Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 14

Russia has confirmed 2,653,928 cases of coronavirus and 46,453 deaths. Dec. 14: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 28,080 coronavirus cases and 488 deaths Sunday. Moscow municipal workers as well as residents working in the culture and service sectors will be able to receive Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine starting Monday, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced. The new “risk groups”…

Russia Probes Mystery Seal Die-Off

Russian authorities said Friday they were investigating the mysterious death of nearly 300 endangered seals that had been discovered washed up on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Between Sunday and Thursday, 272 dead Caspian seals had been found at a number of locations in the southern region of Dagestan including its regional capital Makhachkala…

Suicide Bombing in Russia’s North Caucasus Injures 6

An alleged suicide bomber has attacked a security service building in the southern Russian republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia, injuring at least six, news outlets and authorities reported Friday. Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee (NAC) said the unidentified bomber detonated himself while authorities attempted to detain him in the village of Uchkeken some 1,500 kilometers south of Moscow.…

New Alliance Hopes to Raise Awareness of Arctic Environmental Crisis

Independent experts and journalists from Russia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland have formed a regional alliance to share information and publicize stories about environmental damage. The Barents Region Independent Environmental Society (BRIES), aims to create an international communications platform where specialists in the field of environmental protection can share their knowledge and up-to-date information with…

Russian Military Slams Foreign Anti-Vaccine ‘Sabotage’

A foreign-funded campaign is being waged to discredit Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Friday as the country prepares a mass immunization drive. Spokesman Igor Konashenkov warned of “pseudo-analytical investigations” and “fake witness accounts” alleging the dangers of Sputnik V and mass refusals, including by Russian troops, to inoculate. “We know in…

Russian Arctic Sailings Set 2020 Record

A record number of vessels have in 2020 sailed through Russia’s shipping lane in the rapidly melting Arctic known as the Northern Sea Route, Reuters has reported. The news agency said Norway’s Center for High North Logistics (CHNL) logistics foundation has recorded 62 full transit voyages through the Northern Sea Route as of Wednesday. Ships…

EU Extends Sanctions Anti-Russia Over Ukraine

European Union leaders Thursday extended punishing economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine for another six months, an EU spokesman said. The sanctions, which target whole sectors of the Russian economy including its valuable oil businesses, were extended to mid-2021. The measures over Russia’s role in the conflict were first imposed after Malaysian…

U.S. Sanctions Kadyrov Associates Over Human Rights Abuses

The United States slapped sanctions on a handful of companies and individuals connected to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on Thursday, accusing them of “gross human rights violations” including “torture, extrajudicial executions and illegal abductions.” The network was implicated in the 2015 assassination of leading Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov and the torture and murder of…

Dutch Expel 2 Russian Diplomats for Spying – Intelligence Service

The Netherlands is expelling two alleged Russian spies working as diplomats after “rolling up” a spy network that targeted hi-tech industries, Dutch security officials said on Thursday. The Russian officers from the civilian SVR intelligence service built up a “substantial” network of sources that could have damaged Dutch national interests, the Dutch General Intelligence and…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 11

Russia has confirmed 2,569,126 cases of coronavirus and 45,280 deaths. Dec. 11: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 27,927 coronavirus cases and 562 deaths Thursday. All of Russia’s regions will start mass vaccination against the coronavirus by the end of this week, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova confirmed Thursday.  Russia recorded more deaths in October than in…

Kremlin Walks Back Putin Claims on Jailed Ex-Journalist’s Treason Charges

President Vladimir Putin misspoke Thursday by asserting that treason charges against former journalist Ivan Safronov relate to his short-lived career at Russia’s state space agency Roscosmos this year.  Putin, speaking to the presidential human rights council, claimed that Safronov is being prosecuted for passing secrets to the European special services while at Roscosmos and not…

Russia Moves to Further Curb Protests

Russian lawmakers have approved new restrictions on protests, prompting criticism from the opposition that they violate Russians’ constitutional rights. Deputies in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, approved a pair of bills Wednesday that ban foreign funding for protest organizers as well as rallies outside law enforcement and security buildings. If they come…

‘Gross Violation’: In Open Letter, Russian Scientists Criticize Lack of Vaccine Data

A group of scientists from leading Russian universities has blasted the development process of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine as “completely unacceptable” and “ridiculous” in an open letter raising new concerns over a lack of sufficient data on its safety and effectiveness. The experts said Russia’s state-run Gamaleya Research Institute, which is developing the jab,…

