This week in Russia – TV celeb vs Putin

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Ksenia Sobchak
Russian television celebrity Ksenia Sobchak will run for president Photo credit: Wikimedia

TV celeb vs Putin
Russian television celebrity Ksenia Sobchak will run for president. Recognisable to 95 per cent of the Russian public and with more than 6.5m followers on social media, she has suggested she is in a unique position to challenge the president. “There are only two people in this country with that kind of recognition: me and Putin,” she said.

Sin selfies
Russian soldiers may soon be unable to snap a quick selfie with their brothers-in-arms. A new draft law from Russia’s Ministry of Defence bans contract soldiers and military personnel from posting on social media over fears it could reveal their location to the enemy while deployed on the battlefield, the BBC reports.

Hard facts
An official document has revealed that at least 131 Russian citizens have died in Syria this year, including private military contractors – although the presence of Russian contractors in Syria – and the casualties they are sustaining – is denied by Moscow as it wants to portray its military intervention there as a successful peace mission with minimal losses.


Critic couple targeted

A couple who were fierce critics of President Putin and who narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in June were attacked again on Monday in Ukraine – the wife killed and the husband wounded. The attack was the latest in a string of assassinations and attempted assassinations in Ukraine, which the authorities in Kiev have mostly blamed on Russian special services.

Computer says yes
Google says that a Kremlin-linked group spent $4,700 (€4,050) on advertising as part of a misinformation campaign during the 2016 US election. Russian groups also created 18 YouTube channels and uploaded 1,108 English-language videos — some of which were political, some of which weren’t — that racked up ​309,000 views during the US election cycle.

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