Bulgaria Says it Will Expel Russian Diplomat

Bulgaria’s foreign ministry said Thursday that it would expel a Russian diplomat, a day after prosecutors said they had established links between six Russian nationals and several past explosions at arms depots. “The Bulgarian foreign ministry declared one more Russian diplomat persona non grata,” the ministry said in a statement.  It urged Russia to “fully…

Moscow Official Slams Slow Vaccination, Lax Mask-Wearing as Coronavirus Cases Double

Moscow’s chief infectious disease specialist hit out Thursday at the city’s slow vaccination drive and residents not wearing masks in crowded places after coronavirus cases nearly doubled in the Russian capital overnight. Doctor Nikolai Malyshev said both factors were behind a 74% increase in single-day infections that Moscow authorities confirmed earlier in the day. The…

U.S. Officials Arrest Russian Suspect in Alleged $336M Bitcoin Laundering Scheme

United States law enforcement authorities have arrested a Russian citizen in Los Angeles whose bitcoin mixing platform allegedly helped users launder $336 million over a decade, Reuters reported Tuesday.  Roman Sterligov was the main operator of Bitcoin Fog, a website founded in 2011 to help users anonymize cryptocurrency payments, especially on darknet markets where drugs…

Russia Sends Medical Aid to Virus-Ravaged India

Updated at 4:47 p.m. on April 28 to add Kremlin statement. Russia will send a large shipment of medical aid to India as the country battles an unprecedented wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. The shipment of coronavirus treatment drugs, ventilation equipment, oxygen supplies and other medical equipment comes “in…

Russia to Invest $11B in Volatile Central African Republic’s Reconstruction – Minister

Russia could invest $11 billion in reconstruction projects in the mineral-rich Central African Republic, where rebel violence has led to mass displacement and Russian mercenaries are widely reported to be providing security services to the embattled military, a government official has said. Moscow has since 2018 expanded its diplomatic and financial activities in the former…

Is Russia Entering a Third Coronavirus Wave?

The Kremlin has denied keeping secret statistics on the number of coronavirus cases in Russia, after Bloomberg reported government officials warning a third wave of the pandemic has already hit the country. The newswire on Wednesday quoted two unnamed government sources saying “unofficial statistics” painted a different picture from that presented by Russia’s coronavirus task…

Russia Restricts Navalny Anti-Corruption Group’s Work Ahead of ‘Extremist’ Ruling

A Moscow court has restricted the work of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) ahead of its ruling to blacklist the group, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.  The Moscow City Court will this week decide whether to designate FBK and Navalny’s regional offices as “extremist” organizations, a move that would…

Russia Out to ‘Kill’ Popular News Site Meduza With ‘Foreign Agent’ Label, Editors Say

Popular Russian independent news website Meduza said Monday that authorities are attempting to “kill” it with an onerous foreign agent designation that will strip it of advertising revenue and put employees at risk of jail time. The Justice Ministry declared Meduza, one of the country’s most-read news outlets, a “foreign agent” on Friday. The designation,…

UK Announces Global Magnitsky Sanctions

Britain announced its first sanctions under a new global anti-corruption regime on Monday, freezing assets and imposing business restrictions on 22 individuals from Russia, South Africa, Sudan and Latin America. Those sanctioned include 14 people allegedly involved in the diversion of $230 million of Russian state property through a fraudulent tax refund scheme uncovered by…

Putin Says Prague’s Accusations Against Russia ‘Absurd’: Kremlin

President Vladimir Putin on Monday dismissed as “absurd” Prague’s accusations against Moscow after Czech authorities accused the Russian secret services of being behind a deadly arms depot blast in 2014. In a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, Putin “commented on the current state of Russian-Czech relations, emphasizing the absurd nature of Prague’s accusations…

Russia Expels Ukrainian Diplomat in Ongoing Spat

Moscow announced Monday it was expelling a Ukrainian embassy worker, the latest in a wave of diplomatic expulsions that have embroiled Russian and European diplomats. The expulsion came amid heightened tensions between Moscow and Kiev over an uptick in fighting between Ukraine’s army and pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement…

Russia Orders Navalny Group to Suspend Activities

Russian prosecutors on Monday suspended the activities of Alexei Navalny’s regional offices, in a move his team said would essentially shut down the jailed opposition figure’s decade-long movement against President Vladimir Putin. The order came as a court began considering whether to designate Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and his regional offices as extremist organizations, putting…

Ukraine Marks 35 Years Since Chernobyl Disaster

President Volodymyr Zelensky was due Monday to visit the Chernobyl exclusion zone and address Ukrainians to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. The exclusion zone is a 30-kilometer radius around the nuclear power plant that was evacuated in the aftermath of an explosion and was deemed unsafe for humans to live for thousands…

Russia Declares Independent News Site Meduza a ‘Foreign Agent’

Russia has declared the leading independent news website Meduza a “foreign agent,” the Justice Ministry announced Friday amid what critics call the Kremlin’s continuing crackdown on free speech. A statement on the ministry’s website said the decision, which also includes the Moscow-based Pasmi (“First Anti-Corruption Media”) news site, was made “in compliance with the requirements…

St. Petersburg to Host 3 More Euro 2020 Games

Europe’s football governing body UEFA said Thursday that the Russian city of St. Petersburg will host three additional Euro 2020 group games after the original hosts of the 12-city tournament could not guarantee fan admittance due to the coronavirus.  St. Petersburg was initially scheduled to host three group stage matches and one quarter-final when UEFA’s…

Putin Did Not Discuss Russia-Belarus Union With Lukashenko, Kremlin Says

President Vladimir Putin did not discuss anticipated unification between Russia and Belarus during late-night talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, the Kremlin said Friday.  Lukashenko met Putin in Moscow days after he said his security services had thwarted a coup plot in Belarus, and the Russian president denounced Western silence about the claims. Their…

Navalny Ends Prison Hunger Strike

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny ended his three-week hunger strike Friday, saying it had resulted in “huge progress” and thanking his supporters. In a post on Instagram, Navalny said he was following the advice of his supporters and doctors, who had warned he could die “at any minute,” if he continued to refuse meals in…

Slovakia Expels Three Russian Diplomats — PM

Slovakia has decided to expel three Russian diplomats, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said on Thursday, after a diplomatic rift between its Czech neighbor and Moscow. “Three representatives of the Russian diplomatic mission must end their activities in Slovakia and must leave the country within seven days,” Heger said. Heger said that Slovakia had made its…

Putin Says Russia Fulfilling Obligations to Fight Climate Change

President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russia, the world’s fourth-highest producer of carbon emissions, was committed to fulfilling its international obligations to combat climate change. Russia has set numerous heat records in recent years, with the first half of 2020 seeing the warmest temperatures since the country began weather observations. “Russia is approaching with complete…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | April 22

Russia has confirmed 4,736,121 cases of coronavirus and 107,103 deaths, according to the national coronavirus information center. Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is above 422,000. April 22: What you need to know today Russia on Thursday confirmed 8,996 new coronavirus cases and 397 deaths. Egyptian firm Minapharm announced Thursday it will produce 40…