Return to home2007 Jan 6,
Belarus stepped up its dispute with Russia over energy sales by
announcing Saturday it has started a customs case against Transneft,
Russia's pipeline operator.
2007 Jan 7, Russia stopped
pumping oil into a pipeline network that crossed Belarus. The line
delivered 12.5% of the EU’s oil needs.
(Econ, 1/13/07, p.44)
2007 Jan 8, A senior Russian
official said that Russia has been forced to stop delivering oil to
Europe via Belarus after disruptions to the flow of exports it
blamed on Minsk.
2007 Jan 9, Mikhail Prokhorov
(41), chief executive of Russian mining giant OAO Norilsk Nickel,
was detained in France for questioning as part of a crackdown on a
suspected prostitu-tion ring at an upscale ski resort.
2007 Jan 10, In Russia Liana
Askerova said she was detained as part of the investigation into the
killing of Andrei Kozlov, the Central Bank first deputy chairman who
was shot point-blank on Sept. 13 as he left a soccer game in Moscow.
2007 Jan 10, Belarus lifted a
duty it had imposed on Russian fuel transiting the country.
(SFC, 1/11/07, p.A7)
2007 Jan 11, Oil flowed again
through the main pipeline from Russia to Europe after Moscow and
Belarus agreed to settle a dispute that has hurt Russia's reputation
as an energy supplier.
2007 Jan 12, Russia reportedly
agreed to slash the duty on oil exports to Belarus by 70% and
Belarus will share with Moscow a substantial amount of profits from
the refined oil products it sells to Europe.
2007 Jan 12, Roman Abramovich,
Russian oil magnate, was reported to have ordered a new yacht called
the Eclipse. It was under construction in Germany and was expected
to measure over 525 feet, making it the largest privately owned
yacht in the world.
(WSJ, 1/12/07, p.W1)
2007 Jan 12, China and Russia
blocked the Security Council from demanding an end to political
repression and human rights violations in military-ruled Myanmar,
rejecting a resolution pro-posed by the United States. South Africa
sided with China and Russia.
(AP, 1/13/07)(Econ, 1/27/07, p.47)
2007 Jan 12, French authorities
freed Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire, following four days
of questioning in connection with an investigation into a suspected
prostitution ring at the swank Alpine ski resort of Courchevel.
2007 Jan 15, Russian
authorities began cracking down on millions of illegal migrants
throughout Russia as new rules tightening government control of
migration came into effect, prompting concerns that the country
could face serious shortages of low-wage laborers.
2007 Jan 15, More than 500
armed militants in Chechnya and other parts of Russia's troubled
North Caucasus surrendered to authorities as part of an amnesty that
expired at day’s end.
2007 Jan 16, Russia said it had
delivered new anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran and would
consider further requests by Tehran for defensive weapons.
2007 Jan 17, Russian
prosecutors charged Alexei Frenkel, a bank officer, with organizing
the murder of a senior Central Bank official who sought to clean up
Russia's banking industry. Charges were formally entered against
Frenkel in connection with the killing of Andrei Kozlov, who was
shot at point-blank range on Sept. 13 as he left a soccer game in
2007 Jan 17, Russian lawmakers
sharply criticized Estonia for possible plans to remove a 1947
statue that honors Red Army soldiers who helped drive Nazi forces
from the Baltic nation. Last week the Estonian president signed into
law a bill allowing for the removal of the statue. The monument
upset many in the country that suffered five decades of Soviet
2007 Jan 18, President Vladimir
Putin ordered Russia's ambassador to Georgia to return to the
Georgian capital after recalling him four months ago, saying that
the two countries must "normalize" badly strained ties.
2007 Jan 20, Konstantin Borovko
(25), a Russian television journalist, was beaten to death in
Vladivostok. Colleagues said they did not think the killing was
related to his work.
2007 Jan 20, The Russian
population was reported to be shrinking by some 750,000 people per
year. New rules put severe restrictions on foreign workers in retail
operations. Russia planned to make available 6 million work permits
for migrants from poor ex-Soviet republics.
(Econ, 1/20/07, p.61)
2007 Jan 20, Czech PM Mirek
Topolanek said the US wants to build a radar base in the Czech
Republic as part of its global missile defense system. Poland was
also mentioned as a potential site. Russia in response warned of an
(AP, 1/20/07)(WSJ, 1/22/07, p.A1)
2007 Jan 21, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel met with Pres. Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort
of Sochi for talks set to focus on securing guarantees for energy
supplies to the EU. Putin promised to smooth energy flow to Europe.
(AP, 1/21/07)(WSJ, 1/22/07, p.A1)
2007 Jan 21, Russian border
police seized a Japanese fishing boat and its six crew members in
disputed waters between the two countries, prompting the Japanese
government to protest. The No. 38 Zuisho Maru was captured off
Kunashiri Island, one of four disputed islands in a group the
Japanese call the Northern Territories and the Russians call the
2007 Jan 22, Rosoboronexport
chief Sergei Chemezov said Russia had fulfilled a contract to sell
air defense missiles to Iran. This included 29 sophisticated missile
systems under a $700 million contract signed in December 2005.
2007 Jan 24, India and Russia
agreed two arms deals meant to bring bilateral military ties into a
new era, a day before Russian President Vladimir Putin's arrival for
a two-day summit.
2007 Jan 25, Russian President
Vladimir Putin arrived in India, hoping to use the two nations'
decades-long friendship to push for deals in civilian nuclear
cooperation, military hardware and trade expansion. Putin sealed a
deal to construct more nuclear power plants in India.
2007 Jan 27, Andrei Lugovoi,
the man reported by British media to be a suspect in the murder of a
former Russian agent in London hit out at "lies, provocation and
government propaganda," denying any role in the radiation poisoning
death of Alexander Litvinenko.
2007 Jan, Russia's Supreme
Court upheld a lower court's ruling that the Russian-Chechen
Friendship Society must close its doors. Rights advocates denounced
the ruling, charging it was a Kremlin attempt to silence criticism
of its conduct in the violence-wracked Chechnya region. The group
has campaigned against the Russian government's war on separatists
in Chechnya, and published reports alleging torture, abductions and
killings of civilians by Russian forces and their pro-Moscow Chechen
2007 Feb 1, Russia's Emergency
Ministry planned to fly a chemical laboratory to the Omsk region in
southern Siberia to analyze oily yellow and orange snow which has
covered an area home to 27,000 people. Omsk is a heavily industrial
city with a number of oil and gas refineries.
2007 Feb 5, Britain pressed
ahead with a cull of 160,000 turkeys after the nation's first
outbreak of a deadly strain of bird flu in farmed poultry as Russia
and Japan banned British poultry imports.
2007 Feb 5, A Cold War-era
Soviet submarine that was being towed to Thailand sank off
northwestern Denmark. The Soviet Union built more than 200
Whiskey-class submarines during the Cold War, many of which are now
being offered for sale by private companies.
2007 Feb 7, Russia's defense
minister laid out an ambitious plan for building new
intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines and possibly
2007 Feb 7, Japan's PM Shinzo
Abe pledged to regain four disputed northern islands from Russia,
saying it was time to end the bickering between Tokyo and Moscow
over the prime fishing grounds.
2007 Feb 8, India’s air force
chief S.P. Tyagi told reporters at the Bangalore air show that the
government expects to sign a contract to buy 40 Russian Sukhoi-30
aircraft by the end of the fiscal year March 31.
2007 Feb 9, The Kremlin said
oil tycoon and Chelsea soccer club owner Abramovich will stay on as
governor of the Chukotka region in northeastern Russia. Abramovich
had submitted his resignation in December.
2007 Feb 10, Russian President
Vladimir Putin, while visiting Munich for a security conference,
warned that the increased use of military force by the US is
creating a new arms race, with smaller nations turning toward
developing nuclear weapons.
(AP, 2/10/07)(WSJ, 2/12/07, p.A1)
2007 Feb 11, President Vladimir
Putin, making the first visit by a Russian leader to Saudi Arabia,
met King Abdullah and other senior officials for talks that touched
on regional tensions including Iraq and the Palestinian territories.
2007 Feb 12, Russian military
prosecutors pledged to investigate allegations that young conscripts
were forced into prostitution by fellow soldiers, the latest claim
of rampant abuse in the nation's armed forces.
2007 Feb 12, In Qatar Russia’s
Putin and Qatari Emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani announced
they would explore the creation of a natural gas cartel to represent
the interests of producer countries. Qatar sits atop the world's
single largest gas field.
2007 Feb 13, Jordan's King
Abdullah II and Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a
stronger international push for lasting Mideast peace and urged for
a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear standoff.
2007 Feb 13, In Geneva the US
clashed with China and Russia during a disarmament debate over how
to prevent an arms race in outer space, and Washington criticized
Beijing for its recent test of an anti-satellite missile. Russia and
China, in turn, condemned the "one state" that refuses to consider a
treaty banning space weapons, a reference to the US.
2007 Feb 15, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin dismissed Alu Alkhanov, the president of the republic
of Chechnya, and named its widely feared PM Ramzan Kadyrov as acting
(AP, 2/16/07)(Econ, 2/24/07, p.62)
2007 Feb 15, Russia’s Pres.
Vladimir Putin named Anatoly Serdyukov as defense minister, the
country’s first civilian defense minister in 90 years.
2007 Feb 16, Russian
prosecutors released more details on new theft and money laundering
charges against Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a jailed former oil tycoon,
and increased by $2 billion the amount of money they say he and his
partner stole from subsidiaries of OAS Yukos.
2007 Feb 18, In St. Petersburg,
Russia, an explosion hit a McDonald's restaurant in the city center,
injuring at least six people.
2007 Feb 19, Gen. Nikolai
Solovtsov, a top Russian general, warned that Poland and the Czech
Republic risk being targeted by Russian missiles if they agree to
host a proposed US missile defense system.
2007 Feb 21, Finance Minster
Alexei Kudrin said that a new domestic offering for shares in
Russia's largest state-controlled bank had brought in $8.8 billion.
2007 Feb 22, Russia’s
government approved a five-year financing plan aimed to decrease
mortality from diseases including diabetes, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS
and cancer. The news came as the state statistics agency said
Russia's population dropped by more than 560,000 last year to 142.2
million, a new post-Soviet low.
2007 Feb 28, Japan and Russia
looked to expand trade despite rocky relations as they agreed to
cooperate on nuclear energy and in preventing disasters in disputed
2007 Feb 28, Vladimir
Nikolayev, the mayor of Vladivostok, was stripped of his authority
amid a criminal investigation into suspect land deals and
embezzlement in the latest bout of corruption to hit the
long-troubled Pacific port.
2007 Mar 1, President Vladimir
Putin nominated Ramzan Kadyrov, a widely feared security chief, as
the new president of Chechnya. Europe's human rights chief denounced
torture and other rampant abuses in the war-battered region.
Kadyrov, who previously had served as Chechnya's prime minister, has
run a security force that is accused of abducting and abusing
suspected rebels and civilians believed to be connected to them.
2007 Mar 2, Ivan Safronov, a
Russian military affairs writer for the daily Kommersant, fell to
his death from a fifth-story window in Moscow. On Mar 6 his
newspaper said he had received threats while gathering material for
a report claiming Russia planned to provide sophisticated weapons to
Syria and Iran.
2007 Mar 3, Russian police
violently broke up an unauthorized opposition rally in St.
Petersburg, clubbing dozens of activists before dragging them into
2007 Mar 6, Interfax news
agency said 2 American women were hospitalized in Moscow for
treatment of thallium poisoning. The women became ill Feb. 24 and
were being treated at Moscow's Sklifosovsky clinic.
2007 Mar 7, Russian nuclear
energy officials hosted an Iranian delegation for talks on the
construction of a Russian-built plant that has fallen behind
schedule because of what Moscow said were delays in payments by
2007 Mar 7, In Russia Vladimir
Nikolayev, the mayor of Vladivostok, was ordered arrested amid a
criminal investigation into suspect land deals and embezzlement in
the latest bout of corruption to hit the long-troubled port.
2007 Mar 11, Russians voted in
scattered regional ballots marred by complaints that opposition
forces are being frozen out of the country's politics.
2007 Mar 11, In Georgia’s
Kodori Valley Russian helicopters coordinated a ground and air
attack on 3 settlements and fired a guided missile at a Georgian
(WSJ, 1/5/07, p.A8)
2007 Mar 12, A new party, Just
Russia, that promotes itself as an opposition group but supports
Vladimir Putin took a prominent place on Russia's political stage
after regional elections that further consolidated the president's
hold on power.
2007 Mar 13, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and Pope Benedict XVI met for the highest-level
Kremlin-Vatican talks in more than three years, focusing on easing
tension between Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians and finding
common ground in denouncing intolerance and extremism.
2007 Mar 14, The Russian
state-run company building a nuclear plant in Iran warned that
Iranian payment delays may cause "irreversible" damage to the
project, another strong signal of Moscow's annoyance with Tehran.
2007 Mar 14, Italy and Russia
said they wanted talks between Moscow and the European Union on a
new strategic partnership agreement to start as soon as possible.
2007 Mar 15, Bulgaria, Russia
and Greece signed a deal in Athens to build a 175-mile pipeline to
transport Russian oil to a port in northern Greece.
2007 Mar 15, In St. Petersburg
Nikolai Zavadsky, the husband of a late curator at Russia's most
famous museum, was convicted in the theft of dozens of art objects
and sentenced to five years in prison. He was also ordered to pay
$283,000 in damages to the Hermitage.
2007 Mar 16, Government
officials said that Russia will build two nuclear reactors annually
through 2015, and increase to four a year by 2020 in an effort to
sharply increase atomic power generation, according to Russian news
2007 Mar 17, A Russian Tu-134
airliner crash landed in heavy fog in the central Russian city of
Samara, killing 6 people and injuring 26.
2007 Mar 19, A methane gas
explosion ripped through a Siberian coal mine, killing 110 miners in
the country's worst mining disaster in more than a decade.
(WSJ, 3/21/07, p.A1)(AP, 3/19/08)
2007 Mar 20, Russia confirmed
that it has begun pulling out experts from the Iranian nuclear power
plant they were helping build and that it is withholding nuclear
fuel for Iran’s reactors.
(SFC, 3/21/07, p.A3)
2007 Mar 20, Fire swept through
a nursing home in southern Russia after the night watchman ignored
two alarms, killing 62 people in the Azov Sea coast village of
Kamyshevatskaya, where the closest fire station was nearly an hour's
2007 Mar 24, Russian
authorities broke up a demonstration against the government in
Nizhny Novgorod, detaining hundreds of activists.
2007 Mar 25, Fire broke out in
a Moscow striptease club in the early hours, killing 10 people.
2007 Mar 26, Chinese President
Hu Jintao arrived in Russia on his third visit as national leader,
seeking energy deals but also offering Moscow business opportunities
and international cooperation as they expand ties.
2007 Mar 27, In Kiev, Ukraine,
a Russian businessman allied with Ukraine's president was killed by
a sniper as he was escorted from a courthouse during a break in his
2007 Mar 28, Russia's
scientific elite, in a rare show of disobedience to the Kremlin,
voted against a government-proposed charter that would have
transferred control of the historically independent Academy of
Sciences to the state.
2007 Apr 2, Russia's foreign
spy service released previously classified files on a double agent
who, under the codename "Britt", passed secrets to Moscow from
inside British intelligence in the 1940s.
2007 Apr 5, Ramzan Kadyrov was
inaugurated as the new president of Chechnya on a blessing from the
Kremlin, which has relied on him to stabilize the region after more
than a decade of separatist fighting.
2007 Apr 7, A Russian rocket
carrying the American billionaire who helped develop Microsoft Word
roared into the night skies over Kazakhstan, sending Charles Simonyi
and two cosmonauts soaring into orbit on a two-day journey to the
international space station.
2007 Apr 9, Two Russian
cosmonauts and US billionaire Charles Simony bringing a gourmet meal
arrived at the international space station, to a warm welcome from
2007 Apr 9, Iran announced that
it has begun enriching uranium with 3,000 centrifuges, dramatically
expanding a program that the UN has demanded it halt. An Iranian
Revolutionary Guard general visited Russia despite a UN travel ban
over Tehran nuclear defiance. Russia denied any violation.
(AP, 4/9/07)(WSJ, 4/10/07, p.A1)
2007 Apr 11, Royal Dutch Shell
PLC and its partners ceded a controlling stake in the Sakhalin-2 gas
project to Russia’s state owned OAO Gazprom. The deal also entitled
Gazprom a percentage of profits from oil and gas and increased
(WSJ, 4/26/07, p.A3)(http://tinyurl.com/39c2yh)
2007 Apr 12, Russian
authorities said they have halted the work of all foreign adoption
agencies for several months, virtually shutting down the placement
of children from one of the most important countries for US families
seeking to adopt.
2007 Apr 13, Boris Berezovsky,
the exiled Russian tycoon who has emerged as one of the Kremlin's
most vocal opponents, called for the use of force to oust President
Vladimir Putin and claimed he has support from some in the country's
political elite. In response, Russia's chief prosecutor opened a
criminal case against Berezovsky on charges of plotting a coup.
Britain, granted Berezovsky refugee status in 2003.
2007 Apr 14, Russian police
detained Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion and leader of
one of Russia's strongest opposition movements, and at least 100
other activists as they gathered for a forbidden anti-Kremlin
demonstration in central Moscow.
2007 Apr 15, Russia launched
its first new generation nuclear submarine since the fall of the
Soviet Union, as the Kremlin seeks to upgrade its undersea nuclear
strike force. Russia began construction of its first floating
nuclear power plant, and planned to build at least six more despite
long-standing environmental concerns that they are vulnerable to
accidents at sea. In St. Petersburg, Russia, club-swinging riot
police clashed with opposition supporters as an anti-Kremlin protest
dispersed. Police chased small groups of demonstrators, beating some
on the ground and hauling them into police buses.
(AP, 4/15/07)(Reuters, 4/15/07)
2007 Apr 15, In Russia a
keel-laying ceremony was held in Severodvinsk, on the White Sea, for
the new 460-foot Mikhail Lomonosov, a $360 million demonstration
ship capable of providing 76-megawatts of nuclear power to an
onshore location. Completion was expected in 2010 with construction
of new ships to start annually.
(WSJ, 8/21/07, p.A13)
2007 Apr 18, Russian police
raided Educated Media Foundation, an independent Russian
organization. Police said the search was linked to a criminal case
launched against the director after she failed to declare some
$12,500 in cash she brought into the country on January 21.
Foundation President Manana Aslamazyan said this was likely linked
to growing government pressure on Western-funded NGOs. Aslamazyan
fled to Paris and authorities shuttered the foundation.
(AP, 4/20/07)(AP, 4/24/07)(SFC, 6/30/07, p.A7)
2007 Apr 21, Charles Simonyi,
an American billionaire who paid $25 million for a 13-day trip to
outer space, returned to Earth in a space capsule that also carried
a cosmonaut and an American astronaut, making a soft landing on the
2007 Apr 23, Boris Yeltsin
(b.1931), former Russian leader (1991-1999), died. He engineered the
final collapse of the Soviet Union (1991) and pushed Russia to
embrace democracy and a market economy. His 1994 memoir was titled
"The Struggle for Russia."
2007 Apr 23, The WWF said
hunters in Russia's Far East have shot and killed one of the last
seven surviving female Amur leopards living in the wild.
2007 Apr 24, At a conference in
Moscow titled “Megaprojects of Russia’s East," supporters proposed a
68-mile tunnel under the Bering Strait. The tunnel linking Alaska
and Siberia would cost $65 billion and take some 20 years to build.
(SFC, 4/25/07, p.A6)
2007 Apr 26, Russian President
Vladimir Putin, in his last annual address to lawmakers, attacked US
foreign policy and embraced traditional values in a hawkish speech
that laid out a route for his successor to follow when he steps down
2007 Apr 26, In Estonia
protesters gathered at a Soviet war grave in downtown Tallinn, as
authorities prepared to remove the bodies despite Russia's angry
objections. Estonia's government intends to relocate the Soviet
grave, believed to contain the remains of 14 soldiers, and the
Bronze Soldier statue next to it.
2007 Apr 27, A Russian military
helicopter crashed in Chechnya, killing all 18 people aboard,
emergency officials said. There were conflicting reports about
whether the craft was shot down.
2007 Apr 27, Mstislav
Rostropovich (b.1927), master cellist, died. He had fought for the
rights of Soviet-era dissidents and later triumphantly played Bach
suites below the crumbling Berlin Wall.
(AP, 4/27/07)(Econ, 5/12/07, p.92)
2007 Apr 27, Estonia removed a
Soviet war memorial from downtown Tallinn under cover of darkness,
carrying out a plan that has rankled Russia and provoked protests
that left one person dead and dozens injured.
2007 Apr 28, In Estonia
minority Russian youths angry over the government's decision to
remove a Soviet war memorial from Tallinn rioted for a second night,
with unrest spreading to at least two other towns. 66 people were
injured in the capital, including six policemen. More than 500
people, many of them adolescents, were detained overnight as vandals
prowled the streets, breaking shop windows and looting stores.
2007 Apr, Stanislovas Jucys, a
Lithuanian businessman, disappeared. He was the CEO of a
Kaliningrad-based construction company with a majority stake in
Lithuanian hands. Jucys' replacement was killed a few months later,
and the company was taken over by a Russian firm.
2007 May 2, Russian oil firms
rushed to re-route a quarter of their refined products exports away
from ports in Estonia after Russia's railways halted the route amid
a political dispute with Tallinn. Young Russians staged raucous
protests in Moscow to denounce neighboring Estonia for removing a
Soviet war memorial from its capital, and the Estonian ambassador
said pro-Kremlin activists tried to attack her as she arrived at a
2007 May 3, Russia lashed out
at the EU and NATO for supporting Estonia in its row with Moscow
over the relocation of a Soviet war monument.
2007 May 7, Russia’s state
security service said fugitive Rustam Dzhumaliyev had evaded arrest
and become a minor celebrity by masquerading as a US citizen
hitch-hiking across the country for a record attempt.
2007 May 8, Amnesty Int’l. said
in a report that China and Russia are supplying arms to Sudan that
are being used to fuel the violence in the Darfur region in
violation of a UN arms embargo. China and Russia quickly rejected
the report and Sudan's government said it was "not justified." China
confirmed it would send military engineers for a planned UN
peacekeeping force to Sudan's Darfur region.
2007 May 9, In the early hours
Internet traffic in Estonia spiked to thousands of times the normal
flow. May 10 was heavier still, forcing Estonia’s biggest bank to
shut down its online service for more than an hour. Hansabank
continued under assault and worked to block access to 300 suspect
Internet addresses. On March 12, 2009, Konstantin Goloskokov, an
activist with Russia's Nashi youth group and aide to a pro-Kremlin
member of parliament, said he had organized a network of
sympathizers who bombarded Estonian Internet sites with electronic
requests, causing them to crash.
2007 May 10, Talks in Brussels
between NATO's top generals and their Russian counterpart failed to
narrow the gap between Moscow and the West over missile defense and
arms control in Europe.
2007 May 11, Austrian
authorities said they have arrested 40 suspects and seized thousands
of videos, CDs and DVDs as part of a yearlong crackdown on child
pornography. Police in Italy made two arrests in connection with the
investigation, which was code-named Operation Max. The server was
located in St. Petersburg, Russia, and since has been shut down.
2007 May 12, The leaders of
Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan reached a landmark pipeline
deal that will strengthen Moscow's control over Central Asia's
energy export routes. The deal will dramatically increase the amount
of natural gas Russia moves from Central Asia to Europe.
2007 May 12, Russia said that
it could not accept elements of a draft UN resolution on Kosovo
worked out by the US and EU nations, maintaining its strong
opposition to a Western-backed plan for the Serbian province's
2007 May 12, An unmanned
Russian cargo ship carrying 2.5 tons of supplies, equipment and
gifts blasted off en route to the international space station.
2007 May 14, In Russia 10
people were found dead after a fire swept through a cafe in Orsk
near the border with Kazakhstan. Prosecutors indicated they suspect
2007 May 15, Russia's top AIDS
specialist said Russia's AIDS epidemic is worsening with as many as
1.3 million people infected with HIV as the virus spreads further
into the heterosexual population.
2007 May 17, Russian Orthodox
leaders signed a pact to heal an 80-year schism between the church
in Russia and an offshoot, the Church Abroad, set up following the
Bolshevik Revolution. At least 10 of 145 Church Abroad parishes in
the US opposed the canonical union. Most of the New York-based
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) agreed to unite with
the Patriarchate of Moscow.
(AP, 5/17/07)(WSJ, 1/18/07, p.A12)(Econ,
2007 May 17, Estonia's defense
minister said that the massive cyber attacks that have crippled the
high-tech country's Web sites are a threat to national security, and
that it's possible the Russian government was behind them.
2007 May 17, US lawmakers
branded China and Russia the world's two biggest copyright thieves.
2007 May 18, In Russia EU
leaders criticized Russia's human rights record, and were faulted in
return, at the end of a summit that produced no formal agreements
but helped illustrate the widening political chasm between Moscow
and the West.
2007 May 17, Russia filed a
suit against the Bank of New York for $22.5 billion for its role in
a money laundering scheme that was broken up by US authorities in
(WSJ, 5/18/07, p.A3)
2007 May 18, In Russia EU
leaders criticized Russia's human rights record, and were faulted in
return, at the end of a summit that produced no formal agreements
but helped illustrate the widening political chasm between Moscow
and the West. Russia barred activists, including chess grandmaster
Kasparov, from protests near the Volga summit.
(AP, 5/18/07)(WSJ, 5/19/07, p.A1)
2007 May 19, German Gref,
Russia’s Economy Minister, told reporters that Russia will not allow
indebted state companies to default. It was reported that more than
a half-dozen journalists with the Russian News Service, have
resigned to protest the new pro-Kremlin management's policy that at
least 50 percent of coverage must be positive.
(Reuters, 5/19/07)(AP, 5/19/07)
2007 May 20, Hundreds of
demonstrators gathered outside the Moscow’s main broadcast facility
to protest what they called lies and censorship on TV stations that
are either controlled by the state or under its influence.
2007 May 22, Prosecutors in
London accused Andrei Lugovoi, a former KGB agent, of murder in the
radioactive poisoning of fellow ex-operative Alexander Litvinenko
and sought his extradition from Russia. The Russian
prosecutor-general's office said it will not turn over Lugovoi to
2007 May 24, A methane
explosion tore through a coal mine in southern Siberia, killing 38
miners and injuring seven others. One worker died days later raising
the toll to 39.
(AP, 5/24/07)(AP, 5/27/07)
2007 May 25, Russia's lower
house of parliament gave preliminary backing to a new wide-ranging
restrictions on smoking in public. In southern Russia a brawl
between hundreds of Caucasus migrants and local Russians, all armed
with metal rods, baseball bats and knives, killed an ethnic Chechen
(AP, 5/26/07)(AP, 5/25/07)
2007 May 27, Russian police
detained gay protesters calling for the right to hold a Gay Pride
parade in central Moscow while nationalists shouting "death to
homosexuals" punched and kicked the demonstrators.
2007 May 29, Russia pledged to
write off an additional $500 million of African debt. Russia
test-launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile that is
capable of carrying multiple independent warheads. President
Vladimir Putin warned that US plans for an anti-missile shield in
Europe would turn the region into a "powder keg."
(Reuters, 5/29/07)(AP, 5/29/07)(AP, 5/30/07)
2007 May 31, President Vladimir
Putin said that tests of new Russian missiles were a response to the
planned deployment of US missile defense installations and other
forces in Europe, suggesting Washington has triggered a new arms
2007 May 31, The chief suspect
in the murder of Russian ex-agent Alexander Litvinenko accused the
British secret service of being behind the killing and said
Litvinenko himself had been spying for MI6.
2007 May 31, The US and Russia
agreed to put nuclear radiation monitors at all of Russia’s int’l.
border crossings by 2011.
(WSJ, 6/1/07, p.A1)
2007 Jun 1, The Norwegian
environmental group Bellona warned that a nuclear waste dump in the
Russia Arctic may be in danger of exploding because of corrosion
caused by salt water in enormous storage tanks.
2007 Jun 2, In Russia former PM
Mikhail Kasayanov was nominated by his opposition movement to run in
next year's presidential election and promised to stop the Kremlin
orchestrating the vote in its favor.
2007 Jun 3, President Vladimir
Putin warned that Moscow could take "retaliatory steps" if
Washington proceeds with plans to build a missile defense system for
Europe, including possibly aiming nuclear weapons at targets on the
(WSJ, 6/4/07, p.A1)
2007 Jun 3, A severe landslide
has nearly obliterated one of Russia's most noted natural wonders,
the Valley of Geysers. A snow-covered mound collapsed "within
seconds" and caused a massive landslide, about a mile long and 600
feet wide, burying two-thirds of the valley.
2007 Jun 3, Nigerian gunmen
kidnapped six foreign staff of United Company RUSAL after blowing up
their apartment with explosives in the southeastern town of Ikot
2007 Jun 5, US President George
W. Bush sought to soothe Moscow's fury at Washington's plans to
extend its anti-missile shield in Europe, saying in Prague on the
eve of the G8 summit that Russia was "not our enemy."
2007 Jun 6, PM Andrus Ansip
said Estonia is seeking help from Russia to find the culprits behind
a massive wave of attacks on the country's Internet infrastructure.
2007 Jun 7, In Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the G8 has agreed on a plan
calling for "substantial cuts" to greenhouse gas emissions. Riot
police used water cannons to turn protesters away from the fence
surrounding the Group of Eight summit. G8 leaders reached an
agreement on climate change, adopting a statement that says they
should "seriously consider" proposals to cut the emissions of
greenhouse gases by 50 percent by 2050. Russian President Vladimir
Putin, bitterly opposed to a US missile shield in Europe, told
President Bush that Moscow would drop its objections if the
radar-based system were installed in Azerbaijan.
(AP, 6/7/07)(AP, 6/7/08)
2007 Jun 7, An international
conservation group said Russia has established the Zov Tigra
National Park to protect Siberian tigers. According to the WWF the
200,000-acre park will protect the big cat's habitat while
simultaneously allowing for nature tourism.
2007 Jun 9, Russia's most vocal
opposition movement, headed by former chess champion Garry Kasparov,
demonstrated in St. Petersburg without police violence or
interference for the first time in months of protests.
2007 Jun 9, Boeing and Aeroflot
signed a deal for the Russian carrier to acquire 22 Dreamliner jets
from the American plane maker.
2007 Jun 10, Russian President
Vladimir Putin called for creating an alternative to the World Trade
Organization that would favor developing economies and suggested
giving a greater role to regional currencies.
2007 Jun 12, Pres. Putin led
ceremonies to honor Russia Day. The holiday is one of several that
have been shifted or renamed as Putin's Kremlin seeks to shape
Russia's image. It was introduced by his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin,
to commemorate Russia's 1990 declaration of sovereignty and was long
known to many as Independence Day.
2007 Jun 15, Russia's security
agency announced an espionage investigation based on statements by
the suspect in Andrei Litvinenko's radiation poisoning, a move
apparently targeting a Kremlin foe in Britain.
2007 Jun 16, North Korea sent a
letter to the UN nuclear watchdog, inviting inspectors to the
country to discuss procedures for shutting down its main nuclear
reactor. Top US nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill said technical
problems in Russia are holding up the transfer of North Korean funds
linked to a nuclear disarmament deal.
2007 Jun 17, Iran said it had
received indications from Russia's president that he would not
follow through with an offer to allow the US to use a radar station
in neighboring Azerbaijan for missile defense against Tehran.
2007 Jun 19, A new survey
reported that Moscow is the world's most expensive city for the
second year in a row, thanks to an appreciating ruble and rising
2007 Jun 19, A Russian court
sentenced four men to prison terms of between seven and 14 years for
the racially motivated killing of a Congolese student. The slaying
of Roland Epassak in St. Petersburg two years ago prompted outrage
and protests among Russian and foreign exchange students and other
2007 Jun 21, In Russia a fire
swept through a nursing home in Western Siberia's Omsk region and
killed at least 10 people.
2007 Jun 21, The European Court
of Human Rights found the Russian authorities responsible for the
killings of four members of a Chechen family in 2003 and ordered
Moscow to pay a relative $114,000.
2007 Jun 22, British energy
group BP, facing pressure from the Kremlin, said that it had agreed
to sell its stakes in a Siberian gas field and company to Russian
gas giant Gazprom for up to 900 million dollars (669 million euros).
(AP, 6/22/07)(WSJ, 6/22/07, p.A3)
2007 Jun 23, Italian energy
company Eni SpA and Russia's state-controlled OAO Gazprom said they
signed a memorandum of understanding on the possibility of supplying
Russian gas to European Union countries through a pipeline under the
2007 Jun 26, A CD of the
Russian National Orchestra performing Dead Symphony No. 6: An
Orchestral Tribute to the Grateful Dead, was released in the US. The
work was directed by composer Lee Johnson.
(SFC, 6/27/07, p.E3)
2007 Jun 27, Moscow legislators
approved a fifth term for Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, whom critics accuse of
running the city like a personal fiefdom.
2007 Jun 28, President Vladimir
Putin welcomed Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez for talks at the
Russian presidential retreat outside Moscow, saying economic affairs
and military-technical cooperation were on the agenda.
2007 Jun 28, Hundreds of ethnic
Georgians confronted Russian peacekeeping forces in the breakaway
region of South Ossetia, throwing paint and gasoline on the troops
and forcing them to stop blocking a road project.
2007 Jun 28, The European
Commission said all Indonesian airlines and several from Russia,
Ukraine and Angola will be banned from flying to the EU due to
2007 Jun, Wenda, a
question-and-answer “knowledge community" product,
developed by Google in China, was launched in Russia.
(Econ, 10/13/07, SR p.7)
2007 Jul 1, Russia’s Pres.
Putin arrived in Maine for talks with Pres. Bush.
2007 Jul 2, Russia’s Pres.
Putin, while visiting Pres. Bush in Maine, proposed an alternative
missile shield system to be jointly developed by the NATO-Russia
(SFC, 7/3/07, p.A3)
2007 Jul 4, Russia’s parliament
authorized an exemption to Gazprom and OAO Transneft from limits on
wielding arms. They would now be able to employ their own armed
(WSJ, 1/5/07, p.A4)
2007 Jul 4, The Black Sea
resort of Sochi was elected the host city of the 2014 Winter
Olympics, taking the Winter Games to Russia for the first time.
Russia proposed to spend $12 million to stage the games at Sochi.
Costs ended at $50 billion.
(AP, 7/4/08)(Econ, 7/13/13, p.45)(Econ, 11/22/14,
2007 Jul 5, Larisa Arap, a
member of a Russian opposition group, was hospitalized in a
psychiatric facility for criticizing a clinic's use of violence
against mentally ill patients.
2007 Jul 6, Russian lawmakers
passed a bill that cracks down on dissent and expands police
surveillance authority ahead of 2008 elections.
(WSJ, 1/7/07, p.A1)
2007 Jul 8, Russia’s top
security agency said it has declassified documents on millions of
victims of Soviet-era repression (1920-1950), allowing relatives to
request information about those who were executed or died of disease
and starvation in prison.
2007 Jul 10, Russian newspapers
reported that thieves had stolen a collection of rare paintings
worth millions of dollars from retired judge Kamo Manukyan. They
were stored unguarded in his empty apartment. The 13 paintings
stolen included works by Frenchman Georges-Pierre Seurat, the
founder of neo-impressionism, Russian seascape painter Ivan
Aivazovsky, and Russian expressionist Alexej Jawlenski.
2007 Jul 14, Russia suspended
its participation in a key European arms control treaty that governs
deployment of troops on the continent. Under the moratorium, Russia
will halt inspections and verifications of its military sites by
NATO countries and will no longer limit the number of its
conventional weapons. The treaty, between Russian and NATO members,
was signed in 1990 and amended in 1999 to reflect changes since the
breakup of the Soviet Union, adding the requirement that Moscow
withdraw troops from the former Soviet republics of Moldova and
Georgia. Russia has ratified the amended version, but the United
States and other NATO members have refused to do so until Russia
2007 Jul 15, Marina Pisareva
(47), the deputy head of a small Russian division of German media
company Bertelsmann AG, was found dead at her summer house near
Moscow, possibly stabbed with her own dagger.
2007 Jul 16, Britain ordered
the expulsion of four Russian diplomats because of Moscow's refusal
to extradite the lead suspect in the fatal poisoning of a former KGB
officer in London.
2007 Jul 17, Russia vowed a
"targeted and appropriate" response to Britain's expulsion of four
diplomats in a mounting confrontation over the probe into the
radiation poisoning death of a former KGB officer.
2007 Jul 18, An explosion tore
through a crowd of mourners at a cemetery in southern Russia,
wounding at least 10 people, including four police officers. The
funeral was for an ethnic Russian woman who had been fatally shot
along with her two grown children July 16 in Ingushetia.
2007 Jul 19, Russia announced
the tit-for-tat expulsion of four British diplomats, a visa ban on
British officials and the suspension of bilateral counter-terrorism
cooperation amid a mounting diplomatic row. US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice called on Russia to honor Britain's request to
extradite the chief suspect over the murder of former agent
2007 Jul 21, Attackers dressed
in dark clothes and wielding metal pipes raided a camp of
environmental protesters near Angarsk, Siberia, leaving one dead and
several injured. Over 20 demonstrators belonging to Autonomous
Action had been camped out by a reservoir, about 2,600 miles east of
Moscow, to protest nuclear waste processing at the state-owned
Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Plant. Ilya Borodayenko (26) died from
a cracked skull. One of the attackers was later identified as Pavel
Rikhvanov, the son of Marina Rikhvanov, founder of the Baikal
Ecological Wave environmental group.
(AP, 7/21/07)(WSJ, 10/29/07, p.A1)
2007 Jul 26, The European Court
of Human Rights ordered the Russian government to pay damages of
$196,000 to the family members of 11 Chechen civilians killed by
Russian soldiers in 2000, when security forces rampaged through
Novye Aldi, setting fire to houses and killing at least 50
2007 Jul 27, Russia said it
planned to send a small submarine to the ocean floor under the North
Pole to stake a claim to the region.
(WSJ, 1/28/07, p.A1)
2007 Jul 29, A 43-year-old
Russian cargo plane crashed minutes after taking off from a Moscow
airport, killing all seven crew on board.
2007 Aug 1, Russian explorers
readied for a historic descent to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean
under the North Pole as part of an expedition to claim the area for
2007 Aug 1, Russia's
state-controlled gas monopoly said that it will reduce natural gas
supplies to Belarus by 45 percent as of Aug 3 after Minsk failed to
pay in full for previous gas shipments.
2007 Aug 2, Two deep-diving
Russian mini-submarines descended more than 2 1/2 miles under North
Pole ice to stake a flag on the ocean floor, part of a quest to
bolster Russian claims to much of the Arctic's oil-and-mineral
2007 Aug 2, A 6.4-magnitude
quake struck on the southern tip of Sakhalin island, just north of
Japan. At least 2 people were killed and some 2,000 in Nevelsk moved
to tent camps after the powerful earthquake left apartment buildings
2007 Aug 2, An unmanned Russian
cargo ship carrying over 2.5 tons of supplies, equipment and gifts
blasted off for the international space station.
2007 Aug 2, Canada dismissed
Russia's claim to a large chunk of the resource-rich Arctic, saying
the tactic was more suited to the 15th century than the real world.
2007 Aug 3, About 50 women
occupied a central square in Makhachkala, Dagestan, declaring a
hunger strike and vowing not to leave until authorities tell them
what happened to their missing children. The president of Dagestan,
Mukhu Aliev, admitted last month that 76 people have been kidnapped
so far this year in Dagestan. In six of those cases, the abductors
wore camouflage uniforms similar to those worn by law enforcement
2007 Aug 6, A Moscow court
convicted Alexei Pichugin, former top security officer with the
dismantled Yukos oil company in the deaths of 3 people, sentencing
him to life in prison in a retrial. Russia deployed new air defense
systems capable of shooting down ballistic missiles, and the air
force chief said the weapon could be used to protect 2014 Winter
Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
(AP, 8/6/07)(AP, 8/6/07)
2007 Aug 7, A European diplomat
said that Russian officials told the Iranians about two weeks ago
that Russian fuel roads to the Bushehr reactor would be held back as
long as unresolved questions about Tehran's past nuclear activities
2007 Aug 7, Georgia accused
Russia of "undisguised aggression," saying two Russian fighter jets
intruded on its airspace and fired a missile that landed near a
house. Russia denied the allegation.
2007 Aug 7, In Nigeria 6
Russian hostages, kidnapped on June 3, were freed in the oil
producing Niger Delta after two months in captivity. Rusal, the
world's largest aluminium producer, acquired 77 percent of the
Nigerian company Alscon in February.
2007 Aug 12, A video was posted
on Russian ultranationalist sites of the Internet showing the brutal
execution of two men from Central Asia and the Caucasus. The man who
posted the video turned himself on Aug 14 in Maikop, capital of the
southern Russian republic of Adygei.
2007 Aug 13, A bomb explosion
threw the Neva Express train, which was en route from Moscow to St.
Petersburg, off the tracks and injuring 60 people. Suspicion fell on
representatives of extremist nationalist organizations.
(AP, 8/14/07)(AP, 8/15/07)
2007 Aug 14, Tikhon Khrennikov
(94), Stalin’s music master, died. His 1939 opera “Into the Storm,"
based on a novel by Nikolai Virta, was the first in which Lenin
appeared as a character on the stage.
(Econ, 9/1/07, p.77)
2007 Aug 15, Sergei Sinkonen
and another conscript came upon the officers celebrating a wedding
not far from their unit at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northwestern
Russia. The officers thought the conscripts had fled and beat them
with army belts, and put Sinkonen in a kennel with guard dogs, where
he was found the next morning in serious condition. Sinkonen died
2007 Aug 16, US authorities
indicted Igor Klopow (24), a Russian national, for his role in an ID
theft gang that targeted wealthy individuals. Klopow was lured to
the US and arrested under the Brooklyn Bridge.
(WSJ, 8/17/07, p.B2)
2007 Aug 17, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin said that he had ordered the military to resume
regular long-range flights of strategic bombers.
2007 Aug 17, The six members of
the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held their first joint
maneuvers on Russian land in a demonstration of their growing
military ties and a shared desire to counter US global clout. The
presidents of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan attended the unprecedented joint military exercises in
Chelyabinsk near the Kazakh border.
2007 Aug 21, Russian news
agencies reported that authorities have detained a high-level
narcotics officer they say was behind large-scale drug sales over
2007 Aug 22, Russia nominated
Josef Tosovsky, a former Czech prime minister and head of that
country's central bank, to head the International Monetary Fund, a
move that put the Kremlin and the European Union at odds. The Czech
Republic repudiated the move and endorsed the EU’s choice.
(AP, 8/22/07)(WSJ, 8/23/07, p.A1)
2007 Aug 22, In Ingushetia,
Russia, one serviceman was killed and five were wounded when gunmen
attacked their armored personnel carrier with grenades and automatic
2007 Aug 23, A Russian
scientist said that fresh test results back his country's legal bid
to take control of the Arctic. Russian geologists have previously
estimated the Arctic seabed has at least 9 to 10 billion tons of
fuel equivalent, about the same as Russia's total oil reserves.
2007 Aug 23, A shootout in
Chechnya's capital left two policemen and a rebel dead. A group of
about 30 camouflage-clad gunmen set on fire the houses of two police
officers and the local administration building in the Chechen
village of Yandi.
2007 Aug 23, In Dagestan,
Russia, gunmen ambushed security forces, killing three people and
2007 Aug 24, Russia issued an
international warrant for the arrest of Mikhail Gutseriyev, two days
after the death in Moscow of his 21-year-old son. Chingiskhan
Gutseriyev died in his sleep after a minor car accident, raising
suspicions that he was killed to send a message to his father. On
Sep 5 a court upheld a warrant for his arrest and refused to lift a
freeze on the shares of his company, Russneft. The freeze has
blocked a sale that would have handed him an estimated $3 billion.
2007 Aug 24, Georgia said it
fired on a Russian plane flying over its territory. The Tbilisi City
Court, behind closed doors, convicted 13 people from minor
opposition parties for plotting a violent overthrow of the
government. Maia Topuria, the lead defendant and head of the
pro-Moscow Justice party, was sentenced to 8 ½ years in prison.
2007 Aug 25, A senior official
of the separatist region said a plane of uncertain origin went down
over Abkhazia, a day after Georgia reported that its forces fired on
a plane believed to be Russian that had violated the country's
2007 Aug 27, Russia announced
the arrest of 10 people in the killing of journalist and Kremlin
critic Anna Politkovskaya. Russia's top prosecutor said a Chechen
crime boss, Russian police and security officers were involved in
the death of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya. But he suggested
that someone outside Russia masterminded the killing of the frequent
(AP, 8/27/07)(AP, 8/27/08)
2007 Aug 31, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia will accept a partition of
Serbia's Kosovo province if that is the solution agreed by Belgrade
and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority. Both Serbia and the Kosovo
Albanians have said they oppose partition but they have shown no
sign of reaching agreement on the central issue of independence for
2007 Aug 31, A car bomb
exploded near a police vehicle in Russia's troubled North Caucasus
region, killing four police officers in Nazran, Ingushetia.
2007 Sep 4, In Russia’s
Voronezh region an explosion killed three people at a sugar refinery
owned by Prodimex Group, one of the country's largest producers.
2007 Sep 4, Alain Robert
climbed to the top of Moscow’s 795-feet-high West Federation Tower,
in less than a half-hour using a ladder.
2007 Sep 6, Indonesia and
Russia signed a $1 billion defense deal that will allow Indonesia to
buy dozens of helicopters, tanks and submarines, part of visiting
Russian President Vladimir Putin's efforts to boost his country's
military clout in Asia.
2007 Sep 6, An unmanned Russian
rocket carrying a Japanese communications satellite malfunctioned
after liftoff, sending parts crashing in an uninhabited part of
Kazakhstan and triggering concerns about environmental damage.
2007 Sep 6, Australian PM John
Howard said he would tell Russian President Vladimir Putin that he
would not approve the sale of uranium to Moscow if there was any
possibility it could be resold to Iran or Syria.
2007 Sep 7, Leaders of
Australia and Russia signed a deal to export Australian uranium to
fuel Russian nuclear reactors, but promised it would not be
transferred to Iran's disputed atomic program.
2007 Sep 10, Lithuanian PM
Gediminas Kirkilas said at a Seimas session that Lithuania will
increase its tariffs for transiting natural gas to the Kaliningrad
region proportionally to any gas hikes in the price Russia charges
its Lithuanian customers.
2007 Sep 11, State television
reported that the Russian military has successfully tested what it
described as the world's most powerful non-nuclear air-delivered
bomb. The Russian bomb is a "thermobaric" weapon that explodes in an
intense fireball combined with a devastating blast. It explodes in a
terrifying nuclear bomb-like mushroom cloud and wreaks destruction
through a massive shock wave created by the air burst and high
2007 Sep 11, American, Russian
and Chinese nuclear experts began a rare visit to North Korea to
examine ways of disabling the country's main nuclear facilities so
they can no longer produce bombs.
2007 Sep 12, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin dismissed his long-serving PM Mikhail Fradkov and
nominated little-known Cabinet official Victor Zubkov (b.1941) to
replace him in a surprise move that could put Zubkov in the running
to replace Putin next year.
(AP, 9/12/07)(WSJ, 9/13/07, p.A3)(Econ, 9/15/07,
2007 Sep 12, Serbia warned the
EU it would not accept any decision on Kosovo taken outside the UN,
and its ally Russia told the US to stop backing Kosovo independence
while talks continue.
2007 Sep 13, In Moscow Shamil
Burayev, the former head of a district in Chechnya, was arrested on
suspicion of organizing the execution-style murder of investigative
journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
2007 Sep 16, In Russia former
KGB officer Andrei Lugovoi, the sole suspect in the radiation
poisoning death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, announced
plans to run for parliament on the ticket of a pro-Kremlin
2007 Sep 17, Sotheby's canceled
a London auction Set for Sep 18 after Alisher Usmanov, a Russian
tycoon paid about 25 percent more than the estimated price for the
art collection of the late cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. A
government agency "presented some guarantees to Sotheby's that this
transaction would be in the interest of the Russian Federation."
2007 Sep 19, In Moscow Iraq's
foreign minister said Iraqi authorities have arrested a man
suspected of organizing the murder of four Russian diplomats in
Baghdad last year. Hoyshan Zebari identified the suspect as a man
named Abu Nur and said he was a member of the terrorist group
al-Qaida in Iraq.
2007 Sep 20, Estonia decided it
will not allow a German-Russian consortium to conduct a survey of
its exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea for a planned
underwater gas pipeline.
2007 Sep 24, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin named a new government, tapping new economics and
health ministers and retaining his foreign and defense ministers in
an expected but largely cosmetic shuffle before parliamentary and
2007 Sep 26, Russia unveiled
its regional 95-seat Superjet-100, a government-backed effort to
re-energize the country's ailing aviation industry and get into a
market now dominated by Bombardier and Embraer.
2007 Sep 30, Garry Kasparov,
former world chess champion, entered Russia's presidential race,
elected overwhelmingly as the candidate for the country's
beleaguered opposition coalition.
2007 Sep, In Russia
construction began in Moscow on Russia Tower, slated to be Europe’s
tallest building, at over 1900 feet, on completion in 2012.
(WSJ, 6/25/08, p.C14)
2007 Sep, Lotte, South Korea’s
biggest department store chain, opened its first foreign store in
(Econ, 6/28/08, p.72)
2007 Oct 1, President Vladimir
Putin said he would lead the dominant party's ticket in December
parliamentary elections and suggested he could become prime
minister, the strongest sign yet that he will try to keep power
after he leaves office.
2007 Oct 3, In Russia workers
rebuilding a 19th century Moscow house dug up the remains of nearly
three dozen people. An estimated 34 people were found. Some of the
remains, which were found under a basement of a house on the estate,
had gunshot wounds to the skull and appeared to date back to the
1930s. Sergei Buluchevsky, a government investigator, later said
preliminary forensic findings indicated the remains were at least a
century old and that there were no signs of violent death.
(AP, 10/4/07)(AP, 10/18/07)
2007 Oct 3, Russian and US
space chiefs signed agreements in Moscow to cooperate on unmanned
missions that would search for potential water deposits beneath the
surface of the moon and Mars.
2007 Oct 6, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin said former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will be
appointed head of the country's foreign intelligence service.
2007 Oct 9, Alexander
Pichushkin (33), a Russian man accused of murdering 49 people, asked
a Moscow court to add another eleven victims to his tally, and told
a jury when he first strangled a man it was like falling in love for
the first time. He has been branded the 'chessboard murderer' by
Russian newspapers because he hoped to put a coin on every square of
a 64-place chessboard for each murder.
2007 Oct 10, A spokeswoman for
Other Russia said Russian electoral officials have barred the vocal
opposition alliance from participating in December parliamentary
elections. Election commission chief Vladimir Churov said Other
Russia was barred because it was not registered as a political
2007 Oct 10, A Russian rocket
blasted off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur launch pad, carrying 3
astronauts to the international space station. Sheikh Muszaphar
Shukor, an orthopedic surgeon and university lecturer from Kuala
Lumpur, left Earth alongside Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and
American astronaut Peggy Whitson. Shukor was selected from among
11,000 Malaysian candidates to fly aboard the ISS in a deal his
government arranged with Russia as part of a $1 billion purchase of
Russian fighter jets. Whitson will be the first woman to command the
(Reuters, 9/20/07)(AP, 10/10/07)(SFC, 10/11/07,
2007 Oct 13, US Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice, after meeting with human-rights activists in
Moscow, told reporters the Russian government under Vladimir Putin
had amassed so much central authority that the power-grab could
undermine its commitment to democracy.
2007 Oct 15,
In Germany Pres. Putin held talks with German Chancellor
Angela Merkel on the sidelines of a German-Russian political
conference called the Petersburg Dialogue.
2007 Oct 15, Russia’s
Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said that major food producers
and retailers had agreed to fix their prices at the current level
following talks with the government. The prices for basic foods will
be fixed until January 31, 2008, a period which covers parliamentary
2007 Oct 16, In
Iran Russian leader Vladimir Putin met his Iranian
counterpart and implicitly warned the US not to use a former Soviet
republic to stage an attack on Iran. He also said nations should not
pursue oil pipeline projects that are not backed by regional powers.
2007 Oct 16, A revolt at a
Russian prison for minors, in the Sverdlovsk region in the Ural
Mountains, swelled into a mass uprising that left two people dead
and buildings gutted before guards and riot police restored order.
2007 Oct 17, Interfax reported
that Russia has charged a lieutenant colonel in the security service
and 8 others for the Oct 7, 2006, slaying of anti-Kremlin journalist
(WSJ, 10/18/07, p.A1)(Reuters,
2007 Oct 18,
Israeli PM Ehud Olmert flew to Moscow in a surprise visit to
discuss Iran's nuclear program with President Vladimir Putin, who
just returned from talks with Iranian leaders in Tehran. Olmert
pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to support new sanctions
against Iran over its nuclear activities and urged Russia not to
sell arms to Iran or Syria.
2007 Oct 20, In Moscow a group
of teens killed Sergei Nikolayev (46), a professional chess player
from Yakutia. The group attacked more than 10 people over several
months late this year. In 2008 a Moscow court convicted 12 teenage
boys and a man of committing the series of vicious ethnic attacks,
which were videotaped, set to heavy music and widely disseminated on
2007 Oct 21, A technical glitch
sent a Soyuz spacecraft on a wild ride home, forcing Malaysia's
first space traveler and two Russian cosmonauts to endure eight
times the force of gravity before their capsule landed safely.
2007 Oct 23,
A bomb courier accidentally blew up a taxi in Russia's
Dagestan region, killing herself and wounding eight other people.
2007 Oct 24, Alexander
Pichushkin (33), a Russian former grocery clerk, was found guilty of
murdering 48 people in Moscow. On Oct 29 he was sentenced to life in
a hard labor colony.
(AP, 10/24/07)(AP, 10/29/07)
2007 Oct 25, Amnesty
International said human rights violations in the Russian region of
Ingushetia have increased with a surge in abductions and beatings.
2007 Oct 28, A Moscow court
sentenced Alexander Pichushkin, convicted of 48 murders, to life
imprisonment, ending one of Russia's worst serial killer cases.
2007 Oct 31, A bomb ripped
through a passenger bus in the central Russian city of Togliatti,
killing eight people and injuring 48. Togliatti is a city on the
Volga River known as the headquarters of Russia's largest carmaker,
AvtoVAZ, which returned to state control in 2005. The city has a
reputation for gang violence as varying groups have competed for
control over the lucrative factory.
2007 Oct, Russian oil
production peaked at 9.9 million barrels a day. The state creamed
off as much as 92% of profits hindering incentives for production
(Econ, 5/10/08, p.71)
2007 Nov 2, Igor Moiseyev
(101), called the king of folk dance, died in Moscow. In 1937 he
founded the Moiseyev Dance Company which went on to inspire folk
dance companies in many other countries.
(SFC, 11/3/07, p.B5)
2007 Nov 3, In Russia some
1,500 people, half of them pensioners, marched through St.
Petersburg chanting anti-Kremlin slogans and banging saucepans in
protest against rising food prices.
2007 Nov 4, Some 5,000
nationalists turned out for the Russian March, held for the third
year on National Unity Day, a holiday the Kremlin created in 2005 to
replace the traditional Nov. 7 celebration of the 1917 Bolshevik
rise to power. Preston Wiginton (43), a white supremacist from
Texas, addressed thousands of Russian nationalists at the rally. A
fire tore through a nursing home in Russia, killing at least 31
people, the latest in a series of deadly blazes that have
underscored negligence and other problems plaguing state-run
(AP, 11/4/07)(AP, 11/5/07)
2007 Nov 11, A severe storm
broke the Volganeft-139, a small Russian oil tanker, in two in the
Strait of Kerch, spilling at least 560,000 gallons of fuel into the
strait between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. A Russian official
said it was an "environmental disaster." 8 seamen were left missing.
Two freighters nearby also sank under 18-foot waves in storm. As
many as 10 ships sank or ran aground in the area.
(AP, 11/11/07)(Reuters, 11/12/07)(SFC, 11/12/07,
2007 Nov 12, Alexander
Tkachyov, governor of Russia’s Krasnodar region, said more than
30,000 birds and countless fish have been killed in an "ecological
catastrophe" wrought by thousands of tons of oil from a tanker that
broke apart in a heavy storm near the Black Sea. 3 bodies washed
ashore and 20 sailors remained missing after the sinking of at least
(AP, 11/12/07)(SFC, 11/13/07, p.A10)
2007 Nov 13, The British Virgin
Islands told the US there is overwhelming evidence that Leonid
Reiman, Russia’s Telecommunications Minister owns much of Russia’s
telecom industry through an offshore fund.
(WSJ, 11/14/07, p.A1)
2007 Nov 15, Sergei Storchak,
one of Russia’s top authorities on international financial
relations, was detained. Investigators on Nov 19 revealed details in
the arrest of the deputy finance minister who allegedly tried to
embezzle $43 million in budget funds.
2007 Nov 15, A top Russian
general said that Russia has completed its withdrawal of troops that
had been based in Georgia since the Soviet collapse. He said
peacekeepers remained in Abkhazia along with forces in South Ossetia
with the participation of Georgia.
2007 Nov 16, The Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said its election
observers would be unable to monitor next month's Russian
parliamentary balloting because Moscow had refused to issue them
visas. All 56 OSCE member countries, including Russia, agreed in
1990 to invite international observers to monitor their elections.
2007 Nov 19, The US and Russia
announced an agreement on how to safely dispose 34 metric tons of
Russian weapons-grade plutonium.
