Mindblown: a blog about philosophy.

  • Zambian Student Killed in Ukraine Was Wagner Recruit, Prigozhin Says

    Zambian Student Killed in Ukraine Was Wagner Recruit, Prigozhin Says

    The head of the Kremlin-linked Wagner mercenary group confirmed Tuesday that a Zambian student killed while fighting for the Russian military in Ukraine had been recruited from prison by Wagner. Nathan Lemekhandi Nyirenda, 23, had been studying nuclear engineering at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute before he was convicted on drug possession charges in 2020. He…

  • Putin Ally Kudrin Steps Down from Audit Chamber

    Putin Ally Kudrin Steps Down from Audit Chamber

    A longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Alexei Kudrin, stepped down Tuesday as the head of the country’s Audit Chamber amid reports he will oversee the reconstruction of tech giant Yandex following sanctions over Ukraine. Kudrin, a former finance minister who has a reputation of being an economic liberal in Moscow, has been in…

  • U.S. Sees 50-Fold Surge in Russian Asylum Seekers in 2022

    U.S. Sees 50-Fold Surge in Russian Asylum Seekers in 2022

    The United States has seen a 4,500% rise in asylum requests from Russian nationals this year as Russia’s war in Ukraine has forced critics to flee the country, The New York Times reported Monday. U.S. authorities processed 21,763 Russian asylum requests in October 2021-September 2022, compared with just 467 in the 2020 fiscal year, according…

  • Russian Officials Slam Pope for Singling Out ‘Cruelest’ Minorities on Ukraine Frontlines

    Russian Officials Slam Pope for Singling Out ‘Cruelest’ Minorities on Ukraine Frontlines

    Russian political and religious figures have spoken out against Pope Francis’ characterization of ethnic minorities as the “cruelest” soldiers in Ukraine, seizing on the chance to slam the West for its past conflicts and reiterate support for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. In an interview with the Catholic magazine America published Monday, the Pope appeared to…

  • Former Russian Official Demands to Be Deemed a ‘Foreign Agent’

    Former Russian Official Demands to Be Deemed a ‘Foreign Agent’

    A onetime close ally of the pro-Kremlin president of Bashkortostan filed a lawsuit with the Russian Supreme Court on Monday demanding the Ministry of Justice classify him as a so-called “foreign agent.” Rostislav Murzagulov — who now lives in Lithuania, where he hosts a YouTube show on a channel belonging to exiled Russian tycoon Mikhail…

  • Nobel Peace Laureate Calls for Weapons to Free Ukraine

    Nobel Peace Laureate Calls for Weapons to Free Ukraine

    In an unusual move for a Nobel Peace laureate, the head of one of this year’s prizewinning organizations on Monday called for weapons to help Ukraine defend itself and stop Russian atrocities. “When somebody asks me how to stop these long-lasting crimes in occupied territories, I can only answer: ‘Provide Ukraine with weapons to liberate…

  • Over a Third of Russians Admit Trying to Reduce Food Bill – State Poll

    Over a Third of Russians Admit Trying to Reduce Food Bill – State Poll

    Amid sharply rising prices, inflation at 12.7% and disruption to supply chains due to Western sanctions, around 35% of Russian citizens say they are trying to reduce the cost of their weekly food shop, according to a survey published on Monday. Of those who said they were trying to save money on food, 69% also…

  • Moscow Postpones Scheduled Nuclear Arms Reduction Talks With U.S.

    Moscow Postpones Scheduled Nuclear Arms Reduction Talks With U.S.

