Belarus Nobel-Winner Alexievich Urges Lukashenko to Go

Belarusian Nobel Prize-winning writer Svetlana Alexievich condemned police violence against protesters in her country and urged strongman Alexander Lukashenko to go peacefully in an interview published Wednesday. The 72-year-old author won the 2015 Nobel Literature Prize for her work chronicling the horrors of war and life under the repressive Soviet regime including the 1986 Chernobyl…

Russian Violinist and Conductor Spivakov Rejects Lukashenko Award Over Belarus Crackdown

Renowned Russian conductor and violinist Vladimir Spivakov will return an award from Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko due to police violence against protesters in the days since Belarus’ presidential election. Spivakov, 75, condemned the police crackdown in neighboring Belarus in an open letter published by the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper. More than 6,000 demonstrators have been…

Jailed Belarus Protester Dies During Crackdown

Belarus on Wednesday confirmed the death of a jailed protester as demonstrators took to the streets for a fourth night of clashes with riot police over a disputed presidential election. Riot police have roughly detained thousands at street protests across the country after long-serving leader Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory in Sunday’s poll. The…

Belarus: Days of Post-Election Turmoil

A crushing re-election victory for Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko followed by anti-government protests, violent police repression and the opposition challenger taking refuge in Lithuania — here is a recap of the dramatic events in the ex-Soviet country since Sunday. Vote sparks violence  On Aug. 9, 2020, Lukashenko, 65, who has ruled Belarus with an iron…

Dozens of Journalists Attacked or Detained Amid Violent Belarus Crackdown

Scores of journalists have been assaulted or detained by security officers in Belarus while covering protests against the country’s contested election, the Belarusian Association of Journalists said Wednesday. The Belarusian interior ministry said more than 6,000 protesters have been detained during the three nights of post-election unrest and around 250 sought medical assistance. Here’s a…

Popular Russian YouTuber to Belarus Officers: ‘Tell Your Bosses to Shove Off’

Popular Russian YouTuber Yury Dud has urged law enforcement officials in neighboring Belarus to stop violence against civilians following three violent nights of protests against the re-election of its longtime authoritarian leader. Nationwide demonstrations broke out in Belarus after election officials declared President Alexander Lukashenko the winner in Sunday’s vote. Authorities said they have detained…

Beleaguered Belarus Opposition Finds Baltic Refuge

Waves of repression in Belarus have turned its EU neighbors into places of refuge for pro-democracy Belarusians, with presidential challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya only the latest to shelter there. Tikhanovskaya said she had made the “difficult decision” to leave for Lithuania following a disputed election in which she has claimed victory against Alexander Lukashenko who has…

Philippines’ Duterte Says Will Be Russia Vaccine ‘Guinea Pig’ as Talks Begin

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will be a guinea pig for a controversial Russian coronavirus vaccine, his spokesman said on Wednesday, as the Southeast Asian nation emerged as a frontrunner for overseas clinical trials. Moscow says it has developed the world’s first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the virus and is in the final stage of tests involving…

Lukashenko Challenger’s Ally Calls for End to Belarus Protest Crackdown

A key ally of Belarus’ main opposition candidate in the country’s disputed presidential polls has urged the authorities to end violence against protesters after three nights of post-election unrest. Law enforcement officials were filmed beating and shooting rubber bullets at protesters in the days after official results declared strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko the winner. One…

Russia’s Coronavirus Cases Surpass 900K

The highest number of new cases were in Moscow and Sverdlovsk in the Urals. Russia’s fatality rate has remained low compared to other badly-hit countries, raising speculation that Moscow could be underreporting figures. Russian authorities began easing anti-virus measures in June ahead of a massive World War II military parade in Moscow and a nationwide…

EU Says Belarus Vote Not Free, Threatens Sanctions

The European Union declared Tuesday that the Belarus presidential election that returned authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko to office had been “neither free nor fair.” And, in a statement from EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell on behalf of EU members, the bloc threatened “measures on those responsible for the observed violence, unjustified arrests and falsification of…

Six Months into the Coronavirus Outbreak, Russia’s Statistics Still Provide More Questions than Answers

