Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rowhani have sought to secure a broad ceasefire in Syria, with Russia and Iran supporting the Syrian Government and Turkey backing certain rebel groups.
According to Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the video conference meeting is scheduled to commence at 1100 GMT.
Syria’s multi-sided civil war has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people, with millions of others displaced by the conflict.
Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Russian activists planning anti-Putin protest detained by authorities- opposition
Two Russian activists involved in a campaign against what they say are President Vladimir Putin’s illegal plans to remain in power were detained by authorities on Thursday.
“While four others had their homes searched,’’ an anti-Kremlin group said.
Moscow’s Investigative Committee, which looks into serious crimes and the city’s police force, did not immediately respond to comment requests.
Activists had planned a protest in central Moscow on July 15 advertised on social media as “No to an eternal Putin”.
A landslide vote this month handed Putin the right to run for two more presidential terms, an outcome the Kremlin described as a triumph. [nL8N2E82EI]
Opposition activists say the vote was illegitimate, marred with violations, and that it is time for Putin, who has ruled Russia for over two decades as president or prime minister, to step down.
Mass gatherings are currently banned in the capital due to COVID-19 restrictions and protests of over one person require authorities’ advance consent in normal times.
Open Russia, a movement founded by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, said its offices in central Moscow were being searched and that two of its employees, including executive director Andrei Pivovarov, had been detained.
Pivovarov earlier posted a link on Twitter encouraging people to attend coming week’s protest.
Yulia Galyamina, a Moscow city councillor, said police arrived at her apartment and threatened to tear down the door if they were not let in.
“It’s because of the campaign against the constitutional reforms, also because of the planned protest,” she told Reuters.
The homes of Tatiana Usmanova and Olga Gorelik, from Open Russia, were also searched on Tuesday, Open Russia said.
“Sergei Prostakov, editor-in-chief of MBKh Media, a news outlet founded by Khodorkovsky, was also targeted by the searches,’’ his organisation said.
Alexei Navalny, a prominent opposition figure, said the searches were designed to scare Kremlin critics.
“This is an attempt to demoralise those who are against Putin and publicly punish those who opposed Putin’s amendments,” Navalny wrote on Twitter.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
Russians vote in referendum for Putin to stay in power until 2036
President Vladimir Putin of RussiaReferendum
Moscow, Jul 1, 2020 Russians will head to polling stations throughout the country on Wednesday to cast their ballots in a referendum to determine whether President Vladimir Putin can remain in power for the next 16 years.
Putin, 67, has been in power for two decades as president or prime minister and is currently the longest-serving Russian or Soviet leader since Joseph Stalin.
The referendum seeks changes to the constitution that could enable Putin to run for re-election twice more and potentially remain in power until he is 83 years old.
Putin, who has cultivated a reputation as a guarantor of the Russian state’s stability, reiterated that message in an address to the nation this week, encouraging citizens to vote in favour of the reform.
“We can ensure stability, security, prosperity and a dignified life for people only through development and only together,’’ Putin said.
Voting was spread out over six days in an effort to maintain precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Putin had declared Wednesday, the final day of the voting, to be a one-off public holiday in a bid to encourage voter turnout.
The referendum is intended to give a veneer of democracy to the largest package of amendments to Russia’s constitution since its adoption in 1993 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The amendments included generally popular measures such as establishing a minimum wage and pension allocations based on the cost of living.
Citizens can give only a yes or no to the whole package, which has already been approved by Russia’s parliament and signed by Putin.
The referendum was widely expected to pass.
The state’s largest pollster, the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre, said on Monday that 76 per cent of those who had already voted had cast ballots in favour.
“People are voting, rather apathetically, for stability,’’ Russian political expert, Anna Arutunyan, told dpa.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Putin urges Russians to vote on constitutional amendments
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called on citizens to take part in the ongoing referendum on constitutional amendments.
“My position is clear, unchanged and absolutely firm: the updated text of the constitution and all proposed amendments will come into force only with your approval,” Putin said in a televised address to the nation.
He thanked those who had already voted and asked those who did not to do so on Wednesday, the main and last day of voting.
“We vote for the country where we want to live, with modern education and healthcare, with reliable social protection of citizens, with effective power accountable to the society. We vote for the country for which we work, and we want to pass it on to our children and grandchildren,” Putin said.
Russia is holding a referendum between June 25 and July 1 on a set of constitutional amendments, which, if passed, will enable Putin to participate in the 2024 presidential race.
United world can defeat COVID-19: Putin
“In order to effectively combat the epidemic, we need to unite efforts rather than slap accusations against each other,” said Putin.
He said the world could get rid of the COVID-19 threat by solidarity “rather than on the path of confrontation.”
Macron, Putin have “in-depth and substantial exchange” in video call
French President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had an “in-depth and substantial exchange” during a video call on Friday afternoon, the French presidential office Elysee Palace announced.