(SFC, 11/20/07, p.A11)
2007 Nov 20, President Vladimir
Putin said that Russia's decision to suspend its participation in a
key arms control treaty was a necessary response to NATO
"muscle-flexing" near its frontiers. The 1990 Conventional Forces in
Europe (CFE) treaty, which originally set limits on weapons of NATO
and Warsaw Pact countries, was revised in 1999. Russia ratified the
updated treaty in 2004, but the US and other NATO members have
refused to follow suit, saying Moscow first must fulfill obligations
to withdraw forces from Georgia and from Moldova's separatist
2007 Nov 22, A passenger bus
caught fire and exploded in southern Russia, killing at least five
people and wounding 12. Investigators in North Ossetia said
terrorism was the likely cause.
2007 Nov 23, Vladimir Kryuchkov
(83), the Soviet Union's former KGB chief and one of Russia's most
influential hardline spy masters, died. Kryuchkov's biggest failure
was the defection to Britain in 1985 of Oleg Gordievsky, the highest
ranking KGB defector in its history.
2007 Nov 24, Russian police in
Moscow detained opposition leader and former world chess champion
Garry Kasparov and several other anti-Kremlin protesters when
thousands of people marched against President Vladimir Putin.
2007 Nov 25, Dozens of members
of a Russian opposition party and other activists were detained by
police as they tried to gather for a protest rally in central St.
2007 Nov 27, PM Donald Tusk
announced that Poland will drop its opposition to Moscow's bid to
join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) in a drive to improve ties with Russia.
2007 Nov 29, In Russia tycoon
and Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky was convicted in absentia of
embezzling millions of dollars from the national airline, Aeroflot,
and reportedly sentenced to six years in prison.
2007 Nov 30, President Vladimir
Putin signed a law suspending Russia's participation in the
Conventional Forces in Europe treaty.
2007 Nov 30, In Russia fund
manager Oleg Shvartsman said in an interview in Kommersant, a
mainstream business newspaper, that his $3.2 billion fund was
closely connected to the Kremlin’s administration and security
services. Shvartsman said he reported indirectly to Igor Sechin,
chair of the Rosneft oil company.
(Econ, 12/8/07, p.60)
2007 Dec 2, Russians voted in a
parliamentary election. Putin's United Russia party swept 70 percent
of seats in parliament.
(AP, 12/2/07)(AP, 12/3/07)
2007 Dec 3, Foreign observers
and Russian opposition groups accused authorities of manipulating a
sweeping parliamentary election victory for the party of President
Vladimir Putin, who hailed the results as a validation of his
leadership. With ballots from nearly 98 percent of precincts
counted, Putin's United Russia party was leading with 64.1 percent
of the vote. Europe joined the US in demanding Russia investigate
alleged abuses in the election, and Germany denounced the poll as
(AP, 12/3/07)(Reuters, 12/3/07)
2007 Dec 3, A Moscow court
convicted Igor Reshetin, the head of the company TsNIIMASH-Export, a
rocket and space technology company, on charges of leaking sensitive
technology to China. This was the latest case involving a Russian
scientist who was prosecuted despite claims the sensitive materials
were in the public domain. Reshetin was sentenced to 11 1/2 years in
prison after prosecutors said the information Reshetin had handed
over to the Chinese could be used for building missiles capable of
carrying nuclear warheads.
2007 Dec 9, A blast on a bus in
Russia’s Stavropol region killed two people. An exploding gas
canister was suspected.
2007 Dec 10, President Vladimir
Putin threw his support behind first Deputy PM Dmitry Medvedev
(b.1965) as his successor, saying that electing him president would
keep Russia on the same course of the past eight years. Medvedev
also served as chairman of AOA Gazprom, the state-controlled energy
(AP, 12/10/07)(WSJ, 12/11/07, p.A22)
2007 Dec 11, A judge from the
top court in southern Russia's violence-plagued Dagestan region was
fatally shot by an unidentified attacker. Dagestan Supreme Court
Justice Kurban Pashayev was shot more than 10 times with a pistol in
the entranceway of his apartment building in the provincial capital,
Makhachkala. In Ingushetia an 18-year-old rookie in an elite police
unit was fatally shot by attackers who fired at him at close range
from a passing car as he was walking home after work.
2007 Dec 12, Russia ordered a
British cultural organization to suspend all of its operations
outside Moscow at the beginning of 2008, the latest move in a
long-running dispute. Russian officials accused the British Council,
a non-governmental organization that acts as the cultural department
of the British Embassy, of operating illegally in St. Petersburg and
2007 Dec 12, Veteran diplomat
Yuli Vorontsov (78), who served the Soviet Union and Russia as
ambassador to Afghanistan (1988-99) and the United States
(1994-2000) in a career spanning the Cold War and the Gulf War, died
2007 Dec 13, Opposition leader
Garry Kasparov said the Kremlin has stopped him from running for
president by preventing his supporters from meeting to nominate him.
2007 Dec 13, Russia and Iran
reached agreement on a schedule for finishing construction of a
nuclear power plant that plays a central role in the international
tensions over Iran's atomic program, Russian news agencies reported.
2007 Dec 13, Japan said that
Russia seized four Japanese fishing boats in disputed waters between
the two countries, calling the detention unacceptable and demanding
an explanation from Moscow.
2007 Dec 14, The leaders
Belarus and Russia pledged closer cooperation on military, economic
and foreign policy but gave no indication that the ex-Soviet
neighbors were moving closer to a long-discussed full merger.
2007 Dec 15, Russia's
state-controlled gas monopoly said Belarus will pay nearly 20
percent more for Russian gas beginning next year.
2007 Dec 16, Russian
authorities expelled a Moldovan journalist critical of the Kremlin
in a move condemned by media watchdogs.
2007 Dec 17, Russian President
Vladimir Putin said he was ready to become prime minister if his
close ally Dmitry Medvedev succeeds him, giving Putin a way to keep
a grip on power after he leaves the Kremlin.
2007 Dec 17, Iranian Vice
President Gholam Reza Aghazadeh said the first nuclear fuel shipment
for the Bushehr atomic power plant has arrived in Iran from Russia.
Aghazadeh said the Bushehr plant was 95 percent complete and would
begin operations next year.
2007 Dec 19, Time magazine
named Russian President Vladimir Putin its 2007 "Person of the
2007 Dec 25, Russia's military
successfully test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile
capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, a weapon intended to
replace aging Soviet-era missiles.
2007 Dec 25, Oleg Ugnivenko, a
spokesman for the regional branch of Russia's Emergency Situations
Ministry, said more than 600,000 chickens on the Gulyai-Borisovskaya
farm in the Rostov-on-Don region have been destroyed to prevent the
virus from spreading.
2007 Dec 26, An unmanned
Russian cargo ship carrying 2 tons of supplies including holiday
gifts, docked at the international space station.
2007 Dec 26, Iran's defense
minister said that Iran had agreed to buy an S-300 surface-to-air
missile system from Russia.
2007 Dec 28, Iran received the
second shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia for a power plant being
constructed in the southern Iranian town of Bushehr.
2007 Dec, In Russia a
fraudulent tax refund of $230 million was paid to companies stolen
from Hermitage Capital Management. Bill Browder, the firm's founder,
hired lawyer Sergei Magnitsky to expose the scam.
(Econ., 1/23/21, p.58)
2007 Arkady Babchenko, Russian
soldier, authored “A Soldier’s War in Chechnya," an account of his
service in Chechnya. In 2008 it was translated to English by Nick
Allen and published as “One Soldier’s War."
(Econ, 11/17/07, p.100)(WSJ, 1/22/08, p.D8)
2007 Yegor Gaidar (1956-2009),
former Russian finance minister and prime minister, authored
“Collapse of an Empire."
2007 Garry Kasparov, world
chess champion (1985-2000) and current candidate for the presidency
of Russia, authored “How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves
from the Board to the Boardroom."
(WSJ, 10/25/07, p.D8)
2007 Pres. Putin promoted a new
Russian history manual for teachers entitled “A Modern History of
Russia: 1945-2006." Professor Oksana Gaman-Golutvina said the
material published in the book did not correspond to what she wrote
and said: "I really do not want my name to be associated with this
(Econ, 11/10/07, p.67)(http://tinyurl.com/355n8p)
2007 Four Russian defense
officials were sentenced this year to up to 11 years in jail for
selling missile delivery technologies to Beijing for $2 million.
2007 The US with a population
of 301,139,947 counted 1,498,157 soldiers on active duty (~4.9%);
China with a population of 1,321,851,888 counted 2,105,000 soldiers
on active duty (~.159%). Russia with a population of 141,377,752
counted 1,027,000 soldiers on active duty (~7.2%); These numbers
excluded paramilitary troops in China and Russia.
(WSJ, 8/30/08, p.W5)
2008 Jan 1, Britain defied a
Russian order to close the regional offices of its cultural arm from
New Year's day, but there was no evidence of Russian attempts to
forcibly close British Council centers.
2008 Jan 4, Russian rescuers
saved 11 people stranded for nearly three months in a remote area of
the Pacific coast after a fishing trip went wrong. Their two boats
were damaged in a storm on October 10 during a fishing expedition
off the Kamchatka Peninsula.
2008 Jan 9, A natural gas blast
ripped through an apartment building in Russia's Tatarstan region,
killing at least seven people.
2008 Jan 10, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin named a prominent nationalist politician as
ambassador to NATO at a time of severely strained ties between the
2008 Jan 14, Russia’s Foreign
Ministry said no more visas will be issued for new British Council
expatriate employees in Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg,
accreditation renewals for existing employees will be blocked and a
tax inquiry will be launched against the Saint Petersburg office
after a British cultural organization reopened offices in defiance
of an order to close. Russia last month ordered the closure of the
two regional offices of the British Council, a nonprofit
organization that acts as the cultural arm of the British Embassy,
saying they were operating illegally.
(AFP, 1/14/08)(AP, 1/14/08)
2008 Jan 15, Britain and Russia
traded threats and recrimination as a diplomatic feud over the role
of the British government's cultural arm worsened.
2008 Jan 16, Russia warned
Kosovo's leaders that if they declare independence the territory
will never become a member of the UN or other international
2008 Jan 16, A British cultural
organization accused Russian authorities of harassing its staff and
said it had temporarily closed its offices in St. Petersburg.
2008 Jan 17, Britain accused
Russia of "conduct not worthy of a great country" after what it
called a campaign of intimidation by security services forced its
cultural centers in two Russian cities to halt operations.
2008 Jan 18, Russian President
Vladimir Putin clinched a key pipeline deal with Bulgaria that
strengthens Moscow's grip on European gas markets before issuing a
stern warning about the future status of Kosovo.
2008 Jan 21, Latvia's Foreign
Ministry declared a Russian diplomat persona non grata, citing a
report that he was a threat to national security. On Jan 25 Russia
said it will expel a Latvian diplomat in apparent retaliation. Some
400,000 non-citizens lived in Latvia. Ethnic Russians accounted for
a third of the country's population of 2.3 million.
2008 Jan 22, Serbia agreed to a
multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline project as part of an energy deal
with Russia. This would boost Moscow’s control over gas supplies to
(WSJ, 1/23/08, p.A4)
2008 Jan 23, Russia said a new
draft UN resolution on Iran's disputed nuclear program does not call
for any harsh sanctions, and the Iranian president said new measures
would not deter the country in its pursuit of nuclear technology.
2008 Jan 23, Police in Moscow
arrested Semyon Mogilevich, a suspected crime boss with alleged
links to Russia's multibillion dollar gas business. Mogilevich, a
Ukrainian-born Russian citizen, has long been sought by the FBI and
2008 Jan 24, Russian election
officials said Mikhail Kasyanov, the only liberal Kremlin critic in
the presidential race, stands to be kept off the ballot because tens
of thousands of signatures on his nominating petitions were
forgeries. In Moscow Semyon Mogilevich, a businessman wanted by
Interpol, was arrested on tax evasion charges.
(AP, 1/24/08)(Econ, 3/15/08, p.73)
2008 Jan 24, Iran received a
sixth shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia, destined for a power
plant being constructed in the southern port of Bushehr.
2008 Jan 24, In Switzerland the
country's supreme court said prosecutors acted within the law when
they froze funds belonging to the Russian central bank at the behest
of a Swiss firm. The funds were frozen over a legal dispute with
Geneva-based trading firm Noga dating back to the end of the Soviet
2008 Jan 25, Russia's lower
house of parliament annulled an agreement with Ukraine on using
Soviet-built military radars, citing Kiev's bid to join NATO.
2008 Jan 26, Russian riot
police fired warning shots into the air and beat demonstrators who
tried to rally against alleged vote-rigging in the Muslim region of
2008 Jan 27, Mikhail Kasyanov,
former prime minister and the most vocal Kremlin critic in Russia's
presidential contest, was barred from the ballot by election
authorities who said tens of thousands of signatures on his
nominating petitions were faked. Kasyanov denounced the Central
Election Commission's ruling as politically motivated and described
the election as "farce." "I have no doubt that Putin personally made
the decision not to register my candidacy," he said in a statement.
2008 Jan 28, Iran received the
final shipment of uranium fuel from Russia for its first nuclear
plant, state media reported, a key step toward the launch of the
reactor's operations expected later this year.
2008 Jan 30, President Vladimir
Putin and his likely successor called for sweeping environmental
improvements, saying cleaning up Soviet-era pollution and reducing
industrial waste are crucial for Russia's economy and public health.
2008 Jan 30, Imprisoned Russian
oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky launched a hunger strike to protest
authorities' refusal to give his jailed ex-lawyer AIDS medication.
2008 Feb 6, A Russian court
suspended the trial of Vasily Aleksanian, an ailing former executive
of the dismantled oil giant Yukos, but refused to release him from
jail to be treated for AIDS-related cancer and tuberculosis.
2008 Feb 7, The OSCE’s election
monitoring organization said that it will not observe Russia's
presidential election next month because of the "severe
restrictions" imposed by the Kremlin.
2008 Feb 8, Iraqi President
Jalal Talabani welcomed an expected Russian decision to write off 91
percent of Iraq's estimated $13 billion debt, calling it a "historic
turning point" in relations between the two countries. 5 American
soldiers were killed in two roadside bombings, 4 in Baghdad and one
in Tamim province.
(AP, 2/8/08)(AP, 2/9/08)
2008 Feb 12, Russia agreed to
eliminate a murky middleman company from its gas trade with Ukraine
in exchange for 50% share of Ukraine’s domestic gas market.
(WSJ, 2/13/08, p.A5)
2008 Feb 12, China and Russia
challenged the United States at a disarmament debate by formally
presenting a plan to ban weapons in space, a proposal that
Washington has called a diplomatic ploy by the two nations to gain a
2008 Feb 15, Sova, a Russian
human rights group, said hate crimes in Russia have killed 17 people
and injured more than 50 others since the beginning of the year.
2008 Feb 17, Kosovo declared
itself a nation, mounting a historic bid to become an "independent
and democratic state" backed by the US and key European allies but
bitterly contested by Serbia and Russia. Kosovo’s parliament
approved a new flag, a blue background with a yellow map of the
Connecticut-sized province. Russia denounced Kosovo's independence
declaration and called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security
Council, underlining its opposition.
(AP, 2/17/08)(SFC, 2/18/08, p.A13)
2008 Feb 20, Yevgeny Adamov,
the former atomic energy minister whom Washington accused of
stealing millions in U.S. government funds earmarked for bolstering
security at Russian nuclear plants, was sentenced Wednesday to 5 ½
years in prison.
2008 Feb, Renault SA invested
$1 billion for a 25% stake in Russian car maker OAO Avtovaz.
(WSJ, 3/21/08, p.A1)(Econ, 6/7/08, p.74)
2008 Mar 2, Russians voted for
a new president in an election likely to hand victory to First
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, President Vladimir Putin's
chosen successor, but criticized by the opposition for a lack of
real competition. With 99.45 percent of the votes counted, Medvedev
had 70.23 percent.
(Reuters, 3/2/08)(AP, 3/3/08)
2008 Mar 3, Russia quelled
protests in Moscow following the elections and reduced natural gas
supplies to Ukraine over $600 million in alleged nonpayments for
(WSJ, 3/4/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 4, China and Russia
scuttled a Western attempt to introduce a resolution on Iran's
nuclear defiance at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy
2008 Mar 5, Russia's state gas
monopoly announced that it was ending a reduction in natural gas
supplies to Ukraine after the two countries' presidents and gas
company chiefs reached an agreement aimed at ending a debt and
2008 Mar 6, Viktor Bout, a
suspected Russian arms dealer, was arrested at a five-star hotel in
downtown Bangkok on allegations that he supplied Colombian rebels
with arms and explosives. He had been accused of flouting UN
embargoes and was wanted by Interpol.
2008 Mar 8, India awarded
Russia a 965-million-dollar contract to upgrade its multi-role
MiG-29 warplanes. The two post-Cold War allies signed the deal to
extend the life of India's fleet of 70 MiG-29 jets another 15 years
from their current 25 years.
2008 Mar 11, Serbia and Russia
demanded that the UN administration in Kosovo halt the transfer of
authority to the European Union, calling a handover illegal and
declaring they will never recognize the independence of the Serb
2008 Mar 12, Russia agreed to
extradite Yair Gal Klein, an Israeli mercenary, to Colombia. He was
arrested last year and is accused of training FARC guerrillas.
(Econ, 3/15/08, p.73)
2008 Mar 14, Russian forces
raided a forest camp in the volatile North Caucasus province of
Dagestan, leading to a shootout in which six suspected militants, a
police officer and an Interior Ministry servicemen died.
2008 Mar 19, In the Russian
region of Chechnya 9 people were been killed in an hour-long clash
between police and unidentified gunmen.
2008 Mar 20, A Russian air
force Su-25 fighter jet blew up in flight near the Far East city of
Vladivostok and the pilot was killed.
2008 Mar 21, In Moscow
firefighters found the body of Channel One correspondent Ilyas
Shurpayev (32) in his apartment with stab wounds and a belt around
his neck. He was a native of the mostly Muslim Dagestan province and
had worked in Russia's violence-ridden North Caucasus, which
includes Dagestan and war-scarred Chechnya. Dagestan. On March 31
officials said that two men from Tajikistan have admitted robbing
and killing Shurpayev.
(AP, 3/21/08)(AP, 3/31/08)
2008 Mar 24, A car bomb
exploded outside a bank in southern Russia's violence-plagued
Ingushetia region, wounding at least five people.
2008 Mar 25, Air travel between
Georgia and Russia resumed, more than 17 months after Moscow
suspended flights because of tension between the ex-Soviet
2008 March 29, Azerbaijan
customs halted a shipment of Russian equipment for Iran’s first
nuclear power plant. The equipment was released May 1.
(WSJ, 5/2/08, p.A8)
2008 Apr 2, Russia's foreign
minister said that Moscow will not allow newly independent Kosovo to
become a member of the UN.
2008 Apr 2, Pyotr Kuznetsov,
leader of a Russian doomsday cult, apparently tried to kill himself
after most of his followers abandoned a bunker where they had been
awaiting the end of the world for five months. The last 9 of 35 cult
members emerged on May 16.
(Reuters, 4/4/08)(SFC, 5/17/08, p.A3)
2008 Apr 4, Russian President
Vladimir Putin strongly criticized NATO's eastward expansion plans
but ruled out chances of a new Cold War, insisting that Moscow wants
to be friends with the Western military alliance.
2008 Apr 4, In Russia an
explosion, apparently caused by an accident with gas-powered welding
equipment in an apartment, ripped through a Moscow apartment tower,
blowing out exterior walls, sparking a fire and killing at least
2008 Apr 6, In Russia President
George W. Bush and Russia's Vladimir Putin ended their last
face-to-face meeting as heads of state with warm words for each
other but no solution to their row over missile defense.
2008 Apr 8, A Russian capsule
carrying South Korea's first astronaut and two cosmonauts blasted
off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, en route to the
international space station.
2008 Apr 13, Khasan Yandiyev
(51), a top judge in Russia's southern troubled province of
Ingushetia, was shot dead. He had led trials of Islamic rebels.
2008 Apr 13, The winners of
this year’s Goldman Awards were reported to be: Feliciano dos Santos
(43) of Mozambique, the director of Estamos, an environmental group
promoting sanitation, sustainable development and reforestation;
Marina Rikhvanova (46), founder of Baikal Environmental Wave, which
forced the rerouting of an oil pipeline in the Baikal basin; Pablo
Fajardo (35) and Luis Yanza (48) of Ecuador, co-founders of the
Amazon Defense Front, which accused Texaco (now Chevron) of dumping
oil and wastewater into local streams; Rosa Hilda Ramos (63) of
Puerto Rico, head of a movement to protect the Las Cicharillas
Marsh; Ignace Schops (43) of Belgium, head of a movement to
establish Belgium’s 1st and only national park; Jesus Leon (42) of
Mexico, co-founder of the Center for Integral Small Farmer
Development of the Mixtec (CEDICAM).
(SSFC, 4/13/08, p.A4)
2008 Apr 15, President Vladimir
Putin accepted the leadership of the dominant United Russia party,
securing his grip on power after he leaves the Kremlin and becomes
PM next month.
2008 Apr 15, Brazil and Russia
signed an agreement to jointly develop top-line jet fighters and
satellite launch vehicles.
2008 Apr 16, Libyan leader
Moamer Kadhafi hailed Russian President Vladimir Putin's official
visit as "historic and strategic" during a state dinner at the Bab
2008 Apr 17, Russian President
Vladimir Putin wrapped up his two-day visit with Libyan leader
Moammar Gadhafi by writing off $4.5 billion in Libyan debts in
exchange for multibillion-dollar deals for Russian companies.
2008 Apr 17, In
Italy Silvio Berlusconi returned to the
world diplomatic stage by hosting Russian President Vladimir Putin
at his villa in Sardinia. The event lost some of its luster when
Putin was forced, before the glare of television cameras, to deny
reports he had secretly divorced his wife and planned to marry an
2008 Apr 19, In northern
Kazakhstan a Soyuz capsule, carrying South Korean bioengineer Yi
So-yeon, American astronaut Peggy Whitson and Russian flight
engineer Yuri Malenchenko, landed 260 miles off its mark.
2008 Apr 20, Russia closed down
a plutonium producing reactor in Seversk, marking a milestone in US
nuclear nonproliferation efforts.
2008 Apr 20, A Georgian
unmanned reconnaissance flight was shot down over the Georgian rebel
region of Abkhazia. The next day Georgia's air force commander said
a Russian fighter jet shot down the spy plane as it flew over
Abkhazia, but Russia said it had been shot down by separatist forces
and that the flight violated UN ceasefire agreements. A UN report on
May 26 said a Russian jet shot down the spy drone.
(Reuters, 4/22/08)(AP, 4/22/08)(SFC, 5/27/08,
2008 Apr 28, Iran and Russia
discussed the outlines of "serious proposals" aimed at assuring the
international community that Tehran's nuclear program is peaceful,
state media reported.
2008 Apr 28, Russia ordered two
American military attaches at the US Embassy in Moscow to leave the
country following the expulsion of a pair of Russian diplomats from
Washington. One Russian military officer was ordered to leave
Washington in November last year. The second was ordered to leave on
2008 Apr 29, Russia announced
it was beefing up its peacekeeping force in Georgia's breakaway
Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, saying it had evidence Tbilisi
was readying its forces for an attack.
2008 Apr 29, European nations
failed to convince Lithuania to allow the EU to launch talks on a
new partnership pact with Russia.
2008 May 1, Russia said an
extra contingent of its troops had begun arriving in Georgia's
breakaway region of Abkhazia, a move Tbilisi said was an illegal act
of military aggression.
2008 May 6, Russia and the US
signed a long awaited civilian nuclear cooperation pact that will
allow firms from the world's two biggest atomic powers to expand
bilateral nuclear trade.
2008 May 7, Dmitry Medvedev was
inaugurated as Russia's president, pledging to bolster the country's
economic development and civil rights, in what may signal a
departure from his predecessor's heavy-handed tactics.
2008 May 8, Vladimir Putin was
named prime minister of Russia after a fervent speech full of
ambitious plans that overshadowed his low-key successor and
suggested that he will keep a strong hand in ruling the country.
2008 May 15, An unmanned
Russian cargo ship blasted off with supplies, equipment and gifts
for the international space station.
2008 May 20, In Russia Pres.
Medvedev convened top officials and lawyers to set up a task force
aimed at cleaning up the weak and often corrupt court system.
(WSJ, 5/21/08, p.A13)
2008 May 21, In Moscow, Russia,
Manchester United prevailed over Chelsea in the soccer final of the
(Econ, 5/24/08, p.77)
2008 May 23, China and Russia
jointly condemned a US plan for a global missile defense system at
the start of a highly symbolic visit by new Russian President Dmitry
2008 May 24, Russia won the
Eurovision song contest in Belgrade with "Believe", sung by Dima
Bilan, giving an eastern European nation victory for the third time
in five years.
2008 May 25, EU foreign
ministers approved much delayed plans to begin talks with Russia
aimed at forging a new "strategic partnership."
2008 May 26, A Russian an An-12
cargo plane crashed near Chelyabinsk, Siberia, killing all 9 people
(SFC, 5/27/08, p.A3)
2008 Jun 1, Gay rights
activists held small, scattered protests in Moscow, flouting
repeated refusals from city authorities for permission to hold
parades or demonstrations.
2008 Jun 3, In Sweden world
chess star turned political activist Garry Kasparov told world news
industry leaders that PM Vladimir Putin had assaulted press freedoms
in Russia, and urged them to challenge Kremlin leaders over the
2008 Jun 5, The European
Parliament called for the peacekeeping mandate for Russian troops in
the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia to be revised. The chamber
also demanded the EU sends its own border mission into the conflict
zone in Abkhazia.
2008 Jun 6, Russia's new Pres.
Medvedev met with leaders of a fractious alliance of ex-Soviet
republics, warning Ukraine and Georgia not to lead their countries
2008 Jun 8, An unidentified
gunman shot and killed a police officer in the city of Nazran in the
province of Ingushetia.
2008 Jun 9, Russia and Norway
met for 2-days talks in the hope of making progress in a decades-old
dispute over their maritime border in the Barents Sea, a part of the
Arctic that could hold large oil and gas reserves. After visiting
the Norwegian town of Kirkenes, the ministers will go to Murmansk in
2008 Jun 9, A soldier and a
police officer were killed when unidentified gunmen fired at a train
carrying troops from Chechnya that had pulled in to the town of
Khasavyurt in the republic of Dagestan.
2008 Jun 12, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Kosovo's leaders he intends to
reshape the UN mission there to allow the EU to take on key tasks,
according to a letter in the letter to Kosovo President Fatmir
Sejdiu. Russia demanded disciplinary action against the head of the
UN mission in Kosovo for preparing to hand over powers to a EU
mission that Moscow says is illegal.
2008 Jun 13, Russian officials
said four people were killed in Nazran, the biggest city in the
Ingushetia region, in an explosion that destroyed a building.
2008 Jun 22, A Russian film
about a teenager surprised by the sudden appearance of the father
she thought to be dead won the top prize at the 11th Shanghai
International Film Festival. Vladimir Kott's directorial debut
"Mukha" was named best feature film in the Jin Jue Awards announced
at the conclusion of the nine-day festival.
2008 Jun 27, EU and Russian
leaders, meeting in Siberia, agreed to launch formal negotiations on
a new strategic agreement governing relations. A first round of
negotiations will be held in Brussels on July 4.
2008 Jun 28, Police in Russia’s
Dagestan province killed three suspected militants, including a
2008 Jun, Andrey Melnichenko
(36), founder of MDM Bank, took delivery of his new yacht designed
by Philippe Starck. The Russian billionaire’s fortune was estimated
at over $4 billion.
(WSJ, 7/17/08, p.A1)
2008 Jul 8, In Russia’s
Caucasus region the Interior Ministry of Kabardino-Balkaria province
said unidentified gunmen had riddled the police car with bullets in
the village of Baksan. 3 police officers were killed.
2008 Jul 10, The Interfax news
agency, citing a source in Russia's secret services, reported that
the head of the embassy's trade and investment section, Christopher
Bowers, was believed to be a senior British intelligence officer.
2008 Jul 11, The Czech
Republic’s Industry and Trade Ministry announced that Russia has
reduced its oil shipments to the country without providing an
explanation. The cutback was announced three days after the nation
signed a military agreement with Washington that the Kremlin
2008 Jul 11, Zimbabwe’s
opposition Movement for Democratic Change said a total of 113 MDC
supporters have now been killed in politically-related violence.
Zimbabwe's ruling party and opposition held a second day of talks in
South Africa. A UN Security Council bid to pass sanctions against
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe was vetoed by Russia and China.
(AP, 7/11/08)(AFP, 7/11/08)(AFP, 7/12/08)
2008 Jul 14, Russia agreed to
write off $242 million in Tajikistan debt and take control of the
Okno mountaintop station, operational since 2004. It was designed to
track satellites and even fragments of space debris.
2008 Jul 17, A survey team
member said a Russian government audit has revealed that up to
50,000 pieces are missing from the country’s museums, everything
from Pre-Revolutionary medals and weapons to precious works of art.
2008 Jul 21, China and Russia
signed an agreement that demarcated their 2,700 mile border ending a
long running border dispute.
(WSJ, 7/22/08, p.A1)
2008 Jul 29, Russian news said
2 small, manned submarines reached the bottom of Lake Baikal, the
world's deepest freshwater lake. The "Mir-1" and "Mir-2"
submersibles descended 1.05 miles (1,680 meters) to the bottom of
the vast Siberian lake.
2008 Jul 29, Russian proxies in
South Ossetia started shelling pro-Georgian villages there.
(Econ, 1/23/10, p.78)
2008 Jul 30, Alexander
Tsygankov, a Russian oil executive detained in Libya since last
November, was freed, hours before Russian PM Vladimir Putin was due
to host the country's prime minister.
2008 Jul 31, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev said that he had signed an anticorruption plan and that he
was serious about clamping down on graft.
(WSJ, 7/31/08, p.A6)
2008 Aug 1, Leonid Nevzlin, a
top manager of the now defunct YUKOS business empire, was sentenced
by a Russian court to life in prison for ordering a series of high
profile murders, a verdict he dismissed as the result of a show
trial organized by the Kremlin.
2008 Aug 3, The breakaway
republic of South Ossetia began sending hundreds of children across
the border to its Russian ally amid increasing violence between the
republic and Georgian government forces.
2008 Aug 3, Alexander
Solzhenitsyn (b.1918), Russian Nobel literature laureate (1970),
died of heart failure in his Moscow home. His books, which included
“One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" (1962) and "Gulag
Archipelago" (1973), chronicled the horrors of dictator Josef
Stalin's slave labor camps. In 1974, he was stripped of his
citizenship and put on a plane to West Germany for refusing to keep
silent about his country's past.
(Reuters, 8/4/08)(WSJ, 8/9/08, p.W12)
2008 Aug 3, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez says 24 Sukhoi fighter jets have been
delivered to Venezuela, and are ready to defend his country from
2008 Aug 7, A device exploded
on a beach in Sochi, a Black Sea Russian resort that will host the
2014 Winter Olympics, killing two people and wounding three.
2008 Aug 7, Heavy shelling
overnight in the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia
wounded at least 21 people. Cyber attacks from Russia began to
target Georgian government Web sites. An organization known as the
Russian Business Network was the leading suspect in the attacks.
Georgia’s Pres. Saakashvili ordered the shelling of Tskhinvali, the
capital of South Ossetia.
(AP, 8/7/08)(WSJ, 8/12/08, p.A9)(Econ, 8/30/08,
2008 Aug 8, Georgian troops
launched a major military offensive to regain control of South
Ossetia, prompting a furious response from Russia, which sent tanks
into the region. The convoy was expected to reach the provincial
capital by evening. Georgia said it shot down two Russian combat
planes. Separatist officials in South Ossetia said 15 civilians had
been killed in fighting overnight. Georgia later acknowledged that
it used M85 cluster munition near the Roki tunnel that connects
South Ossetia with Russia, while Russia denied use of cluster bombs.
(AP, 8/8/08)(AP, 9/1/08)
2008 Aug 9, Russia sent
hundreds of tanks and troops into the separatist province of South
Ossetia and bombed Georgian towns in a major escalation of the
conflict that has left scores of civilians dead and wounded. Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Moscow that some
1,500 people have been killed, with the death toll rising. The death
toll in South Ossetia was later put at fewer than 200. Russian
military aircraft bombed the Georgian town of Gori. Georgia's
President Mikhail Saakashvili proposed a cease-fire. As part of his
proposal, Georgian troops were pulled out of Tskhinvali and had been
ordered to stop responding to Russian shelling.
(AP, 8/9/08)(Econ, 8/30/08, p.49)
2008 Aug 10, Georgian troops
retreated from the breakaway province of South Ossetia and their
government pressed for a truce, overwhelmed by Russian firepower as
the conflict threatened to set off a wider war. Georgia said it has
shot down 10 Russian planes, including four brought down Aug 9. It
also claimed to have captured two Russian pilots, who were shown on
Georgian television. Ukraine warned Russia it could bar Russian navy
ships from returning to their base in the Crimea because of their
deployment to Georgia's coast.
2008 Aug 11, Swarms of Russian
jets launched new raids on Georgian territory and Georgia faced the
threat of a second front of fighting as Russia demanded that Georgia
disarm troops near the breakaway province of Abkhazia.
2008 Aug 12, Georgia's Pres.
Mikhail Saakashvili said his government will declare that its
breakaway regions are occupied territories and will designate
Russian peacekeepers as occupying forces. Russia ordered a halt to
military action in Georgia, after five days of air and land attacks
sent Georgia's army into headlong retreat and left towns and
military bases destroyed. A Dutch television journalist was killed
overnight when Russian warplanes bombed the central Georgian city of
Gori. Russia later counted 133 civilian deaths in South Ossetia.
Rights activists later said fewer than 100 civilians were killed in
South Ossetia. The war cost some 850 lives and left over 35,000
displaced civilians, mot of the Georgian.
(AP, 8/12/08)(Econ, 8/23/08, p.43)(WSJ, 9/12/08,
p.A1)(Econ, 10/3/09, p.65)
2008 Aug 13, Russian tanks
rolled into the crossroads city of Gori then thrust deep into
Georgian territory, violating the truce designed to end the six-day
war. Georgia said that 175 Georgians had died in five days of air
and ground attacks that left homes in smoldering ruins. EU foreign
ministers agreed in principle to send monitors to supervise a
French-brokered ceasefire between Russia and Georgia in the
breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia. Finance Minister Alexei
Kudrin said Russia will spend at least $400 million in 2008 on
restoring South Ossetia's battered capital Tskhinvali.
(AP, 8/13/08)(Reuters, 8/13/08)
2008 Aug 14, Georgian and
Russian troops faced off at a checkpoint outside the key city of
Gori, calling an already shaky cease-fire into question. An American
official said Russia appears to be sabotaging airfields and other
military infrastructure as its forces pull back. The Russian General
Prosecutor's office said it has formally opened a genocide probe
into Georgian treatment of South Ossetians. For its part, Georgia
this week filed a suit against Russia in the International Court of
Justice, alleging murder, rape and mass expulsions in both
2008 Aug 15, Russian troops
allowed some humanitarian supplies into Georgia’s city of Gori but
kept up their blockade of the strategically located city, raising
doubts about Russia's intentions. Relief planes swooped into Tbilisi
with tons of supplies for the estimated 100,000 people uprooted by
the fighting. An international rights group said it has evidence
that Russian warplanes dropped cluster bombs in civilian areas in
2008 Aug 16, Russian forces
pulled back from the center of a town not far from Georgia's capital
after Russia's president signed a cease-fire deal. Russia’s Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov later suggested there would be no immediate
broader withdrawal. Georgia's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that
Russian-backed separatists from the province of Abkhazia had taken
over 13 villages in Georgia and a power plant. Russian troops blew
up a key railroad bridge linking the Caucasus to the Black Sea
(AP, 8/16/08)(SSFC, 8/17/08, p.A4)
2008 Aug 17, The Kremlin
promised to start withdrawing combat troops from Georgia on August
18, as Western pressure mounted on Russia to quit the ex-Soviet
2008 Aug 18, Russia said its
military began to withdraw from the conflict zone in Georgia, but
left unclear exactly where troops and tanks will operate under the
cease-fire that ended days of fighting in the former Soviet
2008 Aug 19, Russian soldiers
took 20 Georgian troops prisoner at a key port in western Georgia
and commandeered American Humvees awaiting shipment back to the
United States after taking part in earlier US-Georgian military
exercises. Georgia and Russia exchanged prisoners captured during
their brief war.
2008 Aug 20, A top Russian
general said 64 of the country's soldiers were killed and 323
wounded in this month's fighting with Georgia. Russia informed
Norway that it plans to suspend all military ties with NATO, a day
after the military alliance urged Moscow to withdraw its forces from
Georgia. Georgia later reported that 170 of its soldiers were killed
in the war.
(AP, 8/20/08)(AP, 8/21/08)(SSFC, 8/24/08, p.A10)
2008 Aug 21, Russian forces
blocked the only land entrance to Georgia's main port city, a day
before Russia promised to complete a troop pullout from its
2008 Aug 22, A Russian armored
column moved away from a base in western Georgia and Russian forces
also were leaving the key central city of Gori, the day that
Russia's president had said a pullback would be complete.
2008 Aug 23, A top Russian
general said his country's forces will keep patrolling the key
Georgian Black Sea port of Poti even though it lies outside the
areas where Russia claims it has the right to station soldiers in
2008 Aug 24, The USS McFaul, a
US Navy warship carrying humanitarian aid, anchored at the Georgian
port of Batumi, sending a strong signal of support to an embattled
ally as Russian forces built up around two separatist regions. In
central Georgia, an oil train exploded and caught fire, sending
plumes of black smoke into the air. A Georgian official said the
train hit a land mine and blamed the explosion on departing Russian
2008 Aug 24, The Beijing
Olympics, played out against a background of political intrigue and
featuring 16 days of compelling and controversial action, drew to a
spectacular close. China's haul of 51 gold medals was the largest
since the Soviet Union won 55 in Seoul in 1988. The US won 36 gold
medals and Russia came in 3rd with 23. Jamaica ended up with 11
medals including 6 gold. Cuba took home 24 medals, but only 2 gold.
(AP, 8/24/08)(Econ, 8/30/08, p.38)
2008 Aug 25, Russia's
parliament voted unanimously to urge the president to recognize the
independence of Georgia's two breakaway regions, a move likely to
stoke further tensions between Moscow and the small Caucasus
nation's Western allies. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned
ex-Soviet Moldova against repeating Georgia's mistake of trying to
use force to seize back control of Transdniestria, a pro-Moscow
(AP, 8/25/08)(Reuters, 8/25/08)
2008 Aug 26, Russia formally
recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the breakaway Georgian
territories at the heart of its war with Georgia, heightening
tensions with the West as the US dispatched a military ship bearing
aid to a port city still patrolled by Russian troops. In a direct
challenge to Russia, the US announced it intends to deliver
humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Georgian port city of Poti,
which Russian troops still control through checkpoints on the city's
2008 Aug 27, A US military ship
docked at the southern Georgian port of Batumi. Meanwhile, Russia's
missile cruiser, the Aurora, and two missile boats, anchored at the
port of Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia. The moves by both sides
underscored an escalating standoff between Moscow and the West over
this small Caucasus nation devastated by war with Russia.
2008 Aug 27, The Group of Seven
(G7) industrialized democracies condemned Russia for its actions in
Georgia, underlining the country's growing estrangement from the
2008 Aug 28, A Russian military
spokesman said Russia successfully tested a long-range Topol
missile, designed to avoid detection by anti-missile defense
systems, from its Plesetsk launch site. The RS-12M Topol, called the
SS-25 Sickle by NATO, has a maximum range of 10,000 km (6,125 miles)
and can carry one 550-kiloton warhead.
2008 Aug 28, Russian forces
turned over 12 Georgian soldiers on the border of Abkhazia.
Georgia's foreign minister said ethnic Georgians were being cleared
from their homes in South Ossetia. A joint declaration from the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization denounced the use of force and
called for respect for every country's territorial integrity.
Mikhail Mindzayev, the interior minister of South Ossetia, said an
unmanned Georgian spy plane was shot down over South Ossetia by
2008 Aug 28, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin said 19 US poultry producers will be barred from
exporting their products to Russia. He said the unnamed American
producers had ignored warnings from Russian inspectors who examined
poultry companies last year and that another 29 producers would
2008 Aug 29, A Georgian Foreign
Ministry official says Georgia is to recall all diplomatic staff
from its embassy in Moscow because of the Russian military presence
2008 Aug 30, The UN says
Russian soldiers are telling thousands of refugees in Georgia who
want to return to their homes that their security can't be
guaranteed. All hoped to return to villages that are in the
"security zones" that Russia has claimed for itself. Russian PM
Vladimir Putin urged the EU to ignore calls to punish Moscow over
the Georgia conflict as Tbilisi appealed for targeted punishment of
the Russian leadership.
(AP, 8/30/08)(AFP, 8/30/08)
2008 Aug 31, President Dmitry
Medvedev says Russia will follow the recognition of Georgia's
breakaway provinces with agreements on economic and military aid.
2008 Aug 31, Police arrested
Magomed Yevloyev, the owner of the Ingushetiya.ru web site, taking
him off a plane that had just landed in Ingushetia province. Police
whisked Yevloyev away in a car and later dumped him on the road with
a gunshot wound in the head. Yevloyev died in a hospital shortly
2008 Sep 2, Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin said that Russia will respond calmly to an increase
in NATO ships in the Black Sea in the aftermath of the short war
with Georgia, but promised that "there will be an answer."
2008 Sep 2, In Russia's
troubled North Caucasus journalist Telman Alishaev was shot in
Dagestan. Islamic TV reporter Telman Alishaev died at a hospital in
Makhachkala the next day. Journalist Miloslav Bitokov was left with
a fractured skull after a beating in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkariya.
Police and co-workers said the two men were likely targeted for
2008 Sep 4, In Moscow officials
said BP PLC and its billionaire Russian partners in the joint
venture TNK-BP have agreed on a deal that forces out its embattled
CEO and signals an end to a bitter struggle for control of the
2008 Sep 4, Russian troops
killed 5 suspected Muslim rebels in Dagestan.
(WSJ, 9/5/08, p.A1)
2008 Sep 4, In Georgia US Vice
President Dick Cheney condemned Russia for what he called an
"illegitimate, unilateral attempt" to redraw this US ally's borders
2008 Sep 5, EU nations called
for an international probe to find out which country should shoulder
responsibility for starting the conflict between Georgia and Russia.
2008 Sep 8, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy pressed Moscow to honor its pledge to withdraw
troops from Georgia, while Russian soldiers prevented international
aid convoys from visiting Georgian villages in a tense zone around
the breakaway province of South Ossetia. Pres. Medvedev and Sarkozy
revised the EU-brokered deal to end the fighting between Russia and
Georgia. Medvedev said 200 EU monitors would deploy to regions
surrounding South Ossetia and Abkhazia by next month. After that,
Russian troops would pull out of those regions by Oct. 11 to a line
that preceded last month's fighting.
(AP, 9/8/08)(AP, 9/9/08)
2008 Sep 9, Russia said it will
station 7,600 troops in South Ossetia and in Abkhazia, announcing an
imposing long-term presence less than a day after agreeing to pull
forces back from areas surrounding the provinces.
(AP, 9/9/08)(WSJ, 9/10/08, p.A1)
2008 Sep 9, Serbian lawmakers
ratified a pre-membership agreement with the EU and an oil and gas
deal with Russia after months of heated debate over the direction of
the country's policies.
2008 Sep 10, An unmanned
Russian cargo ship blasted off successfully carrying supplies,
equipment and gifts for the international space station.
2008 Sep 10, Israeli defense
officials say the government has told all businessmen involved in
military sales to Georgia to immediately cease visits to the former
Soviet republic. The officials said the directive was decided upon
this week because Israel is concerned about damage to its relations
2008 Sep 12, Russia’s Itar-Tass
news reported that Syria’s Tartous port is being renovated to
provide a permanent facility for the Russian navy.
(SFC, 10/3/08, p.A14)
2008 Sep 13, Hundreds of
Russian forces packed up and withdrew from positions in western
Georgia. A Georgian official said Russia had met a deadline for a
partial pullout a month after the war between the two former Soviet
republics. A Georgian policeman at a post near Abkhazia was killed
by gunfire that came from the direction of a position where
Abkhazian and Russian forces have been based. Some 1,200 Russian
servicemen still remained at 19 checkpoints and other positions, 12
outside South Ossetia and seven outside Abkhazia.
2008 Sep 14, Aeroflot Flight
821, traveling from Moscow to the Ural Mountains city of Perm,
crashed near residential buildings as it was preparing to land,
killing all 88 people aboard, including 21 foreign nationals. A
Russian investigator said the crash of the Boeing-737-500 was most
likely caused by engine failure.
2008 Sep 16, Georgia’s
government said intercepted mobile phone calls show that Russian
tanks and troops invaded before Georgia unleashed its offensive
against South Ossetia, pressing its claim that Russia was the
aggressor in the war last month.
2008 Sep 17, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev signed friendship treaties with Georgia's breakaway
regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and promised them the backing
of Russia's armed forces.
2008 Sep 18, Russia ordered its
main stock exchanges closed for a second day as President Dmitry
Medvedev unveiled an expanded $120 billion rescue package and called
for pouring 500 billion rubles ($20 billion) into blue-chip shares
in an effort to stabilize them.
(AP, 9/18/08)(WSJ, 9/19/08, p.A8)
2008 Sep 18, Australia’s PM
Kevin Rudd said the west's relations with Russia are at a turning
point after its intervention in Georgia and a pact to sell
Australian uranium to Moscow is in the balance.
2008 Sep 19, Russian stock
exchanges halted trading after stocks shot higher, rebounding off a
two-day closure amid a financial crisis as the government rushed
through emergency measures that included more money for banks and
purchases of shares to stem plunging prices. Trading resumed later
in the day.
2008 Sep 22, Georgian forces
shot down a Russian drone near the breakaway province of South
2008 Sep 24, Ruslan Yamadayev
(46), a former Russian lawmaker and brother of a Chechen warlord,
was assassinated as he was stopped at a traffic light just outside
the British Embassy in Moscow.
2008 Sep 24, In Nicaragua
Russia's ambassador to Managua said that his country will replace
the Nicaraguan army's aging weaponry.
2008 Sep 25, The Czech
counterintelligence service said Russian spies operating in the
Czech Republic have tried to increase public opposition to a planned
US missile defense facility. Most Czechs oppose the base, according
to recent polls. The Czech Republic's government has approved the
missile defense treaty, but it still requires the approval of the
Czech parliament, where it faces strong opposition.
2008 Sep 25, Pirates seized the
530-foot, Ukrainian cargo vessel, MV Faina, with 21 people aboard
off eastern Somalia. Russia's navy soon sent a warship to Somalia's
coast a day after pirates seized the Ukrainian vessel loaded with 33
tanks, ammunition and 3 Russian crew members. The ITAR-Tass news
agency said the military equipment had been sold to Kenya. It was
later reported that the arms were destined for southern Sudan and
that Kenya’s cooperation would be rewarded in the future with cheap
oil. The shipped was released on Feb 5, 2009, following a ransom of
(AP, 9/26/08)(SFC, 9/27/08, p.A5)(Econ, 10/4/08,
2008 Sep 26, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to create an upgraded nuclear
deterrence system for Russia by 2020, including a space defense
system and new nuclear submarines.
2008 Sep 28, President Hugo
Chavez said that Russia will help Venezuela develop nuclear energy,
a move likely to raise US concerns over increasingly close
cooperation between Caracas and Moscow.
2008 Sep 29, US warships and
helicopters surrounded a hijacked cargo ship loaded with Sudan-bound
tanks and other arms to keep the weapons from falling "into the
wrong hands." The shipment of 33 Russian-designed tanks, rifles and
ammunition on the Ukrainian-operated Faina was headed for Sudan, not
Kenya as previously claimed by Kenyan officials. Somali pirates
demanded a $20 million ransom.
(AP, 9/29/08)(SFC, 9/29/08, p.A12)
2008 Sep 29, South Korea said
its state run Korea Gas Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding
with Russia’s Gazprom to import gas from Russia for 30 years
starting in 2015 as part of a $102 billion bilateral gas and
(WSJ, 9/30/08, p.A9)
2008 Sep 30, Alexander Lebedev,
a Russian billionaire said he is teaming up with former Soviet
President Mikhail Gorbachev to form a new political party that will
challenge the country's recent steps away from democracy.
2008 Oct 1, The Russian Supreme
Court declared the last czar and his murdered family to be victims
of political repression, a decision that helps Russia move toward
closing a chapter in its tortured history.
2008 Oct 3, Russian share
prices dropped sharply despite a nearly $200 billion Kremlin rescue
plan. Oleg Deripaska, billionaire tycoon, was reported to have given
up his 20% stake in Magna Int’l., a Canadian auto parts maker, to
(WSJ, 10/4/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 3, A car exploded
outside the Russian military's headquarters in South Ossetia,
killing 7 people and wounding 3. The South Ossetian government said
a car, that had been confiscated in an ethnic Georgian village after
weapons were found in it, exploded near a building where leaders of
the Russian peacekeeping force were located.
2008 Oct 5, A Georgian Interior
Ministry official said Russian troops have begun dismantling
positions in the so-called security zones inside Georgia that they
have occupied since August's brief but intense war.
2008 Oct 6, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert visited Moscow, aiming to focus on Russian arms sales to
Israel's enemies. By contrast, Russia hoped the meeting will bolster
its image as a Middle East peacemaker.
2008 Oct 7, Iceland
nationalized its second-largest bank under day-old legislation and
negotiated a euro4 billion ($5.4 billion) loan from Russia to shore
up the nation's finances amid a full-blown financial crisis.
2008 Oct 8, Russian forces
pulled back from positions outside South Ossetia, bulldozing a camp
at a key checkpoint and withdrawing into the separatist region as EU
monitors and relieved Georgian residents looked on.
2008 Oct 11, Russia launched a
ballistic missile from a submarine in a record flight of over 7,100
miles, hitting a target in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for the
first time. Russian TV showed what it said was the Sineva missile
launching from the submarine Tula.
2008 Oct 12, A Soyuz spacecraft
with two Americans and a Russian on board lifted off from Kazakhstan
for the international space station. The Soyuz TMA-13 capsule
carried American computer game millionaire Richard Garriott, US
astronaut Michael Fincke and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov.
2008 Oct 18, At least two
Russian soldiers were killed and 10 others were wounded when rebels
ambushed a military convoy in the Sunzha region of Ingushetia.
2008 Oct 21, Top US and Russian
military officers held an unannounced meeting in Helsinki in an
effort to maintain dialogue after Moscow's crushing defeat of
American ally Georgia.
2008 Oct 21, Iran, Russia and
Qatar discussed the formation of an OPEC-style cartel among some of
the largest natural gas producing nations, a prospect that has
unnerved energy-importing nations in Europe and the United States.
2008 Oct 22, Russia's foreign
minister said Moscow wants to negotiate an extension of its lease at
Ukraine's Black Sea port of Sevastopol. The move would keep Russia's
Black Sea Fleet in the port where it has been stationed for
2008 Oct 23, Russia, which sent
a warship to Somalia's coast to combat pirates, asked the African
nation for carte blanche to use force in its territorial waters.
2008 Oct 23, Rebel attacks
using land mines in Chechnya killed one Russian soldier and wounded
10 other servicemen and police.
2008 Oct 23, The Ukrainian
currency plunged against the dollar as people raced to exchange
booths to convert their savings into US currency. Ukraine's Foreign
Ministry said in a statement that the Russia’s desire to extend its
port lease at Sevastopol "cannot be a subject of discussion." It
said that Russian ships will have to leave Ukrainian waters in 2017.
2008 Oct 24, A Soyuz capsule
carrying an American and two Russians touched down on target in
Kazakhstan after a descent from the international space station,
safely delivering the first two men to follow their fathers into
2008 Oct 25, Muslim Magomayev
(66), an Azeri-born Soviet-era opera and pop singer, died in Moscow.
His fame was at its peak in the 1960s and 70s.
2008 Oct 28, A Moscow jury said
Alexei Frenkel (36), former chairman of VIP Bank, ordered the
September, 2006, murder of Andrei Kozlov (41), a Central Bank
official. 3 Ukrainians were found guilty of the killing. A 4th
Ukrainian and 2 people from Moscow were found guilty as accessories
to the murder.
(WSJ, 10/29/08, p.A14)
2008 Oct 28, The bodies of
Russian Otto Messmer and Victor Betancourt of Ecuador were found in
their Moscow apartment at the Jesuit Moscow headquarters. Several
days later, police announced a 38-year-old man had confessed to the
killings but gave few details. In 2009 a federal Investigative
Committee announced the man had been drinking with Betancourt, and
when Betancourt suggested they have sex, the man bludgeoned
Betancourt with a dumbbell. The man allegedly killed Messmer later
to cover up the first killing.
2008 Oct 29, Russia's
parliament quickly ratified treaties cementing close economic and
military ties with Georgia's two breakaway provinces.
2008 Oct 29, In Germany
Viswanathan Anand of India retained his world chess title by drawing
with the white pieces against Russian challenger Vladimir Kramnik.
2008 Oct 30, Murat Zyazikov
(51), the unpopular leader of Russia's violence-plagued republic of
Ingushetia, said he has resigned. Pres. Medvedev named an apparent
unknown, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, to take over as the republic's acting
2008 Oct 31, Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi, starting his first visit to post-Soviet Russia,
planned to discuss opening a Russian naval base in Libya to
counterbalance US interests in the region.
2008 Nov 4, In Moscow
ultranationalists and anti-immigrant activists tossed smoke grenades
and scuffled with riot police on a national holiday celebrating
Russian unity. Youths assaulted a Turkmen diplomat outside his
Moscow consulate and killed an Uzbek in separate attacks.
2008 Nov 4, Human Rights Watch
reported that both Georgia and Russia used cluster bombs during
their brief summer war. Georgia’s bombs, purchased from Israel,
killed at least 3 Georgian civilians, including 2 who touched
unexploded bombs and died after the fighting ended. Many of the
bombs were said to have malfunctioned.
(WSJ, 11/4/08, p.A12)
2008 Nov 5, Russia will deploy
missiles near NATO member Poland in response to US missile defense
plans, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday in his first state
of the nation speech.
2008 Nov 6, A suspected suicide
explosion hit a minibus unloading passengers in Vladikavkaz, the
capital of Russia's North Ossetia province, killing 12 people.
(AP, 11/6/08)(Reuters, 11/7/08)
2008 Nov 7, General Motors
Corp. dedicated its first Russian assembly plant, a $300 million,
70,000-car-a-year factory just outside of St. Petersburg.
2008 Nov 8, The fire safety
system on a brand-new Russian nuclear submarine accidentally turned
on as the sub was being tested in the Sea of Japan, spewing
chemicals that suffocated 20 people and sent 21 others to the
hospital. The dead included 17 civilians and 3 seamen. Construction
of the Nerpa, an Akula II class attack submarine, started in 1991
but was suspended for years because of a shortage of funding.
Testing on the submarine began last month and it submerged for the
first time last week.
2008 Nov 11, Russia’s central
bank widened its target band for the currency’s rate against the
dollar by about 1% in each direction. Weeks of rigid defense had
fueled a $112 billion decline in reserves. The central bank also
raised interest rate by 1% in an effort to keep money from flowing
out of the country.
(WSJ, 11/12/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 12, Pirates
commandeered the Karagol, a Turkish chemical tanker, off the coast
of Yemen. 14 Turkish personnel were aboard the tanker. The Russian
frigate Neustrashimy and the British frigate Cumberland foiled
pirates who fired automatic weapons toward a Danish ship and twice
tried to seize it in the Gulf of Aden. The Karagol was released on
Jan 12, 2009.
(AP, 11/12/08)(AP, 1/13/09)
2008 Nov 14, Russian lawmakers
gave preliminary approval for extending presidential terms from four
years to six, a move observers say could pave the way for Vladimir
Putin to return to the presidency.
2008 Nov 16, Russian liberals
launched a pro-Kremlin political party promising to defend middle
class values but rivals said it was just a tool for the authorities
to suck support away from genuine opposition groups.
2008 Nov 19, Vladimir
Kuznetsov, a former UN diplomat convicted in the US of money
laundering and fraud, arrived in Moscow and will serve the last 16
months of his sentence in a Russian prison. Kuznetsov once chaired
the UN's powerful budget oversight committee.
2008 Nov 19, Georgia and Russia
held their first major, mediated talks since their August war.
(WSJ, 11/20/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 20, Boris Fyodorov
(50), Russian economic reformer, died.
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.88)
2008 Nov 21, Vadim Pokrovsky,
Russia's anti-AIDS coordinator, said the number of registered HIV
cases is growing 10 percent a year despite increased government
funding. He said that the actual number of people with HIV was
likely higher than 1 million.
2008 Nov 23, In Georgia gunfire
that broke out as Pres. Saakashvili and Polish Pres. Lech Kaczynski
were traveling near a roadblock at the edge of Georgia-controlled
territory. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there was no
gunfire from Russian or South Ossetian positions and suggested
Georgia engineered the incident to discredit Russia and South
Ossetia. In Tbilisi Nino Burjanadze, a former ally of Pres.
Saakashvili, founded a new party: the Democratic Movement-United
(AP, 11/24/08)(WSJ, 11/24/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 25, Russian warships
arrived in Venezuela in a show of strength aimed at the United
States as Moscow seeks to expand its influence in Latin America.
2008 Nov 26, In Venezuela
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to help start a local
nuclear energy program and said Moscow is willing to participate in
a socialist trade bloc in Latin America led by President Hugo
2008 Nov 28, In Cuba Russia's
president Medvedev met with Fidel Castro, discussing Guantanamo Bay
and hopes for a multipolar world with Cuba's former leader during a
tour of Latin America aimed at raising Moscow's presence in the
2008 Dec 5, Russian Orthodox
Patriarch Alexy II (79) died. He had presided over a vast
post-Soviet revival of faith but struggled against the influence of
2008 Dec 5, India and Russia
signed a civilian nuclear deal that would see Russia build four
nuclear reactors for power-starved India.
