Yandex Launches Food Delivery Robots

Russia’s Yandex has started using its self-driving robot to deliver fast food orders, the company announced Wednesday. The small six-wheeled autonomous robot — dubbed Yandex Rover — has started delivering orders from Yandex’s food delivery service, Yandex Eats, to customers in one of Moscow’s central business districts.  Just like a human courier, after an order…

6 Days Off Booze Is Enough for Russia’s Coronavirus Vaccine, Developer Says

Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine only requires patients to avoid drinking alcohol for six days, not 42 as previously recommended, its developer said Wednesday. Health officials overseeing Russia’s Covid-19 response urged Sputnik V recipients earlier to abstain from alcohol for nearly two months while taking the two-shot vaccine. Alexander Gintsburg, who heads the state-run Gamaleya…

Russia’s Expanded Foreign Agents Bill Passes First Reading

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday passed in its first reading controversial draft legislation including an expansion of who can be labeled a “foreign agent” amid an unrelenting clampdown on dissent. Lawmakers in Russia’s lower-house State Duma last month tabled legislation that would give authorities sweeping powers to designate individuals as foreign agents and further limit public gatherings…

No Alcohol for 2 Months, Russia Tells Coronavirus Vaccine Recipients

Recipients of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine should abstain from alcohol for nearly two months before and after immunization, the head of Russia’s consumer safety watchdog said Tuesday. Rospotrebnadzor head Anna Popova’s instructions follow Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova’s recommendations to avoid alcohol and immunosuppressants for 42 days because the two-shot vaccine is administered with…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 9

Russia has confirmed 2,515,009 cases of coronavirus and 44,159 deaths. Dec. 9: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 26,097 coronavirus cases and 562 deaths Tuesday. More than 50% of Russia’s medics have no plans to vaccinate against the coronavirus, according to the result of the Russian Federation Medics Network poll published by VTimes Monday. Over 21% percent…

Putin Signs Constitutional Reforms on State Council, Secession, Russian Law

President Vladimir Putin has signed bills into law elevating a low-profile advisory body known as the State Council, criminalizing secession and prioritizing the Russian Constitution over international law. Putin approved the set of laws on Tuesday, 160 days after Russian voters overwhelmingly approved constitutional reforms that pave the way for him to extend his 20-year…

Non-Priority Groups Vaccinated for Coronavirus in Moscow – Reports

Moscow clinics are distributing coronavirus vaccines to anyone who registers without giving priority to high-risk groups in contradiction to officials’ orders, the Meduza news website reported Tuesday. Moscow kick-started Russia’s nationwide vaccination drive over the weekend, with Mayor Sergei Sobyanin reporting that 2,000 volunteers have so far received the first of two Sputnik V jabs…

Estonia Builds Barbed Wire Fence on Russian Border – Reports

Estonia has installed a barbed-wire fence along an 8-kilometer section of its border with Russia in the first installment of its three-year border infrastructure project, media in the Baltic country reported Monday. Estonia began construction of border infrastructure stretching 23.5 kilometers from the Estonian-Latvian-Russian meeting point to the Luhamaa border crossing further north in July. In…

Putin’s Ex-Son-in-Law Bought $380M Stake in Petrochemicals Giant for $100 – Investigation

President Vladimir Putin’s former son-in-law purchased $380 million worth of shares in Russia’s top petrochemicals company for $100 after marrying the president’s daughter, according to a report by the iStories investigative outlet. Kirill Shamalov acquired 3.8% of petrochemicals producer Sibur through a web of offshore companies months after marrying Katerina Tikhonova in February 2013, iStories reported,…

Putin Creates New Position for Chubais

Anatoly Chubais has been named President Vladimir Putin’s new point man on sustainable development and coordination with international organizations after stepping down as Rusnano CEO last week.  “Anatoly Borisovich Chubais will be appointed as special representative to the President of the Russian Federation for relations with international organizations to achieve sustainable development goals,” said the…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 7

Russia has confirmed 2,460,770 cases of coronavirus and 43,141 deaths. Dec. 7: What you need to know today Russia confirmed a new record of 29,039 coronavirus cases and 457 deaths Sunday. The maximum price of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine will be set at 1,942 rubles ($26), the state-run Interfax news agency reported Saturday, citing a top health official. Russian…

Who’s Afraid of Jennifer Psaki?

