With NATO member countries already on edge because of the bloc's recent military maneuvers, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order on Thursday for 142,000 more men to be drafted this spring. The order took effect immediately and came after Putin had already built up his military's troop count several times in the last two years. Between October and December of last year, 152,000 men were drafted, just months after 155,000 other men last spring and another 147,100 in the fall of 2015, according to the Tass new agency in Russia. Each order had a minimum age of 18 and a maximum of 27 years old for each man selected. However, Russia was reportedly contemplating raising the maximum age to 30 or as old as 35.
MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin has suspended Russia's participation in a key nuclear arms treaty. Putin's decree released by the Kremlin on Monday announces that Russia is suspending its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty. Washington gave notice of its intention to withdraw from the INF last month, setting the stage for it to terminate in six months unless Moscow returns to compliance. Russia has denied any breaches, and accused the U.S. of violating the pact. Putin's decree said Moscow is suspending its obligations until the U.S. ends its violations or the treaty terminates.
Trump has long been seeking to bring Putin to Washington for a meeting. The president met with Putin on the sidelines of two international summits last year -- first Germany, then Vietnam -- and both times he invited his Russian counterpart to the White House, according to three current and former administration officials. He reiterated the invitation on a call with Putin in the spring.
MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin, known for his passion for the outdoors, showed off his softer side during a visit to China when he sat down to play the piano Sunday. Putin is in Beijing on a state visit to discuss a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that strives to revive the ancient Silk Road. After speaking at the summit in the morning, Putin headed to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at his residence. Putin is habitually late for meetings, but this time he was the one who was made to wait, Russian news agencies said. So, Putin played some songs on Xi's piano.