Russia Moves to Allow Convicts Join Army

Russian lawmakers have approved legislation allowing convicts to clear their criminal records in exchange for joining the country’s depleted military nearly 16 months into Russia’s war on Ukraine. The move formalizes the recruitment of prisoners for the war in Ukraine, a practice spearheaded by the Wagner mercenary group last year before the Defense Ministry took over prison…

Russia Moves to Allow Convicts to Join Army

Russian lawmakers have approved legislation allowing convicts to clear their criminal records in exchange for joining the country’s depleted military nearly 16 months into Russia’s war on Ukraine. The move formalizes the recruitment of prisoners for the war in Ukraine, a practice spearheaded by the Wagner mercenary group last year before the Defense Ministry took over prison…

4 Killed in Blast at Russian Explosives Plant

Four people have been killed in a blast at an explosives factory in Russia’s central Tambov region, state-run media reported Tuesday, citing local authorities. “At the moment, there is information about four people killed, and two others were injured,” emergency services told the TASS news agency.  Tambov Governor Maxim Yegorov said the explosion was caused…

5 Killed in Blast at Russian Explosives Plant

Updated with revised death toll. Five people have been killed in a blast at an explosives factory in Russia’s central Tambov region, state-run media reported Tuesday, citing local authorities. “At the moment, there is information about four people killed, and two others were injured,” emergency services told the TASS news agency.  Officials later said one…

Moscow Warns Kyiv Against Targeting Crimea with Western Arms

Moscow claimed Tuesday that Ukrainian forces were planning to use Western-supplied missiles to strike targets inside Russia and the annexed peninsula of Crimea, threatening “immediate retaliation.” “The leadership of Ukraine’s armed forces plans to strike Russian territory, including Crimea, with HIMARS and Storm Shadow missiles,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said during a meeting with military officials. Shoigu…

Russian Movie Portal Charged With ‘LGBT Propaganda’ – Reports

Russian authorities have charged a popular movie portal owned by the country’s largest tech company Yandex with distributing so-called “LGBT propaganda” to minors, independent media reported Tuesday. Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky District Court registered an administrative case against Kinopoisk, a film database and streaming service with more than 150 million monthly visitors, according to the news website Mediazona. The plaintiff…

Russia Labels Rights Group Agora ‘Undesirable’

Russian authorities have labeled the prominent legal and human rights group Agora an “undesirable organization,” state media reported Monday amid an ongoing clampdown on independent activists and rights defenders since the invasion of Ukraine last year. Agora is an association of lawyers that has provided legal advocacy to journalists, opposition activists and other victims of suspected…

Russia Fines Tech Giant Yandex 2M Rubles

A Moscow court fined Russia’s largest tech company Yandex 2 million rubles ($24,000) for failing to turn over user data to domestic intelligence services, state media reported Monday. Yandex was found guilty of repeatedly refusing to provide the Federal Security Service (FSB) data on its users, which law enforcement officials said they needed in order…

Russia Targeted Infamous Double Agent in U.S. Assassination Attempt – NYT

Russia attempted to assassinate a former intelligence officer in the United States in a “brazen” failed bid that led in part to tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions, The New York Times reported Monday, citing three anonymous former senior U.S. officials. Alexander Poteyev was a former colonel in Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) who shared state secrets that helped…

7 Wounded in Strikes on Russian Border Regions – Governors

Russian regions bordering Ukraine came under fire early Monday morning, resulting in injuries to seven people, including a child, local authorities said. Strikes in Russia’s southwestern Belgorod region damaged multiple residential buildings in the Valuisk district, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on Telegram. “The Valuisk municipal district is under attack from Ukrainian forces. According to…

Why a Soviet-American Thinker Moderated Putin’s SPIEF Panel

This year’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), called the “Russian Davos,” culminated Friday in a plenary session with President Vladimir Putin and Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Moderating the discussion was Dmitri Simes, a conservative U.S. political scientist and historian of Soviet origin, in another reflection of how far Russia’s standing has fallen on the…

