President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children, abruptly terminating the prospects for more than 50 youngsters preparing to join new families and sparking critics to liken him to King Herod.
Vladimir Putin took the oath of office in a brief but regal Kremlin ceremony on Monday, while on the streets outside thousands of helmeted riot police prevented hundreds of demonstrators from protesting his return to the presidency.
Vladimir Putin rejected opposition protests against his presidential election victory and his foreign ministry ruled out any softening of Moscow's stance on Syria, strong indications today that the Russian leader has no intention of easing tough policies either at home or abroad.
Vladimir Putin claimed victory in Russia's presidential election before tens of thousands of cheering supporters Sunday, even as the opposition and independent observers insisted the vote had been marred by widespread fraud.
Tens of thousands of Russians flooded downtown Moscow today to demand an end to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's rule, braving sub-zero temperatures to keep the protest movement alive one month before a presidential election that Putin is still expected to win.
Tens of thousands of Russians jammed a Moscow avenue today to demand free elections and an end to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's 12-year rule, in the largest show of public outrage since the protests 20 years ago that brought down the Soviet Union. Gone was the political apathy of recent years as many shouted "We are the Power!"
Jim Heintz and Nataliya Vasilyeva
, December 24, 2011
Vladimir Putin said today he'll run for Russia's presidency in 2012, almost certainly ensuring he'll retake the office he previously held and likely foreshadowing years more of a strongman rule that many in the West have called a retreat from democracy.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev today described Russia as an imitation of democracy and accused its current rulers of conceit and contempt for voters, in his harshest criticism of the government yet.
Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up today in twin attacks on Moscow subway stations jam-packed with rush-hour passengers, killing at least 37 people and wounding 65, officials said. They blamed the carnage on rebels from the Caucasus region.
In an electric four-hour solo performance on live television, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he will think about whether to reclaim the presidency — one of the strongest signals yet that he may run again for Russia's top office in 2012.
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