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15.08.20 Income Of Russian Top Officials In 2019
TASS
Russian President Vladimir Putin earned 9.726 mln rubles ($133,400) in 2019. The income, expenses and property declaration was posted on Friday on the Kremlin’s website. The president declared 8.65 mln rubles ($118,600) of income in 2018. The property list in the declaration remained unchanged in 2019. Putin owns an apartment with an area of 77 square meters, a garage with an area of 18 square meters, two vintage Volga GAZ M21 cars, a Niva SUV and a Skif trailer. The Russian president is using an apartment of 153.7 square meters and a garage parking lot of 18 square meters. All this property is based in Russia. Read more 
15.08.20 Thirty-two Russians Detained Earlier In Belarus Return Home
Interfax
hirty-two Russian citizens who were earlier detained in Belarus and whom Minsk described as members of the Wagner private military company have returned home, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office said. "In line with Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov's request dated August 5, 2020, according to the procedure stipulated by the Minsk Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations on Civil, Family, and Criminal Cases of January 22, 1993, thirty-two citizens of the Russian Federation who were detained earlier in Belarus have crossed the Russian Federation's border and are currently in Russia," the office told Interfax. Read more 
15.08.20 Austria Slams Unilateral US Sanctions Stalling Nord Stream 2’s Completion
Sputnik
Washington has vehemently opposed European countries’ plans to buy gas from Russia via an additional gas pipeline that is still under construction. The US has insisted that these countries should buy more expensive American or Israeli LNG instead, threatening to slap sanctions on any entity that works with Nord Stream 2. Read more 
14.08.20 Russian Vaccine Will Protect From COVID-19 For At Least Two Years, Developer Says
TASS
Protective properties of Russian vaccine against the coronavirus will be intact for at least two years after its administration, Director of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry Alexander Gintsburg said. "Effective period of the vaccine, its protective properties will last not during a short term, half a year - one year but for at least two years," he said in an interview with the 60 minutes show on the Russia-1 TV channel. Read more 
14.08.20 Russian YouTuber Arrested For Obtaining State Secrets
The Moscow Times
A Russian YouTuber famous for exploring abandoned sites was arrested and charged with obtaining state secrets last week, authorities and activists said Wednesday. Andrei Pyzh has uploaded hundreds of videos showing his visits to industrial sites and abandoned bunkers to his YouTube channel, which has about 800,000 subscribers. He faces up to eight years in jail if found guilty of illegally obtaining and disseminating state secrets. Read more 
14.08.20 ‘The Lost Boys’
Meduza
On July 29, the Belarusian authorities arrested 33 Russian nationals. Local officials say these men work for the “Wagner” private military company (PMC) and planned to incite riots ahead of the August 9 presidential election. What these 33 Russians were actually doing in Belarus, however, remains unclear. Minsk has hinted that the supposed mercenaries were part of a plot by Moscow to meddle in the election, while rumors have circulated in the Russian media that Ukrainian intelligence agents are responsible for the scandal. Read more 
13.08.20 How Telegram Users Found A Way Through Belarus's Internet Lockdown
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
A dynamic graphic posted to Twitter by the Internet-freedom advocacy group NetBlocks.org paints a grim picture. It shows Internet traffic in Belarus on the morning of August 9, the date of the country’s bitterly disputed presidential election. At approximately 8 a.m. local time, the bright lights indicating lively online traffic suddenly go dark. Read more 
13.08.20 Police Push Demonstrators Back Outside Belarusian Embassy In Moscow
TASS
Police on duty at the Belarusian embassy in central Moscow are pushing back the people who got together outside the diplomatic mission to protest against the results of Sunday’s presidential election, TASS reports from the site. Around 400 people got together in front of the embassy earlier in the day. Many of them had their faces painted in the colors of the Belarusian flag. They were carrying flowers and banners. Read more 
13.08.20 Russian Conductor Spivakov Renounces Award Once Given To Him By Lukashenko As Sign Of Protest Against 'tyranny, Violence'
Interfax
Prominent Russian conductor and violinist Vladimir Spivakov, the chief conductor of the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra and president of the Moscow International Performing Arts Center (MMDM), has renounced the Order of Francysk Skaryna awarded to him by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in 2014 in protest against violence against the Belarusian people. "My heart is beating today in unison with the people of the Republic of Belarus, who are rightfully demanding that their elementary rights and freedoms be observed, including the right to peaceful protest. Therefore, in the current situation, I have to renounce the order that you earlier awarded to me. I feel ashamed to wear it, as long as this is associated with your rule. Your 'black' force is your huge weakness. People are born to be loved, rather than humiliated, not to mention mutilated," Spivakov said in an open letter to the Belarusian president, circulated by the MMDM press service. Read more 
13.08.20 Russia Pays World Athletics Fine To Avoid Expulsion
AP
Russia paid $6.3 million to World Athletics on Wednesday to escape expulsion from track and field’s world governing body. The federation, known as RusAF had a Saturday deadline to pay a $5 million fine and $1.3 million in costs to World Athletics. That followed the alleged use of forged medical documents to give an athlete an alibi for being unavailable for drug testing. RusAF was threatened with expulsion after it missed an initial July 1 deadline to pay. “World Athletics can confirm it has today received the funds to settle RusAF’s two outstanding payments,” World Athletics said in a statement. Read more 
13.08.20 'They've Jumped The Gun': Scientists Worry About Russia's Covid-19 Vaccine
The Guardian
In 1977, Scott Halstead, a virologist at the University of Hawaii, was studying dengue fever when he noticed a now well-known but then unexpected feature of the disease. Animals that had already been exposed to one of the four closely related viruses that cause dengue and produced antibodies to it, far from being protected against other versions, became sicker when infected a second time, and it was the antibodies produced by the first infection that were responsible, allowing the second infection to hitchhike into the body. The effect was called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). The reason it matters today, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, is that unexpected glitches such as ADE are the kind of problems vaccine developers look for in phase-3 testing of vaccines – testing that has yet to be carried out on Russia’s newly approved Sputnik V vaccine. Read more 
13.08.20 Russia To Field Long-Range Attack Drones In 2021
Forbes
State media announced Wednesday that Russia’s armed forced would field long-range armed drones in 2021. This in in addition to the S-70 Okhotnik heavy strike drone which is now due in 2024, a year earlier than originally planned. This suggests an increased focus on arming unmanned systems at the cutting edge – a few months after Turkish drones chewed up Russian-made air defenses in Syria. “Next year, the troops will start receiving multi-purpose long-range unmanned aerial vehicles, capable not only of conducting aerial survey but also of striking enemy facilities with high-precision projectiles," said Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s Aerospace Forces Lt. Gen. Sergei Dronov, quoted in TASS. Read more 
13.08.20 Could It Happen Again? Question Mark Hangs Over World’s Submariners 20 Years After Kursk Disaster
Sputnik
On 12 August 2000 the Kursk nuclear submarine sank to the bottom of the ocean in the Arctic Circle, leading to the death of all 118 men on board. Twenty years on are the world’s submariners still at risk of such a horrific death? The Kursk - an Antey-class submarine which had been launched only six years previously and was named after a Second World War tank battle victory - was taking part in wargames with the rest of the Northern Fleet in the Barents Sea when it was overtaken by calamity. Read more 
12.08.20 Russia's Nornickel H1 Profit Slides As It Sets Aside $2 Bln For Fuel Spill Claim
Reuters
Russia’s Norilsk Nickel said on Tuesday its net profit plunged in the first six months of 2020 after setting aside $2.1 billion in reserves for an environmental damage claim after a major fuel spill in the Arctic. Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and the leading producer of nickel, disputes the amount of compensation Russia’s environmental watchdog has asked it pay voluntarily following the May 29 leak, which the watchdog has said threatens unprecedented damage to the Arctic. Read more 
12.08.20 First Registered COVID-19 Vaccine Worldwide Is Named Sputnik V
TASS
The world's first registered vaccine against the coronavirus infection which was developed in Russia was named Sputnik V, the official vaccine website launched on Tuesday said. "In 1957, the successful launch of the first man-made satellite by the Soviet Union activated space research in the entire world. Thanks to this comparison, the vaccine received the name of Sputnik V," the website explains. Read more 
12.08.20 Russia Sees Fewer Than 5,000 New Covid-19 Cases Per Day For First Time Since April
Interfax
Russia has recorded fewer than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases per day for the first time since the end of April, and 130 patients earlier diagnosed with the novel coronavirus have died in the past 24 hours, the coronavirus response headquarters said in a statement published on Tuesday. Read more 
12.08.20 Russia, Germany Emphasize Shared Interest Despite Frictions
AP
Germany’s top diplomat emphasized Russia’s global role while in Moscow for wide-ranging talks Tuesday but also the irritants that have strained relations between the two countries. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas described Russia as an essential partner in resolving “the many conflicts and crises in the world,” saying after his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, “It is important that we communicate well bilaterally.” Read more 
