Moscow to Deploy Facial-Recognition Tech at Rallies

Authorities in Moscow have ordered 260 million rubles ($4 million) of facial-recognition technology for surveillance cameras to monitor protests and other mass gatherings, the Vedomosti business daily reported Friday. Moscow claims one of the world’s largest network of 160,000 surveillance cameras, some equipped with facial-recognition technology, with plans to boost the number to 200,000 this…

Kremlin Vows to Investigate Moscow Lawmaker Accused of Fraud Ahead of Elections

The Kremlin has agreed to probe a senior member of Moscow’s city legislature over two investigations into his dealings by opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption team, the Vedomosti business daily reported. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has claimed that municipal lawmaker Andrei Metelsky’s family owns a motorcycle dealership in Moscow and a hotel franchise in Austria…

Russian Woman Brings Grenade to FSB Building

Authorities have launched an inspection after an unnamed woman brought a grenade to the Federal Security Service (FSB) building in central Moscow, the Moskva news agency reported Thursday. The explosive device was reportedly seized from the 34-year-old Moscow region resident at the FSB’s reception hall late on Wednesday. “The woman explained that it was a…

Russians Blame Siberian Wildfires on Illegal Logging, Authorities’ Inaction – Poll

Most Russians believe that wildfires have swept across Siberia this summer because of illegal logging and the authorities’ negligence, according to a new poll published by the independent Levada Center pollster. Activists and environmentalists have decried the authorities’ slow response to the fires, which at their peak covered an area the size of Belgium and…

India’s Russian Arms Purchases Hit ‘Breakthrough’ $14.5Bln, Official Says

India has ordered a “breakthrough” $14.5 billion of Russian-made weapons since last year despite sanctions pressure from the United States, Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation (FSVTS) has said. India is the largest buyer of Russian military hardware, having signed a $5 billion deal for Russian S-400 surface to air missile systems last…

‘Stick, Then Carrot’: Why Are Moscow Protest Charges Being Dropped?

Russian media have dubbed Tuesday “Judgment Day” for the number of court decisions related to this summer’s wave of Moscow anti-government protests that took place.  A blogger was sentenced to five years behind bars over a tweet that seemingly threatened the families of security officers accused of violently detaining protesters. The court’s seemingly contradictory move…

Russia Moves to Legalize Epilepsy Drug After Mothers Accused of Drug Smuggling

Russia is planning to legalize a prescription drug used to treat epilepsy which almost landed two mothers in jail this summer after they had ordered the unregulated pharmaceutical online for their epileptic children.  The drug smuggling accusations against the two mothers have sparked calls to re-register the epilepsy drug that Russia’s health minister said had no demand…

Germany’s Deutsche Welle Snubs Russian Duma’s Foreign Meddling Panel

German media outlet Deutsche Welle has turned down an invitation to attend Russian lawmakers’ hearings on alleged foreign interference over this summer’s anti-government protests, saying its journalism standards make such meddling impossible. Weeks of demonstrations over elections for the Moscow city legislature have become the biggest sustained protest movement in Russia since 2011-2013. The Foreign…

Most Russians Don’t Believe ‘Western Meddling’ Is to Blame for Moscow Protests, Poll Says

A majority of Russians don’t believe in the authorities’ claim that Western powers are to blame for election protests in Moscow this summer, according to the independent Levada Center polling agency. Weeks of demonstrations over elections for the city legislature have turned into the biggest sustained protest movement in Russia since 2011-2013. Russia has accused the…

Tensions Are Flaring Between Georgia and Russia-Backed South Ossetia. Here’s What’s Happened

The international community has called for restraint as Georgia warned of a “serious confrontation” with the Russian-backed breakaway territory of South Ossetia last week. Only Moscow and a handful of other states have recognized the independence of South Ossetia after Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war over the region in August 2008. Russian troops…

98% of Moscow’s Shawarma Joints Are Unsanitary, Consumer Watchdog Says

Ninety-eight percent of Moscow’s popular shawarma restaurants do not comply with Russian food hygiene standards, according to the city consumer protection watchdog. Last year, a Federal Consumer Protection Service (Rospotrebnadzor) inspection uncovered foodborne bacterial pathogens in a majority of the 252 shawarma spots in Moscow.  This year, health violations were uncovered in 65 of 66…

Russia Rebuffs International Concern Over Environment on Northern Sea Route

The development of the Northern Sea Route appeared on the agenda in the Foreign Ministry’s latest weekly press conference after several foreign leaders reportedly commented on the environment in the region. Among them was French President Emmanuel Macron, who was called upon to protect Arctic nature in a meeting with business leaders. According to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Macron had…