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20.06.19 Investigators Name 4 Top Suspects Behind MH17 Crash
The Moscow Times
A team of international prosecutors has launched the first criminal proceedings against four suspects in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the Russia-Ukraine border nearly five years ago. MH17 was shot down in July 2014 over territory held by pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people onboard. Investigators have said that the plane was shot down by a Russian missile, a claim Moscow has repeatedly rejected. Read more 
20.06.19 Dmytro Tymchuk: Ukrainian MP Found Shot Dead At Home
BBC News
Prominent Ukrainian MP and military affairs analyst Dmytro Tymchuk has been found shot dead at his home in the capital Kiev. It is unclear whether he was murdered, killed himself deliberately or shot himself accidentally with his pistol, the interior ministry says. A fellow MP from the People's Front party said his friend had been found with a gunshot wound to the head. Mr Tymchuk had blogged extensively about the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Read more 
20.06.19 Russia Says Findings Of MH17 Crash Investigation Are Groundless
Reuters
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it regretted the findings of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash investigation and called murder charges against Russian suspects groundless. Three Russians and a Ukrainian will face murder charges for the 2014 downing of the MH17 jet over eastern Ukraine which killed 298 people, in a trial to start in the Netherlands next March, an investigation team said earlier on Wednesday . Read more 
20.06.19 Russia And Putin: Is President's Popularity In Decline?
BBC News
Within months of Russian President Vladimir Putin clinching his fourth term in office, Russia hosted the World Cup. It was June 2018, and all eyes were on the country. The competition went off without a hitch - and fans and teams alike praised their Russian hosts for putting on such a smooth show. But there was no honeymoon period for its leader Read more 
20.06.19 Top Russian Official Predicts Protest ‘Explosion’ If Economy Doesn’t Improve
The Moscow Times
Russia is at risk of nationwide social upheaval if the country’s economy does not improve, the head of Russia’s auditing agency has said. During a Monday interview on state-run television, Audit Chamber head Alexei Kudrin described an upcoming “explosion” of protests caused by falling living standards and widespread poverty. The only way to prevent this is by transforming the country’s economic system, he added. Read more 
20.06.19 Evidence Shows Russia Supplied Missile Used To Shoot Down MH17
Reuters
Investigators have collected enough evidence to show that Russia provided the missile launcher used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, they said on Wednesday. Chief Dutch Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said: “We have evidence showing that Russia provided the missile launcher.” Read more 
20.06.19 Moscow To Have Citywide Recycling Program By 2020
The Moscow Times
Moscow will transition to citywide recycling collection by the end of the year, its city government has announced. Waste reform has been a major issue facing Russia as the country grapples with a trash crisis. Residents of several Russian regions have held mass protests starting last year against a plan to ship Moscow’s trash to landfills across the country. Read more 
19.06.19 Russia To Washington: Drop Middle East Troop Plan And Stop Provoking Iran
Reuters
Russia told the United States on Tuesday to drop what it called provocative plans to deploy more troops to the Middle East and to cease actions that looked like a conscious attempt to provoke war with Iran. The comments, from Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Russian news agencies, followed an announcement from Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan a day earlier who said Washington planned to send around 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for defensive purposes. Read more 
19.06.19 Roma Flee Russian Village After Mass Brawl
BBC News
Dozens of ethnic Roma (Gypsies) have fled from a village in southern Russia after a mass brawl with local Russians, in which one man died of a head wound. The brawl erupted in Chemodanovka on 13 June, and Russia's Federal Investigative Committee (SK) is trying to establish exactly what happened. Russia's RIA Novosti news agency says 28 suspects have been arrested so far, all of them Roma. Read more 
19.06.19 Russia And Iran Discuss Development Of Caspian Sea Hydrocarbons
Reuters
Moscow and Tehran have been discussing joint development of Caspian Sea hydrocarbon projects, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Tuesday. Read more 
19.06.19 How The West Underestimated The Russian Economic Bear
The Independent
For many years, numerous western experts have predicted that sooner or later the Russian economy will collapse because of the rampant corruption and low efficiency that is endemic within it. They also cited overdependence on energy prices, an ageing population, and the sanctions imposed on the nation after Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea back in 2014. In fact, however, I would argue it’s much better to depict the econo­my as not so much tumbling down a hill but rather levelling out, facing the prosp­ect of stagnation but not of recession. Read more 
19.06.19 Russia Moves Closer To Pulling Out Of Arms Treaty With US
The Associated Press
Russia has moved closer to suspending its participation in a key nuclear arms treaty. The State Duma on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to support President Vladimir Putin’s decree to suspend Russia’s obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with the United States. Read more 
19.06.19 Russia's Security Service Searches Magnate Yakobashvili's Art Gallery
Reuters
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) searched a Moscow art gallery owned by prominent businessman David Yakobashvili on Tuesday as part of a criminal investigation, TASS news agency cited an unnamed security source as saying. Yakobashvili is a former juice magnate who has oil trade and real estate holdings. Read more 
19.06.19 US And Russia Clash Over Power Grid 'hack Attacks'
BBC News
Russia has said it is "possible" that its electrical grid is under cyber-attack by the US. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said reports that US cyber-soldiers had put computer viruses on its electrical grid was a "hypothetical possibility". His comments came in response to a New York Times (NYT) story which claimed US military hackers were targeting Russian power plants. The report drew scepticism from experts and a denunciation by President Trump. Read more 
19.06.19 Russian Authorities Cannot Prohibit Rallies Over Security
The Moscow Times
Russia’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the authorities cannot refuse authorization for rallies over their inability to provide security, the state-run TASS news agency has reported. Authorities in the Siberian city of Irkutsk rejected activist Valery Teterin’s request to hold a rally last fall, citing Teterin’s inability to define how organizers would ensure public order and security. Teterin appealed the decision, saying that Russia’s laws on rallies don’t clearly define requirements for ensuring public order. Read more 
18.06.19 British PM May Could Meet Russia's Putin At G20
Reuters
Prime Minister Theresa May is considering a face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at this month’s G20 summit in Japan in an effort to begin a thaw in relations before a new British leader comes to power, The Times newspaper reported. Britain’s relations with Russia fell to a post-Cold War low after the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russian military intelligence, and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury in March 2018 with the Novichok nerve agent. Read more 
18.06.19 Russia's Energy Ministry: Grid Is Safe, Despite Report On U.S. Cyberattacks
The Moscow Times
Russian officials have said that the country’s energy infrastructure is safe, days after a New York Times article detailed U.S. cyberattacks on Russia’s electric grid. Citing anonymous sources, the report published Saturday details escalating efforts by the U.S. to hack Russia’s power grid. The article said the U.S. strategy was enacted in response to reports of Russia hacking into American infrastructure, as well as a preventive measure against Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections. Read more 
18.06.19 Kremlin Warns Of Cyberwar After Report Of U.S. Hacking Into Russian Power Grid
The New York Times
The Kremlin warned on Monday that reported American hacking into Russia’s electric power grid could escalate into a cyberwar with the United States, but insisted that it was confident in the system’s ability to repel electronic attacks. Dmitri S. Peskov, President Vladimir V. Putin’s spokesman, also raised concerns that President Trump was reportedly not informed about the effort, which was the subject of a New York Times report on Saturday that detailed an elaborate system of cybertools deployed by the United States inside Russia’s energy system and other targets. Read more 
18.06.19 German Student Expelled And Told To Leave Russia After Writing Article About Protests
The Moscow Times
A German exchange student has reportedly been expelled from a Russian university and ordered to leave the country after writing an article about environmental protests. Lukas Latz, a Freie University student studying abroad at St. Petersburg State University, published an article in April on a German news website about an ongoing protest movement against copper mines in the central Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Activists in the industrial city have for years rallied against the construction of a new copper mine that they say would exacerbate an already dire environmental situation. Read more 
18.06.19 Russia Thwarts U.S. Cyber Attacks On Its Infrastructure
Reuters
Russia has uncovered and thwarted attempts by the United States to carry out cyber attacks on the control systems of Russian infrastructure, Russian news agencies cited an unnamed security source as saying on Monday. The disclosure was made on Russia’s RIA and TASS news agencies days after the New York Times cited unnamed government sources as saying that the United States had inserted potentially disruptive computer code into Russia’s power grid as part of a more aggressive deployment of its cyber tools. Read more 
18.06.19 France Vows To Help Ukraine Peace Efforts
The Associated Press
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to help Ukraine's new president in his efforts to bring peace in the east of the country and in talking to Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said during a visit to Paris on Monday that the only way to solve the conflict is the diplomatic way and to maintain sanctions against Russia. Read more 
18.06.19 Iran And Russia Sign Memorandum Of Understanding On Energy Cooperation
Reuters
Iran and Russia have signed a memorandum of understanding over cooperation in the energy sector, the Iranian oil ministry’s SHANA news agency reported on Monday. The preliminary agreement covering oil, gas, petrochemicals, electricity and nuclear power was signed in Tehran by Iran’s deputy oil minister, Amir Hossein Zamaninia, and his Russian counterpart, SHANA said. Read more 
18.06.19 Roma Leave 2 Russian Villages After Fatal Brawl
The Associated Press
Russian officials say all the Roma families in two villages have left after a large brawl that left one person dead. Police said 28 people were detained in connection with the fight in the village of Chemodanovka, which is about 550 kilometers (330 miles) southeast of Moscow. The cause of the fight between Roma and residents of other ethnicities hasn't been determined. Some Russian media reports said it developed from a children's quarrel. Read more 
17.06.19 Russia Dismisses Accusations Of Meddling In EU Elections
Reuters
An official from Russia’s security council described as absurd accusations that Moscow used disinformation to sway voters towards right-wing parties in last month’s European Union elections, Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper reported on Sunday. An EU review into elections to its parliament, published on Friday, said there was evidence both Russian and European online sources had sought to promote extreme views and polarize debate on issues such as migration and religion. Read more 
17.06.19 Russians Keep Heat On Police After Reporter's Case Closed
The Associated Press
About 1,500 people in Moscow have demonstrated against police abuse of power in the wake of a prominent Russian journalist's arrest on drug-dealing charges that the government admitted days later had no basis. Organizers had official permission for Sunday's protest rally, unlike one supporters of investigative reporter Ivan Golunov held last week. An arrests-monitoring group says police detained about 400 people at the unauthorized rally. Read more 