This week’s news that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden had chosen Jennifer Psaki as his administration’s press secretary sparked a flurry of excitement on Russian state media and social media alike. “We are looking forward to Jen’s return,” said Vladimir Solovyev, a controversial host on the state-run Rossia 1 broadcaster and one of Russia’s main spin…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 5

Russia has confirmed 2,402,949 cases of coronavirus and 42,176 deaths. Dec. 5: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 27,403 coronavirus cases and 569 deaths Friday. Kazakhstan will start producing Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine from Dec. 22, the country’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said Friday.  Ukraine won’t be purchasing Russia’s coronavirus vaccine due to its questionable efficacy, Ukraine’s…

5K Moscow Teachers, Doctors Sign Up for Coronavirus Vaccination on First Day

Moscow’s teachers, doctors and social workers are signing up at a rate of 1,000 per hour for the Russian capital’s coronavirus vaccination drive that kicks off Saturday, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said. Online vaccination bookings for high-risk groups opened in the Russian capital Friday after President Vladimir Putin ordered large-scale nationwide immunization — hours after…

Russia Eyes ‘Prison-Free’ Cities

Russian authorities have said they want to relocate all prisons out of major cities, sparking concerns from activists that the move could violate prisoners’ rights and complicate visits by lawyers and relatives. Justice Minister Konstantin Chuichenko told state television that the mass prison relocation is part of the Federal Prison Service’s “transformation” toward “effective and…

Russia to Debut ‘Flight to Nowhere’

Russia’s Pobeda low-cost airline plans to debut its own “flight to nowhere” for cooped-up passengers looking to recreate the travel experience this month, popular Pobeda pilot and flight podcast host Alexei Kochemasov has said.  Passengers will take off from Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport, then land 1.5 hours later at… Vnukovo Airport. “We guarantee the crew’s…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Dec. 3

Russia has confirmed 2,375,546 cases of coronavirus and 41,607 deaths. Dec. 3: What you need to know today Russia confirmed a new record of 28,145 coronavirus cases and 554 deaths. Moscow will start vaccinating at-risk groups against the coronavirus this weekend, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday. Online booking for health workers, teachers and social service workers deemed at higher risk of…

Moscow Announces Coronavirus Vaccination Drive

Moscow will start vaccinating at-risk groups against the coronavirus this weekend, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday after President Vladimir Putin ordered large-scale immunization across the country. Online booking for health workers, teachers and social service workers deemed at higher risk of severe infection will open Friday, Sobyanin wrote on his website. “The vaccination centers will…

U.S. Rights Activist Faces Expulsion From Russia

A U.S. human rights activist who has defended the interests of Russian citizens in Europe’s human rights court faces expulsion from Russia, she has said. Authorities informed Vanessa Kogan that she “poses a national security threat” when they rejected her fast-track citizenship application and revoked her permanent residence earlier this week, Kogan told the Ekho Moskvy…

Turkey Backs Crimea’s Return to Ukraine – FM

Turkey is willing to support the Russia-annexed Crimean peninsula’s return to Ukraine, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.  The statement comes amid an already uneasy relationship between Moscow and Ankara, which are traditionally partners but have recently been at odds over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Syrian conflict and Libya’s civil war. In October, Turkish…

Russia Reports Record 28K Coronavirus Cases

Russia reported more than 28,000 coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the latest record amid the second wave plaguing the country’s major cities and far-flung regions. Health officials reported 28,145 new infections across every Russian region Thursday, bringing the total caseload to 2,375,546. Russia has…