U.S. Senator Told Russian Prank Callers He’s ‘Sympathetic’ to Turkey in Kurdish Row

A pair of notorious Russian pranksters duped U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham into telling them this summer that he supported Turkey’s stance against Kurdish separatists in marked contrast to his public statements, according to audio of their phone talks published Friday. Turkey launched a military operation Wednesday against Kurdish fighters in Syria as U.S. Republicans condemned President…

What Ukraine’s Zelenskiy Said About Russia During His Marathon Press Conference

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday held a marathon 14-hour press conference with journalists in a Kiev food court.  During the event, which reportedly set a record for the world’s longest press conference, Zelenskiy answered more than 500 questions about topics ranging from the Trump-Zelenskiy phone call to his relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.…

Giuliani Associates Charged With Illegally Funneling Russian Money to Pro-Trump Group

Two foreign-born Florida businessmen who have helped President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigate political rival Joe Biden were arrested in a scheme to illegally funnel money to a pro-Trump election committee and other U.S. political candidates, prosecutors said on Thursday. The arrest of Ukraine-born Lev Parnas and Belarus-born Igor Fruman at an airport…

Kremlin Critic Navalny Debates Populism, Greta Thunberg and Russia’s Future at Nemtsov Forum

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny took part in a debate outside Russia for the first time at the annual Boris Nemtsov Forum in Poland on Wednesday. The forum, named after the Russian opposition politician who was murdered in 2015, aims to facilitate discussions between Russia and the West. Curated by Nemtsov’s daughter, journalist Zhanna Nemtsova,…

Kremlin Critic Navalny Accuses Putin of Foreign Funding ‘Setup’

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has accused President Vladimir Putin of framing his anti-corruption group as a “foreign agent” after Navalny urged people to strategically vote against pro-Putin candidates in elections last month. The Justice Ministry on Wednesday blacklisted Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) under a 2012 “foreign agent” law that imposes crippling auditing and reporting…

Russia’s Gazprom Ranks 3rd Among World’s Top Carbon Emitters – Study

Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom is the world’s third-largest producer of carbon emissions, The Guardian reported Wednesday, citing a new scientific analysis. The analysis from the U.S.-based Climate Accountability Institute ranked the top 20 carbon-emitting companies worldwide to examine their role in the current climate crisis. Since 1965, these 20 companies have contributed to 35%…

Radiation Spike Recorded on Berlin-Moscow Train

A radiation spike thought to be caused by a cancer patient has been recorded onboard a passenger train that arrived in Moscow from Berlin on Tuesday, Russian media outlets have reported.  Russian news channels published footage of police, firemen and radioactive waste decontamination teams inspecting the train upon its arrival. No passengers were reportedly onboard…

Russia Blacklists Opposition Leader Navalny’s Foundation as ‘Foreign Agent’

Russia’s Justice Ministry has on Wednesday blacklisted opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) as a “foreign agent.” Russia’s 2012 “foreign agent” law requires labeled organizations to report their activities and face financial audits. Activists have denounced the law, saying it seeks to silence groups critical of the Kremlin’s human rights record. The Justice Ministry…

Secret Russian Military Intelligence Unit Linked to ‘Campaign to Destabilize Europe’ – NYT

A top-secret Russian military intelligence unit has been engaged in a campaign to destabilize Europe, The New York Times has reported, citing intelligence officials in four Western countries that only recently discovered the unit’s activities. GRU Unit 29155 reportedly oversaw a campaign to destabilize Moldova, an arms smuggler’s assassination attempt in Bulgaria, a thwarted coup…

World Bank Cuts Russian Growth Forecast

The World Bank has become the latest organization to cut its outlook for the Russian economy, predicting growth of just 1% in 2019. A host of domestic and international factors are holding back the economy, the organization said in its new forecast published today. The bank had previously predicted growth of 1.2% in 2019. “The…

‘If They Send Us Back to China We Will Die’: Uighur Brothers Fight Deportation From Russia

KAZAN — At first sight, Shahrizat and Shahdiyar Shavkat, 23-year-old twin brothers from China, look like regular students. They spend their days listening to music, playing sports and hanging out with friends in Kazan, Russia’s sixth-largest city and the capital of the majority-Muslim republic of Tatarstan. Only a “Free the Uighurs” screensaver on one of their…

Russia and China to Sign Agreement on Combating Illegal Online Content

Russia and China will sign a cooperation treaty aimed at combating illegal content on the internet this month, Russia‘s state communications watchdog said on Tuesday, an example of deepening cooperation between the powers. Critics have accused Russia‘s authorities of trying to implement Chinese-style curbs on the internet. Cooperation in this area between the two regulators could alarm proponents…

Millions of Beeline Clients’ Data Leaked – Kommersant

Personal data relating to the Russian mobile operator Beeline’s 2016 database of 8.7 million clients has been leaked, the Kommersant business daily reported citing banking security department sources. Kommersant checked the database, which list Beeline’s internet clients, and found that it includes full names, addresses and phone numbers. Beeline’s press office told Kommersant the leak…

Russian Lawyers Demand Case Against Colleagues Accused of Insulting FSB Officer Is Dropped

Almost 300 lawyers have signed an open letter demanding that Russian authorities stop prosecuting two of their colleagues for allegedly insulting an FSB investigator, the Bumaga news website reported Sunday. St. Petersburg lawyers Andrei and Mikhail Zlomnov are accused of insulting Dmitry Sablin while they were defending their relative Pavel Zlomnov against charges of arms…

Putin Celebrates His Birthday

President Vladimir Putin turns 67 today. The Kremlin announced that Putin would be spending his birthday outdoors with family and friends, and released a series of pictures of the president hiking in the Siberian taiga over the weekend. Today also marks the 13th anniversary of the murder of Russian investigative journalist and fierce Putin critic…