Russia's next president Dmitry Medvedev pledged to uphold Vladimir Putin's policies on Monday after a big election win that critics said was stage-managed to let the outgoing Kremlin leader keep his grip on power. Medvedev (42) who will be the youngest Russian leader since Tsar Nicholas II when he is sworn in on May 7, has asked former KGB spy Putin to be his prime minister.
Dmitry Medvedev was elected as Russia's next president, early results showed on Sunday, after a vote that will preserve the power of his mentor President Vladimir Putin but which opponents said was unfair. Medvedev, a 42-year-old former lawyer who has worked at Putin's side since the 1990s, will take over the trappings of the Presidency from his patron in May.
Russia's prison service bowed to international pressure on Thursday by saying it would transfer Vasily Alexanian, an inmate gravely ill with HIV/Aids, to a specialist clinic. A former vice-president of the now-defunct Yukos oil company, Alexanian says he is nearly blind, has cancer of the lymph nodes and suspected tuberculosis.
A Russian court refused bail on Wednesday to a jailed oil executive who is gravely ill with HIV/Aids, the latest ruling in a case that has put Russia in breach of an order from the European Court of Human Rights. Vasily Alexanian (36) has said he will die unless he is transferred from his Moscow prison to a specialist hospital.
International observers declared on Monday that Russia's parliamentary elections failed to meet widely accepted democratic standards, saying President Vladimir Putin and his government abused their power to favour the dominant Kremlin-backed party while opposition forces were harassed.
Russia accused Britain of politicising the case of murdered Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko on Friday and said the affair was hurting the two countries' relations. ''We see attempts from the British side to use the criminal case to build up some sort of political campaign,'' said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who buried the Soviet Union and then led Russia through its chaotic first years of independence, died on Monday aged 76, the Kremlin said. Many Russians initially viewed Yeltsin as a hero for dismantling Communist rule, but his economic ''shock therapy'' cast millions into poverty.
A Russian nationalist lawmaker has proposed a law switching the country back to the pre-revolutionary Julian calendar as a way of reasserting Russia's national identity. Alexander Fomenko said the modern Gregorian calendar used throughout the Christian world was thrust on Russia a century ago in a ''cruel Westernising project''.
The United States and Russia announced on Saturday a plan to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons by setting up international enrichment centres as their leaders sought to give a boost to a big-power summit. US President George Bush and Russia's Vladimir Putin unveiled the initiative at a news conference after talks ahead of a Group of Eight summit that starts in earnest on Sunday.