Iosif Kobzon, one of Russia’s most popular singers, has won a seat in the Russian parliament. Kobzon retired from singing last week when he reached the age of 60 and gave his last concert in Moscow. Yesterday, he ran as an independent in a by-election in Siberia’s Agin-Buryat Autonomous okrug. Kobzon is hugely popular despite his friendship with several notorious Mafia bosses. His critics suggest that his desire for a Duma seat is motivated by the immunity from prosecution it confers. (NTV, September 14)
Russia Sells More Air Defense Missiles to Finland.