Russian Prisoners’ Relatives Start Hunger Strike

Afghanistan If Not The Taliban, Then Who Killed Rabbani?

Afghan religious scholars urge Taliban to renounce violence

Religious scholars from across Afghanistan urged the Taliban to stop violence and join the peace process during a session in Kabul, the Pajhwok news agency reported on Wednesday. Hundreds of clerics from restive Afghan provinces, including Khost, Paktia, Paktika, Ghazni, Logar, Maidan Wardak and Kabul, gathered to discuss the role of religious scholars in the […]

Taliban raid on Kabul hotel leaves 8 civilians, 2 policemen dead

At least eight civilians and two policemen were killed in a raid by a group of Taliban on a landmark hotel in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Tuesday night where senior provincial governors were staying, police say. At least eight militants, some of them suicide bombers, were involved in the attack on the heavily-guarded […]

Afghanistan: Taliban take responsibility for besieged continental hotel

NATO helicopters fired rockets at gunmen on the rooftop of a besieged Kabul hotel early on Wednesday, ending a more than four-hour standoff between militants and police that left at least seven dead and eight others wounded, Afghan officials said.

The American withdrawal from Afghanistan: To leave, to fight, to run?…

The numbers are in. Washington finally announced on Wednesday that 10,000 U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan before the end of this year, followed by another 23,000 by the summer of 2012. In his address, President Barack Obama was expected to lay out a clear timetable for the drawdown after nearly a decade of […]

Obama announces plans for U.S. troop pullout from Afghanistan

U.S. President Barack Obama announced his plans to withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan this year and bring home all 33,000 U.S. “surge” troops by next summer in a televised speech on Wednesday night. The first U.S. soldiers would begin returning home next month, in line with the deadline set by Obama in December 2009, when […]

Main news of June 21

WORLD * The Russia-led post-Soviet EurAsEC alliance transferred the first $800 million tranche of an emergency loan to Belarus to stabilize its finances, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said * Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is in good health and has started receiving visitors, the Saudi portal Al-Watan said, citing a Yemeni diplomatic source * […]

Georgian opposition party blasts Saakashvili for sending troops to Afghanistan

The Georgian opposition Labor Party has strongly criticized the country’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, for sending soldiers to Afghanistan following the killing of a ninth soldier by Taliban militants. “Georgia has long become a cannon fodder store for NATO and the United States,” party spokesman Kakha Dzagania told journalists on Tuesday. Many NATO member countries have […]

Slovakia to send 20 special services officers to Afghanistan

Slovakia will send 20 special services officers to Afghanistan for the first time since the U.S.-led international coalition began its operation against Taliban two decades ago, the Slovak TASR news agency has reported quoting the country’s defense minister. The soldiers, who will join the 346 Slovak troops already serving in the war-torn southern Central Asian […]

The new, aging face of al Qaeda

Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s longtime No. 2, has been chosen as the new leader of the global terrorist organization, according to postings on Jihadist websites. Zawahiri, a former doctor from Egypt, has been hiding from U.S. special services for nearly a decade. He will turn 60 on June 19. Islamists are not known to make […]

Russia’s Medvedev, Afghanistan’s Karzai to talk cooperation

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will discuss on Wednesday with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai issues of bilateral cooperation, a Russian presidential aide said. The presidents will meet in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, which currently hosts the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). “During the talks, Medvedev and Karzai are expected to exchange their […]

Dozens killed in series of blasts in Afghanistan

A series of bombs and explosions across Afghanistan killed at least 24 people on Saturday, officials said. In the worst attack, a vehicle hit a roadside mine in southern Kandahar province, one of the main battlegrounds in the nearly 10-year Taliban-led insurgency against the Kabul government and NATO troops. Fifteen civilians were killed, the interior […]

RIA Novosti photographers in World Press Photo history

A photo exhibition, Selected Works by RIA Novosti Photographers in World Press Photo History, which will feature the work of prestigious award winners, will open at Moscow’s Krasny Oktyabr confectionery plant on Friday, the organizers told RIA Novosti. The exhibition, dedicated to the news agency’s 70th anniversary, focuses on eternal human values. “We have consciously […]

Taliban says shoots down U.S. drone

A U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle has been shot down by Taliban forces in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province, Taliban spokesman Zabiulla Mojahed said on Wednesday. He said the UAV, brought down on Tuesday evening, is the second in the past two days. The International Security Assistance Force has yet to comment on the incident. UAVs are […]

Afghanistan unprepared for NATO pullout

Afghanistan’s government is unprepared for a pullout of the foreign contingent starting from late June, Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Russian Security Council, said on Monday. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in May that foreign troops would leave the country in a period between late June 2011-2014. “We agree that Afghans need to […]

Bout’s Lawyers in U.S. Blame Politics

NEW YORK — Lawyers for Russian businessman Viktor Bout, extradited to the United States to face charges that he conspired to sell weapons to a terrorist group, say the case should be thrown out because the U.S. used extreme political pressure to force Thailand to turn him over. In papers filed late Friday and Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the lawyers said the case against Bout was brought for “purely […]

America the forgiving and Pakistan the abandoned

It would be an exaggeration to say that the United States has paid dearly for killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2 without notifying the Pakistani government. But there have been consequences, which became apparent during U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s brief visit to Islamabad last Friday. Now the United States will […]

NATO air strike kills 16 civilians in south Afghanistan

A NATO air strike has killed 16 and wounded another six civilians in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, an employee of the provincial governor’s press service who preferred to stay anonymous told RIA Novosti on Sunday. “By now it is clear that the air strike delivered with Hellfire rockets on houses killed seven girls, […]

Russian Press at a Glance, Wednesday, May 25, 2011

POLITICS A Moscow appeals court upheld the multi-million dollar theft and money laundering conviction against jailed Russian tycoons Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev on Tuesday and reduced their 14-year sentence by one year. Khodorkovsky’s defense said the ruling had been predictable and bears only “cosmetic” changes. (Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia) Belarus continues its desperate […]

Main news of May 23

WORLD * Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) spokesman Abdel Rahman Shalgham said the Libyan opposition and Russia have an understanding regarding the recognition of the opposition government in Benghazi Organizers of the first authorized mass rally in Syria since the lifting of a state of emergency last month cancelled the event citing an “external threat” […]