Putin Congratulates U.S. President-Elect Biden After Electoral College Confirmation

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a congratulatory telegram to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden after the Electoral College confirmed his win, the Kremlin announced Tuesday.   Putin is one of the last world leaders to congratulate the president-elect, with his message coming six weeks after the Nov. 3 vote in which Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump.…

11 Killed in Fire at Nursing Home in Russia

Fire erupted in a retirement home in central Russia overnight, killing 11 people who were trapped as the blaze swept through the small wooden building, investigators said Tuesday. Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it had opened a criminal investigation into possible negligence over the blaze at the home in the Bashkortostan region. …

St. Petersburg Restaurants Spar With Authorities Over New Year Virus Restrictions

Restaurants and bars in Russia’s second city of St. Petersburg are at odds with authorities over New Year’s restrictions aimed at combating one of the country’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, saying the measures threaten their survival. Dozens of establishments have said they intend to remain open for Russia’s most festive holiday, while city authorities have clamped…

U.S. Eyes Closing 2 Remaining Russian Consulates – Kommersant

The United States is considering closing its two remaining consulates in Russia amid the coronavirus pandemic and continued bilateral tensions, the Kommersant business daily reported Monday, citing unnamed diplomatic sources. The U.S. in March temporarily suspended operations at its Vladivostok consulate and reduced services at the Yekaterinburg consulate due to the Covid-19 outbreak. According to…

U.S. Government Confirms Cyberattack After Reports of Russia-Linked Hacking

The U.S. government confirmed Sunday that its computer networks had been hit by a cyberattack, as The Washington Post reported at least two departments had been targeted by Russian state hackers. “We have been working closely with our agency partners regarding recently discovered activity on government networks,” a spokesperson for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 15

Russia has confirmed 2,681,256 cases of coronavirus and 47,391 deaths. Dec. 15: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 27,328 coronavirus cases and 450 deaths Monday. Moscow municipal workers as well as residents working in the culture and service sectors will be able to receive Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine starting Monday, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced. The new “risk groups”…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 14

Russia has confirmed 2,653,928 cases of coronavirus and 46,453 deaths. Dec. 14: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 28,080 coronavirus cases and 488 deaths Sunday. Moscow municipal workers as well as residents working in the culture and service sectors will be able to receive Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine starting Monday, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced. The new “risk groups”…

Russia Probes Mystery Seal Die-Off

Russian authorities said Friday they were investigating the mysterious death of nearly 300 endangered seals that had been discovered washed up on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Between Sunday and Thursday, 272 dead Caspian seals had been found at a number of locations in the southern region of Dagestan including its regional capital Makhachkala…

Suicide Bombing in Russia’s North Caucasus Injures 6

An alleged suicide bomber has attacked a security service building in the southern Russian republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia, injuring at least six, news outlets and authorities reported Friday. Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee (NAC) said the unidentified bomber detonated himself while authorities attempted to detain him in the village of Uchkeken some 1,500 kilometers south of Moscow.…

New Alliance Hopes to Raise Awareness of Arctic Environmental Crisis

Independent experts and journalists from Russia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland have formed a regional alliance to share information and publicize stories about environmental damage. The Barents Region Independent Environmental Society (BRIES), aims to create an international communications platform where specialists in the field of environmental protection can share their knowledge and up-to-date information with…

Russian Military Slams Foreign Anti-Vaccine ‘Sabotage’

A foreign-funded campaign is being waged to discredit Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Friday as the country prepares a mass immunization drive. Spokesman Igor Konashenkov warned of “pseudo-analytical investigations” and “fake witness accounts” alleging the dangers of Sputnik V and mass refusals, including by Russian troops, to inoculate. “We know in…

Russian Arctic Sailings Set 2020 Record

A record number of vessels have in 2020 sailed through Russia’s shipping lane in the rapidly melting Arctic known as the Northern Sea Route, Reuters has reported. The news agency said Norway’s Center for High North Logistics (CHNL) logistics foundation has recorded 62 full transit voyages through the Northern Sea Route as of Wednesday. Ships…

