Category: Society & Culture

Special flight with 30 children takes off from Baghdad for Moscow – Chechen leader

Special flight with 30 children takes off from Baghdad for Moscow – Chechen leader

GROZNY, December 30. /TASS/. A special flight with children from Chechnya, Moscow, Penza and Dagestan, who were kept at Iraqi prisons, has taken off from Baghdad for Moscow, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov reported via his Telegram channel on Sunday. Addressing his traditional end-of-the-year news conference earlier in December, Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged that efforts would be continues to return children of Russian citizens back to Russia from Syria. He also recalled that Kadyrov was in charge of such efforts. “Several minutes ago, a special flight took off from Baghdad’s international airport and now is heading for Moscow. It is carrying 30 children who were…

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Moscow metro to broadcast Putin’s New Year message

Moscow metro to broadcast Putin’s New Year message

© Alexander Ryumin/TASS MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual New Year message will be transmitted in the Moscow metro on the night of December 31, along with a message by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, the Moscow Metro press service informed on Sunday. “For the first time ever, passengers of the Moscow metro will be able to see an official message of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on New Year’s Eve, on the screens installed in subway cars, on air of the Moscow-24 TV channel,” the message informs. The video messages can be seen on almost 9000 screens in 1,820 train…

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Putin’s team win in ice hockey match in Moscow’s Red Square

Putin’s team win in ice hockey match in Moscow’s Red Square

© Valery Sharufulin/TASS MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. The team of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu won 14-10 in a Night Hockey League match played on Moscow’s Red Square on Saturday. Putin told reporters that he suggested that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko should join them. Earlier, the two presidents had held talks in the Russian capital. “Alexander Grigoryevich … answered he should be home in Minsk to solve lots of issues, routine issues. There are always loads of them before the New Year,” Putin said. “However, we struck a deal that we would play together and go skiing once we met.” The lists…

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Putin hits the ice on Moscow’s Red Square

Putin hits the ice on Moscow’s Red Square

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken to the ice as he joined a friendly of the Night Hockey League on Moscow’s Red Square on Saturday. The traditional lists of players include Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, legendary veterans and former NHL stars Alexei Kasatonov, Pavel Bure and Vyacheslav Fetisov. In other media

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Procedure to grant Tomos of Autocephaly to Ukraine’s new church to begin January 5

Procedure to grant Tomos of Autocephaly to Ukraine’s new church to begin January 5

KIEV, December 29. /TASS/. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople will sign the Tomos of Autocephaly for the newly-established Ukrainian church on January 5, and it will be handed over to it the next day, head of the self-proclaimed Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphany, told the Ukrainian media. According to media reports, he will travel to Istanbul to receive the Tomos of Autocephaly and resolve the remaining controversial issues with the Constantinople Patriarchate. “The procedure of granting the Tomos will begin on January 5, and a solemn church service will be held on January 6. After the church service, after the Divine Liturgy, the Tomos…

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Father Frost, are you listening? Poll reveals what Russians wished for this New Year

Father Frost, are you listening? Poll reveals what Russians wished for this New Year

© Sergei Bobylev/TASS MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Most Russians (37%) would ask Father Frost – Russians’ beloved traditional New Year’s character – for good health for themselves, their family members and all other people, while another ten percent would ask for world peace, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center said in a statement on Saturday. “The main thing that Russians would ask Father Frost for is health for themselves, their family members and all other people (37%). That being said, the second most important thing for Russians (ten percent) is world peace,” the statement reads. Another nine percent would ask Father Frost for money and financial…

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Russian deputy PM points to slowing decline in birth rate

Russian deputy PM points to slowing decline in birth rate

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. The birth rate decline in Russia slowed by half in the first ten months of 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Saturday. “The birth rate decline has slowed down significantly. It slowed by half compared to the first ten months of 2017,” she said. According to the deputy prime minister, the measures that the Russian government takes to increase the birth rate have produced positive results. The Demography national project, planned to be launched in 2019, has five goals: providing support to families in order to increase the birth rate, to…

