Ukraine’s Zelenskiy: Border ‘Only Thing Left in Common’ With Russia

The Russian-Ukrainian border is the only thing left in common between the peoples of the neighboring countries, Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said in response to remarks from President Vladimir Putin. Between signing orders that expedite the Russian passport application process for certain categories of Ukrainians, Putin called Russians and Ukrainians “one people” with common…

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Russia’s Lavrov Denies Moscow Asked Maduro Not to Leave Venezuela – Reports

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed as untrue on Thursday assertions by U.S. officials that Moscow had urged Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro not to leave the country amid the continuing unrest there, the state-run RIA news agency reported. RIA also cited Lavrov as saying that Russia and the United States had irreconcilable positions on Venezuela but that…

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Russia Warns U.S. Over ‘Aggressive’ Moves in Venezuela

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by phone that further “aggressive steps” in Venezuela would be fraught with the gravest consequences, Russia‘s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. Lavrov also condemned what he called the United States’ “interference” in Venezuela’s internal affairs as a breach of international law, adding that…

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Putin Signs Internet Isolation Bill Into Law

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a bill that seeks to establish Russia’s “internet sovereignty” into law. Deputies first submitted the measures to tighten state control over the internet in December, citing the need to respond to an “aggressive” U.S. national cybersecurity strategy. It has drawn fierce criticism from civil society groups over fears that it…

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Putin Sacks Russian Envoy to Belarus Amid Oil Row

Russian President Vladimir Putin suddenly sacked Moscow’s ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, amid a row over contaminated oil and a wider political discord between the ex-Soviet countries. Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has generally been more closely aligned with Moscow than any other ex-Soviet leader, while the lack of tolerance for…

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Garbage Protesters in Russia’s North Brace for Showdown as Troops Descend

National Guard troops have been sent to a northern Russian region at the heart of longstanding resistance to importing Moscow’s trash, the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported on Tuesday. Residents have opposed plans to build the 10.5 billion ruble ($160.7 million) Shiyes landfill in Arkhangelsk region since last summer. Arkhangelsk is one of dozens of…

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European Court Awards Russian Activists $34K for Rights Violations

Europe’s human rights court has awarded opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s aide and an activist $17,000 each for violations of their rights and freedoms by the Russian government. Elvira Dmitriyeva, Navalny’s coordinator in the city of Kazan, was fined in 2017 for organizing and campaigning for participation in an unauthorized public event. Grigory Kablis’ social media…

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Russia Blames U.S. for UN Visa Denials

The United States obstructs Russia’s work in the United Nations by selectively issuing visas to Russian nationals, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday. Russia’s chemical weapons expert Dmitry Poklonsky was denied a U.S. visa to attend a UN Security Council session last Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a press statement. He was due…

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Russia Opens First Center To Issue Russian Passports to East Ukrainians

Russia has opened its first center aimed at issuing Russian passports to residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, Interfax reported on Monday. Last week, President Vladimir Putin signed an order to simplify the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, prompting calls from Kiev for more international sanctions. “Today, the center…

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Russian Prison Authority Ordered Hospitalization of About 200 Inmates

Around 200 prisoners in 2018 were so badly injured during questioning by investigators in Moscow region pre-detention facilities that they required hospitalization, a senior Federal Prison Service (FSIN) official has claimed. Russia’s federal penitentiary system was rocked by a scandal last year after bodycam footage showed guards violently beating prisoners in a notorious prison outside…

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Putin Says Russians and Ukrainians Would Benefit From Shared Citizenship

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russians and Ukrainians would only benefit from sharing common citizenship, the Interfax news agency reported. Putin said on Saturday Moscow was considering offering all Ukrainian citizens fast-tracked Russian passports, a move that angered some politicians in Ukraine which has been at war with pro-Russian separatists since 2014.…

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Kremlin Says It’s ‘Too Early’ to Discuss Russian Passports for All Ukrainians

The Kremlin considers it premature to discuss any details about expanding Russia’s fast-tracked passport offer to all Ukrainian citizens, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday. President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said Moscow was considering offering all Ukrainian citizens fast-tracked Russian passports. Putin made the statement days after signing an order to simplify the procedure…

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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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