Mass anti-Kremlin rallies grip Russia’s far east | AFP

Thousands rally in the far eastern Russian city of Khabarovsk where the arrest of a popular governor has unleashed massive protests, in a rare show of defiance against the Kremlin.

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Thousands of anti-Kremlin protesters gather for rally over governor’s arrest | AFP

Thousands of people rally in the far eastern Russian city of Khabarovsk in protests supporting popular governor Sergei Furgal, who was detained on murder charges, and in a rare show of defiance against the Kremlin. The arrest of 50-year-old Furgal, who defeated a candidate from the ruling United Russia party to win the governorship in 2018, has sparked daily demonstrations in Khabarovsk.

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Russia police search offices of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny | AFP

Russian police carry out a raid on the offices of main opposition leader Alexei Navalny as Kremlin critics accuse authorities of ramping up efforts to quash dissent.

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UK, US, Canada say Russia hacks vaccine trials

Western governments are accusing hackers believed to be part of the Russian intelligence service of trying to steal information about a coronavirus vaccine and calling out the Kremlin. (July 16)

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Over 140 detained after anti-Putin protest in Moscow | AFP

Russian police detain over 140 people following a protest in Moscow against changes to the constitution, according to the OVD-Info monitor, a group that tracks arrests at political protests. Earlier in the day, Kremlin critics gathered in Pushkin Square to collect signatures in order to contest the constitutional reforms in court. “We do not accept the results… We believe it was all rigged,” one of the protesters tells AFP.

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Police detain people at opposition event in Moscow | AFP

Russian police detain over 100 people after Kremlin critics gathered for a protest in central Moscow to protest controversial changes to the constitution, the OVD-Info monitor said. The group, which tracks arrests at protests, say 103 people have been detained. Many people including journalists were put in police vans, AFP correspondents reported from the scene. IMAGES

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Russians in Vladivostok vote on changes to constitution | AFP

People in the far-eastern Russian city of Vladivostok cast ballots on the last day of a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms. The country is set to approve the reforms denounced by critics as a manoeuvre to allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in the Kremlin for life.

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Polls open for final day of Russian constitutional vote | AFP

Russians are set to approve constitutional reforms on Wednesday denounced by critics as a manoeuvre to allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in the Kremlin for life. IMAGES of polls in Moscow

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Russians set to back reforms allowing Putin to extend rule | AFP

Images of the Kremlin in Moscow on the last day of polling in a vote on Russian constitutional reforms that could prolong President Vladimir Putin’s hold on power. Putin became prime minister in 1999 under Boris Yeltsin before being elected president in 2000. He served the maximum two consecutive terms between 2000 and 2008 before a four-year stint as prime minister. He returned to the Kremlin in 2012 for a newly expanded six-year mandate and was re-elected in 2018. IMAGES

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Moscow ends movement restrictions as country lifts lockdown | AFP

Russia lifts a range of anti-coronavirus measures including a strict lockdown on the capital of Moscow, allowing residents to travel freely for the first time since late March. Near the Kremlin, traffic has resumed and residents walk about. IMAGES

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Fireworks over Moscow as Russia scales back Victory Day celebrations amid COVID-19 | AFP

Fireworks are seen over Moscow at night to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, amid the coronavirus outbreak. With cases surging and authorities urging Russians to stay in their homes, celebrations of this year’s Victory Day were muted after the Kremlin grudgingly postponed plans for a grand parade with world leaders. IMAGES

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Russians mark Victory Day with at-home celebrations | AFP

In Russia, this year’s festivities marking the 75th anniversary of World War II’s Victory Day are more subdued than usual, with the Kremlin reiterating its calls for people to stay at home. While some held flag-raising in their gardens, other put social distancing aside to visit war memorials.

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Russian plane with supplies for virus fight arrives in US | AFP

A Russian military plane carrying medical supplies arrives in the United States, the Russian mission to the UN said, as the Kremlin flexes its soft power during the coronavirus pandemic. The Antonov-124, landed at JFK Airport in New York — the epicenter of America’s coronavirus outbreak — video posted on the mission’s Twitter page showed.

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Thousands march in Moscow for ‘Russia without Putin’ | AFP

Thousands rally in central Moscow to call on President Vladimir Putin not to stay in power indefinitely, in the first major protest by the Russian opposition since the Kremlin chief announced controversial plans to change the constitution. The rally marks five years since the assassination of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov but its organisers also want the event to send a message to Putin after he proposed major constitutional changes. Organisers, including the country’s most prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny, called for a mass turnout to show Putin that he must not consider staying in power by any means when his current mandate ends in 2024.

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Opposition urges ‘Russia without Putin’ in rally for slain liberal | AFP

Thousands rally in central Moscow to call on President Vladimir Putin not to stay in power indefinitely, in the first major protest by the Russian opposition since the Kremlin chief announced controversial plans to change the constitution. IMAGES

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Putin meets with Netanyahu in Moscow | AFP

Vladimir Putin receives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kremlin. IMAGES of the meeting

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AP Top Stories December 16 P

Here’s the latest for Monday, December 16th: Senator says President Donald Trump will announce U.S. troop drawdown; Democrats release impeachment report; Hundreds re-enact WWII battle on 75th anniversary; Father Frost delivers tree to Kremlin.

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Russia marks anniversary of wartime parade on Red Square | AFP

Russia holds a historical reenactment on Moscow’s Red Square to mark the 78th anniversary of the historic 1941 parade, when Red Army soldiers marched past the Kremlin walls towards the front line to fight Nazi Germany troops during World War Two. IMAGES

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