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26.04.19 Putin Says U.S. Security Guarantees Unlikely To Prompt North Korea To De-Nuclearize
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin said after holding talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday that he thought U.S. security guarantees would probably not be enough to persuade Pyongyang to shut its nuclear program. Putin and Kim held a day of talks on an island off the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok two months after Kim's summit with U.S. President Donald Trump ended in disagreement, cooling hopes of a breakthrough in the decades-old nuclear row. Read more 
26.04.19 China And Russia To Hold Joint Navy Drills Next Week
The Associated Press
China said Thursday that it will hold joint naval drills with Russia next week, in another sign that the countries’ militaries are growing closer in the face of shared opposition to U.S. military dominance. The “Joint Sea 2019” drills will be held off the northern port city of Qingdao, Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said at a monthly briefing. Taking place from Monday to Saturday, they will feature ships and submarines along with fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and marine units. Read more 
26.04.19 Russia's Ukraine Passport Move Aimed To Destabilise, Exacerbate Conflict
Reuters
Russia’s decision to ease the granting of Russian citizenship to people living in separatist regions of Ukraine is another attack by Moscow on Ukrainian sovereignty, the European Union said on Thursday, calling on Russian to stop such actions. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order on Wednesday simplifying the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, prompting calls from Kiev for more international sanctions. Read more 
26.04.19 By Playing Korean Peacemaker, Putin Seeks To Revive Russia’s Far East
The Christian Science Monitor
President Vladimir Putin flew from his Kremlin control center across seven time zones of Russian territory to play host – on his own home turf – to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Pacific port of Vladivostok on Thursday. For Mr. Kim, it was a relatively brief jaunt in his father’s armored train, roughly the distance from Boston to Pittsburgh. Despite – or perhaps because of – those geographic facts, it was a trip well worth making for Mr. Putin. Read more 
26.04.19 Belarus Offers Russia To Reverse Oil Flows To Get Rid Of Contaminated Oil
Reuters
Belarus has made an offer to Russia to reverse oil flows on the Druzhba pipeline to get rid of contaminated oil and start pumping oil via an alternative route, Belarusian state oil concern Belneftekhim said on Thursday. Belneftekhim also said one of its refineries, Naftan, was now getting clean oil from Russia using the alternative route. Read more 
26.04.19 Ukraine Passes Language Restriction, Worsening Dispute With Neighbors
Bloomberg
Lawmakers in Kiev approved a bill boosting the use of Ukrainian across state administration and media, in a move that risks complicating relations with Russia and the West at the same time. While Ukrainian has been the sole official language since 2014 when Kremlin-backed Viktor Yanukovych was toppled from the presidency in deadly street protests, much of the population still speaks Russian. Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014, saying it did so to protect ethnic Russians and Russian speakers. Russia offered on Wednesday its citizenship to separatists in two of Ukraine’s easternmost regions. Read more 
26.04.19 Ukraine Passes Language Law, Irritating President-elect And Russia
Reuters
Ukraine’s parliament approved a law on Thursday that grants special status to the Ukrainian language and makes it mandatory for public sector workers, a move Russia described as divisive and said discriminated against Russian-speakers. The law, which obliges all citizens to know the Ukrainian language and makes it a mandatory requirement for civil servants, soldiers, doctors, and teachers, was championed by outgoing President Petro Poroshenko. Read more 
26.04.19 Russia Offers Passports To People In Eastern Ukraine Territories
BBC News
President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Wednesday that makes it easier for those living in eastern Ukraine's separatist territories to access a Russian passport. The move is seen as a challenge to Volodymyr Zelensky, the former comedian elected president this weekend. In a Facebook post, Mr Zelensky's team labelled Russia "an aggressor state which wages war against Ukraine". Read more 
25.04.19 North Korean Leader Kim Arrives In Russia's Vladivostok
Reuters
A train carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok on Wednesday, a Reuters witness reported, in advance of a summit later this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Earlier on Wednesday Kim crossed the border into Russia by train for his first trip there, aimed at galvanizing support from Russia while nuclear talks with Washington are in limbo. Read more 
25.04.19 Kim Jong-un To Meet Vladimir Putin For Vladivostok Summit
BBC News
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russia's President Vladimir Putin are set for a summit meeting. They are due to meet on Russky island near the city of Vladivostok in Russia's far east on Thursday morning. Russia says they will discuss the Korean peninsula's "nuclear problem" but Mr Kim is also said to be seeking support after talks with the US failed. Read more 
25.04.19 Russia Offers Ukrainians In Conflict Zones Quick Citizenship
The Associated Press
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Wednesday to expedite citizenship applications from Ukrainians who live in parts of Ukraine held by Russia-backed separatists, a move that could hold back a peace process to end years of bloodshed. The decree, which was published on the Kremlin’s website, states that some residents in the parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are under separatist control will have their applications considered in less than three months. Those granted Russian citizenship would have to swear allegiance to Russia. Read more 
25.04.19 Ukraine's Outgoing And New Presidents Denounce Russia Over East Ukraine Passports
Reuters
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday it was unacceptable that residents of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions had no rights, but he said Moscow did not want to create problems for the new Ukrainian leadership. Putin earlier signed an order easing the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of the separatist-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Kiev condemned the move. Read more 
25.04.19 The Secret World Of Russia's North Korean Workers
BBC News
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is preparing for his first-ever summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia is currently home to thousands of North Korean migrant workers whose future remains in the balance - UN sanctions passed in 2017 require them to leave by the end of this year. Both the workers and the companies that employ them are watching to see if progress on the diplomatic front might open a way for them to stay. Tucked away in the courtyard of a discount shopping mall not far from the city centre is one of Moscow's more unlikely tourist attractions - Koryo, a North Korean restaurant. Read more 
25.04.19 Russia To Start Deliveries Of S-400 To Turkey In July
Reuters
Russia will start delivering its S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey in July, the head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said, according to Interfax news agency. “Everything has been already discussed and agreed,” Alexander Mikheev told Interfax.The United States has threatened to impose sanctions if Turkey seals its S-400 deal with Russia. Ankara has said its purchase should not trigger sanctions as Turkey is not an adversary of Washington and remains committed to the NATO alliance. Read more 
25.04.19 Syria And Now Iran: How The U.S. Is Driving Russia South
The Moscow Times
Whether it knows it or not, Washington continues to redraw the political map of the world, dismantling the system it built practically alone and from which it benefited since the end of the Second World War. First, it helped build the European Union as a major global power. With Trump came the novelty that the United States would also like Europe to become a global political and military actor. Read more 
25.04.19 Belarus Says Westbound Transit Of Russian Oil Suspended
Reuters
Belarus said its neighbor Poland stopped accepting deliveries of Russian crude oil via Russia’s Druzhba oil pipeline to central Europe at 2000 GMT on Wednesday, Belarus state news agency Belta said. Transit of Russian oil to Ukraine via Belarus remained intact, Belta reported. Read more 
25.04.19 Kim Jong Un Looks To Putin For Help Dealing With Trump Whiplash
The Moscow Times
Kim Jong Un, like Vladimir Putin, has enjoyed flourishes of bonhomie with Donald Trump only to see the relationship fray over sanctions. Now, the North Korean leader is turning to the Russian president for help. Kim left North Korea by train and crossed into Russia on Wednesday, the Interfax newswire reported, citing an unidentified official. Kim is slated to meet Putin Thursday in Vladivostok for his first summit with the Russian leader since coming to power in 2011. Read more 
24.04.19 Russia's Sberbank Invests In Media Group Rambler
Reuters
Russia’s Sberbank has signed a deal to take a 46.5 percent stake in media company Rambler Group, the lender said on Tuesday without disclosing the cost of the holding. The deal gives Russia’s biggest lender an equal stake to investment holding company A&NN, with Era Capital owning the other 7 percent. Sberbank said the deal meant it would include Rambler’s digital products and services on its platforms. Read more 
24.04.19 Ukraine's Zelensky Plans To Clean Up Parliament And Military
BBC News
Aides to Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky have announced anti-corruption plans, including scrapping MPs' immunity from prosecution and making military purchases transparent. Halyna Yanchenko, a top official at the anti-corruption watchdog Nabu, said "MPs' immunity must be consigned to the past". She spoke on Hromadske TV. Aide Ivan Aparshyn said state defence orders "will be as open as possible". Mr Zelensky, a popular comedian, won with 73% of the vote on Sunday. Read more 
24.04.19 Belarus Suspends Exports Of Light Petroleum Products
Reuters
Belarus suspended exports of light petroleum products to Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday, citing Belarus oil company official Sergei Grib. He said that exports are suspended until the situation with Russian oil is resolved, according to the Interfax news agency. Read more 
24.04.19 Kim Jong-un Heads To Russia For Vladimir Putin Summit
BBC News
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is on his way to the Russian far-east for a summit with President Vladimir Putin. State media say Mr Kim is travelling on his private train. It will be his first talks with the Russian president. The Kremlin says they will meet near the Pacific coast city of Vladivostok on Thursday, and will talk about the Korean peninsula's "nuclear problem". Mr Kim is seeking support after talks with US President Donald Trump collapsed, analysts say. Read more 
24.04.19 Sheremetyevo Airport's Co-owners May Sell 30 Percent Stake
Reuters
Private shareholders in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport may sell a 30 percent stake to raise money for a potential purchase of Russia’s 30.5 percent holding at a later date, the chairman of Sheremetyevo’s board Alexander Ponomarenko told Reuters. Sheremetyevo is Russia’s biggest airport and one of Europe’s busiest with traffic of 46 million people last year. Sheremetyevo Holding company, which controls the business, has around a 66 percent stake in the airport. Read more 
24.04.19 North Korea’s Kim On Way To Russia To Meet Putin On Thursday
The Associated Press
Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a much-anticipated summit Thursday, the Kremlin said, ending weeks of speculation about the meeting’s timing and venue. Preparations for the meeting in Vladivostok, a Russia city on the Pacific, were held in secrecy because of North Korean security concerns, Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov said Tuesday. Read more 
23.04.19 Ukraine President-Elect Zelenskiy’s Positions On Russia
The Moscow Times
Volodymyr Zelenskiy will be inaugurated as Ukraine’s new president in about a month with questions still swirling about his true policy positions toward neighboring Russia. A native Russian speaker with no political experience, Zelenskiy has been accused by critics of having adopted a soft stance toward Russian aggression — including the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Moscow’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. Read more 
23.04.19 Russia's Putin, North Korea's Kim On Track To Meet By End Of April
Reuters
Russia’ President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are on track to meet by the end of April, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
Last week the Kremlin said that Kim Jong Un would travel to Russia this month, announcing the first Russia-North Korea summit since Kim came to power in 2011. Read more 
23.04.19 Ukraine’s Election Result Pleases Both Russia’s Opposition And The Kremlin
The Moscow Times
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian and actor with no political experience, swept to victory on Sunday in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, in a race that has fascinated the country’s looming neighbor to the north. The victory triggered speculation in Russia on Sunday that relations between the neighboring countries might improve. It also presented a moment of hope for Russia’s opposition politicians regarding the country’s next presidential elections, in 2024. Read more 
23.04.19 Call Us: West Scrambles To Talk To Ukraine's New Leader
Reuters
The European Union scrambled to get a call with Ukraine’s president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday as Western powers wondered whether the TV comic would heed their urgings to stick with reforms that they hope can anchor the country beyond the grip of Russia. EU institutional leaders Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker wrote jointly to congratulate the 41-year-old political novice on an easy win over Petro Poroshenko, for five years the West’s champion in Kiev. But they also stressed that they are counting on more democratic reforms and fighting corruption. Read more 
23.04.19 Russia Is Building A New Arctic, With Private Money
The Moscow Times
