Putin’s Business Tsar Attacks Economic Lockdown

President Vladimir Putin’s “business tsar” has called for the government to end the economic lockdown and reopen the economy. Boris Titov, the president’s business ombudsman, announced Monday he will organize an online protest Friday calling for businesses to be reopened, as frustration at the government’s economic response to the coronavirus grows throughout Russia’s business community.…

Russia Returns to Top 5 Defense Spending Countries Worldwide – Think Tank

Russia re-entered the world’s top five defense spending nations in 2019 after briefly falling to sixth place the previous year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)’s latest annual report published Monday. Global defense spending saw its highest one-year increase since 2010 last year, rising by 3.6% to  $1.917 trillion, the Swedish think…

Russia Starts Drawing Up Lockdown Exit Plans

Russia will begin drawing up lockdown exit plans to switch the economy back on, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Monday. In a meeting with ministers, Mishustin ordered various government departments to start working out how businesses could get back to work once the coronavirus pandemic becomes less severe, news site RBC reported. “As the situation…

Russian Doctor in Critical Condition After Falling From Hospital for Coronavirus Patients

The head of a Siberian hospital repurposed for coronavirus patients is in critical condition after she fell from the hospital building following a conference call with health officials, local media reported Saturday. Yelena Nepomnyashchaya, 47, fell from a fifth-floor window of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Hospital for War Veterans after talks with the head of the…

Don’t Nag Your Husbands During Coronavirus Lockdown, Church Official Tells Russian Women

A Russian Orthodox Church official has urged women not to reprimand their husbands during coronavirus lockdown in order to avoid domestic conflict — and to punish themselves if they do. Bishop Panteleimon’s remarks come three years after Russia scrapped criminal punishments for first-time domestic abuse offenses and as the coronavirus pandemic has stalled efforts to…

Russia Seeks to Revive Coronavirus-Hit Tourism Industry By Cutting Visa Red Tape

Russia’s Federal Tourist Agency (Rostourism) wants to help the industry recover from the coronavirus crisis by relaxing visa rules after the country reopens its borders, the RBC news website reported Friday. Russia grounded international flights, except those that return its nationals from abroad; closed border crossings; and suspended issuing visas and e-visas last month as…

Libya Blames Chemical Attack on Kremlin-Linked Wagner Mercenary Group

Libya’s UN-backed government has accused Kremlin-linked private military contractors for an alleged chemical attack in southern Tripoli, according to Arab and Turkish media. Interior minister Fathi Bashaga’s charges turn the spotlight back on Russia’s Wagner mercenaries, who are reported to be unofficially helping eastern commander Khalifa Haftar’s year-long offensive to seize the Libyan capital. The…

Russian Prisoner in U.S. Yaroshenko Tested After Cellmate’s Coronavirus Death

U.S. prison officials have sent Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko into observation after his cellmate allegedly died from coronavirus, Russia’s Consulate in New York said Thursday. Yaroshenko is serving a 20-year sentence at the Danbury federal prison in Connecticut for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the United States. Russia’s consulate said it filed a health request…

Leading Russian Paper Vedomosti’s New Editor Bans Putin Criticism

The new chief editor of Russia’s leading business newspaper Vedomosti has banned employees from publishing articles that criticize President Vladimir Putin’s proposed constitutional changes, the paper’s media editor said Wednesday in the latest report of recent censorship at the publication. Andrei Shmarov, who was named acting editor-in-chief by Vedomosti’s new owners in March, made news…

Russia’s Coronavirus Outbreak Jeopardizes Care for Patients With Rare Diseases

The lives of thousands of Russian patients with rare diseases are in danger because the country’s hospitals are being repurposed to address the coronavirus outbreak, the Kommersant business daily reported Wednesday. The government ordered health officials to allocate up to 100,000 hospital beds for Covid-19 patients, the newspaper reported earlier this month. Officials were ordered…

Coronavirus Hits Hard in Russia’s Volatile Republic of Ingushetia

In late March, as Russia’s coronavirus outbreak fanned out from Moscow to the country’s provinces, Abdurakhman Martazanov, chief mufti of Russia’s autonomous North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia, started to worry. Before many Russians had grasped the reality of the pandemic facing their country, Martazanov put together a set of guidelines allowing Ingushetia’s mostly Muslim population…