U.S. ‘Intercepted’ Russian General in Syria – State Dept

U.S. forces intercepted an unidentified Russian major general in northern Syria during deconfliction operations, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy for Syrian engagement and the anti-Islamic State coalition said Thursday. James Jeffrey’s remarks follow news of U.S. troops “blocking” a Russian military patrol from accessing an oilfield in northeastern Syria’s province of Hasakah on Saturday.…

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Bulgaria Charges 3 Russians Over Poisoning Possibly Linked to Skripal Case

Bulgarian prosecutors have charged three Russians with the attempted murder of three men whose poisoning is being investigated by Sofia for possible links with the 2018 nerve-agent attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal. The prosecutors did not name the three Russians, but said European arrest warrants had been issued and that they would seek their extradition to…

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New Russian PM’s Sister Owns $14M in Hidden Real Estate – BBC

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s sister owns luxury real estate in and outside Moscow currently valued at 900 million rubles ($14.3 million), BBC Russia reported Thursday, citing a classified tax database. Mishustin and his family were thrust into the spotlight after the former tax chief’s surprise appointment as head of Russia’s government last week. Critics…

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Russians See Pollution as a Greater Threat Than Terrorism – Poll

Russians believe that environmental pollution poses a greater threat to humanity than terrorism, according to the results of an independent Levada Center survey published Thursday. Russia’s government says that climate change is heating the country faster than the rest of the world, predicting epidemics, drought and mass hunger if it’s left unchecked. Levada conducted its…

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WADA Provisionally Suspends Moscow Anti-Doping Lab for ‘Serious Violation’

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Wednesday it had provisionally suspended the status of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory that had allowed it to analyze athlete biological passports (ABP) as Russia’s doping scandal continues. The move comes little more than a month after WADA barred Russians from competing under their country’s flag at major international events…

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Young Russian Tries to Sue Over Violent Lesbian ‘Exorcism’ in Chechnya

A young woman from Russia’s conservative republic of Chechnya is seeking criminal charges against her parents, one of their acquaintances and a psychiatric clinic for allegedly torturing her based on her sexual orientation, a Russian LGBT support group said Tuesday. The latest incident comes after widespread reports of anti-gay abuse, including torture and killings, in the…

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Mishustin Gives Gazprom the Go-Ahead

Three days after being announced as Russia’s new prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin has granted Gazprom Oil the development rights to the Khambateyskoye gas and oil field on the Yamal Peninsula.  According to the federal government, the oil company will pay about 2 billion rubles ($32 million) for the production licenses. The field is located both…

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Rosneft Implements AI System on Drilling Rigs

Rosneft is implementing an artificial intelligence (AI) system on its drilling rigs operating on the fields in Orenburg Region.

Russian ‘Plumbers’ Questioned at Davos Over Espionage Suspicions – Report

Two Russians who identified themselves as plumbers despite carrying diplomatic passports were checked in Switzerland on suspicion of espionage ahead of this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF), the Tagez Anzeiger newspaper reported Monday.  Held annually in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, the WEF gathers world leaders such as U.S. President Donald Trump and German…

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Russian Official Walks Back Call to ‘Wipe Out’ Critical Journalists

A Russian official has apologized Monday for remarks suggesting that journalists should be “wiped out” for criticizing the authorities. Mikhail Ignatyev, who heads Russia’s republic of Chuvashia 680 kilometers east of Moscow, made the controversial remarks Saturday at an event commemorating the local press. “They need to be wiped out, as the people say,” Ignatyev…

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In Wake of Putin’s ‘Coup,’ Russia’s Top Opposition Leader Refrains From Action

There was deathly silence from Russia’s most prominent opposition politician for days after President Vladimir Putin sent shockwaves through the establishment last Wednesday by proposing a clutch of constitutional amendments that could allow him to stay in power beyond the end of his term in 2024.  Just hours later the silence became even more deafening…

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New Russian PM Transferred His Wealth to Wife – Kommersant

Russia’s new Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin transferred his wealth to his wife before returning to public office from the private sector a decade ago, the Kommersant business daily reported Sunday following questions about the origins of her declared income. Amid President Vladimir Putin’s power shake-up last week that saw Mishustin’s surprise appointment, critics questioned how…

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Russian Prosecutor General Chaika to Leave Post

Russia‘s Prosecutor General Yury Chaika is leaving his post, Interfax reported Monday, citing the Kremlin.  President Vladimir Putin proposed that the Federation Council appoint Igor Krasnov, deputy head of the Investigative Committee, as the new prosecutor general, the Vedomosti business daily reported.  According to officials, Chaika, 68, will leave the post he has occupied since 2006…

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Russian Oil Deals in Syria Linked to ‘Putin’s Chef’ – Novaya Gazeta

Two little-known Russian companies that signed oil and gas deals with Syria last year have links to a secretive businessman believed to be running a private military contractor, the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Sunday. Syria’s parliament in December approved contracts for oil exploration with two Russian companies, Mercury and Velada. Syria’s oil minister had…

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Russia’s Largest Airport Opens New $500M International Terminal

Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport opened the first phase of its newest international terminal Friday.  Sheremetyevo is the eighth-busiest airport in Europe, with more than 49.9 million travelers using its terminals last year.  Terminal C, the airport’s fifth terminal, covers 127,000 square meters and has an annual capacity of 20 million passengers. With the opening of Terminal…

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Ukrainian PM Offers to Quit After Tape Suggests He Criticized President

Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk submitted his resignation on Friday after an audio recording suggested he had criticized the president, but then appeared to suggest that he might stay in his job. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy would consider the resignation letter later on Friday, the president’s office said. Speculation over Honcharuk’s position has grown this week…

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350K Syrians Have Fled Russian-Led Assault in Idlib, UN Says

Around 350,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, have fled a renewed Russian-backed offensive in the opposition-held Idlib province since early December, and have sought shelter in border areas near Turkey, the United Nations said on Thursday. Conditions for people were deteriorating because of the increased hostilities, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs…

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