Russia-Led Military Bloc Dispatched to Armenia After Azerbaijan Clashes

A military alliance of ex-Soviet republics led by Russia has been deployed to Armenia following deadly border clashes with Azerbaijan, the organization said early Wednesday. The shootout between the neighbors locked in a decades-old conflict erupted after midnight Tuesday, killing at least 49 Armenian and 50 Azerbaijani troops. Armenia appealed for Russia’s assistance under a…

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U.S. Says Russia Has Sent $300 Mln to Meddle in Elections

Russia has covertly sent at least $300 million to foreign political parties and candidates in more than two dozen countries since 2014 in bids to gain influence, a declassified U.S. intelligence assessment said Tuesday.  U.S. intelligence “assesses that these are minimum figures and that Russia likely has transferred additional funds covertly in cases that have gone undetected,” a…

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Scholz Demands ‘Complete’ Russian Withdrawal on Call with Putin

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull out his troops from Ukraine, as a counteroffensive by Kyiv’s forces made swift progress. Scholz in a 90-minute telephone call “urged” Putin to “come to a diplomatic solution as quickly as possible, based on a ceasefire, a complete withdrawal of Russian forces and respect…

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‘Difficult Moment for Russia’ as Fighting Flares Between Armenia and Azerbaijan

YEREVAN, Armenia — Russia said Tuesday it had negotiated a ceasefire between ex-Soviet Armenia and Azerbaijan after clashes between the historic rivals left at least 49 Armenian troops dead.  The Armenian Defense Ministry said the fighting started early Tuesday, with the Armenian cities of Goris, Sotk, and Jermuk coming under fire from Azerbaijani artillery, mortars…

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Losses Around Kharkiv Stymie Russia’s Offensive Capabilities, Analysts Say

Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive in the northeastern region of Kharkiv has severely reduced Russia’s military capabilities and means Moscow will be unable to achieve its current war aims, analysts said Tuesday.   “The overall situation for Russia is becoming increasingly difficult,” said Konrad Muzyka of Poland-based Rochan Consulting.  “It will be up to Ukraine to decide when,…

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Russia Hit With First Climate Lawsuit

Russian climate activists have filed the country’s first-ever lawsuit demanding stronger government action toward the climate crisis, The Guardian reported Tuesday. Russia, the world’s fourth-largest greenhouse gas emitter, is warming twice as fast as the planet as a whole — a trend that is already fueling major environmental disasters like wildfires, floods and permafrost melt.…

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Russia Says Negotiated Ceasefire in Deadly Armenia-Azerbaijan Border Clashes

Updated at 12:00 p.m. on Sept. 13 to add Russia’s ceasefire announcement. Russia said Tuesday it had negotiated a ceasefire between ex-Soviet Armenia and Azerbaijan, after fresh border clashes between the historic rivals left dozens dead. Armenia and Azerbaijan traded blame for exchanges of fire around the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region that began at about midnight…

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Ukraine Says Arrested Russian Teachers in Regained Areas

Moscow confirmed Tuesday the arrests of Russian teachers who had been deployed to northeastern Ukraine after Kyiv’s forces recaptured swathes of the region from Russia in a lightning counteroffensive. The confirmation by Russian investigative authorities came one day after Ukraine’s top government official announced the arrests of Russian teachers in the Kharkiv region.  Prime Minister Iryna…

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Pro-Kremlin Figures Voice Frustration After Ukraine Routs Moscow’s Forces

Russian pro-government figures have voiced concern and frustration over Kyiv’s weekend counteroffensive that saw its forces retake swathes of northeastern Ukraine, amid mounting domestic criticism of the Kremlin’s handling of its six-month invasion. Ukraine recaptured almost all of the Kharkiv region from Russian forces in a shock counteroffensive over the weekend, in what observers say…

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Pro-Kremlin Candidates Sweep Wartime Polls Amid Rigging Claims