2008 Dec 6, In Moscow, Russia,
ultranationalist attacked 2 migrant workers, one of whom escaped. On
Dec 10 the severed head of Salekh Azizov (20), the other Tajik
migrant worker, was found in a trash bin. A group calling itself the
Militant Organization of Russian Nationalists claimed
responsibility. For the year some 85 people were reported killed by
(SSFC, 12/14/08, p.A25)
2008 Dec 11, In northern Russia
an explosion and fire ripped through a mine, killing 12 workers.
2008 Dec 13, In Russia former
chess champion Garry Kasparov and other prominent liberals launched
a new anti-Kremlin movement.
2008 Dec 13, Russian troops
retook Perevi village near the breakaway region of South Ossetia
just hours after withdrawing. The move drew criticism from Georgia,
the EU and US Senator John Kerry, who was on a half-day visit to
2008 Dec 14, In Russia police
thwarted an anti-Kremlin protest organized by Garry Kasparov's
opposition group, seizing demonstrators and shoving them into
trucks. They detained at least 25 people including the group's
2008 Dec 15, A Moscow court
sentenced seven young Russian men to prison for murdering 19 people
in a string of hate attacks. 2 leaders of a skinhead group, also
convicted of 12 attempted murders, received 10-year prison
2008 Dec 16, In Israel a bus
filled with 49 passengers plunged into a desert ravine near the
resort town of Eilat. 24 Russian travel agents were killed. In 2014
the bus driver was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
(AP, 12/16/08)(SFC, 12/17/08, p.A8)(Reuters,
2008 Dec 17, The Russian ruble
suffered its largest drop in three months after the Central Bank
signaled it would accelerate the devaluation of the national
2008 Dec 19, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin said that new tariffs were designed to prop up demand
for Russian-made cars and secure jobs in the ailing Russian auto
industry. The tariff hike would send prices for used foreign-made
cars up 50 percent, while prices for new foreign-made cars could
jump up to 15 percent.
2008 Dec 19, In Nigeria's Niger
Delta gunmen in speedboats attacked three oil services ships and
kidnapped at least two Russians in separate incidents. The pair
escaped on foot from a militant camp on Feb 15 and were found by
naval personnel on patrol on Feb 19.
(AP, 12/20/08)(AP, 2/19/09)
2008 Dec 20, Some 500 motorists
rallied in Russia's far east to protest the government's decision to
raise car import tariffs. Thousands of others were expected to stage
similar demonstrations across Russia on Dec 21.
2008 Dec 20, In Russia Olga
Lepeshinskaya (b.1916), a Soviet-era prima ballerina who danced with
the Bolshoi Ballet for decades, died.
2008 Dec 21, In far east Russia
riot police in Vladivostok clubbed, kicked and detained dozens of
people as hundreds across the country protested an increase in car
(AP, 12/21/08)(WSJ, 12/22/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 21, Iran reported that
Russia has begun delivering S-300 air defense systems, which could
help repel any Israeli and US air strikes on its nuclear sites.
2008 Dec 22, The ruble dropped
further as the Central Bank again eased its support of the Russian
currency, under constant pressure from plunging oil prices and
2008 Dec 22, OSCE talks on the
Georgia collapsed, when Russia demanded the group join Moscow in
recognizing the statehood of the provinces of South Ossetia and
Abkhazia. The mission will expire on Dec 31.
2008 Dec 22, In Egypt 7 Russian
tourists died when their bus flipped over along the winding mountain
roads north of the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik.
2008 Dec 23, Russia's PM
Vladimir Putin said that the world financial crisis and rising costs
mean the price of natural gas is going to rise.
2008 Dec 24, Russian energy
giant Gazprom threatened to cut gas deliveries to Ukraine on January
1 if a new contract is not signed by then for 2009 but pledged to
honor its supply obligations to Europe.
2008 Dec 26, Russia's ruble
fell to a three-year low against the dollar after the Central Bank
allowed a third sharp drop in the currency in five days as the
government continues to feel the heat of the global meltdown.
2008 Dec 29, Top brass from the
Chinese and Russian armies hailed closer ties in their first-ever
conversation over a newly installed military hot line.
2008 Dec 30, The Kremlin said
President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a law extending presidential
terms from four years to six, a move seen as paving the way for
Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency.
2008 Dec 30, Russia's natural
gas company Gazprom said it will stop energy shipments to Ukraine
and sharply raise the price for future deliveries if it doesn't pay
a $2 billion debt by New Year's Eve. The Ukrainian government issued
a decree saying two state banks would lend state energy company
Naftogaz Ukrainy up to $2 billion to pay its arrears to Russia’s
Gazprom. Disagreements remained on future gas costs.
(AP, 12/30/08)(WSJ, 12/31/08, p.A5)
2008 Dec, Moscow agreed to
provide Lebanon with 10 MiG-29 fighter jets. A few days later
Washington promised to deliver tanks to Beirut.
2008 Dec, Russia’s Finance
Leasing Co. (FLC), a subsidiary of United Aircraft Corp., defaulted
on $250 million of bonds, the first default by a state-owned company
on foreign debt since the country’s 1998 financial meltdown.
(WSJ, 3/23/09, p.A1)
2008 Dec, Serbia sold its state
oil monopoly NIS to Russia’s Gazprom at a discount. Officials
expected the payoff would be a steady fuel supply. In January gas
supplies to Serbia stopped as Russia halted deliveries via Ukraine.
(SFC, 1/12/09, p.A6)
2008 Jonathan Brent authored
“Inside the Stalin Archives: Discovering the New Russia."
(WSJ, 12/2/08, p.A17)
2008 Marshall Goldman authored
“Petrostate: Putin, Power and the New Russia."
(WSJ, 6/19/08, p.A13)
2008 Steve LeVine authored
“Putin’s Labyrinth: Spies, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New
(Econ, 7/19/08, p.92)
2008 Edward Lucas authored “The
New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West."
(WSJ, 2/26/08, p.D6)
2008 Lewis H. Siegelbaum
authored “Cars for Comrades: The Life of the Soviet Automobile."
(Econ, 7/12/08, p.94)
2008 Russia proposed to China
that both countries dump their holdings of debt issued by lenders
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so as to exacerbate the US financial
crises and force a bail-out. China declined the offer.
(Econ, 4/19/14, p.22)
2008 The US signed weapons
agreements this year valued a $37.8 billion, or 68.4% of all
business in the global arms bazaar, up from $25.4 billion in 2007.
Italy was 2nd with $3.7 billion and Russia 3rd with $3.5 billion.
(SFC, 9/7/09, p.A3)
2008 BP bypassed its private
Russian partners and negotiated a deal with Gazprom, Russia’s state
controlled gas company.
(Econ, 2/5/11, p.73)
2009 Jan 1, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev signed a bell ending jury trials in cases involving
treason, terror, armed revolt and sabotage. Instead, defendants will
have to face three judges.
(WSJ, 1/2/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 1, Russia cut off the
gas to Ukraine after a contract dispute but increased supplies to
other European states to try to reassure customers worried about
2009 Jan 2, Ukraine sought
support in European capitals a day after Russia cut off gas supplies
and hardened its stance on prices. The cutoff came after Ukraine
made a $1.5 billion overdue payment, but Russia demanded another
$600 million, including $450 million penalties for the late payment
for gas shipped in November and December. The two sides also have
not agreed on prices for 2009. Russia accused Ukraine of stealing
gas destined for the rest of Europe.
(AP, 1/2/09)(Reuters, 1/2/09)
2009 Jan 3, Russian gas flows
to four European Union countries fell normal levels after Moscow cut
off supplies to Ukraine in a pricing row with no talks in sight to
resolve the dispute. Bulgaria's Bulgargaz joined energy firms in
Poland, Romania and Hungary in saying they had noted falls in
2009 Jan 4, Russia's military
leaders approved a plan by the navy to station warships permanently
in friendly ports across the globe.
2009 Jan 4, Russia asked the EU
to provide monitoring of Ukraine's gas transit system and charged
Ukraine was stealing gas bound for Europe, as Kiev leveled its own
charges. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that the state-controlled
company wanted $450 per 1,000 cubic meters, up from its last offer
of $418. The reductions in gas supplies spread to the Czech Republic
(AP, 1/4/09)(Reuters, 1/4/09)
2009 Jan 6, A natural gas
crisis loomed over Europe, as a contract dispute between Russia and
Ukraine shut off Russian gas supplies to six countries and reduced
gas deliveries to several others. Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia,
Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments.
2009 Jan 7, The EU said Russia
and Ukraine will accept using international monitors to verify the
transit of natural gas from Russia through Ukraine's pipelines.
Russia's gas giant Gazprom completely stopped sending gas to
European consumers at 7:44 a.m. (0544 GMT). 80% of Russian gas
shipped via Ukraine.
2009 Jan 8, Russia's
state-controlled gas monopoly said it would restore supplies to
Europe through Ukraine, cut off after a dispute between Moscow and
Kiev, as soon as international monitors are in place.
2009 Jan 9, A Russian
helicopter owned by the state gas giant Gazprom crashed while on a
hunting trip in the mountains of Western Siberia, killing eight
aboard. 3 people survived. The crash involved government officials
on an illegal hunt.
(AP, 1/11/09)(WSJ, 4/28/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 10, Russia and the EU
took a step toward securing the resumption of gas flows to Europe
when the two signed a deal on monitoring the supplies through
Ukraine. PM Vladimir Putin said Russia will restart gas supplies to
Europe once an EU-led monitoring mission begins to track gas transit
(AP, 1/10/09)(Reuters, 1/10/09)
2009 Jan 11, Russia, Ukraine,
and the EU struck an agreement to try to resume Russian supplies
through Ukraine to Europe. President Dmitry Medvedev said energy
giant Gazprom would only resume gas supplies once Russia had a copy
of the document signed by Ukraine and once the various teams of
international observers were in place. The text of the accord calls
for the EU, Russia and Ukraine to each provide 25 experts to "carry
out checks on the basis of equal parity both on Ukrainian and
(Reuters, 1/11/09)(AFP, 1/11/09)
2009 Jan 12, Russia's state-run
monopoly Gazprom announced it will resume shipping natural gas to
Europe, where tens of thousands of homes and buildings have been
left without heat in freezing weather.
2009 Jan 13, Russia and Ukraine
hotly blamed each other as Russia restarted natural gas supplies but
little or no gas flowed toward Europe. EU officials watched in
dismay and criticized both nations for their intransigence.
2009 Jan 13, A Russian warship
helped foil an attack on a Dutch container ship by suspected Somali
pirates in the dangerous Gulf of Aden.
2009 Jan 13, In Austria Umar
Israilov (27), a Chechen refugee, was shot dead on a Vienna street.
Officials said they had no proof the killing was political, but
human rights activists said his death was linked to his opposition
to Chechnya's pro-Moscow president. On Jan 28 Austrian authorities
arrested seven suspects, all Chechens, in the killing. On February
19 Polish police arrested Turpal Ali J. (31), a man suspected of
killing Israilov. In 2010 Austrian investigators concluded that
Chechnya Pres. Ramzan Kadyrov ordered the kidnapping of one of his
critics and former bodyguards and that Israilov was shot to death
when the abduction went awry. In 2011 an Austrian prosecutor
sought life sentences for three Russian men on charges they carried
out the murder of the Israilov.
(AP, 1/28/09)(AP, 2/22/09)(AP, 4/27/10)(AP,
2009 Jan 14, Russia and Ukraine
wrangled over gas supplies again. Bulgaria and Slovakia, cut off by
the row for a freezing week, launched missions to plead for Russian
gas flow to be restored.
2009 Jan 15, Ukraine rejected
Russia's latest request to pipe natural gas westward to increasingly
frustrated EU consumers, deepening the bitter economic and political
dispute that has paralyzed energy shipments to Europe.
2009 Jan 15, The US dollar
strengthened against the ruble to a record 32.40 rubles, well above
the high set in 2003. The depreciation was expected to continue.
(WSJ, 1/16/09, p.C8)
2009 Jan 17, Russia and Ukraine
held gas crisis talks in Moscow that the European Union said were
the "last and best chance" to resolve the row that has left Europe
struggling without key gas supplies.
2009 Jan 18, Russia and Ukraine
announced a deal to end the bitter dispute that has blocked Russian
natural gas from Europe following talks between Russian PM Vladimir
Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko. Under the
terms, Ukraine will pay 20 percent less than the European "market
price" price for gas this year, which Russia says is $450 per 1,000
cubic meters. That's more than twice as much as the $179.50 Ukraine
paid in 2008.
2009 Jan 18, Kyrgyzstan began
to come under a massive cyber attack attributed to Russian
“cyber-militia." Less than 20% of the country’s 5.3 million
population had online access. Proposed reasons for the attacks
included the US use of an air base for operations in Afghanistan or
a hit on the fledgling Kyrgyz opposition, which has used the
Internet to express its discontent.
(WSJ, 1/28/09, p.A10)
2009 Jan 19, Russia released a
text by President Dmitry Medvedev ordering the government to
introduce economic sanctions against countries supplying weapons to
2009 Jan 19, Russia and Ukraine
signed a deal that restores natural gas shipments to Ukraine and
paves the way for an end to the nearly two-week cutoff of most
Russian gas to a freezing Europe.
2009 Jan 19, In Russia a girl
disappeared after leaving her home in St. Petersburg for school.
Vity prosecutor's spokesman later Sergei Kapitonov she was killed
that night, and that body parts believed to be hers were found in
plastic bags scattered around the city. Yuri Mozhnov (19), a
florist, and Maxim Golovatskikh (19), a street-market butcher, were
arrested on Jan 31 on suspicion of killing her and eating parts of
2009 Jan 19, In Russia
Stanislav Markelov (34), a human-rights lawyer who unsuccessfully
fought the early release of a Russian colonel convicted of murdering
a Chechen woman, was shot dead on a Moscow street along with
reporter Anastasia Baburova (b.1983). Markelov had told reporters he
was considering file an international court appeal against the early
release of Col. Yuri Budanov, who was convicted in 2003 and
sentenced to 10 years, including time served, for strangling
18-year-old Heda Kungayeva in 2000. He admitted to killing her,
saying he believed she was a Chechen insurgent sniper. Budanov was
freed last week with more than a year left on his murder sentence.
On Nov 4 Nikita Tikhonov and a female comrade were detained for the
murder and Tikhonov confessed to the crime. On May 6, 2011, Tikhonov
was sentenced to life in prison, and his girlfriend received an
(AP, 1/19/09)(Econ, 2/7/09, p.79)(AP,
11/6/09)(Econ, 11/14/09, p.63)(AP, 5/6/11)
2009 Jan 19, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai's office said that Russia is ready to cooperate on
defense matters with Afghanistan. The announcement coincided with an
increasingly public tussle between Afghan and Western officials.
2009 Jan 20, Russian gas
reached Europe via Ukraine for the first time in two weeks after
Moscow and Kiev ended a contract row that cut supplies to about 20
2009 Jan 20, The head of US
Central Command said the US has struck deals with Russia and
neighboring countries allowing it to transport supplies to American
troops in Afghanistan through their territory. US officials have
said that one likely route is overland from Russia through
Kazakhstan and on through Uzbekistan using trucks and trains.
Another possible route is via Azerbaijan across the Caspian Sea to
the Kazakh port of Aktau and then through Uzbekistan.
2009 Jan 21, Russia's military
said that an old Soviet-built nuclear-powered satellite has spewed
fragments in orbit, but insisted they do not threaten the
international space station or people on Earth.
2009 Jan 22, Russia's Central
Bank said it will widen the ruble's trading range to allow an
effective 10 percent devaluation of the national currency.
2009 Jan 27, Russian Orthodox
bishops, monks and laymen voted for a new head for the world's
second largest Christian church in a contest between a powerful
modernizer and an influential conservative. Metropolitan Kirill (62)
defeated a conservative rival, Metropolitan Kliment, with 508 of 700
(AP, 1/27/09)(SFC, 2/2/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 27, Japan’s No. 38
Yoshi Maru fishing boat was seized by Russian authorities in waters
between the two countries and was taken to the Russian port of
Nakhodka. On Feb 7 Russian authorities released all 10 Japanese crew
members seized after allegedly straying into Russian waters.
(AFP, 1/28/09)(AP, 2/7/09)
2009 Jan 28, Russia’s military
said it has halted plans to deploy missiles near the Polish border,
in what could be a sign Moscow is seeking better ties with the new
2009 Jan 28, Cuba’s President
Raul Castro began the first visit to Russia by a Cuban leader since
the end of the Cold War, the latest sign of reviving ties between
the two countries.
2009 Jan 28, Japan’s
territorial row with Russia was re-ignited as Japan announced that
it had cancelled humanitarian aid to the four disputed Russian-held
islands, north of Japan's main northern island of Hokkaido,
following new Russian demand that a disembarkation card be submitted
in addition to the usual procedures.
2009 Jan 28, In Switzerland
some 2,500 business and political leaders met at Davos for the World
Economic Forum, as the worst financial crisis since the Great
Depression served to mute the enthusiasm of previous years. China’s
Premier Wen Jiabao and Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin blamed the US-led
financial system for the global economic slump.
(AP, 1/28/09)(WSJ, 1/29/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 30, Russia moved to
rebuild ties with Cold War ally Cuba, granting it loans and signing
deals on energy and industrial cooperation.
2009 Jan 31, Thousands of
protesters rallied across Russia to criticize the government's
economic course and its response to the global financial crisis. In
Moscow minutes after protesters unfurled anti-Kremlin banners and
chanted "Down with KGB power" and "Russia without Putin," a dozen
young men jumped out of cars and started to beat them with fists and
metal rods. Police ignored the attacks by alleged members of "Young
Russia," a pro-Kremlin youth group.
(AP, 1/31/09)(AP, 2/13/09)
2009 Feb 3, A Russian military
Mi-24 helicopter gunship crashed about 700 kilometers (450 miles)
southeast of Moscow, killing all three people aboard.
2009 Feb 3, The Kremlin said
Russia and Belarus will create a new military system to monitor and
defend their air space.
(WSJ, 2/4/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 3, Kyrgyzstan said it
would end the US lease of an air base that supports military
operations in Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev
announced his intention to shut the base, at least for the moment,
after Russia agreed to provide Kyrgyzstan with $2 billion in loans
plus another $150 million in financial aid. The lease deal obliges
Kyrgyzstan to give the US 180 days notice to clear the base.
2009 Feb 4, Russia sought to
bolster its security alliance with six other ex-Soviet nations
(Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan) by forming a joint rapid reaction force in a continuing
effort to curb US influence in energy-rich Central Asia.
2009 Feb 6, Russia granted
transit rights to nonlethal US military supplies headed to
Afghanistan, but only after pressuring Kyrgyzstan to close an air
base leased to the US.
(SFC, 2/7/09, p.A3)
2009 Feb 7, Russian authorities
released all 10 Japanese crew members seized aboard a fishing boat
in late January after allegedly straying into Russian waters.
2009 Feb 10, An unmanned
Russian cargo ship lifted off from Kazakhstan carrying supplies and
a space suit to the international space station and its three-member
crew. American astronauts Michael Fincke and Sandra Magnus are
aboard the station along with Russian Yuri Lonchakov. The crew size
will be doubled to six members later this year.
2009 Feb 10, The first-ever
collision between two satellites occurred over Siberia when a
derelict Russian military communications satellite, Cosmos 2251,
crossed paths with a US Iridium satellite.
(AP, 2/12/09)(Econ, 8/21/10, p.65)
2009 Feb 12, In Russia's
restive southern republic of Ingushetia insurgents and police
clashed, leaving four officers and three attackers dead.
2009 Feb 12, Off Somalia an
American helicopter from the USS Vella Gulf fired warning shots at
gunmen in two skiffs that had opened fire and tried to board the
Indian-flagged vessel Premdivya. US forces searched the skiff and
found weapons including rocket-propelled grenades, then took nine
suspected pirates aboard the American ship. A Russian
nuclear-powered heavy missile cruiser, Peter The Great, detained 10
Somali pirates closing in on an Iranian-flagged fishing trawler. The
men, were caught with rifles, grenade-launchers, illegal narcotics
and a large sum of money.
2009 Feb 14, Irish authorities
learned about an oil spill through surveillance carried out by the
European Maritime Safety Agency in Lisbon, Portugal. Irish military
aircraft flew over the area and saw the Russian aircraft carrier
Admiral Kuznetsov, a Russian oil tanker, and a Russian oceangoing
tug near the slick. this was the biggest oil spill in the waters
around Ireland in the last ten years.
2009 Feb 15, In southern Russia
a fire ripped through a wooden apartment building, killing 16 people
in Molodyozhny, a village in the Astrakhan region.
2009 Feb 15, Shots from a
Russian naval vessel sank the Chinese-owned cargo ship the New Star
off Russia's east coast. 8 the 16 crew members on board were killed.
The Sierra Leone-flagged, Chinese-owned vessel New Star had earlier
fled the Russian port of Nakhodka where it had been impounded for
2009 Feb 16, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev replaced four provincial governors for their poor
performance amid financial crisis and named new governors for the
western Oryol, Pskov and Voronezh regions and the northern Nenets
2009 Feb 16, Russia Pres.
Medvedev said Bolivia will receive helicopters from Russia to help
fight drugs as well as assistance to develop energy resources.
2009 Feb 17, China and Russia
signed a $25 billion energy deal in Beijing that will see the Asian
country secure oil supplies from Moscow for the next 20 years in
return for loans.
2009 Feb 18, Japanese PM Taro
Aso met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on an island near disputed
resource-rich maritime territory, hoping to make progress toward
resolving a dispute lingering since World war II.
2009 Feb 18, Georgia and Russia
agreed to let monitors visit anywhere they want in Georgia and its 2
(WSJ, 2/19/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 19, A Moscow court
acquitted three men accused of helping murder Kremlin critic and
journalist Anna Politkovskaya, leaving Russia's most politically
charged killing in years still unsolved. This decision was
overturned in June.
(Reuters, 2/19/09)(AP, 6/25/09)
2009 Feb 21, A few hundred
Russian opposition sympathizers held an anti-Kremlin rally in
central Moscow demanding the resignation of the government. Former
chess champion Garry Kasparov and former Prime Minister Mikhail
Kasyanov addressed the crowd from a truck.
2009 Feb 21, In Russia
assailants with automatic rifles blocked a car of 2 bank employees
on a highway in Tula province south of Moscow and stole about 43
million rubles ($1.2 million; euro 940,000) in cash at gunpoint. The
bank employees, a cashier and a driver, were traveling in a Toyota
with no armed escort despite the large amount of cash.
2009 Feb 25, Russian news
agencies quoted Chief Military Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky as saying
that his office has exposed an attempt by military officers to
smuggle $18 million worth of stolen Russian weapons to China via
2009 Feb 25, Russia issued a
DVD and a thick book of historical documents to dispute claims that
the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s amounted to genocide. It was
argued that the Stalin-era famine was a common tragedy across Soviet
(SFC, 2/26/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 25, Iranian and
Russian technicians conducted a test run of Iran's first nuclear
power plant, a major step toward launching full operations at the
2009 Mar 1, Russia's ruling
party cemented its grip on elected posts with big victories in local
elections despite an economic crisis, but the opposition complained
of widespread cheating.
2009 Mar 3, Igor Panarin, dean
at the Russian Foreign Ministry's school for future diplomats and a
regular on Russia's state-guided TV channels, told dozens of
students, professors and diplomats that: "There is a high
probability that the collapse of the US will occur by 2010." He also
said the US will break up into six autonomous regions and Alaska
will revert to Russian control.
2009 Mar 5, NATO foreign
ministers agreed to resume high-level formal ties with Russia,
suspended last year after Moscow's military thrust into Georgia.
2009 Mar 5, Ukraine’s Naftogaz
paid its February bill for Russian gas just hours after Pres. Putin
said Russia would halt supplies if Ukraine failed to meet a March 7
(WSJ, 3/6/09, p.A10)
2009 Mar 13, Russia’s
Kontinental Management said it has closed for good its Baikal Pulp
and Paper Mill, located on the southern edge of Lake Baikal. It
halted production in October. The plant has polluted the world's
largest freshwater lake with chemical effluent for decades.
2009 Mar 14, A Russian Air
Force chief said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered
an island as a temporary base for strategic Russian bombers. Maj.
Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev also said Cuba could be used to base the
2009 Mar 15, Russia's President
Dmitry Medvedev said that he will publicly declare his income and
encouraged other officials to fight corruption by disclosing
relatives' incomes and assets.
2009 Mar 15, President Hugo
Chavez dispatched the navy to Venezuela's seaports, warning that
state governors who challenge a new law bringing transportation hubs
under federal control could end up in prison. Chavez also said that
Russian bombers would be welcome in Venezuela, but he denied that
his country would offer Moscow its territory for a military base.
2009 Mar 17, Russia's defense
minister charged that the US and NATO were beefing up their military
presence near Russia's borders in a bid for natural resources that
could ignite new conflicts.
2009 Mar 18, Russian news
agencies cited a top defense official as confirming that a contract
to sell powerful air-defense missiles to Iran was signed two years
ago, but saying no such weapons have yet been delivered.
2009 Mar 18, Russia said it was
banning the hunting of baby harp seals, weeks after PM Putin
reportedly called the hunt a bloody industry.
(SFC, 3/19/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 21, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev replaced Gov. Yuri Yevdomikov of the northwest region of
Murmansk, apparently seeking to ensure that the ruling party
remained in control there after it suffered a surprising defeat in
(SSFC, 3/22/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 25, In northwestern
Russia Kirovsk mayor Ilya Kelmanzon was shot dead in his office. A
local utilities chief who was in Kelmanzon's office, then shot
2009 Mar 26, In central Russia
a head-on collision between a bus and a truck in Petushki, about 120
kilometers (75 miles) east of Moscow, killed 14 people.
2009 Mar 26, In Kazakhstan a
Soyuz capsule carrying a Russian-American crew and US billionaire
space tourist Charles Simonyi blasted off for the international
2009 Mar 27, Russian media
reported that the presidential Security Council has released a
document outlining government policy for the Arctic that includes
creating a special group of military forces.
2009 Mar 28, In Dubai Sulim
Yamadayev, a former Chechen rebel and brother of Ruslan Yamadaev
(d.2008), was shot in a brazen attack and died on March 30. He had
switched sides to the government during Chechnya's long-running
conflict with Moscow. On April 5 Dubai authorities said they had
arrested two suspects in the slaying. They said Adam Delimkhanov, a
Chechen member of Russia’s lower house and the Chechen president's
right-hand man, had masterminded the killing. On April 12, 2010,
Mahdi Tagi Dhurnia of Iran and Tajik national Mahsoudjan Asmanov
were sentenced to 25 years in prison after being found guilty of
aiding and abetting the assassination of Yamadayev.
(AP, 3/31/09)(SFC, 3/31/09, p.A5)(AP,
4/5/09)(SFC, 4/6/09, p.A3)(AP, 4/12/10)(AP, 12/22/10)(Econ.,
2009 Mar 29, In Russia the film
"Olympius Inferno," was first broadcast on state television. It
offering the Kremlin's version of the August war with Georgia and
contained anti-American overtones, reflecting Russia's anger over US
support for Georgia.
2009 Mar 30, In Russia PM Putin
pledged over $1 billion in state support to its ailing car industry
in a bid to avoid heavy job losses and potential social unrest.
(WSJ, 3/31/09, p.B2)(http://tinyurl.com/csyby9)
2009 Mar 30, In Russia Sergei
Protazanov, a newspaper employee in a Moscow suburb, died one day
after being beaten near his home in the in the town of Khimki.
Protazanov had been compiling an issue that included reports on
alleged falsifications in local mayoral elections.
2009 Mar 31, In Russia
prominent human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov (67) was beaten
outside his Moscow home by unknown attackers. His daughter, Yelena
Liptser, said she believed Ponomaryov, the head of the All-Russia
Movement for Human Rights, was attacked because of his rights work
and his strident criticism of the Kremlin.
2009 Mar 31, In Moscow, Russia,
the hatch slammed shut behind six volunteers from Europe and Russia
who will spend three months isolated in a capsule to simulate
conditions for a manned mission to Mars.
2009 Apr 1, In London
Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama said Russia and the
United States will pursue a new deal to cut nuclear warheads, making
good on a pledge to rebuild relations from a post-Cold War low. The
US and China agreed to establish a "strategic and economic dialogue"
group that would first meet in Washington later this year.
2009 Apr 8, A Russian
spacecraft carrying a crew of three including US billionaire space
tourist Charles Simonyi landed safely in Kazakhstan.
2009 Apr 8, In Turkmenistan a
blast on a Central Asian pipeline halted the supply of Turkmen gas
to Russia. The explosion was later said to have resulted from
Gazprom’s decision to stop importing gas due to high prices and
falling demand. Gazprom blamed the explosion on poor maintenance.
(AP, 4/9/09)(Econ, 12/12/09, p.46)
2009 Apr 10, In Moscow Iraqi PM
Nouri al-Maliki met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and PM
Vladimir Putin. Al-Maliki told Medvedev in the Kremlin that Iraq is
interested in Russian investment, and Putin said at a joint news
conference that talks focused on oil and gas cooperation.
2009 Apr 11, In Moscow Iraqi PM
Nouri al-Maliki met with Russian business leaders to encourage them
to take an active part in rebuilding Iraq's economy.
2009 Apr 13, A Russian court
ruled that tycoon Alexander Lebedev's registration as a candidate in
the mayoral race in the Olympic city of Sochi is illegitimate.
2009 Apr 16, Russia ordered an
end to its counterterrorism operation in Chechnya, a move that could
lead to the withdrawal of tens of thousands of troops from the
southern republic battered by two separatist wars in the past 15
2009 Apr 17, In Russia the
Sochi Elections Commission decided to strike billionaire and Russian
government critic Alexander Lebedev from the ballot, after an
appeals court a day earlier upheld a ruling that he had misfiled
financial statements when registering his candidacy last month.
2009 Apr 19, The annual Goldman
Environmental Prize was awarded to 7 activists from 6 nations.
Rizwana Hasan (40) of Bangladesh was awarded for exposing
environmental damage and exploitative practices used in the
country’s ship dismantling industry; Marc Ona Essangui (45) of
Gabon, the founder of Brainforest, was awarded for exposing secret
agreements for a Chinese mine project that threatened Gabon’s rain
forests; Yuyun Ismawati of Indonesia was awarded for designing
environmentally safe waste management systems for poor Indonesia n
communities; Olga Speranskaya (46) of Eco-Accord in Russia was
awarded for her efforts to control and store chemicals in Russia and
former Soviet republics; Wanze Eduards (52) and Hugo Jabini (44) of
Suriname, leaders of the maroon community, were awarded for their
efforts that led to a landmark ruling ending tribal exploitation by
the government. Maria Gunnoe (40) of West Virginia was awarded for
her fight against the practice of removing of the tops of mountains
and filing valleys below with tailings.
(SSFC, 4/19/09, p.A18)
2009 Apr 20, Vladimir Lukin,
Russia's parliament-appointed human rights ombudsman, presented an
annual report on human rights in Russia that included violations of
religious freedoms, prisoners' rights and freedom of political
expression. He said he is concerned about a growing number of claims
that police and judicial authorities committed abuses.
2009 Apr 23, Russia’s central
bank said it will cut its key lending rates by half a percentage
point and increase reserve requirements.
(WSJ, 4/22/09, p.A10)
2009 Apr 24, In Italy US and
Russian arms negotiators held a "very productive" initial round of
talks aimed at agreeing a new treaty to curb nuclear weapons as part
of a broader effort to improve relations.
2009 Apr 26, The Russian city
of Sochi, host for the 2014 Winter Olympics, elected a mayor after a
campaign that a liberal opposition candidate called a fraud and
disgruntled voters said favored the Kremlin-backed front-runner. The
Kremlin favorite won an overwhelming victory in Sochi, but the top
opposition candidate claimed fraud and said he would challenge the
(AP, 4/26/09)(AP, 4/27/09)
2009 Apr 27, A Moscow district
police chief opened fire on the street and in a supermarket, killing
three people and wounding seven others, four of them critically.
Maj. Denis Yevsyukov killed a cab driver and wounded several
passers-by in the street, then gunned down a cashier and a customer
in the market. He then held two dozen people hostage for several
hours and shot at police officers before they disarmed and detained
him. On Feb 19, 2010, a Moscow court sentenced the police precinct
chief to life in prison for the drunken shooting spree.
(AP, 4/27/09)(AP, 2/19/10)
2009 Apr 28, Ekaterina Maximova
(70), legendary Russian ballerina, died. Maximova's dancing career
at the Bolshoi spanned three decades, from her debut as Masha in
"The Nutcracker" in 1958 until 1988.
2009 Apr 28, The Russian
destroyer Admiral Panteleyev seized a vessel with 29 suspected
pirates off the coast of Somalia. A Russian tanker fended off an
attack by the same group earlier in the day. On May 4 the Russian
warship freed 8 Iranians who were seized along with the suspected
(AP, 4/29/09)(AP, 5/4/09)
2009 Apr 29, NATO and Russia
resumed formal contacts eight months after they were suspended
because of last year's war with Georgia.
2009 Apr 30, Russia signed a
deal with Georgia's two breakaway regions giving Moscow the power to
guard the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a move sharply
criticized in Tbilisi.
2009 May 3, A gas explosion
tore through a Siberian apartment block and sparked a fire that
engulfed the building, killing eight people, including two children.
2009 May 4, South Korean
snipers hovering in a helicopter chased away pirates pursuing a
North Korean freighter, while the Russian destroyer Admiral
Panteleyev freed eight Iranian citizens held hostage for more than
2009 May 6, Russia said it is
expelling two Moscow-based NATO employees who are Canadian diplomats
in retaliation for NATO's recent expulsion of two Russian envoys
from its headquarters in Belgium.
2009 May 6, In Russia retired
Gen. Valentin Varennikov (85), a hawkish World War II veteran who
directed the Soviet war in Afghanistan, died. He had joined the
rebellion against Mikhail Gorbachev that sped the collapse of the
2009 May 7, Russian Mission
Control said the unmanned Progress M-02M lifted off from Kazakhstan
on schedule and should dock with the int’l. space station on May 12.
2009 May 12, The US won a seat
on the UN Human Rights Council for the first time along with Cuba,
Saudi Arabia, China and Russia, four countries accused of serious
human rights violations.
(SFC, 5/13/09, p.A2)
2009 May 13, Russian news
agencies reported that Russia, in agreement with the US, will charge
US astronauts $51 million per return trip to the International Space
Station (ISS) from 2012 and will resume selling seats to space
tourists. In 2006 Russia charged the US $21.8 million per return
flight to the ISS. Since then the price for of a space tourist
ticket to the ISS has climbed to $35 million from $20 million.
2009 May 14, Russia said it was
proposing a new version of a key European arms-control treaty it
suspended more than a year ago, and could once again honor the
agreement if the US and its NATO allies accept the changes.
2009 May 16, In Russia riot
police violently broke up several gay rights demonstrations in
Moscow, hauling away scores of protesters hours before the Russian
capital hosted the major Eurovision international pop music
2009 May 16, Norway’s
fiddle-wielding Alexander Rybak (23), dubbed 'Alexander the Great'
by Norwegian media, won a landslide victory in the Eurovision Song
Contest in Moscow for his song "Fairytale," gaining the most points
in Eurovision's 53-year history.
2009 May 19, Russia announced
it has created a commission to fight what President Dmitry Medvedev
says are efforts to hurt his country by falsifying history, part of
a campaign to promote the Kremlin's views and silence those who
2009 May 19, Russia and the US
held talks in Moscow aimed at cutting stockpiles of nuclear weapons,
a move that could herald a thaw in relations between the former Cold
2009 May 22, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev challenged EU leaders meeting at a summit in
Khabarovsk to help Ukraine pay its gas bills in order to prevent
disruption of Russian supplies to Europe.
2009 May 26, Russia's uranium
export company signed a groundbreaking $1 billion package of
contracts to supply three US utilities with enriched fuel for
nuclear power plants. Tenex signed contracts to provide enriched
uranium fuel to San Francisco, California-based Pacific Gas &
Electric Company; St. Louis, Missouri-based AmerenUE; and Dallas,
Texas-based Luminant. Tenex will supply fuel to the US utilities
from 2014 through 2020 under the contracts, which provide the option
2009 May 27, A Russian space
capsule, carrying Canadian Bob Thirsk, Russian Roman Romanenko and
Belgian Frank De Winne, blasted off from Kazakhstan for a 2 day
journey to the ISS.
(SFC, 5/28/09, p.A2)
2009 May 28, Russian PM
Vladimir Putin met Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk
amid talk of massive loans to Minsk, just days after the Belarussian
strongman made a furious attack on his Moscow ally.
2009 May 29, Russian and
American officials formally dedicated a high-tech plant in southern
Siberia, built with the help of $1 billion from the US and designed
to destroy about 2 million chemical weapons shells.
2009 Jun 7, Egypt's public
prosecutor ordered the return of a shipment of Russian wheat
impounded last month on health grounds. The decision to ship back
the 52,000 tons of wheat, worth 9.6 million dollars (6.8 million
euros), came after an investigation found the grain was contaminated
with insects and unspecified heavy metals.
2009 Jun 8, Interfax news
agency reported that Russian forces have killed Doku Umarov, the
leader of the Chechen separatist movement.
2009 Jun 8, In Britain van
maker LDV was placed in administration after the collapse of a
rescue deal by Malaysian firm Weststar collapsed. Up to 850 jobs and
thousands more in the supply chain were threatened. The company,
owned by Russian giant GAZ, applied to Birmingham County Court for
administrators to be appointed.
2009 Jun 9, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev visited Dagestan. He went to police bases and reviewed
troops, lavishly covered by state-controlled TV. Medvedev blamed
what he called foreign "freaks" for inciting the violence. Hours
after Medvedev left Dagestan, a riot police officer was shot and
killed as he headed home after work not far from a base where
Medvedev had watched counterterrorism exercises. In another part of
the Dagestan capital, a road police officer was killed after trying
to stop a car to check documents.
2009 Jun 10, In southern
Dagestan a group of 10 gunmen attacked a police post with automatic
weapons and mortars, battling police troops for more than an hour.
The gunmen later escaped into the forested mountains.
2009 Jun 14, Belarus boycotted
a Moscow-led security summit to protest a Russian ban on Belarusian
dairy products, deepening a politically charged dispute between the
two ex-Soviet neighbors. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the
other Organization of the Collective Security Treaty (CSTO) leaders
signed an agreement creating a joint rapid-reaction force that could
bolster the power and prestige of the seven-nation alliance, seen
largely as an ex-Soviet answer to NATO.
2009 Jun 15, Moscow vetoed a
Western-proposed resolution to extend the mandate of UN monitors in
the breakaway region of Abkhazia. It designed to buy time to
negotiate a long-term plan for the 16-year-old monitoring mission in
the Black Sea rebel region.
2009 Jun 15, Leaders from
Central Asia, China and Afghanistan joined Russia's President Dmitry
Medvedev at a summit. Members of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan) and leaders of observer nations (Iran, Pakistan, India
and Mongolia) met in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg for
two days of talks that are expected to include extensive discussions
2009 Jun 16, In Russia leaders
from the world's top emerging economic powers met for their first
summit to plot a strategy to increase their clout amid the global
2009 Jun 16, Russia welcomed
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his first trip abroad since
his bitterly disputed re-election, a show of support for a leader
facing major protests at home and questions from the West about the
legitimacy of the vote count.
2009 Jun 16, China’s Pres. Hu
Jintao announced a $10 billion loan to the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization, founded in 2001. The SCO grouped China, Russia,
Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
(http://tinyurl.com/pr5v65j)(Econ, 1/30/10, p.51)
2009 Jun 17, Belarus set up
customs posts on its border with Russia for the first time in 14
years as a trade dispute between the two countries escalated.
2009 Jun 17, China and Russia
expressed serious concern about tension on the Korean peninsula and,
in the face of North Korea's rhetoric, joined international pressure
for it to return to nuclear talks.
2009 Jun 22, In Ingushetia a
suicide car bomber attacked a convoy carrying Yunus Bek Yevkurov
(45), the president of the troubled Russian province, critically
wounding him and killing two bodyguards. A 3rd guard died later from
his wounds. A group, which calls itself the Riyadus Salikhin
Martyrs' Brigade, later said it staged the attack on the president
of Ingushetia because of his support for Kremlin policies and
because of his role in the second war in Chechnya that began in
(AP, 6/22/09)(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 23, Swedish retailer
IKEA announced that it was suspending its investment in Russia
because of “the “unpredictable character of administrative
procedures, a euphemism for graft.
(Econ, 7/4/09, p.63)
2009 Jun 24, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev arrived in Nigeria to sign gas and nuclear energy pacts,
becoming the first Kremlin leader to visit Africa's most populous
and energy-rich nation.
2009 Jun 25, In Namibia Russian
Pres. Dmitry Medvedev called for boosting trade ties with Namibia,
at the start of the first-ever visit by a Kremlin chief to the
southern African nation. Pres. Hifikepunye Pohamba said his nation
was also keen to strengthen cooperation and build a durable economic
2009 Jun 25, Russia's Supreme
Court overturned the acquittal of three men charged with the 2006
murder of Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist whose reporting on
Chechnya directly challenged the country's most powerful leaders.
2009 Jun 27, NATO and Russia
agreed to resume military ties and agree to cooperate on
Afghanistan, counterterrorism and anti-piracy patrols at their first
high-level meeting since last year's war between Russia and Georgia.
2009 Jun 27, In Dagestan
Interior Ministry troops patrolling a village south of Makhachkala
clashed with a group of 10 gunmen who tried to hole up in village
houses, but were driven into surrounding hillsides. A police officer
was killed. Officials then called in helicopter gunships and armored
vehicles to shell the forests where the gunmen hid out. Troops
sweeping the forest the next morning found the bodies of four
2009 Jun 28, In Ingushetia in a
region bordering Chechnya to the east, police troops clashed with
militants in an overnight gunbattle that killed four militants and
one police officer.
2009 Jul 1, In Russia thousands
of casinos, slot-machine parlors and betting halls across the
country shut down, complying with sweeping new restrictions that
require all gambling business to relocate to four remote regions of
the country. Lawmakers had signed the casino closure law in 2006.
Under the new law, casinos and slot machines will be allowed to
operate only in Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea; the Primorsky region
on the Pacific coast; the mountainous Altai region in Siberia; and
near the southern cities of Krasnodar and Rostov.
2009 Jul 1, US car giants
General Motors and Ford suspended operations on their production
lines in Russia as the deepening economic crisis squeezes Russian
consumers' demand for new cars.
2009 Jul 3, A top Kremlin aide
said Russia will allow the US to ship weapons across its territory
to Afghanistan, in a gesture aimed at bolstering US military
operations and improving strained ties between Washington and
2009 Jul 6, In Russia President
Barack Obama opened his first Moscow summit with confidence. Obama
and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev struck a preliminary deal to
reduce their stockpiles of nuclear warheads to as few as 1,500 each,
pointing the two countries' arsenals toward lower levels than in any
previous arms control agreement.
2009 Jul 6, Vasily Aksyonov
(b.1932), Russian novelist and Soviet dissident, died in Moscow. He
was forced into exile in 1980 after being branded as “anti-Soviet"
and lived in the US for over two decades. His over 20 novels
included “The Moscow Saga" (1994), which was adopted for a popular
TV series in 2004.
(SFC, 7/8/09, p.D5)
2009 Jul 7, In Moscow President
Barack Obama asked the Russian people to "forge a lasting
partnership" with the US, but he acknowledged after talks with PM
Vladimir Putin that on divisive issues there won't be "a meeting of
the minds anytime soon.
2009 Jul 13, In Russia 5
suspected militants and two law enforcement officers were killed in
separate attacks in the south. The militants were killed in two
separate gunbattles in Chechnya, while Interior Ministry troops in
Dagestan died in an ambush by insurgents.
2009 Jul 14, In Russia 6 men
emerged from three months of isolation in Soviet-era metal tubes
after completing an experiment simulating a mission to Mars.
2009 Jul 17, Russia said it
would lift a ban on live pigs and raw pork imports from the US state
of Wisconsin and Canada's Ontario province from July 18 due to what
it said was a "stabilization" of the situation of the H1N1 virus in
2009 Jul 20, The Russian rights
group, where slain activist Natalia Estemirova worked, said it has
suspended operations in Chechnya because of safety fears for her
co-workers. Memorial said it will continue tracking human rights
abuses in nearby Ingushetia. A spokesman for Chechen leader Ramzan
Kadyrov, who has condemned the murder and promised to find those
responsible, said a Moscow court had accepted a lawsuit from Kadyrov
against Memorial head Oleg Orlov for libel after the group's
chairman blamed Kadyrov for Estemirova's death.
2009 Jul 24, The Arctic Sea, a
Maltese-flagged bulk carrier, was boarded by 8 attackers posing as
police. The timber carrying vessel was boarded off the Swedish
coast, searched by attackers, who reportedly tied up the crew for 12
hours. It disappeared following its last communication on July 28.
The failed to arrive at the Algerian port of Bejaia on August 4 as
planned. The 4,700-ton ship, originally called Okhotsk, built in
1991, had a Russian crew of 13 and was operated by a firm based in
the Russian port of Arkhangelsk. Russian naval warships tracked down
the ship off the Cape Verde islands and freed the crew. On August 18
Russia reported that eight people from Latvia, Estonia and Russia
had been arrested for piracy. On Aug 19 Yulia Latynina, a leading
Russian opposition journalist and commentator, reported that “the
Arctic Sea was carrying some sort of anti-aircraft or nuclear
contraption intended for a nice, peaceful country like Syria, and
they were caught with it." In March 2011 six men were convicted and
sentenced to 6-12 years in prison. Two others were already
(Reuters, 8/9/09)(Reuters, 8/18/09)(AP,
2009 Jul 27, Russia’s Interior
Ministry said Semyon Mogilevich, an alleged organized crime boss who
is also wanted in the US, was released from pretrial detention 18
months after his arrest in Moscow. He has been on the FBI's wanted
list since 2003, accused of manipulating the stock of a
Pennsylvania-based company, YBM Magnex Inc., which collapsed in
2009 Jul 27, The leader of the
Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, led solemn prayers in
Kiev on the first day of 10-day visit aimed at reasserting Moscow's
dominance over church leaders in Ukraine.
2009 Jul 29, An unmanned
Russian cargo ship has docked successfully at the international
space station to deliver supplies for its six-member crew.
2009 Jul 29, Cuban state media
said Russia and Cuba have signed agreements to search for oil in the
Gulf of Mexico. Moscow extended the island $150 million in credit
for construction materials and farm machinery.
2009 Aug 1, Kyrgyzstan allowed
Russia to open a second military base on its territory, expanding
Moscow's military reach to balance against the US presence.
2009 Aug 5, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez said his government will buy dozens of Russian
tanks because Venezuela feels threatened by a pending deal for the
US military to increase its presence in neighboring Colombia.
2009 Aug 6, Russia’s PM Putin
and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed an
agreements in Ankara that included the construction of part of the
South Stream gas pipeline through the Black Sea.
(AP, 8/6/09)(Econ, 8/15/09, p.47)
2009 Aug 8, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev hailed the Russian victory in a war with Georgia a
year ago, saying the war had redrawn the map of the Caucasus for
2009 Aug 11, A Thai court
rejected a US request to extradite Viktor Bout, an alleged Russian
arms smuggler dubbed the "Merchant of Death," dealing a setback to
American efforts to try him on charges of plotting to supply weapons
to Colombian rebels. The court rejected the extradition request
because Bout had not been accused of committing any crimes against
Thailand, which has not listed FARC as a terrorist group.
2009 Aug 12, Russian PM
Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Abkhazia and said Russia
will spend at least 15 billion rubles ($470 million) next year to
build Russian military bases in Abkhazia and tighten the separatist
Georgian region's borders.
2009 Aug 12, Chechen Interior
Ministry spokesman Magomed Deniyev said 2 policemen were killed in
separate attacks during the night as they returned to their homes.
2009 Aug 12, Ruslan
Amerkhanov, the construction minister in Russia's violence-plagued
Ingushetia, was shot to death in his office. Ingush Security Council
secretary Alexei Vorobyov said investigators believe the killing
could be related to recent audits of construction projects that
turned up building violations and misuse of funds.
2009 Aug 16, Two Russian air
force fighters rehearsing acrobatic maneuvers collided near Moscow,
killing one pilot and sending the jets crashing into nearby vacation
2009 Aug 17, In Russia powerful
explosion took place during repair work at the Sayano-Shushinskaya
hydroelectric plant in southern Siberia. The death toll soon reached
69 with 6 still missing and feared dead after an engine room was
suddenly flooded. The accident produced an oil spill and the slick
that floated down the Yenisei River.
(AP, 8/17/09)(AP, 8/18/09)(AP, 8/21/09)(AP,
2009 Aug 17, Russian media
reported that the Arctic Sea has been found near Cape Verde and that
the ship's 15-man Russian crew has been taken aboard a Russian naval
2009 Aug 17, It was reported
that 200,000 Russian military officers faced early retirement, as
the government conducts a sweeping reform that will eliminate the
jobs of six out of every 10 members of its top-heavy officer corps.
2009 Aug 17, In Ingushetia a
suicide bomber attacked a police station in Nazran city in Russia's
North Caucasus with an explosives-laden truck, killing at least 21
people and wounding more than 100 others. 9 officers were still
(AP, 8/17/09)(AP, 8/18/09)
2009 Aug 17, Czech media
reported that two Russians have been ordered out of Prague,
including a deputy military attache. Prague has previously
complained about an increase in Russian spying that it linked to the
US plans. Russia responded by ordering two Czech diplomats out of
2009 Aug 18, Russia's President
Dmitry Medvedev hosted Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres for talks
that were expected to focus on the Middle East and the Iranian
2009 Aug 20, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin ordered that key parts of Russia's aging
infrastructure be checked and upgraded after a power plant accident
in Siberia left scores feared dead and strained the vast region's
power supply. The confirmed death toll in the power plant accident
rose to 17 after three more bodies were found. 57 were still
2009 Aug 20, Russian
authorities flew the suspected hijackers of the cargo vessel Arctic
Sea to Moscow and took off them for interrogation, dismissing
suggestions that the ship may have been carrying weapons.
2009 Aug 26, Top Russian
officials acknowledged for the first time that the Arctic Sea, a
ship hijacked last month in the Baltic Sea, might have been carrying
a suspicious cargo, deepening the mystery around its seizure.
2009 Aug 26, Russia, worried
about North Korean missile and nuclear tests, said it has deployed
sophisticated air defenses in its Far East region to protect against
any potential test mishap.
2009 Aug 26, In the Republic of
Congo 7 people, including five Russian crew members, were killed
when a cargo plane crashed on the outskirts of Brazzaville.
2009 Aug 27, In Russia Sergei
Mikhalkov (96), an author favored by Stalin who wrote the lyrics for
the Soviet and Russian national anthems, died. He fathered two noted
film directors. As a functionary and later chairman of the
government-regulated Soviet Writers' Union, Mikhalkov became an
integral part of the propaganda machine designed to indoctrinate
Soviet citizens and weed out dissidents.
(AP, 8/27/09)(Econ, 9/12/09, p.96)
2009 Aug 31, Deere & Co.,
the world's largest agricultural-equipment maker, said its board of
directors has approved a plan to establish a new manufacturing and
parts center in Russia.
2009 Sep 1, Ukrainian PM Yulia
Tymoshenko said Russia and Ukraine have resolved a long standing
dispute over natural gas supplies, after meeting her Russian
counterpart Vladimir Putin at a resort on the Baltic coast in
2009 Sep 3, Russian’s Foreign
Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko warned Georgia that attempts to
block ships from reaching a Moscow-aligned separatist region of
Georgia could end in military intervention.
2009 Sep 7, Israel officially
approved the construction of hundreds of new homes in the West Bank,
deepening an already unprecedented rift with the US over Israeli
settlement expansion. Israel PM Netanyahu vanished from public view
in Israel for most of the day. His office said he had visited a
secret security facility. It was later confirmed that he had made a
secret trip to Russia, which included a meeting with the Russia’s
Pres. Dmitry Medvedev.
(AP, 9/7/09)(AP, 9/20/09)
2009 Sep 8, Russia's foreign
minister rejected speculation that the Arctic Sea, a hijacked
Russian-crewed freighter, was carrying S-300 missiles possibly
destined for Iran. A Russian shipping expert and an EU anti-piracy
official have speculated that the vessel was carrying a clandestine
cargo, possibly S-300 surface-to-air missiles for Iran or Syria.
2009 Sep 10, In Russia
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez recognized the pro-Russian rebel
regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, a rare
boost to the Kremlin's campaign for their international acceptance.
2009 Sep 10, GM announced that
it agreed to the sale of 55% of Ruesselsheim-based Adam Opel and
Vauxhall unit to Canadian auto parts maker Magna International Inc.
and Russian lender Sberbank. Detroit-based GM will keep a 35% stake
and continue to work with Opel on developing vehicles, sharing
technology and engineering resources.
2009 Sep 12, President Evo
Morales said Bolivia has decided to buy a presidential plane from
Russia after Moscow offered to set up an aircraft maintenance center
in the South American nation. Defense Minister Walker San Miguel
announced in early August that Bolivia had agreed to purchase an
Antonov presidential plane with satellite phone, Internet links and
a meeting room from Russia for $30 million.
2009 Sep 13, In central Russia
5 soldiers died in a fire at a military base in Tambov. A state news
report said the blaze may have destroyed sensitive security
(SFC, 9/14/09, p.A2)
2009 Sep 15, Russian news
agencies said the country's coast guard warned that it will detain
Georgian ships entering the territorial waters of Abkhazia. Viktor
Turfanov, the head of the coastal division of the border guards
service, said that Georgia this year has intercepted more than 20
ships in Abkhazian waters.
2009 Sep 16, Russia’s Finance
Minister Alexei Kudrin said Russia has reached a settlement with
Bank of New York Mellon over a $22.5 billion lawsuit against the
bank stemming from a 1990s money laundering scheme by one of its
executives. Russia would receive no less than $14 million for court
costs under the long-anticipated, out-of-court deal. The government
would also get a $4 billion discounted loan from the bank, an "act
of goodwill." The two-year court case stems from a decade-old
scandal in which a Bank of NY vice president and her husband were
convicted of illegally wiring $7.5 billion of Russian money into
accounts at the bank.
2009 Sep 19, Russia said it
will scrap a plan to deploy missiles near Poland since Washington
has dumped a planned missile shield in Eastern Europe. It also
harshly criticized Iran's president for new comments denying the
2009 Sep 19, Lt. Col.
Yelizaveta Mukasei (97), a Soviet spy who worked undercover in the
West with her husband, died in Moscow. Mukasei, whose code name was
Elza, lived in Los Angeles from 1939 to 1943 when her husband,
Mikhail, was working undercover there. Mikhail, whose code name was
Zephyr, died last year at age 101.
2009 Sep 30, An EU-commissioned
report said Georgia's attack on its breakaway South Ossetia region
marked the start of last year's war with Russia, which retaliated
with excessive force.
2009 Sep 30, In Kazakhstan
Canadian circus billionaire Guy Laliberte blasted off in a Russian
Soyuz spaceship to become the world's seventh space tourist.
2009 Oct 9, Vyacheslav Ivankov
(69), a Russian crime boss who spent nearly 10 years in a US prison,
died in a Moscow hospital, two months after being shot several times
coming out of a restaurant on July 28. He was arrested by the FBI in
1995 and convicted of trying to extort millions of dollars from an
investment firm run by Russian emigres in New York. He was
extradited to Russia from the US in 2004 to face murder charges, but
2009 Oct 11, The United Russia
party won an overwhelming victory in more than 7,000 local elections
in 75 of Russia's 83 regions. In Moscow, the party won all but three
seats on the 35-member city council. United Russia served as a power
base for PM Vladimir Putin, who has not ruled out a return to the
presidency in 2012.
2009 Oct 11, The Russian Soyuz
capsule carrying Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte and two
other space travelers landed safely in Kazakhstan, ending the
entertainment tycoon's mirthful space odyssey.
2009 Oct 12, Russian PM
Vladimir Putin landed in China in an effort to bolster energy,
political and military ties between the former rival nations turned
2009 Oct 13, China and Russia
signed a framework agreement that could see a steady flow of natural
gas to energy-hungry China from its resource-rich neighbor.
2009 Oct 14, Dozens of Russian
lawmakers staged a rare walkout from parliament to protest what they
and independent monitors describe as rigged local elections across
2009 Oct 14, A security summit
between China, Russia and their Central Asian neighbors wrapped up
in Beijing with vague promises to deepen economic cooperation but no
public mention of regional flashpoints like Afghanistan.
2009 Oct 14, US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton wrapped up a European tour by calling on
Russia to uphold human rights and prevent attacks on activists who
challenge the Kremlin.
2009 Oct 16, A Russian court
sentenced an army sergeant to nine years in jail for passing on
information to Georgia during the time of its war with Russia.
Aleksandar Georgijevic, a Serbian national, was jailed for 8 years
for attempting to collect information on a number of Russian
military projects in 1998.
2009 Oct 18, Russia's unmanned
Progress M-03M docked with the orbital station after a three-day
trip up from Earth. It delivered food, fuel, oxygen and other
supplies to the International Space Station.
2009 Oct 20, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev brought a euro1 billion ($1.5 billion) loan to
recession-hit Serbia, as Moscow sought to expand its political and
economic influence in the Balkans with the first-ever visit to
Belgrade by a Russian president.
