90% of Crimeans Plan to Vote for Putin — Poll

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Kremlin Press Service

An absolute majority of Crimeans plans to vote for President Vladimir Putin in next month’s presidential elections, according to a survey published Tuesday.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move that led to Western financial sanctions that isolated the peninsula from foreign tourists and investment. Russia’s presidential elections have been scheduled for March 18, the fourth anniversary of the annexation.

 The survey published by Russia’s state-run pollster VTsIOM indicates that 90 percent of Crimeans are ready to cast their ballots for Putin.

Putin’s support in Crimea is 20 percent higher than the national average, according to the latest state-run polls.

Election enthusiasm is also higher in Crimea, with more than 80 percent of respondents saying that they plan to go to the polls, compared to around 70 percent nationwide.

Around three-quarters of the peninsula’s residents voiced confidence in Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov, while a third complained about either rising or stable corruption.

“The majority of residents are satisfied with the current state of affairs (82 percent) and believe that the situation in the republic is changing for the better,” the state pollster said.

The survey was conducted between Jan. 25 and Jan. 28 among 1,600 adults.


Source :  The Moscow Times

Former ‘Kremlin Troll’ Arrested After Speaking to Western Journalists

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Alexander Scherbak / TASS

A former employee of St. Petersburg’s infamous “troll factory” was arrested in St. Petersburg on Sunday, hours after speaking about his work to foreign journalists.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three companies on Friday for involvement in a sophisticated, years-long conspiracy to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

 Marat Mindiyarov, one of the first self-confessed “trolls” to speak to Western journalists about his work, told The Moscow Times that he was detained by police late on Sunday for allegedly making a false phone call about a planted bomb in a nearby village, a charge he denies.

Before his arrest, Mindiyarov had givenseveralinterviews to U.S. outlets about his role as an employee at the Internet Research Agency, a company allegedly financed by Kremlin-linked businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was named in Mueller’s indictment on Friday.

Mindiyarov said he had been instructed to write 200 online comments critical of Western governments per day as part of his work at the organization in 2014.

Mindiyarov was released after being questioned at the police station late on Sunday.

“I’m not afraid even after the events of last night and today,” Mindiyarov wrote in a Facebook post on Monday, saying that he would continue to speak about his work.


Source : The Moscow Times

Russia’s Su-35: prized state-of-the-art fighter, battle-tested in Syrian skies

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On February 19, 2008, Su-35 fighter jet made its first test flight
Su-35 is a Russian-made multipurpose generation 4++ super-maneuverable fighter jet

On February 19, 2008, Su-35 fighter jet made its first test flight. Sergey Bogdan took the aircraft aloft for its 55-minute first flight from Zhukovsky. The Su-35 is a Russian-made multipurpose generation 4++ super-maneuverable fighter jet equipped with a phased array radar and steerable thrusters. It can develop a speed of up to 2,500 kilometers per hour and has a flying range of 3,400 kilometers and a combat radius close to 1,600 kilometers. The fighter jet is armed with a 30mm gun and has 12 hardpoints for carrying bombs and missiles. One of Russia’s most fearsome strike fighters that proved its capability in Syria — in a gallery by TASS.

Source : TASS

Russia calls on West to use its sway to discipline Jabhat al-Nusra

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According to the Russian top diplomat, Jabhat al-Nusra is not merely present in Eastern Ghouta but keeps on attacking civil facilities and Damascus’ dwelling quarters


MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Moscow calls on Western powers having influence on Jabhat al-Nusra (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) to discipline it, otherwise it would be exterminated, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

According to the Russian top diplomat, Jabhat al-Nusra is not merely present there but keeps on attacking civil facilities and Damascus’ dwelling quarters. “The Russian embassy was a target for such attacks several time. Not long ago, the building of Russia’s trade mission was severely damaged in such an attack,” Lavrov recalled.

“That is why we are asking our Western colleagues, who have influence of Jabhat al-Nusra, to take effort to discipline this structure, as far as resolution of humanitarian problems is concerned, otherwise it is to be exterminated,” he stressed and called to tale all possible measures to spare civilian population and “minimize these risks.”

Moreover, he noted, the topic of “humanitarian problems in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib is being stoked” at the United Nations. “Various initiatives, including at the United Nations Security Council, call on the Syrian government army to stop its offensive there. One initiative even provides for at least a month’s pause to calm down the situation and deliver humanitarian aid,” he said.

“All the calls to stop the offensive of the Syrian army that are accompanied by turning down our initiatives to provide guarantees that Janhat al-Nusra also stops, all these calls seem to be geared – and I have no other view of the situation – to spare Jabhat al-Nusra again,” the Russian minister added.

Source : TASS

CAS session on Russian curler’s case preliminary set for February 22

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Krushelnitsky, together with his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova, won the bronze in curling mixed doubles at the Olympic Games in PyeongChang

Alexander Krushelnitsky

Alexander Krushelnitsky

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

PYEONGCHANG /South Korea/, February 20. /TASS/. The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) hearing on the case of Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky over doping violations at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games has been tentatively scheduled for Thursday, February 22, President of the Russian Curling Federation Dmitry Svishchev informed TASS over the phone.

Radio Sport FM earlier reported that Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky had tested positive for meldonium. On Monday, news surfaced that the CAS anti-doping division had opened a case against him.

Krushelnitsky, together with his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova, won the bronze in curling mixed doubles at the Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang. The result of the opening of Krushelnitsky’s B-sample has not been made public yet.

Source : TASS