Russia Places Moldovan TikToker On Wanted List

The Russian authorities have placed popular blogger Nikolai Lebedev, who is more widely known by his TikTok handle Nekoglai, on its wanted person list. Though Russia’s Interior Ministry didn’t specify the criminal offense Lebedev is suspected of, his appearance on the list comes just days after the authorities opened a criminal libel case against him.  Lebedev,…

Russia Places Moldovan TikToker On Wanted List

The Russian authorities have placed popular blogger Nikolai Lebedev, who is more widely known by his TikTok handle Nekoglai, on its wanted person list. Though Russia’s Interior Ministry didn’t specify the criminal offense Lebedev is suspected of, his appearance on the list comes just days after the authorities opened a criminal libel case against him.  Lebedev,…

Moldovan President Accuses Russia of Plotting Her Overthrow

Moldovan President Maia Sandu on Monday accused Russia of plotting to violently overthrow the country’s pro-European leadership with the help of saboteurs disguised as anti-government protesters. Moscow’s alleged plan would involve “saboteurs with military background, camouflaged in civilian clothes, to undertake violent actions, attacks on state institutions and taking hostages,” Sandu told journalists. Under the…

Russia Launches Web Crawler for Anti-Putin Memes, Banned Content

Russia’s state media watchdog has launched a tool to scrape the internet for banned content, the Vedomosti business daily reported Monday as the country presses onward with its wartime censorship efforts. The web crawler, dubbed Oculus, can detect videos and images of protesters, “positive depictions” of LGBTQ+ culture and memes criticizing President Vladimir Putin, according to…

Russia’s Dozhd TV Receives Dutch Broadcast License After Latvia Row

Dutch authorities have granted a broadcasting license to exiled Russian news channel Dozhd following Latvia’s decision to revoke its permit over disputed coverage of the Ukraine war. A short statement on the Dutch Media Authority’s website published Dec. 22 said it “grants permission to TVR Studios B.V. as a commercial media institution.” The license allows the Dutch-registered limited…

St. Petersburg Politician Charged Over Bucha Massacre Claims

A member of St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly, Boris Vishnevsky, has been charged with “discrediting the Russian army,” the local newspaper Zaks.ru reported Monday.  Prosecutors charged prominent opposition deputy Boris Vishnevsky and former deputy Maxim Reznik with spreading “material about the city of Bucha” and information on the “large number of civilians killed,” the court told…

‘Putsch Into Nowhere’: Russian Officials Slam Brazil Riots, Back Lula

Supporters of Brazil’s right-wing ex-president Jair Bolsonaro stormed government buildings in Brasilia on Sunday, one week after the inauguration of leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Russian officials offered support for Lula, who now presides over the country that like Russia is a member of the club of BRICS emerging economies: — Konstantin Kosachev, chairman…

Russia’s Ruling Party Uses AI to Purge Anti-War Voters – Reports

Russia’s ruling party is purging its ranks of opponents to the war in Ukraine with AI and algorithms that track voters’ social media activity, the Vedomosti business daily reported Monday, citing unnamed sources within the pro-Kremlin party. The tools scour two popular Russian social networks, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, for “politically significant actions” that include likes and…

Russian Defense Chief Says Military Factories Working ‘Around the Clock’

Factories in Russia producing military equipment are working nonstop and have withdrawn New Year holidays from employees, the head of state defense military conglomerate Rostec Sergei Chemezov said Monday.  “Rostec’s factories involved in fulfilling state contracts are working almost around the clock and their staff are showing self-sacrifice and understanding in relation to the increased…

Putin Visits Russian Troops, Claims ‘Moral Rightness’ in New Year Address

Updates with Zelensky’s comments and color from Moscow and recasts throughout. MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin said in his televized New Year’s address Saturday that “moral, historical rightness” is on Russia’s side as his country faces international condemnation for its offensive in Ukraine. Putin delivered his traditional midnight address standing among soldiers who had apparently…

Russia Defense Minister Shoigu Says Victory ‘Inevitable’ in New Year Message

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Saturday that Russia’s victory in Ukraine is “inevitable” in a New Year’s message to servicemen, as Moscow’s military campaign grinds through its 11th month. “In the coming year, I want to wish everyone good health, fortitude, reliable and devoted comrades… Our victory, like the New Year, is inevitable,” Shoigu said…

Russian Football Union Votes to Remain in UEFA Despite Ongoing Ban

The Russian Football Union reaffirmed its desire to see Russian teams return to international competition on Friday following its decision not to leave UEFA and seek membership with Asia’s football confederation instead. European football’s governing body, UEFA, banned Moscow from competition after President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February. However, despite Russia’s mooted abandonment of UEFA,…

Putin Expects Trade With China to Reach $200Bln ‘Ahead of Schedule’

Russian-Chinese trade turnover will reach $200 billion “ahead of schedule,” President Vladimir Putin said during a videoconference with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Friday as Moscow’s isolation from the West over its invasion of Ukraine continues to grow. “Despite the unfavorable external environment, illegitimate restrictions, and direct blackmail by some Western countries, Russia and China…

Putin Waives Peacetime Requirement for Officials to Release Tax Returns

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Thursday lifting the requirement for government officials to disclose their income tax returns for the duration of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. “Information on income, spending, assets and property-related obligations is not to be published on official government websites or provided to Russian media for publication during…

Armenia Lashes Out at ‘Bystander’ Russia Over Karabakh Blockade

Armenia on Thursday accused Russian peacekeepers of failing to protect ethnic Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and called for a multinational peacekeeping force to step in. “The behaviour of Russian peacekeepers is unacceptable to us. They have become silent bystanders [in Karabakh],” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said. Moscow has rebuffed the criticism. Russia deployed peacekeepers…