Vladimir Putin

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.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Putin signs policy that permits defense with nuclear weapons against non nuclear attacks

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree outlining the types of threats that could trigger the use of atomic weapons. The new decree includes as one of those threats the launch of non-nuclear ballistic missiles that are targeted at Russia or Russian allies and are deemed to be an existential threat.

The new policy replaces a 10-year-old document that will expire this year.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Putin proposes addition of patriotism and war history to school education

In a newly submitted legislation proposal, president Vladimir Putin seeks to add the subjects of patriotism and war history to Russia's education law. This follows an ongoing trend to further root Russian patriotism into the education system as the military has previously announced plans for annual student education programs. The new proposal also cites an article in the Constitution that hasn't been voted on, as the public vote on the constitutional changes has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Spokesperson of Putin confirms that he has Covid-19

The spokesperson of the Russian president Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, has confirmed to Russian media that he is in treatment for the coronavirus. In the telephone call, he also stated that he hadn't seen the president in over a month.

Russian Prime Minister Mishustin diagnosed with Covid-19

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced his diagnose during a video meeting with Vladimir Putin. Mishustin is said to be self-isolating while Andrey Belousov, First Deputy Prime Minister, will serve as acting prime minister during his absence.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Russia may delay Putin vote due to coronavirus outbreak

Russia may delay the public vote on amendments allowing Vladimir Putin to hold office potentially until 2036 due to the corona virus pandemic. The Kremlin has not yet officially rescheduled the vote originally planned for April 22nd. Putin intends to alter the constitution in order to get the chance for a fifth and sixth term as President.