Russian state TV pundit sticks up for rappers, dropping some sick Mayakovsky lyrics

On Sunday night, state television pundit Dmitry Kiselyov spent nearly 15 minutes of his flagship week-in-review show sticking up for Russian rappers, who had a rough November, full of cancelled concerts, police pressure, and backlash from parent groups. Kiselyov assured his viewers that he wasn’t defending some nasty American import, saying, “It’s believed that rap as a culture came from Black America. We got it in the 1990s. That’s not entirely true, however. The precursor of the Russian rap poetic tradition was Vladimir Mayakovsky, of course.”

Chechnya’s ruler has a stable full of prize-winning race horses, but you’d never know it, looking at his income declarations

Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov owns 128 race horses, and they’ve earned 98 million rubles ($1.5 million) in competitions over the past four years — far more than anything indicated on Kadyrov’s income declarations. According to a new investigative report by the anti-corruption group Transparency International, Chechnya’s leader simply doesn’t declare his winnings.