After Moscow was picked to host the 1980 Summer Olympics, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev considered backing out as he fretted over the costs and political risks. Not so Vladimir Putin, who’s dreamed of bringing the games back to Russia for two decades and has staked his legacy on success.
Nikolai Beshkarev, chief of the basketball office of the Soviet Sport Games Department, rarely traveled abroad with the national team. He made an exception to attend a pre-Olympic tournament from June 30 to July 2, 1972, in Munich for the Soviets and three other European squads.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has found an ironic way to mark the first anniversary of mass protests aimed at pushing the country toward democracy: On Dec. 10, he called for the revival of the Soviet Union’s highest peacetime honor, the Hero of Labor medal.
Russia, the world’s largest energy exporter, is becoming increasingly dependent on commodities and failing to prepare for falling oil output in 20 years, the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development said.
Vladimir Putin, who has stirred up unprecedented protest to his more than decade-long rule in Russia, was not far from the minds of some watching the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Julius Caesar” in Moscow.