12.08.20 Russia's Coronavirus Vaccine: Will It Work, And Is It Safe?
The Guardian
The race to find a vaccine against Covid-19 has not always been particularly edifying, driven at times by so-called “vaccine nationalism”, much cautioned against by the World Health Organization, which has itself been accused of being invested as much in self-interest and prestige as global public health. Russia’s announcement that it has registered its Sputnik V vaccine as safe and effective for mass production and inoculation even before so-called phase 3 large-scale safety trials, which usually take months, fits the pattern. Read more 
12.08.20 Scientists Uneasy As Russia Approves 1st Coronavirus Vaccine
AP
Russia on Tuesday became the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine, a move that was met with international skepticism and unease because the shots have only been studied in dozens of people. President Vladimir Putin announced the Health Ministry’s approval and said one of his two adult daughters already was inoculated. He said the vaccine underwent the necessary tests and was shown to provide lasting immunity to the coronavirus, although Russian authorities have offered no proof to back up claims of safety or effectiveness. Read more 
12.08.20 Russia Explosion: Huge Blast Rips Through Gas Station In Volgograd, Injuring At Least 13
The Independent
At least 13 people have been injured after a fire sparked a huge explosion at a gas station in southwest Russia. Footage of the blast showed an enormous fireball shooting into the sky over the city of Volgograd. Ten of those injured were taken to hospital, local media reported. The victims included firefighters who had been called to the petrol station to tackle the initial blaze at 12.40pm local time (8.40am GMT), according to Russia’s emergencies ministry. Read more 
11.08.20 Trump Wants To Host G-7 — And Russia — After Election
AP
President Donald Trump said Monday that he wants to host the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations after the November presidential election and still wants to invite Russia, which was kicked out of the G-7 after it annexed Crimea. “I’m much more inclined to do it sometime after the election,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing, adding that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the meeting could be held in person or via teleconference. Read more 
10.08.20 New Protests Held Against Arrest Of Popular Russian Governor
AP
Thousands of demonstrators gathered again Saturday in the major Russian Far East city of Khabarovsk to denounce the arrest of the region’s governor a month ago. Sergei Furgal was arrested on July 9 on suspicion of involvement in murders and taken to jail in Moscow. The estimated 3,000 demonstrators protested the charges and want him returned to the city for trial. Furgal has denied the charges. The protests have posed a challenge to authorities in Moscow. Read more 
10.08.20 Over 38,500 Passengers Use International Flights Since August 1
TASS
Russian and foreign air companies have performed nearly 130 international flights since August 1 after Russia resumed international regular air service with foreign countries. More than 38,500 passengers have used their services, Russia’s Air Transport Agency said on Sunday. "On August 1, Russia resumed regular international air service with a number of countries. Russian and foreign air companies have performed 128 flights and provided their service to more than 38,500 passengers," it said. Read more 
10.08.20 Russia's Coronavirus Cases Approach 900K
The Moscow Times
Russia confirmed 5,189 new coronavirus infections Sunday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 887,536. Over the past 24 hours 77 people have died, bringing the total official toll to 14,931. Separate figures published Friday by Russia’s statistics agency Rosstat found that the number of deaths from the virus could be much larger than this official tally, updated daily by the country’s coronavirus task force. It found almost 12,000 people with coronavirus died during June alone, with the virus confirmed or believed to be the main cause of death in more than 7,000 cases, while the task force figures showed only 4,880 for the same period. Read more 
10.08.20 How The Soviets Nearly Built Their Own Massive Particle Accelerator Almost 15 Years Before CERN
Sputnik
The European Organization for Nuclear Research completed the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, in 2008. However, buried underground near a town outside Moscow are the remnants of a little known, but no less ambitious project which would have rivaled the LHC’s immense scale. Read more 
09.08.20 Salmon Is Disappearing From Russia’s Amur River. It’s Taking Local Tradition With It.
The Moscow Times
From pink salmon to chum salmon to the glistening orange globes of their roe, Nadezhda Donkan remembers the tables of her childhood always being fully laden in her village in the Far Eastern region of Khabarovsk. Now a 57-year-old pensioner, Donkan, a member of the indigenous Nanai people whose livelihoods have for centuries depended on the salmon that spawn in the Amur River, recalls the past fondly. That’s because in recent years the staple fish has all but vanished. Read more 
09.08.20 Russian Doctors Help 92 People, Including 12 Children, In Beirut Hospital
TASS
Doctors of the Russian emergencies ministry’s mobile hospital in Beirut helped 92 people, including 12 children, in the past two days, the head of the medical service of the ministry’s Tsentrospas State Central Airmobile Rescue Team said on Saturday. "As of 18:30 August 7, 79 patients have received treatment. The two-day total is 92, including 12 children," Alexei Skorobulatov said, adding that the patients were suffering mostly from cuts, bruises and fractures. On August 6, an air mobile hospital of the Russian emergency ministry’s Tsentrospas unit opened in Beirut ravaged by a major explosion on Monday. The facility’s in-patient ward is operating round the clock and can accommodate 50 people. The out-patient department can accept up to 200 patients daily and works between 08:00 and 20:00. Read more 
09.08.20 Diplomat Says Detention Of 33 Russians In Minsk Was Third Country’s Provocation
TASS
The detention of 33 Russian nationals was a carefully designed provocation of a third state, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday. "The story about 33 Russian citizens detained in Belarus has been rocking the information space for a week minimum. It was presented as almost an operation of Russia’s to deploy some specially trained people to destabilize our neighboring country. And what has turned out? It happened to be a third country’s provocation as is now being established based on the facts," she said. Read more 
08.08.20 Beirut Blast A Wake-up Call On Dangers Of Ammonium Nitrate, Experts Warn
Reuters
The devastating explosion in Beirut should be a wake-up call for countries on the dangers of ammonium nitrate, which caused the blast, experts say. Lebanese authorities said 2,750 tonnes of the industrial chemical had been stored for six years at Beirut port without safety measures. That stockpile exploded on Tuesday, killing more than 150 people, injuring thousands and leaving about a quarter of a million people homeless. Read more 
08.08.20 Wildfires Raged Across Over 5 Mln Hectares Of Forests In Russia In 2020
Interfax
Russia saw wildfires on 5.2 million hectares of forest from January to July 2020, the press service for the Federal Agency for Forestry (Rosleskhoz) said in a statement on Friday. "According to Rosleskhoz's information, 11,000 forest fires were registered in forested areas in the first seven months of the year, and the overall wildfire area amounted to 5.2 million hectares," the statement said. The press service quoted Deputy Prime Minister Victoria Abramchenko as saying that the wildfire situation has been improving in regions with traditional wildfire problems. For instance, the scope of forest fires in Siberia was approximately 84% (2.3 million hectares) less than last year. Read more 
08.08.20 Tens Of Thousands Continue To Rally In Fresh Khabarovsk Protest
The Moscow Times
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Russia's Far East for a fifth consecutive weekend as anti-Kremlin rallies showed little sign of dying down on Saturday. The rallies in the city of some 600,000 people on the border with China is a major show of defiance against Moscow's policies and present a headache for President Vladimir Putin, observers say.
Read more 
08.08.20 How Purported Russian Air Defense Deployment Could Solidify Libya Stalemate
Forbes
Recent images purportedly show that advanced Russian-built high-altitude air defense systems have recently been deployed to eastern Libya. If such a deployment has indeed taken place, then these systems could well solidify the stalemate that presently exists in that country’s civil war through the establishment of highly formidable air defense bubbles over strategically-important parts of eastern Libya. The imagery in question appeared on social media and apparently show Russian-built S-300s or S-400s near the oil port of Ras Lanuf on Libya’s coast located east of the strategically-important city of Sirte. Read more 
08.08.20 ‘It’s A Death Sentence’
Meduza
On Thursday, August 6, Moscow’s Lublinsky Court handed down sentences to the defendants in the controversial “Novoe Velichie” (New Greatness) extremism case. According to state investigators, the seven young suspects were planning to seize power in Russia and abolish the constitution. All of the defendants pleaded not guilty — and insisted that they were the victims of a provocation carried out by the organization’s real leader, who was a witness in the case. Nevertheless, the court found them all guilty of organizing an illegal extremist organization and gave them sentences ranging from four years probation to seven years in prison. Read more 
07.08.20 Court Jails Young Russians For 'Plotting To Overthrow Putin'
The Moscow Times
A Moscow court on Thursday sentenced three young activists to long jail terms for plotting to overthrow President Vladimir Putin in a case that has sparked protests and allegations of police overreach. In 2018, authorities detained 10 people accusing them of belonging to an anarchist cell called the "New Greatness" that was plotting an uprising against the government. Read more 
07.08.20 Russian Hospital Opens In Beirut
TASS
An air mobile hospital of the Russian Emergency Ministry’s Tsentrospas unit has begun operation in Beirut ravaged by a major explosion on Monday, the ministry’s press service told TASS. "At 15:00, the Russian Emergency Ministry Tsentrospas unit’s hospital opened for patient admission. It will work round the clock in case injured people are rushed in after being found under the rumble by rescuers and between 08:00 and 20:00 to receive patients on an ambulatory basis," the ministry noted. Read more 
07.08.20 Captain Astonished That His Ship Delivered Beirut Explosive
AP
When Boris Prokoshev, a former sea captain spending his retirement years in a Russian village, woke up and found an email saying a ship he once commanded had carried the ammonium nitrate that blew up swathes of Beirut, he was astonished. “I didn’t understand anything,” he told The Associated Press on Thursday from Verkhnee Buu, 1300 kilometers (800 miles) south of Moscow. The email was from a journalist, he said, and titled with the name of the MV Rhosus, which he had captained on a voyage that he was never paid for.
