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04.04.20 'From Russia With Love' Mission To Italy Hit By Press Row
Reuters
Russian criticism of an Italian newspaper was “inappropriate”, Italy’s foreign and defence ministries said on Friday, in a case that has cast a cloud over Moscow’s efforts to help Rome cope with the coronavirus crisis. Russia has sent doctors, nurses and medical equipment to disease-stricken Italy in a goodwill operation that Moscow has dubbed “From Russia with love”. Read more 
04.04.20 Did Russia’s Coronavirus Supplies To The U.S. Violate Sanctions?
The Moscow Times
The United States may have violated its own sanctions by purchasing ventilators and other protective gear from Russia to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the RBC news website reported Friday. Footage of the controversial cargo during unloading in New York showed boxes of ventilators made by a subsidiary of Russia’s KRET tech firm, itself a subsidiary of sanctioned conglomerate Rostec. Western sanctions block KRET and its subsidiaries from U.S. markets unless the U.S. Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issues a waiver. Read more 
04.04.20 Russia Sends Medical Aid To Serbia To Fight Coronavirus
Reuters
Russia will send 11 military planes carrying medical equipment to Serbia to help it fight the coronavirus outbreak, the defence ministry in Moscow said on Friday. The announcement came a day after the Kremlin said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had appealed to President Vladimir Putin for humanitarian aid for his country, which has documented 1,476 cases of the virus and 39 deaths. Read more 
04.04.20 Italy And Russia Spar Over Alleged Coronavirus Spies
AFP
Italy was engaged in a war of words with Russia on Friday over allegations Moscow hid spies among doctors it had sent to the country's coronavirus epicenter near Milan. The unusual exchange between the traditionally friendly nations followed the publication of an Italian newspaper story about the purportedly nefarious nature of the Russian mission. Read more 
04.04.20 Russia To Halt All Flights At Midnight On Friday, Including For Repatriation
Reuters
Russia on Friday said it was temporarily suspending all flights in and out of the country from midnight, including those for repatriating citizens, to limit the possibility of a new wave of coronavirus infections. The country’s coronavirus operational centre said the suspension applied to all charter flights bringing Russians home and taking foreign citizens away, and that those wishing to fly will have to fill out a special form, which will be available from Saturday. Read more 
04.04.20 Coronavirus Will Pass, But Moscow's Mass Surveillance Is Here To Stay
The Moscow Times
After a slow and hesitant start, the Kremlin has taken drastic measures to battle the coronavirus. It has made the Moscow region — the country’s most populated area — the testing ground for anti-virus political, social engineering and technical solutions. The idea is to test things out and replicate them all over the country if they’re successful. Read more 
04.04.20 Silver Lining? Russia's Cossacks Don Modified Masks Against Coronavirus
The Moscow Times
Cossacks and police officers enforcing the coronavirus lockdown in Russia’s western city of Kaliningrad have donned modified face masks that local scientists say can be worn for days without being replaced. The trick, they say, is to line the cheap cotton fabric of the masks with an ultra-thin coating of silver. The World Health Organization does not generally recommend that healthy members of the broader population use masks and the benefits of the use of silver against the coronavirus have not been tested and are therefore unproven. Read more 
04.04.20 Gymnastics - Russia Coach Urges Team To Stay In Shape Under Quarantine
Reuters
The main concern for the coach of Russia’s women’s gymnastics team is that they do not gain weight in quarantine at home, she said after the squad’s training camp was cancelled this week due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. All activities at the Novogorsk training centre in Moscow were halted this week after local media reported that men’s team coach Andrey Rodionenko and one of his team members had tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more 
04.04.20 'A City That Could Be The Russian Bergamo'
The Moscow Times
“Oh, come on! Virus? What virus?” Olga, a 35-year-old businesswoman waved her hand dismissively. “It’s a conspiracy, not a virus. Whose conspiracy? The Chinese, who do you think?! They released it so they could get ahead of Europe and Russia and rule the world. They’ve got a vaccine for it.” Olga, a native of Ulyanovsk, a city of 600,000 on the Volga River, is parroting a point of view that’s popular in the city: There is no epidemic; it’s “just sick old people and people with AIDS” who are dying;and the whole point of the quarantine is “to ruin business.” Read more 
04.04.20 Russia Detains Activists Trying To Help Hospital Amid Virus
Reuters
An activist doctor who had criticized Russia’s response to the coronavirus outbreak was forcibly detained as she and some of her colleagues tried to deliver protective gear to a hospital in need. Dr. Anastasia Vasilyeva of the Alliance of Doctors union was trying to bring more than 500 masks, sanitizers, hazmat suits, gloves and protective glasses to a hospital in the Novgorod region about 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) northwest of Moscow on Thursday when she and the others were stopped by police on a highway. Read more 
04.04.20 Russia To The Rescue? US, Moscow Spar Over Aid Deliveries
The Associated Press
An odd new front in the U.S.-Russian rivalry has emerged as a Russian military cargo plane bearing a load of urgently needed medical supplies landed this week at New York’s JFK airport. Russia cast it as a magnanimous aid contribution to a struggling country in need – its old Cold War rival. The State Department insisted that Wednesday’s shipment was a mere commercial transaction: that the US had paid Russia for the supplies it needed and they were certainly not a gift. Yet President Donald Trump on Thursday referred to the shipment as “aid,” and said the United States had accepted “a very nice offer” from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Read more 
03.04.20 Russia Has No Plans To Raise Oil Production
Reuters
Russia has no plans to increase its oil output as the market has been oversupplied, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Reuters on Thursday. International crude prices have fallen around 50% to under $26 a barrel since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other large oil producers led by Russia failed last month to agree to extend their deal to curb output. Read more 
03.04.20 Analysts Fear The Economic Impact Of Russia’s April Coronavirus Shutdown Will Be Catastrophic
The Moscow Times
Russia could be heading for its deepest recession in a generation with millions of workers set to lose their jobs, economists have warned, in a stark assessment of the economic costs of the coronavirus outbreak, and Russia’s response to the pandemic. In an address to the nation Thursday afternoon, President Vladimir Putin extended a shutdown of the Russian economy, ordering non-essential businesses to stay closed until the end of April, giving workers a month-long paid holiday. Read more 
03.04.20 Russia's Coronavirus Cases Jump To More Than 3,500 In Record Daily Rise
Reuters
Russia’s coronavirus case tally jumped to 3,548 on Thursday, a record daily increase of 771, Russia’s crisis response centre said. Cases have been recorded in 76 of Russia’s more than 80 regions, but Moscow remains the epicentre of the outbreak with 595 cases, the centre said. Thirty people have died across the country, it said. Read more 
03.04.20 Who Paid For Russia's Coronavirus Aid To The U.S.?
The Moscow Times
Russia sent a military plane carrying protective gear and ventilators to the United States on Wednesday to help the country battle the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Shortly after, the U.S. said it purchased the medical supplies from Russia, the State Department said Wednesday, contradicting the Kremlin's initial description of the shipment as humanitarian aid. Read more 
03.04.20 Russia's Atomic Agency Reports Four Coronavirus Cases
Reuters
Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has confirmed four coronavirus cases among its employees, including one case in Hungary, the Interfax news agency cited the company’s CEO Alexei Likhachev as saying on Wednesday. Russia has so far recorded 2,777 cases of the virus and 25 coronavirus-related deaths. Read more 
03.04.20 Oil Price Rebounds On Hopes Saudi Arabia And Russia Will Reach Deal
The Guardian
Global oil prices rebounded to more than $30 a barrel for the first time in almost a month on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and Russia signalled a possible truce in a price war that has triggered the fastest oil market collapse in decades. The price of Brent crude leapt by 30% after the US president, Donald Trump, fanned hopes of a new deal between Riyadh and Moscow to help stabilise the oil market. Read more 
