Russian Senator Detained on Murder Charges Inside Parliament

A Russian senator has been detained on murder charges during a live session at the Federation Council building in Moscow on Wednesday. Rauf Arashukov, 32, who represents the North Caucasus republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia, was detained inside Russia’s upper chamber of parliament, Russian state media reported, citing sources present at the session. Russia’s Investigative Committee later…

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Russia Ties Lebanon in 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index — Transparency International

Russia has dropped further in an annual corruption index compiled by the Transparency International watchdog for 2018, tying with countries like Lebanon, Mexico and Papua New Guinea. Russia had consistently ranked in the bottom half of the global civil society group’s annual corruption perceptions index. Federal prosecutors said they cracked down on $27 million worth…

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Russian Finance Ministry Says Venezuela Must Repay Its Debt to Moscow on Time

Russia expects Venezuela will probably have problems servicing its sovereign debt to Moscow, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister said on Tuesday, after Washington imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil firm in a move the Kremlin called illegal. The Trump administration on Monday imposed restrictions on the PDVSA oil company, aimed at curbing the OPEC member’s crude exports…

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Top Russian Executive Fired Over Sexually Explicit Gaming Stream – Reports

A senior state corporation manager has been fired after boasting about his sexual relations with junior employees during a gaming stream leaked online, Russian media reported Tuesday. A Twitch livestreaming platform video appeared on Monday purporting to show Ruslan Gorring, the deputy head of a state mineral exploration corporation, cursing out other players. The nearly…

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Russia Expects Venezuela Will Struggle to Remunerate Moscow

Russia expects Venezuela will probably have problems servicing its sovereign debt to Moscow, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister said on Tuesday, after Washington imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil firm in a move the Kremlin called illegal. The Trump administration on Monday imposed restrictions on the PDVSA oil company, aimed at curbing the OPEC member’s crude exports…

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Russia Moves to Decriminalize ‘Unavoidable’ Corruption, Following Putin’s Proposal

Russia’s Justice Ministry has proposed exempting officials in “exceptional circumstances” from anti-corruption regulations in new draft legislation, following a plan set by Russian President Vladimir Putin last year. Russia ranks among the world’s most corrupt countries, with Transparency International’s annual corruption perceptions index ranking it in 138th place this year out of 180 countries . Read More…

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Russia’s Health Ministry Wants to Import Marijuana for Research

Russia’s health ministry has said that it wants to legalize the import of hashish and marijuana for research purposes, according to a recently published draft bill. Russia bans the circulation of drugs, including marijuana and other cannabinoids whose use is legalized in certain U.S. states and European countries. Hashish contains higher concentrations of the psychotropic…

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Moscow Hit by Freak Snowstorm, in Photos

Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency Moscow was hit with its heaviest snowfall in nearly 70 years over the weekend, Russian media reported. While snow piled up on the pavements and snowplows hit the streets, many Muscovites rejoiced. The snowstorm started on Saturday morning and continued uninterrupted for some 37 hours, the weather news website Meteonovosti reported. …

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First Victim of Russia’s ‘Undesirable Organizations’ Law Declared Prisoner of Conscience

Amnesty International has declared the first activist to be prosecuted under Russia’s law against “undesirable organizations” a prisoner of conscience on Friday. A law passed in 2015 allows prosecutors to limit or halt the work of foreign organizations deemed “undesirable,” punishing those breaking these limits with fines or prison terms lasting up to six years.…

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Russia Volunteers to Mediate Between Government and Opposition in Venezuela

Russia on Friday offered to mediate between the government and opposition in Venezuela if necessary, saying it was ready to cooperate with all political forces that acted responsibly, the RIA news agency reported. The comments came a day after Moscow said Nicolas Maduro was Venezuela’s legitimate president and not opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself…

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Russia Intercepts Swedish Spy Plane Over Baltic, Posts Video Footage

Russia’s Defense Ministry has published video footage of its fighter jets intercepting a Swedish reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea. Russia and NATO countries have increasingly scrambled their jets to intercept each other’s aircraft in recent years. Military think-tanks have warned of growing Russian-NATO airspace interactions as tensions at their borders are on the rise.…

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Russian Lawmakers Move to Criminalize ‘Disrespecting’ the Government and Fake News

Russian lawmakers passed highly contentious legislation Thursday that seeks to enact punishments for disrespecting the Russian government or spreading fake news. Deputies submitted legislation last month to impose fines for “blatantly disrespecting” Russian institutions or posting “untruthful socially significant information.” Commentators have suggested that the loose wording of the law could lead to mass arrests, joking that there…

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Russia Cautions U.S. Against Military Intervention in Venezuela, Reports

Russia on Thursday warned the United States not to intervene militarily in Venezuela, saying such a move would trigger a catastrophic scenario, the Interfax news agency cited the deputy foreign minister as saying. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning the backing of Washington and many Latin American nations and…

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Cossacks: From the Persecuted to the Protectors (in Photos)

Jan. 24, 1919: One hundred years ago today, the Bolsheviks passed a decree calling for the elimination of the Cossacks in a campaign of “merciless mass terror.” The resulting decossackization program led to the execution and suffering of tens of thousands of people.  Today, Cossacks have reclaimed their role as protectors of Russian tradition and have cultivated increasingly close ties…

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Russia Denounces Venezuela Coup Attempt as ‘Monstrous’ U.S. Meddling

Russian lawmakers have slammed what they called the United States’ interference in Venezuela’s affairs as the country’s opposition leader declared himself interim president in a coup attempt. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning the backing of Washington and many Latin American nations and prompting socialist Maduro, who has led…

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Russian Crime Bosses Reportedly Give Anti-Gay Talk in Village School, Sparking Probe

Prosecutors in Far East Russia have announced an inspection into a lecture on sexual preferences reportedly given by local crime bosses at a village school. According to media reports, parents of fifth- and seventh-graders in the village of Pervomaisky expressed outrage after learning that men believed to be local criminal kingpins had been invited to their…

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