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…

India’s Russian Arms Purchases Hit ‘Breakthrough’ $14.5Bln, Official Says

India has ordered a “breakthrough” $14.5 billion of Russian-made weapons since last year despite sanctions pressure from the United States, Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation (FSVTS) has said. India is the largest buyer of Russian military hardware, having signed a $5 billion deal for Russian S-400 surface to air missile systems last…

‘Stick, Then Carrot’: Why Are Moscow Protest Charges Being Dropped?

Russian media have dubbed Tuesday “Judgment Day” for the number of court decisions related to this summer’s wave of Moscow anti-government protests that took place.  A blogger was sentenced to five years behind bars over a tweet that seemingly threatened the families of security officers accused of violently detaining protesters. The court’s seemingly contradictory move…

Russia Moves to Legalize Epilepsy Drug After Mothers Accused of Drug Smuggling

Russia is planning to legalize a prescription drug used to treat epilepsy which almost landed two mothers in jail this summer after they had ordered the unregulated pharmaceutical online for their epileptic children.  The drug smuggling accusations against the two mothers have sparked calls to re-register the epilepsy drug that Russia’s health minister said had no demand…