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Gulnara Zakharova

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Putin in Svtiltsa, Russia, on Jan. 19

In Europe, Subtle Signs Of A Softening On Putin's Russia

There are still plenty in the European Union taking a hardline against the Kremlin. But a counter bloc is emerging from the corridors of the European Parliament.

MOSCOW — European leaders continue to accuse Russia of spreading disinformation, with a recent European Parliament forum billed as a probe into the "efficiency" of Moscow's propaganda efforts. But the Jan. 17 debate also featured some members of Parliament who defended Russia, blaming Brussels for restricting freedom of speech and accusing Western countries of "paranoia."

In light of evolving positions in Europe about the issue, several Russian experts told Kommersant they do not foresee new restrictions of European policy in regards to Moscow.

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Rubble bauble

Generation Putin, Taking The Temperature Of Russian Youth

Ahead of next year's presidential election, where Vladimir Putin will seek a fourth term, young people in Russia are divided over the country's future.

SAINT PETERSBURG — Street protests in Russia over the past year have turned very much into a youth movement. But the increasing presence of university activists, and even high school students, seems to fly in the face of the belief that the young generation is widely considered to be apolitical and consumerism-oriented.

In light of this apparent contradiction, and ahead of next spring's presidential election, Kommersant has sought to better understand today's youth, and attempt to predict whether they will support President Vladimir Putin"s campaign for a fourth term.

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