‘End of an Era’: Russia Adds Navalny Political Network to ‘Terrorist and Extremist’ List

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s political network has been blacklisted as a “terrorist-linked” organization, Russia’s state financial watchdog Rosfinmonitoring said Friday. “Navalny Networks” now appears on Rosfinmonitoring’s searchable database of groups and persons with links to terrorist activities, which includes al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the Islamic State. The designation means that authorities can block the…

Russia-Brazil Spat Erupts Over Sputnik Vaccine Snub

Brazil’s health regulator said Thursday its decision to reject the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine was based on the developer’s own data, after the latter threatened to sue for defamation. Brazilian regulators’ decision Monday to deny emergency use authorization for the vaccine has blown up into an all-out international row, with Sputnik V’s makers accusing…

Bulgaria Says it Will Expel Russian Diplomat

Bulgaria’s foreign ministry said Thursday that it would expel a Russian diplomat, a day after prosecutors said they had established links between six Russian nationals and several past explosions at arms depots. “The Bulgarian foreign ministry declared one more Russian diplomat persona non grata,” the ministry said in a statement.  It urged Russia to “fully…

Moscow Official Slams Slow Vaccination, Lax Mask-Wearing as Coronavirus Cases Double

Moscow’s chief infectious disease specialist hit out Thursday at the city’s slow vaccination drive and residents not wearing masks in crowded places after coronavirus cases nearly doubled in the Russian capital overnight. Doctor Nikolai Malyshev said both factors were behind a 74% increase in single-day infections that Moscow authorities confirmed earlier in the day. The…

U.S. Officials Arrest Russian Suspect in Alleged $336M Bitcoin Laundering Scheme

United States law enforcement authorities have arrested a Russian citizen in Los Angeles whose bitcoin mixing platform allegedly helped users launder $336 million over a decade, Reuters reported Tuesday.  Roman Sterligov was the main operator of Bitcoin Fog, a website founded in 2011 to help users anonymize cryptocurrency payments, especially on darknet markets where drugs…

Russia Sends Medical Aid to Virus-Ravaged India

Updated at 4:47 p.m. on April 28 to add Kremlin statement. Russia will send a large shipment of medical aid to India as the country battles an unprecedented wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. The shipment of coronavirus treatment drugs, ventilation equipment, oxygen supplies and other medical equipment comes “in…

Russia to Invest $11B in Volatile Central African Republic’s Reconstruction – Minister

Russia could invest $11 billion in reconstruction projects in the mineral-rich Central African Republic, where rebel violence has led to mass displacement and Russian mercenaries are widely reported to be providing security services to the embattled military, a government official has said. Moscow has since 2018 expanded its diplomatic and financial activities in the former…

Is Russia Entering a Third Coronavirus Wave?

The Kremlin has denied keeping secret statistics on the number of coronavirus cases in Russia, after Bloomberg reported government officials warning a third wave of the pandemic has already hit the country. The newswire on Wednesday quoted two unnamed government sources saying “unofficial statistics” painted a different picture from that presented by Russia’s coronavirus task…

Russia Restricts Navalny Anti-Corruption Group’s Work Ahead of ‘Extremist’ Ruling

A Moscow court has restricted the work of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) ahead of its ruling to blacklist the group, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.  The Moscow City Court will this week decide whether to designate FBK and Navalny’s regional offices as “extremist” organizations, a move that would…

Russia Out to ‘Kill’ Popular News Site Meduza With ‘Foreign Agent’ Label, Editors Say

Popular Russian independent news website Meduza said Monday that authorities are attempting to “kill” it with an onerous foreign agent designation that will strip it of advertising revenue and put employees at risk of jail time. The Justice Ministry declared Meduza, one of the country’s most-read news outlets, a “foreign agent” on Friday. The designation,…

UK Announces Global Magnitsky Sanctions

Britain announced its first sanctions under a new global anti-corruption regime on Monday, freezing assets and imposing business restrictions on 22 individuals from Russia, South Africa, Sudan and Latin America. Those sanctioned include 14 people allegedly involved in the diversion of $230 million of Russian state property through a fraudulent tax refund scheme uncovered by…

Putin Says Prague’s Accusations Against Russia ‘Absurd’: Kremlin

President Vladimir Putin on Monday dismissed as “absurd” Prague’s accusations against Moscow after Czech authorities accused the Russian secret services of being behind a deadly arms depot blast in 2014. In a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, Putin “commented on the current state of Russian-Czech relations, emphasizing the absurd nature of Prague’s accusations…

Russia Expels Ukrainian Diplomat in Ongoing Spat

Moscow announced Monday it was expelling a Ukrainian embassy worker, the latest in a wave of diplomatic expulsions that have embroiled Russian and European diplomats. The expulsion came amid heightened tensions between Moscow and Kiev over an uptick in fighting between Ukraine’s army and pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement…