Mindblown: a blog about philosophy.

  • U.S. Envoy to Russia Visited Detained Reporter Gershkovich

    U.S. Envoy to Russia Visited Detained Reporter Gershkovich

    U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy on Thursday visited Evan Gershkovich, the American Wall Street Journal reporter held in Moscow on espionage charges, the embassy said. The 32-year-old was detained on a reporting trip to the Urals city of Yekaterinburg in March 2023, and is currently being held in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison. “Evan remains…

  • Explainer: How an Activist’s Arrest Sparked Protests in Russia’s Bashkortostan

    Explainer: How an Activist’s Arrest Sparked Protests in Russia’s Bashkortostan

    This week, the republic of Bashkortostan became the epicenter of some of the largest street protests seen in Russia since the Kremlin invaded Ukraine nearly two years ago. Thousands of people gathered outside a court in the town of Baymak on Monday and Wednesday in support of prominent Bashkir activist Fayil Alsynov, who was sentenced to…

  • Putin, Unofficially Campaigning Through Work Events, Flouts Russian Election Law

    Putin, Unofficially Campaigning Through Work Events, Flouts Russian Election Law

    President Vladimir Putin is defying Russian election laws by unofficially campaigning during his work trips and meetings while enjoying preferential coverage on state television. In the five weeks since Putin announced that he will run for a fifth term in the upcoming presidential election, independent observers have noted violations in both his self-nomination as a…

  • Russia Jails Man 8 Years for Draft Office Arson Plot

    Russia Jails Man 8 Years for Draft Office Arson Plot

    A military court in Saint Petersburg sentenced a Russian man to eight years on terrorism and treason charges for plotting to burn down an army recruitment building in 2022. Russia saw a spate of attacks on draft offices in the fall of 2022 after President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial” mobilization drive, calling up some…

  • At Least 2.5K Scholars Left Russia Since Ukraine Invasion – Novaya Gazeta

    At Least 2.5K Scholars Left Russia Since Ukraine Invasion – Novaya Gazeta

    At least 2,500 scholars have left Russia since its forces invaded Ukraine nearly two years ago, the independent news outlet Novaya Gazeta Europe reported Thursday, citing data from global research databases.  Between 2022 and 2023, some 1,600 Russian scholars changed their employment status to a foreign institution, while 900 others either quit or deleted their…

  • Police Search Offices of Russian Retailer Wildberries After Warehouse Fire

    Police Search Offices of Russian Retailer Wildberries After Warehouse Fire

    Russia’s biggest online retailer Wildberries said Thursday that law enforcement officers were carrying out searches at its Moscow headquarters, just days after a fire destroyed its warehouse in St. Petersburg. On Saturday, a fire covering some 70,000 square meters ripped through a Wildberries warehouse on the south side of St. Petersburg, destroying an estimated 17 billion rubles…

  • Russia Says Captured Small Village in East Ukraine

    Russia Says Captured Small Village in East Ukraine

    Russia’s Defense Ministry said Thursday its forces had captured a small village in eastern Ukraine, as both sides struggle to make significant battlefield gains after two years of fighting. “In the Donetsk direction, as a result of successful actions of Southern Group troop units, the settlement of Vesele in the Donetsk People’s Republic was liberated,”…

  • Russia Seeks 5-Year Prison Term for Ex-Rebel Leader Girkin

    Russia Seeks 5-Year Prison Term for Ex-Rebel Leader Girkin

    Russian authorities are seeking to jail Russian army veteran and ex-security officer Igor Girkin for almost five years on extremism charges, his wife said Thursday. Public court records show that Girkin, 53, was charged with “public incitement of extremist activity,” which is punishable by up to five years in prison. “The prosecutor requested four years…