On Father’s Day, Zelensky Praises ‘Brave’ Soldiers Fighting

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, Father’s Day, thanked all “strong and brave” soldiers fighting Russia’s invasion, and hoped all dads would eventually return from the front. “Thank you to every Ukrainian father, to every Ukrainian family for our strong and brave soldiers who defended Ukraine’s independence, and fight for the life of Ukraine!” Zelensky said…

Russia Says Repelled Drones Targeting Oil Refinery

Russia on Saturday said it had destroyed three drones targeting an oil refinery in the southern border region of Bryansk, as Ukraine pursues its counteroffensive against Russian forces.    “Russian air defense systems repelled an overnight attack by the Ukrainian armed forces on the ‘Druzhba’ oil refinery in the district of Novozybkov,” the governor of the Bryansk region,…

Over 10K Russian Soldiers Earn Cash Payouts for Destroyed or Captured Equipment – Defense Ministry

More than 10,000 Russian servicemen have received cash payouts for destroying or capturing Ukrainian military hardware since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine last year, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Friday. The bonus payments — ranging from 50,000 to 300,000 rubles ($600 to $3,580) depending on the type of equipment — are reportedly transferred to the…

Putin Meets UAE Leader, Hails Ties

President Vladimir Putin hailed Russia’s ties with the United Arab Emirates on Friday as he met the leader of the oil-rich nation, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, in St. Petersburg. “The Emirates are a very good partner,” Putin said in televised comments at the start of the meeting, which took place on the sidelines of an…

Russian Report Implies Ukrainian Gains on South Front

Moscow on Friday reported intense fighting near southeast Ukraine settlements that had until recently been under its control, which appeared to indicate advances by Kyiv’s forces.   Russian officials — including President Vladimir Putin — have repeated that Ukraine’s long-expected counteroffensive was failing despite Kyiv claiming some gains.  But the Russian army said the most…

Chechen Prosecutors Seek 5.5-Year Sentence for Kadyrov Critic’s Mother

Prosecutors in Russia’s republic of Chechnya have requested a 5.5-year prison sentence for the mother of a prominent Chechen rights lawyer and activist, the Committee Against Torture rights group reported Thursday. Zarema Musaeva, the mother of lawyer and activist Abubakar Yangulbaev, has been charged with assaulting the authorities and fraud — accusations she strongly denies. Musaeva was violently detained…

Russian Authorities Maintain Secret List of People ‘Affiliated’ with ‘Foreign Agents’

Russian authorities maintain a secret registry of nearly 900 individuals deemed to be “affiliated” with people and organizations labeled “foreign agents.” The size of the registry, which is legally closed to the public, was disclosed in a report by the State Duma’s Committee on Foreign Interference published Thursday. The committee’s report states that 861 people…

Kremlin Says Australia Blocking New Embassy ‘Russophobic’

Russia on Thursday blasted Australia’s decision to prohibit Russia from building a new embassy after intelligence officials warned it posed a security threat. “To our regret, Australia diligently continues to follow the path created by the authors of the Russophobic hysteria, which is now active in the countries of the collective West,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “Australia…

Russia Claims to Down 9 Drones Over Crimea

Russian forces have downed nine drones over the Crimean peninsula, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014, its Moscow-installed Governor Sergei Aksyonov said Thursday. “Last night and this morning, nine drones were detected above republic of Crimea territory,” Aksyonov said on Telegram. “Six devices were shot down by air-defense forces” while three others were “deactivated”…

Fire Engulfs Russian Power Plant Near Ukraine Border

A fire broke out Wednesday at a power plant in Russia’s southern Rostov region, with authorities denying local media reports suggesting an explosion may have been the cause. Video shared online showed large flames and plumes of black smoke rising from the Novocherkasskaya power station, located some 50 kilometers southeast of Ukraine’s partially Russian-occupied Donetsk…

Deadly Russian Missile Strikes Hit Ukraine

Deadly Russian missile strikes hit southern and eastern Ukraine on Wednesday as the Western-backed country’s air defenses fought back against Moscow’s intensified attacks.  Russia fired four Kalibr missiles on the southern port city of Odesa from a warship in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s air force said, with air defenses shooting down three of them. One of…