Russia is considering offering substantial tax breaks to companies that invest in the Arctic, according to Deputy Prime Minister Igor Trutnev. Trutnev last week told a meeting of the Arctic Commission, the government body for Arctic developments, that investors could have their tax burdens reduced as much two thirds for the duration of projects. Read more 
23.04.19 Kim-Putin: North Korean And Russian Leaders 'to Meet For First Time'
BBC News
There is growing speculation that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will travel to Russia this week for his first ever meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Neither date nor time have been officially announced, but Russia has confirmed the two will meet "in the second half of April". Any meeting between the old allies will come at a crucial time for North Korea, after the collapse of February's talks with the US in Hanoi. But both sides will be bringing different agendas to the table in Vladivostok. Read more 
23.04.19 Putin Won’t Congratulate Zelenskiy On Ukraine Presidential Win
The Moscow Times
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not officially congratulate Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his landslide victory, the Kremlin said on Monday. Ukraine has entered uncharted political waters after near final results show Zelenskiy, a comedian, winning Sunday's presidential election by a landslide, dramatically upending the political status quo in the ex-Soviet republic. Read more 
22.04.19 Fed Up With Status Quo, Ukrainians May Elect Comedian In Presidential Run-off
Reuters
Ukrainians vote on Sunday in the second round of an election that could thrust a comedian with no prior political experience into the presidency of a country at war and wanting transformational change. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who plays a fictitious president in a popular TV series, has led opinion polls against the incumbent Petro Poroshenko, whose popularity has been dragged down by patchy efforts to tackle corruption and sliding living standards. Read more 
22.04.19 Comedian Zelensky Wins Presidency By Landslide
BBC News
Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has won a landslide victory in the country's presidential election, exit polls suggest. The polls give the political newcomer, who dominated the first round of voting three weeks ago, more than 70% support. Mr Zelensky, 41, challenged incumbent president Petro Poroshenko who has admitted defeat. The apparent result is being seen as a huge blow to Mr Poroshenko and a rejection of Ukraine's establishment. Read more 
22.04.19 Comedian Zelenskiy Wins Ukrainian Presidential Race By Landslide
Reuters
Ukraine entered uncharted political waters on Sunday after exit polls showed a comedian with no political experience and few detailed policies had easily won enough votes to become the next president of a country at war. The apparent landslide victory of Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 41, is a bitter blow for incumbent Petro Poroshenko who tried to rally Ukrainians around the flag by casting himself as a bulwark against Russian aggression and a champion of Ukrainian identity. Read more 
22.04.19 Ukrainian TV Comic Zelenskiy Wins Presidency In Landslide
The Moscow Times
Ukraine entered uncharted political waters on Sunday after an exit poll showed a comedian with no political experience and few detailed policies had easily won enough votes to become the next president of a country at war. The apparent landslide victory of Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 41, is a bitter blow for incumbent Petro Poroshenko who tried to rally Ukrainians around the flag by casting himself as a bulwark against Russian aggression and a champion of Ukrainian identity. The national exit poll showed Zelenskiy had won 73 percent of the vote with Poroshenko winning just 25 percent. Read more 
22.04.19 Zelensky Unseats Incumbent In Ukraine’s Presidential Election
Washington Post
Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky swept to victory in Ukraine’s presidential election Sunday, an exit poll showed, as millions of voters weary of war and economic hardship rebuked the ruling elites and ushered in fresh uncertainty for their geopolitically pivotal nation. Zelensky, a 41-year-old TV star with no political experience, won 73 percent of the vote in the runoff election, according to national exit poll results broadcast by Ukrainian television. President Petro Poroshenko, who was running for his second five-year term, accepted defeat in a speech soon after the polls closed. Read more 
21.04.19 Ukraine Election: Voters To Choose Between Comic And Tycoon
BBC News
Ukrainians will head to the polls shortly in a run-off election to pick the country's next president. Voters face a stark choice between tycoon Petro Poroshenko, the incumbent president, and television comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, new to politics. The TV celebrity is favourite in the polls, having dominated the first round of voting three weeks ago when 39 candidates were on the ticket. Read more 
21.04.19 U.S. Calls On Countries To Deny Airspace To Russian Planes Destined For Venezuela
The Moscow Times
The U.S. State Department spokesperson has called on countries to “follow Malta’s example” and block Russian military planes en route for Venezuela from using their airspace. On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Malta refused a Russian request to use its airspace to fly military aircraft from Syria to Venezuela on April 4. Zakharova added that Malta did not provide a reason for their decision, the state-run TASS news agency reported. Read more 
21.04.19 Nine In Critical Condition After Fire At Russia's NKNK Petrochemical Complex
Reuters
Nine people were hospitalized in critical condition after a fire engulfed Russia’s Nizhnekamskneftekhim (NKNK) petrochemical complex in the Republic of Tatarstan on Friday, TASS news agency reported citing the local health ministry. A spokesman for the emergencies ministry confirmed that in total 17 people had incurred burns “of different degrees” in the fire in the city’s industrial zone, but he was not able to say if the incident occurred at the plant. Read more 
21.04.19 The Ukrainian Elite Is Preparing For Poroshenko’s Defeat
The Moscow Times
With the second round of the Ukrainian presidential election just a week away, pollsters are predicting that incumbent President Petro Poroshenko will be defeated by actor and political newcomer Volodymyr Zelenskiy. It’s a development that seemed unlikely a year ago. Now, however, it is a reality and it is already shaking up the Ukrainian power vertical. Governors and ministers are looking for contacts with the likely victor and his potential team. And the incumbent president’s political circle has proven to be more of a situational alliance than many observers expected. Read more 
21.04.19 Syria's Assad Discusses Peace Talks, Tartus Port With Russians
Reuters
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met senior officials from his strongest ally Russia in Damascus on Friday and Saturday to discuss upcoming peace talks, renting out Tartus port and trade between the two countries, state media in Syria reported. Russia has helped Assad’s forces to take back most of the country but the eight-year-long war continues. Swathes of the northeast and northwest are out of his control, while sanctions and a fuel shortage are constricting the economy. Read more 
20.04.19 Admitted Russian Agent Butina Asks U.S. Court To Be Lenient
Reuters
Maria Butina, who has admitted to working as a Russian agent to infiltrate an influential U.S. gun rights group and make inroads with conservative activists and Republicans, asked the court to sentence her to time served ahead of her April 26 sentencing, according to court documents. Butina, 30, a former graduate student at American University who publicly advocated for gun rights, pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiring to act as a foreign agent for Russia. She has remained in custody since her arrest in July 2018. Read more 
20.04.19 U.S. Ignored Russia’s Nuclear War Prevention Pact
The Moscow Times
Russia sent the United States a draft joint declaration on how to prevent nuclear war, only to never hear back from Washington, the Kommersant business daily reported on Friday. The U.S. and Russia are suspending the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty this summer. The only U.S.-Russia arms control pact limiting deployed nuclear weapons — the New START — expires in February 2021. Read more 
20.04.19 Rosneft Threatens To Ban Reuters In Russia Over Venezuela Report
The Moscow Times
The Rosneft oil giant has threatened to ban Reuters from operating in Russia after the international news agency released a report saying that Venezuela had sold oil to Russia in an attempt to evade U.S. sanctions. Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has started passing invoices from its oil sales to Rosneft, Reuters reported Friday, citing documents and sources. The alleged scheme is the latest sign of Venezuela's growing dependence on Russia as U.S. sanctions put increasing financial pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Read more 
19.04.19 Russia Bans Oil, Coal Exports To Ukraine
The Moscow Times
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree banning Russian exports of coal, crude oil and oil products to Ukraine, he told government officials in televised comments on Thursday. Starting June 1, the export of products listed in the decree will require a special permit, Interfax reported. The decree will also ban the import into Russia of Ukrainian “engineering, light and metalworking products, which in the past year amounted to almost $250 million,” Medvedev said. Read more 
19.04.19 North Korean Leader Kim To Meet Russia's Putin This Month
Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will travel to Russia this month for talks with President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Thursday, announcing the first Russia-North Korea summit since Kim came to power in 2011. The announcement coincided with a moment of discord in efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to reach a deal with Kim to end nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula. Read more 
19.04.19 An Arctic Fight Is Raging Between Russia’s Two Biggest Oil Companies
The Moscow Times
An oil terminal located on the remote Arctic coast of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug is at the center of a court battle between Russian oil majors Lukoil and Rosneft. The Varandey facility is owned by private company Lukoil and used primarily to export its oil from the nearby Nenets tundra. However, since 2016, state-owned Rosneft has controlled two other regional oil fields that also deliver their production to the terminal. The Trebs and Titov oil fields produce about 2 million tons of oil per year and are owned by Bashneft-Polyus, a joint venture controlled 75.1 percent by Rosneft. The remaining 24.9 percent is owned by Lukoil. Read more 
19.04.19 Russia Says It Will Help Venezuela, Cuba To Weather U.S. Sanctions
Reuters
Russia considers new U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Cuba to be illegal and it plans to do everything to support its allies in Caracas and Havana, RIA news agency cited Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Thursday. U.S. national security adviser John Bolton announced a series of new sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela on Wednesday as the Trump administration sought to boost pressure on Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and the countries that support him. Read more 
19.04.19 Joseph Stalin: Why So Many Russians Like The Soviet Dictator
BBC News
Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin terrorised his own people, but for the first time a survey suggests that most Russians view him favourably. The respected Levada Center polled Russians aged 18 and above in 137 towns and cities in March. The result: 51% respect, like or admire Stalin. In the 1930s Stalin's communist terror engulfed the USSR, sending millions to labour camps or firing squads. Read more 
19.04.19 Russia And NATO Both Think Time Is On Their Side
The Moscow Times
It would be easy to be alarmed. Right after General Curtis Scaparotti, Supreme Commander Allied Forces Europe, warned that the greatest risk was a lack of communication and mutual comprehension between Moscow and NATO, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko announced that all military and political cooperation with the Western alliance had effectively ended. This is undoubtedly not encouraging or helpful news, but is it truly a slide towards potential conflict? Or more a symptom of an underlying disconnect in relations? Read more 
19.04.19 U.S., Russia Say Cannot Support A U.N. Call For Libya Truce
Reuters
The United States and Russia both said on Thursday they could not support a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Libya at this time, diplomats said, as mortar bombs crashed down on a suburb of the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Russia objects to the British-drafted resolution blaming eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar for the latest flare-up in violence when his Libyan National Army (LNA) advanced to the outskirts of Tripoli earlier this month, diplomats said. Read more 
19.04.19 Ukraine Election: What A TV Box Set May Tell Us About The Future
BBC News
The likely winner of Sunday's presidential election in Ukraine hasn't run a conventional campaign, so reporters have been looking for clues about the future in a TV drama in which he plays the leading role. There aren't many jobs where you can put your feet up and work your way through a TV box set without feeling the slightest bit guilty. But here in Ukraine, putting in the hours in front of the screen has become one way of trying to understand what has been at times been a baffling election. "How far through it are you?" has become a familiar refrain, muttered between journalists on the fringe of campaign events. Read more 
19.04.19 Venezuela Skirts U.S. Sanctions By Funneling Oil Sales Via Russia
Reuters
President Nicolas Maduro is funneling cashflow from Venezuelan oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft as he seeks to evade U.S. sanctions designed to oust him from power, according to sources and documents reviewed by Reuters. The sales are the latest sign of the growing dependence of Venezuela’s cash-strapped government on Russia as the United States tightens a financial noose around Maduro, who it describes as a dictator. Read more 
19.04.19 Abramovich Partner’s Marijuana Business Returns Him To Forbes’ Richest Russians List
The Moscow Times
