Russia Restricts Grain Exports Amid Pandemic

Russia on Thursday published a government decree establishing an export quota for certain grains until the end of June as its virus cases spiked. The measures came after the heads of three global agencies including the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organisation on Wednesday warned countries against imposing export restrictions that could interrupt…

Kremlin Denies Putin Spoke to Saudi Crown Prince

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world. Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from…

Putin Extends Nationwide Paid Holiday as Coronavirus Numbers See Sharpest Rise Yet

President Vladimir Putin announced the extension of Russia’s nationwide “non-working week” until April 30 after the country registered a sharp increase in coronavirus cases on Thursday.  Confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia spiked overnight with 771 new cases registered across the country, bringing official totals to 3,548 infections and 30 deaths. Speaking in a televised address,…

Young Russian Journalist Dies From Coronavirus

A 36-year-old Russian journalist died from the coronavirus this week, authorities said on Thursday two days after her passing, drawing criticism for allegedly withholding the news. Anastasia Petrova, chief editor of the Delovoy Interes business weekly in the city of Perm 1,400 kilometers east of Moscow, was hospitalized with pneumonia on March 24. Regional health…

Who Paid for Russia’s Coronavirus Aid to the U.S.?

Russia sent a military plane carrying protective gear and ventilators to the United States on Wednesday to help the country battle the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Shortly after, the U.S. said it purchased the medical supplies from Russia, the State Department said Wednesday, contradicting the Kremlin’s initial description of the shipment as humanitarian aid. Who really paid…

Russians Risk Fines, Jail Time for Dodging Coronavirus Quarantine

Both houses of Russia’s parliament swiftly approved legislation Tuesday imposing severe punishments for spreading false information about the coronavirus and breaking quarantine rules as most regions have gone into lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed the bills — which include provisions for more accessible medication — into law,…

Russia Reserves $18B to Counter Coronavirus Crisis

Russia has earmarked almost $18 billion to battle the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister said Wednesday as Moscow imposed a strict lockdown. The finance ministry “has reserved 1.4 trillion rubles ($17.8 billion) in all for fighting the spread of the coronavirus and carrying out anti-crisis measures,” Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told President Vladimir Putin during…

Campaigners Urge Russia to Release Prisoners as Coronavirus Spreads

Rights campaigners are urging the Russian government to consider releasing some pre-trial detainees and prisoners held in the country’s packed jails, warning of the “devastating consequences” of the coronavirus pandemic. More than half a million people are held in Russia’s notoriously crowded prisons in what is the European continent’s largest prison population. In a letter Tuesday…

As Virus Looms, Russian Arctic Brigade Tests Chemical Weapons Defense

This week more than 80 units of military hardware rolled out of their compounds in the Kola Peninsula to participate in exercises, the Northern Fleet informs. The exercises involved motorized infantry units of the Northern Fleet’s Arctic Brigade, and included military equipment such as self-propelled Gvozdika howitzers, the Strela-10 anti-aircraft missile system, and MTLB armored transport…

Moscow Pleads for Private Clinics’ Help in Coronavirus Fight

Moscow’s mayor has asked for the Russian government’s help in getting private clinics to provide beds for coronavirus patients, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who sits on Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s coronavirus coordinating council, named hospital beds and the national healthcare system’s mobilization as top priorities in the…

Chechen Police Brandish Pipes in Coronavirus Street Patrols

Police officers armed with plastic pipes in Russia’s republic of Chechnya are patrolling the streets to observe compliance with the region’s coronavirus quarantine, Russian media reported this weekend.  The majority Muslim region enacted a strict quarantine Saturday with steep fines for venturing outside. Videos that circulated online starting late Friday showed police convoys advising residents…

Is Moscow’s Virus Lockdown Order Legal?

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s announcement of an indefinite citywide quarantine to limit the spread of the coronavirus has prompted debates over whether his strict measures are legal. Sobyanin imposed restrictions on movement starting Monday and said that authorities will enforce the new self-isolation rules through “smart monitoring” and a system of special passes. The isolation…

Russia to Close Borders to Curb Coronavirus

Russia will close all border crossings on March 30, the government said on Saturday, tightening restrictions after the country reported its biggest one-day rise in new coronavirus cases. The authorities said they so far had recorded 1,264 confirmed cases, an increase of 228 in 24 hours, and ordered that all vehicle, rail and pedestrian checkpoints,…