‘Silence Has Stopped Being a Spell of Protection’: Politics Dominate Russian GQ Awards

The GQ Russia Person of the Year awards — typically an ordinary star-studded affair — turned political Tuesday night when recipients took turns voicing their opinions on this summer’s high-profile news stories. Award winners praised the recent Russian-Ukrainian prisoner exchange and the release of Meduza investigative journalist Ivan Golunov amid near-unprecedented outcry over his arrest…

St. Petersburg Re-Elects Governor Beglov After Controversial Campaign

Alexander Beglov has been confirmed the winner of Sunday’s gubernatorial vote in St. Petersburg following a controversial campaign. Russians voted in local and regional elections nationwide Sunday, including in gubernatorial elections in 16 regions. Critics said St. Petersburg’s gubernatorial race suffered from a lack of real competition against Beglov, a Kremlin ally who has been…

Russia Calls Suggestion That Suspected CIA Mole Unmasked Election Meddling Slander

Russia on Wednesday condemned as lies and slander suggestions a suspected CIA mole in President Vladimir Putin’s administration had handed over information to the United States about alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential elections. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov made the comment after U.S. media reports, confirmed to Reuters by two sources, said a CIA informant…

Opposition Leader Navalny’s Offices Across Russia Searched After Election

Security officials have carried out searches in five of opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s regional offices across Russia, days after local elections where he urged supporters to vote strategically against Kremlin-aligned incumbents. The raids in the cities of Ufa, Samara, Perm, Chelyabinsk and Saransk took place less than a week after Navalny’s Moscow offices were raided.…

Russia’s Ruling Party Loses a Third of Moscow Election Races After Protests

Russia‘s ruling United Russia party, which backs President Vladimir Putin, has lost one-third of its seats in the Moscow parliament, near-complete data cited by Russian news agencies showed on Monday, in an awkward setback for the Kremlin. However, the party still retained its majority in the Moscow assembly following Sunday’s nationwide local elections, and its candidates for regional…

Signaling Readiness for Thaw, Russia and Ukraine Swap Prisoners

Russia and Ukraine on Saturday swapped 35 prisoners each, including filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, 24 Ukrainian sailors and potential MH17 witness Vladimir Tsemakh, in a key step toward bringing an end to the war in eastern Ukraine that has claimed more than 13,000 lives since 2014.  Laden with wide-ranging implications, the move underlines new Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s…

New Russian Nuclear-Powered Sub to Be Delivered to Northern Fleet

Russia’s Knyaz Vladimir (K-549) submarine is expected to be delivered to the Northern Fleet this year, the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper has reported, citing sources close to the Navy’s commander-in-chief. Knyaz Vladimir is the first of a series of upgraded submarines as part of the Navy’s Project 955A and will be based in the town of Gadzhiyevo on the Kola Peninsula. Originally, it was…

Moscow to Deploy Facial-Recognition Tech at Rallies

Authorities in Moscow have ordered 260 million rubles ($4 million) of facial-recognition technology for surveillance cameras to monitor protests and other mass gatherings, the Vedomosti business daily reported Friday. Moscow claims one of the world’s largest network of 160,000 surveillance cameras, some equipped with facial-recognition technology, with plans to boost the number to 200,000 this…

Kremlin Vows to Investigate Moscow Lawmaker Accused of Fraud Ahead of Elections

The Kremlin has agreed to probe a senior member of Moscow’s city legislature over two investigations into his dealings by opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption team, the Vedomosti business daily reported. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has claimed that municipal lawmaker Andrei Metelsky’s family owns a motorcycle dealership in Moscow and a hotel franchise in Austria…

Russian Woman Brings Grenade to FSB Building

Authorities have launched an inspection after an unnamed woman brought a grenade to the Federal Security Service (FSB) building in central Moscow, the Moskva news agency reported Thursday. The explosive device was reportedly seized from the 34-year-old Moscow region resident at the FSB’s reception hall late on Wednesday. “The woman explained that it was a…

Russians Blame Siberian Wildfires on Illegal Logging, Authorities’ Inaction – Poll

Most Russians believe that wildfires have swept across Siberia this summer because of illegal logging and the authorities’ negligence, according to a new poll published by the independent Levada Center pollster. Activists and environmentalists have decried the authorities’ slow response to the fires, which at their peak covered an area the size of Belgium and…