1 in 3 Students Looking to Leave Russia – Survey

One out of three Russian students have expressed a desire to leave the country in an unpublished Kremlin survey, the iStories investigative outlet reported Thursday. Forty-four percent of the polled students described the state of affairs in wartime Russia as a “crisis,” while 32% described it as a “collapse/breakdown.” Fear and anxiety ranked first at 36%…

Russia Eyes 5-Year Jail Terms for ‘Russophobia’

Russian lawmakers are drafting legislation that would punish anti-Russian words and actions deemed as “Russophobia” with up to five years imprisonment, the independent news outlet Vyorstka reported Thursday. The bill is expected to amend Russia’s Criminal Code by adding clauses on “Russophobia” to articles criminalizing public calls for extremism and violating equal rights. Russia’s State…

‘Unified’ G7 Hits Russia With New Sanctions

The United States and its G7 allies rolled out new sanctions against Russia’s “war machine” Friday, targeting Moscow’s lucrative diamond trade and more entities linked to the invasion of Ukraine. Leaders from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies are meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, with Russia’s $4-5 billion annual trade in diamonds in the crosshairs. Vladimir…

Kazan Economic Forum Seeks to Lure Islamic Investment as Moscow Isolated Over Ukraine

An investment forum in Russia’s republic of Tatarstan opened Thursday as its more popular counterparts contend with fewer international guests amid Moscow’s isolation during the war in Ukraine. The 14th annual KazanForum, known as KazanSummit in its previous 13 iterations, brands itself as a platform for Islamic investors. This year’s event is expected to draw 15,000…

Crimean Tatars Warned Against Protesting on Anniversary of Stalin-Era Deportations – Activists

Russian authorities warned the Crimean Tatar ethnic minority against protesting on the anniversary of their deportation under Stalin, the advocacy group Crimean Solidarity said. Crimean Tatars, which made up around 15% of the peninsula’s population of 2 million, largely opposed Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. They say they now face persecution by Moscow-installed…

Kremlin Critics Abroad Experience Signs of Poisoning, Surveillance – Agentstvo

At least four prominent Kremlin critics outside of Russia have experienced symptoms of poisoning or faced surveillance over the past year, according to a report by the investigative outlet Agentstvo published Tuesday.  Among those affected in the cases examined by Agentstvo include foreign journalists, Russian opposition activists, and even a former U.S. ambassador.  One suspected…

Lifting of Russia Flight, Visa Restrictions Deepens Georgia’s Geopolitical Dilemma

Russia’s surprise move to restore visa-free access for Georgian citizens and direct flights between the two countries signals a continued warming of relations between Tbilisi and Moscow, potentially at the cost of Georgia’s integration with the West, analysts and Russian government officials told The Moscow Times.  Some observers have described the decision as a “gift”…

Has Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Actually Begun?

Fighting is raging and Kyiv is relentlessly pressing its allies for more military hardware.  But has Ukraine’s long-promised counteroffensive against the Russian invasion actually begun? Analysts say Ukraine has stepped up its activity along the front line, seeking notably to pin Russia down and inflict maximum casualties around the flashpoint town of Bakhmut. Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelensky…

FSB Says Arrested Ukrainian Woman on Spying Charges

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said Tuesday it had arrested a 25-year-old Ukrainian woman accused of illegally gathering information on the Russian military, charges punishable by up to 20 years in prison. “On the instructions of foreign special services, the suspect transmitted information regarding facilities, military equipment, fortifications and combat positions of the Russian Armed…

South African Leader Says Putin, Zelensky Agree to Receive Peace Mission

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said his Russian and Ukrainian colleagues have agreed to host an African peace initiative aimed at resolving the nearly 15-month war, Reuters reported Tuesday. “My discussions with the two leaders [Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky] demonstrated that they are both ready to receive the African leaders,”…

Amsterdam Court Rejects Sanctioned Yandex Founder’s Appeal Against Mansion Squatters

Russian tech billionaire Arkady Volozh’s latest effort to evict a group of squatters from his luxurious Amsterdam mansion has been struck down in court, lawyers for the opposing parties told The Moscow Times’ Russian service Tuesday. Volozh, the founder of Russia’s largest search engine Yandex, was targeted by European Union sanctions following the invasion of…

Russia’s FSB Sent Ex-Islamic State Fighters to Infiltrate Ukraine, Turkey, U.S. – Meduza

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has recruited former Islamic State fighters to infiltrate Ukraine, Turkey and the United States, the independent Meduza news website reported Tuesday, citing four recruited fighters. The outlet said an unnamed source close to the FSB confirmed regular but largely unsuccessful attempts to penetrate Ukraine’s military circles. Meduza interviewed a former Russian Islamic…

