Russia’s 2012 crackdown worst since Soviet era , report

Authoritarianism increased last year in Russia to levels unseen since the Soviet era with a raft of harsh laws curbing political freedoms and harassment of opposition activists and critics, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. The crackdown coincided with the return of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin and the appointment of his predecessor

Opposition condemns Syria inaction over Israeli air strike

Syria’s main opposition chief on Thursday condemned President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for its failure to take action against an Israeli air strike a day earlier. “Shame on you, O regime of Bashar al-Assad, that the Israeli warplanes have come and your jets are only focused on destroying mosques and universities

Syria’s opposition sets conditions for talks with Assad

Syria’s opposition chief Moaz al-Khatib said on Wednesday he is ready for dialogue with officials of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, subject to conditions including that detainees are released. “I announce I am ready for direct discussions with representatives of the Syrian regime in Cairo, Tunis or Istanbul,

Syria’s Assad Won’t Resign, says Russian FM

Russia’s foreign minister said Saturday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has no intention of stepping down and it would be impossible to try to persuade him otherwise. After a meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nation’s envoy for the Syrian crisis, Sergei Lavrov also said that the Syrian opposition risks sacrificing many more lives if […]

UN envoy calls for a Syrian transitional government

International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has called for “real change” in war-torn Syria and the installation of a transitional government with full powers until elections can be held. The envoy unveiled his initiative in Damascus on Thursday as Russia, the most powerful ally of Syria’s government, denied

Brahimi met in Syria with 3 internal opposition groups

International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met Tuesday in Damascus with three opposition groups tolerated by the regime, a day after holding talks with President Bashar al-Assad, an AFP correspondent said. Brahimi, the UN-Arab League’s special envoy to Syria, arrived in the country on Sunday to launch a fresh bid to end the country’s spiralling conflict, […]

Russia sends confusing signals on Assad, Syrian rebels

Russia backtracked Friday on comments about Syria made by a key official only a day earlier. On Thursday, Russia’s state-run RIA news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov as saying that an opposition victory over the Assad regime could not be “ruled out.” Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that Russia’s Syria […]