Libyan Government Agrees to Release Russians Accused of Meddling – Bloomberg

The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) has agreed to release Russian political operatives accused of vote meddling, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.  The agreement between Libya’s internationally recognized government and Moscow was made last week and the prisoners are expected to return to Russia in the coming days, Bloomberg cited unnamed sources close to the negotiations…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Oct. 28

Russia has confirmed 1,563,976 cases of coronavirus and 26,935 deaths. Oct. 28: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 16,202 Covid-19 cases Wednesday, bringing its official number of cases to 1,563,976. A record 346 people have died in the past 24 hours. Moscow has extended its requirement for 30% of all businesses’ employees to work remotely through Nov. 28, while…

Nagorno-Karabakh Briefing | Oct. 28

Fighting continued Wednesday in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region after the third attempt at a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan — a U.S. brokered deal — fell apart within minutes of coming into effect earlier in the week. Oct. 28: What you need to know today Azerbaijan said Wednesday an Armenian missile strike on its Barda…

Anti-Lukashenko Strike ‘Just the Beginning,’ Belarus Opposition Leader Says

Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has called Monday’s general strike aimed at putting pressure on President Alexander Lukashenko a “collective success” and vowed to continue calling for his resignation.  Tikhanovskaya had given Lukashenko until Sunday to quit, halt violence against protesters and release political prisoners, warning he would otherwise face a general strike from Monday.…

‘Very Nice’: Kazakhstan Adopts Borat’s Catchphrase for Tourism Drive

“Very nice!” Kazakhstan is adopting its fictional resident Borat Sagdiyev’s famous catchphrase as its new tourism slogan alongside the release of the comedy-slash-mockumentary’s sequel. The lean-in attitude marks a reversal from the confrontational stance the Central Asian country adopted upon the release of the first Borat movie in 2006.  Back then, Kazakh authorities banned the…

Russian State TV Anchor Ignites Backlash With Anti-Mask Social Media Post

A prominent Russian news anchor has sparked backlash after publicly backing the anti-mask movement and questioning the dangers of Covid-19 in a viral Instagram comment published just hours before the Russian government reinstated a countrywide mask mandate.    In his original post, businessman Yan Yanovsky complained that most spectators at Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo’s recent performance at…

Russia Reinstates Mask Mandate, Restricts Nightlife to Stop Virus Spread

Russia has reinstated a nationwide mask mandate starting Wednesday amid a record-setting second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has announced. Russians will be required to wear masks in all crowded places, including public transport, taxis, parking lots and elevators, Rospotrebnadzor said Tuesday. Russia imposed a national mask mandate and other quarantine…

85% of Russian Coronavirus Vaccine Volunteers See No Side Effects – Developer

Around 85% of Russian volunteers who receive the country’s highly touted coronavirus Sputnik V vaccine report no side effects, according to the developer of the adenovirus-based shot.  The state-run Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology became the first in the world to register a Covid-19 vaccine in August before final clinical trials began the…

Belarus Opposition Leader Says Nationwide Strike Underway

Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said supporters launched Monday a nationwide strike after her deadline expired for strongman Alexander Lukashenko to step down. “Today the People’s Strike is beginning,” Tikhanovskaya said on her Telegram channel. “Employees of state factories and enterprises, transport workers and miners, teachers and students have gone on strike since this morning.” All…

Russia Continued Developing Novichok After Program’s Official Closure, Investigation Says

Russian military scientists continued working on the Novichok nerve agent’s development long after Moscow said it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpiles, an international investigation said Friday.  The investigation comes amid mounting questions in the West over Russia’s alleged use of chemical weapons on foreign and domestic soil, accusations that Moscow denies. The European Union and…

Years of ‘Stone Age’ Forced Sterilizations Claimed at Russian Institution

At least 15 women at an assisted-living facility in Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg have been subjected to forced sterilization over the years, media outlets and officials reported this week.  One former resident died after undergoing the surgical procedure, her widower told national television. Law enforcement and health authorities in the Sverdlovsk region launched a…

Catholics Will Convert to Orthodoxy Over Pope’s LGBT Support, Russian Church Predicts

Pope Francis’ endorsement of same-sex civil unions will lead the Catholic faithful to convert en masse to Orthodox Christianity and Protestantism, a senior Russian Orthodox Church official said Thursday. Francis became the first pontiff to voice support for same-sex couples in a documentary that premiered in Rome on Wednesday. His stance marks a departure from…

2nd Coronavirus Wave Could Be 10X Worse in Russia’s Regions, Disease Expert Says

A number of Russian regions risk facing a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that is 10 times worse than the first, a senior Russian vector-borne disease expert said Tuesday. “The situation in the regions is very different,” Alexander Lukashev, who heads the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University’s (MSMU) Martsinovsky Institute of Medical Parasitology,…

Russian Mayor Urges Kicking Maskless Passengers Off Public Transit

Public transport passengers “can and should” kick out fellow passengers who don’t wear masks, the mayor of Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg said Tuesday.  The Sverdlovsk region, where Yekaterinburg is the administrative center, is Russia’s fifth most-affected federal subject by the coronavirus pandemic. It has confirmed a total of 33,425 Covid-19 cases and 718 deaths…

Controversial Russian Priest Dies During Coronavirus Rehabilitation

A senior Russian priest notorious for making controversial remarks about women has died at age 69 during his rehabilitation from the coronavirus, a Russian Orthodox Church spokesman announced Wednesday. Earlier this year, Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov was crowned “Sexist of the Year” by Russian feminists for claiming that women have “weaker minds” than men and comparing common-law…