Russian Ambulance Workers Stage Mass Walkout Against Mandatory Vaccination – Reports

Dozens of ambulance workers in Russia’s Far East have staged a mass walkout in opposition to coronavirus vaccine mandates, media reported this week. Residents of the town of Obluchye 6,000 kilometers east of Moscow risk being left without emergency care after all 15 ambulance workers submitted resignations in protest of the vaccine requirements. “They say they…

Dozens Arrested at Banned Moscow Nationalist March

Moscow police arrested dozens of nationalists planning to hold the annual far-right Russian March in the Russian capital, the police-monitoring website OVD-Info reported Thursday. The ultra-nationalist Russian March has been held every Nov. 4, the day of Russia’s National Unity Day state holiday, with and without the authorities’ permission since 2005. That year, President Vladimir…

Putin Vows to Back Lukashenko Against ‘Interference’

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday vowed to back Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko against foreign “interference,”  as the two signed a series of agreements on closer integration. Speaking during a televised video meeting with Lukashenko, Putin hailed the bilateral ties between Russia and Belarus and promised Moscow’s continued backing for the increasingly isolated Lukashenko. “We…

Russian Inflation Jumps to 8.1% 

Inflation in Russia climbed to its highest level in almost six years in October as the government and Central Bank struggle to rein in rapid price rises which threaten to undermine economic recovery. Inflation hit 8.1% last month, the Rosstat national statistics service said Wednesday — the fastest rate of price increases since February 2016,…

Russia Expels Second Foreign Reporter in 2 Months

Russia has expelled a second foreign correspondent in two months over past minor infractions, a move that his publication called unusual. The deportation of Tom Vennink, Dutch daily de Volkskrant’s Russia correspondent, follows BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford’s expulsion in August.  Russian authorities revoked Vennink’s residence permit on Monday and gave him three days to leave the…

Putin Calls for Boost to Drone Arsenal With AI

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday told his defense chiefs to work on further developing Russia’s arsenal of drones, especially through artificial intelligence. During a meeting with senior Defense Ministry officials, Putin said the military already had more than 2,000 drones at its disposal. “More work must be done on this… in particular through the use…

Jailed Russian Ex-Journalist Safronov Faces New Treason Charges – Lawyer

Prominent Russian ex-journalist Ivan Safronov faces new charges of treason, his former lawyer said Tuesday as reports indicated that authorities were wrapping up their investigation into his case. Though case materials are classified, investigators allege that NATO recruited Safronov in 2012 and that he passed secret information on Russia’s military activities in the Middle East…

Foreigners Cancel Trips to Russia Over Covid Pass Uncertainty

Foreign tourists are canceling trips to Russia in droves over confusion surrounding digital coronavirus passes after current nationwide restrictions are lifted, the Russian Association of Tour Operators (ATOR) said Tuesday. ATOR head Maya Lomidze said foreign visitors vaccinated with non-Russian jabs are not allowed to visit popular tourist destinations like museums and theaters in certain…

Russian Urban Exploration Blogger Gets Prison Sentence for Sharing State Secrets

A St. Petersburg blogger known for exploring abandoned urban and industrial sites has been sentenced to prison for spreading state secrets abroad. Investigators say Andrei Pyzh, 37, illegally obtained information relating to the design and technical features of classified facilities in the Moscow region from December 2018 until the time of his August 2020 detention. …

U.S., Allies Chastise Russia on Media Freedom

The United States and its allies on Thursday urged Russia to protect media freedom, condemning what they called a crackdown on independent outlets. In a joint statement, the United States and 17 other nations including France, Germany, and Britain said that Russia’s strenuous new requirements on media to label themselves as “foreign agents,” with fines…

Russia Unveils Its First Robot Dog Prototype

Russian engineers have developed the country’s first walking robot dog prototype, the Moscow State University (MSU) has announced. The team said it took two years to build the dog-like robot “from scratch.” A short video posted on the MSU engineering project Voltbro’s YouTube page showcased some of the machine’s capabilities, like walking at different speeds…

Permafrost: A Ticking Carbon Time Bomb

Sheltered by snow-spattered mountains, the Stordalen mire is a flat, marshy plateau, pockmarked with muddy puddles. A whiff of rotten eggs wafts through the fresh air.  Here in the Arctic in Sweden’s far north, about 10 kilometers east of the tiny town of Abisko, global warming is happening three times faster than in the rest…

Kremlin Says No Politics in Moldova Gas Talks

The Kremlin said Wednesday that talks with Moldova’s pro-European government on gas prices are “exclusively commercial” and denied any political pressure was involved. Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu was due to meet with the head of Russia’s state-controlled energy giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.  Spinu’s government has declared a state…

Ukraine Destroys Pro-Russian Artillery in Its First Use of Turkish Drones

Ukraine has destroyed the artillery of pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east in its first combat deployment of a Turkish drone, the Ukrainian military announced Tuesday. Footage published on the Ukrainian armed forces’ Facebook page showed the Bayraktar TB2k targeting and shooting a Soviet-era howitzer it identified as the pro-Russian forces’ D-30. The Ukrainian armed…