EU Chief Courts Moscow’s Central Asia Allies

EU chief Charles Michel called on Thursday for closer ties with Central Asia on his first official visit to Kazakhstan, the main economic powerhouse in a region where Russia’s influence has come under question. In the first European Union-Central Asia summit, Michel met the leaders of the region’s five countries — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan…

Rosneft Head Sechin Slams EU’s Energy Price Cap

A Western cap on Russian energy prices destroys individual countries’ sovereignty and plays into the hands of the United States, Igor Sechin, the chief executive of state oil giant Rosneft, said Thursday. “The idea is to essentially abolish the sovereign rights of countries to their own resources,” the Kommersant business daily quoted Sechin as saying. “Because the…

Authorities in Russian-Occupied Zaporizhzhia Order Phone Checks on Residents

Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine’s occupied region of Zaporizhzhia ordered phone checks on local residents on Thursday, announcing the implementation of military censorship under Russian President Vladimir Putin’s martial law decree. “From today in the Zaporizhzhia region, law enforcement officers have begun a selective preventing check of the mobile phones of citizens,” Moscow-appointed official Vladimir Rogov…

Russia Says U.S. Satellites Assisting Ukraine Are ‘Legitimate’ Targets

Commercial satellites used by the United States to assist Ukraine in its war against Russia are “legitimate” targets for attacks, a Russian diplomat said Wednesday. Private assets like Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet constellation, as well as Maxar and Planet Labs earth observation satellites, have proven critical in keeping Ukrainians online and piercing the fog of…

Russia Denounces Norway’s ‘Spy Mania’

Russia’s Embassy in Oslo criticized what it called Norway’s “spy mania” on Wednesday, a day after the Scandinavian country announced the arrest of a suspected Russian sleeper agent. The Norwegian counter-intelligence service PST on Tuesday said it had arrested a Russian so-called “illegal” agent masquerading as a Brazilian researcher at the University of Tromso, in…

Russia Tells China, India That Ukraine Planning ‘Dirty Bomb’ Attack

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday reiterated claims that Ukraine is preparing a provocation using a “dirty bomb” in a video call with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe, according to Moscow’s Defense Ministry. “The situation in Ukraine was discussed. Army General Sergei Shoigu conveyed to his Chinese counterpart concerns about possible provocations by Ukraine…

What is a ‘Dirty Bomb’?

Moscow has claimed that Ukraine is building a “dirty bomb” with the aim of deploying it against Russian troops. But what is a dirty bomb, and what can it achieve? At its most basic, a dirty bomb is a conventional bomb laced with radioactive, biological or chemical materials which get disseminated in an explosion. Using…

In Photos: The Task of Demining Liberated Areas of Ukraine Gets Underway

As Russian troops withdraw from territories they previously occupied in Ukraine, pro-Kyiv administrators are finding themselves facing the task of demining thousands of hectares of land. Partnering with IT companies, European countries, and the U.S., Ukraine has recently started work demining the Kharkiv region, even launching an app to facilitate public participation in the efforts,…

Russia Discusses Ukraine in String of Calls with Defense Chiefs

Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Sunday held rare calls with NATO counterparts in which they discussed Ukraine, the Russian defence ministry said. “The situation in Ukraine, which has a steady tendency towards further, uncontrolled escalation, was discussed,” by Shoigu and French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu, the ministry said. Later on Sunday, the ministry said…

Ukraine Says Russia’s ‘Dirty Bomb’ Claims are ‘Absurd’ and ‘Dangerous’

Ukraine on Sunday denied it was planning to use a “dirty bomb” against Russian forces, as Moscow’s defence minister suggested during telephone calls with NATO counterparts. “Russian lies about Ukraine allegedly planning to use a ‘dirty bomb’ are as absurd as they are dangerous”, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on social media. “Firstly, Ukraine is…

Russia Discusses Ukraine in Calls with France, Turkey

Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu held phone calls Sunday with his French and Turkish counterparts, during which they discussed Ukraine, the Russian defence ministry said. “The situation in Ukraine, which has a steady tendency towards further, uncontrolled escalation, was discussed,” by Shoigu and France’s Sebastien Lecornu, the ministry said. Later on Sunday, the ministry said…

Pro-Russian Authorities Tell Kherson Residents to Leave ‘Immediately’

Pro-Russian authorities in the Ukrainian region of Kherson, which Russia claims to have annexed, urged those remaining in the north of the province to leave “immediately” in the face of Kyiv’s advancing counteroffensive on Saturday. The recommendation to evacuate came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia launched 36 rockets overnight in a “massive attack”…

Explainer: What’s Behind the Russian Evacuations in Kherson?

Russian forces have been moving thousands of civilians in the occupied southern Ukrainian region of Kherson over the Dnipro River and deeper into Russian-occupied territory this week.  The evacuations, announced by the region’s Kremlin-installed governor Vladimir Saldo, followed warnings from Moscow that Kyiv’s southern counteroffensive meant the regional capital, Kherson, could be recaptured.  But Kyiv…

Russia Says 2 Journalists Among Ukraine Bridge Dead

Russia’s Investigative Committee said Friday that two journalists were among four people killed by a Ukrainian night-time strike on a bridge in Russian-occupied Kherson. “There is information about two killed journalists,” the committee, which probes major crimes, said.  It said 13 people were wounded in the strike. “Children and representatives of the media” are among…

Russian Defense Minister, U.S. Counterpart Discuss Ukraine in Rare Phone Call

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke by phone to U.S. counterpart Lloyd Austin about topics including the war in Ukraine, Moscow’s Defense Ministry said on its official Telegram channel Friday. “Current international security matters were discussed, including the situation in Ukraine,” the ministry said, without providing further details. The phone call marks the first confirmed…

Putin Visits Military Draft Training Center

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday visited a training center for mobilized Russians for the first time since announcing a partial military call-up on Sept. 21.  State television showed Putin visiting a shooting center in the Ryazan region, southeast of Moscow, dressed in black, shooting a newly developed sniper rifle and hugging military men. Wearing ear…

‘Catastrophic Illiteracy’: Moscow Reacts to Truss Resignation

Russia reacted to the resignation of British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Thursday by calling the short-serving British premier a “disgrace.” “Britain has never known such a disgrace of a prime minister,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel. “She will be remembered for her catastrophic illiteracy,” Zakharova added. Truss was…

Putin Abolishes Russia’s Federal Tourism Agency

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a decree abolishing Rostourism, Russia’s federal tourism agency, and handing its remit to the Economic Development Ministry. The Economic Ministry said in a statement that the decision to dissolve Rostourism and to give its responsibilities to the ministry would help Russia meet its tourism objectives more effectively.  Rostourism…

Wagner Mercenary Chief Says Launching ‘People’s Militia’ Near Ukraine Border

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Kremlin-linked magnate who leads the notorious Wagner mercenary group, said Wednesday that the private military contractor was “forming a people’s militia” in Russia’s Belgorod region on the Ukrainian border. According to Prigozhin, “several сompanies” were producing “required items for fortifications,” while Wagner instructors were training “citizens who will defend the region’s borders.”…