Putin Warns of Blackouts From ‘Uncontrolled’ Crypto Mining

President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that unregulated cryptocurrency mining risks overloading Russia’s electrical grid and causing widespread power outages. “An uncontrolled increase in electricity consumption for mining cryptocurrencies can lead to power shortages in certain regions,” Putin told senior government officials at a meeting focused on the economy. Russia’s Energy Ministry estimates that crypto mining consumes…

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Lithuania Bans Cars With Belarusian Plates

Lithuania will no longer allow passenger vehicles with Belarusian license plates to enter the country, the Baltic nation’s customs agency announced on Wednesday.  The ban, which takes effect Thursday, applies to passenger cars “regardless of the nationality of their owner or driver,” the agency said. An exception will be made until Aug. 16 for Belarusian…

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Married Couple Killed in Ukrainian Drone Strike on Russia’s Belgorod Region

A young couple was killed in a Ukrainian drone strike while driving in southwestern Russia’s Belgorod region, Russian authorities said Wednesday. Belgorod region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said the latest attack took place in the village of Tserkovny, less than 10 kilometers from the border with northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region. “As a result of a car fire,…

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Russia, Ukraine Swap 190 Prisoners of War

Russia and Ukraine have exchanged 190 captured soldiers as part of a deal mediated by the United Arab Emirates, the Russian Defense Ministry announced Wednesday. “As a result of a negotiation process, 95 Russian servicemen … have been returned,” the ministry wrote on Telegram, adding that 95 Ukrainian soldiers had also been released. Ukraine’s human…

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Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Exiled Journalist Andrei Zakharov

Authorities in Russia have issued an arrest warrant for exiled investigative journalist Andrei Zakharov, the independent news website Mediazona reported Wednesday, citing the Interior Ministry’s database of wanted persons. The database does not specify what criminal charges Zakharov faces, but Mediazona noted that he was previously charged with failing to comply with Russia’s “foreign agent” labeling…

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‘Do You Still Need This War?’: The Anti-War Russian Teenagers Facing Long Prison Sentences

At the age of 16, Yegor Balazeikin, a high-school student from St. Petersburg, threw Molotov cocktails at two military conscription centers — an anti-war protest that had become widespread across Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. The devices failed to ignite. No one was injured. But Balazeikin, who was initially charged with hooliganism, was eventually…

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Hungary’s Orban Urges EU Leader Michel to Restore Ties With Russia – Bild

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has called on European Council President Charles Michel to resume diplomatic relations with Russia, the German newspaper Bild reported Monday, citing a letter written by the populist leader following his recent foreign trips that sparked anger in Brussels. Orban — whose country this month took over the rotating EU presidency —…

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Russian Region Deploys Cats to Ward Off Rats on the Frontlines in Ukraine

Russian volunteers are sending cats to fight off rodent infestations in the battlefield trenches during the country’s invasion of Ukraine, local media reported Monday. “The soldiers complained to me that they’re plagued by mice,” volunteer Vladimir Malygin told the state-affiliated media outlet Tatar Inform. “Cats saved the Hermitage during the Great Patriotic War [World War II],…

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Russia ‘Jails’ Journalist Masha Gessen 8 Years in Absentia for Bucha Comments

A Moscow court has sentenced Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen to eight years in prison in absentia for spreading fake information about Russia’s military, the human rights NGO Net Freedoms Project reported Monday.  Moscow’s Basmanny District Court found Gessen, who was born in Russia but lives in the U.S., guilty of “disseminating knowingly false information about…

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Russian Superjet Airliner Crashes, Killing 3 Pilots – Reports

Russia’s flagship Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional airliner crashed outside Moscow, killing all three pilots on board, state news agencies reported Friday. The Gazpromavia SSJ 100 crashed in the Moscow region’s Kolomensky district during a test flight after “planned repairs,” TASS quoted anonymous emergency services as saying. The Russian-made jet was flying from its base at…

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Russia Starts Thwarting YouTube Speeds

