Siberian Shamans Revive Ancient Camel-Burning Rite ‘to Help Russia’

A recent video showing Siberian shamans performing a sacrificial burning of camels “for the consolidation of Russia and its peoples” has outraged online users and drawn the prosecutors’ attention. Footage dated Feb. 1 showed shamans in the Irkutsk region dragging two-humped camels, lighting a bonfire and beating traditional tambourines in a circle. In the video,…

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Activists Compare Russia’s Alleged Torture of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Nazi Germany

Russian activists have slammed the recent detentions and alleged torture of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Western Siberia, comparing them to persecution by the Nazis. A spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, an organization that Russia labeled extremist in 2017, alleged that at least seven adherents of the religious group had been brutally tortured after being detained last week in the…

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Twitter Says Troll Accounts Linked to Russia Were Actually Venezuelan, Revises Data

Twitter Inc. this month made a significant revision to its public database of more than 3,000 accounts that it has linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, fundamentally altering the record about the group’s trolling efforts in the U.S. in the year following the contentious 2016 presidential election. Twitter’s changes invalidate central portions of a Bloomberg…

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Venezuela Accepts Shipment of Russian Humanitarian Aid — Reports

Venezuela on Wednesday received a shipment of humanitarian aid sent from Russia, including medicine and medical equipment, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing a Russian diplomatic source. Russia has sided with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in his stand-off with opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president late last month. Maduro retains…

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7 Jehovah’s Witnesses Brutally Tortured in Russia, Spokesman Says

A spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses has said that Russian investigators have brutally tortured adherents of the group who are currently held in detention. Russia’s Supreme Court declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization in 2017, leading to mass raids and causing hundreds of its estimated 175,000 members to flee the country. Earlier this month,…

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Russia’s Putin, Saudi King Ready to Continue Energy Cooperation

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in a telephone conversation, voiced their support for continued coordination on the global energy markets, the Kremlin said on Tuesday. The Kremlin also said the two leaders praised bilateral cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia. “Mutual attitude for further strengthening of multifaceted Russia-Saudi…

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Detention of Investor Is an ‘Emergency’ for Russian Economy, Kudrin Says

The detention in Russia of Baring Vostok’s U.S. founder Michael Calvey is an emergency for the Russian economy, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin, now head of the Audit Chamber, said on Monday. “I find this particular situation (to be) an emergency for the economy,” Kudrin tweeted. He said Calvey’s detention shows Russian President Vladimir Putin’s…

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Over Half of Russian Military Police Have Syrian War Experience — Official

Around 60 percent of Russian military police officers have received wartime experience in Syria in fewer than three years of deployment, a Russian Defense Ministry official said Monday. Officers began patrolling the Golan Heights frontier between Syria and Israel in 2016 and installed observation posts in the area. “Currently around 60 percent of the military…

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Russian Journalist and Activist Briefly Detained in Amsterdam

Dutch police briefly detained a Russian journalist and a Russian human rights activist at Amsterdam airport on unknown charges, Novaya Gazeta reported Monday. Yelena Milashina, a journalist with the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper, and Milana Bakhayeva, an activist with the Memorial human rights NGO, reportedly arrived in Amsterdam to meet with activists investigating the plight…

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Belgian Intel Officer is a Suspected Russian Spy, Reports Say

An officer in Belgium’s military intelligence service is reportedly under investigation for spying for Russia. The unnamed officer was accused of providing a Serbian national, who is suspected of being a Russian agent, access to classified information, Belgium’s De Morgen newspaper reported. Read More Two Estonians Convicted of Spying for Russia The case reportedly reflects internal…

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