17.06.19 Turkey's Erdogan Sees Russian S-400s Coming From July
Reuters
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he expected Russian S-400 missile defence systems to start arriving in Turkey in the first half of July, broadcaster NTV reported on Sunday, a development set to fuel tensions with NATO ally Washington. “We discussed the S-400 subject with Russia. Indeed the S-400 issue is settled,” Erdogan was cited as telling reporters on his plane returning from a visit to Tajikistan. “I think they will start to come in the first half of July.” Read more 
16.06.19 U.S. Escalates Online Attacks On Russia’s Power Grid
The New York Times
The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said. In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections. Read more 
16.06.19 Russia’s New Arctic Missile Knocks Out Targets In Massive Test Launch
The Moscow Times
It was a show of force and capability as the Russian Northern Fleet this week tested its new Tor-M2DT missile system (SA-15 Gauntlet). The testing took place at the Kapustin Yar shooting range in the south of the country. The belt wagons painted Arctic white made it into the flat landscape that resembles of a tundra. Several missiles were launched. The shooting was conducted under conditions of "active radio disturbance" and the targets imitated the behavior of enemy air objects, the Northern Fleet informs. Read more 
16.06.19 Moldova's New PM Vows To Boost EU Ties, Bring Justice
The Associated Press
Moldova's new prime minister vowed Saturday to advance relations with the European Union and bring to justice all those responsible for abuse of power, including the most powerful oligarch in the ex-Soviet republic. Maia Sandu spoke after the first formal meeting of her coalition Cabinet, which was formed last weekend but had not been able to fully take power because the caretaker government disputed its legitimacy and refused to withdraw. Read more 
16.06.19 Russia's Putin Gives China's Xi Ice Cream On His 66th Birthday
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping celebrated his 66th birthday on Saturday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who Xi considers a close friend and who gave Xi ice cream as a present, Chinese state media reported. The discussion of senior leaders’ private lives is extremely rare in China, and the exact birth dates of most of them are not revealed publicly, as they are considered a state secret. Read more 
15.06.19 Russia Lowers Rates As Inflation Slows, Signals More Cuts
Reuters
The Russian central bank cut its key interest rate on Friday and said one or two more cuts were possible later this year as Russia faces sluggish economic growth and slowing inflation. The central bank trimmed the key rate to 7.50% from 7.75%, lowering the cost of lending for the first time since March 2018 and returning its level before the previous rate increase, in December. Read more 
15.06.19 A Change In Russia’s Draconian Drug Laws Could Be On The Horizon
The Moscow Times
Living in a country where so-called gay propaganda is banned, Denis, 19, was happy to finally meet someone he felt a connection with on the dating app Tinder. A few weeks after they had started chatting, the guy on the other side of the screen invited him over and asked him to bring “some weed” to relax them during their first encounter. But when Denis arrived at the address his date had given him, he was met by two policeman who began to search him. Read more 
15.06.19 Russian Internet Giant Yandex Takes Rare Stand Against State Snooping
The Christian Science Monitor
Russia has always been some version of a national security state, in which individuals, companies, and other group interests are expected to unquestioningly submit to the needs and demands of state agencies. So, most experts say they were surprised it was even reported publicly this month that the Federal Security Service (FSB) had demanded that digital services giant Yandex, Russia’s largest company, hand over its encryption keys to comply with the country’s increasingly tough internet laws. Read more 
15.06.19 Russian Plane That Crashed In Flames Was Hit By Lightning
Reuters
A Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft that crashed in May killing 41 people lost autopilot after a lightning strike and came in to land at excessive speed, according to a report from crash investigators, Russian news agencies reported on Friday. But the preliminary report, from the Interstate Aviation Committee which investigates plane crashes in Russia, did not conclude that pilot error was to blame, the agencies reported. Read more 
15.06.19 Ornella Muti Faces Jail Threat After Attending Putin Gala
BBC News
Italian actress Ornella Muti has been told she could go to jail if she fails to pay damages for cancelling tour dates to attend a dinner with Russia's Vladimir Putin and actor Kevin Costner. Muti had been due to perform on stage in December 2010, but called in sick for three nights and flew to St Petersburg to attend the charity gala. Now Italy's top appeal court has upheld her conviction for attempted fraud. Read more 
15.06.19 Kazakhstan’s Mass Election Protests, Explained
The Moscow Times
Kazakhstan has been roiled with mass protests following a presidential election seen by critics as undemocratic and an extension of their longtime authoritarian leader’s rule. Swathes of citizens have taken to the streets in the capital Nur-Sultan and largest city Almaty to condemn a vote they say was rigged, a rare sight in a country that bans protests and restricts opposition activity. Police in riot gear have forcefully dispersed crowds, detaining nearly 1,000 peaceful protesters. Read more 
14.06.19 Russia Golunov Case: Putin Sacks Top Moscow Police Officials
BBC News
Days after anti-corruption journalist Ivan Golunov was freed amid an outcry over a fabricated drugs case, Russian President Vladimir Putin has fired two high-ranking Moscow police officials. The interior minister had called for the dismissal of western Moscow police chief Maj Gen Andrei Puchkov and drug control boss Maj Gen Yury Devyatkin. Mr Golunov was released after lawyers said drugs had been planted on him. Read more 
14.06.19 Russia Warns Against Using Tanker Attacks To Pressure Iran
Reuters
Russia on Thursday warned against rushing to attribute blame for a suspected attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and said the incident should not be used to stoke tensions with Tehran, Russia's state-run RIA news agency reported. Two oil tankers were attacked, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4 percent higher over worries about Middle East supplies. The attacks were the second in a month near the Strait of Hormuz, a major strategic waterway for world oil supplies. Read more 
14.06.19 Chechen Leader Threatens To Break Fingers, Tear Out Tongues Of Online Critics
The Moscow Times
The leader of Russia’s republic of Chechnya has threatened to break the fingers and tear out the tongues of anyone who leaves offensive comments about his subjects online. Residents of the neighboring republic of Dagestan have expressed outrage this week over a new sign that was installed near their border that marked the area as Chechnya. Dagestani protesters saw the sign as a land grab and tore it down on Monday, only to have it reinstalled on Tuesday by Chechen authorities, who say the area has always been part of their republic. Read more 
14.06.19 Russia Says It Will Respond Defensively To U.S. Deployment In Poland
Reuters
The Kremlin said on Thursday the Russian military was closely tracking U.S. plans to beef up its forces in Poland and taking steps to ensure Russia’s national security was not threatened by what Moscow regards as a betrayal of trust. U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to Polish President Andrzej Duda on Wednesday that he would deploy 1,000 extra U.S. troops to Poland as well as surveillance drones, a step sought by Warsaw to deter potential aggression from Russia. Read more 
14.06.19 UK's Special Forces Set For New Russia Mission
BBC News
The SAS and other UK Special Forces (UKSF) are poised to receive a new mission countering Russian and other forces around the world. The plan is called 'Special Operations Concept' and has been drawn up by the senior officer in charge of the special forces, the Director Special Forces (DSF). According to people familiar with what's in it, part of the concept involves changing both the structure of the military's secretive units and what they do. Read more 
14.06.19 Backstory: Following The Flow Of Russia's Dirty Oil
Reuters
The first sign of the crisis in Russia’s oil industry came on a quiet Saturday in April. Officials in neighboring Belarus issued a statement saying the quality of the oil coming across the border was poor - on its own hardly a startling assertion. Belarus is not a major player in the global oil game. Many commentators wrote off the complaint as the latest round in a public relations war between Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko and his sometimes ally sometimes foe, Russian President Vladimir Putin. Read more 
14.06.19 The Golunov Case Exposes Russia's 'Submerged State'
The Moscow Times
Some of the lessons from the case of Russian journalist Ivan Golunov are obvious, such as Russian society’s rising willingness to go toe-to-toe with the powers that be over what it perceives as the most egregious rights abuses. But it also shows deeper things about the functioning of the Russian system of power that businessmen and policy analysts would do well to heed. Read more 
14.06.19 Putin Says U.S.-Russia Relations Are Getting 'worse And Worse'
Reuters
President Vladimir Putin said relations between Moscow and Washington were getting worse and worse, noting in an interview published on Thursday that the current U.S. administration had imposed dozens of sanctions on Russia. Putin made his gloomy assessment ahead of a G20 summit in Japan later this month at which he might meet U.S. President Donald Trump. Read more 
14.06.19 U.S. Military Intelligence Steps Up Accusation Against Russia Over Nuclear Testing
Washington Post
The U.S. military intelligence agency stepped up its accusations against Russia over low-yield nuclear testing on Thursday, saying that the country has conducted nuclear weapons tests that resulted in nuclear yield. The new statement from the Defense Intelligence Agency amounted to a more direct accusation against Russia, compared to hedged comments about Russian nuclear testing that DIA Director Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr. made in a speech in Washington in late May. Read more 
13.06.19 Ivan Golunov Case: Moscow Protest Sees Hundreds Held
BBC News
Hundreds of people have been detained at a Moscow rally demanding punishment for police who detained an anti-corruption journalist. Officers in riot gear clashed with protesters during the unauthorised march in support of Ivan Golunov. Among those detained at the rally were journalists and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Mr Golunov was freed on Tuesday after drug-dealing charges against him were dropped following a public outcry. Read more 
13.06.19 Russia, In Rare U-turn After Public Anger, Drops Case Against Journalist
Reuters
Russian police abruptly dropped drugs charges on Tuesday against journalist Ivan Golunov, a rare U-turn by the authorities in the face of anger from his supporters who had alleged he was framed for his reporting and had threatened to stage a mass protest in Moscow. Golunov, a 36-year-old journalist known for exposing corruption among Moscow city officials, was detained by police last Thursday and accused of dealing drugs, an allegation he flatly denied. Read more 
13.06.19 Moldova Is The One Thing Russia And The West Agree On
The Moscow Times
Europe has its own Venezuela now: Its poorest or second poorest nation, depending on how you count, has two governments. The main difference: Russia and the West prefer the same one, because the alternative is worse — blatant state capture by an oligarch who is only in this for himself. In February, Moldova, a country of 3.5 million squeezed between Ukraine and Romania, held an inconclusive parliamentary election. Three parties — the pro-Russian Socialist Party, the pro-European Union ACUM and the Democratic Party, led by oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc — each got more than 20 percent of the vote. Read more 
13.06.19 Russians Send Soviet Car Model Into Stratosphere
BBC News
Just over a year after Elon Musk sent his Tesla car into space, a Siberian start-up has launched its own more modest motor satellite. The Russian craft is not a smart sports car, but a large-scale model of a red Soviet-era Lada. Rather than Tesla's space-suited Starman mannequin, the ToSky start-up sent up a smaller dummy in the likeness of Dmitry Rogozin, the outspoken head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency. Read more 
