Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Nov. 20

Russia has confirmed 2,039,926 cases of coronavirus and 35,311 deaths. Nov. 20: What you need to know today Russia confirmed the record-breaking number of 24,318 coronavirus cases and 461 deaths. First samples of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine arrived in Hungary, its developers reported Friday. In a move that has drawn criticism from the European Commission, Hungary is set to become…

Belarus Adds Opposition Telegram Channel Founders to Terror List

Belarusian authorities on Wednesday added the creators of the Nexta Live opposition Telegram channel, which mobilized protesters during the country’s ongoing post-election rallies, to a list of terrorists. Protests in the ex-Soviet country broke out in early August after strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko won a disputed reelection for a sixth term.  The opposition believe political…

Russia Threatens to Block YouTube for ‘Censoring’ State Media

Russia could block YouTube and other major U.S. social media platforms for “censoring” content from Russian state media, according to draft legislation submitted to parliament Thursday. The draft bill explains that the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry would be able to identify foreign platforms they view as violating Russians’ rights by restricting content.…

St. Petersburg Opposition Official Questioned By Police After Ripping Putin Portrait

St. Petersburg police have questioned an opposition official after he tore up a portrait of President Vladimir Putin that replaced one of poet Alexander Pushkin, Russian media reported Thursday. Five officers arrived at the Smolninskoye municipal district session Wednesday to investigate reports that deputy Nikita Yuferev ripped Putin’s portrait, according to the St. Petersburg-based Fontanka.ru…

Russia’s Coronavirus Cases Top 2 Million

Russia’s coronavirus cases crossed the 2 million mark Thursday, according to an official tally of single-day infections and deaths, as officials acknowledge the deteriorating crisis but resist reinstating lockdown measures. The national coronavirus caseload reached 2,015,608 after Russia confirmed more than 23,000 coronavirus infections in a single day for the first time since the start…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Nov. 18

Russia has confirmed 1,991,998 cases of coronavirus and 34,387 deaths. Nov. 18: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 20,985 new coronavirus cases and 456 deaths. A total of 221,000 patients with confirmed coronavirus infections are currently undergoing treatment across Russia’s hospitals and approximately 5,000 of them require mechanical ventilation, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Wednesday. Coronavirus patients currently occupy…

Kremlin Slams Brutality, Provocations in Belarus After Protester’s Death

The Belarus security services’ unprovoked violence against anti-government protesters is unacceptable, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday while also criticizing protesters for “provocations” against officers. Peskov spoke after thousands of Belarusians took to the streets Sunday to protest the death of arts teacher and former soldier Roman Bondarenko in police custody last week. Bondarenko, 31,…

Putin Urges BRICS to Mass Produce Russian Covid-19 Vaccines

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called on fellow members of the BRICS alliance of major emerging countries to mass produce Russian-made coronavirus vaccines.  Speaking during an online summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Putin encouraged the other four BRICS members to manufacture and distribute coronavirus vaccines developed by Russia.  “There are Russian vaccines, they…

Russia Sees Record Daily Virus Deaths as Regions Struggle

Russia reported Tuesday a record high 442 new coronavirus-related deaths as the country’s regions struggled to cope with overflowing morgues and medicine shortages. While Europe has reintroduced new restrictions in response to a second wave of coronavirus infections sweeping across the world, Russia has refused to enforce a new nationwide lockdown. Health authorities on Tuesday recorded 22,410 new infections…

Now Comes a Karabakh War Over Cultural Heritage

Azerbaijan’s military success confirmed by a Russian-brokered ceasefire has rapidly changed the map of the South Caucasus. Attention has now turned to the rich cultural heritage, in particular the Armenian churches falling under Azerbaijani control. Beyond preserving these precious monuments for future generations and as places of worship, this is a test of goodwill. Armenia…

Mutating Coronavirus Discovered in Siberia

A mutated version of the coronavirus strain that causes Covid-19 has been discovered in Siberia, the head of Russia’s consumer safety watchdog said Tuesday. “We’re seeing certain changes in the proteins, and these changes detected in Siberia allow us to assume that this region is forming its own version [of coronavirus] with certain mutations,” Rospotrebnadzor…

Russia to Freeze-Dry Coronavirus Vaccine to Avoid Distribution Challenges – Reuters

Russia will transition to primarily freeze-dried doses of its coronavirus vaccine by spring as a workaround to the logistical challenges of transporting liquid doses at controlled temperatures, Reuters reported Monday.  The Sputnik V vaccine’s liquid form must be stored at minus 18 degrees Celsius or below to maintain its stated 92% efficacy. Vaccine storage and…

Russia Pulls ‘Transgender Ban’ Bill

A group of conservative lawmakers has pulled for consolidation two overlapping child custody bills, one of which would have also banned transgender people from legally changing their gender, Russian media reported Monday. Lawyers, activists and President Vladimir Putin’s human rights council have criticized the transgender ban bill, co-authored by Senator Yelena Mizulina, who also spearheaded…

Siberian Environmentalist Detained for Poaching World’s Largest Sheep – Reports

A Siberian environmentalist has been detained on suspicion of poaching the world’s largest sheep, the argali, media outlets reported Monday. The Saylyugemsky National Park on the Russian-Kazakh-Mongolian border, which oversees the protection of the argali and snow leopards, said a group of hunters was caught Saturday and charged with administrative offenses. “They said they arrived…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Nov. 16

Russia has confirmed 1,948,603 cases of coronavirus and 33,489 deaths. Nov. 16: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 22,778 new coronavirus cases and 303 deaths. The eastern Siberian republic of Buryatia became the first Russian region to impose a second coronavirus lockdown. Restaurants, malls and other places of mass gathering will be shut down for two weeks starting…

Nagorno-Karabakh Briefing | Nov. 16

Almost a week into the latest truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan and there remains no flare-up of fighting. Russian peacekeeping deployments continue to establish their positions, while the exact role Turkey will play remains unclear. Political unrest heightens in Armenia with an alleged assassination plot against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Nov. 16: what you need…

‘Welcome to Chechnya’ Gay Purge Documentary Now Streaming for Russian-Speaking Audiences

The BBC’s Russian service has made a critically acclaimed documentary on the anti-gay crackdown in the republic of Chechnya available to Russian-speaking audiences. Oscar-nominated American filmmaker David France’s “Welcome to Chechnya” traces a Moscow-based LGBT association’s attempts to exfiltrate gay Chechens to safety. The film pioneers deepfake face-swapping technology to disguise the identities of his…

Russia Finds No Criminal Influence on Journalist’s Self-Immolation Death – Kommersant

Russian investigators do not believe that independent journalist Irina Slavina was driven to suicide by external factors that could carry criminal punishment, the Kommersant business daily reported Monday. Slavina, the editor-in-chief of the independent KozaPress news outlet, set herself on fire outside the Nizhny Novgorod police headquarters on Oct. 2 the day after security forces raided…