International Investigative Consortium OCCRP Exits Russia

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which has authored several high-profile investigative reports into fraud in Russia and the post-Soviet world, has announced its closure in Russia on Wednesday. Since its founding in 2006, OCCRP has released bombshell reports into alleged multibillion-dollar offshore schemes involving figures close to Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of…

Team Navalny Heavily Backs Communist Candidates to Oust Pro-Kremlin Incumbents

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s team has published its long-anticipated roster of candidates it hopes supporters will rally behind to oust pro-Kremlin incumbents during this weekend’s parliamentary elections. With virtually all of Navalny’s allies shut out from the ballot, his team says it is backing a total of 1,234 candidates for Russia’s lower-house State Duma…

Russian Foreign Minister’s Secret Mistress Wields Ministry Influence, Owns Elite Property – iStories

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has a secret mistress who wields significant influence within the ministry and owns several luxury properties, according to a new investigation by the Important Stories (iStories) investigative outlet published Tuesday. Svetlana Polyakova, who has worked at the Foreign Ministry since 2014, has a “long-standing and very close” relationship with Lavrov,…

Siberia Chess Match Ends in Double Murder

What started as an ordinary game of chess in Siberia took a dark turn and ended in double murder, Russian authorities said Monday. According to the Krasnoyarsk region Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, a conflict erupted Sunday in the stairwell of an apartment block where a game was underway between two 34-year-old neighbors. They were…

‘The Leftward Turn Is Inevitable’: In Lenin’s Hometown, Russian Communists Strive for Soviet Revival

ULYANOVSK – When Airat Gibatdinov was born in 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev’s Perestroika had already set the Soviet Union on its path to oblivion. But now, the local lawmaker and deputy head of Russia’s revived Communist Party in Ulyanovsk  — the Volga riverside hometown of the U.S.S.R.’s founding father Vladimir Lenin — has dedicated his life…

Belarus Leader Eyes $1Bln Russian Arms Deal

Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday said Minsk planned to buy $1 billion worth of Russian arms as he oversaw massive Moscow-led military drills that rattled some EU countries. Sporting green military uniform at a test range near the city of Baranovichi in western Belarus, the strongman praised Russian and Belarusian troops for their “high state of…

4 Killed in Siberia Plane Crash

Four people were killed and 12 others injured Sunday after a plane crashed in eastern Siberia, Russian authorities said. The L-410 plane carrying 16 people on a short-range flight crashed during a second landing attempt in the Irkutsk region, trapping passengers inside. The Czech-made aircraft operated jointly by the regional airlines SiLA and Aeroservis was flying…

Russia to Test-Block Domains Used by Navalny Apps, Sparking Online Privacy Fears – Kommersant

Russian authorities are preparing to block major domain name systems (DNS) in what experts warn would hurt online privacy and allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny link to efforts to block his websites. According to the Kommersant business daily, Russia’s communications watchdog Roskomnadzor had urged state companies to switch from Google and Cloudflare’s DNS…

Independent Russian News Outlets Launch Campaign Against ‘Foreign Agent’ Tags

Several dozen Russian news outlets have launched a campaign in support of independent journalism Wednesday amid mounting pressure on their profession in the run-up to next week’s parliamentary elections. The “There Are No Foreign Agents, There Are Journalists” campaign comes as Russian authorities target a growing number of media outlets and individual journalists with the…

Russian Emergencies Minister Dies in Arctic Drills

Russian Emergency Situations Minister Yevgeny Zinichev, an ally and former bodyguard of President Vladimir Putin, has died at age 55 while trying to save a prominent filmmaker during strategic drills in the Arctic, the ministry said Wednesday. “We regret to inform you that Zinichev tragically died while performing official duties saving someone’s life during interdepartmental…

Leaked Audio Instructs Russia Poll Watchers to Ignore Voter Fraud – Reports

Russian media published an audio leak Tuesday that they say shows a ruling pro-Kremlin party official instructing poll watchers to ignore voter fraud at the upcoming election. The United Russia party, which was founded by President Vladimir Putin and consistently backs his initiatives, is seeking to maintain its lower-house majority in the Sept. 17-19 parliamentary elections…

Prominent Rights Lawyer With Navalny Links Flees Russia Amid Pre-Election Exodus

A prominent Russian defense lawyer involved in high-profile cases and himself facing criminal charges said Tuesday he has fled the country amid an ongoing exodus of opposition-leaning figures ahead of this month’s elections. Ivan Pavlov headed Team 29, a legal group that self-disbanded this summer after Russian authorities declared it an “undesirable” organization with foreign links, a…