2009 Oct 22, The EU's
parliament awarded its annual Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought
to three prominent Russian rights activists, in recognition of the
difficult conditions they face in defending human rights in Russia
today. The prize was awarded to Lyudmila Alexeyeva (82), Sergei
Kovalyov (79) and Oleg Orlov (56) on behalf of the human rights
organization Memorial and "all other human rights defenders in
2009 Oct 25, In southern Russia
Maksharip Aushev a prominent opposition activist in Ingushetia was
shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in at least the third such
killing in the North Caucasus region in just over three months.
Aushev died when several assailants sprayed his vehicle with
automatic gunfire from a passing car. A woman traveling with him was
badly wounded in the attack on a road in the neighboring province of
2009 Oct 29, Somali pirates
continued their rampage around the Seychelles and seized a
Thailand-flagged trawler, believed to be Russian-owned with a crew
of 25. Somali pirates currently held a total of nine ships and
around 200 crew.
2009 Oct 30, President Dmitry
Medvedev told Russians that there can be no justification for the
Soviet government's crimes against its own people, lamenting
millions of deaths and "maimed destinies" in some of the strongest
criticism of the Communist era to come from the Kremlin since
Vladimir Putin came to power a decade ago.
2009 Oct 31, A Russian news
agency reported that Moscow plans to buy a French amphibious assault
ship, the first such purchase from a NATO country, as the Kremlin
seeks to reaffirm Russia's global reach.
2009 Nov 1, A Russian
heavy-lift military cargo plane crashed on takeoff in Siberia,
killing all 11 crew members on board.
2009 Nov 2, In Russia Shabattai
Kalmanovitch (60), a prominent businessman, was shot dead in Moscow.
He had been convicted in Israel of being a KGB spy.
(SFC, 11/3/09, p.A2)
2009 Nov 5, A Moscow court
approved the arrest of a man and a woman suspected in the January 19
killing of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova. The male
suspect, ultranationalist Nikita Tikhonov, confessed to the crime
after his arrest saying he did so out of “personal enmity" for one
of the victims.
(AP, 11/6/09)(SFC, 11/7/09, p.A2)
2009 Nov 5, Memorial, a Russian
rights group, said Chechen authorities have abducted Arbi
Khachukayev, a human rights advocate in Moscow, who has been
critical of Chechnya's Kremlin-backed leader.
2009 Nov 7, British boxer David
Haye (29) won the WBA Heavyweight crown against 7-foot, 2-inch
Russian Nikolai Valuev in a 12-round bout in Germany. Haye became
the first Briton to hold a world heavyweight crown since Lennox
Lewis retired in 2003.
2009 Nov 12, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev called on his country to shed its dependence on exports of
raw materials and to adopt a more pragmatic foreign policy aimed at
attracting investment and promoting growth.
(SFC, 11/13/09, p.A5)
2009 Nov 13, In Russia huge
explosions and fire ripped through a naval munitions facility in the
Ulyanovsk province for hours, killing two firefighters and prompting
the evacuation of thousands of civilians nearby. 11 civilians and
military personnel were unaccounted for.
2009 Nov 13, In Russia
prosecutors said police have arrested three homeless people
suspected of eating a 25-year-old man they had butchered and selling
other bits of the corpse to a local kebab house. Parts of a human
body had been found near a bus stop in the outskirts of the Russian
city of Perm, 1,150 km (720 miles) east of Moscow.
2009 Nov 15, In Singapore
President Barack Obama said the United States and Russia would have
a replacement treaty on reducing nuclear arms ready for approval by
year's end, an announcement designed as an upbeat ending to a summit
with Asia-Pacific leaders. Obama also attended a second summit with
leaders of the 10 southeast Asian countries that make up the ASEAN
group. Obama then arrived in Shanghai, launching a three-day visit
to an important global US partner and his first travels ever in
2009 Nov 16, In Russia Ivan
Khutorskoi (26), an anti-hate crimes campaigner, was killed in the
entrance of his Moscow apartment building with a shot to the head.
The former punk rocker, known as the Bonebreaker, had provided
security for meetings of antifascists. He also was known for
organizing underground bare-knuckle boxing matches among them, and
taking part in violent attacks on ultranationalists.
(AP, 11/17/09)(AP, 11/18/09)
2009 Nov 16, Russian lawyer
Sergei Magnitsky (37) died after being denied medical assistance for
pancreatitis while in pretrial detention at Moscow's Butyrskaya
jail. He was arrested in November 2008 on tax-evasion charges linked
to his work with William Browder, a British investor barred from
Russia in 2005, as an alleged security risk. On Nov 15, 2010,
authorities claimed that Magnitsky was suspected of stealing the
$230 million that he said Interior Ministry officers had defrauded
from the state. Magnitsky originally testified against Interior
Ministry officers Pavel Karpov and Artyom Kuznetsov, accusing them
of stealing the money before the same officers initiated proceedings
against him. On Nov 28, 2011, a private investigation, compiled by
Browder, a US-born investor, concluded that Magnitsky was severely
beaten and denied medical treatment in prison, and accused the
government of failing to prosecute those responsible.
p.57)(AP, 11/15/10)(AP, 11/28/11)
2009 Nov 19, Russia's
Constitutional Court effectively outlawed the death penalty, saying
a moratorium on capital punishment should remain in force until the
nation fully bans executions.
2009 Nov 19, In Russia a gunman
killed Rev. Daniil Sysoyev, a Russian Orthodox priest, in his Moscow
church and seriously wounded the reverend's assistant.
2009 Nov 21, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin pledged to widen the country’s anti-crisis aid
package with a car scrappage scheme and mortgage support to jolt the
economy out of the worst recession in 15 years. President Dmitry
Medvedev sharply criticized officials in the ruling Kremlin-backed
party for manipulating recent regional votes, saying it must learn
to win fairly.
2009 Nov 21, Russian spaceship
designer Konstantin Feoktistov (83), the only non-Communist space
traveler in the history of the Soviet space program, died. In 1964,
he traveled aboard the Voskhod spaceship as part of the first group
space flight in history.
2009 Nov 23, In Russia 8
military personnel were killed when a truckload of ammunition
exploded as they cleaned up after the huge Nov 13 conflagration at a
munitions depot in Ulyanovsk.
2009 Nov 25, The Canadian
dollar rose to a one-week high against the US dollar after the
Russian central bank said it was preparing to invest some of its
foreign exchange reserves in the Canadian currency.
2009 Nov 27, In Russia a
homemade bomb planted on the tracks of the high-speed Moscow-to-St.
Petersburg route, caused a derailment of the 14-car Nevsky Express.
26 people were killed and dozens more injured. Chechen militants
later claimed responsibility and vowed further "acts of sabotage" in
a letter posted on a rebel website.
(AP, 11/28/09)(AP, 12/2/09)
2009 Nov 28, French Transport
Minister Dominique Bussereau said Russia has given the green light
for Air France's A380 superjumbo to overfly Siberia, opening the way
for a projected Paris-Tokyo service. The accord was approved by PM
Vladimir Putin at the end of a two-day visit to France which saw a
number of business deals concluded. Putin's trip also secured a deal
for French investment in a key pipeline project and the struggling
Avtovaz car maker, as well as a promise that France will consider
selling Moscow a huge amphibious assault ship.
2009 Nov, In Russia police
officer Maj. Alexey Dymovsky posted three videos on YouTube in which
he said he was promised a promotion in return for jailing an
innocent person. He also accused his superiors of forcing officers
to fake reports on unsolved crimes. In December prosecutors in the
southern Krasnodar region filed fraud charges against Dymovsky,
saying that Dymovsky had embezzled about $800 while working as a
2009 Dec 3, Pope Benedict XVI
and visiting Russian Pres. Dmitry Medvedev agreed to upgrade
Vatican-Kremlin relations to full diplomatic ties.
(SFC, 12/4/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 3, Rusal, the world’s
largest aluminium company, said it had reached a deal to restructure
debts of $17 billion, including $7 billion held by foreigners,
clearing the way for an IPO. Russia’s state-owned Vnesheconobank
(VEB) had recently agreed to extend a $4.5 billion loan to Rusal,
lead by Oleg Deripaska, one of the country’s richest tycoons.
(Econ, 12/5/09, p.73)
2009 Dec 5, In Russia a blaze
sparked by onstage fireworks tore through the Lame Horse nightclub
ceiling covered in decorative twigs and plastic sheeting, killing at
least 136 people and critically injuring about 90 in the industrial
city of Perm in the Ural Mountains. It was the country’s deadliest
fire since the fall of the Soviet Union. By late December the death
toll reached 152 with 74 people still hospitalized. In 2013 club
owner Anatoly Zak was convicted of creating conditions that violate
safety regulations. He was sentenced to nine years and 10 months in
(AP, 12/5/09)(AP, 12/10/09)(AP, 12/25/09)(AP,
2009 Dec 7, President Hugo
Chavez said that Venezuela has received thousands of Russian-made
missiles and rocket launchers as part of his government's military
preparations for a possible armed conflict with neighboring
2009 Dec 8, Russia's highest
court upheld a ruling halting the activities of a regional branch of
Jehovah's Witnesses and banning dozens of its publications in what
the group deplored as an unfair move.
2009 Dec 9, Russia's
error-prone Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile suffered its
eighth failure in 12 tests.
2009 Dec 12, Iraq sold Russian
firm Lukoil rights to the West Qurna-2 oil field, one of the world's
biggest untapped oil fields, on the 2nd day of an auction. Lukoil
will work with junior partner StatoilHydro of Norway.
2009 Dec 16, Yegor Gaidar (53),
Russian economist and former acting prime minister (1992), died at
his Moscow-area home. He oversaw Russia's painful economic
transition from communism to the free market in the 1990s.
(AP, 12/16/09)(Econ, 12/19/09, p.149)
2009 Dec 16, In Dagestan,
Russia, police killed three suspected militants in a clash.
2009 Dec 16, Vietnam said it
has ordered submarines and fighter jets from Russia, its former
communist ally, in a deal reportedly worth hundreds of millions of
2009 Dec 17, In Ingushetia,
Russia, a suicide car bomber attacked a group of police and soldiers
in Nazran, wounding at least 23 people. Also in Nazran 2 security
officers were killed in a drive-by shooting.
2009 Dec 22, Hansjoerg Haber,
EU monitoring mission chief, said Russia has failed to fully observe
an EU-brokered peace deal that ended last year's war with Georgia.
He said Russia has not met an obligation to withdraw its forces to
positions held before the August 2008 conflict.
2009 Dec 23, Georgia's Foreign
Ministry reached a deal with Russia to open a border crossing that
has been closed for three years. The two sides agreed during
Swiss-brokered talks that the Verkhny Lars transit point will open
2009 Dec 24, Russia’s President
Dmitry Medvedev ordered reform of the country's Interior Ministry,
saying it was a necessary response to police abuses that have
angered Russians and eroded public trust in the government.
2009 Dec 27, Isaac Schwartz
(b.1923), Russian composer, died at his home just outside St.
Petersburg. His music adorned some of the most popular movies of the
Soviet era. Schwartz wrote the music for a total of 110 movies and
35 theatrical performances.
2009 Dec 28, Slovakia said that
Russia had warned it might halt oil supplies through Ukraine to
three European Union countries over a price dispute.
2009 Dec 29, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin said that Russia will build new weapons to offset the
planned US missile defense and urged Washington to share detailed
data about its missile shield under a new arms control deal. The
Kremlin said President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a bill banning the
jailing of people suspected of tax crimes and has fired another
senior prison official following the death in custody of a tax
lawyer in November.
2009 Dec 31, Moscow police
detained dozens of people at an anti-Kremlin protest, including
Lyudmila Alexeyeva (82), a prominent rights activist. The New Year's
Eve protest is a repeat of actions held on the 31st of July, August
and October. The timing is a nod to the 31st Article of the Russian
constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly.
2009 Vladislav Yuryevich Surkov
(b.1964), Russian businessman and politician, wrote the preface to
the pseudonymous bestselling satirical novel “Almost Zero." The
author was "Natan Dubovitsky", readable as a male form of Surkov’s
wife's name. Conflicting statements in the preface added to
speculation that Surkov was the author of the novel.
2009 Russia began to modernize
the Syrian port of Tartus, its only military base outside the former
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.47)
2009 In Russia Oleg Deripaska,
owner of the Gorky Automobile Plant (GAZ), brought in Bo Andersson,
formerly of General Motors, to turn GAZ around.
(Econ, 7/14/12, p.55)
2010 Jan 1, The Russian
government set a minimum price for vodka that more than doubles the
cost of the cheapest vodka on the market in an effort to fight
2010 Jan 6, In Russia a suicide
bomber blew up an explosives-packed car at a police station in
Dagestan province, killing six officers and wounding at least 16
people on the outskirts of Makhachkala. Investigators determined
that the homemade bomb packed into the Niva, a small Russian-made
SUV, was equivalent to 80 to 100 km (175 to 220 pounds) of TNT.
2010 Jan 7, Russian police in
Dagestan killed two suspected militants in a counterterrorism
operation launched in response to a suicide blast that took the
lives of six officers. One of the slain militants was named as
Ismail Ichakayev, a man reportedly wanted for masterminding several
bombings and other attacks on officials.
2010 Jan 8, An avalanche in
Russia's southern Caucasus mountain range killed five climbers
including an instructor. The novice climbers, all from Moscow or St.
Petersburg had undergone an intensive, six-day training course in
the climbing base of Bezengi, in the province of Kabardino-Balkaria.
Four climbers in a party of nine survived the snow slide, which
struck as they were ascending the Gedan-tau peak.
2010 Jan 14, A Russian Su-27
fighter jet disappeared while on a training mission in the country's
far east. Late-night traffic on one of Moscow’s roads slowed as a
couple's explicit escapades appeared across the 9-by-6-meter (yard)
display. A hacker attack was likely to blame. City police said they
have yet to receive any complaints and have not opened an
(AP, 1/14/10)(AP, 1/15/10)
2010 Jan 15, Russian lawmakers
ended years of resistance and ratified an international agreement
intended to strengthen and speed up the work of the European Court
of Human Rights. The measure still needed to be approved by the
upper house and signed by Pres. Medvedev, but both steps were
expected to occur soon.
2010 Jan 20, A French court
ruled that a Russian Orthodox cathedral built on the French Riviera
nearly a century ago under Czar Nicholas II now belongs to Moscow.
The ruling was a defeat for an association founded by Russians who
fled the Bolshevik Revolution that has been fighting to maintain its
control over the Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Nice, and its
archbishop is accusing the Russian government of a land grab as part
of a national pride campaign.
2010 Jan 20, In Siberia
Konstantin Popov (47), a reporter for Tomskaya Nedelya weekly, died
after nearly two weeks in a coma. He had been taken in police
custody to sober up. Police officer Alexei Mitayev (26) shot him in
the genitals after beating him up. On Feb 11, 2011, Mitayev was
convicted of beating and shooting Popov and was sentenced to 12
years in prison.
2010 Jan 22, In Russia a court
sanctioned on fraud charges the arrest of Alexei Dymovsky, a police
officer who has complained on YouTube of abuse and corruption in the
country's law enforcement system. In November Dymovsky posted 3
videos on YouTube in which he said he was promised a promotion in
return for jailing an innocent person. He also accused his superiors
of forcing officers to fake reports on unsolved crimes. Dymovsky was
fired and founded a rights defense group.
2010 Jan 23, Russian PM
Vladimir Putin declared that peace has returned to North Caucasus,
the center of a growing Islamist insurgency, and called for the
region's economy to be rebuilt. He also ordered officials in the
North Caucasus to ensure what he called the "normal work" of human
rights groups operating in the volatile region.
(Reuters, 1/23/10)(AP, 1/23/10)
2010 Jan 26, NATO and Russia
formally resumed military ties in the latest sign of improving
relations between the Cold War rivals as they move to boost
cooperation in the fight against insurgents in Afghanistan.
2010 Jan 27, NATO's top officer
said that Russia had agreed to boost cooperation with the alliance
in Afghanistan, including opening more transit routes for supplies
to international troops and helping service Soviet-built helicopters
used by the security forces. NATO said it had finalized an agreement
with Kazakhstan to open the last leg on an overland route to
Afghanistan from Europe via Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan,
offering an alternative to the one through Pakistan.
(AP, 1/27/10)(AP, 1/28/10)
2010 Jan 29, Russia test-flew a
long-awaited new fighter aircraft, determined to challenge the
United States for technical superiority in the skies and impress
2010 Jan 30, Russian PM
Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying that Libya has signed an arms
deal with Russia worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion).
2010 Jan 30, Russia opened its
first new casino, under a plan to limit legalized gambling to 4
comparatively remote areas, since it closed all casinos a half year
earlier. Along with the opening in Azov city, the new law limits
legalized gambling to the Kaliningrad enclave on the Baltic Sea, the
Altai region of Siberia, and the Primorski region of the Far East.
(SSFC, 1/31/10, p.A6)
2010 Jan 31, In Russia several
hundred demonstrators shouting "Shame!" gathered in a central Moscow
square, defying a ban imposed by authorities. Moscow police detained
dozens of people at an anti-Kremlin protest, including several
prominent opposition leaders. A separate demonstration was held by
dozens of residents of the Rechnik settlement to protest the
demolition of their homes ordered by Mayor Yury Luzhkov.
(AP, 1/31/10)(Econ, 2/6/10, p.57)
2010 Jan, Scientists at
Russia’s Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions announced internally
that they had succeeded in detecting the decay of a new element with
Z=117 using the reactions.
2010 Jan, Russian authorities
confiscated the computers of Baikal Environmental Wave in Irkutsk in
an alleged search for pirated software. The group was protesting a
decision by PM Putin to reopen a paper factory that had long
polluted nearby Lake Baikal. Similar raids in recent years have
taken place against dozens of outspoken advocacy groups.
(SSFC, 9/12/10, p.A10)
2010 Feb 3, Ukraine's security
service said 5 Russian FSB agents were detained last month after
being caught trying to obtain confidential military information from
a Ukrainian citizen. The FSB said the Ukrainian citizen its agents
were working with had himself been apprehended in November while
allegedly spying on neighboring Moldova's Moscow-backed breakaway
2010 Feb 4, A leading Russian
lawmaker said Russia and Western powers have moved closer to
agreement on the need for new sanctions against Iran over its
2010 Feb 4, Russia hailed a new
agreement with the United States intended to boost joint anti-drug
efforts, but urged the US and NATO to do more to stem a flow of
drugs from Afghanistan that has sickened millions of Russians.
2010 Feb 5, Russian PM Vladimir
Putin criticized his party following an unusually large opposition
protest, saying it has fed the country with empty promises.
2010 Feb 5, Latvia sold a
deserted town built around a Soviet-era radar station to a Russian
investor who bid $3.1 million at an unusual auction. The town,
formerly known as Skrunda-1, housed about 5,000 people during the
Cold War but was abandoned over a decade ago.
2010 Feb 6, Interfax reported
that French Pres. Sarkozy has sanctioned the sale of a Mistral
amphibious assault ship to Russia.
(SSFC, 2/7/10, p.A6)
2010 Feb 11, Italy's Fiat SpA
and Russian automobile company Sollers announced a euro2.4 billion
($3.3 billion) joint venture to produce up to 500,000 vehicles per
year in Russia in a bid to become the country's second-largest car
2010 Feb 11, Russian government
forces killed 4 innocent civilians in the North Caucasus. 4 garlic
pickers died along with 18 suspected Islamic militants in a
three-day shootout in the mountainous forests that straddle the
North Caucasus provinces of Ingushetia and Chechnya.
2010 Feb 12, Russian officials
said that at least 14 suspected Islamic militants had been killed
and one police officer wounded in two days of fighting in the
southern province of Ingushetia.
2010 Feb 15, Israel's PM
Netanyahu called for "crippling sanctions" against Iran over its
nuclear program after a meeting in Moscow with Russia's top
officials, whom he praised for showing "an understanding" over the
2010 Feb 16, Georgia's
breakaway Abkhazia region said it would allow sponsor Russia to
build a military base on its soil for land troops, strengthening the
region's dependence on Moscow and provoking ire from Tbilisi.
2010 Feb 25, In Russia the
Moscow City Court said in a statement that 12 mostly underage
neo-Nazis who called themselves "White Wolves" have been charged
with 11 murders and one assault since April 2007. Nine
ultranationalists were sentenced to up to 23 years in jail for 6
hate-motivated killings and one assault.
(AP, 2/25/10)(SFC, 2/26/10, p.A2)
2010 Feb, RT America, a TV
channel based in Washington, D.C., was launched as part of the RT
network, a global multilingual television news network based in
Moscow, Russia, and funded by the Russian government.
2010 Mar 1, France and Russia
pursued their burgeoning courtship with a formal state visit by
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Paris, which is angling to sell
Moscow a massive warship and secure stakes in pipelines pumping
Russian gas to western Europe.
2010 Mar 1, Georgia and Russia
reopened their only direct border crossing, more than three years
after it was closed amid rising tension that erupted into war in
2010 Mar 10, In London
self-exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky won his libel case
against RTR, a Kremlin-owned broadcaster, that aired allegations he
masterminded the 2006 murder in London of former KGB renegade agent
Alexander Litvinenko. RTR, which did not take part in the hearings,
called the judgment illegal.
2010 Mar 12, India signed 5
deals in New Delhi to purchase more than $7 billion in hardware and
expertise from Russia. The agreements included the construction of
at least 12 civilian nuclear reactors, an aircraft carrier and a
fleet of MiG-29 fighters.
(AFP, 3/12/10)(SFC, 3/13/10, p.A2)
2010 Mar 14, Millions of
Russians voted in regional elections in a mid-term test of President
Dmitry Medvedev's pledge to loosen the Kremlin's grip on the
political system. The ruling United Russia party appeared headed for
an expected victory in regional elections, although many disgruntled
voters threw their support behind opposition candidates.
(Reuters, 3/14/10)(AP, 3/15/10)
2010 Mar 18, Astronauts from
the US and Russia landed safely in northern Kazakhstan's chilly
steppes after spending almost six months on the International Space
2010 Mar 18, UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon signed a cooperation agreement with Nikolai
Bordyuzha, the head of the Collective Treaty Organization, a
Moscow-dominated alliance that includes Russia and six other former
2010 Mar 19, In Russia the
international Quartet for the Middle East met in Moscow in a bid to
revive the peace process despite tensions after Israel's
announcement of new settler homes and a deadly rocket attack.
2010 Mar 20, In Russia
thousands of protesters rallied in several cities to protest the
government's economic policy and demand more political freedoms.
2010 Mar 21, India successfully
tested a new, more maneuverable version of its BrahMos supersonic
cruise missile that was jointly developed with Russia.
2010 Mar 24, The US and Russia
reached a breakthrough agreement for a historic treaty to reduce
their nuclear arsenals. Prague announced it will host the signing of
a new US-Russian treaty to reduce long-range nuclear weapons. The
deal would replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
(AP, 3/24/10)(SFC, 3/25/10, p.A10)
2010 Mar 26, Pres. Obama
concluded a new strategic arms reduction treaty in a call with
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
2010 Mar 27, In Russia an
apartment block west of Moscow partially collapsed following a
suspected gas explosion, killing three people and possibly trapping
others under the rubble.
2010 Mar 27, In Russia former
Soviet world chess champion Vasily Smyslov (89) died of heart
failure. Smyslov beat Mikhail Botvinnik in 1957 to become the
seventh world champion, before losing in a re-match the following
year. His career in the top flight of world chess spanned some four
decades. He was beaten by Garry Kasparov in 1984 in the
Candidates Final match for the right to challenge Anatoly Karpov for
the world title, which Kasparov went on to capture.
2010 Mar 28, Russia's Pres.
Medvedev thought the country had too much time on its hands, so on
Sunday he eliminated two of its 11 time zones.
2010 Mar 28, In Russia
thousands of angry people demonstrated in the northwestern city of
Arkhangelsk against the high cost of living and demanded that the
government of PM Vladimir Putin quits.
2010 Mar 28, President Barack
Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan for a firsthand look at
the 8-year-old war he inherited and dramatically escalated. German
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere held talks in Afghanistan on
stuttering progress in training the country's security forces.
Russia accused the US of conniving with Afghanistan's drug producers
by refusing to destroy opium crops, the second time in a week Moscow
has taken a swipe at the West over drug policy.
(AP, 3/28/10)(AFP, 3/28/10)(Reuters, 3/28/10)
2010 Mar 29, In Russia 2 female
suicide bombers blew themselves up in twin attacks on Moscow subway
stations jam-packed with rush-hour passengers, killing 39 people.
Officials blamed the carnage on rebels from the Caucasus region.
Five people remained in critical condition out of 71 hospitalized
after the blasts. The death toll soon rose to 40 as one of the
injured died in a hospital.
(AP, 3/29/10)(AP, 3/30/10)(AP, 4/2/10)
2010 Mar 29, Russia and the
International Atomic Energy Agency set up the world's first nuclear
fuel bank, signing into life a plan meant to bridge shortages caused
by snags in deliveries of low enriched uranium to power reactors.
2010 Mar 30, Russia's Pres.
Medvedev signed an order formally implementing UN Security
Council-approved sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions were
passed in June by the Security Council, which includes Russia.
2010 Mar 31, In southern Russia
2 suicide bombers, including one impersonating a police officer,
killed 12 people in Dagestan. PM Vladimir Putin said the blasts may
have been organized by the same militants who attacked the Moscow
subway. Russian police broke up anti-Kremlin protests in Moscow and
St. Petersburg, detaining dozens of demonstrators who had defied
bans in holding the rallies.
2010 Mar 31, In Dagestan 2
suicide bombers struck near the border with Chechnya, killing 12
2010 Apr 1, An explosion near
Dagestan's border with Chechnya killed two suspected militants.
2010 Apr 2, The Russian
Kommersant newspaper reported that Dzhanet Abdurakhmanova (17) of
Dagestan, a widow of a slain Islamist rebel, was one of the two
female suicide bombers who attacked Moscow's subway on March 31. Her
husband, Umalat Magomedov, was described as an Islamist militant
leader killed by government forces in December. The paper said the
2nd subway bomber has been has been tentatively identified as Markha
Ustarkhanova (20) from Chechnya, the widow of a militant
leader killed last October while he was preparing to assassinate
Chechen Pres. Ramzan Kadyrov. The 2nd female was later identified as
Maryam Sharipova (28), a teacher from Dagestan.
(AP, 4/2/10)(AP, 4/6/10)
2010 Apr 2, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin made his first visit to Venezuela. Pres. Chavez,
ahead of the visit, said Russia has offered to help Venezuela set up
its own space industry, including a satellite launch site. Officials
planned to sign new agreements for energy projects in Venezuela, as
well as industrial, commercial and agriculture projects. Putin also
planned to hold talks with Bolivian President Evo Morales.
2010 Apr 2, In southern
Kazakhstan a Russian rocket carrying 2 Russian and one American
astronauts blasted off, kicking off a tightly packed schedule at the
International Space Station in the coming days.
2010 Apr 3, In Dagestan 3
militants there opened fire on police in a drive-by shooting,
killing one and injuring another.
2010 Apr 4, A US-Russian space
team sent their Easter greetings down to Earth after their Soyuz
spacecraft docked flawlessly at the International Space Station. The
rotating calendars of the Christian West and the Christian East
agreed on the same date for Easter.
(AP, 4/4/10)(Econ, 4/3/10, p.85)
2010 Apr 5, PM Vladimir Putin
said Russia may sell $5 billion worth of weapons to Venezuela
following his visit to the South American nation.
2010 Apr 5, In Russia’s
Ingushetia region a suicide bomber killed two policemen.
2010 Apr 6, Russia's foreign
minister, Sergey Lavrov, said the new US-Russian arms control treaty
is a much better deal for Russia than its predecessor, but Moscow
reserves the right to withdraw from it if a planned US missile
defense system grows into a threat.
2010 Apr 8, President Barack
Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the biggest
nuclear arms pact in a generation and envisioned a day when they can
compromise on the divisive issue of missile defense. Obama and
Medvedev warned Iran of possible sanctions over its nuclear program
shortly after signing the disarmament deal in Prague.
(AP, 4/8/10)(AFP, 4/8/10)
2010 Apr 8, The European Space
Agency launched CryoSat 2 on a Russian rocket from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The satellite was designed to measure the
effects of climate change on the Earth’s polar ice caps.
(SFC, 4/9/10, p.A2)
2010 Apr 9, In Ingushetia a
female suicide bomber killed herself after shooting dead a policeman
in Ekazhevo. 3 other militants were killed in Ekazhevo in gunfights
2010 Apr 10, Polish President
Lech Kaczynski (60) and some of the country's highest military and
civilian leaders died when the presidential plane crashed as it came
in for a landing in thick fog in western Russia, killing 97. The
26-year-old Tupolev was taking the president, his wife and staff to
events marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre in Katyn forest
of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police. On board
were the army chief of staff, the navy chief commander, and heads of
the air and land forces. Also killed were the national bank
president, deputy foreign minister, army chaplain, head of the
National Security Office, deputy parliament speaker, Olympic
Committee head, civil rights commissioner and at least two
presidential aides and three lawmakers.
2010 Apr 12, In Russia Eduard
Chuvashov, a judge of Moscow's City Court, was found shot to death
in the stairwell of his apartment building. He was the judge in
several high-profile cases, including the February sentencing of 9
skinhead gang members who killed 6 non-Slavs.
2010 Apr 14, In Argentina
Dmitry Medvedev used the first-ever visit by a Russian president to
Argentina to urge the countries to boost economic ties and cooperate
more on nuclear energy.
2010 Apr 15, Russia’s Foreign
Ministry said Russia has suspended all adoptions to US families
until the two countries can agree on procedures, a week after Torry
Hansen, an American woman in Tennessee, sent her adopted son, Artyom
Saveliev (7), back to Russia on a plane by himself.
(AP, 4/15/10)(SFC, 5/19/12, p.A5)
2010 Apr 15, German authorities
said they have targeted nine suspects, including former staff of
Hewlett-Packard, in a probe into whether the world's top PC maker
paid bribes to win business in Russia.
2010 Apr 21, The presidents of
Ukraine and Russia agreed to extend the stay of Russia's Black Sea
Fleet in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol to 2042 after the existing
lease expires in 2017. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that
Kiev will receive large discounts on gas shipments in return for
certainty over the base's future, $100 for every 1,000 cubic meters
of gas or 30 percent if the benchmark price falls below $330.
(AP, 4/21/10)(SFC, 4/22/10, p.A2)
2010 Apr 21, In the Philippines
an electrical fire forced a cargo plane's pilots to attempt an
emergency landing in a Philippine rice field when the Russian-made
Antonov-12 aircraft burst into flames, killing three of its six
crew. The dead included two Russian ground engineers and a
2010 Apr 23, In Russia two-time
Olympic rhythmic gymnastics champion Natalia Lavrova (25) was killed
with her sister in a car accident. Lavrova was Russia's only
rhythmic gymnast to win two Olympic gold medals, in team
competitions at the Sydney and Athens Olympics in 2000 and 2004.
2010 Apr 24, A Russian Proton
rocket carrying a US AMC 49 telecommunications satellite was
launched into orbit from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
2010 Apr 28, Dunkin' Donuts
said it is returning to Russia, following an 11-year absence, with
plans to tap growing appetite for coffee and sweets by opening up to
20 outlets in Moscow this year.
2010 Apr 30, In Russia Vera
Trifonova (53), who was reported to have diabetes and chronic kidney
failure, died in the Matrosskaya Tishina jail. Trifonova, the head
of a real estate company, had been jailed since December on fraud
charges. The next day Pres. Medvedev ordered investigators to
determine why another person has died in the same Moscow jail where
lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died last year of an untreated illness.
2010 May 1, Hundreds of Russian
opposition activists rallied in Moscow, shouting slogans comparing
PM Vladimir Putin to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in a rare protest
approved by the authorities.
2010 May 5, Somali pirates
hijacked the China-bound oil tanker MV Moscow University 350 miles
off the coast of Yemen with 23 Russian crew and crude oil worth $52
million on board.
2010 May 6, Russian forces
freed a hijacked Russian oil tanker and rescued its crew in a
helicopter-backed operation that killed a Somali pirate.
Investigators said the 10 captured pirates, who seized the
China-bound MV Moscow University in the Gulf of Aden, will be
brought to Moscow for prosecution.
2010 May 7, Russia’s Defense
Ministry said the pirates seized by a Russian warship off the coast
of Somalia have been released because of "imperfections" in
international law, a claim that sparked skepticism, and even
suspicion the pirates might have been killed.
2010 May 7, Russia's parliament
defeated a motion that would have prevented Americans from adopting
2010 May 8, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev turned over scores of volumes from an investigation
into the Katyn massacre to his Polish counterpart, a move
underlining Moscow's new willingness to repair long-troubled
relations with Warsaw.
2010 May 8, In western Siberia
2 explosions tore through the Raspadskaya mine just before midnight,
killing at least 66 workers and injuring 41 others. A further 24
people remained trapped in the mine, Russia's largest underground
coal mine, including rescue workers.
(AP, 5/9/10)(AP, 5/10/10)(AP, 5/11/10)(AP,
2010 May 11, Russia's Pres.
Medvedev said that Israeli-Arab tensions threaten to draw the Middle
East into a new catastrophe, as he added Moscow's weight to a
diplomatic push to ease antagonism between Israel and Syria. While
in Syria, Medvedev unnerved Israel by paying a visit to Khaled
Meshaal, the exiled leader of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
(AP, 5/11/10)(AP, 5/14/10)
2010 May 12, Turkey and Russia
signed agreements for the construction of Turkey's first nuclear
power plant and the development of a pipeline project to carry
Russian oil from the Black Sea, through Turkey to the Mediterranean.
2010 May 13, In Dagestan 5
repairmen on their way to fix a cell phone tower in the southern
province of Russia were killed in an explosion and subsequent gun
2010 May 14, Russia’s Itar-Tass
news agency quoted a senior Russian arms trader as saying Russia has
signed deals with Syria under which it will sell it warplanes,
anti-tank weapons and air defense systems. Federal Service for
Military-Technical Cooperation chief Mikhail Dmitriyev said Russia
will sell MiG-29 fighter jets, Pantsyr short-range air defense
systems and armored vehicles. He didn't give any numbers or provide
any further details.
(Reuters, 5/14/10)(AP, 5/15/10)
2010 May 17, Russian Pres.
Medvedev visited Kiev, Ukraine, and oversaw the signing of several
cooperation deals with the new Moscow-friendly leadership of Pres.
(SFC, 5/18/10, p.A2)
2010 May 18, The boss of
Russia's Raspadskaya mine quit after PM Vladimir Putin assailed him
over explosions that killed 66 people and could be prosecuted
following a safety probe into the tragedy.
2010 May 19, NATO and Russia
said they will boost efforts to develop a joint system to protect
their troops from attack by short-range missiles.
2010 May 25, In southern Turkey
a bus carrying Russian tourists skidded off a highway and fell off a
bridge, killing 16 people and injuring 25 others.
2010 May 26, In southern Russia
an explosion tore through the center of Stavropol killing 5 people
and wounding at least 20 as locals gathered for a Chechen dance
(SFC, 5/27/10, p.A2)
2010 May 28, Konstantin
Yaroshenko (41) was arrested in Monrovia, Liberia's capital, by US
agents for alleged drug smuggling, and then extradited to New York.
On July 21 the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the US of
"kidnapping" the Russian pilot.
2010 May 29, In Russia 2 Gay
Pride parades were held without arrests in Moscow, the first time
the notoriously intolerant Russian authorities have not intervened
since the inaugural attempt to hold the event in the capital in
2010 May 29, In Russia DDT rock
star Yuri Shevchuk engaged PM Putin during a televised meeting to
promote a charity concert for children. Shevchuk called for anti
government protests to be allowed and accused police of serving
“their bosses and their pockets, not the people." Putin said
“People’s rights to express their disapproval should be protected."
(SFC, 6/1/10, p.A6)
2010 Jun 3, In Russia a male
crew of three Russians, a Frenchman, an Italian-Colombian and a
Chinese began a 520-day experiment in a windowless capsule, to
simulate a 250-day journey to Mars, a 30-day surface exploration
phase and 240 days return trip.
2010 Jun 5, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev called for a global fund to fight ecological
catastrophes like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as he sought to
burnish his credentials as a green leader.
2010 Jun 5, Germany and Russia
declared that the five world powers negotiating with Iran support a
fresh set of international sanctions, and Chancellor Angela Merkel
said they could pass soon.
2010 Jun 6, Russia urged NATO
forces in Afghanistan to crack down harder on drug production and
smuggling, and offered to help put a security ring around the
2010 Jun 8, A Russian source
close to Security Council talks told reporters that UN sanctions
against Iran over its nuclear program have been "completely agreed
2010 Jun 8, In Russia 4
soldiers were charged with stealing bank cards belonging to an
official who died in the April 10 crash that killed Poland’s Pres.
Lech Kaczynski and 95 others.
(SFC, 6/9/10, p.A2)
2010 Jun 9, The US, Russia and
France dismissed a proposal by Iran to swap some of its enriched
uranium for reactor fuel hours before an expected UN Security
Council vote on new sanctions. The UN Security Council adopted a
resolution imposing a 4th round of sanctions on Iran. It banned Iran
from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles capable
of delivering nuclear weapons.
6/9/10)(Econ, 6/12/10, p.15)(SFC, 10/17/15, p.A3)
2010 Jun 9, Russia said it had
captured Ali Taziyev, from Ingushetia province, an insurgent
ringleader responsible for hundreds of deaths in the troubled North
Caucasus region, where the Kremlin is struggling to contain an
2010 Jun 10, Iran said it will
review relations with the UN nuclear watchdog a day after the UN
Security Council approved a fourth round of sanctions against Tehran
over its disputed nuclear program. Russia looked set to freeze the
sale to Tehran of S300 air defense missiles in response to new UN
sanctions on Iran.
(AP, 6/10/10)(AFP, 6/10/10)
2010 Jun 11, Russia signaled it
was scrapping the controversial sale of S-300 missiles to Iran in a
major shift the Kremlin said was needed after fresh UN sanctions
over Tehran's nuclear program.
2010 Jun 16, In Russia’s North
Caucasus region 4 policemen were killed and 3 wounded in the Kostek
village in the province of Dagestan during a siege that left five
militants dead. In a separate incident, four gunmen were killed
after they refused police orders to pull over and opened fire on the
officers. Two police died in further attacks, one in Dagestan and
another in the nearby Kabardino-Balkaria province.
2010 Jun 16, In Kazakhstan 2 US
and a Russian crewmate blasted off for the int’l. space station in a
Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft. A woman in the US crew doubled the ISS
female crew to an all time high.
(SFC, 6/16/10, p.A2)(SFC, 6/18/10, p.A10)
2010 Jun 17, Russia's
children's rights ombudsman said Russian and US negotiators have
agreed to set up licensed adoption agencies and allow monitors to
visit the homes of adopted children as part of a new accord.
2010 Jun 17, Russia PM Putin
agreed to support a $1 billion joint US-Russian venture to drill for
oil in the Black Sea. San Ramon, Ca., based Chevron and Russia’s
state-owned Rosneft signed the agreement to develop the Val Shatsky
deposit, which could contain up to 860 million tons of crude.
(SFC, 6/18/10, p.D3)
2010 Jun 21, Russia started
cutting most natural gas supplies to ex-Soviet neighbor Belarus over
what it claims is a debt of nearly $200 million, threatening to
rekindle political disputes in the region over energy policy.
2010 Jun 22, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev arrived in California, where he planned to have dinner in
San Francisco with Gov. Schwarzenegger. A tour of Silicon Valley was
scheduled for the next day along with a speech at Stanford Univ.
(SFC, 6/22/10, p.D1)
2010 Jun 22, Belarussian
President Alexander Lukashenko ordered the shutdown of transit of
Russian gas to Europe, escalating a new "gas war" after Moscow
slashed supplies to Minsk in a debt dispute. Belarus said Gazprom
owes it 217 million dollars in transit fees.
2010 Jun 23, Lithuania said its
Russian gas supplies, which transit through Belarus, had been cut by
30 percent as a result of Russia's energy dispute with Belarus.
2010 Jun 24, President Barack
Obama hosted Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the White House.
They appeared to get along like a couple of buddies.
2010 Jun 25, Russian fisheries
official Boris Simonov, suspected of accepting bribes, tossed 10
million rubles ($322,000) from his car after a police chase and a
crash on a busy Moscow highway. Simonov's boss, Roman Postnikov, who
oversaw two Moscow rivers, was arrested on suspicion of forging a
contract that allowed a fishing firm operate without the proper
2010 Jun 28, The FBI announced
the arrests of 10 alleged deep cover Russian agents after tracking
the suspects for years. They were accused of attempting to
infiltrate US policymaking circles while posing as ordinary
citizens. All 10 were charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of
a foreign government without notifying the US attorney general. The
offense carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. An 11th
person allegedly involved in the Russian spy ring was arrested
the next day in Cyprus. A Russian spy couple lived in Canada and
were models for the TV show "The Americans." In 2019 their son,
Alexander Vavilov, was allowed to keep his Canadian citizenship.
(AP, 6/29/10)(SFC, 12/21/19, p.A2)
2010 Jun 29, In Cyprus the
alleged paymaster of a Russian spy ring was arrested on an Interpol
warrant while trying to board a flight to Budapest, Hungary, two
days after his 10 alleged co-conspirators were arrested in the
United States. His companion, a beautiful younger woman, was allowed
to fly out. The suspect, who called himself Christopher Metsos,
vanished after handing over a Canadian passport that claimed he was
54 and got released on bail.
2010 Jul 2, An unmanned Russian
space capsule carrying supplies to the International Space Station
failed in a docking attempt. The Progress space capsule was carrying
more than two tons of food, water and other supplies for the
orbiting laboratory. NASA said the failure was due to an antenna
problem. Space station commander Alexander Skvortsov reported the
Progress was "rotating uncontrollably" as it neared the space
station. The capsule docked successfully with the ISS on July 4.
(AP, 7/2/10)(SFC, 7/5/10, p.A2)
2010 Jul 4, Russia’s NTV, a TV
channel controlled by Gazprom, aired “Godfather," a documentary that
portrayed Belarus Pres. Lukashenka as a brutal election-rigging,
(Econ, 7/24/10, p.53)
2010 Jul 5, Belarus signed a
customs union with Russia and Kazakhstan.
(Econ, 7/24/10, p.53)
2010 Jul 9, The US and Russia
orchestrated the largest spy swap since the Cold War, exchanging 10
spies arrested in the US for four convicted in Russia in a tightly
choreographed diplomatic dance at Vienna's airport.
2010 Jul 12, Two Russian
curators who angered the Russian Orthodox Church with an exhibition
that included images of Jesus Christ portrayed as Mickey Mouse and
Vladimir Lenin were convicted of inciting religious hatred and
fined, but not sentenced to prison.
2010 Jul 13, A US law
enforcement official said the FBI's investigation into a Russian spy
ring that operated in the United States has resulted in another
Russian being detained, and he soon will be deported.
2010 Jul 13, German government
sources said industrial group Siemens has won a major contract from
Russian Railways to be signed during a visit by Chancellor Angela
Merkel this week. The 2.2-billion-euro (2.8-billion-dollar) sale of
regional trains is the second major coup for Siemens in Russia this
2010 Jul 15, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met for talks
and are expected to oversee the signing of an array of deals between
German and Russian companies worth billions of dollars.
2010 Jul 15, A last-minute deal
at a meeting of the Kimberley Process certification scheme in Russia
authorized Zimbabwe to sell two batches of diamonds under strict
monitoring and regulation through Sept. 1.
2010 Jul 19, The upper house of
Russia's parliament passed a bill (121-1) granting expanded powers
to the country's main security agency, a move that critics say
echoes the era of the Soviet KGB. The bill would allow the Federal
Security Service to issue warnings to people suspected of preparing
to commit crimes against Russia's security.
2010 Jul 19, In Russia the
Khamovniki District Court in Moscow said in a statement it has
convicted Tariel Oniani (58) on extortion and abduction charges. The
native of Georgia had been convicted seven times and is wanted in
Spain since 2005 on money laundering charges.
2010 Jul 21, In southern Russia
2 carloads of assailants attacked a hydroelectric station, killing
two workers and setting off bombs in Kabardino-Balkariya.
2010 Jul 24, Russia said it
plans its biggest sell-off of state assets since the early 1990s as
it seeks to raise over $29 billion to plug budget gaps over the next
2010 Jul 24, In southern Russia
gunmen opened fire on security guards at a provincial food market in
the city of Samara, killing at least two and wounding at least five
other people. 3 soldiers in Dagestan were killed when assailants
attacked their convoy in a drive-by shooting.
2010 Jul 27, In central Russia
a Tver city court sentenced Dmitry Orlov (22), a neo-Nazi leader, to
life in jail and imprisoned 13 others for four hate killings and
2010 Jul 27, Iran vowed to
press ahead with its nuclear program even as it expressed readiness
to resume talks on the thorny issue despite being slapped with tough
new EU sanctions. Russia condemned new EU sanctions on Iran,
tempering hopes of closer cooperation between Moscow and the West
over Iran's nuclear program.
(AFP, 7/27/10)(Reuters, 7/27/10)
2010 Jul 28, In Russia a band
of 100 masked people staged a violent environmental protest in a
quiet Moscow suburb, hurling Molotov cocktails and fireworks at city
hall while objecting to plans for clearing a local forest for
2010 Jul 29, Russia’s President
Dmitry Medvedev signed a new security law which restored Soviet-era
powers to the Federal Security Service (FSB), the KGB's main
successor agency, a move that rights advocates fear could be used to
stifle protests and intimidate the Kremlin's political opponents.
2010 Jul 30, In Russia the
Nashi movement, a Kremlin-backed youth organization, welcomed the
resignation of Ella Pamfilova, President Dmitry Medvedev's human
rights adviser. The group had threatened her with a libel suit for
her harsh criticism. The Russian opposition has claimed Nashi
activists have assaulted and intimidated its leaders.
2010 Jul 30, Forest fires swept
across central Russia, killing at least 25 people and forcing the
evacuation of thousands during the hottest summer since records
began 130 years ago.
2010 Jul 31, Russian police
arrested a leading Kremlin opponent and dozens of fellow activists
at a demonstration demanding freedom of assembly.
2010 Jul 31, In Russia raging
wildfires spread across parts of western Russia, engulfing 30
percent more land in just 24 hours. PM Vladimir Putin described the
situation as very difficult.
2010 Aug 1, In Russia hundreds
of new fires broke out in forests and fields that have been dried to
a crisp by drought and record heat.
2010 Aug 2, Russia declared a
state of emergency in seven regions after wildfires killed at least
34 people and left thousands homeless in the worst heatwave since
records began 130 years ago. Officials said wildfires were also
destroying what was left of wheat crops, decimated by severe
drought. Expectations of slashed exports sent wheat prices soaring.
(AP, 8/2/10)(SFC, 8/3/10, p.A2)
2010 Aug 3, Russia's
Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said some of the devastating
wildfires sweeping western Russia are out of control. PM Putin said
he would personally supervise the reconstruction of fire-ravaged
homes via video cameras to be installed at each construction site.
2010 Aug 3, In northern Siberia
a twin-engine Antonov-24 turboprop passenger plane crashed near
Igarka, killing at least 11 of the 15 people on board.
2010 Aug 4, Moscow was engulfed
by the thickest blanket of smog yet this summer, an acrid, choking
haze from wildfires that have wiped out Russian forests, villages
and a military base.
2010 Aug 5, In Russia wildfires
were raging close to a shelter housing hundreds of dogs and retired
circus animals, as the death toll from weeks of blazes across the
country rose to 50.
2010 Aug 6, In Russia a choking
smog from raging wildfires shrouded Moscow, grounding flights,
plunging the city's iconic Red Square into a sea of dirty mist and
stinging eyes and throats across the Russian capital.
2010 Aug 9, A top Russian
health official said deaths in Moscow have doubled to an average of
700 people a day as the city is engulfed by poisonous smog from
wildfires and a sweltering heat wave. Some 830 forest fires were
(AP, 8/9/10)(SFC, 8/9/10, p.A2)
2010 Aug 11, Russia said it has
deployed high-precision air defense missiles in the breakaway
Georgian region of Abkhazia, sending a defiant signal to Tblisi and
the West two years after a war with Georgia.
2010 Aug 12, President Dmitry
Medvedev said drought has destroyed a quarter of Russia's grain crop
this year, pushing some farmers to the brink of bankruptcy and
hurting Russia's bid to expand food exports.
2010 Aug 14, In Russia the
number of wildfires in the Moscow region fell sharply overnight, but
hundreds of blazes continued to rage in other areas of Russia, and
officials warned that some of them are in hard-to-reach regions. At
least 53 people were killed in the fires.
(AP, 8/14/10)(Econ, 8/14/10, p.39)
2010 Aug 16, Russia’s ruling
party said it would not re-nominate Georgy Boos, the unpopular
governor of Kaliningrad, for a new term.
2010 Aug 16, In Russia Gabriel
Grecu, first secretary in the political department of the Romanian
Embassy in Moscow, was detained while trying to obtain secret
military information from a Russian citizen. He was given 48 hours
to leave the country.
2010 Aug 17, In southern Russia
a vehicle exploded outside a cafe, injuring at least 15 people in
downtown Pyatigorsk, a city in Russia's North Caucasus. A suicide
bomb attack earlier in the day in North Ossetia killed one police
(AP, 8/17/10)(Reuters, 8/17/10)
2010 Aug 17, A Russian
scientist said several thousand Muscovites are thought to have died
in July alone from this year's unprecedented heatwave and August
could add more fatalities to the grim statistics.
2010 Aug 18, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev offered Pakistan support in dealing with
catastrophic floods as he hosted the leaders of Afghanistan,
Pakistan and Tajikistan for talks on efforts to stabilize the
2010 Aug 20, Russia secured a
long-term foothold in the energy-rich and unstable Caucasus region
by signing a deal with Armenia that allows a Russian military base
to operate until 2044 in exchange for a promise of new weaponry and
fresh security guarantees.
2010 Aug 21, In Russia
Madomedali Vagabov, the man suspected of organizing suicide bombings
that killed 40 people on the Moscow subway in March, was killed in a
shootout with Russian security forces. The National Antiterrorism
Committee told Russian news agencies that Vagabov was effectively
second in command in the separatist insurgency in Russia's
mountainous North Caucasus region.
2010 Aug 21, Hundreds of
residents of Kaliningrad, Russia's Baltic exclave, gathered on a
central square to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir
2010 Aug 21, Iranian and
Russian engineers began loading fuel into Iran's first nuclear power
plant, which Moscow has promised to safeguard to prevent material at
the site from being used in any potential weapons production.
2010 Aug 22, In Dagestan a
Russian border guard was found killed and another who disappeared
with him remained missing.
2010 Aug 23, In Dagestan at
least 3 people were wounded in other attacks, while four suspected
militants died when explosives they were transporting by car
unexpectedly blew up.
2010 Aug 27, In Russia 9
suspected militants were killed in two separate shootouts with
police in the Kabardino-Balkariya republic. Separately 5 suspected
militants and a police officer were killed in another shootout in
the republic of Dagestan.
2010 Aug 29, In Russia scores
of skinheads attacked a crowd of some 3,000 people at a rock concert
in Miass. State new reported one girl (14) was killed.
(SFC, 8/30/10, p.A2)
2010 Aug 30, Russia's PM
Vladimir Putin hinted he would return to the presidency in 2012 for
six more years and said democracy protesters marching without
permission deserved to be beaten.
2010 Aug 30, In Russia a fire
killed nine people at a nursing home in Vishny Volochek, 120 miles
(200 km) north of Moscow, and investigators say it apparently
started when an elderly resident doused himself in gasoline and set
himself on fire.
2010 Aug 31, Russian police
detained Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov and several other people at a
protest in Moscow in defense of the right to free assembly, which
activists say is restricted by the Russian government.
2010 Sep 3, Russia’s
Emergencies Ministry said 8 people have been killed and 400 houses
set ablaze in the latest wave of the forest fires plaguing the
country. The fires were most intense in the Volgograd region, where
380 houses were burned in 20 populated areas. In Saratov, 20 houses
2010 Sep 5, In Dagestan a
suicide car-bomber killed 3 soldiers and wounded 32 others in an
attack on a Russian military base. In Kabardino-Balkariya, another
republic of the Caucasus region that includes Dagestan, a policeman
was shot to death by a man whom he'd stopped for a document check.
2010 Sep 9, In Russia's North
Caucasus a suicide car bomber hit the Vladikavkaz central market,
North Ossetia, killing 19 people and wounding more than 130 people
in one of the worst attacks in the volatile region in years. On Oct
12 Federal Security Service chief Alexander Bortnikov said 3
organizers were arrested in late September in Ingushetia. He said
two other suspects were killed by security forces.
(AP, 9/9/10)(Reuters, 9/10/10)(AP, 10/12/10)
2010 Sep 10, In Dagestan,
Russia, clashes between police and alleged militants left six more
people dead in the volatile North Caucasus. A police officer was
gunned down on the outskirts of the regional capital, Makhachkala.
(AP, 9/10/10)(AP, 9/11/10)
2010 Sep 10, In Ingushetia a
policeman was killed. The gunmen shot and killed him outside an auto
repair shop in the region's main city of Nazran.
2010 Sep 12, An Egyptian
security official said 16 Russians and Moldovans, who killed an
Egyptian smuggler, have handed themselves over to police. Some of
the would-be migrants to Israel attacked and fatally stabbed
smuggler Massud Salim (31) after he attempted to rape one of the
female members of the group.
2010 Sep 15, Russia and Norway
ended a 40-year dispute in signing an Arctic border treaty which
opens the door to offshore oil and gas exploration. President Dmitry
Medvedev and Norway's PM Jens Stoltenberg presided over the signing
2010 Sep 16, Some of Russia's
prominent opposition leaders have formed a coalition to challenge
the rule of President Dmitry Medvedev and PM Vladimir Putin. Former
deputy premier Boris Nemtsov said the coalition aims to compete in
next year's parliamentary elections and field a presidential
candidate in 2012.
2010 Sep 16, In Poland Akhmed
Zakayev (51), a senior Chechen separatist wanted in Russia for
alleged murder, kidnapping and terrorism, was arrested in Warsaw
where he was to attend a conference organized by the World Chechen
Congress. Zakayev, who lives in Britain, was apprehended "without
any trouble" on an international warrant issued by Russia. Zakayev
was released the next day.
(AP, 9/17/10)(AP, 9/18/10)
2010 Sep 19, Moscow mayor Yuri
Luzhkov (74) left the country for what his spokesman said was a
holiday in Austria, amid growing speculation that he could be
dismissed from one of Russia's most powerful jobs. Luzhkov and his
billionaire property mogul wife Yelena Baturina were viewed as
having fallen out of favor.
2010 Sep 21, The UN’s World
Health Organization (WHO) said 40 young Europeans are murdered every
day, with Russia, Albania and Kazakhstan having the highest homicide
rates for people aged 10-29.
2010 Sep 22, Russian news
agencies reported that Russia has dropped plans to supply Iran with
S-300 missiles because they are subject to international sanctions.
2010 Sep 23, Russia turned over
to Poland 20 new files from a probe into the 1940 Katyn massacre
that could be key in proving that Soviet secret police carefully
planned the killing of thousands of Poles.
2010 Sep 25, A Russian Soyuz
space capsule landed in Kazakhstan returning 3 astronauts from a
6-month mission to the Int’l. Space Station.
(SSFC, 9/26/10, p.A5)
2010 Sep 28, Russia's Pres.
Medvedev fired defiant Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, ousting the man
who gave the crumbling capital a modern facelift but was maligned
for his wife's hold on construction projects and for staying on
vacation while forest fires choked his city. Luzhkov's deputy,
Vladimir Resin, was named acting mayor pending the appointment of a
2010 Sep 29, A Russian firm
announced an ambitious bid to fill the vacuum in the space tourism
market by stationing an orbiting hotel in the cosmos. Orbital
Technologies wants to launch a seven-room station by 2016 but may
increase or decrease that capacity based on customer demand.
2010 Oct 1, Moscow police
detained several gay rights opponents at the first sanctioned gay
rights protest in years. Former Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, fired on Sep 28,
had compared gay people to the devil and forbade gay rights rallies.
(SFC, 10/2/10, p.A2)
2010 Oct 4, In Russia Yuri
Luzhkov, the former mayor of Moscow who was fired by Pres. Medvedev,
said in a published interview that he plans to form his own
2010 Oct 4, Russia's VimpelCom
Ltd and Weather Investments, the investment company headed by
Egyptian telecom mogul Naguib Sawiris, said they are merging to form
what would become the world's fifth largest mobile telecommunication
service provider in a deal valued at over $6.5 billion. Under the
agreement VimpelCom, which is Russia's second largest mobile phone
service provider, would own via Weather 51.7 percent of Egypt's
Orascom Telecom and all of Italy's Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA, both
of which are headed by Sawiris.
2010 Oct 6, Russia’s President
Dmitry Medvedev headed a top level business delegation to Algeria,
seeking to use his clout to push through delicate energy and
telecoms deals with a traditional Moscow ally. Algeria and Russia
signed six deals in sectors including energy and transportation.
(AFP, 10/6/10)(AP, 10/6/10)
2010 Oct 6, A Moscow court said
it has sentenced 3 ultranationalists, convicted of hate killings and
bombings, to long prison sentences. They were part of a militant
neo-pagan cult that preyed on labor migrants from Central Asia and
the Caucasus. From 2008-2009 they killed 10 people and arranged a
number of bombings.
(SFC, 10/7/10, p.A2)
2010 Oct 7, Russian
Technologies chief Sergei Chemezov told reporters that Russia is
reimbursing Iran for its down payments on a deal for advanced S-300
ground-to-air missiles, which Moscow halted in the face of tough new
2010 Oct 7, In Kazakhstan a
Russian Soyuz TMA-01M rocket blasted off for the Int’l. Space
Station carrying one American and 2 Russian astronauts.