03.04.20 Coronavirus: What Does ‘from Russia With Love’ Really Mean?
BBC News
Russia's latest gesture in the coronavirus crisis came in the form of medical supplies arriving in New York - part of an operation dubbed "from Russia with love" by the Kremlin. In late March a similar cargo was flown to Italy - the worst-hit country in the crisis - along with 100 Russian military medics. Russian media speak of widespread gratitude for this generosity, but how much of that is fact, how much fiction? Is Russia exploiting this crisis? Read more 
03.04.20 'Cybergulag': Russia Looks To Surveillance Technology To Enforce Lockdown
The Guardian
Russia is considering aggressive new surveillance methods as the country seeks to enforce mandatory shelter-in-place orders in cities including Moscow and St Petersburg and other regions across its 11 time zones. While the details of the new monitoring system have not been confirmed, official statements and leaked plans have indicated they could include mobile apps that track users’ location, CCTV cameras with facial recognition software, QR codes, mobile phone data and credit card records. Read more 
02.04.20 Russians Risk Fines, Jail Time For Dodging Coronavirus Quarantine
The Moscow Times
Both houses of Russia’s parliament swiftly approved legislation Tuesday imposing severe punishments for spreading false information about the coronavirus and breaking quarantine rules as most regions have gone into lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed the bills — which include provisions for more accessible medication — into law, allowing the punishments to take effect. Russia has recorded 2,777 cases of coronavirus and 24 deaths so far. Read more 
02.04.20 Russia Earmarks $18 Billion To Tackle Coronavirus Crisis
Reuters
Russia has earmarked nearly $18 billion to fight the spread of the coronavirus and its economic fallout, its prime minister said on Wednesday, pledging additional measures to steer through the crisis that has put the economy on the brink of recession. Russia is scaling up its crisis response to the coronavirus epidemic while also facing the shock of a crash in the price of oil - one of its key exports - to 18-year lows and the rapid depreciation of the rouble. Read more 
02.04.20 Coronavirus: Russia Sends Plane Full Of Medical Supplies To US
The Guardian
Russia has dispatched a cargo plane with masks and medical equipment to the US after Donald Trump accepted an offer of humanitarian aid from Vladimir Putin to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The plane, a Russian Antonov An-124-100 military transport, left from Chkalovsky airfield outside Moscow on Tuesday night and will arrive in the US on Wednesday after refuelling at Shannon airport in Ireland. Footage from the plane broadcast by Russian state television showed stacks of cardboard boxes in the cargo hold. Read more 
02.04.20 Coronavirus: Moscow Rolls Out Patient-tracking App
BBC News
Moscow is launching an app to track the movements of people in the capital diagnosed with coronavirus, who have been ordered to stay at home. The city's IT chief said the service would become operational on Thursday. The move coincides with a separate initiative to help European health authorities create virus-tracing apps that communicate with each other. This could help relax border restrictions. Germany is expected to announce its own app that ties into the scheme shortly. Read more 
02.04.20 Russia, Saudi Not Holding Oil Talks At The Moment
Reuters
Russia and Saudi Arabia are not holding talks regarding the oil market at the moment and Russian President Vladimir Putin has no immediate plans to have a phone call with Saudi leadership, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. Such talks could be set up quickly if necessary, Peskov added. Read more 
02.04.20 Coronavirus Hits Russian Markets
The Moscow Times
The Russian economy has been rocked by the coronavirus outbreak, and the breakdown of the OPEC+ oil production pact between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The turmoil has shocked traders around the world and resulted in sharp volatility on the Russian stock markets and swings in the value of the ruble. The latest on the markets, as of 18.20 Moscow-time, April 1: It was a relatively muted day on the Russian financial markets, as traders await more news on the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more 
02.04.20 Belarus Football Carrying On 'not Comprehendible'
BBC News
It is "frankly not comprehendible" that professional football is continuing in Belarus amid the coronavirus pandemic, says world players' union Fifpro. It is the only country in Europe where top-level football is being played. Eight fixtures are scheduled in the Belarusian Premier League this weekend. "We're appealing for it to be taken with the same cautionary measures that have been taken in the rest of football," Fifpro general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said. Read more 
01.04.20 Russia's Coronavirus Cases Jump To 2,337 In 7th Consecutive One-Day Record
The Moscow Times
Russia confirmed 500 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, bringing the country’s official number of cases up to 2,337 and marking the latest one-day record in new cases. Seventeen people have been killed by the virus. Russia’s officially reported numbers — which are still smaller than those in European countries — have sparked suspicion. Experts warn that Russia's testing capacity is hampered by bureaucracy, while officials warn that the real number of cases is likely much higher. Read more 
01.04.20 Record Rise In Cases Sees Country Introduce Tough Lockdown Sanctions
The Independent
Russia has registered 500 new confirmed cases of coronavirus overnight in the steepest rise on record. The overnight jump was nearly double the previous daily rise of 303 — itself set over the previous 24 hours — and brings the total to 2,337 overall. To date, 17 deaths have been officially ascribed to the virus. Read more 
01.04.20 Armenia Asks Russia For Talks On Reducing Imported Gas Price
Reuters
Armenia has asked Russia to start talks on reducing the price of imported gas, the government said on its website on Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan had sent the request to Russia, it said. Armenia also wants the payment to be made in Armenian drams instead of U.S. dollars. The South Caucasus country currently pays Russia $165 for 1,000 cubic meters of gas. Read more 
01.04.20 Russia's Top Coronavirus Doctor Who Met Putin Tests Positive
AFP
The head of Moscow's main coronavirus hospital who met with President Vladimir Putin a week ago has tested positive, he said Tuesday, as the Kremlin announced the Russian leader's health was fine. Last Tuesday Denis Protsenko met with the Russian leader who inspected the Kommunarka hospital while wearing a bright yellow hazmat suit. But the 67-year-old Putin was also seen talking to Protsenko without any protective gear. Read more 
01.04.20 Coronavirus: Russia Includes Jail Terms To Enforce Crackdown
BBC News
The Russian parliament has approved an “anti-virus” package of laws including up to seven years in prison for serious violations of quarantine rules. The tough laws and amendments were rushed through in record time, as regions across Russia followed Moscow’s lead in imposing strict lockdowns, to slow the spread of coronavirus. Russia has recorded its highest-yet rise in confirmed cases. The official tally remains relatively low at 2,337 and 17 deaths. Read more 
01.04.20 ‘Leaning On War-Time History’: Russian Factories Have Switched To Sewing Masks To Combat Coronavirus
The Moscow Times
The call came just after 9 pm on a Monday, as Nataliya Kharitonova was heading into one of her two textile factories to take stock of supplies. Kharitonova, 40, founded Tekstil Komi 18 years ago in Syktyvkar, the capital city of the republic of Komi in Russia’s northwest. The company produces household linens — pillows, mattresses, towels — that are sold across the country. But the coronavirus crisis meant an unusual customer was on the phone that evening. It was Syktyvkar’s mayor, Nataliya Khosyainova, who peppered Kharitonova with a quick-fire round of questions about a product her company had no previous experience producing: medical masks. Read more 
01.04.20 Campaigners Urge Russia To Release Prisoners As Coronavirus Spreads
AFP
Rights campaigners are urging the Russian government to consider releasing some pre-trial detainees and prisoners held in the country's packed jails, warning of the "devastating consequences" of the coronavirus pandemic. More than half a million people are held in Russia's notoriously crowded prisons in what is the European continent's largest prison population. Read more 
31.03.20 Putin: Russia's Coronavirus Measures Prevented Explosive Growth Of Cases
Reuters
President Vladimir Putin said on Monday decisive measures by Russia had helped win it time in its battle to contain the coronavirus and to prevent an explosive growth in cases, but that it was vital authorities now used that time effectively. Putin was speaking in televised comments broadcast on state television a day after authorities in Moscow ordered residents to stay at home, their toughest move yet to slow the spread of the virus. Read more 
31.03.20 Moscow Begins Lockdown During Tougher Push To Curb Virus
AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday urged Moscow's 12 million residents to respect a strict new lockdown, as other parts of the country began to introduce similar steps to curb the coronavirus outbreak. The enforcement of the new rules, which Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin suddenly announced late Sunday, coincided with the beginning of a "non-working" week Putin declared last week. "I ask you to take these forced but absolutely necessary measures... very seriously and completely responsibly," Putin told Muscovites. Read more 
31.03.20 Russia's PM Asks Regions To Consider Moscow-style Coronavirus Restrictions
Reuters
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin asked Russia’s regional governors on Monday to consider imposing the same restrictions on movement to halt the spread of the coronavirus that have been imposed in Moscow, the RIA news agency reported. Authorities in the capital announced a partial lockdown on Sunday, ordering residents to stay at home from Monday in their toughest move yet to slow the spread of coronavirus after the number of official cases in Moscow passed the 1,000 mark. Read more 
31.03.20 Is Moscow’s Virus Lockdown Order Legal?
The Moscow Times
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s announcement of an indefinite citywide quarantine to limit the spread of the coronavirus has prompted debates over whether his strict measures are legal. Sobyanin imposed restrictions on movement starting Monday and said that authorities will enforce the new self-isolation rules through “smart monitoring” and a system of special passes. The isolation measures in the city of 12.7 million came into force after many Muscovites ignored stay-home recommendations and the city's number of coronavirus cases surpassed 1,000. Read more 
31.03.20 Russia Sets Up Oil Company As Rosneft Leaves Venezuela
Reuters
Russia has sets up an oil company called Roszarubezhneft just as energy giant Rosneft sold its business in Venezuela to an undisclosed company owned by the Russian government, the data for the state registry showed on Monday. According to the registry, Roszarubezhneft’s charter capital was set at 322.7 billion roubles ($4 billion). Read more 
31.03.20 Moscow Goes Into Lockdown, Rest Of Russia Braces For Same
The Associated Press
The Russian capital, Moscow, on Monday woke up to a lockdown obliging most of its 13 million residents to stay home, and many other regions of the vast country quickly followed suit to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. A stern-looking President Vladimir Putin warned his envoys in Russia’s far-flung regions that they will be personally responsible for the availability of beds, ventilators and other key equipment. “We have managed to win time and slow down an explosive spread of the disease in the previous weeks, and we need to use that time reserve to the full,” Putin said. Read more 
31.03.20 Russia's Economy Ministry Backs Proposal To Limit Grain Exports
Reuters
Russia’s economy ministry is backing a proposal made by the agriculture ministry last week to limit Russian grain exports to 7 million tonnes from April through June because of the coronavirus pandemic, it said on Monday. While the proposal is unlikely to have much initial impact, as 7 million tonnes is roughly what Russia was expected to export in the last quarter of the 2019/20 season, the move has raised expectations tougher steps may follow, traders said. Read more 
31.03.20 Most Of Moscow’s New Coronavirus Patients Younger Than 40
The Moscow Times
Young people make up a majority of Moscow’s new Covid-19 patients, the city’s coronavirus crisis center said Monday as Russia set another one-day record in new cases of the deadly disease. Russia confirmed 302 new coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the country’s official number of cases up to 1,836, with nine deaths. Moscow accounted for 212 of the new cases and 1,226 of infections overall. Read more 
30.03.20 Moscow Tightens Coronavirus Rules
Reuters
Moscow authorities will on Monday impose tighter restrictions on residents in an attempt to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. Muscovites will only be allowed to go out to buy food or medicines at their nearest shop, get urgent medical treatment, walk the dog or take out the bins. Those needing to go to work will also be allowed to leave their flats, and authorities will introduce a system of passes in the coming days. Read more 
30.03.20 Moscow Orders Citywide Quarantine Starting March 30
The Moscow Times
Moscow will enact an indefinite citywide quarantine starting Monday, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said as the city's number of coronavirus cases surpassed 1,000 over the weekend. The self-isolation order will apply to all residents regardless of age. According to the decree, Moscow residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for: Emergency medical care; Traveling to work if one is unable to work remotely; Going to the nearest grocery store or pharmacy; Walking pets within a 100-meter radius from their residence; Taking out the garbage. Read more 
30.03.20 Moscow Imposes Mandatory Lockdown After Russian Capital Records More Than 1,000 Infections
The Independent
Moscow authorities have ordered a citywide lock-down, restricting the normal business of most of the capital's 12.5 million residents. The move is the most comprehensive attempt to date to stem the proliferation of the coronavirus. It comes just three days after the Kremlin insisted there was "de facto no epidemic" in Russia. Read more 