YouTube will be slowed down in Russia due to “technical problems” with Google’s equipment in the country, state-owned telecom giant Rostelecom announced Friday. Rostelecom said in a statement that “growth in traffic” had led to a “serious overload” of equipment that is used to speed up the loading of YouTube videos and other Google services. “This…

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Multiple Russian Soldiers Dead, Wounded in Military Site Shooting Near Ukraine – Baza

A shooting at a military deployment site in southwestern Russia’s Belgorod region near the border with Ukraine has left a number of Russian soldiers dead and wounded, media reported Friday. Baza, a Telegram news channel believed to have links to Russia’s security services, said a manhunt was underway for a serviceman armed with a Kalashnikov automatic…

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Foiled Russian Assassination Plot Targeted CEO of German Arms Maker Rheinmetall – CNN

Russia had plans to assassinate the CEO of German defense company Rheinmetall, a key producer of artillery shells and military vehicles for Ukraine, CNN reported Thursday, citing five anonymous U.S. and Western officials familiar with U.S. intelligence. U.S. intelligence had informed Berlin of these plans, allowing German security services to foil the plot against Papperger, the…

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Russian Lawmakers Urge Sberbank to Remove Rainbow Unicorn from Kids’ Bank Cards Over ‘LGBT Symbols’ 

Russian lawmakers have called on the country’s largest lender Sberbank to remove a rainbow-colored unicorn from its bank cards for kids, saying that “rainbow symbols” are an attribute of the “international LGBT movement.” In an appeal to Sberbank head German Gref, the lower-house State Duma’s Family, Women and Children Committee said that it had received…

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3 EU Citizens Detained at Russian Spaceport

Three EU citizens were detained this week for illegally entering the Russian-controlled Baikonur Cosmodrome in central Kazakhstan, local authorities said Thursday. The secretive space launch facility in a remote area of the Kazakh steppe has become a magnet for daredevil tourists, many of whom attempt to break into the hangars housing old Soviet-era spacecraft. The…

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Russia Jails Exiled Politician Leonid Gozman 8.5 Years in Absentia for War Criticism

Exiled Russian opposition politician Leonid Gozman has been sentenced to 8.5 years in prison in absentia for criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Moscow judicial press service said Thursday. Gozman, 73, was charged in connection with his criticism of the invasion of Ukraine on his Facebook profile and Telegram channel, as well as in appearances on political shows…

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Russia Adds Yulia Navalnaya to ‘Terrorists and Extremists’ List

Russian authorities have added exiled opposition figure Yulia Navalnaya to the federal list of “terrorists and extremists” days after issuing a warrant for her arrest, media reported Thursday. A Moscow court said this week that it placed Navalaya, who currently lives outside Russia, in pre-trial detention in absentia for “participating in an extremist organization.” Russian authorities…

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Nobel Winner Muratov Calls on Foreign Leaders to Exchange Russian Political Prisoners

Russian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov has called on foreign leaders to facilitate the exchange of political prisoners from Russia in a rare video appeal published Wednesday.  “Let’s start exchanging civilians imprisoned on politically motivated charges. Many of them simply won’t survive [in prison],” Muratov said in a 20-minute long YouTube clip. “Let’s exchange…

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Latvia Jails Activist 3 Years for Pro-Russian Memorabilia – Reports

A court in Latvia has sentenced a pro-Kremlin activist to three years in prison for publicly displaying Russian and Soviet flags, media reported Wednesday. Jelena Kreile has previously been seen wearing pro-war symbols and holding pro-Russian signs at anti-war rallies in the Latvian capital of Riga. The Latvian-born housewife, who only speaks Russian, faces 15 administrative cases for…

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Hungary’s Orban Tells EU that Putin, Xi Expect Ukraine Talks by End of 2024 – El Pais

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the European Union that Russian and Chinese leaders expect Ukrainian peace talks by the end of 2024, the Spanish daily El Pais reported Wednesday, citing his confidential reports filed after visiting the countries. One of President Vladimir Putin’s closest Western partners, Orban has sparked the ire of the EU…

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