Russian Court Orders LGBT Groups to Disband for Posting on Social Network

A court in St. Petersburg has ruled that two LGBT groups must be disbanded for posting information for the community on Russia’s largest social network, VKontakte, the city’s joint court press service said Thursday. VKontakte is obliged to block LGBT groups due to Russia’s controversial so-called “gay propaganda law,” which since 2013 has prohibited “propaganda…

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Sberbank Hit by Huge Data Breach

The personal details of millions of Sberbank customers may have been leaked, in what would be the largest-ever data breach in Russian banking, according to cyber security experts. Analysts at cybersecurity firm DeviceLock found personal information relating to up to 60 million Sberbank credit card holders for sale on the black market. They were able…

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Moscow Cancer Center Employees Threaten to Quit as Doctor Resignation Wave Hits Capital

A wave of resignations sweeping Russia’s health sector has reached the country’s capital this week after employees at one of Moscow’s best cancer hospitals threatened to quit in protest of its new leadership. Nurses, doctors, ambulance staff and paramedics across Russia have expressed their grievances by resigning or staging various forms of strikes since the…

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Russian Deliveries to Arctic Military Bases Up 200% From 2018, State Shipping Company Says

State military shipping company Oboronlogistika has made 11 shipments to the Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya and other parts of the region so far this year as part of its exclusive delivery agreement with the Defense Ministry. About 30,000 tons of goods were delivered, the company said. In 2018, the company’s total delivery volume amounted to 11,000 tons. Various…

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Russian Town Rallies Against New Mayor From Rebel-Held Eastern Ukraine

Protesters in Russia’s Buddhist republic of Kalmykia took to the streets against the appointment as mayor of a one-time leader of separatist-held eastern Ukraine. Dmitry Trapeznikov, 38, briefly led the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic in war-torn eastern Ukraine after his predecessor was assassinated last year. On Thursday, the Kalmyk governor announced that he appointed Trapeznikov…

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Cuts, Beatings and Sheep’s Blood: Russian State Journalist Sues Over War Correspondent Course Injuries

A Russian state journalist has sued the organizer of a training course for war correspondents over injuries he says he received during the training. Svyatoslav Pavlov’s gruesome account of the course at a military site in Crimea included scenes of ripped earlobes and bags placed over journalists’ heads causing asphyxiation. The courses are required for…

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Russia’s Labor Ministry Says 4-Day Work Week Would Improve Employees’ Lives Despite Costs

The Labor Ministry has sent the Russian government a report outlining the pros and cons of introducing a four-day work week as discussions around shortening the work week have become increasingly widespread. The report, a response to the idea first proposed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev over the summer, was put together after consultations with…

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U.S. Sanctions 2 Russians Connected to ‘Kremlin Troll Factory’

The United States has imposed sanctions on two Russians over their alleged involvement in the Internet Research Agency, a Russian organization accused of interfering in U.S. elections. The Internet Research Agency is believed to be financed by billionaire restaurateur Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as President Vladimir Putin’s “chef.” A U.S. special counsel indicted Prigozhin and 12…

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Russian Veterans’ Hospital Bans Transgender Hairstylist From Charity Project

A veterans’ hospital in Russia’s fourth-largest city has banned a transgender hairstylist from volunteering to give free haircuts to its elderly patients. A local charity in Yekaterinburg had put out a call for stylists, makeup artists and hairdressers to provide beauty services to the hospital’s patients at no cost. Marta Katasrofa, a transgender hairdresser, was…

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Trump-Putin Phone Calls Can Only Be Disclosed With Russian Consent, Kremlin Says

The Kremlin said on Monday that Washington would need Russian consent to publish transcripts of phone calls between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Congress is determined to get access to Trump’s calls with Putin and other world leaders, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee’s chairman said on Sunday, citing concerns that the Republican…

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Most Russians Charged for ‘Disrespecting’ Authorities Insulted Putin – Rights Group

A majority of Russians charged under a law banning “blatant disrespect” toward the authorities have been disrespectful toward President Vladimir Putin, according to research by the Agora human rights group. Sept. 29 marked six months since Russia imposed up to 300,000 rubles in fines and 15 days in jail for repeated “blatant disrespect” toward government…

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Anti-Gay Russian Lawmaker Slams Gender-Inclusive Barbies as ‘Freak Dolls’

State Duma deputy and notorious anti-gay crusader Vitaly Milonov wants to ban gender-inclusive Barbie dolls from Russia, referring to them as “freak dolls.” Toy manufacturer Mattel unveiled a gender-inclusive line of its iconic Barbie dolls Wednesday, to allow children “to express themselves freely.” The dolls, which are designed without stereotypically male or female features, come…

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In the Shadow of Strict Protest Laws, Young Russians Build a Climate Movement

At 15 years old, Margarita Naumenko is one of the youngest participants in Russia‘s Fridays for Future climate protest movement. Each week, she stands in downtown Moscow with other young activists chanting, brandishing posters and demanding the government take action on worsening climate change threats. Her parents support her decision to protest, Naumenko said, but they…

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Russian Parliament Finds Broadcaster Deutsche Welle Broke Law

Russia‘s parliament will ask its Foreign Ministry to consider revoking broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s right to work in the country for allegedly breaking laws on political impartiality, a senior lawmaker said on Friday. Vasily Piskarev said a parliamentary investigation had found evidence that Germany’s publicly funded international broadcaster had urged Russians to attend an unauthorized protest this…

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Kremlin Says It Doesn’t Want Trump-Putin Transcripts To Be Made Public

The Kremlin has said it hopes that discussions between President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump will remain secret following the scandal that erupted over Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s leader. Transcripts from Trump and Putin’s face-to-face meetings have not been made public, with reports saying Trump has gone to “extraordinary lengths” to conceal…

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