The BRICS Report

BRICS Report: Russia


Crackdown on media, preparations for the new election cycle While Russian lawmakers are busy changing the country’s election laws in preparation for parliamentary elections this year, the lower house of parliament is due this month to consider whether President Vladimir Putin’s new National Guard should be allowed to shoot Russian citizens without warning. According to a draft law that Putin submitted to the State Duma, the National Guard would be prohibited from using firearms “at largely crowded places, if their use may casually hurt people.” While Ukrainians basked in their Eurovision win on Sunday, Russian officials and Kremlin-friendly media offered up a string of conspiracy theories to explain the win of Crimean Tatar singer Jamala, whose song “1944” was largely seen as a jab at the Kremlin. And some officials said Russia should boycott the song contest next year, since it is set to be held in Jamala's homeland of Ukraine. The usually kitsch song contest took on major political overtones this year, as Ukraine's Jamala squared off against Russian singer Sergei Lazarev in a showdown that many Eurovision fans saw as a continuation of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Russia made it four Hockey World Championships wins on the bounce on Saturday, making short work of Switzerland 5-1, while Group B frontrunners Canada and Finland also won again. Following a disappointing opening day defeat to the Czech Republic, Russia has been on the march towards the knockout rounds and all but confirmed a place in the quarter-finals by defeating the Swiss at Moscow's Ice Palace. Oleg Znarok’s men were coming off the back of hitting ten goals against Denmark and confidence was clearly high against Switzerland. in a showdown that many Eurovision fans saw as a continuation of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.  

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