Read more 
06.08.20 Ship Whose Cargo Allegedly Exploded In Lebanon Belongs To Russian Businessman
TASS
In 2013, the ship sailing under Moldovan flag was carrying hazardous cargo from Batumi to Mozambique and made an unplanned call to Beirut. Entrepreneur from Khabarovsk turned out to be the owner of the Rhosus ship from which, allegedly, ammonium nitrate that possibly exploded in Beirut’s port was confiscated, the Seafarers’ Union of Russia reported on its website on Wednesday. Read more 
06.08.20 Rospotrebnadzor Sends Anti-epidemic Aid To Lebanon
Interfax
Russia's Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) has sent a mobile lab with a team of specialists from the Mikrob Russian Anti-Plague Research Institute to help prevent sanitary-epidemiological threats. "At the request of the Lebanese Republic, Rospotrebnadzor has sent a specialized anti-epidemic brigade of the Mikrob Institute to Beirut to provide assistance in preventing threats of sanitary-epidemiological nature resulting from the industrial disaster," the Rospotrebnadzor press service said in a statement on Wednesday. Read more 
06.08.20 Russia Sends Doctors, Equipment To Lebanon
AP
Russia’s Ministry for Emergencies says that its first plane carrying relief teams, doctors and medical equipment has landed in Beirut. The ministry said Wednesday the aircraft has delivered a mobile hospital along with 50 emergency workers and medical personnel. Another three Russian flights are scheduled to arrive within the next 24 hours. They will carry equipment for a coronavirus testing lab and protective gear, among other relief supplies. Read more 
06.08.20 Moscow Expands COVID-19 Express Tests To Major Airports
Reuters
Russia is expanding COVID-19 express tests to other major air hubs in Moscow after using them at the country’s busiest airport, Sheremetyevo, in the capital, the Russian Direct Investment Fund said on Wednesday. The portable testing system, which fits in two small suitcases, gives results within an hour and is already being used by some Russian companies and at major events, the RDIF said.
Read more 
06.08.20 ADVERTISEMENT 8 Western Nations Urge Russian Forces To Leave Georgia
AP
The United States and seven European countries marked Friday’s 12th anniversary of the conflict between Russia and Georgia with a call to Moscow to withdraw forces from Abkhazia and South Ossetia and allow medical evacuations and aid deliveries especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The western nations said after a closed briefing to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday by Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenca that Russia’s continuing military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and its recognition of “the so-called independence of the regions” violates Georgia’s territorial integrity and undermines its sovereignty. Read more 
05.08.20 Montenegro Reopening Borders To Russians
Interfax
Russia has been included in the list of countries whose citizens can enter Montenegro without any additional conditions related to the coronavirus pandemic, Montenegrin radio and TV broadcaster RTCG reported on Tuesday. Montenegro's tourism industry taskforce put forward this proposal at a meeting of the country's National Coordinating Body for Infectious Diseases, RTCG said. Azerbaijan has been included on the revised "green" list on an equal footing with Russia. Read more 
05.08.20 Belarus Leader Pledges Allegiance To Russia Despite Rift
AP
Belarus’s authoritarian president vowed to maintain a close alliance with Russia even as he blasted the country Tuesday for sending in military contractors with allegedly nefarious purposes as he campaigns to win a sixth term in office in a weekend election. In a state-of-the-nation address ahead of Sunday’s election, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said the partnership between the neighboring countries reflects historic ties. Read more 
05.08.20 Ukraine Says No Plans To Resume Gas Purchases From Russia
Reuters
Ukraine’s state energy firm Naftogaz said it would not resume buying natural gas from Russia, suspended since late 2015, until Moscow offered it competitive prices and conditions. Ukraine was one of Russia’s largest consumers of natural gas until the relations between the two ex-Soviet republics soured in 2014 when Moscow annexed Crimea peninsula from its neighbour. Kyiv stopped buying Russian gas in November 2015, increasing purchases from Europe instead Read more 
05.08.20 US Embassy In Moscow: No Info On Paul Whelan’s Whereabouts
AP
The US Embassy in Moscow said Tuesday it had no information on the whereabouts of an American convicted in June of espionage, despite reports that he is being transferred to a prison colony in central Russia. Paul Whelan’s brother David said Tuesday on Twitter that he “appears to now be in Mordovia, on his way to prison camp IK-17.” The republic of Mordovia, about 350 kilometers (210 miles) east of Moscow, is home to several prison camps. The Interfax news agency cited David Whelan as saying he received the information from the British Embassy. Paul Whelan holds US, British, Irish and Canadian citizenship. Read more 
05.08.20 Lobbying For Russian Pipeline Spikes In Washington
Reuters
As U.S. lawmakers plot to stop one of Moscow’s most important projects in Europe, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, lobbyists supporting it are busier than ever but disclosing few details of their work, according to government filings and current and former U.S. officials. The pipeline linking Russian gas fields to Western Europe has become a lightning rod of contention in U.S.-Russia relations, with the Trump administration concerned it would dangerously expand the region’s energy dependence on Moscow but backers, including in Europe, saying the gas is needed. Read more 
05.08.20 WHO Urges Russia To Follow Guidelines On Virus Vaccine
The Moscow Times
The World Health Organization on Tuesday urged Russia to follow the established guidelines for producing safe and effective vaccines after Moscow announced plans to start swiftly producing COVID-19 jabs. Russia said Monday it aims to launch mass production of a coronavirus vaccine in September and turn out "several million" doses per month by next year. Russia is pushing ahead with several vaccine prototypes. Officials claimed that one trialed by the Gamaleya institute in Moscow has reached advanced stages of development and is about to pass state registration. Read more 
05.08.20 Migrants Clash With Russian Law Enforcement As They Attempt Mass Crossing Of Russia-Kazakhstan Border
Meduza
A group of approximately 500 Uzbekistani citizens have attempted to break through the border in Russia’s Southwestern Samara Region and enter Kazakhstan, in order to make their way home to Uzbekistan, Interfax and TASS report. Read more 
05.08.20 Migrants Clash With Russian Law Enforcement As They Attempt Mass Crossing Of Russia-Kazakhstan Border
Meduza
A group of approximately 500 Uzbekistani citizens have attempted to break through the border in Russia’s Southwestern Samara Region and enter Kazakhstan, in order to make their way home to Uzbekistan, Interfax and TASS report. Read more 
05.08.20 Sorry, Russia: America Didn’t Copy Your Hypersonic Missile Idea
Forbes
Did America copy Russia’s idea for an air-launched hypersonic missile? “In Russia’s Footsteps?” questioned the headline in Russia’s state-controlled Sputnik News last month, regarding a $1.2 billion U.S. Air Force contract for eight Boeing +1.7%BA F-15EX fighters, a 21st Century upgrade of the legendary Cold War F-15 Eagle. The Boeing announcement carefully noted that the F-15EX “can launch hypersonic weapons up to 22 feet long and weighing up to 7,000 pounds.” Read more 
05.08.20 Russian Teenager Gets Seven Years For Firebomb, Ax Attack On School
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
A court in the Russian city of Volsk in the Saratov region has sentenced a teenager to seven years in prison for attacking students and teachers at his school with homemade firebombs and an ax. The court ruling on August 4 is the latest in a series of cases over school attacks by teenagers in Russia. The teenager's name was not released on grounds that he is a juvenile. He will begin his seven-year-sentence at a facility for juvenile offenders. Read more 
04.08.20 Moscow Sisters Charged With Killing Father To Be Tried By Jury
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
The high-profile case of two sisters accused of killing their father in Moscow in 2018 will be tried by jury, a procedure allowed under Russian law in the case of serious crimes, a Moscow court announced on August 3. The Moscow City Court ruled that the selection of the jury for the trial of Krestina and Angelina Khachaturyan will start on August 31. The court also rejected the defense's request to send the case back to prosecutors, and extended pretrial restrictions for the two sisters by another six months. Read more 
04.08.20 Russia’s Electoral Testing Ground
Meduza
In Russia’s Novosibirsk region, not one but two opposition groups are building up a serious challenge to the ruling party. One of them, the Communist Party (KPRF), is part of what’s known as the systemic opposition — it’s recognized by the Russian government and permitted to hold elected seats across the country. In fact, the KPRF currently controls Novosibirsk City Hall: Communist Mayor Anatoly Lokot is leading a push for the party to gain power region-wide. Meanwhile, a non-systemic opposition coalition called Novosibirsk 2020 is mounting a challenge without state recognition. Its leader, Sergey Boyko, is the head of Alexey Navalny’s local headquarters. Both groups have accused each other of working secretly with their dominant rival United Russia, led by Governor Andrey Travnikov. Read more 
04.08.20 Polish Regulator Imposes $57 Mln Penalty On Gazprom Over Nord Stream 2 Investigation
TASS
The penalty is due to the Russian gas giant's failure to cooperate in the investigation conducted in relation to construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, according to Poland’s UOKiK. Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has imposed a penalty of around $57 mln on Russia’s top gas producer Gazprom for failure to cooperate in the investigation conducted in relation to construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the regulator said in a statement on Monday. Read more 
04.08.20 Moscow City Court Overturns Sentences Handed Down To Soccer Players Mamaev, Kokorin
Interfax
The Moscow City Court has overturned the sentences handed down to soccer players Pavel Mamaev and Alexander Kokorin in a case involving brawling and hooliganism. According to the appeal sentence, the court definitively sentenced Mamaev to community service for a year, acquitting him of hooliganism, an Interfax correspondent reported. Kokorin, in turn, was sentenced to year and six months in a general-security penal colony, as in the sentence handed down by the first instance court. Read more 
