Russia Warns of ‘Explosive’ Virus Surge

Russia warned on Wednesday of an “explosive” spread of the Delta coronavirus variant in the country that was made worse by a sluggish vaccination campaign leading to rapidly rising infections and deaths. Citing increases in cases of coronavirus in all Russian regions, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova called for stronger restrictive measures and speeding up…

France Adds Russia to Covid Red List

France on Wednesday added Russia to its list of countries from which non-essential travel is banned, as concern grows over a spike of cases in Moscow due to the Delta variant. Namibia and the Seychelles are also being added to the “red” list, government spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters. Russia, and especially Moscow, have been…

4 Pussy Riot Members Detained in Moscow

At least four members of the activist group Pussy Riot have been detained in Moscow less than a week after a fellow member was jailed on suspicion of planning to disrupt the ongoing Euro 2020 football championship, media reported Tuesday. The detentions began in the early hours of Tuesday with Alexander Sofeyev and his photographer…

Moscow Eases Registration for Foreigners to Dine at ‘Covid-Free’ Restaurants – Reports

Moscow authorities have eased online registration rules to allow vaccinated or negative-tested foreigners to obtain QR codes needed to dine at “Covid-free” restaurants, Russian state media reported Tuesday. Starting Monday, June 28, Moscow restaurants will only accept diners who present an official QR code proving their vaccination, recovery from Covid-19 over the past six months…

Russia Denies It’s Researching Brain-Chip AI

Russia has denied reports that it is investing in AI technology that would allow humans to control cars, planes and nuclear power plants through microchips implanted into their brains. The Kommersant business daily reported Tuesday the government plans to spend 54 billion rubles ($740 million) on the brain-computer interface project as part of Russia’s massive…

Belarus Seeks 15 Years in Jail for Lukashenko Opponent

Prosecutors in Belarus on Tuesday requested 15 years in jail for a leading opposition figure, who was arrested last year ahead of presidential elections that sparked historic anti-government protests. The demonstrations swept the former Soviet country after strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory in August polls that the opposition and many Western countries…

Rights Advocates Slam Russia Over Myanmar Junta Chief’s Moscow Visit

This week’s visit by Myanmar’s junta chief to Moscow “legitimizes” the country’s “brutal and unlawful attempted coup,” Justice for Myanmar, a leading human rights group that investigates the military’s business interests, told The Moscow Times. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing arrived in Moscow on Sunday for a three-day international security conference starting Tuesday that brings…

Russia Blacklists Bard College as ‘Undesirable’ Org

Russia has declared Bard College an “undesirable” organization in a move that risks significant jail time for anyone affiliated with the U.S. liberal arts college.  The Prosecutor General’s Office accused the institution Monday of “threatening Russia’s constitutional order and security.” Once blacklisted, any “undesirable” organization must cease all activities in Russia or anyone affiliated with…

Russia, Myanmar Agree to Bolster Ties

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing has traveled to Moscow for a three-day international security conference kicking off Tuesday which brings together defense officials from across the globe. Russia’s Security Council said its chief Nikolai Patrushev had met with Min Aung Hlaing and discussed the “fight against terrorism, issues related to regional security” and foreign interference…

Argentina, Mexico Face Second-Dose Shortages of Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine – Reports

Argentina and Mexico are facing a shortage of second doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine despite Moscow’s pledge to supply 10% of the world’s population, according to several media outlets. Argentina’s La Nacion daily reported Sunday that its government is in “intense talks” with Russia on new deliveries because many first-dose recipients between late…

Ukraine Sanctions Tycoon Linked to Russian Defense Firms

Ukraine on Friday imposed sanctions on controversial tycoon Dmytro Firtash for selling titanium products to Russian military enterprises, the presidency said in a statement. The ex-Soviet country has been fighting pro-Russia separatists in its eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions since 2014, following Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Kiev accuses Moscow of sending troops and…

Russia Sitting Out Armenian Elections

In Armenia’s upcoming elections, Russia’s choice would appear to be obvious. One of the two main contenders is a proudly pro-Russia friend of President Vladimir Putin. The other is a former journalist who came to power via street protests and then surrounded himself with figures from the liberal NGO world. And yet, the Kremlin appears…

Navalny Lawyers Dispute Putin’s ‘Molotov Cocktails’ Claims

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s networks were not accused of teaching supporters how to make Molotov cocktails contrary to President Vladimir Putin’s claims, the groups’ lawyers told the independent Dozhd broadcaster. A Moscow court last week declared Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and the affiliated Citizens’ Rights Protection Organization as “extremist,” effectively dismantling Russia’s most effective opposition…

Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine Maker Promises Delta Variant Boosters to Rivals

The makers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine have vowed to offer rival manufacturers a “booster shot” against the more contagious and vaccine-resistant Delta variant first identified in India. Russian authorities have claimed that Sputnik V is effective against the Delta variant, whose spread amid an uneven global vaccination campaign is raising concerns about how…