Explainer: Events Surrounding Belarus Flight ‘Hijacking’

Belarus’ interception of a commercial flight Sunday in order to arrest Roman Protasevich, a 26-year-old Lithuania-based dissident blogger has triggered global outrage and condemnation.  Protasevich faces charges of inciting mass rallies in Belarus following last summer’s disputed presidential election which triggered an unprecedented wave of protest across the country. The EU has already hit Belarus…

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Architectural concept unveiled for 703-meter skyscraper Lakhta Center 2

May 25, 2021, 19:30 A meeting of the Inter-Agency Council in charge of implementing the Agreement of Cooperation between St. Petersburg and Gazprom took place today in St. Petersburg. The event was chaired by Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Alexander Beglov, Governor of St. Petersburg. The parties reviewed key areas of cooperation, including the progress of gas supply and gas infrastructure expansion in St. Petersburg,…

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Russia Wants to Exempt State Media From ‘Foreign Agent’ Scrutiny

The Russian government wants to exempt state media from financial scrutiny to avoid being labeled  “foreign agents” because they are not prone to foreign influence. The proposal comes after Russia labeled the independent news sites Meduza and VTimes “foreign agents,” jeopardizing their futures by discouraging advertisers and levying steep fines for auditing violations. Russia’s Ministry…

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EU Cuts Air Links With Belarus Over Forced Plane Landing

EU leaders cut Europe’s air links with Belarus on Monday, as strongman Alexander Lukashenko’s regime paraded a dissident journalist arrested after his flight was forced to land in Minsk. Lukashenko sparked international outrage by dispatching a fighter jet Sunday to intercept a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius carrying wanted reporter Roman Protasevich, 26, and his girlfriend Sofia…

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Russia Defends Belarus Over Plane Diversion

Russian officials have defended Belarus’ use of a military jet to divert a passenger plane carrying a dissident, an act Western leaders have called “state terrorism” and that may spark tougher sanctions against Minsk. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists that Belarus had treated the incident with an “absolutely reasonable approach.” “A representative of…

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EU Outrage as Belarus Diverts Flight, Arrests Opposition Activist

Belarus forced an Athens-to-Vilnius Ryanair flight carrying a wanted opposition activist to divert and land in Belarus on Sunday, provoking a furious outcry from European leaders. Belarusian state television reported that Roman Protasevich, a 26-year-old opposition blogger exiled in Poland, had been detained in Minsk after flight FR4978 was diverted from EU airspace — ostensibly over a security…

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Russian Police Break Up Opposition Meeting

Police on Saturday broke up a meeting of independent, elected Russian opposition figures, saying they had failed to observe coronavirus health restrictions, participants said. The May 22-23 forum brought together representatives from 30 regions to coordinate their campaign for the September legislative elections. Ahead of the vote, the authorities have cranked up pressure on the…

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What’s On in Moscow May 21-24

A walk in a lilac park This weekend is the first peak of lilac season in Moscow’s most famous park for lovers of these sweet-smelling and beautiful bushes. Founded in 1954 by Leonid Kolesnikov, the country’s most accomplished lilac breeder, the Lilac Garden began with 2,000 bushes of 32 sorts of lilacs. Today you can…

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New Movie Depicting Heroic Russian Instructors in Central African Republic Linked to ‘Putin’s Chef’

A new film depicting a group of Russian military advisors in the Central African Republic (CAR) as heroes was funded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the catering magnate and Kremlin ally known as “Putin’s Chef,” according to an investigation by The Moscow Times.  “The Tourist” tells the story of a group of young Russian military advisors sent…

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Kremlin Critic Navalny Says Found ‘Recipe for Happiness’ in Prison

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said Thursday he successfully eased out of his hunger strike and has discovered the recipe for being “happy” in prison. Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s best known domestic critic, is serving two-and-a-half years in a penal colony outside Moscow on old fraud charges he says are politically motivated.  Russia’s top opposition politician…

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Chief Editor Leaves Russia’s Vedomosti Year After Censorship Row

The Vedomosti business daily announced Wednesday that its editor-in-chief Andrei Shmarov will step down one year after his controversial appointment sparked a mass exodus of senior editors and journalists.  The decision came a week after VTimes, The Moscow Times’ Russian-language partner founded by the editors and journalists who had left Vedomosti, was declared a “foreign agent” in…

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