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…

Ombudsman Titov Appeals to Russian Authorities Over Detained Businessmen

Business ombudsman Boris Titov has appealed to federal prosecutors over a group of Russian businessmen currently being held in pre-trial detention. Russia’s business community has expressed growing concern over the pre-trial detention of U.S. investor Michael Calvey, who has been held on embezzlement charges since Feb. 14. President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called on prosecutors to stop the…

Anti-Women Blogger’s Hate Speech Sentence Overturned in Russia

The creator of an anti-women community on Russian social media has had his hate speech conviction overturned, media reported Thursday. Blogger Vladislav Pozdnyakov received a two-year suspended sentence last December for inciting hatred toward women. His “Male State” page on the Vkontakte social network that espouses nationalism and patriarchy boasted more than 150,000 members before…

Last Soviet Leader Steps Down. And the Story of an American Teacher Detained for ‘Drug Smuggling’

This week on From Russia With News, we discuss the shock resignation of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev with Joanna Lillis, a journalist in Kazakhstan and author of the acclaimed book on the country: “Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan.” We’ll also talk to journalist Marc Bennetts about the trial of Gaylen Grandstaff, an…

Corruption in Russia’s Military Quadrupled in 2018, Prosecutors Say

Corruption in Russia’s military has quadrupled to 7 billion rubles ($109.8 million) last year, the top federal military prosecutor said on Thursday. Russia ranks among the world’s most corrupt countries in international ratings, with corruption-related crimes costing an estimated $2.5 billion in damages between 2014 and 2017. Observers have said that anti-graft campaigns under President Vladimir Putin’s rule have brought little progress. “The crimes in…

Kremlin Accuses U.S. of Stoking Tensions by Flying Bombers Near Its Borders

The Kremlin on Thursday said that flights by U.S. nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers across the Baltic Sea’s neutral waters near Russia‘s borders created tension in the region. Russia‘s Defense Ministry said earlier on Thursday that it had scrambled fighter jets to intercept a U.S. B-52 strategic bomber after it began flying toward Russia‘s borders. “In general, I…

Ukraine Targets Russia’s En+ With New Sanctions

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday signed a decree broadening sanctions against Russian companies and citizens to include aluminum and power producer En+ Group and several other Russian firms. Kiev imposed sanctions against some Russian firms and individuals in response to Russia‘s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its support for a pro-Moscow insurgency the east of Ukraine. Wednesday’s…

Putin Congratulates New President of ‘Brotherly Nation’ Kazakhstan

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory telegram to the new acting president of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, hours after he was named the new leader of the Central Asian country. Tokayev was sworn in as Kazakhstan’s president on Wednesday, a day after Putin’s close ally Nursultan Nazarbayev unexpectedly resigned after three decades in power. Kazakhstan…

Can Urban Renewal Plug Russia’s Brain Drain?

This article appeared in our special “Russia in 2019” print issue. The road to “New Life” is bumpy. Only recently opened, the entrance to the apartment complex in Belgorod, a provincial city on the border with Ukraine, has yet to be paved. Already, though, young mothers can be seen pushing strollers along bike paths as their toddlers scramble over Danish playground…