(SFC, 10/8/10, p.A2)
2010 Oct 11, Russia's ruling
party swept regional elections in several provinces this weekend,
easily maintaining its grip on power, according to early returns.
2010 Oct 11, Russian
researchers said traces of a previously unknown Bronze Age
civilization have been discovered in the peaks of the Caucasus
Mountains thanks to aerial photographs taken 40 years ago. the
civilization dated from the 16th to the 14th centuries BC, high in
the mountains south of Kislovodsk.
2010 Oct 15, Russian PM
Vladimir Putin's chief of staff, Sergei Sobyanin, was nominated as
Moscow's next mayor, a move seen as bringing the capital's sizable
political and business interests under the direct control of the
2010 Oct 15, Russia agreed to
help build Venezuela's first nuclear power plant and buy $1.6
billion of oil assets, reinforcing ties with President Hugo Chavez,
who shares Moscow's opposition to US global dominance.
2010 Oct 16, Russia’s
state-owned RIA news agency reported that flooding in the southern
region of Krasnodar has killed 11 people with three missing.
2010 Oct 21, In Russia the
Moscow legislature voted to approve Sergei Sobyanin, PM Putin’s
chief of staff, as mayor of the city replacing Yuri Luzhkov, who was
fired by Pres. Medvedev last month after 18 years in office. Luzhkov
has said he believes the true reason behind his ouster was the
Kremlin's desire to have a more pliant mayor before parliamentary
elections next year and the 2012 presidential vote.
2010 Oct 28, In southern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb targeting the car of a district police
chief killed three police officers in Zabul province. Militants shot
and killed a government official in charge of the water supply in
Dand district of Kandahar province as he was walking near his home.
A NATO service member died following a bomb attack in southern
Afghanistan. In Khost province a NATO airstrike killed one insurgent
believed to be a senior leader of the Haqqani network. In
neighboring Mando Zayi district of Khost, one civilian was killed
and two others were wounded in fighting. US and Russian special
forces ended an operation raiding drug labs in an unprecedented
collaborative military operation, destroying what a Russian official
said was $250 million worth of heroin and morphine in Nangarhar
province. Months earlier Russia had provided US officials in Kabul
with the coordinates of 175 laboratories where heroin is processed
but the US failed to act. A NATO helicopter killed more than 20
insurgents after it was fired on during an operation in
Afghanistan's restive Kandahar province.
(AP, 10/28/10)(AP, 10/29/10)
2010 Oct 30, A Russian unmanned
cargo ship manually docked with the International Space Station,
bringing 2.5 tons of food, water, oxygen and fuel for the orbiting
laboratory and its US-Russian crew.
2010 Nov 1, Russia's Pres.
Medvedev visited Kunashiri Island in the Pacific Ocean claimed by
both Russia and Japan, triggering immediate protests from Tokyo,
which is already involved in a heated dispute with China over
islands to the south.
2010 Nov 2, Russia said Pres.
Medvedev planned more trips to a group of islands seized by the
Soviet Union from Japan at the end of World War Two, deepening a
serious rift with Tokyo.
2010 Nov 3, Viktor Chernomyrdin
(72), former Russian prime minister (1992-1998), died. He served as
the country was throwing off communism and developing as a market
2010 Nov 4, In Russia on
National Unity Day a group of men armed with knives killed 12
people, including four children, who had gathered for a celebration
at a home in Kushchevskaya village. One of the children was
strangled and another died of smoke inhalation when the attackers
tried unsuccessfully to burn down the house. On Nov 15 prosecutors
said that they had arrested Sergei Tsapok, and a member of his gang,
Sergei Tsepovyaz. Four other suspects, including two teenagers, were
arrested a week earlier. The farmer who was killed had refused to
hand over some of his land.
(AP, 11/15/10)(Econ, 12/11/10, p.30)
2010 Nov 5, Georgia's
government announced the arrests of 13 people, including four
Russian citizens, who are accused of spying for Russia's armed
forces. The arrests, which took place in October, were announced on
the day Russia's military intelligence agency celebrates its
professional holiday, Day of the Military Intelligence Officer.
2010 Nov 6, In Russia Oleg
Kashin (30), a reporter for the Kommersant newspaper, was left in a
coma after two men smashed his head, legs and fingers in an attack
that prosecutors believe was linked to his work. Among his more
contentious reporting topics has been efforts by environmentalists
and opposition activists to protect trees in the Khimki forest near
Moscow from being cut down for a new highway.
2010 Nov 7, In Russia more than
1,000 military veterans and active servicemen rallied to demand the
ouster of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, a civilian who is
carrying out a radical reform of Russia's armed forces. Many of the
participants in the rally said they were angry that Serdyukov did
not want to see churches built on military bases.
2010 Nov 8, In Russia Anatoly
Adamchuk, a journalist who works for a suburban Moscow paper, was
beaten up by two unknown men. He had written about efforts to
protect forests around Moscow.
2010 Nov 10, In Russia Mikhail
Beketov, a muckraking reporter left handicapped by a 2008 beating,
was convicted of defaming an official he criticized when writing
about highway corruption and the destruction of the Khimki forest
near Moscow. A symbolic fine was ordered.
(AP, 11/10/10)(Econ, 11/13/10, p.52)
2010 Nov 11, A Russian paper
said the head of Russia's deep cover US spying operations betrayed
the network and defected, potentially giving the West one of its
biggest intelligence coups since the end of the Cold War. Kommersant
named the man as Col. Shcherbakov and said he had left Russia days
before US authorities announced the spy ring arrests on June 28.
2010 Nov 13, Japan's PM Naoto
Kan strongly protested Russian Pres. Medvedev's Nov 1 visit to the
disputed island of Kunashiri and said in a meeting on the sidelines
of a Pacific Rim leaders' conference that the two nations must build
mutual trust. Pres. Obama attended the 2-day APEC summit in
(AP, 11/13/10)(Econ, 11/13/10, p.48)
2010 Nov 15, In Switzerland
Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev (43) warned reporters not to
cover his divorce case as his wife Elena demanded $6 billion from
the man known as the “fertilizer king" for a fortune amassed in
potash mining. According to Forbes, he was the 60th richest person
in the world in 2008.
(SFC, 11/16/10, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/32lymtu)
2010 Nov 16, Viktor Bout (43),
a suspected Russian arms dealer dubbed the "Merchant of Death," was
flown out of Thailand to face trial in the United States following a
long legal battle and fierce opposition from Moscow.
2010 Nov 20, NATO nations
meeting in Portugal formally agreed to start turning over
Afghanistan's security to its military next year and give them full
control by 2014. The US and its allies appeared to take conflicting
views on when NATO combat operations would end. NATO
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he did not expect NATO
troops to stay in the fight against the Taliban after 2014. Russia
was receptive but stopped short of accepting a historic NATO
invitation to join a missile shield protecting Europe against
(AP, 11/20/10)(Reuters, 11/20/10)
2010 Nov 21, A global tiger
summit meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, approved a wide-ranging
program with the goal of doubling the world's tiger population in
the wild by 2022 backed by governments of the 13 countries that
still have tiger populations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China,
India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam
and Russia. Experts said wild tigers could become extinct in 12
years if countries where they still roam fail to take quick action
to protect their habitats and step up the fight against poaching.
2010 Nov 26, Russia said it
will miss an April, 2012, deadline for destroying all of its
chemical weapons, as officials inaugurated a major new plant to
dispose of them. Pochep, the latest of six plants built in Russia in
recent years, will process nearly 19 percent of Russia's stockpile,
or 7,500 tons of nerve agent used in aircraft-delivered munitions.
The US has acknowledged it will also miss the deadline.
2010 Dec 1, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin warned that his country will find it necessary to
build up its nuclear forces, if the United State's doesn't ratify a
new arms reduction treaty.
2010 Dec 2, Russia won the bid
to host the 2018 World Cup following a vote by FIFA's executive
2010 Dec 2, PepsiCo agreed to
buy one of Russia's top drinks companies in a deal that would make
the US food giant a dominant force in the Russian market and extend
its reach deep into former Soviet lands. Pepsi announced that it
will buy 66% Wimm-Bill-Dann for $3.8 billion and launch a tender
offer for the rest of the company.
(AFP, 12/2/10)(Econ, 12/11/10, p.75)
2010 Dec 4, In Russia a
Dagestan Airlines passenger jet, carrying at least 155 people, made
an emergency landing at a snowy Moscow airport after its engines
failed. It skidded off the runway and slammed into buildings,
killing two people and injuring around 40.
2010 Dec 5, Russian news
reported that a Proton rocket and its payload of three GLONASS-M
navigation satellites has fallen into the Pacific Ocean after
failing to reach orbit. They were to be part of Russia's satellite
navigation system competing with the U.S. Global Positioning System
(GPS). The mishap eventually cost space chief Anatoly Perminov his
(AP, 12/5/10)(AP, 8/18/11)
2010 Dec 5, Mike Hancock (64),
a member of the British House of Commons Defense Committee, and the
European Security and Defense Assembly of the Western EU, said that
his Russian assistant, Katia Zatuliveter (25), is facing deportation
as a suspected spy.
2010 Dec 6, In Russia Yegor
Sviridov (28) was shot dead with rubber bullets during a fight in
northwest Moscow. A suspect arrested in the shooting was from
Kabardino-Balkaria in the Caucasus. Russian media later said
Sviridov was a member of the Spartak Ultras, a group linked to
soccer fan violence in the past. In Oct 2011 a jury at Moscow City
Court convicted Aslan Cherkesov of premeditated murder. The court's
Judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison. Five other people who
took part in the brawl were sentenced to five years in jail each for
hooliganism and inflicting light bodily injury.
(AP, 12/11/10)(SSFC, 12/12/10, p.A10)(AP,
2010 Dec 7, Georgia said it has
arrested six people, all of them Georgian citizens, suspected of
being agents for Russia and accused them of staging a series of
explosions, including one outside the US Embassy in the capital.
2010 Dec 8, In Russia drug
control agencies from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and Tajikistan
agreed to step up cooperation to stop the flow of drugs through
2010 Dec 13, Mikhail Prokhorov,
the Russian billionaire owner of the New Jersey Nets, introduced a
new line of hybrid cars — called "Yo" — that he hopes to begin
selling in 2012.
2010 Dec 16, Russian
cardiologist Ivan Khrenov told PM Putin during a live call-in show
that his bosses instructed doctors and nurses to show fake pay slips
and pose as recovering patients surrounded by new equipment during
the premier's November visit to a hospital in the central town of
Ivanovo. Putin's visit to the hospital was nationally televised,
just like the call-in show where Khrenov made his claims.
2010 Dec 16, Astronauts from
the US, Russia and Italy blasted off in a Soyuz spacecraft from
Kazakhstan on a mission to the Int’l. Space Station.
(SFC, 12/16/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 17, North Korea said
it would strike again at the South if a live-firing drill by Seoul
on a disputed island went ahead, with an even stronger response than
last month's shelling that killed four people. Russia urged South
Korea to halt plans for the artillery drill.
(AP, 12/17/10)(Reuters, 12/17/10)
2010 Dec 18, Russian news
agencies said Moscow police have arrested 500 people to stop them
attending rival protests over the killing of a soccer fan and the
ethnic violence that erupted after the slaying. Seven hunters and
forest rangers were shot dead in a wooded area in the Caucasus
province of Kabardino-Balkaria.
2010 Dec 21, In India Russia’s
Pres. Medvedev clinched agreements with its Cold War-era ally to
deepen nuclear energy cooperation and develop a supersonic fighter
to rival a US jet. Russia and India pledged to share intelligence
and work together to fight international terror.
(Reuters, 12/21/10)(AP, 12/21/10)
2010 Dec 22, The UN nuclear
agency said tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste from a defunct
Serbian reactor have been repatriated to Russia. The 2.5 metric tons
(2.76 tons) of the spent fuel arrived at a secure Russian facility
from Serbia's Vinca reactor.
2010 Dec 24, Russia's
parliament gave preliminary approval to a landmark nuclear arms
reduction treaty with the United States, supporting ratification of
the new START pact in the first of three required votes.
2010 Dec 24, Russia's central
bank raised interest rates on its deposit operations to contain
surging inflation, its first step away from the loose policy
implemented after the financial crisis hammered the Russian economy.
2010 Dec 24, Russia announced a
deal to buy at least two of France’s advanced Mistral-class
amphibious warships. This was the first time in modern history that
Russia has made a major defense acquisition abroad.
(SFC, 12/25/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 26, In Russia several
thousand people rallied in Moscow to protest the ethnic clashes that
have rocked Russia, holding posters reading "Fascists disgrace
Russia" and chanting "No to Fascism!"
2010 Dec 26, In Russia icy rain
shut down Moscow's largest airport for nearly 15 hours, coated roads
with ice and left more than 300,000 people and 14 hospitals without
2010 Dec 27, In Russia jailed
ex-tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was found guilty of money laundering
and theft of billions of dollars at a trial that has renewed doubts
about the Kremlin's commitment to the rule of law.
2010 Dec 28, A former Russian
senator was sentenced to life in jail for ordering multiple killings
and financing a criminal group. The Moscow City Court said that Igor
Izmestyev, a former senator and oil trader from the central region
of Bashkiriya, financed a mob that killed 14 people between 1992 and
2004. The court sentenced 4 more mobsters to up to 23 years in jail.
Their so-called Kingisepp mob was known for finishing their victims
off with a shot in the eye.
2010 Dec 28, In Russia robbers
carrying assault rifles in a baby carriage fatally shot two guards
outside a commercial bank and a man walking his dog and got away
with more than $800,000 worth of cash in St. Petersburg.
2010 Dec 28, An aging Russian
military cargo plane crashed, killing all 12 people aboard. The
An-22 plane was on a flight from the southwestern region of Voronezh
region when it crashed in the Tula region, about 120 miles (190 km)
south of Moscow.
2010 Dec 29, A Russian a court
ordered 3 men to be them held in custody at least until the end of
the week. Investigators had arrested two men and Andrei Chernyshev,
a government official, who is believed to have ordered the November
attack and brutal beating of environmental activist Konstantin
2010 Dec 30, Jailed Russian oil
tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was sentenced to six more years in
prison following a trial seen as payback for his defiance of
2010 Dec 31, In Russia Boris
Nemtsov, a former deputy Russian prime minister during Boris
Yeltsin's presidency, was among 68 people arrested at an
unsanctioned rally in Moscow. He and other protesters had gathered
on the opposite side of a square from an authorized protest. On Jan
2 he was sentenced to 15 days in jail for failure to follow police
orders. Nemtsov was released on Jan 15. A female suicide bomber was
killed on the outskirts of Moscow by a bomb that was to have been
deployed in the city's central Manezh Square where Muscovites throng
for holiday celebrations. A 2nd female suicide bomber was arrested
and sentenced to 10 years in jail in May, 2012. On Nov 28, 2012,
Ilyas Saidov of Dagestan, who brought the suicide belts, was
sentenced to 15 years in jail.
(AP, 1/3/11)(AP, 1/15/11)(AP, 2/3/11(AP,
2010 Dec 31, In Russia 13
villages remained without power following a freezing rain that
caused trees and power lines to snap. Power was cut off to 789
villages and towns with a total of 400,000 inhabitants in the region
2010 Thane Gustafson and Daniel
Yergin in 1994 authored "Russia 2010," their idea of where Russia
would be in 2010. Gustafson updated his ideas in 1999 with his book
(WSJ, 1/5/00, p.A20)
2010 Thomas de Waal authored
“The Caucasus: An Introduction."
(Econ, 10/23/10, p.102)
2010 Russian authorities closed
the Moscow square, Triumfalnaya Ploshad, saying an underground car
park would be built there. It had become the main venue for
anti-Putin rallies. No car park was built and the site became an
archaeological dig for two years. The square only reopened long
after the 2012 presidential election. It has since been landscaped
in a way to make protests impossible.
2010 Yury Kovalchuk, a friend
of Pres. Vladimir Putin, bought Video Int’l., Russia’s largest
advertising agency. Kovalchuk already had large stakes in Gazprom
Media and National Media Group.
(Econ, 2/15/14, p.45)
2011 Jan 1, A Russian passenger
jet carrying 124 people caught fire as it taxied down a snowy runway
and then exploded at a Siberian airport, killing three people and
injuring 43, including six who were badly burned.
2011 Jan 7, A Russia fishing
vessel with about a dozen on board went missing off Russia's Pacific
coast after sending a distress signal that it was sinking.
2011 Jan 14, BP and Russian
state-run firm Rosneft unveiled an agreement to swap shares and
launch a joint venture to exploit the Arctic's vast untouched energy
resources. BP’s share in Rosneft would increase to 10.8% and Rosneft
would get 5% of BP.
(AFP, 1/15/11)(Econ, 1/22/11, p.74)
2011 Jan 18, Palestinians
welcomed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the West Bank.
Medvedev gave a political boost to the Palestinians, backing their
claim to east Jerusalem as a capital and their demand that Israel
must freeze all settlement construction before peace talks can
2011 Jan 21, Afghan leader
Hamid Karzai paid his first state visit to Russia amid political
mayhem at home that saw a delay in the seating of a new parliament
and renewed questions about his ability to lead the war-ravaged
state. A joint statement said Pres. Medvedev has gratefully accepted
Hamid Karzai's invitation to visit Afghanistan.
2011 Jan 24, In Russia 37
people were killed and 180 injured in a suicide bombing at Moscow's
Domodedovo airport. An autopsy later showed "a huge amount of highly
potent narcotic and psychotropic substances in parts of the suicide
bomber's body." On Feb 6 unnamed officials in the North Caucasus
region said they believed Magomed Yevloyev (20) of Ingushetia, was
the suicide bomber. On Feb 9 Itar-TASS reported that Yevloyev’s
brother Akhmed (16) and sister Fatima (22) have been arrested. Also
detained was Akhmed Aushev, a resident of the same village,
Ali-Yurt, Ingushetia. On March 29 Russian investigators charged Doku
Umarov, a Chechen warlord, and another militant with organizing the
airport bombing. Media reports said that Umarov might be among 17
militants killed in a security raid in the province of Ingushetia
west of Chechnya on March 28. On Nov 11, 2013, brothers Islam and
Ilez Yandiyev and Bashir Khamkhoyev received life sentences in
maximum security penal colonies on terrorism and other charges.
Akhmed Yevloyev was sentenced to 10 years in a penal colony.
(Reuters, 1/24/11)(Reuters, 1/25/11)(AP,
1/29/11)(AP, 2/3/11)(Reuters, 2/6/11)(Reuters, 2/9/11)(AP,
2011 Jan 25, Russia's lower
house of parliament ratified a landmark nuclear arms pact with the
United States, virtually assuring passage of an agreement President
Barack Obama has described as the most significant arms control deal
in nearly two decades.
2011 Jan 26, Russia's upper
house of parliament unanimously ratified the New START nuclear arms
pact with the United States.
2011 Jan 28, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev signed the ratification of a nuclear arms cut pact
with the US, the centerpiece of Pres. Obama's efforts to reset ties
2011 Jan 30, An unmanned
Russian cargo spacecraft docked at the Int’l. Space Station
delivering 2.6 tons of supplies to the US-Russian-Italian
(SFC, 1/31/11, p.A2)
2011 Jan 31, In Russia several
hundred people demonstrated on a central Moscow square to call for
the ouster of PM Vladimir Putin. The demonstrations are held on the
last day of every month with 31 days to call attention to the 31st
Article of Russia's Constitution, which guarantees freedom of
2011 Feb 1, Russia’s President
Dmitry Medvedev unveiled a huge monument to his predecessor Boris
Yeltsin, praising him for leading Russia through its difficult first
years after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
2011 Feb 1, Ireland ordered a
Russian diplomat to be expelled, after an investigation concluded
that the country's intelligence service used stolen Irish identities
as cover for spies operating in the United States.
2011 Feb 2, In southern Russia
2 masked gunmen burst into a cafe in Kabardino-Balkaria and shot
dead four traffic policemen on their lunch break. In Dagestan two
suspected insurgents were killed in an overnight gunbattle with
2011 Feb 4, Russian Defense
Minister Anatoly Serdyukov inspected military facilities on the
disputed southern Kuril islands also claimed by Japan, prompting a
sharp protest from Tokyo.
2011 Feb 5, The United States
and Russia formally inaugurated their new START nuclear arms treaty,
capping two years of work to "reset" the sometimes strained ties
between the former Cold War enemies.
2011 Feb 7, RIA News reported
that a Russian man, Yevgeny Anikin (27), has pleaded guilty in court
to stealing $10 million from former Royal Bank of Scotland division
World Pay in 2008 by hacking into accounts. "I want to say that I
repent and fully admit my guilt," Anikin said in his final comments
to the court in Novosibirsk in Siberia, where he was charged with
2011 Feb 7, Japan's PM Naoto
Kan led a large rally demanding the return of the southern Kuril
islands held by Russia since the end of World War II and calling the
recent visit there by Russia's president an outrage. Japan has
designated Feb. 7 as "Northern Territories Day," saying that a
treaty dating back to that day in 1855 supports its claim to the
2011 Feb 9, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev made it clear he will not give up the southern Kuril
islands to Japan. In fact, he said Russia will send more weapons to
the disputed islands to keep them secure.
2011 Feb 10, Russian
environmental activist Alla Chernysheva (35) was detained with her 2
daughters (3&6), the latest victim in a campaign to silence
opponents of a new Moscow-St. Petersburg highway that is tearing up
the ancient Khimki forest. Authorities announced a March start date
for the highway. According to police Chernysheva was arrested on
suspicion of taking a fake bomb to a Feb. 1 protest rally.
2011 Feb 11, A top US diplomat
for arms control said Poland and other Eastern European countries
are expressing concern to the United States about an arsenal of
tactical nuclear weapons believed to be at their doorsteps in
Russia's Kaliningrad exclave.
2011 Feb 12, Russian police
detained Sergei Udaltsov, head of the anti-Kremlin Left Front group,
and 13 other activists during a rally in Moscow that drew hundreds
of protesters. A regional leader of the pro-Kremlin Just Russia
party was gunned down in the province of Adygeya. Alexander Loboda
was sprayed with bullets from a passing car in the town of Maykop.
Two suspected Islamic militants were gunned down in Nazran, the
largest city in the province of Ingushetia. Dagestan police found
the body of a man apparently killed a day earlier by an improvised
explosive device. The man was said to be an Islamic militant who
triggered the device by mistake in the Kyzyl-Yurt district.
2011 Feb 14, In Russia the
assistant to the judge, who convicted oil tycoon Mikhail
Khodorkovsky on Dec 30, said the judge did not write the verdict and
read it against his will in the Moscow courtroom.
2011 Feb 17, Russian riot
police raided the offices of Inteko, a building company belonging to
Yelena Baturina, Russia’s richest woman and wife of former Moscow
Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. The raid was part of an investigation into the
alleged embezzlement of $444 million from the Bank of Moscow.
(SFC, 2/18/11, p.A3)
2011 Feb 17, Pope Benedict XVI
and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met at the Vatican, stressing
the need for better ties and the promotion of shared Christian
2011 Feb 18, In Russia masked
gunmen shot dead three vacationers from the Moscow area on a road in
Kabardino-Balkaria in the violence-plagued North Caucasus region.
2011 Feb 18, Ford Motor Co.
said it plans to team up with a Russian automaker to make and
distribute cars in the country. The announcement came shortly after
Italian automaker Fiat SpA backed out of a potential partnership
with the same Russian company.
2011 Feb 21, In Russia former
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev described Russia as an imitation of
democracy and accused its current rulers of conceit and contempt for
voters, in his harshest criticism of the government yet.
2011 Feb 25, The US returned to
Russia a trove of historic archive documents dating back to
Catherine the Great that were stolen after the Soviet breakup. Some
of the documents returned were stolen from archives in St.
Petersburg in the early 1990s. Russian authorities have accused
Vladimir Feinberg, a Russian antiques dealer in Israel, of stealing
the documents and have been unsuccessful in obtaining his
2011 Feb 26, Russia joined
other UN Security Council members in ordering an arms embargo
against Libya and other sanctions (Resolution 1970). Russia stood to
lose a total of up to $10 billion in arms sales, including almost $4
billion with Libya, from the wave of unrest currently destabilizing
regimes in north Africa and the Middle East. The UN Security Council
agreed to tell the prosecutor of the Int’l. Criminal Court (ICC) to
probe the Libyan crisis.
2011 Feb 26, In Russia a man,
apparently distraught after an argument with his wife, died after
pulling the pin on a grenade and blowing himself up at the entrance
of a discount retail store in northeast Moscow.
(Reuters, 2/26/11)(SSFC, 2/27/11, p.A4)
2011 Mar 5, A mid-sized
Russian-built plane crashed during a training flight in Belgorod
province, killing all six people on board including two pilots from
2011 Mar 5, Lawmakers in
Russia's Chechnya region handed strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov a
new five-year term, unanimously approving the Kremlin nominee in a
vote whose outcome was never in doubt.
2011 Mar 13, Russians from the
Bering Strait to the Baltic voted in regional elections, testing
Vladimir Putin's ruling party before December parliamentary polls
and a presidential vote next March. Russia's ruling party swept the
(Reuters, 3/13/11)(AP, 3/14/11)
2011 Mar 16, NASA astronaut
Scott Kelly and two Russian cosmonauts landed safely in central
Kazakhstan after a five-month stint on the International Space
Station. They left behind Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev,
Italy's Paolo Nespoli and NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman, who are
due to return to earth in about three months.
2011 Mar 28, In Russia at least
17 rebels and three law enforcement officers were killed in
Ingushetia. Authorities also detained two brothers in the security
raid on charges of helping stage the January 24 Domodedovo airport
(Reuters, 3/28/11)(AP, 3/29/11)
2011 Mar 30, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev ordered government ministers to vacate their seats on the
boards of state firms.
(Econ, 4/9/11, p.57)
2011 Apr 8, In Russia a cyber
attack paralyzed the website of a popular independent newspaper,
days after similar attacks knocked off Russia's most popular
2011 Apr 11, In San Francisco
the annual Goldman Environmental prize was awarded 6 people from
around the world. The winners included Hilton Kelly for his efforts
to cut pollution in Port Arthur, Texas; Francisco Pineda for
resisting mining in El Salvador; Ursula Sladek of Germany for
creating for reducing her community’s reliance on nuclear power;
Prigi Arisandi for her efforts to protect Indonesia’s Surabaya
River; Dmitry Lisitsyn for his efforts to protect the Russia’s
Sakhalin island; and Raoul du Toit for defending wildlife in
(SFC, 4/11/11, p.A12)
2011 Apr 14, Russia was
reported to have banned the hunting of polar bears this year, thanks
to a group with close ties to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a
longtime defender of large endangered animals.
2011 Apr 17, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev became the first Kremlin chief to tour Hong Kong,
seeking fresh investment as aides and executives signaled a rise in
Russian listings in the city.
2011 Apr 18, US investor
William Browder said a Moscow tax official, who approved a
fraudulent $230 million tax return in 2007, has bought luxury real
estate in Moscow, Dubai and Montenegro and wired money through her
husband's bank accounts worth $39 million. Browder has been
campaigning against Russian corruption since 2009 when his lawyer,
Sergey Magnitsky, died a year after being sent to prison.
2011 May 3, Russia's domestic
intelligence agency said it had established the guilt of Alexander
Poteyev, a man Russian media have identified as the spymaster who
betrayed a ring of agents operating in the United States last year.
2011 May 3, The Church of
Scientology said Russia's Justice Ministry has dropped 29 books and
lectures by the movement's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, from its list of
extremist literature. They had been banned in late April after a
court in the Siberian city of Surgut found them "extremist."
2011 May 6, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin proposed creating a "broad popular front" ahead of
Russia's parliamentary election, in an apparent attempt to counter
growing public discontent with his political party and solidify
2011 May 8, In Dagestan a
Russian officer and three rebels were killed when police discovered
an encampment in the woods near Chechnya. Police reported that an
insurgent was killed and two others detained in an operation in the
city of Astrakhan in the Volga delta.
2011 May 12, Russia and
Pakistan pledged to boost economic ties and coordinate efforts to
fight terror as the Kremlin welcomed the Pakistani president for a
key visit after the killing of Osama bin Laden.
2011 May 16, Russian
billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the New Jersey Nets
basketball team, announced plans to lead Right Cause, a liberal
Russian political party with close ties to the Kremlin. Critics
referred to the party as fake opposition to help give Russia a
semblance of multiparty democracy.
(SFC, 5/17/11, p.A2)
2011 May 17, Doku Umarov,
leader of an Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus, posted an
interview saying Osama bin Laden's death would not stop violence and
hinted at more attacks, calling all of Russia a "battleground."
2011 May 21, Russia's oil
pipeline monopoly said it would appeal a court ruling ordering it to
release board meeting minutes, saying an anti-corruption blogger
wanted the information as part of a conspiracy against Russia.
2011 May 24, A Moscow appeals
court upheld the second conviction of oil magnate Mikhail
Khodorkovsky (47), but it also reduced his 14-year prison sentence
by one year.
2011 May 27, NATO reported that
Moamer Kadhafi's forces had laid landmines in Misrata. Russia joined
the call of Western powers for Kadhafi to step down as G8 leaders
met in France.
2011 May 28, Moscow police
arrested more than 30 people trying to hold two unauthorized
gay-rights demonstrations in the capital.
2011 May 30, Russia banned the
import of all vegetables from Germany and Spain and warned the
sanction could soon be applied to the rest of Europe because of the
deadly E. coli bacteria scare. German officials suspect the deadly
strain, which has already killed 12 people, may have come from
organic cucumbers imported from Spain.
2011 May 31, Russian officials
said the suspected triggerman in the 2006 killing of journalist Anna
Politkovskaya has been arrested. Rustam Makhmudov, was arrested in
Chechnya and would be transferred to Moscow.
2011 May 31, Europe's human
rights court ruled that Russia was guilty of violations in its
jailing of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, but found no firm
proof that the case was politically motivated.
2011 Jun 3, In Russia fire tore
through an ammunition depot in the central region of Udmurtia,
causing shells to explode all day. More than 28,000 people were
evacuated from their homes. Interfax news said that 106 of the
arsenal's 152 buildings were destroyed.
2011 Jun 7, A Russian Soyuz
spacecraft took off from Kazakhstan, bound for the International
Space Station. In the three-man crew were Russian cosmonaut Sergei
Volkov, American astronaut Michael Fossum, and Japanese astronaut
Satoshi Furukawa of Japan's JAXA space agency. The trio will spend
six months on the space station.
(AP, 6/7/11)(Reuters, 6/7/11)
2011 Jun 7, The EU imposed
sanctions on 6 ports still held by Colonel Qaddafi. Russian
President Dmitri Medvedev sent an envoy to Libya for the first time
to meet with rebel leaders in the city of Benghazi and promise
support. At least 40 NATO strikes hit Tripoli as Khadafy spoke in an
audio address and vowed never to surrender.
(Econ, 6/18/11, p.53)(AFP, 6/7/11)(SFC, 6/8/11,
2011 Jun 9, Russian officials
said a wave of wildfires this year have already torched 1.48 million
acres of mainly Siberian forests and left 3 fire fighters dead.
(SFC, 6/10/11, p.A2)
2011 Jun 10, In Russia
disgraced army Col. Yuri Budanov was gunned down in central Moscow.
He had been convicted to 10 years in prison for kidnapping and
strangling Heda Kungayeva (18), a Chechen girl, in 2000, but was
released on parole in 2009.
(SFC, 6/11/11, p.A2)
2011 Jun 20, In northwestern
Russia a TU-134 passenger jet slammed into the ground and caught
fire while trying to land on a foggy night at Petrozavodsk, killing
44 people and leaving eight survivors badly hurt. 3 more victim died
days later bringing the death toll to 47. Russian authorities later
reported that the navigator was in a state of “light alcoholic
(Reuters, 6/21/11)(AP, 6/22/11)(AP, 6/26/11)(SFC,
2011 Jun 22, Russia denied
registration to the People's Freedom Party, a new political party
created by three prominent opposition leaders, effectively barring
them from participating in upcoming parliamentary and presidential
2011 Jun 22, Russia and the EU
signed a deal agreeing conditions for the resumption of EU fresh
vegetable imports to Russia, which banned them because of a deadly
2011 Jun 23, Russia’s PM Putin
said his government would not revoke a ban on European vegetable
imports until Brussels met Kremlin conditions.
(SFC, 6/24/11, p.A4)
2011 Jun 23, In Russia
Vladislav Achalov (65), a former Soviet general who supported two
botched anti-Kremlin coups and recently organized a protest against
the government's military reform, died in Moscow. Achalov supported
the 1991 hardline coup that briefly ousted Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev but didn't face trial. In October 1993, he played an
active role in a rebellion against President Boris Yeltsin and spent
several months in custody before being released under amnesty.
2011 Jun 25, Russian tycoon and
New Jersey Nets basketball team owner Mikhail Prokhorov was
confirmed as the new head of a Kremlin-friendly political party.
2011 Jun 25, Russian police
detained 14 gay rights activists trying to hold an unsanctioned
demonstration in St. Petersburg, as well as one person suspected of
attacking the protesters.
2011 Jun 27, In Russia Col.
Alexander Poteyev, a former senior Russian intelligence officer, was
convicted in absentia of betraying a ring of 10 Russian spies in the
United States. Poteyev had reportedly fled to Belarus and then on to
Germany and, finally, the United States using a passport belonging
to another person.
2011 Jun 30, Russian officials
said a court in a Moscow suburb banned works by the founder of the
Church of Scientology. A court in the Siberian city of Surgut had
earlier made a similar decision, but then overturned it. The
decision did not yet taken effect due to a still-pending appeal by
(AP, 6/30/11)(AP, 1/8/12)
2011 Jul 2, Russia restored
power to Belarus after a 4-day cutoff due to unpaid bills.
(SSFC, 7/3/11, p.A5)
2011 Jul 10, In Russia a
55-year-old double-decker boat, called Bulgaria, sank on the Volga
River in the Tatarstan region, killing at least 100 people with 29
missing. A total of 208 people are believed to have sailed on the
boat. Officials said it was overloaded when it sank.
(AP, 7/10/11)(AP, 7/11/11)(AP, 7/13/11)
2011 Jul 11, Russia's
Investigative Committee said a Tangara airline plane carrying 33
people crashed as it tried to make an emergency landing on the Ob
river in Siberia, killing five people.
2011 Jul 14, The Canadian head
of the NATO mission over Libya said Gaddafi has ordered his troops
to blow up refineries and other facilities if they have to retreat.
Russia’s special envoy to Libya told the Izvestia newspaper that
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi has a "suicidal plan" to blow up the
capital Tripoli if it is taken by rebels.
(Reuters, 7/14/11)(AFP, 7/14/11)
2011 Jul 31, Russian police
detained dozens of antigovernment activists in Moscow and St.
Petersburg. Opposition leaders have called for demonstrations on the
last day of every month with 31 days in reference to the 31st
Article of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of
(SFC, 8/1/11, p.A2)
2011 Jul 31, In Russia an
overloaded motor boat crashed into the docked Oka barge on the
Moscow River in pre-dawn darkness, killing nine of the 16 people on
2011 Aug 17, Iran's foreign
minister Ali Akbar Salehi, speaking in Russia, said Iran is ready to
resume negotiations on its nuclear program and a Russian proposal
will aid the process.
2011 Aug 18, Russia lost
contact with its Express-AM4 communications satellite shortly after
its launch, the latest in a series of failures that has dogged the
nation's space program. Failure of the upper stage, the Briz-M,
resulted in the loss of communications.
2011 Aug 18, The chief of
Russia's state arms trader Rosoboronexport, Anatoly Isaikin, said
Moscow will keep supplying combat jets and other military gear to
Syria under contracts totaling about $3.5 billion (euro2.43
2011 Aug 19, Russia's Foreign
Ministry cautioned the West against encouraging the Syrian
opposition, and said it doesn't support Western calls for President
Bashar Assad to resign.
2011 Aug 19, Russia and North
Korea both announced that Moscow will provide food assistance,
including some 50,000 tons of wheat, to Pyongyang. North Korea might
face another food crisis this year due to heavy rains.
2011 Aug 20, Reclusive North
Korea's autocratic leader Kim Jong Il crossed into Russia on his
armored train to discuss with President Dmitry Medvedev the possible
renewal of nuclear disarmament talks and the construction of a
pipeline that will stream Russian natural gas to both Koreas.
2011 Aug 22, Russian military
officers flew to North Korea for talks about renewing military ties
as North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's armored train rolled through
the resource-rich far east of Russia on his secretive journey to a
summit with President Dmitry Medvedev.
2011 Aug 23, Russian
investigators arrested Lt. Col. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, a retired
police officer, on suspicion of organizing the 2006 killing of
journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in the elevator
of her Moscow apartment building.
2011 Aug 23, In southern Russia
an explosion of old ammunition at the Ashuluk military base in the
Astrakhan region killed six soldiers and wounded 12.
2011 Aug 24, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev near
Lake Baikal. A spokesman for Medvedev said North Korea is ready to
impose a moratorium on nuclear missile tests if international talks
on its nuclear program resume.
2011 Aug 24, A Russian unmanned
supply spaceship, launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan, crashed and exploded in a forested area in Siberia. It
was the 44th launch of a Progress supply ship to the int’l. space
station, and the first failure in the nearly 13-year life of the
2011 Aug 31, Russian bailiffs
raided the offices of BP in Moscow to uncover documents over its
failed deal with Rosneft. The search came less than a day after
Rosneft and ExxonMobil agreed to a stunning Arctic exploration deal
overseen by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
2011 Sep 1, Russia recognized
Libya's rebels as the governing authority in the country.
2011 Sep 3, In Tajikistan
leaders from eight former Soviet states (Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan)
gathered to celebrate enduring cooperation over the two decades
since their nations collectively gained independence, but mutual
acrimony and recriminations cast a shadow over the event.
2011 Sep 7, A Russian Yak-42
jet carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team crashed while
taking off near the city of Yaroslavl, killing 43 of 45 people. One
of the 2 survivors died on Sep 12. Flight crew member Alexander
Sizov remained in intensive care at Moscow's Sklifosovsky hospital.
The Kontinental Hockey League included 24 teams from Russia,
Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Slovakia.
(AP, 9/7/11)(AP, 9/10/11)(AP, 9/12/11)
2011 Sep 9, Syria's opposition
leaders said they expected more support from Russia after the
Russian upper house of parliament's foreign affairs chief Mikhail
Margelov met a visiting Syrian delegation that included National
Organization for Human Rights in Syria head Ammar Qurabi.
2011 Sep 12, In Syria raids
around Hama began after security forces cut all roads leading to the
area along with electricity and telephone lines. Security forces
shot dead 17 people and arrested more than 60 around Hama. 3 others
were reported killed in Douma and Al Rastan. Russia’s President
Dmitry Medvedev defended the Russian position for “open direct
talks" in talks in Moscow with British PM David Cameron even as the
Syrian security forces pressed their deadly crackdown on dissent.
(AP, 9/12/11)(AFP, 9/13/11)
2011 Sep 15, Russian tycoon
Mikhail Prokhorov (46) abandoned his efforts to build up the Right
Cause political party and enter parliament, saying he was unwilling
to tolerate interference from the Kremlin. He also lambasted
Vladislav Surkov, the Kremlin's seldom-glimpsed political
2011 Sep 22, In Dagestan 2
early morning car bombs killed a Russian policeman and wounded 60
other people in the capital of Makhachkala. A few hours before the
car bombs, four suspected Islamic insurgents died when explosives
they were carrying in their car detonated on a capital street.
2011 Sep 24, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin (58) declared he planned to reclaim the presidency at
March elections that could open the way for the former KGB spy to
rule until 2024.
2011 Sep 26, Russia’s
influential finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, was forced out after a
television confrontation with Pres. Dmitri Medvedev.
(SFC, 9/27/11, p.A2)
2011 Sep 29, British police and
medical regulators said Russian gangs and their Chinese associates
are making billions of dollars from selling fake and unlicensed
medicines over the Internet, putting thousands of people at risk.
More than 2.5 million doses of counterfeit, controlled and withdrawn
drugs were seized across 79 countries in seven days of raids
coordinated by international police organization Interpol under an
operation codenamed Pangea that ended on Sep 27.
2011 Sep, Two professors of a
military academy in St. Petersburg were charged with espionage for
allegedly selling Russian military secrets to China.
2011 Oct 4, China and Russia
vetoed a UN Security Council resolution threatening action against
Syria's deadly crackdown on protests.
2011 Oct 5, Russia's
intelligence service said it has detained an alleged Chinese spy who
tried to obtain designs of an advanced missile system as part of
Beijing's efforts to update its weaponry. Prosecutors submitted the
case to the Moscow City Court today, although the man was detained
late last October.
2011 Oct 7, Syrian security
forces opened fire at protesters in several parts of the country,
killing at least eight people and wounding scores. Leading
opposition figure Riad Seif was beaten up by pro-government gunmen
and rushed to a hospital in Damascus. Russia’s Pres. Dmitry Medvedev
told Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to either reform or resign. In
Qamishli Mashaal Tammo, a prominent and charismatic Kurdish
opposition figure, was gunned down by masked gunmen.
(AP, 10/7/11)(AP, 10/8/11)
2011 Oct 15, Russian opposition
activist Sergei Udaltsov, the leader of the Left Front movement was
sent back to jail after visiting a hospital where he was denied
proper medical attention. Udaltsov was on the 3rd day of a
hunger strike and fell ill in a courtroom where he was appealing a
10-day jail sentence for disobeying police orders.
2011 Oct 21, Russia's
parliament adopted a law limiting abortions but rejected even
tougher restrictions backed by the country's conservative Orthodox
Church. The country's birth rate has become a serious concern for
Russia as it fights to stem a steep population decline.
2011 Oct 21, A Russian rocket
launched the first 2 satellites of the EU’s Galileo navigation
system from French Guiana, in an ambitious bid to rival the American
(SFC, 10/22/11, p.A2)
2011 Oct 22, Russia’s Foreign
Ministry said in a statement it was blacklisting unspecified US
officials it claims were involved in the abductions of alleged
terrorism suspects, the torture of inmates at Guantanamo prison, the
killings of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the abductions or
abuse of Russians in the United States. The action was in response
to the US State Department's decision in July to ban entry to dozens
of unidentified Russian officials allegedly involved in the death of
lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
2011 Oct 26, Russian newspaper
journalist Igor Karmazin, working on a report about the opposition
in Belarus, said he was deported overnight from the authoritarian
ex-Soviet nation by the secret police. Lukashenko said that his
government has learned the lessons of the Arab Spring uprisings and
knows how to deal with protests organized through social networks.
2011 Oct 30, An unmanned
Russian cargo ship headed for the Int’l. Space Station after it
launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
(SFC, 10/31/11, p.A2)
2011 Nov 2, Bangladesh and
Russia signed a deal to build a nuclear power plant in the
energy-starved South Asian nation.
2011 Nov 2, Transparency
Int’l., a Berlin-based campaigning group, published an update of its
2008 Bribe Payers Index. Russia and China scored worst. The index
ranked 28 countries accounting for 80% of global trade and
(Econ, 11/5/11, p.72)
2011 Nov 4, In Russia thousands
of far-right nationalists and neo-Nazis marched through Moscow to
call for ethnic Russians to "take back" Russia, as resentment grows
over dark-complexioned Muslim migrants from Russia's Caucasus and
the money the Kremlin sends to those restive regions.
2011 Nov 4, In Russia an
international crew of researchers walked out of a set of windowless
modules in Moscow after a grueling 520-day simulation of a flight to
Mars. The all-male crew consisted of three Russians, a Frenchman, an
Italian-Colombian and a Chinese.
2011 Nov 7, Russia's Interior
Ministry said police have arrested Anatoly Moskvin (45) of Nizhny
Novgorod. Police said he had kept 29 mummified bodies at his
apartment and dressed them up like dolls. The man reportedly had
only selected the remains of young women for his grisly collection.
(AP, 11/7/11)(SFC, 11/8/11, p.A2)
2011 Nov 9, A Russian space
probe aiming to land on a Mars moon was stuck circling the Earth
after equipment failure. Scientists raced to fire up its engines
before the whole thing came crashing down. The unmanned
Phobos-Ground craft was successfully launched by a Zenit-2 booster
rocket just after midnight. On Dec 2 the European Space Agency said
it had abandoned efforts to contact the probe.
(AP, 11/9/11)(SFC, 12/3/11, p.A2)
2011 Nov 14, Two Russians and
an American blasted off from Kazakhstan to the ISS orbiting
laboratory on a Soyuz-FG rocket, Russia's first manned mission since
the failed launch of the unmanned Progress supply ship in August
temporarily grounded its Soyuz rockets.
2011 Nov 21, Vitaly Shlykov
(77), a former Soviet intelligence agent who spent years in a Swiss
prison (1983-1986) after being convicted of espionage, died in
Moscow. After his retirement two years later, he became a prominent
scholar specializing in military policy and wrote extensively on
2011 Nov 21, A Russian Soyuz
capsule with 3 astronauts returned from the Int’l. Space Station
landed in Kazakhstan after spending 165 days in space.
(SFC, 11/22/11, p.A2)
2011 Nov 23, President Dmitry
Medvedev said Russia will deploy new missiles aimed at US missile
defense sites in Europe if Washington goes ahead with the planned
shield despite Russia's concerns. The stern warning to the US and
NATO seemed to be directed at rallying nationalist votes in the
2011 Nov 29, President Dmitry
Medvedev officially commissioned a new military early warning radar
in the Kaliningrad region, saying it shows Russia's readiness to
respond to US missile defense plans.
2011 Dec 1, Russian prosecutors
launched a probe against Golos, the country's main independent
election watchdog, on suspicion of election law violations — just
three days before the national parliamentary vote. It has recorded
more than 4,500 complaints related to the Dec 4 election, most
involving the dominant United Russia party.
2011 Dec 2, A Russian court
found Golos, the country’s only independent election watchdog,
guilty of violations, casting doubt on its ability to monitor the
Dec 4 parliamentary election as voters complain of record violations
by the Kremlin party.
2011 Dec 4, Russians cast their
ballots with muted enthusiasm in parliamentary elections. Several
parties complained of extensive election violations aimed at
boosting the vote count of United Russia, the party of PM Vladimir
Putin. An election official later described how he had manipulated
the vote at his polling station to give Putin's party the desired 65
percent, when in fact it had won no more than 25 percent.
(AP, 12/4/11)(AP, 3/4/12)
2011 Dec 5, In Russia PM
Vladimir Putin's party saw its majority in parliament weaken
sharply, according to preliminary election results. International
observers pointed to procedural violations and serious indications
of ballot stuffing after a campaign slanted in favor of United
Russia. Only seven parties were allowed to field candidates for
parliament this year, while the most vocal opposition groups were
barred from the race.
2011 Dec 7, Former Soviet
leader Mikhail Gorbachev said Russian authorities should annul the
results of the parliamentary vote and hold a new one, as popular
indignation grew over widespread allegations of election fraud.
Thousands of Russians have rallied in Moscow and St. Petersburg in
the last two days, facing off against tens of thousands of police
and Interior Ministry troops. Popular anger boiled over into a 3rd
straight night of protests with scores arrested in Moscow and St.
(AP, 12/7/11)(SFC, 12/8/11, p.A5)
2011 Dec 9, In China two
exchange students accepted the Confucius Peace Prize on behalf of
Russian PM Vladimir Putin, who was honored for enhancing Russia's
status and crushing anti-government forces in Chechnya.
2011 Dec 10, Tens of thousands
of Muscovites thronged to a square across the river from the Kremlin
to protest alleged electoral fraud and urge an end to PM Vladimir
Putin's rule, demands repeated at other rallies across this vast
country in the largest public show of discontent in post-Soviet
2011 Dec 11, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev posted a comment on his Facebook page saying he has
ordered a probe into the allegations of electoral fraud during the
Dec. 4 parliamentary vote.
2011 Dec 12, Mikhail Prokhorov
(46), one of Russia's richest tycoons and the owner of the New
Jersey Nets basketball team, said he will run against PM Vladimir
Putin in the March presidential election. Prokhorov made his
fortune, estimated by Forbes at $18 billion, in metals and banking.
2011 Dec 13, A convoy of 25
Russian trucks was stopped by US soldiers guarding the Kosovo border
with Serbia, increasing tensions in the volatile region.
Peacekeepers said the convoy's cargo consisting of canned food,
blankets, tents and power generators looked to be intended for those
manning the roadblocks, and not for the general Kosovo Serb
population. EU officials in Kosovo said the Russians can pass if
they allow an international police escort. Three EU police vehicles
escorted the convoy on Dec 16 after taking a roundabout way through
Serbia to bypass roadblocks.
(AP, 12/14/11)(AP, 12/17/11)
2011 Dec 14, In Russia a
loyalist to PM Vladimir Putin who served as the speaker of
parliament resigned in a move that appeared to be part of the
government's effort to stem public anger over alleged fraud in this
month's parliamentary election.
2011 Dec 14, In Russia Boris
Chertok (99), a rocket designer who played a key role in engineering
Soviet-era space programs, died in Moscow. He was closely involved
in putting the world's first satellite in orbit on Oct. 4, 1957, and
preparing the first human flight to space by Yuri Gagarin on April,
2011 Dec 15, Khadzhimurad
Kamalov (46), the founder of a newspaper critical of authorities in
the restive province of Dagestan in Russia's North Caucasus, died
after he was gunned down in a hail of bullets outside his office.
Kamalov founded the independent weekly paper Chernovik (Rough Draft)
in 2003 and remained its publisher until his killing.
2011 Dec 16, Russia gained
approval to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). Formal
membership was expected in early 2012.
(SFC, 12/17/11, p.A4)
2011 Dec 17, In Russia about
1,000 demonstrators demanding a rerun of parliamentary elections
gathered in central Moscow for a second weekend of protests against
the recent fraud-tainted vote.
2011 Dec 18, In Russia
thousands took to the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg, braving
strong winds and torrential rains for a second week of protests over
the recent fraud-tainted parliamentary vote.
2011 Dec 18, Russia’s Kolskaya
oil drilling platform capsized and later sank amid fierce storms off
the coast of Sakhalin Island, plunging dozens of workers into the
churning, icy waters. Of the 67 men aboard, 14 were plucked alive
immediately after the accident.
(AP, 12/18/11)(AP, 12/19/11)
2011 Dec 18, Iranian state
media reported that Russia’s Tatneft has signed a preliminary accord
valued at $1 billion with the Persian Gulf country to develop the
Zagheh oil field located in southwestern Iran. The next day Tatneft
said no accord has been signed.
(SFC, 12/18/11, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/7j78scn)
2011 Dec 20, The European Court
of Human Rights ordered Russia to pay more than €1 million ($1.3
million) to dozens of plaintiffs over the country's bungled efforts
to end a 2002 Moscow theater siege by Chechen militants.
2011 Dec 23, A Russian Soyuz
spacecraft arrived at the Int’l. Space Station delivering a Russian,
an American and a Dutchman, restoring the permanent crew to six.
(SFC, 12/24/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 24, In Russia an
estimated 80,000 demonstrators cheered opposition leaders and jeered
the Kremlin in the biggest show of outrage yet against PM Vladimir
Putin's 12-year rule.
(AP, 12/24/11)(Econ, 12/31/11, p.36)
2011 Dec 25, Prominent Russian
opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the Left Front, had
barely half an hour of freedom before being sentenced to 10 more
days in jail, making it the 14th time this year he's been detained.
2011 Dec 25, Russian and
Japanese rescue vessels and a helicopter searched for five people
missing in a fierce storm off Russia's east coast after a
Cambodia-flagged fishing ship, the Ginga, sank early in the day. 3
bodies were recovered from the icy waters of the La Perouse Strait,
between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan.
2011 Katerina Clark, a Yale
historian, authored “Moscow: The Fourth Rome: Stalinism,
Cosmopolitanism, and the Evolution of Soviet Culture, 1931-1941".
2011 Russia’s population was
about 140 million.
(Econ, 9/17/11, p.49)
2012 Jan 6, In Russia a former
Cabinet member close to PM Vladimir Putin called for a rerun of the
country's fraud-tinged parliamentary elections, an apparent bid to
soothe public outrage as Putin seeks to reclaim the presidency.
2012 Jan 9, In Russia a gas
explosion and fire at the Il Pittore restaurant in Moscow killed two
people and injured at least 26. The explosion was believed to have
been caused by improper use of gas canisters.
2012 Jan 12, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin promised that his government will become more
accountable to the Russian people if he wins a third presidential
term in March as he laid out his priorities for the future on a
2012 Jan 12, Turkish officials
said a Russian ship, allegedly carrying tons of weapons, made a dash
for Syria after Cypriot officials allowed it to leave their waters.
The Chariot was ferrying cargo owned by Russia's state arms trader
2012 Jan 14, Russian police
detained two officials of a liberal opposition party after a protest
rally in Moscow against election fraud. The rally by the Yabloko
party was sanctioned for 300 participants, but police counted about
2012 Jan 15, A failed $170
million Russian space probe, Phobos-Ground, crashed into the
southern Pacific, 770 miles off the southern coast of Chile.
(SFC, 1/16/12, p.A2)
2012 Jan 23, Russia's business
daily Kommersant reported that Moscow has signed a contract to sell
36 Yak-130 combat jets to Syria, a deal that, if confirmed, would
openly defy international efforts to pressure Assad's regime.
2012 Jan 23, Indian navy
personnel took command of the country's first nuclear-powered
submarine in two decades after collecting the vessel near the
Russian port of Vladivostok. India decommissioned its last
Soviet-built vessel in 1991.
2012 Jan 24, Russia's elections
commission said prominent opposition leader Grigory Yavlinsky will
be disqualified from running for president in March, after finding
that hundreds of thousands of the signatures submitted on his
nominating petition were invalid. The move would prevent his liberal
Yabloko party from fielding observers. His party had fielded
thousands of election observers in the December election who
documented evidence of fraud in favor of Putin's United Russia
2012 Jan 25, Russian
billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov was registered as a presidential
candidate and will be the only political newcomer in the race. He
joined PM Vladimir Putin and three veteran party leaders on the
ballot for the March vote.
2012 Jan 27, Russian officials
said the leader of Islamist separatists in the province of
Ingushetia was killed in a shootout in the village of Ekazhevo along
with two other militants. 4 Russian military officers and five
militants were killed in the neighboring province of Dagestan. In
Kabardino-Balkariya, three masked militants stormed into a school
and stabbed a volleyball player in the gym.
2012 Jan 28, The foreign
ministers of Japan and Russia agreed to strengthen economic and
security cooperation but made no progress on resolving a
long-standing territorial dispute that has kept the two nations from
concluding a peace treaty.
2012 Jan 29, In Russia
thousands of cars flying white ribbons or balloons circled central
Moscow on Sunday in a show of protest against PM Vladimir Putin.
2012 Jan 30, Russia's Foreign
Ministry said it has invited Syrian authorities and opposition for
talks in Moscow.
2012 Feb 3, Ukraine's
government blamed Russia for natural gas shortages in some European
countries as a severe cold spell grips the region. Germany, Italy
and Austria have reported cutbacks in Russian gas supplies, but
Russia's energy giant Gazprom has blamed them on Kiev, accusing
Ukraine of siphoning off gas destined for European consumers.
2012 Feb 4, The Ukrainian
Security Service detained a man sought by Russian authorities on
charges of terrorism and two of his accomplices in Odessa. On Feb 27
the detainees were reported to be linked to an anti-Putin plot.
2012 Feb 6, Russian researchers
said that they had succeeded in drilling through four km (2.5 miles)
of ice to the surface of Lake Vostok, a sub-glacial Antarctic lake
which could yield important scientific discoveries.
(AFP, 2/6/12)(SFC, 2/7/12, p.A7)
2012 Feb 7, Syrian forces
renewed their assault on the flashpoint city of Homs as Russia's
foreign minister stressed the need for reform and dialogue during
talks in Damascus with President Bashar Assad about the country's
escalating violence. Activists reported that at least 15 people,
including a 15-year-old boy, were killed in violence across the
country. The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council said it is pulling
its ambassadors from Syria. France said it is recalling its
ambassador to Syria for consultations. Other Western powers
including Britain, the United States and Italy have called back
their top envoys in the wake of new violence.
2012 Feb 8, A senior European
Union official said the EU will impose harsher sanctions on Syria,
as Russia tried to broker talks between the vice president and the
opposition to calm violence. Activists reported at least 50 killed
in military assaults targeting government opponents in Homs.
2012 Feb 10, A Russian military
court convicted Lt. Col. Vladimir Nesterets of providing the CIA
with secret information on Russia's new intercontinental ballistic
missiles and sentenced him to 13 years in prison. The Federal
Security Service said Nesterets pleaded guilty to passing on that
classified information in exchange for money.
2012 Feb 15, Authorities said
more than 600 people in Eastern Europe have died during a
record-breaking cold snap. Officials in the Czech Republic blamed
two massive car pile-ups on blinding snow. Authorities in Russia
said 205 people have died, while in Ukraine there have been 112
fatalities; in Poland, 107. Authorities said 7 people have died in
Romania in the past 24 hours, bringing the total there to 86 deaths.
2012 Feb 18, Russian police
said 17 officers have been killed during a 4-day operation to wipe
out several militant bands in Chechnya and Dagestan. At least 20
rebels were reported killed.
(SSFC, 2/19/12, p.A4)
2012 Feb 18, Latvia voted in a
referendum on whether Russian should become the Baltic country's
second national language. The Russians and other minorities who
organized the referendum admit they have virtually no chance at
winning the plebiscite. According to the current law, anyone who
moved to Latvia during the Soviet occupation, or was born to parents
who moved there, is considered a noncitizen and must pass the
Latvian language exam in order to become a citizen. Latvian voters
resoundingly rejected the proposal.
