As it Happened: Navalny Returns to Russia

Chief Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny returned to Russia from Germany today and was immediately detained. The 44-year-old opposition leader flew back to Moscow after spending several months in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack that he said was carried out on the orders of President Vladimir Putin.  Follow the latest developments on the Navalny return…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Jan. 16

Russia has confirmed 3,544,623 cases of coronavirus and 65,058 deaths. Jan. 16: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 24,092 new coronavirus cases and 590 deaths. Russia’s Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona coronavirus vaccines are not available or in short supply in 42 of the country’s regions, a report from the Peterburgskaya Politica think tank suggests. Health care…

Russia Intends to Give Election Advice to U.S.

Russia’s top lawmaker said Thursday he is considering sending election advice to the United States following the storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump who dispute his loss. Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the lower house of parliament, was among numerous Russian politicians who called the U.S. electoral system “archaic” and…

Russian Tycoon Prigozhin Offers Tombstone for Journalists Killed in Central Africa

Russian tycoon Yevgeny Prigozhin has offered to erect a tombstone for three Russian journalists who were killed in the Central African Republic while investigating a secretive mercenary group linked to him. Kirill Radchenko, Alexander Rastorguyev and Orkhan Dzhemal were shot and killed on July 30, 2018, while investigating the activities of the Wagner private military…

Amnesty Seeks Probe Into Civilian Deaths in Karabakh Conflict

Amnesty International said Thursday Azerbaijan and Armenia must immediately probe the use of “inaccurate and indiscriminate weapons” in heavily populated civilian areas during the recent fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory. Azerbaijan and Armenia in November signed a Moscow-brokered peace deal ending six weeks of brutal war over the breakaway Karabakh region after Baku’s forces…

Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Jan. 14

Russia has confirmed 3,495,816 cases of coronavirus and 63,940 deaths. Jan. 14: What you need to know today Russia confirmed 24,763 new coronavirus cases and 570 deaths. Moscow has extended restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus until Jan. 21, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday. All Moscow schoolchildren will be able to return to in-person classes next Monday. …

Navalny Added to Russia’s Wanted List

Russia placed Alexei Navalny on its federal wanted list late last year, according to an official decree published on the Mash Telegram channel and confirmed by one of Navalny’s lawyers Wednesday. The news comes as the opposition leader prepares to return to Russia, despite numerous legal threats, after recovering in Germany from what Western scientists…

Moscow Mayor Orders Kids Back to School

All Moscow schoolchildren will return to in-person classes next Monday after coronavirus cases stabilized over the New Year holidays, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday. He said all other restrictions that were due to expire Friday — including self-isolation for those 65 and older and remote work for 30% of employees — have been extended for…

Putin Aide-Turned-Critic Probed for U.S. Election Conspiracy Blog

A libertarian U.S. think tank is investigating a former aide-turned-critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin for a blog post containing conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol, Politico reported Tuesday. Cato Institute fellow Andrei Illarionov claimed in a Russian-language LiveJournal entry Friday that rioters who stormed the legislative…

Moscow Clinic Could Sidestep Red Tape to Bring Pfizer Vaccine to Russia

A private Moscow clinic is in “direct negotiations” to bring the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to Russia before it receives official registration, a clinic representative told The Moscow Times on Tuesday, with first deliveries arriving as early as February. The Moscow branch of Israel’s Hadassah Clinic belongs to the Skolkovo medical network, which operates under a…

Russia Imprisons 3 Crimean Tatars for Extremism, Plotting to ‘Seize Power’

Russia has sentenced three Crimean Tatars to lengthy prison terms for plotting to seize power by force and for their membership in a banned Islamic group.   Crimean Tatars, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority, have largely opposed Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Russia has prosecuted hundreds of Crimean Tatars on terrorism charges, drawing criticism…

Russia Seeks to Jail Navalny

Russia’s prison authority has asked to replace Alexei Navalny’s suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case with a real prison term, the Kremlin critic said Tuesday, a signal that he could be imprisoned if he returns to Russia following his poisoning. Navalny, 44, is currently in rehabilitation in Germany following what European scientists called poisoning…

Russia Hands 4th Porn Charge to LGBT Activist Tsvetkova Over Vulva Drawings

Russian artist and LGBT activist Yulia Tsvetkova has been hit with pornography charges a fourth time over artwork aimed at ending stigmas around the female anatomy, the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Tuesday.  Tsvetkova, 27, was first charged with distributing pornography online in June 2020 after sharing artwork of vulvas on the “Vagina Monologues” social…

Resignation of Yakutsk’s First Female Mayor Raises Questions About Russia’s Ruling Party

Sardana Avksentiyeva was never a typical Russian mayor. In her two-and-a-half-year stint running Yakutsk, a remote, Far Eastern city of 300,000, the 48-year-old political independent rose to national prominence as her populist style, savvy social media use and unorthodox policy positions marked her out from the often uncharismatic technocrats who govern most Russian cities. However,…

Algeria, Palestine Greenlight Russia’s Coronavirus Vaccine

Algeria and the State of Palestine have approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund marketing the jab announced this week. Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) CEO Kirill Dmitriyev said that the countries are the first African and Middle Eastern nations to issue emergency-use authorization approvals.  Dmitriyev said deliveries to Palestine,…

Strong Earthquake Hits Mongolia-Russia Border

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck early Tuesday in northern Mongolia not far from the border with Russia, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said. The epicenter of the quake, which struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (six miles), was located 33 kilometers south-southwest of Turt, U.S. seismologists said. The epicenter appeared to be located…

Billionaire Georgia Party Leader Says Quitting Politics

The billionaire leader of Georgia’s ruling party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is widely seen as the Western-backed country’s most powerful man, announced Monday he was quitting politics. Ivanishvili made the announcement after his Georgian Dream party claimed a narrow victory in a tightly contested parliamentary election last year that sparked protests. “My mission has been accomplished,”…