Russia Current Affairs

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives assent to Big Brother law

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his assent to the legislation consisting of a package of controversial anti-terror amendments.

The legislation is dubbed as Big Brother law was adopted by the lower and upper houses of Russian parliament in June 2016.

The nick-name Big Brother law was coined by Edward Snowden, US intelligence contractor turned privacy activist. He has condemned the law despite being given asylum in Russia.

Key provisions of law

  • Boosts the surveillance powers for the security services and grants them access to any user’s messages without any judicial oversight.
  • Mandatory for communication (network) service providers to store users’ calls, messages, photographs and videos for six months and the metadata for up to three years.
  • Federal Security Service (FSB) should be provided with the stored data. Companies and service providers must provide it necessary encryption mechanisms to access files.
  • Tougher sentences for extremism and criminalises several offences. For certain crimes the age of criminal responsibility reduced to 14.


Russian ice Hockey player Artemi Panarin wins 2015-16 Calder Memorial Trophy

The Russian professional ice hockey winger Artemi Panarin (24) has won the 2015-16 season Calder Memorial Trophy.

He was presented with this award as the US National Hockey League (NHL’s) Rookie of the Year at the NHL Awards ceremony.

Presently, Artemi Panarin plays for the Chicago Blackhawks at the NHL. In the 2015-16 season in 80 games, he had surpassed all rookies in goals (30), points (77), assists (47), power-play goals (8), power-play points (24) and game-winning goals (7).

With this, he also becomes the first Chicago Blackhawks player to win the Calder Memorial award since American Patrick Kane, who got the 2007-2008 rookie trophy.

About Calder Memorial Trophy

  • The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the ice hockey player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the NHL.
  • The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end of the regular season. The trophy is awarded at the NHL Awards ceremony after the playoffs.


Russia launches most powerful nuclear icebreaker Arktika

Russia has launched the new Project 22220 nuclear powered icebreaker dubbed ‘Arktika’. It is the world’s largest and most powerful vessel of its kind.

It was launched from the Baltic Shipyard located in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg.

Key features of Arktika

  • Arktika is powered by two next generation RITM-200 nuclear-reactors. These reactors will be supplied with nuclear be produced by the TVEL fuel company.
  • It has dual-draft design which makes it possible to use it in Arctic waters and in estuaries of polar rivers. It can break through 13 feet (3 metres) thick ice.
  • The vessel is 173.3 meters long and 34 meters wide. It has displacement capacity of 33540 metric tons.