    Nuclear disarmament talks between Russia and the United States scheduled to take place in Egypt on Tuesday were cancelled last minute on Monday, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.  The two nuclear superpowers were set to sit down in Cairo to commence the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START), in…

  • EU Members Unanimously Agree to Punish Russian Sanctions Busters

    EU Members Unanimously Agree to Punish Russian Sanctions Busters

    The European Union has granted itself legal authority to take action against anyone who helps Russia avoid its sanctions, the EU presidency announced on Monday. According to a statement, member states unanimously agreed that violating restrictive measures against Russia be considered an “EU crime” across the bloc. This would make it easier to add individuals…

  • ‘Spared the Noose’: Crowdfunding Helps Russian Anti-War Protesters Pay Fines

    ‘Spared the Noose’: Crowdfunding Helps Russian Anti-War Protesters Pay Fines

    The 30,000 ruble ($497) fine handed to Sergei Stafeyev by a Russian court earlier this year for breaking wartime censorship laws amounted to more than his monthly pension.  With little savings, the retiree from the remote Butyrka village near the Ural mountains was at a loss for how to find the money — and grew…

  • Putin and Kazakhstan’s Tokayev Reaffirm Ties After Ukraine Tensions

    Putin and Kazakhstan’s Tokayev Reaffirm Ties After Ukraine Tensions

    Kazakhstan’s president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on Monday, with the allies reaffirming historic ties following public disagreements over Ukraine. The visit to Moscow was the Kazakh leader’s first foreign trip since being inaugurated for a second term last week, with the 69-year-old saying his choice to visit Moscow…

  • Ukraine Warns of Fresh Russian Missile Strikes

    Ukraine Warns of Fresh Russian Missile Strikes

    Ukraine said on Monday that Russia was preparing for a fresh wave of missile attacks on its energy grid that have plunged swathes of the country into the cold and dark. A Ukraine military spokesman said a Russian warship capable of firing cruise missiles had recently deployed to the Black Sea with Kalibr-type missiles on…

  • Russian Social Network Bans Soldiers’ Mothers’ Group Following Putin Criticism

    Russian Social Network Bans Soldiers’ Mothers’ Group Following Putin Criticism

    Popular Russian social network VKontakte has banned an independent group of soldiers’ relatives lobbying the Kremlin for the return of mobilized troops from Ukraine. The Council of Wives and Mothers said Sunday that its page had been blocked at the request of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office without further explanation. The group’s ban came after…

  • Bomb Shelter Signs Spring Up Across Russian Cities

    Bomb Shelter Signs Spring Up Across Russian Cities

    Bomb shelter signs have appeared on the streets of Russian cities near the border with Ukraine as well as in more far-flung locations, the independent news site Holod reported Sunday. Around 700 signs are expected to be installed by early December in the city of Belgorod near the Ukrainian border, Mayor Valentin Demidov has said. Installing…

  • 90 Years On, Ukrainians See Repeat of Soviet ‘Genocide’

    90 Years On, Ukrainians See Repeat of Soviet ‘Genocide’

    Ninety years ago, millions perished in Ukraine in a manmade famine under Joseph Stalin that many in the country call genocide. For Ganna Pertchuk, the current Russian invasion is a case of history repeating itself. At the tall candle-shaped Holodomor (Ukrainian for death by starvation) memorial center in central Kyiv, a dozen Orthodox priests in…

  • Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei Dies Suddenly

    Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei Dies Suddenly

    The foreign minister of Belarus, who earlier this year dismissed international concerns over a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine being launched from his country, has died at the age of 64, the Belta news agency reported on Saturday.  “The Belarusian foreign minister Vladimir Makei has died suddenly,” the country’s state news agency reported, citing the…

  • Ukraine War Fuels ‘Fear and Anxiety’ for Russia’s Trans Community

    Ukraine War Fuels ‘Fear and Anxiety’ for Russia’s Trans Community

    Transgender and non-binary people in Russia have faced rising harassment and physical abuse since the start of the war in Ukraine, activists say, as the Kremlin doubles down on an ideology of “traditional values” in the face of international isolation.    In particular, the country’s mobilization campaign has led to transgender women still officially classified as…

