Mindblown: a blog about philosophy.

  • Darknet Marketplace Shutdown Upends Russia’s Illegal Drug Market

    Darknet Marketplace Shutdown Upends Russia’s Illegal Drug Market

    U.S. and German authorities’ decision to block Russian darknet drug marketplace Hydra following the invasion of Ukraine has made life more dangerous for some illegal drug users, according to Russian charities. Hydra, which was estimated to be worth over $1.3 billion at the time of its closure, had dominated Russia’s economic underworld, enabling the purchase…

  • Kremlin Says Move Against Jewish Agency Should Not Be ‘Politicized’

    Kremlin Says Move Against Jewish Agency Should Not Be ‘Politicized’

    The Kremlin said Tuesday that a move to close in Russia the agency that processes Jewish immigration to Israel should not be “politicized,” calling it a purely legal matter.  In a surprise move, a Moscow court said last week that the Justice Ministry had requested the “dissolution” of the Jewish Agency because of unspecified legal violations. Tens…

  • Fugitive Ex-Wirecard Exec Obtains Russian Passport – Reports

    Fugitive Ex-Wirecard Exec Obtains Russian Passport – Reports

    A former top executive of disgraced payments company Wirecard believed to be under the protection of Russia’s security services near Moscow has at least two fake Russian passports, investigative reports said Monday.  Austrian national Jan Marsalek is on Europol’s most-wanted list for alleged fraud after Wirecard — where he served as chief operating officer —…

  • Kyiv Says Russian Strikes Pummel Ukraine’s Black Sea Coast

    Kyiv Says Russian Strikes Pummel Ukraine’s Black Sea Coast

    Ukraine said on Tuesday that Russian forces had launched multiple missile strikes at targets on the Black Sea coast near the southern port city of Odesa and in Mykolaiv.  The attacks come days after Russian strikes hit the port of Odesa, calling into question a breakthrough deal to resume exports of grain from Ukraine, that…

  • Prison Torture Victim Dies From Pneumonia – Reports

    Prison Torture Victim Dies From Pneumonia – Reports

    A convict whose violent beating by prison guards was caught on video and led to a mass outcry over prison torture in Russia has died from double pneumonia, his mother told independent media Monday.  Video of Yevgeny Makarov’s torture northeast of Moscow was leaked in 2018, prompting a series of investigations across Russian correctional facilities and…

  • Ukraine Calls Europe to Action as Russia Slashes Gas

    Ukraine Calls Europe to Action as Russia Slashes Gas

    Russia’s state-owned gas company on Monday announced an unexpected, drastic cut in supply to Europe, leading Ukraine to call the West to action over the “gas war.” The gas cuts came amid guarded hope of resuming exports this week of another key commodity — Ukraine’s grain — under a breakthrough deal that was called into…

  • French Prosecutors Open Probe into Russian Oligarchs: Legal Source

    French Prosecutors Open Probe into Russian Oligarchs: Legal Source

    French prosecutors have opened an investigation into the assets owned by Russian oligarchs, a legal source said on Monday. The probe is expected to look into possible money laundering and corruption. The investigation, first reported by the Parisien newspaper, comes after anti-graft group Transparency International filed a legal complaint against oligarchs in France in May. …

  • Gazprom Says to Cut Nord Stream Gas Deliveries Drastically From Wednesday

    Gazprom Says to Cut Nord Stream Gas Deliveries Drastically From Wednesday

    Gazprom said it was cutting daily gas deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline to 33 million cubic meters a day — about 20% of the pipeline’s capacity — from Wednesday. The company said in a statement on Monday that it was halting the operation of one of the last two operating turbines due to the…

  • Intense Flooding Hits Russia’s Black Sea Resort Sochi

    Intense Flooding Hits Russia’s Black Sea Resort Sochi

    Russia’s largest resort city Sochi experienced major flooding over the weekend as record rainfall washed out the city on the Black Sea coast. Local power supplies were cut off, apartment buildings were flooded, cars were seen being washed away and a river overflowed, leading to one civilian death and several injuries. Russian climate activist Arshak…

  • Limited Off-Road Lada Hits the Russian Market as Sanctions Limit Modern Features

    Limited Off-Road Lada Hits the Russian Market as Sanctions Limit Modern Features

    Russia’s Avtovaz automaker will revive the classic three-door Lada Niva Legend, the sanctions-hit company announced Monday. Known for its simplicity and durability since the Soviet period, the Niva Legend’s Classic 2022 configuration is hitting the market with a limited number of 1,800 vehicles and a price tag of 800,000 rubles ($13,600). “We’re glad to expand…