A marijuana business has helped Roman Abramovich’s associate Andrei Bloch return to Forbes magazine’s list of richest Russians. Bloch briefly served as president of oil producer Sibneft from 1998 until Abramovich sold it to Russia’s state energy firm Gazprom in 2005. Bloch and another partner bought Abramovich’s Unimilk dairy business in 2004 — which merged with French food group Danone in 2010 — then sold it in 2016. Read more 
19.04.19 Robot News Presenter Causes A Stir On Russian TV
BBC News
Russian state news channel Rossiya 24 has introduced a robot presenter for some of its bulletins. 'Alex' has already caused a stir, with some viewers complaining about his appearance and accusing him of peddling political propaganda. The robot was developed by Promobot in the city of Perm. His silicon head is modelled on the face of the company's co-founder Alexei Yuzhakov. At the moment, the robot anchor can only move his facial features and neck. Read more 
19.04.19 No Chestnut Trees, No Honey — Beekeeping At Risk In Russia's South
The Moscow Times
A sharp decline in chestnut trees caused by a parasitic fungus in Russia's southern Krasnodar region is threatening the area's honey production, according to local beekeepers and scientists. Asya Minasyan and her husband say they used to produce 500 kilograms of honey per year, but that the situation now is changing rapidly. "The bee is basically our life," Minasyan said. Read more 
18.04.19 Ukraine Investigates Presidential Front-runner Zelenskiy’s Alleged Russian Financing
The Moscow Times
Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) is reportedly investigating allegations that presidential front-runner Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s campaign could be financed by Kremlin-linked figures. Polls have forecast a heavy defeat for President Petro Poroshenko in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential elections on Sunday. Zelenskiy, a comedian and actor with no political experience, won twice as many votes as Poroshenko in the first round on March 31. Read more 
18.04.19 Russia Denies Recovering Remains Of Israeli Spy Cohen
The Associated Press
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has strongly rejected Israeli media reports claiming that Russian officials have taken the remains of legendary Israeli spy Eli Cohen out of Syria, where he was executed more than five decades ago. Cohen infiltrated the top echelons of Syria’s leadership in the early 1960s and obtained top-secret intelligence before he was caught and publicly executed in 1965. Israeli media reported earlier this week that a Russian delegation took Cohen’s remains out of Syria. Read more 
18.04.19 Russian Scientists Are Developing ‘Lasso’ To Round Up Space Debris
The Moscow Times
Russian scientists are proposing pulling space debris out of Earth’s orbit using a device that has been called a “space lasso.” Around 7,200 metric tons of space debris capable of damaging satellites or spacecraft currently orbit the Earth, scientists estimate. Several proposals on how to deal with the growing issue have been collected ahead of the three-day space debris conference hosted by the Russian Academy of Sciences that starts on Wednesday. Read more 
18.04.19 Foreign Companies Queue Up To Sue Cash-strapped Turkmenistan
Reuters
A deal for Russia’s Gazprom to resume buying gas from Turkmenistan came not a moment too soon for the Central Asian state because it is so short of foreign currency that a number of foreign companies have taken it to court over unpaid bills. Turkmenistan’s economy had boomed until 2015, supported by high energy prices and gas exports, and the government awarded megaproject contracts for new factories and highways. Read more 
18.04.19 Russia Completes Delivery Of Su-35 Fighter Jets To China For $2.5Bln
The Moscow Times
Russia has completed the delivery of Su-35 combat aircraft to China in defiance of U.S. sanctions, Russia’s military and technical cooperation agency told state media Tuesday. Russia and China signed a $2.5 billion deal on the delivery of 24 Sukhoi Su-35s in 2015, making it the first foreign buyer of the fourth-generation multirole air superiority fighter. The United States imposed sanctions on the Chinese military last September for buying 10 Su-35s in 2017 and missile systems in 2018 from Russia. Read more 
18.04.19 Ukraine Election Rivals Trade Taunts And Media Tricks
BBC News
Slick online ads and attention-grabbing antics have spiced up Ukraine's presidential election, now shaped by the frontrunner - popular TV comic Volodymyr Zelensky. Like heavyweight boxers, he and billionaire rival Petro Poroshenko - the incumbent president - have taunted each other over holding a public debate in Ukraine's biggest sports stadium. Mr Zelensky, 41, insisted that they both undergo drug and alcohol tests before such a debate could take place. Mr Poroshenko, 53, was unfazed and agreed. Read more 
17.04.19 Russia Recognizes New Authorities In Sudan
Reuters
Moscow recognizes the new authorities in Sudan after President Omar al-Bashir was ousted, Russia’s RIA news agency cited Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov as saying on Tuesday. The Sudanese group that led protests against the deposed president called on Monday for the transitional military council that has taken power to be disbanded and for a new civilian interim ruling council to be formed. Read more 
17.04.19 Polish FM: Russia Expels Polish Diplomat In ‘reciprocity’
The Associated Press
Poland’s foreign ministry says Russia is expelling an employee of Poland’s consulate in the Siberian city of Irkutsk. Ministry spokeswoman Ewa Suwara told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Russia’s declaration of the Pole as “persona non grata” was a move of “reciprocity.” Read more 
17.04.19 U.S. Diplomat For North Korea To Discuss Denuclearization With Russia
Reuters
U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun will visit Moscow this week to discuss Pyongyang’s denuclearization, the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Tuesday. Biegun will meet with Russian officials in Moscow on Wednesday and Thursday, the department said. Read more 
17.04.19 Putin Chooses High-Speed Railway Line To St. Petersburg Over Nizhny Novgorod
The Moscow Times
Russian President Vladimir Putin favors a plan to build a high-speed railway line from Moscow to his home city of St. Petersburg rather than Nizhny Novgorod, the Vedomosti business daily reported on Tuesday. Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin pushed for the high-speed railway to St. Petersburg to be built at the end of last year, according to Vedomosti, saying that a rail journey time faster than the average flight time of about two hours would cut aviation overload. Read more 
17.04.19 Russia's Gazprom Neft Sees Global Oil Deal Ending In Mid-2019
Reuters
Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom, expects the global oil deal between OPEC and its allies to end in the first half of the year, a company official said on Tuesday. Vadim Yakovlev, first deputy CEO of Gazprom Neft, said the global oil alliance should still remain in place, at least in the form of coordination between the world’s top global oil producers. Read more 
17.04.19 Most Russians View Assange As Freedom Fighter
The Moscow Times
Most Russians view WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a freedom fighter, according to a state-funded poll published a week after the Australian’s arrest in Britain. WikiLeaks published hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables that laid bare often critical U.S. appraisals of world leaders, from Russian President Vladimir Putin to members of the Saudi royal family. British police arrested Assange on Thursday at Washington’s request after Ecuador terminated his asylum at its London embassy, where he had lived since 2012. Read more 
17.04.19 Russia's Deripaska Ready To Give Up Control Of Van Maker GAZ As Sanctions Bite
Reuters
Germany’s Daimler and some others have stopped dealing with sanctions-hit van maker GAZ, controlled by Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, he told reporters, adding he was ready to give up control of the company. Deripaska and some of the businesses which he controls were hit by U.S. sanctions a year ago, when Washington imposed sweeping measures on some of Russia’s biggest companies and business figures to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other “malign activity.” Read more 
17.04.19 Notre Dame Fire Symbolizes Europe's Decline, Russian Commentators Say
The Moscow Times
Russian condolences poured in after a fire tore through the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris late on Monday, but some commentators in the country said the inferno symbolized the decline of Europe. Firefighters doused the smoldering ruins of the eight-centuries-old Gothic cathedral with water on Tuesday as investigators tried to establish what started the fire, Reuters reported. The blaze consumed the roof and caused the cathedral’s spire to collapse before firefighters brought the flames under control in eight hours, saving its bell towers and outer walls. Read more 
17.04.19 Russian Lawmakers Approve New Internet Law
Reuters
Russia’s lower house of parliament approved on Tuesday the third reading of a draft law that aims to increase Moscow’s sovereignty over its Internet segment and defend against foreign meddling, Interfax agency reported. The bill must now be approved by parliament’s upper house and the presidency before passing into law. Read more 
17.04.19 Russia Jails Norwegian Frode Berg For Spying On Submarines
BBC News
A Moscow court has sentenced a 63-year-old Norwegian, Frode Berg, to 14 years in a strict-regime labour camp for spying on Russian navy submarines. Berg, arrested in Moscow in 2017, denied the accusation. He formerly worked as a guard on the Norwegian-Russian border, and had been actively promoting closer ties. Berg admitted acting as a courier for Norwegian intelligence, but said he had little knowledge of the mission. The case remains shrouded in secrecy. Berg's lawyer, Ilya Novikov, said his client would not appeal against the verdict but would seek a pardon from President Vladimir Putin. Read more 
16.04.19 Turkmen Gas Flows To Russia Again After Three-year Standoff
Reuters
Turkmenistan has resumed natural gas exports to Russia after a three-year suspension, Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Monday, confirming a report by Turkmen news website Orient.tm. “Supplies are taking place,” Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said. Neither Gazprom nor the Turkmen media report provided any details on price or volumes. The Turkmen government could not be immediately reached for comment. Read more 
16.04.19 Russian Priest Posted To Remote Village Over Wife's 'sin'
BBC News
An Orthodox priest in Russia's Urals region has been posted to a remote village as punishment for his wife's participation in a local beauty pageant during Lent. Oksana Zotova, who runs a beauty salon in the city of Magnitogorsk, won the Miss Sensuality prize at the contest, and attracted a wave of criticism after an anonymous account on Russian social news aggregator Pikabu revealed that she was the wife of a priest. Read more 
16.04.19 Russia Blocks News Site For Anti-Putin Graffiti Under New Law
Reuters
Russian authorities blocked a regional news website over the weekend over a report about graffiti insulting Vladimir Putin, its chief editor said, under a new ban on insulting officials online. The legislation, which Putin signed into law last month, allows authorities to block sites that carry content deemed to show “blatant disrespect”. Read more 
16.04.19 Russia Demands US Release Mom Convicted Of Taking Her Kids
The Associated Press
Russia is demanding that the U.S. release a Russian citizen who was convicted of kidnapping for moving her children from the U.S. to Russia amid a divorce. Bogdana Alexandrovna Osipova, who is referred to by her married name of Mobley in court documents, was convicted in Kansas last month of one count of international parental kidnapping and two counts of attempting to extort money. Ospivoa, 38, faces up to 20 years in prison on each extortion count and up to three years on the kidnapping count at her May 20 sentencing hearing. Read more 
16.04.19 Russia Has Ceased ‘All’ Cooperation With NATO
The Moscow Times
Russia has stopped all cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in an interview with state media on Monday. The Western alliance suspended military and civilian cooperation with Russia in the spring of 2014 in response to Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Several disputes, including a naval standoff in the Kerch Strait and the U.S. withdrawal from a Cold War-era nuclear treaty, have further strained ties between Russia and the 70-year-old bloc. Read more 
16.04.19 Billionaire Sergiy Tigipko Investigated Over Abduction Of UK Grandchildren16
BBC News
One of Ukraine's richest men is being investigated by Scotland Yard over the abduction of his two British grandchildren from the UK to Ukraine. Banker and industrialist Sergiy Tigipko helped his daughter Ganna defy High Court orders to bring her children back to the UK from Kiev, a judge has ruled. The court had ordered Ms Tigipko back to London, where the children's British father lives, so they could see him. Sergiy and Ganna can be named after an exceptional decision by a judge. Read more 
16.04.19 Russia To Send Soldiers To Central African Republic As Part Of U.N. Force
Reuters
Russia will send up to 30 military personnel to Central African Republic as part of a U.N mission to help stabilize the country, according to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Monday. The decree said the Russian contingent would include military observers, staff officers and military communications specialists. Moscow has already sent military equipment to CAR and Russian instructors are on the ground helping train the country’s armed forces. Read more 
15.04.19 Russia’s Consumers Still Glum But Businesses Becoming Optimistic For 2019
The Moscow Times
Consumer confidence ticked up in the first quarter of this year by a mere percentage point. The index essentially only rose from “really despondent” to “little hope things will get any better.” On the other hand, business people in Russia became the most optimistic they’ve been in over two years. The Russian state’s quarterly survey of consumer confidence rose from -17 percent in the last quarter of last year to -16 percent at the end of the first quarter of this year. That is a far better showing than the low of -32 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2015 in the midst of Russia’s “silent crisis.” However, following the growing optimism that spread in 2017, the population’s confidence level suffered a setback in 2018, falling to -17 percent at the end of the year. Read more 
15.04.19 US-Russia Chill Stirs Worry About Stumbling Into Conflict