  • In a Devastated Ukrainian Village, Winter Brings More Misery

    In a Devastated Ukrainian Village, Winter Brings More Misery

    As the temperatures plunge in eastern Ukraine, Sergiy Khmil says he has little choice but to use the stacks of ammunition boxes left by the retreating Russian forces as firewood this winter. Without the wood, Khmil says he will probably freeze amid the ruins of his destroyed village of Kamyanka.  “The most difficult thing is…

  • The Art of Pâté

    The Art of Pâté

    The Russian word “pashtet” (паштет) may not be Russian originally, but now it is firmly part of the language. But few people today know the origin of this term. The word “pâté” is related to the word “pasta.”  This isn’t just a fun fact of linguistics. Pâté was indeed related to dough. A few centuries ago,…

  • Death Toll for Russian Soldiers in Ukraine at Least 9,300 – BBC

    Death Toll for Russian Soldiers in Ukraine at Least 9,300 – BBC

    At least 9,311 Russian soldiers have died since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine nine months ago, according to an independent investigation conducted jointly by the BBC Russian Service and independent Russian news outlet MediaZona.  The death toll, which was published by the BBC on Friday, only includes officially confirmed fatalities, meaning that the true…

  • Putin Meets With Carefully Selected Group of Soldiers’ Mothers

    Putin Meets With Carefully Selected Group of Soldiers’ Mothers

    Ahead of Mother’s Day celebrations in Russia on Sunday, President Vladimir Putin met with the mothers of soldiers recently called up to serve in Ukraine at his residence outside Moscow on Friday.  “I understand perfectly well that for you, as well as for so many other women in Russia whose sons are in the war…

  • Get Ready for Seasons Greetings

    Get Ready for Seasons Greetings

    Щедрая душа: a generous soul It’s that time of the year again: holidays, parties, merrymaking followed by more holidays, parties and merrymaking. If all goes well and we are lucky, we spend time with hospitable, good-natured, well-meaning folks. Naturally, this got me thinking about how to express this in Russian. The fun part is that…

  • Putin Ally Alexei Kudrin Set to Run Tech Giant Yandex – Reports

    Putin Ally Alexei Kudrin Set to Run Tech Giant Yandex – Reports

    Alexei Kudrin, a longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin, is expected to assume a leadership position in the restructuring of Russian tech giant Yandex, state media reported on Friday. Yandex is awaiting Putin’s blessing to sell its main operations in Russia and appoint Kudrin to its new structure, several reports indicated earlier this week. Yandex’s…

  • Swedish Brothers Go on Trial in ‘Unique’ Russian Spy Case

    Swedish Brothers Go on Trial in ‘Unique’ Russian Spy Case

    Two Swedish brothers, one a former intelligence official, went on trial in Stockholm on Friday accused of “aggravated espionage” for allegedly spying for Russia’s GRU military intelligence service between 2011 and 2021. “This case is unique in many ways … We haven’t had a trial like this in more than 20 years,” prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist…

  • Half of Kyiv Residents Still Without Electricity After Strikes

    Half of Kyiv Residents Still Without Electricity After Strikes

    Nearly half of Kyiv residents were still without electricity on Friday as engineers battled to restore services two days after Russian strikes hammered the country’s energy grid. Systematic and targeted Russian attacks for weeks have brought Ukraine’s energy infrastructure to its knees as the country careens towards a freezing winter, spurring fears of a health…

  • Slain Russian Soldiers ‘Belong to the State,’ Siberian Governor Tells Mothers

    Slain Russian Soldiers ‘Belong to the State,’ Siberian Governor Tells Mothers

    Russian soldiers who die in combat in Ukraine “belong to the state,” a regional governor said at a meeting with the mothers of fallen troops Thursday. The blunt comments from Igor Kobzev, the head of the Irkutsk region in southeast Siberia, come as the Russian military officially acknowledges fewer than 6,000 casualties despite suffering major setbacks…

