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…

Moscow Security Forces Raid Jehovah’s Witnesses

Security forces detained several Moscow-based Jehovah’s Witnesses during raids in connection with a new extremism investigation into the religious group’s members, authorities announced Wednesday. Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said Federal Security Service (FSB) agents, National Guardsmen and police officers assisted in the raids at 16 addresses in and around Moscow. The investigative…

Russia Floats Pre-Emptive ‘Intimidation’ Strike to Counter U.S. Strategy

Russian military scientists have proposed a pre-emptive strike using manned and unmanned aircraft to counter the United States’ multidomain war-fighting strategy against adversaries, according to excerpts cited in an Armed Forces academic journal. The Russian Aerospace Force academics describe the Pentagon’s air, land, sea, cyber and space integration strategy to paralyze an enemy — known…

Navalny Allies Announce New Courtyard Protests

Jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s team has announced fresh protests for this Sunday, shifting their strategy from street demonstrations to neighborhood gatherings in an effort to avoid direct confrontations with riot police. Russian authorities clamped down on two weekend rallies held in Navalny’s support late last month. Videos showed riot police using force against those…

Russia Annoyed by EU Inclusion of Navalny Allies in Sanctions Talks

Russia has admonished the European Union for discussing potential sanctions with jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s close associates. On Monday, Navalny’s regional network coordinator Leonid Volkov and his Anti-Corruption Foundation executive director Vladimir Ashurkov joined a video call on the EU’s Russia policy, Volkov said on social media. Diplomats from Britain, the United States, Canada…

Barbed-Wire Police Protest Lands Russian Performance Artist in Jail

A Russian performance artist has been jailed a second time for attempting to stage a barbed-wire stunt in protest of police overreach in central Moscow last month, the OVD-Info police-monitoring website reported Monday. Authorities detained Pavel Krisevich on Sunday immediately after he finished serving a two-week administrative arrest on charges of disobeying police orders with the stunt…

Russia Defends Expulsion of European Diplomats

The Kremlin defended Monday Russia’s shock expulsion of EU diplomats during the high-profile visit of the European Union’s top diplomat but insisted it remained interested in reviving relations with Brussels. Russia on Friday announced the expulsion of diplomats from Germany, Poland and Sweden during the rare meeting in Moscow between EU foreign policy chief Josep…

1 in 4 Russians Watched Navalny’s ‘Putin Palace’ Investigation – Poll

More than one out of every four Russians, or 26%, have watched opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s recent investigation into President Vladimir Putin’s alleged $1.3 billion palace, according to a poll by the independent Levada Center published Monday. Navalny’s team released the in-depth YouTube investigation — which alleges that Putin and his close associates laundered money…

Russian State TV Attempts ‘Putin Palace’-Style Exposé on Navalny’s German Apartment

Russian state television has filmed what it called an exposé into opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s villa in Germany where he lived while recovering from nerve agent poisoning last year. The detailed segment, interspersed with scenes from Navalny’s viral video investigation into President Vladimir Putin’s alleged Black Sea palace, ran during one of the country’s most-watched…

Hungary Approves Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine

Hungarian health authorities have approved Russia’s coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, the government said Sunday, with 40,000 doses of the jab already to be given. Official testing has been completed “and the vaccine may be administered”, Miklos Kasler, the human resources minister who is in charge of health, said on social media. The government had announced…

Russia Expels European Diplomats Over Navalny Protests – Foreign Ministry

Russia will expel diplomats from Sweden, Poland and Germany over their alleged participation in recent “unauthorized” rallies in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the Foreign Ministry said Friday. The expulsions come amid European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell’s visit to Moscow, where he lamented to his counterpart Sergei Lavrov that ties between…

Russia Slams Biden’s ‘Very Aggressive Rhetoric’

The Kremlin on Friday slammed Joe Biden’s “very aggressive rhetoric” after the new U.S. president said Washington’s relationship with Moscow would change and demanded opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s release.  “We’ve already said that we will not heed patronizing statements of this sort. We will not do it,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.  “This is…

Top U.S. Diplomat Raises Navalny, Jailed Americans With Russia

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced concern over jailed opposition figure Alexei Navalny and imprisoned Americans in a telephone call Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. President Joe Biden’s administration has repeatedly voiced alarm over Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic whose doctors say he was poisoned and who was promptly detained…

‘No Repressions’ Against Pro-Navalny Protesters, Kremlin Says

There has been “no repression” against Russians detained while protesting in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin said Thursday amid mounting criticism of the harsh law enforcement tactics used against peaceful demonstrators. Independent monitors estimate that more than 10,000 people and dozens of journalists have been detained nationwide during the protests on…