The Associated Press
It has the makings of a new Cold War, or worse. The deep chill in U.S.-Russian relations is stirring concern in some quarters that Washington and Moscow are in danger of stumbling into an armed confrontation that, by mistake or miscalculation, could lead to nuclear war. American and European analysts and current and former U.S. military officers say the nuclear superpowers need to talk more. A foundational arms control agreement is being abandoned and the last major limitation on strategic nuclear weapons could go away in less than two years. Unlike during the Cold War, when generations lived under threat of a nuclear Armageddon, the two militaries are barely on speaking terms. Read more 
15.04.19 Poroshenko Debates Empty Podium As Zelensky Stays Away
BBC News
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has debated with an empty podium after his rival Volodymyr Zelensky - a TV star and comedian- failed to appear. Mr Poroshenko spoke alone to thousands of people in the capital Kiev's Olympic Stadium. The two men had agreed to the televised debate last week, but failed to agree on the date it would take place. Mr Zelensky favoured this coming Friday, two days before they go head to head in the election run-off. Read more 
15.04.19 Russia’s In-System Opposition Is Under Attack
The Moscow Times
The ruling party’s declining ratings and protest votes for spoiler candidates have put the in-system opposition in crisis. Instead of acknowledging its own failures, the Kremlin only sees the successes of the in-system opposition candidates, and goes on the offensive. The Central Election Commission has refused to transfer a parliamentary seat left vacant following the death of the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Zhores Alferov to fellow Communist Party member and former presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin, claiming that he failed to disclose foreign bank accounts when running for parliament. Read more 
14.04.19 Russia, OPEC May Ditch Oil Deal To Fight For Market Share
Reuters
Russia and OPEC may decide to boost production to fight for market share with the United States but this would push oil prices as low as $40 per barrel, TASS news agency ?ited Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying on Saturday. “There is a dilemma. What should we do with OPEC: should we lose the market, which is being occupied by the Americans, or quit the deal?” Anton Siluanov, speaking in Washington, said, TASS reported. Read more 
14.04.19 Putin’s Melody Is No Longer Music To Russians’ Ears
The Moscow Times
If Vladimir Putin has anything to fear, it’s that Russians will forget how to dance. This is perhaps a surprising metaphor, but it may help to better understand why the Russian president’s approval ratings have fallen. According to Levada Center surveys, approval of Putin’s performance as president fell to 64 percent in January 2019 and has remained at that level ever since. This is 25 percentage points lower than Putin’s all-time high (recorded in June 2015) and only three percentage points above his all-time low (recorded in November 2013). Read more 
14.04.19 Police Open Fire After Car 'driven At Officers' In London
BBC News
Officers opened fire in west London on Saturday morning during an incident involving a car that was colliding with vehicles, the Metropolitan Police has said. The Ukrainian embassy said its ambassador's vehicle was "deliberately rammed" as it sat parked outside the building in Holland Park. When officers arrived on the scene, a car was "driven at them", the Met said. Officers used firearms and a Taser before arresting a man in his 40s. Read more 
14.04.19 Alleged Islamic State Members Killed During FSB Raid In Siberia
The Moscow Times
Two suspected Islamic State members were killed during a shootout in the Siberian town of Tyumen following a raid by the Federal Security Service (FSB). Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Commitee released footage in the early hours of Saturday showing security measures around the streets where the raid took place. According to the committee, the FSB obtained information about two suspected Islamic State members hiding in a house in the town on Friday, with intelligence suggesting the duo were planning to commit an attack. Read more 
13.04.19 Pompeo Slams China, Russia Involvement In Venezuela
Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday accused China of aiding Venezuela’s economic collapse by bankrolling President Nicolas Maduro’s government and said Russian troop presence in the country was an “obvious provocation.” “China and others are being hypocritical in calling for ‘non-intervention’ in Venezuela’s affairs,” Pompeo said in a speech in Chile’s capital. “Their own financial interventions have helped destroy the country.” Read more 
13.04.19 Putin’s Salary Halved In 2018
The Moscow Times
President Vladimir Putin earned less than half in 2018 than he did the previous year, the Kremlin announced on Friday. Putin earned 18.7 million rubles ($291,000) in 2017, the state-run RIA Novosti news outlet quoted a Kremlin announcement as saying. His pay in 2018 fell to 8.6 million rubles ($134,000). Read more 
13.04.19 Russia Finds Facebook Failed To Provide Information On Data
Reuters
A court in Russia fined Facebook on Friday for failing to tell authorities where it stores Russian user data, Russian news agencies reported, a ruling that highlights wrangling between tech giants and Moscow as it ramps up Internet controls. The court fined Facebook 3,000 roubles ($47) for not providing information in line with legislation that came into force in 2015 requiring social media companies to store user data on servers located in Russia. Read more 
13.04.19 Russia To Send 'Outstanding Citizens' To Space For Free
The Moscow Times
Russia’s state space agency plans to send “outstanding citizens” to the International Space Station (ISS) at no cost in exchange for their achievements, the agency’s head announced on Thursday. The Roscosmos space agency plans to send tourists to the ISS in late 2021 under a deal signed with the U.S. tourism firm Space Adventures. Dmitry Rogozin, the head Roscosmos, has vowed to bring tourists to the ISS in less time than a Moscow-Brussels flight after a cargo spacecraft set a record last summer to reach the station. Read more 
13.04.19 Russia Cashes In As European Oil Refiners Pay For U.S. Sanctions
Reuters
European refiners are paying the price for U.S. oil sanctions on Venezuela and Iran as they scramble to replace the sour crude Washington has blocked from the global market with increasingly expensive Russian oil, trading sources said and data showed. Compounding the impact of sanctions, OPEC members have mainly cut sour crude output as part of their deal with allied producers to boost oil prices while a large, new refinery, designed to run on sour oil, has just started up in Turkey. Read more 
13.04.19 ‘They Have The Cheek To Lecture Us About Freedom Of The Press?’: Russia Responds To Julian Assange Arrest With Defiance
The Independent
In the 24 hours since British police arrested Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorian embassy, Russia has shown a defiant and mocking face to the west. Speaking at his daily press conference on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the WikiLeaks founder was an “independent informer” who was being “persecuted”. “From our point of view, [the arrest] does not correspond with the ideals of free media or their immunity,” he said. Read more 
12.04.19 Russia Moves To Impose Fines On Drug Cheats
Reuters
Russia’s parliament on Thursday approved draft legislation that would impose fines of up to 50,000 rubles ($775) on athletes found to have used banned performance-enhancing drugs. Russia has been rocked by several sporting bans in recent years after international investigations found evidence of widespread, state-sponsored doping in athletics and a string of other sports. Read more 
12.04.19 Russian Officials Condemn Julian Assange's Arrest In London
The Moscow Times
Russian officials have spoken out against Britain’s arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, expressing hopes that the whistleblower’s rights will be respected. Assange was arrested by London's Metropolitan Police after Ecuador withdrew his asylum which had allowed him to take refuge in the country's embassy in the United Kingdom since 2012. A video widely shared on social media showed Assange being dragged out of the embassy into a police van. Read more 
12.04.19 Nord Stream 2 Delay 'trump Card' In Russia-Ukraine Gas Talks
Reuters
Construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany is bound to face further long delays, forcing Moscow to come to an agreement with Ukraine on future gas transits, a senior EU official said on Thursday. The 11 billion euro ($12 billion) project to build a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany has come under fire from the United States and several eastern European and Nordic countries, which fear it will undermine Ukraine, and its gas transit revenues, and increase the EU’s reliance on Russian gas. Read more 
12.04.19 Belarus Leader Blasts Ally Russia For ‘insolent’ Practices
The Associated Press
The president of Belarus on Thursday threatened to retaliate against Russia for what he called its “insolent” trade restrictions. The statement by President Alexander Lukashenko reflected simmering tensions between the former Soviet neighbors. Russia and Belarus are allies with close political, economic and military ties, but they regularly engage in vociferous trade arguments. Read more 
12.04.19 Russian Court Frees U.S. Investor Calvey From Jail
Reuters
Russian court released U.S. investor Michael Calvey on Thursday after two months in jail and placed him under house arrest, softening his treatment in a fraud case that has rattled the business community. Calvey, founder of the Baring Vostok private equity group, was detained in February pending a trial on embezzlement charges that he denies and that he says are being used to pressure him in a corporate dispute over control of a Russian bank. Read more 
12.04.19 Russia's Hypersonic Ballistic Missile And Laser System In Final Tests
The Moscow Times
Russia is entering the final testing phase of its nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile dubbed Satan-2, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday. Russia announced plans in 2013 to develop the ICBM to replace a Cold War standby known in the West as “Satan,” or the RS-20B Voyevoda in Russia. Putin unveiled Satan-2 with an array of other nuclear-capable weapons at his annual speech to both chambers of parliament in March 2018. Read more 
12.04.19 Russia Moves To Expand Government Control Of Internet
The Associated Press
Russian lawmakers approved Thursday a bill that would expand government authority over the internet and whose opponents fear heralds widespread censorship. The bill would install equipment to route Russian internet traffic through servers in the country. That would increase the powers of state agencies and make it harder for users to circumvent government restrictions. Read more 
12.04.19 Russian Lawmakers Approve Second Reading Of 'sovereign' Internet Bill
Reuters
Russian lawmakers backed tighter Internet controls on Thursday to defend against foreign meddling, in a preliminary vote on draft legislation that critics say could disrupt Russia’s Internet and be used to stifle dissent. Shrugging off an outcry from opposition politicians and rights activists, the 450-seat lower chamber of parliament voted in a second reading to pass a largely unchanged version of the bill that aims to beef up Russia’s Internet “sovereignty”. Read more 
11.04.19 U.S. Warns Its Citizens Of Kidnapping Risks In Russia
The Moscow Times
Americans traveling to some parts of Russia are at risk of being kidnapped, the U.S. State Department said in an updated travel advisory on Tuesday. Russia was listed alongside Sudan and Niger as one of the most dangerous countries for U.S. travelers in the State Department’s new risk-based system in January 2018. Moscow dismissed the system — which upgraded Russia alongside Italy, Spain and France in December 2018 — as a scare tactic at the time. Read more 
11.04.19 Russia And China Are Outwitting America
Washington Post
With U.S. politics as polarized as at any point in modern history, it would seem an unlikely moment for a new bipartisan consensus about U.S. foreign policy to emerge. Yet that’s precisely what has happened over the past 18 months, as Democrats and Republicans alike have embraced the idea of “great-power competition,” with China and Russia as a common framework for thinking and talking about the world. Read more 
11.04.19 Russia Delivers Flamethrower Systems To Saudi Arabia
The Moscow Times
Saudi Arabia has received its first batch of heavy flamethrower systems from Russia, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday. Russia signed a deal to supply its “Sunburn” military equipment to Saudi Arabia in 2017. First developed in 2001, the “Sunburn” heavy flamethrower systems’ design was based on the framework of a Soviet T-72 battle tank. Read more 
11.04.19 Shell Exits Gazprom-led LNG Project In Russia
Reuters
Royal Dutch Shell has decided to exit a Baltic liquefied natural gas (LNG) project led by Russian state gas major Gazprom on the Russian Baltic coast. The development comes as Western firms struggle to expand in Russia because of pressure from sanctions imposed by the United States, while for Gazprom it could mean limited access to Shell’s technology as well as the need to fund the project without the help of the Anglo-Dutch major. Read more 
11.04.19 Russian Lawmakers Pass Law Banning Hostels In Apartments
The Moscow Times
Russian senators have passed a bill on Wednesday banning hostels in residential buildings, sending the bill to President Vladimir Putin’s desk to be signed into law. Hoteliers have warned that the ban could shutter up to 40 percent of hostels in Moscow and 80 percent in St. Petersburg, costing 16 billion rubles ($243 million) of losses in yearly tax revenue. NGOs had said that the ban could criminalize an estimated 10,000 apartment owners who rent out their properties on Airbnb in Moscow. Read more 
11.04.19 Detained US Investor In Russia May Get House Arrest
The Associated Press
Russian law enforcement has applied to have detained U.S. investor Michael Calvey released on house arrest pending a trial on charges of embezzlement. The Moscow City Court says the Investigative Committee, a law enforcement agency, filed an application to be reviewed Thursday regarding Calvey and a Russian colleague. Read more 
11.04.19 Russia Jails Last FSB Scandal Suspect For Treason
The Moscow Times
