Russian Military Calls for Accordion, Balalaika Donations

Authorities in St. Petersburg said the Russian military has opened collection points for musical instruments for Russian soldiers in Ukraine to boost morale. “The Russian Defense Ministry has organized the collection and transfer of musical instruments to the mobilized [and] military personnel performing special tasks who have no professional musical education,” reads a message posted…

Moscow Buses Take Down Army Recruitment Ads Targeting Central Asian Nationals

Moscow transportation authorities have removed city bus ads recruiting Central Asian nationals into the Russian military with promises of expedited citizenship, media reported Sunday. Photos showing an Uzbek-language recruitment message on board a Moscow bus went viral last week. “If you join the Russian Armed Forces under contract, you can easily obtain Russian citizenship in…

Ukraine’s Odesa Without Power After Russian Drone Attack

The southern Ukrainian city of Odesa was left without power Saturday following a night-time attack by “kamikaze drones” launched by Russia, authorities said.  “As of now, the city is without electricity,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, said on messaging app Telegram. Only critical infrastructure including hospitals and maternity wards had access…

Russian Social Network VKontakte Adds Warnings to all LGBT Content

Russia’s largest social network VKontakte has started labeling LGBT-themed pages on its site with warnings that they may violate draconian legislation signed into law this week banning the depiction of non-heterosexual relationships and identities. “There may be controversial material in this community,” a warning label displayed to potential visitors reads before allowing users the option…

Crimea at Risk of Ukrainian Attacks, Kremlin Says

Russian-annexed Crimea remains at risk of Ukrainian attacks, the Kremlin said Thursday after Russian-aligned authorities claimed to have shot down a drone over the Black Sea peninsula. The Crimean affiliate of the U.S. news organization RFE/RL reported hearing powerful explosions in the port of Sevastopol, which is home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Sevastopol’s Kremlin-aligned Governor…

Russia Presidential Rights Body Urged ‘Not to Upset’ Putin With War Questions – Reports

The Kremlin has urged members of the presidential Human Rights Council “not to upset” Russian leader Vladimir Putin with thorny questions about the war in Ukraine when they meet Wednesday, independent media reported, citing unnamed sources close to the council. According to the investigative news website Vyorstka, HRC chairman Valery Fadeyev cleared the topics to…

BBC Names Russian Pop Star, Jailed Anti-War Artist, Journalist to Influential Women List

The BBC has named Russian pop diva Alla Pugacheva, jailed anti-war activist Alexandra Skochilenko and prominent journalist Taisia Bekbulatova on its list of the year’s most influential women. The Russian entries in the 2022 edition of the annual 100 Women list of inspiring and influential women highlight the “female faces of conflict and resistance in Ukraine…

Latvian Decision to Revoke Russian TV Station’s License Sparks Fear, Disbelief

Latvia’s decision Tuesday to withdraw the broadcast license of independent Russian television channel Dozhd caused disbelief and anger among the media outlet’s journalists and soul-searching among other Russian journalists in exile. The Baltic country’s media watchdog said in a statement announcing the revocation that Dozhd posed “threats to national security and social order” following a…

Latvia Revokes Exiled Russian Station’s License Over War Coverage Violations

Latvia said Tuesday that it is revoking the independent Russian television channel Dozhd’s broadcasting license, citing “threats to national security and social order” following a series of infringements related to the channel’s coverage of the war in Ukraine. “Dozhd TV will disappear from the airwaves on Thursday, Dec. 8,” tweeted Ivars Abolins, chairman of Latvia’s…

Ukraine Races to Restore Power Grid Post-Russia Strikes as Winter Comes

Ukraine worked to restore power on Tuesday after Russia’s latest wave of missile strikes caused power disruptions across the country, right as winter frost builds and temperatures plunge. Out of the 70 missiles launched by Moscow, “most” were shot down, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, but the barrage still hit Ukraine’s already battered infrastructure.  Fresh power…

Kremlin Critic Faces 9-Year Jail Term for Spreading ‘Fake News’ About Bucha

A Russian prosecutor on Monday requested a nine-year prison sentence for Kremlin critic Ilya Yashin for denouncing Vladimir Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine. According to the prosecution, Yashin, a 39-year-old former Moscow city deputy, was guilty of claiming that the occupying Russian military had been responsible for the massacre of civilians in the Kyiv suburb…

Putin Signs Expanded ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law expanding the existing ban on so-called “LGBT propaganda” toward the entire population, not just minors, on Monday. People of all ages are now banned from accessing certain content under the new legislation. From now on, LGBT relationships and “lifestyles” cannot be displayed or mentioned, according to activists. The…