Pope’s Remarks on Russian Ethnic Minorities ‘Un-Christian’ – Lavrov

Moscow on Thursday described as “un-Christian” recent comments by Pope Francis that Russian ethnic minorities were among the “cruelest” actors in Moscow’s military ranks in Ukraine. “Pope Francis calls for talks but also recently made an incomprehensible statement, completely un-Christian, singling out two Russian nationalities into some category from which atrocities can be expected during…

Details

Russia Bans Public Discussions of Army Strategy, Troop Morale, Mobilization

Russian authorities have banned public discussions of a wide range of non-classified military subjects that activists say will effectively prevent the public from learning crucial information about the Armed Forces. The 60-point Federal Security Service (FSB) order, which enters into force Dec. 1, lists information that is not classified as a state secret, but which…

Details

Russian Defense Chief Calls for ‘Next-Gen’ Weapons Use in Ukraine

The Russian military should deploy next-generation weapons in its campaign in Ukraine, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday. “We need to continue upgrading and creating advanced systems with their subsequent application in the special military operation,” Shoigu said at a ministerial board meeting. Shoigu did not specify which types of innovative weapons systems he was…

Details

Jailed Belarus Opposition Leader Kolesnikova Hospitalized in Intensive Care, Allies Say

Jailed Belarusian opposition activist Maria Kolesnikova, who helped lead historic pro-democracy protests in her country in 2020, is in intensive care in the hospital, her allies said Tuesday. Kolesnikova was sentenced to 11 years in prison in August 2021 for “conspiracy” over her role in the mass protests that erupted before and after Belarusian President…

Details

Russia Bans Online Journal Riddle as ‘Undesirable’ Organization 

The office of Russia’s Prosecutor General officially designated the online journal Riddle as an “undesirable” organization on Tuesday, accusing it of “posing a threat to the security” of the Russian Federation. Under Russian law an international NGO can be declared “undesirable” for “posing a threat to the constitutional order of the Russian Federation, the defense capability…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details

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,…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details

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”…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details