EU Extends Sanctions Anti-Russia Over Ukraine

European Union leaders Thursday extended punishing economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine for another six months, an EU spokesman said. The sanctions, which target whole sectors of the Russian economy including its valuable oil businesses, were extended to mid-2021. The measures over Russia’s role in the conflict were first imposed after Malaysian…

U.S. Sanctions Kadyrov Associates Over Human Rights Abuses

The United States slapped sanctions on a handful of companies and individuals connected to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on Thursday, accusing them of “gross human rights violations” including “torture, extrajudicial executions and illegal abductions.” The network was implicated in the 2015 assassination of leading Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov and the torture and murder of…

Dutch Expel 2 Russian Diplomats for Spying – Intelligence Service

The Netherlands is expelling two alleged Russian spies working as diplomats after “rolling up” a spy network that targeted hi-tech industries, Dutch security officials said on Thursday. The Russian officers from the civilian SVR intelligence service built up a “substantial” network of sources that could have damaged Dutch national interests, the Dutch General Intelligence and…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 11

Russia has confirmed 2,569,126 cases of coronavirus and 45,280 deaths. Dec. 11: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 27,927 coronavirus cases and 562 deaths Thursday. All of Russia’s regions will start mass vaccination against the coronavirus by the end of this week, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova confirmed Thursday.  Russia recorded more deaths in October than in…

Kremlin Walks Back Putin Claims on Jailed Ex-Journalist’s Treason Charges

President Vladimir Putin misspoke Thursday by asserting that treason charges against former journalist Ivan Safronov relate to his short-lived career at Russia’s state space agency Roscosmos this year.  Putin, speaking to the presidential human rights council, claimed that Safronov is being prosecuted for passing secrets to the European special services while at Roscosmos and not…

Russia Moves to Further Curb Protests

Russian lawmakers have approved new restrictions on protests, prompting criticism from the opposition that they violate Russians’ constitutional rights. Deputies in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, approved a pair of bills Wednesday that ban foreign funding for protest organizers as well as rallies outside law enforcement and security buildings. If they come…

‘Gross Violation’: In Open Letter, Russian Scientists Criticize Lack of Vaccine Data

A group of scientists from leading Russian universities has blasted the development process of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine as “completely unacceptable” and “ridiculous” in an open letter raising new concerns over a lack of sufficient data on its safety and effectiveness. The experts said Russia’s state-run Gamaleya Research Institute, which is developing the jab,…

Russian Cossacks to Enforce New Year’s Ban

Authorities in southern Russia say they will deploy uniformed Cossacks alongside police officers on New Year’s Eve to enforce a ban on mass celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Krasnodar region Governor Venyamin Kondratyev called off Christmas and New Year celebrations to slow the spread of Covid-19 as the popular domestic tourism destination saw record-breaking…

Belarus Blocks Land Border Exits

Belarus will suspend departures from its ground borders due to the coronavirus situation, a government decree published Thursday says.  Starting Dec. 20, Belarus will prohibit its citizens as well as foreigners with permanent or temporary residency to cross the border via automobile checkpoints, simplified checkpoints, checkpoints at railway stations or in river ports. Departures may…

Moscow Communists Spread Coronavirus Vaccine Misinformation – Reports

Russian Communist Party members distributed anti-vaccination leaflets in Moscow falsely claiming there is no coronavirus pandemic, the Podyom Telegram news channel reported Wednesday. The leaflets, reportedly handed out to protesters outside the Moscow Mayor’s Office, called Covid-19 vaccination the “rebirth of fascism” and equated the jab to weapons of mass destruction. According to Podyom, they…

Russia Bans Imports of Tomatoes From Azerbaijan

Russia has announced a ban on imports of tomatoes from Azerbaijan beginning Thursday, in a damaging move for a key export that analysts tied to fallout from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor on Tuesday announced the embargo beginning December 10 to protect against harmful substances detected in several recent shipments. It said the ban…

Denmark ‘Mistaken’ With Russian Spy Charges, Moscow Says

A Russian national’s arrest on suspicion of espionage in Denmark is a mistake, Russia’s Embassy in Copenhagen told Interfax on Wednesday. The unnamed Russian citizen is suspected of providing information about Danish energy technology to Russia’s intelligence service, Reuters quoted Danish public prosecutors earlier in the day. “The Russian Embassy in Denmark considers the arrest…