  • Russian Official Quits After Son’s Bloody Videos Spark School Shooting Fears

    Russian Official Quits After Son’s Bloody Videos Spark School Shooting Fears

    An official in central Russia has resigned after her son’s disturbing social media posts triggered a high-profile scandal and police involvement, media reported Thursday. The republic of Chuvashia’s digital development minister Kristina Maynina was summoned for questioning after her son’s classmates noticed his social media posts and perceived them as a threat to shoot up the…

  • Former Khabarovsk Governor Plans Hunger Strike to Protest Trial 

    Former Khabarovsk Governor Plans Hunger Strike to Protest Trial 

    Sergei Furgal, the jailed former governor of Russia’s Khabarovsk region, has announced he plans to go on hunger strike to protest the violation of his constitutional rights by the Moscow region court hearing his case, independent Russian media outlet Sotavision reported on Wednesday.  Furgal came to prominence in Russia in 2018 when, as the candidate…

  • Putin Warns of ‘Grave Consequences’ to Oil Price Caps

    Putin Warns of ‘Grave Consequences’ to Oil Price Caps

    Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Western plans to introduce oil price caps could have “grave consequences” for energy markets, during a telephone conversation with Iraq’s prime minister on Thursday. “Vladimir Putin stressed that such actions are contrary to the principles of market relations and are highly likely to lead to grave consequences for global…

  • As Winter Sets In, Ukrainian Battlefields Show Few Signs Of Freezing

    As Winter Sets In, Ukrainian Battlefields Show Few Signs Of Freezing

    As the first snow fell across Ukraine last week, the Ukrainian army launched an attack on Russian positions around Kreminna in a renewed — albeit so far unsuccessful — effort to retake the eastern town.  At the same time, Ukrainian special forces were reportedly pushing back Russian troops in the islands and marshes that make…

  • As Winter Sets In, Ukrainian Battlefields Shows Few Signs Of Freezing

    As Winter Sets In, Ukrainian Battlefields Shows Few Signs Of Freezing

    As the first snow fell across Ukraine last week, the Ukrainian army launched an attack on Russian positions around Kreminna in a renewed — albeit so far unsuccessful — effort to retake the eastern town.  At the same time, Ukrainian special forces were reportedly pushing back Russian troops in the islands and marshes that make…

  • Russian Soldiers’ Mothers Accuse Putin of Avoiding Them

    Russian Soldiers’ Mothers Accuse Putin of Avoiding Them

    The relatives of Russian servicemen fighting in Ukraine have accused President Vladimir Putin of avoiding them after they were not invited to a meeting between the Kremlin chief and soldiers’ families reportedly set to take place on Friday.   Instead, family members, who also claim to have been tailed by Russian security services in recent days,…

  • Russia Eyes Domestic Alternatives to Instagram, TikTok, Zoom

    Russia Eyes Domestic Alternatives to Instagram, TikTok, Zoom

    Russian software developers have submitted early versions of homemade alternatives to Instagram, TikTok and Zoom, the RBC news website reported Thursday. Instagram was blocked by Russian authorities following the invasion of Ukraine, while TikTok and Zoom restricted their services within the country. The proposed domestic platforms — Looky, Sunlight Play and Dion — are part…

  • ‘Foreign and Ukrainian Air Defense’ Caused Kyiv Damage, Russia Says

    ‘Foreign and Ukrainian Air Defense’ Caused Kyiv Damage, Russia Says

    Russia on Thursday denied targeting the Ukrainian capital, instead accusing “foreign and Ukrainian” air defense missiles of causing damage in Kyiv, where critical energy infrastructure was hit a day earlier. “Not a single strike was made on targets within the city of Kyiv,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.  Any damage was “the result of the…

  • Over 80K Russian Passports Issued in ‘Annexed’ Ukraine – Moscow

    Over 80K Russian Passports Issued in ‘Annexed’ Ukraine – Moscow

    Moscow said Thursday it has issued more than 80,000 Russian passports to residents of four Ukrainian territories since President Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed the regions in September. “Since the addition … of the four regions into the Russian Federation, and in accordance with the legislation, more than 80,000 people received passports as citizens…

