Russia Could Ground International Flights Under New Proposal

New rules could grant Russian authorities the power to ground international flights if Russian airlines fail to provide personal information about passengers or if they pose a “security threat.” Unnamed sources within Russia’s aviation industry told the Kommersant business daily that the Federal Security Service (FSB) has been seeking to tighten regulations governing international flights…

Hard Man Putin May Be Showing Softer Side to Russia’s Neighbors

The stage was prepared last week for Russian President Vladimir Putin to hammer tiny Georgia with new economic sanctions after parliament called on him to punish anti-Kremlin protests. Instead, Putin refused “because I respect the Georgians.” The uncharacteristic reaction left some wondering if the Kremlin is beginning to rethink its traditionally tough approach to neighboring states by…

Moscow Officials Sued For Allowing Gay Couple to Adopt

Russia’s Investigative Committee has accused social welfare officials in Moscow of criminal negligence for allowing a gay couple to raise children they adopted nearly a decade ago. Russia banned gay adoption, along with “homosexual propaganda among minorities,” in 2013. The Investigative Committee said this week that it has opened a criminal negligence case against officials in…

Ukraine Announces Fast-Track Passports After Putin’s Russian Citizenship Offer

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has ordered an overhaul of the process for granting Ukrainian citizenship, in response to a Russian decree expanding the number of Ukrainians who can apply for fast-track Russian passports. Zelenskiy’s office said early on Thursday, just a few hours after the Kremlin published Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order, that the foreign…

Chinese and Russian Cyber Watchdogs Meet in Moscow

A delegation from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which oversees national cyber policy, met officials at Russia’s state communications watchdog in Moscow on Wednesday, the Russian regulator said. Critics have accused Russia’s authorities of trying to implement creeping China-style Internet curbs. Cooperation in this area between the two regulators could alarm Russian proponents of Internet freedom. The presence of the Chinese delegation in Moscow has not previously…

Kremlin Opens Door to Changing Constitution as Succession Looms

The Kremlin raised the possibility of changing Russia’s constitution after a top lawmaker proposed bolstering parliament’s powers, in a move that could help to extend President Vladimir Putin’s rule. The idea of constitutional amendments, including allowing parliament a say in forming the government, received “a widespread response” and are “a matter for discussion,” Putin’s spokesman,…

Two Russian Boxers Competed While Serving Bans for Doping

Two Russian boxers serving doping suspensions have competed while banned, highlighting inconsistencies in Russia’s efforts to reform its anti-doping practices. Competition records show that Russian amateur boxers Islam Dashaev and Alyona Tokarchuk fought in official tournaments last year despite bans announced by Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, which is forbidden under international anti-doping rules. These lapses…

Hackers Hit Bulgaria Sending Data From Russian Email

Hackers stole thousands of Bulgarians’ personal financial data and distributed it from a Russian-based email in an attack possibly related to the purchase of new F-16 fighter jets from the United States, the government said on Tuesday. The hackers accessed the National Revenue Agency’s (NRA) systems on Monday before sending local media confidential information purportedly…

Russia Eyes Own Arctic Cruise Liners

“The expedition cruises, including the Arctic, will become a trend. And we have already seen that this segment shows growth, faster than the rest of the cruise market, the tickets are commonly sold out six months ahead of the cruise departures,” Alexei Rakhmanov, president of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, Russia’s largest state-own shipbuilding company, said. Rakhmanov…

Putin Seeks to Lock in Parliament Control

With public support for President Vladimir Putin wilting, the Kremlin is considering changing election rules in an effort to secure its lock on parliament ahead of potentially vital decisions that could extend his rule. Putin faces the end of what under the constitution must be his final presidential term in 2024. Though he’s given no…