Topic: Top stories of the day
A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours
* An opposition politician who won a rare landslide victory against the ruling United Russia party in a mayoral election last year was charged along with four of his colleagues on Thursday with extorting a 14 million ruble ($420,000) bribe, investigators said
* The management of a state farm in Russia has been fined more than 11 million rubles ($330,000) for using banned hazardous pesticides to grow vegetables that it then labeled as organically grown, the regional Federal Security Service (FSB) said
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Image Galleries: Removing Protesters’ Barricades in Kiev
Infographics: First Russian Smartphone
Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.