Putin Visits Russian Troops, Claims ‘Moral Rightness’ in New Year Address

Updates with Zelensky’s comments and color from Moscow and recasts throughout. MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin said in his televized New Year’s address Saturday that “moral, historical rightness” is on Russia’s side as his country faces international condemnation for its offensive in Ukraine. Putin delivered his traditional midnight address standing among soldiers who had apparently…

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Russia Defense Minister Shoigu Says Victory ‘Inevitable’ in New Year Message

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Saturday that Russia’s victory in Ukraine is “inevitable” in a New Year’s message to servicemen, as Moscow’s military campaign grinds through its 11th month. “In the coming year, I want to wish everyone good health, fortitude, reliable and devoted comrades… Our victory, like the New Year, is inevitable,” Shoigu said…

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Russian Football Union Votes to Remain in UEFA Despite Ongoing Ban

The Russian Football Union reaffirmed its desire to see Russian teams return to international competition on Friday following its decision not to leave UEFA and seek membership with Asia’s football confederation instead. European football’s governing body, UEFA, banned Moscow from competition after President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February. However, despite Russia’s mooted abandonment of UEFA,…

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Putin Expects Trade With China to Reach $200Bln ‘Ahead of Schedule’

Russian-Chinese trade turnover will reach $200 billion “ahead of schedule,” President Vladimir Putin said during a videoconference with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Friday as Moscow’s isolation from the West over its invasion of Ukraine continues to grow. “Despite the unfavorable external environment, illegitimate restrictions, and direct blackmail by some Western countries, Russia and China…

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Putin Waives Peacetime Requirement for Officials to Release Tax Returns

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Thursday lifting the requirement for government officials to disclose their income tax returns for the duration of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. “Information on income, spending, assets and property-related obligations is not to be published on official government websites or provided to Russian media for publication during…

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Armenia Lashes Out at ‘Bystander’ Russia Over Karabakh Blockade

Armenia on Thursday accused Russian peacekeepers of failing to protect ethnic Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and called for a multinational peacekeeping force to step in. “The behaviour of Russian peacekeepers is unacceptable to us. They have become silent bystanders [in Karabakh],” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said. Moscow has rebuffed the criticism. Russia deployed peacekeepers…

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Bulgaria Summons Russian Envoy Over ‘Wanted’ Journalist

Bulgaria on Thursday summoned Russia’s ambassador “for explanations” after Moscow placed Bulgarian Christo Grozev, the executive director of the investigative website Bellingcat, on its list of wanted persons. Bellingcat makes extensive use of open-source databases and online research tools and has won several awards. It has run a series of investigations into what it says had…

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Russian Politicians, Journalists Targeted in Police Raids Linked to Ex-Lawmaker Ponomaryov

Russian police raided the homes of politicians and journalists in seven regions over ties to a pro-Ukraine former lawmaker accused of spreading “fake news” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, media reported Thursday.  This is at least the third wave of mass searches linked to Ponomaryov since the vocal Ukraine war critic was arrested in absentia in…

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9 Deaths That Shocked Russia in 2022

2022 was defined by Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, with the resulting violence leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians. But some major Russian public figures also passed away in 2022, including the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, and extreme nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky.  As the year draws…

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Russia Records 20,000 Political Detentions in 2022 – Watchdog

Russia detained at least 20,467 people for political reasons in 2022, according to end-of-year statistics published last week by OVD-Info, one of Russia’s leading independent human rights watchdogs.  At least 19,478 of those were detained for speaking out against Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Other detentions occured at ecological and workers’ rights protests and protests…

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Medvedev Calls for Recent Russian Emigres to Be Banned From Returning

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday proposed designating Russians who left the country in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine “enemies of society” and suggested they be banned from returning to Russia “for the rest of their lives.” Medvedev’s proposed term “enemies of society” echoes the Soviet-era term “enemy of the people,”…

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Russia Warns U.S. Against Launching ‘Decapitation Strike’ on Putin

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the United States on Tuesday against ordering a “decapitation strike” on President Vladimir Putin. Lavrov’s comments refer to an anonymous U.S. military official telling Newsweek back in September that a special operation “to kill Putin in the heart of the Kremlin” had been “front and center” among the options…

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Russia’s Media Regulator Granted Powers to Block all LGBT Sites

The Russian government has granted its media regulator the authority to block websites containing “LGBT propaganda” without a court order, according to a decree published on Monday. “Information propagating non-traditional sexual relations and (or) preferences” now serves as grounds for blacklisting any website in Russia, alongside those containing child pornography, information about suicide methods, and…

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Kremlin Places Bellingcat’s Christo Grozev on Wanted List

Russia’s Interior Ministry placed Christo Grozev, the lead Russia journalist with the open-source investigative journalism group Bellingcat, on its wanted list on Monday. In keeping with previous wanted lists, the ministry did not specify which criminal offense Grozev was suspected of. The Interior Ministry only provided the Bulgarian national’s birthplace, date of birth, gender, and…

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U.S. Asks Putin to Keep ‘Acknowledging Reality’ After ‘War’ Reference

The United States on Friday derisively called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to acknowledge reality and pull troops from Ukraine after he finally called the conflict a “war.” Since Putin ordered the invasion in February, Russia has officially spoken of a “special military operation” and imposed a law that criminalizes what authorities call misleading terminology.…

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In Photos: The Ukrainian Cultural Sites Destroyed During Russia’s Invasion

Ukraine’s cultural heritage has been systematically targeted throughout Russia’s 10-month invasion. At least 227 Ukrainian cultural sites have been verified to be damaged by UNESCO. The list includes 101 religious sites, 79 buildings of historical or artistic interest, 17 museums and 19 monuments. Here’s a look at some of Ukraine’s cultural sites that have been…

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Russia’s Tatarstan to Rename Regional Presidency

The head of Russia’s republic of Tatarstan will lose the title of “president,” the last remaining symbol of Russian federalism following the Kremlin’s decades-long centralization of power. Tatarstan’s president will instead hold the title “Rais,” an Arabic term meaning “leader,” according to the publication. Lawmakers in the majority Muslim region introduced a new bill to…

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