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Putin to celebrate New Year with his family — Kremlin spokesman

Putin to celebrate New Year with his family — Kremlin spokesman

© Kirill Kukhmar/TASS MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will celebrate New Year at home with his family, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Rossiya-1 TV channel on Friday. “[The president will celebrate] New Year with his family,” Peskov said. The Kremlin spokesman added that the president has working meetings scheduled up until the last minutes of 2018, saying that this is “inevitable.” Among events Putin will attend in the last days of 2018, there are several New Year sporting events, Peskov noted. Moreover, the Kremlin spokesman described as very important the upcoming visit of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to Russia on December 28. In…

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Russians preferred war films, comedies and cartoons in 2018

Russians preferred war films, comedies and cartoons in 2018

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. In 2018, Russian cinemagoers preferred war films, animated movies and comedies, a poll held by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center timed to the International Cinema Day informed TASS on Friday. “Russians tend to see war films (27%), fairytales and animated movies (26%), and comedies (25%). People in the 45-59 age group and the senior generation (60 and older) prefer war films. Cinemagoers from 25 to 34 years see fairytales and animated movies more often (40%), while the younger generation (18-24 years) prefers comedies (42%). At the same time, a lower percentage of respondents have been watching cartoons and comedies in…

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Putin stands as most mentioned person on Russian social network VKontakte in 2018

Putin stands as most mentioned person on Russian social network VKontakte in 2018

© Alexei Druzhinin/Russian president’s press service/TASS MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is the most mentioned person on Russian social network VKontakte in 2018, according to a statement from the network’s staff on Friday. The team of VKontakte employees conducted a research into mostly discussed and mentioned persons in public statements and comments made on the social network between January and December 2018. President Putin is the first in the rating list with 9 million mentions. The second place went to Russia’s UFC Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (3.9 million mentions). The third and fourth places went to footballers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (with 2.8…

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Over 170,000 National Guard officers to ensure law and order during winter holidays

Over 170,000 National Guard officers to ensure law and order during winter holidays

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Over 170,000 officers of the National Guard of Russia will ensure law and order in the country during the winter holidays, National Guard Spokesman Valery Gribakin informed reporters. “In total, over 170,000 officers and employees of the National Guard of Russia will be engaged in ensuring law and order during the holiday events in the period from January 1 to January 8,” he said. Over 25,000 National Guard officers will be on duty on the night of December 31. “On January 6, over 20,000 officers and employees of the National Guard of Russia will be engaged in ensuring law and order…

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Putin signs bill on children’s ombudspersons

Putin signs bill on children’s ombudspersons

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a package of bills to streamline the rights and responsibilities of children’s rights commissioners in Russia, according to documents uploaded to the official online database of Russian legislative information. Earlier, general principles streamlining the work of children’s ombudspersons, were set forth in a presidential decree. Under the new law, the head of state appoints a children’s right commissioner for a five-year term. One person cannot hold the post for more than two consecutive terms. The president has the right to relieve the ombudsperson of his duties before the term expires. The appointment of a regional…

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Putin signs bill to ban all forms of cruelty to animals

Putin signs bill to ban all forms of cruelty to animals

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on responsible treatment of animals, which outlaws all forms of cruelty to animals and establishes rules of pet ownership, according to documents uploaded to the official online database of Russian legislative information on Thursday. The law was introduced to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, in 2010 and took eight years to be passed. The law contains the basic principles of pet ownership, based on responsible, ethical and humane treatment of animals. It also streamlines the rights and responsibilities of federal, regional and municipal authorities on the issue of…

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Pakistani servicemen receive Russian awards for rescuing Russian climber

