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Putin happy with successful Zircon missile launch
The Admiral Gorshkov frigate of the Russian Northern Fleet launched the hypersonic missile "Zircon" from the White Sea. The missile was launched at a range of 450 km to destroy a sea target. The missile developed the speed of eight speeds of sound and successfully struck the target.The launch was recognized as successful, the missile hit the target directly. The maximum altitude of the launch was 28 km, whereas the flight time was 4 and a half minutes. The Zircon developed the hypersonic speed of over Mach 8.The flight tests of the Zircon hypersonic missile will be continued. When completed, the missile will be used to arm submarines and surface ships.To launch the Zircon missile, as well as Caliber and Onyx cruise missiles, the 3C-14 universal shipborne firing system is used. In particular, Project 22350 frigates and Project 20380 corvettes are equipped with such launchers.Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the successful test launch of the Zircon hypersonic missile was a great achievement for the country.At a meeting with Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov, Putin noted that state-of-the-art and truly second-to-none arms systems will ensure the defensive capability of the country for many years to come. The successful launch of the missile became possible owing to enormous work that engineers, scientists, talented workers, military specialists conducted."I want to congratulate everyone who is involved in the work on Zircon. I want to thank the Minister of Defense. I know that all of you act not only as customers, but also as full-fledged participants in the process of creating such modern systems," Putin said.The President expects that domestic designers and military specialists working on new weapons would continue their persistent work. Putin set out a hope that all specialists involved in the rearmament of the Russian army would continue their work just as efficiently and persistently.
(Thu, 08 Oct 2020 18:03:00 +0300)

Alexei Navalny blames Putin, pledges to return to Russia
Alexei Navalny gave his first interview after the poisoning incident. In the interview, Navalny expressed confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally behind the attempt on his life. "I assert that it was Putin who was behind the crime, and I have no other versions," the opposition activist told the German newspaper Der Spiegel.The full version of the interview has not been published yet, it will be available on October 2. Navalny, the publication noted, spoke for almost two hours, was excited, made jokes and laughed a lot. "At first glance, it is not clearly visible that this man was in a coma for several days and could die. However, when he tries to pour water from a bottle, he succeeds only with great effort, his hands tremble a lot," journalists write. Speaking about the effect of the neurotoxin on the body, Navalny said: "You do not feel pain, but you know that you are dying."Navalny is accompanied by bodyguards around the clock. For example, they chose a bottle of water for him from many bottles in the fridge in Der Spiegel office (the interview took place at Der Spiegel headquarters in Berlin).
(Thu, 01 Oct 2020 13:12:00 +0300)

Putin supports Lukashenko and gives him $1.5 billion
During negotiations with President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that Moscow would give Minsk a loan of $1.5 billion.Putin also noted that Russia remains the largest investor in the Belarusian economy, that the two countries maintain deep cooperation in many sectors of economy. According to Putin, Russia and Belarus should restore the trade turnover, which dropped in spring and summer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.The President of Russia also noted that he had many ideas for overcoming a number of problems. He also said that the idea of the new constitution of Belarus came as a logical and timely move. At the same time, Putin stressed that the Belarusians should settle the crisis independently, without any external assistance. "We know about the proposal to start working on the Constitution of Belarus, I think this is logical and timely," said the Russian leader. "Russia remains committed to all our agreements, including the agreements arising from the treaty on the Union State and the Collective Security Treaty Organization," Putin stressed at the meeting with Lukashenko.
(Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:35:00 +0300)