The two leaders also talked about the situation in Ukraine and Syria. On the bilateral level, they agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of health, environmental protection and biodiversity and culture, according to the statement.
French media reported that during the two-hour video call, Macron accepted an invitation from Putin to visit Russia soon, “probably before the end of the year.”
In August 2019, Putin visited Fort de Bregancon, the French President’s holiday residence in the south of France.
Russia sees waning COVID-19 pandemic: Putin
“The volume of tasks for volunteers is starting to decrease slightly. You really did your job honestly. We can only be glad to say thanks again,” Putin said.
Russia has confirmed 6,800 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, marking the lowest number of daily infections since the end of April.
“This is a very nice figure for us and we very much hope that this trend will continue in the coming days and weeks,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said earlier in the day.
Putin’s trust rate at 59 pct: poll
Results of the latest poll showed on Friday that 59 percent of Russians trust President Vladimir Putin, up from 58 percent a week ago.
On June 19-21, the Moscow-based Public Opinion Foundation surveyed 4,000 adults, 31 percent of whom said they did not trust Putin, down from 32 percent in the previous week, and 10 percent declined to answer.
While assessing Putin’s performance as the Russian president, 62 percent of respondents believed he did a good job, while 26 percent did not think so and the rest declined to answer.
The results were published as a referendum on constitutional amendments, which if adopted will allow Putin to participate in the 2024 presidential race, and is open from Thursday to July 1.
Russians vote on referendum to let Putin stay in power until 2036
Russians on Thursday opened polling stations for early voting on a constitutional referendum on whether to let President Vladimir Putin run for re-election twice more and potentially remain in power for the next 16 years.
Putin, 67, has already been in power as President or Prime Minister for the past two decades. He is the longest serving Russian or Soviet leader since Joseph Stalin.
The early voting at polling stations throughout the country began a day after Moscow hosted a grand parade of 13,000 soldiers, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.
The nationally televised parade, during which Putin gave a speech describing the Allied victory over Nazi Germany as a “triumph of good over evil,” drummed up patriotic sentiment ahead of the vote.
Putin has cultivated a reputation as a guarantor of the Russian state’s stability, in contrast with the turbulence of the post-Soviet 1990s before he came to power.
Although his approval rating has declined to a personal record low as Russia struggles with the coronavirus pandemic, Putin still maintains broad support.
According to a nationwide survey in May, by the country’s largest independent pollster, Levada Centre, 59 per cent of Russian adults approve of Putin’s work as president.
The referendum, with its main and final day of voting scheduled for Wednesday, which Putin had declared a national non-working day, was widely expected to pass.
The author of the biography, Anna Arutunyan, “The Putin Mystique” said people were voting, rather than being apathetically, for stability.
Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Obike Ukoh (NAN)
Putin stresses Soviet contributions in V-Day celebration
“After defending their own land, the Soviet people continued to fight and liberate the states of Europe from invaders,” Putin said in a speech at a ceremony celebrating the 75th anniversary of the victory of the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War in Moscow’s Red Square.
The Russian leader led a minute of silence to commemorate the numerous Soviet soldiers who fell during the war fighting and defeating the Nazis.
Russia will protect and defend the fair truth of the Great Patriotic War, an integral part of World War II, according to Putin, adding that the country will never forget the contributions of the Soviet Union’s allies from the anti-Nazi coalition and their courageous fighters, he added.
Russia is open for dialogue and cooperation on the most burning issues, including creating a common reliable system of security, which the complex and rapidly-changing world needs, Putin said in his speech.
“We understand how important it is to strengthen friendship and confidence among peoples … Only by uniting together can we protect the world from new dangerous threats,” he noted.
Before Putin’s speech, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a black open-top limousine reviewed the troops lined up at Red Square, greeting them and wishing them a happy Victory Day. The troops in full dress chanted “Hooray!” in reply.
Putin’s speech was followed by a military parade involving about 14,000 soldiers and more than 200 units of military hardware, including the legendary T-34 tanks used by the Red Army, as well as modern tanks and missile systems.
The parade culminated with an air show featuring 75 warplanes and helicopters, including strategic bombers and the latest fighter jets.
The air show ended with six attack aircraft painting the sky over Red Square in the three colors of the Russian national flag.
More than 2,000 guests, including a number of foreign leaders, attended the celebrations in Red Square.
After the parade, Putin and foreign leaders laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Garden near the Kremlin wall.
Military parades of various scales were also held in 27 other Russian cities on Wednesday, as well as at the Hmeymim air base in Syria.
The Soviet Union held a historic parade in Red Square on June 24, 1945, marking the victory of the Great Patriotic War, which claimed about 27 million lives of people of the Soviet Union, according to official statistics.
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