  • Perm City Lawmaker Flees Russia After Criticizing Putin, Ukraine Invasion

    Perm City Lawmaker Flees Russia After Criticizing Putin, Ukraine Invasion

    A city lawmaker in the Russian city of Perm has fled the country after being expelled from the Communist Party over an online post where he criticized the invasion of Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin, the politician told The Moscow Times on Thursday. Sergei Medvedev said he faced backlash from inside his party and from Russian pro-war…

  • Estonia Banishes Russian Orthodox Leader as ‘Security Risk’ – Police

    Estonia Banishes Russian Orthodox Leader as ‘Security Risk’ – Police

    Estonia said on Thursday it would not renew the residence permit of the head of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, saying the Russian national was “a security risk.” The decision means Metropolitan Eugene must leave before his current permit runs out on Feb. 6. “The Estonian state is not extending the residence…

  • Lavrov Says Offensive in Ukraine ‘Cleansed’ Russian Society

    Lavrov Says Offensive in Ukraine ‘Cleansed’ Russian Society

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that Moscow’s large-scale military intervention against Ukraine had “cleansed” Russian society, after thousands fled the country or were detained since fighting broke out. Since the Kremlin ordered troops into Ukraine in February 2022, officials in Moscow have repeatedly branded as “traitors” Russians who fled the country to escape…

  • Head of Russia’s Bashkortostan Blames ‘Separatists’ for Unrest

    Head of Russia’s Bashkortostan Blames ‘Separatists’ for Unrest

    The governor of Russia’s republic of Bashkortostan said Thursday that violence between protesters and police in his region the day before was provoked by separatists living abroad.  Authorities launched criminal cases into what they described as mass riots and violence against law enforcement officials after clashes erupted on Wednesday over the imprisonment of activist Fayil…

  • Russia Strikes Ukraine With Drones, Missiles in Overnight Attacks

    Russia Strikes Ukraine With Drones, Missiles in Overnight Attacks

    Kyiv said Thursday that Russian forces used nearly three dozen Iranian-designed drones to attack Ukraine overnight, while also firing guided missiles at the northeastern city of Kharkiv. The aerial attack is the latest overnight barrage by Russian forces and comes after Ukraine’s foreign minister said his country’s priority was to gain control of Ukrainian airspace.…

  • In First, Russia Downs Drone Over St. Petersburg

    In First, Russia Downs Drone Over St. Petersburg

    Updated to include Kommersant, Ukrainska Pravda reports. Russian air defense systems intercepted a drone in St. Petersburg overnight, the first such instance in the country’s second-largest city since the invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago, authorities said Thursday. Residents reported hearing loud bangs at around 1:00 a.m. local time over Vasilyevsky Island, not far from the…

  • Amnesty International Urges Europe to End North Caucasus Expulsions

    Amnesty International Urges Europe to End North Caucasus Expulsions

    European nations should stop sending refugees from the North Caucasus back to Russia as they risk being tortured or being forced to fight in Ukraine, the human rights organization Amnesty International said on Thursday. The call comes as France pushes to expel more people from the North Caucasus, the home region of radical Islamists who…

  • Russia Says Targeted French Mercenaries in Ukraine Strike

    Russia Says Targeted French Mercenaries in Ukraine Strike

    Russia said Wednesday it had targeted a group of French fighters in a long-range strike on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, an attack authorities said injured several civilians. Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city lying close to the Russian border, has been under persistent shelling since Russia launched large-scale hostilities in Ukraine in February 2022. “On…

  • Gay Chechen Man Flees Russia After Months of Police Abuse – Rights Group

    Gay Chechen Man Flees Russia After Months of Police Abuse – Rights Group

    A gay Chechen man has fled Russia after spending months in police custody, where he faced abuse from law enforcement officials linked to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, the North Caucasus LGBTQ+ rights group SK SOS announced Wednesday. Rizvan Dadayev was detained in the summer of 2022 after a video circulated online where local extortionists forced…

  • 2023 Was Russia’s Third-Hottest Year on Record, Says Head of State Weather Service

