Russian Lawmaker Says Bans Are Freeing and Civil Rights Are Restrictive

An outspoken Russian lawmaker has turned heads for arguing that civil rights are restrictive, while bans are a form of freedom. Yelena Mizulina, who successfully lobbied for Russia’s 2012 “gay propaganda” law and spearheaded efforts to decriminalize domestic violence, made the statement in defense of recent internet restriction laws. On Monday, Russian senators backed tighter…

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Putin Won’t Congratulate Zelenskiy On Ukraine Presidential Win, Kremlin Says

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not officially congratulate Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his landslide victory, the Kremlin said on Monday. Ukraine has entered uncharted political waters after near final results show Zelenskiy, a comedian, winning Sunday’s presidential election by a landslide, dramatically upending the political status quo in the ex-Soviet republic. It’s “too early”…

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Ukraine’s Election Result Pleases Both Russia’s Opposition and the Kremlin

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian and actor with no political experience, swept to victory on Sunday in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, in a race that has fascinated the country’s looming neighbor to the north. The victory triggered speculation in Russia on Sunday that relations between the neighboring countries might improve. It also presented…

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U.S. Calls On Countries to Deny Airspace to Russian Planes Destined for Venezuela

The U.S. State Department spokesperson has called on countries to “follow Malta’s example” and block Russian military planes en route for Venezuela from using their airspace. On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Malta refused a Russian request to use its airspace to fly military aircraft from Syria to Venezuela on April…

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Kremlin Says Mueller Report Shows No Evidence of Russian Meddling

The Kremlin said on Friday that U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report did not contain any evidence the Russian state had meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mueller’s report, released on Thursday, details extensive contacts between Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian operatives who, it said, sought to tilt the election in Trump’s favor. However,…

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Putin Ally to Ukraine’s Probable New Leader: Do Deal and Get Territory Back

Ukraine’s new president could regain control over the separatist-controlled east of his country within months and get cheap gas and major investment from Russia if he repairs ties with Moscow, the Kremlin’s closest ally in Ukraine said. Viktor Medvedchuk, a prominent figure in Ukraine’s Russia-leaning opposition, outlined the prospect in an interview before a presidential election runoff in…

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Mueller Probe Did Not Establish Trump Coordination With Russia, U.S. Attorney General Says

U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Thursday offered some details of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia‘s role in the 2016 U.S. election before making it public, emphasizing that it found no collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Moscow. Barr, a Trump appointee, gave a news conference ahead of the planned release of the…

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Abramovich Partner’s Marijuana Business Returns Him to Forbes’ Richest Russians List

A marijuana business has helped Roman Abramovich’s associate Andrei Bloch return to Forbes magazine’s list of richest Russians. Bloch briefly served as president of oil producer Sibneft from 1998 until Abramovich sold it to Russia’s state energy firm Gazprom in 2005. Bloch and another partner bought Abramovich’s Unimilk dairy business in 2004 — which merged…

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Internet Added $60Bln to Russia’s Economy in 2018, Study Says

Russia’s internet sector has contributed 3.9 trillion rubles ($60.8 billion) to the overall economy last year, an 11 percent increase from 2017, according to the Russian Association of Electronic Communications. The study correlates with Kremlin estimates that Russian internet companies account for about 4 percent of gross domestic product. E-commerce accounts for half of Russia’s…

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Ukraine Investigates Presidential Front-runner Zelenskiy’s Alleged Russian Financing – Reports

Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) is reportedly investigating allegations that presidential front-runner Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s campaign could be financed by Kremlin-linked figures. Polls have forecast a heavy defeat for President Petro Poroshenko in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential elections on Sunday. Zelenskiy, a comedian and actor with no political experience, won twice as many votes as…

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As Russians Raise Funds for Notre Dame, Critics Point to Russia’s Destroyed Historical Churches

Russians expressed their support for France in the wake of Monday’s devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris with both condolences and monetary donations. Yet even as the Culture Ministry announced plans to call on the Russian public to raise funds to help restore the 12th-century cathedral, Russian critics have pointed to several historic…

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Russia’s Dagestan, Chechnya Halt Border Talks Amid Ingushetia Unrest

Russia’s republics of Dagestan and Chechnya have suspended negotiations over border delineations following months of public anger over Chechnya’s land swap deal with neighboring Ingushetia. Protests reignited in the North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia last month to demand the resignation of its governor, who signed the land swap agreement with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov in…

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