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   August 26
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News about Russia and the CIS from Leading World News Media.

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26.08.19 G7: Trump's Demands For Russia's Readmission Cause Row In Biarritz
The Guardian
Donald Trump has rowed with his fellow G7 leaders over his demand that Russia be readmitted to the group, rejecting arguments that it should remain an association of liberal democracies, according to diplomats at the summit in Biarritz. The disagreement led to heated exchanges at a dinner on Saturday night inside the seaside resort’s 19th-century lighthouse. According to diplomatic sources, Trump argued strenuously that Vladimir Putin should be invited back, five years after Russia was ejected from the then G8) for its annexation of Crimea. Read more 
26.08.19 US Marine Held On Spying Charges Claims He Was Injured In Russian Jail
The Independent
A former US marine who was arrested on charges of spying in Russia claims to have been “injured” in prison by the guards detaining him while he awaits trial.
Speaking to journalists during a court appearance in Moscow, Paul Whelan said: "I was injured in the prison... the prison doesn't want to tell you." He added: "I am standing here in great pain due to an injury sustained in the prison by the prison guards." Read more 
26.08.19 Russian Officials Blame Food For Traces Of Radiation In Doctor Treating Blast Victims
The Guardian
A doctor who helped treat victims of the mysterious nuclear blast in Russia more than two weeks ago has traces of radiation in his muscle tissue, said regional officials, who blamed the readings on his diet rather than the explosion. “Cesium-137 ... has the feature of accumulating in fish, mushrooms, lichens, algae,” Russian specialists told regional officials on Friday, according to Meduza, an independent Russian media organisation. “With a certain degree of probability, we can assume that this element got into the human body through the products of food.” They said the man was not in danger. Read more 
26.08.19 How The Kremlin Set Its Sights On Artificial Intelligence
The Moscow Times
A new experiment has been launched in Russia to harness artificial intelligence (AI), which the Kremlin hopes to use to its political advantage. Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, plans to create a new platform that it will use to conduct experiments in AI and big data in partnership with the Moscow city municipality under a special legal framework, Kommersant newspaper reported on August 13. Read more 
25.08.19 Russia Test Fires Missiles From Submarines In The Barents Sea
Reuters
Russia test-fired Sineva and Bulava ballistic missiles from two submarines from the polar region of the Arctic Ocean and from the Barents Sea on Saturday as part of combat training, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. The Sineva, a liquid-fueled intercontinental missile, was fired from the Tula submarine, while a Bulava, Russian newest solid-fueled missile, was launched from the Yuri Dolgoruky submarine, the ministry said. Read more 
25.08.19 The Russian Spy Who Posed As A Canadian For More Than 20 Years
The Guardian
“A spy has to be an actor, but an actor that doesn’t need a public or a stage, and doesn’t require the approval of others,” says Elena Vavilova, as she sips a cappuccino in a Moscow cafe. Vavilova acted the part of a Canadian woman named Tracy Foley, an identity stolen for her by the KGB, for two decades. Almost no one knew her real identity, not even her own children. She was an “illegal”, a deep-cover Russian operative sent to the west along with her husband Andrei Bezrukov, who used the name Donald Heathfield. Read more 
25.08.19 Russian Spacecraft Carrying Robot Fails To Dock With Space Station
Reuters
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a humanoid robot failed to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday, Russian news agencies reported, citing a live broadcast. The FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) robot on its way to the ISS on a planned two-week mission to support the crew and test its skills. The docking process, originally planned for 0530 GMT, failed due to issues related to the automatic docking system, news agency, Interfax added, cited NASA TV as saying. Read more 
25.08.19 Russia Today Puts Japan On The Map, Where New Zealand Should Be
The Guardian
Russian news channel RT has apologised for apparently accidentally labelling New Zealand as “Japan”, and Papua New Guinea as “South Korea” in an embarrassing southern hemisphere mix-up. The mistake came in a segment produced by their US bureau about potential new missile bases in “Japan, South Korea and Australia”. But in a large, erroneous graphic only Australia was correctly labelled. Read more 
25.08.19 EU's Tusk Sees Even More Reasons To Keep Russia Out Of G7
Reuters
The president of the European Council on Saturday rebuffed Donald Trump’s suggestion that Russia be readmitted to the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies, saying there were even more reasons than before for keeping Moscow out. The U.S. president has said it would be “appropriate” to have Russia rejoin what used to be the G8, which Russia was excluded from in 2014 after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea and then backed an anti-Kiev rebellion in the industrial region of Donbas in eastern Ukraine. Read more 
25.08.19 Putin Orders Review Of Russian Coal Mining Tax
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the government to review a mineral extraction tax for the Russian coal industry by Oct. 31, instructions published by the Kremlin showed on Saturday. Russia is the world’s third largest coal exporter after Australia and Indonesia. Putin has been a proponent of further expansion of the country’s export infrastructure and seeking new coal markets, with China seen as a particularly important customer. Read more 
24.08.19 Arkhangelsk Doctors Weren’t Warned About Radiation, Surgeon Confirms In First Public Account
The Moscow Times
In a previously unreported social media post, a Russian doctor has publicly confirmed that his colleagues were forced to treat radiation victims after a deadly nuclear explosion earlier this month without basic equipment or knowledge of the accident. A blast at a military base in northern Russia killed seven people and injured six on Aug. 8, with three of the victims being taken to the Arkhangelsk Regional Clinical Hospital. First responders at the hospital were not warned that they would be dealing with patients exposed to radiation, The Moscow Times reported last Friday, citing five hospital sources who asked to remain anonymous. Since then, other media outlets, including Novaya Gazeta and BBC Russia, have provided similar accounts of the incident based on anonymous sources. Read more 
24.08.19 Russia Rocket Accident Likely Had Two Explosion
Reuters
An explosion that killed five Russian scientists during a rocket engine test this month was followed by a second blast two hours later, the likely source of a spike in radiation, Norway’s nuclear test-ban monitor said on Friday. The second explosion was likely from an airborne rocket powered by radioactive fuel, the Norsar agency said - though the governor of Russia’s Arkhangelsk region, where the blast took place, dismissed reports of another blast. Read more 
24.08.19 Russia Floating Nuclear Power Station Sets Sail Across Arctic
BBC News
Russia has launched a pioneering floating nuclear power station, which will sail 5,000km (3,000 miles) from the Arctic port of Murmansk to Chukotka in the far east. The nuclear agency Rosenergoatom says the Akademik Lomonosov's mobility will boost the power supply to remote areas. One of its targets is to power the Chaun-Bilibin mining complex in Chukotka, which includes gold mines. Greenpeace sees the project as high-risk, in a harsh weather environment. Critics including Greenpeace point to previous Russian and Soviet nuclear Read more 
24.08.19 Russia Starts Sales Of 'Putin Limousine', Eyes Chinese Market
Reuters
Russia opened a showroom on Friday selling its first post-Soviet luxury limousine under the Aurus brand, a type of car used by President Vladimir Putin at his inauguration last year. Russia has been trying to reduce its dependence on imported goods and technology, a drive that gathered speed after Moscow was hit by Western sanctions in 2014. The Russian-built limousine is intended to become the heir to the ZIL sedans that for decades transported Soviet leaders. Read more 
24.08.19 Russian Doctor Contaminated By Food, Not Nuclear Blast
The Moscow Times
A Russian doctor found to have a radioactive isotope in his body after treating victims of an Aug. 8 rocket engine explosion had been contaminated by food and not radiation, authorities said Friday. Earlier, The Moscow Times reported that a group of doctors who treated the radiation victims had been flown to Moscow for medical checkups. One of the doctors was reportedly found to have Cesium-137 — a radioactive isotope that is a byproduct of the nuclear fission of uranium-235 — in their muscle tissue. Read more 
24.08.19 Molotov-Ribbentrop: Five States Remember 'misery' Pact Victims
BBC News
The Baltic states, Poland and Romania have called on Europe's governments to stand against totalitarian regimes, 80 years after the signing of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. The Nazi-Soviet non-aggression agreement included a secret protocol that redrew the map of Europe. Fifty years later, up to two million people joined hands across the Baltics in a peaceful, anti-Soviet protest. The Baltic Way human chain galvanised the Baltic push for independence. Read more 
24.08.19 Putin Needs To Bury This Relic Of Stalin
The Moscow Times
As Europe marks 80 years of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which carved up eastern Europe between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, Russia is trying to defend the agreement again. There is no political benefit to doing this. President Vladimir Putin needs to abandon his Stalinist inheritance of a foreign policy based solely on national interest. If Moscow needed any reminder that many in eastern Europe still hold the treaty against it and still consider it a threat, plenty came on the anniversary. The governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania – the countries directly affected by the pact’s secret protocol – issued a joint statement saying the document “sparked World War II and doomed half of Europe to decades of misery.” Read more 
24.08.19 Russian Nuclear Accident: Medics Fear 'radioactive Patients'
BBC News
Russian medics who treated radiation victims after a military explosion in the Arctic had no protection and now fear they were irradiated themselves. Two of the medics in Arkhangelsk spoke to BBC Russian about the victims' evacuation, on condition of anonymity. Five nuclear engineers died on 8 August when an "isotope-fuel" engine blew up at the Nyonoksa test range, officials said. Two military personnel also died. President Vladimir Putin said the test involved a new weapon system. Read more 
24.08.19 Russia's First Floating Nuclear Power Plant Sets Sail In Arctic Amid Environmental Fears
Reuters
Russia's first floating nuclear power plant set sail Friday from the Arctic port of Murmansk to provide power to one of the country's most remote regions, sparking environmental concerns. Developed by the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom, the plant, known as "Akademik Lomonosov," set off on a 5,000 kilometer (3,100 mile) journey through Arctic waters to reach the Chukotka region, which lies across the Bering Strait from Alaska. Read more 
24.08.19 Putin Orders Reciprocal Russian Response To U.S. Missile Test
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday ordered a like-for-like response to a recent U.S. missile test, which he said showed that Washington aimed to deploy previously banned missiles around the world. The Pentagon said on Monday it had tested a conventionally-configured cruise missile that hit its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight, its first such test since the demise of a landmark nuclear pact this month. Read more 
23.08.19 Ukraine, EU Oppose Trump's Suggestion Of Readmitting Russia To G7
Reuters
Ukraine’s president backed leading European powers on Thursday in opposing the readmission of Russia to the Group of Seven advanced economies, saying Moscow still occupied Crimea and was frustrating peace in eastern Ukraine. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday it would be “appropriate” to have Russia rejoin what used to be the G8. France will host a meeting of G7 leaders this weekend. Read more 
23.08.19 Russian Nuclear Accident: Medics Fear 'radioactive Patients'
BBC News
Russian medics who treated radiation victims after a military explosion in the Arctic had no protection and now fear they were irradiated themselves. Two of the medics in Arkhangelsk spoke to BBC Russian about the victims' evacuation, on condition of anonymity. Five nuclear engineers died on 8 August when an "isotope-fuel" engine blew up at the Nyonoksa test range, officials said. Six other people were injured. Read more 
23.08.19 Wildfires Have Cost Russia $100M In 2019
The Moscow Times
Russia’s forest authority estimates that forest fires across Siberia and other regions have cost approximately 7 billion rubles ($106 million) so far this year, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency has reported. More than 200 fires are burning across an area of 1.1 million hectares of the country, almost 1 million of which cover remote forest areas in Russia’s republic of Sakha and the Krasnoyarsk region, both in Siberia. The wildfires exceeded 3 million hectares, an area the size of Belgium, at their peak last month. Read more 
23.08.19 Russia Sends Robot Into Space To Test Out New Booster Rocket
The Associated Press
