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Giant snowballs appear on Russian beach in Siberia
5 November 2016 - A strange and beautiful sight greeted locals in the Gulf of Ob, in northwest Siberia, after thousands of natural snowballs formed on the beach. An 11-mile (18km) stretch of coast was covered in the icy spheres. The sculptural shapes range from the size of a tennis ball to almost 1m (3ft) across. They result from a rare environmental process where small pieces of ice form, are rolled by wind and water, and end up as giant snowballs. (more)

25 years on, Russians tell of how they defeated a coup
17 August 2016 - On August 19, 1991, a group of eight senior hard-line Communist leaders, including the KGB chairman, had seized power from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, declaring that Gorbachev was unable to continue as head of the party due to illness. In fact, Gorbachev was under arrest and the 'Gang of Eight' intended to roll back his reformist policies of glasnost and perestroika, which they believed had set the Soviet Union on a path of disaster. For a few days, the fate of the superpower hung in the balance. As the 25th anniversary of the August Coup draws near this Friday, The Associated Press has talked to participants and witnesses of those critical days when Muscovites turned out to defend the spirit of democracy that Gorbachev had unleashed, and many Soviet officers defied their orders and sided with the people, ensuring that that the plotters failed. (more)

Russian State Duma passes total ban on GMO crops and animals
25 June 2016 - Russia's Agriculture Minister, Alexander Tkachev, stated Friday; 'The Ministry of Agriculture is strongly against GMOs, Russian products will remain clean.' In December 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Russian Parliament that Russia should become the world's largest supplier of organic foods. (more)

Russia built a critical wildlife corridor to help save endangered big cats
12 May 2016 - Endangered Amur tigers and leopards around the border between Siberia and China are losing critical habitat to humans. Their migratory trails cut through the Narvinskii Pass, but in the last 15 years, a four lane highway there engulfed what used to be a little-trafficked gravel road. Now Russia has taken a step to protect these at-risk animals by building a tunnel under the highway. (more)

Jewish leader thanks Putin for fighting anti-Semitism
19 April 2016 - The president of the World Jewish Congress has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his efforts to fight anti-Semitism in Russia. Ronald Lauder told Putin during Tuesday's meeting that the Russian leader had kept the promise he made during their last meeting, in 2003, to fight anti-Semitism. Lauder noted that at the time synagogues in Russia were coming under attack. (more)

Russia flies out almost half Syria strike force: Reuters analysis
16 March 2016 - Just under half of Russia's fixed-wing strike force based in Syria has flown out of the country in the past two days, according to a Reuters calculation which suggests the Kremlin is accelerating its partial withdrawal. President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered the bulk of the Russian military contingent in Syria to be pulled out after five months of air strikes. (more)

President Putin says Russians to start withdrawing from Syria, as peace talks resume
15 March 2016 - President Vladimir Putin announced out of the blue on Monday that 'the main part' of Russian armed forces in Syria would start to withdraw, telling his diplomats to step up the push for peace as UN-mediated talks resumed on ending the five-year-old war. Putin made his surprise announcement, that came with no advance word to the United States, at a meeting with his defence and foreign ministers. (more)

Russia wants to be world's top exporter of non-GMO food
9 December 2015 - Russia -- which largely opposes genetically modified food (GMOs) and is stamping out GMOs in its entire food production -- wants to be world's largest exporter of non-GMO food. In a speech given to Russian Parliament last week, President Vladimir Putin announced his intention to be the world's biggest supplier of 'ecologically clean and high-quality food' and criticized GMO food production in western countries even though demand for organic food has soared exponentially in recent years. (more)

Government decides to ban GMO food production in Russia - deputy PM
19 September 2015 - A senior Russian government member told reporters the cabinet decided that any food production in the country will completely exclude any genetically-modified organisms or parts thereof. ' (more)

Russian who 'saved the world' recalls his decision as 50/50
17 September 2015 - On September 26, 1983, despite the data coming in from the Soviet Union's early-warning satellites over the United States signaling the launch of U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles, Stanislav Petrov, a Soviet military officer, decided to consider it a false alarm. If he had decided otherwise, the Soviet leadership could have responded by ordering a retaliatory nuclear strike on the United States. Stanislav Petrov made a decision credited by many with averting a nuclear war and is known in the West as 'The man who saved the world.' (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Russia: New websites increase interest in Transcendental Meditation
21 July 2013 - Transcendental Meditation has grown steadily in popularity in Russia since it was first introduced in the country over 20 years ago. In recent years the organization teaching the technique has expanded rapidly in bringing the programme to people throughout the nation. Several new websites have been created this year to make widely available the knowledge and technologies of consciousness developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to improve the quality of life of individuals and the whole society. (more)