Pakistani servicemen receive Russian awards for rescuing Russian climber

ISLAMABAD, December 28. /TASS/. Russia’s ambassador to Pakistan, Alexey Dedov, handed over Russian orders and medals to Pakistani servicemen, who took part in an operation to rescue a Russian mountain climber trapped on a largely inaccessible mountain slope in July. The award ceremony took place in the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army, located in the city of Rawalpindi near the capital Islamabad. During the ceremony, Dedov handed over the Order of Friendship to four Pakistani pilots, who crewed rescue helicopters. Russian President Vladimir Putin bestowed the award on them in September. “Dear friends, I have no words to express my gratitude to Pakistani…

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Russian national detained in Finland at US request — Russian embassy

Russian national detained in Finland at US request — Russian embassy

HELSINKI, December 27. /TASS/. A Russian national has been detained in Finland at the US’s request, the consular department of the Russian embassy in Finland said on Thursday. “On December 15, Finland’s Border Guard authority detained at the Vantaa airport Terada Mira (Oksana Vovk before 2017), a Russian national born 1988 who was on her way from St. Petersburg to Spain. The Finnish authorities notified the Russian side about the incident of the same day. Thus, they said that the woman was detained on the basis of the Interpol arrest warrant issued at the request of the US authorities,” said the consular department. A Russian…

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Putin signs bills to ease punishment for social media likes and reposts

Putin signs bills to ease punishment for social media likes and reposts

Russian President Vladimir Putin © Alexei Druzhinin/Russian president’s press service/TASS MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a package of documents to mitigate responsibility in the cases on social media ‘likes’ and reposts containing prohibited information, according to documents uploaded to the official online database of Russian legal information on Thursday. The amendments partially decriminalize Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code (stirring up of hatred or enmity, and equally violation of human dignity). The amendments concern softening punishment first of all for Internet users. The crimes committed for first time related to stirring up hatred or humiliating people for their sex, race,…

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Kremlin spokesman expects no surprises in president’s New Year address

Kremlin spokesman expects no surprises in president’s New Year address

© Yegor Aleyev/TASS MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. The traditional presidential New Year address, televised across Russia in the last minutes of the outgoing year, will be filmed in the traditional format and is unlikely to contain any surprises, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday. When asked whether any surprises should be expected, Peskov replied: “No, it is going to be traditional.” “So far, we expect it to be a traditional address,” he added. Presidential addresses, aired on New Year’s eve, are traditionally recorded on the territory of the Kremlin or somewhere around. In 2000-2007, Putin’s speeches were made on the Kremlin’s Ivanovskaya Square, against…

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Putin says convinced Russians ready to continue efforts towards country’s development

Putin says convinced Russians ready to continue efforts towards country’s development

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the outgoing year as special and said he is convinced that the country will be able to consolidate efforts and implement a number of projects vital for its further development. “The outgoing year was special and naturally different for all. But it saw something that unites us all: big event both inside and outside the country,” he said on Thursday at a traditional New Year reception on behalf of the Russian president. Among such events, he listed the commissioning of the Crimean Bridge, the FIFA World Cup, etc. The Russian leader offered special thanks to…

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TASS’s most memorable moments of 2018 in pictures

TASS’s most memorable moments of 2018 in pictures

Mexican football fans gather in Nikolskaya Street in central Moscow to celebrate Mexico’s victory in a 2018 FIFA World Cup First Stage Group F match against Germany © Alexander Ryumin/TASS France’s President Emmanuel Macron celebrates a goal as FIFA President Gianni Infantino looks on at the final match of FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium © Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS Russia’s goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saves a penalty in 2018 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 football match against Spain at Luzhniki Stadium. Team Russia won the game on penalties 4:3 © Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS France’s players, the winners of the…

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Moscow calls on international organizations to make Kiev release Russian journalist

Moscow calls on international organizations to make Kiev release Russian journalist

Kirill Vyshinsky © AP Photo/Victor Platov MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Russia has once again called on Kiev to release Chief Editor of the RIA Novosti Ukraine news outlet Kirill Vyshinsky and urged international organizations to influence the Ukrainian authorities, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday. “We once again point out that the journalist’s arrest on the false charges of treason is a blatant violation of Ukraine’s international obligations concerning freedom of the media,” the statement reads. “We demand the Kiev regime stops its arbitrariness against Vyshinsky and release him immediately. We call on the relevant international bodies to show some response and…