13.06.19 Russian Police Detain Opposition Politician Alexei Navalny At Protest
Reuters
Russian police detained opposition politician Alexei Navalny and at least 35 others at a Moscow protest calling for punishment for police officers involved in the alleged framing of a journalist, monitors and a Reuters witness said. Police abruptly dropped drugs charges a day earlier against journalist Ivan Golunov, a rare U-turn by the authorities in the face of anger from his supporters who said he was framed for his reporting. Read more 
13.06.19 $70M Worth Of Cocaine Seized At Russian Port
The Moscow Times
Russian customs officials have seized 400 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a shipping container transporting canned fish from Ecuador, the Federal Customs Service (FTS) said in a statement Tuesday. The contraband was seized in coordination with federal anti-drug officials and local police on Monday, the FTS said. When the shipping container was opened, officers reportedly found polymer bags stuffed with white powder, which chemical tests showed to be cocaine. Read more 
13.06.19 Turkey To Get Russian S-400 Missile System 'in July' Amid Row Over US Jets
BBC News
Turkey's President Erdogan says he hopes a Russian missile system that Washington sees as a threat to US jets will be delivered in July. The US had said Turkey could not have both the S-400 anti-aircraft defence system and US F-35 fighter jets. But Mr Erdogan said Turkey would hold to account anyone who excluded Turkey from the F-35 programme. Nato member Turkey has signed up to buying 100 F-35s and has invested heavily in the F-35 programme. Read more 
13.06.19 Putin Was Personally Involved In Decision To Free Detained Journalist
The Moscow Times
Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in the decision to free investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, one of the men who reportedly negotiated Golunov’s release told the Bell business outlet on Tuesday. Late last week, Golunov was detained and charged with drug trafficking in what critics said was a set-up punishing him for his anti-corruption investigations. Days later and after a public outcry, the charges against him were dropped and he was released from detention after DNA tests showed he had not handled the drugs that police had said were discovered in his apartment. Read more 
13.06.19 Trump Considering Sanctions Over Russia's Nord Stream 2 Natgas Pipeline
Reuters
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was considering sanctions over Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project — which the United States has told European companies to avoid — and warned Germany against being dependent on Russia for the fuel. “We’re protecting Germany from Russia and Russia is getting billions and billions of dollars from Germany,” Trump told reporters at an appearance with Polish President Andrzej Duda at the White House. Read more 
13.06.19 Police Detain Over 400 In Moscow During Protest Over Reporter’s Arrest
The Moscow Times
Police arrested more than 400 protesters in Russia’s capital on Wednesday during a march calling for the punishment of those responsible for the arrest of an investigative reporter on trumped-up drug charges. The march, which was not authorized by the authorities, had been planned to call for the release of Ivan Golunov, a Moscow-based investigative reporter with the Latvia-based Meduza news site. But after police dropped all charges against him on Tuesday in a surprise pivot following an unprecedented public outcry, more than 1,000 protesters demanded that those responsible for his arrest should be held to account, and raised their voices for lesser-known Russians detained under similar circumstances. Read more 
12.06.19 Russia Suspends Police Officers Over Detention Of Journalist
Reuters
Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said on Tuesday that an internal inquiry into the detention last week of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was underway and that he had suspended the police officers involved. Kolokoltsev also said in a statement he would ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to sack two high-ranking Moscow police generals over the case. Read more 
12.06.19 Russian Reporter Is Freed After Public Outcry
BBC News
A Russian journalist has been freed after drug-dealing charges against him were dropped following a public outcry. Russian newspapers had rallied round freelancer Ivan Golunov in a rare public show of support. Mr Golunov cried as he was freed from a police station on Tuesday and vowed to continue his investigative journalism. Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev admitted his guilt had "not been proven" and said an internal inquiry had been launched. Read more 
12.06.19 A Framed Reporter Suddenly Matters To Putin
Bloomberg
The arrest of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov in Moscow marks an important inflection point in relations between President Vladimir Putin’s regime and Russia’s various elites. The Kremlin, initially blindsided by the outcry at the reporter’s detention, could end up benefiting from it all, and the more liberal part of the pro-regime establishment may gain an advantage over its overeager security apparatus. Read more 
12.06.19 Chernobyl Survivors Assess Fact And Fiction In TV Series
BBC News
Hours after the world's worst nuclear accident, engineer Oleksiy Breus entered the control room of the No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. A member of staff at the plant from 1982, he became a witness to the immediate aftermath on the morning of 26 April 1986. The story of the reactor's catastrophic explosion, as told in an HBO/Sky miniseries, has received the highest ever score for a TV show on the film website IMDB. Russians and Ukrainians have watched it via the internet, and it has had a favourable rating on Russian film site Kinopoisk. Read more 
12.06.19 Three Missing After Blast On Oil Tanker In Russia's Makhachkala
Reuters
Three people were missing and two injured on Tuesday after a blast on an oil tanker caused a fire while it was pumping oil in the southern Russian port of Makhachkala, Russia’s Transport Ministry said. The port is functioning as normal despite the incident, the RIA news agency cited the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transportation as saying. Read more 
12.06.19 Journalism Sheds Light In Russia And China
Washington Post
Even in the best of conditions, investigative reporting is hard — digging up what people do not want exposed, sifting through hidden records, confronting the powerful. It is doubly difficult in closed societies without guarantees of press freedom. Two recent examples in Russia and China show just how hard and risky it can be. Read more 
12.06.19 Ukraine: Panel Has Jurisdiction To Hear Russia Case
The Associated Press
Ukraine on Tuesday accused Russia of “wholesale violations” of its mineral resources and fishing rights in the Black Sea and other waters bordered by the two countries as Kiev urged international arbitrators to hear a case about alleged Russian breaches of a United Nations maritime treaty. Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Olena Zerkal told a five-judge arbitration panel that Russia’s objections to the panel’s jurisdiction “are without legal merit.” Read more 
12.06.19 Suspects In Tainted Oil Case Are Employees Of Russia's Transneft
Reuters
Russia’s Transneft pipeline monopoly said on Tuesday that four new suspects being investigated over a major oil contamination earlier this year were employees of its Transneft-Druzhba subsidiary, the Interfax news agency reported. The four men are being held under house arrest on suspicion of damaging the pipeline, Transneft was cited as saying. Six other suspects were earlier accused over the oil contamination. Read more 
12.06.19 Tinder Just Agreed To Let Russia Review Its Data On Demand
Washington Post
In June, the dating app Tinder “swiped right” on the Putin regime. The Russian communications regulatory agency Roskomnadzor required Tinder to join a register of websites and services whose user data the Russian government can examine — and Tinder agreed. While Tinder has not yet handed users’ information to Russian regulators, inclusion on the register denotes agreement to comply with Russian authorities’ demands for that data. Read more 
12.06.19 Canada Responds To Siberian Environmental Asylum Seekers
The Moscow Times
A group of Siberian residents who asked for Canadian asylum over the weekend, citing worsening environmental conditions, will only be able to apply for the status if they’ve left Russia, local media cited Canada's immigration ministry as saying on Tuesday. Residents of the Siberian coal-mining town of Kiselyovsk posted a video appeal for asylum on Saturday addressed to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. In the appeal, they cited the deteriorating ecological situation in their hometown caused by “barbaric” coal mining practices near residential areas and “a state of environmental disaster.” Read more 
12.06.19 Estonians Convert Old Car Into Sauna
BBC News
A sauna festival in the Estonian town of Rakvere over the weekend had some unusual steam room conversions on display, including a functioning, bright yellow Audi car. Residents were able to marvel at tents, trailers and trucks serving as saunas. One of the most eye-catching exhibits was the old car turned into a wood-fired sauna, reports Virumaa Journal. Read more 
11.06.19 Why Russia’s Leading Papers Joined Forces In Solidarity With Arrested Journalist
The Moscow Times
Three of Russia’s leading newspapers coordinated with each other to publish almost identical front pages Monday in solidarity with arrested investigative journalist Ivan Golunov. The move is unprecedented in Russia. Vedomosti, RBC and Kommersant’s front page headlines all read “I/We Are Ivan Golunov,” and the accompanying stories asked for a detailed investigation into the actions of the police officers involved in Golunov’s detention and said the charges might have been retribution for his professional activities. Read more 
11.06.19 Ivan Golunov: Russian Newspapers In Rare Support For Charged Reporter
BBC News
Three of Russia's leading newspapers have come out in support of a reporter charged with drug offences, in a case that has caused a huge public outcry. The front page headlines in Vedomosti, RBC, and Kommersant read "We are Ivan Golunov", referring to the investigative journalist. Mr Golunov was charged over the weekend with trying to illegally sell drugs. His lawyer said the drugs were planted. The journalist was reportedly beaten up during his arrest last week. Read more 
11.06.19 Former Russian Anti-Corruption Official Sentenced To 13 Years For Bribery
The Moscow Times
A Moscow court has sentenced a former anti-corruption official in the Interior Ministry to 13 years in prison after finding him guilty of large-scale bribery and obstruction of justice. Dmitry Zakharchenko, who served as deputy head of the Interior Ministry’s economic security and anti-corruption office, was arrested in September 2016 on bribery and abuse of power charges. Authorities seized 9 billion rubles from Zakharchenko’s apartments in 2017, which was then valued at around $125 million, the largest cash seizure in modern Russian history at the time. Read more 
11.06.19 European Nations, Russia Back New Government In Moldova
The Associated Press
Five European nations and Russia declared support Monday for elected lawmakers in Moldova, where a court-appointed interim president dissolved parliament and called a new election the day after a new coalition government won approval. In a joint declaration, France, Germany, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom said the parliament picked in February had made important decisions “including the formation of a government.” A majority voted in an emergency session Saturday to make pro-Europe leader Maia Sandu prime minister of a governing coalition of her ACUM alliance and the Socialists. Read more 
11.06.19 Chechen Human Rights Leader Titiyev Granted Early Release
The Moscow Times
A Russian court has granted early release to Oyub Titiyev, a prominent human rights leader in Russia's republic of Chechnya, Interfax reported Monday. Titiyev, who runs the office of the Memorial Human Rights Center in the southern Russian region, was sentenced to four years in a penal settlement in March after he was found guilty of possessing illegal drugs. His supporters say he was framed, with the drugs planted in his car. Read more 
11.06.19 Georgian Leader Sees NATO Future, Seeks Tough Line On Russia
The Associated Press
Georgia’s president wants Western countries to do more to face up to Russia and the “very heavy pressure” she says Moscow exerts on her nation as it pursues a “natural road” toward integrating with Europe. Salome Zurabishvili, who took office as Georgia’s first woman president in December, insisted during an interview in Geneva Monday that Georgia would one day join the European Union and NATO. Read more 