A former agent of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has been sentenced to six years in maximum-security prison on charges of treason in the agency’s worst scandal in recent history. Ex-FSB operative Dmitry Dokuchayev was the last of four high-profile figures to receive treason sentences. All four were arrested in Russia in December 2016 shortly after the U.S. accused Russia of trying to influence its presidential election through hacking. Read more 
10.04.19 European Court Rules Russia Violated Rights Of Opposition Leader Navalny
Reuters
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Russia violated the rights of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by placing him under house arrest in 2014 and imposing other restrictive measures on him. Navalny was held under house arrest for 10 months from February 2014 while he and his brother Oleg were investigated for embezzlement in a case that his supporters called politically motivated. Read more 
10.04.19 Putin: Russia Knows Mueller Probe ‘gave Birth To A Mouse’
The Associated Press
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday mocked U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Kremlin interference in the 2016 presidential election, saying “a mountain gave birth to a mouse.” In his first comments since Mueller finished his probe, Putin sought to cast the 22-month investigation as a failure and disregarded the special counsel’s exposure of a Russian operation to put Donald Trump in the White House. Read more 
10.04.19 Russia Asks Interpol To Arrest Kremlin Critic Bill Browder Again
Reuters
Russia has asked Interpol for the seventh time to arrest Bill Browder, a London-based Kremlin critic who leads a campaign to punish Russian officials for the 2009 death of his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, according to a letter seen by Reuters. Once the biggest foreign money manager in Moscow, Browder has become one of the most vociferous Western critics of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, Russia’s preeminent leader since 1999. Read more 
10.04.19 Putin Speaks On ‘Witch Hunt’ Mueller Investigation
The Moscow Times
President Vladimir Putin has commented publicly for the first time on U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s alleged collusion with President Donald Trump’s campaign. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied claims that it interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Last month, Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation concluded that there was no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, according to a summary of its findings. Read more 
10.04.19 Russia's MTS Doubles Estimate Of Potential Losses In Turkmenistan
Reuters
Russia’s top mobile phone operator MTS has doubled its estimated losses from a long-running dispute with Turkmenistan to $1.5 billion, it said on Tuesday. The company was forced to suspend services in the Central Asian republic in 2017 after the state telecoms provider cut it off from its network. MTS, part of the Sistema conglomerate, filed a request for arbitration against Turkmenistan in July. At that time, it estimated the loss caused by the dispute at at least $750 million. Read more 
10.04.19 As New Channels Emerge, Russia Plans Ambitious Arctic Expansion
The Christian Science Monitor
Russia keeps expanding its sphere of influence – this time, north. As shrinking polar ice creates new opportunities for resource exploration, Russia, the U.S., and other countries have been jockeying for jurisdiction in a region owned by no country. President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday put forward an ambitious program to secure Russia's foothold in the Arctic, including efforts to build new ports and other infrastructure facilities and expand an icebreaker fleet. Speaking at the Arctic forum in St. Petersburg attended by leaders of Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, Mr. Putin said that Russia plans to dramatically increase cargo shipments across the Arctic sea route. Read more 
10.04.19 Rebel Leader Says East Ukraine Wants To Join Russia
The Moscow Times
The head of one of eastern Ukraine’s breakaway regions has said his separatist-held republic wants to join Russia as a full-fledged member. The Donetsk and Luhansk regions, collectively known as the Donbass, are combat zones between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian military in a conflict that broke out in April 2014. More than 13,000 people have been killed in the war, and the sides regularly accuse each other of violating an internationally brokered ceasefire there. Read more 
10.04.19 U.S. Aid Agency Plans 'framework' To Counteract Russia Influence Globally
Reuters
The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development said on Tuesday the agency would soon unveil an effort to try to use U.S. assistance to counteract Russian influence around the world. “USAID will soon unveil a Framework to help us counter malign Kremlin influence, especially in Europe and Eurasia,” Mark Green said at a hearing of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. Read more 
09.04.19 Russia Signals OPEC And Allies Could Raise Oil Output From June
Reuters
One of the key Russian officials to foster a supply pact with OPEC, Kirill Dmitriev, signaled on Monday that Russia wanted to raise oil output when it meets with OPEC in June because of improving market conditions and falling stockpiles. Dmitriev, head of Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF, was the first Russian official to predict a deal with OPEC in 2016 and since then has become a key defender of the pact despite pressure from domestic oil firms to drop the agreement. Read more 
09.04.19 Putin’s Russia Feels Increasingly Like A Fortress Under Siege
Washington Post
In October 1998, a court in St. Petersburg began hearings in a case against Alexander Nikitin, a retired Russian naval officer who alerted the world to the environmental dangers of a decaying nuclear submarine fleet in Russia’s far north. For partnering with a Norwegian environmental group on a report on nuclear safety, Nikitin was charged with “revealing state secrets.” He became the first person in post-Soviet Russia to be designated by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience. Read more 
09.04.19 Russia Decides To Free Captive Whales After Outcry
Reuters
Russian authorities have decided to free nearly 100 whales held in cages in Russia’s Far East, the governor of Russia’s Primorsky Region said on Monday, the TASS news agency reported. Images of the whales, kept in cramped enclosures in a bay near the Sea of Japan port town of Nakhodka, first appeared last year, triggering a wave of criticism. Read more 
09.04.19 Most Russians Prefer Council Of Europe Membership
The Moscow Times
A majority of Russians support their country’s membership in the Council of Europe (CoE) human rights watchdog, according to two surveys published Monday. Russia was suspended from the CoE parliamentary assembly in 2014 in protest of Moscow's behavior toward Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. In response, Russia halted annual payments to the France-based human rights body — a contribution of approximately 7 percent of the CoE budget. Read more 
09.04.19 Russian Film Director Kirill Serebrennikov Gets Bail In Fraud Case
BBC News
Russian theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov has been released on bail after being under house arrest since 2017 on controversial embezzlement charges. The 49-year-old is accused of embezzling about $2m (£1.5m) in public money from a theatre project. Mr Serebrennikov has been a prominent critic of arts censorship in Russia. He maintains his innocence and his supporters say the case is politically motivated. Read more 
09.04.19 Russian Plane Production Plummeted In 2018
The Moscow Times
Russia’s aircraft production has dropped by 13.5 percent in 2018 following two years of growth because of what experts say is a combined effect of U.S. sanctions and lower demand for warplanes. The decline in civil and military aircraft, helicopter, spacecraft and intercontinental ballistic missile manufacturing follows a period of annual growth between 9 and 20 percent in 2014-17, according to official data cited by the RBC news website Saturday. Read more 
09.04.19 Ford Workers In Russia Protest Planned Closure
The Associated Press
Ford workers in Russia have started industrial action over plans to close a plant including stopping work if there are any equipment problems. Mikhail Sergeyev, head of a trade union which represents around a third of the St. Petersburg plant’s 900-strong workforce, told The Associated Press on Monday the so-called work-to-rule will continue until Ford begins negotiates over redundancy terms. Under work-to-rule, workers abide strictly to the terms of their contracts. Read more 
08.04.19 All Would Have Died If Russia Was Behind Salisbury Attack
The Moscow Times
A British man whose partner died after being exposed to nerve agent Novichok was told by Russia's ambassador that Moscow could not have been behind the attacks because they would have "killed everyone," he told the Sunday Mirror newspaper. Charlie Rowley, who was also exposed to Novichok after coming across a perfume bottle contaminated with the nerve agent last year, met Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko on Saturday to ask him why Moscow had killed his girlfriend. Read more 
08.04.19 Charlie Rowley: Novichok Victim Meets Russian Ambassador
BBC News
Novichok poisoning victim Charlie Rowley has said he "didn't really get any answers" after meeting Russia's ambassador in London. The 45-year-old's partner, Dawn Sturgess, died after being exposed to the nerve agent used to attack ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Mr Rowley visited the Russian Embassy after the Sunday Mirror arranged the meeting with Alexander Yakovenko. But he said the diplomat told him Russia was not behind the attack. Read more 
08.04.19 Elections In Ukraine And Slovakia Offer A Glimpse Into Russia’s Future
The Moscow Times
The presidential elections that took place in Ukraine and Slovakia, a day apart, served as a lesson for European countries and for Russia; a potential indicator of their own political future. Years of disappointment with the establishment has given had voters seeking fundamental change, and new faces in politics.In this brave new world, political experience is, in fact, a negative quality for an elected head of state. Coming from outside the system can only be a good thing, along with a completely different way of speaking to voters, especially young people. Read more 
08.04.19 Russia Puppet Rumors, Dubious Donors Plague German Far Right
The Associated Press
A series of potential scandals is plaguing the far-right Alternative for Germany party, overshadowing the launch of its campaign for next month’s elections for the European Union’s legislature. Germany’s biggest opposition party, which swept into the national parliament two years ago after focusing its campaign on curbing migration, is struggling to explain a number of murky donations prominent party members received in recent months, some of them from abroad. Read more 
08.04.19 Moscow Police Arrest Two British Citizens On Drug Charges
The Moscow Times
Moscow police have detained two British citizens in central Moscow on suspicion of drug possession, the second such arrest in the past two months, the RBC news outlet reported. In late March, police detained two foreigners in southern Moscow for possession of more than 40 grams of drugs including marijuana. English teachers Domian Osborne and Ian Evans were arrested after attempting to discard two bags of unidentified powder upon spotting a police patrol near the Chistiye Prudy metro station Saturday evening, RBC quoted a Moscow Interior Ministry source as saying. Read more 
08.04.19 UK Novichok Victim Told All Would Have Died If Russia Was Behind Salisbury Attack
Reuters
A British man whose partner died after being exposed to nerve agent Novichok was told by Russia’s ambassador that Moscow could not have been behind the attacks because they would have “killed everyone”, he told the Sunday Mirror newspaper. Charlie Rowley, who was also exposed to Novichok after coming across a perfume bottle contaminated with the nerve agent last year, met Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko on Saturday to ask him why Moscow had killed his girlfriend. Read more 
08.04.19 A Path Back From The Ruins Of ISIS
Washington Post
The families know how to find her. Sevil Novruzova has brought back sons from what was once the Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate. She has retrieved grandchildren from Iraqi prisons, jailed for being with the militants. Novruzova has flown last-minute to Turkey, hoping to discourage daughters from traveling farther to reach the Islamic State lines. For the 42-year-old lawyer from Russia’s mostly Muslim Dagestan region, it usually begins with a message asking for help to bring back a relative. Read more 
07.04.19 Kremlin: It Is Not Backing Libyan Haftar's Westward Push
The Moscow Times
The Kremlin said on Friday (April 5) it was not helping Libyan military forces loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar push westward and that it supported a negotiated political settlement to Libya's problems that ruled out any new bloodshed. The Kremlin was commenting after U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was flying to eastern Libya to meet Haftar, whose forces a day earlier began an offensive to take control of the capital currently held by an internationally recognized government. Read more 
07.04.19 Russia FM Opposes Attempts To Lay Blame In Libya
The Associated Press
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says his country is opposing unilateral attempts to determine who is to blame in Libya. Lavrov’s comments come hours after the U.N. Security Council called on the forces of rival Libyan army commander Khalifa Hifter to halt all military movements and urged all forces in Libya “to de-escalate and halt military activity.” Read more 
07.04.19 Netanyahu Gets A Timely Campaign Gift From Putin
The Moscow Times
Vladimir Putin is considered by many Western leaders to be a toxic and dangerous figure. But in Israel, courting Putin has served Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu well; it may even help his re-election next week. Netanyahu flew to Moscow Thursday, five days before the election, and was beaming as Putin dropped a bombshell at a joint press conference. Putin revealed that it was Russian soldiers in Syria who had discovered the remains of Staff Sargent Zachary Baumel, which were returned home on an El Al flight. Baumel had been listed as missing in action since the first Israel’s first war in Lebanon, in 1982. Read more 
07.04.19 As Comedian Zelensky Takes The Lead, It’s No Longer A Joke In Russia Either
