Vladimir Putin

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Putin signs law allowing him 2 more terms as Russia's President
Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as President of Russia (2018)
Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as President of Russia (2018) Credit: The Presidential Press and Information Office (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a law allowing him to potentially hold onto power until 2036, a move that formalizes constitutional changes endorsed in a vote last year.

Putin, who turns 69 this year, is currently serving his fourth presidential term, set to end in 2024. The new legislation, announced on Monday, could allow him to serve two more six-year terms, should he choose to stand for and win reelection both times.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Almost 1400 demonstrators arrested after verdict against Navalny
Almost 1400 demonstrators arrested after verdict against Navalny
Credit: Медиазона (Twitter reproduction)

Around the trial of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, Russian security forces have again taken massive action against demonstrators in several cities. According to human rights activists, a total of almost 1,400 people were arrested. Supporters of the most important Putin opponent called for demonstrations immediately after the verdict was announced. According to the non-governmental organization OVD-Info, the police arrested 1116 protesters in Moscow alone, and 246 in St. Petersburg.

Regional News • Americas • Mexico
Mexico's president is the latest world leader to become infected with the coronavirus.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Andrés Manuel López Obrador Credit: David Agren (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Sunday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and that the symptoms are mild. Mr López Obrador, writing on Twitter, said he would continue to carry out his official duties, including holding a call with President Vladimir Putin that is set for Monday. According to local media, hours before disclosing that he had contracted the virus, Mr López Obrador, who flies commercial on all official trips, sat coach in a flight from San Luís Potosí to Mexico City reports.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Navalny team releases video with an investigation into 'Putin's Palace'
"Putin's palace" near Gelendzhik
"Putin's palace" near Gelendzhik Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Alexei Navalny's team on Tuesday released a two-hour video featuring details of a luxurious property on Russia's southern Black Sea coast purportedly belonging to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The video, and a blog post, claim Putin's property cost €1.1 billion and was paid for "with the largest bribe in history."

The film was produced while Navalny was still in Germany, where he was recovering from an attack with the nerve agent Novichok in August.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Russia would have 'finished' the job if it wanted to kill opposition leader Navalny according to Putin

Putin's stated that if Russian special services had wanted to kill opposition politician Alexey Navalny, they would have "finished it" in response to a question at his annual press conference following an investigation by the investigative group Bellingcat and CNN, published Monday, which uncovered evidence that Russia's Federal Security Service (the FSB) formed an elite team specializing in nerve agents that trailed Navalny for years.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Vladimir Putin congratulates Joe Biden on election victory
Putin and Biden in 2011
Putin and Biden in 2011 Credit: Official White House Photo by David Lienemann / via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has congratulated future U.S. President Joe Biden on his election victory after the decision of the Electoral College. Moscow is "ready for cooperation," a Kremlin statement said. "For my part, I am ready for cooperation and contacts with you," Putin wrote in a telegram to Biden, according to the Kremlin.

Putin does not want to be vaccinated with Russia's "safe" Covid-19 vaccine
Putin does not want to be vaccinated with Russia's "safe" Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Kremlin.ru / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

According to his spokesperson, Russian President Vladimir Putin does not want to be vaccinated with the Russian "Sputnik V" vaccine. Even though Putin recently appraised the world's vaccine at the G20 summit as safe and effective, his spokesperson said that as head of state he could not participate in a vaccination campaign as a "volunteer". Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that tThe president cannot take an uncertified vaccine".

Climate & Environment
Putin aims to meet Paris climate goals
Putin aims to meet Paris climate goals
Credit: kremlin.ru / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In a new decree, the Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the government to try to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement to fight climate change.

However, all measures need to ensure that Russia can show strong economic development. but stressed that any action must be balanced with the need to ensure strong economic development.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Russia plans on granting former presidents immunity from prosecution
Russia plans on granting former presidents immunity from prosecution
Credit: Пресс-служба Совета Федерации РФ / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Russian chair of the upper-house Federation Council’s Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, Andrey Klishas, has stated that the new legislation “expands the timeframe of immunity guarantees for a president who stops exercising their powers,” The newly proposed bill also grants both chambers of the Russian parliament the power to strip presidents of immunity by a two-thirds majority within three months if they are accused of high treason or other felonies. Both pieces of legislation are part of constitutional reforms, which Russians approved in a nationwide vote this summer, that pave the way for Putin to extend his rule until 2036 after his current term ends in 2024.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump and Biden face off in first presidential debate
Trump and Biden face off in first presidential debate
Credit: C-Span (Screenshot)

The first presidential debate was 90 minutes of interjections and altercations and moderator Chris Wallace repeatedly had to ask President Donald Trump not to interrupt former Vice President Joe Biden.