30.03.20 Russia Claims It Has Covid-19 Under Control. The Facade Is Cracking.
Washington Post
With most of Europe and the United States shutting down to slow the coronavirus pandemic’s advance, it was surprising in recent weeks to hear that Russia had apparently dodged covid-19 almost entirely. Maps of the outbreak drew a suspiciously tidy ring around the largest nation on Earth, as if Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had simply banned the virus like he has free speech and opposition candidates. Read more 
30.03.20 Moscow Says Coronavirus Outbreak Enters New Phase As Residents Go Out To Brave Risk
Reuters
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Sunday that the coronavirus outbreak had entered a new phase as the total number of cases in the Russian capital exceeded 1,000 with many Muscovites going out despite a plea to stay home. Authorities in Moscow, Russia’s worst-affected area, shut shops and entertainment venues from Saturday and urged Muscovites to stay at home during the non-working week announced by President Vladimir Putin. Read more 
30.03.20 Russia's Coronavirus Cases Jump To 1,534 In New Record One-Day Rise
The Moscow Times
Russia confirmed 270 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, bringing the country’s official number of cases up to 1,534 and marking the latest one-day record in new cases. Eight people have been killed by the virus. Russia’s officially reported numbers — which are still smaller than those in European countries — have sparked suspicion as they spiked in the past week. Experts warn that Russia's testing capacity is hampered by bureaucracy, while officials warn that the real number of cases is likely much higher. Read more 
30.03.20 Coronavirus: Belarus Premier League Attracts Global Attention As It Plays On
BBC News
Football is suspended in the UK and across most of world because of the coronavirus pandemic - but the game rolls on in Belarus. The Belarusian Premier League rarely gets a mention in normal circumstances yet it is attracting attention from foreign fans as one of the few places around the globe - and the only place in Europe - where football is still being played. On Saturday, there were six top-flight games in the eastern European country including the derby between FC Minsk and Dinamo Minsk watched by a capacity 3,000 crowd in Belarus' capital. Read more 
29.03.20 Russia To Close Borders To Curb Coronavirus
Reuters
Russia will close all border crossings on March 30, the government said on Saturday, tightening restrictions after the country reported its biggest one-day rise in new coronavirus cases. The authorities said they so far had recorded 1,264 confirmed cases, an increase of 228 in 24 hours, and ordered that all vehicle, rail and pedestrian checkpoints, as well as the country's maritime borders, be closed from Monday. Read more 
29.03.20 Russia's Coronavirus Cases Jump To 1,264 In Another Record One-Day Rise
The Moscow Times
Russia confirmed 228 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, bringing the country’s official number of cases up to 1,264 and marking the country's largest one-day increase in cases so far. Five people have been killed by the virus. Russia’s officially reported numbers — which are still smaller than those in European countries — have sparked suspicion as they spiked in the past week. Experts warn that Russia's testing capacity is hampered by bureaucracy, while officials warn that the real number of cases is likely much higher. Read more 
29.03.20 French Chess Team Quarantined In Russia Plan Next Move
Reuters
When a group of French chess players traveled to the Russian Arctic city of Murmansk for a tournament this month, they didn’t expect to end up in quarantine and face delays in getting home. Hailing from the Ile-de-France region, the 14-strong group, which includes eight minors, arrived in Murmansk, 1,480 kilometers (920 miles) north of Moscow, on March 12 to play opponents from Russia, Ireland and the Netherlands. But the tournament was derailed when an Irish player was diagnosed with the coronavirus, forcing other participants into quarantine. Read more 
29.03.20 Five Russian Government Staff Members Test Positive For Covid-19
The Independent
Even with coronavirus raging through Europe and the Americas, Russia’s leadership has confidently rejected the prospect of an emergency at home. Vladimir Putin certainly has reason enough to be sanguine about the situation. The number of confirmed cases has yet to accelerate out of control, and his government has acted decisively on a number of fronts from contact tracing to closing its borders. Read more 
29.03.20 Russia's Rosneft Terminates Venezuela Operations
Reuters
Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft, said on Saturday it had terminated operations in Venezuela and disposed of its assets relating to its operations there. The company said it was selling its Venezuelan businesses to a company owned by the Russian government, “including in the joint ventures of Petromonagas, Petroperija, Boqueron, Petromiranda and Petrovictoria, as well as oil-field services companies, commercial and trading operations”. Read more 
29.03.20 Dour Moscow Mayor Comes To Fore As 'PM For Coronavirus'
AFP
At a televised meeting with Vladimir Putin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin flatly told the president that official figures on coronavirus cases were far from the reality. That's because people are staying home sick and because there has not been enough testing, he said Tuesday, so "no one knows the real picture." After that reality check, the official narrative changed swiftly: Putin, who had called the situation "under control," on Wednesday gave a grim-faced address to the nation. Read more 
29.03.20 Rosneft Sells Venezuelan Assets To Russia After U.S. Sanctions Ramp Up
Reuters
Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft, said on Saturday it had terminated operations in Venezuela and sold the assets linked to its operations in the South American nation to an unnamed company owned by the Russian government. The impact of the move, announced at a time when oil prices are languishing at around $25 per barrel, on Rosneft’s upstream joint ventures with Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela was not immediately clear. Read more 
29.03.20 Moscow Mayor Urges Residents To Stay Home During Holiday Week
Reuters
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin urged Muscovites on Saturday to stay at home during the non-working week announced by President Vladimir Putin in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Russian authorities said on Saturday they had recorded 1,264 coronavirus cases, a rise of 228, the largest daily increase since the start of the outbreak. Read more 
28.03.20 Russia Asks All 147 Million Citizens To 'stay At Home And Not Travel'
The Independent
The Russian government has announced that it will introduce major restrictions to the lives of all 147 million of its citizens in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin, said on Friday that limits announced by the Moscow city government would be extended to the entire country. For all of next week – already designated “non-working” by the president, Vladimir Putin – citizens will be asked to stay at home and refrain from non-essential travel. All non-essential retail and leisure facilities will also be shuttered. Read more 
28.03.20 Kremlin Confirms First Coronavirus Infection In Putin’s Administration
The Moscow Times
The Kremlin has confirmed the first known coronavirus case in the presidential administration Friday, saying that the official had no contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the news to reporters a day after Russian media reported that at least two Kremlin officials may have tested positive for Covid-19. Read more 
28.03.20 Coronavirus: Russia Sees No Epidemic But Starts Shutdown
BBC News
Russia is beginning what Vladimir Putin called a "non-working week", to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The government is urging people to stay at home, though mixed messaging has left many Russians confused. Officials now hint the new restrictions could be extended beyond 5 April, depending on the health situation. The number of Russians infected with Covid-19 passed 1,000 on Friday, with most cases detected in Moscow. Read more 
28.03.20 Gazprom: Employee Tested Positive For Coronavirus
Reuters
Russian gas giant Gazprom on Friday said one of its employees had tested positive for coronavirus after falling ill while on holiday within Russia. Gazprom said the employee was in a stable condition and all necessary measures are being taken, including establishing which people he came into contact with. Read more 
28.03.20 Aeroflot Still Flying Limited International Routes Despite Virus Grounding Order
The Moscow Times
Russia’s state carrier Aeroflot is continuing to operate a limited number of flights abroad despite the Russian government’s order to ground all international flights that took effect at midnight Friday. The government decree published Thursday orders aviation authorities to halt all regular and charter flights to and from other countries, with the exception of special flights evacuating Russian citizens from abroad. Russia had already suspended most flights to coronavirus-hit countries in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus within its borders. Read more 
28.03.20 Two Senior Managers At Russia's Nornickel Leave
Reuters
Russian nickel and palladium producer Norilsk Nickel said on Friday two senior vice presidents, including Sergey Batekhin, who was in charge of sales, had left the company. Batekhin has joined holding company Interrros, which manages the assets of Vladimir Potanin, Nornickel’s largest shareholder, and will focus on digital projects at the holding. Another senior vice president, Larisa Zelkova, has left Nornickel to focus on charity projects, the miner said in a statement. Read more 
28.03.20 Surviving Quarantine: 5 Tips From A Russian Cosmonaut
AFP
With more than a third of the global population confined to their homes to slow the coronavirus pandemic, many are worried how long they will be cooped up. But being quarantined can be "a good thing" and something "to enjoy," says veteran Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin. The 61-year-old, who has made five flights to space spending a combined 671 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS), says the main thing is to stay positive. Read more 
28.03.20 Russia Calls U.S. Sanctions On Venezuela A 'tool Of Genocide' Amid Epidemic
Reuters
Russia said on Friday U.S. “narco-terrorism” charges against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro were absurd, adding that sanctions on Caracas could become “a tool of genocide” amid the coronavirus outbreak. The U.S. government on Thursday indicted Maduro and more than a dozen other top Venezuelan officials on charges of “narco-terrorism,” the latest escalation of the Trump administration’s pressure campaign aimed at ousting the socialist leader. Read more 
27.03.20 Putin Calls For Sanctions 'Moratorium' At G20 Summit
AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called for sanctions relief during the coronavirus pandemic, telling G20 leaders it was a matter "of life and death." The leader did not specify which countries should be earmarked for sanctions relief, speaking instead more broadly. "Ideally we should introduce a... joint moratorium on restrictions on essential goods as well as on financial transactions for their purchase," Putin said at a virtual meeting of G20 leaders Thursday. Read more 
27.03.20 Russia Thanks 'real Friend' Jack Ma For Gift Of A Million Masks
Reuters
Russia has received more than a million masks and 200,000 coronavirus testing kits as a gift from Chinese billionaire businessman Jack Ma, its Defence Ministry said on Thursday. Calling Ma “a real friend”, the ministry said in a statement that the co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba had spoken by telephone to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and told him how touched he had been by Moscow’s own help for China. The foundations of Alibaba and Ma said on Wednesday they had sent medical equipment to Russia. The Russian Defence Ministry said Ma’s gift had been delivered in a Russian air force plane which had flown from China. Read more 
27.03.20 Russia's Coronavirus Cases Jump To 840
The Moscow Times
Russia confirmed 182 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, bringing the country’s official number of cases up to 840 and marking the largest one-day increase in cases so far. Russia’s officially reported numbers — which are still smaller than those in European countries — have sparked suspicion as they spiked in the past week. Experts warn that Russia's testing capacity is hampered by bureaucracy, while officials warn that the real number of cases is likely much higher. Most of the new cases, 136, are in Moscow. This week, Moscow changed the way it counts its coronavirus cases, with patients considered coronavirus-positive upon a single positive test rather than having samples sent to a lab Novosibirsk for further verification. Read more 
27.03.20 Halliburton, Gazprom Neft Sign Memo On Cooperation In Russia
Reuters
Oilfield services firm Halliburton and Russia’s Gazprom Neft have signed an outline agreement on technological cooperation to construct wells at the Achimov oil formation in Siberia, Gazprom Neft said on Thursday. Cooperation between Western and Russian oil and gas producers has been curtailed by the sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and Europe following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. The operations at the Achimov formation are not subject to sanctions. Read more 
