Anti-War Rally In St. Petersburg
Members of the coalition "Democratic Petersburg" held a protest against Russia’s support of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. Demonstrators held placards calling Putin and Assad “butcher brothers," labeling the war “a second Afghanistan,” and warning against the Kremlin’s use of the war to extract concessions on Crimea and Ukraine.
Crimean Capital Without Power, But With Putin
In Simferopol, all lights are off, except for those illuminating a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the city’s center.
Downing of Plane To Have “Tragic Consequences For Russian-Turkey Relations”
RFE/RL is live-blogging reports that Turkish jets have shot down a Russian Su-24 aircraft in airspace above the Turkey - Syria border.
Russian Court Sentences Ukrainian Filmmaker to 20 Years
Oleg Sentsov, a Crimea native who was arrested in May, 2014 on allegations of planning attacks on pro-Russian organizations on the peninsula, was found guilty of multiple terrorism charges and sentenced to 20 years in a maximum-security prison. (In Ukrainian)
Church of Scientology Banned In Russia
A Moscow court has ruled that the church's statutes do not comply with Russian laws, and granted a petition by the Ministry of Justice to liquidate the organization. (Current Time TV)
Iran Gets Rare Koran From Putin
In a highly publicized gesture, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei one of the few extant copies of the original edition of the Muslim holy book.
Truckers, unsatisfied with recent tax concessions and declaring their intent to "overthrow the government of Putin," are planning to march on Moscow. (In Russian)
Crimeans Stocking Up With Generators
Sergei Aksyonov, the leader of Russia-annexed Crimea, said on Monday that a new line across the Kerch Strait to restore power may not be completed until December 22. (In Russian)
Putin’s Rating Continues to Climb
The Russian Public Opinion Research Center measured an increase in the president’s approval rating from 64 to 86 percent after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in early 2014, and a further rise to 89.9 percent in October, 2015 with the start of Russia's military operation in Syria. (In Russian)
Minsk Memorial Commemorates Jews Killed In Belarus
More than 6,000 Jews from Czechoslovakia, among whom only nine survived, were deported by Nazi Germany to Minsk and killed there in 1945.