New centre in Fairfield, Iowa, USA supports programmes for peace, harmony, and progress in Russia
13 January 2011 - A new centre to support expansion of the programmes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Russia has been established in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. The centre will create Russian translations of audio, video, and written materials relating to all of Maharishi's programmes for every area of society, and will also support Russian citizens wishing to join the Invincible America Assembly. (more)

Russia: Coherence-creating power of large groups of Yogic Flyers demonstrated
13 January 2011 - Two recent World Peace Assemblies in Russia demonstrated the power of large groups of practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme to create harmony and coherence in collective consciousness. The Assemblies were held simultaneously last fall in two major Russian cities. In the past year, many people have been taking advantage of other courses and advanced programmes of Transcendental Meditation being made available across the country. Fifty Transcendental Meditation Teachers have attended recent Recertification Courses and are contributing to this expansion of programmes for development of consciousness and increased positivity in the nation. (more)

Drought, fires ease in Russia following extended practise of Maharishi's technologies of consciousness
14 August 2010 - Extended practice of Transcendental Meditation and the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme by groups of people in Russia contributed to alleviating the recent extreme heat, drought, and fires in Moscow, said a leader of the Global Country of World Peace: functioning from the level of their own Transcendental Consciousness, their group practice enlivened the field of total Natural Law, bringing the refreshing influence of rain to the whole area. (more)

Russia: Transcendental Meditation sparks unprecedented interest
16 June 2010 - An article in the Russian magazine Passport describes the great surge of interest in the Transcendental Meditation Programme following the 2009 visit of David Lynch to Russia. It also explores projects in business, agriculture, education, and health care that are flourishing in Russia in cooperation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's organizations in the country. (more)

Russia: Goals set to train more Maharishi Ayur-Veda health practitioners; new Transcendental Meditation Centres inaugurated
7 June 2010 - Four new Centres teaching the Transcendental Meditation Programme were recently inaugurated in Russia. Many other new plans and initiatives are being developed with the goal of creating an invincible state of good health, happiness, and prosperity for everyone in the nation through Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes, by 12 January 2012. Plans include training more Maharishi Ayur-Veda health care technicians, as well as inviting Vaidyas (expert Ayurvedic physicians from India) to tour the country. (more)

Passport Magazine reports on Transcendental Meditation in Russia
4 April 2010 - Enthusiasm for the Transcendental Meditation Programme, which has been enjoyed by thousands in Russia over the past 20 years, was re-enlivened by the visit of renowned filmmaker David Lynch. (more)

Transcendental Meditation popularity increases 450 per cent in Russia
23 January 2010 - The programmes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi expanded rapidly in Russia during the year 2009, and the establishment of a new Maharishi Invincibility Centre in the nation's capital will help accommodate rising numbers of people seeking to learn Transcendental Meditation in the new year. (more)

Visit to Russia by Global Country of World Peace leader inspires expansion of programmes
3 December 2009 - The first-time visit to Russia by the Administrator of Invincible Russia for the Global Country of World Peace gave great impetus to the expansion of programmes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the nation, and included a celebration of the third-year anniversary of the coherence-creating Invincible Russia Assembly. (more)

Russia: Global Country of World Peace programmes expanding
15 November 2009 - Raja Bjarne Landsfeldt visited Russia, one of the countries in his domain, for the first time in mid-October, visiting a World Peace Assembly of Yogic Flyers, as well as connecting with many members of the Global Country of World Peace in the country. (more)


Flops
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Exclusive: Big data breaches found at major email services - expert
4 May 2016 - Hundreds of millions of hacked user names and passwords for email accounts and other websites are being traded in Russia's criminal underworld, a security expert told Reuters. It is one of the biggest stashes of stolen credentials to be uncovered since cyber attacks hit major U.S. banks and retailers two years ago. The latest discovery came after Hold Security researchers found a young Russian hacker bragging in an online forum that he had collected and was ready to give away a far larger number of stolen credentials that ended up totalling 1.17 billion records. Such large-scale data breaches can be used to engineer further break-ins or phishing attacks by reaching the universe of contacts tied to each compromised account, multiplying the risks of financial theft or reputational damage across the web. (more)

Russia's Mayak nuclear site has produced litany of disasters
29 April 2016 - The remote Mayak nuclear facility is Russia's oldest and biggest center for manufacturing radioactive isotopes and reprocessing spent nuclear fuel from several nations. Here are some key moments in its history: (more)

