Russia backs away from unpopular anti-coronavirus measures
The Russian government has decided to delay a controversial bill requiring QR codes confirming vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 to access public places, despite surging cases and warnings from top officials about the highly infectious omicron variant.
Kremlin chafes at Navalny team taking suspected evidence
Navalny's colleagues revealed Thursday that they removed the bottle and other items from the hotel room in Siberia and brought them to Germany as potential evidence. “Regrettably, what could have been evidence of poisoning was taken away,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Members of the Navalny team said they searched his hotel room in the city of Tomsk upon learning that he collapsed on the flight home. The German government had no comment Friday on the Navalny team’s statement that Novichok was found on the water bottle taken from Russia. The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also is having samples from Navalny tested.
Regional governor in Russia arrested on murder charges
In this image distributed by Russian Investigative Committee, Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Khabarovsk region is escorted by Russian Federal Security Service (FSB, Soviet KGB successor) and Russian Investigative Committee agents in Khabarovsk, Russia, Thursday, July 9, 2020. Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Khabarovsk region along the border with China, was arrested in Khabarovsk and was flown to Moscow and has been arrested on charges of involvement in multiple murders. (The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation via AP)MOSCOW A provincial governor in Russia's far east has been arrested on charges of involvement in multiple murders, officials said Thursday. Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Khabarovsk region along the border with China, was arrested in Khabarovsk and was flown to Moscow. The Investigative Committee said that four of Furgal's suspected accomplices were also arrested.
Putin orders amendments extending his rule into constitution
MOSCOW President Vladimir Putin on Friday ordered amendments that would allow him to remain in power until 2036 to be put into the Russian Constitution after voters approved the changes during a week-long plebiscite. The amendments come into force. They come into force, without overstating it, at the people's will, Putin said after he signed a decree to have the constitution revised. the Russian president said during a video-conference with lawmakers who worked on drafting the amendments. According to a copy of the decree released by the Russian government on Friday, the amendments will come into force on Saturday.