04.08.20 Moscow City Court Overturns Sentences Handed Down To Soccer Players Mamaev, Kokorin
Interfax
The Moscow City Court has overturned the sentences handed down to soccer players Pavel Mamaev and Alexander Kokorin in a case involving brawling and hooliganism. According to the appeal sentence, the court definitively sentenced Mamaev to community service for a year, acquitting him of hooliganism, an Interfax correspondent reported. Kokorin, in turn, was sentenced to year and six months in a general-security penal colony, as in the sentence handed down by the first instance court. Read more 
03.08.20 Russian Prime Minister Signs Decree Allowing Entry For Swiss Citizens
TASS
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a decree lifting restrictions on entering Russia for Switzerland’s citizens, which had been imposed over the coronavirus pandemic, the cabinet’s press service said on Sunday. "The citizens of Switzerland can arrive in Russia by planes. The flights with this country are expected to be resumed on a mutual basis since August 15," the press service said. Read more 
03.08.20 Russian Mercenaries In Belarus: All You Need To Know
The Moscow Times
Belarus has arrested 33 Russian mercenaries allegedly plotting to destabilize the country ahead of next month's presidential election. Belarus' KGB security service said the detained men were members of the Wagner group, a shadowy private military firm reportedly controlled by an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin which promotes Moscow's interests in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and a number of other countries. The shock announcement is just the latest twist in an extraordinary election campaign that has seen President Alexander Lukashenko, who has dominated Belarus for nearly three decades, jail his key would-be rivals ahead of the vote. Read more 
03.08.20 Runners Told To Observe Social Distancing In Moscow Half-marathon
Reuters
More than 9,500 runners competing in Moscow’s annual half-marathon on Sunday wore masks and gloves in the starting area, had their temperature checked and were told to observe social distancing rules because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 21.1-km race had been postponed from May, when the Russian capital was in lockdown because of the new coronavirus. Participants in a separate 5-km (3.11 miles) run were also asked to follow social distancing rules, though this can be challenging when racing. Read more 
03.08.20 No Second Wave Of Coronavirus Infection In Moscow - Mayor
TASS
There is no second wave of the novel coronavirus infection in Moscow, and the number of new daily infections has dropped 10-fold from 6,500 to 650, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Sunday. "The second wave is when people for the second time face the danger of being infected. Neither we nor the world have this. Why are we seeing such a rapid growth in a number of regions? That’s because they have not overcome even the first wave, the first process. They were either closed like Hong Kong and fully quarantined. Such cities as London, New York, Paris and Moscow have already passed this stage," Sobyanin said in an interview with Rossiya-1 TV channel. Read more 
02.08.20 Russian Far East Protesters Turn Out By The Thousands As Crackdown Intensifies
The Moscow Times
As the rain beat down, a sea of umbrellas filled the valley that has become part of the well-trodden path protesters take on their daily march around the city of Khabarovsk in Russia’s Far East. Despite a torrential summer downpour, thousands took to the streets for the fourth straight massive Saturday protest, the main event of the daily rallies. There has now been a demonstration for 22 consecutive days since the arrest of governor Sergei Furgal on July 10 on several 15-year-old murder charges his supporters believe are payback for their having voted a politician who does not represent the ruling United Russia party into office. Furgal is a member of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. Read more 
02.08.20 'They're Steamrolling Us': Lacking State Support, Russia's Small Businesses Are Struggling To Survive
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Aleksandr Zatulivetrov was once the proud owner of six restaurants in a city thronging with tourists. But four months after Russia introduced lockdown measures, he has put his apartment up as collateral and sold his car to cover rent for the two remaining establishments he hasn't been forced to sell. The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on Russia's small businesses, leaving many struggling to stay afloat amid state support that pales in comparison with packages offered in many Western countries. Zatulivetrov estimates his losses at 5 million rubles ($68,000) and puts the blame squarely on government mismanagement of the crisis. Read more 
02.08.20 Russia To Partially Resume Flights To Geneva From August 15
Reuters
Flights from Moscow to Geneva will resume from Aug. 15 for passengers with residence permits in Switzerland, the TASS news agency reported on Saturday, citing the Swiss embassy in Moscow. It said travellers from Russia will have to observe a 10-day quarantine on arrival, according to the news agency. Earlier on Saturday, a Russian government coronavirus response centre said flights between Moscow and Geneva would initially be weekly, without a disclaimer about restrictions. Read more 
02.08.20 Russia To Partially Resume Flights To Geneva From August 15
Reuters
Flights from Moscow to Geneva will resume from Aug. 15 for passengers with residence permits in Switzerland, the TASS news agency reported on Saturday, citing the Swiss embassy in Moscow. It said travellers from Russia will have to observe a 10-day quarantine on arrival, according to the news agency. Earlier on Saturday, a Russian government coronavirus response centre said flights between Moscow and Geneva would initially be weekly, without a disclaimer about restrictions. Read more 
01.08.20 Russia Pledges Reciprocal Steps After EU Sanctions For Alleged Cyberattacks
Reuters
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday it would respond with reciprocal measures to European Union travel and financial sanctions against a department of Russia’s military intelligence service for alleged cyberattacks. “Of course this unfriendly action by the EU will not be left unanswered,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the sanctions were politically-motivated. “In diplomacy everything is reciprocal.” Read more 
01.08.20 Experts Detect High Mercury Levels In Sewage Water From Closed Siberian Chemical Plant
TASS
Samples of sewage water taken from the premises of the closed Usolyekhimprom chemical plant near the Siberian town of Usolye-Sibirskoye revealed that the concentration of mercury there was 33,000 times above the threshold limit value (TLV), sources in local environmental and technical control agencies told TASS on Saturday. "Samples taken on the territory of the Usolyekhimprom plant reveal that the concentration of mercury in air was 367 times above the threshold limit value (TLV), of benzol - 5.2 times. In sewage waters, the concentration of mercury was 33,000 times above the TLV, oil products - 3,000 times, iron - 190 times, copper - 22 times, phosphates - 5,000 times," the source said. Read more 
01.08.20 Putin Signs Law Introducing 16-day E-visa For Foreign Visitors
Interfax
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill introducing a universal electronic single-entry short-term visa for foreigners visiting Russia for tourism, business, private and humanitarian purposes, in effect from January 1, 2021. The e-visa will be a separate category alongside the official, diplomatic, standard, transit and temporary-resident visas. The e-visa will be a separate category from the diplomatic, official, standard, transit and temporary-resident visas, the bill said. Read more 
01.08.20 Moscow Demands That Belarus Free 33 Detained Russians
AP
The Kremlin demanded Friday that Belarus quickly release 33 Russian private security contractors it detained on terrorism charges, dismissing accusations of plots during the Belarus presidential campaign as bogus. The allegations represent an unprecedented escalation of tensions between Russia and neighboring Belarus, traditionally close allies, as Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko seeks a sixth term in the Aug. 9 election. Read more 
01.08.20 Russia Opens Criminal Case Against Kremlin Critic After Planned Anti-Putin Protest
Reuters
Russian authorities said on Friday they had opened a criminal case against an opposition Moscow city councillor who had planned a rally against President Vladimir Putin because she had allegedly violated laws on street protests. The Moscow branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee, the body that probes serious crimes, said Yulia Galyamina had “repeatedly violated the established procedure” for organising and staging protests, rallies and pickets. It said she would soon be taken in for questioning. Read more 
01.08.20 Between Navalny And The Press
Meduza
Opposition politician and Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) founder Alexey Navalny has an uneasy relationship with journalists; not only with reporters from pro-Kremlin outlets, but also with those working for independent media. Navalny regularly criticizes the press for its alleged unwillingness to cover FBK investigations — and is also critical of reporters for refusing to take the opposition’s side in its fight against the Russian authorities. In turn, journalists have reproached Navalny for his handling of conversations with critical reporters, as well as for inaccuracies in the FBK’s investigations. Read more 
01.08.20 Denmark Allows Nord Stream 2 To Resume Construction Through Its Waters
Sputnik
Construction of the ?9.5 billion, 1,230 km-long pipeline was halted late last year, with just 160 km of the project left to build, after Washington threatened to slap “fatal” sanctions on a Switzerland-based contractor working on the joint Russian-Western European energy project. Construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be allowed to resume on August 3, after the expiration of a deadline to challenge Copenhagen’s decision to let the project to move forward, the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has announced. Read more 
01.08.20 UK Names Media Mogul Yevgeny Lebedev To House Of Lords
The Moscow Times
Russian-British media owner Yevgeny Lebedev has been appointed to the House of Lords in Britain. Queen Elizabeth II conferred Lebedev’s lifetime peerage on Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said. Lebedev owns Britain’s Independent and Evening Standard newspapers. His father, Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev, is co-owner of the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper in Russia. Read more 
