Why Is Russia’s Most Prominent Libertarian Being Investigated for Sexual Misconduct?

Mikhail Svetov, one of the main figures of Russia’s Libertarian Party and an organizer of this summer’s mass protests in Moscow, was interrogated overnight by the Investigative Committee and his apartment searched over allegations of sexual misconduct against a minor.  Initial reports said that Svetov, 34, had been charged with “indecent assault” against a minor…

Russia Shuts Down Arctic Indigenous Rights Group

Moscow’s city court has ruled to disband an indigenous people’s rights group almost 20 years after its founding, the latest in a series of NGO shutdowns that critics see as retaliation for their activities. Russian authorities blacklisted the Center for Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North/Russian Indigenous Training Center (CSIPN/RITC) as a “foreign agent”…

Closing Off Dialogue With Russia a ‘Huge Mistake,’ France’s Macron Says

Europe shouldn’t make the “huge mistake” of avoiding dialogue with Russia, French President Emmanuel Macron told The Economist, continuing his recent overtures to the country that the West has shunned over its annexation of Crimea. Macron previously attempted to bridge the European Union’s differences with Moscow this summer, warning against the “strategic error” of isolating…

Russia Denies Military Presence in Libya

A senior Foreign Ministry official has denied Russia’s military presence in Libya following a New York Times report that about 200 Russian mercenaries have arrived in the oil-rich North African country in the past month and a half. The Kremlin-linked Wagner mercenaries’ reported arrival in Libya appears to be the second wave in as many…

Chechnya’s Kadyrov Advocates Killing People Who ‘Insult Honor’ Online

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has proposed killing internet users who “insult someone’s honor” online, according to BBC Russia’s translation of the outspoken Russian regional chief’s remarks Wednesday. Kadyrov appeared to be referencing a Russian law enacted this year that punishes those who “disrespect” government institutions online. A majority of those fined or jailed under the…

Russia Says 2,000 Relatives of Middle East Militants Pose Security Threat

Russia‘s FSB security service has identified 2,000 Russian nationals who are relatives of militants in the Middle East and could try to return to Russia, posing a terrorist threat, the FSB’s head said on Thursday, the state-run RIA news agency reported. FSB director Alexander Bortnikov’s comments come weeks after an estimated 50 Russian women disappeared after fleeing…

Cyprus Strips Citizenship From 9 Russians Over Passport-for-Investment Scheme

Cyprus said on Wednesday that it had started a process to strip 26 individuals of citizenship they received under a secretive passports-for-investment scheme, admitting it had flaws. The Mediterranean island has been rattled by disclosures of its investments scheme since Reuters exclusively reported last month a list of Cambodian beneficiaries, including its police chief and…

Russia’s Foreign Ministry Opposes Call to Ban Deutsche Welle

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday he did not support banning foreign media outlets including Germany’s Deutsche Welle from working in Russia, something that had been proposed by parliament, Interfax news agency reported. Russia‘s parliament accused Deutsche Welle in September of breaking election legislation and asked the foreign ministry to consider revoking the German…

Putin Wants to ‘Replace’ Wikipedia With ‘Reliable’ Russian Version: 4 Takeaways From Speech

President Vladimir Putin convened a meeting of Russia’s language council Tuesday, where he warned that there is a war against the Russian language, recommended replacing Wikipedia and called for the introduction of uniform language norms.  Chaired by presidential adviser Vladimir Tolstoy, the 48-member council is charged with developing state policy on protecting and promoting the…

U.K. Delays Publishing Report on Russia Poll Meddling, Calls It ‘Standard Procedure’

The British government was accused by opponents of sitting on a parliamentary report examining alleged Russian meddling in British politics because it might contain embarrassing revelations about Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his party. The report by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has been cleared by the security services but it has not yet been…

Russian Arctic Island Temperatures Hit Record Highs

The Russian Arctic archipelagos of Franz Josef Land and Severnaya Zemlya experienced the warmest October on record, with average temperatures on the islands 8 degrees Celsius higher than normal, according to Russia’s meteorological service Roshydromet. Temperature maps from meteorologists show a belt of warm air stretching across large parts of the Arctic. The biggest abnormalities…

One in Three Russians Supports Criminal Cases Against Navalny Allies – Poll

Almost one-third of Russians support police raids and criminal cases against prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s allies, according to a survey from the independent Levada Center pollster published Tuesday. Police have carried out mass nationwide raids against Navalny’s associates and frozen a number of bank accounts in recent months as part of a criminal investigation…

Russia Disbands Prominent Activist’s Human Rights NGO

Russia’s Supreme Court has disbanded veteran activist Lev Ponomaryov’s civil rights group months after authorities labeled it a “foreign agent,” Interfax reported Friday. Russia’s Justice Ministry blacklisted For Human Rights as a foreign agent alongside two of Ponomaryov’s other NGOs in February after an inspection into its political activity while receiving funding from abroad. Ponomaryov,…

‘Putin’s Chef’ Ordered to Pay for Mass Child Poisonings

A Moscow court has ordered catering magnate Yevgeny Prigozhin’s company to compensate the parents of schoolchildren who suffered food poisoning last year, Interfax reported Friday. The parents sued Prigozhin’s business alongside other companies, schools and officials this spring for the December 2018 dysentery outbreak in several state-run daycare centers and kindergartens. Officials confirmed 127 overall…

What’s Next for Russia’s Economy?

A fresh roster of forecasts and data on the Russian economy suggests slow growth and low inflation coupled with robust corporate performance will mark the final two months of the year. Meanwhile, economy-watchers remain fixed on a crucial Central Bank meeting in December and are divided over whether Bank of Russia governor Elvira Nabiullina will…

7 Kremlin-Linked Mercenaries Killed in Mozambique in October — Sources

Seven Russian Wagner Group mercenaries have been killed in two separate shooting incidents involving Islamic State-linked insurgents in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province this month, two Mozambique army sources told The Moscow Times. In a previously unreported attack that took place on Oct. 10 in Cabo Delgado’s Macomia district, two Russian Wagner soldiers were shot…

3 Quotes From Putin’s Trip to Hungary

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a one-day visit to Hungary, where he mourned the plight of Christians in the Middle East and analyzed his Ukrainian counterpart’s ideologies. The Moscow Times picked out three remarks Putin made alongside his right-wing conservative counterpart Viktor Orban and other officials Wednesday: On Christianity: “Although the Middle East is the…