  • U.K. to Host 2023 Eurovision as Ukraine Bows Out

    U.K. to Host 2023 Eurovision as Ukraine Bows Out

    Britain said Monday it had reluctantly agreed to host next year’s Eurovision song contest, after organizers said there was no prospect of the event going ahead in war-torn Ukraine. The BBC will instead produce the world’s biggest live music event, taking in performers from across Europe and Central Asia as well as Israel and Australia,…

  • Kazakhstan Boosts Defense Spending Amid Ukraine Invasion – WSJ

    Kazakhstan Boosts Defense Spending Amid Ukraine Invasion – WSJ

    Kazakhstan is significantly increasing its defense spending and seeking closer ties with China and NATO countries amid fears of Moscow’s geopolitical ambitions spreading beyond Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a Kazakh official.  The Central Asian country will commit an extra 441 billion tenge ($918 million) to its defense budget, a nearly 1.5-fold increase…

  • Kremlin Says Odesa Strikes Should Not Hamper Grain Exports

    Kremlin Says Odesa Strikes Should Not Hamper Grain Exports

    The Kremlin said Monday that Russian strikes on Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa “should not affect” a UN-brokered deal between Moscow and Kyiv to unblock grain exports.  “This cannot and should not affect the start of shipment,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, two days after Moscow hit the port.  He said Russia’s strikes…

  • EU Targets Pro-Putin Biker Gang in New Russia Sanctions – FT

    EU Targets Pro-Putin Biker Gang in New Russia Sanctions – FT

    The European Union has agreed to impose sanctions on the “Night Wolves,” a notorious pro-Kremlin biker gang, as part of the bloc’s latest penalties over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Financial Times reported Friday. The Night Wolves are famous for their nationalist leanings, provocative pro-Kremlin trips to Europe and ties with President Vladimir Putin. The…

  • Siberian Opposition Deputy Flees Criminal ‘War Fakes’ Prosecution

    Siberian Opposition Deputy Flees Criminal ‘War Fakes’ Prosecution

    A Siberian regional opposition deputy has fled to Georgia shortly after Russian authorities launched a criminal investigation against her on allegations of spreading “fake” information about the Russian army. Helga Pirogova, 33, was arrested last week and charged days later over a since-deleted tweet that criticized the mother of a deceased volunteer soldier who praised…

  • Russian Chess-Playing Robot Breaks Child Prodigy’s Finger

    Russian Chess-Playing Robot Breaks Child Prodigy’s Finger

    A Russian chess robot latched onto and broke a child prodigy’s finger during a tournament in Moscow, news outlets have reported. Video shared by the Baza Telegram channel Thursday showed the robot arm squeezing the boy’s finger and adults rushing to his help. The news outlet identified the victim as 7-year-old Kristofer, one of Moscow’s…

  • Parallel Imports Cut Russian Keyboard Supplies – Kommersant

    Parallel Imports Cut Russian Keyboard Supplies – Kommersant

    Laptops and computer keyboards with Russian-language layouts are increasingly reaching Russia under a government scheme to maintain imports despite Western sanctions and an exodus of international businesses over the war in Ukraine, the Kommersant business daily reported Monday. Russia’s “parallel import” scheme allows the supply of keyboards and laptops originally intended for foreign markets without approval…

  • Russia FM Reassures Egypt on Grain Deliveries

    Russia FM Reassures Egypt on Grain Deliveries

    Russia’s top diplomat reassured Egyptian leaders Sunday that their orders for Russian grain would be met as he began a tour of African countries dependent on imports for their food supply. “We confirmed the commitment of Russian exporters of cereal products to meet their orders in full,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference…

  • New Novaya Gazeta Site Blocked in Russia

    New Novaya Gazeta Site Blocked in Russia

    Russia on Sunday blocked the website of a new editorial project by independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which was forced to suspend publication in March amid repression of critics of the offensive in Ukraine. On July 15, its staff launched a paper magazine that can be seen online via a new website called “Novaya Rasskaz-Gazeta.” This…