27.03.20 Can Foreigners Still Leave Russia And Return Home?
The Moscow Times
Starting March 27, Russia will indefinitely ground all international flights in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus within its borders — but foreigners in Russia still have some available options to leave the country and return home, travel agencies told The Moscow Times. Russia saw a spike in confirmed coronavirus cases this week and health experts have warned of an “explosion” in new infections. As of Thursday, Russia has reported 840 cases of coronavirus and three coronavirus-related deaths. Read more 
27.03.20 Russia To Ground All International Flights After Sharp Jump In Covid-19 Cases
The Independent
All international flights to Russia will be halted from Friday following a sharp jump in coronavirus cases in the country this week, Russian government officials have announced. A statement on the government’s website said an exception would be made for repatriation flights bringing Russian citizens home from abroad, or for flights given special government permission. Read more 
27.03.20 Chess: Candidates Stopped At Midway Point After Russia Suspends Air Traffic
The Guardian
The world championship Candidates in Ekaterinburg was abruptly stopped on Thursday morning, with seven of 14 rounds played, after the Russian government announced that international air traffic would be suspended from Friday. Fide, the global chess body, planned a charter flight to Amsterdam enabling the Chinese, Dutch, French, and US grandmasters plus their aides and tournament officials to leave before the deadline. Fide’s intention is to complete the tournament later this year, still in Russia and with points already scored counting, so that its winner, the official challenger for Magnus Carlsen’s crown, can play the Norwegian in Dubai in December. Whether coronavirus will permit this schedule remains to be seen. Read more 
27.03.20 Moscow's Mayor, Not Putin, Is Leading Russia's Coronavirus Fight
The Moscow Times
There’s nothing so dangerous as an opportunity. With Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin in charge of the country’s coronavirus response body, the pandemic is likely to make him or break him — and to a considerable degree his capacity to save his career, as well as the lives of thousands of Russians, will depend on whether he really wants to do more than seem to make a difference, given that Putin himself doesn’t seem that sure. Much has been written about the peculiarly — and suspiciously — low infection and death rates from Russia, but for those who necessarily regard this as some Kremlin PR it is worth noting that the powers that be themselves appear only now, reluctantly, to be coming to realize that the situation is more alarming than might have appeared. Read more 
26.03.20 Fitch Revises Russia Banking Sector Outlook To Negative
Reuters
Fitch ratings agency has revised banking sector outlooks to negative for Russia and a number other ex-Soviet nations, saying on Wednesday that coronavirus spread and weak oil prices may even trigger negative rating actions. Oil prices, the cornerstone of Russia’s budget revenues, have halved to around $25 per barrel this month after coronavirus hit world demand and a global deal to support prices fell apart in early March. Read more 
26.03.20 In First Address To Nation On The Coronavirus, Putin Holds Back From Stringent Measures
The Moscow Times
Casually reclining in front of an office desk, President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation on the coronavirus pandemic for the first time on Wednesday afternoon — a month after Russia announced its first case. The Russian leader kicked off the speech by postponing a planned April 22 vote on constitutional changes that could see him remain in the Kremlin until 2036. He did not announce a new date for the vote. Then he declared a week-long paid national holiday from March 30 — the purpose of which, he said, was to encourage people to remain at home in an effort to limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Read more 
26.03.20 Magnitude 7.8 Quake Strikes Off Russia's Kuril Islands
Reuters
An earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck offshore 218 kilometers south-southeast of Severo in Russia’s Kuril Islands, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said on Tuesday. The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center said it was analyzing the event. Read more 
26.03.20 Coronavirus Outbreak Is Major Test For Russia’s Facial Recognition Network
The Moscow Times
On Feb. 21, as the coronavirus claimed its first victims in Italy and Iran, Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin took to his official blog to reassure the citizens of the Russian capital. Emphasizing that Moscow was still, for now, free of the virus, he announced a string of new measures to keep it that way. Chinese citizens would be banned from entering Russia, those already in Russia would be tracked down and monitored and potential carriers would be ordered into self-isolation. Read more 
26.03.20 Alibaba, Jack Ma Send Russia Medical Equipment To Fight Virus Outbreak
Reuters
The foundations of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and its co-founder Jack Ma said on Wednesday they had sent medical equipment, including masks and coronavirus tests, to Russia to help it fight an outbreak. Russia has so far reported 658 confirmed coronavirus cases and canceled many flights to and from the country. One person who tested positive for coronavirus has died. Read more 
26.03.20 ‘Pro-Western’ Activists Posing As Journalists Are Infiltrating Russia’s Military, Defense Minister Claims
The Moscow Times
Members of a “pro-Western opposition division” in Russia are posing as journalists to “hide behind” the country’s mass media law and infiltrate its military facilities, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday. Speaking to Russia’s upper chamber of parliament, Shoigu urged lawmakers to change the nation's mass media law to counter so-called “information attacks.” Read more 
26.03.20 Coronavirus Delays Russian Vote On Putin Staying In Power
BBC News
Russian President Vladimir Putin has postponed a vote on constitutional change that would allow him to stay in power, because of coronavirus concerns. He said the public vote - previously due to be held on 22 April - would be delayed until a "later date". The proposed changes include scrapping a ban on allowing Mr Putin to run for office again. Read more 
26.03.20 Why Russian Pensioners Won’t Self-Isolate
The Moscow Times
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed a decree this week ordering Moscow’s nearly 2 million people aged 65 or older to self-isolate. The authorities promised to arrange the home delivery of food and medicines to them, forgive their debts on utilities bills, and maintain their telephone and Internet service. They also promised to make a one-time payment of 4,000 rubles (approximately $50 at the current exchange rate) to each as compensation for expenses stemming from the quarantine. Read more 
26.03.20 Coronavirus Cases In Russia Reach 658 After Biggest Daily Rise
Reuters
The number of recorded coronavirus cases in Russia reached 658 on Wednesday, a day after the mayor of Moscow told President Vladimir Putin that the real scale of the problem in the Russian capital far exceeded official figures. The number of cases in Russia increased by 163 overnight, the biggest one day rise so far, the government’s official coronavirus website showed. Most cases, 410, were in Moscow. Read more 
26.03.20 Russia's New Coronavirus Cases Triple Overnight, Totaling 658
The Moscow Times
Russia confirmed 163 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, bringing the country’s official number of cases up to 658 and marking the largest one-day increase in cases so far. Russia’s officially reported numbers — which are still smaller than those in European countries — have sparked suspicion as they spiked in the past week. Experts warn that Russia's testing capacity is hampered by bureaucracy, while officials warn that the real number of cases is likely much higher. Read more 
25.03.20 Russia In Digital Payments Push As It Limits Banknote Circulation
Reuters
Russia has urged consumers and businesses to use digital payments rather than cash in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus and told banks to limit rouble notes in circulation. Consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor this month encouraged Russians to move to cashless payments, citing World Health Organization guidelines stating that a virus can linger on a banknote for three to four days. The central bank already keeps banknotes for up to 14 days before distributing them and is now asking other banks to do the same, said Vladimir Demidenko, deputy head of its cash circulation department. Read more 
25.03.20 Russian Official Questions Putin Over Coronavirus
The Guardian
When Vladimir Putin sat down for a briefing on coronavirus, Moscow’s mayor had a tough message for him: the number of infected people is far higher than you’ve been told, he said, and Russia’s healthcare system could be overrun. Breaking with official tallies that show the disease’s conservative growth in Russia, Sergei Sobyanin told Putin on Tuesday that a serious situation was developing as the disease spread in Moscow and in the regions, and that the problem “would emerge sooner or later”. Read more 
