Activists from the Young Guard, which supports Russian President Vladimir Putin, have been protesting the Mormon church in Russia, calling it a "totalitarian cult." Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images hide caption

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Artyom Savelyev, now 9, was sent back to Russia on a plane by his adoptive U.S. mother in 2010. The case stirred anger in Russia. Misha Japaridze/AP hide caption

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Russian President Vladimir Putin pilots a motorized hang glider while taking part in a project to help endangered cranes on Sept. 5. Shortly after, the president — who has cultivated the image of a man of action — was photographed wincing in apparent pain. Alexey Druzhinin/Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Alexey Druzhinin/Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is widely expected to sign a parliamentary bill that expands the definition of high treason. Critics say the definition is overly broad and would give the government sweeping powers to crack down on opponents. Alexei Nikolsky/AP/RIA-Novosti hide caption

itoggle caption Alexei Nikolsky/AP/RIA-Novosti

Police officers detain Kirill Filimonov, one of the supporters of Radio Liberty in Moscow during a recent protest. The service will stop AM radio broadcasts and will become an Internet operation. It can also be heard on short wave radio. Natalia Kolesnikova /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has been backing away from U.S. aid. Russia now says it does not want to extend a U.S. assistance program that has helped secure and dismantle nuclear weapons dating to the Soviet era. The program has been in place for two decades and has been considered a big success. Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Georgian billionaire and opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili (left) reacts with supporters at his office on Monday. Ivanishvili defeated Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in the election, clearing the way for a new government. Uncredited/AP hide caption

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Dovid Karpov has been the rabbi at the Darkei Shalom synagogue since it was built 15 years ago. Like many people in his congregation, Karpov grew up in a Soviet-era family that was not religious. He says he had to learn his faith for himself. Sergei Sotnikov/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sergei Sotnikov/NPR