President Trump spoke a total of around 38 minutes compared to Biden with 43 minutes. The Covid-19 pandemic took up around 20 minutes of the debate, race and violence 17 minutes, election integrity 11 minutes and climate change 10 minutes. Trump interrupted Biden 73 times.

Key Points:

  • President Trump questioned the legitimacy of the November election again and alleged he had seen "tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated." Biden countered that Trump's own FBI director didn't find evidence of widespread voter fraud. "This is all about trying to dissuade people from voting, because he is trying to scare people into thinking that it's not going to be legitimate. Show up and vote. You will determine the outcome of the election," so Biden.
  • Biden called Trump "Putin's puppy" who "refuses to say anything to Putin about the bounty on the heads of American soldiers" and "the worst president that America has ever had."
  • Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden, and Wallace had to unsuccessfully remind the President about the rules, saying: "Mr President. Your campaign agreed that both sides would get two-minute answers. Uninterrupted. Well, your side agreed to it. Why don't you observe what your campaign agreed to as a ground rule."
  • Biden said that Trump has made the country "sicker, poorer, more divided and more violent," adding that during his time as vice president, he fixed the recession his administration inherited. "We left him a booming economy and he caused the recession," Biden said.
  • Trump refused to denounce White supremacists, claiming that "almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing. I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace."
Regional News • Europe • Russia
Navalny: Russian apartment seized and bank accounts frozen
Alexei Navalny
Alexei Navalny Credit: Evgeny Feldman (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Russian opposition figured Alexei Navalny had his Russian apartment seized and his bank accounts frozen after a court order while recovering from suspected poisoning in a Hospital in Berlin, Germany, so his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh.

"They seized the assets and the apartment of a person who was in a coma," Yarmysh said. "This means the flat cannot be sold, donated or mortgaged."

The move comes after a lawsuit was filed by the Moscow Schoolchild catering company, which is owned by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin who is known as "Putin's chef".

Regional News • Europe
Vladimir Putin promises a €1.26 billion loan to Belarus at Lukashenko meeting
Vladimir Putin promises a €1.26 billion loan to Belarus at Lukashenko meeting
Credit: Kremlin

During a visit of Alexandar Lukashenko to Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would grant a loan worth €1.26 billion to Belarus. Putin also supported Lukashenko's initiative to reform Belarus's constitution.

Putin told Lukashenko, at the joint press conference: "I am sure that, considering your political experience, the work in this direction would be organised on the highest possible level."

Russia announced they would also continue the pre-planned joint military drills. At the same time, Putin emphasised that Russian soldiers would "return to their permanent deployment locations" after the routine ends.

Regional News • Europe
Belarus: At least 100,000 rally against Lukashenko in Minsk
Protest rally against Lukashenko, 13 September 2020. Minsk, Belarus
Protest rally against Lukashenko, 13 September 2020. Minsk, Belarus Credit: Homoatrox (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

For the fifth weekend in a row, protesters took the streets in Belarus against President Alexander Lukashenko under the slogan "We won’t let him sell the country." According to news agencies, at least 100,000 people joined the rally in Minsk, with Police claiming they had detained over 400 people in the city.

The Russian Government has stepped up support, offering to potentially restructure Belarusian debt, and providing banking liquidity. It has also said Russian riot police could be made available if needed.

Lukashenko will meet Vladimir Putin Monday in the Russian resort of Sochi. It will be their first face-to-face encounter since Belarus’s presidential election on August 9.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Michael Cohen paints Trump as a "master manipulator" in tell-all memoir, White House calls it "fan fiction"
Cover of "Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump"
Cover of "Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump" Credit: Skyhorse Publishing, via Amazon

Michael Cohen's tell-all book "Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump" paints President Donald Trump as a "master manipulator" and someone who has "low opinions on Black folks" but an admiration for "President Vladimir V. Putin’s willingness to treat Russia like a personal business."

