Mindblown: a blog about philosophy.

  • Celebrating the Luck of the Irish in Moscow

    Celebrating the Luck of the Irish in Moscow

    Each year, Moscow plays host to numerous film festivals showcasing some of the best cinema from around the world. And with St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner (March 17), there’s no better way to celebrate Irish culture than by checking out Moscow’s own Irish Film Festival. The festival will showcase a selection of the…

  • Kremlin Abandons Plans to Hand Islands to Japan – Reports

    Kremlin Abandons Plans to Hand Islands to Japan – Reports

    The Kremlin has reversed course in its negotiations to cede control of the disputed Kuril Islands to Japan, the RBC news website reported, citing unnamed sources. The row over the islands, which Soviet troops seized at the end of World War II, has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from formally signing a peace treaty to the…

  • Kremlin Shrugs off Possible U.S. Boycott of St. Petersburg Forum Over Investor’s Arrest

    Kremlin Shrugs off Possible U.S. Boycott of St. Petersburg Forum Over Investor’s Arrest

    The Kremlin on Tuesday shrugged off talk of a possible boycott by U.S. companies of Russia‘s showcase International Economic Forum over the arrest of prominent U.S. investor Michael Calvey, saying such boycotts had come to nothing in the past. Calvey’s detention last month on embezzlement charges, which he denies, has rattled some foreign investors in Russia who are…

  • Russia’s Rosneft Says U.S. Statements on Its Venezuela Operations Groundless

    Russia’s Rosneft Says U.S. Statements on Its Venezuela Operations Groundless

    Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft said on Tuesday that U.S. statements that it had violated U.S. sanctions in its Venezuela activities were “groundless accusations.” Pompeo said this week Rosneft was defying U.S. sanctions by buying oil from Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA. Rosneft said it was not involved in politics and was conducting “purely commercial…

  • A Russian Is Now London’s Richest Man — Forbes

    A Russian Is Now London’s Richest Man — Forbes

    Move over, Leonard Blavatnik: There’s a new leader in town. A Russian oligarch has for the first time topped the list of richest Londoners, according to Forbes Russia. Mikhail Fridman’s net worth of $15 billion knocked billionaire investor Len Blavatnik from the top of the list, Forbes reported Tuesday. Fridman is one of 55 billionaire…

  • U.S. Blames Moscow for Venezuelan Crisis, Sanctions Russian Bank

    U.S. Blames Moscow for Venezuelan Crisis, Sanctions Russian Bank

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday blamed Russia and Cuba for causing Venezuela’s political crisis by supporting President Nicolas Maduro. His comments came after the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Russian bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank for helping Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA evade U.S. financial restrictions. “This story is not complete without acknowledging…

  • Latvia Builds Barbed Wire Fence on Russian Border to Combat Migration

    Latvia Builds Barbed Wire Fence on Russian Border to Combat Migration

    Latvia has completed construction of a 93-kilometer barbed wire fence on the border with Russia to combat illegal migration, media outlets reported, citing the Latvian border service. The 2.7-meter-tall fence, announced in 2015, alternates between sensor-based systems and surveillance camera zones. It is part of a 21 million euro ($23.8 million) project to modernize 283…

  • Russian Prosecutors Seek to Stop Chinese Bottling Factory at Lake Baikal

    Russian Prosecutors Seek to Stop Chinese Bottling Factory at Lake Baikal

    Prosecutors in Russia’s Irkutsk region want to stop a Chinese company from building a water-bottling factory that residents say will drain and pollute the deepest lake and largest reservoir of fresh water on Earth. The AquaSib company began construction of the 1.5 billion-ruble ($22.7 million) factory in January, with plans to bottle 190 million liters…

