Withdrawal from Snake Island Symbolic ‘Defeat’ for Russia in Ukraine

Columns of heavy smoke were visible in the first images of Snake Island published by the Ukrainian military Thursday as Russia announced it had retreated from the strategic outpost near the Danube Delta.  Russia’s decision to withdraw was likely the result of repeated Ukrainian attacks, including those launched with Western-supplied weaponry.  “From a military point…

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Russians Urged to Snitch on Ukraine War Critics in Return to Soviet-Style Denunciations

Following Russia’s bombing of a drama theatre in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol in March, St. Petersburg-based artist Alexandra Skochilenko swapped supermarket price tags with stickers containing information about the attack that reportedly killed hundreds of civilians. A fellow store customer reported her act of resistance to the police. “I was extremely outraged by the…

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War Crimes Court Issues Warrants for 2008 Russia-Georgia War

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for three people over alleged war crimes during the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia in South Ossetia, it said Thursday. Mikhail Mayramovich Mindzaev, Gamlet Guchmazov and David Georgiyevich Sanakoev, who were officials in the pro-Moscow breakaway republic, allegedly detained civilians to use as “bargaining chips” in negotiations, the ICC…

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Top Russian University Head Vladimir Mau Detained on Fraud Charges

The head of one of Russia’s leading universities was detained Thursday in connection with a fraud investigation targeting a former senior education official. Vladimir Mau, head of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), was detained as a suspect in a 21-million-ruble ($399,810) embezzlement case, Russia’s Interior Ministry said.  Investigators have…

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Russian Lawmakers Approve Bill to Fast-Track Foreign Media Bans

Russian lawmakers Thursday approved legislation allowing officials to block foreign news outlets in retaliation for clampdowns against Russian state media abroad.  The bill gives Russia’s Prosecutor General the right to ban foreign outlets without court approval if another government is found carrying out “hostile actions against Russian media abroad.” The new measures also give officials…

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What Was Putin Doing in Tajikistan?

For his first trip abroad since he sent his country’s armed forces into Ukraine in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin chose Tajikistan. And few are entirely certain why.  The official agenda for Putin’s June 28 working visit sounded mostly unexceptional. The Kremlin said in a pre-trip statement that talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon would dwell on…

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State Firms Gazprom, Sberbank Opt Out of Dividend Payout

Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom and top lender Sberbank decided Thursday not to pay their investors dividends for 2021, sending the companies’ shares downward. Gazprom’s canceled 2021 dividends would have marked an all-time record payout for the company, giving investors an expected 1.24 trillion rubles ($23.37 billion). “The shareholders decided that in the current situation…

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China’s Honor Smartphone Maker Halts Russia Shipments – Vedomosti

Chinese smartphone maker Honor has stopped shipments to Russia over fears of secondary sanctions for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the Vedomosti business daily reported Thursday.  Honor halted deliveries to Russia as early as March without an official announcement, the publication cited two unnamed industry sources saying.  The United States and its Western allies announced export…

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Expanding NATO Squares Up to Russia as Putin Slams ‘Imperial’ Alliance

The United States vowed Wednesday to reinforce Europe’s defenses in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as NATO declared Moscow the West’s greatest threat — prompting  Vladimir Putin to lash out at the alliance’s “imperial ambitions.” Meeting in Madrid, NATO leaders said Russia “is the most significant and direct threat to allies’ security and…

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NATO Summit Proof Alliance Seeks To Contain Russia – Moscow

Moscow said Wednesday that the NATO summit in Madrid served as proof the alliance was seeking to contain Russia and that it saw Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids as a “destabilizing” factor. “The summit in Madrid confirms and consolidates this bloc’s policy of aggressive containment of Russia,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, Russian news agencies reported.  “We…

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Russia’s Military ‘Reshuffle’ Hints at Frustration With Slow Ukraine Advance

Official statements and footage released by Russia’s Defense Ministry suggests the Kremlin has reshuffled the country’s military command structure in recent weeks, according to analysts, as the ongoing Russian offensive in Ukraine yields few territorial gains.  Russian Deputy Defense Minister Gennady Zhidko’s appearance alongside Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on a visit to eastern Ukraine over…

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Occupied Kherson Readying for Vote to Join Russia, Official Claims

Southern Ukraine’s occupied Kherson region is preparing to vote on officially joining Russia, a Moscow-backed official said Wednesday. “We’re preparing for the referendum and we will carry it out,” Kirill Stremousov, deputy chief of the Kherson region’s Moscow-installed administration, said in a video address. “The Kherson region will decide to join the Russian Federation and…

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Russia Will Work to ‘Normalize’ Afghanistan – Putin