25.03.20 Moscow Mayor: ‘Serious Situation’ Unfolding With Coronavirus In Russia
The Moscow Times
Russia is facing a “serious situation” as the coronavirus spreads, Moscow’s mayor told President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday as the official number of infections neared 500. Russia has reported a total of 495 coronavirus infections so far, a number that observers have questioned due to the relatively low number of tests the country has carried out. Putin previously dismissed concerns over the coronavirus, saying the situation is “under control” in Russia and that the number of infections was “contained.” Read more 
25.03.20 Russia Sends Ship With Military Ambulances Toward Syria After Virus Outbreak
Reuters
A cargo ship operated by the Russian Navy transited Turkey’s Bosphorus strait en route to Syria on Tuesday loaded with ambulances, a Reuters reporter saw. Syria reported its first case of coronavirus on Sunday after weeks of rejecting opposition allegations that the disease had already reached a country with a wrecked health system and thousands of Iranian-backed militias and Shi’ite pilgrims. The Russian Dvinitsa-50 ship, part of Moscow’s auxiliary fleet, was carrying at least three military ambulances along with a shipping container on its deck. Read more 
25.03.20 Coronavirus: Migrants Stranded In Moscow Airports
BBC News
Hundreds of migrant workers from Central Asia have been stranded at Moscow airports after Russia closed its borders to try to stop the spread of coronavirus. With work permits running out, or work ending because of the pandemic, many are trying to get home. The governments, in which the migrants are from, are now starting to arrange charter flights, after many spent days sleeping on airport floors. Read more 
25.03.20 Coronavirus Border Closures Leave Migrant Workers Stranded In Moscow’s Airports
The Moscow Times
The stale smell of unwashed bodies wafted through the glass doors of Moscow’s modern Vnukovo International Airport as soon as they slid open. Then came the noise. Dozens of citizens of Uzbekistan, some of whom have been stranded at the airport for over a week, were shouting at two of their embassy’s representatives on Tuesday morning, desperate to board a charter flight scheduled to leave for the Uzbek capital Tashkent that afternoon. With the help of two riot police officers, Moscow policemen held back the crowd trying to push through to the check-in gates. Read more 
25.03.20 Russia Ramps Up Measures Against Coronavirus As Cases Grow
The Associated Press
Russian authorities acknowledged Tuesday that a low number of coronavirus cases in the country could be a result of insufficient screening and warned that the nation must brace for the worst. President Vladimir Putin donned a yellow protective suit to visit the top Moscow hospital treating coronavirus patients and conferred with officials on how to stem the outbreak. Hospital chief Denis Protsenko told Putin the country needs to “prepare for the Italian scenario.” Read more 
25.03.20 Volkswagen To Halt Production In Russia Due To Supply Shortage From Europe
Reuters
Volkswagen will suspend its car production in Russia over a supply shortage caused by the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, Volkswagen Group Rus said on Tuesday. Production will be stopped from March 30 to April 10 at is car plant in Kaluga and assembly line in Nizhny Novgorod, the company said. Volkswagen last week said its plants in Europe would temporarily shut down for two weeks due to the spread of the coronavirus that has infected more than 330,000 people worldwide, as car manufacturers globally shut factories to both protect workers and in response to falling demand. Read more 
25.03.20 75% Of Russians Say Soviet Era Was 'Greatest Time' In Country’s History
The Moscow Times
Three out of four Russians think the Soviet era was the best time in their country’s history, according to a survey published by the independent Levada Center pollster on Tuesday. Russians have expressed increasingly positive opinions about the Soviet Union over the years, with nostalgia toward the U.S.S.R. and approval of Stalin hitting record highs in the past year or so. Just 18% of Russian respondents said they disagree with the idea that the Soviet Union was the best time in their country’s history, Levada said. Despite this, only 28% of respondents said they would want to “return to the path that the Soviet Union was following.” Fifty-eight said they support Russia's “own, special way” and 10% said they preferred the European path of development. Read more 
24.03.20 Russia's Shoigu, Syria's Assad Discuss Ceasefire And Aid
Reuters
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad discussed ensuring a lasting ceasefire in the Idlib region during talks in Syria, the Russian defense ministry said on Monday. The two talked about Russia providing humanitarian aid to Syria and enabling the country’s economic recovery with the help of Russian specialists, as well as various aspects of military and technical cooperation. Read more 
24.03.20 Russia's Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Jump To 438
The Moscow Times
Russia confirmed 71 new coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the country’s official number of cases up to 438. Russia’s officially reported numbers — which are still far below those in European countries — have sparked suspicion as they spiked this week. Experts warn that Russia's testing capacity is hampered by bureaucracy, while some officials warn that the real number of cases is likely much higher. Russia has registered just one coronavirus-related death so far. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 330,000 people and killed more than 14,000. Read more 
24.03.20 In Oil Market Standoff With Saudi Arabia, Weakened Rouble Helps Russia
Reuters
In Russia’s battle for oil market share with Saudi Arabia, a sharp fall in the rouble has handed the Russians one advantage - they can now produce cheaper than the Saudis, according to Reuters calculations. The Russian currency has lost nearly a fifth of its value against the U.S. dollar - the currency of oil - since their talks on coordinated output cuts collapsed on March 6. Brent crude futures have fallen by nearly 50% to about $26 a barrel and that has knocked the rouble, which is down more than 15% to 80 per dollar, its weakest level since early 2016. Read more 
24.03.20 Russia May Delay Putin Vote As Coronavirus Threatens Political Agenda
The Guardian
Russia may be forced to put off a public vote on amendments allowing Vladimir Putin to hold office potentially until 2036 as the coronavirus threatens to upend a busy political season in Russia. The Kremlin so far has not rescheduled the 22 April vote that was intended as a public endorsement for Putin’s surprise plan to “reset” his term limits, allowing him to run for a fifth or even sixth term as president under a revised constitution. Read more 
24.03.20 Russia To Use Mobile Phones To Track People At Risk Of Coronavirus
Reuters
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday gave the authorities five days to develop a system to track people who have come into contact with anyone with coronavirus by using mobile phone geolocation data. Under the new system, people would be sent information if they came into contact with someone who was infected and the same information would be passed on to special regional headquarters set up to fight the pandemic. The Kremlin said the measure was legal and part of measures Russia is taking to try to halt spread of the virus. Read more 
24.03.20 Moscow Police Readying For Citywide Coronavirus Lockdown
The Moscow Times
Moscow’s police force is preparing to enforce a near-total shutdown of the Russian capital if the number of coronavirus cases rises, including a curfew and a ban on entering and exiting the city, the RBC news website reported Sunday. Moscow’s head of police, Oleg Baranov, has ordered police officials to develop a plan by March 31 “to ensure the protection of public order” in the event of a coronavirus-related shutdown, RBC reported, citing a copy of the order it obtained and verified with local and federal Interior Ministry sources. Moscow officials have repeatedly denied that the city will go into lockdown, and the city’s police force dismissed RBC’s report as “fake.” Read more 
24.03.20 Russia's Gazprombank Signs Deal To Sell Elga Coal Project Stake
Reuters
Russian lender Gazprombank has signed a pact to sell 49% of shares in the Elga coal project to Russian company A-Property, the lender said on Monday. The other major Elga shareholder is Russian steel and coal producer Mechel, which said in March it was in talks to sell its 51% stake. Read more 
23.03.20 Russia: Gulf Nations, Not Us, To Blame For Oil Prices Fall
Reuters
Russia never sought a sharp oil price fall or an end to cooperation with Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the Gulf nations are to blame for the crisis on the global oil markets, a senior Russian official said. In early March, Russia and OPEC failed to agree how their deal to cut oil production should work: OPEC wanted to deepen the cuts while Moscow proposed extending existing curbs. The disagreement came at a time when global demand was slumping because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more 