Russian population may decrease by 40 million people by 2100
The population of Russia will decrease by 40 million people by 2100, but this forecast may worsen because of the coronavirus pandemic, Ali Mokdad, Professor at the University of Washington, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation believes. According to experts' estimates, there will be 106 instead of 146 million people living in Russia by the 22nd century. According to Mokdad, the birth rate in Russia has been declining. In addition, the researchers drew attention to the level of education in the country: the more educated women are, the later they decide to have a child. This behavior is typical not only for Russia, but for the whole world.According to the scientist, the report was prepared with the help of Russian researchers and the Health Ministry of the Russian Federation. However, the professor noted that his model was built on the basis of the current state of affairs in the world and was formed even before the coronavirus pandemic broke out. In his opinion, the pandemic will not have a strong impact on the overall birth rate trend in the world, because the virus poses the biggest threat to older people in the first place.At the same time, the coronavirus will affect the economy of every country. Many people all over the world will not be able to receive healthcare services on time. Many women already prefer not to get pregnant because they may not be able to receive medical assistance when they need it.
(Wed, 09 Sep 2020 21:59:00 +0300)

Putin says Russian police ready to help Belarus in resolving the crisis
Russia acts more restrained and more neutral than the Europeans and Americans as far as the ongoing crisis in Belarus is concerned, President Vladimir Putin said. This became Putin's first official comment about the current events in Belarus.According to him, some forces, pursuing their political interests, want to show influence on Belarus from outside. The head of state set out a hope for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in the neighboring country. He believes that the situation is already improving.Russia has formed a reserve of law enforcement officers, which, if necessary, will provide assistance to Belarus, Vladimir Putin said. Russian security forces will take part in Belarus only if extremist elements in the republic go too far, Putin said. Mass protests have been taking place in Belarus for a third week consecutive week. The people of Belarus in their majority stand opposed to the official result of the presidential election. The current head of state Alexander Lukashenko believes that elements of external interference are involved in the crisis. According to him, the coordinators try to act in the country according to color revolutions manuals.
(Thu, 27 Aug 2020 13:53:00 +0300)

Russia becomes world's first state to register vaccine against COVID-19
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the registration of the first vaccine against coronavirus. Russia has thus become the first country in the world to register the vaccine against the novel coronavirus, the head of state said. Putin's daughter tests vaccine against the coronavirus "One of my daughters received the shot. In this sense, she took part in the experiment," Putin said during a meeting with the government, where he announced the state registration of the first Russian vaccine against COVID-19. The Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO), which unites pharmaceutical companies and research organizations, urged the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation not to rush with the state registration of the Gam-Covid-Vac2 coronavirus vaccine created by the Federal Research Center for Epidemiology & Microbiology named after N.F. Gamaleya. According to ACRO, the vaccine needs to be registered only after it passes though all stages of critical development successfully.
(Tue, 11 Aug 2020 11:56:00 +0300)

Vladimir Putin talks to Donald Trump
Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with his US counterpart Donald Trump, a message posted on the website of the Kremlin said. The conversation was constructive and informative. The presidents discussed problem of strategic stability and arms control, as well as the role of Moscow and Washington in maintaining international peace. "The presidents discussed the situation around the Iranian nuclear program. Both sides emphasized the need for collective efforts to maintain regional stability and the global nuclear non-proliferation regime," the Kremlin said. Putin and Trump agreed to develop US-Russian trade and economic cooperation. The leaders of the two countries also positively assessed the joint process of combating the coronavirus pandemic and agreed to continue contacts at different levels.Earlier, Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton reproached Trump for not having sufficient training to be able to talk to Putin on equal ground. He expressed confidence that the US president is inferior to the Russian counterpart in terms of the ability to think strategically.
(Thu, 23 Jul 2020 21:23:00 +0300)

