Russia Moves Ground Troops, Ballistic Missile Systems Near Ukraine Border – British Analysts

British defense analysts said Thursday they have identified Russian ballistic missile systems deployed alongside over a dozen tank and rocket launcher units on the Ukrainian border amid concerns of renewed hostilities. Military monitors and the White House say Russia has amassed the largest concentration of forces near eastern Ukraine since the conflict between Ukrainian forces…

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Sputnik V Developer Confirms Jab Is Less Effective Against South African Variant

The developer of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has confirmed the jab is less effective against the South African variant of the virus, but claimed that the Russian-made vaccine still offers better protection against virus mutations than its rivals. In an interview with state-run news agency Interfax, Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Institute which…

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Russia Accuses Slovak Watchdog of Sputnik V ‘Sabotage,’ Demands Return of Vaccines

Sputnik V’s official Twitter account on Thursday accused the Slovak Drug agency SUKL of a “disinformation campaign” against the Russian vaccine after the watchdog said the batch of 200,000 vaccines the country received differed from those reviewed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the medical journal The Lancet. On Wednesday, media reported that SUKL…

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Ukraine’s Zelenskiy on Frontline as Merkel Urges Putin to Pull Back Troops

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy traveled to the country’s eastern frontline on Thursday, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Vladimir Putin to reduce Russia’s troop buildup near Ukraine. Zelenskiy’s frontline visit came as fighting between the Ukrainian army and separatists has intensified in recent weeks and Russia has built up troops along the border, raising fears…

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Virus-Driven Migrant Shortage Keeps Russia From ‘Ambitious Plans’ – Kremlin

Russia’s acute migrant shortage linked to the coronavirus exodus is keeping the country from achieving its “ambitious” goals, the Kremlin said Thursday. “We’re very, very short of these migrants to implement our ambitious plans,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “We have to build more than we’re building now, but we need working hands to…

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‘Uncultured’ Muscovites’ Parkour Statue Stunts Spark Outrage in St. Petersburg

The centuries-old rivalry between Russia’s two largest cities took a new turn when St. Petersburg residents found photos of Muscovites climbing on top of their city’s many statues.  St. Petersburg tour guide Violetta Vitovskaya on Tuesday shared a photo that shows Moscow parkour athlete Akmal Shakurov standing atop a 100-year-old statue on the historic Rosenstein…

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Management Committee proposes to hold annual General Shareholders Meeting of Gazprom via absentee voting

April 8, 2021, 13:45 The Gazprom Management Committee addressed issues associated with arranging and holding the Company’s annual General Shareholders Meeting. Endorsements were given to the proposals to hold the annual General Shareholders Meeting of Gazprom in the form of absentee voting and to set the deadline for ballot submission as June 25, 2021. In addition, the Management Committee approved the proposals on: the format and…

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Zoom to Directly Sell to Russian Gov’t Agencies After Controversy

Zoom will sell directly to Russian government agencies, the Kommersant business daily quoted the company as saying after controversy over reports that the video-conferencing platform had restricted premium access to state-affiliated entities. The Kremlin urged Russian companies Wednesday to switch to alternative virtual meeting platforms after Kommersant reported that Zoom had banned its distributors from…

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Mozdok – Grozny gas pipeline launched

April 7, 2021, 20:30 The new gas pipeline will improve the reliability of power supplies in the Chechen Republic. The regional Program for gas supply and gas infrastructure expansion is run on schedule. An opening ceremony for the Mozdok – Grozny gas trunkline took place today in Grozny. Taking part in the event were Vitaly Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Ramzan Kadyrov,…

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EU to Probe Russian Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Standards – FT

Updated at 6:44 p.m. on April 7 to add statement from Sputnik V’s official Twitter account. The European Union’s medicines regulator will investigate whether the developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine went against global ethical and scientific standards in clinical trials, the Financial Times reported Wednesday. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) last month launched…

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Russia Intercepts Norwegian Jet Near Arctic – Interfax