31.07.20 US Student Sentenced To 9 Years In Penal Colony For Assaulting Police In Moscow
TASS
Moscow’s Golovinsky District Court on Thursday sentenced Trevor Reed, an American student, to 9 years in penal colony for violent assault of a police officer, the court told TASS. "The court found Reed guilty under part 2, Article 318 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (the use of violence against officials) and sentenced him to 9 years in general security penal colony," the source said. Read more 
31.07.20 Belarus Says Russians Plotted Attacks; Kremlin Rolls Eyes
AP
Belarusian authorities on Thursday accused more than 30 detained Russians of plotting terror attacks amid a presidential election campaign, allegations that Russian officials angrily rejected. The grave accusations mark an unprecedented spike in tensions between Russia and Belarus, which are neighbors and traditionally allies. Independent observers and opposition supporters in Belarus have dismissed the alleged terror plot as a campaign stunt by President Alexander Lukashenko, the authoritarian leader who is seeking a sixth term in next month’s election. Read more 
31.07.20 UK Must Crack Down On Dirty Money After Russia Report, Says Labour
The Guardian
Labour has stepped up pressure on the government to launch a tougher crackdown on money laundering after the Russia report warned that the City of London was being used as a “laundromat” for illicit funds. Issuing a warning to Boris Johnson’s government that it could not shrug off the damning intelligence and security committee report, the party called for urgent steps to be taken to clean up business practices and to prevent dirty funds from being recycled in the “London laundromat”. Read more 
31.07.20 Russia Given 2nd Deadline By World Athletics To Pay Fine
AP
World Athletics gave Russia’s troubled track and field federation a second deadline on Thursday to pay a $5 million fine by mid-August after saying the Russian Sports Ministry promised to clear the debts. The Russian Athletics Federation, known as RusAF, was fined $10 million in March, with half of that sum suspended. It missed a July 1 deadline to pay. Members of its former leadership were accused of providing forged medical documents to give an athlete an alibi for being unavailable for drug testing. Read more 
31.07.20 Russia's Transgender People In Their Own Words
The Moscow Times
Russian lawmakers recently introduced legislation that will have major implications for the country’s transgender population. If passed, the draft law — which also seeks to ban LGBT marriage and adoption — will make it impossible for transgender people to change their gender on official documents after they have transitioned. Activists and rights groups say the law will make life for Russia’s transgender population even more difficult, barring them from job opportunities, making it more difficult to marry and encouraging transphobic harassment and violence. Read more 
31.07.20 First-ever EU Cyber Sanctions Hit Russian, Chinese, NKoreans
AP
The European Union on Thursday imposed its first-ever sanctions over cyberattacks, slapping them on alleged Russian military agents, Chinese cyber spies and organizations including a North Korean firm. The six people and three groups hit with sanctions include Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency. EU headquarters blamed them in a statement for the 2017 “WannaCry” ransomware and “NotPetya” malware attacks and the “Cloud Hopper” cyberespionage campaign. Read more 
31.07.20 Russian Oligarchs Find Way To Bypass U.S. Sanctions Through Secrecy Of Art Sales
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Two Russian oligarchs have been able to bypass U.S. sanctions barring them from U.S. financial systems by taking advantage of lax laws governing high-priced art purchases in the United States, according to a congressional report released on July 29 following a two-year investigation. The report details how investigators traced more than $18 million in art purchases at U.S. auction houses and private sales back to three shell companies linked to Russian brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg. Read more 
31.07.20 Woman Detained After She Admits To Dismembering Her Rapper Husband In St Petersburg
Sputnik
According to a lawyer for the 36-year-old woman, she cut her husband’s body into pieces to hide the fact that he died from a drug overdose, something she apparently considered “inglorious”. The wife of Ukrainian rapper Andy Cartwright has been detained after the death of her husband whose dismembered body was found on Thursday, a law enforcement source reveals. Read more 
30.07.20 Three Detained In Russia's Far East Amid Anti-Kremlin Protests
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Police in Russia's Far East have detained three people who demonstrated in support of the arrested former governor of the Khabarovsk Krai region. A coordinator of the opposition Open Russia organization, Sergei Naumov, told RFE/RL that Svetlana Dilman, her son Yevgeny, and an activist known as Dmitry were detained in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur on July 29. Read more 
30.07.20 Belarus Detains 33 Russian Contractors Ahead Of Election
AP
The authoritarian leader of Belarus accused Russia of harboring “dirty intentions” Wednesday after his national intelligence agency detained more than 30 Russian private military contractors ahead of Belarus’ presidential election. President Alexander Lukashenko, who is seeking a sixth term in the Aug. 9 election, has repeatedly accused Russia of trying to force Belarus to abandon its post-Soviet independence. Throughout his 26 years of iron-fisted rule, Lukashenko has relied on subsidies and political support from Moscow but fiercely resisted Russia’s efforts to gain control over Belarus’ economic assets. Read more 
30.07.20 Up To 1,000 Babies Born To Surrogate Mothers Stranded In Russia
The Guardian
As many as 1,000 babies born to surrogate mothers in Russia for foreign families have been left stranded in the country by the coronavirus pandemic and closure of international borders, the Guardian has been told. The babies, some born as far back as February, are being cared for mainly by hired caregivers in rented apartments in Moscow, St Petersburg, and other Russian cities. Border closures have put additional strain on surrogate mothers, who usually give the babies to their biological parents within days of birth. Some surrogates are now being asked to provide additional care in the interim. Read more 
30.07.20 Rouble Recovers From Two-month Low Vs Dollar, Fed Meeting In Focus
Reuters
The Russian rouble firmed against a weakened U.S. dollar on Wednesday, recovering from the two-month low it hit in the previous session as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision. At 0730 GMT, the rouble was 0.5% stronger against the dollar at 72.27 and had gained 0.2% to trade at 84.90 versus the euro. The Federal Reserve later on Wednesday is expected reiterate its dovish stance and could signal a move towards an average inflation target, which would allow rates to stay lower for longer. Read more 
29.07.20 2 Russian Aircraft Suspected Of Violating Finland’s Airspace
AP
Two Russian military aircraft are suspected of having violated Finland’s airspace close to its capital city of Helsinki, Finland’s defense ministry said Tuesday. The ministry said in a brief statement that two Russian Su-27 fighter jets allegedly violated Finland’s airspace over the Gulf of Finland, near Helsinki, at around 2 p.m. local time (1100 GMT), Tuesday afternoon. The Finnish Border Guard is investigating the incident. Read more 
29.07.20 Fire And Brimstone: The Rise And Fall Of Russia’s Coronavirus-Denying Rebel Priest
The Moscow Times
In a forest outside Yekaterinburg, pilgrims chant and wave banners in their annual midnight procession in honor of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia and a saint in the Russian Orthdox Church. But this year’s pilgrimage to the spot where the emperor and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks on June 16, 1918, was unlike any that have gone before. Local Church officials led one group, while others followed Father Sergei Romanov, a rogue cleric whose denial of the coronavirus and seizure of a monastery this summer have cost him his priesthood. Read more 
29.07.20 Making Khabarovsk Great Again
Meduza
Mikhail Degtyarev was appointed the acting governor of Russia’s Khabarovsk region on July 20, after President Putin declared a “loss of confidence” in Governor Sergey Furgal, following the latter’s arrest on murder charges. Degtyarev has been in office for about a week now and in that time mass protests against his predecessor’s ouster have only grown. The most recent Saturday rallies on July 25 were the biggest yet, according to multiple independent estimates. Demonstrators appear to be adopting more radical slogans, as well, as protesters last weekend shouted anti-Putin chants not previously heard in the region Read more 
29.07.20 Russian Operator Receives Country's First 5G License
Sputnik
Russia's major mobile network operator MTS announced on Tuesday that it received the country's first-ever license for providing 5G//IMT-2020 mobile services in the 24.25-24.65 GHz range in 83 regions across the country, with the license expiring on 16 July 2025. Read more 
28.07.20 Criminal Case Launched Into Terror Attack Attempt In Moscow Park On July 26
TASS
The militant neutralized by Russian security service officers in the Moscow Region's Khimki was plotting a terror attack in a Moscow park on July 26, a source in the law enforcement agencies told TASS, a criminal case was launched. "The militant was plotting a terror attack in a Moscow park on July 26. The same day he travelled to a garage in Khimki to fetch arms where he was eliminated by security service officers. A criminal case was launched into the attempted terror attack," TASS was told. Read more 
28.07.20 Rights Activist Askarov Dies In Kyrgyz Prison
Interfax
Human rights campaigner Azimzhan Askarov, who was earlier given a life sentence, has died in a Kyrgyz prison, his lawyer Valerian Vakhitov told Interfax on Saturday. "He was taken away for a medical examination the day before. He died in the hospital of Correctional Facility No. 47 overnight," Vakhitov said. The cause of Askarov's death still remains unknown, the lawyer said. "He had been seriously ill for a long time. He had all symptoms of community-acquired pneumonia. When I saw him last, he coughed and suffered from shortness of breath," Vakhitov said. Read more 
28.07.20 Cease-fire In War-torn Eastern Ukraine To Begin At Midnight
AP