  • Ukraine’s Kherson to Be ‘Liberated’ From Russia By September – Official

    Ukraine’s Kherson to Be ‘Liberated’ From Russia By September – Official

    A Ukrainian official said Sunday that the country’s southern region of Kherson, which fell to Russian troops early in their February invasion, would be recaptured by Kyiv’s forces by September. “We can say that the Kherson region will definitely be liberated by September, and all the occupiers’ plans will fail,” Serhiy Khlan, an aide to…

  • Russia Says Odesa Strikes Hit Western Arms

    Russia Says Odesa Strikes Hit Western Arms

    Russia said Sunday that its missile barrage on a Ukrainian port central to a freshly-inked grain export deal had destroyed Western-supplied weapons, after the attack sparked an outcry from Ukraine’s allies. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced Saturday’s strike on the Odesa port — which came just one day after the warring sides struck a deal…

  • Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine’s Odesa Port, Key to Grain Deal

    Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine’s Odesa Port, Key to Grain Deal

    Russian missiles struck Ukraine’s key Black Sea port of Odesa Saturday, officials said, in an attack Kyiv described as a “spit in the face” of a deal signed by the warring neighbors a day earlier to resume grain exports blocked by the conflict. Two cruise missiles hit terminal infrastructure, regional authorities said on social media,…

  • ‘Panama Papers’ Whistleblower Says Russia ‘Wants Me Dead’

    ‘Panama Papers’ Whistleblower Says Russia ‘Wants Me Dead’

    The whistleblower behind the “Panama Papers” which revealed major tax evasion and fraud worldwide said he feared Russian retribution, in an interview published Saturday by Germany’s Der Spiegel. The magazine quoted him under his pseudonym John Doe as saying he had evidence of financial wrongdoing by top Russian officials and their allies which helped fund…

  • Medovik: Russia’s Famous and Mysterious Honey Cake

    Medovik: Russia’s Famous and Mysterious Honey Cake

    What is Russia’s most famous dessert? Most people would answer without a moment’s hesitation: medovik (honey cake). It brings us back to our childhood — it’s comforting and homey. Why do we love it so much? What is the secret to its appeal? Of course, it’s the main ingredient that gives it flavor and aroma…

  • In Photos: Ukraine Saves Wheat Fields Endangered by Russian Offensive

    In Photos: Ukraine Saves Wheat Fields Endangered by Russian Offensive

    Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine has left up to 25 million tons of wheat and other grain stranded in the country’s Black Sea ports. While the blockade — which the UN said risked exacerbating the threat of a global food crisis — is due to end in weeks thanks to a landmark deal signed Friday,…

  • Ukraine, Russia Sign Grain Export Deal With UN, Turkey

    Ukraine, Russia Sign Grain Export Deal With UN, Turkey

    Russia and Ukraine on Friday signed a landmark deal with the United Nations and Turkey on resuming grain shipments that could ease a global food crisis in which millions face hunger. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov each signed separate but identical agreements with UN and Turkish officials on reopening…

  • The Russian Sedentary Diet

    The Russian Sedentary Diet

    Диета: diet If there is one word that is immediately understandable in Russian, it’s диета (diet). Right? Well, mostly right. In English, the most common meaning of the word today is “the restriction of food intake to lose weight,” but it can also mean the food usually consumed by a creature or food prescribed for…

  • Russia Move Against Jewish Group Response to Israel War Stance – Analysts

    Russia Move Against Jewish Group Response to Israel War Stance – Analysts

    A Russian crackdown on the agency that processes the immigration of Jews to Israel is a response to new Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s tougher stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, analysts said Friday. On Thursday, a Moscow court said the Justice Ministry had requested the “dissolution” of the Jewish Agency over unspecified legal violations…

  • Rosneft’s ‘green’ investments’ amounted to 55 billion roubles in 2021

    In 2021, Rosneft invested approximately 55 billion roubles in environmental protection and restoration activities.

  • Russia’s Central Bank Unexpectedly Cuts Rates By 1.5%

    Russia’s Central Bank Unexpectedly Cuts Rates By 1.5%

    Russia’s Central Bank cut its key interest rate by 150 basis points from 9.5% to 8% on Friday, citing a slowing in inflation.  The cut marks fourth time this year Russia’s Central Bank has lowered its rate, after it implemented an emergency hike from 9.5% to 20% in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  …

  • Russia Opens Criminal ‘Army Fakes’ Probe Against Opposition Deputy

    Russia Opens Criminal ‘Army Fakes’ Probe Against Opposition Deputy

    Russian authorities have launched a criminal investigation against a regional independent deputy on Friday on suspicion of spreading “fake” information about the Russian army, a new crime introduced following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.  Helga Pirogova, 33, was arrested late Tuesday when leaving a charity auction in support of those prosecuted for taking part in…