Russia has sent a humanoid robot to the International Space Station as part of tests on a new rocket that is expected to replace the current vehicle. The Soyuz capsule, which typically carries a space crew, blasted off from the Russia-leased launch pad in Kazakhstan at 8.38 a.m. (0338 GMT) on Thursday carrying the Fedor robot. The capsule was launched by a new Soyuz 2.1a rocket which has only been used to launch unmanned vehicles. The new booster rocket is expected to replace the Soyuz-FG rocket next year. Read more 
23.08.19 Russia Confirms Proposal To Hike Oil Tax To Offset Rosneft Subsidies
Reuters
Russia’s Finance Ministry confirmed on Thursday it had proposed raising taxes for the oil industry to offset tax breaks offered to Rosneft and Gazprom Neft for developing the Priobskoye oil field, the Interfax news agency reported. The tax breaks on the Priobskoye field will cost the budget 60 billion roubles ($914.60 million) a year, ministry official Alexei Sazonov was quoted as saying. Read more 
23.08.19 Fury At Elections Snub Brings Moscow’s Professionals Back To Politics
The Christian Science Monitor
It is Russia’s biggest political crisis in almost a decade, and one that seems to define the limits of democratic evolution under Vladimir Putin. Throughout the summer, central Moscow has been rocked by weekly protests – some permitted by authorities, others not – against the city’s unelected technocratic administration. Even the licensed rallies have been hemmed in by massive, intimidating police presence. The unauthorized, flash-mob-style protests held on alternate weeks have been met with unprecedented police brutality and mass detentions. Read more 
23.08.19 Russia: U.S. Missile Deployments In Asia Would Be A Threat
Reuters
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that a possible U.S. deployment of missiles in the Asia-Pacific region would pose a threat to international security. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said earlier this month that he was in favor of placing ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles in Asia relatively soon. Read more 
23.08.19 Kremlin Jabs At Trump’s Greenland Purchase Idea
The Moscow Times
Russia doesn’t “shop” for foreign territories, the Kremlin has said in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s idea to buy the resource-rich Danish territory of Greenland. Trump, who built his career as a real estate mogul, has mused openly in recent days about a U.S. purchase of Greenland, raising eyebrows in Europe and the U.S. alike. Greenland, which is gaining attention from world powers including China, Russia and the U.S. because of its strategic location and mineral wealth, is self-governing but underdeveloped and relies on Denmark for economic support. Read more 
23.08.19 US And Russia Blame Each Other For Abandoning Missile Treaty
The Associated Press
ussia and the United States blamed each other Thursday for abandoning a landmark arms control agreement on missiles, with Moscow warning of a new arms race and the Trump administration demanding details of a recent mysterious explosion that killed five Russian nuclear engineers. Russia called a U.N. Security Council meeting on the matter following the U.S. test of a missile banned by the 1987 intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which both countries withdrew from on Aug. 2. Read more 
23.08.19 Khachaturyan Sisters Who Killed Father Touch Russian Hearts
BBC News
In July 2018 three teenage sisters stabbed and battered their father to death in his sleep, in their Moscow flat. Investigators have confirmed the girls' father abused them physically and psychologically for years. Charged with murder, the sisters and what should happen to them have become one of the hottest topics of debate in Russia and more than 300,000 people have signed a petition calling for their release. Read more 
22.08.19 Russian Officials Condemn Police Violence During Moscow Protests
The Moscow Times
A senior Russian official and an industrial magnate with close Kremlin ties have spoken out this week against police violence in Moscow’s largest protests in years. Critics have said the authorities used excessive force while detaining hundreds of people who rallied this summer in support of fair local elections. The Kremlin said individual cases of police excess were being examined alongside alleged violence by protesters, but noted that the police response had been justified. Read more 
22.08.19 France Wants Progress In Ukraine Before Russia Returns To G7
Reuters
Russia’s readmission to the Group of Seven nations depends on progress in Ukraine peace talks, a French diplomatic source said, responding to comments by U.S. President Donald Trump that Moscow should be allowed to rejoin the group. Trump said on Tuesday it would be appropriate to let Russia return to the G7 group of advanced industrialized countries, telling reporters at the White House that his Democrat predecessor Barack Obama had wanted Russia out of what used to be the G8. Read more 
22.08.19 Democrats Should Care More About Russia
The Moscow Times
When the poll-analysis website FiveThirtyEight surveyed the Democratic presidential candidates to get their views on key foreign policy issues, it decided not to ask about Russia, because it couldn’t formulate a provocative question on the subject. That’s a problem — not for FiveThirtyEight, but for the Democratic field. “It’s a safe bet that any of the Democratic candidates, if elected president, would be more critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin than President Trump has been,” FiveThirtyEight’s Perry Bacon Jr. wrote, “but it’s hard to design a question that would illustrate the differences between the candidates on that subject. So there are some major foreign policy issues (like how the U.S. should deal with Russia) that are not represented.” Read more 
22.08.19 Russia's Rosneft To Switch To Euros In Oil Products Tenders
Reuters
Russia’s Rosneft, one of the world’s top oil producers and exporters, has notified customers that future tender contracts for oil products will be denominated in euros not dollars, five trading sources told Reuters. The move, which could come as soon as this year, is likely to be seen as an attempt to offset any potential negative impact of U.S. sanctions on Russia. Read more 
22.08.19 Putin Says US Missile Test Raises New Threats To Russia
The Associated Press
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the test of a new U.S. missile banned under a now-defunct arms treaty has raised new threats to Russia and will warrant a response. The U.S. tested a modified ground-launched version of a Navy Tomahawk cruise missile that accurately struck its target more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) away. Sunday’s test came after the U.S. and Russia withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that banned such weapons. Read more 
22.08.19 Russian Official Calls Siberian Flood Victims 'Bums,' Sparking Backlash
The Moscow Times
A Russian regional official has caused controversy for allegedly comparing victims of this summer's historic Siberian floods to animals in a leaked audio file she claims was faked. The comments allegedly made by Irina Alashkevich, the Irkutsk regional administration’s spokeswoman, come a month after another regional official ignited backlash for insulting the victims of flood-hit areas. Over two dozen people have been killed in the Irkutsk and Krasnoyasrk regions in what scientists call the biggest floods in 180 years. Read more 
22.08.19 Russia, On Trump Idea For G7 Return, Says Show Us The Proposals
Reuters
Russia needs to receive and examine tangible proposals for it to return to the G7 group of nations if that is what is being proposed, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, the Interfax news agency reported. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday it would be appropriate to let Russia join the G7 group of advanced industrialized countries. Read more 
21.08.19 Trump Says Appropriate To Let Russia Join Group Of Seven
Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday it would be appropriate to let Russia join the G7 group of advanced industrialized countries. Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump noted his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, had wanted Russia out of what used to be the G8. “But I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in. It should be the G8 because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia,” Trump said. Read more 
21.08.19 Russia Is ‘Deeply European,’ France’s Macron Says In Russian
The Moscow Times
Russia is a European country, French President Emmanuel Macron has said following talks with President Vladimir Putin. Macron hosted Putin in France on Monday, where the French leader played up efforts “to tie Russia and Europe back together” and underscored his belief that “Europe stretches from Lisbon to Vladivostok.” “Russia is a very deeply European country,” Macron wrote on his Facebook page in the Russian language a day after meeting with Putin. Read more 
21.08.19 Big Questions Linger As Russia Shares Radiation Data
The Associated Press
Russia has resumed sharing data from radiation monitoring stations in Siberia after some were taken offline following a deadly explosion at a missile range, a nuclear weapons watchdog said Tuesday, while an American expert said the fact that more than one Russian site went offline at the same time suggests it was not the work of Mother Nature. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CNTBTO) said earlier this week that several Russian radiation monitoring stations went silent shortly after the Aug. 8 explosion at the Russian navy’s testing range in northwestern Russia. Read more 
21.08.19 Russia's Last Cold War-Era Reactor Lifted Onshore In The Arctic
The Barents Observer
On the night of Aug. 8, the last of 120 reactor compartments from Cold War-era submarines were docked and brought safely into the storage pad in Saida Bay on the Kola Peninsula. Bringing the last reactors onshore improves the environmental situation in the Barents Sea, said SevRAO, the northern branch of Russia’s state radioactive waste management company. Read more 
21.08.19 Trump Renews Call For Russia To Be Readmitted To G-7
Washington Post
President Trump on Tuesday reiterated his call for Russia to be allowed to rejoin the Group of Seven industrial nations, saying it’s “more appropriate to have Russia in.” Trump was speaking with reporters in the Oval Office days before he is set to arrive in France for this weekend’s G-7 summit. “I guess President Obama, because Putin outsmarted him — President Obama thought it wasn’t a good thing to have Russia in, so he wanted Russia out,” Trump said, referring to his predecessor’s push for a united stand against Russia after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region. “But I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in.” Read more 
21.08.19 Russia To Nuclear Test Ban Monitor: Test Accident Not Your Business
Reuters
Russia told an agency that verifies a ban on nuclear tests that a military test accident in the country’s north this month was none of its business and that handing it any radiation data was voluntary, Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday. The Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said on Monday that two Russian monitoring sites closest to the mysterious explosion went offline days after the blast, soon followed by two more, fuelling suspicions that Russia tampered with them. Read more 
21.08.19 Russia Refuses To Share Data On Blast That Caused Radiation Spike
The Guardian
Russia has told international nuclear test ban monitors that it does not have to share information on the blast that caused a brief spike in radiation levels in Arkhangelsk region, bolstering speculation that Russia may have tampered with monitoring stations that failed to transmit scientific data after the accident. Two Russian-operated monitoring stations for the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty ceased transmitting data two days after the 8 August blast, when a projected radioactive plume from the deadly accident would be expected to reach them. Read more 
20.08.19 Global Network's Nuclear Sensors In Russia Went Offline After Mystery Blast
Reuters
The operator of a global network of radioactive-particle sensors said on Monday its two Russian sites closest to a mysterious explosion went offline days after the blast, soon followed by two more, fuelling suspicions that Russia tampered with them. The Russian Defence Ministry, which operates the two stations, did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Russia’s state nuclear agency, Rosatom, has acknowledged that nuclear workers were killed in the explosion on Aug. 8, which occurred during a rocket engine test near the White Sea in far northern Russia. Read more 
20.08.19 Pro-Moscow Rebels Reject Evidence Of Russian Tanks In Eastern Ukraine
The Moscow Times
Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have rejected newly published evidence of Russia’s military involvement in one of the deadliest battles of Ukraine's five-year conflict. The battle of Ilovaysk, which pitted Ukrainian forces against Russian-backed rebels in August 2014, resulted in hundreds of deaths on both sides. Russia has consistently denied that it has provided arms or troops to eastern Ukrainian separatists despite evidence to the contrary. Read more 
20.08.19 Russia's Rosatom Interested In Bulgaria Nuclear Plant Tender
Reuters
Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom said on Monday it had filed an application to be a strategic investor in a nuclear power plant project in Bulgaria. Bulgaria is seeking a strategic investor for its revived Belene project on the Danube, which is estimated to cost at least 10 billion euros ($11.1 billion). Sofia cancelled the project in 2012 after failing to find investors and as it faced pressure from the United States and the European Union to limit Bulgaria’s energy dependence on Russia, which had been under contract to build the plant. Read more 