Ukrainian and rebel forces in war-torn eastern Ukraine have started preparing for a “full and comprehensive” cease-fire scheduled to begin at midnight, a move that officials hope can lead to more steps to resolve the 6-year-old conflict. Rebel officials said Sunday they have instructed their troops about the cease-fire and issued a decree banning the use of weapons. Ukraine’s military said their forces “have begun preparations” for the ceasefire. Read more 
28.07.20 Ex-Vedomosti Journalists Launch New Outlet Following Pro-Kremlin Censorship Scandal
The Moscow Times
Former senior editors and journalists from the Vedomosti business daily are launching a new media project after the appointment of a pro-Kremlin editor-in-chief sparked accusations of censorship and a mass departure of staff from the paper. VTimes aims to continue Vedomosti’s tradition of independent journalism and editorial objectivity. Read more 
28.07.20 Putin Says Russia To Get New Hypersonic Nuclear Weapons
The Independent
Vladimir Putin has said Russia’s navy will be equipped with hypersonic nuclear strike weapons and underwater drones – implying the country was drawing close to deploying the technologies. The Russian premier has repeatedly spoken of his wish to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons that can be targeted anywhere on the planet. Read more 
28.07.20 Thousands Continue Anti-Kremlin Protests In Russia's Khabarovsk
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Thousands of people have rallied in the central square of the Russian Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk to demand the release and return of the region's governor, Sergei Furgal. Furgal is now in jail in Moscow on charges of attempted murder and ordering two contract killings some 15 years ago. Supporters say the charges are politically motivated. Furgal, who denies the allegations, defeated a pro-Kremlin candidate in an election nearly two years ago. Read more 
28.07.20 Hundreds Evacuated Over Fire In Moscow Women's Jail
The Moscow Times
Hundreds were evacuated after a fire broke out Monday at a pre-trial detention center for women in Moscow, Russian news agencies reported. "850 people were evacuated" after a fire broke out in the prison in southeastern Moscow, the state-run TASS news agency quoted the Moscow branch of the prison service as saying. Read more 
28.07.20 Hundreds Evacuated Over Fire In Moscow Women's Jail
The Moscow Times
Hundreds were evacuated after a fire broke out Monday at a pre-trial detention center for women in Moscow, Russian news agencies reported. "850 people were evacuated" after a fire broke out in the prison in southeastern Moscow, the state-run TASS news agency quoted the Moscow branch of the prison service as saying. Read more 
27.07.20 Russia And Ukraine Hail Peace Efforts Ahead Of New Ceasefire
The Moscow Times
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday welcomed efforts to resolve Ukraine's conflict with Kremlin-backed separatists during a phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin ahead of a ceasefire starting Monday. Moscow and Kiev agreed to implement a ceasefire in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass during negotiations earlier this month, as a precondition for a broader settlement agreed in the capital of Belarus in 2015. Read more 
26.07.20 Massive Protest Against Governor’s Arrest Challenges Kremlin
AP
Tens of thousands of people marched Saturday across Russia’s Far East city of Khabarovsk on the border with China to protest the arrest of the regional governor on murder charges, continuing a two-week wave of protests that has challenged the Kremlin. Sergei Furgal has been in a Moscow jail since his arrest on July 9, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has named an acting successor. Protesters in Khabarovsk see the charges against Furgal as unsubstantiated and demand that he stand trial at home. Read more 
26.07.20 Russian Police Conduct 'Terrorism' Raid On Independent Municipal Candidates During Corruption Seminar
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Russian special forces on July 25 raided the headquarters of the United Democrats movement in the Tatarstan capital Kazan during a seminar on corruption. The movement, which aims to help independent candidates in municipal elections, said masked police with machine guns stormed its headquarters in the city. Read more 
26.07.20 Moscow-on-Thames: Soviet-born Billionaires And Their Ties To UK's Political Elite
The Guardian
Businesspeople born in the Soviet Union play a significant role in British business and politics. Some have given money to political parties. Others have made substantial investments in media and industry. All have homes in London, with several visiting regularly from Moscow. Following a week in which Russia and its links to the UK have been in the news, the Guardian has looked into the impact of Soviet-born men and women on recent UK public life. Read more 
26.07.20 Armenians And Azerbaijanis Clash In Moscow
AP
Azerbaijanis and Armenians have engaged in a series of fights and violent rampages in Moscow, venting their anger over recent cross-border clashes between the two ex-Soviet nations. Moscow police said Saturday they have detained over 30 people on charges of involvement in fights and disturbances. In St. Petersburg, police detained dozens Saturday in a bid to prevent another big fight between Azerbaijanis and Armenians. Read more 
25.07.20 Russia To Resume Flights With Britain, Turkey, Tanzania From Aug. 1
The Moscow Times
Russia plans to restart international flights to Britain, Turkey and Tanzania on Aug. 1 more than four months after closing its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic. Russia grounded nearly all international flights in late March to slow the coronavirus outbreak, allowing only special flights evacuating Russians from abroad and other flights authorized by the government. Its borders remain closed to most foreign citizens despite the resumed flights. Read more 
25.07.20 The Week In Russia: Trolling Khabarovsk And Other Tales Of A New Era
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
President Vladimir Putin's response to protests in the Far East fails to please, and Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov revels in a promotion while a gulag historian is sentenced on charges he denies. Also, three-day votes loom as a fixture of the future, a long-term legacy of Putin's successful push to secure a possible 12-year extension of his rule amid the coronavirus crisis. Here are some of the key developments in Russia over the past week and some of the takeaways going forward. Read more 
25.07.20 ‘Special Troublemakers’
Meduza
On Friday, July 24, the Khabarovsk Territory’s newly appointed acting governor, Mikhail Degtyarev, told reporters that foreign citizen flew in from Moscow to help organize local demonstrations against his appointment. Khabarovsk has seen sustained mass protests in response to the arrest of now ex-governor Sergey Furgal since July 11. Here’s how Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to a Kommersant FM correspondent’s questions about Degtyarev’s claims. Read more 
25.07.20 Widow Of Chechen Killed Near Vienna Confirms He Was Police Informant
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
The widow of a Chechen man who was gunned down earlier this month in a Vienna suburb says her husband was an informant for Austrian security agencies and that police were examining his cell phone, which she said had recordings and other possible evidence. Zarema Umarova spoke to RFE/RL on July 24, a day after relatives of her slain husband, Mamikhan Umarov, issued an unusual video appeal in which they claimed responsibility for his killing and appeared to absolve Chechnya's notorious strongman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, of blame. Read more 
25.07.20 Russia’s Central Election Commission Announces Three-day Voting Period For September Elections
Meduza
Voting in Russia’s upcoming elections will take place over the course of three days, from September 11 to 13, announced the head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, according to TASS. “The unified voting day is September 13, but we propose holding two days of early voting — September 11 and 12,” Pamfilova said during a Central Election Commission meeting.
Read more 
24.07.20 A Wave Of Sexual Harassment Claims Is Rocking Russia’s Independent Media
The Moscow Times
As her shift at Russia’s investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper was coming to an end on a late Monday afternoon last January, Elizaveta Kirpanova stopped by a senior reporter’s office to catch up. Kirpanova, a 23-year-old reporter who had just completed her first year at the respected paper, was working on a topic her elder colleague knew well, and she figured she could ask for some pointers. Read more 
24.07.20 Yandex Concludes Partnership With Sberbank, Buys Back Yandex.Market
Interfax
Yandex has closed a deal of the purchase of 45% of Yandex.Market from Sberbank , according to a statement by the parties. The stake was bought back for 42 billion rubles, based on a valuation of the joint venture at 87.3 billion rubles. This part of the deal is the last stage in concluding the partnership on all joint projects between the state bank and the IT company. Read more 
24.07.20 Garry Kasparov: Chess Champion, Human Rights Advocate, Bitcoin Supporter
Forbes
Recently, I sat down to interview Garry Kasparov as part of the Collision From Home conference. He’s currently serving as Avast's security ambassador, and the chairman of a couple of foundations dedicated to human rights, digital liberties and renewing democratic freedoms. First is the Human Rights Foundation, which hosts the Oslo Freedom Forum, and which uses technologies and digital innovations to unite against tyranny. Second is the Renew Democracy Initiative, a non-partisan and non-for-profit organization founded by a wide array of leaders from across the partisan spectrum to uphold constitutional principles in the United States. Read more 
24.07.20 Melting Arctic Permafrost Threatens Russian Energy Firms’ Bottom Line
The Moscow Times
Rapidly melting Arctic permafrost poses the greatest threat to major Russian energy producers’ infrastructure and financial indicators, according to a new Morgan Stanley report obtained by the Vedomosti business daily. Gazprom, Novatek, Alrosa and Norilsk Nickel — whose fuel tank leaked after sinking into thawing permafrost in May, resulting in a major environmental disaster — stand to lose the most from the phenomenon that releases carbon gases and further fuels global warming. Read more 
24.07.20 Moscow Police Detain Protesters Demanding Release Of Two 'Rostov' Activists