  • Russian Lawmakers Pass Expansion to ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban

    Russian Lawmakers Pass Expansion to ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban

    Russian lawmakers passed legislation Thursday imposing steep fines for LGBT “propaganda” among both minors and adults. The new bill bans the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” aimed at any age group — not just toward minors, as was banned under the country’s controversial 2013 law. The bill also codifies new offenses such as “propaganda of pedophilia”…

  • Russia’s Wagner Group Says Sending Blood-Stained Sledgehammer to EU Parliament

    Russia’s Wagner Group Says Sending Blood-Stained Sledgehammer to EU Parliament

    The Kremlin-linked leader of the notorious Wagner mercenary group said Wednesday that he sent a sledgehammer to be delivered to the European Parliament in a dark reminder of one fighter’s gruesome killing. Yevgeny Prigozhin’s threatening gesture came as the EU Parliament prepared to condemn Wagner in a non-binding resolution after branding Russia a “state sponsor…

  • Two U.S. Surrogate Babies ‘Rescued’ from Russian Orphanage, Group Says

    Two U.S. Surrogate Babies ‘Rescued’ from Russian Orphanage, Group Says

    Two American babies born to a surrogate mother from eastern Ukraine and evacuated to Russia after the start of the war have been returned to their U.S. parents, the private group behind the operation, Project Dynamo, said Wednesday. The twins, a boy and a girl, were “rescued” Tuesday after the organization’s first mission on Russian…

  • Putin Met With Street Protests on Visit to Armenia

    Putin Met With Street Protests on Visit to Armenia

    YEREVAN, Armenia — Russian President Vladimir Putin was greeted with street demonstrations in the capital of this landlocked South Caucasus nation Wednesday as he arrived for talks with the members of a Moscow-led military alliance.  Hundreds of Armenians and emigre Russians took part in two days of rallies in central Yerevan to protest Putin’s visit,…

  • EU Parliament Website Attacked After MEPs Slam Russian ‘Terrorism’

    EU Parliament Website Attacked After MEPs Slam Russian ‘Terrorism’

    The European Parliament website was hit by a cyberattack claimed by pro-Russian hackers on Wednesday, shortly after lawmakers approved a resolution calling Moscow a “state sponsor of terrorism.” “The European Parliament is under a sophisticated cyberattack. A pro-Kremlin group has claimed responsibility,” the parliament’s president, Roberta Metsola, tweeted.  “Our IT experts are pushing back against…

  • Kyrgyzstan Mulls Building Nuclear Plant With Russian Help

    Kyrgyzstan Mulls Building Nuclear Plant With Russian Help

    Kyrgyzstan announced on Wednesday that it was looking into the possibility of building its first nuclear power plant, with Russian help, to tackle frequent energy shortages. The country’s Energy Ministry “signed a cooperation document” with a subsidiary of Russian nuclear agency Rosatom, the ministry said in a statement, raising the prospect of Moscow further growing…

  • Russia Court Extends Kremlin Critic Yashin’s Detention by 6 Months

    Russia Court Extends Kremlin Critic Yashin’s Detention by 6 Months

    A Russian court on Wednesday extended by six months the detention of opposition politician Ilya Yashin, who risks being jailed 10 years for denouncing President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine. The 39-year-old Moscow city councilor is in the dock as part of an unprecedented crackdown on dissent in Russia, with most opposition activists either in…

  • Russian Jailed in Norway for Illegal Drone Flight

    Russian Jailed in Norway for Illegal Drone Flight

    A Russian man was sentenced to 90 days in jail in Norway on Wednesday for flying a drone over the country in violation of a ban adopted in response to the war in Ukraine. Now Europe’s main supplier of natural gas, Norway has been on high alert since mysterious unmanned aircraft were spotted near strategic…

