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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Russia Warns U.S. Against Meddling in Venezuela Crisis

Russia said on Tuesday it was ready to facilitate the start of dialogue between Venezuela’s government and opposition but warned the United States against intervening in Caracas’ internal affairs. Russia has sided with President Nicolas Maduro in his stand-off with opposition leader Juan Guaido. Maduro retains control of state institutions including the military, but most Western countries,…

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Russia Moves to Grant Government the Power to Shut Down the Internet, Explained

Russian lawmakers advanced a contentious draft bill on Tuesday that seeks to give the authorities the power to unplug the national internet network from the outside world. Deputies 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. Although Russia’s state…

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Expect Slower GDP Growth in 2019, Russia’s Economic Ministry Says

Russia’s Economic Development Ministry has projected significantly slower GDP growth over the next year, describing growth at 2018 levels as “unsustainable.” The Rosstat federal statistics agency sparked skepticism last week for releasing figures that suggested that Russia’s economy had grown 2.3 percent in 2018 — its fastest rate since 2012 and up from 1.6 percent…

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