2012 Feb 19, In Russia hundreds
of cars circled central Moscow during an opposition demonstration to
demand that PM Vladimir Putin allow free elections. A similar
protest in support of Putin a day earlier drew what police said were
2012 Feb 21, In Russia Pussy
Riot performed a punk rock song in the Cathedral of Christ the
Savior of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In the song, the
group prayed to the “Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin" to “chase Putin
out," in part of the growing protest movement against Vladimir
2012 Feb 21, It was reported
that a team of Russian scientists have revived a plant, Silene
stenophylla, whose seeds came from a squirrel’s chamber in Siberian
permafrost dating back 30k-32k years.
(SFC, 2/21/12, p.A4)
2012 Feb 22, Russia expressed
"serious concern" about the humanitarian situation in Syria and said
it backed an International Committee of the Red Cross call for a
daily two-hour truce that could provide help to civilians.
2012 Feb 24, Russia welcomed
the appointment of Kofi Annan as the UN and Arab League envoy for
the crisis in Syria and called for an immediate ceasefire to
evacuate wounded from the city of Homs.
2012 Feb 27, Russian state
television reported that security forces have uncovered a plot to
assassinate PM Vladimir Putin and have arrested suspects linked to a
Chechen rebel leader known for other terror attacks. The suspects
were arrested in Ukraine's Black Sea port city of Odessa after an
accidental explosion Jan. 4 while they were trying to manufacture
explosives at a rented apartment.
2012 Mar 1, Russia's top
investigative agency said it has launched a probe regarding videos
that have shown up on Internet purporting to show fraud taking place
during the country's presidential election, even though it hasn't
taken place yet.
2012 Mar 3, In Russia Maria
Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, two alleged members of Pussy
Riot, were arrested by Russian authorities and accused of
“hooliganism." belting out an anti-Putin "punk prayer" in front of
the church's gilded altar wearing garishly colored balaclavas.
2012 Mar 4, Russians voted in
presidential elections expected to return Vladimir Putin to the
Kremlin. The independent elections watchdog agency Golos said it was
receiving reports of so-called "carousel voting," in which busloads
of voters are driven around to cast ballots multiple times. Putin
won more than 63% of the vote according to the nearly complete
official returns. The opposition and independent observers said the
election was marred by widespread fraud.
(AP, 3/4/12)(AP, 3/5/12)
2012 Mar 4, In Astrakhan,
Russia, Oleg Shein lost his bid for mayor to an incumbent from the
pro-Kremlin United Russia party. Shein alleged massive fraud and on
March 16 began a hunger strike.
(Econ, 4/21/12, p.69)
2012 Mar 5, Thousands of
Russians gathered in Moscow for a massive rally to challenge PM
Vladimir Putin's victory in the presidential election. Police at
night arrested hundreds of protesters who remained on Moscow's
Pushkin Square after an officially approved rally finished.
(AP, 3/5/12)(AP, 3/6/12)
2012 Mar 9, Russia said it
opposed an "unbalanced" Washington-backed UN draft resolution on
Syria because it failed to call for a simultaneous halt in violence
by the government and rebels.
2012 Mar 10, In Russia more
than 20,000 protesters streamed down a central Moscow avenue to
denounce Vladimir Putin's presidential election win, but the crowd's
relatively small size compared to recent protests suggested the
opposition movement has lost some momentum.
2012 Mar 10, Arab and Russian
foreign ministers meeting in Cairo called for an end to the violence
in Syria "whatever its source," as they struggled try to find common
ground on ways to resolve the deadly conflict. Qatari Foreign
Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said that it was time to
send Arab and foreign troops to Syria.
2012 Mar 11, In Russia a law
took effect in St. Petersburg which, in part prohibits "the
propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors. Gay rights
activists said it would criminalize even reading, writing or
speaking about gay, lesbian, or transgender people. Violations carry
hefty fines up to $16,700.
2012 Mar 13, Russian Deputy
Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Russia will abide by existing
contracts to deliver weapons to Syria despite Pres. Assad's yearlong
crackdown on the opposition.
2012 Mar 13, Russian and South
Korean scientists signed a deal on joint research intended to
recreate a woolly mammoth, an animal which last walked the earth
some 10,000 years ago.
2012 Mar 14, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Pres. Assad of "inertia" and said
Russia's hugely controversial policy on Syria was not aimed at
defending his regime.
2012 Mar 16, Russia said it has
encouraged the Syrian government to cooperate with Kofi Annan, the
envoy charged with trying to help end the violence there, and urged
the West to do the same with the Syrian rebels.
2012 Mar 20, Russia said it is
ready to support a UN resolution endorsing Kofi Annan's plan for
settling the Syrian crisis, signaling it is prepared to raise the
pressure on its old ally.
2012 Mar 22, Russia’s Lukoil
signed a $1 billion deal with South Korea's Samsung Engineering to
develop Iraq's second-biggest oil field, in which the energy giant
has a majority stake.
2012 Mar 20, Russian banker
German Gorbuntsov (45) was shot outside his home in east London and
was put into a medically induced coma. Hew was days away from giving
evidence to an investigation into the attempted murder of a former
business associate. His lawyer believed the attack was connected to
an assassination attempt on Gorbuntsov's partner and co-owner of
Konvers Group, Alexander Antonov, in 2009. A bank he owned in
Moldova, Universalbank, was closed down in February and he was
wanted there for financial crimes. The Kommersant business daily
wrote that Gorbuntsov said he himself was a victim of a raider
attack that caused him to lose his stake of more than 70 percent in
(AFP, 3/24/12)(Reuters, 3/25/12)
2012 Mar 25, Russian spacecraft
controllers intentionally plunged a defunct communications
satellite, called Express-AM4, into the ocean. The $265 million
satellite was launched into the wrong orbit on Aug 18,2011, and had
been languishing in space ever since. The company Polar Broadband
Systems Ltd. tried in vain to save and recycle the Russian
2012 Mar 29, Russia's top
investigative agency filed new charges against police officers
accused of torturing detainees amid growing public outrage over
police brutality. Kazan resident Sergei Nazarov (52) died earlier
this month of injuries suffered when officers sodomized him with a
champagne bottle. Four officers charged in Novokuznetsk were accused
of causing a detainee's death by asphyxiation by putting a gas mask
on him and cutting off his access to air.
2012 Apr 1, Russian police
detained about 55 protesters outside the gates to Red Square, which
was unexpectedly closed to all visitors and tourists to prevent an
2012 Apr 2, A Russian passenger
plane, an ATR-72 turboprop operated by UTair, crashed into a snowy
field in Siberia shortly after takeoff from Tyumen, killing 31 of
the 43 people on board. The 12 survivors were hospitalized in
2012 Apr 3, Russia's Foreign
Ministry announced that the Syrian government said it has begun
implementing a UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan that requires it to
withdraw its forces from towns and cities within a week.
2012 Apr 3, In Russia a blaze
at Moscow’s Kachalovsky market killed 17 migrant workers who were
unable to escape from the metal shed where they were sleeping. All
were citizens of former Soviet nations in Central Asia.
2012 Apr 4, A Russian antivirus
company claimed that some 600,000 Macs, most in the US and Canada,
have been infected with a trojan horse virus called "Flashback."
Flashback was originally discovered in Sep 2011, and was designed to
disguise itself as an Adobe Flash Player installer, using Flash
player logos. After installing Flashback, the malware seeks out user
names and passwords that are stored on your Mac.
2012 Apr 5, Alexei Kudrin,
Russia's former finance minister (2000-2011), announced the creation
of an independent committee to shape policies alternative to those
of the government.
2012 Apr 5, In NYC Russian arms
dealer Viktor Bout (45), dubbed the Merchant of Death, received the
mandatory minimum 25 years in prison in a case that demonstrated the
US government's determination to bring him to justice. The judge
also ordered a $15 million forfeiture.
2012 Apr 6, A Russian-Ukrainian
crew of 8 on board the 29-meter Scorpius yacht, that set sail in
September on an historic expedition around the South and North
Poles, went missing in the Antarctic.
2012 Apr 9, Russia's top
investigative body said it has dropped charges against a doctor
suspected of negligence in the case of Sergei Magnitsky, a prominent
lawyer who reported official corruption in Russia, then died in
custody in November, 2009, while suffering from untreated
2012 Apr 11, In Russia a large
opposition faction stormed out of parliament to protest Vladimir
Putin's refusal to look into claims of vote-rigging in a mayoral
election that has sparked nationwide anger. Oleg Shein, a member of
the Just Russia party who ran for mayor in the southern city of
Astrakhan, has been on a hunger strike for 27 days to protest the
results of the March 4 poll that he and other opposition figures
said was marred by rampant fraud in favor of a Kremlin-backed
2012 Apr 16, In San Francisco
the annual Goldman Environmental Prizes were presented 6
individuals. They included Sofia Gatica of Argentina work on
diseases related to agrochemicals; Caroline Canon of Alaska for her
village efforts against oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean; Ma Jun of
China for his efforts on air and water violations by major
manufacturers; Ikal Angelei of Kenya for her efforts to protect Lake
Turkana; Evgenia Chirikova of Russia for her efforts to protect the
Khimki Forest; and Father Edwin Gariguez of the Philippines for
advocating against mining developments on indigenous lands.
(SFC, 4/16/12, p.A10)
2012 Apr 18, ExxonMobil
finalized the terms of a deal with Russia’s Rosneft to invest up to
$500 billion in developing offshore reserves, including in Russia’s
Arctic Kara Sea.
(Econ, 6/16/12, SR p.5)
2012 Apr 22, China and Russia
launched their first joint naval exercises, with 6 days of war games
in the Yellow Sea that come amid tensions between China and its
Asian neighbors over territorial claims.
2012 Apr 27, In Kazakhstan a
Soyuz space capsule landed with 2 Russians and an American ending
their 163-day stay at the Int’l. Space Station.
(SFC, 4/28/12, p.A2)
2012 May 5, Russia's secret
service agency FSB discovered ten caches of arms and ammunition over
the last 48 hours in Abkhazia. The region is very close to Black Sea
resort of Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The FSB said it
suspects the attacks targeting Sochi were being masterminded by
Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov.
2012 May 6, In Russia at least
20,000 opposition demonstrators marched through Moscow, shouting
"enough lies," in a final show of protest before Vladimir Putin is
inaugurated once again as president.
2012 May 7, In Russia Vladimir
Putin was inaugurated as president. Putin signed a decree calling
for the sale of all state holdings in firms outside the defense and
energy industries by 2016.
(AP, 5/8/12)(Econ, 1/19/12, p.56)
2012 May 8, In Russia Dmitry
Medvedev was confirmed as prime minister. Police broke up a
demonstration by hundreds of opposition activists who had spent the
night outside the presidential administration offices to protest
Vladimir Putin's return as president.
(AP, 5/8/12)(SFC, 5/9/12, p.A4)
2012 May 9, In Indonesia a
Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 crashed into a volcano south of Jakarta
during a demonstration flight. All 45 people on board were feared
dead. The Superjet, Russia's first new model of passenger jet since
the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago, was in Indonesia as
part of a 6-nation tour of Asia aimed at drumming up new customers.
(AFP, 5/9/12)(AP, 5/10/12)
2012 May 15, In southern
Kazakhstan a three-man crew, NASA astronaut Joseph Acaba and Russian
cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin, blasted off from the
Baikonur space center on board a Soyuz craft for a
four-and-half-month stay at the International Space Station. Russian
charges for use of the Soyuz were $450 million per year.
(AP, 5/15/12)(Econ, 5/5/12, p.77)
2012 May 18, A Tennessee judge
said Torry Hansen must pay $150,000 and $1000 per month to support
Artyom Saveliev (10) until he turns 18. She had sent the adopted boy
back to Russia by himself in 2010 saying she did not want him
(SFC, 5/19/12, p.A5)(AP, 7/13/12)
2012 May 22, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin targeted those who dare oppose him, introducing
draconian new fines for protesters and handing out Kremlin jobs to
widely detested lieutenants despite the public anger they have
generated. Police quickly rounded up several members of the liberal
Yabloko party who attempted to protest the new bill outside
2012 May 27, In Russia gay
activists tried to stage two demonstrations in Moscow to demand the
right to hold a gay pride parade in the Russian capital, but they
were blocked first by Orthodox Christian opponents and then by
police, who detained a total of about 40 people from both sides.
2012 May 28, Kaspersky Lab, a
Russian-based internet security firm, said a powerful computer
virus, dubbed “Flame," with unprecedented data-snatching
capabilities has attacked machines in Iran and elsewhere in the
2012 May 30, In Moscow world
chess champion Viswanathan Anand of India retained his title,
beating Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand 2.5-1.5 in a rapid
tiebreaker round of four games.
2012 May 31, Russia’s
intelligence agency said a court has convicted Vladimir Lazar, a
reserve colonel, of spying on behalf of the US and sentenced him to
12 years in prison. Prosecutors alleged Lazar purchased a disk with
more than 7,000 images of classified topographical maps of Russia
from a collector in 2008 and smuggled it to neighboring Belarus
where he gave it to an American agent.
2012 Jun 1, BP said it was
ready to offload its stake in troubled Russian joint venture TNK-BP
after the shock resignation of the partnership's chief executive
earlier this week. Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman resigned on May 28
as TNK-BP head and threw one of BP's most profitable overseas
operations into turmoil.
2012 Jun 5, Russian police
detained at least two dozen people protesting outside the parliament
in Moscow as it debated a controversial bill that would raise fines
150-fold for people taking part in unsanctioned rallies. The Kremlin
controlled Parliament rammed through the bill.
(AP, 6/5/12)(SFC, 6/6/12, p.A2)
2012 Jun 6, Russian Pres.
Vladimir Putin visited China and emphasized burgeoning military ties
on the second day of a visit to his nation's eastern neighbor.
2012 Jun 8, Russia’s Pres.
Putin signed into law a measure that will impose heavy fines on
people who organize or take part in unsanctioned demonstrations.
(SFC, 6/9/12, p.A2)
2012 Jun 12, In Russia tens of
thousands flooded Moscow's tree-lined boulevards in the first
massive protest against President Putin's rule since his
inauguration in May. Investigators a day earlier searched the homes
of several key opposition figures and summoned them for questioning
shortly before the start of the rally. Opposition leaders included
Alexei Navalny (36), corruption-fighting lawyer, Sergei Udaltsov
(35), leader of the Left Front opposition movement, Ksania Sobchak
(30), socialite and TV host, and Ilya Yashin (28), a member of the
leadership of the opposition Solidarity movement. The protest had
2012 Jun 18, Iran and six world
powers sought elusive common ground in talks in Moscow meant to
reduce tensions over Tehran's nuclear activities that both sides see
as crucial to their interests but which are stalled by reluctance to
commit to each other's demands.
2012 Jun 19, The world powers
known as "P5+1," permanent UN Security Council members Britain,
China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany, failed to
win any concession from Iran that would give the talks a new
impulse. Negotiators in Moscow managed to prevent the diplomatic
process from complete collapse by agreeing a new meeting at
expert-level in Istanbul on July 3.
2012 Jun 19, A Russian ship
allegedly carrying refurbished attack helicopters and missiles
destined for Syria has stopped off the Scottish coast after its
British insurer, Standard Club, withdrew cover for the MV Alaed. On
June 24 the ship was re-flagged as a Russian vessel.
(AFP, 6/19/12)(SFC, 7/13/12, p.A4)
2012 Jun 24, A Russian ship
that tried to deliver repaired attack helicopters to Syria entered
the northern port of Murmansk after being forced to abandon its
2012 Jun 25, Russian President
Vladimir Putin unveiled a World War II memorial during a rare trip
to Israel where he is expected to hold talks on the situation in
Syria and Iran's nuclear program.
2012 Jun 26, Visiting Russian
Pres. Putin spoke at the end of a visit to the biblical West Bank
town of Bethlehem, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by his
side. Putin praised his Abbas for what he said was a "responsible"
position in negotiations with Israel, frozen for nearly four years,
and said Russia has no problem recognizing a Palestinian state.
2012 Jun 27, Russian President
Vladimir Putin ordered an overhaul of the upper house of Parliament
in an apparent reaction to criticism that the Federation Council is
little more than a vacation retreat for officials.
2012 Jul 1, A Russian Soyuz
space capsule landed in Kazakhstan bringing an end to a 193-day
mission for American astronaut Donald Petit, Dutchman Andre Kuipers
and Russian Oleg Kononenko.
(SFC, 7/2/12, p.A2)
2012 Jul 5, Russia's chief
investigator ordered a review of a closed probe against prominent
opposition leader Alexei Navalny, raising the pressure on those
leading protests against President Vladimir Putin.
2012 Jul 5, In Panama the
International Whaling Commission rejected a request from Denmark for
a whaling quota for indigenous groups in Greenland. Two days earlier
it approved the renewal of bowhead whale quotas for indigenous
subsistence whaling in Alaska and Russia and for St. Vincent and the
Grenadines in the Caribbean. The United States says it doesn't
support a South Korean plan to restart whale hunting for purportedly
2012 Jul 7, In Russia overnight
rains dumped as much as 28 cm (about 11 inches) of water on parts of
the Krasnodar region. Water rushed into the hard-hit town of Krymsk
with such speed and volume that residents said they suspected that
water had been released from a reservoir in the mountains above.
Federal investigators acknowledged that water had been released from
the reservoir, but they insisted it did not cause the flooding and
the dam had not been breached. The death toll in the southern Black
Sea region soon reached 171.
(AP, 7/7/12)(AP, 7/8/12)(AP, 7/9/12)
2012 Jul, In Russia’s Republic
of Tatarstan assassins shot dead Islamic leader Valiulla
Yakupov and nearly killed the chief mufti, Ildus Faizov, with a car
bomb. Over half of the republic’s people are Sunni Muslims.
(Economist, 9/1/12, p.55)
2012 Jul 7, In Ukraine a bus
carrying Russian religious pilgrims crashed killing 14 of 45 people
onboard near Chernihiv.
(SSFC, 7/8/12, p.A4)
2012 Jul 10, A Moscow Regional
Court said that Elena Osina (24) and her brother (21) pleaded guilty
to attempted murder regarding a May 2011 incident. The young mother
and her brother were sentenced to eight years in prison after they
admitted putting the woman's 9-month son on a four-lane highway in
hopes he would get killed.
2012 Jul 11, Russia’s
parliament passed legislation imposing limits on the Internet,
presented as a way to protect children.
(SFC, 7/12/12, p.A5)
2012 Jul 15, A Russian Soyuz
rocket blasted off from Kazakhstan with an international crew of
three toward the International Space Station in a mission testing
the reliability of Russia's crisis-prone space program. On board
were NASA's Sunita Williams, Japan's Akihiko Hoshide and Yury
Malenchenko of Russia.
2012 Jul 19, In Russia a top
Muslim cleric in Tatarstan province was shot dead and another was
wounded by a car bomb. The province's leader and local religious
authorities said the attacks were probably related to the priests'
criticism of radical Islamists.
2012 Jul 19, At the United
Nations permanent Security Council members Russia and China vetoed
resolutions on Syria for the third time in nine months.
2012 Jul 21, Russia reported
that President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a new measure that
requires from non-governmental groups receiving funding from abroad
and engages in political activity to register as a foreign agent.
2012 Jul 31, Russian
authorities charged Alexei Navalny (36), an anti-corruption crusader
and critic of Pres. Putin, of organizing a scheme to steal assets
from a state timber company totaling about half a million dollars.
(SFC, 8/1/12, p.A5)
2012 Jul 31, Russian internet
entrepreneur Yuri Milner announced that he will give $3 million each
year to the most influential thinker in fundamental physics.
(Econ, 8/4/12, p.70)
2012 Aug 6, Russia launched an
unmanned Proton-M rocked carrying Russian and Indonesian
communications satellites. A secondary booster module failed shortly
after launch from Kazakhstan.
(SFC, 8/8/12, p.A2)
2012 Aug 7, Russia began
hosting a 3-day meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
forum (APEC) on Russky Island, just off the coast of Vladivostok. A
3,100 meter cable bridge to the island was the longest cable bridge
in the world.
(Economist, 9/8/12, p.52)
2012 Aug 8, Russian prosecutors
said a reclusive sect in Kazan, Tatarstan, that literally went
underground to stop contact with the outside world, kept 27 children
in dark and unheated cells, many of them for more than a decade. The
children have been freed and the parents charged with child abuse.
Child abuse charges were brought against members of the sect and
leader Faizrakhman Satarov (83), who declared himself a Muslim
prophet in contradiction with the principles of Islam, has also been
charged with negligence.
2012 Aug 17, A Russian judge
found three members of the provocative punk band Pussy Riot guilty
of hooliganism. A court sentenced the women to two-year jail
sentences for their anti-Putin stunt performed in a prominent Moscow
(AP, 8/17/12)(AFP, 8/17/12)
2012 Aug 18, In southern
Russia’s republic of Dagestan, two masked gunmen burst into a Shiite
mosque during evening prayers and opened fire, wounding eight
2012 Aug 19, In southern Russia
a suicide bomber blew himself up as policemen in Ingushetia gathered
for the funeral of a slain colleague, killing at least seven of the
policemen and badly wounding 12 other people. Gov. Yunus-Bek
Yevkurov said militants had killed the police officer in the town of
Malgobek to set up the suicide attack at the funeral.
2012 Aug 24, Greenpeace
activists were first offered hot soup, then sprayed with blasts of
cold water after they stormed a floating Russia oil platform and
erected climbing tents on the side of the rig to protest drilling in
2012 Aug 24, A Russian court
unexpectedly acquitted opposition leader and chess grandmaster Garry
Kasparov of participating in an unauthorized rally.
2012 Aug 26, In Russia members
of the punk band Pussy Riot said two members have fled the country
to avoid prosecution for a protest that sent 3 bandmates to prison.
(SFC, 8/27/12, p.A2)
2012 Aug 27, Greenpeace said in
a statement that 14 activists have chained themselves to the anchor
chain of the vessel which was carrying Gazprom's workers to the
Prirazlomnaya platform in the Pechora Sea.
2012 Aug 28, Russian opposition
leader Boris Nemtsov said President Vladimir Putin is spending
billions of taxpayers' rubles on 20 luxurious residences, 43 jets
and four yachts. In a report titled “The Life of a Galley Slave,"
Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, estimated that the
maintenance of Putin's residences, jets and cars alone costs $2.5
billion a year.
2012 Aug 28, Russian opposition
activist Taisiya Osipova was sentenced to eight years in prison in a
review of her drug-related case —twice as long as prosecutors had
requested in a ruling that drew immediate opposition outrage. A
witness for the defense testified at her trial that he saw a police
officer put the drugs in Osipova's apartment. She and her supporters
have maintained that police planted four grams of heroin in her home
in 2010 in revenge for her refusal to testify against her husband,
Sergei Fomchenkov, also a senior figure in The Other Russia
2012 Aug 28, The Russian
presidential human rights council questioned the guilty verdict and
two-year prison sentences against three members of punk provocateurs
Pussy Riot. The council said in a statement that "criminal law was
used to deal with actions which entail administrative liability
only" in the case.
2012 Aug 28, In Dagestan Said
Afandi (75) a powerful leader of a Sufi Muslim brotherhood was
killed along with six other people, including an 11-year-old boy and
a woman, in the central village of Chirkei after a bomber disguised
as a pilgrim approached him in his house. Police the next day said
that the bomber was Aminat Kurbanova, a 30-year-old resident of
2012 Aug 29, At least 3
Georgian commandos and 11 militants from Dagestan were killed during
an operation to free hostages held along Georgia's border with
2012 Aug 30, Russia officials
said the bodies of two slain women were found beneath a scrawled
message demanding freedom for the jailed members of the Pussy Riot
band. Russia's Investigative Committee said the women, aged 76 and
38, were killed late last week in their apartment in the central
city of Kazan with the words "Free Pussy Riot" written on the wall
in English, "presumably" with blood. Police detained Igor
Danilevsky, a 38-year-old university professor. Investigators said
Danilevsky wrote "Free Pussy Riot" because he wanted the deaths of
the 38-year-old woman he dated and her mother, 76, to appear as if
they were a "ritual killing."
(AP, 8/30/12)(AP, 8/31/12)
2012 Sep 5, Moscow police
arrested 10 environmental activists, including four dressed in polar
bear costumes, who were protesting outside the main office of
Gazprom. The protest by members of Greenpeace called upon Gazprom to
halt its offshore drilling in the Arctic.
2012 Sep 8, A Russian MI-35
military helicopter crashed into a mountain in the republic of
Dagestan, killing all three crewmen aboard.
2012 Sep 9, In Vladivostok,
Russia, Pacific Rim leaders pledged to fend off the deepening damage
from the European crisis and revive flagging growth in the region by
supporting open trade, reforming their economies and strengthening
public finances as the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) forum wrapped up an annual summit.
2012 Sep 11, Russia’s Gazprom
accused the European Commission of pressuring the Russian firm into
slashing gas prices for its customers soon after President Vladimir
Putin signed a decree that could hinder the EU probe. Putin signed a
decree barring strategic Russian enterprises from disclosing
information to foreign regulators, changing contracts and selling
property abroad without government permission.
2012 Sep 12, In Russia’s far
east an Antanov-28 plane crashed into a forest in western Kamchatka
killing 10 people and injuring four.
2012 Sep 14, Russia's
parliament expelled Gennady Gudkov (56), a former Kremlin loyalist
who joined the growing opposition movement, propelling President
Vladimir Putin's crackdown on political dissent into the halls of
2012 Sep 15, In Russia tens of
thousands of people marched across downtown Moscow in the first
major protest in three months against President Vladimir Putin, a
sign of the opposition's strength despite the Kremlin's efforts to
2012 Sep 19, Russia’s foreign
ministry said that the US Agency for Int’l. Development was being
barred from operating in the country beginning October 1 because it
had meddled in elections. Golos, an independent Russian organization
whose monitors reported massive fraud during elections, was a
recipient of US AID grants and would be one of the first victims of
(SFC, 9/20/12, p.A3)
2012 Sep 22, Russian officials
said 4 police officers ad 4 suspected militants have been killed
over the last two days in fighting in Chechnya.
(SSFC, 9/23/12, p.A6)
2012 Sep 22, In Russia
Alexander Maximov (29) crashed his car into a bus stop in Moscow,
killing 5 teenagers from an orphanage and their 2 carers. He had
been drinking for 2 days and was traveling more than 200 km per hour
(120 miles per hour) when he lost control of his car. On May 22,
2013 Maximov was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison.
2012 Sep 27, Leading Russian
non-government organizations said they would defy a new Kremlin law
requiring those who receive funding from abroad to register as
2012 Sep 27, Venezuelan and
Russian officials signed eight agreements to boost cooperation in
energy projects. Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russia's state-controlled
Rosneft oil company, was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying
he also gave Chavez a 3-month-old black terrier puppy as a present
2012 Oct 1, Russia’s PM Dmitry
Medvedev signed a long-expected strategy for reforming the pension
(Economist, 10/6/12, p.64)
2012 Oct 1, A Moscow court
found the film “Innocence of Muslims" offensive and banned its
broadcast in Russia effective Nov 6.
(SFC, 10/2/12, p.A2)
2012 Oct 3, A US federal
indictment filed in Brooklyn named Alexander Fishenko, an immigrant
from Kazakhstan, as a secret agent for the Russian military.
Fishenko had made millions off his Texas export firm, Arc
Electronics Inc., which shipped about $50 million worth of
technologies to Russia between 2002 and 2012. He was among 11
defendants named in the indictment. On July 21, 2016, Fishenko was
sentenced to 10 years in prison.
(SFC, 10/4/12, p.A6)(SFC, 7/23/16, p.A7)
2012 Oct 4, London listed
steelmaker Evraz, part-owned by tycoon Roman Abramovich, is to gain
control of one of Russia's largest coal mines after acquiring a half
stake in Cyprus-based investment vehicle Corber Enterprises for an
2012 Oct 9, In Russia a series
of unplanned shell detonations rocked a military test site,
releasing giant clouds of smoke over the city of Orenburg near the
Kazakhstan border and causing aftershocks.
2012 Oct 10, Russia said it had
no intention to automatically extend a 20-year old deal with the
United States helping secure the nation's nuclear stockpiles, a move
that comes amid a growing isolationist streak in Kremlin policy. The
deal expires in 2013 without a major overhaul.
2012 Oct 10, In Russia a Moscow
court freed Yekaterina Samutsevich, one of the 3 jailed Pussy Riot
band members, because she had been thrown out of the cathedral by
guards before she could remove her guitar from its case.
(SFC, 10/11/12, p.A3)
2012 Oct 10, Canadian naval
intelligence officer Sub-Lieutenant Jeffrey Paul Delisle (41)
pleaded guilty to handing over secrets to a foreign country. He had
been selling secrets to the Russians for about $3,000 a month.
(Reuters, 10/10/12)(SFC, 10/11/12, p.A2)
2012 Oct 14, Russia held local
elections. President Vladimir Putin's loyalists swept to victory in
most local election races that were marred by opposition claims of
(AP, 10/14/12)(AP, 10/15/12)
2012 Oct 15, Russia said it is
appealing to the Afghan authorities and the public to provide
information on some 265 Soviet troops — including 30-40 who may
still be alive — listed as missing since Soviet forces ended their
occupation of Afghanistan in 1989.
2012 Oct 17, Russian
investigators opened a criminal probe against leftist leader Sergei
Udaltsov and several other activists for allegedly plotting mass
riots in a new sign of a widening crackdown on Russia's opposition.
2012 Oct 18, Russia's top
investigative agency filed criminal charges against Konstantin
Lebedev (33), the opposition leader's assistant, continuing a
widespread crackdown on the movement against President Vladimir
2012 Oct 18, Rosneft, Russia’s
state-controlled oil giant, offered British Petroleum $28 billion
for its half of the TNK-BP joint venture. A day earlier AAR, a
consortium of Russian billionaires, had agreed to sell its half of
the TNK-BP joint venture for the same amount.
(Econ, 10/20/12, p.57)
2012 Oct 22, Russia's top
investigative agency announced that Leonid Razvozzhayev, a
government opponent, has turned himself in and confessed to
orchestrating riots. The activist's supporters reported over the
weekend that he had been kidnapped in Ukraine by Russian security
officers outside a UN office where he was going to apply for
2012 Oct 23, A Russian Soyuz
spacecraft launched in Kazakhstan carrying a 3-man crew, including
an American and 2 Russians, to the Intl. Space Station.
(SFC, 10/24/12, p.A2)
2012 Oct 25, Russia's top
investigative agency launched a criminal probe into alleged fraud in
the selloff of Defense Ministry assets, a high-profile case that
could shake up the nation's scandal-marred military establishment.
2012 Oct 27, Several Russian
opposition leaders were detained in Moscow while protesting what
they say was the torture of a fellow activist.
2012 Oct 27, Mikhail Prokhorov,
the billionaire New Jersey Nets owner and former Russian
presidential candidate, said he's leaving business to focus
full-time on politics, returning to the political arena after
remaining silent through a five-month Kremlin crackdown on the
2012 Oct 28, A Russian vessel
with a nine-person crew and 700 tons of gold ore onboard went
missing in stormy seas off Russia's Pacific Coast. The ship sent a
distress call as it was sailing from the coastal town of Neran to
Feklistov Island in the Sea of Okhotsk.
2012 Oct 30, Several hundred
demonstrators rallied in Moscow to press for the release of
opposition activists on the same day that Russia commemorated the
victims of Soviet-era repression.
2012 Nov 4, In Russia some 6
thousand of nationalists marched through Moscow on Unity Day,
chanting slogans including "Moscow is a Russian city" to express
their resentment of dark-complexioned migrants from the Caucasus and
2012 Nov 6, Russia’s Pres.
Putin fired Anatoly Serdyukov, his powerful defense minister, after
police raided the property of a real estate company involved the
privatization of valuable ministry land near Moscow.
(SFC, 11/7/12, p.A4)
2012 Nov 6, Russia wheeled out
one of its treasured Cold War trophies, publishing a rare interview
with George Blake, a 90-year-old British double agent. Blake worked
for the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, from the 1940s. He
became a committed communist while a North Korean prisoner during
the Korean war, and worked for Moscow after being posted by MI6 to
Berlin in 1955.
2012 Nov 8, In Russia Israeli
President Shimon Peres opened the new Jewish Museum and Center of
Tolerance. It tells the history of Jewry through people's stories,
which come alive in video interviews and interactive displays. The
$50 million museum was built under the patronage of President
Vladimir Putin, who in a symbolic move in 2007 donated a month of
his salary — about $5,600 — to its creation.
2012 Nov 10, Alexander
Perepilichny (44) collapsed and died not far from his home on an
upmarket, heavily protected estate in the county of Surrey, south of
London. The Russian businessman had helped Swiss prosecutors uncover
a powerful fraud syndicate. He had also provided evidence against
those linked to the 2009 death of anti-corruption lawyer Sergei
Magnitsky. He is now the fourth person linked to the Magnitsky case
to have died in strange circumstances. In 2015 a toxicologist at a
pre-inquest hearing reported that his stomach contained a compound
associated with the poisonous plant gelsemium. In 2018 a British
coroner said he probably died of natural causes.
(AP, 11/29/12)(Econ, 5/23/15, p.47)(Reuters,
2012 Nov 14, A new law
expanding Russia's definition of treason took effect today. Under
the new law, anyone possessing information deemed secret — whether a
politician, a journalist, an environmentalist or a union leader —
could potentially be jailed for up to 20 years for
2012 Nov 21, In Russia dozens
of non-governmental organizations refused to comply with a new law
restricting their activities as part of the Kremlin's crackdown on
its critics. A law passed several months ago obliged all NGOs that
receive foreign funding and are involved in loosely defined
political activities to register as "foreign agents" by today.
2012 Nov 24, Russian physicist
Valentin Danilov, convicted in 2004 of spying for China, was
released on parole and continued to protest his innocence.
2012 Nov 27, Russia’s Rossiya-1
channel aired a documentary linking former agricultural minister,
Yelena Skrynnik, to a reported $1.2 billion fraud.
(Econ, 12/1/12, p.57)
2012 Nov 27, In Russia a world
martial arts champion, Rasul Mirzayev (26) from Dagestan, was
convicted of involuntary manslaughter but set free after a trial
that inflamed the country's ethnic tensions. The verdict led to
protests by nationalists outside the Moscow court.
2012 Dec 5, In Russia’s North
Caucuses region journalist Kazbek Gekkiyev was gunned down in
Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkariya province.
(SFC, 12/7/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 9, Russian and US
diplomats met with UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi for more talks on
the civil war in Syria.
2012 Dec 12, Russia's President
Vladimir Putin vowed to strengthen the country's economy and its
military might and rejected what he described as foreign lecturing
about democracy and attempts at foreign interference in the nation's
2012 Dec 13, Russia's President
Vladimir Putin lambasted a US bill imposing sanctions on Russian
officials accused of human rights violations, saying that it hurts
Russian-American relations. The US Congress last week passed a bill
penalizing Russian officials accused of rights violations.
2012 Dec 13, Russian Deputy
Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that President Bashar Assad
is losing control of his country and the rebels might win the civil
2012 Dec 14, Russian
investigators accused Alexei Navalny (36), a prominent opposition
leader, and his brother of fraud and money-laundering, intensifying
legal pressure on the anti-Kremlin protest movement as it prepares
to hold its next big demonstration this weekend.
2012 Dec 14, In Russia Dmitry
Pavlyuchenkov, a former senior police officer, was found guilty for
his role in the slaying of journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006. He
was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
(SFC, 12/15/12, p.A6)
2012 Dec 15, In Russia
thousands of opposition supporters gathered in central Moscow for an
unauthorized rally to mark a year of a wave of massive protests
against Vladimir Putin and the government. Police dispersed the
rally after 2 ½ hours.
2012 Dec 21, The lower house of
the Russian parliament overwhelmingly passed a bill that would ban
adoption of Russian children by Americans, sending the controversial
legislation a step closer to President Vladimir Putin's desk. This
was part of a larger measure by angry lawmakers retaliating against
a recently signed US law that calls for sanctions against Russians
deemed to be human rights violators.
2012 Dec 21, Kyrgyzstan's
state-owned natural gas company said it is to be sold to Russia's
energy monopoly Gazprom, raising hopes of an end to debilitating
energy shortages in the impoverished Central Asian nation.
2012 Dec 26, Russia’s upper
chamber of parliament unanimously voted in favor of a measure
banning Americans from adopting Russian children. It now goes to
President Vladimir Putin to sign or turn down.
2012 Dec 27, Russian President
Vladimir Putin said he will sign a controversial bill barring
Americans from adopting Russian children, as the Kremlin's
children's rights advocate recommended extending the ban to the rest
of the world.
2012 Dec 27, Russia and Lakhdar
Brahimi, UN envoy for Syria, both said that they want to revive a
long-shelved peace initiative that would call for a transitional
government to run the country until elections can be held.
2012 Dec 28, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin signed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian
children, abruptly terminating the prospects for more than 50
youngsters preparing to join new families and sparking critics to
liken him to King Herod.
2012 Dec 28, The only official
charged with the 2009 death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian
whistleblowing lawyer, walked free after a Moscow court acquitted
prison doctor Dmitry Kratov of negligence. The case has become a
rallying point for human rights advocates and sparked escalating
legislation in the US and Russia.
2012 Dec 29, In Russia a Red
Wings Tu-204 passenger airliner careered off the runway at Vnukovo
Airport, on the outskirts of Moscow, broke into pieces and caught
fire. Four of 8 people died in the crash and a 5th died the next
(AP, 12/29/12)(AP, 12/30/12)
2012 Dec 31, About 25 people
reportedly were arrested in Moscow on New Year's Eve for trying to
hold an unsanctioned protest. For about two years, activists have
tried to rally on the 31st of each month with that many days, a
reference to Article 31 of the Russian constitution that guarantees
2012 Geraldine Fagan authored
“Believing in Russia: Religious Policy after Communism."
(Econ, 4/29/17, p.39)
2012 Masha Gessen authored “The
Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin."
(SSFC, 3/25/12, p.F1)
2012 Andrei Kovalev authored
“Russia’s Dead End: An Insider’s Testimony from Gorbachev to Putin,"
a two-volume unsparing account of the Soviet collapse. In 2017 it
was published in English in a condensed and edited version by Steven
(Econ, 9/16/17, p.78)
2013 Jan 3, Russia announced
that President Vladimir Putin has approved French actor Gerard
Depardieu's application for citizenship.
2013 Jan 3, In Russia Denis
Burakov (27), was killed when a transparent plastic ball, known as a
zorb, veered off course and sailed over a rock ledge at the Dombai
ski resort in the rugged Caucasus Mountains. His friend Vladimir
2013 Jan 4, Six Russians were
killed and two seriously injured when the snowmobile and sled they
were riding veered off an Italian Alpine ski slope at night, slammed
into a barrier and flew through the air into a ravine.
2013 Jan 10, Russia said that
an adoption deal with the US will remain valid until 2014 despite a
new Russian law banning the practice, but no new adoptions will be
permitted and only those already cleared by Russian courts before
the ban will be allowed to complete.
2013 Jan 13, In Russia
thousands marched through Moscow to protest a new law banning
Americans from adopting Russian children.
2013 Jan 15, Russian
authorities charged Yelena Kotova, a former Russia director at the
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, with conspiracy to
take a $1.4 million bribe.
2013 Jan 15, In Russia Aslan
Usoyan (75), aka Grandpa Khasan, was gunned down in Moscow. He
headed one of the region's most powerful criminal groups, which
trafficked in drugs and weapons and controlled underground casinos
and legal businesses. Since 2006 Usoyan had been at war with a
criminal group headed by another Georgian, Tariel Oniani.
2013 Jan 16, In the Netherlands
Alexander Dolmatov (36), a rocket engineer who feared arrest in
Russia after an opposition protest turned violent in May, was taken
to the prison-like deportation center in Rotterdam. The next morning
he was found dead in his cell. Dutch authorities had denied his
asylum request on Dec 14.
2013 Jan 16, Chief Judge Royce
Lamberth of the US District Court ruled that Russia should pay a
$50,000 fine until it complies with his 2010 order to return
thousands of religious books and manuscripts stolen from Jews during
the Russian revolution and World War II to the Brooklyn-based
Chabad-Lubavitch group. Following Lamberth's 2010 ruling, Russia
completely halted the loan of its art treasures for exhibit in the
US, for fear that they would be seized and held hostage in the court
2013 Jan 17, In Moscow, Russia,
a masked assailant, later identified as Yuri Zarutsky (35), threw
acid on the face of Sergei Filin, artistic director of the Bolshoi
Ballet. Filin suffered 3rd degree burns and underwent eye surgery to
save his sight. On March 6 police said that star dancer Pavel
Dmitrichenko (29) had confessed to masterminding the attack, and two
other men, Zarutsky and Andrei Lipatov, confessed to being
(SFC, 1/19/13, p.A3)(AP, 3/6/13)
2013 Jan 21, In Texas Max
Shatto (3), an adopted boy born in Russia as Maxim Kuzmin, died in
Gardendale. Russian authorities alleged “inhuman tratement" as the
cause of death. Laura Shatto told authorities that Max and his
half-brother were playing outside the family's home. Shatto said she
came out and found the boy unconscious on the ground. A medical
examiner later determined that the boy’s death was not intentional.
(SFC, 2/19/13, p.A4)(AP, 2/22/13)(SFC, 2/2/13,
2013 Jan 22, Syrian government
forces and rebels battled in the suburbs of Damascus and elsewhere.
Four buses carrying Russian citizens escaping the civil war crossed
into Lebanon, in the first evacuation organized by Moscow since the
start of the conflict nearly two years ago.
2013 Jan 23, In Russia Lyudmila
Garifulina (63), a member of the legislature in the town of Staraya
Kupavna, was attacked outside her apartment building. She was
stabbed four times with a knife. She opposed a construction project
that would destroy a forest just outside Moscow.
2013 Jan 25, Russian police
detained 20 gay rights campaigners and militant Orthodox Christian
activists near the country's parliament as it overwhelmingly backed
a bill that would ban "homosexual propaganda."
2013 Jan 26, In Russia a fire
ripped through a new Moscow building's underground parking lot,
killing 10 Tajikistan migrant workers and injuring 13 others who had
been working and living there.
2013 Jan 30, Russia pulled out
of an anti-crime accord with the United States in a move the US
called "self-defeating," the latest sign of rising tensions between
Moscow and Washington.
2013 Jan 31, Volgograd, the
southern Russian city where the Red Army decisively turned back Nazi
forces in a key World War II battle, passed a measure to use the
name Stalingrad in city statements on the commemoration day, on
Russia's May 9 Victory Day and on four other days connected with the
2013 Feb 8, A Moscow city court
sentenced Vladimir Kvachkov (64), a retired military intelligence
colonel, to 13 years in prison for attempting to organize an armed
uprising. Retired police captain, Alexey Kiselev (62), was sentenced
to 11 years as a co-conspirator. Prosecutors said they had organized
a group who planned to seize power by training crossbow-wielding men
to seize military depots and then descend upon Moscow with tanks.
2013 Feb 8, Finnish customs
officers confiscated a container on a Finnish freighter, en route to
Syria from Russia, because it did not have a transit license and
found 9.6 tons of tank spare parts.
2013 Feb 9, In Russia Sergei
Udaltsov, a top opposition figure, was placed under house arrest for
two months. The move also banned him from using most forms of
communication, including the Internet, telephone and mail. He faced
charges in connection with a protest in May that ended in clashes
with police and for allegedly plotting to conduct mass disorder
aimed at overthrowing the government.
2013 Feb 12, The Kremlin said
President Vladimir Putin has submitted a bill that would ban Russian
Cabinet members and other senior officials from having foreign bank
accounts and owning foreign stock.
2013 Feb 15, In Russia a
meteor, estimated to be about 10 tons, streaked through the sky and
exploded over Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains with the power of an
atomic bomb. Its sonic blasts shattered countless windows and
injured some 1200 people.
(AP, 2/15/13)(AP, 2/16/13)(Econ, 2/23/13, p.78)
2013 Feb 16, G20 leaders
meeting in Moscow said there would be no currency war and deferred
plans to set new debt-cutting targets, underlining broad concern
about the fragile state of the world economy.
2013 Feb 18, In Russia the body
of Lipetsk city councilman Mikhail Pakhomov (37), kidnapped last
week, was found in a cement barrel. Investigators have arrested
eight people in the case. Evgeny Kharitonov, a former deputy
minister in Moscow's provincial government, was charged with
organizing the kidnapping over what police called an $80 million
2013 Feb 19, Russia said it had
sent two jets carrying humanitarian aid to Syria and are inviting
Russians who want to leave the country to take the flights back.
2013 Feb 20, In Russia Vladimir
Pekhtin, a senior lawmaker of the ruling United Russia party,
resigned over revelations that he owned more than $1.3 million worth
of luxury real estate in Florida.
(SFC, 2/21/13, p.A2)
2013 Mar 1, Andrey Borodin
(45), former head of Russia's fifth largest bank, told a Russian
newspaper his application for asylum has been granted in Britain
after an application by his lawyers on the grounds that he faced
political persecution in Russia. Borodin fled Russia in March, 2011.
2013 Mar 11, A lab analyzing
Russian findings of a new form of microbial life in Lake Vostok, a
giant freshwater lake hidden under kilometers of Antarctic ice, said
it was not new bacteria that generated the signal, but
2013 Mar 16, A Soyuz space
capsule carrying an American and 2 Russians landed in Kazakhstan.
The men had spent 144 days on the Int’l. Space Station. 3 astronauts
remained on the ISS.
(SSFC, 3/17/13, p.A4)
2013 Mar 21, Russian
prosecutors searched the offices of Memorial, one of the country's
oldest and most respected human rights groups, as part of a new,
wide-ranging campaign targeting hundreds of nongovernmental
2013 Mar 23, Boris Berezovsky
(67), fervent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died in
unclear circumstances at his home in Ascot, 25 miles (40 km) west of
London. A Home Office pathologist soon found the cause of death to
be consistent with hanging.
(Reuters, 3/24/13)(Reuters, 3/25/13)
2013 Mar 25, Russian
prosecutors and tax police searched the Moscow headquarters of
Amnesty International and several other rights groups, continuing a
wave of pressure that activists say is part of President Vladimir
Putin's attempt to stifle dissent.
2013 Mar 28, In northwest
Russia a bus crash killed six people and injured at least 18 others,
including orphans returning from a field trip.
2013 Mar 29, A Soyuz capsule
carrying 3 astronauts docked with the Int’l. Space Station (ISS)
after traveling just 6 hours from launch in Kazakhstan.
(SFC, 3/30/13, p.A3)
2013 Apr 5, Russia's foreign
minister said Moscow doesn't understand why North Korea has
suggested that Moscow and other countries close their embassies in
Pyongyang, and he says he's concerned about the high tensions on the
2013 Apr 8, In Amsterdam
President Vladimir Putin defended Russia's treatment of homosexuals,
as 1,000 gay rights activists waved pink and orange balloons and
blasted out dance music to press home their protest.
2013 Apr 12, In Russia
Anti-Drugs Special Forces, widely known by their Russian acronym,
MAS, issued a low-key statement on vk.com saying that it has halted
drug raids. MAS was formed last year to track down spice pushers.
Spice in over 900 versions, mass produced in China and Southeast
Asia, was reportedly being exported to Russia as bath salts, incense
and slimming additives, often in mail packages.
2013 Apr 12, The United States
announced sanctions for 18 Russians under the Magnitsky Law, named
for Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was arrested in 2008 for
tax evasion after accusing Russian police officials of stealing $230
million in tax rebates.
2013 Apr 13, Russia named 18
Americans banned from entering the country in response to Washington
imposing sanctions on 18 Russians for alleged human rights
2013 Apr 14, In Belgium a
Polish bus carrying Russian youngsters crashed through the
guardrails of a bridge and plunged 5 meters (16 feet) to a field
below, killing at least five people and injuring 12.
2013 Apr 17, In Russia
Alexei Navalny (36), the Kremlin's public enemy No.1., went on trial
in Kirov on embezzlement charges but was granted an adjournment for
more time to prepare. The web-savvy lawyer overcame a state-imposed
national media blackout and minimal funds by exploiting his blog and
Twitter account to reach hundreds of thousands of Russians.
2013 Apr 22, In southwest
Russia Sergei Pomazun (32) opened fire outside a department store in
Belgorod, killing five people immediately, including a girl (16).
Another girl (14) died in hospital. The man opened fire while he
tried to rob a hunting store. Pomazun was captured on April 23 as he
tried to leave on a freight train.
(AP, 4/22/13)(SFC, 4/24/13, p.A5)
2013 Apr 26, Russian police and
security agents detained 140 people at a mosque in Moscow on
suspicion of involvement with Islamic extremism.
2013 Apr 26, In Russia a fire
swept through a psychiatric hospital outside Moscow, killing 38
people, some of them sedated and in their beds.
2013 May 1, In Russia a bomb
exploded in a busy shopping area in Makhachkala, the capital of
Dagestan, killing at least two people.
2013 May 2, In Russia Valery
Gergiev, the artistic director of the Mariinsky theater in St.
Petersburg, opened the new Mariinsky theater next door to the old
(Econ, 5/11/13, p.87)
2013 May 6, In Russia about
20,000 protesters thronged Bolotnaya Square across from the Kremlin,
a year after a protest at the same spot turned violent on the eve of
President Vladimir Putin's inauguration.
2013 May 7, The US and Russia
agreed to try to convene an int’l. conference this month to come to
a political solution in end the 2-year civil war in Syria.
(SFC, 5/8/13, p.A2)
2013 May 8, In Russia Vladislav
Surkov, a longtime Kremlin strategist considered the architect of
the tightly controlled political system created under President
Vladimir Putin, resigned his post of deputy prime minister. His
ouster followed an unusually public feud with investigators over a
criminal investigation into Skolkovo, a government project to
promote innovation modeled on Silicon Valley. Surkov was overseeing
the ambitious project.
2013 May 10, In Russia a
23-year-old man was brutally beaten and left to die by his
companions in Volgograd after drunkenly telling them he was gay. A
former schoolmate of the victim and another man were soon arrested
for the killing.
2013 May 14, Russian President
Vladimir Putin met Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow for talks
that focused on the situation in Syria, amid concerns that Russia
could soon provide Syria with advanced missiles.
2013 May 14, Russia's security
services said they have caught a US diplomat who they claim is a CIA
agent in a red-handed attempt to recruit a Russian agent. Ryan
Fogle, a third secretary at the US Embassy in Moscow, was carrying
special technical equipment, disguises, written instructions and a
large sum of money when he was detained overnight.
2013 May 16, Levada Center,
Russia's only independent polling agency, was told by prosecutors to
register as a foreign agent.
(Econ, 6/1/13, p.53)
2013 May 18, Russia's Sergey
Karjakin won the €100,000 ($130,000) Norway chess championship after
drawing against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.
2013 May 19, A Russian capsule
carrying mice, lizards and other small animals returned to Earth
after spending a month in space for what scientists said was the
longest experiment of its kind. Fewer than half of the 53 mice and
other rodents who blasted off on April 19 from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome survived the flight.
2013 May 20, Russia's only
independent polling agency, said it may have to close after
prosecutors targeted it for "political activity" under a law
spearheading Pres. Putin's crackdown on foreign-funded NGOs. Levada
Center receives between 1.5 and 3% of its funding from foreign
2013 May 20, Russia's
counterterrorism agency said that its special forces killed two
militants and detained a third believed to have been planning a
terrorist act in Moscow (see June 6).
2013 May 22, An imprisoned
member of the punk band Pussy Riot said she is going on hunger
strike after a judge refused to allow her to attend a court hearing
where she was seeking release on parole. Maria Alekhina, watching
the trial from a prison colony via video link, ordered her defense
not to participate in today’s hearing, saying the court was
violating her rights.
2013 May 24, Russia's foreign
ministry said the Syrian government has agreed in principle to a
conference on the country's future proposed by Russia and the United
2013 May 24, An earthquake in
the Sea of Okhotsk, east of the Russian coast and north of Japan
registered 8.0 on the Richter scale. Tremors were felt as far away
as Moscow, about 7,000 km (4,400 miles) west of the epicenter.
2013 May 25, Russian police
arrested at least 30 gay rights campaigners and Christian Orthodox
vigilantes in Moscow as gay-rights campaigners and their opponents
clashed at an unsanctioned rally in Moscow.
2013 May 28, Israel's defense
minister signaled that his military is prepared to strike shipments
of advanced Russian weapons to Syria, in a rare implied threat to
2013 May 29, A Soyuz capsule
carrying an American, Russian and Italian successfully docked with
the International Space Station, where the new crew will spend six
months conducting a variety of experiments.
2013 May 30, Russian scientists
said a perfectly preserved woolly mammoth carcass with liquid blood
has been found on a remote Arctic island, fueling hopes of cloning
the Ice Age animal.
2013 May 31, Sergei Korotkov,
general director of the MiG company that makes MiG jets, told
Russian news agencies that a Syrian delegation was in Moscow to
discuss terms and deadlines of a new contract supplying at least 10
MiG-29 M/M2 fighters to Syria.
2013 Jun 1, In Russia a ban on
smoking in public places took effect.
(SSFC, 6/2/13, p.A6)
2013 Jun 1, In Russia Maria
Alekhina , a jailed member of the punk group Pussy Riot, reportedly
ended her 11-day hunger strike after prison authorities met her
demands. She had complained that officials at her prison colony in
the Ural Mountains attempted to turn fellow inmates against her with
a security crackdown.
2013 Jun 1, Russian security
forces conducted a military-style operation to detain Said Amirov
(59), the mayor of Makhachkala, Dagestan, on murder charges. Amirov
was accused of staging the killing of a senior investigator with the
local branch of the Investigative Committee in 2011.
2013 Jun 6, Russia’s Pres.
Putin (60) and his wife, Lyudmila (55), announced the end of their
marriage less than two months shy of their 30th anniversary in an
interview with Russian television.
2013 Jun 6, Russia said it has
deployed a naval unit, 16 warships and three ship-based helicopters,
to the Mediterranean Sea.
2013 Jun 6, Russian special
forces arrested Yulai Davletbayev, a man who is accused of planning
a terrorist attack on Moscow that the agency foiled on May 20. Two
suspected militants from the group Davletbayev is accused of leading
were killed and a third, Robert Amerkhanov was arrested in an FSB
operation in May.
2013 Jun 11, Russia’s State
Duma voted 434-0 with one abstention to approve Kremlin-backed
legislation which imposes hefty fines for holding gay pride rallies
or providing information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender community to minors.
2013 Jun 12, Thousands of
Russian opposition activists marched through Moscow on Russia Day,
decrying President Vladimir Putin's authoritarian rule and calling
for the release of people they consider political prisoners.
2013 Jun 17, G8 leaders began
meeting in Northern Ireland. They dedicated themselves to a
political solution to Syria's bloody civil war, even as President
Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin staked out
diametrically opposite stands on which side deserves military
(AP, 6/17/13) (AP, 6/18/13)
2013 Jun 18, Russian PM Dmitry
Medvedev said that authorities will shut down a paper mill on the
shores of Lake Baikal, which environmentalists say is a major
pollutant threatening one of the world's largest fresh water lakes.
2013 Jun 21, President Vladimir
Putin said Russia will channel at least $43.5 billion in reserve
funds on three ambitious infrastructure projects to upgrade aging
roads and railways across the vast country.
(AP, 6/21/13)(SFC, 6/21/13, p.A2)
2013 Jun 21, In Russia dozens
of police officers stormed the headquarters of the For Human Rights
movement in Moscow, changed the locks on the doors, and told
employees to leave. Officials in the mayor’s office said the group
had rented the office from the city and the lease ended in February.
2013 Jun 23, Former US National
Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden flew from Hong Kong to
Russia. A report said he intended to fly to Cuba on June 24 and then
on to Caracas, Venezuela.
2013 Jun 25, Russia's foreign
minister bluntly rejected US demands to extradite National Security
Agency leaker Edward Snowden, saying that Snowden hasn't crossed the
2013 Jun 29, Russian police
arrested several gay rights activists and Russian nationalists who
confronted them at a rally in St. Petersburg that was declared
illegal under a new law against "gay propaganda."
2013 Jun 29, In Chechnya police
said rebels have killed a Russian policeman and injured 14 others.
2013 Jun 30, The Kremlin said
Pres. Putin has singed into law a measure that stigmatizes gay
people and bans giving any information about homosexuality. The
propaganda law banned anything considered “propaganda of
(SFC, 7/1/13, p.A2)(The Daily Beast, 7/22/20)
2013 Jun, Russian property
developer Sergei Polonsky was charged with embezzling more than 5.7
billion rubles ($175 million) from 80 property investors. He
insisted he was innocent of embezzlement charges, and claimed to
have owned property worth as much as $4 billion. Polonsky fled to
Cambodia and later described the case against him as extortion
carried out by people who wished to put him in prison so they could
take control of his holdings.
2013 Jul 2, In Russia Alexander
Lebedev, a banking tycoon who financed a newspaper critical of the
Kremlin, was found guilty of assault for punching a talk show guest
in Sep, 2011, and sentenced to 150 hours of community service.
2013 Jul 2, A Russian
helicopter packed with passengers crashed in Siberia, killing at
least 19 of the 28 people aboard.
2013 Jul 2, A Russian Proton
rocket carrying navigation satellites crashed a few seconds after
takeoff from the Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome. This was the 4th
Proton failure at Baikonur in 14 years.
(SFC, 7/3/13, p.A2)(Econ, 11/8/14, p.45)
2013 Jul 3, Russian Authorities
arrested Evgeny Urlashov, the only opposition mayor of a major
Russian city, for allegedly soliciting bribes, and said they found
vast sums of cash stashed in his apartment building. The
Investigative Committee in Yaroslavl said that it arrested Urlashov
and three of his deputies for allegedly demanding a bribe of 14
million rubles (about $420,000) from an unidentified contractor.