Putin finds replacement for disgraced Khabarovsk region governor
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree dismissing Khabarovsk region Governor, LDPR member Sergei Furgal "due to the loss of confidence." The decree also appointed Mikhail Degtyarev, deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation from the LDPR faction, as his interim deputy.During a work online meeting with Degtyarev, Putin invited him to become Acting Governor of the Khabarovsk region and the latter agreed. LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky insisted on a representative of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. Zhirinovsky threatened that his LDPR party would leave the Russian Parliament and boycott government bodies of the Russian Federation. It was the Liberal Democratic Party that presented candidates to Putin: Acting Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Sports Mikhail Degtyarev, Chairman of the Duma Committee on Economics and Entrepreneurship Sergei Zhigarev and MP Andrei Andreichenko. The Kremlin picked Degtyarev, who headed the State Duma committee on physical culture, sports, tourism and youth affairs. Mass rallies in support of Sergei Furgal have taken place in Khabarovsk and a number of other cities lately.Sergei Furgal was arrested last week over suspicions of his involvement in the activities of a local criminal group. Immediately after his arrest, Furgal was sent to Moscow and arrested for two months. If sentenced this year, before the 15-year statute of limitations for murder expires, he may face life imprisonment.Furgal does not plead guilty. He noted that during the 2000s he was a "director of a small company" and did not commit any crimes. At the same time, spokespeople for the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation noted that they had irrefutable evidence proving his involvement in the organization of two murders and one attempted murder.
(Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:54:00 +0300)

Russia's gold export revenues outstrip natural gas sales
In the second quarter of 2020, gold exports from Russia exceeded exports of pipeline natural gas, a report from the Federal Customs Service and the Bank of Russia said. In April and May of 2020, Russian companies sold abroad 65.4 tons of gold totalling of $3.55 billion. During the same period of time, Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom exported pipeline gas in the amount of $2.4 billion. In the second quarter of the year, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation evaluated Russia's gas exports at $3.5 billion, which is the lowest quarterly value since 2002. A sharp increase in the exports of Russian gold was caused by a change in the rules for the export of precious metals and the decision of the Central Bank to suspend purchases of gold on the domestic market. A reduction in gas sales exports occurred against the backdrop of restrictive measures introduced to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, warmer climate conditions and full gas storage facilities in Europe. This is the first time since 1994, when Russia's gold exports outstrip gas exports of the country in monetary terms. However, the growth in revenues from gold exports will not be able to compensate for the decrease in revenues from oil and gas supplies abroad.
(Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:33:00 +0300)

Yevgeny Prigozhin writes open letter to US Congress
Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman from St. Petersburg, wrote an open letter to US Congress, after the latter conceived an idea to develop a strategy to counteract the entrepreneur. American politicians assume that Prigozhin poses a threat to the interests of the United States. Democrat Chris Coons and Republican Marco Rubio introduced a resolution recommending US President Donald Trump should expand sanctions against Prigozhin. Thу primary message of the resolution reflects supposedly negative actions that the businessman conducted against the United States. It goes about the "attack" on the national interests of the US,  "pernicious influence" on Washington's relations with its partners and about the "interference" in America's democratic processes.
(Mon, 22 Jun 2020 18:02:00 +0300)

Russian authorities confirm the death of nearly 500 doctors
As many as 489 doctors have died in Russia because of the coronavirus infection, Alla Samoilova, the head of Russia's federal health watchdog, Roszdravnadzor, said at an All-Russian online conference dedicated to the Day of the Medical Worker. She noted that the COVID-19 epidemic in Russia was not over: more than half a million people are sick (561,091 as of June 18), more than 7,500 died. Samoilova noted that the Russian Federation was not fully prepared to face the epidemic when it reached the country. The official also admitted that the country had scarce reserves of personal protective equipment (PPE). "The mobilization was serious. To be honest, there were remarks at the start, there were some flaws, but today everything is more or less systematic," Samoilova said.
(Thu, 18 Jun 2020 19:00:00 +0300)

Putin wants to personally inspire Russians to vote for his Constitution
Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to appeal to Russian citizens on the eve of the all-national vote about amendments to the Russian Constitution. Russians will go to the polls to vote for Putin's amendments on July 1. Before that, Putin intends to appear in a televised address to the nation to explain the meaning of the amendments. It is believed that Putin will address the nation on a day after the Victory Parade, which is going to be held in Moscow on June 24. Putin will also talk about changes to the country's fundamental law in an interview for the VGTRK state-run TV channel on the 30th anniversary of Russia Day. The documentary is to be aired on June 22. Prior to the vote, Putin also intends to hold several meetings dedicated to the need to support citizens and businesses. For the time being, Russian authorities simply urge citizens to vote for the amendments. Billboard and TV ads stress out positive changes that the vote will bring. Critical opinions are nowhere around.
(Thu, 18 Jun 2020 12:41:00 +0300)

