How Putin Is Using Coronavirus to Stay in Power

A global crisis plays a convenient role in the Russian president’s scheme to keep his job.

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Moscow officials test passengers aboard plane on layover from Beijing | AFP

Russian officials check passengers’ temperatures onboard a plane in Moscow hailing from Beijing on a layover to Paris amid the coronavirus pandemic. IMAGES of Russian officials testing passengers’ temperatures

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Astronauts in quarantine before mission aboard ISS

NASA’s Chris Cassidy and his two Russian crewmates have been taking precautions to stay germ-free before their April 9 launch to the International Space Station, frequently washing their hands and keeping a safe distance from others. (March 19)

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Today in History for March 18th

On this day in history: Russian cosmonaut first man to walk in space; Mahatma Gandhi is sent to prison for civic disobedience, Italy’s Mussolini agrees to enter WWII; Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube removed; Singer John Philips dies. (March 18)

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Russian Orthodox believers kiss relics despite virus warnings | AFP

Russian Orthodox believers shrug off coronavirus health warnings, to kiss relics of John the Baptist in Saint Petersburg’s Kazan cathedral. Moscow has counted dozens of cases in the country, but no deaths so far, according to the latest official figures.

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Today in History for March 14th

Highlights of Today in History: Albert Einstein born; Eli Whitney receives patent for cotton gin; First US Astronaut in space on Russian rocket; Michael Caine and Quincy Jones born. (March 14)

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Russian activists protest against ‘repressions’ outside FSB HQ | AFP

Supporters of a group of Russian anarchists convicted on terrorism charges and sentenced to lengthy prison terms protest against political repressions and attempt to form a ‘human chain’ around the headquarters of the Federal Security Services building in Moscow, drawing a response from police. IMAGES

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AP Top Stories March 12 P

Here’s the latest for Thursday, March 12: Sweeping travel bans and suspended sports seasons because of coronavirus outbreak; Pentagon threatens retaliatory strike against Shia militia; European and Russian space agencies postpone Mars mission. (March 12)

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World Athletics fines Russia $10m, caps neutral Russian athletes at 10 | AFP

World Athletics fines Russia’s track and field federation $10 million for breaching anti-doping rules and caps at 10 the number of Russians allowed to compete as neutrals at the Tokyo Olympics. SOUNDBITE

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Russians ponder having Putin remain in power | AFP

Russians react as the prospect sunk in of Russian President Vladimir Putin staying in power until 2036. Lawmakers in the lower house State Duma voted Wednesday to give final approval to a package of constitutional amendments introduced by Putin — including a last-minute addition to “reset” his presidential terms. from MoscovitesN°1PS4HN

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Russian MPs back constitutional amendments in key reading | AFP

Images show Russian lawmakers voting in the Lower House of the Russian Parliament before the approval of Vladimir Putin’s package of constitutional amendments during a key second reading. The amendments include the possibility that Vladimir Putin could run again for Russian president. A total of 382 MPs voted for the package of changes to the constitution, with 44 abstaining. IMAGES

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