2013 Jul 6, Russia's Interior
Ministry said French authorities have detained Alexei Kuznetsov, a
former Russian politician. He has been on an Interpol wanted list
since November, accused of fraud worth 3.5 billion roubles. ($105
2013 Jul 9, In Russia Anatoly
Iksanov (61), the chief of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater, was fired after
months of infighting following an acid attack on its artistic
director that has stained the reputation of one of the legendary
names in world ballet.
(AP, 7/9/13)(SFC, 7/10/13, p.A2)
2013 Jul 11, A Moscow court
found the late investment fund lawyer Sergei Magnitsky guilty of tax
evasion in Russia's first posthumous trial. The court also convicted
Magnitsky's former client William Browder, a Briton who has
spearheaded an international campaign to expose corruption and
punish Russian officials he blames for Magnitsky's death in a Moscow
jail while awaiting trial in 2009.
2013 Jul 12, In Russia Edward
Snowden, former NSA analyst, said he was ready to meet Pres. Putin’s
condtion to stop leaking secrets if it means Russia would give him
shelter that could eventually help him get to asylum in Latin
(SFC, 7/13/13, p.A3)
2013 Jul 13, In Russia 18
people were killed and 25 injured when a truck ploughed into a bus
in a Moscow suburb.
2013 Jul 13, In Ingushetia
Mikhail Musikhanov was killed by security forces along with another
militant in a shootout in the Sunzha region. He was the personal
bodyguard of rebel leader Doku Umarov, Russia's most wanted
insurgent, who has vowed to use "maximum force" to prevent President
Vladimir Putin staging the 2014 Games in Sochi.
2013 Jul 16, National Security
Agency leaker Edward Snowden submitted a request for temporary
asylum in Russia, claiming he faces persecution from the US
government and could face torture or death.
2013 Jul 17, In Russia senior
central bank officials disclosed their personal wealth, many of them
for the first time. First Deputy Chairman Sergei Shvetso declared
ownership of six apartments in Mexico and a home in the United
States, possibly leaving him open to criticism as President Vladimir
Putin campaigns to curtail holdings of foreign assets.
2013 Jul 18, In Russia Alexei
Navalny (37), a leading opposition figure, was convicted of
embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison. He was found
guilty of heading a group that embezzled 16 million rubles'
($500,000) worth of timber from state-owned company Kirovles in 2009
while he worked as an unpaid adviser to the provincial governor in
Kirov. Co-defendant Pyotr Ofitserov, who was given a four-year
2013 Jul 19, Russia
unexpectedly freed opposition leader Alexei Navalny on bail, bending
to the will of thousands of protesters who denounced his five-year
jail sentence as a crude attempt by President Vladimir Putin to
2013 Jul 20, In Russia G20
finance ministers, meeting in Moscow, said their countries consider
strengthening economic growth and creating jobs to be top
2013 Jul 24, A Russian state
news agency said National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has
been given a document that allows him to leave the transit zone of a
Moscow airport and enter the country.
2013 Jul 25, Strasboug-based
European Court of Human Right dismissed claims that Russian tycoon
Mikhail Khodorkovsky was prosecuted for political reasons, but said
that some procedures during a trial against him were unfair.
2013 Jul 26, Interpol rejected
a second request from Moscow to put British investment fund head
William Browder on its search list, dealing a fresh blow to Russia's
drive to jail the man behind a campaign to expose corruption and
2013 Jul 27, In London,
England, Ilya Segalovich (48) died of brain cancer. He was the
co-founder of Russia's largest search engine, Yandex.
2013 Jul 31, In Russia police
in Moscow detained 1,200 Vietnamese who were in the country
illegally during a pre-dawn raid on a complex of small workshops.
2013 Aug 1, US National
Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden left the transit zone of a
Moscow airport and entered Russia after authorities granted him
temporary asylum to July 31, 2014.
(AP, 8/1/13)(SFC, 8/2/13, p.A2)
2013 Aug 1, In Sweden two
topless activists climbed over a fence into the Russian embassy in
Stockholm to protest against the country's anti-gay bill and
stigmatization of homosexuals.
2013 Aug 6, Russia's highest
court reduced by two months the 11-year prison terms for jailed
former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner
Platon Lebedev. They had asked the court to overturn their verdicts
and release them immediately. Khodorkovsky was now set to be
released in August 2014, and Lebedev to be set free in May 2014.
2013 Aug 6, Latvia's government
approved the extradition of Deniss Calovskis (b.1985), a man
accused by the United States of helping create a virus that affected
over a million computers worldwide, including many at NASA, and that
allowed hackers to steal millions of dollars from victims' bank
accounts. US authorities earlier this year accused Calovskis, along
with Romanian citizen Mihai Ionut Paunescu and Russian national
Nikita Kuzmin, of participating in a conspiracy that started in 2005
to create and disseminate the so-called Gozi virus.
2013 Aug 7, President Barack
Obama canceled his Moscow summit with Russian President Vladimir
Putin. The decision reflected both US anger over Russia's harboring
of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and growing
frustration within the Obama administration over what it sees as
Moscow's stubbornness on other key issues, including missile defense
and human rights.
2013 Aug 15, Ukrainian
politicians accused Russia of starting a trade war to pressure the
country against signing a cooperation pact with the EU, bringing
relations between the two former Soviet states to a new low.
2013 Aug 17, Russian media said
as many as 100,000 people may be evacuated from their homes near
Russia's border with China if the region's biggest floods for 120
years get worse. Floodwater has already led to the evacuation of
about 170,000 people from the Amur, Khabarovsk and Jewish Autonomous
2013 Aug 17, In Russia a boat,
piloted by a captain suspected of being drunk, crashed into a barge
on the Irtysh river, 10 km from the Siberian city of Omsk. 4 people
were killed and 49 injured.
2013 Aug 20, In Russia’s
Caucasus region police killed 5 people in a clash in Dagestan. Among
the dead was Bammatkhan Sheikov, a prominent warlord who was said to
be competing to oversee all militant operations in Dagestan.
2013 Aug 26, Greenpeace said
that Russian authorities have boarded their ship which is in the
Arctic to protest against oil drilling. The Greenpeace ship entered
the waters of the Kara Sea on Aug 24.
2013 Aug 28, Russian police
said they have raided an exhibition and confiscated a painting that
portrayed President Vladimir Putin and PM Dmitry Medvedev lounging
together in women's lingerie. Artist Konstantin Altunin left Russia
in fear of being arrested after the show's closure.
2013 Aug 30, Russia banned pork
imports from Belarus, stepping up a diplomatic and trade war over
the arrest of Uralkali's CEO, Vladislav Baumgertner, a Russian
businessman, and threatening to deepen the isolation of its former
Soviet ally. The dispute followed the collapse this month of a
Russia-Belarus sales cartel that controlled two-fifths of the
$20-billion global market for potash, an ingredient used in mineral
2013 Sep 2, Belarus authorities
issued an arrest warrant for Suleyman Kerimov (47), a Russian
billionaire who co-owns the Moscow-based potash company Uralkali, as
a power struggle escalated over exports of the fertilizer.
2013 Sep 5, President Barack
Obama flew to St. Petersburg, Russia, for meetings with world
leaders at the Group of 20 summit.
2013 Sep 6, G20 leaders meeting
in Russia committed to crack down on cross-border companies that use
tax havens. They also agreed on a plan to share information on
individual taxpayers by the end of 2015.
2013 Sep 6, Turkish PM Tayyip
Erdogan said almost all leaders at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg
accepted the need for an operation to be carried out against Syria
following a chemical weapons attack there last month.
2013 Sep 8, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny (37) faced off against Sergei Sobyanin, a
Kremlin ally, in a Moscow mayoral election with high stakes for both
President Vladimir Putin and his foes.
2013 Sep 9, A senior Russian
diplomat in Georgia's Moscow-backed breakaway Abkhazia region was
shot dead by an unidentified gunman.
2013 Sep 9, The Moscow Election
Commission said that former Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Sobyanin
got just over 51% of the vote while Alexei Navalny garnered 27% in
second place. Navalny demanded a recount.
2013 Sep 9, The Syrian
government accepted a Russian proposal to put its chemical weapons
under international control to avoid a possible US military strike.
2013 Sep 10, Shareholders of
Cyprus' largest bank elected six Russians to sit on its new,
16-member board of directors, a consequence of the country's bailout
agreement with international creditors.
2013 Sep 11, A Russian Soyuz
capsule carrying three astronauts touched down in Kazakhstan after
undocking from the International Space Station following 166 days in
2013 Sep 11, The European Union
rejected Russian pressure to deter Ukraine and other former Soviet
republics from deepening trade ties with Europe, saying any kind of
retaliation was unacceptable.
2013 Sep 13, In Russia a fire
killed 37 people in a psychiatric hospital in Luka, a provincial
village north of Moscow. This was the second deadly blaze at such a
facility this year.
2013 Sep 13, Lithuania made a
formal protest to Russia over extra border checks imposed over the
last month that are hampering trade as the countries spar over trade
relations with Ukraine. Russia and the EU, of which Lithuania holds
the rotating presidency, are each trying to convince Georgia,
Moldova and Ukraine to join their respective trade blocs.
2013 Sep 14, The United States
and Russia agreed a "framework for elimination of Syrian chemical
weapons." General Selim Idris, the head of the opposition Syrian
Supreme Military Council, said a US-Russian agreement to eliminate
Syria's chemical weapons was a blow to the two-and-a-half-year
uprising to remove President Bashar al-Assad from power.
2013 Sep 18, Russian coast
guards fired warning shots and arrested two Greenpeace activists who
scaled the Prirazlomnaya Arctic oil platform in a protest over the
potential threat to the environment from operations slated to start
2013 Sep 19, The Russian Coast
Guard began towing a Greenpeace ship to Murmansk after armed
officers stormed it following a protest against oil drilling in
2013 Sep 22, Russia re-opened a
railway link with North Korea, holding out the prospect of increased
trade for the reclusive nation with its biggest neighbors after
years of international sanctions.
2013 Sep 23, In Russia Nadezhda
Tolokonnikova, one of the imprisoned members of the punk group Pussy
Riot, said she is beginning a hunger strike to protest harsh working
conditions and threats to her life.
2013 Sep 24, Russian
investigators said they will file piracy charges against Greenpeace
activists who tried to climb onto an offshore drilling platform in
the Arctic owned by Gazprom. 30 activists from 18 countries were
aboard the Arctic Sunrise seized last week.
2013 Sep 25, Russian
authorities introduced a state of emergency in Sochi, the host city
of the 2014 Winter Olympics, as floods and mudslides covered
highways and a few residential areas in the Black Sea resort.
2013 Sep 26, A Russian court
ordered two Greenpeace activists to be detained for two months over
a protest on an Arctic oil platform, as the Netherlands called for
the activists' immediate release and threatened legal action against
2013 Sep 27, Russian security
forces killed five suspected militants in the North Caucasus
province of Dagestan including one believed to be a local Islamist
2013 Sep 29, A Russian court in
the northern city of Murmansk sent six more Greenpeace activists to
jail for two months and showed no sign that the remaining two
activists would be treated any differently for a protest at a
drilling platform in Arctic waters.
2013 Sep 29, In Poland
Pavel Khodorkovsky, a son of Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky,
received a $100,000 human rights award on behalf of his imprisoned
father during a ceremony conducted by Solidarity founder Lech
2013 Oct 1, Tajikistan's
parliament ratified a deal with Russia to extend by three decades
Moscow's military presence in the Central Asian nation. A
forthcoming vote in the docile upper house is seen as a formality in
Tajikistan, where Pres. Imomali Rakhmon wields vast powers.
2013 Oct 1, In Russia Nadezhda
Tolokonnikova, an imprisoned member of the punk band Pussy Riot,
ended her 9-day hunger strike to protest working conditions at the
women’s prison where she is serving 2-year sentence.
(SFC, 10/2/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 2, Russian
investigators charged 14 Greenpeace campaigners with piracy over an
open-sea protest against Arctic oil drilling.
(AFP, 10/2/13)(AP, 10/3/13)
2013 Oct 2, In Libya security
guards fired shots to disperse a group of about 60 people who tried
to storm the Russian embassy. One of the attackers was killed by the
gunfire. Unconfirmed reports said that a Russian woman had murdered
(AP, 10/2/13)(Reuters, 10/3/13)
2013 Oct 2, Lithuania’s foreign
minister said his country could block Russia's road and rail access
to its enclave of Kaliningrad if Moscow keeps pressuring its
neighbors over their ties to the European Union.
2013 Oct 3, Russian
investigators charged 16 more crew members of a Greenpeace ship with
piracy for a protest at a Russian oil platform in the Arctic. All 30
crew members from 17 countries now faced 15-year prison terms if
2013 Oct 4, Russia's
Investigative Committee said it has confiscated 57,000 diamonds and
19 kg (42 pounds) of jewelry from Yevgenia Vasilyeva, a former
defense ministry official, in an ongoing investigation into
corruption charges. Vasilyeva was charged in 2012 with fraud related
to the sale of military assets.
2013 Oct 4, The Netherlands
launched legal proceedings against Russia, saying it had unlawfully
detained activists and others on the Dutch-registered ship last
month as it protested against drilling in the Arctic.
2013 Oct 5, Russia shrugged off
Dutch legal action over its detention and prosecution of Greenpeace
activists for piracy, saying the group's protest at an Arctic oil
platform had been "pure provocation."
2013 Oct 7, Russia suspended
imports of dairy products from neighboring Lithuania, turning up
trade pressure on the European Union member weeks before it hosts a
summit that could pull former Soviet republics further from Moscow's
2013 Oct 9, Russian
investigators said several of the 30 Greenpeace activists already
charged with piracy over an open-sea protest were set to face new
charges for "other grave crimes" after finding drugs on their ship.
2013 Oct 9, Credit Suisse
reported that a staggering 35% of household wealth in Russia is
owned by just 110 people, the highest level of inequality in the
world barring a few small Caribbean islands.
2013 Oct 9, The Dutch foreign
minister apologized to Moscow for the detention of a Russian
diplomat in The Hague, saying his right to diplomatic immunity had
been violated. Dutch child protection services said earlier they
were investigating a complaint from neighbors of diplomat Dmitry
Borodin about his treatment of his children.
2013 Oct 12, Russian police
arrested 67 people after a fight broke out between gay rights
activists and their opponents at a demonstration in St. Petersburg.
2013 Oct 13, In Russia a mob of
nationalists, joined by locals and pensioners in the Moscow suburb
of Biryulyovo, smashed up a vegetable market over the murder of an
ethnic Russian by a Caucasian migrant.
(Econ, 10/19/13, p.58)
2013 Oct 14, Russian police
swept through a vegetable warehouse earlier targeted by rioters,
rounding up over a thousand migrant workers, checking their
documents and loading them onto waiting vans to be investigated for
criminal activity on the southern outskirts of Moscow.
2013 Oct 15, In Russia unknown
attackers posing as electricians broke into the apartment of a Dutch
diplomat, forced him to the ground, hit him and drew a heart
containing the letters LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender) on a mirror in pink lipstick.
2013 Oct 16, A Russian court
suspended a five-year prison sentence for top opposition leader
Alexei Navalny, but upheld his conviction for theft that will
prevent him from running in future elections.
2013 Oct 16, In Russia a
migrant worker was found stabbed to death in a Moscow neighborhood
rocked this week by race riots, in what a community leader suggested
was a revenge attack for the killing of an ethnic Russian.
2013 Oct 21, In Russia female
suicide bomber Naida Asiyalova (30) struck a passenger bus in the
southern city of Volgograd, killing 6 people and injuring 32 others.
The suspected bomber was from Dagestan.
(AP, 10/21/13)(AP, 10/22/13)(SFC, 10/22/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 23, Russia said it
will boycott maritime court hearings sought by the Netherlands in a
bid to free 30 crew members of a Greenpeace ship who were detained
during a protest against Arctic oil drilling. Russia dropped piracy
charges against 30 people involved in a Greenpeace protest against
Arctic oil drilling, replacing them with lesser offences and cutting
the maximum jail sentence they face to seven years from 15.
(AFP, 10/23/13)(Reuters, 10/23/13)
2013 Oct 27, In Russia some 5
thousand people marched through central Moscow in a new protest at
President Vladimir Putin's rule and a judicial crackdown against
(AFP, 10/27/13)(SFC, 10/28/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 29, Russian PM Dmitry
Medvedev says Russia will ask Ukraine to start pre-paying for gas
supplies in case Ukraine doesn't settle outstanding debts. He was
reacting to a complaint of Alexei Miller, chief executive of Russian
gas giant Gazprom, who said Ukraine owes Russia $882 million for the
August deliveries and was due to pay for it by Oct 1.
2013 Oct 29, Russian
investigators announced new theft and money laundering charges
against opposition politician Alexei Navalny, increasing pressure
against one of Pres. Putin's biggest domestic critics.
2013 Oct 30, Bomb blasts in
shops in Russia's volatile North Caucasus province of Dagestan
killed one person and injured several others.
2013 Oct 31, A Moscow court
revoked the registration of web-based news agency Rosbalt for
posting videos it said contained profane language, including a clip
by punk band Pussy Riot.
2013 Nov 1, In Russia a man
facing an assault charge detonated a grenade in a courthouse,
killing himself and a court officer and wounding two other people in
the Ural Mountains city of Kurgan.
2013 Nov 1, In Tasmania int’l.
negotiations ended after China, Russia and Ukraine scuttled plans to
create the world's largest ocean sanctuary in Antarctica. The
sanctuary plans were led by the Antarctic Ocean Alliance which
campaigns for protecting the Antarctic seas. For the sanctuary
proposals to pass, they needed backing from all 200 delegates from
25 member countries, many of which have conflicting interests.
(Reuters, 11/1/13)(SFC, 11/2/13, p.A2)
2013 Nov 2, Meeting in Tokyo
Japan and Russia held their first joint defense and foreign
ministers' meeting and agreed to boost security cooperation in the
Asia-Pacific as they both warily watch neighboring China's rising
influence. Japan and Russia have never signed a treaty to mark the
end of World War II because of a territorial dispute.
2013 Nov 4, Some ten thousand
Russian nationalists rallied in Moscow, venting against the migrants
they accuse of pushing up the crime rate and taking their jobs.
2013 Nov 7, In Russia concern
for jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova mounted on her
24th birthday, after her husband said she could not be found in the
Russian prison colony where authorities reportedly sent her in
2013 Nov 9, In Russia Gabriela
Isler (25) of Venezuela was crowned in the Miss Universe pageant at
an exhibition hall on Moscow's outskirts.
2013 Nov 10, Russian
performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky nailed his genitals to the ground
outside Moscow's Red Square in protest over Russia's "police state"
as the country marked national police day.
2013 Nov 11, Cambodian police
arrested Russian real estate tycoon Sergei Polonsky (40) for the
second time this year and said they planned to extradite him at
Moscow's request to face embezzlement charges there.
2013 Nov 11, A Russian space
capsule carrying the Sochi Olympic torch and three astronauts
returned to Earth from the International Space Station in a flawless
landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan.
2013 Nov 11, Violence marred
Polish independence day as ultra-nationalist rioters went on the
rampage outside the Russian embassy in Warsaw, igniting a diplomatic
row with Moscow.
2013 Nov 12, A Russian court in
Moscow froze the assets of protest leader Alexei Navalny as part of
an investigation into alleged fraud and money laundering by him and
his brother Oleg.
2013 Nov 12, The
Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, a leading human rights body,
urged President Vladimir Putin to overhaul Russia's creaking
judicial system, long criticized as vulnerable to political meddling
and as an obstacle to business.
2013 Nov 12, China, Cuba,
Russia and Saudi Arabia won seats on the UN Human Rights Council,
despite fierce international criticism of their records.
2013 Nov 13, In Russia
protesters threw firecrackers at the Polish embassy in Moscow in
response to a similar attack on the Russian mission in Warsaw,
further straining ties between countries with a history of troubled
2013 Nov 14, Egypt's foreign
minister sought to downplay speculation of a major foreign policy
shift, saying during a rare top-level Russian visit that Cairo wants
to boost ties with Moscow and not replace the United States as its
key ally. The defence ministers of Russia and Egypt held discussions
on military collaboration between their countries.
(AP, 11/14/13)(AFP, 11/14/13)
2013 Nov 14, A 20-year program
to convert highly enriched uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear
weapons into fuel for US power plants ended with the final shipment
loaded at the port of St. Petersburg, Russia.
(SFC, 11/15/13, p.A2)
2013 Nov 16, Russia handed over
a $2.3 billion aircraft carrier to India after years of delays,
extending India's maritime reach in the Indian Ocean as it looks to
counter China's assertive presence in the region.
2013 Nov 16, In Dagestan Dmitri
Sokolov, the husband of suicide bomber Naida Asiyalova, died after a
stand-off with police. The Oct 21 Volgograd bombing killed six
people on a bus.
2013 Nov 18, Russia hosted
Syrian and Iranian delegations for separate rounds of talks in a
renewed diplomatic push for a Syrian peace conference in which
Moscow says Tehran must also play a role.
2013 Nov 18, A Russian court in
Saint Petersburg released on bail one of the 30 Greenpeace
crewmembers arrested for an Arctic protest, the first of the
activists to be freed. Yekaterina Zaspa, a Russian doctor with the
Arctic Sunrise icebreaker, was released. Two courts in the city said
bail would be granted to three Russian activists but ordered
Australian activist Colin Russell to remain in pre-trial detention
until February 24.
(AFP, 11/18/13)(AFP, 11/19/13)
2013 Nov 18, A Tatarstan
airlines flight from Moscow crashed in Kazan, killing all 44
passengers and six crew in a blaze that left little of the Boeing
2013 Nov 18, The head of
Russia's state-controlled industrial holding company said Moscow has
signed a deal to provide Egypt with air defense missile systems.
2013 Nov 19, Russian courts
granted bail to seven foreign Greenpeace activists detained for an
oil drilling protest, bringing to 10 the number released over the
last days and raising hopes of a solution to a case which has raised
2013 Nov 20, In Russia six more
Greenpeace activists arrested by Russian coast guards during a
protest against Arctic oil drilling were granted bail on Wednesday,
including the US captain of their ship. Eighteen of the 30 people
detained on September 18 have now been granted bail this week.
2013 Nov 21, In Russia three
more of the 30 people arrested during a Greenpeace protest walked
free on bail. 24 of those detained on September 18 have been granted
bail this week.
2013 Nov 21, The Ukrainian
government announced it was suspending its preparations for the
signing of a landmark agreement with the EU. President Vladimir
Putin's spokesman said that Russia welcomed Kiev's desire to improve
trade ties with Moscow, signaling satisfaction with the Ukrainian
(AP, 11/21/13)(Reuters, 11/21/13)
2013 Nov 22, Russia concluded
bail hearings and ruled to release all but one of the 30 Greenpeace
crew members who have spent more than two months in prison over a
protest against Arctic drilling.
2013 Nov 22, Russia's space
agency successfully launched three European Space Agency's
satellites intended to study Earth's magnetic field. A Rokot booster
rocket at the Plesetsk launchpad in northwestern Russia put the
three Swarm satellites into their designated orbits.
2013 Nov 22, The Hamburg-based
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, an international
maritime tribunal, ordered Russia to release a Greenpeace ship and
30 people arrested in a protest against Russian Arctic oil drilling.
2013 Nov 27, Russian security
forces detained 15 suspected Islamist militants in Moscow after
confiscating improvised bombs and other weapons in a raid on an
2013 Nov 28, In Russia criminal
charges were filed against Anatoly Serdyukov, a former defense
minister (2007-2012). He was accused of using servicemen and
government funds to build a road to a vacation home and do
landscaping work on the property.
2013 Nov 28, A Russian court
granted bail to the last Greenpeace activist still in custody over a
protest against offshore oil drilling in the Arctic. Greenpeace said
Australian Colin Russell (59) will be released from pre-trial
detention in St. Petersburg when 2-million-rouble ($60,000) bail is
2013 Nov 29, Russian poet
Natalia Gorbanevskaya (77) died in Paris. She was among the eight
demonstrators arrested in in 1968 in Moscow’s Red Square for
protesting the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.
(Econ, 12/7/13, p.94)
2013 Dec 2, In Armenia some 500
people marched through Yerevan to denounce visiting Russian
President Vladimir Putin and to protest against plans to join a
Moscow-led customs union.
2013 Dec 3, In Russia Bolshoi
star dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko was sentenced to six years in prison
over an acid attack on the ballet's director that exposed vicious
backstage bickering and intrigue at the renowned theater.
2013 Dec 5, Russia said it has
begun a criminal inquiry into suspected child trafficking in the US
following a Reuters investigation which found that adopted children,
some born in Russia, were being traded via the Internet.
2013 Dec 9, President Vladimir
Putin tightened his control over Russia's media by dissolving the
main state news agency and replacing it with an organization that is
to promote Moscow's image abroad. Putin appointed Dmitry Kiselyov to
head the resources of the former RIA Novosti, which was renamed
Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today).
(Reuters, 12/9/13)(SFC, 12/10/13, p.A3)
2013 Dec 10, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin ordered the military to step up its presence in the
Arctic after Canada signalled its intention to claim the North Pole
and surrounding waters.
2013 Dec 12, Russian President
Vladimir Putin used his state-of-the-nation address to defend
conservative values, referring obliquely to his government's
anti-gay stance as he chided the West for treating "good and evil"
equally. Putin also made a new attempt to woo Ukraine after the EU
and US stepped up efforts to pull Kiev out of its former Soviet
master's orbit. He also announced a set of initiatives to crack down
on Russian companies who register and pay taxes in offshore
2013 Dec 16, Russia’s Izvestia
newspaper reported that Russia has deployed Iskander missiles with a
range of hundreds of kilometers in its Baltic Sea exclave of
Kaliningrad, which borders Poland and Lithuania.
2013 Dec 16, Russia said its
security forces have killed four alleged militants including the
leader of a group suspected of carrying out attacks on tourists and
ski facilities in the North Caucasus. The National Anti-Terrorist
Committee said the dead men included Arsen Khandokhov, described as
the leader of a militant cell suspected of crimes including the
killing of two tourists and attacks on a ski lift.
2013 Dec 17, Russian and
Ukrainian officials signed a series of agreements in Moscow to boost
trade and industrial cooperation.
2013 Dec 18, Russia's
parliament passed an amnesty bill that will likely apply to the
30-member crew of a Greenpeace ship detained after an Arctic
protest, but it wasn't immediately clear if and when the activists
would be allowed to leave the country.
2013 Dec 19, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin said he will pardon jailed oil tycoon Mikhail
Khodorkovsky. The move, along with an amnesty for the two jailed
members of the Pussy Riot punk band and the 30-member crew of a
Greenpeace ship, appears designed to assuage international criticism
of Russia's rights record ahead of February's Winter Olympics in
2013 Dec 20, In Russia oligarch
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has been pardoned by Pres. Putin, left
jail after 10 years and left for Germany.
2013 Dec 20, Russia closed a
deal to buy Ukraine's newly-issued $3 billion Eurobond, part of a
$15 billion bailout of its smaller neighbor.
2013 Dec 22, In Germany
Mikhail Khodorkovsky vowed to do all he can to ensure the release of
other political prisoners in Russia.
2013 Dec 23, In Russia two
jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot were released following
an amnesty law that both described as a Kremlin public relations
stunt ahead of the Winter Olympics.
2013 Dec 23, Russia said it has
sent 25 armored trucks and 50 other vehicles to Syria to help
transport toxins that are to be destroyed under an international
agreement to rid the nation of its chemical arsenal.
2013 Dec 23, Russia bought $3
billion worth of Ukrainian bonds, the first batch of a promised $15
billion, in a bid to support its neighbor's economy.
2013 Dec 23, Russia’s Mikhail
Kalashnikov (b.1919), the designer of the AK-47 assault rifle, died
in Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurtia republic.
(AP, 12/23/13)(SFC, 12/25/13, p.D4)
2013 Dec 24, Russian news
agency RIA reported that Russia is preparing to lift a suspension it
imposed on the import of Lithuanian dairy products on October 7.
2013 Dec 25, Russia's Supreme
Court said it will review two convictions against former oil tycoon
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, including a ruling the Kremlin critic said was
preventing him from returning to Russia despite a presidential
2013 Dec 25, Russia’s Pres.
Putin announced $2 billion in loans to Belarus next year following
talks with Belarus Pres. Alexander Lukashenko.
(SFC, 12/26/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 25, Greenpeace said
Russian investigators have dropped charges against all but one of
the 30 crew, who were accused of hooliganism following a protest
outside a Russian oil rig in the Arctic. Cristian d'Alessandro of
Italy failed to get his criminal case closed due to the lack of an
interpreter and will have to visit the St. Petersburg branch of
Russia's Investigative Committee again Dec 26.
2013 Dec 25, Syria’s government
signed a major oil and gas exploration deal with a Russian company
in Damascus, which will allow for exploration in a section of Syrian
2013 Dec 26, A Russian probe
into the 2004 death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said it has
found no trace of radioactive poisoning.
2013 Dec 26, Russian
authorities issued visas to seven of 30 members of a Greenpeace ship
crew that allow them to leave the country after dropping criminal
charges against them over a protest outside an Arctic oil rig.
2013 Dec 26, A Russian plane
crashed in Siberia, killing nine people. The Soviet-built Antonov
An-12 plane belonging to an aircraft factory in Novosibirsk was
carrying six crew and three others on a flight to another factory in
2013 Dec 27, Two Russian
astronauts began a spacewalk to install cameras and perform other
work on the International Space Station. This was the third
spacewalk in a week at the orbiting laboratory.
2013 Dec 27, In Russia at least
two people were killed in the explosion of an automobile in
Pyatigorsk in the restive North Caucasus region.
2013 Dec 29, In southern Russia
18 people were killed and scores were wounded as a female suicide
bomber struck at a railway station in Volgograd, heightening concern
about terrorism ahead of February's Olympics in the Black Sea resort
(AP, 12/29/13)(Reuters, 12/30/13)
2013 Dec 30, In Russia a
suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded trolleybus in the
southern city of Volgograd, killing 15 people. It was the second
bloody terrorist attack to hit Volgograd in as many days and the
third in recent months.
(AP, 12/30/13)(Reuters, 12/30/13)
2013 Catherine Merridale
authored “Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin."
(Econ, 11/23/13, p.81)
2014 Jan 2, A Chinese
helicopter rescued all 52 passengers from the MV Akademik
Shokalskiy Russian research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic
ice since Christmas Eve after weather conditions finally cleared
enough for the operation. The passengers were all transported to an
Australian icebreaker in the area.
2014 Jan 4, Russian President
Vladimir Putin reversed a blanket ban on protests at the Winter
Olympics in Sochi, bowing to pressure from the International Olympic
2014 Jan 4, Senegal said its
navy has boarded a Russian ship that was allegedly illegally fishing
in its waters and is escorting it toward Dakar. The Russian trawler
left the port of Dakar on Jan 22 following an agreement by Moscow to
pay $1 million.
(AFP, 1/4/14)(AP, 1/23/14)
2014 Jan 7, Russia launched the
largest security operation in Olympic history with one month to go
before Vladimir Putin kicks off the Winter Games in Sochi amid
renewed fears of suicide bombings.
2014 Jan 7, A Chinese
icebreaker and a Russian research vessel -- broke free from thick
Antarctic ice where they had been trapped for days.
2014 Jan 8, In southern Russia
the bodies of 6 men were found shot to death in four cars abandoned
on the outskirts of Pyatigorsk.
2014 Jan 10, Russia designated
a park in the town of Khosta as a protest zone for the Winter
Olympics. Khosta is 7 miles away from there the athletes will
compete in Sochi.
(SFC, 1/11/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 10, Russia's powerful
Orthodox Church proposed a referendum on banning gay relations in
the face of Western pressure over human rights ahead of next month's
Winter Olympics in Sochi.
2014 Jan 11, Russian
authorities detained five terror suspects in Nalchik,
Kabardino-Balkar Republic, 185 miles east of Sochi, site of the
upcoming Winter Olympics.
(SSFC, 1/12/14, p.A8)
2014 Jan 13, A Cambodian court
freed Russian real estate tycoon Sergei Polonsky and he will not be
extradited to Russia to face embezzlement charges there.
2014 Jan 14, Russia’s Foreign
Ministry said that journalist David Satter, author of three books on
Russia and the Soviet Union, was prevented from returning to Russia
last month after grossly violating visa regulations. Satter, who is
critical of President Vladimir Putin, was barred from returning for
2014 Jan 14, In Russia’s
Dagestan region a shootout between security forces and militants
killed 5 people.
2014 Jan 17, Sources said that
Russia in recent weeks has stepped up supplies of military gear to
Syria, including armored vehicles, drones and guided bombs, boosting
President Bashar al-Assad just as rebel infighting has weakened the
insurgency against him.
2014 Jan 17, It was reported
that Sochi residents are blaming the Olympic Games for ecological
damage. Environmental experts said that Russia’s Olympic
construction, which has consisted of pouring soil into lowland
swamps, helped cause the flooding that created a state of emergency
in the area in September and could increase the risk for more
2014 Jan 17, Chechen strongman
Ramzan Kadyrov said rebel leader Doku Umarov, who vowed to disrupt
the Sochi Winter Olympics, is dead. Russian security services did
not confirm the claim.
2014 Jan 18, Russian news said
7 suspected militants were killed today by security forces in a
shootout near Makhachkala, Dagestan.
2014 Jan 19, Pres. Putin in
broadcast comments defended Russia's anti-gay law by equating gays
with pedophiles and said Russia needs to "cleanse" itself of
homosexuality if it wants to increase its birth rate. At the asame
time he offered new assurances to gay athletes and fans attending
the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics next month.
2014 Jan 21, Russia’s National
Anti-Terror Committee said police have killed Eldar Magatov, a
senior Islamist militant, in a shootout in the Dagestan region ahead
of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
2014 Jan 23, Russia's Supreme
Court ordered the release of Platon Lebedev (57), Kremlin critic
Mikhail Khodorkovsky's business partner, after a decade in jail, but
refused to drop a tax claim that is keeping the former oil tycoon
2014 Jan 27, Russian
anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny launched an interactive
website painting a vivid picture of the suspected cost overruns and
conflicts of interest at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
2014 Jan 28, In Sudan a Russian
diplomat and his wife were stabbed in Khartoum by a man anguished by
the death of his brother in violence-plagued Central African
2014 Jan 30, Russia’s
Anti-Terrorism Committee identified the Dec 29 Volgograd bombers as
Asker Samedov and Suleiman Magomedov and called them members of the
"Buinaksk Terrorist Group." It also said two suspected accomplices
have been arrested in Dagestan province.
2014 Feb 2, In Russia several
thousand protesters marched through central Moscow to call for the
release of 20 people who were arrested after clashes between police
and demonstrators in May 2012.
2014 Feb 3, In Russia a Moscow
high-school student shot a teacher and a police officer dead and
held more than 20 other students hostage in a classroom in a
possible revenge attack. The student was disarmed and detained less
than two hours after the shooting following negotiations aided by
2014 Feb 3, A pest control
company which has been killing stray dogs in Sochi for years said
that it has a contract to exterminate more of the animals throughout
2014 Feb 5, Russian security
forces surrounded a group of militants who had holed up in the
Dagestani town of Izberbash. Dzhamaldin Mirzayev (30), who was
suspected of having been involved in training the bombers and
sending them to Volgograd, was killed in an exchange of gunfire.
2014 Feb 6, Hungary's
parliament authorized a deal with Russia to build two reactors at
the country's only nuclear power plant in Paks.
2014 Feb 7, Russia opened the
Winter Olympics in Sochi. Police arrested four gay rights activists
protesting in St. Petersburg.
2014 Feb 8, In Russia some 40
people gathered in downtown Moscow to protest the decision of
leading Russian cable and satellite companies to drop the channel,
Dozhd (TV Rain). Except for women with children, most were
2014 Feb 8, A Russian animal
rights activist was detained in Moscow after he and two others
protested the country's policy of killing stray dogs in Sochi.
2014 Feb 9, In Russia a man
employed as a private security guard (24) opened fire in a cathedral
on Russia's Sakhalin Island in the Pacific, killing a nun and a
parishioner and wounding six others.
2014 Feb 12, Russian geologist
Yevgeny Vitishko, a leading activist who campaigned against
environmental damage caused by preparations for the Winter Olympics,
was sentenced to three years in a penal colony. A court in Krasnodar
converted a 2012 suspended sentence to a prison term.
(AFP, 2/12/14)(SFC, 2/13/14, p.A2)
2014 Feb 17, Iran's ambassador
to Moscow said Russia could build the Islamic republic a second
nuclear power reactor under a proposed oil-for-goods swap that has
raised grave concern in Washington.
2014 Feb 21, In Russia 200
people were arrested near a Moscow court as it convicted eight
defendants of mass riots and attacking police at a 2012 protest
against Pres. Putin, a case widely seen as a crackdown on dissent.
(AFP, 2/21/14)(SFC, 2/22/14, p.A2)
2014 Feb 23, Vladimir Putin
ordered officials to start work on taking control of Crimea. This
was weeks before a referendum which, the Kremlin later asserted,
prompted the region's annexation from Ukraine. This information was
not made public until March 8. , 2015.
2014 Feb 23, The Winter
Olympics In Sochi, Russia, ended after 17 days with a handoff to the
next Winter Games host city, Pyeongchang in South Korea. Russian
athletes claimed 33 medals, their largest haul ever.
2014 Feb 24, A Russian court
sentenced seven activists to prison terms of up to four years over a
protest against President Vladimir Putin as police detained hundreds
of supporters outside.
2014 Feb 24, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny was jailed for a week by a court for resisting
arrest at a protest over the convictions of activists for attacking
police at a 2012 rally against President Putin. On Feb 28 a Moscow
court put Navalny under house arrest, forbidding him from using the
Internet or communicating with anyone outside his family.
(Reuters, 2/25/14)(AP, 2/28/14)
2014 Feb 26, Moscow granted
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych protection "on the territory
of Russia," shortly after the fugitive leader sought help from the
2014 Feb 26, In Ukraine
fistfights broke out between pro- and anti-Russian demonstrators in
the strategic Crimea region as Russian President Vladimir Putin
ordered massive military exercises just across the border.
2014 Feb 26, Estonian Foreign
Minister Urmas Paet told EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in
a phone call that the Ukrainian opposition to president Viktor
Yanukovych may have been involved in sniper attacks (Feb 18-20).
News of the call was leaked in early March and prompted Russian
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to call for an OSCE investigation.
(AFP, 3/8/14)(SFC, 3/8/14, p.A4)
2014 Feb 27, Ukraine's new PM
Arseny Yatseniuk accused the government of ousted President Viktor
Yanukovich of stripping state coffers bare and said 37 billion
dollars of credit it had received had disappeared. Russian soldiers
without insignias, later known as “little green men," seized the
parliament in the Crimea region and raised the Russian flag,
alarming Kiev's new rulers, who urged Moscow not to abuse its navy
base rights on the peninsula by moving troops around.
(Reuters, 2/27/14)(Econ., 3/7/15, p.51)
2014 Feb 28, Ukraine accused
Russia of a "military invasion and occupation," saying Russian
troops have taken up positions around a coast guard base and two
airports on its strategic Crimea peninsula. Russia kept silent on
the accusations, as the crisis deepened between two of Europe's
2014 Feb, An Indian team
visited Moscow to firm up a deal under which it will pay Russia to
supply arms and equipment to the Afghan military as foreign combat
troops prepare to leave the country. An agreement was signed
in April in a move that risked infuriating Pakistan.
2014 Mar 1, Russia's parliament
granted Pres. Vladimir Putin permission to use the country's
military in Ukraine and also recommended that Moscow's ambassador be
recalled from Washington over comments made by Pres. Obama.
Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatsenyuk opened a Cabinet meeting in Kiev by
calling on Russia not to provoke discord in Crimea.
2014 Mar 1, Sergei Aksyonov,
the pro-Russian prime minister of Ukraine's Crimea region, claimed
control of the military and police there and appealed to Russia's
President Vladimir Putin for help in keeping peace.
2014 Mar 1, Ukraine's Pres.
Viktor Yanukovich sent a letter to Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin,
asking him to use Russian army and police forces to restore order in
2014 Mar 2, Ukraine mobilized
for war and Washington threatened to isolate Russia economically,
after President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade
2014 Mar 2, Ukraine's new PM
Arseniy Yatsenyuk and world leaders urged Russian President Vladimir
Putin to pull back his military as hundreds of armed men surrounded
a Ukrainian military base in Crimea. Ukraine's navy chief announced
he had switched allegiance to the pro-Russian authorities of the
flashpoint peninsula of Crimea, a day after he was appointed to the
post by interim leader Oleksandr Turchynov.
(AP, 3/2/14)(AFP, 3/2/14)
2014 Mar 3, In Ukraine
pro-Russian demonstrators occupied the first floor of the regional
government building in Donetsk, the latest in days of rallies that
Kiev says are organized by Moscow as a pretext to invade. Interfax
news agency quoted a source in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry as
saying Russia's Black Sea Fleet has told Ukrainian forces in Crimea
to surrender by 5 a.m. on March 4 or face a military assault. The
OSCE said it will start deploying in Ukraine late today, but Russian
objections mean the body has yet to agree on a full-scale mission.
The UN said 16,000 Russians have been deployed in Crimea.
(Reuters, 3/3/14)(AFP, 3/3/14)(SFC, 3/4/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 4, Vladimir Putin said
that Moscow reserves the right to use its military to protect
Russians in Ukraine but voiced hope it won't need to do so as he
accusing the West of encouraging an "unconstitutional coup."
2014 Mar 6, A new video showed
two members of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot attacked by a
group of men who poured rubbish and bright green paint over them and
shouted obscenities at them at a McDonald's restaurant in Nizhny
2014 Mar 6, The Obama
administration slapped new visa restrictions against pro-Russian
opponents to the new Ukraine government in Kiev as lawmakers in
Crimea declared their intention to split from Ukraine and join
Russia instead. They scheduled a referendum in 10 days for voters to
decide the fate of the disputed peninsula. Russia's parliament,
clearly savoring the action, introduced a bill intended to make this
2014 Mar 6, European leaders
said Russia will face sanctions over its military incursion in
Ukraine's Crimean peninsula unless it withdraws its troops or
engages in credible talks to defuse the situation. The EU froze the
assets of ousted Ukraine leader Viktor Yanukovych, ex-premier Mykola
Azarov and 16 former ministers, businessmen and security chiefs, all
on grounds of fraud.
(AP, 3/6/14)(AFP, 3/6/14)
2014 Mar 7, Russia rallied
support for a Crimean bid to secede from Ukraine, with Russia's top
lawmaker assuring her Crimean counterpart that the region would be
welcomed as "an absolutely equal subject of the Russian Federation."
Russia said that Organization for Security and Co-Operation in
Europe (OSCE) observers, who were barred from Crimea, had failed to
obtain "official invitations" from the Crimean authorities.
(AP, 3/7/14)(AFP, 3/7/14)
2014 Mar 7, BAE Systems Applied
Intelligence, the cyber arm of Britain's premier defense contractor,
published its own research on suspected Russian spyware known as
Turla, which it called "snake." The sophisticated piece of spyware
has been quietly infecting hundreds of government computers across
Europe and the United States in one of the most complex cyber
espionage programs uncovered to date.
2014 Mar 8, Russia was reported
to be reinforcing its military presence in Crimea as Moscow's
foreign minister ruled out any dialogue with Ukraine's new
authorities, whom he dismissed as puppets. Warning shots were fired
when an unarmed OSCE military observer mission was turned back while
trying to cross into Ukraine's Crimea region.
(AP, 3/8/14)(Reuters, 3/8/14)
2014 Mar 9, Russians took over
a Ukrainian border post on the western edge of Crimea, trapping
about 15 personnel inside. Germany's Angela Merkel delivered a
rebuke to President Vladimir Putin, telling him that a planned
Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia was
illegal and violated Ukraine's constitution.
2014 Mar 10, Russian troops
opened fire with automatic rifles during a takeover of a Ukrainian
naval post in Crimea.
2014 Mar 11, Russia signed a
preliminary agreement to build at least two more nuclear power
plants in the Iranian port city of Bushehr.
2014 Mar 11, Two Russian
cosmonauts and an American astronaut landed back on Earth in
Kazakhstan after a stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS)
of over half a year.
2014 Mar 11, The parliament of
Ukraine's Crimea peninsula voted for full independence from Ukraine
in preparation for a referendum to join Russia. France threatened
sanctions against Moscow as early as this week. Gunmen took over air
traffic control of the airport in the regional capital Simferopol
and refused landing rights to a flight from the Ukrainian capital.
2014 Mar 11, The European
Commission agreed to extend nearly 500 million euros worth of trade
benefits to Ukraine, removing duties on a wide range of agricultural
goods, textiles and other imports in an effort to support the
Ukrainian economy. G7 leaders called on Russia to stop all
efforts to "annex" Ukraine's Crimea region.
(Reuters, 3/11/14)(Reuters, 3/12/14)
2014 Mar 12, Ukraine's acting
president said the country would not use its army to stop Crimea
from seceding, the latest sign that a Russian annexation of the
strategic peninsula may be imminent.
2014 Mar 12, European Union
member states agreed on the wording of sanctions on Russia,
including travel restrictions and asset freezes against those
responsible for violating the sovereignty of Ukraine.
2014 Mar 13, Russia said it
will impose symmetrical sanctions if the United States and European
Union impose their own.
2014 Mar 13, Germany's Angela
Merkel warned Moscow that it risked "massive" political and economic
damage if it refused to change course on Ukraine.
2014 Mar 13, The Paris-based
OECD said it has postponed all activities related to Russia's
accession to the organization following a request from its 34
2014 Mar 13, Ukraine's
parliament appealed to the UN to discuss the occupation by Russian
forces of its Crimea peninsula and said it reserved the right to ask
individual countries for help in resolving the issue. A man (22) was
stabbed to death in Donetsk in clashes between pro-Russian
protesters and a crowd favoring European integration and denouncing
Russian forces' seizure of Crimea.
(Reuters, 3/13/14)(Reuters, 3/14/14)
2014 Mar 14, Russia called on
the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to
send its observers to monitor Crimea's controversial referendum on
independence from Ukraine.
2014 Mar 14, Hackers knocked
out the Russian presidency's website several times and brought down
the central bank website.
2014 Mar 14, EU officials said
they have drawn up a list of 120-130 names of Russians who could be
hit with travel bans and asset freezes to punish Russia for its
seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region.
2014 Mar 15, Russia vetoed a UN
resolution declaring the March 15 referendum on the future of
Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula illegal, but close ally China abstained
in a show of Moscow's isolation.
2014 Mar 15, In Russia tens of
thousands have gathered in downtown Moscow in the largest
anti-government demonstration since 2012, protesting against the
March 16 Kremlin-backed referendum in Crimea on whether to
break away from Ukraine and merge with Russia.
2014 Mar 15, Ukraine's military
scrambled aircraft and paratroops to repel an attempt by Russian
forces to enter a long spit of land belonging to a region adjacent
to Crimea. Russian forces seized a natural gas distribution station
in Strelkova, about 10 km outside Crimea.
(Reuters, 3/15/14)(AP, 3/15/14)
2014 Mar 16, Residents in
Ukraine's strategic Crimean Peninsula voted to leave Ukraine and
join Russia, overwhelmingly approving a referendum that sought to
unite the Black Sea region with the country it was part of for some
250 years. In eastern Ukraine thousands of pro-Russian protesters in
the city of Donetsk rallied in support of Crimea's right to join
Russia and to press for their own referendum. Ukraine's defense
minister said his forces in Crimea have reached a temporary truce
with Russia aimed at easing tensions surrounding the Black Sea
peninsula's high-stakes secession referendum.
(AP, 3/16/14)(AFP, 3/16/14)
2014 Mar 17, Russia's
government acknowledged for the first time on that the economy was
in crisis, undermining earlier attempts by officials to suggest
albeit weakening growth could weather sanctions over Ukraine.
2014 Mar 17, Ukraine's Crimean
peninsula declared itself independent after its residents voted
overwhelmingly to secede and join Russia, while the United States
and the European Union slapped sanctions against some of those who
promoted the divisive referendum. Ukraine recalled its ambassador to
Russia for consultations on the international ramifications of the
situation in its Crimea region.
(AP, 3/17/14)(Reuters, 3/17/14)
2014 Mar 18, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to annex Crimea, describing the move
as correcting past injustice and a necessary response to what he
called Western encroachment upon Russia's vital interests.
2014 Mar 18, French foreign
minister Laurent Fabius said that leaders of the Group of Eight
world powers have suspended Russia's participation in the club amid
tensions over Ukraine and Russia's incursion into Crimea.
2014 Mar 18, US Vice President
Joe Biden warned Russia that the US and Europe will impose further
sanctions as Moscow seeks to annex the Ukrainian territory.
2014 Mar 19, Syria and its
Russian ally criticized the decision by the United States to suspend
the operations of Syria's embassy in Washington and consulates in
2014 Mar 20, Pro-Russian crowds
seized two Ukrainian warships and Ukraine said its troops were being
threatened in Crimea as the European Union considered new sanctions
against Russia for its annexation of the Black Sea peninsula.
2014 Mar 20, President Barack
Obama said the US is levying a new round of economic sanctions on
individuals in Russia in retaliation for the Kremlin's actions in
Ukraine. Obama says he has also signed a new executive order that
would allow the US to sanction key sectors of the Russian economy.
Rossiya, Russia’s 17th largest bank, was included on the sanctions
list. Its owners had ties with Pres. Putin.
(AP, 3/20/14)(Econ, 2/14/15, p.59)
2014 Mar 21, Russia’s Pres.
Vladimir Putin completed his annexation of Crimea, signing a law
making the Black Sea peninsula part of Russia just as Ukraine itself
sealed a deal pulling it closer into Europe's orbit.
2014 Mar 21, France said it is
suspending military cooperation with Russia as Defense Minister
Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Baltic states in a trip designed to
reassure them as tensions mount with Russia over its seizure of
Ukraine's Crimea region.
2014 Mar 22, Ukraine Col. Yully
Mamchur, the commander of Belbek Air Force base in Crimea, was
seized by pro-Russian forces as they stormed the base near
(SFC, 3/24/14, p.A4)
2014 Mar 22, In eastern Ukraine
more than 5,000 pro-Russia residents of Donetsk demonstrated in
favor of holding a referendum on whether to seek to split off and
become part of Russia.
2014 Mar 24, Russia's SMP Bank
said around 9 billion rubles had been withdrawn by depositors since
U.S. sanctions were announced last week.
2014 Mar 24, Russian historian
Andrei Zubov was fired from his teaching position at the Moscow
State Institute of Int’l. Relations for drawing parallels between
Russia’s occupation of Crimea and Germany’s annexation of Austria
and Sudetenland territories in 1938-39.
(Econ, 3/29/14, p.53)
2014 Mar 24, Ukraine announced
the evacuation of its troops and their families from Crimea,
effectively acknowledging defeat in the face of Russian forces, who
stormed one of the last remaining Ukrainian bases on the peninsula.
2014 Mar 25, NATO member Norway
suspended all joint activities with the Russian military through May
because of Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
2014 Mar 26, Russian forces
took over the Ukrainian minesweeper Cherkasy, the last military ship
controlled by Ukraine in Crimea.
2014 Mar 26, A Soyuz spacecraft
carrying two Russians and NASA’s Steve Swanson blasted off from
Kazakhstan. A software glitch delayed their docking with the
International Space Station until March 27.
(SFC, 3/27/14, p.A2)(AP, 3/28/14)
2014 Mar 26, The Norwegian
Academy of Science and Letters said Russian mathematician Yakov G.
Sinai (78) has won this year's $1 million Abel Prize in mathematics.
2014 Mar 27, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin said that Russia would develop its own credit card
system to reduce reliance on Western-based companies and soften the
potential blow from US and EU sanctions.
2014 Mar 27, The UN passed a
non-binding resolution declaring invalid Crimea's Moscow-backed
referendum on seceding from Ukraine with 100 votes in favor,
11 against and 58 abstentions in the 193-nation General Assembly.
Russia threatened several Eastern European and Central Asian states
with retaliation if they voted in favor of a United Nations General
(Reuters, 3/28/14)(Reuters, 3/29/14)
2014 Mar 28, Russia's Pres.
Vladimir Putin said Ukraine could regain some arms and equipment of
military units in Crimea that did not switch their loyalty to
2014 Mar 28, Russia said
Switzerland has imposed restrictions on military exports to Russia
over events in Ukraine which were counterproductive and not in line
with the country's policy of neutrality.
2014 Mar 29, Russia said it had
"no intention" of invading eastern Ukraine, responding to Western
warnings over a military buildup on the border following Moscow's
annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
2014 Mar 29, Crimea's Tatars
held a vote on whether to push for self-rule in their historic
homeland following its annexation by Russia. The Crimean Tatars, who
make up about 12 percent of Crimea's population, strongly opposed
and largely boycotted the hastily-organized March 16 referendum.
2014 Mar 29, In southern Iraq
commercial production on one of the biggest undeveloped oilfields in
the world. Russian energy giant Lukoil was the principal firm
developing the enormous West Qurna-2 field.
2014 Mar 31, Russia’s PM
Medvedev said Crimea will be made a special economic zone offering
tax breaks and reduced bureaucracy to attract investors.
2014 Mar 31, Ukraine reported a
gradual withdrawal of Russian troops from its border that may be
linked to Washington's latest push for a diplomatic solution to the
worst East-West standoff since the Cold War.
2014 Apr 1, Russia warned
Ukraine against integration with NATO, saying Kiev's previous
attempts to move closer to the bloc had strained ties with Russia
and caused problems between Moscow and the defense alliance. Russia
sharply hiked the price for natural gas to Ukraine and threatened to
reclaim billions previous discounts. Ukrainian police moved to
disarm members of a radical nationalist group after a shooting spree
in the capital.
(Reuters, 4/1/14)(AP, 4/1/14)
2014 Apr 1, NATO foreign
ministers agreed to suspend all practical cooperation with Russia,
draft measures to strengthen defenses and reassure nervous eastern
European countries in the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War
ended in 1991.
2014 Apr 2, A Russian soldier
shot dead Ukrainian naval officer Stanislav Karachevsky in eastern
Crimea, the second Ukrainian death reported since Russia took
control of the Black Sea peninsula.
2014 Apr 2, The Swiss
government said it has decided not to adopt European Union sanctions
against 33 people in connection with Russia's annexation of Crimea,
but will prevent them from using Switzerland to get around the visa
bans and asset freezes.
2014 Apr 2, Ukraine's ousted
president, Viktor Yanukovych, said that he was "wrong" to invite
Russian troops into Crimea, and vowed to try to persuade Russia to
return the Black Sea peninsula.
2014 Apr 3, Russia’s gas giant
Gazprom urged Ukraine to pay its debt, and announced a 70 percent
rise in the charge for future supplies.
2014 Apr 4, The Secretary
General of the International Road Transport Union said Russia
is inflicting $2.2 billion of annual costs on cross-border trade by
enforcing illegal customs charges and inspections on trucks.
2014 Apr 4, Ukraine's
Western-backed leaders scrambled to find new sources of energy after
Russia hiked its gas price by 81 percent in response to the
overthrow of Kiev's pro-Kremlin regime.
(AFP, 4/4/14)(AFP, 4/5/14)
2014 Apr 5, Ukraine rejected
Russia's latest gas price hike and threatened to take its
energy-rich neighbor to arbitration court over a dispute that could
imperil deliveries to western Europe.
2014 Apr 7, Latvia said it is
joining Lithuania in banning Russian state TV broadcasts because it
found that several programs about the Ukraine crisis were
tendentious and not in the Baltic nation's security interests. A
three-month suspension of RTR Rossiya broadcasts will begin April 8.
2014 Apr 9, The Dutch
government scrapped a trade mission to Russia that was intended to
forge closer ties between the two countries' energy sectors, blaming
developments in eastern Ukraine.
2014 Apr 10, President Vladimir
Putin warned European leaders Russia would cut natural gas supplies
to Ukraine if it did not pay its bills and said this could lead to a
reduction of onward deliveries to Europe.
2014 Apr 12, A Russian Su-24
tactical bomber flew over the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea. An
electronic device disabled all radars, control circuits, systems,
information transmission, etc. on board the US destroyer. The
unarmed Russian aircraft repeated a simulated missile attack
12 times before flying away.
2014 Apr 13, In Moscow more
than 10,000 people rallied to denounce Russian state TV news
coverage particularly of the crisis in Ukraine.
(SFC, 4/14/14, p.A2)
2014 Apr 14, Ukraine's acting
President Oleksandr Turchynov called for the deployment of UN
peacekeeping troops in the east of the country, where pro-Russian
insurgents have occupied buildings in nearly 10 cities. During the
storming of a police station in Horlivka earlier today, one man
identified himself as a lieutenant colonel of the Russian army.
About 100 pro-Russian protesters armed with bats and rocks stormed a
police station in the eastern town of Gorlivka, smashing its windows
and grabbing metal shields from police. Pro-Russian militants seized
two of Ukrainian soldiers "hostage" in the separatist eastern region
(AP, 4/14/14)(AFP, 4/14/14)(AFP, 4/16/14)
2014 Apr 14, The EU threatened
Russia with more sanctions over its actions in eastern Ukraine.
2014 Apr 16, In Ukraine a
column of 6 armored vehicles flying Russian flags drove into
Slovyansk, a city controlled by pro-Russian insurgents. Ukraine's
defense ministry said pro-Russia separatists had seized the six
armored personnel carriers from Ukrainian armed forces with the help
of Russian agents. Ukraine's security service said it had
intercepted communications showing that Russian commanders in the
separatist east had issued pro-Kremlin militants with
(AP, 4/16/14)(Reuters, 4/16/14)(AP, 4/16/14)
2014 Apr 17, In Ukraine 3
pro-Russian protesters were killed and 13 injured during an
attempted raid overnight on a National Guard base in the Black Sea
port of Mariupol. High-level talks aimed at calming soaring tensions
over the crisis in Ukraine went into overtime with top diplomats
from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine
attempting to forge a common position on how to de-escalate the
situation. Ukrainian town councilor Volodymyr Rybak and a second man
disappeared. He was seen being bundled into a car by masked men in
camouflage. His body was found on April 29 near Slaviansk.