    2023 Was Russia’s Third-Hottest Year on Record, Says Head of State Weather Service

    Russia experienced its third hottest year on record in 2023, the head of Russia’s Hydrometeorological Center said at a press conference on Wednesday. Global temperatures last year smashed records going back to 1850, with the planet measuring 1.35-1.54 Celcius warmer on average compared to pre-industrial levels. While 2023 was just the third hottest ever reliably recorded for…

  • ‘Nearly Naked’ Party Organizers Hit With 2 Multimillion-Dollar Lawsuits

    ‘Nearly Naked’ Party Organizers Hit With 2 Multimillion-Dollar Lawsuits

    Two lawsuits have been filed against the organizers of a “nearly naked” party that sparked nationwide controversy last month, Russian state media reported Wednesday. Television host and blogger Anastasia Ivleeva, who organized the star-studded private event on Dec. 21, was hit with a one billion-ruble ($11.2 million) class-action lawsuit for allegedly having caused “moral suffering.” The…

  • Huge Steam Clouds, Boiling Water Engulf Streets of Novosibirsk

    Huge Steam Clouds, Boiling Water Engulf Streets of Novosibirsk

    Huge clouds of steam billowed from the streets of Novosibirsk on Wednesday after a pipe carrying boiling water for heating homes burst, marking the second such incident in the Siberian city over the past week.  A gush of steam, described as a “geyser” on social media, reached as high as the seventh floor of nearby apartment…

  • Chemical Plant Explosion in Southern Russia Injures 9

    Chemical Plant Explosion in Southern Russia Injures 9

    Nine people were injured in an explosion and fire at a chemical plant in southern Russia’s Rostov region, authorities said Wednesday, less than a year after the plant’s opening. Security camera footage captured the moment when a huge explosion ripped through the Shakhtinsky Polyester Plant in the town of Shakhty. Five people were hospitalized with various…

  • Russia’s Sberbank Posts Record $17Bln Profit in 2023

    Russia’s Sberbank Posts Record $17Bln Profit in 2023

    Russia’s largest lender Sberbank posted a record net profit of 1.49 billion rubles ($16.87 billion) in 2023, marking a fivefold increase from the year before, when Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine hammered Russia’s financial sector.  The preliminary financial results, released Wednesday, show the bank’s recovery from a 75% drop in 2022, as Russian banks lost…

  • Ukraine Says Downed 19 Russian Drones Overnight

    Ukraine Says Downed 19 Russian Drones Overnight

    Kyiv said Wednesday that Russia had launched 20 Iranian-designed attack drones at targets in southern Ukraine overnight and that its air defense systems destroyed all but one. The announcement came after authorities said 20 people had been injured in Russian attacks in the eastern city of Kharkiv, as well as Odesa on the southern Black…

  • Protesters Clash With Police as Russian Court Jails Bashkir Activist

    Protesters Clash With Police as Russian Court Jails Bashkir Activist

    Violent clashes erupted between protesters and police after a court in central Russia’s republic of Bashkortostan jailed activist Fayil Alsynov on charges of inciting ethnic hatred, local media reported. A court in the town of Baymak, some 1,400 kilometers southeast of Moscow, earlier on Wednesday sentenced Alsynov to four years in prison. The activist was…

  • ROSATOM starts installation of the BREST-OD-300 4th generation reactor

    This is the world’s first new generation lead-cooled fast reactor. ROSATOM has achieved a landmark milestone in construction of a power unit with the innovative fast neutron BREST-OD-300 reactor on the site of the Pilot demonstration energy complex (PDEC) in Seversk, Tomsk Region (West Siberia). The steel reactor baseplate with the total weight of 165…

  • Russia Jails Prominent Bashkir Activist 4 Years

    Russia Jails Prominent Bashkir Activist 4 Years

    A court in Russia’s republic of Bashkortostan sentenced prominent local activist Fayil Alsynov to four years in a penal colony on charges of “inciting interethnic hatred,” the regional news outlet Idel.Realii reported Wednesday.  The case against the activist has mobilized many in the Ural Mountains republic who say that Alsynov is being unfairly targeted over…

