Young supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin have staged several protests this month outside Mormon meeting houses, claiming that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an "authoritarian sect" with connections to the CIA and FBI.
The protesters are members of the Young Guard, a youth organization of Putin's United Russia Party. They insist their actions have nothing to do with Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate and Mormon who called Russia the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the U.S.
Americans have been adopting Russian children in sizable numbers for two decades, and most of the unions have worked out well. But it remains a sensitive topic in Russia, where officials periodically point to high-profile cases of abuse or other problems.
Now, the two countries are putting the finishing touches on a new agreement governing these adoptions. It will make the process costlier and more time-consuming, but it's designed to address a host of concerns.
Some Russian officials still seem to bristle at the very thought of foreigners adopting Russian children.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent word congratulating President Obama on his victory. Still, as NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow, during the campaign, the Russian government and state-run media sough to discredit the American electoral process.
A Russian Army officer walks past Defence Ministry offices in Moscow, on Tuesday. Putin fired defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov over a corruption scandal, the most dramatic change to the government since he returned to the Kremlin for a third term.
Credit Andrey Smirnov / AFP/Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin today fired his defense minister, who is embroiled in a real estate corruption scandal.
Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:59 pm
Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has been backing away from U.S. aid. Russia now says it does not want to extend a U.S. assistance program that has helped secure and dismantle nuclear weapons dating to the Soviet era. The program has been in place for two decades and has been considered a big success.
When the Soviet Union splintered two decades ago, one of the biggest U.S. worries was how to ensure that the vast Soviet arsenal of nuclear weapons was kept secure.
The American response was the Cooperative Threat Reduction program of 1992. The U.S. provided money and expertise to lock down and track weapons of mass destruction and make sure they stayed out of the hands of rogue regimes or terrorists.
The program has been hailed as a great success, with thousands of Soviet nuclear weapons dismantled over the years.