U.S. Deems Russia’s Wagner Group ‘Transnational Criminal Organization’

The U.S. Treasury Department declared Russia’s shadowy Wagner Group a “transnational criminal organization” and imposed fresh sanctions on several other Russian political and business figures, according to a statement released on Thursday. “Today’s expanded sanctions on Wagner, as well as new sanctions on their associates and other companies enabling the Russian military complex, will further impede Putin’s…

Russia Slaps Independent Media Outlet Meduza With ‘Undesirable’ Label

Updates with Timchenko comments Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office has added the independent news outlet Meduza to the country’s list of “undesirable” organizations, a sanction designed to force entities to disband and which puts its staff and financial donors at risk of significant jail time. The General Prosecutor’s Office said on Thursday that it believed the…

Alexei Navalny Returned to Solitary Confinement for 11th Time

Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny was returned to solitary confinement for the 11th time since his nine-year prison sentence began in March, his press secretary Kira Yarmysh said on Wednesday. Navalny said that he was sent to solitary confinement for “introducing himself incorrectly,” according to Yarmysh. “Apparently, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin does not like our campaign…

Kremlin Officials to File Anonymous Tax Returns – Vedomosti

Kremlin officials and Russian cabinet members will file anonymous tax returns, Russia’s Vedomosti business newspaper reported Wednesday, citing unnamed sources close to the government. President Vladimir Putin in late December waived requirements for government officials to disclose their income tax returns for the duration of Russia’s so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine. According to Vedomosti, Russia’s…

Nearly 100 Russian Soldiers Killed in Makiivka Strike, BBC Russian Confirms

More Russian soldiers were killed than officially confirmed in Ukraine’s New Year’s Day strike on a temporary barracks in Russian-occupied Makiivka, the BBC Russian service reported Wednesday. BBC Russian journalists used open-source data to verify the identities of 92 Russian soldiers killed in the strike, the outlet said. Another 16 soldiers who were at the makeshift…

Ukraine Dismisses Key Officials in Anti-Graft Purge

Kyiv on Tuesday announced the dismissal of a dozen top officials in its biggest political shakeup following the country’s first major corruption scandal linked to the Russian invasion. Ukraine has long suffered endemic corruption, but Moscow’s nearly year-long full-scale war has overshadowed government efforts to stamp out graft. Western allies have allocated billions of dollars…

Turkey Stops Granting Residence Permits to New Russian Arrivals — Report

Russian citizens relocating to Turkey in recent weeks are being refused residence permits, independent Russian-language media outlet Current Time reported Monday.  Since Dec. 26, Russian citizens who left Russia following the invasion of Ukraine and the military mobilization have been denied short-term residence permits for tourism in several cities, the report shows. “[We were told…

Wagner Deserter Arrested in Norway

A former member of Russian mercenary group Wagner who fled to Norway about 10 days ago has been arrested for violating immigration law, Norwegian police said Monday. Twenty-six-year-old Andrei Medvedev crossed the Russian-Norwegian border in the far north in the early hours of Jan. 13 and sought asylum in the Scandinavian country. His lawyer told…

Moscow Expels Estonian Ambassador as Tallinn Pledges More Arms to Kyiv

Russia has expelled Estonia’s ambassador from Moscow in a move against its “Russophobic” Baltic neighbor, Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced Monday as Tallinn pledged additional military aid to Ukraine. In a statement, the Russian ministry slammed Estonia’s announcement of the expulsion of 21 Russian diplomats and embassy staff to reach parity between personnel. “Tallinn has elevated total Russophobia…

Russian WWII Museum Puts Ukrainian ‘Trophies’ on Display

Soviet-era Ukrainian tanks captured during Russia’s invasion of its western neighbor have appeared at a World War II museum outside St. Petersburg ahead of the exhibit’s expected opening, according to photos and reports published over the weekend. Russian-speaking social media users criticized as inappropriate the placement of armored vehicles seized during the nearly year-long invasion…

Russian Military Intelligence Linked to Spanish Letter Bomb Campaign – NYT

Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency is suspected of directing associates of a St. Petersburg-based white supremacist militant group to carry out a recent letter bomb campaign in Spain, The New York Times reported Sunday, citing unnamed U.S. officials. Six letter bombs were sent to high-profile government, military and diplomatic targets in Spain in late November and early…

Russia Pushing Towards Two Towns in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Region

Moscow’s forces are pushing towards two towns in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, where fighting intensified this week after several months of a stagnant front, Russian state media reported Sunday.  Russian-installed official in the region Vladimir Rogov said offensive actions were concentrated around two towns: Orikhiv, around 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Ukrainian-controlled regional capital Zaporizhzhia,…

U.S. Designates Russia’s Wagner Mercenaries a ‘Criminal Organization’

The United States on Friday designated Russia’s Wagner mercenary group a “transnational criminal organization,” piling pressure on the private Russian army fighting in Ukraine. White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Wagner, controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman close to President Vladimir Putin, has about 50,000 fighters in Ukraine, 80% of them drawn from…

Ukraine Says Detained 7 ‘Russian Agents’

Ukraine said Friday it had detained seven people suspected of handing coordinates to Russian forces for strikes in the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, where dozens of civilians were recently killed in a missile attack. The SBU security service said in a statement it had carried out a multi-stage operation to expose an active network of Russia’s military…

Air Defense Systems Appear Across Moscow

Anti-aircraft missile systems have been spotted across Moscow, including on the roof of the Russian Defense Ministry, this week amid concerns over Ukraine’s ability to strike deep within Russian territory. Videos and photos circulating online Thursday showed what appears to be a Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air system being installed on top of an administrative building and the…

EU Slams Russia’s Comparison of West’s Ukraine Policy to the Holocaust

The EU on Thursday denounced Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s claim that the West’s policy towards Russia over Ukraine resembled Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s planned ‘”Final Solution” for Europe’s Jews.  “Latest comments by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov accusing ‘The West’ of seeking a ‘final solution’ for Russia are entirely misplaced, disrespectful and trample on the…

EU Parliament Calls for Special Tribunal to Punish Russian War Crimes in Ukraine

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution to establish a special international tribunal that will prosecute Russia’s political and military leadership and its allies for “the crime of aggression against Ukraine.” In a statement Thursday, European MEPs said the tribunal would fill a vacuum in international criminal justice and complement the investigative efforts of the…

Slain Negotiator Helped Ukraine Defend Kyiv From Russian Forces – WSJ

A slain Ukrainian banker with ties to Russia had provided crucial information on Russia’s imminent invasion that helped Ukraine’s military to resist Moscow’s assault on Kyiv, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Denys Kireyev, 45, was an informal member of Ukraine’s negotiating team with Russia when officers from Ukraine’s SBU domestic intelligence agency summoned him…

Russia Charges U.S. Citizen With Espionage

Russia’s domestic intelligence agency announced Thursday it has launched an espionage case against a U.S. citizen. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) alleged that the American national “collected intelligence information of a biological nature aimed against Russia’s security.”  The FSB did not identify the man by name. It also did not specify when the U.S. citizen was…