Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Barges Into Feminist Coffee Shop in St. Petersburg, with Flowers

Members of conservative pro-Kremlin youth organization Set entered Russia’s sole “women-only hours” cafe in St. Petersburg, resulting in a scuffle on Thursday. March 8 marks International Women’s Day. In Russia, it is celebrated as a public holiday with flowers traditionally being gifted to women. In the footage posted online by Set, several men are seen…

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This Women’s Day It’s ‘Not Her Fault’

This year, International Women’s Day in Russia is coming back to its political roots. All around the world, Women’s Day activities typically promote discussions of gender inequality. Issues such as unequal pay, education, voting rights and gender-based violence are, at least for one day, important talking points in the media.   This politicized tone was once the norm…

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Abramovich Forced to Sell Stake in Russian TV Channel Over Israeli Citizenship

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has sold off his shares in Russia’s state-run Channel One television network due to his recently acquired Israeli citizenship, the shares’ buyer told Interfax on Thursday. Russian law prohibits foreign citizens from owning more than 20 percent of a media company, putting Abramovich in violation of the law when he acquired…

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Russia Passes Legislation Banning ‘Disrespect’ of Authorities and ‘Fake News’

Russian lawmakers pushed through a package of bills Thursday seeking to punish internet users and journalists for disrespecting the authorities and spreading fake news. Observers have argued that the highly contentious legislation introduced in December could lead to mass arrests due to its loose wording. Free speech and internet activists are scheduled to protest against…

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Russia Compromised 600 Foreign Spies in 2018, Putin Says

Russian counterintelligence exposed hundreds of foreign spies in 2018, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. “[Counterintelligence agencies] conducted successful special operations to cut short the activities of 129 career officers and 465 agents of foreign intelligence service,” Putin said at a board meeting of the Federal Security Service (FSB).  At the annual meeting, Putin urged FSB…

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Female Naval Cadets Say Russia Not Ready for Women in Combat Roles

Alina Politika is one of 42 female cadets attending the naval academy in Russia‘s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, but she knows she is unlikely to ever step onto the captain’s bridge of a battleship. Politka’s diploma and military rank after graduation won’t differ from those of male cadets, but the Russian navy does not accept women as commanding officers — a situation she…

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Russian Officials, State Media Meet Explosive ‘Troika Laundromat’ Report With a Shrug

An investigation into a Russian money laundering network that funneled billions of dollars abroad sent shockwaves through Europe this week but was largely ignored by Russian officials and state media. The report released by the Organized Crime and Corruption Project (OCCRP) Monday said that a network of over 70 offshore companies had funnelled $4.6 billion…

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House Panels Seek Details On Trump Communications With Russia’s Putin

Three U.S. House of Representatives committees asked the White House and State Department on Monday for details on President Donald Trump’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, seeking to interview translators and other staff involved in their conversations. The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Government Oversight committees said in a statement they wrote to acting…

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Russia Will Be One-Third Muslim in 15 Years, Chief Mufti Predicts

Around 30 percent of the Russian population will practice Islam within the next 15 years, Russia’s grand mufti has predicted, citing demographic trends. Russia’s Muslim-majority regions, including republics in the North Caucasus and the republic of Tatarstan, are known to have the highest birth rates in the country, reflecting similar trends worldwide. Various estimates place…

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Putin Wants What China’s Xi Already Has: His Own Internet

When anti-government protests erupted on Russia’s side of the Caucasus Mountains in October, authorities did something they’d never done before: cut mobile internet service to an entire geographical area. For almost two weeks, tens of thousands of mainly Muslim Russians were prevented from accessing social media sites and sharing videos through their smartphones. Unlike China,…

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Putin Signs Decree Suspending INF Nuclear Pact

President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree suspending Russia‘s participation in the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with the United States, the Kremlin said on Monday. Russia announced last month it was suspending the treaty after the United States said it would withdraw because of violations by Moscow. Russia denies flouting the accord and has accused Washington of…

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Russian Telecoms Are Selling Users’ Location Data to Authorities

Russia’s top telecom operators are selling the location data of their clients for millions of dollars to Moscow’s City Hall, the Vedomosti business daily has reported. The Russian capital already fields one of the world’s largest facial-recognition systems, with 174,000 surveillance cameras expected to enter into operation this year. Meanwhile, new anti-terror legislation that entered…

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Two Senior Russian Cybersecurity Experts Convicted of Treason. And the Legacy of Media Executive Igor Malashenko

This week on From Russia With News, we speak with New York Times journalist Andrew Kramer about the sentencing of two Russian cyber-security experts this week, handed decades behind bars for treason. We’ll also talk to veteran journalist Artemy Troitsky about the life and legacy of Igor Malashenko, the media executive and political consultant found…

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Kremlin Dismisses Talk of Possible U.S. Move to Probe Putin’s Wealth

The Kremlin on Thursday dismissed talk of potential U.S. sanctions targeting President Vladimir Putin’s wealth and called draft sanctions legislation an example of anti-Russian sentiment that should not be taken seriously. A group of U.S. lawmakers have proposed sanctions legislation targeting Russia that, among other things, would require the director of U.S. National Intelligence to…

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U.S. Lawmakers Submit Bill to Investigate Putin’s Finances

Two U.S. congresswomen have introduced legislation seeking to instruct the American intelligence community to disclose Russian President Vladimir Putin’s finances and report on Kremlin-linked corruption. Critics have accused the Russian leader of amassing a fortune during his 18 years in power as either president or prime minister. Official figures say Putin’s income between 2011 and 2016…

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CCTV Cameras Are Tracking Down Debtors in Moscow, Official Says

Moscow’s facial-recognition surveillance cameras are now being deployed by collectors to track down debtors, the city’s chief bailiff told state media on Wednesday. The Russian capital claims one of the world’s largest facial-recognition systems, with 174,000 closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras expected to be in operation this year. In 2018, personal loans in Russia grew by…

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