  • Vyacheslav Tyurin put in charge of Gazprom Invest

    Vyacheslav Tyurin put in charge of Gazprom Invest

    Release March 11, 2019, 18:05 Vyacheslav Tyurin has been appointed Director General of Gazprom Invest. Vyacheslav Tyurin was born in 1960 in Kamensk-Uralsky, Sverdlovsk Region. He graduated from Kirov Ural Polytechnic Institute. In 1991–1999, he held managerial positions at commercial entities based in Nizhnevartovsk and Moscow. In 1999–2002, he served as Director General of SG-Trans at the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation. He has been part of Gazprom’s team for…

  • New Torture Videos Thrust Russian Prison Back Into the Spotlight

    New Torture Videos Thrust Russian Prison Back Into the Spotlight

    Two new videos showing guards abusing inmates have brought national attention back to a notorious prison near Moscow that rocked Russia’s penitentiary system last year with reports of systemic torture. Bodycam footage released last summer by the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper showed guards violently beating prisoners in the Yaroslavl region. The videos’ publication touched off…

  • Russian Military Is Bigger and Stronger Than in 2012, Defense Minister Says

    Russian Military Is Bigger and Stronger Than in 2012, Defense Minister Says

    The Russian military has significantly expanded and upgraded its weapons systems in the past six years, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told lawmakers on Monday. The country’s military achievements between 2012 and 2018 have turned Russia’s military into a mobile force capable of projecting influence abroad, The Associated Press quoted the minister as saying at a…

  • Russia and China signed the Executive contracts for the construction of Tianwan NPP and Xudabao NPP

    On March 7, in Beijing, ASE (ROSATOM Engineering Division) and CNNC enterprises signed a General contract for units 7 and 8 of Tianwan NPP, as well as a contract for a technical project for units 3 and 4 of Xudabao NPP.  The preparation of these documents was carried out in accordance with the strategic package…

  • 10% of Fans Returned to Russia After 2018 World Cup – Sberbank

    10% of Fans Returned to Russia After 2018 World Cup – Sberbank

    One in 10 foreigners who visited Russia visa-free for the FIFA World Cup last summer took advantage of a visa waiver to return to the country by the end of 2018, Russia’s top lender Sberbank has said. Security services estimate that more than 633,000 Fan ID holders visited Russia during the 2018 World Cup, according…

  • Pancakes Flip and Fires Roar over Maslenitsa 2019

    Pancakes Flip and Fires Roar over Maslenitsa 2019

    Over the past week, Russia celebrated the pre-Lent festival known as Maslenitsa, or Pancake Week. Besides an abundance of blini (pancakes) served, it all came to an end with traditional bonfires across the country. Here’s a look at the fun and fire that took place over the weekend.

  • Tyumenneftegaz achieved a 30% increase in downhole splitter drilling at Russkoe field

    Tyumenneftegaz achieved a 30% increase in downhole splitter drilling at Russkoe field

    Tyumenneftegaz, a Subsidiary of Rosneft, drilled 15 downhole splitters at Russkoe field in 2018, which is 30% more year-on-year. All the drilled horizontal wellbores and laterals are over 16 000 km in length. This technology enables increasing a start-up oil rate by 20-30%, as compared to a conventional horizontal well. Given geology of Russkoe field,…

  • Russia Remains Second-Largest Arms Exporter Despite Sales Drop – Think Tank

    Russia Remains Second-Largest Arms Exporter Despite Sales Drop – Think Tank

    Russia remains the world’s second-largest arms exporter after the United States despite five years of declining sales abroad, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has said in a new report that was disputed by Russia’s state-owned arm exporter. Russia’s arms exports dropped 17 percent between 2014 and 2018 when compared to 2009-2013, contributing to…

  • Kremlin Says It’s Not Putin’s Place to Answer Briton Whose Mother Died in Poisoning

    Kremlin Says It’s Not Putin’s Place to Answer Briton Whose Mother Died in Poisoning

    President Vladimir Putin will not reply to a letter from the son of a woman killed by a suspected Russian nerve agent near the English city of Salisbury last year because Russia‘s ambassador to Britain has already done so, the Kremlin said on Monday. Ewan Hope called on Putin in a letter publicized by the Daily Mirror…

