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…

U.S. Envoy Sullivan Leaves Russia for Consultations Amid Strained Ties

The United States’ Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan has left Russia for consultations with Washington on the future of U.S.-Russia ties as tensions between the two powers reach new highs, Interfax reported.   Moscow advised Sullivan last week to return to Washington for consultations after U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration levied sanctions and diplomatic expulsions against…

Russia Probes Oil Spill in Gulf of Finland

Russian investigators on Wednesday said they are inspecting an oil spill in the Gulf of Finland near the city of Vyborg in the Leningrad region, hours after President Vladimir Putin called for stronger action against polluters. The Investigative Committee’s northwestern transport investigation department said it dispatched a team of its investigators and specialists from environmental…

Czech Police Detain 5 Suspected of Fighting for Pro-Russian Rebels in Ukraine

Czech police have detained five of its nationals suspected of fighting alongside pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Czech prosecutors announced Wednesday as ties between the countries eroded over allegations of Moscow’s involvement in a 2014 explosion. The Prague High Public Prosecutor’s Office said on its website that the suspects taken into custody are suspected of…

In Quotes: Putin Speaks on State of the Nation

Russian President Vladimir Putin is addressing the nation in the annual speech to the Federal Assembly as tensions brew at home and abroad.  The Russian president’s address to lawmakers and regional heads comes hours before planned nationwide protests in support of hunger-striking Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, whose failing health in prison has drawn worldwide concern.…

Russian Prosecutors Demand Dissolution of Navalny’s Groups

Russian prosecutors have asked a court to dissolve jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and his regional network of headquarters, Interfax reported Tuesday. The demand comes ahead of planned protests on Wednesday calling for Navalny’s immediate treatment at a civilian hospital as his allies sound the alarm over his deteriorating health in prison. …

Russia to Require Candidates to Self-Report ‘Foreign Agent’ Status Under Newly Passed Law

President Vladimir Putin has signed a law Tuesday that will require electoral candidates who receive any amount of financial support from abroad to label themselves as “foreign agents.” Russia’s “foreign agents” law, first passed in 2012, has been gradually expanded in recent years to apply to any politically active individual or organization receiving funding from…

Putin to Speak on State of the Nation Amid Foreign Policy, Domestic Crises

President Vladimir Putin is due to give his annual state-of-the-nation speech Wednesday as tensions brew both at home and abroad.  The Russian president’s address to lawmakers and regional heads comes hours before planned nationwide protests in support of hunger-striking Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, whose failing health in prison has drawn worldwide concern. Putin’s address also…

Envoy Says Italy Will Reopen to Russian Tourists This Summer

Italy will begin accepting Russian tourists this summer as it eases coronavirus restrictions, Russian state media reported Tuesday, citing Rome’s envoy to Moscow. Italian Ambassador to Moscow Pasquale Terracciano made the promise days after officials in Rome announced reopening dates for the country’s schools, restaurants, swimming pools and gyms in response to anti-lockdown protests. Pasquale…

U.S. Ambassador in Russia to Return to Washington for Consultations

Updated at 1:00 p.m. on April 20 to add U.S. Embassy confirmation. The United States’ Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan will briefly return to Washington for consultations following tit-for-tat sanctions and diplomatic expulsions amid heightened tensions, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow confirmed Tuesday. Axios reported Monday that the State Department recalled Sullivan after he initially defied…