Tag Archives: Duma

Putin opens ways to stay

President Vladimir Putin signed the package of constitutional reforms he had proposed, including a clause giving him an option to run for more terms.

The Kremlin has published the 68-page law proposal for the constitutional reforms on the official website. Putin’s signature triggers a special procedure for the package, which differs from the way laws usually go into effect.

The proposed reforms were handed to the Russian Constitutional Court which has a week to rule on whether to approve the law, which would reset Putin’s constitutional limit of two terms in power, and open an opportunity to stay indefinetely at power.

Duma approves new Prime Minister

President Putin has signed a decree appointing Mikhail Mishustin as the Prime minister.
“In accordance with Article 83(a) of the Russian Constitution, Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin is appointed as Russia’s Prime Minister,” says the decree issued on the Kremlin’s website.

The decree comes into force on the day of its signing.
Earlier on 16 of January the State Duma endorsed the appointment. As many as 383 lawmakers voted ‘yes,’ and 41 abstained. Nobody rejected the candidacy.

Former Prime Minister Medvedev, appointed deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, will hold a meeting with new Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on January 17, the Russian government’s press service informed.
The meeting between the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council and the Russian Prime minister will take place tomorrow [January 17] at the House of Government of the Russian Federation,” the press service stated.

The entire Russian government, headed by Dmitry Medvedev, resigned on January 15.
The Duma plenary session Mishustin promised to announce the new composition of the Cabinet of Ministers within a few days.

Duma accuses DW of extremist content

Russian lower house of parliament Duma Commission on Foreign Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs has announced that the Deutsche Welle news company violated Russian law, lawmaker Vasily Piskarev said.

Today, the commission has finished its inquiry regarding Deutsche Welle. Earlier, we said that we have certain information, which was unfortunately confirmed. While acting on the territory of Russia, Deutsche Welle has violated laws, many laws. Today, we decided that the designated bodies must provide a response to these violations,” the Piskarev pointed out.

The commission has concluded that the Deutsche Welle published content justifying extremism.As example they referred to the case of blogger Vladislav Sinitsa sentenced under Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code (Incitement of hatred and humiliation of human dignity) as an example.

Sinitsa urged to kidnap and kill the children of law enforcement officers,” Piskarev said. “This horrifying cynical statement has been deemed extremism by law enforcement bodies, and he was charged under Article 282 of the Criminal Code,” he continued . “The sentence is in force, we all think that he is a criminal, an extremist <…> however, Deutsche Welle thinks that he is not an extremist, but a regular member of the opposition,” the lawmaker said.

“However, we think that if an opposition member commits a crime – and this is definitely a crime – then he is not an opposition member, but a criminal,” the commission head noted. “This confirms the attributes of justifying extremism, and not just this. Here, we have all facts confirming that Deutsche Welle has violated the law,” he confirmed, showing the reporters several folders with documents.

The commission has also found out that Deutsche Welle has all the signs of a foreign agent.

The Russian State Duma Commission on Foreign Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs began its work in August after reports of unlawful actions by several foreign diplomats and media outlets in the course of unsanctioned protests that took place in the run-up to the Moscow State Duma election.

Venezuela military intervention as “option”

President Donald Trump said military intervention in Venezuela was “an option” as Western nations increase pressure on Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to step down, while Russia in its capacity of the UN Security Council permanent member warned against “destructive meddling.”

The level of technical equipment and training of the Venezuelan army is very high today. The 30 Russian Su-30 fighters currently in service with the country’s air force are a serious factor, so if the US decides to go on any adventure against Caracas, then they will have to prepare for a serious combat”, said Russian military expert Dr.Konstantin Sivkov.

The United States, Canada, the UK, several Latin American and European countries have recognized self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido as the country’s rightful leader after the disputed elections.

The EU countries supporting the candidacy of Juan Guaido in his claim of presidency have formed a contact group, which will meet in Montevideo (Uruguay) on February 7. The Contact Group will bring together the EU and eight of its Member States (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and countries from Latin America (Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay)

However in an interview the incumbent President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro regarded international support of a self-proclaimed elections winner as a circus, and Juan Guaido as a “clown“.