20.08.19 In Eastern Ukraine, A Broad Desire For Peace. But Whose Peace?
The Christian Science Monitor
Almost every conversation in Ukraine these days will touch upon the grinding, seemingly endless war in the eastern region of Donbass. People speak of overwhelming feelings of pain and weariness. And they express near-universal hopes that the new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will finally do something to end it. Here in Mariupol, where the front line is a 10-minute drive from downtown, those conversations tend to be intense. But depending on whom you talk to, the path to peace can look very different. Read more 
20.08.19 Russia May Give Transneft Control Of All Oil Intake Terminals
Reuters
Russia may transfer the running of oil intake terminals to state-owned pipeline company Transneft, according to a government website, after a privately-owned terminal was blamed earlier this year for contaminating oil supplies. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will ask the government to consider the move, the website said, after Medvedev met Transneft Chief Executive Nikolai Tokarev on Monday. Most of Russia’s oil intake terminals - hubs that receive oil from fields before it is moved into Transneft’s pipeline network - are controlled by private firms or oil companies. Read more 
20.08.19 Russia’s Nuclear Monitors ‘Went Silent’ Following Rocket Explosion
The Wall Street Journal
Two of Russia’s nuclear radiation monitoring stations went silent two days after a mysterious explosion that led to a radiation spike in northern Russia earlier this month. Russian officials say at least five nuclear engineers were killed during a rocket test involving “isotope power sources” on a platform in the White Sea, leading to outside speculation that the accident involved a nuclear-powered cruise missile. Read more 
20.08.19 Chiding Macron, Putin Says 'I Don't Want Yellow Vests In Russia'
Reuters
Vladimir Putin rebuked his French counterpart on Monday, saying he did not want “yellow vest” protests spring up like in France, after Emmanuel Macron urged the Russian leader to abide by democratic principles following weeks of protests in Moscow. Macron, who was meeting Putin at his summer residence in southern France five days before hosting summit of G7 rich nations, is keen to show Moscow it is not ostracized despite being kicked out of the G7 after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Read more 
20.08.19 New Evidence Emerges Of Russian Role In Ukraine Conflict
The Guardian
Newly collated evidence documenting Russian military involvement in the conflict in Ukraine will be used to bolster legal claims against the Russian state by Ukrainian volunteer fighters. Forensic Architecture, a London-based research group, has collected and catalogued evidence of Russian military involvement in the battle of Ilovaysk in August 2014, including the presence of a model of tank used only by the Russian armed forces at that time. Read more 
20.08.19 Yandex Looks At Ten-fold Increase In Driverless Car Fleet To Speed Up Testing
Reuters
Yandex, a Russian equivalent to Google, said it is considering expanding its fleet of self-driving cars to up to 1,000 within the next two years in order to speed up tests on the fledgling technology. Yandex hopes to start testing more than 100 of its self-driving cars on roads by the end of this year. It already has a fleet of 90 cars, 35 of which are being tested on Moscow’s roads with a Yandex engineer present. Read more 
19.08.19 Russia Says No Plans To Install New Missiles Unless U.S. Deploys Them
Reuters
Russia will not deploy new missiles as long as the United States shows similar restraint in Europe and Asia, Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said on Sunday, after Washington’s withdrawal from a Soviet-era arms pact. The United States formally left the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia earlier this month after accusing Moscow of violating the treaty and deploying one banned type of missile, allegations the Kremlin denies. Russia has also pulled out of the deal, but Shoigu said it had no plans to deploy new missiles. Read more 
19.08.19 Macron’s Meeting Putin. Just Don’t Call Him Trump’s Messenger
Bloomberg
French President Emmanuel Macron hosts Russian leader Vladimir Putin at his summer residence on Monday and his office is adamant about what the get-together is not. France isn’t playing the role of go-between with Russia and other world powers, Macron’s office says, after being stung by a tweet from President Donald Trump earlier in August that suggested Paris was trying to mediate between Iran and the U.S. Read more 
19.08.19 Russian Nuclear Plant Turns Off Unit After Safety System Error
Reuters
Block 4 of Russia’s Beloyarsk nuclear power station in the Urals mountains was switched off on Sunday following a “false” response by the safety system, a subsidiary of state nuclear corporation Rosatom said. It said the block was halted at 09.15 (0415 GMT). “The stoppage was carried out under a routine algorithm,” Rosenergoatom said in a statement, adding the radiation background at the station and surrounding areas was in line with usual levels. The plant was opened in 1964. Read more 
19.08.19 Russian Sailor's 1969 Message In A Bottle Washes Up In Alaska
BBC News
An Alaska man's hunt for firewood ended with the discovery of a different kind after he came across a 50-year-old message in a bottle. Tyler Ivanoff found a letter written in Russian, and posted an appeal for a translation on his Facebook page. It transpired the letter had been written by a sailor on board the Russian ship Sulak on 20 June 1969. The story was picked up by Russian media, which tracked down the letter-writer, Captain Anatoly Botsanenko. Read more 
18.08.19 Russian Opposition Activists Picket For Free Elections
Reuters
Russian opposition activists staged a string of pickets in central Moscow on Saturday to call for free elections and for charges against protesters detained at recent rallies to be dropped. Moscow has been rocked by weekly protests for more than a month since the authorities barred opposition candidates from running in an election for the city's legislature in September. Read more 
18.08.19 Seeking Democracy On The Streets Of Russia
Washington Post
It was cold, but not too cold. The streets were cleared of snow. By the thousands, Russians gathered at the big statue of Lenin in October Square until finally they set off along the Garden Ring road to what was then called Prospekt Kalinina. A river of people filled streets made broad to give tanks room to maneuver. Read more 
18.08.19 Russia Confirms Assault, Extortion Allegations In Europe’s Largest Prison
The Moscow Times
Russia’s prison authority has confirmed reports of abuse at Europe’s largest pre-trial detention center days after new video footage renewed concerns about conditions in Russia’s penitentiary system. Russia’s prison system has been under scrutiny since mid-2018, when revelations of torture set off nationwide inspections and dozens of legal cases. Last week, a prisoners’ rights NGO published video which showed inmates at the 4,000-person detention center in St. Petersburg beating a fellow prisoner with a stick. Read more 
18.08.19 The Nuclear Arms Race Is Back … And Ever More Dangerous Now
The Observer
Imagine the uproar if the entire populations of York, Portsmouth or Swindon were suddenly exposed to three times the permissible level of penetrating gamma radiation, or what the nuclear physicist Ernest Rutherford termed gamma rays. The outpouring of rage and fear would be heard across the world. That’s what happened to the roughly 200,000 people who live in the similarly sized northern Russian city of Severodvinsk on 8 August, after an explosion at a nearby top-secret missile testing range. Russia’s weather service, Rosgidromet, recorded radiation levels up to 16 times higher than the usual ambient rate. Read more 
17.08.19 Russian Doctors Weren’t Warned Patients Were Nuclear Accident Victims
The Moscow Times
The three injured men arrived at the hospital around 4:30 pm, naked and wrapped in translucent plastic bags. The state of the patients made staff suspect they were dealing with something very serious. But the only information they had at the time was that there had been an explosion at a nearby military site around noon. “No one — neither hospital directors, nor Health Ministry officials, nor regional officials or the governor — notified staff that the patients were radioactive,” one of the clinic’s surgeons told The Moscow Times by phone this week. “The hospital workers had their suspicions, but nobody told them to protect themselves.” Read more 
17.08.19 Russian Nuclear-capable Bombers Leave Airfield Opposite Alaska
Reuters
Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Friday that two of its nuclear-capable TU-160 bombers had left an airfield opposite Alaska after training exercises and returned to their base, Interfax news agency reported. Russia said on Wednesday it had flown two bombers to a far eastern Russian region opposite Alaska as part of a training exercise that state media said showed Moscow’s ability to park nuclear arms on the United States’ doorstep. Read more 
17.08.19 Moscow Authorities ‘Discover’ Flocks Of Birds Near Plane Crash-Landing Site
The Moscow Times
Moscow authorities said they have “discovered” gulls flocking around one of two garbage sites near the airport where a Russian passenger plane made a “miraculous” emergency landing on Thursday. All 234 people on board the Ural Airlines Airbus A321 survived when it landed in a cornfield southeast of Moscow after both of its engines struck a flock of gulls. Moscow region officials initially rejected claims that the gulls may have come from a nearby landfill, saying the closest garbage dump to Zhukovsky International Airport was 14 kilometers away. Read more 
17.08.19 Russia Bird Strike: How Cool Heads Glided Jet Down To Safety
BBC News
The Russian pilots who crash-landed a fuel-laden Airbus jet in a corn field, without any serious harm to the 233 people on board, are being hailed as heroes. The A321 was moments into its flight, after taking off from Moscow's Zhukovsky airport, when a flock of gulls got sucked into its engines, causing both to fail. Russians are comparing the drama to "Miracle on the Hudson" - the bird strike that almost doomed an Airbus over New York in 2009, but ended happily when the pilot landed the jet safely in the Hudson River. Read more 
17.08.19 Russia To Revamp Soviet-Era List Of Banned Jobs For Women By 2021
The Moscow Times
Women in Russia will soon be able to work in more than 350 job positions they’d previously been barred from under largely unchanged Soviet-era labor restrictions. Russia currently prohibits women from holding 456 jobs in dozens of industries that involve physically strenuous tasks or harmful working conditions. Previous media reports suggested that the Labor Ministry had slashed the list of prohibited jobs down to 98 under reforms set to be enacted in 2021. Read more 
17.08.19 Kremlin Hands Top State Honors To Pilots After Crash-landing
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday bestowed top state honors on two pilots for courage and heroism after they safely landed a packed passenger plane in a cornfield near Moscow as its engines were failing. Russians have said it was a miracle that no one was killed when the Ural Airlines Airbus 321 struck a flock of gulls on Thursday, disrupting its engines and forcing it to land less than two minutes after it took off. Read more 
17.08.19 A Student Arrest Puts Elite Moscow University To The Test
The Moscow Times
A chill ran down Artyom Tyurin’s spine when he heard the news that his friend and fellow student Yegor Zhukov had been hauled from his bed in the middle of the night by police and charged with “organizing mass unrest,” a crime punishable by up to eight years in prison. It was the latest sign that their university, Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE), is under the spotlight because of its liberal values. Read more 
17.08.19 An Accident In Russia Points To The Risks Of Atomic Aviation
The Economist
In 1957 work began on Project Pluto, a treetop-skimming American missile loaded with hydrogen bombs. Nothing odd about that, except that the missile itself was also to be propelled by nuclear energy. A reactor on board would suck in air, heat and thus expand it, and then hurl it out of the back to provide thrust. Unfortunately, this also spewed out radioactive particles—which would hardly matter in war, but meant the missile could not be tested safely, and so the project was cancelled. Read more 
17.08.19 Hong Kong And Russia Protesters Fight For Democracy
Washington Post
We live in an era of declining faith in elected leaders, declining faith in the institutions of the West, declining faith in democracy itself. In the United States, the world’s most important democracy, Congress seems permanently deadlocked, in hock to moneyed interests, unable to grapple with the big issues of climate change, technological change, the information revolution. Read more 
17.08.19 Putin-Macron Held Talks Before Russian Bank's French Executive Released From Custody
Reuters
A Russian court's decision to release Baring Vostok executive Phillipe Delpal from custody and put him under house arrest followed talks between Russian president Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, the Kremlin said Friday. Delpal, a French national, was ordered to be released from custody and placed under house arrest by a Moscow court Thursday. Read more 
17.08.19 How 20 Years Of Putin Has Shaped Russia And The World
The Independent
Vladimir Putin is arguably the most consequential world leader since Winston Churchill. That, if one thinks about it, is quite a statement for a man who initially harboured zero political ambitions. Had an ailing and desperate Boris Yeltsin not reached out to guarantee his power and his family’s immunity – or simply looked elsewhere – Russia’s history would likely have looked very different. Read more 
17.08.19 Trump’s Oil Sanctions Leave Russian Exporters $1 Billion Richer
Bloomberg
U.S. President Donald Trump’s sanctions against Iran and Venezuela have inadvertently increased demand for a Russian brand of crude oil, boosting revenues for the nation’s exporters. Russian oil companies received at least $905 million in additional revenues between November and July. The calculation is based on the difference between the Urals spread to the Brent benchmark over the period compared to the five-year average. Read more 
16.08.19 Moscow Passenger Plane Makes 'Miraculous' Crash-Landing In Cornfield
The Moscow Times
A Russian passenger plane's emergency landing in a cornfield near Moscow after birds were sucked into its engines has been hailed by state media as a "miracle" and compared to a 2009 U.S. flight's landing after striking a flock of geese. Russians have said it was a miracle that no one was killed when the Ural Airlines Airbus 321 came down in a field southeast of Moscow with its landing gear up after hitting a passing flock of gulls, disrupting the plane's engines. The plane was traveling from Moscow to Crimea's Simferopol with 234 people on board. Read more 
16.08.19 Russia Flies Nuclear-capable Bombers To Region Facing Alaska
Reuters
Russia said on Wednesday it had flown two nuclear-capable TU-160 bombers to a far eastern Russian region opposite Alaska as part of a training exercise that state media said showed Moscow’s ability to park nuclear arms on the United States’ doorstep. The Tupolev TU-160 strategic bomber, nicknamed the White Swan in Russia, is a supersonic Soviet-era aircraft capable of carrying up to 12 short-range nuclear missiles and of flying 12,000 km (7,500 miles) non-stop without re-fuelling. Read more 
16.08.19 Russia Bird Strike: Plane Crash-lands After Hitting Gulls
BBC News
A Russian passenger plane has made an emergency landing in a cornfield near Moscow after striking a flock of birds. At least 74 people were injured in the incident, which saw the plane land with its engines off and landing gear retracted, emergency officials said. The Ural Airlines Airbus 321 was travelling to Simferopol in Crimea when it hit the flock of gulls shortly after take-off, disrupting its engines. Read more 
16.08.19 Baring Vostok Executive Calvey To Stay Under House Arrest
Reuters
Russia softened its stance in a high-profile legal standoff that has shaken foreign investors when a court Thursday freed jailed French private equity executive Philippe Delpal from custody and placed him under house arrest instead. Delpal was one of several executives at private equity group Baring Vostok, including U.S. citizen Michael Calvey, who were detained in February on suspicion of embezzlement, an allegation they flatly deny. Read more 
16.08.19 In Moscow, Citizens Have Been Protesting For Five Weekends In A Row
Washington Post
On Aug. 10, an estimated 50,000 protesters marched in Moscow to demand free and fair local elections — the latest in a series of protests that have taken place in the Russian capital in recent weeks. Why has an otherwise minor local election led to the largest outbreak of unrest in Russia in nearly a decade? And what do Russians think about the protests? Read more 