  • Half of Russian Spies in Europe Expelled Since Ukraine War – British Spy Chief

    Half of Russian Spies in Europe Expelled Since Ukraine War – British Spy Chief

    Half of all Russian spies operating under diplomatic cover around Europe have been expelled since the start of the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine, the head of British foreign intelligence said Thusday. “So across Europe, roughly half — at last count something north of 400 Russian intelligence officers operating under diplomatic cover — have been expelled,”…

  • Russia Expands List of ‘Unfriendly’ Countries

    Russia Expands List of ‘Unfriendly’ Countries

    Russia has expanded its short list of so-called “unfriendly” nations, adding five European states that Moscow says have taken “hostile” actions. The list of “unfriendly” countries, first established in May 2021 to include the United States and the Czech Republic, restricts the number of local staff that can be hired at designated nations’ diplomatic missions…

  • Russian Air Strike on Syria Kills 7 – Monitor

    Russian Air Strike on Syria Kills 7 – Monitor

    A Russian air strike killed seven people, four of them children, in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib region on Friday, a war monitor said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it confirmed the deaths “including four children who are siblings, two men and an unidentified person… as a result of Russian air strikes,” in the Jisr…

  • Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Talk Oil

    Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Talk Oil

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke about the oil market in a telephone conversation on Thursday, the Kremlin said. The call comes less than a week after Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler met visiting U.S. President Joe Biden. Putin and Prince Mohammed discussed “in detail the situation on…

  • ‘Everything is Fine’: Kremlin Dismisses Rumors of Putin’s Declining Health

    ‘Everything is Fine’: Kremlin Dismisses Rumors of Putin’s Declining Health

    The Kremlin said Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is in good health, dismissing rumors that the leader was unwell as completely unfounded. “Everything is fine with his health,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Scrutiny over the 69-year-old Putin’s health has intensified since he launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February. “Ukrainian, American…

  • Ukraine War Must End To Prevent Nuclear ‘Abyss,’ Lukashenko Tells AFP

    Ukraine War Must End To Prevent Nuclear ‘Abyss,’ Lukashenko Tells AFP

    Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko Thursday said Russia, Ukraine and the West must agree to halt the Ukraine conflict to avoid the “abyss of nuclear war” and insisted Kyiv should accept Moscow’s demands. “We must stop, reach an agreement, end this mess, operation and war in Ukraine,” Lukashenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top ally, told AFP…

  • Ukraine Says Russia Storing Weapons at Occupied Nuclear Plant

    Ukraine Says Russia Storing Weapons at Occupied Nuclear Plant

    Kyiv on Thursday accused Moscow of storing heavy weapons at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in occupied Ukrainian territory, after Russia said Ukraine’s troops had fired on the facility. Ukraine state energy company Energoatom said on social media that Russia had moved over two dozen pieces of military equipment and ammunition into the engine room of the first reactor.…

  • Hungary FM in Russia to Discuss Buying More Gas

    Hungary FM in Russia to Discuss Buying More Gas

    Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto traveled to Moscow on Thursday to discuss purchasing more Russian gas on behalf of his country, the ruling Fidesz party said. “In order to ensure the security of Hungary’s energy supply, the government has decided to purchase an additional 700 million cubic meters of natural gas in addition to the…

  • Kremlin Blames Russia-Europe Gas Supply Problems on Western Sanctions

    Kremlin Blames Russia-Europe Gas Supply Problems on Western Sanctions

    Problems with Russian gas supplies to Europe are caused by sanctions that create “technical difficulties,” the Kremlin said Thursday as the Nord Stream 1 pipeline reopened after maintenance but with a reduced flow.  Europe was on edge during the 10-day Nord Stream 1 repair works, fearing that Moscow would not reopen the taps in retaliation…

  • In Ukraine’s Odesa, Calls to ‘De-Russify’ Meet Tangled Debate

    In Ukraine’s Odesa, Calls to ‘De-Russify’ Meet Tangled Debate

    ODESA, Ukraine — As well-dressed patrons gathered outside the Opera and Ballet Theater in this Black Sea port city for a recent afternoon performance, there were telltale signs of the ongoing war with Russia. The crowd, a mix of men and women wearing military uniforms as well as suits and dresses, was much smaller than…

