Putin Demands ‘Real Guarantees’ From Kyiv Before Restoration of Grain Deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday that he wanted “real guarantees” from Kyiv before potentially rejoining the grain deal.  In a phone call, Putin told Erdogan that Russia sought “real guarantees from Kyiv about the strict observance of the Istanbul agreement, in particular about not using the humanitarian corridor…

Russian Court Fines Wikipedia Over Ukraine Content

A Russian court on Tuesday fined Wikipedia 2 million roubles ($32,600) over articles related to Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine. A Moscow-based group that supports projects by Wikipedia’s owner Wikimedia said it was fined by Moscow’s Tagansky district court for refusing to remove two articles related to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. Vladimir Medeiko, director of…

Kremlin Accuses U.K. of ‘Directing and Coordinating’ Nord Stream Blasts

The Kremlin on Tuesday accused Britain of “directing and coordinating” explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines. “Our intelligence services have data indicating that British military specialists were directing and coordinating the attack,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. “There is evidence that Britain is involved in sabotage, in a terrorist attack on vital energy…

Russia Targets Ukrainian Energy Infrastructure in New Strikes

Russia’s military said it successfully hit several Ukrainian energy infrastructure facilities in the latest round of missile strikes fired at the war-torn country Monday.  “The Russian Armed Forces continued to launch strikes with high-precision long-range air and sea-based weapons against Ukrainian military and energy facilities,” the Defense Ministry said in an update on its Telegram…

Bridgestone Seeks Local Buyer for Russian Business

Japanese tiremaker Bridgestone said Monday it was seeking a local buyer for its business in Russia due to “general uncertainty and the ongoing supply issues” in that country. The company suspended manufacturing activities in Russia and exports to the country in March — shortly after Moscow invaded Ukraine — while freezing new investments, it said. Bridgestone said in a…

Finnish Police: Weapons Bound For Ukraine End Up on Europe’s Black Market

Police in Finland have raised the alarm over the smuggling of Western-donated weapons from Ukraine by criminal gangs, Finland’s Yle broadcaster reported Sunday. Weapons originally sent as military aid to Ukraine including assault rifles, pistols, grenades and combat drones, had been found in multiple European countries, Christer Ahlgren, head of organized crime at the Finnish…

Putin Congratulates Brazil’s Lula on Election Win, Says Hopes for ‘Cooperation’

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday after the leftist ex-president narrowly won a divisive runoff against far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. “The results of the vote have confirmed your high political authority,” Putin said in a telegram published by the Kremlin after Brazilian electoral officials called the election for…

Who Doesn’t Love Cabbage Rolls?

A joke in Russian goes like this: some people eat meat, some people eat cabbage, but on average people eat cabbage rolls. Today everyone in Russia knows what cabbage rolls are. But 200 years ago this was a culinary novelty for Russians. The traditional territory of cabbage rolls is Eastern Europe and Scandinavia — although…

‘It’s a Meat Grinder’: Fighting Rages in Eastern Ukraine as Russian Forces Eye Bakhmut

The battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut has intensified as Russian troops led by the murky Wagner mercenary group relentlessly exchange artillery fire with Ukrainian forces in their attempt to seize the small but strategically important city.  The fighting, which has grown increasingly deadly in recent days, underscores Russia’s desperation to declare a…

EU Chief Courts Moscow’s Central Asia Allies

EU chief Charles Michel called on Thursday for closer ties with Central Asia on his first official visit to Kazakhstan, the main economic powerhouse in a region where Russia’s influence has come under question. In the first European Union-Central Asia summit, Michel met the leaders of the region’s five countries — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan…

Rosneft Head Sechin Slams EU’s Energy Price Cap

A Western cap on Russian energy prices destroys individual countries’ sovereignty and plays into the hands of the United States, Igor Sechin, the chief executive of state oil giant Rosneft, said Thursday. “The idea is to essentially abolish the sovereign rights of countries to their own resources,” the Kommersant business daily quoted Sechin as saying. “Because the…

Authorities in Russian-Occupied Zaporizhzhia Order Phone Checks on Residents

Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine’s occupied region of Zaporizhzhia ordered phone checks on local residents on Thursday, announcing the implementation of military censorship under Russian President Vladimir Putin’s martial law decree. “From today in the Zaporizhzhia region, law enforcement officers have begun a selective preventing check of the mobile phones of citizens,” Moscow-appointed official Vladimir Rogov…

Russia Says U.S. Satellites Assisting Ukraine Are ‘Legitimate’ Targets

Commercial satellites used by the United States to assist Ukraine in its war against Russia are “legitimate” targets for attacks, a Russian diplomat said Wednesday. Private assets like Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet constellation, as well as Maxar and Planet Labs earth observation satellites, have proven critical in keeping Ukrainians online and piercing the fog of…

Russia Denounces Norway’s ‘Spy Mania’

Russia’s Embassy in Oslo criticized what it called Norway’s “spy mania” on Wednesday, a day after the Scandinavian country announced the arrest of a suspected Russian sleeper agent. The Norwegian counter-intelligence service PST on Tuesday said it had arrested a Russian so-called “illegal” agent masquerading as a Brazilian researcher at the University of Tromso, in…

Adam Curtis’ ‘TraumaZone’ Delivers Harrowing But Essential View of Russia’s Post-Soviet Decade

Nobody can accuse Adam Curtis of lacking ambition in his new BBC series “Russia 1985-1999: TraumaZone.”  In a harrowing seven-hour viewing experience made up entirely of archival footage, the British filmmaker attempts to recreate the atmosphere of the Soviet Union’s final years and Russia’s brief experiment with democracy. While not as broad in scope as…

Adam Curtis Delivers Harrowing But Essential View of Post-Soviet Russia in New Series

Nobody can accuse Adam Curtis of lacking ambition in his new BBC series “Russia 1985-1999: TraumaZone.”  In a harrowing seven-hour viewing experience made up entirely of archival footage, the British filmmaker attempts to recreate the atmosphere of the Soviet Union’s final years and Russia’s brief experiment with democracy. While not as broad in scope as…

Russia Tells China, India That Ukraine Planning ‘Dirty Bomb’ Attack

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday reiterated claims that Ukraine is preparing a provocation using a “dirty bomb” in a video call with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe, according to Moscow’s Defense Ministry. “The situation in Ukraine was discussed. Army General Sergei Shoigu conveyed to his Chinese counterpart concerns about possible provocations by Ukraine…