‘Christ Is Risen, Life is for Thieves’: Russian Prisoners’ Easter Celebration Sparks Scandal

Leaked footage of Russian prisoners chanting criminal underworld slang during their Easter celebrations has sparked scandal in a prison system already under national scrutiny. Russia’s Federal Prison Service (FSIN) has been rocked by scandal in the past year as footage of guards violently beating inmates has leaked. Last fall, FSIN launched a probe into lax…

Russia Launches Its Most Powerful Telecom Satellite

Russia has launched a powerful European-made communications satellite for the state energy giant Gazprom from Kazakhstan. Gazprom’s space subsidiary, Gazprom Space Systems, runs Yamal satellites to broadcast to customers in Russia, western and central Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. France’s Thales Alenia Space company manufactures the satellites for Gazprom. The Yamal-601 satellite launched…

FSB Makes Arrests at Norwegian Border

Russian border guards have detained two individuals who allegedly tried to make it illegally across the border to Norway. The two people, both of them citizens of Iraq, were detained as they were making an attempt to cross into the neighboring country. Neither of the detainees had needed travel documents and both were caught in…

Russian Activists Fear Authorities Will Tear Down Their Camp As Landfill Clashes Reignite

Protesters rallying against plans to build a landfill in northern Russia for Moscow’s waste have said they expect the authorities to tear down their camp amid the latest escalations this week, Russian media reported. Residents of Arkhangelsk region have for months demonstrated against the controversial $162 million landfill designed to take in Moscow’s garbage. Moscow…

Drinking Up in Russia, Survey Says

More Russians drank alcohol so far this year than they did in 2018, a survey by the state-funded VTsIOM agency has said. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they had consumed alcohol between several times a week and less than once a month in 2019, the pollster said Thursday. Last year’s results said 57 percent of…

Moscow Blames EU and NATO for Latest Balkan Tensions

Rising tensions between the Balkan countries of Serbia and Kosovo are the result of the European Union and NATO “appeasing” Kosovo, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday accused Kosovo of provocation after its police detained more than two dozen people, including one Russian national, during an armed raid…

U.S. Believes Russia Is Conducting Low-Level Nuclear Tests, Official Says

The United States believes Russia may be conducting low-level nuclear testing in violation of a moratorium on such tests, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency said on Wednesday. “The United States believes that Russia probably is not adhering to its nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the ‘zero-yield’ standard,” Lieutenant General Robert P. Ashley said at…

Global Automakers Accuse Russian Courts of Graft

Major automakers are accusing courts in southern Russia of using consumer protection claims to scam them out of 200 million rubles ($3 million) in 2016-2018, the RBC news website reported Tuesday. Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes and Jaguar Land Rover filed a complaint with Russian authorities alleging that Krasnodar judges abuse the consumer protection system to seek…

BDSM-Style Graduation Video Divides Russians

A controversial high school celebration in which students dressed in revealing outfits has divided Russian society over questions of morality and freedom of expression. Police issued fines and a headmistress submitted her resignation in the Far East city of Vladivostok after video of the would-be graduates celebrating the last days of school in leather shorts,…

Chinese Officials Are Searching Russian Travelers’ Phones at Border, Consulate Warns

Russia has requested an official explanation from China over a reported new policy in which Russian citizens’ phones are randomly seized and searched by Chinese border guards. The Russian Consulate General in Guangzhou issued an advisory last week, warning that border guards at China’s Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport had begun to randomly select Russian travellers to…

Russia Demands Kosovo Release Detained Russian UN Worker

Russia‘s embassy in Serbia on Tuesday demanded that Kosovo immediately release a detained Russian national working at a United Nations mission in Kosovo, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported. The Russian national was detained in a Serb-populated municipality in Kosovo’s north during a police operation there, RIA said. “We demand the immediate release of the Russian and…