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February 26, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
KIEV, Ukraine --Clashes in Ukraine on Wednesday between demonstrators supporting Russian involvement in the Crimea region and those opposed left one person dead of an apparent heart attack and many others injured, officials said. The violence in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea in southern Ukraine, came as thousands of members of the Tatar ethnic minority rallying in support of Ukraine's interim government clashed with demonstrators who favor Russian influence on the area. The opposing sides gathered outside the parliament building in Simferopol.
February 25, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams, This post has been updated and corrected. See the notes below for details.
MOSCOW -- Ukraine's acting president said Tuesday that it would be at least two more days before an interim government is in place as further negotiations are needed to ensure that a genuine “coalition of national faith” agrees to see the divided country through to May 25 elections. Interim President Olexander Turchynov made the announcement to the parliament now dominated by opposition figures and defected members of fugitive ex-President Viktor Yanukovich's Party of Regions.
February 23, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW - Russia will withhold further loans and aid to Ukraine in the wake of the tumultuous leadership changes underway in the former Soviet republic until it becomes clear who will be in charge in the new interim government, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Sunday. Siluanov also said Moscow believes Ukraine should turn to the International Monetary Fund for help averting bankruptcy and reforming its corrupt and massively indebted budget, a signal that the Kremlin may be unwilling to further extend loans and subsidies to a nation now under the sway of pro-Western opposition figures.
February 6, 2014 | By Fiona Hill and Steven Pifer
Vladimir Putin has been on his best behavior as the Sochi Olympic Games approach. He has granted amnesty to prisoners and political opponents, downplayed Russia's anti-gay law, lifted a blanket prohibition on demonstrations at Sochi and acted the welcoming host. The Olympics are a showcase for Russia and for him personally. He wants nothing to spoil the Games. The Sochi Olympics will come and go, and the less kind, less gentle Putin will be back. He is likely to turn attention to Russia's neighbors that drew closer to the European Union last year - to punish them and to try to drag them back into Moscow's fold.
February 3, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been updated and corrected. See the notes below for details.
MOSCOW -- A 15-year-old student at a Moscow high school fatally shot a teacher and a police officer and held a class of 29 hostage Monday until he was persuaded by his father to release his captives and turn himself in, officials said. "According to our information, his grades were excellent and most likely it was some kind of an emotional breakdown," said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee.  Officials said Gordeyev entered the school early in the afternoon armed with a shotgun and ordered a school guard to let him in. He then proceeded to the room where his geography class was held, officials said.
February 2, 2014 | By Chris Reynolds
THE BEST WAY TO MOSCOW From LAX, Aeroflot offers nonstop service to Moscow, and KLM, Lufthansa, Air France, Delta, Swiss, Turkish and British offer connecting service (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares range from $965 to $1,655, including fees and taxes. To arrange my stay and guide, I used tour operator Distant Horizons, 350 Elm Ave., Long Beach; (562) 983-8828, . Hotel Metropol , 2 Teatralny Proezd, Moscow; 011-7-499-501-7800, . Doubles from about $250 a night.
February 1, 2014 | By Christopher Reynolds
MOSCOW - Once I came to Moscow to cover an urban ballooning expedition. In winter. But when the balloonists came face to frigid, wind-lashed face with the winter here - well, we never got off the ground. And so, as icy gales scoured the city, I strolled near the Moskva River until I faced a vast, low-hovering cloud, lighted from within, scented with chlorine and cigarettes. Occasionally, a near-naked Muscovite would emerge, dripping, and wander off to look for a towel and his pants.
December 30, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Valery Gergiev is the major conductor today for whom the most superlatives apply. He is commonly hailed as Russia's greatest living conductor. As the general and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg - which includes Russia's leading opera and ballet companies and symphony orchestra - he is his country's most powerful, prominent, celebrated, decorated and highly paid musician. He is also the cultural figure with the closest ties to the Kremlin. Gergiev and President Vladimir V. Putin are longtime friends.
December 28, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
Just days after the release of two band members from Russian prisons, the political activists known collectively as Pussy Riot continue to make headlines and spark controversy. A screening of a documentary on the group, "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer," had been scheduled for Sunday in Moscow with the newly-freed Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolonnikova in attendance. As reported by Buzzfeed , that screening has been canceled by the order of the head of Moscow's cultural department.
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