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The Real Russia. Today.

Snowden is now on track to become a Russian. Moscow says Crimea is no bargaining chip. Samantha Power calls Russia “a major threat” to the world order.

U.S. surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted permission to stay in Russia for several more years, opening the door to possible Russian citizenship. Under Russian law, people applying for citizenship must first live in the country for five years on a residence permit. Snowden’s original residence permit, issued in August 2014, was due to expire in August 2017, but has now been extended to 2020. Story in English

Context: Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency employee, leaked bombshell evidence exposing the intelligence organization’s electronic spying programs. In June 2013, he left the United States for Hong Kong. From there he departed for Ecuador, stopping over in Moscow. In the end, he had to remain in Russia, when U.S. officials annulled his passport.

Moscow won’t discuss the status of any Russian regions, including Crimea, according to Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov. Peskov dismissed a proposal by Ukrainian parliament member Nadezhda Savchenko, who has suggested that Kiev must recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, in order to regain control over the eastern part of the country, known as the Donbas. The Kremlin’s spokesman argued that Kiev should continue its support for the east, if it hopes to solve the separatist crisis there. Story in English

*In case you missed:

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power gave her final major speech while in office.

"I feel that the circumstances require me to focus on a much more immediate subject, a major threat facing our great nation: Russia. For years, we have seen Russia take one aggressive and destabilizing action after another."

Read the full text of Samantha Power’s scathing speech on Russia, published here by Time magazine.

Also in the News:

  • Russian police investigate the parents of a boy who died after a home circumcision. The child underwent a circumcision at home, performed by a surgeon summoned by his mother. The boy then became seriously ill, and his mother’s efforts to treat her son with various medicines failed. He died at home, without ever being hospitalized. Story in English
  • A new report says Russian lawmakers have demonstrated repressive tendencies in new legislation drafted over the past two years. The new report, released by the Center For Strategic Research, also highlights the low quality of legislative amendments proposed by deputies in the State Duma and agencies within Russia’s executive branch. Story in Russian

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A disabled woman is denied entry to a bar in Krasnoyarsk. According to the woman, the bar’s security guards explained that her presence in a wheelchair would be too dangerous, in the event that a fight broke out inside the club. Representatives of the bar, however, told reporters that she was denied entry because several of her companions were extremely drunk. Federal regulators and Investigative Committee police are now looking into the matter. Story in English

Yours, Meduza