The Independent
There have been many low points in Petro Poroshenko’s painful re-election campaign, but it’s highly unlikely he ever imagined being reduced to doing a public drugs test and participating in a “stadium debate” with a comedian candidate better known for genital humour. But those were the cheeky demands made by Volodymyr Zelensky, Poroshenko’s second-round opponent and the unexpected presidential favourite. It wasn’t even Zelensky’s most surreal offering. The very next day, the comedian suggested the losing third-place candidate Yulia Tymoshenko should host the debate. Read more 
07.04.19 Russia Wants Politicians In Libya To Agree Between Themselves
Reuters
Russia wants all the political forces in Libya to find an agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday during a visit to Cairo. He also warned against foreign meddling in Libya in a televised briefing with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. Read more 
06.04.19 Russia's Lenta Says Magnit Approached It On Possible Combination
Reuters
Russia’s Lenta said on Friday that rival grocery chain Magnit had approached it with an indicative, non-binding proposal to buy 100 percent of Lenta for $1.78 billion, or $3.65 per global depository receipt (GDR). The proposal was received after Russian steel magnate Alexey Mordashov agreed to buy a 42 percent stake in Lenta, to be followed by a cash offer for all the group’s outstanding shares, for $3.60 per GDR, Lenta said. Magnit has not yet provided additional information about a possible offer, Lenta said in its statement. Read more 
06.04.19 Ford Workers Call For Strike At St. Petersburg Factory Slated To Close
The Moscow Times
Workers at the Ford Sollers automobile plant outside St. Petersburg will begin a partial shutdown of production next week, a local Ford labor union leader said Friday, to protest hundreds of impending layoffs at the plant as it moves to shut down production. Ford Sollers, the American automotive giant’s joint venture in Russia, announced late last month it would close its assembly plant in Vsevolozhsk in the Leningrad region — which employs over 900 people and produces Focus and Mondeo models — as part of a larger cost-cutting measure amid falling sales. By July, three of Ford’s four plants in Russia will be shuttered and the company will halt all production of passenger vehicles in the country. Read more 
06.04.19 German Far-right MP 'could Be Absolutely Controlled By Russia'
BBC News
A German politician could become an "absolutely controlled" MP in the Bundestag, according to Russian documents seen by BBC Newsnight. The politician, Markus Frohnmaier, is a member of the German parliament from the far-right AfD party. The documents date back to April 2017, when Mr Frohnmaier was a candidate for election to the Bundestag. He was subsequently elected in September 2017. Read more 
06.04.19 Russian Officials Snap Back At Ukrainian Threat To Bring Tanks To Moscow
The Moscow Times
Russian officials took to social media with posts mocking a Ukrainian minister’s pledge to storm Moscow with tanks. Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan wrote on Facebook Thursday that Ukrainian tanks will “eventually” arrive in the Russian capital alongside its allies. His post was made in response to an invitation from Moscow to discuss Ukraine’s membership in a Eurasian Union unified transport zone. Read more 
06.04.19 Russia Plans To Free Almost 100 Captured Whales
The Associated Press
Russian officials have invited a French ocean explorer to offer advice on how to safely release nearly 100 illegally captured whales, voicing hope that the animals could be let into the wild during summer. Jean-Michel Cousteau of the Ocean Futures Society arrived Friday in Russia’s Far East on a mission to inspect the mammals and help create conditions for them to be released. Cousteau, son of famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, has voiced concern about the animals’ condition and offered his help to the Russian government. Read more 
06.04.19 Russia's WTO 'national Security' Victory Cuts Both Ways For Trump
Reuters
Russia won a dispute about “national security” at the World Trade Organization on Friday, in a ruling over a Ukrainian transit dispute that may also affect global automobile tariffs that could be imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump. The WTO panel ruling, the first ever on the right to a national security exemption from the global trade rules, awarded Russia a legal victory because it had successfully invoked national security. Read more 
05.04.19 Russia Rating Could Handle Some U.S. Sanctions But Not Harsh Ones
Reuters
Russia’s investment grade credit rating would survive some moderate new U.S. economic sanctions but not ones which targeted existing government debt, the country’s biggest banks or crunched energy firms, S&P Global said on Thursday. “We think the Russian economy and financial system could absorb some moderate tightening of U.S. sanctions... including on some government debt,” Karen Vartapetov, S&P’s top analyst for Russia, CEE and CIS said in a webcast. Read more 
05.04.19 International Outcry Over Russian 'whale Jail' In Far East
BBC News
International pressure is growing for the Russian government to release nearly 100 juvenile whales which have been kept in small pens in the far east for seven months. French marine scientist Jean-Michel Cousteau and other experts are meeting government officials in Moscow. They plan to visit the so-called "whale jail" near Nakhodka on Saturday. There are 11 killer whales (orcas) and 87 belugas in pens at Srednyaya Bay. Read more 
05.04.19 Russia Tricks GPS Signals To Hide Putin’s Location
The Moscow Times
Russia has extensively deployed electronic warfare capabilities to hide President Vladimir Putin’s location, a U.S.-based research group said in a recent report. The report suggests that GPS spoofing extends far beyond previously recorded instances in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where drivers passing by the Kremlin or Putin’s known whereabouts have seen their navigation software “teleport” them to locations several miles away. Read more 
05.04.19 Turkey: S-400 Purchase From Russia A "done Deal", Can't Be Cancelled
Reuters
Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems, which has raised tensions with Washington, is a “done deal” and cannot be cancelled, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.
Speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of a visit to the United States, Cavusoglu also said Turkey’s relations with Russia were not an alternative to its alliances with NATO or the European Union. Read more 
05.04.19 Belarus Demolishes Crosses At Soviet-era Execution Site
BBC News
Belarus officials have used bulldozers to demolish 70 crosses marking the site of mass executions during Joseph Stalin's communist dictatorship. The crosses formed an unofficial memorial in the woods at Kuropaty, near the Belarusian capital Minsk. About 30,000 victims of the Stalinist terror are buried there, officials say. But independent historians say as many as 200,000 were shot there by Soviet secret police in the 1930s and 40s. Read more 
05.04.19 Almost Half Of Young Russians Want To Emigrate
Reuters
Forty-four percent of Russians aged 15-29 want to emigrate as their economy stagnates, according to a survey by the pollster Gallup. The poll, based on 2,000 face-to-face interviews conducted in 2018, indicated that 20 percent of all Russians wanted to move abroad, the highest share since 2007, when it stood at 17 percent. Young people of working age were most keen to leave, something that Gallup said threatened Russia’s future economic position and political influence. Read more 
05.04.19 Ukraine Election: Rivals Agree To A Stadium Face-off
BBC News
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has agreed to debate rival candidate Volodymyr Zelensky in a rare stadium event. The incumbent has also agreed to take a drug and alcohol test on Friday. A date has not yet been arranged for the televised face-off, which will take place in Kiev's Olympiyskiy Stadium. Read more 
05.04.19 Russia Revamps Arctic Military Base To Stake Claim On Region
The Associated Press
Missile launchers ply icy roads and air defense systems point menacingly into the sky at this Arctic military outpost, a key vantage point for Russia to project its power over the resource-rich polar region. The base, dubbed Severny Klever (Northern Clover) for its trefoil shape, is painted in the white, blue and red colors of the Russian national flag. Read more 
05.04.19 Official Poll Shows Russians Too Poor To Afford Shoes, Puzzling Kremlin
The Moscow Times
An official survey on the extent of economic hardship that Russians currently face — including their inability to afford new shoes — has left the Kremlin scratching its head. An extensive State Statistics Service, or Rosstat, survey said that four-fifths of Russian families had a hard time making ends meet — and one-third of households could not afford to buy a second pair of shoes. Read more 
05.04.19 Family Of American Killed In Downed MH17 Jet Sues Russia Banks, Money-transfer Firms
Reuters
The family of an American killed when a Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down over Ukraine in 2014 filed a lawsuit on Thursday against U.S.-based money transfer companies and two Russian banks they accuse of providing services to the group they blame for striking Flight MH17. MH17 was brought down over territory held by pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine as it flew from Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people on board. About two-thirds of the passengers were Dutch. Read more 
05.04.19 Director Georgy Daneliya Has Died
The Moscow Times
The film director Georgy Daneliya died in a Moscow hospital on Thursday. The cause of death was a heart attack, but he had been hospitalized since February with an acute respiratory ailment. He was 88 years old. Daneliya was one of the Soviet Union’s most popular screenwriters and directors, whose gently satirical films managed to poke fun at just about everyone without offending anyone — or getting into too much trouble with the censors. Read more 
04.04.19 U.S. Senators Want Stiff Sanctions To Deter Russia Election Meddling
Reuters
U.S. Republican and Democratic senators introduced legislation on Wednesday seeking to deter Russia from meddling in U.S. elections by threatening stiff sanctions on its banking, energy and defense industries and sovereign debt. The “Deter Act” is the latest effort by U.S. lawmakers to increase pressure on Moscow over what they see as a range of bad behavior, from its aggression in Ukraine and involvement in Syria’s civil war to attempts to influence U.S. elections. Read more 
04.04.19 Kremlin Questions Russian Figures Showing Scale Of Poverty
BBC News
The Kremlin press secretary has said he cannot understand a survey that shows that Russians struggle to afford new shoes. Dmitry Peskov was commenting on a report by state statistics agency Rosstat. It found that a third of households polled could not afford more than two pairs of shoes per person, per year. The data also revealed that 80% of Russian families found it difficult to make ends meet. Read more 
04.04.19 Moscow Exchange Signs Deals With Indian Bourses To Attract Investors
Reuters
The Moscow Exchange and two leading Indian bourses signed agreements on Wednesday designed to ease access to the Russian market for Indian capital, amid moves by Russia to attract a wider investor pool. The Moscow Exchange, Russia’s leading bourse, signed a memorandum of understanding with BSE, India’s No.1 exchange, and The India International Exchange to connect investors and companies in both countries. Read more 
04.04.19 US Warns Turkey Over Russian S-400 Missile System Deal
BBC News
US Vice-President Mike Pence has warned Turkey against buying a Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system that Washington sees as a threat to US jets. He said Turkey "must choose" between remaining a key Nato member or risk the security of that partnership "by making such reckless decisions". Turkey responded that the purchase of the advanced system was a done deal. Read more 
04.04.19 China And Russia Are Not Breaking Up Anytime Soon
Washington Post
Two weeks ago, I was in Moscow for a conference — part of a series — on the future of the Russian-American relationship. One of my takeaways from that meeting was that the state of the bilateral relationship is pretty bad and the best that anyone could hope for in the next few years was not making anything worse. And no, Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the special counsel’s report does not alter that conclusion. Read more 
04.04.19 Daimler Opens Mercedes-Benz Plant In Moscow Region
Reuters
German automaker Daimler officially opened a Mercedes-Benz factory near Moscow on Wednesday at a ceremony attended by President Vladimir Putin, marking a rare foreign investment into Russia’s car industry. The plant in the town of Esipovo 40 kilometers north west of Moscow is the first in years to be opened by a foreign carmaker in Russia where investment into the once burgeoning auto industry dried up amid western sanctions and a stagnant economy. Read more 
04.04.19 Why U.S.-Russia Clash Over Venezuela Has A Familiar Ring
The Christian Science Monitor
Back in 2014 when Russia was first putting boots on the ground in Syria, Moscow justified its military intervention by noting it was acting both in support and at the invitation of the besieged government of Bashar al-Assad. The United States, on the other hand, had already declared that President Assad had to go and that it was acting in the Syrian conflict in support of the democratic aspirations of the oppressed Syrian people. Read more 
04.04.19 Boy, 8, Found After Leaving Home To 'travel The World'
BBC News
An eight-year-old boy from the city of Astrakhan in southern Russia has won social media fame after setting off on an around-the-world trip. The boy's mother contacted the police after finding a note from her son saying he had left to "travel around the world". A few hours later, a search team found him walking down a street equipped with encyclopaedias, a toy, money from his piggy bank and a banana, the Russian Interior Ministry reported on its official website. Read more 
03.04.19 Vulgar Putin Graffiti ‘Censored’ From Internet
The Moscow Times
A handful of Russian news outlets have removed stories from their websites on graffiti calling President Vladimir Putin an anti-gay slur, in what one local publication called an act of censorship. Russian laws banning “blatant disrespect” toward the authorities online entered into force last Friday. Under the legislation, outlets have 24 hours to voluntarily delete the offending material or risk being blocked, fined or even jailed for 15 days. Read more 
