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Russia’s top ten news in 2013

December 31, 2013, 15:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW
1 pages in this article

We've composed a photo gallery depicting some of the most important events which happened in 2013 in Russia and across the globe.

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January 1st the "Dima Yakovlev" law comes into force; it bans U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children.
January 1st the "Dima Yakovlev" law comes into force; it bans U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children.
January 1st the "Dima Yakovlev" law comes into force; it bans U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children.
© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Dzhavakhadze
Meteorite shard salvaged from the Chebarkul lake.
Meteorite shard salvaged from the Chebarkul lake.
Meteorite shard salvaged from the Chebarkul lake.
© ITAR-TASS/Press service of the Chelyabinsk region governor
Some regions prefer not to elect their governors.
Some regions prefer not to elect their governors.
Some regions prefer not to elect their governors.
© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden met with activists in Sheremetyevo airport.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden met with activists in Sheremetyevo airport.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden met with activists in Sheremetyevo airport.
© ITAR-TASS/Tanya Lokshina/Human Rights Watch
Massive flood in Amur region. Total damage will be calculated in spring of 2014.
Massive flood in Amur region. Total damage will be calculated in spring of 2014.
Massive flood in Amur region. Total damage will be calculated in spring of 2014.
© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov
Greenpeace activists detained after attempted boarding of the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Arctic.
Greenpeace activists detained after attempted boarding of the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Arctic.
Greenpeace activists detained after attempted boarding of the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Arctic.
© ITAR-TASS/Greenpeace press service
Special meeting of the presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Special meeting of the presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Special meeting of the presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Fadeichev
Andrey Sychev, participant of the Olympic Torch relay in Tura river, Tyumen region.
Andrey Sychev, participant of the Olympic Torch relay in Tura river, Tyumen region.
Andrey Sychev, participant of the Olympic Torch relay in Tura river, Tyumen region.
© AP Photo/Olympictorch2014.com
Terrorist act in Volgograd. Suicide bomber exploded an IED on a crowded bus at 2pm.
Terrorist act in Volgograd. Suicide bomber exploded an IED on a crowded bus at 2pm.
Terrorist act in Volgograd. Suicide bomber exploded an IED on a crowded bus at 2pm.
© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin
Mikhail Khodorkovsky during his press conference in Germany
Mikhail Khodorkovsky during his press conference in Germany
Mikhail Khodorkovsky during his press conference in Germany
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev
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January 1st the "Dima Yakovlev" law comes into force; it bans U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children.
© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Dzhavakhadze
Meteorite shard salvaged from the Chebarkul lake.
© ITAR-TASS/Press service of the Chelyabinsk region governor
Some regions prefer not to elect their governors.
© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden met with activists in Sheremetyevo airport.
© ITAR-TASS/Tanya Lokshina/Human Rights Watch
Massive flood in Amur region. Total damage will be calculated in spring of 2014.
© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov
Greenpeace activists detained after attempted boarding of the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Arctic.
© ITAR-TASS/Greenpeace press service
Special meeting of the presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Fadeichev
Andrey Sychev, participant of the Olympic Torch relay in Tura river, Tyumen region.
© AP Photo/Olympictorch2014.com
Terrorist act in Volgograd. Suicide bomber exploded an IED on a crowded bus at 2pm.
© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin
Mikhail Khodorkovsky during his press conference in Germany
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

On the eve of New Year, Itar-Tass traditionally presents the top ten headline news Russia has seen in the outgoing year.

 

Dima Yakovlev law

On January 1, Russia enacted a law that prohibited adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens.Russian presidential children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov has welcomed the idea of a ban on all adoptions of Russian children by foreigners.

 

Chelyabinsk Meteorite 

On February 15 a meteorite exploded in the atmosphere above the Chelyabinsk Region in the Urals. The celestial body, its size estimated at 17 metres in diameter and mass, at 10,000 tonnes, streaked across the early morning sky at a speed of 10 kilometers to 30 kilometres per second. The incident is unrivalled in the world’s recorded history by the number of those injured by minor fragments - over 1,500. On October 16, the largest fragment weighing 650 kilograms was recovered from the bed of Lake Chebarkul.