  • Russian Passenger Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Baku After Bomb Threat

    Russian Passenger Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Baku After Bomb Threat

    A Russian Ural Airlines jet bound for Moscow from Bahrain with 225 people aboard made an emergency landing in Baku, Azerbaijan on Monday because of a suspected bomb on board the plane, Baku airport said. Flight U6-1116 was en route to Moscow’s Domodedovo airport when the crew “received information about possible restricted items” on board, a…

  • IAAF Maintains Ban on Russian Athletics Over Doping Scandal

    IAAF Maintains Ban on Russian Athletics Over Doping Scandal

    World athletics governing body IAAF has decided not to lift a ban on Russia‘s athletics federation over doping, saying on Monday it was still waiting to receive data collected from Moscow and financial compensation for its investigations. Russia‘s athletics federation (RUSAF) has been suspended since 2015 following a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report that found evidence…

  • Russian Couple, Skydiving Instructor Among Ethiopian Plane Crash Victims

    Russian Couple, Skydiving Instructor Among Ethiopian Plane Crash Victims

    A young Russian couple on vacation and a skydiving instructor were among the 157 people killed in an Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday, Russian media have reported. There were no survivors aboard the Boeing 737 jet carrying passengers from more than 30 countries from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, the airline said. Ethiopia’s parliament declared…

  • Rosatom and AKKUYU NUCLEAR held a workshop for suppliers of the Akkuyu NPP project in the framework of the VI International Nuclear Power Plants Summit in Istanbul

    A workshop for suppliers of the Akkuyu NPP project organized by Rosatom and AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC project company was held on March 5, 2019 in Istanbul in the framework of the VI International Nuclear Power Plants Summit (INPPS Expo). Mr. İbrahim Halil Dere, Nuclear Energy General Director in Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of…

  • An Oligarch, His Mistress and Courts in Krasnodar

    An Oligarch, His Mistress and Courts in Krasnodar

    In a world of oligarchs, Igor Zyuzin was once one of the richest. As businessmen raced to get their hands on Russia’s assets in the mid-1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, Zyuzin built a nationwide coal conglomerate. His company, Mechel, later also invested in metals. Although the moves made him a billionaire, he…

  • 3 Takeaways From The Moscow Times’ Investigation Into Krasnodar’s Shady Courts

    3 Takeaways From The Moscow Times’ Investigation Into Krasnodar’s Shady Courts

    In a legal system that has long been an instrument of the powerful, wealthy Russians continue finding clever new ways to use it to their advantage. A Moscow Times investigation has uncovered a new formula: a simple but effective legal scheme that allows wealthy Russians to get their lawsuits in front of friendly judges in…

  • Rosneft Develops Unique Technical Oil

    Rosneft Develops Unique Technical Oil

    Specialists of Rosneft United Research and Development Centre (part of the corporate R&D complex of Rosneft) together with LLC RN-Lubricants (a subsidiary of Rosneft) have developed and patented a method of production of green technical oil TDAE (Treatment Distillated Aromatic Extract) to use for production of synthetic rubbers, tyres and rubber products. Technological potential development…

  • ‘Point of No Return’: Russia’s Libertarians Lead Protest Against ‘Sovereign Internet’

    ‘Point of No Return’: Russia’s Libertarians Lead Protest Against ‘Sovereign Internet’

    It was Saturday afternoon and Mikhail Svetov was buzzing with nervous energy. Just 24 hours later, the member of Russia’s Libertarian Party would be leading a protest against a draft bill aimed at creating a so-called sovereign internet. “I see signals that something unusual is happening. Something similar to 2011,” Svetov said, referring to the…

  • Wooden tower burned at Maslenitsa festival in Russia

    Wooden tower burned at Maslenitsa festival in Russia

    A giant wooden tower was torched on Saturday as part of the Maslenitsa folk festival celebration in Russia‘s western Kaluga region. The theme of this year’s festival was the French Revolution and the wooden tower was inspired by the Bastille, the site of the former fortress and symbol of the Bourbon monarchy, that was stormed in…

