Russian Pranksters Trick Amnesty Heads in Navalny ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ Call

A pair of notorious Russian pranksters duped top Amnesty International directors into saying their widely panned move to revoke jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s “prisoner of conscience” status caused damage. Amnesty was hit with widespread backlash for the decision Wednesday, with critics saying the group had caved in to a “targeted campaign” to discredit Navalny…

Moscow City Hall Develops App to ‘Replace’ Skype, Slack – RBC

Moscow authorities have developed an internal messaging app intended as a “full replacement” for workplace communication platforms like Slack, Skype and Telegram, the RBC news website reported Thursday.  The app’s appearance comes as Russia slams what it calls censorship and discrimination of government-affiliated accounts by western social media platforms. Earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin…

Moscow To Expand Metro Facial Recognition Network

Moscow authorities have allocated more than $10 million to purchase and install across the city’s sprawling metro system high-definition cameras that can recognize faces and track fast movements, Russian media reported Thursday. Russia’s capital Moscow in recent years has developed a vast network of some 100,000 facial recognition cameras, sparking concerns from activists over state…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Feb. 24

Russia has confirmed 4,200,902 cases of coronavirus and 84,430 deaths. Feb. 24: What you need to know today Russia on Wednesday confirmed 11,749 new coronavirus cases and 383 deaths. The Egyptian Drug Authority gave emergency authorization to Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the jab’s developers confirmed Wednesday.  Georgia will be open to Russian tourists from March 1, Russia’s…

Russia to Assist Armenia With Military Reform Following Karabakh Conflict

Russia is helping Armenia reform its military following the country’s deadly war with Azerbaijan last year over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian defense minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. The reforms are aimed at optimizing the Armenian military’s numerical strength as well as implementing new weapons systems and military equipment,…

Russian Priest Blesses Police Van in Siberia

A Russian Orthodox priest has blessed a police van on a recent visit to the Siberian republic of Buryatia, the regional Interior Ministry announced. Russian priests have previously been seen sprinkling holy water on military hardware including ballistic missiles, submarines and space rockets as part of blessing rituals. The practice has become so widespread that…

Amnesty International Revokes Navalny’s ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ Status

Amnesty International has withdrawn its “prisoner of conscience” designation from jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny due to past nationalist and anti-immigrant rhetoric, the human rights organization said Tuesday.  Amnesty declared Navalny a prisoner of conscience after he was detained upon his Jan. 17 return from Germany, where he had spent months recovering from nerve…

EU Agrees to Sanctions on Russia Crackdown

EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed to impose sanctions on Russian officials for the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and to target Myanmar’s military over its seizure of power, the bloc’s top envoy said.   Diplomats told AFP the sanctions against Moscow would target four senior officials deemed responsible for persecuting Navalny, using the…

Swede Charged With Spying for Russia

A Swedish tech consultant has been charged with espionage for allegedly selling information about truckmakers Volvo and Scania to Russia that put Sweden’s security at risk, prosecutors said on Monday. The 47-year-old man, whose name was not disclosed, was arrested in dramatic fashion in February 2019 while dining at a restaurant in central Stockholm with…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Feb. 22

Russia has confirmed 4,177,330 cases of coronavirus and 83,630 deaths. Feb. 22: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 12,604 new coronavirus cases and 337 deaths. Ghana’s Ministry of Health has authorized Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, The Russian Direct Investment Fund announced Saturday. Montenegro started using Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in its coronavirus vaccination drive, Russia’s…

Huzzah for Hussar-Style Beef!

Defenders of the Fatherland Day is upon us, that most masculine of all holidays. Feb. 23 nominally celebrates the foundation of the Red Army in 1918, during a hastily organized rout of Kaiser Wilhelm’s forces in the waning months of World War I. No sooner was the Red Army founded than it locked horns with…

Israel’s Netanyahu Thanks Russia for Mediating Syria Prisoner Swap

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for mediating a secretive prisoner swap with Syria, Moscow’s ally in Damascus’ ongoing military campaign against rebels and terrorists. The Israeli government announced early Friday that it exchanged two Syrian shepherds for an Israeli woman with Russian mediation. The unnamed woman in her early…

U.S. Hits Dozens Belarusians With Visa Restrictions Amid Renewed Crackdown

The United States has imposed visa restrictions on Belarusian law enforcement and justice officials it holds responsible for a renewed crackdown on activists and journalists, the State Department announced Thursday. The State Department condemned this week’s sentencing of two Belarusian journalists for covering 2020 election protests, as well as police raids on dozens of journalists,…

U.S. Diplomats Request Coronavirus Vaccine From Russia – Washington Post

U.S. diplomats in Moscow have appealed for doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in the face of delivery shortages from Washington, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Unnamed officials cited in the story say the “humbling” experience is prompted by Washington’s inability to promise the delivery of U.S.-made vaccine doses in the near future. While…