Russian president Vladimir Putin dominates this week's headlines
Over the past week Russian president Vladimir Putin has been dominating the headlines with stories, comments, and declarations that demonstrate the extent of his power in Russia and his disregard for the rest of the world.
On Sunday, it was announced Putin signed a law notifying all non-governmental organizations that they can be prosecuted on the grounds of being "undesirable," meaning journalists or political opponents who criticize the government can be jailed if the Kremlin wishes.
In related news, Fox News reports Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., a known Putin opponent, is near death from an apparent poisoning. This comes just a few months after a close political ally, Boris Nemtsov, was murdered.
Then on Monday, Putin announced surprise military drills in the northwest, near borders with former soviet states. According to Russian state media, Moscow deployed 12,000 troops and 250 combat planes and helicopters.
NATO is not happy about these drills, especially because past drills were used to mass troops on the border with Ukraine, resulting in the annexation of the Crimea.
On Thursday, Putin told the United States to back off from FIFA following the arrest of higher ups in soccer's international governing body. Swiss authorities arrested fourteen people from FIFA on corruption charges brought by the FBI.
"The USA definitely [has] nothing to do with this," Putin said Thursday. "This is yet another obvious attempt to spread their jurisdiction to other [countries]."
FIFA awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia, and if it can be proved that corruption played a role, it's possible Russia may lose the world cup to another country.
Also on Thursday, according to the BBC, Putin declared he will keep the number of Russian deaths during peacetime a secret.
Amnesty International's director said, "Not only is this decree a blatant attack on freedom of expression, it also has sinister undertones that will intensify speculation President Putin has something to hide."
Multiple reports show that Russian troops have long been involved in the fighting in Ukraine, but Putin denies it. This decision, as well as the others he's made this week, may have ramifications far beyond the borders of Russia.