A Russian warplane has intercepted a Norwegian electronic warfare aircraft over the Barents Sea near the Arctic, state media cited the military as saying Wednesday. Citing Russia’s National Defense Management Center, Interfax said the Russian military detected an “air target” approaching the Russian border from Norway. “The [Russian Navy’s] Northern Fleet air defense forces’ MiG-31…

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Slovakian Drug Institute Unable to Evaluate Sputnik V ‘Due to Lack of Data’

Slovakia’s State Institute for Drug Control has told the country’s Health Ministry it has been unable to evaluate the risks and benefits of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine due to a lack of data and inconsistencies in dosages, the watchdog’s spokeswoman Magdaléna Jurkemíková told The Moscow Times on Wednesday. Slovakia, one of Europe’s hardest-hit countries by…

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Foreign Dignitaries Not Invited to Russia’s WWII Victory Parade – Kremlin

Russia will not invite foreign dignitaries to its annual World War II victory parade on Red Square next month, the Kremlin announced Wednesday. “This year is not a [major] anniversary year, so we don’t intend to invite foreign participants,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “The rest will probably involve the usual invitations,…

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Will Russia’s Belated Promotion of Sputnik V at Home Sway a Doubting Public?

In early March, with Russia’s domestic Covid-19 vaccination campaign stalling, prominent tech and publishing entrepreneur Ilya Krasilschik took to social media to urge his followers to get their coronavirus jabs. “We are living through a national catastrophe,” wrote Krasilschik in a widely publicized Facebook post. “Go and get vaccinated.” Krasilschik is one of few Russian…

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Russian Envoy Unlikely to Return to U.S. in Near Future, Deputy FM Says

Russia’s Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov will likely not return to Washington in the near future, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday, citing a top diplomatic official.  Antonov was recalled to Moscow last month following U.S. President Joe Biden’s televised remarks calling his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a “killer” who would…

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Master Berdymukhamedov Goes to Moscow

Serdar Berdymukhamedov, Turkmenistan’s president-in-waiting and son of the incumbent, on March 30 embarked on a four-day trip to Russia as part of an official government delegation. The outing looked like yet another dress rehearsal.  Official readouts of meetings in Moscow allude to mostly humdrum business, although there are hints of noteworthy developments.  The delegation was…

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Russian Troop Buildup Near Ukraine Largest Since War Outbreak, Monitor Says

Russia has amassed the largest concentration of troops on its border with Ukraine since the eastern Ukraine conflict first erupted in 2014, The Insider investigative news website reported Wednesday, citing military analysts. Recent Russian military movements and an increase in clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists have raised fears of an escalation in the long-simmering…

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Zoom Bans Sales to Russian Government, State Firms – Kommersant

Updated at 11:00 a.m. on April 8 to add Zoom statement. Video conferencing platform Zoom has banned its distributors from selling services to government agencies and partly state-owned companies in Russia and neighboring countries, the Kommersant business daily reported Wednesday. Zoom has emerged as a leading virtual meeting platform since millions were forced into self-isolation…

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Russian Investigators to Probe Feminist Eurovision Pick for ‘Inciting Hatred’ – Reports

Moscow investigators have launched an inspection into “Russian Woman,” the country’s entry to this year’s Eurovision song contest, after a veteran’s newspaper accused it of inciting hatred, the state-run TASS news agency reported Tuesday.  Written and performed by Tajik-born artist Manizha, “Russian Woman” has sparked controversy among conservative groups for its lyrics promoting female empowerment…

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Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine Less Effective Against South African Variant – U.S. Study

Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine appears significantly less effective in combating the South African variant of the virus, a new laboratory study of 12 cases has shown. Scientists in the U.S. used blood samples from Argentinians who had been vaccinated with Sputnik V to investigate whether the antibodies they had produced would effectively fight various mutations…

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Russia’s First Space Tourism Company Closes

A Russian company that planned to send tourists to space through the country’s first private cosmodrome has scrapped the project and will permanently close, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday. Kosmokurs’ operations will cease due to “insurmountable difficulties” in coordinating with local authorities on the cosmodrome project as well as the company’s “inability…

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