7.5K Russians Sentenced for Bribery in 2018

Almost 7,500 people have been found guilty on charges of bribery last year, more than half of them for giving or taking less than $150, according to data released by the Russian Supreme Court’s justice department. Anti-corruption activists say official figures vastly underestimate the prevalence of bribery in a country that ranks low in transparency…

Three Killed in Russian Chemical Plant Blast

At least three people have been killed in a chemical plant explosion in central Russia, media reported and the Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday. Three workers were killed and one hospitalized with injuries at the Azot plant owned by fertilizer producer Uralchem, Perm region’s 59.ru news website reported. The outlet quoted the regional safety administration…

A Day in the Life of a Yandex Food Courier

On April 16, 21-year-old Yandex Food courier Artyk Orozaliyev died after a 10-hour shift. Doctors have linked his death to exhaustion stemming from overwork. The incident triggered outrage on social media over the Russian company’s treatment of its couriers. Other Yandex Food couriers posted complaints of steep fines and harsh delivery timetables. We followed a Yandex Food…

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy: Border ‘Only Thing Left in Common’ With Russia

The Russian-Ukrainian border is the only thing left in common between the peoples of the neighboring countries, Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said in response to remarks from President Vladimir Putin. Between signing orders that expedite the Russian passport application process for certain categories of Ukrainians, Putin called Russians and Ukrainians “one people” with common…

Russia’s Lavrov Denies Moscow Asked Maduro Not to Leave Venezuela – Reports

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed as untrue on Thursday assertions by U.S. officials that Moscow had urged Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro not to leave the country amid the continuing unrest there, the state-run RIA news agency reported. RIA also cited Lavrov as saying that Russia and the United States had irreconcilable positions on Venezuela but that…

First Russian to Referee Champions League Final

Former women’s national football team defender Anastasia Pustovoitova will be the first Russian national to referee a Champions League final after the UEFA selected her to officiate the women’s final later this month. Olympique Lyonnais play FC Barcelona Femenino in Hungary on May 18. No Russian — male or female — has refereed a Champions…

Putin Signs Internet Isolation Bill Into Law

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a bill that seeks to establish Russia’s “internet sovereignty” into law. Deputies first submitted the measures to tighten state control over the internet in December, citing the need to respond to an “aggressive” U.S. national cybersecurity strategy. It has drawn fierce criticism from civil society groups over fears that it…

Pussy Riot Activists Granted Asylum in Sweden

Sweden has granted asylum to two members of the anti-Kremlin activist group Pussy Riot, the country’s media reported on Wednesday. Artist Lusine Dzhanyan and her partner Alexei Knedlyakovsky have sought asylum for themselves and their two children in Sweden since 2017, saying they had received harassment and death threats in their home country. Their initial…

Moscow’s Labor Day Parade Draws 100K Marchers

May 1 marks Labor Day in Russia, one of the country’s major public holidays. Cities across the country hold official parades, organized street demonstrations and marches on this day, which celebrates workers and laborers. More than 100,000 people attended this year’s parade in Moscow, according to police estimates. Here’s a look at the celebrations throughout…

Putin Sacks Russian Envoy to Belarus Amid Oil Row

Russian President Vladimir Putin suddenly sacked Moscow’s ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, amid a row over contaminated oil and a wider political discord between the ex-Soviet countries. Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has generally been more closely aligned with Moscow than any other ex-Soviet leader, while the lack of tolerance for…

Russia Blames U.S. for UN Visa Denials

The United States obstructs Russia’s work in the United Nations by selectively issuing visas to Russian nationals, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday. Russia’s chemical weapons expert Dmitry Poklonsky was denied a U.S. visa to attend a UN Security Council session last Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a press statement. He was due…

Russia Opens First Center To Issue Russian Passports to East Ukrainians

Russia has opened its first center aimed at issuing Russian passports to residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, Interfax reported on Monday. Last week, President Vladimir Putin signed an order to simplify the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, prompting calls from Kiev for more international sanctions. “Today, the center…

Russian Prison Authority Ordered Hospitalization of About 200 Inmates

Around 200 prisoners in 2018 were so badly injured during questioning by investigators in Moscow region pre-detention facilities that they required hospitalization, a senior Federal Prison Service (FSIN) official has claimed. Russia’s federal penitentiary system was rocked by a scandal last year after bodycam footage showed guards violently beating prisoners in a notorious prison outside…

Putin Says Russians and Ukrainians Would Benefit From Shared Citizenship

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russians and Ukrainians would only benefit from sharing common citizenship, the Interfax news agency reported. Putin said on Saturday Moscow was considering offering all Ukrainian citizens fast-tracked Russian passports, a move that angered some politicians in Ukraine which has been at war with pro-Russian separatists since 2014.…

Kremlin Says It’s ‘Too Early’ to Discuss Russian Passports for All Ukrainians

The Kremlin considers it premature to discuss any details about expanding Russia’s fast-tracked passport offer to all Ukrainian citizens, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday. President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said Moscow was considering offering all Ukrainian citizens fast-tracked Russian passports. Putin made the statement days after signing an order to simplify the procedure…

Moscow Celebrates Orthodox Easter

Orthodox Easter, called Paskha in Russian, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is one of Russia’s most widely celebrated religious holidays. Because it follows the Orthodox Calendar, it is usually celebrated later than Catholic Easter. People prepare for the celebration by coloring eggs, baking the traditional kulich cake and making paskha, a cottage cheese…