Anti-Gay Russian Lawmaker Slams Gender-Inclusive Barbies as ‘Freak Dolls’

State Duma deputy and notorious anti-gay crusader Vitaly Milonov wants to ban gender-inclusive Barbie dolls from Russia, referring to them as “freak dolls.” Toy manufacturer Mattel unveiled a gender-inclusive line of its iconic Barbie dolls Wednesday, to allow children “to express themselves freely.” The dolls, which are designed without stereotypically male or female features, come…

In the Shadow of Strict Protest Laws, Young Russians Build a Climate Movement

At 15 years old, Margarita Naumenko is one of the youngest participants in Russia‘s Fridays for Future climate protest movement. Each week, she stands in downtown Moscow with other young activists chanting, brandishing posters and demanding the government take action on worsening climate change threats. Her parents support her decision to protest, Naumenko said, but they…

Russian Parliament Finds Broadcaster Deutsche Welle Broke Law

Russia‘s parliament will ask its Foreign Ministry to consider revoking broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s right to work in the country for allegedly breaking laws on political impartiality, a senior lawmaker said on Friday. Vasily Piskarev said a parliamentary investigation had found evidence that Germany’s publicly funded international broadcaster had urged Russians to attend an unauthorized protest this…

Kremlin Says It Doesn’t Want Trump-Putin Transcripts To Be Made Public

The Kremlin has said it hopes that discussions between President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump will remain secret following the scandal that erupted over Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s leader. Transcripts from Trump and Putin’s face-to-face meetings have not been made public, with reports saying Trump has gone to “extraordinary lengths” to conceal…

Whistleblower Alleges Trump Sought Foreign Meddling in 2020 Election

A whistleblower report released by a congressional panel on Thursday said President Donald Trump used his office to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election to advance his personal political interests, risking U.S. national security. The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee released a declassified version of the report made by the whistleblower, which…

Legalizing Polygamy Will ‘Guarantee’ Women’s Rights in Russia, Moscow’s Muslim Leader Says

Russia can overcome its gender-related issues by legalizing polygamy, the leader of Moscow’s Muslims has said.  Polygamy, the practice of taking more than one spouse, is frowned upon by an overwhelming majority of Russians. While polygamy is not permitted under Russian law, it remains commonplace in the country’s predominantly Muslim republics of the North Caucasus.…

For Ukraine’s Leader, Trump Memo On Their Call Is a Diplomatic Car Crash

For U.S. President Donald Trump, White House publication on Wednesday of a memo summarizing his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy fuelled a domestic political crisis. For Zelenskiy, it was a far-reaching diplomatic disaster. Zelenskiy’s comments to the Republican Trump, disclosed in the summary, will likely irk U.S. Democrats, risking the bipartisan U.S. support Kiev…

Seeking Favors, Trump Asked Ukraine President to Investigate Biden

President Donald Trump pressed Ukraine’s leader to investigate Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden, in coordination with the U.S. attorney general and Trump’s personal lawyer, according to a summary of a telephone call released by the Trump administration on Wednesday. The official account of the half-hour July call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy laid bare an astonishing…

Russia, U.S. Team Up Against Abortion at UN

Russia, the United States and 17 other members of the United Nations have banded together to try to purge abortion- and reproductive health-related language from the international body’s terminology. The UN adopted a universal health care declaration Monday which included “the need to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services and reproductive…

United Russia Officials Meddled in St. Petersburg Vote, Top Election Official Says

Top members of the ruling United Russia party in St. Petersburg meddled in the city’s municipal elections earlier this month, Central Election Commission Head Ella Pamfilova said Wednesday. Observers noted widespread violations during the Sept. 8 elections, including lengthy delays in the official count, intimidation and recounts. According to official results confirmed Tuesday, deputies from…

‘We Need to Restore Trust in Courts, Law Enforcement,’ Russian Minister Told Putin

Russian Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin told President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that it will be difficult to boost much-needed investment activity without first improving trust in the courts and Russia’s law enforcement agencies. Speaking at a meeting of Putin and other officials that was broadcast on state television, Oreshkin said it was “very important” to…

‘We Need to Restore Trust in Courts, Law Enforcement,’ Russian Minister Tells Putin

Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin told President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that Russia must restore trust in its courts and law enforcement agencies if the government is to have a chance of fulfilling the Kremlin’s ambitious economic plans. The unusually direct comments to Putin were broadcast on state television and come as the government is searching for ways…

Russian Spaceship With UAE Astronaut Blasts Off Into Space

A Russian Soyuz spaceship blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome towards the International Space Station on Wednesday carrying a crew of three, including the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, NASA television reported. Emirati astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori, Russian commander Oleg Skripochka, and flight engineer Jessica Meir of NASA were expected to dock with the space station about six…

UEFA Chooses St. Petersburg to Host 2021 Champions League Final

St. Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena will host the final of the 2021 UEFA Champions League, the European football governing body’s executive committee announced Tuesday evening. It will be Russia’s second time hosting a Champions League final. In 2008, Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium saw Manchester United beat Chelsea in a dramatic penalty shoot-out. The competition’s final is one of the…

Russian Protesters Don’t ‘Get Shot’ Like They Would In the U.S., Putin’s Spokesman Says

Protesters who were jailed over this summer’s mass election rallies in Moscow would have been shot dead if they had been protesting in the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has said in a leaked video. Dmitry Peskov’s conversation with students at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) appeared on social media in the wake…

Russia Tests Face, Voice Recognition Ahead of eSIM Integration – Izvestia

Russia is testing face- and voice-recognition technology to identify mobile device users as it moves toward approving eSIM technology which allows consumers to switch easily between carriers, the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper has reported. The Central Bank is overseeing a pilot project that uses personal biometric data to remotely open accounts despite concerns over state surveillance,…

The Trump-Ukraine Scandal, Explained

A phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy has become a political flashpoint in Washington following reports that Trump repeatedly pressed Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son. The July 25 call has wide-ranging implications for Russia’s western neighbor Ukraine, which depends heavily on U.S. aid…