  • Foreign Banks Hiring Russian Employees as Exit Plans Hit Roadblocks – Reuters

    Foreign Banks Hiring Russian Employees as Exit Plans Hit Roadblocks – Reuters

    Major Western banks’ Russian divisions have started hiring staff this month after Moscow obstructed their exit from the country, Reuters reported Thursday. Following the Kremlin’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Western banks in Russia moved to remove foreign nationals from senior positions and study ways to exit the market — but they have recently started…

  • Russia Hands Down First Fine for Soviet-Nazi Comparisons

    Russia Hands Down First Fine for Soviet-Nazi Comparisons

    Russia has levied its first fine for likening the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany since prohibiting such comparisons earlier this month, the Moscow-based Sova Center for Information and Analysis reported. Under the law signed by President Vladimir Putin on July 1, publicly comparing the goals and actions of the U.S.S.R. and Red Army with those…

  • Kremlin Eyes Sept. 15 Referendum for Captured Ukraine Regions – Bloomberg

    Kremlin Eyes Sept. 15 Referendum for Captured Ukraine Regions – Bloomberg

    The Kremlin is seeking to hold referendums for captured Ukrainian territories to join Russia in September, Bloomberg reported Thursday, corroborating previous reporting on the unconfirmed absorption plans. The move would likely ignite further ire from Kyiv’s Western allies, which do not recognize Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and have already hit Moscow with heavy sanctions…

  • ‘Door Not Shut’ to Russia-Ukraine Peace Talks – Kremlin

    ‘Door Not Shut’ to Russia-Ukraine Peace Talks – Kremlin

    Russia and Ukraine still have a chance to resume peace talks, the Kremlin said Thursday, contradicting earlier comments by Moscow’s top diplomat. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said negotiations with Kyiv were still possible one day after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said such talks “make no sense” nearly five months into Russia’s invasion of its pro-Western…

  • Russian Search Engines to Label Wikipedia as ‘War Fakes’ Spreader

    Russian Search Engines to Label Wikipedia as ‘War Fakes’ Spreader

    Russian search engines will be required to inform Wikipedia users that the online encyclopedia spreads “fake news” about the country’s invasion of Ukraine, the state communications regulator Rozkomnadoz said Wednesday. Roskomnadzor demanded in May that Wikipedia delete “unreliable information” about what Moscow refers to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine, entering its fifth month.…

  • Russia Resumes Critical Gas Supplies to Europe via Nord Stream

    Russia Resumes Critical Gas Supplies to Europe via Nord Stream

    Russia on Thursday resumed critical gas supplies to Europe through Germany, reopening the Nord Stream gas pipeline after 10 days, but uncertainty lingered whether the continent could avert an energy crisis this winter. “It’s working,” a Nord Stream spokesman said, without specifying the amount of gas being delivered.  The German government had feared that Moscow would…

  • As Civilian Deaths Mount in Ukraine, Russia Deploys Familiar Excuses

    As Civilian Deaths Mount in Ukraine, Russia Deploys Familiar Excuses

    When Russia was accused of striking the center of Vinnytsia, a Ukrainian city far from the frontlines, last Thursday, Moscow’s version of events rang familiar. “On July 14, Kalibr (cruise) missiles were launched at the House of Officers in Vinnytsia,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said of the strikes that have killed at least 25 civilians, including…

  • Russian Independent News Site Fined $14K Over ‘War Fakes’

    Russian Independent News Site Fined $14K Over ‘War Fakes’

    A Moscow court has fined The New Times, an independent news website, a total of 790,000 rubles (more than $14,000) for publishing “fake” information about the war in Ukraine, Interfax reported on Wednesday.  Publishing information contradicting Moscow’s official narrative of its invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a “special military operation,” is illegal under laws…

  • Russian Court Drops Terrorism Charges Against Popular YouTuber

    Russian Court Drops Terrorism Charges Against Popular YouTuber

    A St. Petersburg court has terminated the criminal terrorism case against a popular Russian YouTuber over an alleged performance mocking the deadly 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis, the court system’s press service announced Wednesday.   Yury Khovansky, 32, was charged with “public justification of terrorism” in June 2021 after video of a performance ironically approving the…

