Russian Missile System Suspected of Bringing Down Ukraine Airliner: Short Range, Fast and Deadly

Canada said on Thursday that a surface-to-air missile brought down a Ukrainian airliner in Tehran, while the Ukrainian government said it was investigating reports of debris from a Russian-made Tor-M1 missile. The Tor, also called the SA-15 Gauntlet by NATO, is a short-range “point defense” system that integrates the missile launcher and radar into a single…

Lawmakers Ask Pro-Russian Leader in Breakaway Georgian Region to Resign After Protests

A local legislature appealed on Thursday to the leader of the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia to stand down as crowds of demonstrators were contesting election results, Russian state media reported. The state-run TASS news agency said 19 lawmakers voted for the president’s resignation, four cast their vote against it, while one abstained from the voting.…

Russian Journals Retract Almost 900 Papers After Falsification Probe

Russian academic journals have retracted more than 850 papers after an Academy of Sciences (RAS) commission probe into questionable publication practices, the commission said this week. The commission had asked 541 journals last year to retract 2,528 academic articles suspected of unethical publication practices. These include plagiarism, self-plagiarism or “obscure authorship,” an instance when an…

Turkey, Russia Launch TurkStream Pipeline Carrying Gas to Europe

The presidents of Turkey and Russia on Wednesday formally launched the TurkStream pipeline which will carry Russian natural gas to southern Europe through Turkey, part of Moscow’s efforts to reduce shipments via Ukraine. The pipeline project, stretching 930 kilometers (580 miles) across the Black Sea, reinforces strong energy ties between Moscow and Ankara, which have also increased defense…

Russia Falls in 2020 World Passport Ranking

Russia slid to 51st place in a global ranking of passport holders who can travel to other countries without a prior visa, according to a quarterly index published Tuesday. The Henley & Partners residence and citizenship planning firm ranks the strength of 199 different passports based on the availability of visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to…

Russian Orthodox Leader Rails Against ‘Foreign’ Domestic Violence Law

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has accused lawmakers who seek to re-criminalize domestic abuse of “borrowing” the draft law, as well as the concept of domestic violence, from abroad.  Russia scrapped criminal punishments for first-time domestic abuse offenses in 2017. A series of high-profile murder and domestic violence cases has pushed lawmakers to begin work toward…

Russian Clinic Treated Mercenaries Injured in Secret Wars Abroad

A St. Petersburg clinic that is run and partly owned by people with ties to President Vladimir Putin has provided medical treatment to Russian mercenaries injured abroad, according to three people with knowledge of military contractors being treated, a clinic employee, a reporter’s witness account and company records. The previously unreported medical treatment for private military…

Putin and Macron Talk by Phone About Concerns Over U.S. Killing of Top Iranian General Soleimani – Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron expressed their concerns in a phonecall over the U.S. killing of Iran’s Major-General Qassem Soleimani, according to a statement on the Kremlin’s website Friday evening. The U.S. early on Friday killed Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force and architect of Iran’s spreading military influence…

Putin and Macron Discuss Concerns Over U.S. Killing of Top Iranian General Soleimani – Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron expressed their concerns in a phone call over the U.S. killing of Iran’s Major-General Qassem Soleimani, according to a statement on the Kremlin’s website Friday evening. The U.S. early on Friday killed Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force and architect of Iran’s spreading military…

Russian Senator Calls U.S. Killing of Top Iranian General ‘Worst Case Scenario,’ Expects New U.S.-Iran Clashes

Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev has called the U.S. killing of a key Iranian military commander “the worst-case scenario,” and said he believed that Iranian retribution “will not take long,” while Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the world is now “confronted with a new reality.” The U.S. early on Friday killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of…

Kyiv Post: Moscow Says it Issued Nearly 200,000 Russian Passports in Ukraine’s Donbass

Eight months after simplifying the procedure of acquiring a Russian passport for residents of Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, Russia announced that it has granted over 196,000 citizenships to Ukrainians. The figures came from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Russian TASS news agency reported on Jan. 1. Moscow says it is protecting the Russian-speaking…

Authorities Raid Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses

Authorities raided homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses in northern Russia as part of a criminal probe into extremism against the banned religious organization, investigators said in a statement Monday. Russia banned the Christian denomination known for door-to-door preaching, close Bible study and rejection of military service and blood transfusions in 2017. Rights groups have condemned the…

Britain Floated NATO Membership for Russia, Archives Reveal

Britain considered granting Russia partial membership in NATO 25 years ago, according to declassified National Archives documents cited by British media Tuesday. NATO, a U.S.-led Western military alliance created to provide collective security against the Soviet Union, suspended relations with Russia in response to Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. Russia…

Russia, Ukraine Clinch Final Deal on Gas Transit to Europe

Russian and Ukrainian companies signed a final five-year agreement safeguarding Russian gas transit to Europe via Ukraine, Kremlin-controlled gas giant Gazprom and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday night. The deal, which came just 24 hours before the current agreement expires on Tuesday, averted a potential Russian gas-flow interruption to Europe and helped Moscow avoid…