  • European Parliament Recognizes Russia as a State Sponsor of Terror

    European Parliament Recognizes Russia as a State Sponsor of Terror

    The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted a resolution recognized Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” and accusing its forces of carrying out atrocities in its invasion of Ukraine. The move by the European legislators is a symbolic political step with no legal consequences, but MEPs urged the governments of the 27-nation EU to follow…

  • CIA Tells Russians Frustrated by Putin’s War: ‘We’re Open for Business’

    CIA Tells Russians Frustrated by Putin’s War: ‘We’re Open for Business’

    The CIA is seeking to recruit Russian nationals angry with the course of Russia’s war in Ukraine, a senior official in the U.S. foreign intelligence ageny has said. CIA Director of Operations David Marlowe noted that President Vladimir Putin’s failure to achieve his military and security goals in the nine-month invasion of Ukraine has given…

  • Russian Activists, Armenian Nationalists Protest in Yerevan Ahead of Putin Visit

    Russian Activists, Armenian Nationalists Protest in Yerevan Ahead of Putin Visit

    Members of Yerevan’s Russian population took to the streets of the Armenian capital Tuesday evening to protest against the war in Ukraine ahead of Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s arrival for Wednesday’s Collective Security Treaty Organization summit. The demonstration, which took place on Russia Square, attracted some 50 activists, who flew Russian flags with the red…

  • U.K. to Send Helicopters to Ukraine For ‘First’ Time

    U.K. to Send Helicopters to Ukraine For ‘First’ Time

    Britain is to send helicopters to Ukraine for the first time since Russia’s invasion, the defense ministry in London said on Wednesday. Ten crews of Ukrainian service personnel and engineers underwent a six-week training program in the U.K., as part of the “first helicopter capability the U.K. has donated to Ukraine,” the ministry said. In…

  • Armed Crime on the Rise in Russia

    Armed Crime on the Rise in Russia

    Crimes involving weapons have surged by nearly 30% in Russia this year, the RBC news website reported Wednesday, citing police data. Some 5,000 offenses involving firearms, ammunition and explosives were registered in January-October 2022, a 29.7% increase from the same time period last year. Authorities saw a more than 12% increase in the theft and…

  • Newborn Killed in Russian Strike on Ukraine Maternity Ward – Rescuers

    Newborn Killed in Russian Strike on Ukraine Maternity Ward – Rescuers

    A newborn baby was killed following a Russian strike that hit a maternity ward in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, which Moscow claims to have annexed, Ukrainian emergency services said Wednesday.  Overnight on Tuesday to Wednesday, “in the city of Vilniansk in Zaporizhzhia region, as a result of a rocket attack on the territory of the…

  • Crimean Teacher Jailed for Posting Patriotic Ukrainian Song

    Crimean Teacher Jailed for Posting Patriotic Ukrainian Song

    A former teacher in annexed Crimea has said he was beaten and jailed for posting a patriotic Ukrainian song that has become a symbol of Kyiv’s resistance to Russia’s invasion, independent Russian media reported Tuesday. Andrei Belozerov said security officers in the annexed peninsula’s second-largest city of Simferopol barged into his dormitory and violently arrested him…

  • Moscow Says on Alert After Crimea Hit by ‘Drone Attack’

    Moscow Says on Alert After Crimea Hit by ‘Drone Attack’

    Ukraine’s Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula was targeted by a drone attack on Tuesday, Kremlin-installed authorities said, adding that Moscow’s forces there were “on alert.” The strike came as Kyiv claimed another territorial victory and just days after Moscow said it was strengthening its position on the Crimean peninsula. “There is an attack with drones,” the governor…

  • Blasts Kill Three in Russia’s Belgorod Region

    Blasts Kill Three in Russia’s Belgorod Region

    Explosions killed three people in two villages in Russia’s Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine on Tuesday, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.  A woman was killed in what Gladkov said was Ukrainian shelling in the village of Shebekino, around seven kilometers from the Ukrainian border in the south of the Belgorod region. “During the…

