Backed by Putin, Russian military pushes into foreign policy

MOSCOW – From Damascus to Doha, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has been showing up in unexpected places, a sign of the military’s growing influence under Vladimir Putin. In the past few months, at times wearing his desert military uniform, Shoigu has held talks with Syria’s president in Damascus, met Israel’s prime minister in Tel Aviv and been received by the Emir of Qatar in Doha. The defense ministry’s forays into areas long regarded as…

"Backed by Putin, Russian military pushes into foreign policy"

Commentary: How Trump can get tough on Ukraine corruption

Ukraine’s Western allies may finally have run out of patience with Kiev’s unwillingness to fight the country’s endemic corruption. The United States, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have all criticized the recent undermining of an independent corruption investigation by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office – an organization of rampant fraud. “Recent events – including the disruption of a high-level corruption investigation, the arrest of officials from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU),…

"Commentary: How Trump can get tough on Ukraine corruption"

Russia will keep bases in Syria to strike at insurgents: Kremlin

MOSCOW – Russia will keep a naval and an air base in Syria capable of carrying out strikes against insurgents if required after a partial military pull-out announced by President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Tuesday. Putin on Monday ordered “a significant part” of Moscow’s military contingent to start pulling out of Syria, declaring their work largely done. Putin made the announcement during a surprise visit to the Russian Hmeymim air base, where he…

"Russia will keep bases in Syria to strike at insurgents: Kremlin"

Russia’s delayed Nureyev ballet to test Kremlin tolerance

MOSCOW – A Bolshoi Theatre ballet about the life of Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev set to premiere on Saturday contains tender scenes of gay romance, testing the Kremlin’s tolerance for what it calls “homosexual propaganda”. The production had been due to open in July but was canceled at the last minute, with the theater’s management saying it was not ready. At the time, Russian state news agency TASS quoted a source close to the culture…

"Russia’s delayed Nureyev ballet to test Kremlin tolerance"

Russia’s delayed Nureyev ballet to test Kremlin tolerance

MOSCOW – A Bolshoi Theatre ballet about the life of Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev set to premiere on Saturday contains tender scenes of gay romance, testing the Kremlin’s tolerance for what it calls “homosexual propaganda”. The production had been due to open in July but was canceled at the last minute, with the theater’s management saying it was not ready. At the time, Russian state news agency TASS quoted a source close to the culture…

"Russia’s delayed Nureyev ballet to test Kremlin tolerance"

Russia’s delayed Nureyev ballet to test Kremlin tolerance

MOSCOW – A Bolshoi Theatre ballet about the life of Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev set to premiere on Saturday contains tender scenes of gay romance, testing the Kremlin’s tolerance for what it calls “homosexual propaganda”. The production had been due to open in July but was canceled at the last minute, with the theater’s management saying it was not ready. At the time, Russian state news agency TASS quoted a source close to the culture…

"Russia’s delayed Nureyev ballet to test Kremlin tolerance"

Russia’s Olympic ban strengthens Putin’s re-election hand

MOSCOW – Opinion polls show Vladimir Putin is already a shoo-in to win a fourth presidential term. But a ban on Russia taking part in the Winter Olympics is likely to make support for him even stronger, by uniting voters around his message: The world is against us. Putin announced on Wednesday that he would seek re-election in March’s presidential election, setting the stage for him to extend his dominance of Russia’s political landscape into…

"Russia’s Olympic ban strengthens Putin’s re-election hand"

Russian Foreign Ministry: ‘We will survive Olympic ban’

MOSCOW – The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday Russia would not be rattled by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to ban it from the upcoming winter Olympics and would survive the ordeal. It was responding after the IOC said on Tuesday that Russia had been banned from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics after evidence emerged of an “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system. “We can never be knocked down,” Maria Zakharova, a…

"Russian Foreign Ministry: ‘We will survive Olympic ban’"

Former Yemeni strongman Saleh played his last hand and lost

DUBAI – Yemen’s steely former president of 33 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh, made his last political gamble and lost on Monday, meeting his death at the hands of the Houthi movement, his erstwhile allies in the country’s multi-sided civil war. Officials in his General People’s Congress party (GPC) confirmed to that the 75-year-old Saleh had been killed outside the capital Sanaa in what Houthi sources said was an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) and gun attack. A…

"Former Yemeni strongman Saleh played his last hand and lost"

Former Yemeni strongman Saleh played his last hand and lost

DUBAI – Yemen’s steely former president of 33 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh, made his last political gamble and lost on Monday, meeting his death at the hands of the Houthi movement, his erstwhile allies in the country’s multi-sided civil war. Officials in his General People’s Congress party (GPC) confirmed to that the 75-year-old Saleh had been killed outside the capital Sanaa in what Houthi sources said was an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) and gun attack. A…

"Former Yemeni strongman Saleh played his last hand and lost"