Putin Allows Dual Citizens to Be Drafted 

President Vladimir Putin issued a decree Monday allowing Russians who hold another citizenship to be conscripted into the army. The draft is now extended to dual citizens, Russians with permanent residency status abroad and stateless people, according to Putin’s amendments to military service regulations. Dual nationals have been exempt from conscription until now. The changes…

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Wagner Group Founder Steps Up Feud With St. Petersburg Governor

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Kremlin-linked businessman and founder of the notorious Wagner Group, a shadowy mercenary organization, has upped the ante in his long-running spat with St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov by requesting the Russian authorities investigate the politician for high treason. The Wagner founder has made formal requests to both the Federal Security Service (FSB)…

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Can Protest Art Exist in Russia?

Three young women wearing the capes of superheroes, their bodies painted in the colors of the state flags of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, make love on a white canvas that symbolizes the canvas of history. This video performance “NO” and another work were shown in August at the Climate Cultures Festival in Berlin. The performance…

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Putin Submits Bill to Denaturalize Anti-War Russians

President Vladimir Putin has put forward legislation that would allow authorities to revoke the passports of naturalized Russian citizens who oppose the invasion of Ukraine, state media reported Sunday. Putin proposed amendments to Russia’s law on citizenship that would make “discrediting” and spreading “fake news” about the Russian military grounds for denaturalization, according to the RIA…

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Russia to Publicize ‘Foreign Agents’ Personal Data

Russian authorities will start publicizing the personal data of people and groups they have labeled “foreign agents” from next month, according to a government decree published Friday. Russia’s Justice Ministry maintains a registry of nearly 200 “foreign agent” individuals and organizations that authorities say have received foreign funding and engaged in political activities.  Starting Dec.…

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Russian Ushnoye: Soup or Stew?

Ushnoye is yet another mysterious Russian dish that culinary experts are still arguing about. We decided to be detectives and investigate it through the centuries of Russian cookery. The famous Russian lexicographer Vladimir Dahl defined it this way: “Ushnoye is a meat or actually any kind of broth, stew, or a hot dish made of…

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Team Navalny, Investigative Media Launch App to Dodge Russian Ban

Jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s team has joined four Russian and foreign investigative outlets in launching a smartphone app aimed at bypassing unprecedented restrictions on Russians’ access to independent media. Dubbed “Samizdat” in a nod to the bootleg handwritten publications that were circulated to circumvent Soviet censorship, the app features investigative reports from Team Navalny,…

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Russia Quietly Inspecting Soviet-Era Bomb Shelters Nationwide – Bloomberg

Russian authorities have quietly launched inspections, repairs and cleanups of bomb shelters nationwide that have laid dormant since the end of the Cold War, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the efforts. The unannounced campaign for state workers to check Soviet-era basement shelters in apartment buildings, schools and government offices alongside other protected…

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Kherson Museum Art Collection Looted Ahead of Russian Retreat

A collection of paintings from the Oleksii Shovkunenko Art Museum in the capital of the occupied Ukrainian region of Kherson have been removed and transferred to a museum in Russian-annexed Crimea, according to the museum authorities. The paintings, by renowned artists including Ivan Pokhitonov, Pyotr Sokolov, Leonid Chichkan and Mykhailo Andriienko-Nechytailo, were transported from Kherson…

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Russia Vows to Defend ‘Traditional Values’ Against ‘Gay Propaganda’

Russia on Wednesday vowed to defend its “traditional” values against threats from the United States and so-called “gay propaganda” in a document signed by President Vladimir Putin. The presidential decree, setting out official policy and entering force immediately, stresses the importance of “traditional values as the basis of Russian society.” It warns that Moscow must…

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Deputy Head of Russian-Occupied Kherson Region Dies in Car Crash

Updates with reaction and details.  Kirill Stremousov, the vocal deputy head of the Moscow-installed administration in the occupied Kherson region of Ukraine was killed Wednesday in an apparent car accident, according to local officials.   Stremousov, known for his strongly anti-Ukrainian rhetoric, died near the town of Henichesk, Russian pro-war blogger Semyon Pegov wrote on Telegram.…

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‘Propaganda Show’: Russia Struggles to Integrate Annexed Ukrainian Regions

Russia has made little progress in absorbing four partially occupied areas of eastern and southern Ukraine that it annexed with great fanfare in September, analysts told The Moscow Times, as intensifying military activity and political challenges hinder integration. Aligning economies and political administrations has been stymied by local resistance, including assassination attempts on Russian-appointed officials. …

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Uzbek Officials Press EU to Lift Sanctions on Putin Ally Usmanov – FT

Uzbek officials have been using meetings with the European Union to lobby for the lifting of sanctions on Russian-Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov and his sister Gulbakhor Ismailova, the Financial Times reported Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the talks.  The Central Asian country has also signaled readiness to assist the tycoon in his legal action against the…

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Russian Audiences Held ‘Hostage’ By Mock Ukrainian Soldiers in Pro-War Play

Theatergoers south of Moscow were held “hostage” and shot at by actors playing Ukrainian soldiers during an immersive play that glorifies Russia’s invasion of its neighbor, local media reported Tuesday. Opening scenes from the production titled “Polite People” showed actors dressed in Ukrainian military uniforms violently capturing audience members and shooting them with what appeared to…

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Wagner Mercenary Group Hosts Pro-War Lectures for Schoolchildren

The Russian mercenary organization Wagner Group hosted a series of pro-war lectures for schoolchildren in its newly opened headquarters in St. Petersburg, Telegram news channel SOTA reported on Tuesday.  A SOTA video of the event shows a group of bored-looking school children listening to various speeches justifying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including some delivered via…

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German Authorities Seize $5M Art Collection From Oligarch’s Superyacht

German police have confiscated 30 paintings owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported Monday.  The collection, whose value is estimated at 5 million euros ($4.9 million), includes works by renowned artists including Marc Chagall. The works had been displayed on Usmanov’s $600 million superyacht, Dilbar, until 2021, when they were…

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Kremlin Proxies Say Electricity Restored in Ukraine’s Kherson

Kremlin-installed authorities in Ukraine’s southern region of Kherson said Tuesday that power had been fully restored to its main city, after blaming Kyiv for attacks that disrupted water and electricity supplies. Kherson city was the first urban hub to be captured by Russia after Moscow announced its “special military operation” in February and it has suffered outages…

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Russian Army Endorses Return of Soviet-Era School Military Training – Reports

Russia’s Defense Ministry supports reinstating Soviet-era basic military training in high schools, pro-Kremlin media reported Tuesday, citing correspondence between lawmakers and army officers. Russia retired the so-called “initial military training” program — which taught teens to respond to a nuclear or chemical attack, provide first aid and handle firearms — in 1993. Several attempts to revive…

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Russia, U.S. Eye Nuclear Arms Reduction Talks in Coming Weeks – Kommersant

Russia and the United States are discussing resuming nuclear arms reduction negotiations in the coming weeks in the first face-to-face contact since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, the Kommersant business daily reported Tuesday, citing three unnamed sources. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) talks could take place in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, instead of their traditional…

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North Korea Dismisses as ‘Groundless’ U.S. Claims of Arms Supplies to Russia: State Media

North Korea said Tuesday that claims by the United States that Pyongyang is supplying artillery ammunition to Moscow for its war in Ukraine were groundless, state media KCNA reported.  The rebuke comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula after a spate of North Korean weapons tests last week — including an intercontinental ballistic missile…

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