Russian Army Introduces New Military Rank

Russia’s armed forces have introduced a new military rank of sergeant major, “experimenting” with 370 of the new recruits in the southern district. Plans to add the new rank as part of Russia’s military reform have been considered since the early 2010s. A sergeant major would undergo grueling recruitment procedures and oversee the military’s sergeant…

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Russia’s High-Tech Nuclear Submarine Delayed By Design Flaws

The delivery of Russia’s most expensive and technically advanced nuclear submarine to the Russian Navy is being delayed by design flaws, Russian media have reported. “Kazan” (K-561) is the first modernized multipurpose submarine of the Yasen-M class after “Severodvinsk” was handed over to the Northern Fleet in 2013. There are considerable changes in the auxiliary systems on…

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Russian Police Official Decries Falling Living Standards for Police, Declares $600K Salary

Russia’s deputy chief of police declared an income of 38 million rubles ($588,000) two days after complaining that law enforcement officers’ living standards are falling. Deputy Interior Minister Arkady Gostev’s income grew tenfold between 2017 and 2018, according to declarations published on Thursday, making him the richest police officer in Russia. Police spokeswoman Irina Volk…

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Drugs Found in Arrested Russian Ex-Minister’s Apartment, Investigators Claim

Russian investigators say they have found drugs in the apartment of detained former minister Mikhail Abyzov, Interfax reported on Thursday. Abyzov, 46, faces up to 20 years behind bars on suspicion of embezzling $62 million. The former minister of a since-disbanded Open Government Affairs post denies the charges. A forensic analysis showed that a “narcotic substance”…

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Russian Government Rejects Proposal to Fine Officials for Insulting Citizens

The Russian government has rejected a bill that would have introduced fines for officials who exhibit disrespect toward citizens, weeks after lawmakers passed a bill that introduced fines for disrespecting the authorities. Communist lawmakers introduced the legislation in February, seeking to fine and suspend civil servants for humiliating voters. Around the same time, another bill that…

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Russian Radio-Electronic Shield Now Covers the Arctic, Officials Say

New systems for radio-electronic warfare installed along Russia’s Arctic coast are capable of jamming foreign ships and aircraft from thousands of kilometers away, Russian military officials have been cited as saying by the Izvestia tabloid. The Northern Fleet has completed its new Center for Radio-Electronic Warfare, military representatives told Izvestia. The center includes two Murmansk-BN systems, as…

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Russian Duma Rules to Allow HIV Patients to Adopt Children in Their Care

Russians living with HIV will be able to legally adopt children living with them under new legislation passed on Tuesday. Russia’s Constitutional Court ruled last year that preventing HIV-positive families from adopting children who already live with them was unconstitutional. The changes were anticipated as part of Russia’s broader state strategy to combat the epidemic…

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Poland Urges Russia to Compensate for Oil Mistakes — Polish Prime Minister

Russian suppliers will have to provide financial compensation for their mistakes over contaminated oil, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday. Flows through the Druzhba pipeline were suspended last month due to contamination, sending shockwaves through global oil markets. “Russian suppliers made major business and operational mistakes… Russia and Russian firms have to respond…

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Renault Hands Control of the Dashboard to Yandex

Russia’s transition to connected vehicles is looking increasingly homegrown after the country’s biggest car-making alliance handed control of its dashboards to local search engine Yandex. The Renault-Nissan-AvtoVAZ partnership, which has about a third of the Russian market, will use Yandex in locally made cars for services like real-time navigation, voice assistance and music. The pact…

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Russian Millennials Worry Most About Corruption and Inequality, Study Says

Russian millennials are more concerned about corruption and income inequality than their global peers, the U.S auditing company Deloitte said in a survey published Monday. Millennials around the world named climate change (29 percent) and income inequality (22 percent) as their top personal concerns, the survey said. Russian millennials named political and business corruption (38…

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Kremlin Is Spending $43M to Renovate Imperial Mansion for Orthodox Patriarch, Media Reports

The Kremlin’s property management department is financing luxury renovations for the residence of Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill near St. Petersburg, The Bell business outlet reported Tuesday. The former residence of Russia’s imperial family, which is being converted for use by the patriarch, occupies almost 2.5 hectares (6.1 acres) of land south of St.…

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Ukraine’s Zelenskiy Asks U.S. for Stronger Anti-Russia Sanctions on First Day in Office

Newly inaugurated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has asked U.S. officials to step up sanctions against neighboring Russia in one his first foreign policy actions. Zelenskiy has said that Ukraine’s most pressing issue is conflict with its neighbor Russia, which annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and backed separatists in a war in the east that…

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A Glimpse Behind the Iron Curtain

As a young ballerina with the Moscow City Ballet, from 2008-2012 Varvara Bortsova lived, traveled and worked alongside dancers from across the post-Soviet sphere. Artists in the company came from nearly every corner of the former U.S.S.R., from the steppes of Central Asia to the mountains of the Caucasus to the shores of the Baltic…

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Russia Has Most Protected Natural Areas in the World, WWF Says

Russia now ranks first in the world for its amount of protected natural areas, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia data. Official statistics state that Russia has 63.3 million hectares of specially protected natural areas, WWF had previously reported. These figures do not take into account natural territories including cultural heritage sites and territories of traditional use,…

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Record $185M in Cash Seized From Russian Official in Sting Operation

Russian authorities have seized 12 billion rubles ($185.5 million) from former FSB official Colonel Kirill Cherkalin, making him the country’s richest ex-law enforcement official under investigation for corruption. Cherkalin, former head of the FSB economic security department’s financial counterintelligence support unit, was charged with bribery of $850,000 last week. Videos posted online show bags stuffed…

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Russian Journalists Quit En Masse as Censorship Scandal Hits Kommersant

The entire political department of Russia’s Kommersant business publication resigned Monday in solidarity with two veteran journalists at the newspaper who said they had been forced to step down. In April, Kommersant reported that Federation Council leader Valentina Matviyenko would be replaced “in the coming months,” citing several government sources. The Kremlin said it was…

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Putin Has No Plans to Congratulate Zelenskiy on Inauguration — Kremlin

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked if Vladimir Putin will congratulate incoming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his inauguration, says the Russian president had no such plans.

He said that Putin would congratulate his newly elected counterpart if Zelenskiy makes progress in settling the conflict with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and mending relations with Russia. 

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