Russia Slaps Foreign Media, NGOs with ‘Foreign Agent’ and ‘Undesirable Org’ Labels

Russia has listed four NGOs, two civil society groups and one media outlet as “foreign agents” and “undesirable organizations” amid a renewed crackdown on critical voices this week. The Justice Ministry labeled three AIDS service organizations and one educational affiliate of exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia pro-democracy group as “foreign agents” Monday. St. Petersburg’s…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 25

Russia has confirmed 2,963,688 cases of coronavirus and 53,096 deaths. Dec. 25: What you need to know today Russia confirmed new record-breaking numbers of 29,935 coronavirus cases and 635 deaths Thursday. Moscow residents working in law enforcement, urban planning, sports and the catering industry will be eligible to receive Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine starting Dec. 28, Mayor Sergei…

Russian ‘Wedding Photobomb’ Couple Jailed for Treason – Reports

A Russian couple has been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for blowing a secret agent’s cover in their wedding photos, the state-run TASS news agency reported Thursday. Baltic affairs expert Antonina Zimina and her husband Konstantin Antonets were charged with treason after Zimina’s old classmate, a Federal Security Service (FSB) counterintelligence officer, appeared in their…

Russia Returns Gifted Orthodox Icon to Bosnia After East Ukraine Controversy

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has returned an 18th-century Orthodox Christian icon to Bosnia and Herzegovina embassy after reports said the religious artifact originated from rebel-held eastern Ukraine. Lavrov received the 300-year-old icon as a gift from Milorad Dodik, the Serb chair of Bosnia’s three-man presidency, during his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Dec.…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 24

Russia has confirmed 2,933,753 cases of coronavirus and 52,461 deaths. Dec. 24: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 27,250 new coronavirus cases and 549 deaths Wednesday. Argentina gave “emergency” authorization to Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, becoming the first Latin American country to do so. The first 300,000 doses of the vaccine are set to reach…

Moscow Opposition Deputy Gets Suspended Sentence for Multiple Protest Violations

Moscow opposition deputy Yulia Galyamina will walk free after receiving a suspended sentence under Russia’s law criminalizing multiple protest violations, the Mediazona news website reported Wednesday. Galyamina, a member of north-central Moscow’s Timiryazevsky District council, is accused of demonstrating against local elections in the summer of 2019 and against Russia’s constitutional reforms this summer. She…

Navalny Associate Shaveddinov Returns From Forced Arctic Military Service

Ruslan Shaveddinov, an associate of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, has returned to Moscow following a year of forced military service in the Arctic, the Mediazona news website reported.   Shaveddinov worked for Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) which leads investigations into corrupt individuals among the Kremlin’s ruling elite. In December 2019, men in uniform broke…

Colombia Expels Russian Diplomats on Spying Accusations – Reports

Colombia has expelled two alleged Russian intelligence officers working under diplomatic protection earlier this month, media reported Tuesday.  Colombian authorities said the Russian diplomats violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations but would not detail why they left, according to Reuters. The news agency reported that President Ivan Duque declined to reveal additional information, telling…

7 Protests That Defined the Year in Russia and Former Soviet Republics

In a year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, some of the largest and most protracted protests in post-Soviet history also grabbed headlines.  People took to the streets to protest issues including electoral fraud, corruption and territorial disputes. Gathering despite government-imposed public assembly restrictions, protesters across the region faced off against police — with thousands being injured…

YouTube Source of Most Fake Info on Russian Internet, State Media Watchdog Says

Russia’s federal media watchdog has accused YouTube of circulating more fake news than any other foreign platform on the Russian internet, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited the agency as saying Monday.  “About 60% of fakes are related to the Covid-19 virus,” said Roskomnadzor, the federal agency responsible for regulating communications, information technology and…

Navalny Ally Sobol Detained After Poisoning Call

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s associate Lyubov Sobol has been detained outside the home of an alleged chemical weapons expert implicated in his poisoning, media reported late Monday. Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) lawyer Sobol said she wanted to speak with alleged Federal Security Service (FSB) agent Konstantin Kudryavtsev, whom Navalny said he had tricked into admitting…

With Lake Baikal’s Key Protections Set to Expire, Russian Eco-Activists Sound the Alarm

On Jan. 1, the Russian government is set to significantly reel back important environmental regulations protecting Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake that is home to creatures found nowhere else on earth. It’s a move that could lead to the biggest environmental crisis in Baikal’s history, environmental experts and activists say. With the clock…

Russia Denies Role in U.S. Cyber Attacks

The Kremlin on Monday denied any role in recent cyber attacks on the United States, saying American accusations that Russia was behind a major security breach lacked evidence. U.S. lawmakers over the weekend urged a tough response to a huge cyber attack on government agencies and criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s unwillingness to point the…

Moscow School Survey Tests Teachers’ Political Loyalty – Reports

Public schools across Moscow have received a survey that measures their teachers’ political activity and loyalty to the authorities, the independent Dozhd broadcaster reported Sunday. The survey asks teachers whether they participated in pro-Kremlin or opposition rallies in recent years, as well as whether they backed coups to achieve political change, Dozhd reported. The teachers…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 21

Russia has confirmed 2,848,377 cases of coronavirus and 50,858 deaths. Dec. 20: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 28 948 new coronavirus cases and 511 deaths Sunday. The conditional mortality rates increased to 1.79%, according to the data from the operational headquarters for the fight against coronavirus. Dec.18 — St. Petersburg-based Greenpeace energy campaigner Rashid Alimov, 40,…

US planning to close last consulates in Russia

Donald Trump’s outgoing administration is planning to close the two remaining US consulates in Russia, the State Department confirmed Saturday, as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office amid high tensions with Moscow. The US will close its consulate in the far eastern city of Vladivostok and suspend operations at its post in Yekaterinburg, a department…

Pompeo Blames Russia for Massive US Cyberattack

Russia was “pretty clearly” behind a devastating cyberattack on several U.S. government agencies that also hit targets worldwide, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. Microsoft said late Thursday that it had notified more than 40 customers hit by the malware, which security experts say could allow attackers unfettered network access to key government systems and electric…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 19

Russia has confirmed 2,791,220 cases of coronavirus and 49,762 deaths. Dec. 19: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 28 209 new coronavirus cases and 585 deaths. The total number of infected people in Russia has reached 2 819 429. The conditional mortality increased to 1.79%, according to the data from the operational headquarters for the fight against coronavirus.…

Moscow to Target Apolitical Youth on TikTok in 2021 Race – Meduza

Moscow political operatives plan to engage apolitical youth in Russia’s 2021 legislative elections through TikTok, the Meduza news website reported Friday, citing unnamed sources close to the Kremlin. The popular short-form video app will presumably help Kremlin-backed candidates fend off challengers promoted by opposition figure Alexei Navalny. In the lead-up to next year’s vote, Navalny…

Russian National Guard to Partner With Belarus Police Amid Protests

The Russian National Guard has signed a cooperation agreement with Belarus’ police force to combat “terrorism and extremism,” Interfax reported Friday.  The agreement comes amid months of opposition protests in Belarus against the country’s disputed presidential election. Belarus’ Moscow-backed President Alexander Lukashenko has accused the opposition of being backed by the West and has jailed…