23.03.20 As Europe’s Death Toll Surges, How Has Russia Avoided A Coronavirus Crisis?
The Independent
Outwardly at least, Russia is confident. The coronavirus is observing Russian immigration rules, say the state media broadcasts. The only Russians to be infected are those arriving from abroad. “The system is working.” On Saturday evening, the Kremlin even announced it would be sending 100 of its military doctors and planeloads of medical equipment to help Italy, the country most affected by the pandemic. On one level, Moscow has good reason to feel bullish. Over the last week, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has been rising steadily, but they aren’t yet an exponential horror. As of Sunday, the country of 146 million was reporting just 367 cases and one – disputed – death. Read more 
23.03.20 Russia To Build More Coronavirus Isolation Units On Chinese Model
Reuters
Russia plans to build new isolation units for patients with infectious diseases in several regions in response to the spread of the coronavirus, Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin was quoted by TASS news agency as saying on Sunday. He said the units would be based on close study of such units built in China and that the Russian government was discussing its plans with Chinese partners in the construction sector. It is one of several measures being introduced as Russia, which has reported few confirmed cases of the disease compared to European countries, readies its healthcare system for a possible spike in patient numbers. Read more 
23.03.20 Coronavirus: Russia To Send Medical Help To Italy
The Independent
The Russian military will start sending medical aid to Italy from Sunday to help it to battle the coronavirus following an order from Vladimir Putin, Russia's defence ministry said in a statement. Mr Putin spoke to Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday, the Kremlin said, adding that the Russian leader had offered his support and help in the form of mobile disinfection vehicles and specialists to aid the worst hit Italian regions. Read more 
23.03.20 Russian Boxing Official: Olympics-Tokyo Games Should Be Postponed
Reuters
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics should be postponed by a year because coronavirus outbreaks worldwide have disrupted athletes’ preparations and could jeopardise their health, the head of Russia’s Boxing Federation said on Sunday. The coronavirus has brought global sport to a virtual standstill in recent weeks, with major events being postponed or cancelled as cases grow internationally. Read more 
22.03.20 Rich Russians Are Hoarding Ventilators To Protect Themselves Against The Coronavirus
The Moscow Times
The family is one of Russia’s richest. Worth over $1 billion, it owns homes in some of the world’s most sought after destinations, including London and the south of France. It also has a mansion in Rublyovka, the luxury suburb outside Moscow that is home to much of Russia’s ruling elite. It is here that the family is planning on riding out the coronavirus pandemic that has swept across the globe in recent weeks, killing 12,000 and counting. Read more 
22.03.20 Russia's Top Carmaker Avtovaz Reports First Coronavirus Cases
Reuters
Russia’s largest carmaker Avtovaz reported the first two cases of the coronavirus among its workers, it said on Saturday. Russia, which has so far reported 253 cases of the virus and one death, has introduced a raft of economic and social measures to limit its spread. Avtovaz’s factory, which employs around 35,000 workers in Russia’s Volga city of Togliatti, does not plan to stop production, the representative, who asked not to be named, said. There have been coronavirus cases confirmed at Togliatti before Avtovaz. Read more 
22.03.20 Russia's Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Jump To 306
The Moscow Times
Russia’s officially reported numbers — which are still far below those in European countries — have sparked suspicion as they spiked this week. Experts warn that Russia's testing capacity is hampered by bureaucracy, while officials warn that the real number of cases is likely much higher. Russia has registered just one coronavirus-related death so far. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 250,000 people and killed more than 11,000. Read more 
22.03.20 Moscow Shuts Pools And Fitness Clubs In Coronavirus Battle
Reuters
Moscow has closed all sports facilities including swimming pools and fitness clubs due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Russian capital’s health authorities said on Saturday. Russia has reported 306 cases of the virus, most of them in Moscow, and one death. The country has introduced a raft of economic and social measures to limit its spread. Moscow had already suspended most public events and restricted mass gatherings, as well as banning the entry of foreign nationals and closing some schools. Read more 
22.03.20 Russia Sees Its Worldview Vindicated In The Age Of Coronavirus
The Moscow Times
With at least 253 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, Russia is beginning to confront the public health and economic effects of its rapid spread. Despite the emerging challenges, however, the Kremlin believes the shortcomings of the international response have validated key aspects of its worldview. The virus’s outbreak has become a major test for all governments. Russian authorities must compete in real time with the rest of the world, in a still fairly open information space. They have faced criticism for dragging their feet before evacuating Russian nationals out of Wuhan, China, and for not taking effective measures inside Russia. As the epidemic escalates, comparisons with other countries are inevitable; people are watching and will draw conclusions. Read more 
22.03.20 No Russia Lockdown As Putin Puts On Show Of Calm
BBC News
Russia's president had big plans for this spring, all about stressing stability and projecting strength. But that agenda has been hijacked by the spread of coronavirus and a dramatic plunge in both the oil price and rouble. April was earmarked for a vote to approve changes to the constitution, allowing Vladimir Putin to remain in power into his 80s. Read more 
22.03.20 Russia Deports Chinese For Violating Self-quarantine Rules
The Associated Press
Authorities in Moscow are detaining and deporting Chinese nationals for violating quarantine procedures the city government mandated in response to the coronavirus, according to court filings and a lawyer working on at least 15 cases. Since the beginning of the year, as many as 79 Chinese people have been taken into custody and fined for leaving their place of residence during the 14-day self-quarantine period they were ordered to observe after returning from China. Read more 
22.03.20 Reported Spike In Pneumonia Cases In Moscow As Russia Accuses Critics Of Fake News
The Independent
A reported spike in pneumonia cases in Moscow is fuelling fears about the accuracy of official coronavirus data in Russia. The country of 144 million has reported just 253 cases, far fewer than in many other European countries with smaller populations. The figures have led some doctors to question how far the official data reflects reality, given what they say is Russia's patchy nature and quality of testing. Read more 
21.03.20 Russia Confirms 54 New Coronavirus Cases, Reaching 253
The Moscow Times
Russia confirmed 54 new coronavirus infections on Friday, bringing the country’s official number of cases up to 253 and marking the largest one-day increase since recording began. Russia’s officially reported numbers — which are still far below those in European countries — have sparked suspicion, with experts warning that its testing capacity is hampered by bureaucracy and officials warning that the real number of cases is likely much higher. Read more 
21.03.20 Russia Starts Testing Coronavirus Vaccine Prototypes On Animals
Reuters
Russian scientists have begun testing prototypes of potential vaccines against the new coronavirus on animals in a laboratory in Siberia, Russia’s consumer health regulator said on Friday. Russia has reported 199 coronavirus cases so far, less than in many other European countries, but the figure has risen sharply in recent days. One person diagnosed with the virus has died. Scientists in the Vektor State Virology and Biotechnology Centre in the city of Novosibirsk have developed vaccine prototypes based on six different technological platforms and began tests on Monday to try to work out how effective they are and in what doses they could be administered, the regulator said. Read more 
21.03.20 Is Russia Facing Another Banking Crisis?
The Moscow Times
Is Russia’s banking sector in danger of another crisis due to the double whammy of the oil price collapse and coronavirus (COVID-19) shocks? The Central Bank of Russia has been busy cleaning up the banking sector ever since governor Elvira Nabiullina took over in 2013, but is it healthy enough to weather the storm of oil prices falling to $25 per barrel — a level Russia has not seen for two decades — and a ruble that has collapsed to 80 to the dollar or less? Read more 
21.03.20 Russia Postpones Sovereign Internet Test Over Coronavirus
Reuters
Russia due to coronavirus has postponed a test designed to improve the ability of its domestic internet infrastructure to cope with being cut off from the global network, the Communications Ministry said on Friday, TASS reported. The test, planned for March 20, had been aimed at developing ways to block certain types of encrypted web traffic, the TASS news agency said. “Planned exercises were postponed due to the strengthening of measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection,” the ministry was quoted as saying. Read more 
21.03.20 Prominent Russians Urge Government To Take Swift Action Against Coronavirus
The Moscow Times
Russian public figures, doctors and citizens have launched a petition urging the government to take urgent action against the coronavirus as the country’s number of confirmed cases continues to climb. The petition’s authors include acclaimed novelist Lyudmila Ulitskaya, economist Sergei Guriev, publisher Irina Prokhorova, musician Alexei Kortnev and journalists Leonid Parfyonov, Katerina Gordeeva and Ilya Azar. More than 12,500 people have signed the petition, which calls for universal free testing and measures to support people quarantined at home. Read more 
21.03.20 Two Workers That Sparked Kinross Russia Gold Mine Lockdown Test Negative
Reuters
Two workers that sparked the lockdown of a gold mine in Russia’s Far East involving almost 900 workers have tested negative for the new coronavirus, local authorities said. Mine operator Kinross Gold Corp of Canada, which produces gold and silver in Russia, isolated its Kupol mine complex this week, including 866 on-site workers. The two employees had been hospitalised with suspected coronavirus infections in the biggest mining lockdown since the outbreak of the disease. Read more 
21.03.20 Russia Battles New Economic Crisis On Three Fronts
The Moscow Times
The last week in Russia was abundant in black swan events, both for the financial markets and for ordinary people. On Monday, March 9, and the following day, when oil prices fell further in percentage terms than they had in the last thirty years, both armchair and professional analysts expected the ruble to collapse. Yet that didn’t happen: after falling sharply on Monday, the ruble gradually regained some ground, though it fell again — this time even further — on March 18. Unlike during the last two crises (in 2008 and 2014), the market is overshadowed by corporate and bank debt right now, and liquid reserves amount to about $150 billion. That is more than enough to maintain a stable situation on the market and cover a shortfall in budget revenues for a fairly long period of time. Read more 