03.04.19 Half Of Russians Oppose Full-Fledged Union With Belarus
The Moscow Times
Almost half of Russians oppose uniting with neighboring Belarus into a single country, according to a state-funded survey published on the 20th anniversary of the countries’ integration project. The potential merger between Minsk and Moscow became a widely discussed possibility in 2019 as a potential loophole for Russian President Vladimir Putin to stay in power after his term ends in 2024. April 2 marks 20 years since the two countries signed a treaty establishing the Union State of Russia and Belarus. Read more 
03.04.19 Russia Accuses Norwegian Man Of Submarine Espionage
The Associated Press
A Russian prosecutor says that a Norwegian man jailed on espionage charges has acquired classified information on Russian nuclear submarines. Frode Berg was arrested in Moscow in December 2017. His lawyer says that Berg, a retired Norwegian border inspector, is the victim of a setup. Prosecutor Milana Digayeva told Russian news agencies on Tuesday as Berg’s trial began that the Norwegian man was collecting information about Russian nuclear submarines. The case is being heard behind closed doors for secrecy reasons. Read more 
03.04.19 Corruption Dies Hard In Russia
The Moscow Times
Corruption sure is an interesting thing. In Russia, while most people usually condemn it, polls show that people are also convinced of its indestructibility. Russians love to believe that corruption has existed in the country from the time of its inception. Children at school are taught the story of Peter the Great beating up his friend Aleksandr Menshikov for stealing public funds and other tales of grand dukes who were exposed for bribe-taking. Read more 
03.04.19 Russia Relaxes Rules For Companies Wanting To Raise Funds In China
Reuters
Russia has relaxed rules for companies that want to raise funds in China at a time when access to Western markets is limited by U.S. sanctions, a central bank official said on Tuesday. Russian companies had been able to borrow cheaply abroad but have faced handicaps in raising money in the West since 2014 when Europe and the United States imposed sanctions against Moscow over its role in the Ukrainian crisis. Read more 
03.04.19 Russian Ex-Military Official Jailed Over Islamic State Links
The Moscow Times
A former Russian military officer has been sentenced to 19 years in prison on charges of participating in the banned Islamic State terrorist organization, the state-run TASS news agency reported Tuesday. Denis Khisamov was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Krasnodar and was sentenced by a district military court in Rostov-on-Don for participating in activities “recognized as terrorist.” He stepped down from his position as captain in the Defense Ministry in 2009. Read more 
03.04.19 Russia Says It Has Opened Helicopter Training Center In Venezuela
Reuters
Russia has opened a training center in Venezuela to help the country’s pilots fly Russian-made military helicopters, Russian state-owned industrial conglomerate Rostec said on Monday, Moscow’s latest gesture of support for President Nicolas Maduro. Rostec said the center was inaugurated on Thursday last week, the same day as the White House warned Moscow and other countries backing Maduro against sending troops and military equipment, saying the United States would view such actions as a “direct threat” to the region’s security. Read more 
02.04.19 Indigenous Arctic Population Accuses Russian Authorities Of Rights Violations
The Moscow Times
An indigenous population of Russia’s Far North has appealed to the United Nations with claims that Russian authorities violated their rights by giving their historic land to a hunting club. An estimated 80,000 Sami live in the northern lands of Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia’s Murmansk region, where reindeer herding has been the cornerstone of their culture and livelihood. Earlier this year, the Murmansk region’s environmental authorities issued a 30-year lease for almost 73,000 hectares of Sami land to the Belgorod Hunting Club. Read more 
02.04.19 Alrosa Raises $11.8 Million In New York Diamond Sale
Reuters
Russian state-controlled miner Alrosa, the world’s biggest producer of rough diamonds in carat terms, raised $11.8 million in its first New York diamond auction of the year, as it seeks to increase its activity in the United States. Rebecca Foerster, president of Alrosa, North America, said sanctions against some Russian companies did not diminish the appeal of Russian high quality diamonds. Read more 
02.04.19 Russian Scientists Ring The Alarm On Lake Baikal’s Pollutants
The Moscow Times
More than 15,000 metric tons of toxic waste have flown into Russia’s Lake Baikal from its largest tributary in the last decade, the state-run TASS news agency reported Monday. Environmentalists have acknowledged pollution at Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest and oldest freshwater lake, since at least 1998. Scientists warned last week that proposals by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to expand waste discharge limits violate Russian law protecting Lake Baikal. Read more 
02.04.19 Russia's Rusal Resumes Aluminum Supplies To U.S. Market
Reuters
Russian aluminum giant Rusal has resumed supplies to the U.S. market and aims to win back customers it lost due to sanctions by about September when the industry seals supply contracts for 2020, its chief executive said. Last autumn, Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer outside China, missed the traditional window for contracting sales for this year as it was still negotiating with the U.S. Treasury Department to be removed from a sanctions list. Read more 
01.04.19 Co-owner Of Russia's S7 Airline Dies In Plane Crash Near Frankfurt
Reuters
Natalia Fileva, chairwoman and co-owner of Russia’s second largest airline S7, died when a private jet she was in crashed near Frankfurt on Sunday, the company said. Fileva, 55, was the major shareholder in S7, a member of global Oneworld airlines alliance, and one of the richest women in Russia, whose wealth was estimated by Forbes at $600 million. The Epic-Lt, a single-engined jet designed for private flights, crashed while landing at Egelsbach airport, S7, also known as Siberia Airlines, said in a statement. Read more 
01.04.19 Ukraine Election: Comedian Leads Presidential Contest
BBC News
A comedian with no political experience has won the most votes in the first round of Ukraine's presidential elections, according to exit polls. They say Volodymyr Zelenskiy - who played the president on TV - received 30.4% of the vote, with current leader Petro Poroshenko second on 17.8%. The two - who have expressed largely pro-EU opinions - are set to take part in a run-off election next month. Read more 
01.04.19 The U.S. Needs A Post-Mueller Reality Check
The Moscow Times
In “Gruffalo,” Julia Donaldson’s children’s book, an enterprising mouse casts an oversized shadow to scare a powerful but naive monster. It’s clear now that the myth of a Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin conspiracy presented the Russian president as an exaggerated threat, when he is more of a mouse. American Russia watchers should be looking for other mistakes of this kind. The concept of a Russian “hybrid war,” fought simultaneously with weapons, cyber intrusions and propaganda, is a good place to start this reappraisal. Read more 
01.04.19 Popular Comedian Races Ahead In Ukrainian Presidential Election
Reuters
A comedian with no political experience raced ahead in Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday, offering a fresh face to voters fed up with entrenched corruption in a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia. Exit polls and early counting put 41-year-old Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who plays a fictional president in a popular TV series, comfortably ahead of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko in the first round, though short of a majority. Read more 
01.04.19 Natalia Fileva: Russia Airline Co-owner Dies In Private Plane Crash
BBC News
The co-owner of Russia's second biggest airline died when her private plane crashed in Germany, the firm says. Natalia Fileva, one of Russia's richest women and the major shareholder in S7, also known as Siberia Airlines, died when the plane crashed while landing at Egelsbach airport near Frankfurt. Another passenger and the pilot also died in the crash, German media quoted local authorities as saying. Read more 
01.04.19 Ukraine Election: What Would A Comic President Mean?
BBC News
Three-and-a-half years ago Volodymyr Zelenskiy's television series "Servant of the People" began airing on Ukrainian television. For a country where money and powerful oligarchs have long dominated politics the concept was beguiling. A teacher (played by Mr Zelenskiy) accidentally becomes president after an expletive-laden rant about Ukrainian politics goes viral on social media. Now after victory in the first round Mr Zelenskiy is one step away from the real deal. Read more 
31.03.19 Russia Dismisses Speculation About Its 'specialists' In Venezuela
Reuters
Russia has clearly stated the purpose of the “specialists” it has sent to Venezuela under a military cooperation deal, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday, dismissing U.S. concerns about their presence. “The Russian side clearly stated the purpose of the arrival of its specialists to Caracas. This is not about any ‘military contingents’,” Zakharova said in a statement. “Thus, the speculations about the conduct of certain ‘military operations’ by Russia in Venezuela are absolutely groundless.” Read more 
31.03.19 Making Sense Of Ukraine’s Complicated
The Moscow Times
Five years ago, Ukraine experienced a revolution followed by a period of painful and largely unproductive reforms. Now it faces a rapid series of elections — presidential (March–April 2019), parliamentary (October 2019), and local (2020). The previous presidential vote, held in 2014, was in many ways part and parcel of the Euromaidan’s attempt at a revolution. According to an apt description from a recent study, May–November 2014 saw the legitimization of a new political order and set goals for the impending period of reforms. During this time, Ukraine improved its freedom rating from 3.5 in 2012 and 2013 to 3.0 in 2014 (although it did backslide to 3.5 in 2019). Read more 
31.03.19 Audit Of Russia's Rusal For Compliance With U.S. Deal Was Initiated By En+
Reuters
An audit of Russian aluminum giant Rusal on its compliance with the terms of a deal under which Washington agreed to lift sanctions on the company was initiated by its parent company En, Rusal was quoted as saying by TASS news agency on Saturday. The audit is a one-off, TASS added, citing Rusal. A firm hired by the U.S. Treasury Department is auditing Rusal to check whether it is complying with the terms of the sanctions deal, Rusal told Reuters earlier this week. Read more 
31.03.19 Ukraine Election: Comedian Is Front Runner Ahead Of First Round
BBC News
Ukrainians are heading to the polls on Sunday to vote in the first round of presidential elections. Current leader Petro Poroshenko is seeking re-election but the surprise front runner is comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Both candidates, along with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, have expressed largely pro-European views during campaigning. None of the pro-Russian candidates are seen as serious contenders. Read more 
30.03.19 U.S. Readying Sanctions On Russia Over Nerve-agent Attack In Britain
Reuters
The White House has received a package of new sanctions to be imposed on Russia in retaliation for the 2018 nerve-agent attack on a Russian double agent in Britain, Bloomberg reported on Friday. Officials at the U.S. Treasury and State Departments have vetted the sanctions and are awaiting approval from the White House to issue them, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter. Read more 
30.03.19 Russia Enjoys The Show In Tight Ukrainian Election
The Moscow Times
A chocolate baron, a comedian who plays a president on television and a former prime minister hoping third time’s the charm. These are the leading candidates for the Ukrainian presidency as voters head to the polls on Sunday for the second time since the 2014 Maidan Revolution and Russia’s annexation of Crimea the same year. As the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and the government in eastern Ukraine that has taken more than 13,000 lives simmers, and corruption remains endemic, Ukrainians might be looking for a fresh face to lead their nation. Read more 
30.03.19 After Sanctions Lifted, Russia's Rusal Boosts Aluminum Smelter Capacity
Reuters
Russian aluminum giant Rusal has launched new production at its Boguchansk aluminum smelter in Siberia on Friday, doubling its capacity to 298,000 tonnes a year. The new line, part of a larger project, is being started two months after Rusal was removed from a U.S. sanctions list. The world’s largest aluminum producer outside China is now seeking to restore sales contracts to pre-sanctions levels. Read more 
30.03.19 Dozens Of Crimean Tatars Arrested On Terrorism Charges
The Moscow Times
Russian authorities have detained at least 23 Crimean Tatars on suspicion of being members of a banned Islamic group this week. The Federal Security Service (FSB) raided the homes of 25 Crimean Tatars in Simferopol, detaining 20 on Wednesday and three more the next day. The predominantly Muslim ethnic minority has largely opposed Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and has seen its local self-governing body banned as an extremist organization. Read more 
30.03.19 US Condemns Russia Troop Deployment To Troubled Venezuela
The Associated Press
The Trump administration on Friday condemned Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro for what it said was his reliance on foreign military personnel to stay in power and renewed a warning to Russia against getting involved. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton along with the U.S. special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said Russia’s military presence in the country is destabilizing amid the country’s political and economic crisis. Read more 
30.03.19 Turkey: Air Defense Purchase From Russia 'a Done Deal'
Reuters
Turkey will honor its air defense deal with Russia, Ankara said on Friday after four U.S. senators introduced a bill to ban the planned delivery of F-35 fighter jets if Turkey ignored U.S. opposition and accepted the S-400 system. “We have agreed with Russia in the end and signed an agreement. This agreement is valid (and) we are discussing when the delivery will be,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said following a meeting with his Russian counterpart. Read more 
