Russian TV Cancels ‘The Voice Kids’ Results After Mass Vote Rigging

Russia’s state-run television has canceled the results of a popular children’s singing competition after cyber experts uncovered online vote-rigging that favored the 11-year-old daughter of a celebrity and a banker. Channel One hired the Group-IB international cybersecurity firm to investigate claims that “The Voice Kids”’ vote-by-phone system was tampered with in April. Group-IB’s initial investigation…

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‘No End in Sight’ to Fraud in Russia’s Space Agency, Top Investigator Says

Billions of rubles have been funneled out of Russia’s federal Roscosmos space agency over the past five years in corruption schemes, the country’s top investigator has revealed this week. Prosecutors uncovered 1.6 billion rubles ($24.6 million) worth of fraud in the Roscosmos and the Rostec state-run defense corporation last year. Overall, fraud involving Russian state-run…

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Venezuela Wants Russia to Help Restructure Its Debt to Other Countries — Reports

Venezuela would like Moscow to help it restructure its external debt to other countries, Russia’s RIA news agency cited Venezuela’s ambassador in Geneva as saying on Friday.

Asked whether sanctions-hit Venezuela would like to receive debt-restructuring assistance from Russia, the ambassador was quoted as saying: “Yes.” 

Head of FSB’s Secretive Unit Charged for $850K Bribery

The head of a highly secretive branch of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has been charged for $850,000 bribery three weeks after his detention, the RBC news website reported Thursday. 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…

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Russia to Set Up ‘Fake News Database’

Russia plans to launch a public database of news it flags as “fake,” the head of Russia’s powerful media regulator announced two months after President Vladimir Putin signed a law criminalizing the spread of “fake news.” Alexander Zharov’s regulatory agency, known by the acronym Roskomnadzor, has successfully blocked LinkedIn in Russia and is currently engaged…

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Siberian Mayor Rejects Church Plans as Anti-Cathedral Protests Rock Yekaterinburg

The mayor of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk has canceled plans to build a pre-revolutionary cathedral in place of a public park as protests against similar plans rocked Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg. Clashes erupted in Yekaterinburg this week as residents tore down fencing enclosing its riverside park ahead of church construction. Dozens of arrests…

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‘Paralyzer’ Laser Drones Developed for the Russian Military – Reports

Advanced new drones equipped with a stun gun and blinding laser have been developed for the Russian military, Interfax reported Wednesday citing an arms industry official. Russian security forces have been increasingly turning to laser technologies over the past year. In November 2018, Russia’s National Guard bought two laser-equipped vans designed to disperse protesters. The…

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Russia Eases Arms Resale Rules to Avoid Sanctions – Reports

Russia has eased its weapons resale rules to alleviate secondary buyers’ fears of U.S. sanctions, according to an unpublished government decree cited by the Vedomosti business daily Wednesday. Reports found that Russia sold the second-most weapons in 2018 despite five years of declining sales. Countries trading with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors currently face secondary…

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Russian Protesters Clash With Vigilantes Over Church Construction Site, in Photos

Clashes erupted in Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg between protesters and church supporters in riot police gear over the construction of a church in a popular city park. Some of the demonstrators tore down the fencing surrounding the construction site guarded by police and national guardsmen. Witnesses and reporters said that violence and tear gas…

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What Did Pompeo Discuss With Putin in Russia?

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday. Pompeo’s trip marked the first high-profile U.S. visit to Russia since allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and a subsequent investigation rankled bilateral relations. Meeting in the southern city…

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Trump Announces Plans to Meet Russia’s Putin at G20

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 gathering in Japan next month.

Trump said his meeting with Xi could be fruitful as their trade dispute escalated after failing to reach agreement during high-level talks last week.

‘Putin Lied to Me’: Russian Officer Detained for Protesting Presidential Administration

A disgruntled former officer seeking to restore his retirement benefits has been detained for at least the seventh time outside President Vladimir Putin’s administration in Moscow on Sunday. Vladimir Skubak, a retired missile forces major, has staged one-person pickets for nearly a month on claims that he had been denied retirement allowances in 2015. He…

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Russia’s Lavrov Says ‘Extremely Significant’ Differences With Japan on Peace Deal – Reports

Moscow and Tokyo still have “extremely significant” differences over a World War II peace deal that Japan hopes will end a territorial row between them, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Friday. Japan is seeking a deal with Russia to put an end to a dispute over islands off…

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Russians, Opposition Figures Sentenced Over Role in 2016 Montenegro Coup Attempt

Two Russian intelligence officers and two opposition politicians were among 13 people sentenced on Thursday over a 2016 election day plot aimed at toppling Montenegro’s government, killing the prime minister and bringing a pro-Russian alliance to power. The verdict given in the heavily guarded Montenegro court said that on Oct. 16, 2016, the accused planned to…

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