Russia Issues Last-Minute Extension to Foreigner Visas

Russia has extended its moratorium on deportations of foreigners with expired visas for another three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a last-minute decree President Vladimir Putin signed Tuesday. Foreign nationals with expired visas had been beset with uncertainty over whether they should leave the country before Putin’s latest extension of foreign citizens’…

Has a ‘Moscow Strain’ of Coronavirus Emerged?

The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine are studying the jab’s effectiveness against the so-called “Moscow strain” of the virus, they told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday.  Gamaleya Center head Alexander Gintsburg’s comments come as Moscow officials have sounded the alarm over the Russian capital’s surge in new infections, with reported daily…

Navalny Ally Lyubov Sobol Drops Out of Duma Race After Russia’s ‘Extremist’ Ban

Lyubov Sobol, a top ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, announced her withdrawal from this fall’s parliamentary elections Monday after lawmakers banned his associates from running for office. Sobol, 33, linked her decision to a recent court ruling that branded Navalny’s network “extremist” that came alongside a newly passed law that bars anyone affiliated…

Global Trust in Putin Drops to 22% – Pew

Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains a much lower level of global trust than his Western counterparts, according to a Pew Research Center poll published Monday. A median of 22% of respondents in 17 advanced economies including the United States said they have confidence in Putin “to do the right thing regarding world affairs,” Pew said.…

21 Injured in Russian Gas Station Explosion

A fuel tank explosion at a gas station in Russia’s third-largest city Novosibirsk has injured 21 people, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday.  Four people have been hospitalized in a burn unit, RIA Novosti reported. Eyewitnesses posted video to social media showing the moment of the explosion, with a huge plume of flames…

Putin’s NBC News Interview, In Quotes

Russian President Vladimir Putin brushed off allegations of hacking and involvement in jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s poisoning in his first interview with U.S. media in three years. During the NBC News interview, which aired ahead of his bilateral summit with U.S. President Joe Biden, Putin spoke with interviewer Keir Simmons for 90 minutes on…

Kremlin Bars Independent Broadcaster From Pool Over Navalny Protest Coverage

The Kremlin has barred the independent Dozhd broadcaster from the presidential press pool over its coverage of protests in support of jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the independent Meduza news website. Dozhd’s Kremlin pool reporter has been unable to attend Peskov’s press briefings since May 13, Meduza reported, and will…

Russia Places Exiled Navalny Aide on Wanted List

An exiled top associate of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said Friday that Russian authorities have put him on a wanted list on suspicion of committing an unspecified crime. Ivan Zhdanov, the former director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) which a Russian court declared “extremist” earlier this week, has been living in Lithuania to avoid…

Chechen Domestic Violence Victim Faces ‘Killing’ After Police Raid Women’s Shelter – Reports

A Chechen domestic violence victim’s life is at risk after police returned her to her home region after raiding the women’s shelter in neighboring Dagestan where she had fled, media reported Friday. Khalimat Taramova said divulging her whereabouts would “endanger” her life after she escaped “regular beatings and threats” by her family, according to a video…

Navalny Team Vows to Fight on After ‘Extremism’ Ruling

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption group vowed Thursday to fight on after a court branded it an “extremist” organization and ordered its closure. Western countries and the European Union were quick to condemn Wednesday’s late-night ruling, but Russian officials doubled down, describing Navalny as an agent collaborating with Washington. The court decision, which came…

Kremlin ‘Persecutes’ Historians to Toe Soviet-Era Line – NGO

Russian authorities are ramping up pressure on researchers and activists who oppose Moscow’s historical narrative, especially concerning Stalin-era purges and collaboration with Nazi Germany, an international rights group charged Thursday. The report published by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) “comprehensively catalogues repressive acts related to historical memory” targeting historians, activists and journalists for…

What Now for Navalny’s Groups After Russia’s ‘Extremist’ Ban?

A Moscow court has outlawed the political and activist networks of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as “extremist” in a closed-door hearing Wednesday. Here’s what it means for Russia’s most potent opposition force moving forward: Why did the court declare Navalny’s groups “extremist”? The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office, the plaintiff, had argued that Navalny’s organizations “aim…

Russia Blacklists Navalny’s Political and Activist Movements as ‘Extremist’

A Russian court has outlawed the political and activist networks of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as “extremist” in a closed-door hearing Wednesday, effectively dismantling one of Russia’s most potent opposition forces amid a wider crackdown in the lead-up to parliamentary elections. The designation bars opposition groups affiliated with Navalny from crowdfunded operations and puts…

Azerbaijan Organizers Ban Russian Journalist from Euro 2020

A Russian journalist has been banned from covering football’s European Championship by Azerbaijan’s organizing committee over his visits to the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, sparking outrage in Moscow on Wednesday. Nobel Arustamyan, a journalist with Armenian ancestry working for the Russian Match TV station, said Tuesday that Azerbaijan’s organizing committee has denied him accreditation for…

FSB Unit Linked to Navalny Poisoning Targeted Prominent Writer – Investigation

Russian security agents linked to the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny previously poisoned prominent writer and journalist Dmitry Bykov, The Insider news website and Bellingcat investigative outlet reported Wednesday. The latest report follows investigations by The Insider, Bellingcat and CNN claiming that alleged members of an elite Federal Security Service (FSB) chemical-weapons unit trailed…

Russian YouTuber Charged With ‘Justifying Terror’ Over Theater Siege Song

A popular Russian YouTuber has been charged with justifying terrorism over an alleged performance mocking the deadly 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis, investigators announced Wednesday. Yury Khovasnky, 31, who boasts 4.4 million YouTube subscribers, was apprehended at his St. Petersburg apartment Tuesday evening. “Is it because of that song?” Khovansky Khovansky can be heard asking in the…