Documentaries on Russian Opposition, Climate Change Shortlisted for Oscars

Two documentaries about prominent Russian opposition figures and a film on life in the Russian Arctic are among the titles shortlisted for the 95th Oscars released by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday.  Daniel Roher’s “Navalny,” which explores the events following the Kremlin critic’s nerve-agent poisoning in August 2020, was shortlisted…

Armenia PM Blames Russian Peacekeepers for Karabakh Blockade

Armenian Prime Minister Nikolai Pashinyan accused Russian peacekeepers Thursday of failing in its mission to unblock a key road that links Armenia to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Pashinyan last week accused Armenia’s neighboring arch-nemesis Azerbaijan of blocking the Lachin corridor, Yerevan’s sole road link to the Armenian-populated separatist enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, and cutting off residents…

‘Empty Words’: Russian Officials Unswayed By Zelensky’s U.S. Visit

Russian officials and other prominent figures have dismissed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s first wartime trip to the United States as an empty gesture that would not advance Russian-Ukrainian peace talks. More hawkish voices, meanwhile, called for Ukraine to be “destroyed” altogether following Zelensky’s meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden and widely praised address to Congress.…

Zelensky Says U.S. Aid Not ‘Charity’ on Triumphant U.S. Visit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday directly appealed for long-term U.S. support on his first foreign trip since Russia’s invasion, saying aid was not “charity” and had helped keep his country “alive and kicking.” Three hundred days after Russian leader Vladimir Putin attacked Ukraine with hopes of swift conquest, Zelensky enjoyed a hero’s welcome on a…

Medvedev Discusses Strategic Partnership, Ukraine War With China’s Xi

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday in an unannounced visit to Beijing, where he passed on President Vladimir Putin’s message hailing “unprecedented” cooperation. “The talks were quite useful,” Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said in a video posted on his Telegram messaging app channel.…

Putin Forms Mobilization Task Force Featuring Military Bloggers

President Vladimir Putin established a task force Tuesday to coordinate work between the government and pro-war military bloggers on Russia’s chaotic mobilization campaign. The move fueled questions over possible plans to launch a second round of mobilization, despite Putin declaring its end in late October, as Moscow faces mounting losses in Ukraine. The Kremlin has denied that…

Russia’s Justice Ministry Seeks Dissolution of Moscow Helsinki Group 

Russia’s Justice Ministry has filed for a court order to shut down one of the country’s most prominent and respected human rights organizations, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported on Tuesday. In its legal filing, the Justice Ministry claimed that the Moscow Helsinki Group had violated unspecified “legal requirements” while carrying out its activities, a…

Putin Orders Intensified Hunt for ‘Traitors, Spies, Saboteurs’

President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s counterintelligence services on Monday to step up their hunt for “traitors, spies and saboteurs” and prevent threats from abroad. Speaking on Security Agency Worker’s Day, a professional holiday in Russia, Putin laid out “high demands” on Russia’s security agencies to respond to “new threats and challenges.” “You must put a firm…

Veteran Environmental Group Shutters Over Russian ‘Foreign Agent’ Label

A veteran environmental watchdog in Russia’s Far East announced its closure over the weekend after authorities labeled it a “foreign agent.” Sakhalin Environment Watch (SEW) said it “categorically disagrees” with Friday’s designation by the Russian Justice Ministry. “Someone at the top has suddenly decided that we are under ‘foreign influence’ and engaged in political activities,” SEW…

Russian Jailed 12 Years in Crimea for Sharing Naval Info With Ukraine

A court in Moscow-annexed Crimea has sentenced a Russian citizen to 12 years in prison on charges of sharing details about the Russian Navy with Ukrainian intelligence prior to the invasion of Ukraine, Russian security services announced Monday. Yevgeny Petrushin collected and transmitted information to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Directorate of Intelligence as far…

Moscow Pummeled By Historic Snowfall

Heavy snowfall blanketed Moscow on Sunday, disrupting traffic, delaying flights and leaving pavements buried with snow across the Russian capital.  More than 60% of the monthly norm descended on Moscow over the past 24 hours, producing 25-centimeter-tall snow banks, municipal authorities said Monday. Two and a half months’ worth of snow has blanketed the capital…

Iran Says It Won’t ‘Seek Permission From Anyone’ to Boost Russia Ties

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday it would not “seek permission from anyone” to expand relations with Russia, dismissing U.S. concerns over a growing military partnership between Tehran and Moscow. Western countries have accused Iran of supplying drones to Russia, allegedly used to attack Ukraine, and slapped sanctions on Tehran, which denies the allegations. CIA chief…

Is Russia Receiving Weapons From North Korea?

Washington claimed last month that Russia was buying weapons from North Korea and using those weapons in Ukraine.  The allegations that the two heavily sanctioned states were stepping up military cooperation came almost nine months into Russia’s war against its pro-Western neighbor that has severely depleted its stocks of artillery shells, ammunition and cruise missiles. …

The Hopeless Quest for Language Purity

Общеупотребимые слова: commonly used words Every year or so some state organization at some level in Russia demands or proposes or drafts a law that would keep foreign words out of the Russian language so that the Russian language will remain, well, purely Russian. The fact that this happens regularly suggests that the process is…

Russia’s Central Bank Warns of Labor Shortage Following Mobilization

The governor of Russia’s Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, warned on Friday that the country was facing a growing labor shortage following the conscription of over 300,000 civilians during the Defense Ministry’s recent mobilization campaign. “The external environment for the Russian economy remains challenging and significantly constrains economic activity,” the Central Bank said, adding that Russia’s…

Russian Job Sites Recruit Trench Diggers for Occupied Ukraine, Border Areas

Russian job sites are advertising trench- and fortification-digging jobs in occupied Ukrainian and nearby Russian regions, independent media reported Thursday. Russia started building defensive fortifications near the front lines as well as in its border regions following alleged Ukrainian counterstrikes that stoked authorities’ fears of further attacks that could reach deeper into Russian territory. Popular Russian classifieds…

Ukraine Finds ‘Propaganda’ at Russia-Linked Orthodox Sites

Ukraine’s SBU security service on Wednesday found “propaganda literature” in counter-intelligence searches in churches and monasteries across the country, in its most recent descent on religious sites of the Russia-linked Ukrainian Orthodox Church. “The Security Service of Ukraine found Russian passports, propaganda literature and laissez-passer” issued by Russian occupation authorities during searches on Wednesday, the…