  • On Trump’s Ties to Russia, Americans Have Made Up Their Minds

    On Trump’s Ties to Russia, Americans Have Made Up Their Minds

    Only a small number of Americans have not yet made up their minds about whether Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign coordinated with Russian officials, according to new Reuters/Ipsos polling, which also showed deep divisions in the United States in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. Eight out of 10 Americans decided almost immediately about…

  • Putin Applauds Russian Women for ‘Managing Everything at Work and Home Whilst Staying Beautiful’

    Putin Applauds Russian Women for ‘Managing Everything at Work and Home Whilst Staying Beautiful’

    President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian women on International Women’s Day in a video message posted on the Kremlin’s website on Friday. Women’s Day is a national holiday in Russia and one of the most important public holidays inherited from the Soviet period. “You manage everything at work and at home, whilst staying beautiful, bright, and…

  • Turkey and U.S. Head for Showdown Over Russian Missile Contracts

    Turkey and U.S. Head for Showdown Over Russian Missile Contracts

    Turkey is running out of time to avert a showdown with the United States over its plans to buy advanced Russian air defenses and spurn a counter-offer from its NATO partner, raising the chance of U.S. sanctions against Ankara. The last diplomatic crisis between the two countries contributed to driving the lira to a record…

  • U.S. Says It’s Working With EU to Thwart Russia on Balkans

    U.S. Says It’s Working With EU to Thwart Russia on Balkans

    The U.S. and the European Union are coordinating their strategy in the Western Balkans to foil Russian meddling in the volatile region, a U.S. government official said. Russia “worked very hard” to undermine the recent agreement between Greece and North Macedonia and is boosting aspirations among Bosnian Serbs to secede from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Matthew A. Palmer,…

  • Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Barges Into Feminist Coffee Shop in St. Petersburg, with Flowers

    Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Barges Into Feminist Coffee Shop in St. Petersburg, with Flowers

    Members of conservative pro-Kremlin youth organization Set entered Russia’s sole “women-only hours” cafe in St. Petersburg, resulting in a scuffle on Thursday. March 8 marks International Women’s Day. In Russia, it is celebrated as a public holiday with flowers traditionally being gifted to women. In the footage posted online by Set, several men are seen…

  • Troika Laundering Claims Put Founder Vardanyan’s Legacy in Focus

    Troika Laundering Claims Put Founder Vardanyan’s Legacy in Focus

    For more than two decades, Ruben Vardanyan was the face of Western-style investment banking as a founder of Troika Dialog during the birth of Russian capitalism, going on to earn successes that brought him billionaire status and ties to the Kremlin, British royalty and Hollywood. With his former investment bank now accused of laundering billions…

  • Elon Musk Hails Russian-Made Rocket Engine Design as ‘The Best’

    Elon Musk Hails Russian-Made Rocket Engine Design as ‘The Best’

    SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has expressed his admiration for Russian rocket engineering in a tweet on Thursday. Musk’s tweet came in response to an article posted by the tech outlet Ars Technica, which said that the Russian Soyuz spacecraft cannot compete with SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. Last December, the SpaceX CEO also praised the design of…

  • Elon Musk Hails Russian-Made Rocket Engines Design as ‘The Best’

    Elon Musk Hails Russian-Made Rocket Engines Design as ‘The Best’

    SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has expressed his admiration for Russian rocket engineering in a tweet on Thursday. Musk’s tweet came in response to an article posted by the tech outlet Ars Technica, which said that the Russian Soyuz spacecraft cannot compete with SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. Last December, the SpaceX CEO also praised the design of…

  • This Women’s Day It’s ‘Not Her Fault’

    This Women’s Day It’s ‘Not Her Fault’