21.03.20 Russia Says It Has Very Few Coronavirus Cases.
The Moscow Times
Russia’s official statistics indicate that the country has virtually no coronavirus within its borders. With 116,000 tests for the coronavirus carried out and 114 returning positive, Russia’s ratio of tests to positive cases is 0.09%, the lowest among all of the countries infected by the coronavirus. The second lowest ratio is Taiwan’s 0.3% — three times higher than Russia’s. Not even the Russian authorities, however, trust those numbers. Read more 
20.03.20 Russia Reports First Coronavirus Death
Reuters
Russia said on Thursday a 79-year-old woman with underlying health issues who tested positive for the new coronavirus had died from pneumonia, the country’s first confirmed death resulting from the virus. Russia has reported 147 cases of the coronavirus. Read more 
20.03.20 Coronavirus Will Test Russia’s Creaking Healthcare System
The Moscow Times
For the past five years, nurse Svetlana Shchedrina has been stowing away protective masks and latex gloves. Right now she has two large boxes of each. Shchedrina, 37, told The Moscow Times she was forced to start stockpiling after the tuberculosis hospital in the Urals city of Kurgan where she works stopped providing its staff with more than two or three sets of masks and gloves to use over a 24-hour period. “We wash our masks, dry them, wipe them down with towels and then use them again,” Shchedrina said by phone Wednesday. Read more 
20.03.20 Russia's Putin, China's Xi Discuss Coronavirus, Agree Medical Cooperation
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the coronavirus by phone on Thursday and agreed to deepen cooperation on developing pharmaceuticals, the Kremlin said. Putin praised China’s efforts in preventing the spread of the virus which emerged in China late last year, the Kremlin said in a readout of the phone call. Read more 
20.03.20 Russia Props Up Ruble, Oil Producers
AFP
Russia announced Thursday new measures to prop up the ruble and its oil producers, both of which have been suffering from sinking oil prices and the global panic over the coronavirus. "The government and the Central Bank will continue to take the necessary actions to ensure financial stability," Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said. He announced that the Central Bank would increase sales of foreign currency reserves, which helps support the value of the ruble, after the Russian currency exceeded the symbolic barrier of 80 rubles per dollar on Wednesday evening, a rate not seen since early 2016 during Russia's last economic crisis. Read more 
20.03.20 Trump's National Security Advisor To Attend Russia's May 9 Victory Day Parade
Reuters
U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien will travel to Moscow to attend Russia’s World War Two Victory Day celebrations in May, U.S. ambassador John Sullivan said on Thursday. President Vladimir Putin presides over an annual parade on May 9 to commemorate the Soviet Union’s World War Two victory over Nazi Germany and uses the occasion to show off the country’s military hardware. Read more 
20.03.20 Russia’s Coronavirus Count Jumps From 147 To 199 In Biggest One-Day Increase
The Moscow Times
Russia reported 52 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections to 199 and marking a 35% jump in cases in the past 24 hours. The news comes as Russia confirmed its first coronavirus-related death, a 79-year-old woman who had pre-existing health conditions. Pathologists said the woman, who tested positive for coronavirus, died from a blood clot. Read more 
19.03.20 Russian Ruble Hits 5-Year Low
The Moscow Times
The Russian economy has been rocked by the coronavirus outbreak, and the breakdown of the OPEC+ oil production pact between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The turmoil has shocked traders around the world and resulted in sharp volatility on the Russian stock markets and swings in the value of the ruble — both of which are down around 20% since the start of the year. Read more 
19.03.20 Russia Faces $39 Billion Budget Shortfall In 2020 From Lower Oil, Gas Revenues
Reuters
Russia faces a budget shortfall of 3 trillion roubles ($39 billion) this year due to falling oil and gas prices, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday, signaling tough times ahead for the Russian economy. Oil prices collapsed to four-year lows in March, having lost about 17% only this week as the outlook for fuel demand darkened because of travel and lockdowns in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. Read more 
19.03.20 Russia Continues Disinformation Tactic, This Time With Coronavirus
The Christian Science Monitor
Russian media have deployed a "significant disinformation campaign" against the West to worsen the impact of the coronavirus, generate panic, and sow distrust, according to a European Union document seen by Reuters. The Kremlin denied the allegations on Wednesday, saying they were unfounded and lacked common sense. Read more 
19.03.20 ‘Putin's Chef' Wins $190K Catering Contract For Coronavirus Patients
The Moscow Times
Yevgeny Prigozhin, a catering magnate with close ties to President Vladimir Putin, has won a $190,000 contract to provide hospital food for Moscow’s coronavirus patients, according to information posted on the government’s online public procurement portal. The government portal says that AVK, a company owned by Prigozhin, will supply ready-made meals to the city hospital at Kommunarka, where coronavirus patients and those suspected of having the virus are being treated. Read more 
19.03.20 Russia Closes Lenin's Tomb On Red Square Amid Coronavirus Fears
Reuters
Russia has closed Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Lenin’s tomb on Moscow’s Red Square to the public, the Kremlin guard service said on Wednesday, the latest Russian tourist attraction to shut down amid coronavirus fears. The Federal Guard Service, which handles security for the Kremlin and President Vladimir Putin, said the tomb, which contains Lenin’s embalmed body, would be undergoing maintenance during its closure. It did not say when it would reopen. Read more 
19.03.20 Russia's Virus Cases Jump 29% Amid Crackdown
AFP
Russia on Wednesday announced coronavirus cases had jumped almost 29% overnight to 147 despite the Kremlin imposing tight controls on movement and saying the situation is under control. The number of cases has gone up by 33 to 147, Russia's state health watchdog said, with 31 of those testing positive in Moscow after recently flying in from European countries including France, Italy, Spain and Germany. The other two new cases were in Siberia. Read more 
19.03.20 Russian Media ‘spreading Covid-19 Disinformation’
The Guardian
Pro-Kremlin media have been spreading disinformation about coronavirus with the aim of “aggravating” the public health crisis in the west, the European Union’s diplomatic service has concluded in a leaked report. An EU monitoring team collected 80 examples of disinformation from Russian sources in nearly two months up to 16 March. Coronavirus was claimed to be a biological weapon deployed by China, the US or the UK. Other conspiracy theories contended the outbreak was caused by migrants or was a pure hoax. Read more 
19.03.20 'Mind The Gap': Russia Tells Cafes To Ensure Customers Don't Sit Too Close Over Virus Fears
Reuters
Russia has told restaurants and bars to make sure customers are seated at least one metre apart, the latest step to try to halt the spread of coronavirus. But some establishments are choosing to temporarily close instead, forcing staff to stay at home. The Russian trade and industry ministry issued the order to restaurants and bars this week, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Wednesday. It said restaurants and bars also needed to ‘strongly advise clients older than 60 years’ to avoid visiting and to ensure customers washed their hands with soap before making an order. Read more 
19.03.20 Buckwheat And The Coronavirus: How Russians Cope With The End Of The World
The Moscow Times
Although Putin stressed in his speech that there was no need to waste money stocking up on food, throngs of anxious Muscovites continued ravaging supermarkets, snatching up astronomical quantities of toilet paper and, inexplicably, buckwheat. Although Putin stressed in his speech that there was no need to waste money stocking up on food, throngs of anxious Muscovites continued ravaging supermarkets, snatching up astronomical quantities of toilet paper and, inexplicably, buckwheat. Read more 
19.03.20 Putin Is Being Protected From Coronavirus Around The Clock
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin is being protected from coronavirus around the clock, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, saying all Kremlin staff involved in his events schedule were undergoing mandatory testing for the virus. Russia has recorded 147 cases of coronavirus so far and the authorities have temporarily barred foreigners from entering the country in an effort to prevent it spreading further. Read more 
19.03.20 Russia To Keep Oil Flowing By Extending Arctic Shifts
Reuters
Russian oil and gas workers in the Arctic Yamal peninsula could see their shifts extended by months to shield the energy industry and its employees from the spread of coronavirus. The region’s governor recommended in an order published on Tuesday that the shifts of those currently working in the region be extended, while those not working have their time off lengthened to reduce the chances of infection. Read more 
18.03.20 Putin Orders April Vote On Constitutional Changes Despite Coronavirus
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a nationwide vote on constitutional amendments, which would allow him to run again for president, on April 22, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, despite the spread of the coronavirus. The amendments, if passed, would allow Putin to run again despite the current constitutional ban. There had been speculation the vote would be postponed due to the coronavirus. “And yet, bearing in mind the difficult epidemiological situation in the world... which is not as acute as in other countries, but nevertheless affects our country, we will hold this vote only if this situation allows such event to be carried out,” Putin told Ella Pamfilova, head of the Central Election Commission, at a meeting. Read more 
18.03.20 Moscow Officials Deny Planning Total Shutdown To Contain Coronavirus
The Moscow Times
Moscow authorities have denied reports that they will introduce a near-total shutdown of the city to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Vedomosti reported Tuesday that officials are considering a state of emergency that would close all public transport, shut all nonessential businesses, impose a strict curfew and prevent anyone from leaving or entering Russia’s capital. Fifty-seven of Russia’s 114 confirmed coronavirus cases are in Moscow. Read more 
18.03.20 Russia Hosts Major Chess Tournament Despite Coronavirus
Reuters
Eight of the world’s best chess players began competing in an international tournament in Russia on Tuesday, but were told by organisers that handshakes would be optional because of the coronavirus that has halted most sports around the world. Known as the Candidates Tournament, the event, organised by the International Chess Federation (FIDE), brings together contenders vying for the chance to challenge defending world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway for the world title. Read more 
18.03.20 Putin: Virus Situation In Russia 'Under Control
AFP
Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said the situation with the spreading coronavirus is "under control" in the country, after infections were "contained." "We were able to contain mass penetration and spread" of the pandemic, the Russian president told a government meeting. "The situation is generally under control despite high risk level." "Citizens should be given all the information they need: What kind of threat we are facing, what measures are being taken by the state and what each person should do to protect themselves and their loved ones," Putin said. Read more 
18.03.20 Russia's Orthodox Church Tells Staff To Disinfect Icons Amid Virus Fears
Reuters
Russia’s Orthodox Church urged worshippers on Tuesday to refrain from the practice of kissing the cross at the end of services and told staff to regularly disinfect religious icons sometimes kissed by churchgoers, as precautions against coronavirus. Patriarch Kirill approved the array of new sanitary guidelines after the Novaya Gazeta newspaper last week reported hundreds of worshippers in St Petersburg were kissing a relic being wiped down with a cloth despite fears over the new virus. Russia has reported 114 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. That figure has risen sharply in recent days, although there have been no confirmed deaths. Read more 
18.03.20 Eduard Limonov, Russian Writer And Dissident, Dies At 77
The New York Times