Russia is working actively to “normalize” the situation in Afghanistan, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday during a visit to neighboring Tajikistan, evoking Moscow’s responsibilities in the area. “We are doing everything to normalize the situation [in Afghanistan] and we are trying to build relations with the political forces that control the situation,” Putin said during talks…

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Russian Oligarch Deripaska Says Destroying Ukraine Would Be ‘Colossal Mistake’

Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska said Tuesday it would be a “colossal mistake” for Russia to destroy Ukraine with its military offensive, a rare rebuke from a member of Russia’s business elite.  “Is it in Russia’s interest to destroy Ukraine? Of course not, that would be a colossal mistake,” he told a rare press conference in Moscow. He repeated…

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Russia Slams ‘Provocations,’ ‘Fakes’ in Deadly Ukraine Mall Strike

Russia has shirked blame for Monday’s deadly missile strike on a central Ukrainian shopping mall that killed at least 20 people and injured dozens, calling accusations that it targeted civilians “fake” and a “provocation.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said the attack in the city of Kremenchuk, which took place while some 1,000 civilians were inside…

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When Culture Reaches for a Gun

This article was first published in The New Times. Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of the State Hermitage Museum, joined Vladimir Putin, Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev, Patriarch Kirill and former culture minister Vladimir Medinsky in the role of heavy artillery to justify ideologically Russia’s choice of civilization: self-isolation and an archaic militarized state. Mikhail Piotrovsky…

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Michelin Tire Group to Give Up Russia Business

French tire group Michelin said Tuesday it plans to transfer its activities in Russia to local management, the latest foreign firm to exit the country following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds of Western companies ranging from furniture store IKEA to fast-food chain McDonald’s and sports retailer Nike have left Russia since the war erupted in late February and sanctions…

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Moody’s Declares Russia in Default

Moody’s ratings agency has confirmed that Russia defaulted on foreign debt for the first time in a century after bondholders did not receive $100 million in interest payments. “Missed coupon payment constitutes a default,” Moody’s said in a statement late Monday.  Bloomberg had earlier reported that Russia has defaulted on its foreign debt after the…

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Russia Restricts Pilot Exodus Following Mass Layoffs – Kommersant

Russian aviation authorities are preventing jobless pilots from finding work with foreign airlines, the Kommersant business daily reported Tuesday, citing five unnamed industry sources.  Airlines started laying off Russian pilots in the spring after most international flights were grounded due to the risk of aircraft seizures in line with Western sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.…

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In Photos: The End of the School Year in Russia and Ukraine

As students around the world celebrate their graduation from high school, this year’s graduation season looks markedly different in Russia than it does in neighboring Ukraine. While graduates in Russia’s two largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, enjoyed lavish celebrations, many graduates in Ukraine have seen their schools destroyed in Russia’s four-month invasion of their…

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Ukraine’s Richest Oligarch Sues Russia Over ‘Stolen’ Grain and Steel Assets

Ukraine’s richest oligarch has filed a lawsuit against Russia in Europe’s top human rights court, citing “grievous violations” in Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian property and resources since the start of Moscow’s invasion in late February. Rinat Akhmetov, a steel tycoon who owns Ukraine’s largest steel manufacturer Metainvest, filed the lawsuit in the European Court of…

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Pay Raises, More News and Tighter Control: Staff at Russian State TV Work Overtime Amid Ukraine War

“No war” and “They are lying to you” were not messages Russian viewers expected to see during a news bulletin on state-run television.  But that was exactly what happened when producer Marina Ovsyannikova stormed a live broadcast waving an anti-war poster shortly after Russia’s attack on Ukraine.  “The atmosphere was terrible at Channel One at…

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Core cather for Akkuyu NPP unit 3 installed in the design position on the construction site

June 25, 2022, Buyukeceli, Mersin Province, Turkey. – A melt localization device, or core catcher, one of the main elements of Unit 3 supplementary (passive) safety system, was delivered and installed at the Akkuyu NPP construction site. After unloading the vessel which delivered the catcher to the Eastern cargo terminal, the equipment was transported to…

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Russian Student Sapega Seeks Pardon for 6-Year Belarus Sentence – BBC

Russian student Sofia Sapega has sought a pardon from Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a month after being sentenced to six years in prison on extremism charges, the BBC’s Russian service reported Monday.  Sapega and her then-boyfriend, Belarusian dissident Roman Protasevich, were detained in May 2021 when Minsk authorities forcibly diverted their international flight as it flew…

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Moscow to Send Belarus Nuclear-Capable Missiles Within Months – Putin

Russia will deliver missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to Belarus in the coming months, President Vladimir Putin said Saturday as he received Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. “In the coming months, we will transfer to Belarus Iskander-M tactical missile systems, which can use ballistic or cruise missiles, in their conventional and nuclear versions,” Putin said…

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