Explainer: Is the Belarus-Russia ‘Joint Military Group’ a Threat to Ukraine?

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed Monday that Ukraine was readying an attack on Belarus and announced the formation of a “joint military group” with Russia.  “Ukraine is not just discussing but planning strikes on the territory of Belarus,” Lukashenko, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said during a meeting with security officials, according…

Russia Adds Meta to List of ‘Terrorist and Extremist’ Orgs

Russia has added U.S. tech giant Meta to its list of “terrorists and extremist” organizations, according to state financial watchdog Rosfinmonitoring’s database. Moscow banned Meta products Facebook and Instagram in March after authorities accused the company of tolerating “Russophobia” during Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, making the popular social media platforms inaccessible to Russian users…

Biden Condemns ‘Utter Brutality’ of Russian Missile Strikes

U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday condemned Russia’s missile strikes on Ukrainian cities, saying they “demonstrate the utter brutality” of Vladimir Putin’s “illegal war.” “The United States strongly condemns Russia’s missile strikes today across Ukraine,” Biden said in a statement. “These attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose,” he said.…

Russian Divers To Examine Crimea Bridge

Divers were to inspect the waters beneath the Crimea bridge on Sunday a day after a huge blast damaged Russia’s key road and rail link to the annexed peninsula, killing three people. “We are ordering the examination by divers, they will start work from six in the morning,” Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin told state media…

Russia Says 3 Killed in Crimea Bridge Blast

Russian investigators Saturday said three people were killed after a truck exploded on its bridge linking Moscow-annexed Crimea to the mainland, adding that the owner of the vehicle had been identified.  “According to preliminary information, three people were killed,” Russia’s investigative committee said in a statement. It said they were likely to be “passengers of…

Гойда! They Shouted. Say What?

Гойда: let’s go (maim and kill) Last Friday there was a big event on Red Square in Moscow to celebrate (sic) the new Russian regions (sic), i.e., Ukrainian land annexed (on paper) by Russia. One of the headliners was Ivan Okhlobystin, an actor-cum-Orthodox-priest-cum-political-rabblerouser, who got the crowd worked up shouting what he described as старорусское…

St. Petersburg Scraps New Year’s Celebrations to Buy Supplies for Mobilized Soldiers

Authorities in St. Petersburg have called off the city’s official New Year’s and Christmas celebrations and plan to reallocate the funds to the Russian military, the city government announced Friday.  The move comes amid widespread reports of newly mobilized Russian soldiers lacking equipment, uniforms and medical supplies. Russia’s second-largest city will scrap all its traditional…

Charges Dropped in Russia’s First Criminal Draft-Dodging Case

Prosecutors in the southern Russian city of Penza dropped all charges in what would have been the first criminal case for evading Moscow’s “partial” mobilization, human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov said Friday. “The Prosecutor’s Office…recognized the decision to initiate [criminal] proceedings as illegal,” Chikov wrote on his Telegram channel. “The suspect received the right to…

Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian Rights Defenders Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize to Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian human rights champions. Russia’s Memorial group, Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties and jailed Belarusian rights activist Ales Bialiatski share this year’s prestigious award. “They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses and the…

Putin Confronted by Kremlin Insider Over Ukraine, U.S. Intel Reportedly Tells Biden

An unnamed member of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle has directly confronted him over mistakes and mismanagement of the war in Ukraine, The Washington Post reported Friday, citing U.S. intelligence. The insider’s confrontation and identity were reportedly included in U.S. President Joe Biden’s daily intelligence briefing and shared with other U.S. officials. The individual’s identity could…

Moscow Fumes Over ‘Monster’ Zelensky’s Preemptive Strike Calls

Russian officials voiced anger over Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s remarks Thursday on preventive strikes that his spokesman later said had been misinterpreted. Zelensky appealed for the international community to “do preemptive strikes” instead of “waiting for Russian nuclear strikes” when asked about NATO’s role in the conflict in an address to an Australian think tank.…