FBI Recruits D.C.-Area Russians With Russian-Language Facebook Ads

The FBI appears to be recruiting Russians living in and around the U.S. capital with awkwardly worded and grammatically incorrect Russian-language Facebook ads, CNN has reported. Washington and Moscow have traded accusations of espionage, disinformation and other influence campaigns as relations between the powers have deteriorated to Cold War levels. An investigation into the 2016…

Sberbank Hit by Huge Data Breach

The personal details of millions of Sberbank customers may have been leaked, in what would be the largest-ever data breach in Russian banking, according to cyber security experts. Analysts at cybersecurity firm DeviceLock found personal information relating to up to 60 million Sberbank credit card holders for sale on the black market. They were able…

On This Day Sergei Yesenin Was Born

Born in Konstantinovo, Ryazan, to a peasant family, Sergei Yesenin was at an early age sent to live with his grandparents, who were better off and played a major role in raising him. With his three grown-up uncles, a young Yesenin was taught how to swim, hunt and ride horses. His grandmother, a religious woman,…

Georgian Composer Giya Kancheli Dies at 85

Georgian composer Giya Kancheli died Wednesday at age 85. He had been gravely ill and was being treated abroad prior to his death.  Kancheli is best known for composing the soundtrack for the 1977 comedy “Mimino” and the 1986 science fiction film “Kin-dza-dza!.” He also had a distinguished career writing music for theater, opera and…

Moscow Cancer Center Employees Threaten to Quit as Doctor Resignation Wave Hits Capital

A wave of resignations sweeping Russia’s health sector has reached the country’s capital this week after employees at one of Moscow’s best cancer hospitals threatened to quit in protest of its new leadership. Nurses, doctors, ambulance staff and paramedics across Russia have expressed their grievances by resigning or staging various forms of strikes since the…

Russian Deliveries to Arctic Military Bases Up 200% From 2018, State Shipping Company Says

State military shipping company Oboronlogistika has made 11 shipments to the Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya and other parts of the region so far this year as part of its exclusive delivery agreement with the Defense Ministry. About 30,000 tons of goods were delivered, the company said. In 2018, the company’s total delivery volume amounted to 11,000 tons. Various…

Russian Town Rallies Against New Mayor From Rebel-Held Eastern Ukraine

Protesters in Russia’s Buddhist republic of Kalmykia took to the streets against the appointment as mayor of a one-time leader of separatist-held eastern Ukraine. Dmitry Trapeznikov, 38, briefly led the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic in war-torn eastern Ukraine after his predecessor was assassinated last year. On Thursday, the Kalmyk governor announced that he appointed Trapeznikov…

Cuts, Beatings and Sheep’s Blood: Russian State Journalist Sues Over War Correspondent Course Injuries

A Russian state journalist has sued the organizer of a training course for war correspondents over injuries he says he received during the training. Svyatoslav Pavlov’s gruesome account of the course at a military site in Crimea included scenes of ripped earlobes and bags placed over journalists’ heads causing asphyxiation. The courses are required for…

Senior Investigator Stabbed to Death in Moscow

Russia’s Investigative Committee said Tuesday that one of its employees, senior investigator Vladislav Kapustin, was stabbed to death at the entrance to its central office in Moscow. “The attacker was arrested,” spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said in a statement.  A disheveled eyewitness told the Znak.com news website she was in the middle of a conversation with…

U.S. Sanctions 2 Russians Connected to ‘Kremlin Troll Factory’

The United States has imposed sanctions on two Russians over their alleged involvement in the Internet Research Agency, a Russian organization accused of interfering in U.S. elections. The Internet Research Agency is believed to be financed by billionaire restaurateur Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as President Vladimir Putin’s “chef.” A U.S. special counsel indicted Prigozhin and 12…

Russian Veterans’ Hospital Bans Transgender Hairstylist From Charity Project

A veterans’ hospital in Russia’s fourth-largest city has banned a transgender hairstylist from volunteering to give free haircuts to its elderly patients. A local charity in Yekaterinburg had put out a call for stylists, makeup artists and hairdressers to provide beauty services to the hospital’s patients at no cost. Marta Katasrofa, a transgender hairdresser, was…

Trump-Putin Phone Calls Can Only Be Disclosed With Russian Consent, Kremlin Says

The Kremlin said on Monday that Washington would need Russian consent to publish transcripts of phone calls between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Congress is determined to get access to Trump’s calls with Putin and other world leaders, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee’s chairman said on Sunday, citing concerns that the Republican…

When the ‘Forest’ Came to the Fringe

Every year thousands of performers and visitors descend upon Scotland in late summer to attend the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s biggest festival of performance arts, from stand-up comedy to opera. This year among the nearly 4,000 shows were several from Russia including “Forest,” a work of physical theater directed by Dmitry Melkin and performed…

Most Russians Charged for ‘Disrespecting’ Authorities Insulted Putin – Rights Group

A majority of Russians charged under a law banning “blatant disrespect” toward the authorities have been disrespectful toward President Vladimir Putin, according to research by the Agora human rights group. Sept. 29 marked six months since Russia imposed up to 300,000 rubles in fines and 15 days in jail for repeated “blatant disrespect” toward government…

Director Mark Zakharov, Dead at 85

On Saturday morning film and theater director, screenwriter and writer Mark Zakharov died of complications from pneumonia. He was 85 years old. Mark Zakharov was the artistic director of the Lenkom Theater in Moscow since 1973 and defined not only the theater’s repertory but the style and spirit of the late-Soviet era. He gathered a…