China ‘Dumbstruck’ by Russia’s Coronavirus Entry Ban – Kommersant

Chinese diplomats were at a loss after Russia barred entry to Chinese citizens as a coronavirus prevention measure, the Kommersant business daily reported Wednesday.  Russia announced the temporary entry ban for Chinese tourists, workers, students and private travelers starting Thursday. The suspension does not affect non-Chinese nationals traveling from China, and Chinese transit passengers will…

U.S. Sanctions Russia’s Rosneft Over Venezuela Support

The United States on Tuesday tightened financial restrictions on Venezuela, blacklisting a subsidiary of Russian oil firm Rosneft that President Donald Trump’s administration has said provides a lifeline to President Nicolas Maduro’s government. The sanctions announced by the U.S. Treasury Department increase the pressure on Russia, which the United States sees as the main backer of Maduro’s…

World’s Only Nuclear-Powered Civilian Ship Gears Up for Russian Antarctic Voyage

The Sevmorput, the world’s only nuclear-powered cargo ship, is currently preparing for a voyage to Antarctica to supply Russia’s Vostok research station.  The cargo ship will transport construction materials to the station located 1,200 kilometers from the South Pole, Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, said in a Facebook post.  The ship is set to deliver…

Russian Spy Agency Played Role in Berlin Murder of Georgian Man – Bellingcat

Russia‘s FSB security service planned and organised the murder of a Georgian man in Berlin last summer, a killing that triggered diplomatic expulsions from Germany and Moscow, the investigative website Bellingcat has said. Citing mobile phone metadata and a months-long investigation conducted with Der Spiegel and The Insider, Bellingcat published information it said showed the…

Russia Welcomes 20% More Tourists in 2019

Tourist arrivals to Russia have surged by 20.5% in 2019, according to official figures cited by the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) on Monday.  More than 5 million tourists visited Russia in January-December 2019, according to ATOR’s breakdown of Federal Security Service (FSB) border service data, up from 4.2 million tourists the previous…

Russia Managing Libya Conflict ‘at Highest Level,’ Turkey’s Erdogan Says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Russia was managing the conflict in Libya “at the highest level,” Turkey’s NTV broadcaster reported Saturday. Erdogan, whose country backs Libya’s internationally recognized government, has publicly accused the Kremlin-linked Wagner mercenary group of supporting Libya’s rival faction headed by eastern commander Khalifa Haftar. Russia has repeatedly denied its…

Russian Priest Under Fire for Calling Common-Law Wives ‘Prostitutes’

An outspoken Russian priest has sparked public ire for comparing common-law wives to “prostitutes.” Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov, who has raised eyebrows in the past for calling abortions “worse than the Holocaust” and comparing today’s young men to “scrawny chickens,” said recently that Russian women “don’t know what marriage is.” “They don’t want to say ‘I’m a…

Protesters Twice as Likely to Be Jailed for Assaulting Police in Russia, Study Says

Protesters in Russia are twice as likely to receive real prison time for violence against law enforcement authorities than those tried for the same crime under different circumstances, the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Thursday. Novaya Gazeta compared nearly 12,000 assault sentences in 2016-2019 with the 57 sentences handed down to protesters over their role…