  • Russia to Open Polling Stations in U.S. for March Presidential Election

    Russia to Open Polling Stations in U.S. for March Presidential Election

    Russia will open polling stations for its March presidential election at three diplomatic missions in the United States, its envoy in Washington said Wednesday. The announcement came as Moscow said it has not yet decided if voting will take place in what it calls “unfriendly” countries — those which it accuses of carrying out “hostile”…

  • Putin: Ukraine Risks ‘Irreparable Blow’ if Conflict Continues

    Putin: Ukraine Risks ‘Irreparable Blow’ if Conflict Continues

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Moscow’s forces had the upper hand in their almost two-year conflict with Ukraine, warning the rival state it risks an “irreparable” blow if it continued. The frontlines in eastern and southern Ukraine have barely moved in more than a year as the conflict has ground to a stalemate.…

  • Russian Officer Jailed 6 Years for Crimea Bridge Drone Defense Failure

    Russian Officer Jailed 6 Years for Crimea Bridge Drone Defense Failure

    A Russian National Guard officer has been sentenced to six years in prison for buying anti-drone radars that failed to protect the Russian-built Crimea bridge from attacks, media reported Tuesday. Colonel Sergei Volkov, who previously headed Rosgvardia’s naval unit, was detained in March 2023 on charges of abuse of office for signing a contract on…

  • Russian Police Detain Allies of Bashkir Activist Awaiting Court Sentence – Reports

    Russian Police Detain Allies of Bashkir Activist Awaiting Court Sentence – Reports

    Law enforcement agents in central Russia’s republic of Bashkortostan have detained several allies of activist Fayil Alsynov, who stands trial this week on charges of inciting ethnic hatred, according to the local Telegram channel. The detentions come amid unconfirmed reports that the Kremlin may have authorized regional law enforcement agencies to “use force” against protesters.  Thousands gathered…

  • White Scarves and Flowers: Wives and Mothers of Mobilized Soldiers Take Resentment to the Kremlin

    White Scarves and Flowers: Wives and Mothers of Mobilized Soldiers Take Resentment to the Kremlin

    MOSCOW — In the Russian winter cold, a group of women relatives of mobilized Russian soldiers lays flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin walls. Wearing white scarves, a symbol of their protest movement, the women said it was a rare opportunity to express their opposition to the mobilization and publicly demand…

  • Chinese State Banks Step Up Compliance on Russian Clients – Bloomberg

    Chinese State Banks Step Up Compliance on Russian Clients – Bloomberg

    Chinese state banks are stepping up compliance on funding to Russian clients amid threats of secondary sanctions from the U.S., Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Last month, the United States threatened to cut off access to its financial system for foreign banks that back companies targeted for supporting Russia’s defense industry. According…

  • Plans to Fell Forest for Mega-Prison in Siberia’s Ulan-Ude Roil Public

    Plans to Fell Forest for Mega-Prison in Siberia’s Ulan-Ude Roil Public

    Residents of Ulan-Ude in Russia’s Far East republic of Buryatia were taken by surprise to learn that local authorities plan to construct a new prison for 3,000 inmates near their homes. “We were not informed about this terrible news that they plan to build a mega-prison, a special regime zone,” one local resident said in…

  • N. Korean, Russian Foreign Ministers Hail Ties at Moscow Talks

    N. Korean, Russian Foreign Ministers Hail Ties at Moscow Talks

    The Russian and North Korean foreign ministers on Tuesday hailed deepening ties between their two countries. Ministers Sergei Lavrov and Choe Son Hui offered their remarks during talks in Moscow that come on the heels of a high-profile visit from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last year. “We always support North Korea at the…

  • 10 Injured By Flood of Boiling Water in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod

