Topic: Top stories of the day
* Whitney Olson and her husband, Doug Little, needed only one piece of paper – a birth certificate – to complete Russia’s highly bureaucratic adoption process and take their three-year-old daughter-to-be home to Montana. But officials in the scenic old city of Pskov, on Russia’s western rim, suddenly balked
*On Monday, two years after former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted, thousands of people in Cairo and across Egypt went out onto the street in protest, calling for an end to Islamist President Morsi’s rule
*US President Barack Obama laid out an ambitious legislative vision in his State of the Union speech Tuesday, calling for a raft of measures to bolster the ranks of America’s middle class and urgently address issues like climate change and gun control
*The United States is shifting toward Russia's position on Syria, in fear of a repeat of the "Afghan scenario" with an Islamist regime coming to power there, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Wednesday
*The new Kazakh-Russian space launch facility, Baiterek, will be modified for the launch of Zenit carrier rockets, Kazakhstan’s National Space Agency Kazcosmos head Talgat Musabayev said on Wednesday, indicating that the two sides have reached a compromise on the project
*Ukraine wants to restart direct natural gas deliveries from Turkmenistan, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on Wednesday after talks with his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and signing of a memorandum of understanding to broaden oil and gas cooperation
*Russia’s state-run arms dealer Rosoboronexport is supplying air-defense missile systems and maintenance and servicing equipment to Syria but not combat aircraft, the company's director Anatoly Isaikin said on Wednesday
* Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft signed a deal with ExxonMobil on Wednesday, giving the US energy giant access to explore Russia's Arctic shelf in return for the ability to acquire a stake in the Alaska gas field
*YouTube LLC on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor over a controversial Russian content-restricting law, internet company Google’s video sharing unit said
*German doctors say the health of the Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director Sergei Filin, who undergoes treatment in Germany after being nearly blinded in an acid attack last month, is improving, the chief ophthalmologist of the Russian Health Ministry said
* Vladimir Pekhtin, a member of the ruling United Russia party and head of the parliamentary ethics commission, asked for his official duties to be suspended for the duration of a probe into allegations that he owns real estate in the United States, the party's press service said on Wednesday
* Three armed men broke out a female patient from one of Moscow’s most famous psychiatric hospitals in a daring raid believed to have been led by the woman’s fiancé, one Anton Brin, Russian media reported this week
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We have witnessed the total defeat of western Ukraine, Western nationalists and the West in general, which made the unfortunate decision to support the anti-government activity. They failed to realize that the collapse of Yanukovych means the collapse of Ukrainian unity. They set fire to their own home and planted a time bomb under Ukraine’s territorial integrity.