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Good morning, this is Michelle. Elections in Russia brought no surprises this weekend as Vladimir Putin secured his fifth term in power, putting him on track to surpass Joseph Stalin as the longest-serving Kremlin leader.

For Memorial, Russia's oldest organisation founded in 1989 just as the Soviet Union was starting to unravel, the vote is just part of Putin's attempt to recreate a Soviet Russia through manipulative means similar to those of the previous regime.

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Michelle Langrand


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Photo article

The "Returning of the Names" event, October 29 2016. Organised by Memorial every year since 2016, it honours the victims of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. (David Krikheli/Wikipedia)

Memorial Switzerland: Russian elections part of Putin’s rewriting of history. The historians and linguists behind the Swiss chapter of the Russian human rights NGO Memorial, which was set up last year, describe the daunting task of dismantling the lies of Putin’s propaganda machine. This weekend’s presidential elections are expected to be yet another example of this illusion.

Geneva Solutions

What to watch this week

🐄SILENCE OF THE COWS. Some 1,000 connoisseurs from government, industry and civil society will concentrate in Geneva to attend a forum organised by the UN Economic Commission for Europe and others on how to reduce methane emissions.

Most commonly known for coming from cow burps, methane is responsible for one third of global warming since the industrial revolution. While short-lived, it has more than 80 times the heating power of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.

🔧Quick fix. The powerful yet often overlooked greenhouse gas has been garnering attention in recent years as research shows it could be a quick, cheap fix to mitigate heat-trapping emissions, such as repairing leaks and getting rid of flaring in gas and oil operations. A growing list of countries have pledged to slash their methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, with the latest addition being Azerbaijan. Baku will be sending Samir Valiyev, deputy minister of energy, to the event – an occasion for the petro-state to capitalise on as it prepares to host the next climate Cop in November.

🏁FINISH LINE IN THE HORIZON. Pandemic talks enter the last stretch today as WHO member states buckle down for the next two weeks to produce an international accord to be better prepared to tackle future global health crises by May. But with key divides still persisting, the possibility of an extension beyond the desired deadline can't be ruled out.

📉Poor-rich divide. The yawning gap is not only political as a report revealed last week. Covid-19 pandemic dealt a heavy blow to poor nations, with many of their human development levels left reeling from the fallout while the wealthier part of the world has recovered to pre-pandemic levels. All this makes discussions over health financing issues even trickier.

Also on the agenda

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