Moscow’s city election commission will check all the signatures given in support of acting city mayor Sergei Sobyanin, as well as other self-nominated candidates. The commission previously limited itself to checking just 20 percent of them. Some experts claim the move is a PR stunt for Sobyanin to show he is not afraid of any outcome.
Journalists flocked to Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Monday to board a flight to Cuba that supposedly would also contain fugitive Edward Snowden, who is attempting to escape arrest by the US authorities for revealing highly classified surveillance programs. But Snowden was nowhere to be found on board - increasing suspicions Russia could be helping to stymie US efforts to catch him, amid a low point in bilateral relations.
(The Moscow Times, Kommersant, Moskovsky Komsomolets)
ECONOMICS & BUSINESS
The government is displeased with the Finance Ministry’s budget ideas. It did not approve the key elements of the ministry's proposals for federal budget for 2014-2016.
The new head of the Central Bank has vowed to continue her predecessor's battle against inflation, resisting calls for radical monetary stimulus and a weaker ruble to revive the economy. A first interest rate cut could come in the third quarter of this year, but only if inflation is clearly falling, Elvira Nabiullina said in an interview before taking charge at the financial regulator.
(The Moscow Times)
Russia’s economy loses up to 312 billion rubles ($9.5 billion) annually due to employees spending time on social networks during working hours, according to research conducted by an auditing company.
(Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
The newly-appointed Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said his main task was to prevent a recession, while Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the government expected a 400 billion ruble ($12 billion) budget deficit in 2014. Ulyukayev, who served as first deputy chairman of the Central Bank for almost a decade before being appointed economic development minister on Monday, outlined his future policy at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
(The Moscow Times)
The largest energy consumers are demanding fines be raised for generating companies for delays in power supplies.
Medical examinations of army draftees may proceed in line with new rules from fall. The Defense Ministry says a relevant regulation would be ready by the time.
French actor Gerard Depardieu, who was recently granted French citizenship by President Putin, was involved in a car accident in downtown Moscow on Monday after filming in the capital.
(Moskovsky Komsomolets, RBK, Izvestia)
Russia's nascent military police are to be armed with nono-lethal firearms for protection.
A prominent United Russia lawmaker has submitted a bill proposing criminal punishment for "justification of Nazism" and distribution of false information about the Allied armies during World War II.
(The Moscow Times, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Moskovsky Komsomolets)
Victims will be allowed to voice their opinion when courts decide whether to release criminals on parole.
A court in Russia's Ulyanovsk Region has blocked access to gazeta.ru, a news website, for "undermining the state authorities."
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For Russia, Crimea is more than just a territory. It is not for land that Russia is putting all her prestige at stake. This situation is about wounded national pride, history, identity, national phobias, a new Russian nationalism, past relations with the “West” full of real and perceived injuries, and Western hypocrisy.