    This year, International Women’s Day in Russia is coming back to its political roots. All around the world, Women’s Day activities typically promote discussions of gender inequality. Issues such as unequal pay, education, voting rights and gender-based violence are, at least for one day, important talking points in the media.   This politicized tone was once the norm…

  • Merkel Is Said to Reject U.S. Pressure to Provoke Russia’s Navy

    Merkel Is Said to Reject U.S. Pressure to Provoke Russia’s Navy

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel rebuffed U.S. pressure last month to conduct a naval maneuver in Russia’s backyard aimed at provoking President Vladimir Putin, according to three people familiar with the talks. At a Feb. 16 meeting at the Munich Security Conference, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence urged Merkel to send German ships through a narrow…

  • The Troika Laundromat Explained. And How Russia is Dealing with Returning Islamic State Brides

    The Troika Laundromat Explained. And How Russia is Dealing with Returning Islamic State Brides

    This week on From Russia With News, we discuss the explosive Troika Laundromat investigation with Paul Radu, the executive director of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which revealed the scheme. We’ll also talk to Guardian correspondent Andrew Roth on why the return of hundreds of women and children from Iraq and Syria has…

  • Abramovich Forced to Sell Stake in Russian TV Channel Over Israeli Citizenship

    Abramovich Forced to Sell Stake in Russian TV Channel Over Israeli Citizenship

    Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has sold off his shares in Russia’s state-run Channel One television network due to his recently acquired Israeli citizenship, the shares’ buyer told Interfax on Thursday. Russian law prohibits foreign citizens from owning more than 20 percent of a media company, putting Abramovich in violation of the law when he acquired…

  • Gazprom starts building thermal power plant in Serbia

    Gazprom starts building thermal power plant in Serbia

    Background The construction of the Pancevo TPP is carried out jointly by the Gazprom Energoholding Group and NIS a.d. Novi Sad (part of the Gazprom Neft Group). In June 2015, the companies signed a shareholders agreement to form a joint venture, Serbskaya Generaciya d.o.o. Novi Sad. The share of the Gazprom Energoholding Group in this company is 51 per cent and that of NIS a.d. Novi Sad is 49 per…

  • Russia Passes Legislation Banning ‘Disrespect’ of Authorities and ‘Fake News’

    Russia Passes Legislation Banning ‘Disrespect’ of Authorities and ‘Fake News’

    Russian lawmakers pushed through a package of bills Thursday seeking to punish internet users and journalists for disrespecting the authorities and spreading fake news. Observers have argued that the highly contentious legislation introduced in December could lead to mass arrests due to its loose wording. Free speech and internet activists are scheduled to protest against…

  • Two American Mormons Detained in Russia, Will be Deported — Reports

    Two American Mormons Detained in Russia, Will be Deported — Reports

    Two U.S. Mormons detained in Russia for violating immigration law and reportedly charged with teaching English without a license are set to be deported from Russia, local media said on Thursday. The two men, identified as David Gaaga and Kole Brodowski, were detained in southern Russia region late last week, U.S. media reported Wednesday. Both…

  • Russian Military Intercepts U.S. Spy Plane Over Baltic Waters

    Russian Military Intercepts U.S. Spy Plane Over Baltic Waters

    Russia’s Defense Ministry released footage Wednesday of its fighter jet intercepting a U.S. reconnaissance plane over neutral waters near its western border. The video shows a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker approaching and shadowing a U.S. Air Force RC-135 plane over the Baltic Sea. With tensions on the rise, Russia and NATO countries have increasingly scrambled…

  • Russia Compromised 600 Foreign Spies in 2018, Putin Says

    Russia Compromised 600 Foreign Spies in 2018, Putin Says

    Russian counterintelligence exposed hundreds of foreign spies in 2018, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. “[Counterintelligence agencies] conducted successful special operations to cut short the activities of 129 career officers and 465 agents of foreign intelligence service,” Putin said at a board meeting of the Federal Security Service (FSB).  At the annual meeting, Putin urged FSB…

