Germany’s Deutsche Welle Snubs Russian Duma’s Foreign Meddling Panel

German media outlet Deutsche Welle has turned down an invitation to attend Russian lawmakers’ hearings on alleged foreign interference over this summer’s anti-government protests, saying its journalism standards make such meddling impossible. Weeks of demonstrations over elections for the Moscow city legislature have become the biggest sustained protest movement in Russia since 2011-2013. The Foreign…

Most Russians Don’t Believe ‘Western Meddling’ Is to Blame for Moscow Protests, Poll Says

A majority of Russians don’t believe in the authorities’ claim that Western powers are to blame for election protests in Moscow this summer, according to the independent Levada Center polling agency. Weeks of demonstrations over elections for the city legislature have turned into the biggest sustained protest movement in Russia since 2011-2013. Russia has accused the…

Tensions Are Flaring Between Georgia and Russia-Backed South Ossetia. Here’s What’s Happened

The international community has called for restraint as Georgia warned of a “serious confrontation” with the Russian-backed breakaway territory of South Ossetia last week. Only Moscow and a handful of other states have recognized the independence of South Ossetia after Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war over the region in August 2008. Russian troops…

98% of Moscow’s Shawarma Joints Are Unsanitary, Consumer Watchdog Says

Ninety-eight percent of Moscow’s popular shawarma restaurants do not comply with Russian food hygiene standards, according to the city consumer protection watchdog. Last year, a Federal Consumer Protection Service (Rospotrebnadzor) inspection uncovered foodborne bacterial pathogens in a majority of the 252 shawarma spots in Moscow.  This year, health violations were uncovered in 65 of 66…

Russia Rebuffs International Concern Over Environment on Northern Sea Route

The development of the Northern Sea Route appeared on the agenda in the Foreign Ministry’s latest weekly press conference after several foreign leaders reportedly commented on the environment in the region. Among them was French President Emmanuel Macron, who was called upon to protect Arctic nature in a meeting with business leaders. According to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Macron had…

Russia’s ‘Shadow Economy’ Is Nearly 13% of GDP, Reports Say

More than $175 billion had circulated in Russia’s shadow economy in 2017, according to the latest available official data analyzed by the RBC news website on Thursday. Russia’s State Statistics Service (Rosstat) defines the shadow economy as off-the-books salaries, unofficial employment and informal sales, but not criminal activity. Financial authorities say the shadow economy’s share…