7 Jehovah’s Witnesses Brutally Tortured in Russia, Spokesman Says

A spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses has said that Russian investigators have brutally tortured adherents of the group who are currently held in detention. Russia’s Supreme Court declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization in 2017, leading to mass raids and causing hundreds of its estimated 175,000 members to flee the country. Earlier this month,…

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Russia’s Putin, Saudi King Ready to Continue Energy Cooperation

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in a telephone conversation, voiced their support for continued coordination on the global energy markets, the Kremlin said on Tuesday. The Kremlin also said the two leaders praised bilateral cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia. “Mutual attitude for further strengthening of multifaceted Russia-Saudi…

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Detention of Investor Is an ‘Emergency’ for Russian Economy, Kudrin Says

The detention in Russia of Baring Vostok’s U.S. founder Michael Calvey is an emergency for the Russian economy, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin, now head of the Audit Chamber, said on Monday. “I find this particular situation (to be) an emergency for the economy,” Kudrin tweeted. He said Calvey’s detention shows Russian President Vladimir Putin’s…

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Over Half of Russian Military Police Have Syrian War Experience — Official

Around 60 percent of Russian military police officers have received wartime experience in Syria in fewer than three years of deployment, a Russian Defense Ministry official said Monday. Officers began patrolling the Golan Heights frontier between Syria and Israel in 2016 and installed observation posts in the area. “Currently around 60 percent of the military…

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Russian Journalist and Activist Briefly Detained in Amsterdam

Dutch police briefly detained a Russian journalist and a Russian human rights activist at Amsterdam airport on unknown charges, Novaya Gazeta reported Monday. Yelena Milashina, a journalist with the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper, and Milana Bakhayeva, an activist with the Memorial human rights NGO, reportedly arrived in Amsterdam to meet with activists investigating the plight…

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Belgian Intel Officer is a Suspected Russian Spy, Reports Say

An officer in Belgium’s military intelligence service is reportedly under investigation for spying for Russia. The unnamed officer was accused of providing a Serbian national, who is suspected of being a Russian agent, access to classified information, Belgium’s De Morgen newspaper reported. Read More Two Estonians Convicted of Spying for Russia The case reportedly reflects internal…

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We Won’t Allow a Color Revolution in Venezuela, Moscow Says

Russia’s position on Venezuela is to prevent American-backed regime change, the country’s Foreign Ministry has announced, amid a jostle for power among rival political factions in the crisis-struck Latin American country. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused the United States of backing a coup in his country after Washington recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as…

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Russia’s Military Vows to ‘Prevent Invasion’ of Polar Bears in Arctic Town

Russia’s Defense Ministry has pledged to address the polar bear invasion that has struck panic in a remote Arctic settlement in recent weeks. Polar bears began to descend on Russia’s Novaya Zemlya archipelago, population 3,000, driven from their habitat by food scarcity fueled by climate change, according to WWF experts. The authorities in the Arkhangelsk…

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Bellingcat Names Third Russian GRU Agent Suspected of Skripal Poisoning

A third man suspected of involvement in the nerve agent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in England last year is a high-ranking Russian military intelligence agent, the investigative website Bellingcat said on Thursday. “Bellingcat can now reveal the true identity and background of this GRU officer, who operated internationally under the cover persona…

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The Great Firewall of Russia. Why Polar Bears Pillaged a Siberian Village. Julia Ioffe on Putin and Trump.

This week on From Russia With News, investigative journalist and security services expert Andrei Soldatov tells us why Russia is moving closer to give the authorities the power to unplug the country’s internet network from the outside world. And Greenpeace Energy Head Vladimir Chuprov has the latest on the polar bear invasion in Russia’s Far…

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Russian Lawmakers Propose Fining Government Officials for Insulting Citizens

Communist lawmakers in Russia have submitted a bill that would introduce fines for officials who disrespect their voters, Interfax reported on Thursday. Public officials across Russia have increasingly made national headlines for being caught on record insulting regular citizens. The mayor of a smog-hit mining town landed in hot water on Wednesday for calling his…

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A Valentine’s Day Ski Date for Two: Putin and Lukashenko Hit the Slopes

In southern Russia’s resort city of Sochi, President Vladimir Putin shows once again that he’s always ready to demonstrate his physical fitness as he hits the slopes with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko. Their ski date comes a day after Lukashenko promised that despite strained ties between the two neighbors Belarus would “never deliver bad vodka or bad…

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‘Insane, Ridiculous’: Russian Lawmakers React to New U.S. Sanctions Bill

U.S. senators introduced a bill on Wednesday that would impose stiff new sanctions on Russia over suspected meddling in U.S. elections and aggression against Ukraine. Targets of the sanctions would include: Russian banks that support efforts to interfere in foreign elections; the country’s cyber sector; new sovereign debt; and individuals deemed to “facilitate illicit and…

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