Pro-Kremlin candidates swept the field in Russia’s local and regional elections over the weekend, the first since the country invaded Ukraine, according to preliminary results published Monday. Already overshadowed by the arrests or disqualification of opposition politicians as well as wartime censorship laws, Russia’s 2022 elections were further marred by claims of fraud over the…

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Russia’s Annexation Votes Shelved Amid Ukraine Counteroffensive – Reports

The Kremlin has put on hold referendums to annex territories claimed by Russian forces in Ukraine amid Kyiv’s shock counteroffensive in the northeast, the independent Meduza news website reported Sunday, citing unnamed sources close to the Kremlin. Kremlin-linked political strategists preparing the annexation votes had been reportedly called back to Russia from southern Ukraine’s partially…

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Russians Killed Two Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Staff, Abused Others – Ukraine

Russian forces controlling Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant have killed two staff at the facility and detained and abused dozens of others, the head of Ukraine’s nuclear energy agency told AFP on Friday.  The Zaporizhzhia plant — the largest in Europe — was captured by Russian troops in March. An uptick in fighting around it in recent weeks has raised fears of a nuclear disaster with both Moscow and Kyiv blaming the other for the escalation.  “A regime of harassment of personnel was gradually established,” following the Russian takeover, Petro Kotin said.  “Two people were beaten to death. We do not know where about…

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Good King… Who?

Макбет: Macbeth If you can believe it, I had been been working on a continuation of my serious, scholarly study of traditional Russian pet names — such an important, under-researched topic — when I got sidetracked by the extraordinary news that “По словам премьер-министра Лиз Трасс, 73-летний принц Уэльский Чарльз возьмет имя Карл III” (In…

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Sanctions ‘Failed’ to Undermine Russia’s Financial Stability – PM

Western sanctions for Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine have “failed” to undermine the “financial stability” of Russia, the country’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Thursday.  Western capitals pummeled Moscow with a barrage of sanctions after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine, but the Kremlin maintains that Russia has weathered the economic penalties.   “Unprecedented sanctions…

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UN: Evidence of Russia Taking Ukrainian Children

The United Nations cited “credible accusations” Wednesday that Moscow’s forces have forcibly taken Ukrainian children to Russia, while Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of benefitting from the eased grain blockade. Kyiv meanwhile said its forces had recaptured significant territory in a counter-offensive southeast of Kharkiv that experts say could threaten key Russian supply…

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Putin Slams ‘Sanctions Fever’ at Far East Forum

Updated with Putin comments.  Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed Western governments’ “sanctions fever,” defended the invasion of Ukraine and warned Europeans they could “freeze” without Russian energy exports at an economic forum in Russia’s Far East on Wednesday. “The [coronavirus] epidemic has been replaced by other global challenges that threaten the entire world,” Putin told…

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From Yandex to RT: Russia Expands Presence in Serbia Amid Ukraine War

BELGRADE, Serbia — The lavishly decorated main entrance of Serbia’s baroque-style parliament building was barely visible behind a sea of protest tents and a makeshift stage adorned with billboards.  One of the billboards featured the face of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov alongside the caption “the world’s greatest diplomat.” “We are the same people,” one…

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Bolstering Asia Ties, Putin Watches Military Drills With China

President Vladimir Putin attended large-scale military exercises on Tuesday involving China and several Russia-friendly countries as Moscow seeks to strengthen partnerships in Asia in the face of Western sanctions.  Russia has found itself increasingly isolated as tensions between Moscow and Western capitals soared since Russia sent troops into pro-Western Ukraine in February.  Slapped with unprecedented…

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Russia Sanctions 25 U.S. Citizens Including Actors Sean Penn, Ben Stiller

Russia barred 25 U.S. citizens from entering the country Monday, including actors Ben Stiller and Sean Penn, in its latest round of personal sanctions.  The Hollywood actors were included on a list published by the Russian Foreign Ministry alongside high-ranking business and political figures.  “The hostile actions of the American authorities, which continue to follow…

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