Italian Doctors Confirm Ex-Putin Aide’s Rare Disease as Poisoning Not Ruled Out

Italian doctors have confirmed the rare neurological disorder that debilitated President Vladimir Putin’s former senior aide as authorities continue to await in-depth test results to rule out poisoning, according to a family friend and Italian media.  Veteran reformer and former Kremlin climate envoy Anatoly Chubais, 67, was hospitalized with what he said was Guillain-Barré syndrome…

Putin Recognizes Border Guards as War Veterans

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law Thursday recognizing border guards who repel cross-border attacks from Ukraine as war veterans.  The legislation confers war veteran status to active and retired members of the security forces who “repel an armed invasion and provocations on the border and in territories adjacent to war areas in Ukraine since…

Russia Jails Crusading Ex-Cop for 5 Years

A Russian court on Tuesday sentenced an activist for police labor rights to five years in prison for extortion and distribution of pornography. Arrested in May 2020, former policeman Vladimir Vorontsov has been in detention for nearly three years. Vorontsov, who quit the Moscow police force in 2017 after 13 years, has denied any wrongdoing.…

U.S. Sanctions Putin ‘Girlfriend,’ More Oligarchs for ‘Complicity’ in Ukraine War

The United States blacklisted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s purported girlfriend and the tycoon owner of the second-largest estate in London on Tuesday in the latest round of sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine. Also hit with U.S. business bans were several other oligarchs believed to be close to Putin, four officials Russia has named to administer occupied…

Russia Brands Azov Regiment ‘Terrorists,’ Paving Way for Captured Fighters’ Imprisonment

Russia’s Supreme Court declared Ukraine’s Azov Regiment a “terrorist” organization Tuesday, paving the way for the unit’s captured fighters to be tried in Russian courts and potentially face lenghty prison terms.  Moscow has regularly decried the Azov battalion for its past extremist right-wing links, using it to justify its invasion of Ukraine that the Kremlin…

Ex-Yandex Head Takes EU to Court Over Sanctions

The former head of Russia’s top tech firm Yandex Tigran Khudaverdyan has challenged sanctions against him over the Ukraine war in a European Union court. Khudaverdyan filed a lawsuit on June 7 demanding the European Council lift its “discriminatory and disproportionate” sanctions against him. The lawsuit was first reported by TV channel RTVI on Monday…

Medvedev Questions Neighbors’ Sovereignty in ‘Hacked’ Post

A post claiming the ex-Soviet nations of Georgia and Kazakhstan were “artificial” creations appeared Monday evening on former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s social media account — but was quickly deleted.  Medvedev aide Oleg Osipov said Tuesday morning that Medvedev’s account on Russian social network VK had been hacked, news agency Interfax reported.  Since the start…

Russia Hits 39 U.K. Citizens With Travel Bans, Blacklists London-Based Arts Foundation

Russia has added 39 British nationals to its list of individuals banned from entering the country.  Among those included on the list are former U.K. prime minister David Cameron, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, and Foreign and Commonwealth Office communications director Helen Bower-Easton, as well as The Times columnist David Aaronovitch and The Economist deputy…

Russia Suspends Gas Supplies to Latvia

Russian energy giant Gazprom Saturday suspended gas supplies to Latvia following tensions between Moscow and the West over the conflict in Ukraine and sweeping European and U.S. sanctions against Russia.  The declaration came a day after Moscow and Kyiv accused each other of bombing a jail holding Ukrainian prisoners of war in Russian-held territory, with…

Kremlin Expresses Solidarity With China Over Taiwan

The Kremlin expressed “solidarity” on Friday with China’s stance on Taiwan after Chinese President Xi Jinping warned U.S. leader Joe Biden not to “play with fire” over the self-ruled island. “Certainly we are in solidarity,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “We respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and believe that no country in the…

Russia and Ukraine Trade Blame in Deadly POW Jail Strike

Russia and Ukraine accused one another over the shelling of a prison in separatist-held eastern Ukraine that killed at least 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war.   “Ukrainian security forces fired [U.S.-supplied long-range missile systems] HIMARS rockets at a pre-trial detention center near Olenivka tonight,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agencies. …

Russia’s Population Decline Hits Record Rate

Russia’s population shrank by a record average of 86,000 people a month between January and May, state statistics agency Rosstat has said.   The decline surpasses the previous record contraction of 57,000 people a month in 2002, when Russia’s population shrank to 145.3 million from nearly 146 million the previous year.  Russia’s population has fallen to…

8 Foreigners Dead in Moscow Hostel Fire

Eight foreigners have been killed and four injured in a fire at a Moscow hostel, news agencies reported early Friday. The flames broke out on the first floor of the building in southwestern Moscow due to likely equipment failure or a power grid emergency, the state-run TASS news agency cited an unnamed emergency services source…

Estonia Blocks Russian Student Visas

Estonia said Thursday it would block Russian nationals from obtaining temporary residence permits or visas to study in Estonia. “The continuation of sanctions against Russia is essential to ensuring relentless pressure on the country,” Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said in a statement. “If the sanctions help in stopping Russian aggression, a positive effect on our own security…

Deadly Russian Strikes Target Military Bases in Central Ukraine

Russian strikes on military facilities and residential buildings across war-scarred Ukraine Thursday left several dead in attacks President Volodymyr Zelensky described as “missile terrorism.” The deadliest attacks, which struck the central Kirovohrad region, came as the country was marking its first Day Of Ukraine Statehood that was announced by Zelensky earlier. Russia’s invasion has morphed…

Samsung Smartphones Disappear From Russian Stores

Samsung smartphones have disappeared from store shelves in some areas of Russia, media outlet RBC reported Thursday, as overall smartphone sales reached a decade low.  Customers in some major Russian cities are being asked to wait up to five days for deliveries, according to RBC.  Western electronics manufacturers Samsung and Apple suspended shipments to Russia…