Whistleblower Alleges Trump Sought Foreign Meddling in 2020 Election

A whistleblower report released by a congressional panel on Thursday said President Donald Trump used his office to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election to advance his personal political interests, risking U.S. national security. The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee released a declassified version of the report made by the whistleblower, which…

Legalizing Polygamy Will ‘Guarantee’ Women’s Rights in Russia, Moscow’s Muslim Leader Says

Russia can overcome its gender-related issues by legalizing polygamy, the leader of Moscow’s Muslims has said.  Polygamy, the practice of taking more than one spouse, is frowned upon by an overwhelming majority of Russians. While polygamy is not permitted under Russian law, it remains commonplace in the country’s predominantly Muslim republics of the North Caucasus.…

For Ukraine’s Leader, Trump Memo On Their Call Is a Diplomatic Car Crash

For U.S. President Donald Trump, White House publication on Wednesday of a memo summarizing his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy fuelled a domestic political crisis. For Zelenskiy, it was a far-reaching diplomatic disaster. Zelenskiy’s comments to the Republican Trump, disclosed in the summary, will likely irk U.S. Democrats, risking the bipartisan U.S. support Kiev…

Seeking Favors, Trump Asked Ukraine President to Investigate Biden

President Donald Trump pressed Ukraine’s leader to investigate Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden, in coordination with the U.S. attorney general and Trump’s personal lawyer, according to a summary of a telephone call released by the Trump administration on Wednesday. The official account of the half-hour July call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy laid bare an astonishing…

Russia, U.S. Team Up Against Abortion at UN

Russia, the United States and 17 other members of the United Nations have banded together to try to purge abortion- and reproductive health-related language from the international body’s terminology. The UN adopted a universal health care declaration Monday which included “the need to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services and reproductive…

United Russia Officials Meddled in St. Petersburg Vote, Top Election Official Says

Top members of the ruling United Russia party in St. Petersburg meddled in the city’s municipal elections earlier this month, Central Election Commission Head Ella Pamfilova said Wednesday. Observers noted widespread violations during the Sept. 8 elections, including lengthy delays in the official count, intimidation and recounts. According to official results confirmed Tuesday, deputies from…

‘We Need to Restore Trust in Courts, Law Enforcement,’ Russian Minister Told Putin

Russian Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin told President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that it will be difficult to boost much-needed investment activity without first improving trust in the courts and Russia’s law enforcement agencies. Speaking at a meeting of Putin and other officials that was broadcast on state television, Oreshkin said it was “very important” to…

‘We Need to Restore Trust in Courts, Law Enforcement,’ Russian Minister Tells Putin

Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin told President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that Russia must restore trust in its courts and law enforcement agencies if the government is to have a chance of fulfilling the Kremlin’s ambitious economic plans. The unusually direct comments to Putin were broadcast on state television and come as the government is searching for ways…

Russian Spaceship With UAE Astronaut Blasts Off Into Space

A Russian Soyuz spaceship blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome towards the International Space Station on Wednesday carrying a crew of three, including the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, NASA television reported. Emirati astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori, Russian commander Oleg Skripochka, and flight engineer Jessica Meir of NASA were expected to dock with the space station about six…

UEFA Chooses St. Petersburg to Host 2021 Champions League Final

St. Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena will host the final of the 2021 UEFA Champions League, the European football governing body’s executive committee announced Tuesday evening. It will be Russia’s second time hosting a Champions League final. In 2008, Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium saw Manchester United beat Chelsea in a dramatic penalty shoot-out. The competition’s final is one of the…

Russian Protesters Don’t ‘Get Shot’ Like They Would In the U.S., Putin’s Spokesman Says

Protesters who were jailed over this summer’s mass election rallies in Moscow would have been shot dead if they had been protesting in the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has said in a leaked video. Dmitry Peskov’s conversation with students at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) appeared on social media in the wake…

Russia Tests Face, Voice Recognition Ahead of eSIM Integration – Izvestia

Russia is testing face- and voice-recognition technology to identify mobile device users as it moves toward approving eSIM technology which allows consumers to switch easily between carriers, the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper has reported. The Central Bank is overseeing a pilot project that uses personal biometric data to remotely open accounts despite concerns over state surveillance,…

The Trump-Ukraine Scandal, Explained

A phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy has become a political flashpoint in Washington following reports that Trump repeatedly pressed Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son. The July 25 call has wide-ranging implications for Russia’s western neighbor Ukraine, which depends heavily on U.S. aid…

Russia’s Tsentr-2019 Military Drills: Vehicle Crashes, Ballistic Missiles and More

Russia, China and India held joint anti-terrorism exercises with Pakistan and four Central Asian republics last week. Nearly 130,000 troops, 20,000 pieces of equipment, 600 aircraft and up to 15 warships were rolled out across eight Russian training grounds for the Tsentr-2019 (Center-2019) drills.  The Sept. 16-21 war games, which President Vladimir Putin observed Friday…

Russia Facing Potential Olympic Ban After WADA Cites ‘Inconsistent’ Data

Russia is once again in danger of being banned from next year’s Olympics after the World Anti-Doping Agency revealed that historical data supplied by the country’s anti-doping authority contained “inconsistencies.” WADA said on Monday it had opened compliance proceedings against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) after examining the vast bank of historical testing data finally…

Putin Sought to Boost Russian Population With ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law – Ex-British PM Cameron

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron has said in his new memoir that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him he passed a law against “gay propaganda” to reverse the country’s declining birth rates. Russia banned “propaganda of homosexuality toward minors” in 2013 around the same time England legalized same-sex marriage, drawing criticism from Western states…

St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport Eyes Opening Up to Foreign Budget Airlines

Low-cost international airlines could soon fly in and out of St. Petersburg more freely after an easing of restrictions announced by Russian officials, Russian media have reported. No other Russian city allows so-called “seventh freedom flights,” which allow international carriers to operate flights outside their country of registration. St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport projects that the permissions will…

St. Petersburg’s New Governor, Undeterred by Charges of Vote Fraud, Promises Moscow-Style Revival

If all goes to plan for St. Petersburg’s new governor, Russia’s second-largest city may soon have the landscaped public parks, brand-new buses and budget surpluses of its big brother Moscow. The man behind the promises, Kremlin protégé Alexander Beglov, was inaugurated Wednesday in the gold and marble halls of the Mariinsky Palace in the city…

Russia Moves to Expand Its Arctic Icebreaker Fleet, Already the World’s Largest

The enterprise responsible for Russian seaport and maritime infrastructure development today operates a total of 36 icebreaking vessels. This is the largest fleet of its kind in the world, the state-run Rosmorport company says. And more is to come. According to company deputy general director Vasily Strugov, another nine vessels will be added to the fleet by 2024. Among them, there…

U.S. Says It Has Plans to ‘Take Down’ Western Russian Region’s Air Defenses

The United States military has a secret blueprint targeting the air defense system protecting Russia’s westernmost territory of Kaliningrad, according to the U.S. Air Force’s top commander in Europe. NATO members perceive Russia’s missile deployments in Kaliningrad as a threat at a time when tensions between Russia and its Western neighbors are running high over…

‘We Tracked Your Social Media, You’re Gay’: Russian Student Threatened With Expulsion

A Russian university is said to have threatened a student with expulsion after his pink phone case and membership in pro-LGBT social media groups fueled suspicions about his alleged sexual orientation.  The reported threats made by Ural State University of Economics (USUE) administrators in Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg come six years after the Russian…