  • WADA to Begin Assessing Russian Doping Data

    WADA to Begin Assessing Russian Doping Data

    The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Wednesday it has completed a painstaking process of uploading doping data mined from a tainted Moscow laboratory and will start assessing the information to ensure it is complete and authentic. Obtaining, uploading and authenticating the data has been a massive undertaking requiring WADA to construct a virtual Moscow…

  • Prosecutors Evaluating Dutch Ties to Alleged Russian Money Laundering

    Prosecutors Evaluating Dutch Ties to Alleged Russian Money Laundering

    Prosecutors in the Netherlands said on Wednesday they are evaluating signs of Dutch involvement in a money laundering network which is alleged by a report this week to have channelled billions of euros from Russia. Shares in Dutch banks ING and ABN Amro fell after a report by a collective of European news outlets called the Organised Crime and…

  • Female Naval Cadets Say Russia Not Ready for Women in Combat Roles

    Female Naval Cadets Say Russia Not Ready for Women in Combat Roles

    Alina Politika is one of 42 female cadets attending the naval academy in Russia‘s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, but she knows she is unlikely to ever step onto the captain’s bridge of a battleship. Politka’s diploma and military rank after graduation won’t differ from those of male cadets, but the Russian navy does not accept women as commanding officers — a situation she…

  • For The Kremlin, Ukrainian Election a Choice Between Lesser of Three Evils

    For The Kremlin, Ukrainian Election a Choice Between Lesser of Three Evils

    Before Russia annexed Crimea and backed separatists in east Ukraine, Moscow had a Ukrainian president who did much of what it wanted. Now, as Ukraine readies to elect a new leader, none of the main candidates look that enticing to Russia. Viktor Yanukovich, the last Moscow-friendly Ukrainian president, was toppled by protests in 2014 and fled to Russia, and…

  • Sea Ice Between Alaska And Russia Shrinks at Record Rate in Middle of Winter

    Sea Ice Between Alaska And Russia Shrinks at Record Rate in Middle of Winter

    The ice cover in the Bering Sea is at its lowest on record for this time of year after losing an area about the size of Montana at the height of winter. It’s the second consecutive year that the ice extent in the area has retreated at record pace. It shrank from 566,000 square kilometers (219,000…

  • Gays Should Be ‘Cured,’ Russian Lawmaker Says

    Gays Should Be ‘Cured,’ Russian Lawmaker Says

    An outspoken communist lawmaker in Russia has said in an interview on state television that gay people are “sick” and need to be “cured” of their homosexuality. Russia banned displays of “homosexual propaganda” to minors in 2013, while courts regularly ban gay pride events and public polls show surging anti-LGBT sentiment. In a late Tuesday…

  • Traffickers Used Russia’s World Cup To Enslave Us, Say Nigerian Women

    Traffickers Used Russia’s World Cup To Enslave Us, Say Nigerian Women

    Blessing Obuson thought Russia’s football World Cup would be an opportunity to find a job and flew into Moscow from Nigeria last June on a fan ID. Instead, she found herself forced to work as a prostitute. Fan IDs allowed visa-free entry to World Cup supporters with match tickets, but did not confer the right…

  • 98 Russian Billionaires Hold More Wealth Than Russians’ Combined Savings

    98 Russian Billionaires Hold More Wealth Than Russians’ Combined Savings

    Fewer than 100 Russian billionaires now have a combined wealth that is greater than the entire population’s savings, according to figures published by Forbes. Russia is regularly named in international ratings as one of the most unequal of the world’s major economies, with an estimated 89 percent of the country’s wealth owned by its richest 10…

  • Russia May Be Done Raising Rates After 2018 Hikes, Central Banker Says

    Russia May Be Done Raising Rates After 2018 Hikes, Central Banker Says

    Russia’s central bank will not need to raise interest rates further if it considers the impact of its two rate increases last year to be enough, its monetary policy chief said. The central bank raised rates twice in the second half of 2018 to limit inflation, which was being fed by a weaker rouble, rising…

