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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Venezuelan Vice President to Fly Into Moscow for Talks on Friday — Media

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez will hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Friday, the state-run RIA news agency reported, the latest in a flurry of visits by Venezuelan politicians to staunch ally Russia. Moscow has backed socialist President Nicolas Maduro in the face of a challenge from opposition leader Juan Guaido who…

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The Alleged Links Between the Trump Campaign and Russia, Explained

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other U.S. prosecutors have been investigating whether President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign conspired with Russia. Trump and Moscow have denied any collusion. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia interfered in the presidential election with a campaign of hacking and propaganda to sow discord in the United States and damage the…

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Russia to Bolster Flanks With New Military Units in 2019

Russia will reinforce its western, eastern and southern flanks this year in response to increased Western military exercises near its border, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Wednesday. Moscow has bolstered its military capabilities since its relations with the United States and the NATO military alliance deteriorated over Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Speaking at…

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Evidence in NTV Co-Founder Malashenko’s Death Points to Suicide, Spanish Court Says

Renowned Russian media executive and political consultant Igor Malashenko is believed to have committed suicide in Spain, Russian state media cited a Spanish court as saying. Malashenko’s former colleagues and family said he had taken his own life at age 64 on Monday, but no official sources have yet confirmed the reports. “Everything shows” that…

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Putin Spokesman Downplays Daughter’s Internship at EU Parliament

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday said that his daughter interns at the European Parliament as a regular student, after several EU lawmakers expressed security concerns. Yelizaveta Peskova, 21, is listed as a trainee for French far-right EU parliamentarian Aymeric Chauprade, who had backed Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. Several of…

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Russian Nationalist Ex-MMA Fighter Freed After Jail Time for Brothel Raid

A former mixed-martial-arts fighter and Russian ultranationalist serving time for attacking a brothel was released from prison early on Monday. Vyacheslav Datsik, who fought under the nickname “Red-Haired Tarzan” and has a long criminal history, was sentenced in March 2018 to 3.5 years in maximum-security prison for unlawful intrusion, battery and disorderly conduct. He was…

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‘Abrupt Regime Change’ Poses Risk to Russian Economy, Moody’s Says

Moody’s Investors Service has for the first time named “abrupt regime change” as a risk factor for the Russian economy. Analysts have forecast increasing competition within the Kremlin and growing popular discontent over social issues as Vladimir Putin’s fourth presidential term approaches its end in 2024. Moody’s named regime change as one of several “distant…

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Corruption of Top Officials Signals Government’s Overall Decay, Majority of Russians Say

A majority of Russians view corruption cases against top officials as evidence of the government’s overall decay, according to a new independent survey. Levada carried out the survey in the wake of the high-profile detention of Russian senator Rauf Arashukov on murder, organized crime and witness tampering charges. His father, the high-ranking gas official Raul…

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Siberian Shamans Revive Ancient Camel-Burning Rite ‘to Help Russia’

A recent video showing Siberian shamans performing a sacrificial burning of camels “for the consolidation of Russia and its peoples” has outraged online users and drawn the prosecutors’ attention. Footage dated Feb. 1 showed shamans in the Irkutsk region dragging two-humped camels, lighting a bonfire and beating traditional tambourines in a circle. In the video,…

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Activists Compare Russia’s Alleged Torture of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Nazi Germany

Russian activists have slammed the recent detentions and alleged torture of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Western Siberia, comparing them to persecution by the Nazis. A spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, an organization that Russia labeled extremist in 2017, alleged that at least seven adherents of the religious group had been brutally tortured after being detained last week in the…

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Twitter Says Troll Accounts Linked to Russia Were Actually Venezuelan, Revises Data

Twitter Inc. this month made a significant revision to its public database of more than 3,000 accounts that it has linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, fundamentally altering the record about the group’s trolling efforts in the U.S. in the year following the contentious 2016 presidential election. Twitter’s changes invalidate central portions of a Bloomberg…

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Venezuela Accepts Shipment of Russian Humanitarian Aid — Reports

Venezuela on Wednesday received a shipment of humanitarian aid sent from Russia, including medicine and medical equipment, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing a Russian diplomatic source. Russia has sided with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in his stand-off with opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president late last month. Maduro retains…

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