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…

Russia to Pay Damages for 2012 Navalny Arrest

Russia has agreed to pay jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny damages for his 2012 detention during mass anti-government demonstrations that Europe’s human rights court ruled degrading, Interfax reported Thursday. Russia’s Justice Ministry said it will not appeal the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) November ruling because the ruling did not hold that Navalny’s rights…

Navalny, Kara-Murza Tailed by Same FSB Squad Before Alleged Poisonings — Investigation

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent Kremlin critic who survived two suspected poisonings, was likely tailed by the same chemical weapons squad that allegedly poisoned Alexei Navalny, the Bellingcat investigative outlet reported in a joint investigation with The Insider and Der Spiegel.  Bellingcat analyzed travel data which showed that in both cases, in 2015 and 2017, Kara-Murza…

Russian Opposition Finds Refuge in Bitcoin

As the value of Bitcoin soared this year, bringing cryptocurrencies back into the global spotlight, Russia’s opposition leader Alexei Navalny saw his team’s crypto wallet fatten.   Public blockchain data shows that a Bitcoin address tied to Navalny received 3.5 Bitcoin ($120,000) at the end of January as supporters rushed to donate to the Kremlin critic…

Ukraine Bans Coronavirus Vaccines From ‘Aggressor’ Russia

Ukraine has banned coronavirus vaccines produced in bitter rival Russia despite struggles to launch its vaccination campaign. A resolution passed by the government on Feb. 8 and posted on its website Wednesday banned the registration of vaccines from “aggressor states,” a designation Ukraine has applied to Russia since 2015. Ukraine’s pro-Western leadership has repeatedly rejected…

Russian University Administrator Steps Down After Trick Pro-Putin Flashmob

A senior Russian university administrator has resigned after tricking students into filming a flashmob in support of President Vladimir Putin following mass nationwide protests that criticized his rule, local media reported Wednesday. The students were shocked to learn that their participation in a coordinated hand- and flag-waving performance for a state holiday had been repackaged…

France Rejected Russia’s Request for Navalny Lab Results, Putin Tells Closed Meeting

France had allegedly rejected Russia’s offer to examine its scientists’ findings that opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned, President Vladimir Putin was reported to have said at a closed meeting Wednesday. Putin told chief editors of Russian news outlets that he had promised French President Emmanuel Macron that Moscow would “immediately” open a criminal investigation…

Yulia Navalnaya Leaves Russia for Germany – Reports

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s wife Yulia Navalnaya has left Russia for Germany, Russian state-run news agency Interfax and German newspaper Der Spiegel reported Wednesday, both citing unnamed sources. Navalnaya flew to Frankfurt from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, Interfax cited its source as saying. Lawyers for both Navalny and Navalnaya told the state-run TASS news agency that they…

Russia Fines Radio Free Europe $150K Under ‘Foreign Agent’ Law

Russia’s media watchdog said Wednesday it had fined the Russian-language service of U.S.-funded Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe nearly $150,000 over non-compliance with its controversial “foreign agent” law, in a penalty that could increase. Groups or individuals identified as “foreign agents” in Russia must disclose their sources of funding and label publications with the relevant tag…

Visitors To Karabakh To Require Russian Permission

Visitors to Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh now have to get Russian permission ahead of time. The territory’s de facto ministry of foreign affairs announced new entry regulations for foreigners on Feb. 8, and one of the provisions was that Russian peacekeeping forces will examine applications “for security purposes” before they are approved. It’s not clear what prompted the new…

Russia’s Virus Caseload Passes 4 Million

But Russia has come under fire for its official virus statistics and the government’s stated death toll of 78,134 in particular has been undermined by recent mortality data. Figures published by statistics agency Rosstat on Monday showed more than 162,000 virus-related deaths last year, more than double the number reported by the government’s task force so far.…

Moscow Activists Plan ‘Chain of Solidarity’ for Yulia Navalnaya, Women ‘Political Prisoners’

Russian activists have announced a “Chain of Solidarity and Love” in central Moscow on Valentine’s Day in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s wife Yulia as well as Russian women prosecuted for political reasons.  The event was inspired by last summer’s women-led actions in neighboring Belarus, where people formed long human chains to protest police…