Poroshenko’s Politics Have ‘Failed,’ Russian Lawmakers Say After Ukraine Election Results

A comedian’s double-digit lead over Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election signals that the incumbent’s politics have failed, Russian lawmakers have said. Russia has paid close attention to the vote in Ukraine, a country on the front line of the West’s standoff with Russia after the 2014 Maidan street…

Share of Russians Predicting Better Ties With the West Hits 5-Year High – Poll

The number of Russians forecasting improved relations between their country and the West has reached a five-year high, the independent Levada Center pollster said Monday. Public support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has remained in the high 80s in the Levada poll since 2014, despite it leading to economic sanctions and strained Russia-West relations.…

Russia Dismisses Speculation About its “Specialists” in Venezuela

Russia has clearly stated the purpose of the “specialists” it has sent to Venezuela under a military cooperation deal,Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday, dismissing U.S. concerns about their presence. “The Russian side clearly stated the purpose of the arrival of its specialists to Caracas. This is not about any ‘military contingents’,” Zakharova said…

Trump Says Russian Military Must Leave Venezuela

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Russia to pull its troops from Venezuela and said that “all options” were open to make that happen. The arrival of two Russian air force planes outside Caracas on Saturday believed to be carrying nearly 100 Russian special forces and cybersecurity personnel has escalated the political crisis in Venezuela. Russia and China…

Moscow Mayor Accused of Reviving ‘Europe’s Biggest Landfill’ After Promising to Close It

Russian opposition politician and Moscow municipal deputy Ilya Yashin has accused the city’s mayor of budgetary waste in connection with plans to seal off one of several controversial landfills outside Moscow. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin pledged in 2017 to close the Malinki landfill 40 kilometers north of Moscow near the town of Troitsk. Activists believe…

Russian Lawmakers Pass Bill to Punish Organized Crime Bosses

Russian lawmakers have passed legislation that extends punishments for those holding senior positions in organized crime groups. Lawmakers estimate that members of organized crime groups in Russia committed more than 15,000 felonies in 2018. Russia’s upper-house Federation Council voted in favor of the organized-crime bill on Wednesday, sending it to President Vladimir Putin’s desk to be…

Violent Clashes Erupt Between Protesters and Security Forces in Russia’s Ingushetia

Protesters clashed with security forces in Russia’s republic of Ingushetia early on Wednesday during a protest against a controversial land swap deal. More than 10,000 protesters rallied in Ingushetia’s capital of Magas on Tuesday against legislation that would bar residents from voting on border-related issues. Protest leaders said the rally would continue “indefinitely” to demand…

More Than 1,300 Russian Officials Fired for Corruption in 2018 – Prosecutors

More than 1,300 Russian state officials suspected of violating corruption rules were fired for loss of trust last year, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. Russia ranks among the world’s most corrupt countries. Observers have criticized anti-graft campaigns under President Vladimir Putin’s rule as ineffective. The Prosecutor General’s Office said its intervention has led to the dismissal…

Russia Says Presence of ‘Russian Specialists’ in Venezuela Is Governed by Mutual Accord

The presence of “Russian specialists” in Venezuela is governed by a military-technical cooperation agreement between the two countries, Russia‘s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry did not provide any further details in its statement about the specialists. Two Russian Air Force planes landed at Venezuela’s main airport on Saturday carrying a Russian defense official and nearly 100…

Russian Footballer Punished Over ‘Racist’ Comments, Issues Apology

Football striker Pavel Pogrebnyak has been disciplined by Russia’s Football Union (RFU) over controversial comments he made against naturalized players on Russia’s international team. In an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid earlier this month, the footballer stated: “it’s weird when a black player plays for the Russian national team,” adding that he is “against” the…

Russia’s Deployment of Military Planes to Venezuela Sparks U.S. Backlash

The United States on Monday accused Russia of “reckless escalation” of the situation in Venezuela by deploying military planes and personnel to the crisis-stricken South American nation that Washington has hit with crippling sanctions. The Russian planes and military personnel arrived outside the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Saturday, according to local media reports, two months after the Trump…

Facebook Removes Accounts From Russia and Iran For ‘Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior’

Facebook said on Tuesday it has removed more accounts from Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo, citing what it described as “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” A total of 2,632 pages, groups and accounts were removed from Facebook and Instagram for operations linked to the above-mentioned countries, the social media platform said. Facebook said 1,907 of those accounts…

We Told You So: Russian Officials React to Mueller Report on Collusion

Russian officials have claimed vindication in reacting to the news that a U.S. probe into Russian election meddling had found no evidence of collusion between U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign and Moscow. Trump was accused of coordinating with the Kremlin to win the 2016 U.S. presidential election after members of his team reportedly met with Russians who offered compromising…