  • Russian Authorities Detain, Threaten Soldiers Refusing to Fight in Ukraine

    Russian Authorities Detain, Threaten Soldiers Refusing to Fight in Ukraine

    Russian contract soldiers who refused to continue fighting in Ukraine say their military commanders aren’t allowing them to return home and are using threats and intimidation to force them back to the battlefield.  A group of servicemen of the 11th Guards Air Assault Brigade — a military unit from the Siberian republic of Buryatia deployed…

  • Putin Accuses Canada of Delaying Gas Turbine for Own Gain

    Putin Accuses Canada of Delaying Gas Turbine for Own Gain

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday accused Canada of delaying the return of a turbine for the Nord Stream pipeline, saying Ottawa was eyeing the European market itself. Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom has reduced flows to Germany via Nord Stream 1 by some 60 percent in recent weeks, blaming the absence of a Siemens…

  • Wagner Recruiting Kyrgyz, Uzbek Citizens to Fight in Ukraine – Reports

    Wagner Recruiting Kyrgyz, Uzbek Citizens to Fight in Ukraine – Reports

    Shadowy Russian private military company Wagner has started recruiting citizens of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to fight in Ukraine, Kyrgyz media reported Wednesday.  Russia has faced heavy military casualties in its five-month invasion of Ukraine, pushing Moscow to search for ways to shore up its manpower without declaring a full mobilization. Kyrgyzstan’s MediaHub investigative outlet said…

  • Russia Asks UN Chief to Intervene in Ukraine Grain Talks

    Russia Asks UN Chief to Intervene in Ukraine Grain Talks

    Russia has asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to intervene in grain talks with Ukraine to facilitate Moscow’s exports, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday. Ukraine and Russia have held talks under Turkish and UN mediation to unblock crucial grain exports, as shipments from Ukrainian ports are disrupted by Moscow’s military offensive.  Lavrov said…

  • Russia Sends Army Recruits to Fight in Ukraine After Just Days of Training

    Russia Sends Army Recruits to Fight in Ukraine After Just Days of Training

    Less than two weeks after joining the army, Ivan was on the frontlines of Russia’s offensive in eastern Ukraine and taking part in attacks on Ukrainian positions.  Ivan, 31, who requested anonymity to protect his safety, said he received just five days of training before being transferred to Ukraine and flung into combat.  “There was…

  • Russia’s Goals in Ukraine No Longer Solely Focused on the East – Lavrov

    Russia’s Goals in Ukraine No Longer Solely Focused on the East – Lavrov

    Russia’s “geographical goals” in Ukraine have changed to include not only the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics of eastern Ukraine, but a number of other regions as well, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told state media Wednesday. “Now, [our] geography is different. It is not only the DNR and LNR, it is also the Kherson…

  • Absent Turbine a Russian ‘Excuse’ to Cap Gas Flows – Germany

    Absent Turbine a Russian ‘Excuse’ to Cap Gas Flows – Germany

    The German government on Wednesday accused Russia of using the absence of a turbine as an “excuse” to limit gas deliveries via a key pipeline due to go back online this week. “I would like to stress that according to our information this is an excuse by the Russian side,” a German economy ministry spokeswoman…

  • Moscow Veterinarians Save Siberian Polar Bear With Tin Can Stuck in Mouth

    Moscow Veterinarians Save Siberian Polar Bear With Tin Can Stuck in Mouth

    Updated at 6:45 p.m. on July 21 to add that the bear has been rescued. A team of Moscow veterinarians was dispatched to the Russian Far North to save a polar bear with a can of condensed milk stuck in its mouth, Russia’s environmental watchdog said Wednesday. The rescue team tranquilized the female bear and…

  • Diverted Ryanair Flight Investigation Concludes Belarus ‘Unlawful’

    Diverted Ryanair Flight Investigation Concludes Belarus ‘Unlawful’

    The United Nations agency in charge of investigating the diversion of a Ryanair flight by Belarus last year announced Tuesday it has completed its review, once again pointing the finger at the “unlawful” actions carried out by Minsk.  On May 23, 2021, a Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania was forced to land in Minsk,…

  • Russia to Scrap World’s Largest Nuclear Sub – Reports

    Russia to Scrap World’s Largest Nuclear Sub – Reports

    Russia has decommissioned the world’s largest nuclear ballistic missile submarine, state media reported Wednesday. The Dmitry Donskoy, a Typhoon-class submarine that served in the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet since 1980, stood at 175 meters in length. Its status as the world’s largest submarine will be taken by the 184-meter Oscar II-class Belgorod nuclear submarine, which…

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