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Catch Carlos If You Can

A mysterious Twitter persona launched one of the most enduring Moscow-friendly hoaxes of the MH17 airline tragedy. RFE/RL found the ex-convict behind the lie.

VISUAL REPORTS

THE POWER VERTICAL: Election? What Election?

Kremlin watchers are examining the liturgy and rites of a decaying ritual.

Exiled Chechen Politician Akhmed Zakayev On Chechnya’s Future

Current Time TV spoke to exiled Chechen opposition leader Akhmed Zakayev about the political horizon in Russia. Zakayev said that any regime change would remove the political protection that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov currently enjoys, adding that many in the Kremlin, including state security chief Alexander Bortnikov, have been urging President Putin to sacrifice Kadyrov. (Current Time TV)

Uzbekistan To Ban Big Weddings?

In a leaked recording, President Shavkat Mirziyoev rails against "shameless" weddings and calls for limits on guests, meal size, and motorcades.

PHOTOGALLERY: Spring On Lake Baikal

RFE/RL correspondent Bella Kaloeva captured the beauty of lake Baikal in Spring.

OTHER NEWS

7:40am -- Good Morning!

[Excerpt from Current Time TV’s daily, first-read for Russian-speaking audiences.]
Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned Britain’s ambassador to Russia on March 13 to protest “indiscriminate accusations” in connection with the Skripal poisoning case. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Britain should act in accordance with international protocols and provide Russia with access to the toxic substance for its own testing. Russian MFA spokesperson Мaria Zakharova summarized Lavrov’s characterization of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s remarks yesterday as follows: “[May] doesn’t know what she’s talking about - she grabbed her purse, showed up, and said something.”

KREMLIN COUNTDOWN:

RFE/RL’s election live-blog is reporting today that The Crimean Human Rights Group has documented several cases in which Crimean Tatars claim to being intimidated to participate in Russia’s March 18 presidential election. Members of the young “Putin generation” say they have no intention to vote, but are counting on change, one way or another, 6 - 10 years from now.

Showdown Looms Over Poisoning As Russia Fails To Respond To U.K. Deadline

British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to announce measures against Russia on March 14, after Moscow ignored a midnight deadline to explain how a nerve agent developed during the Cold War was used to poison a former Russian spy in Britain.

Russian MFA Threatens Retaliation Against British Media If UK Sanctions RT

Russian media reports that Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced that British media will no longer be permitted to work in Russia if the UK, in response to suspected Russian involvement in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, moves to shut down Russia Today broadcasts. (Russian Service)

Q&A: French Expert Says Novichok Toxin Presents 'Direct Link To Russia'

Novichok, the toxic nerve agent that British authorities believe was used in the near-fatal poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, is a powerful substance that requires sophisticated infrastructure and technology to manufacture. Given that the Soviet Union, in the 1980s, was the only state known to have produced it, many chemical weapons experts say it is likely that Russian intelligence was behind the attack. (Current Time TV)

Police Investigating Another Russian Death In London

Nikolai Glushkov, a Russian businessman who associated with a prominent critic of the Kremlin, has died in London, but lawyer Andrei Borovkov told Russian media outlets on March 13 that the time and circumstances of his death are unclear.

U.S. Fines Uranium Transport Company For Russian Bribe

The U.S. company Transport Logistics International has agreed to pay $2 million to settle charges that it bribed a Russian executive to win contracts to ship uranium to the United States.

Russia To Upgrade Digital Broadcasts In Crimea

Authorities in Russia-annexed Crimea have opened the first of two new media operations center to improve the quality of television and radio broadcasting on the peninsula. In remarks made during the opening of the facility, Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov criticized Kyiv’s plans to expand Ukrainian broadcasts in Crimea. (Crimea Realities website)

Imprisoned Filmmaker Sentsov Appeal Putin For Clemency

Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who opposed Moscow's seizure of Crimea and is now in prison in Russia, is "ready to ask for clemency" in order to be exchanged for Russian nationals held in Ukraine, his lawyer says.

Chernobyl Victim Wins Paralympic Skiing Gold In Pyeongchang

Ukraine-born U.S. skier Oksana Masters, who suffered radiation-induced birth defects following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, says she is "on cloud nine" after winning Winter Paralympic gold in South Korea.

Former Moldovan Lawmaker Sentenced For Spying For Russia

A former member of the Moldovan parliament has been sentenced to 14 years in prison on charges of high treason and espionage for Russia.

Russian Night Wolves Bikers Plan To Western Balkans Ride

The Russian motorcycle club Night Wolves, known for its staunch Russian nationalism and allegiance to President Vladimir Putin, and currently under U.S. sanctions, has announced a "Russian Balkans" tour of Bosnia and Serbia in mid-March.

Czech Court Delays Extradition Of Russian Hacking Suspect

A last-minute complaint from Yevgeny Nikulin, the Russian cybercrime suspect at the center of a tug-of-war between Moscow and Washington, has delayed a final decision on his extradition to the United States or Russia.

Fugitive Tycoon's Political Movement Ruled 'Extremist' In Kazakhstan

A court in Kazakhstan has branded an opposition political movement established by Mukhtar Ablyazov, a fugitive critic of President Nursultan Nazarbaev, as an extremist organization intent on forcibly changing Kazakhstan’s constitutional order.

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