Russian Prosecutors Seek to Label Navalny Groups as ‘Extremist’

Russian prosecutors on Friday asked a Moscow court to designate the network of regional offices of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) as “extremist organizations.” “Under the disguise of liberal slogans, these organizations are engaged in creating conditions for the destabilization of the social and socio-political situation,” the Moscow prosecutor’s office…

Russian Markets Shrug Off New Sanctions

Russian financial markets have shrugged off the latest round of sanctions announced by the U.S. on Thursday, with the Russian ruble and stock markets bouncing back strongly in Friday trading. The ruble — which saw trading volumes five times higher than usual ahead of the sanctions announcement — recovered two days of losses to stand…

U.S. Intel Has ‘Low to Moderate’ Confidence in Reports of Russia-Taliban Bounties

The U.S. intelligence community cannot conclusively say that Russian spies offered Taliban militants bounties to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, the White House said Thursday. Spokesperson Jen Psaki spoke of “low to moderate confidence” in the 2020 reports of the cash incentives based on anonymous sources as Washington widened sanctions on Russia for election interference…

Prominent Academics, Media Figures Show Support for Raided Russian Journalists

Nearly 300 international academics and a popular Russian YouTuber have expressed solidarity with Russian journalists recently subjected to police raids amid widening pressure on independent media. The letters of support and calls for donations came after four editors of independent student news site DOXA were charged with criminal incitement of youth and investigative journalist Roman Anin…

Ukraine Slams Russia’s ‘Open’ Threats Ahead of France, Germany Meeting

Kiev on Thursday accused Russia of flagrantly threatening Ukraine with destruction ahead of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s meeting with the leaders of Germany and France. The concern is mounting that the long-simmering conflict in east Ukraine could spiral back into wider fighting after reports of major Russian troop movements and intensification of clashes with Moscow-backed separatists.…

Russians Form Long Queues at Turkish Airlines’ Moscow Office as Flight Restrictions Begin

Long lines of would-be tourists have formed outside Turkish Airlines’ Moscow office on Thursday as people seek refunds for canceled bookings, local media reported.  Russia suspended most flights with Turkey from April 15-June 1 earlier this week, shutting over 500,000 Russian tourists out of the popular holiday destination.  Videos posted to social media showed dozens…

Russia Summons U.S. Envoy for ‘Harsh Talks’ on New Sanctions

Russia has summoned U.S. Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan for “harsh talks” after Washington widened economic sanctions and ordered diplomatic expulsions in retaliation to what it calls Moscow’s malign behavior, Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced Thursday. Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the ministry would like to speak with Sullivan less than an hour after President Joe Biden…

Argentina Says Russia’s Covid-19 Vaccine More Effective Than Chinese, Indian Competitors

Argentina’s health ministry has said Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is more effective at preventing coronavirus infections than its Chinese and Indian competitors, the South American country’s media reported Wednesday. Argentina has so far distributed the first doses of Sputnik V among 2.6 million recipients, China’s Sinopharm among 1.2 million and India’s Covishield among more than…

Navalny Ally Sobol Sentenced for Visiting Alleged FSB Poisoner’s Apartment

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s close associate Lyubov Sobol was sentenced to a year of community service Thursday for visiting the apartment of an alleged security agent implicated in his poisoning. Sobol was detained in December when she appeared outside the home of alleged Federal Security Service (FSB) chemical weapons expert Konstantin Kudryavtsev. Navalny and the…

U.S.-Funded RFE/RL to Move Staff Out of Russia Over Crippling ‘Foreign Agent’ Fines – BBC

The U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) news outlet has offered some of its staff the opportunity to leave Russia as it faces crippling “foreign agent” fines, BBC Russia reported Wednesday. The move comes after Russia fined RFE/RL nearly $1 million for violating tagging requirements related to its “foreign agent” designation. Russia’s newly tightened “foreign…

Russian Police Raid Independent Student Outlet Over Navalny Video

Russian police have raided independent student-run publication DOXA’s Moscow offices and charged leading staffers with inciting minors to illegally protest, the outlet said Wednesday. Russian authorities demanded earlier this year that DOXA take down its video explaining that students shouldn’t be afraid to voice their opinions at the Jan. 23 pro-Navalny protest and that it was unlawful…

Belarus Leader’s Ex-Spokesman, Veteran Opposition Leader Detained – State Media

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s former spokesman-turned-critic who was reported missing in Russia has been detained alongside a veteran opposition leader on unspecified charges, state media said Tuesday. Political analyst Alexander Feduta, 56, served as Lukashenko’s first press secretary in 1994 before falling out with him the next year and defecting to the opposition. Amnesty International…