11.06.19 Kremlin Says ‘Errors Are Possible’ In Golunov Case
The Moscow Times
It’s possible that mistakes were made during last week’s arrest of prominent investigative reporter Ivan Golunov on large-scale drug trafficking charges, the Kremlin has said. Anti-corruption journalist Golunov was detained and formally charged in a case that has drawn international attention to Russia’s media climate. The Interior Ministry on Friday published nine photos that it described as showing narcotic substances and scales found in Golunov’s apartment, which it later deleted after acknowledging that eight of the photos were taken at a different apartment. Read more 
10.06.19 Russia's Banking Sector Looks Weak, Economic Growth Modest
Reuters
Russia’s banking sector remains relatively week despite the recent bailouts of major lenders by the central bank, the World Bank said on Monday. In a regular report, the Washington-based World Bank said the banking sector in Russia had a lower adequacy ratio and a higher ratio of non-performing loans than other emerging market countries. Read more 
10.06.19 Moldova Crisis: Snap Elections Called By Interim President
BBC News
Moldova's pro-Russian President Igor Dodon has been stripped of his duties, escalating a political crisis stemming from inconclusive general elections. The move came after his party agreed a coalition cabinet with a pro-European Union block, welcomed by the EU. Outgoing PM Pavel Filip's party challenged the deal and the Constitutional Court intervened to appoint him as interim president. Read more 
10.06.19 Skinhead Vigilantes Attack Hipsters On Moscow’s Streets
The Independent
Known locally as “the pit”, the amphitheatre at Khokhlovsky square is a jewel in Moscow’s regeneration crown. Built around a fragment of the old city wall, the contemporary space is everything that the capital usually isn’t – simple, generous, public and free. Ever since it appeared in 2017, it has acted as a magnet for Moscow’s trendiest to gather and make merry. But last Friday, the capital’s hipsters came face to face with a very different side of contemporary Russia. Read more 
10.06.19 Poland Confirms Partial Resumption Of Clean Oil Supply From Russia
Reuters
Polish pipeline operator PERN confirmed that clean oil supplies from Russia had been partially restored on Sunday after Russia’s oil export flows to Europe were disrupted in April because of contamination. Belarus state energy company Belneftekhim earlier said that it had partially resumed oil transit toward Poland and that its daily Western-bound transit plan for June was 65,000 tonnes. Read more 
10.06.19 Extinct Russian Volcano May Have Woken Up And Could Trigger Catastrophic Eruption
The Independent
A volcano in eastern Russia previously considered extinct may have woken up, with potentially catastrophic consequences, scientists have said. The Bolshaya Udina volcano, which is part of a complex of volcanoes on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, is around 10,000ft high and until 2017 was dismissed as inactive. But an international team of scientists have now suggested otherwise, after they conducted a two-month study of the volcano last year. Read more 
10.06.19 Nazarbayev Ally Set To Win Kazakh Vote As Hundreds Protest
Reuters
Police in Kazakhstan detained about 500 people on Sunday after dispersing protests against an uncompetitive presidential election set to confirm Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as the successor to veteran leader Nursultan Nazarbayev. Nazarbayev, who had run the oil-rich former Soviet republic for almost three decades before stepping down in March, and retains sweeping powers, hand-picked the 66-year-old diplomat to succeed him, making the outcome of the vote against challengers with little political profile all but certain. Read more 
10.06.19 Investigative Journalist Put Under House Arrest In Moscow
Reuters
Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was placed under two months’ house arrest in Moscow on Saturday while he is investigated for drug peddling, as a court rejected a request from investigators to hold him in custody. Golunov, 36, was on his way to a meeting with a source on Thursday when he was detained in central Moscow and illegal drugs were found in his rucksack, according to police and his employer, the online news portal Meduza, based in Latvia. Read more 
09.06.19 Russia: Conditions Are Good For Possible Eurobond Issue
Reuters
Russia is considering issuing a sovereign Eurobond as market conditions are currently favorable, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. In March, Russia raised $3 billion in a new dollar-denominated Eurobond and 750 million euros ($850 million) in a top-up issue of an existing euro-denominated Eurobond. Read more 
09.06.19 Putin Talks Tough In St. Petersburg Forum Address
The Moscow Times
With trade tensions between the United States and ?hina front and center, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the U.S. of “unbridled economic egoism” that is a recipe for trade wars and real wars. In some of his strongest words on the subject, Putin used an economic forum in St. Petersburg to align Moscow and Beijing, alongside the Chinese leader Xi Jinping. He singled out a U.S. campaign to persuade countries to bar Huawei, the world's biggest telecoms equipment maker, from supplying network gear. Read more 
09.06.19 Ivan Golunov: Russian Anti-corruption Journalist Charged With Drug Dealing
BBC News
A Russian investigative journalist, Ivan Golunov, has been arrested in the capital Moscow and charged with trying to illegally sell drugs. He was placed under house arrest after a court hearing. Earlier, he was given a medical examination amid reports he had been injured during the arrest. The reporter for Latvia-based news site Meduza was detained on Thursday. His lawyer says drugs were planted on him, an accusation the Russian authorities deny. Read more 
09.06.19 Putin’s Media Struggle To Deal With HBO’s Chernobyl
The Moscow Times
It seems every major Russian media outlet had to chime in about the “Chernobyl” TV series by HBO. Although the foreign program airs only online to paying viewers, the show has become something of a national sensation in Russia where the pro-Kremlin media have launched a mini-crusade against it. Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP), Russia’s most popular newspaper, raised suspicions that competitors of state-atomic center Rosatom were using the series to tarnish this country’s image as a nuclear power. Read more 
09.06.19 Investigative Journalist Put Under House Arrest In Moscow
Reuters
Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was placed under two months’ house arrest in Moscow on Saturday while he is investigated for drug peddling, as a court rejected a request from investigators to hold him in custody. Golunov, 36, was on his way to a meeting with a source on Thursday when he was detained in central Moscow and illegal drugs were found in his rucksack, according to police and his employer, the online news portal Meduza, based in Latvia. Read more 
09.06.19 Prominent Investigative Journalist Detained In Russia
Washington Post
A prominent Russian investigative journalist was detained on drug-related allegations, his editors said Friday, in a case that his supporters described as fabricated and that had the potential to augur a new, more dangerous phase for journalists working in Russia. The journalist for online news outlet Meduza, Ivan Golunov, was taken into custody in central ­Moscow on Thursday after police searched him and found five packets of mephedrone, the authorities said. More of the illegal drug, as well as a scale, were found in Golunov’s apartment, the police said. Read more 
09.06.19 Russian Anti-Corruption Reporter Charged With Drug Trafficking
The Moscow Times
A Russian journalist known for investigating corruption among Moscow city officials has been charged with large-scale drug trafficking, but his lawyer, his employer and colleagues say he has been framed. The journalist, 36-year-old Ivan Golunov, was detained in central Moscow on Thursday on his way to a meeting with a source when illegal drugs were found in his backpack, according to police and his employer, the Meduza news website. Golunov denied that the bag belongs to him. Read more 
08.06.19 Russia And US Warships Almost Collide In East China Sea
BBC News
A Russian warship and a US warship have come close to collision in the western Pacific Ocean, with each side blaming the other for the incident. Russia's Pacific Fleet said the cruiser USS Chancellorsville crossed just 50m (160ft) in front of the destroyer Admiral Vinogradov at 06:35 Moscow time. It was forced to perform "emergency manoeuvring" to avoid the US ship. But US forces blamed the Russians, claiming their ship was responsible. Read more 
08.06.19 DP World Wants To Operate Ports Along Russia's Northern Sea Route
Reuters
DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, wants to run ports that Russia plans to build along the northern sea route in the Arctic to shorten shipping times between the east and west, its chief executive told Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made developing the northern sea route (NSR) - which requires new ports and heavy icebreakers to move goods - one of his priorities, with supporters dubbing the route the northern Suez Canal. Read more 
08.06.19 Dozens Protest Russian Investigative Reporter's Arrest In Moscow
The Moscow Times
At least 100 people gathered in central Moscow Friday evening to hold single pickets against the arrest of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov. Golunov, an investigative reporter for the Meduza news website, was detained Thursday afternoon on drug trafficking charges which his colleagues say were “persecution” for his reports. Russia’s independent trade union of journalists on Friday called for members to hold single pickets in support of Golunov outside police headquarters in their cities. Read more 
08.06.19 Russian Anti-corruption Journalist Arrested In Moscow
BBC News
A Russian journalist who carried out high-profile investigations into corruption has been arrested in Moscow. Ivan Golunov, a 36-year-old reporter for the Latvia-based news site Meduza, was detained by police on Thursday and accused of large-scale drug dealing. His lawyer alleged that he had been beaten while in custody and that the drugs were planted on him, but the authorities deny this. Read more 
08.06.19 Russian Investigative Journalist Detained In Moscow On Drug Charges
The Moscow Times
A prominent journalist from the Meduza news website who investigates corruption has been detained in Moscow on charges of drug trafficking, the website reported on Friday. Police apprehended special correspondent Ivan Golunov in central Moscow on Thursday afternoon and retrieved a bag containing an unknown substance from his backpack, Meduza cited his lawyer as saying. Golunov denied that the bag belongs to him. Read more 
08.06.19 Russia 'fearful' Of America’s Rising Energy Exports
Reuters
Russia has criticized U.S. efforts to supply natural gas to Europe because it is “fearful” of free market competition, Washington’s top energy diplomat said this week, in comments that reflect growing tensions with Moscow over President Donald Trump’s “energy dominance” policy. Read more 
08.06.19 Russia To Make Its Own Show About Chernobyl That Implicates The US
BBC News
Russian state TV is working on its own version of Chernobyl, a series based on the worst nuclear accident in history. The NTV drama will deviate from the acclaimed HBO series - and from historical reality - by claiming that the CIA was involved in the disaster. Director Aleksey Muradov claims it will show "what really happened back then". HBO's miniseries, which concluded on Monday, received the highest ever score for a TV show on IMdB, as well as a 9.1 rating on Russian equivalent Kinopoisk. Read more 
07.06.19 D-Day Anniversary: Putin Says Lack Of Invitation 'not A Problem'
BBC News
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it is "not a problem" that he was not invited to join other world leaders marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in northern France. Mr Putin, who was invited to the 70th anniversary event in 2014, said he had "enough business" of his own in Russia. The comments came after his government claimed D-Day was "not a game-changer". Read more 
07.06.19 Russia: U.S. Proposed Second Crimea Referendum In 2014
The Moscow Times
The United States had proposed a second referendum for Crimea to join Russia shortly after Moscow annexed the peninsula in 2014, Russia’s foreign minister has said. Moscow says an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to become part of Russia in a March 2014 referendum wanting protection from what the Kremlin cast as an illegal coup in Kiev. The U.S. and the European Union refused to recognize the vote and imposed sanctions on Russia, plunging Western relations with the Kremlin to their worst level since the Cold War. Read more 
