Belarus Strongman Toughens Protest Laws

Belarusian strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday signed legislation toughening protest laws, raising the stakes of a crackdown following his disputed re-election last year. The measures come into force amid an unprecedented legal sweep of government critics and civil society in the ex-Soviet country following the presidential vote last year that sparked huge demonstrations. The…

Russia Seeks Funding for Putin’s ‘Genetic Database’

The Russian government is seeking to allocate money toward President Vladimir Putin’s national genetic database program, according to recent instructions from Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. Putin, who has sought to transform Russia into a world leader in genetic technologies, ordered in 2020 the creation of a “National Genetic Information Database.”  Mishustin signed a series of orders…

Demand for Private Jets Surges as Rich Russians Skirt Pandemic Rules to Holiday in Europe

Luxury travel company director Yelena Stepnovaya knew she had to act fast when the coronavirus pandemic hit Russia, closing borders and bringing commercial air travel to a virtual standstill.  Along with her colleagues at private charter firm Sirius Aero, she decided to skirt restrictions by offering wealthy Russians individual, or “shuttle” seats on private jets…