Moscow Celebrates Orthodox Easter

Orthodox Easter, called Paskha in Russian, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is one of Russia’s most widely celebrated religious holidays. Because it follows the Orthodox Calendar, it is usually celebrated later than Catholic Easter. People prepare for the celebration by coloring eggs, baking the traditional kulich cake and making paskha, a cottage cheese…

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Full-scale Assault on Syria’s Idlib ‘Not Expedient,’ Says Russia’s Putin

A full-scale assault against militants in Syria’s Idlib province “is not expedient now” and civilians’ security needs to be taken into account, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday. Speaking in Beijing, Putin said Russia would work with the Syrian opposition to finalise the make-up of a constitutional committee, part of efforts to secure a…

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Trump Proposals on Nuclear Arms Disarmament ‘Not Serious’ — Kremlin

U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposals on nuclear arms disarmament is “not serious,” a Kremlin spokesman said on Saturday. Trump has ordered his administration to prepare a push for a new arms-control agreements with Russia and China citing the cost of the 21st-century nuclear arms race, The Washington Post reported on Thursday citing administration officials. “It…

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‘Putin’s Chef’ Compensates Victims of Caterer’s Mass Poisoning in Moscow

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a catering magnate with ties to Vladimir Putin, has paid out compensation to the parents of dozens of children who were reportedly poisoned after eating food provided by his catering company. Officials confirmed some 130 cases of food poisoning among kindergarteners in southeastern Moscow in December, leading parents to file a class-action lawsuit…

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Putin Rides to Xi’s Rescue on Battered Silk Road as the West Stews

At the first Belt and Road summit in Beijing two years ago, Vladimir Putin offered little more than platitudes for Xi Jinping’s global infrastructure initiative, essentially calling China’s “project of the century” a welcome new plank in Russia’s own strategy for ending American hegemony. Since then, deep-pocketed Chinese companies have intensified their march across Asia, Africa…

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Head of FSB’s Secretive Unit Detained for Bribery – Reports

The head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) highly secretive branch has been detained on suspicion of large-scale bribery, the Kommersant business daily reported on Friday. Colonel Kirill Cherkalin headed the FSB economic security department’s financial counterintelligence support unit. The department played key roles in investigations surrounding former economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev, deputy prime minister…

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Ukraine Vote Shows ‘Total’ Policy Failure of Departing Leader – Putin

Outgoing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s policy has suffered a “total failure” which manifested in his election loss, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in first remarks on the Ukrainian vote. Poroshenko garnered 24 percent of the vote in the Sunday runoffs, behind television comedian and political novice Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s 73 percent. His defeat was seen as…

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Russian Ministry Moves to Ban Personal Imports of Parmesan and Jamon – Reports

Russia is considering banning certain meat and dairy products, including parmesan and jamon, over health concerns tied to infectious diseases, the Vedomosti business daily reported. Wholesale imports of fresh EU food products were banned in 2014 in retaliation to Western states imposing sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.…

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Germany, Poland Halt Oil Imports From Russia Over Quality Concerns

Poland and Germany have suspended imports of Russian oil via a major pipeline, citing poor quality and triggering a rare crisis over supply from the world’s second-largest crude exporter. Halting imports from the Druzhba pipeline could trigger legal claims by Western buyers against Russian suppliers, who would in turn seek compensation from Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft, three traders…

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Russia’s Passport Offer to East Ukrainians Slammed in Kiev, Washington

President Vladimir Putin’s order simplifying the procedure for residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine to obtain a Russian passport prompted condemnations from Kiev and the United States. Putin’s decree on Wednesday eases the path to Russian citizenship for an estimated 3.7 million people living in the self-proclaimed Donetsk  and Luhansk republics after five years of war…

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Reuters Corrects Story Saying Venezuela Is Avoiding U.S. Sanctions by Funneling Oil Sales Through Russia

Reuters has corrected a story it published on April 18 saying Venezuela is funneling cash flow from oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft to evade U.S. sanctions after Rosneft threatened to ban the international news agency from operating in Russia. The story, datelined Mexico City, said Reuters had uncovered a scheme whereby Venezuelan…

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Putin’s Closest Ally Fears Takeover as Kremlin Plots Succession

President Vladimir Putin may look beyond Russia for a mechanism to keep power after his current term ends. That’s making Moscow’s closest ally nervous amid spiraling tensions over Kremlin threats to slash economic subsidies. After years of spending billions of dollars to support Belarus’s state-dominated economy, Russia is intensifying pressure on President Alexander Lukashenko to…

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First Russian Found Guilty Under ‘Disrespect’ of Authorities Law – Reports

Russian authorities have issued the first guilty verdict under a new law criminalizing “blatant disrespect” toward the authorities for online posts calling President Vladimir Putin an expletive. A Novgorod region court 570 kilometers northwest of Moscow found a local resident guilty and fined him 30,000 rubles ($470) Monday for posts calling Putin “a fantastic f——”…

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Putin Unveils World’s Longest Nuclear Submarine at Shipyard Ceremony

President Vladimir Putin has unveiled a submarine capable of carrying six thermonuclear warheads on Tuesday ahead of its deployment in 2020-2021. Russia’s naval submarine called “Belgorod” will be the world’s longest submarine ever built, measuring 184 meters, The Barents Observer has estimated. The Belgorod will be able to carry six underwater “Poseidon” drones, the state-run…

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Russian Auditor Finds $12Bln in Government Spending Violations

Russia’s public finance watchdog has uncovered 772.7 billion rubles ($12.12 billion) in government spending violations last year. The volume of total violations has decreased substantially from 1.87 trillion rubles in 2017 as detections increased by 43 percent, the RBC news website reported Tuesday. Procurement accounted for the highest share of budget violations at 294.6 billion…

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Russian Lawmaker Says Bans Are Freeing and Civil Rights Are Restrictive

An outspoken Russian lawmaker has turned heads for arguing that civil rights are restrictive, while bans are a form of freedom. Yelena Mizulina, who successfully lobbied for Russia’s 2012 “gay propaganda” law and spearheaded efforts to decriminalize domestic violence, made the statement in defense of recent internet restriction laws. On Monday, Russian senators backed tighter…

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Putin Won’t Congratulate Zelenskiy On Ukraine Presidential Win, Kremlin Says

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not officially congratulate Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his landslide victory, the Kremlin said on Monday. Ukraine has entered uncharted political waters after near final results show Zelenskiy, a comedian, winning Sunday’s presidential election by a landslide, dramatically upending the political status quo in the ex-Soviet republic. It’s “too early”…

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Ukraine’s Election Result Pleases Both Russia’s Opposition and the Kremlin

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian and actor with no political experience, swept to victory on Sunday in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, in a race that has fascinated the country’s looming neighbor to the north. The victory triggered speculation in Russia on Sunday that relations between the neighboring countries might improve. It also presented…

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U.S. Calls On Countries to Deny Airspace to Russian Planes Destined for Venezuela

The U.S. State Department spokesperson has called on countries to “follow Malta’s example” and block Russian military planes en route for Venezuela from using their airspace. On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Malta refused a Russian request to use its airspace to fly military aircraft from Syria to Venezuela on April…

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