Putin Sought to Boost Russian Population With ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law – Ex-British PM Cameron

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron has said in his new memoir that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him he passed a law against “gay propaganda” to reverse the country’s declining birth rates. Russia banned “propaganda of homosexuality toward minors” in 2013 around the same time England legalized same-sex marriage, drawing criticism from Western states…

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St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport Eyes Opening Up to Foreign Budget Airlines

Low-cost international airlines could soon fly in and out of St. Petersburg more freely after an easing of restrictions announced by Russian officials, Russian media have reported. No other Russian city allows so-called “seventh freedom flights,” which allow international carriers to operate flights outside their country of registration. St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport projects that the permissions will…

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St. Petersburg’s New Governor, Undeterred by Charges of Vote Fraud, Promises Moscow-Style Revival

If all goes to plan for St. Petersburg’s new governor, Russia’s second-largest city may soon have the landscaped public parks, brand-new buses and budget surpluses of its big brother Moscow. The man behind the promises, Kremlin protégé Alexander Beglov, was inaugurated Wednesday in the gold and marble halls of the Mariinsky Palace in the city…

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Russian Scientists Supported by Rosneft Complete First Stage of Survey into Atlantic Subspecies of Walrus in the Waters of Pechora Sea

Specialists of the Nenets Nature Reserve have launched an extensive field survey of a population of the Atlantic subspecies of walrus as a part of the biological indicator species monitoring programme implemented by Rosneft Oil Company.

Russia Moves to Expand Its Arctic Icebreaker Fleet, Already the World’s Largest

The enterprise responsible for Russian seaport and maritime infrastructure development today operates a total of 36 icebreaking vessels. This is the largest fleet of its kind in the world, the state-run Rosmorport company says. And more is to come. According to company deputy general director Vasily Strugov, another nine vessels will be added to the fleet by 2024. Among them, there…

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Jailed Russian Actor Released Ahead of Appeal After Moscow Protest Verdicts Spark Outcry

A Moscow court has ruled to release novice actor Pavel Ustinov from custody days ahead of his appeal following widespread public outcry over his conviction.  Ustinov, 23, was found guilty Monday of dislocating a riot police officer’s shoulder during mass anti-government protests in Moscow last month. A court sentenced Ustinov to three and a half years…

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U.S. Says It Has Plans to ‘Take Down’ Western Russian Region’s Air Defenses

The United States military has a secret blueprint targeting the air defense system protecting Russia’s westernmost territory of Kaliningrad, according to the U.S. Air Force’s top commander in Europe. NATO members perceive Russia’s missile deployments in Kaliningrad as a threat at a time when tensions between Russia and its Western neighbors are running high over…

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‘We Tracked Your Social Media, You’re Gay’: Russian Student Threatened With Expulsion

A Russian university is said to have threatened a student with expulsion after his pink phone case and membership in pro-LGBT social media groups fueled suspicions about his alleged sexual orientation.  The reported threats made by Ural State University of Economics (USUE) administrators in Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg come six years after the Russian…

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Islamic State Cells Busted in Nearly 20 Russian Regions, Anti-Extremism Official Says

Russia has uncovered Islamic State terrorist group cells in nearly 20 of the country’s regions stretching as far as Siberia, a top anti-extremism official at the Interior Ministry has said. Extremism accounts for 1% of all crimes in Russia, Oleg Ilyinykh wrote in a piece for the ministry’s “Russian Police” magazine published Tuesday. “But even…

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Moscow Protester Released as Russians Campaign Against Prosecutions

A Moscow court has ordered the release of one of several activists charged with “mass civil unrest” during the Russian capital’s biggest wave of anti-government protests in nearly a decade. More than a dozen men, including Sberbank software engineer Aidar Gubaidulin, were placed in pre-trial detention on accusations of organizing mass unrest during election-related protests…

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Muscovites Stage Single Pickets at Presidential Office in Support of Jailed Actor

Hundreds of people have lined up for single pickets outside President Vladimir Putin’s administration building in central Moscow to support an actor who was jailed for using violence against a policeman during one of this summer’s unauthorized election protests. Pavel Ustinov’s sentencing to 3.5 years behind bars Monday for allegedly dislocating an officer’s shoulder while…

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Russia Plans to Build Major Radar System At Its Northernmost Point

The Directorate for the Russian Federation State Border Arrangement plans to build a major radar at Cape Chelyuskin, the Krasnoyarsk news agency NGS24 has reported. The facility is to be built in 33 months. Its development tender was recently announced by Rosgranstroy, the federal border development authority. The project is officially called “Radiotechnical point Chelyuskin” and includes a cost frame…

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Khodorkovsky Group Condemns Repression in Russia in Open Letter, Gains Prominent Supporters

A working group set up by exiled Kremlin critic and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has written an open letter signed by 77 public figures condemning “the political repression and lawlessness taking place today in Russia.”  Signatories include the creators of the hit television series “Game of Thrones” David Benioff and Dan Weiss, British actor…

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Russia, Turkey, Iran Agree Steps to Ease Tensions in Syria’s Idlib Despite Lingering Differences

The leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran meeting in Ankara on Monday agreed to try to ease tensions in northwest Syria’s Idlib region, but disagreements between the countries appeared to linger, especially over the threat from Islamic State. The summit of the three countries — all of whom have allies fighting in Syria’s ruinous eight-year-old war —…

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Britten-Shostakovich Festival Orchestra Gives Its First Concert in Moscow

The Britten-Shostakovich Festival Orchestra has had its first concert in Moscow within the tour through Russian and British cities.

Navalny Ally ‘Evacuates’ Electronics by Drone as Russian Police Stage Mass Raids

A supporter of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has filmed himself “evacuating” his hard drives on a drone as police closed in on his high-rise apartment building during nationwide mass raids.  Navalny and his allies said police carried out more than 200 searches in 41 towns and cities, including Russia’s third-largest city of Novosibirsk, as part…

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