy Week in Moscow, Putin stated that the scandal associated with the case of Sergei Skripal was being artificially inflated. He also said that Skripal himself, a former GRU employee, was a traitor. "As for the Skripals, there's this spy scandal being artificially inflated about them. Some media outlets, some journalists already pass him off as a human right activist. He's just a spy. A traitor of the motherland. There is such a thing - a traitor of the nation. He is one of them. He's just a scumbag," Putin stated responding to a question about the sanctions that the West imposed on Russia as a result of the Salisbury incident. Putin demanded the UK should give Russia evidence of its involvement in the incident. "All this hustle and bustle between special services - is it a new thing? As is well known, espionage, just like prostitution, is one of the most ancient professions in the world," Putin said. Putin also expressed his outraged at the fact that the UK accused Russia of poisoning a homeless individual. "I sometimes look at what is happening, and I get amazed. Some men came and poisoned homeless people over there. What kind of nonsense is this? Do they work in the cleaning service?" Putin wondered. "This Skripal man, as I have already said, is a traitor, he got caught, he got punished, he had served a total of five years in prison, we released him. That's all. He left and continued consulting some special services," Putin added.The UK and a number of Western countries accuse Russian special services of working under cover to poison former GRU officer (the service was abolished and now called General Staff Headquarters) Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British town of Salisbury. London believes that it was Russian secret service officers Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov who conducted the special operation.

Wed, 03 Oct 2018 20:36:00 +0300