    10 Injured By Flood of Boiling Water in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod

    A heating main burst in the central Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod has flooded streets with boiling-hot water, burning several passersby, local media and health officials said Tuesday. Videos posted on social media showed steam rising from snowy streets and sidewalks as pedestrians attempted to navigate the hazardous environment.  “I can’t see a damn thing.…

  • Estonia Arrests Russian University Professor Suspected of Spying for Moscow

    Estonia Arrests Russian University Professor Suspected of Spying for Moscow

    Estonian police have arrested a Russian university professor who is suspected of spying on behalf of Moscow, media in the Baltic country reported Tuesday, citing law enforcement officials.  Vyacheslav Morozov, who until recently was Professor in International Political Theory at the University of Tartu, was arrested by the Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS) on Jan. 3…

  • Ukraine Orders Civilians To Leave Villages Near Northeast Front

    Ukraine Orders Civilians To Leave Villages Near Northeast Front

    Authorities in Ukraine’s northeast region of Kharkiv on Tuesday urged residents of more than two dozen villages near the front line to evacuate, citing worsening Russian attacks in the area. Russian forces captured swathes of the Kharkiv region shortly after invading Ukraine in February 2022, and have kept up efforts to wrest the region despite…

  • U.S. Envoy Says Frozen Russian Assets Could Be ‘Easy’ Ukraine Funding

    U.S. Envoy Says Frozen Russian Assets Could Be ‘Easy’ Ukraine Funding

    The U.S. special envoy for Ukraine’s economic recovery said Monday that tapping frozen Russian assets would be an “easy” source of money for Kyiv, but G7 countries must first agree collectively to do it. Penny Pritzker spoke on the sidelines of the first day of the annual meeting of global elites in Davos, Switzerland, where…

  • Drone Strikes Injure Child, Damage Apartment Blocks in Russia’s Voronezh

    Drone Strikes Injure Child, Damage Apartment Blocks in Russia’s Voronezh

    A young girl was injured and dozens of apartments were damaged during overnight drone strikes in the Russian city of Voronezh, authorities said Tuesday. Russia’s Defense Ministry said it shot down or intercepted eight Ukrainian drones over the Voronezh region overnight. Four other drones were intercepted in the neighboring Belgorod region, it added.  Voronezh region Governor…

  • A Life in One Suitcase։ The Karabakh Armenians Who Continued Onward to Russia

    A Life in One Suitcase։ The Karabakh Armenians Who Continued Onward to Russia

    “My entire life is packed in this one suitcase,” a man said as he boarded a minivan from Goris, southern Armenia, to the capital Yerevan amid the mass exodus of the ethnic Armenian population from Nagorno-Karabakh.  The man, 70-year-old Armen from Stepanakert, who had just arrived in Goris, shared his last days in Karabakh and…

  • Finland Mulls Banning Russians From Buying Real Estate

    Finland Mulls Banning Russians From Buying Real Estate

    Finland is considering banning Russian citizens from buying property in the country, with a final decision on the matter possibly coming as soon as this spring, the Finnish Defense Minister said Monday. Tensions between the Nordic country and Moscow have risen sharply since the invasion of Ukraine, with Helsinki temporarily closing its border with Russia last…

  • Finnish Firms Selling High-Tech Goods to Russian Buyers With Security Service Links – Yle

    Finnish Firms Selling High-Tech Goods to Russian Buyers With Security Service Links – Yle

    A number of Finland-based companies are exporting high-tech goods to Russian buyers with known links to Moscow’s defense industry and intelligence services, Finnish broadcaster Yle reported Monday, citing customs data. At least 20 companies owned by “people of Russian origin” are either exporting goods directly to Russia or acting as intermediaries between foreign sellers and…

  • Rosneft Develops Underground CO2 Storage Technology

    Specialists from Rosneft’s Tyumen Scientific Institute have identified an underground reservoir potentially suitable for injection and storage of more than 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) during geological exploration of the subsoil in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District.

