Russian Border Region Says Ukrainian ‘Sabotage’ Unit Carried Out Incursion

The head of Russia’s Belgorod region which borders Ukraine, claimed Monday that a Ukrainian “sabotage group” had infiltrated the region, while anti-Kremlin Russians fighting alongside Ukraine’s forces appeared to take responsibility.  “A VSU [armed forces of Ukraine] sabotage group entered the territory of Grayvoron district,” Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on Telegram, referring to a…

Belarus ‘Pardons’ Dissident Blogger Protasevich

Belarusian authorities have pardoned dissident journalist Roman Protasevich, the state-run Belta news agency reported Monday.  “I have signed all the documents about my pardon literally just now. This is, of course, simply wonderful news,” Belta quoted Protasevich as saying.  Protasevich, 27, was arrested in 2021 when Belarusian authorities forced his EU-bound plane to land in Minsk,…

Senior Russian Official Dies After Privately Bemoaning ‘Fascist’ Invasion

Russia’s Deputy Science Minister Pyotr Kucherenko has died months after a prominent journalist recalled him criticizing the invasion of Ukraine in private conversations. Kucherenko, 46, fell seriously ill on board a flight returning from Cuba on Saturday, Russia’s Science and Higher Education Ministry said Sunday.  The flight made an emergency landing in southern Russia but doctors who…

Russia Says Zelensky Made G7 a ‘Propaganda Show’

Russia on Sunday accused G7 leaders of turning their summit in Japan into a “propaganda show” by inviting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and whipping up “anti-Russian and anti-Chinese hysteria.” “The leaders of the G7 brought to their meeting the ringleader of the Kyiv regime they control and turned the Hiroshima event into a propaganda show,” the…

Serhii Plokhy Chronicles the Russo-Ukrainian War

Over a year into Russia’s grotesque full-scale invasion of Ukraine, disinformation and misconceptions of the conflict — fuelled both by the Kremlin and by political actors abroad — continue to permeate public debate. “The Russo-Ukrainian War: The Return of History” by Serhii Plokhy takes aim at many of these myths, demonstrating how Russia’s centuries-long imperial obsession…

Russia Places ICC Prosecutor Khan on Wanted List

Russia has placed International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan on its wanted list after the court indicted President Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes, the independent Mediazona news website reported Friday. Khan’s photo and personal information are visible on the Interior Ministry’s search database, Mediazona reported. The ministry’s listing does not specify which crime Khan is…

Greenpeace Russia Closes After Being Banned as ‘Undesirable’ Group

Greenpeace Russia announced its closure on Friday following the authorities’ decision to label it an “undesirable” organization. In a statement on its website, the environmental advocacy NGO called the “undesirable” status “an absurd, irresponsible and destructive step that has nothing to do with protecting the country’s interests.” “By destroying Greenpeace for being critical of environmental issues, the…

5 Belarusians Killed Fighting for Ukraine in Bakhmut – Exiled Opposition Leader

Five members of a Belarusian regiment fighting with Kyiv’s forces have been killed in Bakhmut, a conflict-scarred city in eastern Ukraine, A Belarusian opposition leader living in exile said Friday. “Heartbroken by the death of five members of the Belarusian Kastus Kalinouski Regiment fighting for Ukraine in Bakhmut,” Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said on Twitter.…

Famed Armenian Cognac Brand Halts Exports to Russia

Yerevan Brandy Company, the producer of the iconic Armenian cognac brand Ararat, will halt exports to Russia, Interfax reported Thursday, citing Armenia’s Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan. The Russian market accounts for about 80% of all Ararat exports and the embargo is expected to negatively impact Armenian cognac grape suppliers, Kerobyan was quoted as saying at…

Kremlin Critic Roizman Fined Over Ukraine Comments

Russian opposition figure Yevgeny Roizman has been fined for his comments about the Ukraine conflict, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Friday. Roizman, 60, the former mayor of Russia’s fourth-largest city Yekaterinburg, is among a dwindling number of prominent opposition figures who are not in jail or exile. A court in Yekaterinburg imposed a fine of…

Belarus Constructing Defensive Fortifications Near Ukraine Border – Reports

Belarus has started constructing defensive fortifications near its border with Ukraine, the Belarusian monitoring group Belaruski Hayun reported. Construction equipment and a line of small anti-tank concrete pyramids known as dragon’s teeth were spotted 10 kilometers from Gomel, a city located some 44 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, Belaruski Hayun said Thursday. Dragon’s teeth were…

1 in 3 Students Looking to Leave Russia – Survey

One out of three Russian students have expressed a desire to leave the country in an unpublished Kremlin survey, the iStories investigative outlet reported Thursday. Forty-four percent of the polled students described the state of affairs in wartime Russia as a “crisis,” while 32% described it as a “collapse/breakdown.” Fear and anxiety ranked first at 36%…

Russia Eyes 5-Year Jail Terms for ‘Russophobia’

Russian lawmakers are drafting legislation that would punish anti-Russian words and actions deemed as “Russophobia” with up to five years imprisonment, the independent news outlet Vyorstka reported Thursday. The bill is expected to amend Russia’s Criminal Code by adding clauses on “Russophobia” to articles criminalizing public calls for extremism and violating equal rights. Russia’s State…

‘Unified’ G7 Hits Russia With New Sanctions

The United States and its G7 allies rolled out new sanctions against Russia’s “war machine” Friday, targeting Moscow’s lucrative diamond trade and more entities linked to the invasion of Ukraine. Leaders from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies are meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, with Russia’s $4-5 billion annual trade in diamonds in the crosshairs. Vladimir…

Kazan Economic Forum Seeks to Lure Islamic Investment as Moscow Isolated Over Ukraine

An investment forum in Russia’s republic of Tatarstan opened Thursday as its more popular counterparts contend with fewer international guests amid Moscow’s isolation during the war in Ukraine. The 14th annual KazanForum, known as KazanSummit in its previous 13 iterations, brands itself as a platform for Islamic investors. This year’s event is expected to draw 15,000…

Crimean Tatars Warned Against Protesting on Anniversary of Stalin-Era Deportations – Activists

Russian authorities warned the Crimean Tatar ethnic minority against protesting on the anniversary of their deportation under Stalin, the advocacy group Crimean Solidarity said. Crimean Tatars, which made up around 15% of the peninsula’s population of 2 million, largely opposed Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. They say they now face persecution by Moscow-installed…

Kremlin Critics Abroad Experience Signs of Poisoning, Surveillance – Agentstvo

At least four prominent Kremlin critics outside of Russia have experienced symptoms of poisoning or faced surveillance over the past year, according to a report by the investigative outlet Agentstvo published Tuesday.  Among those affected in the cases examined by Agentstvo include foreign journalists, Russian opposition activists, and even a former U.S. ambassador.  One suspected…

Lifting of Russia Flight, Visa Restrictions Deepens Georgia’s Geopolitical Dilemma

Russia’s surprise move to restore visa-free access for Georgian citizens and direct flights between the two countries signals a continued warming of relations between Tbilisi and Moscow, potentially at the cost of Georgia’s integration with the West, analysts and Russian government officials told The Moscow Times.  Some observers have described the decision as a “gift”…