07.06.19 Are US Tariffs Pushing China And Russia Together?
The Christian Science Monitor
Call it “panda diplomacy.” Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Russia for a three-day visit and unveiled the loan of two carrot-munching giant pandas for the Moscow Zoo. It was a symbol, he said, of his growing “close personal friendship” with Vladimir Putin. The charismatic and uniquely Chinese creatures are already wowing Muscovites, who have not had the chance to see a panda up close since Mao Zedong gave one to Nikita Khrushchev back in the 1950s, to cement a similar moment of intense rapprochement between the two Asian giants. Read more 
07.06.19 Huawei Signs Deal With Russian Telecoms Firm To Develop 5G
BBC News
Huawei has signed a deal with Russian telecoms firm MTS to develop 5G technology in Russia. The companies will develop next-generation 5G networks in Russia over the next year, reports said. The deal was agreed as China's President Xi Jinping began a three-day visit to Russia. It comes as some Western countries, led by the US, have blocked the Chinese firm on concerns it poses a national security risk. Read more 
07.06.19 Procter & Gamble Keeps Spending In Russia
Reuters
Procter & Gamble is to invest 2.4 billion rubles ($37 million) in its Russian operations this year to expand its distribution center, modernize some manufacturing and localize more product production. The maker of Tide detergent and Gillette razors, which has invested nearly $900 million in Russia since 1991, remains committed to the Russian market even though relations between Moscow and Washington have soured over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and alleged U.S. election meddling. Read more 
07.06.19 Putin Touts Christianity. So Why Is Russia Persecuting Christians?
Washington Post
Russian president Vladimir Putin has told interviewers he wears an Orthodox Church baptismal cross pendant, given to him by his mother. In his annual address to the Federal Assembly in 2014, Putin declared, “Christianity was a powerful spiritual unifying force . . . in the creation of a Russian nation and Russian state.” He added, “It was thanks to this spiritual unity that our forefathers for the first time and forevermore saw themselves as a united nation.” Read more 
07.06.19 Russia Says 'extremists' In Sudan Must Be Subdued
Reuters
Russia said on Thursday it opposed foreign intervention in Sudan and the authorities in Khartoum must subdue what it described as extremists, Russia’s RIA news agency reported. Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted as saying that Moscow favored a national dialogue about a transition period leading to new elections. Read more 
07.06.19 Russia’s MTS Signs 5G Deal With Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei
The Moscow Times
Russia’s top cellphone operator MTS has signed an agreement with Huawei to develop 5G technology as the Chinese telecom giant faces escalating pressure from the United States, news agencies reported. The 5G deal was one of several cooperation agreements signed after talks on Wednesday between President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow. The Kremlin website lists the deal as a “memorandum of understanding.” Read more 
07.06.19 Sechin Accuses U.S. Of Using Energy As A Political Weapon
Reuters
Igor Sechin, CEO of Russian oil giant Rosneft, accused the United States of using energy as a political weapon and said on Thursday that the U.S. golden age of energy had become an "era of energy colonialism" for other countries. Speaking at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Sechin said a third of global oil reserves were restricted by U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and that Washington was losing moral ground as a self-styled leader of open markets. Read more 
07.06.19 China's Xi Praises 'best Friend' Putin During Russia Visit
BBC News
Chinese President Xi Jinping has described Russia's Vladimir Putin as his "best friend" during a three-day visit to Moscow focusing on trade and relations between the two countries. The visit comes as China-US relations have soured over a bitter trade war. Russia had decided on a pivot to the east years ago after ties worsened with the West over the Ukraine conflict. The two sides have signed a package of trade deals and Mr Xi also unveiled two pandas for the Moscow Zoo. Read more 
07.06.19 About These Ads Russian Grassroots Democracy? Park-goers Rally Against Church Land Grabs.
The Christian Science Monitor
On a recent Sunday in Torfyanka Park, in a densely populated suburb near the northern edge of Moscow, a familiar ritual of confrontation is taking place. The sun shines in this small patch of greenery with a circular pond at its heart. Dozens of people have gathered at a fenced compound that houses a 24-hour guard station and a large wooden cross, erected by the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). But the people aren’t here to pray. Rather, they are here to protest that the compound is on the park grounds at all. Read more 
06.06.19 Russia's MTS And China's Huawei Sign Agreement On 5G
Reuters
Russia’s top mobile phone operator MTS and China’s Huawei signed an agreement on Wednesday to develop 5G technology in Russia and to hold test launches this year and in 2020. The agreement was signed following talks in Moscow between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Read more 
06.06.19 'Metal Thieves' Steal 56-tonne, 23-metre Rail Bridge In Russia
The Independent
The theft of a 56-tonne, 23-metre bridge structure has prompted a criminal investigation in Russia's Arctic region. Aerial footage circulated on Russian social media in late May showed that the two opposing sections of the bridge were intact, but the central span had mysteriously disappeared. Read more 
06.06.19 Chinese Carmaker Great Wall Opens Factory In Russia
Reuters
Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor has started production at a plant in the Tula region of central Russia with a manufacturing capacity of 80,000 cars a year, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade said on Wednesday. By 2020, the factory’s capacity will almost double to 150,000 cars, the ministry said in a statement. Read more 
06.06.19 Several People Detained In Waste Dump Protest In Russia
The Associated Press
Activists say Russian police have detained several environmentalists who were protesting against the construction of a waste dump in the country’s northwest. Nearly 100 protesters on Tuesday blocked the entrance to the construction site and were eventually pushed out by the police and private security in a tense confrontation. Independent website monitoring rights issues OVD-Info said Tuesday that nine people have been detained. Read more 
06.06.19 Is Russia Having Second Thoughts About Integration With China?
The Moscow Times
The last few years made possible a significant rapprochement, but the potential for sudden shifts cannot be excluded. Everything seems in flux at the moment. Will the two countries move even closer together — is an Eastern Alliance possible? — or will China’s rise face new resistance in this area as well — problems it is now facing almost everywhere? Beijing has been extraordinarily successful in managing Russia, perhaps the most brilliant success of Chinese foreign policy in recent years. But in the recent Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, president Putin poured some cold water on the Eastern Alliance. Read more 
06.06.19 Russia Proposes Slovakia Join Nord Stream-2 And Turkstream
Reuters
Russia and Slovakia are in talks about Bratislava joining the Nord Stream 2 and Turkstream gas pipeline projects, Russian news agencies quoted Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as saying on Wednesday. “We need to find common points and mutually beneficial cooperation areas concerning connecting Slovakia to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as well as to Turkish Stream,” TASS quoted Medvedev as saying after talks with Slovakian Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini in Moscow. Read more 
06.06.19 One In Four Russians Willing To Give Up Plastic Bags
The Moscow Times
Almost 40 percent of Russians would consider no longer using plastic bags, according to a state-funded survey published on World Environment Day. The UN’s World Environment Day takes place on June 5 every year to raise environmental awareness. Greenpeace estimates that more than 26 billion plastic bags are handed out annually in shops across Russia. Read more 
06.06.19 Russia To West: D-Day Wasn't Decisive In Ending World War Two
Reuters
Russia told the West on Wednesday the Normandy landings on D-Day in 1944 did not play a decisive role in ending World War Two and that the Allied war effort should not be exaggerated. Moscow’s comments might irk war veterans in Britain where the 75th anniversary on Wednesday of the largest seaborne invasion in history was marked at a ceremony in Portsmouth attended by Queen Elizabeth and world leaders including Donald Trump and Angela Merkel. Read more 
05.06.19 U.S. And Russia Spar Over 'unsafe' Spy Plane Intercept Near Syria
Reuters
A Russian fighter jet made a dangerous high-speed pass that put a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft at risk during an intercept over the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday, the U.S. Sixth Fleet said, but Moscow said its pilot had behaved responsibly. “While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible,” the Sixth Fleet said in a statement. Read more 
