Russia to Pay Damages for 2012 Navalny Arrest

Russia has agreed to pay jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny damages for his 2012 detention during mass anti-government demonstrations that Europe’s human rights court ruled degrading, Interfax reported Thursday. Russia’s Justice Ministry said it will not appeal the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) November ruling because the ruling did not hold that Navalny’s rights…

Navalny, Kara-Murza Tailed by Same FSB Squad Before Alleged Poisonings — Investigation

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent Kremlin critic who survived two suspected poisonings, was likely tailed by the same chemical weapons squad that allegedly poisoned Alexei Navalny, the Bellingcat investigative outlet reported in a joint investigation with The Insider and Der Spiegel.  Bellingcat analyzed travel data which showed that in both cases, in 2015 and 2017, Kara-Murza…

Russian Opposition Finds Refuge in Bitcoin

As the value of Bitcoin soared this year, bringing cryptocurrencies back into the global spotlight, Russia’s opposition leader Alexei Navalny saw his team’s crypto wallet fatten.   Public blockchain data shows that a Bitcoin address tied to Navalny received 3.5 Bitcoin ($120,000) at the end of January as supporters rushed to donate to the Kremlin critic…

Ukraine Bans Coronavirus Vaccines From ‘Aggressor’ Russia

Ukraine has banned coronavirus vaccines produced in bitter rival Russia despite struggles to launch its vaccination campaign. A resolution passed by the government on Feb. 8 and posted on its website Wednesday banned the registration of vaccines from “aggressor states,” a designation Ukraine has applied to Russia since 2015. Ukraine’s pro-Western leadership has repeatedly rejected…

Russian University Administrator Steps Down After Trick Pro-Putin Flashmob

A senior Russian university administrator has resigned after tricking students into filming a flashmob in support of President Vladimir Putin following mass nationwide protests that criticized his rule, local media reported Wednesday. The students were shocked to learn that their participation in a coordinated hand- and flag-waving performance for a state holiday had been repackaged…

France Rejected Russia’s Request for Navalny Lab Results, Putin Tells Closed Meeting

France had allegedly rejected Russia’s offer to examine its scientists’ findings that opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned, President Vladimir Putin was reported to have said at a closed meeting Wednesday. Putin told chief editors of Russian news outlets that he had promised French President Emmanuel Macron that Moscow would “immediately” open a criminal investigation…

Yulia Navalnaya Leaves Russia for Germany – Reports

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s wife Yulia Navalnaya has left Russia for Germany, Russian state-run news agency Interfax and German newspaper Der Spiegel reported Wednesday, both citing unnamed sources. Navalnaya flew to Frankfurt from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, Interfax cited its source as saying. Lawyers for both Navalny and Navalnaya told the state-run TASS news agency that they…

Russia Fines Radio Free Europe $150K Under ‘Foreign Agent’ Law

Russia’s media watchdog said Wednesday it had fined the Russian-language service of U.S.-funded Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe nearly $150,000 over non-compliance with its controversial “foreign agent” law, in a penalty that could increase. Groups or individuals identified as “foreign agents” in Russia must disclose their sources of funding and label publications with the relevant tag…

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…