Russian Convicts Fighting in Ukraine Accuse Army of Refusing Payments, Pardons – IStories

The Russian military is withholding payments and pardons promised to convicted criminals who signed up to fight in some of the most dangerous hotspots in Ukraine, the investigative news outlet IStories reported Thursday. Journalists said they had obtained a copy of a letter sent to President Vladimir Putin by a group of convicts-turned-soldiers, who expressed…

Russian Anti-War Presidential Hopeful Says Will Not Submit Endorsements From Abroad

Anti-war presidential hopeful Boris Nadezhdin said Thursday that he will not submit signatures endorsing his candidacy that were collected abroad to Russia’s election authorities. According to Russian election laws, a presidential hopeful running from a party not represented in parliament must collect 100,000 unique signatures endorsing his or her candidacy. Nadezhdin, who hopes to run…

UN Nuclear Chief Says ‘Very Real’ Threat Remains at Moscow-Held Zaporizhzhia Plant

The possibility of a nuclear disaster at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine remains “very real,” according to the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog.  Russian forces captured the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe’s largest, in March 2022 shortly after the Kremlin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.  Regular shelling and drone attacks around the plant have raised…

Yevgenia Berkovich’s Statement in Verse to the Court is Now an Illustrated Music Video

Theater director Yevgeniya (Zhenya) Berkovich and playwright Svetlana Petriychuk were back in court right after the New Year’s holidays to determine if they would be released from pre-trial detention. The two women have been held since May 2023 on charges that the play “Finist, the Brave Falcon,” written by Petriychuk and directed by Berkovich, contained…

Ukraine Says ‘VIP’ Russian Officials Were Supposed to be On Board Downed Plane

A Russian military plane that crashed near the border with Ukraine was supposed to transport senior Russian officials before a last-minute change of plans was made, Ukraine’s military intelligence spokesman claimed Thursday. Russia accuses Ukraine of shooting down one of its Il-76 transport planes over the Belgorod region on Wednesday, killing all 74 people on board, including…

Russian Court Fines Activist for Interview With ‘Undesirable’ Media

A Russian court has handed down the country’s first-ever sentencing against a person for appearing in an interview with an “undesirable” organization, the independent news website Mediazona reported Thursday. Activist Nadezhda Nizovkina from the Far East Russian republic of Buryatia appeared on the independent news channel Dozhd during a broadcast in August, just two months after…

Russia’s Anti-War Presidential Hopeful Nadezhdin Collects 150K Signatures of Support

Russian anti-war presidential hopeful Boris Nadezhdin has gathered over 150,000 signatures endorsing his bid to run in the March election, his campaign website showed Thursday. While Nadezhdin hit the milestone of 100,000 signatures needed for the Russian Central Election Commission’s (CEC) review on Tuesday, his campaign had stressed that it would aim to collect 150,000…

Russia Labels Youth Magazine DOXA ‘Undesirable’ – Lawmaker

Russian authorities have designated the independent youth news outlet DOXA as “undesirable,” according to a senior member of Russia’s lower house of parliament said Thursday. DOXA, which has openly criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said State Duma deputy Vasily Piskarev had asked the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office to blacklist the news outlet in November 2022. “The General…

Russia’s State Duma Moves to Seize Property of Army Critics

Russian lawmakers on Wednesday passed in a first reading draft legislation that would allow authorities to confiscate the property of those convicted of “discrediting” and spreading “fakes” about the country’s armed forces. The bill, introduced into the lower-house State Duma on Monday, also proposes seizing money, property and other valuables from those found guilty of inciting “extremist” activity and…

Russia Says Kyiv Shot Down Plane Carrying Ukrainian POWs

Russia on Wednesday blamed Kyiv for shooting down a military transportation aircraft said to be carrying 65 Ukrainian soldiers for a prisoner exchange The Il-76 aircraft crashed Wednesday morning in western Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, during a “scheduled flight,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, with authorities later stating that everyone on board the plane had perished. …

‘Hope for Change’ or ‘Kremlin Spoiler’: Who Is Boris Nadezhdin, the Presidential Hopeful Uniting Pro-Peace Russians?

MOSCOW — Will the Kremlin allow an anti-war candidate to run for the presidency? That’s the main question for the thousands of Russians who have stood in long lines to show their support for presidential hopeful Boris Nadezhdin in recent days. Despite an ongoing debate over whether or not Nadezhdin is a Kremlin-backed spoiler candidate,…

Billionaire Usmanov Wins Court Battle Against Forbes Over Article Claiming Ties With Putin – RBC

A court in Germany has banned the U.S. edition of Forbes magazine from claiming that Russian-Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov has close ties to President Vladimir Putin, the RBC news website reported Tuesday, citing an obtained copy of the ruling. Forbes, citing an anonymous expert, reported in early February 2022 that Usmanov “has repeatedly fronted for Putin…

Russia’s Isolation Hampers Climate Change Research in the Arctic – Study

Russia’s exclusion from the international scientific community since the start of the war in Ukraine hampers global researchers’ understanding of the Arctic at a time when climate change is rapidly changing the region’s ecosystems, according to a new study published in the British scientific journal Nature. The study’s authors found that removing Russian field stations…

Russian Prisons Ban Video Calls for Inmates, Says Member of Presidential Rights Council

Russian prison authorities have banned inmates from making video calls, a member of Russia’s presidential human rights council said Tuesday. More than 1,500 video call devices are installed in prisons across Russia, council member Eva Merkacheva told the tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets. But earlier this month, Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) deputy chief Alexander Khabarov is said to…

‘I Was Sent to My Death’: Daria Trepova, Facing 28 Years for Pro-War Blogger’s Killing, Maintains Innocence

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — “I feel pain and shame that my naivety and gullibility led to such catastrophic consequences.”  As Daria Trepova gives her final word in court, two policemen stand in front of the glass cage for defendants, obscuring her from view.  “I still don’t plead guilty but I acknowledge my moral responsibility,” the…

Russia Says Apple Paid $13M in Anti-Monopoly Fines

Multinational tech giant Apple has paid the Russian government 1.2 billion rubles ($13.2 million) in fines, Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) announced Monday. The Russian agency said it found Apple in violation of its anti-monopoly legislation in July 2022 for banning app developers from informing customers about purchase options outside the App Store. Western sanctions…

Kazakhstan to Ban Entry to Russian Media Executive Over Language Policy Criticism

Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry said it will ban entry to Russian media executive Tina Kandelaki over her remarks about the country’s language policies, local media reported Monday. Kandelaki, deputy CEO of the state-holding Gazprom-Media and head of the entertainment broadcaster TNT, criticized Kazakh authorities earlier this month for renaming some railway stations in the Central Asian country…

Zelensky Signs Decree on Russian Territories ‘Historically Inhabited’ by Ukrainians

Updated with Russian officials’ remarks. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday signed a decree calling for the preservation of Ukrainian national identity in Russia.  The decree, announced to coincide with Ukraine’s Day of Unity on Jan. 22, states that “Russia has systematically destroyed national identity and oppressed Ukrainians in the lands historically inhabited by them,” namely the…

Russia’s Leningrad Region Issues Drone Strike Alert After Series of Attacks

Authorities in northwestern Russia’s Leningrad region warned residents late Sunday that the territory, with a population of over 2 million, could come under attack from drones following a recent spate of strikes on local energy infrastructure.  “A high-alert regime has been declared at critical infrastructure facilities in all districts,” the Leningrad region’s press service announced on…