05.06.19 Trump Said Russia Was Getting Out Of Venezuela. The Kremlin Says That’s Not True.
Washington Post
The Kremlin on Tuesday denied having told the United States that it was pulling personnel out of Venezuela, contradicting a Twitter posting a day earlier by President Trump. “There have been no official messages in this regard from the Russian side nor could there be any,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Read more 
05.06.19 Russia To Trump: Our Military Personnel Are Still In Venezuela
Reuters
A statement by U.S. President Donald Trump asserting that Russia had removed “most of their people” from Venezuela does not correspond to reality and military cooperation continues, Interfax news agency cited a source as saying on Tuesday. A full withdrawal of Russia’s military specialists from Venezuela would be a blow to embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro who counts Moscow as a close ally. Read more 
05.06.19 Russian YouTuber Sued Over Film Review
BBC News
A popular Russian YouTuber known for his film reviews has hit out at his country's Ministry of Culture with allegations of censorship. In a video which has been viewed more than three million times, Yevgeny Bazhenov revealed he is currently being sued for copyright infringement by film studio Kinodanz for using too many clips in his film reviews. Read more 
05.06.19 Ex-U.S. Marine Held By Russia In Spy Case Illegally Isolated
Reuters
A former U.S. Marine held in Russia on suspicion of spying is being illegally isolated in a Moscow pre-trial detention center and prevented from communicating with visitors, Russian rights activists and U.S. diplomats said. Paul Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained in a Moscow hotel room on Dec. 28 and accused of espionage after being handed a flash drive his lawyer said Whelan thought contained holiday photos but which actually held classified information. Read more 
04.06.19 Russia Rejects Ukraine's Case Over Rebel Support At UN Court
Reuters
Russia told a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday that the court lacks jurisdiction in a case filed by Ukraine against Moscow over its alleged support of pro-Russian separatists in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. In a 2017 filing to the ICJ, also known as the World Court, Ukraine asked judges to order Russia to stop alleged funding and equipping of pro-Kremlin forces and halt alleged discrimination of the Crimean Tatar ethnic group. Read more 
04.06.19 Russia, China To Announce Joint Yuan Fund To Invest In Russia
Reuters
Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund plans to announce a new yuan-denominated joint fund with China this week that will invest in Russia, RDIF’s head Kirill Dmitriev said on Monday. e said the announcement would be made at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 6-8, an event chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The forum will be attended this year by China’s President Xi Jinping. Read more 
04.06.19 Crimean Economy Named Fastest Growing In Russia
The Moscow Times
Russian-annexed Crimea has experienced the fastest economic growth in Russia in 2019 so far, the RBC news website reported on Monday. Crimea has received large cash injections from Moscow since 2014, when Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine. More than $13 billion in Russian funds will have been spent on the Crimean economy between 2015 and 2022. Read more 
04.06.19 Russia Orders Tinder Dating App To Share User Data On Demand
Reuters
Russia said on Monday it had added the popular dating app Tinder to a list of entities obliged to hand over user data and messages to law enforcement agencies on demand, including the main successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s telecoms and media regulator, said in a statement that Tinder had been added to its special register at the end of last month after providing the requisite information to allow itself to be added. Read more 
04.06.19 Case Of US Man Held As Spy In Russia Stalls Without Answers
The Associated Press
The arrest of a Michigan corporate security executive on espionage allegations in Russia seemed to his family like a horrible mistake, a misunderstanding that could be quickly resolved with help from the U.S. government. But it hasn’t worked out that way. Six months later, and despite extensive U.S. efforts on his behalf, Paul Whelan is entangled in a Russian legal system so opaque that the evidence against him remains unknown. His family has had only limited contact with him and no idea when, or if, he will be released. Read more 
04.06.19 Russian Troops To Join UN Force In Central African Republic Soon
Reuters
Russia will in the near future send 30 military personnel to the Central African Republic where they will form part of a United Nations mission to help stabilize the country, Interfax news agency quoted a Russian foreign ministry official as saying. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree in April on the despatch of the military contingent. Read more 
04.06.19 Russia Slashes Number Of Military Advisers In Venezuela
The Moscow Times
Russia’s defense conglomerate has withdrawn “key” defense advisers from Venezuela, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing an unnamed source close to the Russian Defense Ministry. The Kremlin previously said Russian military specialists are in Venezuela to service pre-existing contracts for the supply of Russian arms. Moscow, which has supplied Caracas with weapons and loans, accuses the United States of trying to advance a coup in the Latin American country. Read more 
03.06.19 Russia's May Oil Output Hits 11-month Low On Dirty Oil Crisis
Reuters
Russian oil output fell to 11.11 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, its lowest level since June 2018, from 11.23 million bpd in April, Energy Ministry data showed on Sunday. The production fall resulted mainly from the closure due to oil contamination of Russia’s Druzhba pipeline, which usually ships 1 million bpd, or 1 percent of global oil demand. Read more 
03.06.19 New Ukraine President Hopes EU Sanctions On Russia Remain
Reuters
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday he hopes that European Union sanctions on Russia will remain in place until Ukrainian territories are returned, according to a statement released on the presidential website. The West imposed sanctions on Russia following Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support for separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine. Read more 
03.06.19 Russia Assisting In Doping Probe Into Alleged Forged Documents
Reuters
Russia’s athletics federation is cooperating with global athletics officials in a probe into allegations that some of its representatives forged documents in a doping case, it said on Sunday. British newspaper The Sunday Times reported that forged medical documents were filed to the Athletics Integrity Unit, which probes doping cases in the sport, in order to provide an athlete with a medical excuse for having failed to declare his whereabouts last year. Read more 
03.06.19 Russia Launches Its Most Powerful Telecom Satellite
The Moscow Times
Russia has launched a powerful European-made communications satellite for the state energy giant Gazprom from Kazakhstan. Gazprom's space subsidiary, Gazprom Space Systems, runs Yamal satellites to broadcast to customers in Russia, western and central Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. France’s Thales Alenia Space company manufactures the satellites for Gazprom. Read more 
02.06.19 Two People Missing After Blasts At Russian Military Plant, 22 Injured
Reuters
At least two people were missing on Saturday after blasts at the explosives plant Kristall in the central Russian town of Dzerzhinsk, Interfax and RIA news agencies reported. "As we understand, two went missing," deputy governor Dmitry Krasnov was quoted by RIA as saying in a statement broadcast by Russian state TV channel Rossia 24. Read more 
02.06.19 Turkey, Russia Face Conflicts Over Syria’s Push Into Idlib
The Associated Press
Ankara and Moscow are again facing an escalation of violence in Syria’s last rebel-held territory, a development that puts their cooperation to the test even as they support opposing sides in the eight-year war that has devastated Syria. An all-out offensive by Syrian government forces to capture Idlib in northwestern Syria from insurgents could unleash an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, for the area is home to 3 million people. Read more 
02.06.19 Dzerzhinsk Explosion: Blast At Russian Explosives Factory Injures 79
BBC News
A factory explosion in the Russian city of Dzerzhinsk has injured 79 people and damaged 180 homes nearby. City officials say that the factory was used to produce and store high-explosive bombs for the military. They add that the processing facility at the JSC Kristall Research Institute plant has been completely destroyed by the blast. Read more 
02.06.19 Elton John Objects To ‘Rocketman’ Scene Deletions In Russia
The Associated Press
Elton John and the filmmakers of his biopic “Rocketman” on Friday sharply criticized a Russian distributor’s decision to censor scenes from the new movie. A joint statement by John and the filmmakers said they were unaware that scenes featuring gay sex and drug use would be removed from the film at a screening in Moscow on Thursday. Reports say five minutes of scenes were cut from the film. Read more 
01.06.19 Russia Rejected Iran S-400 Missile Request Amid Gulf Tension
Bloomberg
Russia has rejected an Iranian request to buy S-400 missile defense systems, concerned that the sale would stoke more tension in the Middle East, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, including a senior Russian official. The request was rebuffed by President Vladimir Putin, the people said on condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to discuss the matter. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Moscow May 7. Read more 
01.06.19 Russia's Putin, Japan's Abe To Hold Summit Meet On June 29
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a summit meeting on June 29, when Putin visits Japan for a meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday. Senior officials and political leaders from both countries have held talks frequently in recent months to discuss ways to put an end to an decades-old territorial dispute and conclude a peace treaty. Read more 
01.06.19 Trust In Putin Doubles After Kremlin Criticizes Poll
The Moscow Times
Public trust in President Vladimir Putin has more than doubled hours after the Kremlin asked sociologists to explain why his trust and approval ratings differ. A state-funded survey published May 24 said that trust in Putin slipped to a 13-year low of 31.7 percent. The Kremlin on Thursday asked the VTsIOM pollster to explain how that figure correlates with Putin’s approval rating of 65 percent in the same survey. Read more 
01.06.19 Russia: U.S. Military Curbs On Space Cooperation Are Unfair Competition
Reuters
Russia accused the United States of trying to unfairly grab market share in the space services industry on Friday after the U.S. military imposed restrictions on space launch cooperation with Moscow. The U.S. Department of Defense on Friday banned contracts for Russian commercial satellite services if they were deemed to pose an unacceptable cyber security risk, a document on the U.S. government’s Federal Register showed. Read more 
01.06.19 Company Criticised For Paying Female Staff To Wear Skirts
BBC News
A Russian company has been heavily criticised for offering female employees cash bonuses to wear skirts or dresses to work. Tatprof, an aluminium manufacturer, is running a "femininity marathon" campaign until 30 June. Female staff who wear a dress or skirt "no longer than five centimetres from the knee" are paid 100 roubles ($1.50, £1.19) on top of their regular wages. In order to receive the bonus, women must send the company a picture. Read more 
01.06.19 4 In 10 Russians Say Country On The Wrong Track
The Moscow Times
Four out of 10 Russians believe their country is going in the wrong direction, a poll by the independent Levada Center polling agency said. Approval for Russia’s direction peaked at 61 percent in 2008 – the tail end of the economic boom – and at 60 percent shortly after the Crimean annexation in 2014. It reached a 12-year low early this year at 45 percent. Read more 
01.06.19 Elton John Slams Russian Cuts To 'Rocketman' Gay Scenes
Reuters
Elton John on Friday criticized Russia’s reported censorship of gay sex scenes in the new movie musical based on his life, “Rocketman,” calling the decision “cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.” John and the makers of “Rocketman,” which depicts the warts-and-all rise to fame of the gay British musician, issued a statement after Russian media reported that scenes involving gay sex and drug taking had been cut from a screening in Russia. Read more 
01.06.19 Russia Should Have Made HBO's ‘Chernobyl’
The Moscow Times
“Chernobyl,” the HBO mini-series that ends Monday in the U.S., isn’t easy to watch as someone who lived in the Soviet Union in 1986 and who has since visited the Chernobyl exclusion zone. But, like many of my compatriots, I’m watching it — and thinking it should have been made in Russia, Ukraine or Belarus, not by an American entertainment channel. Read more 
31.05.19 Russia Rebuffs Japan's Military Buildup Warning
Reuters
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that Russia was only operating on its own territory after Japan accused Moscow of a military buildup on a chain of islands in the Pacific, RIA news agency reported. Russia has held the islands - known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kuriles in Russia - since World War Two and they are a reason the two countries have not formally ended hostilities since the war. Read more 
31.05.19 ‘Gay Purge’ Responders In Russia Attacked And Receiving Death Threats
The Independent
