Putin to Revive Russia’s ‘Great Wall’

President Vladimir Putin has hinted that he could help reconstruct Russia’s version of the Great Wall of China during a stopover in the country’s central Lipetsk region, the Znak.com news website reported Wednesday. A local archeologist had urged Putin to spearhead reconstruction of the Belgorod fortified line, which was built in the 17th century to…

WADA Provisionally Suspends Moscow Anti-Doping Lab for ‘Serious Violation’

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Wednesday it had provisionally suspended the status of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory that had allowed it to analyze athlete biological passports (ABP) as Russia’s doping scandal continues. The move comes little more than a month after WADA barred Russians from competing under their country’s flag at major international events…

Young Russian Tries to Sue Over Violent Lesbian ‘Exorcism’ in Chechnya

A young woman from Russia’s conservative republic of Chechnya is seeking criminal charges against her parents, one of their acquaintances and a psychiatric clinic for allegedly torturing her based on her sexual orientation, a Russian LGBT support group said Tuesday. The latest incident comes after widespread reports of anti-gay abuse, including torture and killings, in the…

Who Made It Into Russia’s New Cabinet?

President Vladimir Putin confirmed a new government Tuesday following last week’s shake-up of the political system which led to Dmitry Medvedev’s resignation as prime minister. Despite Putin describing the new government as a break with the past, many senior ministers held on to their positions.  Here’s a look at the main figures in Russia’s new…

Mishustin Gives Gazprom the Go-Ahead

Three days after being announced as Russia’s new prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin has granted Gazprom Oil the development rights to the Khambateyskoye gas and oil field on the Yamal Peninsula.  According to the federal government, the oil company will pay about 2 billion rubles ($32 million) for the production licenses. The field is located both…

Russian, Syrian Troops Hold Joint Drills

Russia and Syria have conducted joint exercises aimed at protecting economic interests in Moscow’s key naval foothold in the Mediterranean, the Defense Ministry’s Zvezda news channel reported. These are at least the second joint Russian-Syrian naval drills to take place in the port of Tartus in a month. Russia seeks to invest $500 million in…

New Russian PM Transferred His Wealth to Wife – Kommersant

Russia’s new Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin transferred his wealth to his wife before returning to public office from the private sector a decade ago, the Kommersant business daily reported Sunday following questions about the origins of her declared income. Amid President Vladimir Putin’s power shake-up last week that saw Mishustin’s surprise appointment, critics questioned how…

Russian Prosecutor General Chaika to Leave Post

Russia‘s Prosecutor General Yury Chaika is leaving his post, Interfax reported Monday, citing the Kremlin.  President Vladimir Putin proposed that the Federation Council appoint Igor Krasnov, deputy head of the Investigative Committee, as the new prosecutor general, the Vedomosti business daily reported.  According to officials, Chaika, 68, will leave the post he has occupied since 2006…

Russian Oil Deals in Syria Linked to ‘Putin’s Chef’ – Novaya Gazeta

Two little-known Russian companies that signed oil and gas deals with Syria last year have links to a secretive businessman believed to be running a private military contractor, the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Sunday. Syria’s parliament in December approved contracts for oil exploration with two Russian companies, Mercury and Velada. Syria’s oil minister had…

Ukrainian PM Offers to Quit After Tape Suggests He Criticized President

Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk submitted his resignation on Friday after an audio recording suggested he had criticized the president, but then appeared to suggest that he might stay in his job. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy would consider the resignation letter later on Friday, the president’s office said. Speculation over Honcharuk’s position has grown this week…

Moscow Sees 8 Hours of Sunlight in December

The Russian capital experienced a total of eight hours of sunlight in December, the head of Russia’s meteorological center said Thursday. While less than 4% of the city’s possible sunlight hours without cloud coverage, the eight hours still surpassed the six minutes of clear skies that Moscow saw in December 2017.  “Muscovites saw only eight…