 

Federal law on gubernatorial elections

On April 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a federal law enabling individual regions to determine the rules of gubernatorial elections on their own. The regions that have declined to hold direct contested elections may opt for authorization procedures. On September 8, 2013 elections according to the new law took place in eight regions - Moscow, Vladimir, Magadan and Moscow regions, Transbaikal and Khabarovsk Territories, Chukotka Autonomous Area, and the Republic of Khakassia. Indirect elections of governors took place in two other regions, the republics of Ingushetia and Dagestan.

 

Snowden obtains temporary asylum in Russia 

On August 1, former U.S. secret services’ contractor Edward Snowden who had handed over secret files about U.S. and UK large-scale online spying to Washington Post and The Guardian in June, obtained a temporary one-year asylum in Russia and left the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, where he had spent more than a month. We have complete coverage of Edward Snowden's activities in our special section

 

Far east floods

In August heavy showers caused several rivers in the Russian Far East, among them the Amur and the Zeya, to overflow, causing the region’s heaviest flood in the last 120 years. Over 12,000 houses were flooded in the three most affected regions (Khabarovsk Territory, Amur Region, and Jewish Autonomous Area; more than 32,000 were evacuated from the emergency area. The water level in the Amur river reached 808 centimeters in Khabarovsk and 910 centimeters in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

The recent flooding in the Russian Far East has caused damage to 235 settlements, Chief of the Far Eastern EMERCOM Center Alexander Solovyov declared at an Intercom conference. A total of 37 municipal districts, 235 settlements, 12,000 houses and 3, 700 private orchards were flooded, he stated.

"The overall flooded territory spread to eight million square kilometers. It was the first ever flooding which occurred on such a devastating scale over the past 115 years of monitoring", Solovyov stressed.

 

Prirazlomnaya Greenpeace protest

On September 18, the environmental organization Greenpeace’s activists attempted to disembark from the ice-strengthened vessel The Arctic Sunrise operated by Greenpeace to the Russian oil and gas platform Prirazlomnaya in the Pechora Sea; 30 activists from 19 countries were detained, the ship was towed to Murmansk. In October, a Murmansk court charged all detainees with piracy; the charge was later reclassified to hooliganism. In November the arrested were transferred to St. Petersburg; by the end of the month the activists were released on Greenpeace bail.

 

Reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences

On September 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a federal law to reform the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and a decree establishing the Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations (FASO). Under the document, the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences joined the RAS. The organizations supervised by the three academies are now under the control of the FASO, save for the Far Eastern, Siberian and Urals branches of the RAS. On May 29, the director of the United Institute of High Temperatures, Vladimir Fortov, was elected new RAS President.

 

 

 

Start of the Olympic Torch relay

On October 6 Moscow saw the start of the relay of the Olympic flame delivered from Greece. President Vladimir Putin lighted the Olympic flame cup in the Red Square. During 123 days 14,000 torchbearers will be carrying the Winter Olympics torch around all 83 Russian regions and along the streets of 130 cities. The route of the torch is more than 65,000 kilometres long.A two-meter-high copy of the Olympic torch have been installed on the Oblachnaya (Cloudy) mountain in the Primorye region, the Russian Far East; the torch was installed in the International Space Station’s Russian segment;and was submerged to the bottom of the Baikal lake

 

 

Volgograd terrorist attack

On October 21 a bomb went off on a city bus with more than 40 passengers in the city of Volgograd. According to the investigators, the explosion was staged by a female suicide bomber. The blast’s yield measured two to three kilograms of TNT. The blast claimed lives of 6 people, and 37 people were taken to hospital. Eight of them were placed in intensive care facilities. The number of injured as a result of the blast in Volgograd’s bus reached 41 people, as many people consulted a doctor outpatiently overnight. After an examination and medical treatment 11 people returned home, and the rest stay at hospitals #15,#7 and #1 of Volgograd. 

 

Pardonin of Mikhail Khodorkovskiy

He spent over 10 years behind bars, I believe that a decision has to be made [to pardon him]. This petition will soon be granted. Vladimir Putin President of the Russian Federation

Minutes after the end of his grand annual news conference on December 19 Russian President Vladimir Putin said the jailed former head of the Yukos oil company, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, had requested him for pardon. On December 20 Putin signed the pardon decree. On the same day Kodorkovsky was released from prison and flew to Germany. The ex-big business tycoon spent over 10 years in prison. His term was to expire in August 2014.

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