  • Russia’s FSB Raids Jehovah’s Witness Office in Occupied Mariupol

    Russia’s FSB Raids Jehovah’s Witness Office in Occupied Mariupol

    Agents from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) raided a Jehovah’s Witnesses office in the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol, state media reported Monday. “The FSB and military counterintelligence have uncovered a location in Mariupol that was used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses to promote extremist ideology,” Zvezda, the Russian Defense Ministry’s broadcaster, reported. In 2017, Russia’s…

  • Protesters Brave Cold Weather in Russia’s Bashkortostan to Demand Activist’s Release

    Protesters Brave Cold Weather in Russia’s Bashkortostan to Demand Activist’s Release

    Thousands of protesters in central Russia’s republic of Bashkortostan braved freezing temperatures on Monday as they called for the release of an activist who is standing trial on charges of inciting ethnic hatred. Authorities accuse Fayil Alsynov of inciting ethnic hatred against migrant workers when he spoke at a rally in April 2023, referring to…

  • ‘No Information’ About Command Aircraft Reportedly Destroyed Over Azov Sea – Kremlin

    ‘No Information’ About Command Aircraft Reportedly Destroyed Over Azov Sea – Kremlin

    The Kremlin said Monday it has “no information” about Russian military aircraft that Ukraine claims to have shot down over the Azov Sea. Ukraine’s top general Valerii Zaluzhnyi announced earlier on Monday that a Russian A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft and an Il-22 aerial command center had been “destroyed” over the Azov Sea, which lies…

  • Russia Says Sentenced Over 200 Ukrainian POWs

    Russia Says Sentenced Over 200 Ukrainian POWs

    Russia has sentenced more than 200 Ukrainian prisoners of war to lengthy jail sentences, state-run media reported Monday, citing a top law enforcement official. Since invading Ukraine, Moscow is believed to have captured thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, many of whom were taken during the siege of the port city of Mariupol in early 2022. Kyiv…

  • Alcohol Dependency in Russia Increases for First Time in a Decade

    Alcohol Dependency in Russia Increases for First Time in a Decade

    Alcohol dependency in Russia has increased for the first time in 10 years, Russia’s business daily Kommersant reported Monday, citing data from the state statistics agency Rosstat. In the decade between 2010 and 2021, first-time alcohol use disorder diagnoses declined from 153,900 to 53,300. But in 2022, doctors issued 54,200 first-time diagnoses of alcohol use…

  • Russia Jails Student for Planning Attacks on Army

    Russia Jails Student for Planning Attacks on Army

    Russia has handed a five-year jail sentence to a 20-year-old student for allegedly working with Ukrainian special services and planning sabotage attacks on military bases, law enforcement authorities said Monday. The Kurgan region branch of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said the student, whose name it did not provide, had been detained earlier on suspicion…

  • Russian Ex-Presidential Candidate Briefly Detained

    Russian Ex-Presidential Candidate Briefly Detained

    Updated with Ostorozhno Novosti report, Duntsova’s remarks. Former Russian presidential candidate Yekaterina Duntsova was briefly detained and taken in by police for a drug test, the Ateo Breaking Telegram channel reported late Sunday. Duntsova, 40, a journalist and local politician from the Tver region northwest of Moscow, announced her bid for the presidency in November…

  • Russian Ex-Presidential Candidate Briefly Detained – Reports

    Russian Ex-Presidential Candidate Briefly Detained – Reports

    Former Russian presidential candidate Yekaterina Duntsova was briefly detained and taken for a drug test, the Ateo Breaking Telegram channel reported late Sunday, without citing sources. Duntsova, 40, a journalist and local politician from the Tver region northwest of Moscow, announced her bid for the presidency in November on a pro-peace, pro-democracy platform. The Central…

  • North Korean Foreign Minister to Visit Russia – KCNA

    North Korean Foreign Minister to Visit Russia – KCNA

    North Korea’s Foreign Minister will visit Russia this coming week, state media reported Sunday, with Washington leading a chorus of global condemnation over Pyongyang’s alleged transfers of weapons to Moscow for use in Ukraine. Traditional allies, Russia and North Korea have recently boosted ties anew, with Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong Un making a rare overseas…

