Will Putin Stay Or Will He Go? Bombshell Address and Shock Medvedev Resignation Offer Big Hint

For over an hour, President Vladimir Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation speech on Wednesday sounded just like those that had come before it.  As in previous years, Putin proposed measures for encouraging Russians to have more children, tackling poverty levels and stimulating economic growth.  And, not for the first time, Prime Minister Dmitry Medevev had trouble staying…

‘Technocratic Placeholder’? Putin Picks Little-Known Tax Chief as Russian PM

Mikhail Mishustin, President Vladimir Putin’s surprise choice to become Russia‘s prime minister, is a tax chief with almost no political profile who analysts say could be a “technocratic placeholder.” The Kremlin-dominated lower house of parliament, which rarely opposes Putin on important issues, is due to decide whether to approve Mishustin on Thursday. Mishustin, 53, has been…

Putin Puts Forward Little-Known Tax Chief as New Russian PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday formally put forward Mikhail Mishustin, the little-known head of Russia‘s Federal Tax Service, to be Russia‘s new prime minister, the Kremlin said. Putin submitted his candidacy to the Russian parliament for approval after Mishustin agreed to be put forward for the role, the Kremlin said. Russia‘s government resigned unexpectedly earlier on Wednesday…

6 Highlights From Putin’s State of the Nation Address

President Vladimir Putin turned an eye toward Russia’s domestic affairs in his annual state-of-the-nation speech Wednesday, outlining proposals for fixing the country’s political, economic and social problems. Addressing both houses of parliament, the Federal Assembly, at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall, Putin discussed Russia’s demographic crisis, the poverty level and Russia’s defense. In addition to…

Russian Auto Market Stalls

The Russian car market is braced for a turbulent year ahead, as a leading business association warns sales are likely to drop and more manufacturers could give up on Russia altogether. Sales of new cars dropped by 2.3% in 2019 to around 1.76 million units, and will fall by a further 2.1% in 2020, the…

Russian Journalists in Africa Were Killed in ‘Robbery,’ Investigators Say

Three Russian journalists investigating a secretive Kremlin-linked military group in the Central African Republic (CAR) were killed in a robbery attempt, a senior Russian investigator said in an interview with the Kommersant business daily Monday. Kirill Radchenko, Alexander Rastorguyev and Orkhan Dzhemal were shot and killed on July 30, 2018, while investigating the activities of…

Finnish Court Rejects Russian Businessman Rotenberg’s Suit Against Nordic Banks

Boris Rotenberg, a Russian businessman under U.S. sanctions over the Ukraine conflict due to his close ties with President Vladimir Putin, on Monday lost a discrimination lawsuit he filed in a Finnish court against four Nordic banks. “Helsinki District Court has rejected Boris Rotenberg’s complaint over the right to banking services and damages for discrimination,” the…

Breakaway Georgian Region’s Leader Resigns Amid Election Protests

The leader of Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia has resigned following days of protests contesting his victory in an election held last fall. After protesters stormed the government headquarters Thursday, Abkhazia’s lawmakers voted for President Raul Khadzhimba’s ouster and its supreme court reversed its earlier decision that upheld his re-election in September. Khadzhimba had led…

Russia’s Leading Human Rights Group Fined 21 Times for ‘Foreign Agent’ Violations

Since the late 1980s, Memorial has engaged in investigations of Soviet political repression. That work is becoming increasingly complicated. The organization has been repeatedly fined by Russian authorities for violations of the country’s so-called foreign agent law. The latest fine was issued on Dec. 9 as Memorial lost a case in Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court.…

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…