Siberian Authorities Halt Construction of Lake Baikal Bottling Plant After Backlash

Authorities in Siberia have suspended the construction of a controversial Chinese bottling plant in the world’s largest fresh water lake following public outcry and pressure from the Kremlin. Residents in Irkutsk region criticized the Chinese-founded AquaSib company’s plans to bottle 190 million liters of water per year from Lake Baikal starting in 2021, saying the…

Details

EU Sanctions Eight Russians Over Azov Sea

The European Union sanctioned on Friday eight more Russians over a stand-off with Ukraine in the Azov Sea, including senior security service officials and military commanders that the bloc accuses of preventing Ukrainian ships from reaching port. Last November, the Russian navy captured 24 Ukrainian sailors and their vessels in the Kerch Strait, which links…

Details

Russian Spacecraft Arrives at International Space Station After Successful Launch

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft has arrived at the International Space Station after a successful launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  Aboard the spacecraft were NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Hammock Koch and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. Hague and Ovchinin were originally meant to launch to the ISS in October, but…

Details

Crimea 5 Years Later. And How Russia’s Wealthy Are Taking Advantage of the Country’s Legal System.

This week on From Russia With News, we discuss the five-year anniversary of the hugely controversial referendum in Crimea with the deputy foreign editor at the Kommersant newspaper Elena Chernenko. We’ll also talk to Moscow Times correspondent Evan Gershkovich about his investigation that revealed how rich Russians dodge taxes and move court cases to a…

Details

Crimea Five Years Later. And How Russia’s Wealthy Are Taking Advantage of the Country’s Legal System.

This week on From Russia With News, we discuss the five-year anniversary of the hugely controversial referendum in Crimea with the deputy foreign editor at the Kommersant newspaper Elena Chernenko. We’ll also talk to Moscow Times correspondent Evan Gershkovich about his investigation that revealed how rich Russians dodge taxes and move court cases to a…

Details

Russian Lawmakers Send ‘Fake News’ Bill to Putin for Approval

Russian lawmakers passed a controversial set of bills that would make it a crime to “disrespect” the state and spread “fake news” on Wednesday, setting the legislation up for President Vladimir Putin’s signature. The bills amending existing information laws overwhelmingly passed both chambers of Russian parliament in less than two months. Observers and some lawmakers…

Details

Russia to Re-Educate ‘Brainwashed’ Youth in Patriotic Camps

Russia plans to send delinquent youngsters to military-patriotic re-education camps and to install special software blocking banned websites in schools, the head of Russia’s Security Council has said. President Vladimir Putin created a patriotic directorate inside the Russian army last summer, evoking memories of a Soviet practice that once taught soldiers the tenets of Marxism.…

Details

Kremlin Shrugs off Possible U.S. Boycott of St. Petersburg Forum Over Investor’s Arrest

The Kremlin on Tuesday shrugged off talk of a possible boycott by U.S. companies of Russia‘s showcase International Economic Forum over the arrest of prominent U.S. investor Michael Calvey, saying such boycotts had come to nothing in the past. Calvey’s detention last month on embezzlement charges, which he denies, has rattled some foreign investors in Russia who are…

Details

Russia’s Rosneft Says U.S. Statements on Its Venezuela Operations Groundless

Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft said on Tuesday that U.S. statements that it had violated U.S. sanctions in its Venezuela activities were “groundless accusations.” Pompeo said this week Rosneft was defying U.S. sanctions by buying oil from Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA. Rosneft said it was not involved in politics and was conducting “purely commercial…

Details

U.S. Blames Moscow for Venezuelan Crisis, Sanctions Russian Bank

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday blamed Russia and Cuba for causing Venezuela’s political crisis by supporting President Nicolas Maduro. His comments came after the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Russian bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank for helping Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA evade U.S. financial restrictions. “This story is not complete without acknowledging…

Details

Latvia Builds Barbed Wire Fence on Russian Border to Combat Migration

Latvia has completed construction of a 93-kilometer barbed wire fence on the border with Russia to combat illegal migration, media outlets reported, citing the Latvian border service. The 2.7-meter-tall fence, announced in 2015, alternates between sensor-based systems and surveillance camera zones. It is part of a 21 million euro ($23.8 million) project to modernize 283…

Details

New Torture Videos Thrust Russian Prison Back Into the Spotlight

Two new videos showing guards abusing inmates have brought national attention back to a notorious prison near Moscow that rocked Russia’s penitentiary system last year with reports of systemic torture. Bodycam footage released last summer by the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper showed guards violently beating prisoners in the Yaroslavl region. The videos’ publication touched off…

Details

Russian Military Is Bigger and Stronger Than in 2012, Defense Minister Says

The Russian military has significantly expanded and upgraded its weapons systems in the past six years, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told lawmakers on Monday. The country’s military achievements between 2012 and 2018 have turned Russia’s military into a mobile force capable of projecting influence abroad, The Associated Press quoted the minister as saying at a…

Details

Russia Remains Second-Largest Arms Exporter Despite Sales Drop – Think Tank

Russia remains the world’s second-largest arms exporter after the United States despite five years of declining sales abroad, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has said in a new report that was disputed by Russia’s state-owned arm exporter. Russia’s arms exports dropped 17 percent between 2014 and 2018 when compared to 2009-2013, contributing to…

Details

IAAF Maintains Ban on Russian Athletics Over Doping Scandal

World athletics governing body IAAF has decided not to lift a ban on Russia‘s athletics federation over doping, saying on Monday it was still waiting to receive data collected from Moscow and financial compensation for its investigations. Russia‘s athletics federation (RUSAF) has been suspended since 2015 following a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report that found evidence…

Details

‘Point of No Return’: Russia’s Libertarians Lead Protest Against ‘Sovereign Internet’

It was Saturday afternoon and Mikhail Svetov was buzzing with nervous energy. Just 24 hours later, the member of Russia’s Libertarian Party would be leading a protest against a draft bill aimed at creating a so-called sovereign internet. “I see signals that something unusual is happening. Something similar to 2011,” Svetov said, referring to the…

Details

Putin Applauds Russian Women for ‘Managing Everything at Work and Home Whilst Staying Beautiful’

President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian women on International Women’s Day in a video message posted on the Kremlin’s website on Friday. Women’s Day is a national holiday in Russia and one of the most important public holidays inherited from the Soviet period. “You manage everything at work and at home, whilst staying beautiful, bright, and…

Details