Vladimir Putin

Health
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.

Health
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".

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Russia approves world's first coronavirus vaccine
Russia approves world's first coronavirus vaccine
Credit: Kremlin (Public Domain)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday the approval of a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute. The vaccine is named Sputnik-V, and it has yet to go through Phase 3 trials.

Putin said, "A vaccine against coronavirus has been registered for the first time in the world this morning, I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity."

The announcement came despite a caution last week from the World Health Organization(WHO) that Russia should not stray from the usual methods of testing a vaccine for safety and effectiveness.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Alexei Navalny announces closure of anti-corruption foundation over fines from Russian courts
Alexei Navalny announces closure of anti-corruption foundation over fines from Russian courts
Credit: Evgeny Feldman (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Alexei Navalny has announced that he'll close his Anti-Corruption Foundation, stating that fines imposed by a Russian court force him to make that decision. The politician opposing the Russian president Vladimir Putin has stated that "Everything we had was already seized in previous police raids. Now they’re going to take away the organisation itself" and added that he will try to re-launch the foundation under a new name.

Science • Medicine
UK, US & Canada warn of Russian spies trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine research
UK, US & Canada warn of Russian spies trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine research
Credit: unsplash.com/Louis Reed

American, British and Canadian governments have warned of Russian hackers trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine research by exploiting software flaws to access computer systems. While the UK's National Cyber Security Centre is "almost certain" that the attack came from a "part of Russian intelligence services", Russia has denied these claims.

"We do not have information about who may have hacked into pharmaceutical companies and research centres in Great Britain. We can say one thing - Russia has nothing at all to do with these attempts," so Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson of President Putin.

Regional News • World
The German Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee calls the new UN agreement for aid to Syria as a "failure of the West all along the line"
Norbert Röttgen in 2021
Norbert Röttgen in 2021 Credit: Wolfgang Henry / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

On Saturday the UN Security Council agreed to continue the humanitarian aid to Syria only in a limited way. Due to the new regulation, only one border crossing for aid deliveries from Turkey to Northern Syria is planned, before there were two. According to aid organizations, this new regulation could endanger the care of millions of people in need.

Norbert Röttgen, the german chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, calls this decision a "failure of the West all along the line".

He further said to the newspaper "Die Welt": "This failure is due to the withdrawal of the United States and the subsequent vacuum that Russia was happy to fill. And it is the utter reluctance of Europeans not to represent their own interests in the region. The consequences of the displacement and killing of civilians by Assad and Putin, now with China's support in the UN Security Council, affect Europe. The displaced persons will seek protection from us through Turkey."

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Putin wins constitutional referendum and will be able to stay in power until 2036
Archive Vladimir Putin 2018
Archive Vladimir Putin 2018 Credit: kremlin.ru (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

The Central Election Commission has announced that the Russians have voted in favor of adopting the proposed constitutional changes. According to the commission, 77.9 percent of the voters were in favor and 21 percent against. With the changes, Putin will be able to run for two more six-year terms after 2024, thus being able to stay as the head of the country until 2036. Multiple countries have called for Russia to investigate possible irregularities with the voting process.

A spokesperson for the United States state department stated that "We are troubled by reports of Russian government efforts to manipulate the result of the recent votes on constitutional amendments, including reports of voter coercion, pressure on opponents of the amendments and restrictions of independent observers of the vote".

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Russia stages military parade one day ahead of referendum to extend Putin's rule until 2036
2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade
2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade Credit: kremlin.ru (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Russia is showing it's military in a parade on Wednesday one day ahead of the constitutional referendum that would enable President Vladimir Putin to extend his reign until 2036. The military parade is happening in honour of the 75th anniversary of the World War II defeat of Nazi Germany. The annual parade was originally scheduled for the beginning of May but delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year 14,000 soldiers and different kinds of weapons will be shown in it.