Ukraine’s Zelensky arrives at parliament for inauguration

Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky steps into his new role as Ukrainian president with his inauguration, launching a new era for the country wrecked by war and economic difficulties. A month after scoring a landslide victory against incumbent Petro Poroshenko in polls, the 41-year-old becomes Ukraine’s youngest post-Soviet president.

In robotics classes, Armenian teens dream of high-tech future

In a slick classroom in Armenia’s Yerevan, the capital of one of the poorest post-Soviet republics, students peer intently at the screen of their ultra-modern Apple Macs during a computer programming course made possible thanks to arguably the country’s most exciting high-tech project. At Tumo, a cutting edge after-school learning centre, thousands of teens study web design, robotics, animation, music, digital media and more.

What happens after Kazakhstan’s leader Nursultan Nazarbayev resigns after 30 years of rule?

The longest-serving Soviet-era leader, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, has stepped down, leaving behind a three-decade-long era that has shaped the country into what it is now.

Nazarbayev held the presidential post since 1990 after serving as prime minister in the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan. This makes him the longest-serving post-Soviet head of state, and until recently, the only one who hadn’t changed since the USSR broke up.

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Russian Buddhists celebrate new lunar year in Siberia

Braving freezing temperatures of around minus 40 degrees, Russian Buddhists kick off Lunar New Year celebration with prayers and wishes in the Siberian region of Buryatia near the Mongolian border. While the majority of Russia’s population identifies as Orthodox Christian, there are some 900,000 Buddhists living in the border region, as well as further west in the region of Kalmykia on the Caspian Sea. Buddhists, like other religious groups, suffered persecution from the Soviet authorities, but the post-Soviet years have seen a revival, with teachers of Tibetan Buddhism from other countries playing a major role.

Rocket bound for ISS fails, crew survives emergency landing

A two-man crew bound for the International Space Station was forced to make an emergency landing when their Soyuz rocket failed shortly after blast-off, in a major setback for Russia’s beleaguered space industry.Russian investigators said they were launching a criminal probe into the incident, the first accident on such a manned flight in the country’s post-Soviet history.

What It’s Like To Live In Putin’s Russia — According To An Investigative Reporter

Luke Harding, a journalist and the author of “Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win,” explains why he believes Vladimir Putin may secretly be one of the richest people in the world. Following is a transcript of the video.

Luke Harding: I think the thing people need to understand about Russia is that Russia is not Vladimir Putin.

My name is Luke Harding. I’m a journalist and a writer, and my new book is called “Collusion,” and it’s about Donald Trump and Russia.

Russia is a great country of 142 million people, clever people, people that read books, who like theater. It’s got a fantastic musical tradition.

But what’s happened in the kind of post-Soviet era is that it’s been hijacked by a group of basically KGB people, who have captured the state and run it for their own purposes. And who, by the way, have got fantastically rich. They’re some of the richest people that have ever, kind of, walked the planet.

And so Russia is a sophisticated, postmodern kind of kleptocracy run by someone who — wishes America ill and is determined that Russia will prevail everywhere.

And I just think that Americans should be aware that there’s another Russia out there but at the same time, be wary, very wary of the current leadership.

So my previous book before “Collusion” was called “A Very Expensive Poison.” And it was about a Russian dissident called, Alexander Litvinenko, who was famously murdered in 2006 with a radioactive cup of tea, poured by two assassins sent by the Kremlin to kill him. He was a vehement critic about Vladimir Putin. He was very rude about him and his reward was this really horrible, lingering public death.

That case was properly investigated by the British authorities who concluded that Putin had probably approved the operation.

But there are many other murders that go on inside Russia of other regime opponents, which are never fully investigated. I’m thinking of people like Boris Nemtsov shot dead in 2015, 300 meters away from the Kremlin. And he was a famous opposition activist.

This is what the KGB used to do during the Cold War. They would kill people inside the Soviet Union and also abroad who they perceived as being traitors.

When you’re trying to kind of conceptualize “What is modern Russia?,” of course it’s a state but also it’s a kind of a mafia syndicate that uses mafia methods to snuff out its enemies and to get its way both inside its borders and outside its borders.

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6 suspected ISIS & Al-Nusra Front recruiters arrested after St. Petersburg attack

Six suspected ISIS and Al-Nusra Front recruiters, said to come from Central Asian countries, were detained in St. Petersburg days after the blast in the city’s Metro. President Putin says any post-Soviet country could be the target of a terrorist attack.

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Chechnya: Republic Of Contrasts (RT Documentary)

Russia’s Republic of Chechnya has undergone a revival after two military operations in its recent post-Soviet history. Today, the region is home one of the largest mosques in Europe, hosts international celebrities and even is trying its hand at high fashion. We explore this republic of contrasts to look at how the Chechen people have struck a balance between tradition and modernity.

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