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Russians preferred smartphones of Chinese brands in 2018, says research

Russians preferred smartphones of Chinese brands in 2018, says research

© Sergei Savostianov/TASS MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. In 2018, Russians most often bought smartphones from Chinese companies in online stores, at the same time showing interest in American manufacturers of mobile devices, according to the study of the Russian marketplace of goods from China Pandao (owned by Mail.ru Group). “Among other brands users searched for Apple products more often. At the same time, Chinese company Xiaomi was noticeably ahead of the American giant in terms of sales. This indicates that Russians are still interested in Apple, but the choice is often made in favor of other brands,” the study said. Representative of Pandao told TASS that…

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Russian Santa Claus is coming to town: Syrians to ring in New Year with gifts from Russia

Russian Santa Claus is coming to town: Syrians to ring in New Year with gifts from Russia

© Andrei Gryaznov/TASS MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. The Russian military in Syria are distributing humanitarian aid in the run-up to New Year’s Eve dressed as Father Frost (Russian Santa Claus), Head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties Lieutenant-General Sergey Solomatin, said on Thursday. “These humanitarian actions are scheduled until December 31, 2018 to create a holiday mood for Syrian nationals who have returned to their homes,” the general told an expanded session of the Russian and Syrian joint coordination headquarters monitoring the return of refugees. “Over the past month, the Russian side has organized and carried out 18 humanitarian endeavors, in which…

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Butina was arm-twisted into plea deal with US authorities, says Viktor Bout

Butina was arm-twisted into plea deal with US authorities, says Viktor Bout

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. US authorities have managed to arm-twist Russian national Maria Butina into concluding a plea deal with the investigation and by no means deserves condemnation for that, another Russian convict serving a prison term in the United States, Viktor Bout, said in a teleconference on Thursday. “In such conditions it is very hard to resist the type of psychological pressure she was subjected to,” Bout said. “She chose what she thought was better for her. Now she is to live on with this. I’m not trying to guess if she held firm or gave in. She was broken.” “She has the right…

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One in five Russians to become volunteers by 2024, says deputy PM

One in five Russians to become volunteers by 2024, says deputy PM

© Sergei Savostianov/TASS MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. About 20% of Russians, or 30 million people, will be engaged in volunteer activity by 2024, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said at a session of the State Council on Thursday. “The federal project ‘Social Activity’ will be launched on January 1, 2019, as part of the national project ‘Education.’ One of its main tasks is the expansion of participation to involve 20% of our citizens, that is almost 30 million people, in volunteer activity by 2024,” Golikova said. She specified that the events planned by the project are in particular directed at the solution of the task…

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TASS’s veteran foreign correspondent Alexei Bukalov dies in Rome

TASS’s veteran foreign correspondent Alexei Bukalov dies in Rome

Alexei Bukalov © TASS MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Veteran Soviet and Russian journalist Alexei Bukalov, who for many years led the TASS bureau in Italy, has died in Rome. He was 78. Bukalov was a heavyweight in the world of journalism and a real legend in his lifetime. He largely takes the credit for opening the rather secluded world of the Vatican to the Russian mass media. He was the first Russian journalist to have accompanied Popes on their foreign tours and remained a member of the Vatican’s press pool for more than 20 years. He authored thousands of reports and stories on the Vatican’s and…

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Half of Russia looking forward to New Year filled with optimism, says poll

MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. Nearly half of Russia’s citizens remain optimistic at the end of 2018, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center said on Wednesday. “On the whole, Russians are in an upbeat mood when saying goodbye to 2018. On the eve of 2019, 49% of those polled feel excited and are hoping for changes for the better, while 27% feel calm and self-confident,” the report said. Although 57% assessed the outgoing year as either “good” or “successful” for themselves and their families, 40% admitted that complications largely dogged their lives or that the year happened to be difficult. In 2018, the number of respondents…

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