Maduro also blamed the West the return to the “era of empires“.

Russian State Duma assessed the support of the self-proclaimed President of Venezuela Guaido as “absolutely incorrect and unacceptable under international law”.

Dr.Sivkov added that a major factor that could contain the potential aggression of neighboring countries is a powerful Venezuelan air defense system, which includes, in particular, S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, according to Novosti agency.
In 2009, Venezuela purchased a large party of weapons, including the Pechora-2M, S-300, Buk-M2EK anti-aircraft missiles, Igla-S, armored personnel carriers BTR-80A, using a $ 2.2 billion Russian loan, T-72B1V tanks, Smerch and Grad multiple rocket launchers.

Chechen lion cub needs home in Africa

Russian animal rights defenders hope to transfer little lion cub Simba (pictured) from Grozny (Chechnya) to Africa via one of the international wildlife charities. With open wounds, sick, exhausted and distraught the little patient was surrendered to one of Grozny veterinary clinics, where his owners explained that he could not bear life in cage and became self-destructive, causing himself multiple injuries. The vets of Aibolit Clinic were more than happy to take care of an a-typical patient for free, however they launched call for donations for medications. At present there is an ongoing campaign to collect funds for Simba, while he still receives treatment.

Aibolit Grozny

Russian the animal rights groups are looking for contacts with experts in wildlife to secure the best possible future for Simba, returning him to Africa, where he belongs. The biggest fear is his landing in one of Russian zoos or circuses, in a barbaric show, being trained to perform tricks by electroshock  collar. The fears of activists are not exaggerated – there are no laws protecting animals against human cruelty in Russia, and numerous big cats are suffering in zoos, both private and public,  and the circuses, often travelling locked for days in small cages.

Simba cub Video

Sometimes animal sufferings in circuses accumulate, and explode on public like in a recent case of a lioness attack in Krasnodar circus. Reportedly a four year old girl who was injured during the incident is still in an intensive care in coma. “When animal circus will be banned?” raise the rhetoric question internet users, commenting on the tragedy. “Disgrace having this kind of barbaric shows in 21 century!”, “Lynching of animals is not funny”, express many their indignation.

There is growing conviction among young generation of Russians that big cats belong to the wild, and it is cruel and degrading to deprive them of freedom and their natural habitat, exploiting in barbaric circus shows or keep them locked in cages in zoos prison. Unfortunately for the animals there are plenty of hunters among Russian lawmakers, who entertain themselves in killings, perceiving animals only as game. Apparently hunting lobby is blocking any progressive legislation concerning wildlife.

It is not the first case of a tragedy in Russian circuses lately.  In the draft law “On the responsible handling of animals”, a ban is imposed on mobile forms of circuses and licensing for stationary ones. If this law had passed last July, then Kransodar tragedy would not have happened. Therefore, I believe that the blame for the incident lies more with the ecology committee of the State Duma, which has already delayed the adoption of this important bill for the third session”  said the chair of the Alliance for animals Yuri Koretsky to Europe Diplomatic.


With powerful hunting lobby he perspective of modern humane legislation for animals in Russia is blurred, in spite of all tragic incidents and public opinion against cruelty.

“The hunting business remains one of the most corrupt in Russia” – said managing director of ecological movement «Biom» Anna Kirilenko  at Duma hearing on October 26 on ban оf hunting some rare spices.

Anna van Densky

Duma Foreign affairs committee chair trapped in #MeToo

Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the State Duma’s International Relations Committee faces allegations of sexual harassment of young female correspondents, accredited to Russian parliament, but he denies the wrongdoings and dabs complains as a “provocation” in the view of the ongoing presidential elections campaign.

“I’m flattered that for projection of Harvey Weinstein onto Russia they have chosen my humble personality, but it was a poor choice” – Leonid Slutsky said to Russian newspaper ‘Vedomosti’.

The journalistic community does not take the allegations lightly and demands an investigation, insisting the harassment is incompatible with the high status of a member of the State Duma. Meanwhile the editor of RTVi  Ekaterina Kotrikadze (Екатерина Котрикадзе) openly accused Slutsky in sexual harassment taking place back in 2011, she was the first to step out of anonymity.