(AP, 4/17/14)(Reuters, 4/23/14)
2014 Apr 20, Ukraine and Russia
traded blame for a shootout at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russia
insurgents in Slovyansk that left three people dead in a mysterious
(AP, 4/20/14)(Econ, 4/26/14, p.50)
2014 Apr 21, Russian President
Vladimir Putin signed a decree to rehabilitate Crimea's Tatars and
other minorities who suffered under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin,
courting a group that largely opposed Moscow's annexation of the
region from Ukraine.
2014 Apr 22, Russia’s top
opposition leader Alexei Navalny was found guilty of slandering a
lawmaker and ordered to pay a hefty fine. He was found guilty of
calling municipal lawmaker Alexei Lisovenko "a lawmaker-drug addict"
and ordered to pay 300,000 rubles ($8,300, 6,000 euros).
2014 Apr 22, Ukrainian PM
Arseny Yatseniuk said that Russian special forces were operating in
eastern Ukraine to undermine a presidential election due on May 25
and he called on Moscow to pull them out.
2014 Apr 24, Ukrainian
government troops moved against pro-Russia forces in the east of the
country and killed at least two of them in clashes at checkpoints
manned by the insurgents. Russian President Vladimir Putin decried
what he described as a "punitive operation."
2014 Apr 25, Russia’s Central
Bank said it has increased its one-week auction rate by 0.5
percentage points to 7.5 percent in an effort to stem inflation as
the country begins to feel the impact of its policies in Ukraine.
Standard & Poor's credit agency cut Russia's credit rating for
the first time in more than five years, citing the flight of capital
and the risk to investment in Russia since the Ukraine crisis blew
up late last year.
2014 Apr 25, Cambodia's highest
court ruled that a prominent Russian property developer wanted in
his homeland for allegedly embezzling millions of dollars cannot be
extradited. Sergei Polonsky expressed satisfaction with the ruling
and said he will spend up to $100 million developing an island he
purchased off Cambodia's southern coast. Polonsky was charged in
Russia in June last year with embezzling more than 5.7 billion
rubles ($175 million) from 80 property investors.
2014 Apr 26, Leaders of the G7
major economies agreed to impose more sanctions on Russia over the
crisis in Ukraine, where armed pro-Moscow separatists have detained
a group of international observers they accuse of being NATO spies.
2014 Apr 28, The European Union
added 15 more officials to its Russian sanctions list to protests
Moscow's meddling in Ukraine.
2014 Apr 28, The United States
levied new sanctions on seven Russian government officials, as well
as 17 companies with links to Vladimir Putin's close associates, as
the Obama administration seeks to pressure the Russian leader to
deescalate the crisis in Ukraine.
2014 Apr 28, Six environmental
advocates won this year's Goldman Prize. India's Ramesh Agrawal
received the prize for helping villagers fight a large coal mine in
Chhattisgarh state. American lawyer Helen Slottje received the award
for helping communities fight fracking in New York State. Peru's
Ruth Buendia was recognized for helping to prevent construction of
two large dams that would have displaced nearly 10,000 indigenous
people in the Peruvian Amazon. Russian zoologist Suren Gazaryan won
for defending protected areas around Sochi from illegal land
seizures for Olympic construction projects. South Africa's Desmond
D'Sa won for helping to close down one of the country's largest
toxic waste dumps. Indonesian biologist Rudi Putra won for helping
to shutter 26 illegal palm oil plantations that were causing
deforestation in northern Sumatra.
2014 Apr 29, In Russia 10
people died after a fire broke out at a military warehouse in the
Siberian Baikal region.
2014 Apr 29, The EU released
the names of 15 new people it is targeting for sanctions because of
their roles in the Ukraine crisis.
2014 Apr 29, Moldova's PM Iurie
Leanca said neighboring Romania will export gas to his country this
year, reducing the former Soviet republic's dependence on Russia for
2014 Apr 29, US payment-card
firm Visa said it would suspend network services to Russian banks
SMP and InvestCapitalbank, which were sanctioned a day earlier by
the US, in order to comply with US law.
2014 Apr, Russia-based Gasprom
took over Kyrgyzstan’s gas network, pledging a stable gas supply.
Days later Uzbekistan stopped exporting gas to Kyrgyzstan saying it
had no contract to sell to Gasprom.
(Econ, 7/26/14, p.35)
2014 May 1, Ukraine ordered the
expulsion of Russia's military attaché, saying it had caught him
"red-handed" a day earlier receiving classified information on the
country's cooperation with NATO. A crowd of some 300 pro-Russian
militants attacked the prosecutor's office in the eastern city of
(Reuters, 5/1/14)(AFP, 5/1/14)
2014 May 5, Russia’s Pres.
Putin signed a new law requiring popular bloggers and commentators
with more than 3,000 followers to register as media outlets.
(Econ, 5/10/14, p.49)
2014 May 7, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin urged that a planned May 11 referendum on autonomy in
southeast Ukraine be postponed. In a meeting with Swiss president
Didier Burkhalter, Putin also called on Ukraine's military to halt
all operations against pro-Russia activists who have seized
government buildings and police stations across at least a dozen
towns in eastern Ukraine.
2014 May 9, Russia’s President
Putin watched as about 11,000 Russian troops proudly marched across
Red Square in celebration of Victory Day. He then flew to Crimea and
extolled its return to Russia before tens of thousands during his
first trip there since its annexation.
2014 May 11, Moldovan
authorities said they have stopped Russia's deputy prime minister
from leaving the country with a petition calling on Moscow to
recognize the separatist Trans-Dniester region, but Dmitry Rogozi
claimed he had delivered most of the signatures supporting it.
2014 May 12, Russia made it
clear that Moscow has no intention of immediately annexing two
regions in eastern Ukraine after a weekend referendum there showed
most voters allegedly backing sovereignty.
2014 May 13, In Ukraine 7
soldiers were ambushed and killed by rebels armed with grenade
launchers outside the town of Kramatorsk. Ukrainian PM Arseny
Yatseniuk urged Russia not to use natural gas as a "weapon" against
his country, and accused Moscow of seizing tens of billions of
dollars' worth of its assets and energy resources in Crimea.
(AP, 5/13/14)(Reuters, 5/13/14)(Econ, 5/17/14,
2014 May 15, Russia ratcheted
up pressure on Ukraine, with President Vladimir Putin saying in a
letter released today that it only will deliver gas to its
struggling neighbor next month if it pays in advance.
2014 May 16, Russia's Proton-M
booster rocket failed and broke apart during a test launch, just
months after a shake-up in the country's space agency that was meant
to boost its dented image.
2014 May 19, Russian President
Vladimir Putin ordered troops deployed near Ukraine to return to
their home bases and praised the launch of a dialogue between the
Ukrainian government and its opponents even as fighting continued in
the eastern parts of the country.
2014 May 20, A Moscow court
convicted five men of involvement in the 2006 murder of journalist
Anna Politkovskaya. Four of the men were of Chechen origin.
(SFC, 5/21/14, p.A2)
2014 May 20, In Russia a
collision between a cargo train and a passenger train near Moscow
killed at least 6 people and left up to 45 others injured.
2014 May 21, Russian President
Vladimir Putin said he ordered troops to pull out from the regions
near Ukraine to help create a positive environment ahead of the
nation's presidential vote. Putin spoke from Shanghai, China, where
he attended a security summit.
2014 May 21, China signed a
landmark deal to buy Russian natural gas worth about $400 billion,
giving a boost to diplomatically isolated President Vladimir Putin
and expanding Moscow's ties with Asia.
2014 May 22, China and Russia
vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution to refer Syria to the
International Criminal Court for war crimes committed by both sides
in its civil war.
2014 May 23, In Russia’s North
Caucasus 4 militants and a member of Russia's security service were
killed during clashes in Karbadino-Balkaria.
2014 May 24, President Vladimir
Putin said that Russia is ready for talks with Japan over disputed
Pacific Islands, but Japan may not be ready for negotiations. Japan
has imposed a set of measures against Russia for its annexation of
2014 May 24, Russian
authorities said 7 militants in the North Caucasus province of
Ingushetia died in a three-hour gun battle with Russian security
forces after which their hide-out was consumed by fire.
2014 May 29, Russian President
Vladimir Putin signed a deal creating an economic union with
ex-Soviet states Belarus and Kazakhstan.
2014 May 29, A Russian
spacecraft carrying a three-man crew docked successfully at the
International Space Station following a flawless launch.
2014 May 30, Ukraine told
Russia a $786 million partial payment on a bill that Russia says
could exceed $5 billion by next week was on its way to Moscow. That
averted an immediate threat that Russia would stop supplying the
former Soviet republic with gas if it fails to make advance
2014 May 31, In northern Russia
a helicopter crashed into a lake and 16 of the 18 people on board
were missing. Two passengers, who floated to the surface still
strapped into their seats, were rescued by fishermen and
hospitalized for treatment of broken legs and other injuries. The
helicopter belonged to the fertilizer company Apatit.
2014 Jun 2, Russia granted
Ukraine another week before it will start demanding prepayment for
gas, without which it has threatened to cut off supplies.
2014 Jun 6, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's newly elected leader Petro Poroshenko
met in France at the sidelines of ceremonies to celebrate the 70th
anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy. They spoke of their
desire for a quick end to hostilities in southeastern Ukraine.
2014 Jun 9, A Russian court
sentenced two men to life in prison and three others to terms
ranging from 12 to 20 years for the 2006 killing of renowned
journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Despite the convictions, it remained
unclear who ordered the killing and Politkovskaya's family said it
will continue to push for the case to be fully solved.
2014 Jun 10, Russia’s PM Dmitry
Medvedev gave the government's blessing to Aeroflot’s new low-cost
airline serving newly-annexed Crimea, as he inspected a Dobrolyot
(Good Flight) Boeing-737 ahead of its maiden flight from Moscow's
2014 Jun 11, Russia offered to
restore the discounted prices it granted Ukraine under the ousted
pro-Russian president, but Ukraine demanded an even better deal and
called for arbitration to settle the dispute.
2014 Jun 12, Ukraine's Pres.
Petro Poroshenko signaled he would be ready to hold talks with
opponents in eastern Ukraine if pro-Russian separatists waging an
insurgency there agreed to lay down their weapons. Interior Minister
Arseny Avakov accused Russia of allowing three tanks and other
military vehicles to cross the border into east Ukraine to help
pro-Russian separatists there.
2014 Jun 13, Ukraine said it
was ready to pay a compromise price for Russian natural gas for 18
months to avert the threat of Moscow cutting off supplies and allow
time to reach a long-term pricing agreement.
2014 Jun 15, NATO
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO is preparing
measures to help Ukraine defend itself in its stand-off with Russia,
and must adapt to the fact that Moscow now views it as an adversary.
2014 Jun 16, Russia cut gas
supplies to Ukraine as a payment deadline passed and negotiators
failed to reach a deal on gas prices and unpaid bills amid continued
fighting in eastern Ukraine. Gazprom announced that it is suing
Ukraine's state energy company Naftogaz in an international court
for the $4.5 billion. Naftogaz said it has also filed a suit against
Gazprom, seeking a "fair and market-based price" for gas, as well as
a repayment of $6 billion for what it said were overpayments for gas
2014 Jun 17, In Ukraine Russian
correspondent Igor Kornelyuk (37) died during surgery in a hospital
after being wounded by mortar fire while on assignment in Luhansk.
Sound engineer Viktor Denisov was also confirmed dead.
(AP, 6/17/14)(SFC, 6/18/14, p.A2)
2014 Jun 17, In central Ukraine
an explosion rocked the main pipeline carrying Russian natural gas
to the rest of Europe but a source at Russian gas producer Gazprom
said the blast has not disrupted the gas flow.
2014 Jun 18, Ukrainian
President Petro Poroshenko set out proposals for a peace plan for
eastern Ukraine involving a unilateral ceasefire by government
forces. This followed a late-night telephone call with Russian
President Vladimir Putin.
2014 Jun 22, Ukraine's Pres.
Petro Poroshenko agreed to dialogue with separatists not implicated
in "murder and torture" as he laid out a peace plan that Russian
President Vladimir Putin promised to back as fighting flared between
government and pro-Moscow separatist forces.
(AFP, 6/22/14)(Reuters, 6/22/14)
2014 Jun 24, Russian President
Vladimir Putin asked parliament to cancel a resolution sanctioning
the use of military force in Ukraine.
2014 Jun 25, On Russian
President Vladimir Putin's demand, the upper house of the Russian
parliament canceled a resolution allowing the use of military in
2014 Jun 27, The UN said some
110,000 people have fled to Russia from Ukraine since the start of
2014 while more than 54,000 have been displaced inside the
2014 Jun 29, In eastern Ukraine
veteran cameraman Anatoly Klyan (68), who worked for Russia's
Channel One, was killed when a bus carrying journalists and
soldiers' mothers was hit by gunfire near Avdiivka, just north of
2014 Jun 30, France said the
leaders of Russia and Ukraine have agreed to work on the adoption of
a ceasefire in Ukraine as well as the establishment of effective
2014 Jul 3, Ukraine's Pres.
Poroshenko shook up the leadership of his struggling military,
appointing a new defense minister and top general tasked with
stamping out the corruption that has left the country's armed forces
faltering before a pro-Russian insurgency. Three helicopters bearing
the markings of the Russian armed forces violated Ukrainian airspace
several times. Ukraine followed up with protests to Russia.
(AP, 7/3/14)(Reuters, 7/4/14)
2014 Jul 4, Ukraine National
Security Council Secretary Andriy Parubiy said government troops
have recaptured more than a dozen eastern villages from pro-Russia
separatists but Russia is allowing the rebels to attack Ukrainian
border posts from its territory. At least 13 military personnel were
killed in separate incidents in fighting against pro-Russian rebels
in the east. Insurgents in the Luhansk province said that they have
killed 125 Ukrainian troops since July 2.
(AP, 7/4/14)(Reuters, 7/4/14)
2014 Jul 5, The US Secret
Service arrested Roman Valerevich Seleznev (30), a Russian national,
in an airport in the Maldives for hacking into US retailers'
computer systems to steal credit card data from 2009 to 2011.
Federal agents found 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers on his
(Reuters, 7/8/14)(AP, 8/16/16)
2014 Jul 9, Russian officials
said Ukrainian air force pilot Nadezhda Savchenko (31), has been
arrested in Russia and charged with abetting the June 17 killing of
two Russian journalists. She was captured by separatist rebels last
2014 Jul 11, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin arrived in Havana to begin a six-day Latin American
tour seeking to boost trade and ties in the region.
2014 Jul 11, The Canadian
government of PM Stephen Harper added 14 individuals to a list of
people facing economic sanctions and travel bans related to the
Ukrainian crisis. This brings to 43 the number of Russians targeted
by Canada in sanctions coordinated with the US and the EU. Thirty
pro-Russian Ukrainians have also been hit with visa bans and other
measures by Ottawa.
2014 Jul 12, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin made a surprise stop in Nicaragua after visiting
Cuba. His six-day trip will also take him to Argentina and Brazil,
where he will take part in a summit of the BRICS group of emerging
2014 Jul 12, In Buenos Aires
Russian and Argentine delegations signed a series of bilateral
deals, including one on nuclear energy that comes as Argentina ramps
up work on its fourth nuclear plant, the $3-billion Atucha III
reactor. Russia’s President Putin and Argentine counterpart Cristina
Kirchner called for a multipolar world order as Moscow sought to
boost ties with Latin America amid heightened East-West tensions.
2014 Jul 13, Russia threatened
Ukraine with "irreversible consequences" after a man was killed by a
shell fired across the border from Ukraine. Kiev said it had
bombarded a convoy of 100 armored vehicles and trucks that had
crossed into Ukraine carrying in rebel fighters from Russia. It also
said 7 of its troops had been killed in attacks. The Donetsk city
council said that 12 people had been killed at a mining settlement
nearby. Municipal authorities in Luhansk said 6 people were killed
in clashes there.
2014 Jul 14, Russia’s foreign
ministry said it has invited monitors from the OSCE European
security and rights body to two of its border crossings with Ukraine
as a sign of goodwill. A NATO military officer said Russia has been
building up its forces again along the Ukrainian border and now has
an estimated 10,000-12,000 troops in the area.
2014 Jul 14, Ukraine's Defense
Minister said a military transport plane has been shot down along
the country's eastern border with Russia. All eight aboard the plane
managed to bail out safely. President Petro Poroshenko accused
Russian military staff officers of fighting alongside separatists in
the east of the country and said a newly-developed Russian missile
system was being used against government forces.
(AP, 7/14/14)(Reuters, 7/14/14)(SFC, 7/15/14,
2014 Jul 15, In Russia a
rush-hour subway train derailed in Moscow, killing 22 people and
sending 150 others to the hospital. Investigators soon detained two
metro workers for alleged safety breaches.
(AP, 7/15/14)(AFP, 7/16/14)
2014 Jul 15, In Brazil leaders
of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)
met for their 6th annual summit. They created two financial
institutions: The New Development Bank (NDB) to finance
infrastructure with $50 billion to start and the $100 billion
Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) to tide over members in
(AP, 7/15/14)(Econ, 7/19/14,p.62)
2014 Jul 16, A Russian security
source said Russia has quietly reached a provisional agreement with
Cuba on reopening a big Soviet-era base at Lourdes from which it
spied in the United States.
2014 Jul 16, Russian jets
reportedly shot down a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter plane that was on
military operations near Amvrosiyivka, about 15 km (about 9 miles)
from the border with Russia, where government forces fought to quell
a pro-Russian separatist rebellion. Russia denied that it shot down
2014 Jul 16, President Barack
Obama announced broader sanctions against Russia, targeting two
major energy firms including Rosneft, a pair of powerful financial
institutions, eight weapons firms and four individuals.
(AP, 7/17/14)(SFC, 7/17/14, p.A2)
2014 Jul 17, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin lamented the latest round of US sanctions against
Russia, saying they will stalemate bilateral relations and hurt not
only Russian but also American businesses.
2014 Jul 17, A European court
ordered Russia to pay damages for putting defendants in metal cages
in court, a practice it condemned as "degrading treatment." The
enclosures have held opposition figures, Greenpeace activists and
untold numbers of less-prominent suspects across the country.
2014 Jul 17, Malaysia Airlines
flight MH17 with 298 people on board was shot down over eastern
Ukraine. Officials strongly suspected the Boeing 777 was downed by a
missile fired by Ukrainian separatists backed by Moscow. More than
half of the dead passengers, 189 people, were Dutch. Twenty-nine
were Malaysian, 27 Australian, 12 Indonesian, 9 British, 4 German, 4
Belgian, 3 Filipino, one Canadian, one New Zealand and 4 as yet
unidentified. All 15 crew were Malaysian.
2014 Jul 17, Ukraine's SBU
security agency released recordings of what it claimed were phone
talks involving rebels and a Russian military intelligence officer
admitting that they had hit a passenger jet after mistaking it for a
2014 Jul 18, Russian President
Vladimir Putin called for a ceasefire by pro-Russian separatists and
Ukrainian government forces fighting in eastern Ukraine to allow for
2014 Jul 18, The European Union
took the next step towards imposing tougher sanctions on Russia for
its role in the Ukraine crisis by agreeing the legal basis for
widening its list of targets.
2014 Jul 19, In Buenos Aires,
Argentina, visiting Russian Pres. Putin met with Pres. Cristina
Fernandez and signed a deal on nuclear power as well as other
(SFC, 7/19/14, p.A3)
2014 Jul 19, Ukraine accused
Russia and pro-Moscow rebels of destroying evidence of
"international crimes" as guerrillas and foreign observers faced off
over access to the wreckage of the downed Malaysian airliner.
2014 Jul 22, The EU agreed to
impose new sanctions against officials deemed responsible for
Russia's actions in Ukraine, amid mounting international anger after
a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over rebel-held territory.
2014 Jul 24, A Russian court
found two protest leaders guilty of inciting mass riots in a case
that the opposition sees as part of a clampdown on President
Vladimir Putin's foes. Sergei Udaltsov, who has been under house
arrest since February 2013, and Leonid Razvozhayev were accused of
coordinating protests which turned violent on May 6, 2012.
2014 Jul 24, The United States
said it had evidence Russian forces were firing artillery from
inside Russia on Ukrainian troops, in what officials called a "clear
escalation" of the conflict.
2014 Jul 25, A Russian security
official said up to 40 mortar shells fired by Ukrainian forces fell
on the Russian province of Rostov near the border with eastern
Ukraine where Kiev is fighting pro-Russian separatists.
2014 Jul 25, The Russian agency
in charge of agricultural products said it is banning imports of
Ukrainian dairy starting because of numerous quality flaws found in
its products. Russia is a key market for Ukrainian dairy products.
Kiev dismissed the move as politically motivated.
2014 Jul 25, Russia’s central
bank said it has lifted its one-week auction rate by 0.5 percentage
points to 8 percent. It cited "heightened geopolitical risks" that
are likely to push down the Russian ruble, fueling consumer price
2014 Jul 25, The European Union
extended its Ukraine-related sanctions to target top Russian
intelligence officials and leaders of the pro-Russia revolt in
eastern Ukraine. The action brought the total number of people under
EU sanction in connection with Russia's annexation of Crimea and the
revolt in eastern Ukraine to 87.
2014 Jul 25, Ukraine government
forces took the strategically-important city of Lysychansk. It also
reported losing 13 soldiers in the past 24 hours. Local authorities
in the region of rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Lugansk said 16
people have been killed. A military spokesman said troops were
coming under increased fire from the Russian side of the border and
that the Ukrainian military had shot down three Russian surveillance
(AFP, 7/25/14)(SFC, 7/26/14, p.A4)
2014 Jul 27, The US stepped up
pressure on Moscow by releasing satellite images it says show that
rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine
and that heavy artillery for pro-Russian separatists has crossed the
2014 Jul 28, The international
Permanent Court of Arbitration ordered Russia to pay over $50
billion in compensation to the former majority shareholder of
now-defunct oil producer Yukos over the expropriation of the company
more than 10 years ago. Russia planned to appeal.
2014 Jul 28, Japan said it is
imposing more sanctions against Russia over its support for
pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine who are accused of shooting down a
2014 Jul 29, US officials said
that roughly 30 percent of Russia's banking sector assets are now
constrained by sanctions. The West halted future sales to lucrative
Russian economic sectors, with the US announcing plans to block
future technology sales to the oil industry and Europe approving an
arms embargo. The Europeans also backed sanctions against
state-owned banks and the energy sector.
2014 Jul 30, Russia's central
bank promised to support financial institutions hit by US sanctions
as stocks took a tumble in Moscow.
2014 Jul 30, The EU targeted
Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle for the first time
for the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine.
2014 Jul 31, The European Court
of Human Rights awarded awarded fhe shareholders of now-defunct oil
producer Yukos $2.6 billion in compensation for Russia’s seizure of
its assets in 2006.
(Econ, 8/2/14, p.51)
2014 Jul, Russia wrote off 90%
of Cuba’s $35 billion Soviet debt.
(Econ, 7/19/14, p.33)
2014 Aug 1, Britain's
state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland said it has capped lending in
Russia after the imposition this week of new economic sanctions
against Moscow linked to the Ukraine crisis.
2014 Aug 2, Russia’s Labirint
(Labyrinth) travel company announced it had halted operations,
leaving 27,000 Russians "abroad without return tickets." After
making emergency arrangements they were able to bring a third home,
cutting the number stuck abroad to just under 16,000. Labirint was
the fourth Russian tour operator to go bust in the past three weeks,
stranding more than 50,000 abroad.
2014 Aug 4, Germany's Economy
Ministry confirmed it has halted Rheinmetall's export of combat
simulation gear to Russia, going beyond recently imposed EU
sanctions which block future defense contracts.
2014 Aug 4, Ukraine said 5
government soldiers were killed and 15 wounded over the last 24
hours in fighting in the east where Kiev forces recaptured an
important railway hub from pro-Russian rebels. A Russian
border security official said more than 400 Ukrainian soldiers
crossed into Russia. It wasn't immediately clear why the soldiers
entered Russia, with both sides giving conflicting accounts.
(Reuters, 8/4/14)(AP, 8/4/14)
2014 Aug 5, Japan unveiled
details of financial sanctions against 40 individuals and two groups
involved in the annexation of Crimea and destabilization of eastern
2014 Aug 6, The Kremlin
released the text of President Vladimir Putin’s order for government
agencies to restrict imports of food and agricultural products from
the countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia over the
conflict in Ukraine.
2014 Aug 6, Russian
photographer Andrei Stenin (33) was believed killed while travelling
along with a convoy of refugees that came under fire from Ukrainian
tanks and armored personnel carriers. His death was confirmed on Sep
2014 Aug 7, Moscow imposed a
total ban on imports of many Western foods in retaliation against
sanctions over Ukraine, a stronger than expected measure that
isolates Russian consumers from world trade to a degree unseen since
2014 Aug 7, It was reported
that Russia has granted former US intelligence contractor Edward
Snowden an extension to stay in Russia for three more years.
2014 Aug 9, Russian President
Vladimir Putin began talks with the leaders of arch-foes Armenia and
Azerbaijan after recent clashes that have left 22 soldiers dead and
fueled fears that one of the bloodiest post-Soviet wars is
2014 Aug 9, Ukraine said it had
headed off an attempt by Russia to send troops into Ukraine under
the guise of peacekeepers with the aim of provoking a large-scale
military conflict. Government forces reportedly seized Krasnyi
Luch, which lies on one of two main roads between Donetsk and the
other rebel-held city of Luhansk.
(Reuters, 8/9/14)(AP, 8/9/14)
2014 Aug 10, In southeastern
Ukraine artillery pounded the rebel bastion of Donetsk as the West
warned Russia that any attempt to send "humanitarian" troops into
the conflict-torn region would be unacceptable.
2014 Aug 10, Interfax news
reported that five Ukrainian soldiers, who were detained after
crossing the border into Russia, have been released back to their
unit. The five were among 18 against whom Russia had opened criminal
investigations. Twenty-eight Ukrainian border guard officers were
also being held in Russia.
2014 Aug 11, It was revealed
that Serbian police were investigating the 2008 privatization of
NIS, Serbia’s main oil company. Russia was said to have gotten
fantastic terms for the deal after siding with Serbia over Kosovo.
Russia’s Gazprom Neft held a 51% stake in NIS.
(Econ, 8/23/14, p.51)
2014 Aug 12, Russian President
Vladimir Putin hosted his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
for talks about Cairo's purchase of advanced surface-to-air missiles
and membership in a Moscow-led free trade zone.
2014 Aug 12, Russia said it has
begun military exercises in the Kurile Islands in the Pacific Ocean,
a move likely to anger Japan, which also lays claim to them.
2014 Aug 12, A convoy of 280
Russian trucks reportedly packed with aid traveled some 500 km (300
miles) to the southwestern Russian town of Voronezh as it headed for
eastern Ukraine, but Kiev said it would only allow the goods through
under the close supervision of the international Red Cross.
(AP, 8/12/14)(Reuters, 8/13/14)
2014 Aug 13, A Russian convoy
of nearly 300 trucks, carrying what Russia says is humanitarian aid
for victims of fighting in eastern Ukraine, moved slowly towards the
border despite concerns by Kiev and the West over the shipment. The
UN said the death toll in fighting in eastern Ukraine had doubled in
the last two weeks to over 2,000. Ukraine said it could allow
Russian aid to enter the country after it was inspected by Ukrainian
border guards and foreign monitors.
(Reuters, 8/13/14)(AFP, 8/13/14)(AFP, 8/14/14)
2014 Aug 13, In eastern Ukraine
12 nationalist fighters, battling a pro-Russian insurgency, were
killed early today and an unknown number taken captive when rebels
ambushed their bus. More than 100 Russian soldiers were killed near
the town of Snizhnye, Donetsk Province, while helping pro-Russian
separatists fight Ukrainian troops.
(Reuters, 8/13/14)(Reuters, 8/28/14)
2014 Aug 14, Agricultural
officials from all 28 European Union countries began emergency talks
to weigh the impact of Russia's ban on Western food imports and
whether to compensate EU farmers.
2014 Aug 14, The Ukrainian
parliament approved a law to impose sanctions on Russian companies
and individuals supporting and financing separatist rebels in
2014 Aug 14, In eastern Ukraine
artillery shells hit close to the center of Donetsk for the first
time, killing at least one person. Kiev repeated that a Russian aid
convoy could not enter until Ukrainian authorities had cleared its
cargo. Shelling over the last 24 hours killed at least 22 residents
in the besieged rebel-held bastion of Lugansk. Valery Bolotov, head
of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, announced his
resignation, saying he was injured and could not carry on in his
role. Igor Strelkov (aka Igor Girkin), an alleged Russian
intelligence colonel, quit as a key rebel chief.
(Reuters, 8/14/14)(AFP, 8/14/14)
2014 Aug 15, Dozens of heavy
Russian military vehicles massed near the border with Ukraine, while
Ukrainian border guards crossed the frontier to inspect a huge
Russian aid convoy. Shelling killed 11 civilians and wounded eight
more over the past 24 hours in the besieged rebel stronghold of
Donetsk. NATO and Ukraine said Russian military vehicles did cross
into Ukraine during the night and the Ukrainian president said most
of them were destroyed by his troops.
(Reuters, 8/15/14)(AFP, 8/15/14)(AP, 8/15/14)
2014 Aug 15, Finnish President
Sauli Niinisto told his counterpart Vladimir Putin that Western
sanctions against Moscow and the food ban Russia introduced in
response were damaging bilateral ties and proposed to seek ways to
end the Ukraine crisis.
2014 Aug 15, A Japanese whaling
vessel, the 712-ton Shonan-maru No.2, was ordered into a Russian
port after sailing through the Sea of Okhotsk off Sakhalin island
without going through the proper procedures.
2014 Aug 19, Ukraine said it
has blocked 14 Russian television channels from its cable networks
to stop them spreading war propaganda.
2014 Aug 20, Russian police
arrested four people who climbed a Moscow skyscraper and attached a
Ukrainian flag to its spire. They were charged with vandalism and
may face three years in jail.
2014 Aug 21, Russian natural
gas exporter Gazprom said that Ukraine's outstanding debt for gas
supplies stood at $5.3 billion as of Aug. 1 and called on Kiev to
ensure that gas continues to transit without disruption to Europe.
2014 Aug 21, Russia said it was
investigating dozens of McDonald's restaurants, in what many
businessmen said was retaliation for Western sanctions over Ukraine
they fear could spread to other symbols of Western capitalism.
2014 Aug 21, Ukrainian border
guards began to inspect a Russian truck convoy carrying aid
earmarked for humanitarian relief in eastern Ukraine that has been
stranded at the frontier for nearly a week. A Ukrainian military
spokesman said 3 refugees including a child (5) were killed near
Luhansk when rebel gunfire hit their car. 5 Ukrainian servicemen
were also reported killed overnight.
2014 Aug 22, Ukraine declared
that Russia had launched a "direct invasion" of its territory after
Moscow sent a convoy of aid trucks across the border into eastern
Ukraine where pro-Russian rebels are fighting government forces.
Ukrainian officials said only 34 or 35 of over 100 trucks had been
2014 Aug 23, Hundreds of trucks
from a disputed Russian aid convoy to rebel-held eastern Ukraine
rolled back across the border into Russia but questions about
alleged Russian artillery in Ukraine still remained.
2014 Aug 25, Russia announced
plans for a second aid convoy into Ukraine. The Ukrainian military
said a group of Russian forces, in the guise of separatist rebels,
had crossed into south-east Ukraine with 10 tanks and two armored
infantry vehicles. It said border guards had halted the column
(AFP, 8/25/14)(Reuters, 8/25/14)
2014 Aug 25, Ukraine forces
captured 10 Russian paratroopers, near a village about 30 miles
southeast of the rebel-controlled city of Donetsk, and about 15
miles away from the Russian border.
2014 Aug 26, In Belarus Russian
President Vladimir Putin met with Ukrainian President Petro
Poroshenko, urged him not to escalate an offensive against
pro-Moscow rebels, and threatened economic retaliation for signing a
trade accord with the EU. Poroshenko replied by demanding a halt to
arms shipments from Russia to the separatist fighters.
2014 Aug 27, Switzerland said
Russian banks will require approval to issue long-term financial
instruments in Switzerland, as it detailed measures to ensure it
does not become a place for individuals or funds to avoid European
sanctions on Moscow.
2014 Aug 27, In southeastern
Ukraine pro-Russian rebel forces entered the key town of Novoazovsk
after three days of heavy shelling. The new southeastern front has
raised fears the separatists are seeking to create a land link
between Russia and Crimea. The Ukrainian military said that more
Russian soldiers had crossed the border entering the small town of
Amvrosiyivka in five armored infantry carriers and a truck.
(AP, 8/27/14)(Reuters, 8/27/14)
2014 Aug 28, In central Russia
several dozen women gathered outside a military base in Kostroma to
demand that commanders come clean about the whereabouts of their
husbands after reports of secret funerals for soldiers covertly sent
2014 Aug 28, Ukrainian
President Petro Poroshenko said that Russian forces had entered his
country and the military conflict was worsening after Russian-backed
separatists swept into a key town in the east. NATO said well over
1,000 Russian troops are now operating inside Ukraine. 15 civilians
were reported killed in shelling in Donetsk.
2014 Aug 29, In Russia Lev
Shlosberg, a parliamentarian from the liberal Yabloko party, was
attacked and badly beaten this evening close to his home. His
newspaper this week had reported mysterious funerals of soldiers
from the Pskov region.
2014 Aug 29, Ukraine said it
would seek the protection of NATO membership after what Kiev and its
Western allies say is the open participation of the Russian military
in the war in the eastern provinces. Pro-Moscow rebels said they
would comply with a request from the Kremlin and open up a
'humanitarian corridor' to allow the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops
they have encircled.
2014 Aug 30, EU leaders agreed
to ask the executive European Commission to draw up more sanctions
measures against Russia, as armored columns of Russian troops came
to the aid of the rebellion in eastern Ukraine.
2014 Aug 30, In eastern Ukraine
a group of pro-government fighters broke out of encirclement by
Russian-backed separatists near Donetsk, but other reports suggested
many were still trapped. Ukraine handed over 10 captured Russian
paratroops and Russia returned 63 Ukrainian soldiers who crossed
into its territory last week.
(Reuters, 8/30/14)(Reuters, 8/31/14)
2014 Aug 31, Russian President
Vladimir Putin called for immediate talks on "statehood" for
southern and eastern Ukraine, although his spokesman said this did
not mean Moscow now endorsed rebel calls for independence for
territory they have seized.
2014 Aug, In Russia the
Soldiers’ Mothers of St Petersburg, a group seeking information
about Russian servicemen thought to have been killed or wounded im
Ukraine, was declared a foreign agent, despite protestations that it
receives no money from abroad.
(Econ, 9/13/14, p.68)
2014 Sep 1, Ukrainian President
Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of "direct and undisguised
aggression" which he said had radically changed the battlefield
balance as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in their war
with pro-Moscow separatists. Ukrainian forces were forced to retreat
from Lugansk airport in the face of a Russian troop attack as Moscow
soldiers moved into key eastern cities.
(Reuters, 9/1/14)(AFP, 9/1/14)
2014 Sep 1, Australia ratcheted
up sanctions against Russia in line with the United States and EU in
response to Russian soldiers openly violating Ukraine sovereignty.
2014 Sep 1, In Belarus
pro-Russian rebels softened their demand for full independence,
saying they would respect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for
autonomy — a shift that reflects Moscow's desire to strike a deal at
a new round of peace talks.
2014 Sep 2, Moscow declared
NATO a "threat" to its security after the Western military alliance
announced plans to reinforce defenses in eastern Europe because of
Russia's alleged stoking of war in Ukraine.
2014 Sep 2, Ukraine’s military
said Russian troops were strengthening their positions in the east
and using aid shipments to smuggle in arms and other supplies to
separatist forces. 15 more Ukrainian servicemen were killed in
fighting in the past 24 hours.
2014 Sep 2, Islamic State
militants issued a threat to President Vladimir Putin, vowing to
oust him and "liberate" the volatile North Caucasus over his support
of the Syrian regime.
2014 Sep 3, Russian President
Vladimir Putin said a deal to end fighting in eastern Ukraine could
be reached this week. The announcement was timed by the Kremlin to
wrong-foot NATO on the eve of a summit that will discuss the crisis
and to sow doubt in the European Union over imposing new sanctions
2014 Sep 3, Australia banned
uranium sales to Russia over its actions in Ukraine while announcing
it will set up an embassy in Kiev and may offer military assistance.
2014 Sep 3, President Francois
Hollande's office said France is suspending the delivery of a
hulking warship to Russia amid security concerns about Moscow's
actions in neighboring Ukraine. The Vladivostok, the first of two
Mistral-class helicopter carriers ordered by Russia, was to be
delivered by late October.
2014 Sep 5, Estonia said that
security service officer Eston Kohver was abducted by unknown gunmen
and taken across the border, but Russia said the man was detained on
its territory and suspected of being a spy.
2014 Sep 5, In Ukraine fighting
raged between government forces and pro-Russian rebels just east of
the strategic port of Mariupol despite the start of talks between
envoys from Ukraine and Russia in Minsk on a ceasefire and a peace
plan. Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels agreed to a ceasefire.
2014 Sep 6, Russia sent six
ships carrying personnel and equipment to a Soviet-era military base
in the Arctic that it is reopening to bolster its presence in the
2014 Sep 6, In eastern Ukraine
shelling resumed near the port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov late
today, just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin and
Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko had agreed in a phone call
that the truce was holding.
2014 Sep 8, Lithuania's central
bank cut its 2014 economic growth forecast, citing in part Russia's
ban on imports on certain foods from several Western countries.
2014 Sep 9, Ukraine said it was
drafting a list of food and other products it plans to ban from
Russia in retaliation for Moscow's own painful and
2014 Sep 10, Ukrainian
President Petro Poroshenko said that Russia has withdrawn most of
the troops it allegedly sent across the border to back a bloody
2014 Sep 11, The EU slapped
more sanctions on Russia for helping separatists in Ukraine.
(SFC, 9/12/14, p.A2)
2014 Sep 11, The Shanghai
Co-operation Organization (SCO) opened its 14th annual summit. The
2-day meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, included the groups six
member countries: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan
and Uzbekistan. The SCO agreed to adopt procedures for expansion
with India and Pakistan likely to join next year.
(Econ, 9/20/14, p.39)
2014 Sep 12, The US imposed
sanctions on Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas and
Rosneft, banning Western firms from supporting their activities in
exploration or production from deep water, Arctic offshore or shale
2014 Sep 13, A Russian convoy
of more than 200 white trucks crossed the border to deliver
humanitarian aid to Luhansk, a move made without Kiev's consent yet
met with silence by Ukraine's top leaders.
2014 Sep 14, Ukraine's defense
minister said that NATO countries were delivering weapons to his
country to equip it to fight pro-Russian separatists and "stop"
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
2014 Sep 16, Russia’s
Investigative Committee placed Vladimir Yevtushenkov (65), the head
of Sistema, under house arrest. His sprawling conglomerate included
MTS, Russia’s largest mobile operator, and Bashneft, a profitable
oil company. Yevtushenkov was charged with money laundering. Market
watchers saw this as an attempt by the government and state-owned
Rosneft to take over Bashneft.
(SFC, 9/18/14, p.A5)
2014 Sep 16, Romania's energy
minister said Russia was playing games with gas supplies to cause
concerns in EU states, after analysts warned that Moscow could use
the flows to retaliate against sanctions imposed over its role in
2014 Sep 16, Slovak gas
importer SPP reported a 25 percent reduction in gas supplies from
Russia via Ukraine, the biggest drop since a decline in deliveries
was first reported last week.
2014 Sep 17, Alexander Fomin,
the head of a Russian state arms agency, said Russia and Egypt have
reached a preliminary deal for Cairo to buy arms worth $3.5 billion
2014 Sep 18, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin said Western sanctions against Russia violated the
principles of the World Trade Organization and the main way to
combat them was to develop the domestic market.
2014 Sep 18, The Lithuanian
fishing vessel "Juros Vilkas" (Sea Wolf) and its 28-member crew was
in international waters when it was seized by Russia’s Navy in the
2014 Sep 19, In Russia victims
aged between 18 and 35 began dying after smoking a legal synthetic
drug which they had bought in Surgut. By Sep 24 six had died and
dozens had been hospitalized. By Sep 26 the substance in the fatal
drug was identified and Russia's Federal Drug Control Agency was in
the process of adding it to a banned list.
2014 Sep 20, The Ukrainian city
of Donetsk was rocked by blasts, even as government forces and
pro-Russian separatists prepared to create a buffer zone to separate
the warring sides. One Ukrainian soldier was killed and seven others
were wounded in overnight violence. A nine-point memorandum was
signed earlier in the day in the Belarussian capital of Minsk by the
separatists and envoys from Moscow and Kiev.
2014 Sep 21, In Russia
thousands marched through Moscow to protest against the Kremlin's
involvement in the Ukraine crisis, in the country's first major
anti-war rally since fighting erupted in April.
2014 Sep 21, The Ukrainian
military accused separatists and Russian troops of continuing to
shoot at government forces despite a Sept. 5 ceasefire and said Kiev
would not go ahead with setting up a proposed buffer zone until the
truce violations stopped.
2014 Sep 24, Japan said that it
has stepped up sanctions against Russia over the unrest in Ukraine
to be in line with other Group of Seven nations before their
upcoming meeting in New York.
2014 Sep 24, In Poland some 200
coal miners blocked railway tracks on the border with Russia to
protest imports of cheap Russian coal, saying it threatens their
2014 Sep 25, The Rafto
Foundation, a Norwegian human rights group, gave its annual prize to
Russian lawyer Pavel Chikov (36) and the Agora group, for their work
defending the right to fair trial.
2014 Sep 25, A US-Russian space
crew blasted off from Kazakhstan for a 6-month stint at the Int’l.
(SFC, 9/26/14, p.A2)
2014 Sep 29, Russia launched a
criminal case against "unidentified representatives of Ukraine's
senior political and military leadership", National Guard and
nationalist organizations, in which it accused them of committing
2014 Sep 30, US ambassador John
Tefft expressed regret that the Russian authorities have suspended
the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) program that saw over 8,000
Russians study in US high schools over the past two decades. Russia
pulled the plug after a Russian teenage boy befriended a gay couple
and sought asylum in the US on the grounds that he faced persecution
(AP, 10/1/14)(SSFC, 10/5/14, p.A11)
2014 Sep 30, Ukrainian state
prosecutors said they have opened a criminal investigation against a
Russian law enforcement agency, accusing it of supporting separatist
and "terrorist" groups in the east of the country.
2014 Oct 5, Yuri Lyubimov
(b.1917), founder and director of Moscow’s Taganka Theater
(1964-1983 and 1989-2011), died in Moscow.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taganka_Theatre)(Econ, 10/25/14, p.94)
2014 Oct 6, Russian opposition
politician Vladimir Ashurkov announced on Twitter that he was
seeking asylum in the UK due to political persecution by
authorities. Ashurkov was the right-hand man of anticorruption
blogger Alexei Navalny, who had been under house arrest since
(SFC, 10/7/14, p.A2)
2014 Oct 16, In Serbia Russian
President Vladimir Putin was guest of honour at a military parade in
Belgrade to mark 70 years since the city's liberation by the Red
2014 Oct 17, In Russia Lyudmila
Bogatenkova (73), a veteran activist who investigated the deaths and
disappearances of Russian soldiers in Ukraine, was charged with
fraud and ordered to be jailed.
2014 Oct 17, Meeting in Milan,
Italy, Russia and Ukraine made progress towards resolving a row over
gas supplies, but European leaders said Moscow had to do much more
to prop up a fragile ceasefire and end fighting in eastern Ukraine.
2014 Oct 18, Ukraine’s
President Petro Poroshenko said in a television interview that
Russia has agreed to supply Ukraine with gas through March 31 at a
price of $385 per 1,000 cubic meters.
2014 Oct 20, In Russia
Christophe de Margerie, the charismatic CEO of Total SA, was killed
at a Moscow airport late today when his private jet collided with a
snowplow whose driver, Vladimir Martynenko, was reportedly drunk. 3
French crew members also died when the Dassault Falcon 50 burst into
flames after it hit the snowplow. Relatives said Martynenko was
sober in the morning and that he doesn't drink at all due to chronic
(AP, 10/21/14)(Reuters, 10/21/14)
2014 Oct 23, The general
director of Moscow's Vnukovo Airport and his deputy resigned and
Russian investigators detained four other airport employees
following a plane crash that killed a top French oil executive and
three crew members.
2014 Oct 24, Russia’s
agricultural safety agency said some 600 tons of banned meat from
Europe were discovered disguised as other items such as frozen
mushrooms, juice, fruit jellies and chewing gum.
2014 Oct 24, US Air Force
General Philip Breedlove, NATO's military commander, said Russia
still has troops in eastern Ukraine and retains a very capable force
on the border despite a partial withdrawal.
2014 Oct 30, Moscow, Kiev and
the European Union clinched an agreement to resume supplies of
Russian gas to Ukraine over the winter and secure transit of gas via
Ukraine to Europe.
2014 Oct 31, Russia’s Gazprom
said it may restart gas supply to Ukraine as soon as next week if
Kiev pays $2.2 billion worth of debt and pre-payments, under a deal
that is also vital to ensure deliveries to Europe.
2014 Oct 31, Russia's central
bank raised its main interest rate 1.5% to 9.5% in its latest
attempt to shore up the plummeting national currency.
2014 Oct 31, In Australia the
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
(CCAMLR) wound up a 10-day meeting in Hobart without the consensus
needed for a deal to conserve and manage the marine ecosystems in
the Southern Ocean. China and Russia thwarted an international
attempt to create the world’s largest ocean sanctuary in Antarctica.
2014 Oct, Russia’s Pres. Putin
signed legislation banning foreign firms from owning more than 20%
of any media outlet based in Russia.
(Econ, 11/8/14, p.65)
2014 Nov 2, Former Yugoslav
Gen. Veljko Kadijevic (88), who was accused of war crimes in Croatia
and who fled to Russia in 2001 to avoid testifying at a UN tribunal,
died in Moscow.
2014 Nov 5, Russia gave 12
South African firms rights to supply canned and frozen fish. South
Africa will resume seafood exports to Russia for the first time in
almost two decades as Moscow looked elsewhere for food sources
following Western sanctions over Ukraine.
2014 Nov 7, Russia signed a
contract to build two more nuclear reactors in Iran to be possibly
followed by another six, a move intended to cement closer ties
between the two nations.
2014 Nov 7, In Russia a lesbian
couple tied the knot in a quiet ceremony seen as the first such
marriage in the country where gay unions are illegal. The marriage
went through in St. Petersburg because one of the women was born
male but is now transgender and undergoing hormone therapy.
2014 Nov 7, Ukraine’s military
said a column of 32 tanks, 16 howitzer artillery systems and trucks
carrying ammunition and fighters has crossed into eastern Ukraine
from Russia. 5 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 16 wounded in the
past 24 hours despite the ceasefire.
2014 Nov 9, Chinese President
Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin promised
ever-closer cooperation as they met for the 10th time in less than
two years. They signed agreements to boost energy cooperation,
including an understanding to develop a second major route to supply
the Chinese side with Russian gas following an initial $400 billion
deal in May.
2014 Nov 9, East Ukraine's
rebel stronghold Donetsk was pummeled by the heaviest shelling in a
month, and the OSCE said it spotted an armored column of troops
without insignia in rebel territory that Kiev said proved Moscow had
sent reinforcements. 3 Ukrainian soldiers were reported killed in
the past 24 hours and a further 13 injured.
2014 Nov 10, Russia launched a
new state-funded foreign news service to challenge the "aggressive
propaganda" of the West and provide an "alternative interpretation"
of global events.
2014 Nov 10, Russia’s central
bank decided to freely float the currency in markets and stop
regularly spending billions in a vain attempt to stem its fall. The
ruble has lost about half its value since the start of the year.
2014 Nov 10, A Russian Soyuz
space capsule carrying three astronauts from the International Space
Station landed safely on the frozen Kazakhstan steppe.
2014 Nov 15, In Australia the
G20 summit opened in Brisbane. Western leaders warned Vladimir Putin
that he risked more economic sanctions if he failed to end Russian
backing for separatist rebels in Ukraine.
2014 Nov 15, In Georgia tens of
thousands of people rallied in the capital to protest a planned
agreement between Russia and Georgia's separatist province of
Abkhazia. A proposed agreement envisages the creation of joint
Russian and Abkhazian military forces.
2014 Nov 16, In Australia
leaders from the G20 group of nations agreed to boost flagging
global growth, tackle climate change and crack down on tax
avoidance. Leaders completed a plan to boost global GDP by more than
$2 trillion over five years. Russian President Vladimir Putin left
summit in Brisbane early as US President Barack Obama accused Russia
of invading Ukraine and Britain warned of a possible "frozen
conflict" in Europe.
(Reuters, 11/16/14)(SFC, 11/17/14, p.A6)
2014 Nov 16, French President
Francois Hollande said he would not be pressured into delivering two
warships to Russia, after delaying their handover due to the Ukraine
2014 Nov 17, Russia expelled
several Polish diplomats for spying, deepening the worst East-West
crisis since the Cold War as the EU eyed fresh sanctions against
Moscow over the violence in Ukraine.
2014 Nov 19, Russia urged
Ukraine's leaders to talk directly to separatists to end the
conflict in the east, but Kiev rejected the call and told Moscow to
stop "playing games" aimed at legitimizing "terrorists".
2014 Nov 24, Russia further
tightened its control over Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia
with a new treaty envisaging closer military and economic ties, a
move that has drawn outrage in Georgia.
2014 Nov 24, Russia’s Finance
Minister Anton Siluanov said lower oil prices and Western financial
sanctions imposed over the Ukraine crisis will cost Russia around
$130-140 billion a year, equivalent to around 7 percent of its
2014 Nov 24, A Russian Soyuz
rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to
deliver three new crew members to the International Space Station,
including Italy's first female astronaut.
2014 Nov 25, France suspended
the delivery of a warship to Russia, after months of speculation
about what would be the biggest arms sale ever by a NATO country to
2014 Nov 30, In Russia some
5000 people marched through Moscow to protest plans to lay off
thousands of doctors and close hospitals amid a flagging economy.
(SFC, 12/1/14, p.A4)
2014 Nov 30, Ukraine said that
a convoy of 106 vehicles had entered its eastern territory from
Russia without Kiev's permission and accused Moscow of once again
using humanitarian aid shipments to send weapons and ammunition to
2014 Dec 2, NATO
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance member
countries have approved a new interim quick-reaction military force
to protect themselves from Russia or other threats. Foreign
ministers from the 28 NATO countries and Ukraine condemned a Russian
military build-up in Crimea and what they called Russia's
"deliberate destabilization" of eastern Ukraine.
(AP, 12/2/14)(4, 12/2/14)
2014 Dec 4, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin said money collected in one of the country’s two
"rainy day" funds should be used to support domestic banks, as he
set out efforts to help Moscow counteract Western sanctions and
overcome its economic woes. Putin also proposed an amnesty for those
returning capital to Russia, indicating they would not face tax or
2014 Dec 5, In Russia a court
in Volgograd convicted four men for their roles in the twin suicide
bombings that killed 34 people a year earlier.
(SFC, 12/6/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 5, The British Museum
plunged into a geopolitical tempest by lending one of the disputed
Greek Elgin Marbles to Russia’s Hermitage Museum.
(SFC, 12/6/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 6, French President
Francois Hollande met with Russian President Putin in Moscow.
2014 Dec 7, Russia’s Pres.
Vladimir Putin discussed energy collaboration with leaders of
Hungary and Serbia.
2014 Dec 9, Russia resumed
shipments of natural gas to Ukraine.
2014 Dec 9, The Hungarian
government said it has signed three contracts with a Russian company
which will allow construction in 2018 of new reactors at the
country's only nuclear power plant.
2014 Dec 10, Russia’s lower
house of parliament voted unanimously to approved a treaty allowing
Armenia to join the Eurasian Economic Union, a trade block that
already includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
(SFC, 12/11/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 11, Indian PM Narendra
Modi told President Vladimir Putin that Russia will remain India's
top defense supplier. Modi spoke after a one-day summit in which the
two sides signed billions of dollars of deals in nuclear power, oil
and defense. The Russian Direct Investment Fund and India's IDFC
agreed to invest up to $1 billion in Indian infrastructure projects
including in ports, toll roads and hydropower, to deepen economic
ties between the two countries.
2014 Dec 13, Russia's Deputy
Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia will take counter
measures if Washington imposes new sanctions on Moscow over the
Ukraine crisis. The US Congress has readied new sanctions on Russian
weapons companies and investors in the country's high-tech oil
projects, but President Barack Obama has yet to sign a corresponding
bill into law.
2014 Dec 15, The Russian
dropped 10% of its value against the US dollar.
(Econ, 12/20/14, p.111)
2014 Dec 16, The Russian
currency crashed to unprecedented lows as it reached 80 rubles to
the dollar and 100 to the euro, testing Vladimir Putin's ability to
ride out an economic storm and prevail in his confrontation with the
West. Russia's emergency move a day earlier to raise interest rates
to 17 percent failed to arrest the collapse of the ruble.
2014 Dec 16, Pres. Obama signed
legislation imposing further sanctions on Russia and authorizing
additional aid to Ukraine.
(SFC, 12/17/14, p.A5)
2014 Dec 18, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin promised to fix his nation’s economic woes within two
years by diversifying and voiced confidence that the plummeting
ruble will soon recover.
2014 Dec 18, The EU imposed
additional sanctions on Crimea, banning all investment and cruise
ships from its ports to force home the message the bloc will not
recognize Russia's "illegal annexation" of Ukraine territory.
2014 Dec 19, A Moscow court
extended a term of house arrest for Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on
trial for stealing more than 30 million rubles (£317,743), charges
he dismisses as part of a campaign by President Vladimir Putin to
stifle dissent. Oleg Navalny was sentenced to 3½ years in jail for
defrauding a cosmetics company in a verdict which was largely seen
as retribution for the political ambitions of his brother, who got a
suspended sentence in the same trial.
(Reuters, 12/19/14)(AP, 8/3/16)
2014 Dec 19, The United States
imposed sanctions on Russian-controlled Crimea as Ukraine announced
the loss of five soldiers ahead of peace talks meant to end a war
against Russian-backed insurgents.
2014 Dec 22, Russia bailed out
a mid-sized bank for about $500 million to save it from bankruptcy.
The Central Bank said it will give Trust Bank 30 billion rubles that
will allow it to continue operating as normal.
2014 Dec 22, Activists said
Russia's Internet watchdog is working to block social networking
sites rallying support for a mass protest next month backing Kremlin
critic Alexei Navalny.
2014 Dec 23, The Russian
government instructed five of the country's biggest exporters to
reduce their foreign currency assets to October levels and to not
raise them again until March. The companies targeted were gas giant
Gazprom, oil companies Rosneft and Zarubezhneft and diamond
producers Alrosa and Kristall.
2014 Dec 23, Russia and four
other ex-Soviet nations completed the creation of a new economic
alliance intended to bolster their integration. The Eurasian
Economic Union, which includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia
and Kyrgyzstan, comes to existence on Jan 1. Belarus President
Alexander Lukashenko cracked the ceremonial veneer of the meeting by
launching a harsh attack on Moscow for damaging Belarus' economic
interests with moves to restrict its exports to Russia.
2014 Dec 24, Russia said it
would respond adequately by severing ties with NATO if Ukraine
becomes a member of the Atlantic bloc.
2014 Dec 24, Russia's central
bank said it will look to help companies with their foreign debts, a
move it hopes will ease the pressure on the national currency.
2014 Dec 24, A leak on a major
Russian oil pipeline caused a spill in the Black Sea near the port
of Tuapse where officials said stormy weather was hampering efforts
to assess and respond to the mishap.
2014 Dec 25, An agreement to
swap 125 Ukrainian servicemen for 225 rebels held by Kiev followed
peace talks between envoys of Ukraine, Russia, the separatists and
European security watchdog OSCE.
2014 Dec 26, The Kremlin said
President Vladimir Putin has signed a new military doctrine, naming
NATO expansion among key external risks.
2014 Dec 26, International
credit and debit card company Visa Inc said it could no longer
support bank cards being used in Crimea, following US sanctions
imposed earlier this month.
2014 Dec 26, Ukraine suspended
train and bus services to the Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula,
citing security concerns.
2014 Dec 27, Russia said it has
agreed on a new deal to supply coal and electricity to Ukraine,
which is struggling with a lack of raw fuel for power plants due to
a separatist conflict in the industrial east.
2014 Dec 29, The Russian
currency extended its losses after a report showed the economy has
started shrinking in annual terms for the first time since 2009,
buffeted by falling oil prices and Western sanctions.
2014 Dec 29, In Russia new road
safety regulations, signed by PM Dmitry Medvedev, barred
transexuals, transvestites and others with “sexual disorders," from
driving, ostensibly for medical reasons.
(SFC, 1/10/15, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/pltzas3)
2014 Dec 29, The US said it has
imposed sanctions on four Russians under a law targeting Russian
human rights violators. They included the prime minister and another
senior official of Russia's Chechen Republic.
2014 Karen Dawisha authored
“Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?" She noted that 110
individuals controlled 35% of Russia’s wealth.
(Econ, 11/22/14, p.77)
2014 Masha Gessen authored
“Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot."
(Econ, 1/11/14, p.69)
2014 In Russia a
40-foot-wide, circular structure made from the skulls, skeletons and
tusks of more than 60 woolly mammoths was discovered at a site
called Kostenki 11, 300 miles south of Moscow. The site was dated
back 25,000 years.
(NY Times, 3/18/20)