16.08.19 Putin Reserves Key 5G Frequency For Military Use
The Moscow Times
Russia risks falling behind the rest of the world in next-generation 5G technology after President Vladimir Putin has reserved its most popular frequency range for the military and intelligence services, Russia’s Vedomosti business daily reported Thursday. With speeds at least 10 times faster than 4G technology, 5G is expected to power internet-connected products ranging from self-driving cars and smart cities to augmented reality and artificial intelligence. The 3.4-3.8GHz range is widely popular for 5G technology, with only China and Japan using 4.4-4.99GHz, a frequency with limited equipment availability. Read more 
16.08.19 Russia Softens Stance In Foreign Investor Case, Frees Frenchman
Reuters
Russia softened its stance in a high-profile legal standoff that has shaken foreign investors when a court on Thursday freed jailed French private equity executive Philippe Delpal from custody and placed him under house arrest instead. Delpal was one of several executives at private equity group Baring Vostok, including U.S. citizen Michael Calvey, who were detained in February on suspicion of embezzlement, an allegation they flatly deny. Read more 
16.08.19 Salisbury Novichok Attack Poisoned Second Officer, Met Confirms
BBC News
A second police officer was contaminated with Novichok during the 2018 poisonings in Salisbury, it has been revealed. Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were targeted with the nerve agent in March 2018. Det Sgt Nick Bailey was also contaminated with the nerve agent at the Skripal's home. The Metropolitan Police has now confirmed the nerve agent was found in the blood sample of another officer. Read more 
16.08.19 Bolton: Russia Stole U.S. Hypersonic Missile Tech To Make Nuclear Advances
The Moscow Times
Russia has stolen hypersonic cruise missile technology from the United States, U.S. President Donald Trump’s top national security aide John Bolton said while discussing last week’s deadly explosion at a military test site in Russia’s north. The mysterious explosion that killed five Russian nuclear engineers and caused a radiation spike last Thursday has spawned conflicting theories over its cause. Amid high secrecy and the absence of thorough explanations from Russian authorities, outside observers have concluded that the explosion occurred during testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile. Read more 
15.08.19 Russian Village Cancels Evacuation Despite Radiation Spike
The Barents Observer
Locals from the closed military settlement at Nyonoksa on the White Sea coast were earlier this week told that they would have to leave the area on Wednesday morning. Russian military authorities explained to locals that the evacuation was planned in advance and had nothing to do with last week’s missile explosion, the local 29.ru news website reported. According to the plans, trains would collect the locals and evacuate them from the area. Read more 
15.08.19 Russia Flies Nuclear-capable Bombers To Region Facing Alaska
Reuters
Russia said on Wednesday it had flown two nuclear-capable TU-160 bombers to a far eastern Russian region opposite Alaska as part of a training exercise that state media said showed Moscow’s ability to park nuclear arms on the United States’ doorstep. The Tupolev TU-160 strategic bomber, nicknamed the White Swan in Russia, is a supersonic Soviet-era aircraft capable of carrying up to 12 short-range nuclear missiles and of flying 12,000 km (7,500 miles) non-stop without re-fuelling. Read more 
15.08.19 Mysterious Missile Explosion In Russia Raises Questions
The Associated Press
A deadly explosion at a naval weapons testing range in northwestern Russia. A brief spike in radiation levels. An evacuation order issued, then rescinded, for a nearby village. Last week’s mysterious accident on the White Sea, along with changing or contradictory information from Russian authorities, has led to speculation about what happened and what type of weapon was involved, and has even raised comparisons to the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Read more 
15.08.19 I Don’t Believe A Missile Is To Blame For Russia’s Deadly 'Nuclear' Explosion
The Moscow Times
I don’t believe that aliens have visited Earth, I don’t believe in magic and I don’t believe in perpetual motion. I also don’t believe that it’s possible to build a nuclear-powered cruise or ballistic missile, but it seems a lot of people do. They believe the accident at a military test site near the town of Severodvinsk in Arkhangelsk region last week was caused by the unsuccessful test of a mysterious Russian nuclear-powered missile called Burevestnik. Read more 
15.08.19 Future Of Last Nuclear Pact Between Russia And U.S. Uncertain
Reuters
The last major nuclear arms control treaty between Russia and the United States is outdated and flawed, the U.S. ambassador to Moscow said on Wednesday, saying it could be scrapped altogether when it expires in 2021 and replaced with something else. The New START treaty limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads the world’s two biggest nuclear powers can deploy to no more than 1,550, the lowest level in decades. It also curbs the number of nuclear launchers and deployed land- and submarine-based missiles and nuclear-capable bombers they can have. Read more 
15.08.19 Russia Says Rocket Explosion Caused 16-fold Radiation Spike
BBC News
Radiation levels near the site of a deadly rocket explosion in Russia's far north spiked 16 times above normal, Russia's weather service has said. Rosgidromet measured radiation levels in the port city of Severodvinsk after the blast. Even at the higher levels, the radiation would have posed little damage to humans, nuclear experts say. Five scientists were killed and three injured in the accident on Thursday at a military facility in the White Sea. Read more 
15.08.19 Why Russia Can’t Hide Nuclear Accidents Like It Used To
Washington Post
I was just settling into my new job as the head of Newsweek’s Moscow bureau in August 2000 when big news broke: A Russian nuclear submarine, the Kursk, had gone missing in the Barents Sea. This being Moscow, the story took days to unfold; the Kremlin obfuscated, dodged and outright lied. Eventually, we learned that the sub had been crippled by an exploding torpedo; Russian officials claimed they were mounting an operation to rescue the crew. Much later, it became clear that almost all the sailors on board had died immediately. Read more 
15.08.19 Russian Senator Slams Police Crackdown On Moscow Protests As ‘Illegal’
The Moscow Times
An ex-special forces commander and current Russian senator has called a recent police crackdown on protests in Moscow “illegal and incompetent” while the Kremlin has voiced support for the tough response. Russian authorities detained hundreds of people and launched criminal cases against dozens at a series of election protests in Moscow over the past month. Video footage of violent arrests has stirred anger among critics who say the authorities used excessive force. Read more 
15.08.19 Russia's Mail.Ru Eyes Pre-installing Software On Huawei Devices
Reuters
Russian internet group Mail.Ru is in talks with China’s Huawei about the possibility of having its software pre-installed on the Chinese tech giant’s devices, Mail.Ru told Reuters. Mail.Ru owns Russian social networks Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. It is developing several messenger services and has an email and browser service. “Yes, we can confirm the talks,” Mail.Ru said without providing details. Read more 
15.08.19 The Kremlin Sees Signs Of Foreign Interference All Around
The Moscow Times
During a recent session of the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, officials whipped themselves into a frenzy over a worrisome development: foreign powers trying to meddle in the country’s elections. The elections in question were for the Moscow City Duma, a toothless body with little or no ability to influence affairs in Russia’s capital city, let alone the country at large. Nevertheless, one speaker warned, Russia is “undergoing an intervention.” Read more 
14.08.19 Russia Says Radiation Levels Rose By 4-16 Times In City After Accident
Reuters
Radiation levels in the Russian city of Severodvinsk rose by up to 16 times on Aug. 8 after an accident that authorities said involved a rocket test on a sea platform, Russia’s state weather agency said on Tuesday, the TASS news agency reported. The defense ministry initially said background radiation had remained normal after the incident on Thursday, but city authorities in Severodvinsk in northern Russia said there had been a brief spike in radiation levels. Read more 
14.08.19 Village Near Site Of Deadly Missile Accident Told To Evacuate After Radiation Spike
The Independent
Russian authorities have told people in a village near the site of a deadly missile explosion involving a nuclear power test to "leave the territory", after the accident triggered a spike in radiation. The country's state weather service said radiation levels spiked in the Russian city of Severodvinsk by up to 16 times last Thursday after what officials say was an explosion during a rocket engine test on a sea platform. Read more 
14.08.19 Medics Who Treated Victims Of Accident Sent To Moscow For Examination
Reuters
Medics who treated victims of an accident during a rocket engine test that caused a spike in radiation last week have been sent to Moscow for medical examination, TASS news agency cited an unnamed medical source as saying on Tuesday. Russia’s state weather service said radiation levels spiked in the Russian city of Severodvinsk by up to 16 times last Thursday after what officials say was an explosion during a rocket engine test on a sea platform. Read more 
14.08.19 Russia Dodges Bad Data With Less Frequent Publications
The Moscow Times
At least three state-backed agencies have reduced the frequency of their publications of economic and polling data over increasingly worrisome figures this year. Low oil prices and Western sanctions, as well as Russia’s expenditures on its military campaign in Syria and a reported backing of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, have put a dent in many Russians’ savings. Read more 
14.08.19 Kremlin Says It Is Winning Arms Race Against U.S. Despite Rocket Accident
Reuters
The Kremlin boasted on Tuesday it was winning the race to develop new cutting edge nuclear weapons despite a mysterious rocket accident last week in northern Russia that caused a temporary spike in radiation levels. Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear agency, has said that the Aug. 8 accident occurred during a rocket test on a sea platform in the White Sea, killing at least five and injuring three more. Read more 
14.08.19 Russia Has Failed Another Nuclear Test
The Moscow Times
Moscow isn’t the only place where you can see signs that all is not well in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. A Russian missile test gone wrong on Aug. 8 took at least five lives. The confused partial explanations that followed confirmed that the Russian authorities can’t be trusted to tell the world or their own people the truth about nuclear accidents. Soon after an explosion at the Nyonoksa testing ground in the Arkhangelsk region in northern Russia, the city authorities in Severodvinsk, a nearby city with a population of about 190,000, reported that radiation levels had jumped for about an hour, though remaining within safe limits. The report, however, was pulled from the city’s official website (only screenshots exist today). Read more 
14.08.19 Russian Fighter Jets Push NATO War Plane Away
Reuters
Russian fighter jets pushed away a NATO war plane after it tried to approach Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's plane over neutral waters in the Baltic Sea, TASS news agency reported. The plane was flying from Kaliningrad to Moscow and was carrying a TASS reporter on board, the report said. Read more 
14.08.19 Isolated By Ukraine’s War, Mariupol Looks For A Peaceful Future
The Christian Science Monitor
For the past five years, Mariupol has been a battleground. First, it was in the most literal sense. This industrial city of 450,000 on the Azov Sea has been the scene of pitched battles between Ukrainian forces and separatist rebels, who surround it on two sides with the front lines now just about seven miles from the city limits. Until a shaky July 21 cease-fire took hold, the sound of artillery fire was often audible in downtown Mariupol, and the ongoing war is seldom far from the subject of any conversation. Read more 
14.08.19 Moscow Court Allows Opposition Candidate To Run After Protest
Reuters
The Moscow city court cancelled a decision by an election commission to bar a Russian opposition candidate, Sergei Mitrokhin, from running in a municipal election in September, TASS news agency reported. The court ruled in favour of Mitrokhin three days after tens of thousands of protesters turned out at a rally in Moscow, in which Mitrokhin also took part. Read more 
13.08.19 Russia Pays Tribute To Dead Nuclear Workers, Vows To Develop New Weapons
Reuters
Russia’s top nuclear official promised on Monday to succeed in developing new weapons as he paid tribute to five scientists killed in what U.S. experts suspect was the botched test of a new missile vaunted by President Vladimir Putin. The five scientists were buried in the closed city of Sarov on Monday. They died last Thursday in what state nuclear agency Rosatom has said was an accident during a rocket test on a sea platform off northern Russia. Read more 
13.08.19 Russia Holds Funerals For Five Nuclear Workers Who Died In Missile Explosion
Washington Post
As funerals were held Monday for five nuclear workers killed while testing a new missile, Russian officials said they will try to determine what went wrong and how to avoid another such accident in the future. The weapon prototype they were testing relies on small-scale power sources being developed by the Russian Federal Nuclear Center that use “radioactive materials, including fissile and radioisotope materials,” the scientific director of the center, Vyacheslav Soloviev, said in a video broadcast by a television station in Sarov, where the research institute is based. Read more 
13.08.19 What We Know About Russia’s Mysterious Rocket Explosion So Far
The Moscow Times
At least five nuclear experts have been killed in a mysterious explosion during a rocket engine test at sea in northern Russia four days ago. Officials have been slow to release information about Thursday’s blast, which led to a radiation spike in a nearby city and sparked heightened demand for iodine. U.S.-based nuclear experts said they suspected the explosion occurred during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile touted by President Vladimir Putin last year. Read more 
13.08.19 Russia's Top Independent Oil Refinery Restoring Output After Hiatus
Reuters
The Antipinsky oil plant, Russia’s largest independent refinery, is on track to more than double its output this month following suspension of its operations for more than two months, the plant’s head told Reuters. The refinery, located in western Siberia, with an annual capacity of 9 million tonnes (181,000 barrels per day), temporarily halted oil processing in April through June amid financial problems that led to the arrival of new owners and bankruptcy proceedings. Read more 
13.08.19 Rocket Mystery: What Weapon Was Russia Testing In Arctic?
BBC News
been buried in Sarov, a closed town 373km (232 miles) east of Moscow, where nuclear warheads are made. The Russian state nuclear agency, Rosatom, said the experts had been testing a nuclear-powered engine. But it gave no further technical details. The test was on an offshore platform in the Arctic, at a naval test range. Russia has previously tested a nuclear-powered cruise missile, "Burevestnik". Read more 
13.08.19 Russia Admits Nuclear Power Test Accident Caused Explosion
The Independent
Russia has admitted that an explosion that killed five scientists last week happened during testing of a small nuclear power reactor – as western experts have suspected. The country’s leading nuclear official promised on Monday to succeed in developing new weapons despite the accident in what was thought to have been a failed test of a new missile. Read more 
13.08.19 Trump Considering North Korea Envoy As Next Ambassador To Russia
Reuters
Stephen Biegun, the diplomat who has been leading efforts to revive stalled U.S. denuclearization talks with North Korea, is under consideration to be President Donald Trump’s next ambassador to Russia, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday. The current ambassador to Moscow, Jon Huntsman, is due to step down in October after two years in the post, the State Department said last week, amid speculation he plans to run for Utah governor. Read more 