Putin installs disinfecting tunnels in his residence
A disinfection tunnel has been installed in Putin's residence on the outskirts of Moscow in Novo-Ogaryovo. The system is capable of destroying dangerous microorganisms on clothes and skin throughout the day. According to Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, special systems for disinfection were installed in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Two more disinfecting systems were installed in the Kremlin, as Putin periodically travels to the Kremlin from his residence for work meetings. New equipment was acquired and installed in the midst of the pandemic. "Restrictions have not been lifted entirely, one still has to wear masks and gloves, but of course, if it comes to the matters concerning the head of state, additional safety precautions are justifiable and understandable," said Peskov.
(Thu, 18 Jun 2020 11:49:00 +0300)

Russia defines main threats in nuclear deterrence strategy
President Vladimir Putin signed a decree approving the foundations of Russia's state policy in the field of nuclear deterrence. The document lists primary dangers and military threats to Russia: potential enemy military build-up on the territories adjacent to Russia, which include means for delivering nuclear weapons; the deployment of ballistic missiles and hypersonic weapons by the countries, which consider Russia a potential adversary creation and deployment of anti-ballistic missile defense systems and strike systems in space; availability of nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction that can be used against Russia and its allies; uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons, delivery vehicles and equipment for their manufacture; deployment of nuclear weapons on the territories of non-nuclear states. The document states that Russia's state-run policy in the field of nuclear deterrence is defensive in its nature.
(Tue, 02 Jun 2020 20:47:00 +0300)

Russia’s GDP collapses by 12% in April
Last month, Russia's gross domestic product (GDP) dropped  by 12 percent in annual terms, the Ministry of Economy reported. The economic decline for January-February was estimated at 1.9 percent. According to the Ministry of Economy, the non-working period was introduced in Russia to combat the spread of the coronavirus infection in March 30. The lockdown regime was thus implemented against the backdrop of the generally negative external economic situation and lockdown measures in the countries that usually act as trade partners of the Russian Federation. The demand fell most in the sectors that are primarily focused on consumer demand: The volume of paid services that were provided to the population fell by 37.9 percent%; In March, the same indicator was reported on the level of -5.4 percent; The fall is due to restrictions in the work of companies operating in the field of entertainment and leisure, culture, sports and domestic services, the department noted. According to preliminary estimates, in the first quarter, Russia's GDP grew by 1.6 percent. According to the Ministry of Economy, economic growth made up 1.8 percent. In the second quarter, the department expects a decline of at least 9.5 percent. The Central Bank predicted a decline of eight percent in GDP in the second quarter of 2020, and by 4-6 percent - by the end of the year. International rating agency Fitch expects Russia's GDP to fall by five percent in 2020. Russian economy may not be able to restart after pandemic On Thursday, business ombudsman Boris Titov presented a report to Russian President Vladimir Putin saying that the decline in Russia's GDP may reach 5.5 percent in 2020 compared to last year. "Russia has faced a double blow to its economy, in addition to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and restrictive measures. The sharp drop in oil prices and other resources has affected the economy considerably too. As a result of the negative consequences that the spread of the coronavirus infection COVID-19 has shown on the economy, the fall in oil prices, as well as due to the absence of active and large-scale stimulating policies, it is expected that the decline in Russia's GDP in 2020 (-5.5%) will be greater than the global average indicator (-3%)," the report says. The results of Russia's economic development over the past ten years have led to insignificant growth in GDP and investment in fixed assets, while the real disposable income of the population before the coronavirus crisis was on a low level. "Therefore, despite the fact that the projected decline in GDP to -5.5 percent does not seem so significant, it will be a dramatic decline for the Russian economy," the report from the business ombudsman said. The Russian economy faced the current crisis after a decade of stagnation, in contrast to the crisis of 2008-2009. Since 2008, Russia's GDP has grown by eleven percent, while the world average cumulatively increased by 45 percent (70 percent - in developing countries).
(Fri, 29 May 2020 20:22:00 +0300)