Russia's nuclear nightmare flows down radioactive river
29 April 2016 - At first glance, Gilani Dambaev looks like a healthy 60-year-old man and the river flowing past his rural family home appears pristine. But Dambaev is riddled with diseases that his doctors link to a lifetime's exposure to excessive radiation, and the Geiger counter beeps loudly as a reporter strolls down to the muddy riverbank. Some 50 kilometers (30 miles) upstream from Dambaev's crumbling village lies Mayak, a nuclear complex that has been responsible for at least two of the country's biggest radioactive accidents. Worse, environmentalists say, is the facility's decades-old record of using the Arctic-bound waters of the Techa River to dump waste from reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, hundreds of tons of which is imported annually from neighboring nations. (more)

Poverty in Russia rising at fastest pace since 1990s turmoil
6 April 2016 - Poverty is rising in Russia at the fastest pace since the dark days of financial and political crisis in the 1990s, the World Bank warned Wednesday. The organization, which slashed its economic growth forecasts, said 20.3 million people are this year expected to be living at or below the official poverty level of 9,662 rubles ($142) a month. Last month, the Russian statistics service said the number of people officially living in poverty spiked nearly 20 percent in 2015 to 19.2 million -- some 13 percent of the population. (more)

Russia strikes back at Turkey with economic sanctions
26 November 2015 - Russia plans to retaliate against Turkey for the downing of a warplane by imposing sanctions, cutting economic ties, and scrapping major investment projects. Since the plane was shot down Tuesday on the Syria-Turkey border, Russia has already restricted tourism, left Turkish trucks stranded at the border, and confiscated large quantities of Turkish food imports. (more)

Russian crackdown on Muslims fuels exodus to Islamic State
25 November 2015 - Security forces in Russia's southernmost republic of Dagestan keep devout Muslims under surveillance, routinely raid their homes and haul them to police stations to give DNA samples and fingerprints. So it was no surprise to many in the village of Komsomolskoye that Rashid Magomedov fled to Syria to join the Islamic State group, leaving behind a pregnant wife and two children. The 30-year-old had been detained several times, spent two months in jail on charges that later were dismissed and complained that police repeatedly planted weapons at his home as a pretext to arrest him. This culture of violence has fostered a generation of hardened fighters, which combined with the continuing crackdown by police and other security forces, has made areas like Komsomolskoye a fertile recruiting ground for the Islamic State group. (more)

Russia: Plane brought down over Egypt by homemade explosive device
17 November 2015 - A homemade explosive device brought down a Russian passenger plane over Egypt last month, the head of Russia's FSB security service said Tuesday, telling President Vladimir Putin it's now clear the crash that killed 224 people was a 'terrorist' act. The Islamic State group had already claimed responsibility for the attack. Confirmation that a bomb was smuggled onto the aircraft would likely have a crushing impact on Egypt's vital tourism industry. (more)

Kremlin-controlled TV airs 'secret' plans for nuclear weapon
12 November 2015 - Details of a new Russian submarine-launched nuclear torpedo have been shown on state-controlled TV, a secret the Kremlin said should never have been aired. Some observers, however, saw it as a deliberate leak. The airing of the video on television channels under tight Kremlin control raised suspicions that it was done intentionally to scare the West at a time when its ties with Russia are at the lowest point since the Cold War. (more)

Egypt says Russian aircraft crashes in Sinai, no survivors
31 October 2015 - A Russian aircraft carrying 224 people crashed Saturday in a remote mountainous region in the Sinai Peninsula about 20 minutes after taking off from a Red Sea resort popular with Russian tourists, the Egyptian government said. There were no survivors. According to Adel Mahgoub, chairman of the state company that runs Egypt's civilian airports, everyone on board was Russian except for three Ukrainian passengers. Russian airlines became infamous for poor safety in the early years following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, which brought severe financial troubles and regulatory disorder. Although accidents have diminished in recent years, crashes persist, many of them blamed on human error. (more)

Islamic State on recruitment spree in Russia
28 October 2015 - The Russian province of Dagestan, a flashpoint for Islamic violence in the North Caucasus, is feeding hundreds of fighters to the Islamic State in Syria -- and now some are coming back home with experience gained from the battlefield. The returning fighters have either landed in jail or been kept under close police surveillance. But there are long-term concerns that the presence of radical Muslims trained in IS warfare could lead to greater instability and violence. Eduard Urazayev, a former minister in Dagestan's provincial government, and now a political analyst, said that poverty and unemployment in the region made the IS recruiters' job easier. The Islamist insurgency that has swept Russia's North Caucasus after two separatist wars in Chechnya has a proclaimed goal of carving out an independent state governed by Shariah law. The Caucasus Emirate, an umbrella group comprised of rebels in several Caucasus provinces, has sworn allegiance to the IS. (more)

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