U.S. Hits Dozens Belarusians With Visa Restrictions Amid Renewed Crackdown

The United States has imposed visa restrictions on Belarusian law enforcement and justice officials it holds responsible for a renewed crackdown on activists and journalists, the State Department announced Thursday. The State Department condemned this week’s sentencing of two Belarusian journalists for covering 2020 election protests, as well as police raids on dozens of journalists,…

U.S. Diplomats Request Coronavirus Vaccine From Russia – Washington Post

U.S. diplomats in Moscow have appealed for doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in the face of delivery shortages from Washington, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Unnamed officials cited in the story say the “humbling” experience is prompted by Washington’s inability to promise the delivery of U.S.-made vaccine doses in the near future. While…

Russian Pro-Democracy Activist Gets Suspended Sentence in ‘Undesirable Org’ Case

Prominent Russian activist Anastasia Shevchenko will walk free after receiving a suspended sentence for her involvement in a pro-democracy group that the government labeled “undesirable.” Shevchenko, 41, is the first activist to be prosecuted under Russia’s 2015 law against “undesirable organizations.” She has been under house arrest since 2019, when one of her three children…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Feb. 18

Russia has confirmed 4,125,598 cases of coronavirus and 81,926 deaths. Feb. 18: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 13,447 new coronavirus cases and 480 deaths. Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has been certified and approved for mass use in Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan’s state coronavirus commission announced Wednesday.  Muslim Spiritual Board of Russia’s republic of Tatarstan announced Tuesday…

Spain Reopens Criminal Case Against Russian Tycoon Mikhail Fridman

Spain has reopened a criminal case against Kremlin-linked billionaire Mikhail Fridman over his alleged role in the deliberate bankruptcy of a Spanish tech firm, Deutsche Welle reported Wednesday.  Spain’s National Court first opened a case against the tycoon in 2019, with prosecutors accusing Fridman of market manipulation, fraudulent insolvency, business corruption and misuse of company…

Russia Arrests 19 Suspected Islamist Terrorists

Russian security forces have detained 19 suspected radical Islamists accused of plotting attacks across southern Russia, Interfax reported Wednesday, citing the Federal Security Service (FSB). The security operation took place in the Black Sea regions of Krasnodar, Crimea, Rostov and Karachayevo-Cherkessia. Authorities identified the suspects as members of Takfir wal-Hijra, a group that Russia banned…

Russia Backs Myanmar Military After China Raises Concerns

Russia remains supportive of Myanmar’s military after China’s ambassador expressed concern with the crisis in its neighboring country and denied rumors of its involvement. Ambassador Chen Hai said Beijing maintained “friendly” ties with both the Burmese army and its former ruling civilian government, noting that the current political situation was “absolutely not what China wants…

Kazakhstan To Roll Out First Locally Produced Sputnik Vaccine

Kazakhstan will be the first country in the world to locally produce Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine after a pharmaceutical company received government authorization to make the jab, the company said Tuesday.    The company, called the Karaganda Pharmaceutical Complex (KPC), “was granted certification” to produce the vaccine by Kazakhstan’s health ministry on Monday, KPC…

Russian Activists Face Death Threats Over Women’s ‘Solidarity Chain’ Protest

Russian women activists have received hundreds of death threats after their Valentine’s Day “chain of solidarity” for female victims of political repression, the Mediazona news website reported Tuesday. Around 300 participants formed human chains in central Moscow and St. Petersburg on Sunday following weeks of harsh police crackdowns at pro-Navalny protests. The event’s organizer, activist…

Russian Academics Protest State Permits for Public Outreach

Russian academics are warning that lawmakers seek to curb their freedoms with a new law that would require state permission for public outreach, the weekly journal Nature reported Monday. Amendments to Russia’s education law advancing through the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, seek to stamp out “anti-Russian” influence in educational activities outside formal settings.…

Pro-Navalny Flashlight Flashmob a Success Despite Lack of Crowds, Allies Say

Courtyard protests across Russia in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were a success despite lacking the massive crowds of previous rallies, his team said Monday. The Valentine’s Day demonstrations saw Navalny supporters hold up flashlights and candles in residential courtyards rather than stage traditional street protests. Photos from the event flooded social media…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Feb. 15

Russia has confirmed 4,086,090 cases of coronavirus and 80,520 deaths. Feb. 15: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 14,207 new coronavirus cases and 394 deaths. Health workers in Bosnia received the first dose of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Reuters reported Friday.  Montenegro, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Kazakhstan have authorized Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine,…

Musk Invites Putin to Clubhouse Chat

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Sunday invited President Vladimir Putin to a “conversation” on the popular invitation-only audio chat app Clubhouse. “Would you like to join me for a conversation on Clubhouse?” Musk tweeted at Putin’s official Twitter account. In a Russian-language follow-up, Musk said “it would be a great honor to speak…

Russian Women Form Human Chain Following Navalny Protest Crackdown

Hundreds of women formed a “chain of solidarity” in central Moscow Sunday to support jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s wife Yulia and female victims of political repression. The Valentine’s Day demonstration follows weeks of harsh police crackdowns at pro-Navalny protests and was inspired by last summer’s protests in neighboring Belarus, where women formed human chains…

Russian Jehovah’s Witness Handed Longest ‘Extremism’ Prison Sentence

A court in southern Russia has handed the country’s longest prison sentence yet to an elderly Jehovah’s Witness leader for organizing an “extremist” group, the religious organization said Wednesday. Authorities accused Alexander Ivshin, 63, of organizing the activities of a banned organization, including hosting Bible discussions with friends via video link, until his April 2020…

Putin Open to Getting Coronavirus Vaccine in 2021 – Kommersant

President Vladimir Putin has floated the possibility of getting vaccinated against the coronavirus later in 2021, the Kommersant business daily reported Thursday, citing his closed-door meeting with journalists. Putin, 68, has held off on receiving Russia’s domestically manufactured Covid-19 vaccine despite touting it as the world’s “best” jab and boasting of its first-in-the-world approval. His…