Putin announces new date for Victory Parade
Victory Parade on Red Square will take place on June 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on May 26. "We will do it the day when the legendary historical parade of the victors took place, when fighters who fought near Moscow and defended Leningrad, who fought near Stalingrad, who liberated Europe, stormed Berlin, - when they marched across Red Square," Putin said. Putin instructed to begin preparations for the event. Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu will be in charge to ensure the most stringent security mode on June 24 to minimize all possible risks.
(Tue, 26 May 2020 16:03:00 +0300)

Putin’s official spokesman Dmitry Peskov discharged from hospital
Dmitry Peskov, an official spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, was discharged from hospital. "Yes, that's true," Peskov told reporters. His wife, Olympic champion in figure skating Tatyana Navka, confirmed the information as well. The family is alright, Navka said, adding that they would be quarantined for about a week.
(Mon, 25 May 2020 20:54:00 +0300)

Experts predict string of quarantines in Russia before 2021
Russia is going to see four scenarios with the development of the coronavirus pandemic. The most probable one of them is described as push-and-pull: repeated waves of morbidity and a string of quarantines until 2021. Experts at the international consulting company Boston Consulting Group (BCG) believe that according to one of the four scenarios, the virus would be stopped, and the crisis would be limited to only one wave. In this case, the country will lose 4-6% of GDP. Non-food retail businesses and services would be suspended as a result of the lockdown, which may last for about two months in each region. Businesses will recover quickly after the lockdown ends. However, many small businesses will close, which will increase the level of unemployment. Under the critical recession scenario, Russia will lose 10-15% of GDP. The virus crisis will last longer, and the country will see stringent quarantine measures. Industrial production and construction will stop, which will lead to a decrease in demand for resources, primarily hydrocarbons and steel. A large-scale liquidity crisis will begin throughout the Russian economy, which will put an excessive burden on the banking system. Another scenario would be similar to the period, in which Russia found herself in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. In this scenario, the world will see long-term recession in global economy, but BCG experts do not see any prerequisites for it. In the most plausible scenario of quarantine cycles, Russia's GDP will decline by 7-10% compared to 5%, which the Central Bank and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov predicted. Bursts of morbidity are possible before the end of 2021, because the coronavirus vaccine will be released no earlier than in late 2020. A long lockdown will lead to numerous bankruptcies in small and medium-sized businesses. In this scenario, the government will be opening and closing the economy depending on the incidence rate. Long-term lockdown will lead to further decline in the sector of services and retail, a drop in demand for real estate and a decrease in production and wholesale trade.
(Fri, 22 May 2020 18:24:00 +0300)

Putin’s official spokesman develops bilateral pneumonia
Dmitry Peskov, official spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was hospitalized with confirmed Covid-19 infection on May 12, has developed bilateral pneumonia. In an interview with the Kommersant publication, Peskov said employees of the presidential administration get tested for the coronavirus infection on a daily basis.  "I had a feeling that I keep it under control. Then, unfortunately, one of my colleagues, with whom I earlier spoke, fell ill and I had to go into self-isolation mode after May 1,” the Kremlin representative said. Peskov continued getting tested, and one of the tests was confirmed positive. According to Peskov, he had no symptoms on the first day, but then "unpleasant" body temperature rose to over 37 degrees and he developed bodily pains. 
(Thu, 14 May 2020 16:35:00 +0300)

Putin’s official spokesman Dmitry Peskov hospitalized with coronavirus
Dmitry Peskov, an official spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, was infected with coronavirus.  “Yes, I’m sick, I’m undergoing treatment,” Peskov said. Peskov became the fourth high-ranking official who became infected with the coronavirus. The first was the Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin, then the head of the Ministry of Construction Vladimir Yakushev and the Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova.
(Tue, 12 May 2020 15:55:00 +0300)