Russian Oil Exports Hit Post-Invasion High – IEA

Russia’s oil exports rose in April to the highest level since its invasion of Ukraine, boosting revenues by $1.7 billion despite Western sanctions, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday. The Paris-based organization said Russian exports increased by 50,000 barrels per day to 8.3 million bpd last month, estimating that the country did not fully deliver on…

In Photos: Russia’s Military Recruitment Efforts for Home and the Frontlines

Ukraine’s looming counteroffensive against Russian forces, coupled with an increased number of drone attacks and military incidents on Russia’s territory, are making the realities of the war increasingly visible to ordinary Russians. More than a year in, the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine — which was once presented to Russians as a short-term, victorious “special military…

South African Military Delegation in Moscow for ‘Combat Readiness’ Talks

The commander of South Africa’s ground forces is in Moscow for talks on improving combat readiness, Russian news agencies said Monday, citing Russia’s Defense Ministry. Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha is heading a delegation that met his Russian colleague, Colonel General Oleg Salyukov, according to the state-run TASS news agency. The two discussed “issues relating to military cooperation…

Russian Airlines Ask Employees to Report Fewer Aircraft Malfunctions – Proekt

Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot has asked its employees to refrain from recording equipment defects on aircraft, leading to planes regularly flying with malfunctions, according to the investigative news outlet Proekt, citing current and former employees at the airline.  A former employee at Aeroflot explained that the policy, in force since last spring, was introduced “to…

Drone Sales Surge Twentyfold in Russia

Amateur drone sales in Russia have skyrocketed this year as the war in Ukraine has exposed a dire shortage of the small and effective devices on the battlefield, the Kommersant business daily reported Monday, citing the analytical service Moneyplace. Russia’s largest online retailer Wildberries recorded a twentyfold increase in sales to 26,700 drones in January-March.…

Drinks Group Pernod Ricard Announces Russia Pullout

French drinks giant Pernod Ricard said Friday it had stopped exporting all its brands to Russia and would no longer distribute them following public pressure over its business activities there. The group, which owns a host of premium drinks brands including Havana Club rum, Jameson whiskey and Mumm champagne, stopped exporting to Russia at the end of April, it…

Pro-Russian Official Wounded in Assassination Attempt In Occupied Ukraine

A pro-Russian official in Ukraine’s partially occupied Zaporizhzhia region has been injured in an explosion that authorities called an assassination attempt, the state-run TASS news agency reported Friday. Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said that an explosive device was placed in a trash can at the entrance of an apartment building in the city of…

Putin Orders Measures to Reverse Mass Wartime Exodus

President Vladimir Putin on Friday ordered officials to develop measures aimed at reversing the mass emigration of Russian citizens sparked by the invasion of Ukraine and the country’s “partial” mobilization of reservists. Putin’s decree on amendments to Russia’s state migration policy notes that the emigration of Russian nationals abroad “increased” in 2022 “due to changing…

Ravaged By Fires, a Tatar Village in West Siberia Calls on Tatarstan to Fund Reconstruction

Residents of Yuldus, a Tatar village in western Siberia destroyed by ongoing forest fires, have called on the head of Russia’s republic of Tatarstan to invest 500 million rubles ($6.5 million) into the area’s reconstruction.  “The republic won’t lose much [by allocating] half a million, but…we will know that Tatarstan hasn’t forgotten about us,” local…

Major Russian University Urges Students to Report ‘Suspicious’ Classmates

A major university in Russia’s Volga region is urging students to report “suspicious” peers to the authorities amid heightened anxieties over possible sabotage acts aimed at hampering the war effort. Penza State University’s vice-rector in charge of security, Vladimir Shimkin, flagged a Federal Security Service (FSB) warning that a group of 15-to-21-year-olds are allegedly plotting attacks…

St. Petersburg Police Forms Drone-Fighting Unit

Police in Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg have formed a special unit for shooting down drones, the city’s Interior Ministry said Friday, as concerns have risen over drone attacks on Russian territory amid its war on Ukraine. The so-called “sky control unit” in St. Petersburg mainly consists of officers who have served in Russian-occupied areas…

Kremlin ‘Strongly’ Denies Accusations of Meddling in Turkish Vote

The Kremlin on Friday denied it was meddling in Turkey’s presidential election campaign, after Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s main rival accused Moscow of spreading “deep fakes” targeting him. Turkish opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu claimed earlier this week that Russia was behind an online smear campaign against him ahead of the crucial election on Sunday. …