13.08.19 What Russian Deal? Israel And Jordan Cast Wary Eye Toward Syria.
The Christian Science Monitor
With the United States increasing pressure on Iran, concerns are rising that southern Syria could be a flashpoint for growing tensions between Iran and the U.S., Israel, and the Arab world. It became clear in 2018 that Syria’s Russia- and Iran-backed president, Bashar al-Assad, had emerged as the victor in his country’s civil war. And Russia, the main power broker, pledged to both Israel and Jordan that security arrangements for southern Syria would keep Iranian forces 70 to 80 kilometers (43 to 50 miles) from their borders. Read more 
12.08.19 Russia Tells Google Not To Advertise 'illegal' Events After Election Protests
Reuters
Russia’s state communications watchdog has asked Google to stop advertising “illegal mass events” on its YouTube video platform, it said on Sunday. Tens of thousands of Russians staged what observers called the country’s biggest political protest for eight years on Saturday, defying a crackdown to demand free elections to Moscow’s city legislature. Multiple YouTube channels broadcast the event live. Read more 
12.08.19 Russia Accuses YouTube Of Interfering In Its Sovereign Affairs
The Guardian
Russia has accused YouTube of spreading information on unsanctioned opposition protests, calling recent push notifications from the US-based company interference in Russia’s sovereign affairs. Roskomnadzor, the Russian communications watchdog, said on Sunday that it had sent a letter to Google, YouTube’s parent company, complaining that users had received push notifications “sharing information about unsanctioned mass events, including those aimed at disrupting elections.” Unsanctioned effectively means illegal. Read more 
12.08.19 Russia Honors 'national Heroes' Killed In Mysterious Rocket Blast
Reuters
Russia has bestowed posthumous awards on five nuclear experts and “national heroes” who died in a mysterious explosion at sea during a rocket engine test, authorities said on Sunday. Officials have been drip-feeding information about the blast on a platform in the White Sea off northern Russia that caused a radiation spike in a nearby city. Read more 
12.08.19 Vladimir Putin Riles Ukraine With Crimea Bikers' Festival Trip
BBC News
Ukraine has protested to Russia after a leather-clad President Vladimir Putin visited the annexed Crimean peninsula to attend a bikers' festival. Its foreign ministry described Saturday's visit as a "blatant violation of Ukraine's sovereignty". Ukraine said attempts by Moscow and its media to present such visits as routine were "pathetic". Crimea was annexed from the Ukraine in 2014, triggering a wave of ultra-patriotism in Russia. Read more 
12.08.19 Tesla Electric Car Catches Fire After Hitting Tow Truck In Moscow
Reuters
A Tesla Model 3 electric car caught fire after crashing into a parked tow truck on a Moscow motorway late on Saturday, with the Tesla driver saying he had failed to see the vehicle with which he collided. Asked in a video published on REN TV website if he was using an Autopilot self-driving system, driver Alexei Tretyakov said he was in a drive assistance mode in which he was still holding the steering wheel. Read more 
12.08.19 Ukraine Searches Vessel Over Fuel Delivery To Crimea
Reuters
Ukrainian prosecutors said they had searched a vessel in the Black Sea port of Kherson on Saturday as part of an investigation into a suspected illegal delivery of fuel to the Russian navy in annexed Crimea in 2015. Relations between Kiev and Moscow deteriorated after Russia’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and its backing for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian law stipulates that it is illegal to enter Crimean waters without the permission of the Ukrainian authorities. Read more 
11.08.19 Thousands Defy Crackdown In Moscow's Biggest Protest For Years
Reuters
Tens of thousands of Russians staged what a monitoring group called the country’s biggest political protest for eight years on Saturday, defying a crackdown to demand free elections to Moscow’s city legislature. Police rounded up scores of people after the demonstration in Moscow and at another rally in St Petersburg, and detained a leading opposition figure before it began. But the response from the authorities was milder than the previous week when more than 1,000 protesters were detained, sometimes violently. Read more 
11.08.19 ‘A Number The Authorities Can’t Ignore’: Moscow Opposition Sees Record Protest Turnout Despite Crackdowns
The Moscow Times
Nearly 50,000 people took to Moscow’s streets to rally for fair elections on a rainy Saturday despite weeks of heavy crackdowns, making it one of Russia’s largest protests in several years. This summer’s protest movement, which began as a standoff between opposition figures and Moscow authorities over the barring of independent candidates from an upcoming local election, has gradually gained support from citizens since it began five weeks ago. Independent polling this week said that Moscow residents are more likely to support the protests than oppose them. Read more 
11.08.19 Moscow Acknowledges Mysterious Rocket Explosion Involved Nuclear Workers
Reuters
Russia’s state nuclear agency acknowledged for the first time on Saturday that nuclear workers were involved in an explosion during a rocket engine test that caused a spike in radiation in a nearby city. The agency, Rosatom, said five people killed in the blast were its staff members, and the accident involved “isotope power sources”, giving no further details. Read more 
11.08.19 Moscow Protests: Opposition Rally 'largest Since 2011'
BBC News
Tens of thousands have attended Moscow's largest opposition rally since 2011, independent monitors say. Up to 60,000 people reportedly gathered in the rain to demand fair elections. The protest was officially authorised but dozens of people were arrested as they moved to other parts of the city, many outside President Vladimir Putin's offices in the city centre. Unauthorised rallies on the last two Saturdays saw hundreds detained. This is the fifth demonstration in a month. Read more 
11.08.19 U.S.-Based Experts Suspect Russia Blast Involved Nuclear-Powered Missile
Reuters
U.S.-based nuclear experts said on Friday they suspected an accidental blast and radiation release in northern Russia this week occurred during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile vaunted by President Vladimir Putin last year. The Russian Defense Ministry, quoted by state-run news outlets, said that two people died and six were injured on Thursday in an explosion of what it called a liquid propellant rocket engine. No dangerous substances were released, it said. Russia's state nuclear agency Rosatom said early on Saturday that five of its staff members died. Read more 
10.08.19 Russia Granted Permission To Export Wheat To Saudi Arabia
Reuters
Russia has been granted permission to export wheat to Saudi Arabia, Interfax news agency cited Russia’s agriculture watchdog as saying on Friday. Reuters earlier reported that Saudi Arabia planned to relax its bug-damage specifications for wheat imports from its next tender onwards, opening the door to Black Sea imports and strengthening ties with Russia beyond energy cooperation. Read more 
10.08.19 20 Years Of Vladimir Putin: The Rise And Decline Of A Regime
The Moscow Times
Twenty years ago, Vladimir Putin appeared on the political Olympus in the guise of an effective bureaucrat with a security services background; a market-oriented statesman and pragmatist without ideological pretenses. Today Putin is a powerful authoritarian leader of the “strongman” type, engaged in a political confrontation with the West and an ideological struggle with global liberalism, in the service of which he is decisively sacrificing any pragmatic goals for developing the country. And even when he speaks of modernization, the conversation turns fairly quickly to armaments. Read more 
10.08.19 Radiation Spike Reported After Rocket Engine Explosion During Russian Missile Test
The Independent
A short-term spike in radiation levels has been recorded after a rocket engine exploded during a test in Russia, regional authorities said. Moscow’s defence ministry said two were killed and four others wounded after the blast at a military shooting range in the northwestern region of Arkhangelsk. The ministry said there was no release of radioactivity or any toxic substances. Read more 
10.08.19 Blasts Rock Russian Ammo Depot In Siberia, 5 Injured
Reuters
A series of explosions rocked a Russian ammo depot in Siberia for the second time in a week on Friday, injuring five people, the state-run TASS news agency cited doctors as saying. A fire broke out following the explosions at the site in the Krasnoyarsk region, TASS reported. The explosions were caused by a lightning strike, Interfax cited an unnamed source as saying. Explosions ripped through the same site on Monday, killing one, injuring 13 and prompting authorities to evacuate thousands of people from nearby areas. Read more 
10.08.19 Russia Explosion: Five Confirmed Dead In Rocket Blast
BBC News
Five people were killed and three injured following a rocket explosion on a naval test range in Russia on Thursday, state nuclear company Rosatom confirmed. Rostacom said the accident occurred during tests on a liquid propellant rocket engine. The three injured staff members suffered serious burns in the accident. Authorities had previously said that two people died and six were injured in the blast at the site in Nyonoksa. Read more 
10.08.19 Russia Accuses U.S. Of Meddling Over Publication Of Protest Map
Reuters
Russia on Friday accused the U.S. Embassy of having meddled in Russia’s internal affairs when it published a map online showing the route of an unauthorised anti-government protest earlier this month. Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had summoned a senior U.S. diplomat over what it said was a post on Twitter and the embassy’s website containing a map drawn up by Russia’s opposition ahead of the Aug. 3 rally in Moscow. Read more 
10.08.19 Radiation Spike Fuels Scramble For Iodine In Russian Cities Near Explosion
The Moscow Times
Residents of two northern Russian cities are stocking up on iodine that is used to reduce the effects of radiation exposure after a mysterious accident at a nearby military testing site, regional media have reported. The Defense Ministry has given few details of the accident, saying only that two people were killed and six injured by the explosion of a liquid-propelled rocket engine at a test site in Russia's north. Authorities have shut down an area of the Dvina Bay in the White Sea to shipping for a month near the accident site, without explaining why. Read more 
10.08.19 U.S.-based Experts Suspect Russia Blast Involved Nuclear-powered Missile
Reuters
U.S.-based nuclear experts said on Friday they suspected an accidental blast and radiation release in northern Russia this week occurred during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile vaunted by President Vladimir Putin last year. The Russian Ministry of Defense, quoted by state-run news outlets, said that two people died and six were injured on Thursday in an explosion of what it called a liquid propellant rocket engine. No dangerous substances were released, it said. Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom said early on Saturday that five of its staff members died. Read more 
09.08.19 Russia Freezes Bank Accounts Linked To Opposition Politician Navalny
Reuters
Russian authorities on Thursday froze a slew of bank accounts linked to jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny as part of a money laundering investigation, Kira Yarmysh, his spokeswoman, and Russian investigators said. Accounts frozen included those associated with an anti-corruption foundation Navalny set up, some personal accounts of allies, and accounts belonging to Navalny’s headquarters. Read more 
09.08.19 'Brief Radiation Spike' After Rocket Engine Blast In Northern Russia
BBC News
A rocket engine explosion on a naval test range in northern Russia has killed two people and injured six, the defence ministry told Russian media. The victims of the explosion in Arkhangelsk region were civilian specialists while military and civilian personnel are among the injured. The ministry said radiation levels were normal but the city of Severodvinsk registered a "brief spike" in levels. Read more 
09.08.19 Russia Says Its Bombers Escorted By US Jets Over Bering Sea
The Associated Press
The Russian military says two of its nuclear-capable strategic bombers have flown a patrol mission over the Bering Sea, where they were escorted by U.S. fighter jets. The Defense Ministry said two Tu-95 bombers flew Thursday over international waters during a 10-hour mission that was part of the Ocean Shield exercise. It said U.S. F-22 and F-18 fighters escorted the Russian bombers at certain parts of their flight. Read more 
09.08.19 Russian Lawmaker Accuses U.S. Of Meddling In Moscow City Election
Reuters
A senior Russian lawmaker on Thursday accused the United States of meddling in a Moscow city election next month by organizing what he called provocations in the Russian capital, the state-run RIA news agency reported. Andrei Klimov, the lawmaker who oversees the upper house of parliament's commission to defend state sovereignty, said that a series of protests in recent weeks in Moscow displayed signs of "foreign interference," RIA reported. Read more 
09.08.19 Thousands Evacuated After Explosions At Russia Ammo Depot
The Associated Press
Massive explosions at a Russian military ammunition depot in Siberia injured at least eight people and prompted the evacuation of thousands Monday. Russia’s Defense Ministry said a fire triggered the explosions at a storage facility for gunpowder charges near the city of Achinsk in eastern Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region. Read more 
09.08.19 Apple Faces Investigation For Suspected Unfair Competition In Russia
Reuters
Apple (AAPL.O) is under investigation in Russia following a complaint from cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab and may be abusing its dominant market position, Russia’s anti-monopoly watchdog said on Thursday. Watchdog FAS said it was investigating why a new version of Kaspersky Lab’s Safe Kids application had been declined by Apple’s operating system, resulting in a significant loss in functionality for the parental control app. Read more 
09.08.19 Russia Freezes Bank Accounts Linked To Opposition Politician Navalny Following Raids
The Moscow Times
Russian authorities on Thursday froze a slew of bank accounts linked to jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny as part of a money laundering investigation, Kira Yarmysh, his spokeswoman, and Russian investigators said. Russia’s Investigative Committee announced during protests in Moscow last weekend that it had opened a criminal case into the laundering of 1 billion rubles ($15.3 million) by Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). Authorities raided the FBK’s office in Moscow as part of the investigation, the committee said Thursday. Read more 
08.08.19 1 In 4 Russian Children Live Below Poverty Line
The Moscow Times
More than a quarter of children in Russia live below the poverty line, double the national average across all age groups, according to official data. As the number of Russians living in poverty grows amid declining real incomes, researchers say children are significantly more likely to experience economic hardship than other population segments. The United Nations named children as the largest poverty-stricken group in the world last year. Read more 
08.08.19 Russia Upholds Bar On Kremlin Critics Despite Protests
Reuters
Russia’s main election board on Wednesday upheld rulings barring several Kremlin critics from a Moscow election next month as the opposition said it would press ahead with nationwide protests this weekend. Police in Moscow have detained more than 2,000 people at recent rallies protesting the exclusion of opposition candidates from a Sept. 8 election, prompting the biggest standoff between authorities and the opposition in years. Read more 