30.03.19 Will Russia Try To Occupy Belarus?
Washington Post
Will Russia try to occupy Belarus? Earlier this year, several public figures sounded that alarm, including former NATO general secretary Anders Rasmussen and Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum. That concern clashes with the idea that Belarus is Russia’s closest ally. So where did they get that idea? Over the past four months, the Kremlin has been proposing closer ties within the Union State of Russia and Belarus, an agreement that aims toward deeper integration between the two. Read more 
29.03.19 Venezuela Crisis: Russia Hits Out At 'boorish' Trump
BBC News
Russia has accused US President Donald Trump of "boorishness on a global scale" after he insisted that Russia should "get out" of Venezuela. Mr Trump made the remarks after the reported deployment of Russian troops and equipment to Venezuela. Russia is a key ally of Venezuela, lending it billions of dollars and backing its oil industry and military. Read more 
29.03.19 Russia Threatens To Block Popular VPN Services To Prevent Website Access
Reuters
Russia’s communications watchdog threatened on Thursday to block access to popular VPN-services which allow users to gain access to websites which have been outlawed by Moscow. Russia has introduced tougher internet laws, requiring search engines to delete some results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services and social networks to store users’ personal data on servers within the country. But VPN (virtual private network) services can allow users to establish secure internet connections and reach websites which have been banned or blocked. Read more 
29.03.19 Ford Will Pay Out $200M To Laid-Off Russian Workers
The Moscow Times
Ford will pay around $200 million in cash to workers and suppliers who lose their jobs when the company closes three of its plants in Russia in June, the company said in a statement. The U.S. automaker is closing two assembly plants and one engine factory because it says the passenger vehicle market in Russia is no longer profitable. One assembly plant will remain open and will focus on the production of Ford Transit light commercial vehicles. Ford’s Russian operations employ 3,700 people in total through its Ford Sollers joint venture. Read more 
29.03.19 BBC Pays Damages To Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko Over Report
BBC News
The BBC has apologised and agreed to pay damages to Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko. The apology relates to an incorrect report claiming a payment was made to extend a meeting between Mr Poroshenko and US President Donald Trump. An article, published last May but since removed from the BBC website, alleged $400,000 was paid to Mr Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen. Read more 
29.03.19 Russia: Pioneering Cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky Dies At 84
The Associated Press
Russia’s space agency says pioneering Soviet-era cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky, who made the first of his three flights to space in 1963, has died at age 84. Roscosmos said Bykovsky died Wednesday, but it didn’t state a cause of death. Bykovsky was one of 20 Soviet military pilots in the first group picked to prepare for space. He first flew to space in June 1963 as a member of the Vostok-5 crew. Read more 
29.03.19 Abyzov Today, Medvedev Tomorrow?
The Moscow Times
How far will this whole thing go? Will masked men in camouflage burst into a government meeting in the White House and whisk away Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev — slipping a bag over his head as a precaution? And will First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov, after only a moment’s pause, simply assume Medvedev’s place and resume the meeting saying, “So, where were we?” Read more 
29.03.19 Russian Jehovah's Witnesses Call For Torture Probe
BBC News
Russian officials say Jehovah's Witnesses detained for their religious beliefs beat and burned themselves and were not tortured while in custody. Human rights lawyers and activists said the suggestion was "laughable". Seven men said they were beaten and electrocuted to extract confessions. The organisation was banned in 2017 as an "extremist group" by Russia's Supreme Court, and dozens face criminal charges and long prison sentences for practising their faith. Read more 
29.03.19 Russia Detains Second Ex-minister In A Week On Graft Charges
Reuters
Russia on Thursday detained a former cabinet minister and oil executive on suspicion of defrauding Russian oil giant Rosneft, the Investigative Committee’s spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said. Viktor Ishaev, who is the second former minister from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s cabinet to be detained this week, is accused of tricking Rosneft into paying over the odds to rent a property in the Far East region of Khabarovsk, she said. The alleged crime took place between 2014 and 2017 when Ishaev was a vice president at Rosneft. Read more 
29.03.19 Farkhad Akhmedov Wins $436m Superyacht In Divorce Fight
BBC News
A Russian businessman has won back his $436m (£330m) superyacht, the latest development in his long-running divorce proceedings. Farkhad Akhmedov announced that a Dubai appeals court had overruled an earlier decision to seize the ship from him. A UK court had previously ordered the former oil and gas trader to pay his wife $600m in a divorce settlement. But the court ruled that decision was unenforceable in Dubai and the seizure of the superyacht should be cancelled. Read more 
29.03.19 Russia Manipulates GPS Signals To Protect Putin From Rogue Drones
The Independent
Russia has been manipulating global satellite positioning (GPS) locations on a vast scale in order to protect Vladimir Putin from drones, according to a report. The Center for Advanced Defense Studies, a Washington-based research organisation, undertook a year-long investigation ending in November 2018 into the manipulation of GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). Read more 
29.03.19 Siberian Region Bans Migrant Workers Amid Tensions Over Rape Case29
The Moscow Times
A Siberian region rocked by allegations that Central Asian migrants raped a local woman has banned foreign workers from being employed in 33 fields. Earlier this month, three suspects believed to be from Kyrgyzstan were detained on charges of kidnapping and raping a resident of Yakutsk, sparking rallies and raids against migrants. Read more 
29.03.19 Russia Mayor Sworn In With Star Wars Tune In Belgorod
BBC News
The Russian city of Belgorod is now the Dark Side for an official who resigned after the Star Wars main theme tune was played at the new mayor's swearing-in. Belgorod cultural director Lyudmila Grekova said "we decided to replace the music, to have something more modern, but didn't check where it came from". In a YouTube video Mayor Yuri Galdun is announced, then the Star Wars tune blares out and he strides in to take the oath. Read more 
28.03.19 Russia To Keep Former Minister Abyzov In Jail On Fraud Charges
Reuters
A court in Russia on Wednesday ruled that former government minister Mikhail Abyzov, an ally of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, be held in pre-trial detention for two months ahead of his trial for fraud and organising a criminal group. Abyzov, 46, who was minister for open government affairs in Medvedev’s cabinet until last year, was detained at his home in Moscow on Tuesday, his lawyer Alexander Asnis said. Abyzov denies the charges against him. Read more 
28.03.19 Russia Says Troop Deployment To Venezuela Fully Legitimate
The Associated Press
Russia has scoffed at the U.S. demand to withdraw its military personnel from Venezuela, saying that their presence in the country is fully legitimate. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement late Tuesday that the presence of Russian military personnel in Venezuela is “in strict accordance” with the Venezuelan constitution and a bilateral agreement on military cooperation. She said that it doesn’t require any approval by Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly. Read more 
28.03.19 Ford To Leave Russian Car Market, Cede Control In Joint Venture
Reuters
Ford Motor Co’s Russian joint venture Ford Sollers will close two assembly plants and an engine factory in Russia, exiting the country’s passenger vehicle market, resulting in charges of about $450 million to $500 million. The move is part of a restructuring that will see Russia’s Sollers assume control of the venture, which is currently led by the U.S. automaker, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday. Read more 
28.03.19 Ford To Close Two Assembly Plants In Russia
The Moscow Times
Ford will close two of its assembly plants in Russia, a spokeswoman for the company’s joint venture in the country told The Moscow Times on Wednesday. The Vsevolozhsk assembly plant near St. Petersburg and the Naberezhnye Chelny assembly plant in Tatarstan will both close, while the plant in the city of Yelabuga in Tatarstan will remain open and focus on the production of Ford Transit light commercial vehicles. An engine factory in Yelabuga will also close. Read more 
28.03.19 The Soviet Union Had A Competitive Election 30 Years Ago
Washington Post
On Sunday, opposition supporters in St. Petersburg held a downtown rally to demand a free and fair vote in the municipal and gubernatorial elections scheduled for September. The last such polls, in 2014, were a prearranged farce. The authorities barred opposition candidates from the ballot and arranged mass fraud through early voting to prevent any surprises. Participants in the rally, which brought together diverse groups across the opposition spectrum, called for the abolition of the “municipal filter,” the requirement for gubernatorial nominees to collect signatures from local lawmakers in order to get on the ballot. The filter has been used to disqualify opposition candidates in regional elections across Russia. Read more 
28.03.19 Lithuania Finds Ex-Soviet Defense Minister Guilty Of War Crimes
Reuters
A Lithuanian court found former Soviet defense minister Dmitry Yazov guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity on Wednesday for his role in a 1991 crackdown against the Baltic state’s pro-independence movement. The Vilnius court sentenced Yazov, 94, in absentia to 10 years in prison. He was the highest-ranking person on a list of 67 former military officials and army officers being sentenced after the three-year trial. Read more 
28.03.19 Lithuania Convicts Russians Of War Crimes Under Soviet Rule
BBC News
A court in Lithuania has found a former Soviet defence minister guilty of war crimes over a deadly crackdown aimed at stopping the Baltic state breaking away from the USSR in 1991. Marshal Dmitry Yazov, 94, was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison. Another 66 former Soviet military and KGB officials were given sentences of between four and 14 years. Only two of them were present in the courtroom. Russia says the trial in Lithuania is politically motivated and illegal. Read more 
28.03.19 Russian Ballet Moves Like Jagger In Stones-inspired Show
Reuters
A ballet set to music by The Rolling Stones and choreographed by Mick Jagger’s ballerina girlfriend has premiered in Russia. The eight-minute “Porte Rouge” (Red Door) show, inspired by the veteran British singer’s zany dance style, delighted a packed crowd at St Petersburg’s famous Mariinsky Theatre on Tuesday night. Jagger’s partner Melanie Hamrick, a U.S. dancer, masterminded the production featuring classic Stones tracks “Paint it Black,” “Sympathy for the Devil” and “She’s a Rainbow”. Read more 
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