The White House has since called the book "fan fiction" and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that "Michael Cohen is a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer who lied to Congress [...] and it’s unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies."

Cohen's book will be released on September 8.

"He shows Trump’s relentless willingness to lie, exaggerate, mislead, or manipulate. Trump emerges as a man without a soul—a man who courts evangelicals and then trashes them, panders to the common man, but then rips off small business owners, a con man who will do or say absolutely anything to win, regardless of the cost to his family, his associates, or his country," so the book's summary.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Trump says Putin and him "get along" when asked about Navalny poisoning

During a news conference, United States president Donald Trump has stated in regards to the assassination attack on the Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny that he doesn't "know exactly what happened. I think it's tragic. It's terrible; it shouldn't happen. We haven't had any proof yet, but I will take a look". He added that "I do get along with President Putin" who is the main political opponent of Navalny. 

Regional News • Europe
Belarus: Putin states Russian police is on standby to enter Belarus
Belarus: Putin states Russian police is on standby to enter Belarus
Credit: http://www.kremlin.ru / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

According to the Russian president Vladimir Putin, he has police on standby that can enter Belarus in case "the situation gets out of control" for the president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko who faces protests and strikes all around the country because of election manipulation.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
EU calls for independent investigation in Nawalny case

In the case of the allegedly poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Nawalny, the EU is demanding that Russia conduct an "independent and transparent investigation". The European Union strongly condemns the alleged "attack on Nawalny's life", EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell declared in Brussels on Monday evening.

It is "imperative" that the Russian authorities launch an independent investigation "without delay" into the alleged attack on Nawalny's life, Borrell demanded. The Russian people and the international community wanted to know "the facts behind Mr. Nawalny's poisoning. Those responsible for the attack must be "brought to justice".

The Berlin clinic Charité, where the prominent critic is being treated by Russia's President Vladimir Putin, assumes after a thorough investigation that the 44-year-old was poisoned.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Alexei Navalny arrives in Berlin for medical treatment
Alexei Navalny arrives in Berlin for medical treatment
Credit: Никита Баталов @nikbatalov Коммерсант ФМ

Alexey Navalny, the Russian opposition leader and Vladimir Putin critic, has arrived Saturday in the Charite hospital in Berlin, after a evacuation flight from Omsk.

The hospital confirmed Navalny was admitted and that an "extensive medical diagnosis" is being carried out.

Jaka Bizilj, founder of the German NGO Cinemas for Peace, said to reporters: "The good news is that he's stable, so the whole travel did not affect him," Bizilj said. "But there is no reason to celebrate, because he is in a very critical condition. So the real work starts now with the doctors at the Charite."

Regional News • Europe
Lukashenko states that Putin will help secure Belarus if requested

The Belarusian state news agency Belta has reported that Lukashenko stated Putin will help him if requested. As Belarus sees continued protests against President Alexander Lukashenko following the elections on Sunday, Lukashenko has now stated that if he requests help to secure the safety of the state, Putin will help.

Putin has yet to confirm the claim and it is unclear if the help would be to shut down protests or only in case of an external threat.

Lukashenko has also been quoted that the consequence for state workers that strike should be to fire them.

Russia approves Covid-19 vaccine without completing phase three clinical trials
Russia approves Covid-19 vaccine without completing phase three clinical trials
Credit: Screenshot of the website for the Russian Covid-19 vaccine

According to an announcement from Russian President Vladimir Putin, the country has registered and approved the world's first Covid-19 vaccine.

Multiple experts have stated that it is still unclear if the vaccine is safe, as phase three clinical trials are still underway. These phase three trials have the goal of determining if the vaccine is safe and works in the general population.

Multiple experts from around the world have voice their concerns and criticism of this rushed approval process including the executive director of the Russian nonprofit Association of Clinical Trials Organizations, Svetlana Zavidova. She has asked "why are all corporations following the rules, but Russian ones aren’t? The rules for conducting clinical trials are written in blood. They can’t be violated" and added that "this is a Pandora’s Box and we don’t know what will happen to people injected with an unproven vaccine".