08.08.19 Russian Man Faces 20 Years In U.S. Prison On Arms Smuggling Charges
The Moscow Times
U.S. authorities have arrested a Russian immigrant on suspicion of illegally smuggling restricted firearms parts inside packages of jeans and sneakers into Russia. Vladimir Kuznetsov, 58, is alleged to have exported parts to assemble sniper rifles and other firearms without licenses “by methodically mislabeling the packages” for two and a half years. Read more 
08.08.19 Russia: Outgoing U.S. Envoy Failed To Improve Poor Ties
Reuters
Russia called outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman a professional diplomat late on Tuesday, but said he had been unable to improve battered Russia-U.S. ties because he had been hamstrung by domestic U.S. politics, TASS news agency reported. Huntsman, who was appointed by U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017, said in a resignation letter circulated by U.S. media that he was stepping down after a two-year tenure overshadowed by U.S. sanctions on Moscow and tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions. Read more 
08.08.19 Opposition Candidate Sobol Barred From Moscow Vote
The Moscow Times
Russian election officials have issued a final decision to block opposition candidate Lyubov Sobol from running for Moscow’s city council next month. Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) said it had received 19 appeals from various candidates including Sobol against the Moscow commission’s decision to disqualify them from the ballot on Sept. 8. That decision, based on claims that the candidates had failed to collect enough genuine signatures to register, has led supporters of Sobol and other opposition candidates to stage weekly rallies over the past month. Read more 
08.08.19 Chernobyl Vodka: First Consumer Product Made In Exclusion Zone
BBC News
"It's the only bottle in existence - I tremble when I pick it up," says Prof Jim Smith, gingerly lifting a bottle of Atomik grain spirit. The "artisan vodka", made with grain and water from the Chernobyl exclusion zone, is the first consumer product to come from the abandoned area around the damaged nuclear power plant. The team started the vodka project by growing crops on a farm in the zone. Read more 
08.08.19 Putin Can’t Afford To Speed Up Russia’s Economy
The Moscow Times
Even as President Vladimir Putin has turned Russia into an aggressive, backward-looking police state, competent economic management has saved the nation from an economic collapse. It’s still helping, and, according to the International Monetary Fund’s new assessment, some recent government moves that have not been appreciated in Russia are likely to lead to improved growth. But behind this good news, Putin has a problem: More significant improvements would require disturbing the fragile political balance that ensures his power. Read more 
07.08.19 New U.S. Sanctions Have No Impact On Russia Rating
Reuters
New U.S. sanctions on Russian U.S. dollar-denominated sovereign debt will have no immediate impact on Russia’s investment grade credit rating, agency S&P Global said on Tuesday. U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a fresh round of sanctions on Friday over the poisoning last year of a former Russian spy in Britain. Read more 
07.08.19 U.S. Ambassador To Russia Huntsman Resigns After 2-Year Tenure
The Moscow Times
The U.S. ambassador to Russia has resigned after two years as he considers a run for governor in his home state of Utah, the state's Salt Lake Tribune newspaper reported Tuesday. Jon Huntsman served as the U.S. envoy to Moscow for two years during a fraught period in relations between the two countries. During his tenure, Washington and Moscow clashed over a number of issues, including Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and its arrests of U.S. citizens Paul Whelan and Michael Calvey. Read more 
07.08.19 Russia Summons Japanese Ambassador Over Disputed Islands Comments
Reuters
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday it had summoned the Japanese ambassador in Moscow to complain about what it said was criticism from Tokyo that bordered on “an attempt to interfere in Russia’s domestic affairs.” Tokyo earlier this month called a visit by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to one of four islands claimed by both Japan and Russia extremely regrettable and urged Moscow to take constructive steps to advance ties. Read more 
07.08.19 Russia Takes Side Of Democratic 2020 Candidate
The Independent
Russia has publicly supported 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard after a British investigative journalist covering the Kremlin described her stance on the Syrian conflict as “self-contradictory” and an “error filled mess”. In a tweet posted on its account on Monday morning, the Russian embassy in South Africa appeared to support the Hawaii Democrat while attacking Eliot Higgins, founder of the open source investigative site Bellingcat, which has investigated the country’s involvement in the Syrian airstrikes, as well as the downing of the MH17 passenger plane over Ukraine and the poison attack against former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury last year. Read more 
07.08.19 Russia: U.S. Asset Freeze On Venezuela Is Illegal
Reuters
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that a move by Washington to freeze all Venezuelan government assets in the United States was illegal and amounted to “economic terror”, the RIA news agency reported. U.S. President Donald Trump imposed the asset freeze on Monday, sharply escalating an economic and diplomatic pressure campaign aimed at removing socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power. Read more 
07.08.19 Olga Misik: Russia’s ‘Tiananmen Teen’ Protester On Front Line
BBC News
Wearing a bullet-proof vest, a young woman sat in front of Russia's riot police. On her lap was a copy of the Russian constitution, which she began reading to the heavily armoured police around her. Behind them was a demonstration calling for transparent Moscow elections, in which several people were injured. The photo went viral within minutes and Olga Misik, 17, became a symbol of Russia's pro-democracy movement. Some compared the image to Tiananmen Square's Tank Man, who stood in a tank's path in Beijing in 1989. Read more 
07.08.19 Ukrainian Villain Is Now Cracking Heads In Moscow
The Moscow Times
Colonel Sergei Kusyuk was a key villain in Ukraine’s revolution of 2013-2014; in fact, he may have set it off through his ham-handed actions. Now, he has shown up in Moscow, once again cracking down on protesters with a vastly disproportionate use of force — but the city is not rising up as Kiev did six years ago. Read more 
07.08.19 Russia Protests: Opposition Couple Face Losing Custody Of Son
BBC News
Prosecutors in Russia are seeking to strip a couple of parental rights after they took their one-year-old son to an unsanctioned opposition protest. They said in a statement that the couple had put the baby's life in danger by giving him to a third person. The couple told BBC Russian they simply gave their child to a friend to hold. Read more 
06.08.19 Russia Says It Would Respond To U.S. Missile Deployments In Asia
Reuters
Russia said on Monday it would take measures to defend itself if the United States stationed missiles in Asia following the collapse of a landmark arms control treaty and that it expected Japan to deploy a new U.S. missile launch system. U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that he was in favour of placing ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles in Asia relatively soon. Read more 
06.08.19 America Could Lose A Real War Against Russia
The New York Times
After more than 30 years, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (I.N.F.) Treaty ended last week, with an American withdrawal on Friday and a Russian withdrawal on Saturday. Although the United States abided by the terms of the treaty, Russia violated it by fielding more than 100 banned intermediate-range missiles, and China, which was never bound by it, fielded thousands. The United States has none. Read more 
06.08.19 Germany Expects Georgieva To Become IMF Head, Russia Pledges Support
Reuters
Germany is optimistic that Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva will become the head of the International Monetary Fund, a spokeswoman for the German Finance Ministry said on Monday. European Union governments picked the 65-year-old Georgieva as the bloc’s candidate to lead the IMF after more than 12 hours of talks on Friday. Read more 
06.08.19 Russians Pull Out Credit Cards, And Consumer Debt Spirals
The New York Times
Yekaterina V. Bulgakova gushed about the cozy one-room apartment that she and her boyfriend share, and particularly about the way they could always cover the rent: by charging it on credit card. “Our salaries don’t go far enough” to pay for housing, food and other necessities every month, Ms. Bulgakova, a tattoo artist, said. Read more 
06.08.19 Japan Wants To Arrange A Visit By PM Abe To Russia In September
Reuters
Japan would like to arrange a visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Russia in September, its chief government spokesman said on Monday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that leaders from Japan and Russia would need to talk directly because there were "issues between the two nations." Read more 
06.08.19 OneWeb Says Russia Did Not Block Its Plans
BBC News
A firm planning to offer net coverage via satellites has said that Russian officials have not barred it from broadcasting in the country. OneWeb told the BBC it had submitted but then withdrawn an application to use radio frequencies in Russia. A report in the newspaper Kommersant last week quoted a Russian minister as saying that OneWeb's broadcasting rights request had been blocked. This was also reported in a BBC News story, which has now been deleted. Read more 
06.08.19 Russia’s Affair With Turkey Has Been Blossoming For Decades
The Independent
To diplomats in London, Washington, Paris and Brussels, it’s Turkey that is the belligerent actor. It has defied Nato rules by buying Russian weaponry, part of a pattern of Ankara drifting away from western norms under president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. To much of Turkey, it’s the west that has betrayed it, writing off its security concerns and European aspirations because of surging Islamophobia. Read more 
06.08.19 Thousands Evacuated After Explosions At Russia Ammo Depot
The Associated Press
Massive explosions at a Russian military ammunition depot in Siberia injured at least eight people and prompted the evacuation of thousands Monday. Russia’s Defense Ministry said a fire triggered the explosions at a storage facility for gunpowder charges near the city of Achinsk in eastern Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region. Read more 
06.08.19 Siberian Spirit Guides Join Fight Against Deadly Wildfires
BBC News
Pagan guides have been performing rituals to ask ancient Siberian spirits to end the wildfires and floods ravaging huge swathes of eastern Russia. In a video posted online, the shaman holy men can be seen walking around a tree and beating drums on Olkhon Island in Lake Baikal, a massive freshwater lake not far from Mongolia and deep in the heartland of shamanism. The 50 or so shamans, including colleagues from Mongolia, Germany and Poland, made an offering of food as part of the Tailagan ritual. Read more 
05.08.19 Russian Opposition Plans New Protest Despite Over 1,000 Arrests
Reuters
Russia’s anti-Kremlin opposition said it was planning a nationwide protest next weekend despite police forcibly detaining over 1,000 people on Saturday for attending what they said was an illegal march in Moscow to demand free elections. Saturday’s protest, conceived by opposition activists as a peaceful walk to protest against the exclusion of their candidates from a Moscow election next month, was systematically and sometimes violently dispersed by police. Read more 
05.08.19 In Ukraine, A Rival To Putin Rises
The New York Times
He’s a quick-witted politician who understands the power of television, has broad public support at home and, perhaps not so important, sometimes takes off his shirt in public. And he is not President Vladimir V. Putin, Russia’s paramount leader of nearly 20 years. This is Volodymyr Zelensky, the former comedian who became Ukraine’s president in May and has followed his unconventional rise to power with an equally unexpected display of diplomatic flair. Read more 
05.08.19 Water Drops From Military Aircraft Douse Some Russia Fires
The Associated Press
Russia’s military says its aircraft dropped more than 1,200 metric tons of water (1,300 short tons) in a single day on wildfires in Siberia and made some progress in extinguishing the vast blazes. The Russian armed forces said the water from military planes and helicopters doused flames in about 1700 square kilometers (650 square miles) of the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions on Sunday. Read more 
05.08.19 Russian Police Detain Over 800 In Opposition Crackdown In Moscow
Reuters
Russian police forcibly detained over 800 people attending a protest in Moscow on Saturday to demand free elections, including prominent activist Lyubov Sobol, after authorities warned the demonstration was illegal. Police removed Sobol, an ally of jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny, from a taxi and bundled her into a van minutes before the start of what anti-Kremlin activists described as a peaceful walk to protest against the exclusion of their candidates from an election next month. Read more 
05.08.19 Russian Land Of Permafrost And Mammoths Is Thawing
The New York Times
The lab assistant reached into the freezer and lifted out a football-size object in a tattered plastic grocery bag, unwrapping its muddy covering and placing it on a wooden table. It was the severed head of a wolf. The animal, with bared teeth and mottled fur, appeared ready to lunge. But it had been glowering for some 32,000 years — preserved in the permafrost, 65 feet underground in Yakutia in northeastern Siberia. Read more 
04.08.19 Russian Police Detain Over 800 Opposition Protesters In Central Moscow
Reuters
Russian police forcibly detained over 800 people attending a protest in Moscow on Saturday to demand free elections, including prominent activist Lyubov Sobol, after authorities warned the demonstration was illegal. Police removed Sobol from a taxi and bundled her into a van minutes before the start of what anti-Kremlin activists described as a peaceful walk to protest against the exclusion of their candidates from an election next month. Read more 
04.08.19 US Exempts Aviation, Space Exports From New Russia Sanctions
The Associated Press
The Trump administration has decided to exempt aviation safety and space exploration technology from new sanctions it has levied against Russia in connection with the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain. The State Department said late Friday that products related to those sectors will not be automatically subjected to an export ban that was announced by President Donald Trump this week. The sanctions do include a presumption of denial for export licenses for items that could be used in the production of chemical and biological weapons. Read more 
04.08.19 The Kremlin Turns Up The Pressure On Protesters Demanding Fair Vote
The Moscow Times
A helicopter circled overhead. Riot police clad in protective gear and balaclavas lined the sidewalks. Columns of police wagons sped past. There was a sense of foreboding in the air in central Moscow on Saturday afternoon as the authorities prepared for the latest demonstration to demand that opposition candidates be allowed to run in the upcoming Moscow City Duma elections. Read more 
04.08.19 Russia Protests: Hundreds Detained During Unauthorised Demonstration
BBC News
