Russia Doles Out First ‘Fake News’ Fine Over Moscow Protest Interviews

A Moscow court on Tuesday handed down Russia’s first fine for spreading “fake news” against an online media outlet over its interviews about this summer’s Moscow opposition rallies. President Vladimir Putin signed legislation into law this year that fines online media for spreading “fake news.” Observers warned that the “fake news” and “disrespect for authority”…

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Russian Reporters Receive Threats After Investigating Secret Military Group

A group of Russian journalists who investigated the activities of a secretive group of Russian mercenaries in Africa and the Middle East have been subject to a campaign of physical threats and harassment, their editor-in-chief said. “Proekt,” an independent Moscow-based online news outlet which specializes in investigations, began to publish a series of articles in…

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Chechen Leader’s Inner Circle Being Held, Tortured in Secret Prisons – Novaya Gazeta

Senior officials and their relatives in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya are being held and tortured in secret prisons in the region, the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Monday. The crackdown is targeting officials deemed to be showing disrespect and disloyalty toward Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and his family, Novaya Gazeta reported, citing unnamed…

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Russians Feel More Positive Toward Ukraine Since Zelenskiy’s Election, Poll Says

Russian attitudes toward Ukraine have improved since the beginning of the year thanks to the election of Volodymyr Zelenskiy as Ukraine’s president, a joint study by the independent Levada Center pollster and the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) has said. Ties between the two neighbors have been fraught since 2014, when Russia annexed the…

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Kremlin Envoy Calls Turkish Military Operation in Syria ‘Unacceptable’

The Kremlin’s envoy for Syria on Tuesday called Turkey’s military offensive in northeast Syria “unacceptable” and denied Ankara’s operation had been cleared by Moscow in advance, Russian news agencies reported. Alexander Lavrentiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s envoy for Syria, was speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi during an official visit there by Putin. He made…

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Russian Universities Named the Best in Eastern Europe

Three Russian universities topped a list of the best universities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia compiled by British education marketing company Quacquarelli Symonds.  Lomonosov Moscow State University, St. Petersburg State University and Novosibirsk State University took the top three spots, while Tomsk State University, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the Higher…

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Putin Says Trump Not to Blame for Lack of Improvement in Russia-U.S. Ties

Moscow is not blaming U.S. President Donald Trump for failing to improve U.S.-Russian relations, a pledge he had made during his election campaign, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Arab broadcasters. “We know that, including during his previous election campaign, he spoke in favor of a normalization (of U.S.-Russia relations), but unfortunately it has…

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Israel Asks Putin to Pardon U.S.-Israeli Jailed for Moscow Airport Transit Drugs

Israel asked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday to pardon a U.S.-Israeli woman given a 7.5-year jail sentence for drugs found in her luggage as she transited through a Moscow airport. Naama Issachar’s case has opened up an unusually public rift between Israel and Russia. Her family says she is being punished disproportionately to pressure Israel into…

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U.S. Senator Told Russian Prank Callers He’s ‘Sympathetic’ to Turkey in Kurdish Row

A pair of notorious Russian pranksters duped U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham into telling them this summer that he supported Turkey’s stance against Kurdish separatists in marked contrast to his public statements, according to audio of their phone talks published Friday. Turkey launched a military operation Wednesday against Kurdish fighters in Syria as U.S. Republicans condemned President…

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What Ukraine’s Zelenskiy Said About Russia During His Marathon Press Conference

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday held a marathon 14-hour press conference with journalists in a Kiev food court.  During the event, which reportedly set a record for the world’s longest press conference, Zelenskiy answered more than 500 questions about topics ranging from the Trump-Zelenskiy phone call to his relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.…

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Giuliani Associates Charged With Illegally Funneling Russian Money to Pro-Trump Group

Two foreign-born Florida businessmen who have helped President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigate political rival Joe Biden were arrested in a scheme to illegally funnel money to a pro-Trump election committee and other U.S. political candidates, prosecutors said on Thursday. The arrest of Ukraine-born Lev Parnas and Belarus-born Igor Fruman at an airport…

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Kremlin Critic Navalny Debates Populism, Greta Thunberg and Russia’s Future at Nemtsov Forum

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny took part in a debate outside Russia for the first time at the annual Boris Nemtsov Forum in Poland on Wednesday. The forum, named after the Russian opposition politician who was murdered in 2015, aims to facilitate discussions between Russia and the West. Curated by Nemtsov’s daughter, journalist Zhanna Nemtsova,…

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Kremlin Critic Navalny Accuses Putin of Foreign Funding ‘Setup’

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has accused President Vladimir Putin of framing his anti-corruption group as a “foreign agent” after Navalny urged people to strategically vote against pro-Putin candidates in elections last month. The Justice Ministry on Wednesday blacklisted Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) under a 2012 “foreign agent” law that imposes crippling auditing and reporting…

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Russian Pensioner Jailed for Treason Over Ukrainian Intelligence-Sharing

A 72-year-old Russian man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for high treason after a court determined that he shared secrets with Ukrainian intelligence. Vladimir Morgunov’s little-known case did not appear in Moscow’s court database until his pre-trial detention was extended in December 2018. The Federal Security Service (FSB) alleged that Morgunov shared…

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Russia’s Gazprom Ranks 3rd Among World’s Top Carbon Emitters – Study

Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom is the world’s third-largest producer of carbon emissions, The Guardian reported Wednesday, citing a new scientific analysis. The analysis from the U.S.-based Climate Accountability Institute ranked the top 20 carbon-emitting companies worldwide to examine their role in the current climate crisis. Since 1965, these 20 companies have contributed to 35%…

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Russian Scientists Find Microplastics Along ‘Entire’ Arctic Sea Route

Russian scientists say they have discovered small plastic debris along the entirety of an Arctic shortcut connecting Asia and Europe that Russia calls the Northern Sea Route. Microplastics — plastic particles smaller than 5 millimeters in length — are now present in every part of the environment, according to a 2019 scientific review by European Union researchers.…

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Russia Blacklists Opposition Leader Navalny’s Foundation as ‘Foreign Agent’

Russia’s Justice Ministry has on Wednesday blacklisted opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) as a “foreign agent.” Russia’s 2012 “foreign agent” law requires labeled organizations to report their activities and face financial audits. Activists have denounced the law, saying it seeks to silence groups critical of the Kremlin’s human rights record. The Justice Ministry…

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Secret Russian Military Intelligence Unit Linked to ‘Campaign to Destabilize Europe’ – NYT

A top-secret Russian military intelligence unit has been engaged in a campaign to destabilize Europe, The New York Times has reported, citing intelligence officials in four Western countries that only recently discovered the unit’s activities. GRU Unit 29155 reportedly oversaw a campaign to destabilize Moldova, an arms smuggler’s assassination attempt in Bulgaria, a thwarted coup…

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Calvey Case: While Two Foreigners Are Under House Arrest, Their Three Russian Colleagues Remain in Jail

Ever since five employees of Baring Vostok were arrested on fraud charges in February, the world’s attention has been on the private equity fund’s American founder Michael Calvey and his French business partner Philippe Delpal.  Outcries in support of the two men, widely seen as having been caught up in a business dispute, came from…

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