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Police in Moscow have detained several demonstrators who were demanding the immediate release of activists serving prison terms from the high-profile “Rostov case,” related to mass protests in 2017. The single-person pickets, which do not require permission from city authorities, were held on July 23 in front of the Supreme Court as it looks into the appeals of two jailed activists from the southwestern city of Rostov-on-Don. Read more 
23.07.20 Russian Activist Who Researched Stalin-era Purges Sentenced
AP
A Russian activist who has investigated Stalin-era repression was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison on Wednesday on charges of sexually abusing his adopted daughter, which rights activists have dismissed as a politically driven fabrication. The Petrozavodsk city court in the province of Karelia on the border with Finland found Yuri Dmitriyev guilty on charges of sexual misconduct toward his underage adopted daughter, which he denied. Read more 
23.07.20 Russia's GDP Drops 4.2% In H1 2020, Forecast For Decline Of 4.8% For 2020 Remains
Interfax
Russia's Economic Development Ministry has announced that the country's GDP declined 4.2% year-on-year in H1 2020, and the ministry's forecast for 2020 remains the same at a decrease of 4.8%. The agency plans to clarify the forecast in August, Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov told reporters. Read more 
23.07.20 UK Looks To New Laws On Spies After Critical Intel Report
AP
Britain’s government faced heated questions on national security Wednesday after a damning intelligence committee report on Russian meddling in the nation’s politics concluded the U.K. should examine allegations of interference in the European Union referendum. The fallout from the report from Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee dominated the agenda on the final day in the House of Commons before the summer break, with lawmakers demanding to know whether the UK had done enough to face the threat posed by Moscow. Read more 
23.07.20 Sberbank Buys Out Yandex.Money Stake From Yandex, Becomes Sole Owner
Interfax
Sberbank has bought out Yandex's stake in their joint venture Yandex.Money, becoming the sole owner of payment system. A 25% stake in PS Yandex.Money LLC was transferred from Yandex to Digital Assets LLC on Tuesday, the SPARK-Interfax system shows. The latter is a Sberbank subsidiary that directly owns the remaining 75% of Yandex.Money. This transaction was part of an asset split that Sberbank and Yandex announced on June 23. The second element of the split will be the Internet company's purchase of the bank's stake in Yandex.Market. Read more 
23.07.20 Sberbank Buys Out Yandex.Money Stake From Yandex, Becomes Sole Owner
Interfax
Sberbank has bought out Yandex's stake in their joint venture Yandex.Money, becoming the sole owner of payment system. A 25% stake in PS Yandex.Money LLC was transferred from Yandex to Digital Assets LLC on Tuesday, the SPARK-Interfax system shows. The latter is a Sberbank subsidiary that directly owns the remaining 75% of Yandex.Money. This transaction was part of an asset split that Sberbank and Yandex announced on June 23. The second element of the split will be the Internet company's purchase of the bank's stake in Yandex.Market. Read more 
22.07.20 Over 40 Aircraft Take Part In Rehearsal Of Russia’s Main Naval Parade In St. Petersburg
TASS
Apart from St. Petersburg, the naval parades will be held at the bases of all the Russian Navy’s fleets and flotillas in Severomorsk, Baltiysk, Sevastopol, Kaspiysk, Vladivostok and at Russia’s Tartus naval facility on the Mediterranean coast in Syria. Read more 
22.07.20 Putin Sets National Goals For Russia's Development Through 2030
Interfax
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree outlining the country's national development goals through 2030. The document is available on the Kremlin website. Among the national goals the decree lists are maintaining the population and the health and wellbeing of the people; opportunities for self-fulfillment and the development of talent; a comfortable and safe environment for life; decent, effective work and successful business; digital transformation. Read more 
22.07.20 New Protests In Russia’s Far East After Governor Replaced
AP
Residents of the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk continued to protest the arrest of a popular regional governor on Tuesday, with several hundred taking to the streets in the evening demanding the departure of an acting governor appointed the day before. On Monday, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree dismissing Sergei Furgal, who had run the region since 2018 and was arrested on July 9, and appointing lawmaker Mikhail Degtyaryov as acting governor. Read more 
22.07.20 After Lighting Strike, Russian Teen Goalie Returns To Pitch
Reuters
When 16-year-old goalkeeper Ivan Zaborovsky was rushed to hospital after being struck by lighting during a warm-up, few thought he would survive. Footage from the stadium outside Moscow where his youth team, FC Znamya Truda, were training on July 4 showed a lightning bolt ripping through a gloomy sky and landing directly on Zaborovsky, who crashed onto the ground unconscious. Read more 
22.07.20 Report: UK Officials ‘avoided’ Looking Into Russian Meddling
AP
A long-awaited report on Russian meddling in British politics criticized the U.K. government for failing to investigate whether Moscow interfered in the 2016 Brexit referendum, with the document’s authors describing the lack of curiosity about this threat to democracy as a major failure at the heart of power. The report from Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee also painted a damning portrait of Russian involvement in British society more generally, including attempts to influence government policy by wealthy Russians with ties to President Vladimir Putin and the British financiers who help them. Read more 
22.07.20 Russian Lawmakers Back Plan For Retail Investments In Foreign Shares
Reuters
Russian lawmakers on Tuesday supported a plan by the central bank to create a regulatory regime for a growing number of retail investors, allowing them to continue investing in foreign shares. Russia had earlier wanted to ban retail investors from buying foreign shares but then changed its view amid rapid growth in the numbers of traders. Under the new legal framework they will be able to access U.S. stocks on the Moscow Exchange and U.S. and German stocks on the Saint-Petersburg Exchange. Read more 
22.07.20 UK Govt Criticized For 'Lack Of Curiosity' About Russian 'Meddling'
The Moscow Times
British lawmakers on Tuesday slammed the government for failing to look into any Russian meddling into UK politics, despite evidence of the country posing a credible threat. Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee's (ISC's) long-awaited report had been expected to shed light on whether the Kremlin interfered in the landmark 2016 Brexit referendum. Read more 
22.07.20 Russia, Hit By Coronavirus Crisis, Considers Military Spending Cuts
Reuters
Russia is considering cutting spending on the military as low oil prices and the coronavirus crisis have pummelled its economy, a document published by the finance ministry shows. The ministry has proposed the government cut state spending on the military by 5% between 2021 and 2023. The proposal, published on Monday, also includes budget spending cuts of 10% for the court system, the servicing of Russia’s debt and wages for civil servants. Read more 
22.07.20 The Lowest Tax Rate In The World? Russia’s ‘IT Tax Maneuver’
The Moscow Times
President Vladimir Putin’s plans for digital businesses to help power Russia’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by giving Russia one of the lowest tax rates in the world for IT companies might not be what they seem, analysts told The Moscow Times. In an address to the nation in June, Putin hailed the Russian IT sector’s “dynamism and rapid growth,” built on “powerful technological and human resources,” and commended digital firms for helping businesses, government and society get through the worst of the outbreak. Read more 
22.07.20 The Lowest Tax Rate In The World? Russia’s ‘IT Tax Maneuver’
The Moscow Times
President Vladimir Putin’s plans for digital businesses to help power Russia’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by giving Russia one of the lowest tax rates in the world for IT companies might not be what they seem, analysts told The Moscow Times. In an address to the nation in June, Putin hailed the Russian IT sector’s “dynamism and rapid growth,” built on “powerful technological and human resources,” and commended digital firms for helping businesses, government and society get through the worst of the outbreak. Read more 
22.07.20 U.K. Faces Russian Threat From ‘Within Its Own Borders’
Forbes
A long delayed publication of a report detailing Russian influence in British politics has said the U.K. "now faces a threat from Russia within its own borders." Today's threat comes from a group of wealthy Russians living in the U.K. "with very close links to Putin who are well integrated into the U.K. business and social scene, and accepted because of their wealth," according to the report. Read more 
21.07.20 US Slaps Sanctions On Strongman Ruler Of Russia’s Chechnya
AP
The United States on Monday slapped sanctions on the regional strongman leader of Russia’s republic of Chechnya over human rights violations including torture and extrajudicial killings. Ramzan Kadyrov, 43, has run Chechnya like his personal fiefdom, relying on his security forces to quash dissent. International human rights groups have accused Kadyrov and his lieutenants of abductions, torture and killings of their opponents. Read more 
21.07.20 Russia Report To Be Released On Tuesday After Nine-month Delay
The Guardian
The long-awaited Russia report from the UK parliament’s intelligence and security committee is due to be released on Tuesday morning, nine months after its publication was blocked by Boris Johnson before the general election. An examination of the reach of the Kremlin into UK politics and public life, the document is the product of 18 months’ work by a cross-party committee taking evidence in secret from British intelligence and independent experts. Read more 
21.07.20 Putin Appoints Acting Governor To Region Rocked By Protests
AP
Russia’s president on Monday appointed an acting governor to the Far Eastern Khabarovsk region, where tens of thousands have been protesting against the arrest of the popular incumbent on charges of involvement in multiple murders. Vladimir Putin signed a decree dismissing Sergei Furgal, who had run the region since 2018 and was arrested on July 9, and appointing lawmaker Mikhail Degtyaryov as acting governor. Speaking to Putin in a video conference, Degtyaryov thanked him “for the trust” and said he was prepared to fly out to Khabarovsk, a city 3,800 miles east of Moscow, immediately.