More than 600 people have been detained over an unauthorised protest in Moscow, amid reports of police violence. Protesters had gathered in the Russian capital after authorities disqualified a number of opposition candidates from standing in local elections. Leading activist Lyubov Sobol was arrested before she could reach the rally, attended by 1,500 people. Video from the rally shows officers using their batons against demonstrators while making arrests. Read more 
04.08.19 Russia Investigates Alleged Money Laundering By Anti-Kremlin Opposition
Reuters
Russian investigators said on Saturday that had opened a criminal investigation into the alleged laundering of 1 billion roubles ($15.3 million) by an anti-corruption foundation set up by jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny. Russia’s Investigative Committee made the announcement in a statement while an opposition protest organized by Navalny’s allies was taking place in Moscow. Read more 
04.08.19 Latvia's Vaira Vike-Freiberga
BBC News
The little girl who fled from war-torn Latvia spent more than 50 years in exile - but soon after returning she became president. Not only that, Vaira Vike-Freiberga became the first female head of a former Soviet bloc state. "My parents never let me forget that I am Latvian," she told the BBC. The Baltic state was invaded by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War Two. Read more 
03.08.19 U.S. Withdraws From Soviet-era Nuclear Missile Accord With Russia
Reuters
The United States formally withdrew from a landmark 1987 nuclear missile pact with Russia on Friday after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied. Washington signaled it would pull out of the arms control treaty six months ago unless Moscow stuck to the accord. Russia called the move a ploy to exit a pact that the United States wanted to leave anyway in order to develop new missiles. Read more 
03.08.19 As Anger Simmers Over Wildfires, Protesters Demand Resignation Of Siberian Governor
The Moscow Times
With wildfires raging across Siberia and Russia’s Far East, about 1,000 residents of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on Thursday called for the resignation of the region’s governor, who said at the start of the crisis it wasn’t economically profitable to fight the blazes. Wildfires have swept across a swath of Russia the size of Belgium. Greenpeace Russia has called them an “ecological catastrophe,” while Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said the forest fires had spread because of “insufficient measures to extinguish fires.” Read more 
03.08.19 INF Nuclear Treaty: Trump Says New Pact Should Include China
BBC News
US President Donald Trump has said he wants a new nuclear pact to be signed by both Russia and China. Mr Trump said he had spoken to the two countries about the idea, and that they were both "very, very excited". His comments came after the US withdrew from a key nuclear treaty with Russia, raising fears of a new arms race. Read more 
03.08.19 5 Moscow ‘Mass Riot’ Suspects To Stay In Custody Until September
The Moscow Times
A Moscow court has ordered five suspects in the criminal case into “mass unrest” over last weekend’s opposition protests to be kept in custody until Sept. 27. Alexei Minyaylo, Ivan Podkopayev, Samariddin Radzhabov, Kirill Zhukov and Yegor Zhukov were among 10 people detained on suspicion of “organizing and conducting mass riots” last Saturday. Police had detained, then released, more than 1,300 people marching through central Moscow in support of allowing opposition-minded candidates on the ballot for upcoming Moscow City Duma elections. Read more 
03.08.19 UK Blames Russia For Nuclear Treaty Collapse, Says Threatens European Security
Reuters
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Russia was to blame after the United States withdrew from the landmark nuclear missile pact (INF) between the two countries, saying the United Kingdom fully supported NATO’s response. “Russia has caused the INF Treaty to collapse by secretly developing and deploying a treaty-violating missile system which can target Europe’s capitals,” Raab said on Twitter. Read more 
03.08.19 Sobol: The Woman Driving Russia's Opposition Protests
BBC News
Lyubov Sobol shuffles slowly these days when she walks, leaning on a colleague's arm for support. After almost three weeks refusing food she says she feels dizzy and weak but determined to go on with her protest. The young lawyer and popular video blogger is one of a group of opposition activists who have been barred from local elections in Moscow, sparking a growing wave of demonstrations. The summer protests have caught the authorities off guard and led to clashes with riot police and mass arrests. Read more 
03.08.19 U.S Imposes New Sanctions On Russia Over Skripal Poisoning
Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed another round of sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of a former spy in Britain, the White House said on Friday, a move Moscow said would hurt already strained U.S.-Russia ties. The move came hours before a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty expired, after Washington withdrew, accusing Moscow of violating it, which Russia denies. Read more 
03.08.19 'Siberia Is Burning': Artists Raise Awareness Of Russia Wildfires
BBC News
As wildfires continue to burn across Russia, artists in the country have taken to social media to share their feelings of powerlessness and call for urgent action to protect what is left of the forests. About three million hectares (7.4 million acres) have been affected, with the smog now reaching across the border to Mongolia. The hashtag "sibirgorit", which means "Siberia is burning", has now been used on 22,000 posts on Instagram while "Save Siberia Forests" has appeared on 2,500 posts on Twitter. Read more 
02.08.19 Russia To Investigate If Siberia Wildfires Were Started Deliberately
Reuters
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday ordered Russian police to investigate if wildfires in Siberia could have been started deliberately to conceal illegal logging activity, as army planes flew in to help firefighters battle the blazes. Russia’s Investigative Committee also said it had opened a criminal case over the fires and was investigating officials in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk for suspected negligence at having not taken action to stop them. Read more 
02.08.19 Russian ?elebrities Show Their Support For Pro-Opposition Protesters
The Moscow Times
Some of Russia’s most well-known celebrities and public figures are speaking out in support of the mass opposition protests that have rocked central Moscow over the past three weeks. On Saturday, nearly 1,400 protesters were detained during the most recent unauthorized rally as thousands took to the streets to demand that opposition candidates be allowed on the ballot in Moscow’s city council elections. The police crackdown was one of the heaviest in years against an increasingly defiant opposition decrying the Kremlin’s tight grip on power. Read more 
02.08.19 Russia Senses U.S. Wants Pretext For Persian Gulf Conflict
Reuters
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday it had the impression that the United States was looking for a pretext for conflict in the Persian Gulf, the RIA news agency reported. “Events there are really moving to a dangerous point and there are risks of a large-scale military clash,” RIA cited foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying. Read more 
02.08.19 Violent Crackdowns On Russian Opposition Reveal Dangerous Policy Shift
The Moscow Times
There has been a significant and sustained shift in the Kremlin’s relationship with the Russian opposition, and with the Russian public more broadly. Authorities across the country have issued ever fewer permits for protests and rallies, while increasing the scale and severity of the law-enforcement response to unsanctioned gatherings. It was not always thus. Throughout the so-called ‘Bolotnaya’ protests that accompanied Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin in 2011–12, the government allowed most protests to go ahead unhindered. Riot police only became involved in the infamous rally on 6 May 2012, which resulted in dozens of arrests and numerous lengthy prison terms. That, though, was the exception to the rule and remained so until recently. Read more 
02.08.19 Russian Actor Smolev Jailed For Drunk Policeman Comic Video
BBC News
An actor at a leading Moscow theatre has been sentenced to eight days in jail for acting as a drunken traffic policeman in an amateur comedy video. Dmitry Smolev was found guilty of bringing Russian police into disrepute and illegally wearing a police uniform. He has been performing a major role in the current production of Dyuma at the Sovremennik Theatre. Read more 
02.08.19 Germany: Russia And U.S. Must Uphold Remaining Arms Treaties As INF Accord Ends
Reuters
Germany urged the United States and Russia on Thursday to preserve what is left of the international arms control framework, a day before the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) is set to run out. In a statement, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas suggested Moscow was to blame for the expiration of the INF treaty, a landmark agreement of Cold War-era arms control signed by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1987. Read more 
02.08.19 New Suspect Detained In Russia Over LGBT Activist Killing
The Associated Press
Russian investigators say they have arrested a suspect in the killing of an LGBT rights activist in St. Petersburg, and that the person initially detained for the crime is no longer a suspect. Yelena Grigorieva’s body was found on a St. Petersburg street in July with eight stab wounds and signs of strangling. Activist colleagues said she had repeatedly received threats for her work. Read more 
01.08.19 Russia's Putin Orders Army To Help Battle Wildfires In Siberia
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered the army to help firefighters battle wildfires in Siberia but environmentalists said the move was unlikely to produce a quick breakthrough. Wildfires have spread to around 3 million hectares of mostly remote forest, an area almost the size of Belgium, according to the Federal Forestry Agency, wafting smoke across Siberia and prompting several regions to declare states of emergency. Read more 
01.08.19 Twitter Suspends Russian Embassy In Syria's Account
The Moscow Times
Twitter has suspended the account of Russia’s Embassy in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed, with fellow Russian embassy accounts saying it was suspended for its “factual” criticism of Syrian rescue workers. Syrian rebel commanders and rights groups said Monday that Russia and its Syrian ally jets killed four civilians and wounded scores in a raid on a marketplace in Maarat al-Numan city. The Russian Embassy in Damascus posted the Russian military’s dismissal of the claims and accusations that rescue workers from Syria’s White Helmets “mak[e] fakes and work with terrorists.” Read more 
01.08.19 Ukraine Naftogaz Files $5.2 Billion Lawsuit Against Russia
Reuters
Ukraine’s state energy group Naftogaz said on Wednesday it has asked the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) to force the Russian Federation to pay the Ukrainian company $5.2 billion compensation for assets lost in annexed Crimea. Relations between Kiev and Moscow plummeted after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 and role in the Donbass conflict. Read more 
01.08.19 Russian Army Ordered To Tackle Massive Wildfires
BBC News
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the army to help tackle massive wildfires raging in Siberia and other regions in the east. The decision was taken after Mr Putin was briefed on the growing crisis by the head of the emergencies ministry. About three million hectares (7.4 million acres) have been affected, in what Greenpeace is describing as an "ecological catastrophe". Many local residents say not enough is being done to tackle the fires. Read more 
01.08.19 Russian Landfill Opponents Seek Scandinavia's Help In Averting Eco-Crisis
The Moscow Times
Opponents of a controversial landfill in northwestern Russia have asked Sweden, Norway and Finland for help in averting an environmental crisis, the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Tuesday. Activists have staged protests near the small train station of Shiyes for the past year against Moscow’s plans to ship 2.3 million tons of garbage there annually. Environmentalists say that the landfill will release poisonous gases into the air and toxic filtrates into the water supplies of the Arkhangelsk region and the neighboring republic of Komi. Read more 
01.08.19 Trump Offers Putin Help With Siberian Wildfires
Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump in a phone call on Wednesday offered his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin assistance in putting out wildfires in Russia’s Siberia, the Kremlin said in a statement. Putin has taken Trump’s offer as the key for a full-scale restoration of relations between Russia and the United States, the Kremlin’s press office said. Read more 
01.08.19 NATO Chief Appeals To Russia Ahead Of Missile Pact Deadline
The Associated Press
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is appealing to Russia to comply with a key Cold War-era missile treaty just days before a U.S. deadline to do so expires, but he says the end of the landmark European security pact appears imminent. In February, the United States began withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty it agreed in 1987 with the then Soviet Union, blaming Moscow for developing missiles that do not comply with it. Russia has until Friday to destroy the new missiles. Read more 
01.08.19 Kremlin Foe's Doctor Skeptical After Navalny Tests Negative For Poison
Reuters
A Russian state hospital said on Wednesday that opposition leader Alexei Navalny had tested negative for poison after falling ill in custody, but his personal doctor warned the findings were inconclusive and could be wrong. Navalny, who was jailed for 30 days last week for urging people to take part in an unauthorized protest, was rushed to the hospital on Sunday and treated for symptoms of an acute allergy. Read more 
01.08.19 Rescuing Animals From The Streets Of Kiev
BBC News
Amid the political turbulence in Ukraine, some people are dedicating their lives to the wellbeing of dogs, cats, birds, bears and other animals in the country. Photographer Thomas Machowicz has been documenting the work of the Kiev Animal Rescue Group (Karg), which provides emergency services for injured animals. It was founded by Mykhailo Starozhuk, who was asked to rescue a cat from a tree after someone heard he was a climber. After another similar call, he created a website and Facebook page. His group now has many volunteers and provides emergency rescue services for domestic and wild animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Read more 
01.08.19 Rammstein Protests Homophobia In Russia With On-Stage Kiss In Moscow
The Moscow Times
Actions speak louder than words, as the old saying goes — and members of the cult German rock band Rammstein proved this by sharing an on-stage kiss to protest homophobia in Russia at their Moscow concert this week. While recent polling has suggested that Russian attitudes toward equal rights for LGBT people are at a 14-year high, intolerant attitudes toward same-sex relationships are still prevalent and Russian law prohibits the display of “homosexual propaganda” toward minors. This month, a prominent Russian LGBT activist was killed in St. Petersburg after being featured on a website that encourages people to “hunt down” sexual minorities. Read more 
01.08.19 Russia Instagram Influencer Ekaterina Karaglanova Found Dead In Suitcase
BBC News
A prominent Russian Instagram influencer was found dead from knife wounds on Friday in a suitcase in her rented Moscow apartment, police said. Ekaterina Karaglanova, 24, was discovered after her family reported that she had failed to contact them for several days. Ms Karaglanova, who had more than 85,000 followers on Instagram, had recently graduated as a doctor. Police said they were investigating jealousy as a possible motive. Read more 
