Respondents to an informal street poll in Moscow overwhelmingly said they plan to vote for President Vladimir Putin, citing trust, the country’s current stability, and its rising reputation in the eyes of the world. One said, “Putin, of course - he’s already chosen,” One said change is needed, but rejected Zhirinovksy, while another said Zhirinovsky has her vote. One respondent said she planned to abstain from voting as a political protest, and another said she has no interest in politics.
Ukrainian Olympic Committee President and pole-vaulting legend Sergey Bubka carried the Olympic flame in the South Korean city of Gangneung on February 8. (Ukrainian Service)
LGBT people in Crimea have told RFE/RL how life has changed since Russia annexed the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. (Ukrainian Service)
Liubov Morehodova is a 76-year-old pensioner who lives on the shores of Lake Baikal. There is no public transportation in the area, so when she needs to get somewhere in winter, she puts on her vintage 1943 ice skates and goes. (over 920K views on Current Time Facebook)
[Excerpt from Current Time TV’s daily, first-read for Russian-speaking audiences.]
Speaking to U.S. media, Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak said she could be a “compromise figure” to whom Russian President Vladimir Putin may transfer power when he leaves office. Sobchak believes that Putin fears for his safety after he leaves the presidency, and that she can have a “dialogue” with him and convince him that “what happened to Pinochet and Qaddafi won’t happen to him.”
Members of the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution on February 8 calling for the immediate release from prison of prominent human rights defender Oyub Titiyev, and full respect for his “human and legal rights."
Russians and others have taken to social media to poke fun at the ballot, announced on February 8, for Russia’s March 18 presidential elections.
Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak says it appears that Moscow meddled in the U.S. presidential election in 2016, and called any such interference "unacceptable."
A new exposé published by anticorruption crusader Aleksei Navalny on February 8 allegedly shows a deputy Russian prime minister being wined and dined by Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire Russian metals tycoon who is well-connected with the Kremlin.
A Russian court has sentenced Aleksandr Khoroshavin, a former governor of the Sakhalin Oblast, to 13 years in prison, a 500 million ruble ($8.6 million) fine, and a 5-year ban from public office after convicting him on corruption charges on February 9.
New regulations published by Russia’s Interior Ministry will alter procedures for registering the traffic offenses of judges, Russian media report. While judges were previously, by law, subject to procedures that were uniform for all drivers, the new rule prohibits traffic police from filling out standard protocols in the event of an offense, requiring instead that a report be submitted to a supervisory body. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
The opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics is set to start in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 9, just hours after an arbitration court dismissed an appeal by a group of 45 Russian athletes against a ban on participation in the games.
French film legend and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot has assailed what she called the "barbarism" of animal-cruelty and culling programs in Russian cities.
In an interview with RFE/RL, regional development expert Natalia Zubarevich said Crimea is the most subsidized region of Russia, followed by Daghestan, Chechnya, and Yakutia. She said that Russia prioritizes investment in oil producing regions, Moscow, and Crimea, in that order, with raw materials development rather than geopolitics dictating its decisions. (Siberia Realities website)
Jailed Azerbaijani journalist Afqan Muxtarli has called his trial a "mockery" of justice, and suggested that President Ilham Aliyev was behind it.
Over 100 passengers in the city of Krasnoyarsk were held for two hours inside an aircraft with open doors in -3 degree (Fahrenheit) weather on February 7, due to a security alert caused by the arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was in the city to meet with local business leaders and review preparations for the 2019 Winter Universiade, a university sporting event. (over 132k views on Russian Service website)