  • Russia Unveils Nuclear Icebreaker in Push For Arctic Dominance                                    

    Russia Unveils Nuclear Icebreaker in Push For Arctic Dominance                                    

    President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday oversaw the launch of a new nuclear-powered icebreaker as Russia pushes to develop the Arctic and seeks new energy markets amid sanctions over Ukraine.  Addressing a St. Petersburg ceremony for the launch of the Yakutia icebreaker by video link, Putin spoke of the vessel’s “strategic” importance to Russia. In addition…

  • Gazprom Threatens Further Gas Delivery Cuts to Europe Over Ukraine

    Gazprom Threatens Further Gas Delivery Cuts to Europe Over Ukraine

    Russian energy giant Gazprom on Tuesday accused Ukraine of diverting natural gas supplies transiting its territory to Moldova and threatened to cut deliveries through a key pipeline to Europe in response. The allegations are the latest point of tension over energy deliveries between Kyiv, European capitals, and Moscow, which has reduced natural gas deliveries to…

  • Anti-Gay Law to Push Russia’s LGBT Community ‘Into the Shadows,’ Activists Warn

    Anti-Gay Law to Push Russia’s LGBT Community ‘Into the Shadows,’ Activists Warn

    Anti-gay legislation under consideration by the Russian parliament could drive the country’s embattled LGBT+ community entirely underground, activists and experts told The Moscow Times, as the Kremlin doubles-down on what it calls “traditional values” amid the Ukraine war.  Russian lawmakers last month backed a bill to expand an existing ban on LGBT “propaganda” in its…

  • Russian Colonel Placed Under House Arrest for Washing Machine Bribe

    Russian Colonel Placed Under House Arrest for Washing Machine Bribe

    A Colonel in the Russian General Staff responsible for overseeing mobilization has been placed under a two-month house arrest for allegedly demanding a washing machine as a bribe from a fellow officer, the Kommersant business daily reported on Tuesday. Colonel Ivan Mertvishchev pleaded guilty to demanding the unusual bribe from a Moscow military commissar whose…

  • Military Court Sentences Russian Soldier for Desertion in Ukraine

    Military Court Sentences Russian Soldier for Desertion in Ukraine

    A member of the Russian Armed Forces was handed a one-year suspended sentence back in August for deserting his unit in Ukraine, a court in Pskov announced on Monday. Professional soldier Mikhail Guryanov was found guilty by the court of abandoneding his unit on Apr. 6.  He was subsequently apprehended and detained by the Russian…

  • Ukraine Detains ‘Traitor’ Who Released Kherson Prisoners

    Ukraine Detains ‘Traitor’ Who Released Kherson Prisoners

    Ukrainian investigators said Tuesday that a prison official in the recently liberated city of Kherson was suspected of committing treason for releasing inmates before the Russian army’s retreat. On Nov. 11, the Russian army pulled forces from the southern city of Kherson, in a major setback in a region President Vladimir Putin claimed to have…

  • Russian Lawmakers Urge West to Condemn Ukraine Over Soldiers’ ‘Massacre’

    Russian Lawmakers Urge West to Condemn Ukraine Over Soldiers’ ‘Massacre’

    Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, adopted a resolution Tuesday condemning the alleged killings of captive Russian troops by Ukrainian forces and urging Western counterparts to drop their support for Kyiv. Russian military and civilian authorities, as well as influential state media figures and bloggers, accused Kyiv of committing war crimes after videos…

  • Ukraine Raids Famed Monastery Over Suspected Russia Links

    Ukraine Raids Famed Monastery Over Suspected Russia Links

    Ukraine’s security service said Tuesday it had raided a historic Orthodox monastery in Kyiv over suspected links to Russian agents. The Kremlin denounced the searches as the latest chapter in Kyiv’s “war” against the Russian church. Located south of the city center, the 11th-century Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is a UNESCO World Heritage site and seat…

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