31.07.19 Why Is Russia On Fire?
The Moscow Times
Thick smoke from forest fires has covered cities in Siberia, the Urals, and the Volga region. It would have been possible to cope with the initial stages of the blaze, but regional leaders have tried to extinguish as little as possible. According to Greenpeace Russia, over 3 million hectares of forest have been consumed by the current blaze (an area approximately the size of Belgium) and 11 million hectares (an area larger than Portugal) have been affected throughout spring and summer. Read more 
31.07.19 Spanish Slugs: Moscow Alarm Over Giant Invasive Pests
BBC News
Giant orange slugs up to 15cm (6in) long are causing alarm in central Moscow - the latest place they have turned up since spreading from Spain. The Arion vulgaris slugs are monsters compared with most other slugs and are serious pests, capable of ravaging vegetable plots. A species monitoring website, EU-backed DAISIE, lists the slug among the 100 worst invasive pests in Europe. Read more 
31.07.19 Crystal Palace Will Bid £14m For CSKA Moscow's Fyodor Chalov
HITC
Crystal Palace are set to make a bid of around £14 million for CSKA Moscow’s much-coveted centre-forward Fyodor Chalov, according to Championat. Ask any Crystal Palace fan which position the club needs to reinforce before the start of the Premier League season and the vast majority will make it clear that a new striker is a must. Read more 
31.07.19 Russia Declares Emergency Over Huge Wildfires In Siberia
Deutsche Welle
Raging wildfires have swallowed up an area across Siberia bigger than Belgium, with smoke enveloping cities. Observers and activists slammed the Russian government for not responding earlier. An area of 3.2 million hectares (7.9 million acres) was engulfed by forest fires in remote regions of Russia on Monday. In comparison, the total surface of the nation of Belgium is 3.07 million hectares. With fires raging for days, immense clouds of smoke reached large population centers, including Russia's third biggest city, Novosibirsk. Authorities declared emergencies in several regions. Read more 
31.07.19 Over 20,000 HIV-positive People Died In Russia Last Year
TASS
More than 20,000 HIV-positive Russians died in 2018, with the death toll related to this infection growing 2.2% year-on-year, a report of the Russian Health Ministry’s research center revealed on Wednesday. "In 2018, some 20,597 people died of HIV infection, and this is 14 cases per 100,000 citizens," according to the report, titled "Epidemic Situation on HIV infection in Russia in 2018," which was published on the website of the ministry’s Central Scientific and Research Institute for Informing Population. Read more 
31.07.19 Putin’s Fancy Weapons? Everything Old Is New Again
The New York Times
Vladimir Putin’s Russia has openly embarked on an aggressive rearmament. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is dead (broken by Russia, then canceled by President Trump), the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is near death, and scarcely a month goes by without the Russian Ministry of Defense or President Putin himself boasting of a new game-changing miracle weapon — what Germans once called a wunderwaffe. Well, do we have a new Cold War? Is there any similarity between Mr. Putin and the leaders of the Soviet Union? Read more 
30.07.19 Russia Launches Serial Production Of Su-57 Fifth-generation Fighter Jet
TASS
The Sukhoi Aircraft Company (part of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation) has started to implement its contract for the delivery of Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jets to the country’s Aerospace Force, the office of Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told TASS on Monday. The state contract envisages the delivery of 76 Su-57 fighter jets to Russia’s Aerospace Force. As a result of the contract’s implementation, Russia’s Defense Ministry will get "the most advanced fifth-generation multirole fighter jet, which will boost the domestic Aerospace Force’s combat capabilities," the statement says. Read more 
30.07.19 Russian Foreign Ministry Has Occasional Contacts With Venezuelan Opposition
The Moscow Times
Russian officials are in contact with representatives of Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido, the state-run RIA news agency reported on Monday, citing Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These contacts are only occasional and Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro's government is aware of them, RIA cited the ministry as saying. Read more 
30.07.19 Why Russia And China Are Joining Forces
The Wall Street Journal
Russian and Chinese military aircraft probed South Korean and Japanese air defenses last week, leading the South Koreans to fire more than 300 warning shots before the intruders departed. This was just the latest manifestation of a deepening alliance between Russia and China. James Dobbins, Howard Shatz and Ali Wyne described the emerging alignment in an April essay in the Diplomat. In 2016, Russia displaced Saudi Arabia as China’s largest source of imported oil. In 2017, the two countries held their first joint naval exercise in the Baltic Sea. In June 2018, Xi Jinping called Vladimir Putin “my best, most intimate friend,” and later that year Chinese forces participated in the largest military exercise on Russian soil since 1981. Read more 
30.07.19 Why Does Alexei Navalny Rattle The Kremlin?
Aljazeera
Russia's most prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny was discharged from hospital and returned to prison on Monday against the wishes of his doctor, who said he may have been poisoned. The critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was taken to a hospital from his Moscow prison on Sunday, after suffering from an "allergic reaction" after possible exposure to an unidentified "toxic agent". He is currently serving a 30-day sentence for calling an illegal demonstration in Russia, where police detained more than 1,000 people. Read more 
30.07.19 Secret Texts Cast Light On UK's Early Role In Trump-Russia Inquiry
The Guardian
Two of the most senior intelligence officials in the US and UK privately shared concerns about “our strange situation” as the FBI launched its 2016 investigation into whether Donald Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia, the Guardian has learned. Text messages between Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI at the time, and Jeremy Fleming, his then counterpart at MI5, now the head of GCHQ, also reveal their mutual surprise at the result of the EU referendum, which some US officials regarded as a “wake-up call”, according to a person familiar with the matter. Read more 
30.07.19 Putin Ally Warns Opposition Protesters: We Won't Allow Anarchy
Reuters
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, told opposition activists on Tuesday he would not allow their protest movement to plunge the Russian capital into anarchy and accused them of plotting mass disorder. Sobyanin was speaking after police rounded up more than 1,000 people in Moscow on Saturday in one of the biggest crackdowns of recent years against an increasingly defiant opposition decrying Putin’s tight grip on power. Read more 
29.07.19 Alexei Navalny Discharged From Hospital Against Wishes Of Doctor
The Guardian
The Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been discharged from hospital and returned to prison against the wishes of his doctor, who said his symptoms may indicate poisoning. Navalny was taken to hospital on Sunday morning from the Moscow prison where he was serving a 30-day sentence after being arrested last week for calling people to attend an anti-government protest. Read more 
29.07.19 What Comes After Moscow’s Crackdown?
Foreign Policy
The ongoing protests are a response to the electoral authorities’ refusal to register independent candidates for the Moscow city council elections in September. The political body holds little real power, but the forceful response to the protests risks turning a local issue over representation into larger discontent with authorities and the ruling party ahead of parliamentary elections in 2021. Organizers hope that the crackdown will galvanize more Moscow residents to support the protest movement on August 3, but it remains unclear whether that will be the case. Russian President Vladimir Putin has not commented on the protests, but the authorities appear to be very worried about the growing public anger. Read more 
29.07.19 Putin Explores Sunk Soviet Submarine In Bond-style Dive
Euronews
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday dived to the bottom of the Gulf of Finland aboard a submersible to explore a Soviet submarine which was sunk during World War Two. The Shchuka-class submarine Shch-308 sunk in October 1942 near the island of Gogland, west of St Petersburg. Putin was pictured smiling in the underwater craft, a C-Explorer 3.11 submersible. Read more 
29.07.19 Relations With Moscow Emerge As German Election Issue
Spiegel Online
The relationship with Russia is important to Germans. For years, poll after poll has shown that a majority of Germans are in favor of a closer relationship to Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin. In the former East German states, three-quarters of respondents feel that way. Most in those states also want to see the sanctions that were imposed after the annexation of Crimea lifted. The heads of the former East German states publicly stand in opposition to the Russia policy of Angela Merkel's governing coalition with the SPD. The government has firmly decided that it will only loosen the sanctions once the conditions stipulated in the Minsk Protocol, which aims to put an end to the Ukraine conflict, have been satisfied. Read more 
28.07.19 Russian Police Arrest More Than 1,000 In Moscow Protest
TIME
Russian police cracked down fiercely Saturday on demonstrators in central Moscow, beating some people and arresting more than 1,000 who were protesting the exclusion of opposition candidates from the ballot for Moscow city council. Police also stormed into a TV station broadcasting the protest. Police wrestled with protesters around the mayor’s office, sometimes charging into the crowd with their batons raised. 1,074 were arrested over the course of the protests, which lasted more than seven hours. Read more 
28.07.19 Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Mysterious Eldest Child Gives Rare Interview
News.com.au
Vladimir Putin’s mysterious eldest child has broken her silence and given a rare media interview, revealing she hopes to one day cure cancer. The Russian President has two adult daughters from his first marriage to former flight attendant Lyudmila Shkrebneva, which ended in 2013. The eldest, Maria, is believed to have been born in Leningrad (now called St Petersburg) in 1985, with sister Katerina arriving the following year while the family was living in Germany. Read more 
28.07.19 North Korea Releases Detained Russian Fishing Boat
The Moscow Times
North Korea has released a Russian fishing boat held after being accused of violating entry regulations, the Russian embassy in North Korea said on Sunday, in an incident that prompted a Russian warning of a freezing of talks on fisheries cooperation. North Korea detained the 15 Russian and two South Korean crew members of the fishing boat on July 17 for violating entry rules, according to the embassy. Russia said the boat did not breach any law. Read more 
28.07.19 Cambridge Student Fined For Giving Feminism Talk In Russia
The Telegraph
Harriet Phillips, 21, was visiting friends in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk when she was invited to informally address some 40 people on subjects including the patriarchy and gender stereotypes. But fifteen minutes into the talk she was interrupted by three men - one of whom she claims was an FSB agent - who filmed her speaking then ordered that the computer operating her presentation slides be switched off. Read more 
28.07.19 Russians Rally For Sisters On Trial For Killing Abusive Father
Aljazeera
Dozens of Russians clenching flowers gathered in Moscow on Saturday in support of three sisters on trial for killing their abusive father in a case that has reignited a debate over domestic violence in Russia. On the evening of July 28 last year, Krestina, Angelina, and Maria Khachaturyan approached their sleeping father and attacked him with a knife, a hammer and pepper spray. They say they acted in self-defence after suffering years of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of their 57-year-old father. Read more 
28.07.19 DW Journalist Briefly Arrested At Moscow Protest
Deutsche Welle
Sergey Dik, a journalist working in DW's Russian desk, was briefly arrested while covering an opposition rally in Moscow on Saturday. Dik was filming the demonstration on his iPhone at Trubnaya Square in central Moscow when he was detained by special forces officers. He was covering the protests on behalf of DW Russia and had his Foreign Ministry accreditation with him at the time. Read more 
28.07.19 France's Macron To Host Putin Ahead Of G7 Summit
France24
French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed Saturday he had invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for talks on August 19, days before hosting a G7 summit. Macron said the meeting with Putin would take place at his summer retreat, the medieval fort of Bregancon near the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas on France's Mediterranean coast. He said the fort was chosen because it offers the possibility "to work in isolation... and receive foreign leaders, which I will do with Vladimir Putin in a few weeks' time". Read more 
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