Leonid Slutsky, a member of Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), is confronted with complains failed by at least three accredited to State Duma young female journalists, one of them said the committee chair promised her an interview on condition of dining together, but she declined the proposal.

In response to the allegations, deputy Duma speaker Igor Lebedev (LDPR), proposed revoking the Duma accreditation of Dozhd TV journalists, who dared to make these complaints public in their emission. The mass media should act responsibly, Lebedev continued, pointing at absence of any evidence, and describing the situation as an attempt to follow an American trend #MeToo, and search for “Russian Weinsteins”.

Discussing the situation in social media female journalists who worked in Duma confirmed that there are deputies who consider normal to flirt with young women, without considering if their advances are appropriate in the working context.

However the Women’s Club of State Duma, chaired by four deputies, representing their political groups, published a statement in support of Leonid Slutsky, claiming he is widely known as a “responsible politician”, and the incident resembling a “staged operation of his discrediting .”

Meanwhile Oksana Pushkina, a former TV presenter and vice-chair of the Committee on Women, Family and Children pledged to include the notion of ‘harassment’ in Russian legislation. Pushkina also regretted that traditionally women are silent about harassment  “flourishing” in Russian society, she also encouraged fellow journalists to pursue their cause and not to give up.

Slutsky tweets he continues to work in spite of the false allegations, posting his picture together with Austrian minister of foreign affairs.





Duma dabbs casualties in Deir ez-Zor as “fake news”

The Chairman of the Russian State Duma Defense Committee Vladimir Shamanov said media reports about a significant number of casualties in a US-led coalition attack in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor on February 7 are “fake” news.

“Judging by the intelligence agencies’ assessments, there are many signs showing that someone is deliberately overstating the actual situation,” Shamanov said according to TASS news agency.

“The information is being verified. However, there is no true and reliable information, unfortunately,” the head of the Committee concluded, admitted.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on February 7, a Syrian militia unit was attacked by the US-led coalition in the Deir ez-Zor province, as a result of lacking coordination with the Russian military. The attack left 25 militiamen wounded. However, there were no Russian military servicemen in the area, the Defense Ministry said.


Moscow will retaliate if Paris revokes RT TV licence

Russia’s State Duma will retaliate if the license of RT TV Channel in France is revoked, Vice Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy said on Saturday in an interview in Moscow.

“If France resorts to such measures, and I hope that this will not take place, but if they do so, we will also take tit-for-tat measures. By the way, the French will lose more than the US on our mass media market,” the Tolstoy underlined said.

According to the Russian lawmaker France has many opinion-leaders and they are “very active”. These public figures partly moved to the French parliament – National Assembly – by efforts of President Macron, Tolstoy suggested. He also declined to assess their initiative.


ECHR orders Russia to pay 38.000 euro

The European Court of Human Rights has found violations of people’s right to fair and free elections during 2011 Duma campaign in Russia. It ruled that Russia has to pay 38.000 euros to nine claimants who had sued the Russian authorities.

The Court explicitly stated that it did not consider in detail the essence of the claims the plaintiffs had to the election process or the possible violations found. At the same time, the ECHR acknowledged that the plaintiffs brought reasonable arguments about the wrong process of vote counting that had not been properly considered in the Russian courts.


Voters, candidates and election observers at December 2011 elections to the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg and the State Duma acted as claimants in the case. They argued that the outcome of the election commissions differed from that in the protocols the observers received.

According to the plaintiffs, the election commissions added votes to United Russia. The party got more than 49% of the votes in 2011 elections, according to official figures.


Russia to revoke citizenship from terrorists

The State Duma – the lower chamber of Russian parliament will consider a draft bill proposing to effectively strip those convicted on terrorism-related charges of citizenship. President Vladimir Putin first suggested the concept after following the St. Petersburg Metro attack.

The bill has been put forward by the leaders of all four State Duma factions: United Russia, Communist party, Fair Russia, and Liberal Democratic Party.  The draft legislation proposes amendments to be made to the Article 22 of the Federal law on Russian citizenship since the Russian Constitution directly prohibits to strip Russians of their citizenship.

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