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…

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…

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…

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…

‘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…

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],…

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…

In Ancient Rus the Fig was King

The fig might seem to be an exotic fruit, but it has been a culinary treat in Russia for ages. Hundreds of years ago it was brought by Asian merchants to Muscovy. Most commonly called a wine berry, this fruit was written about in many ancient books. Figs are an amazing fruit. They are harvested…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…