Putin and Ukraine’s Zelenskiy Discuss Ending Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy held their first telephone conversation on Thursday and discussed settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the return of prisoners, the Kremlin said. Zelenskiy, a former comic actor with no previous political experience, won Ukraine’s presidential election in April and he has declared the settlement of…

‘We Want to Change the Course of History,’ Northern Sea Route Operator Says

The building of the Lider nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet could radically alter international shipping and trade routes, Alexei Likhachev, general director of the Rosatom nuclear power company, has said in an interview with Reuters. With the 120-megawatt icebreakers, the most powerful Arctic vessels ever built by far, Russia will be able to open up major shipping lanes…

5 Moscow Police Officials Fired Over Investigative Journalist’s Arrest

Five officials in Moscow’s police department have been dismissed over last month’s arrest and subsequent release of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, a letter by the head of Moscow’s Interior Ministry said. Police detained Golunov, an anti-corruption reporter for the Meduza news website, last month on drug trafficking charges, which his supporters said were fabricated as…

Obama Didn’t Keep His Promises, Putin Says

Former U.S. President Barack Obama did not keep his promises made while he was in office, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said in an interview with American filmmaker Oliver Stone. The interview appears in a Ukrainian-American director’s documentary scheduled to premiere on Russian state television next week. “You know, Obama is no longer president, but…

Russia Negotiated $65M Payment to Help Italian Far-Right in Elections – BuzzFeed

Russian operatives sought to funnel $65 million into the European election campaign of a far-right Italian politician they described as the “European Trump,” BuzzFeed News has reported, citing leaked recordings of negotiations. Italy’s media have repeatedly suggested that the League, the country’s most popular party, has received financial backing from Moscow. Party leader Matteo Salvini,…

Moscow Ranks 3rd Worldwide for Free Wi-Fi

Russia’s capital ranks third among major cities worldwide for its availability of free public Wi-Fi hotspots, according to a recent report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Moscow surpassed New York, Tokyo and London in the ranking, published ahead of the Moscow Urban Forum. The Russian capital fell behind South Korea’s tech-savvy capital of Seoul in second…

Putin Aide’s Assistant Sent Classified Info Abroad Before Treason Arrest – Reports

A Russian presidential aide’s assistant who was arrested last week allegedly passed sensitive details abroad from security meetings chaired by President Vladimir Putin, the Znak.com news website has reported. Alexander Vorobyov, an assistant to Nikolai Tsukanov, Putin’s envoy to the Urals Federal District, was detained on charges of state treason on Thursday. Tsukanov is listed…

3 Journalists Detained Outside Putin’s Residence

Three Russian opposition media journalists have been detained outside Russian President Vladimir Putin’s residence west of Moscow, the MBKh Media news website reported on Monday. Putin moved into his Novo-Ogaryovo residence in Usovo, a settlement on the Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Highway, during his first presidential term in the early 2000s. MBKh Media said the Federal Guard Service…

Russia Approves ‘Shortest’ Europe-China Highway – Reports

The Russian government has approved construction plans for a toll highway that will dramatically cut cargo shipping times between Europe and China, the Vedomosti business daily reported. Russia is pursuing an ambitious infrastructure plan in President Vladimir Putin’s current presidential term, including developing its portion of the strategic China-Western Europe transport corridor. Russia has reportedly…

5 Russian Security Officers Arrested for Robbery

Five Russian security service officers have been arrested and two placed under house arrest by a military court in Moscow on charges of robbery, Interfax reported on Friday. Previous conflicting reports had said six unnamed Federal Security Service (FSB) officers had been detained on suspicion of either embezzlement or robbery on Thursday.  After initially reporting…

Putin’s Approval Rating Steadily Increases to 68%, Survey Says

President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has grown in recent months but remains at pre-Crimean annexation lows, an independent Levada Center polling agency survey said on Friday. Putin’s approval ratings have hovered in the mid-to-low 60s since he enacted unpopular reforms gradually increasing Russians’ retirement ages last summer. Putin’s job approval has climbed to 68 percent…