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…

Law Punishing Acts of Sabotage With Life Sentences Wins Duma Support

New legislation that punishes organization, financing and recruitment for acts of sabotage with stiff sentences of up to life imprisonment was approved by Russia’s State Duma in its first reading on Wednesday, state-owned news agency RIA reported. The legislation, which supplements an existing law with three new articles, mandates severe punishments including life imprisonment for…

St. Petersburg Funnels $1.5Mln from City Budget to Mariupol Reconstruction – Media

St. Petersburg has contributed 100 million rubles ($1.5 million) toward the reconstruction of Mariupol, the southern Ukrainian port city largely destroyed by Russian troops this year, the independent media outlet Rotonda reported. The allocation has apparently cut into the city’s budget for ice and snow cleanup, making the streets of Russia’s second-largest city — already…

Ex-Presidential Guard Who Fled Russian Draft Faces Extradition, Jail

A former Russian presidential guard who fled President Vladimir Putin’s mobilization now faces extradition from neighboring Kazakhstan on charges of desertion and illegal border-crossing, Kazakh media has reported. If approved, Mikhal Zhilin’s extradition would mark the first publicly known time an allied country has returned a draft dodger to Russia, where his family says he faces…

Russian Military Calls for Accordion, Balalaika Donations

Authorities in St. Petersburg said the Russian military has opened collection points for musical instruments for Russian soldiers in Ukraine to boost morale. “The Russian Defense Ministry has organized the collection and transfer of musical instruments to the mobilized [and] military personnel performing special tasks who have no professional musical education,” reads a message posted…

Moscow Buses Take Down Army Recruitment Ads Targeting Central Asian Nationals

Moscow transportation authorities have removed city bus ads recruiting Central Asian nationals into the Russian military with promises of expedited citizenship, media reported Sunday. Photos showing an Uzbek-language recruitment message on board a Moscow bus went viral last week. “If you join the Russian Armed Forces under contract, you can easily obtain Russian citizenship in…

Ukraine’s Odesa Without Power After Russian Drone Attack

The southern Ukrainian city of Odesa was left without power Saturday following a night-time attack by “kamikaze drones” launched by Russia, authorities said.  “As of now, the city is without electricity,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, said on messaging app Telegram. Only critical infrastructure including hospitals and maternity wards had access…