The death toll from the coronavirus across many Russian regions could be many times higher than official statistics show, analysis of new data by The Moscow Times suggests. Experts pointed to systemic underreporting of deaths, and highlighted a complex incentive structure and political relationship between the Kremlin and Russia’s governors in the regions.  They believe…

Belarus Vote Results ‘Falsified,’ Lukashenko ‘Deranged’ — Russian Lawmaker

Official election results in Belarus showing an overwhelming victory for its longtime ruler were likely falsified, a senior Russian lawmaker has said in a rare stinging rebuke from Alexander Lukashenko’s traditional ally Moscow. Belarusian election officials announced that Lukashenko won more than 80% of the vote Sunday, a result that triggered ongoing nationwide protests, strikes…

Putin Announces ‘World’s First’ Coronavirus Vaccine

Russia has registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine early Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin announced, adding that one of his daughters has already been inoculated amid ongoing concerns about the rapidly developed vaccine’s safety.  The state-run Gamaleya research institute last week launched Phase III trials of the Covid-19 vaccine involving thousands of volunteers. The Health Ministry…

Russia Presses on With Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Despite Safety Concerns

Russia will move forward with registering its potential coronavirus vaccine, its state health watchdog said, defying calls to put off the process until the vaccine’s trials are complete. President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday announced that the vaccine was registered, with mass production expected to start in September and mass vaccination in October. On Monday, the Association…

One Killed in Second Night of Protests Against ‘Rigged’ Belarus Election

One man has died in protests in Belarus as demonstrators clashed with police for a second night after a disputed election handed a sixth term to strongman Alexander Lukashenko.  Thousands took to the streets of the capital Minsk Monday night, saying Lukashenko had stolen the election from his surprise challenger, political novice Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Police used rubber…

Belarus Poll Challenger Asks Strongman Lukashenko to Cede Power

The main challenger in Belarus’s disputed election on Monday called on President Alexander Lukashenko to cede power but said she would not join demonstrations that have been brutally broken up by police, attracting widespread condemnation in Europe. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, whose surprise candidacy posed the biggest challenge to the veteran leader in years, said Sunday’s presidential…

Installation of Reactor Pressure Vessel Dry Shielding Completed on Kudankulam NPP Unit 3 (India)

On the site of Kudankulam NPP Unit 3 under construction, Indian contractor Larsen & Toubro (L&T, India), under technical support of Russian experts, completed the works on installation into position of the reactor pressure vessel Dry Shielding. Dry Shielding is a cylindrical shield in metal cladding filled with serpentine concrete and located around the reactor…

‘The People Have Been Insulted’: Russia Reacts to Belarus Presidential Vote, Unrest

Massive clashes broke out overnight in Belarus as thousands of protesters disputed presidential election results that showed long-serving leader Alexander Lukashenko winning with an overwhelming majority of votes. Police broke up crowds of protesters with stun grenades and rubber bullets in Minsk and other cities Sunday evening. One protester was killed and dozens wounded in…

Belarus Strongman Faces Surprise Challenge in Tense Vote

Belarus held tense presidential polls on Sunday with a popular woman opposition candidate posing the greatest challenge in years to long-ruling strongman Alexander Lukashenko. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a 37-year-old English teacher and translator by training, stood for office after the authorities detained her husband, popular blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky, and barred him from running. She emerged as…

Russia’s Coronavirus Cases Approach 900K

The highest number of new cases were in Moscow and Sverdlovsk in the Urals. Russia’s fatality rate has remained low compared to other badly-hit countries, raising speculation that Moscow could be underreporting figures. Russian authorities began easing anti-virus measures in June ahead of a massive World War II military parade in Moscow and a nationwide…

Russia’s Coronavirus Cases Pass 880K

The highest number of new cases were in Moscow and Sverdlovsk in the Urals. Russia’s fatality rate has remained low compared to other badly-hit countries, raising speculation that Moscow could be underreporting figures. Russian authorities began easing anti-virus measures in June ahead of a massive World War II military parade in Moscow and a nationwide…

In the Tvorog Test Kitchen

Many believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is firmly in the rearview mirror, but this is clearly madness.  I’m still in full lockdown and in deep danger of becoming something I never imagined: a homesteader. I spent much of the spring baking bread and early summer brewing kvas, and now in high summer it’s time to take…