Activists coordinating the emergency evacuation of Chechnya of at-risk LGBT+ people claim there has been a disturbing attack at the home of one of their members in St Petersburg. Seven men reportedly barged into the apartment of a woman volunteer before threatening to kill her. Initially, the men presented themselves as police officers. Later, they said they had come to “avenge” the family of a lesbian woman who had fled Chechnya, and to “find and kill” David Isteev, the coordinator of the emergency evacuation programme. Read more 
31.05.19 Russia Calls U.S. Nuclear Accusation 'smear'
Reuters
Russia rebuffed as a baseless smear on Thursday a U.S. allegation that Moscow may be conducting low-level nuclear tests in violation of a moratorium. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Russia was in full compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which Moscow ratified in 2000. It called for the United States itself to ratify the treaty. Read more 
31.05.19 FSB Makes Arrests At Norwegian Border
The Moscow Times
Russian border guards have detained two individuals who allegedly tried to make it illegally across the border to Norway. The two people, both of them citizens of Iraq, were detained as they were making an attempt to cross into the neighboring country. Neither of the detainees had needed travel documents and both were caught in the wilderness, away from the border-crossing point, the SeverPost news agency reports. Read more 
31.05.19 Russia Says U.S. Nuclear Accusation Is An Attack On Global Arms Control
Reuters
Russia’s ambassador to the United States on Thursday said a U.S. allegation that Moscow may be conducting banned nuclear tests was a calculated attempt to undermine nuclear arms control, Russian state television reported. The head of the U.S.’s Defense Intelligence Agency said on Wednesday that Russia may be conducting low-level nuclear testing that flouts the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which was negotiated in the 1990s. Read more 
31.05.19 Japan, Russia Accuse Each Other Of Military Buildups
The Associated Press
Russia and Japan accused each other of military buildups as their foreign and defense ministers met in Tokyo on Thursday for talks that failed to make progress on decades-long island disputes. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a joint news conference after the talks that Russia was concerned about Tokyo’s plan to build a pair of land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense systems, saying they pose a “potential threat to Russia.” Read more 
31.05.19 Russia Disputes Volume Of Tainted Oil In Europe
Reuters
Contaminated Russian oil volumes sent to Europe are much smaller than claimed by Belarus and Poland, Russia’s pipeline monopoly said on Thursday, in the latest twist in the country’s worst oil export crisis. Some 3 million tonnes of oil was contaminated with organic chloride, not the 5 million estimated by Belarus which transits Russian oil to Poland, Sergei Andronov, vice-president of pipeline firm Transneft, told the Kommersant newspaper. Read more 
31.05.19 Kremlin Asks Specialists To Explain Putin's Falling Trust Ratings
The Moscow Times
Russian sociologists should explain President Vladimir Putin’s record-low trust levels amid his growing approval ratings, the Kremlin said on Thursday. A recent state-funded survey said that public trust in Putin has dropped to its lowest level since 2006. The same survey showed Putin’s approval rating grow from 61 percent in January to 65 percent this month. Read more 
30.05.19 China's Xi To Attend Russia's St Petersburg Investor Forum Next Week
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Russia next week and attend a major Russian investor forum in St Petersburg, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. The St Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 6-8 is chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who plans to attend. Read more 
30.05.19 Russia Accused Of Stoking Tensions In Kosovo Following Arrest Of Official
The Independent
Kosovan authorities have accused Moscow of stoking tensions in south-eastern Europe following the arrest of a Russian official on Tuesday morning. President Hashim Thaci, president of the partially recognised state, said Russian national Mikhail Krasnoshchekov had been arrested after “obstructing police” during what he described as an anti-Mafia raid. Read more 
30.05.19 Transneft On The Defensive As Russia Says Won't Fund Oil Clean-up
Reuters
More than a month into the biggest crisis to hit Russia’s Druzhba (“Friendship”) pipeline, operator Transneft and the government are at odds over who should pay to clean up the contamination that halted flows. Buyers are keen to know who will resolve the impasse, which has seen five million tonnes of oil contaminated with high levels of organic chloride disrupt deliveries to Belarus, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and a number of central European countries. Read more 
30.05.19 Moscow Blames EU And NATO For Latest Balkan Tensions
The Moscow Times
Rising tensions between the Balkan countries of Serbia and Kosovo are the result of the European Union and NATO “appeasing” Kosovo, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday accused Kosovo of provocation after its police detained more than two dozen people, including one Russian national, during an armed raid in Serb-populated municipalities in Kosovo’s north. The Russian national was released hours after being detained. He and another UN staffer were hospitalized, the UN mission in Kosovo said. Read more 
30.05.19 US Official: Russia ‘probably’ Not Adhering To Nuke Test Ban
The Associated Press
A U.S. intelligence official says Russia “probably” is not adhering to a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing. The statement was made Wednesday by the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley. Speaking at the Hudson Institute, Ashley said Russia’s nuclear activities would help it improve its weapons capabilities. He said the United States, by contrast, has foregone such benefits by adhering to a testing moratorium. Read more 
30.05.19 Russians Are Not Waiting For A Church Boom
The Moscow Times
Church construction in Russia is going through a boom, with new Orthodox churches springing up around the country at a frantic pace. While this suits both the interests of the Russian Orthodox Church and big business, citizens are becoming increasingly dissatisfied: the sites chosen for proposed churches are often public spaces that are important to them. Read more 
29.05.19 Russia Summons Spanish Ambassador Over 'old Enemy' Comment
Reuters
Russia summoned Spain’s ambassador to Moscow on Tuesday after acting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell referred to the country as an “old enemy”, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday. Borrell told Spanish newspaper El Periodico last week: “Russia, our old enemy, is once again saying, ‘here I am,’ and has returned as a threat, and China is also presenting itself as a rival.” Read more 
29.05.19 Russia Accused Of Stoking Tensions In Kosovo Following Arrest Of Official
The Independent
Kosovan authorities have accused Moscow of stoking tensions in south-eastern Europe following the arrest of a Russian official on Tuesday morning. President Hashim Thaci, president of the partially recognised state, said Russian national Mikhail Krasnoshchekov had been arrested after “obstructing police” during what he described as an anti-Mafia raid. Mr Krasnoshchekov, named as Moscow’s representative on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, had “camouflaged [himself] under a diplomatic veil,” Mr Thaci alleged. Read more 
29.05.19 Russia Demands Kosovo Release Detained Russian U.N. Worker
Reuters
Russia’s embassy in Serbia on Tuesday demanded that Kosovo immediately release a detained Russian national working at a United Nations mission in Kosovo, the RIA news agency reported. The Russian national was detained in a Serb-populated municipality in Kosovo’s north during a police operation there. Read more 
29.05.19 Chinese Officials Are Searching Russian Travelers’ Phones At Border
The Moscow Times
Russia has requested an official explanation from China over a reported new policy in which Russian citizens’ phones are randomly seized and searched by Chinese border guards. The Russian Consulate General in Guangzhou issued an advisory last week, warning that border guards at China’s Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport had begun to randomly select Russian travellers to verify their stated purpose for visiting China by searching their smartphones, including photos, videos and messages. Individuals could be blocked from entering China if border officials found compromising information on their phones, the message said. Read more 
29.05.19 U.S. To Boycott Flagship Russian Investment Forum Over Detained Investor
Reuters
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman will boycott a flagship investor forum in St Petersburg this summer to protest against Moscow’s prosecution of prominent U.S. investor Michael Calvey, a State Department spokeswoman said on Tuesday. Calvey, founder of the Baring Vostok private equity group, was detained in February pending a trial on embezzlement charges. He denies wrongdoing and says the case is a way of pressuring him in a dispute over control of a Russian bank. Read more 
28.05.19 Russia Rejects New ‘Monroe Doctrine’ Of U.S. In Latin America
The Moscow Times
The United States’ new foreign policy approach in Latin America goes against international law, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said after talks with his Cuban counterpart. U.S. national security advisor John Bolton has invoked the 1823 policy established by then-President James Monroe to warn other countries, including Russia and Cuba, against interfering in Venezuela. The Monroe Doctrine is widely seen in Latin America as a justification for U.S. armed intervention in the region. Read more 
28.05.19 New Ukrainian President Zelenskiy Visits Eastern War Zone
The Associated Press
Ukraine's new president has visited military positions in the country's east, where the army has been fighting Russia-backed separatists for five years. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was inaugurated a week ago , went to two positions Monday in the Luhansk region, according to his office. At one forward position, he was within 400 meters (yards) of rebel positions, his office said. Read more 
28.05.19 Russian Orthodox Official Compares Anti-Church Protests To Romanov Executions
The Moscow Times
Recent mass protests against plans to replace a city park in central Russia with an Orthodox cathedral are akin to the execution of the country’s last royal family, the head of Yekaterinburg’s diocese said. Protests erupted in Russia’s fourth-largest city this month after fencing went up around a riverside park ahead of the church’s construction, resulting in arrests and clashes with vigilantes and riot police. Yekaterinburg is also the site of the 1918 shooting by Bolshevik revolutionaries of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and five children. The church canonized them as martyrs in 2000. Read more 
28.05.19 Russian Data Theft: Shady World Where All Is For Sale
BBC News
Data breaches by Russian hackers are a global concern now, but the BBC has discovered how easy it is to buy personal data such as passport and bank account details in Russia itself. According to cyber-security experts, vast quantities of supposedly private data - including from Russian state institutions - are bought and sold every day. One morning in January 2018, Roman Ryabov left his office in the southern Russian city of Tula for a cigarette. He worked for Beeline, one of the largest mobile phone operators in Russia. Read more 
28.05.19 4 Russian Journalists Stabbed Over Refusal To Publish Stalin Article
The Moscow Times
At least four journalists in the southern Russian city of Stavropol have been stabbed and wounded, regional authorities and media reports said on Monday. The attack took place in the editorial office of the Russian Communist Party’s Rodina newspaper, the governor of Stavropol region said. The unnamed assailant was taken into custody, he added. The suspect allegedly carried out the attack in retribution for the newspaper’s refusal to print his article, Svetlana Bondarenko, the daughter of Rodina editor-in-chief Nikolai Bondarenko, told the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper. Read more 
27.05.19 Lithuania Presidential Hopefuls: Tone Down Russia Rhetoric
The Associated Press
The two contestants in Lithuania’s runoff election for a new president have one thing in common: They want to maintain the strict tone toward neighboring Russia, while easing sometimes harsh rhetoric. Gitanas Nauseda, a prominent economist, and Ingrida Simonyte, a former finance minister, are vying to succeed the popular Dalia Grybauskaite, who has called Russia “a terrorist state.” Read more 
27.05.19 Russia Launches World’s Largest Nuclear-powered Icebreaker To Open Up Arctic Shipping Routes
The Independent
Russia launched the world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker on Saturday as the country responds to the commercial opportunities presented by melting Arctic sea ice. Amid warming winters and rapid loss of sea ice cover, Russia is preparing for more shipping via what it calls the Northern Sea Route (NSR), which is expected to soon become navigable year-round. Read more 
27.05.19 UN Court: Russia Must Free 3 Detained Ukraine Ships, Sailors
The Associated Press
A U.N. maritime tribunal ruled Saturday that Russia must immediately release three Ukrainian naval vessels it captured in November and free the 24 sailors it detained. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea issued its order at its Hamburg headquarters following a hearing earlier this month. Russia stayed away from both the hearing and Saturday’s session. Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said that Russia could send a signal of “real readiness to stop the conflict with Ukraine” by complying with the order. Russia didn’t immediately specify what it would do, but made clear that it still believes the tribunal is the wrong place to address the dispute. Read more 
27.05.19 Putin’s Trust Rating Hits Historic Low
The Moscow Times