Russian Cossacks to Enforce New Year’s Ban

Authorities in southern Russia say they will deploy uniformed Cossacks alongside police officers on New Year’s Eve to enforce a ban on mass celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Krasnodar region Governor Venyamin Kondratyev called off Christmas and New Year celebrations to slow the spread of Covid-19 as the popular domestic tourism destination saw record-breaking…

Belarus Blocks Land Border Exits

Belarus will suspend departures from its ground borders due to the coronavirus situation, a government decree published Thursday says.  Starting Dec. 20, Belarus will prohibit its citizens as well as foreigners with permanent or temporary residency to cross the border via automobile checkpoints, simplified checkpoints, checkpoints at railway stations or in river ports. Departures may…

Moscow Communists Spread Coronavirus Vaccine Misinformation – Reports

Russian Communist Party members distributed anti-vaccination leaflets in Moscow falsely claiming there is no coronavirus pandemic, the Podyom Telegram news channel reported Wednesday. The leaflets, reportedly handed out to protesters outside the Moscow Mayor’s Office, called Covid-19 vaccination the “rebirth of fascism” and equated the jab to weapons of mass destruction. According to Podyom, they…

Russia Bans Imports of Tomatoes From Azerbaijan

Russia has announced a ban on imports of tomatoes from Azerbaijan beginning Thursday, in a damaging move for a key export that analysts tied to fallout from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor on Tuesday announced the embargo beginning December 10 to protect against harmful substances detected in several recent shipments. It said the ban…

Denmark ‘Mistaken’ With Russian Spy Charges, Moscow Says

A Russian national’s arrest on suspicion of espionage in Denmark is a mistake, Russia’s Embassy in Copenhagen told Interfax on Wednesday. The unnamed Russian citizen is suspected of providing information about Danish energy technology to Russia’s intelligence service, Reuters quoted Danish public prosecutors earlier in the day. “The Russian Embassy in Denmark considers the arrest…

Yandex Launches Food Delivery Robots

Russia’s Yandex has started using its self-driving robot to deliver fast food orders, the company announced Wednesday. The small six-wheeled autonomous robot — dubbed Yandex Rover — has started delivering orders from Yandex’s food delivery service, Yandex Eats, to customers in one of Moscow’s central business districts.  Just like a human courier, after an order…

6 Days Off Booze Is Enough for Russia’s Coronavirus Vaccine, Developer Says

Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine only requires patients to avoid drinking alcohol for six days, not 42 as previously recommended, its developer said Wednesday. Health officials overseeing Russia’s Covid-19 response urged Sputnik V recipients earlier to abstain from alcohol for nearly two months while taking the two-shot vaccine. Alexander Gintsburg, who heads the state-run Gamaleya…

Russia’s Expanded Foreign Agents Bill Passes First Reading

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday passed in its first reading controversial draft legislation including an expansion of who can be labeled a “foreign agent” amid an unrelenting clampdown on dissent. Lawmakers in Russia’s lower-house State Duma last month tabled legislation that would give authorities sweeping powers to designate individuals as foreign agents and further limit public gatherings…

No Alcohol for 2 Months, Russia Tells Coronavirus Vaccine Recipients

Recipients of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine should abstain from alcohol for nearly two months before and after immunization, the head of Russia’s consumer safety watchdog said Tuesday. Rospotrebnadzor head Anna Popova’s instructions follow Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova’s recommendations to avoid alcohol and immunosuppressants for 42 days because the two-shot vaccine is administered with…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 9

Russia has confirmed 2,515,009 cases of coronavirus and 44,159 deaths. Dec. 9: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 26,097 coronavirus cases and 562 deaths Tuesday. More than 50% of Russia’s medics have no plans to vaccinate against the coronavirus, according to the result of the Russian Federation Medics Network poll published by VTimes Monday. Over 21% percent…

Putin Signs Constitutional Reforms on State Council, Secession, Russian Law

President Vladimir Putin has signed bills into law elevating a low-profile advisory body known as the State Council, criminalizing secession and prioritizing the Russian Constitution over international law. Putin approved the set of laws on Tuesday, 160 days after Russian voters overwhelmingly approved constitutional reforms that pave the way for him to extend his 20-year…