Campaigners Urge Russia to Release Prisoners as Coronavirus Spreads

Rights campaigners are urging the Russian government to consider releasing some pre-trial detainees and prisoners held in the country’s packed jails, warning of the “devastating consequences” of the coronavirus pandemic. More than half a million people are held in Russia’s notoriously crowded prisons in what is the European continent’s largest prison population. In a letter Tuesday…

As Virus Looms, Russian Arctic Brigade Tests Chemical Weapons Defense

This week more than 80 units of military hardware rolled out of their compounds in the Kola Peninsula to participate in exercises, the Northern Fleet informs. The exercises involved motorized infantry units of the Northern Fleet’s Arctic Brigade, and included military equipment such as self-propelled Gvozdika howitzers, the Strela-10 anti-aircraft missile system, and MTLB armored transport…

St. Petersburg Under Siege by Coronavirus

Last week St. Petersburg governor Alexander Beglov asked Russians to stay out of the city. “Movie theaters, theaters and other venues are closed. There is nothing to do here,” he said on March 21 during his visit to the coronavirus information center in St. Petersburg. Despite his warnings and quarantine measures, street life last week…

Moscow Pleads for Private Clinics’ Help in Coronavirus Fight

Moscow’s mayor has asked for the Russian government’s help in getting private clinics to provide beds for coronavirus patients, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who sits on Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s coronavirus coordinating council, named hospital beds and the national healthcare system’s mobilization as top priorities in the…

A Night at the Theater

Yevgeny Vakhtangov was one of the great lights of the Russian theater world, a good friend of Mikhail Chekhov, and influenced by both Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vsevolod Meyerhold. From Vladikavkaz, the son of an Armenian father and Russian mother, he came to Moscow and attended Moscow State University before joining the Moscow Art Theater in…

Chechen Police Brandish Pipes in Coronavirus Street Patrols

Police officers armed with plastic pipes in Russia’s republic of Chechnya are patrolling the streets to observe compliance with the region’s coronavirus quarantine, Russian media reported this weekend.  The majority Muslim region enacted a strict quarantine Saturday with steep fines for venturing outside. Videos that circulated online starting late Friday showed police convoys advising residents…

Is Moscow’s Virus Lockdown Order Legal?

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s announcement of an indefinite citywide quarantine to limit the spread of the coronavirus has prompted debates over whether his strict measures are legal. Sobyanin imposed restrictions on movement starting Monday and said that authorities will enforce the new self-isolation rules through “smart monitoring” and a system of special passes. The isolation…

Russia to Close Borders to Curb Coronavirus

Russia will close all border crossings on March 30, the government said on Saturday, tightening restrictions after the country reported its biggest one-day rise in new coronavirus cases. The authorities said they so far had recorded 1,264 confirmed cases, an increase of 228 in 24 hours, and ordered that all vehicle, rail and pedestrian checkpoints,…

Lentil Soup Four Ways

People will do astonishing things for a bowl of lentil soup. Take Esau, the son of Isaac and Rebekah in the Biblical Book of Genesis, who sells his birthright to his brother Jacob for a dish of red lentils. And without much hesitation either. “…Esau came from the field, and he was faint And Esau…

Gazprom continuing consistent work on import substitution

March 27, 2020, 18:50 The Gazprom Management Committee took note of the information about the progress achieved in terms of import substitution efforts in 2019, as well as about the measures to facilitate the integration of domestically-manufactured equipment and technologies in the production operations of the Gazprom Group. It was highlighted that the intensive work in this sphere in conjunction with Russia’s science and technology complex is aimed at reinforcing the technological…

Gazprom increases domestic sales of natural gas as vehicle fuel by 30 per cent in 2019

March 27, 2020, 18:45 The Gazprom Management Committee held a meeting in absentia. The Management Committee took note of the information about the Company’s ongoing efforts for the development of the NGV market in the Russian Federation. It was highlighted that the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel helps substantially reduce transport costs and environmental impacts. The sales of natural gas via Gazprom’s refueling facilities continue to grow, demonstrating…

Russia’s Aeroflot Still Flying Limited International Routes Despite Virus Grounding Order

Russia’s state carrier Aeroflot is continuing to operate a limited number of flights abroad despite the Russian government’s order to ground all international flights that took effect at midnight Friday. The government decree published Thursday orders aviation authorities to halt all regular and charter flights to and from other countries, with the exception of special…

Gazprom instructed to proceed to pre-investment phase in Power of Siberia 2 project

Message to the Media March 27, 2020, 17:15 A working meeting took place today between Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee. Alexey Miller briefed Vladimir Putin on the ongoing activities in the autumn/winter period, the Company’s main accomplishments in 2019 and its plans for 2020. Particular attention was paid to the potential for enhancing gas…

Spend an Evening at the Bolshoi

The Bolshoi Theater, like every other theater in Moscow, has had to close its doors until mid-April (if not longer). But to keep up the spirits of all ballet and opera lovers, they are putting up six of their best performances on YouTube for free, starting with “Swan Lake” this Friday. All the performances from…