Russia Investigates Toy Protests Against Vote on Putin’s Term Limits

Criminal investigators in St. Petersburg have attempted to question an activist who used children’s toys to protest against a vote on constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to extend his rule into 2036. Sonya Ulyasheva, a spokeswoman for the Vesna democratic movement, had posted photographs of the toy protests as on offshoot of the #MiniProtest…

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Coronavirus Frontline Doctors Ordered to Vote on Changes Allowing Putin to Stay in Power

Russian health workers treating coronavirus patients across the country say they are being pressured by their superiors to vote on constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power through 2036. “We simply don’t have a choice,” a doctor at the Syktivkar Republic Infectious Diseases hospital in Russia’s remote northern republic of…

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Russia’s Coronavirus Death Spike Explained by Methodology, Statistics Chief Says

Russia’s state statistics agency published higher coronavirus death figures for April than previously reported because it receives more complete data than the national coronavirus crisis center, its chief has said. The Federal Statistics Service, or Rosstat, more than doubled April’s death toll to 2,712 earlier this month after including cases where Covid-19 may not have directly…

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Russia’s Coronavirus Cases Approach 600K Ahead of Victory Day Parade, Constitutional Vote

Moscow lifted restrictions including compulsory travel passes on June 8, a move welcomed by residents who rushed out to enjoy the streets and parks. Many other regions are lifting lockdown restrictions as Russia is preparing to hold a July 1 national vote despite the pandemic.    President Vladimir Putin is seeking public backing for constitutional amendments that…

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Anti-Kremlin Activist, Pussy Riot Member Jailed for 15 Days for ‘Public Swearing’

Anti-Kremlin activist and Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov has been sentenced to 15 days in jail on charges of public swearing after he was attacked outside a Moscow police station, the Mediazona news website, which he publishes, reported Monday. Verzilov disappeared early Sunday after unidentified men broke down his apartment door and arrested him. He reappeared…

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Moscow Braves a Summertime Flood

As if a global pandemic and months of quarantine weren’t enough to drown our spirits, Moscow was hit with heavy rains and hail over the weekend, leading to flash floods that flooded streets and passageways. While two people are reported to have been hit by lightning during the storm, Muscovites nonetheless trudged through the weather…

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Khrushchev’s Son Dies in U.S.

Sergei Khrushchev, the son of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, has died in the United States at age 84, his granddaughter told the RBC news website Thursday. Sergei Khrushchev has held both U.S. and Russian citizenships since 1999, eight years after moving to Providence, Rhode Island, and resided permanently in the U.S.  His granddaughter Nina…

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Putin’s Inner Circle Corners $30Bln Garbage Reform Market – Report

President Vladimir Putin’s close associates are the biggest beneficiaries of the country’s 2 trillion ruble ($28.7 billion) waste disposal reforms, according to an analysis of contracts by Russia’s Important Stories investigative website published Thursday. Companies linked to close Putin associates Sergei Chemezov, Arkady Rotenberg and Yury Kovalchuk, as well as former prosecutor general Igor Chaika,…

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Belarus Leader’s Election Rival Detained as Crackdown Intensifies

Belarussian authorities on Thursday detained President Alexander Lukashenko’s rival ahead of August’s election as Minsk intensified a crackdown on the opposition. The detention of Viktor Babaryko, a 56-year-old former banker, on suspicion of financial crimes came after authorities jailed other critics including prominent opposition politician Mikola Statkevich ahead of an election in which Lukashenko is…

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Belarus Opposition Candidate ‘Disappears’ As Presidential Election Nears

Update: Belarussian authorities on Thursday detained Babaryko on suspicion of financial crimes, the head of the state control committee said. “Babaryko is detained because he was the organiser and leader of illegal activities, (and) tried to influence witness testimony,” committee chief Ivan Tertel told reporters.  A former banker vying to unseat the longtime leader of Belarus…

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EU Extends Crimea Sanctions by 12 Months

The European Union on Thursday rolled over for another year tough sanctions imposed over Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.  The measures prohibit certain exports and imports from Crimea, and ban EU-based companies from investment and tourism services in the strategic Black Sea peninsula. “The Council today decided to renew the sanctions introduced in…

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Russia ‘Unblocks’ Telegram Messenger in Surprise Reversal

Russia has halted its largely unsuccessful two-year efforts to block the popular messaging service Telegram. Russia’s federal media watchdog Roskomnadzor made the surprise announcement Thursday, citing Telegram founder Pavel Durov’s “stated readiness to counter terrorism and extremism.” “In agreement with the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, Roskomnadzor is lifting demands to restrict access to Telegram,” Roskomnadzor…

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Kazakh Ex-President Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Kazakhstan’s ex-president Nursultan Nazarbayev has tested positive for coronavirus, his press service announced Thursday. Nazarbayev, 79, stepped down last year after almost 30 years in power in the oil-rich Central Asian nation, retaining key security council and party leader positions while handpicking a loyalist as his successor. As a former Soviet republic, Kazakhstan maintains close ties…

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Massive Vote-Buying Campaign Claimed Ahead of Vote on Putin’s Term Limits – Report

A potentially massive online vote-buying campaign is unfolding ahead of Russia’s vote on constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to rule until 2036, the independent Dozhd news channel reported Wednesday. Russians will begin voting next Thursday, ahead of the July 1 nationwide vote, on a set of constitutional amendments that include social guarantees…

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Moscow Breaks 128-Year Heat Record

Moscow experienced its hottest June 17 in more than a century after temperatures hit 31.1 degrees Celsius Wednesday. Russia’s Hydrometeorology Center said that beat the previous record of 30.8 C set on the same day in 1892, Interfax reported. The scorching temperature hit at 4 p.m. in the capital. Temperatures in Moscow will drop below…

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