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News about Russia and the CIS from Leading World News Media.

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22.11.17 Russia's Rosatom Complex Says It Is Not Behind Higher Radioactivity
The Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant, owned by Russian state nuclear company Rosatom and located in the southern Urals, said on Tuesday it was not the source of increased levels of ruthenium 106 in the atmosphere in late September-early October. Read more 
22.11.17 Google Is Getting Pulled Into A Fight With Russia Over RT And Sputnik
Washington Post
The Russian telecom regulator said Tuesday that it will retaliate against Google if the search giant lowers the search ranking of the Kremlin-backed news outlets RT and Sputnik, escalating a tense back and forth over Russian news coverage that has entangled American news bureaus abroad and could lead Moscow to enact further censorship rules. The agency’s remarks come after Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google's parent company, Alphabet, said that the company would de-rank the two Russian media outlets in its search results. Read more 
22.11.17 Russia Says Retreat Of Syrian Opposition Figures Good For Peace
Russia said on Tuesday that the resignation of “radically minded” Syrian opposition figures such as Riyad Hijab would help unite the disparate opponents of President Bashar al-Assad around a more “realistic” platform. Hijab, a former Syrian prime minister, stepped down on Monday as head of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) which was formed nearly two years ago with Saudi backing to bring together political and armed opponents of Assad. Read more 
22.11.17 Russian Boy's WW2 Speech To German MPs Stirs Web Anger
BBC News
A Russian schoolboy has received online abuse and death threats after suggesting that many German troops who invaded the USSR in World War Two were themselves victims of the conflict. Teenager Nikolai Desyatnichenko was speaking to German MPs in Berlin. German and Russian schoolchildren had researched stories about war victims. Some Russian MPs reacted with outrage. The Kremlin said the criticism was excessive, but suggested re-examining aspects of Russia's education system. Read more 
22.11.17 Russia Moves To Shelter Banks Funding Arms Makers From Sanctions
Russia has proposed ending the publication of the names of banks which finance Russian state-controlled arms producers, in a possible sign that Moscow is preparing for new U.S. sanctions. The draft law would, if adopted, mean the Russian central bank no longer has to publish a list of banks dealing with the arms industry, which included eight lenders as of Oct. 1. Read more 
22.11.17 Russia Confirms Spike In Radioactivity In The Urals
The Associated Press
Russian authorities on Tuesday confirmed reports of a spike in radioactivity in the air over the Ural Mountains while the suspected culprit, a nuclear fuel processing plant, denied it was the source of contamination. The Russian Meteorological Service said in a statement Tuesday that it recorded the release of Ruthenium-106 in the southern Urals in late September and classified it as “extremely high contamination.” Russian authorities insisted, however, that the amount of Ruthenium posed no health risks. Read more 
22.11.17 LGBT Hate Crimes Double In Russia After Ban On 'gay Propaganda'
Hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Russia have doubled in five years, researchers said on Tuesday, in the wake of a law banning “gay propaganda”. Murders accounted for almost 200 out of 250 crimes analyzed, the Center for Independent Social Research said, attributing the surge to Russia’s 2013 ban on the spreading of “propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations” to minors. Read more 
22.11.17 Syria: Putin Renews Call For Political Deal In Assad Visit
BBC News
Russian President Vladimir Putin has renewed his call for a political solution to the war in Syria, during a rare visit by his Syrian counterpart. Mr Putin told Bashar al-Assad the military campaign was "wrapping up", but there was still "a long way to go". A two-year Russian air campaign has given Mr Assad a clear upper hand in the civil war, which began in 2011. Read more 
22.11.17 That ‘harmless’ Radioactive Cloud Over Europe Probably Did Come From Russia After All
Washington Post
Remember that harmless radioactive cloud that mysteriously drifted across Europe back in September? Turns out it may indeed have come from Russia after all — from an area that had radioactivity of about 1,000 times higher than normal, as officials there acknowledged for the first time Tuesday. Experts emphasized that the unusually high levels may still have been harmless. What remains a mystery, however, is what produced this cloud. The most likely culprit, a serial offender nuclear reprocessing plant, still denies any connection. Read more 
22.11.17 Russia Denies Nuclear Accident After Radioactive Traces Found
BBC News
Russia says a nuclear accident has not occurred on its territory despite "extremely high" traces of a radioactive isotope being found. Russia's weather service acknowledged it had measured pollution of ruthenium-106 at 1,000 times normal levels in the Ural mountains. It said there was no health risk. The announcement appeared to confirm a report by France's nuclear safety institute which detected a cloud of radioactive pollution over Europe. Read more 
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