Russia

10:23am

Fri April 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Russia's Putin Announces $50 Billion In New Space Spending

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:52 am

A Soyuz capsule touches down in Kazakhstan in September, but by 2020, Russian cosmonauts might be splashing down instead.
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Moscow will spend $52 billion on its space program through 2020, including money for completion of a new launch facility on Russian soil.

The announcement came from President Vladimir Putin as he spoke to orbiting astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Cosmonaut's Day, the 52nd anniversary of the first manned space flight by Russian spacefarer Yuri Gagarin.

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8:53am

Wed April 10, 2013
The Two-Way

Russian Parliament Moves Ahead On Anti-Blasphemy Law

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:14 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in November.
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Russia's parliament has given preliminary approval to an anti-blasphemy bill that would make it a crime to offend religious feelings.

The BBC reports that the bill was drafted last year after members of the punk band Pussy Riot used Moscow's main Russian Orthodox cathedral to perform a protest song against President Vladimir Putin.

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11:09am

Mon April 8, 2013
The Two-Way

'I Liked It,' Putin Says Of Protest By Topless Women

Russian President Vladimir Putin (far left) looks on Monday in Hanover, Germany, as one of three women who stripped off their tops protests his appearance at a trade fair. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in the green jacket.
Jochen Luebke EPA /LANDOV
  • From the NPR Newscast: Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on the protest in Hanover

At a trade fair in Hanover, Germany, on Monday, three women protesters got quite close to Russian President Vladimir Putin before stripping off their blouses and shouting expletives at the Russian leader.

Putin, who was joined at the fair by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, later sarcastically thanked the women for calling the news media's attention to the gathering.

"As to this action, I liked it," Putin said, according to a German translator. The Russian leader added that the protesters were "pretty girls" and said he couldn't hear what they were screaming.

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5:45am

Fri April 5, 2013
The Two-Way

Korean Tensions Aren't Spurring Foreigners To Evacuate

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:53 am

The phrase "tensions are rising" has been used a lot in recent days as North Korea continues to threaten the South and the U.S.

And there were new reasons Friday morning to use that phrase:

-- "North Korea Moves Missiles, South Korean Markets Roiled." (Reuters)

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3:02pm

Thu April 4, 2013
Europe

Emigre Artist Sculpted Exquisite Gems Of Russian Folk Life

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

Bosom Pals, an iconic sculpture by Russian artist Vasily Konovalenko.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science

A team of American researchers is on a treasure hunt for jewels — of both artistic and historic value.

This month, researchers from Denver were in Russia to document the work of Vasily Konovalenko, a former ballet set designer turned sculptor, who created scenes from Russian folk life in semiprecious stones.

In the 1980s, Konovalenko emigrated from what was then the Soviet Union in search of artistic freedom. Now, his legacy is divided between the U.S. and Russia.

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