Public trust in President Vladimir Putin has dropped to its lowest level since 2006, according to a new state-run poll, another setback for Russia’s president as the country begins to discuss its leadership options after his term limit ends. The results do not pose an immediate problem for Putin, who won a landslide election victory and a new six-year mandate in March last year but could embolden would-be successors to begin what is likely to be a long game of jostling for the position. Read more 
26.05.19 Russia, Eyeing Arctic Future, Launches Nuclear Icebreaker
Reuters
Russia launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker on Saturday, part of an ambitious program to renew and expand its fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential. The ship, dubbed the Ural and which was floated out from a dockyard in St Petersburg, is one of a trio that when completed will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world. Read more 
26.05.19 In Russia’s Provinces, The Doctor Is In (the Streets)
The New York Times
With his mop of white hair and soft surgeon’s hands, Dr. Yuri I. Korovin hardly fits the image of the typical Russian street protester. But spurred into action by his tiny and shrinking paycheck, Dr. Korovin recently joined colleagues in a strike organized by a newly formed doctors’ union affiliated with Russia’s main opposition politician, Aleksei A. Navalny. “It’s not good to make money off the sick,” he said wryly in the hospital in Okulovka, a town of about 12,000 people north of Moscow. But, like many other doctors in Russia, he would like to make more. Read more 
26.05.19 UN Court: Russia Must Free 3 Detained Ukraine Ships, Sailors
The Associated Press
A U.N. maritime tribunal ruled Saturday that Russia must immediately release three Ukrainian naval vessels it captured in November and free the 24 sailors it detained. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea issued its order at its Hamburg headquarters following a hearing earlier this month. Russia stayed away from both the hearing and Saturday’s session. Read more 
25.05.19 Russia To Send Military Specialists To Congo Republic
Reuters
Russia is sending military specialists to Congo Republic to service Russian-made military hardware and equipment there, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. Congo borders Central African Republic (CAR), where Moscow has a U.N.-approved mission, and will become one of the few African countries with an officially confirmed presence of Russian military personnel on the ground. In recent years Moscow has pushed for influence on the continent - where China has a major economic presence - by signing military cooperation deals with around 20 African countries. Read more 
25.05.19 Paul Whelan: Ex-US Marine Alleges Abuse In Russia Spy Case
BBC News
A former US marine imprisoned in Russia on suspicion of spying has complained of "abuses and harassment" and says he is a "victim of political kidnap". Mr Whelan - a citizen of the US, UK, Canada and Ireland - was arrested in late December, accused of espionage. The 48-year-old denies the charges and told a court on Friday that he had been subjected to threats and abuse by a security service investigator. The comments came as his pre-trial custody was extended until 29 August. Read more 
25.05.19 Traders Seek Discounts For Kazakh Oil Tainted In Russia
Reuters
Oil traders from Kazakhstan have been seeking big discounts from producers for Urals crude oil that has been tainted in a Russian pipeline, trading and industry sources said on Thursday. One of Kazakhstan’s oil exporting routes goes via the Atyrau-Samara pipeline and further through the Russian pipeline network to the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga. Russia’s oil exports have been disrupted since April after high levels of organic chloride were found in crude pumped via a large pipeline. Read more 
25.05.19 Russian Police Official Decries Falling Living Standards For Police
The Moscow Times
Russia's deputy chief of police declared an income of 38 million rubles ($588,000) two days after complaining that law enforcement officers’ living standards are falling. Deputy Interior Minister Arkady Gostev’s income grew tenfold between 2017 and 2018, according to declarations published on Thursday, making him the richest police officer in Russia. Read more 
24.05.19 Traders Seek Discounts For Kazakh Oil Tainted In Russia
Reuters
Oil traders from Kazakhstan have been seeking big discounts from producers for Urals crude oil that has been tainted in a Russian pipeline, trading and industry sources said on Thursday. One of Kazakhstan’s oil exporting routes goes via the Atyrau-Samara pipeline and further through the Russian pipeline network to the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga. Read more 
24.05.19 Drugs Found In Arrested Russian Ex-Minister’s Apartment
The Moscow Times
Russian investigators say they have found drugs in the apartment of detained former minister Mikhail Abyzov, Interfax reported on Thursday. Abyzov, 46, faces up to 20 years behind bars on suspicion of embezzling $62 million. The former minister of a since-disbanded Open Government Affairs post denies the charges. Read more 
24.05.19 Russia-Belarus Talks To Prepare For PMs' Meeting On Oil
Reuters
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak will meet Belarusian counterpart Igor Lyashenko on Thursday to coordinate energy issues before their respective prime ministers meet to discuss the contaminated oil on the Druzhba pipeline, an aide for Kozak said. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is due to meet Belarus’ Sergei Rumas on Friday to discuss the matter. Read more 
24.05.19 Russia Reacts Coolly To BBC's New Satirical Chatshow Hosted By 'Putin'
The Independent
The press-release accompanying the BBC’s Tonight with Vladimir Putin may have lashed on the hype, promising a CGI comedy talk show with “everybody’s favourite bear-wrestling global strongman”, but the show’s most obvious customer – the Kremlin – has reacted with disinterest. Responding to Wednesday’s reports that Britain’s public broadcaster had commissioned two pilot episodes of a virtual-reality Putin talk-show, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian leader had “no plans” to watch it. Read more 
24.05.19 Russia Removed 2M Tons Of Tainted Europe-Bound Oil By Rail And Sea
Reuters
Russia is using rail, storage tanks and ships to remove contaminated oil from an export pipeline, and has so far extracted around 2 million tons of the tainted oil — or over a third of volumes hit, industry sources and data showed. A month ago, Russia had to stop exports via the Druzhba pipeline to Poland and Germany at the northern branch of the line and to Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in the south. Routes split at the Mozyr refinery in Belarus. Read more 
24.05.19 Dane Jailed By Russia In Jehovah's Witnesses Crackdown Loses Appeal
Reuters
A Danish adherent of the Jehovah’s Witnesses jailed for six years in Russia after being found guilty of organizing a banned extremist group lost his court appeal on Thursday, a spokesman for the group said. Armed police detained Dennis Christensen, a builder, in May 2017 at a prayer meeting in Oryol, some 200 miles (320 km) south of Moscow after a court in the region outlawed the local Jehovah’s Witnesses a year earlier. Read more 
23.05.19 U.S. Sanctions Russian Arms Makers Over Alleged Iran, N. Korea And Syria Dealings
The Moscow Times
The United States has sanctioned two Russian arms manufacturers and a missile training center for allegedly violating international arms control restrictions on exports to Iran, North Korea and Syria. The move was a response to the Russian entities' transfer of restricted goods, services and technologies to the countries in violation of a U.S. law, a State Department notification posted on the U.S. government’s Federal Register said Tuesday. Read more 
23.05.19 Ukraine's Zelensky Picks TV Colleagues For Presidential Staff
BBC News
Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has announced his administration - and several positions have gone to his former TV colleagues. His only political experience until now has been playing the role of president in the Servant of the People TV show. The deputy head of the presidency, Serhiy Trofimov, was a producer in Mr Zelensky's Kvartal 95 studio. A scriptwriter, studio co-founder, and producer were also awarded roles in the administration or as aides. Read more 
23.05.19 U.S. Fighter Jets Again Intercept Russian Bombers Off Alaska
Reuters
U.S. fighter jets intercepted several Russian bombers in international airspace off the coast of Alaska on Tuesday, in the fourth and fifth such incursions this year, U.S. military officials said on Wednesday. “The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and at no time entered U.S. or Canadian sovereign airspace,” the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement posted on Twitter. Read more 
23.05.19 Russian City Of Yekaterinburg Rejects Plan To Build Church In Park
BBC News
Residents of Russia's fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg, have rejected plans to build a church in a popular park, ending a week of unrest. The governor of the surrounding region, Sverdlovsk, said the church would not be built as a result of a survey conducted by an opinion pollster. The VTsIOM poll found 58% did not want St Catherine's Cathedral in the park. Read more 
23.05.19 Russian Soldiers Say They’re Willing To Shoot Protesters
The Moscow Times
Russian soldiers in Siberia have told their supervisors that they are willing to open fire on protesters if ordered, a special forces serviceman has claimed in an interview. The soldier made the statement in a video interview published Tuesday by opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s office in the Siberian city of Tyumen. In the video, the soldier claimed that his unit had been questioned by federal authorities earlier this year about their political views and that his entire unit had voiced a readiness to shoot demonstrators. Russia’s Defense Ministry called the soldier’s remarks a “primitive hoax.” Read more 
23.05.19 Russia Says Clean Crude Oil To Reach Hungary, Slovakia Within A Week
Reuters
Russia’s Energy Ministry said on Wednesday that clean crude oil was moving via the Druzhba pipeline towards the border of Hungary and Slovakia and was expected to reach the metering stations there within a week, Russian news agencies reported. The ministry was also quoted as saying Russia was in talks with Poland about resuming oil flows towards the Adamova Zastava station. Read more 
22.05.19 Ukraine May Submit Any Russia Peace Deal To Referendum
Reuters
Ukraine may submit any preliminary peace deal agreed with Russia to the Ukrainian people for a referendum, the new head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s administration told the 112 TV news channel on Tuesday. Ukrainian troops are fighting Russian-backed separatists in the Donbass region in a conflict that has killed 13,000 people since 2014. Ukraine also wants Russia to return Crimea, which Moscow annexed the same year. Read more 
22.05.19 Russia Looks For US To Propose 'bigger, Better' Arms Control
The Christian Science Monitor
It’s become something of a signature play by the Trump administration to reject or tear down an existing framework of agreements, then pledge to replace it with something much, much better. Russian security experts, who have attentively watched recent United States approaches to North Korea and Iran, among others, are wondering about Washington’s apparently newfound priority for “arms control.” Is Russia about to be offered a whole new deal, in an area that is traditionally of huge importance to Moscow? Read more 
22.05.19 Poland Urges Russia To Compensate For Oil Mistakes
Reuters
Russian suppliers will have to provide financial compensation for their mistakes over contaminated oil, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday. Flows through the Druzhba pipeline were suspended last month due to contamination, sending shockwaves through global oil markets. Read more 
22.05.19 Russia Raises Alarm About Islamic Extremists In Afghanistan
The Associated Press
Russia’s top security chief on Tuesday raised alarm about Islamic extremists massing on Afghanistan’s northern border. Alexander Bortnikov, chief of the main Russian intelligence agency FSB, said on a visit to Tajikistan that some 5,000 fighters of an Islamic State group affiliate have gathered in areas bordering on former Soviet states in Central Asia, saying that most of them fought alongside IS in Syria. Read more 
22.05.19 Russian Millennials Worry Most About Corruption And Inequality
The Moscow Times
Russian millennials are more concerned about corruption and income inequality than their global peers, the U.S auditing company Deloitte said in a survey published Monday. Millennials around the world named climate change (29 percent) and income inequality (22 percent) as their top personal concerns, the survey said.` Russian millennials named political and business corruption (38 percent) and income inequality (36 percent) as the issues that worry them the most. Read more 
22.05.19 Belarus PM To Discuss Oil Contamination With Russia's Medvedev
Reuters
Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Rumas said on Tuesday he planned to discuss the contamination of Russian oil via the Druzhba pipeline with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday, Belarus’ Belta news agency reported. The main task for Belarus now is to pump out contaminated oil so that it can restore the oil flows, Belta cited Rumas as saying. Read more 
22.05.19 A Glimpse Behind The Iron Curtain
The Moscow Times
As a young ballerina with the Moscow City Ballet, from 2008-2012 Varvara Bortsova lived, traveled and worked alongside dancers from across the post-Soviet sphere. Artists in the company came from nearly every corner of the former U.S.S.R., from the steppes of Central Asia to the mountains of the Caucasus to the shores of the Baltic Sea. Many of them were born not long before the Red Flag was lowered for the last time in 1991, but they had one thing in common — a shared connection to their Soviet past. Read more 
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