Russia Places Exiled Navalny Aide on Wanted List

An exiled top associate of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said Friday that Russian authorities have put him on a wanted list on suspicion of committing an unspecified crime. Ivan Zhdanov, the former director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) which a Russian court declared “extremist” earlier this week, has been living in Lithuania to avoid…

Chechen Domestic Violence Victim Faces ‘Killing’ After Police Raid Women’s Shelter – Reports

A Chechen domestic violence victim’s life is at risk after police returned her to her home region after raiding the women’s shelter in neighboring Dagestan where she had fled, media reported Friday. Khalimat Taramova said divulging her whereabouts would “endanger” her life after she escaped “regular beatings and threats” by her family, according to a video…

Navalny Team Vows to Fight on After ‘Extremism’ Ruling

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption group vowed Thursday to fight on after a court branded it an “extremist” organization and ordered its closure. Western countries and the European Union were quick to condemn Wednesday’s late-night ruling, but Russian officials doubled down, describing Navalny as an agent collaborating with Washington. The court decision, which came…

Kremlin ‘Persecutes’ Historians to Toe Soviet-Era Line – NGO

Russian authorities are ramping up pressure on researchers and activists who oppose Moscow’s historical narrative, especially concerning Stalin-era purges and collaboration with Nazi Germany, an international rights group charged Thursday. The report published by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) “comprehensively catalogues repressive acts related to historical memory” targeting historians, activists and journalists for…

What Now for Navalny’s Groups After Russia’s ‘Extremist’ Ban?

A Moscow court has outlawed the political and activist networks of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as “extremist” in a closed-door hearing Wednesday. Here’s what it means for Russia’s most potent opposition force moving forward: Why did the court declare Navalny’s groups “extremist”? The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office, the plaintiff, had argued that Navalny’s organizations “aim…

Russia Blacklists Navalny’s Political and Activist Movements as ‘Extremist’

A Russian court has outlawed the political and activist networks of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as “extremist” in a closed-door hearing Wednesday, effectively dismantling one of Russia’s most potent opposition forces amid a wider crackdown in the lead-up to parliamentary elections. The designation bars opposition groups affiliated with Navalny from crowdfunded operations and puts…

Azerbaijan Organizers Ban Russian Journalist from Euro 2020

A Russian journalist has been banned from covering football’s European Championship by Azerbaijan’s organizing committee over his visits to the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, sparking outrage in Moscow on Wednesday. Nobel Arustamyan, a journalist with Armenian ancestry working for the Russian Match TV station, said Tuesday that Azerbaijan’s organizing committee has denied him accreditation for…

FSB Unit Linked to Navalny Poisoning Targeted Prominent Writer – Investigation

Russian security agents linked to the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny previously poisoned prominent writer and journalist Dmitry Bykov, The Insider news website and Bellingcat investigative outlet reported Wednesday. The latest report follows investigations by The Insider, Bellingcat and CNN claiming that alleged members of an elite Federal Security Service (FSB) chemical-weapons unit trailed…

Russian YouTuber Charged With ‘Justifying Terror’ Over Theater Siege Song

A popular Russian YouTuber has been charged with justifying terrorism over an alleged performance mocking the deadly 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis, investigators announced Wednesday. Yury Khovasnky, 31, who boasts 4.4 million YouTube subscribers, was apprehended at his St. Petersburg apartment Tuesday evening. “Is it because of that song?” Khovansky Khovansky can be heard asking in the…

Belarus Strongman Toughens Protest Laws

Belarusian strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday signed legislation toughening protest laws, raising the stakes of a crackdown following his disputed re-election last year. The measures come into force amid an unprecedented legal sweep of government critics and civil society in the ex-Soviet country following the presidential vote last year that sparked huge demonstrations. The…

Russia Seeks Funding for Putin’s ‘Genetic Database’

The Russian government is seeking to allocate money toward President Vladimir Putin’s national genetic database program, according to recent instructions from Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. Putin, who has sought to transform Russia into a world leader in genetic technologies, ordered in 2020 the creation of a “National Genetic Information Database.”  Mishustin signed a series of orders…

Demand for Private Jets Surges as Rich Russians Skirt Pandemic Rules to Holiday in Europe

Luxury travel company director Yelena Stepnovaya knew she had to act fast when the coronavirus pandemic hit Russia, closing borders and bringing commercial air travel to a virtual standstill.  Along with her colleagues at private charter firm Sirius Aero, she decided to skirt restrictions by offering wealthy Russians individual, or “shuttle” seats on private jets…

Russia Imposes Tit-for-Tat Sanctions on Canadians Over Navalny

Russia on Monday announced tit-for-tat sanctions against nine senior Canadian officials, including the justice minister, following similar measures from Ottawa over the treatment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that the nine Canadians had been banned from entering Russia “for an undetermined period.” The banned Canadians include Justice…

New Coronavirus Spike Grips Siberia – Reports

At least three Siberian regions are reporting an alarming spike in new coronavirus cases, with hospitals near capacity in at least one of those regions, The Siberian Times reported Monday. Authorities in the republic of Buryatia 6,000 kilometers east of Moscow have announced new restrictions after reporting 91% of hospital beds being occupied by Covid-19 patients. …

Russia Seeks to Transform Far North Region Into ‘Carbon-Free Zone’

Russia’s Far North region of Murmansk will become a testing ground for “green” technologies in a bid to achieve carbon neutrality, according to an agreement signed between state innovation corporation Rusnano and regional authorities. The Carbon-Free Zone seeks to test renewable technologies and systems which can later be expanded nationwide, including electric transportation and sustainable…

Russia Deports Ukrainian IT Expert Suspected of Spying – Reports

Russia has deported a Ukrainian information and communications technology expert on suspicion of collaborating with Kiev’s counterintelligence, Interfax reported Monday, citing the Federal Security Service (FSB). The FSB accuses Oleksiy Semenyaka of receiving orders from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). He reportedly confirmed during questioning that he had maintained contacts with and consulted SBU…

Russia Protests as Ukraine Unveils Euro 2020 Uniform

Ukraine provoked Moscow’s ire Sunday as its football federation unveiled Euro 2020 uniforms that feature Russian-annexed Crimea and nationalist slogans. Postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Euro 2020 will be played from June 11 to July 11 across 11 cities including Saint Petersburg. Russia’s second city will host seven matches, including a quarter-final. In a…

Kremlin Critic Dmitry Gudkov Flees to Ukraine

Prominent Kremlin critic and former opposition lawmaker Dmitry Gudkov said on Sunday he had left Russia for Ukraine due to pressure from authorities ahead of the September parliamentary elections.  Gudkov’s departure comes as the Russian opposition says the authorities are stepping up a campaign of intimidation against dissenters and potential challengers, claims the Kremlin has rejected. “I…