  • British Ship Shadows Russian Naval Task Force in English Channel

    British Ship Shadows Russian Naval Task Force in English Channel

    A British destroyer is shadowing a Russian naval task group as it passes the English coast, the Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday. HMS Defender was called upon to sail over the weekend and keep watch on the frigate Admiral Gorshkov and three auxiliary ships as they neared U.K. territorial waters off Scotland. It will…

  • Gazprom’s gas supplies to Austria grow by 32.9 per cent in early 2019

    Gazprom’s gas supplies to Austria grow by 32.9 per cent in early 2019

    Background OMV AG is Gazprom’s main partner in Austria. The companies cooperate, among other things, on gas production, transportation and supplies. Since 2017, OMV has been partnering with Gazprom in the development of the Yuzhno-Russkoye oil, gas and condensate field. In June 2018, an Agreement was signed to extend until 2040 the existing contract between Gazprom Export and OMV Gas Marketing & Trading GmbH for Russian gas supplies to Austria.…

  • Broomball: Moscow’s Wackiest, Toughest Sport

    Broomball: Moscow’s Wackiest, Toughest Sport

    On a brisk, sunny Saturday in early March, a group of women dressed in full hockey gear and carrying industrial size brooms descend upon the frozen tennis courts of the German embassy. The tennis courts—which have been flooded to make a thick layer of ice—have become dusted overnight with a light layer of snow, which…

  • Russia Ready To Take Part in Bulgaria’s Belene Nuclear Power Plant, Medvedev Says

    Russia Ready To Take Part in Bulgaria’s Belene Nuclear Power Plant, Medvedev Says

    Russia is ready to take part in Bulgaria’s Belene nuclear power plant project if such a possibility arises, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday. “We have the opportunity to implement this project, no less than other countries,” Medvedev says.

  • Russia Moves to Ban Hostels in Apartments, Endangering Budget Travel

    Russia Moves to Ban Hostels in Apartments, Endangering Budget Travel

    Russian lawmakers have passed a bill banning hostels in residential buildings, a measure that risks severely limiting affordable accommodation options for travelers. Hoteliers warn that the ban could shutter up to 40 percent of hostels in Moscow and 80 percent in St. Petersburg and result in 16 billion rubles ($243 million) of losses in yearly…

  • Russian Officials, State Media Meet Explosive ‘Troika Laundromat’ Report With a Shrug

    Russian Officials, State Media Meet Explosive ‘Troika Laundromat’ Report With a Shrug

    An investigation into a Russian money laundering network that funneled billions of dollars abroad sent shockwaves through Europe this week but was largely ignored by Russian officials and state media. The report released by the Organized Crime and Corruption Project (OCCRP) Monday said that a network of over 70 offshore companies had funnelled $4.6 billion…

  • Russia Moves Venezuelan Oil Firm’s Accounts to Sanctioned Bank — Reports

    Russia Moves Venezuelan Oil Firm’s Accounts to Sanctioned Bank — Reports

    The Russian accounts of Venezuelan companies, including state oil firm PDVSA, will move to the Russian Financial Corporation Bank (Rusfincorp), which is sanctioned by the United States, the RIA news agency reported on Wednesday. Reuters reported last month that Russian lender Gazprombank had decided to freeze the accounts of PDVSA and halted transactions with the…

  • Moscow Parents Sue Catering Firm of ‘Putin’s Chef’ Over Mass Poisoning

    Moscow Parents Sue Catering Firm of ‘Putin’s Chef’ Over Mass Poisoning

    The parents of kindergarteners in Moscow have sued the firm of a catering magnate with ties to the Russian president and military over a dysentery outbreak among dozens of children. Officials confirmed some 130 cases of food poisoning among kindergarteners in southeastern Moscow in December, leading parents to file a class-action lawsuit against a catering…

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