  • Poet Lev Rubenstein, 76, Dies of Injuries After Being Struck by Car

    Poet Lev Rubenstein, 76, Dies of Injuries After Being Struck by Car

    Poet, writer and social activist Lev Rubenstein, age 76, succumbed to injuries sustained when he was hit by a car in a Moscow intersection on Jan. 8. The poet’s death was reported Sunday by his daughter, Maria, who wrote on LiveJournal, “My Papa, Lev Rubenstein, died today.”  Social media and Russian independent media were flooded…

  • Poet Lev Rubenstein, 76, Died of Injuries After Being Struck by Car

    Poet Lev Rubenstein, 76, Died of Injuries After Being Struck by Car

    Poet, writer and social activist Lev Rubenstein, age 76, succumbed to injuries sustained when he was hit by a car in a Moscow intersection on January 8. It was reported by his daughter, Maria, who wrote on LiveJournal, “My Papa, Lev Rubenstein, died today.”  Social media and Russian independent media were flooded with memorials to…

  • Blaze Engulfs Russian Online Retailer’s Warehouse

    Blaze Engulfs Russian Online Retailer’s Warehouse

    A massive fire spread through online retailer Wildberries’ warehouse in St. Petersburg on Saturday, Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said, without any reported casualties. Fires are relatively common in Russia due to old infrastructure or non-compliance with safety standards. “In total, the fire spread through 70,000 square meters,” Igor Ulubikov, an official at the St. Petersburg branch…

  • Quinoa: A New Grain That Russians Have Been Eating for Centuries

    Quinoa: A New Grain That Russians Have Been Eating for Centuries

    Cabbage soup, blini and pirogi are the symbols of Russian cuisine. But there is another contender for this title that might come as a surprise to foreigners: quinoa. For many centuries bread made with quinoa offered salvation from hunger. It was also simply a very common food product. Today in Russia there is a nationwide…

  • Russia Launched 40 Missiles, Drones Overnight – Ukraine

    Russia Launched 40 Missiles, Drones Overnight – Ukraine

    Russia launched dozens of attacks over Ukraine overnight, the Ukrainian Air Force said Saturday, as Kyiv pushes for more air defense. “A total of 40 means of enemy air attack were recorded,” the Air Force said, adding it destroyed eight missiles. Ukraine’s Air Force said Russia attacked with a wide range of weapons including cruise,…

  • Renowned Russian Writer Boris Akunin Labeled ‘Foreign Agent’

    Renowned Russian Writer Boris Akunin Labeled ‘Foreign Agent’

    Russia on Friday labeled the exiled writer Boris Akunin, who has spoken out against Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, as a foreign agent. The Kremlin has intensified its crackdown on dissent since launching its offensive in Ukraine in February 2022 and targeted the arts, with books by authors critical of Moscow disappearing from bookshops. Akunin…

  • Russian Inflation Unexpectedly Slows in December

    Russian Inflation Unexpectedly Slows in December

    Russia’s annual rate of inflation unexpectedly slowed in December after ticking up continuously for seven months, official data showed Friday, in a boost for the Kremlin ahead of elections. Inflation had been predicted by economists to rise in December 2023 but instead edged down to 7.4% year-on-year, compared with 7.5% in November. Friday’s figure is…

  • Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Ex-Gazprombank VP Who Joined Ukrainian Army

    Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Ex-Gazprombank VP Who Joined Ukrainian Army

    Russia’s Interior Ministry has issued an arrest warrant for the former vice president of the state-owned Gazprombank, who joined the Ukrainian army after Moscow’s invasion, the state-run TASS news agency reported Friday. Igor Volobuyev was born in northeastern Ukraine in 1971 but lived most of his life in Moscow, where he served as chief spokesman for…

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