Read more 
21.07.20 Moscow Airline Passengers To Be Express Tested For COVID-19
Reuters
Express COVID-19 testing will be available for some passengers at Russia’s busiest airport from Monday as part of a pilot project aimed at allowing air travel and tourism to resume safely. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport said the diagnostic tests, which give results in one hour, would be available for all passengers on domestic flights at Terminal B on Monday, as part of a wider plan to create coronavirus-free airport hubs. Read more 
21.07.20 Russian Arctic Mayor Resigns After Virus 'Cover-Up' Claim
The Moscow Times
The mayor of the Russian Arctic city of Norilsk on Monday announced his resignation after accusing regional officials of massively underreporting coronavirus figures. Rinat Akhmetchin, mayor of the Siberian city located 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, announced his departure during a briefing. Read more 
21.07.20 Russian Elite Given Experimental Covid-19 Vaccine Since April
Bloomberg
Scores of Russia’s business and political elite have been given early access to an experimental vaccine against Covid-19, according to people familiar with the effort, as the country races to be among the first to develop an inoculation. Top executives at companies including aluminum giant United Co. Rusal, as well as billionaire tycoons and government officials began getting shots developed by the state-run Gamaleya Institute in Moscow as early as April, the people said. They declined to be identified as the information isn’t public. Read more 
21.07.20 Russia's Sberbank May Be Able To Write Off $2 Billion State Loan
Reuters
Russia’s Sberbank (SBER.MM) may be allowed to write off 150 billion roubles ($2 billion) in a subordinated loan from the central bank as part of the state’s support for its biggest bank during the COVID-19 crisis. Three sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the finance ministry had agreed that the loan, which was agreed a decade ago, could be upgraded to boost Sberbank’s capital and may be even written off. Read more 
21.07.20 Siberian Wildfires Cover Area Larger Than Greece
The Moscow Times
Wildfires in Russia have burned across an area larger than the size of Greece so far in 2020, Greenpeace Russia said Monday as it criticized the authorities of inaction. Using satellite data, Greenpeace Russia estimated that 19 million hectares (47 million acres) burned across Russia's forests, steppes and fields from January to mid-July. The country of Greece, by comparison, is more than 13 million hectares in size. Read more 
21.07.20 Navalny Announces Dissolution Of Anti-Corruption Foundation
Meduza
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has announced the dissolution of his non-profit organization, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). The decision came after the company “Moskovsky Shkolnik” — allegedly affiliated with Kremlin-linked St. Petersburg businessman Evgeny Prigozhin — filed an 88 million ruble ($1.67 million) lawsuit against Navalny, FBK lawyer Lyubov Sobol, and the FBK. Read more 
20.07.20 Russian Media Fights For Survival Under Putin
Voice of America
"For more than a decade I've seen how dramatically the space for independent journalism has been shrinking at the regional level," Moscow-based freelancer Artem Filatov told VOA. Speaking ahead of a constitutional vote that gave President Vladimir Putin sweeping powers, the former Echo of Moscow radio journalist said, "There is little critical reporting toward Putin's system. And many Moscow-based media are also under control [of the state or state-aligned corporations]." Read more 
20.07.20 Russian Ambassador Rejects Virus Vaccine Hacking Claims
AP
Russia’s ambassador to Britain has rejected allegations that his country’s intelligence services sought to steal information about a coronavirus vaccine. Andrei Kelin said in a BBC interview broadcast Sunday that there was “no sense” in the allegations made last week by the United States, Britain and Canada. “I don’t believe in this story at all, there is no sense in it,” he said when asked about the allegations. “I learned about their (the hackers) existence from British media. In this world, to attribute any kind of computer hackers to any country, it is impossible.” Read more 
20.07.20 The Observer View On Russian Interference In British Democracy
The Guardian
Evidence that Russia and its menacing president, Vladimir Putin, are actively attempting to undermine Britain’s democracy, politics and security continues to pile up. While shocking in themselves, the latest revelations merely confirm a long-established pattern of covert malfeasance, meddling and subversion. The question now is: what will the government do about it? Read more 
20.07.20 Russia Boosted International Reserves By Over 10%, Gold Stockpile By 28% In One Year
Sputnik
The country has been stockpiling gold since 2018 after a major shift in strategy that saw the US dollar's share in the portfolio significantly decrease, while the precious metal has replaced the greenback as a significant component of Russia’s assets used in its interactions with other countries. Read more 
19.07.20 Mass Protests Rock Russian Far East City, Challenge Kremlin
AP
Mass rallies challenging the Kremlin rocked Russia’s Far East city of Khabarovsk again on Saturday, as tens of thousands took to the streets to protest the arrest of the region’s governor on charges of involvement in multiple murders. The massive unauthoritized crowds gathered despite local officials’ attempts to discourage people from taking to the streets, citing the coronavirus epidemic and an alleged averted terrorist threat. Read more 
19.07.20 Accused Of Interference In The West, Russia Arrests More Spies At Home
Forbes
The accusations of spying leveled at Russia over coronavirus vaccine research are a reminder of the tangled tensions that make up international politics and trade today. In the age of the pandemic, Brexit negotiations, and the presidential election in November, you can expect plenty more where that came from. Read more 
19.07.20 Former World Junior Skating Champion Alexandrovskaya Dies
AP
The Australian Olympic Committee has confirmed the death of former world junior pairs figure skating champion Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya in Moscow. The cause of the 20-year-old Alexandrovskaya’s death on Friday has not yet been disclosed. She was born in Russia but in 2016 obtained Australian citizenship and competed for her adopted country at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics with skating partner Harley Windsor. Read more 
18.07.20 Russian Police Raid Opposition Leader Navalny’s Office, Home
AP
Moscow police on Friday raided the offices of Foundation for Fighting Corruption, an organization founded by Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, reportedly in connection to a slander case opened against him. Last month, Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a probe into Navalny on the charges of defamation, after the politician slammed people featured in a video promoting the constitutional reform extending President Vladimir Putin’s rule as “corrupt stooges,” “people without consciousness” and “traitors.” Read more 
18.07.20 ‘No Need To Steal Anything!’: Russia Responds To Coronavirus Vaccine Hacking Claims With Hubris And Derision
The Independent
Russia has responded to allegations it attempted to steal British Covid-19 vaccine research with derision, with authorities and state media suggesting the local vaccine was sufficiently ahead of the competition to have “no reason” to snoop. Moscow poured scorn on the language contained in various UK government statements that Russia was “almost certainly” behind the “APT29” hacking group, and that it was “highly likely” the group attempted to hack vaccine development at the University of Oxford in particular. Read more 
18.07.20 Russian Banking Sector Profits Recover In June: Central Bank
Reuters
Profits in Russia’s banking sector rose to 70 billion roubles ($975 million) in June from just 500 million roubles in May, which included some weeks of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the central bank said in a report on Friday. Despite the recovery, the central bank said the June figure was much lower than the average monthly profit in 2019, which stood at around 140 billion roubles. Read more 
18.07.20 Hundreds Of Construction Workers Strike At ‘Gazprom’ Skyscraper In St. Petersburg
Meduza
Construction workers at the site of the Lakhta Center skyscraper in St. Petersburg have gone on strike demanding payment of wage arrears. According to 47news.ru, at least 500 people have joined the strike; most of them are migrant workers from Central Asia. According to a representative for Renaissance Construction, the general contractor in charge of the site, the workers “are insisting on payments that go beyond the scope of their employment contracts,” Interfax reported. The company claims that it doesn’t owe its workers any wage arrears. Read more 
18.07.20 Hundreds Of Construction Workers Strike At ‘Gazprom’ Skyscraper In St. Petersburg
Meduza
Construction workers at the site of the Lakhta Center skyscraper in St. Petersburg have gone on strike demanding payment of wage arrears. According to 47news.ru, at least 500 people have joined the strike; most of them are migrant workers from Central Asia. According to a representative for Renaissance Construction, the general contractor in charge of the site, the workers “are insisting on payments that go beyond the scope of their employment contracts,” Interfax reported. The company claims that it doesn’t owe its workers any wage arrears. Read more 
17.07.20 Police In Moscow Detained Over 130 People During Protests
AP
Police in Moscow detained over 130 people during a protest against the constitutional reform that allows President Vladimir Putin to remain in power until 2036. Moscow police said Thursday they detained 139 protesters and charged 62 of them with violating protest regulations. The OVD-Info rights group that monitors arrests and detentions in Russia put the figure at 147. Several hundred people gathered in central Moscow on Wednesday to rally and leave signatures on a petition contesting the results of a nationwide vote on a set of constitutional amendments that extend Putin’s rule, redistribute executive powers within the government, prioritize Russian law over international law and outlaw same-sex marriage. Read more 
17.07.20 Russia Prepared To Grant Tax Residency To Those Spending 3-6 Months In Russia In 2020
Interfax
The Russian government at its meeting on Thursday has supported amendments to the Russian Tax Code permitting the granting of Russian tax residency in 2020 to individuals who have spent from 3 months to a half-year in the country, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at a government meeting. "In accordance with your instructions, it is being proposed that the draft law be supplemented with a provision that individuals who have been in the territory of the Russian Federation in 2020 from 90 to 182 days inclusively, receive the right to recognize themselves as Russian tax residents in the current year on the basis of the application filed with the tax authorities. The application will be submitted in a free form together with a personal income tax return. This will provide an opportunity to attract to our country citizens who are ready to work here, develop their business and become tax residents," Siluanov said. Read more 
17.07.20 Moscow Court Arrests Four More Suspects In Newborn Trade Case
TASS
Moscow’s Basmanny Court arrested three more people involved in the case of trading in toddlers of surrogate mothers, while putting the fourth under house arrest, court spokeswoman Irina Morozova told TASS. The newly arrested include a gynecologist, an interpreter and a surrogate motherhood center CEO. "The court satisfied the request of the investigation, and put Roman Yemashev, Vladislav Melnikov and Kirill Anisimov into custody, and put Tatiana Blinova under house arrest. All suspects will remain in custody until September 14," the spokeswoman said. Read more 
17.07.20 Arctic Mayor Claims Coronavirus Cases 200% Higher Than Official Count
The Moscow Times
The mayor of Russia’s Arctic city of Norilsk has accused regional authorities of dramatically underreporting coronavirus cases and ignoring the scale of its outbreak, the Tayga.info news website reported Thursday. Mayor Rinat Akhmetchin painted the dire picture in a letter to the governor of the Krasnoyarsk region where Norilsk is located and the chairman of the regional legislature. He claims that Norilsk has 832 coronavirus cases instead of the officially reported 293, a nearly 200% difference, as well as a fivefold increase in community-acquired pneumonia where patients don’t get tested for Covid-19. Read more 
17.07.20 Surveillance Pandemic
Meduza
The Russian authorities organized unprecedented, large-scale surveillance over the country’s citizens during the coronavirus pandemic, says a new report titled “Surveillance Pandemic” from the human rights organization “Agora.” In many cases, this was carried out not only in violation of personal data laws, but also by organizations that cannot and should not be responsible for monitoring. The authorities tracked the whereabouts of citizens throughout the country through the centralized processing of geolocation data from mobile phones. The authors of the report also calculated that at the regional level, 61 of Russia’s federal subjects used additional surveillance technologies: 24 regions introduced some form of digital passes, while 16 used analogue passes in the form of certificates. What’s more, 12 regions used face recognition systems to identify quarantine violators. Much of the data was improperly stored, which led to regular leaks. Read more 
17.07.20 Can I Travel To Russia Now That Quarantine Is Over?
The Moscow Times
As Russia has begun reporting fewer coronavirus infections in the past month, its authorities have made several announcements that appeared to suggest it was reopening its borders to foreigners. This week, authorities said they will lift self-quarantine requirements for arriving citizens and foreigners alike. Starting Wednesday, Russia has also started negotiations with other countries to resume international flights. But does it mean that Russia has opened its doors to foreigners seeking entry into the country? Read more 
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