Eduard Limonov, a Russian writer and political activist whose chameleonlike career included living in exile in New York and leading Russia’s ultra-right National Bolshevik Party, died on Tuesday in Moscow. He was 77. The Other Russia, a political opposition group of which he was a leader, posted news of his death on its website but gave no details. Read more 
18.03.20 Exploring Russia’s Forgotten Land: The North Caucasus
The Christian Science Monitor
I certainly wasn’t in Moscow anymore. Looking through the window of a gondola lift, swaying high above a mountain gorge, the view was nothing but snow-gauzed peaks all around. It’s a half-hour, multistage trip to the summit of this towering mountain, and they say it’s important to focus the mind while getting accustomed to the thinning air, so I amuse myself by wondering, as if I forgot my bearings, where on earth this might be. Read more 
18.03.20 Putin Ally To Sue U.S. For $50Bln Over 'Wrongful Persecution'
AFP
An ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who says he was "wrongfully persecuted" by the US, which claimed he meddled in 2016 elections, vowed Tuesday to sue Washington for $50 billion in damages. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the rich Russian businessman dubbed "Putin's chef," made the announcement after the U.S. Justice Department on Monday abruptly dropped charges against his company Concord. Prosecutors had accused Concord of being behind a campaign to help Donald Trump win the presidency. Read more 
17.03.20 Russia Temporarily Bans Entry Of Foreigners Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Reuters
Russian authorities on Monday banned foreign nationals from entering the country, shut state schools and limited public gatherings in Moscow in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. The ban on foreign nationals will be enforced from March 18 until May 1, though diplomats, airplane crew members and some other categories of people will be exempt, the government said. Read more 
17.03.20 Russian-led Troll Network Based In West Africa Uncovered
The Guardian
A newly discovered Russian-led network of professional trolls was being outsourced to Ghanaian and Nigerian operatives, according to Facebook and Twitter, who removed the network’s accounts on Thursday. The network was small: just 49 Facebook accounts, 85 Instagram accounts and 71 Twitter accounts in question. But it marks the first time that a Russian information operation targeting the US has been found to be run from Africa. Read more 
17.03.20 Russia Builds Coronavirus Hospital In Moscow As Cases Rise
Reuters
Moscow authorities are rushing to build a hospital for coronavirus patients, city officials have said, similar to the medical facilities that were constructed from scratch in China. The new hospital and its 500 beds will be ready in the “near future”, according to a statement by Moscow’s deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova on the city’s health department website. Read more 
17.03.20 Coronavirus: Russia Closes Borders Until May
The Independent
Russia has become the latest country to signal it will close its borders in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The new measures, which come into force at midnight on Tuesday evening, will last at least six weeks until May 1. They mirror similar restrictions imposed across Europe, as nations attempt to contain the threat of the virus. The ban will not affect local citizens, diplomats, crew, transit passengers or foreign citizens with residency rights. Exceptions will also be made for those travelling following the death of a family member. Read more 
17.03.20 New Coronavirus Cases In Russia Jump 47% In 24 Hours
The Moscow Times
The number of coronavirus cases in Russia rose to 93 on Monday, a 47% increase from the previous day, the state-run TASS news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova as saying. There had been 63 recorded infections in Russia on Sunday. Experts studying the spread of the virus have pointed to the coronavirus’ exponential growth trajectory in new infections as the reason why it is so dangerous and difficult to control once it reaches a certain threshold. Read more 
17.03.20 Belarussian Leader Proposes 'Tractor' Therapy For Coronavirus
AFP
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday encouraged citizens to work in the countryside and drive tractors as a way to overcome the coronavirus epidemic. The former collective farm director, who likes to emphasize his connection to the land and rural residents, told officials at a televised meeting that "there shouldn't be any panic" over the virus. "You just have to work, especially now, in a village," he said as the former Soviet country that borders Russia and Poland prepares to sow crops. Read more 
16.03.20 Georgia Shuts Border With Russia Over Coronavirus
Reuters
Georgia will temporarily shut its border with Russia for travelers from March 16 in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Georgian government said on Sunday. “This decision would not apply accordingly to the citizens of the Russian Federation and Georgia who wish to return to their home country,” the Georgian government said on its website. Restrictions will not apply to freight traffic. Read more 
16.03.20 Leaving Moscow For The Good Life
The Moscow Times
Moscow has traditionally been a magnet for the best and brightest. People move to Moscow for career advancement, better opportunities and high salaries. According to the Federal Service for State Statistics (Rosstat), at the end of 2019 the average salary in the capital was 89,129 rubles. But, of course, that is just the average, and many salaries are considerably less. But all the same, Moscow has more career opportunities than other cities, along with tougher competition. On hh, the country’s main job search site, most of the salaries for jobs in Moscow are 30,000-50,000 rubles. A one-room apartment on the secondary market costs about 7 million rubles and rents for about 30,000 rubles. Read more 
16.03.20 Russian To Suspend Trains To Latvia From March 17
Reuters
State-run Russian Railways said on Sunday it would halt international passenger trains to and from Latvia from March 17 in an attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak, RIA news agency reported. Russia, which has so far recorded 59 cases of the virus, earlier on Sunday announced the suspension of trains to and from Ukraine and Moldova, having halted most flights to and from Europe over the coronavirus earlier this week. Read more 
16.03.20 UK Ministers Will No Longer Claim 'no Successful Examples' Of Russian Interference
The Guardian
Ministers have been told they can no longer say there have been “no successful examples” of Russian disinformation affecting UK elections, after the apparent hacking of an NHS dossier seized on by Labour during the last campaign. The dropping of the old line is the first official admission of the impact of Kremlin efforts to distort Britain’s political processes, and comes after three years of the government’s refusal to engage publicly with the threat. Read more 
16.03.20 Russia Recommends Higher Education Switch To Distance Learning
Reuters
Russia’s ministry of science and higher education recommended higher educational institutions switch to distance learning from Monday, Russian news agencies reported on Sunday. The move is part of Russia’s package of measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus. Moscow said on Saturday it will make school attendance optional from Monday, having previously suspended many flights to and from coronavirus-hit countries. Russia has recorded 63 cases as of Sunday. Read more 
16.03.20 A Moscow Family's Experience In Coronavirus Confinement
The Moscow Times
Sofiya Voznaya, a visual artist for Coda Story based in Moscow, has been under self-quarantine with her husband and two children after returning from Berlin during the coronavirus outbreak. She took to Coda Story's Twitter to share their experience of home confinement "with Big Brother watching" in a time of global pandemic. Read more 
16.03.20 Putin Names Moscow Mayor To Run New Working Group To Fight Coronavirus
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday ordered the creation of a special working group within the State Council to fight the spread of the coronavirus, RIA news agency reported. Putin put Moscow’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin in charge of the new group, which will also include government officials, Interfax news agency reported. Russia has recorded 63 cases of the coronavirus as of Sunday. Read more 
16.03.20 ‘Here I Can Be My Own Dictator’
The New York Times
An outspoken critic of Russia’s current president, and of all the Kremlin leaders who came before, Sergei Lunin is an inveterate malcontent. But as Mr. Lunin, a penniless 60-year-old, tramped recently across an expanse of pristine snow studded with birch trees 3,500 miles east of Moscow, he rejoiced at the prospect of finally finding some satisfaction. “Here I can be my own dictator,” Mr. Lunin said, outlining his plans to turn the land, granted to him for free by the Russian state, into a sanctuary from, well, the Russian state. Read more 
15.03.20 Russia Closes Land Border With Poland And Norway To Foreigners Over Coronavirus Fears
Reuters
The Russian government said on Saturday it was closing the country’s land border with Poland and Norway to foreigners from midnight as a precautionary measure to try to stop the spread of coronavirus. It said the closure would apply to all foreigners passing through those border points for tourism, study, work or private visits. Citizens of neighboring Belarus and official delegations would be exempt, it said in a statement. Russian authorities, who have already taken a slew of measures to cancel flights and trains, impose quarantine rules, and partially close Russia’s long land border with China, said on Saturday they had registered 14 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. The country previously had 45 cases. Read more 
15.03.20 Deripaska: Russia Should Quarantine Itself To Halt Coronavirus
The Moscow Times
Russia should enter full quarantine due to the threat of coronavirus in the country, billionaire businessman Oleg Deripaska wrote on his Telegram channel Friday. "The first step is to close all borders tomorrow, cancel all mass events and provide people with the opportunity to spend 60 days at home," he said. The businessman wrote that if the necessary measures are not taken to prevent the virus' spread, the consequences would be more serious than the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Read more 
15.03.20 Putin Asks Court If He Can Amend Constitution To Run Again For President
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin has formally asked the country’s constitutional court if it is legal for him to change the constitution, the Kremlin said on Saturday, a move that could allow him to remain in power until 2036. Putin in January unveiled a major shake-up of Russian politics and a constitutional overhaul, which the Kremlin billed as a redistribution of power from the presidency to parliament. Read more 
15.03.20 Dozens Detained At Russian Opposition Protest
AFP
Moscow police detained dozens of people at a protest against "political repressions" near the headquarters of the Russian security service, including a well-known human rights activist. The protest demanding to free political prisoners was called by supporters of men convicted this year on terrorism charges, many of whom said in court they had been tortured by the FSB security service. Mostly young protesters turned up to participate in picketing near the FSB building, with some unfurling signs calling the security service the "Federal Service of Lawlessness" while others shouted "Shame!" Read more 
15.03.20 Moscow Makes School Attendance Optional Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Reuters
Moscow will make school attendance optional starting on Monday in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, its mayor said on Saturday. Russia has recorded 45 cases of the virus as of Friday. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said 24 residents of the city were infected and that new measures were needed to stop the virus from spreading further. “Parents will decide whether their child will keep going to school or remain home,” Sobyanin wrote on his website. Read more 
15.03.20 Russia's Top Crude Grade For China Rebounds As Saudi Drives Up Freight
Reuters
Asia’s spot premiums for Russian ESPO Blend crude have rebounded from near record lows after surging supertanker rates made short-haul shipments more attractive to Chinese buyers, three sources told Reuters on Friday. Paramount Energy SA has sold at least two May-loading ESPO Blend crude cargoes at premiums of $2-$3 a barrel to Dubai quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, compared to premiums as low as 25-cents earlier this week, Reuters sources said. Read more 
14.03.20 Why Vladimir Putin Cannot Retire
The Economist
Shortly after becoming president in 2000, the 48-year-old Vladimir Putin pondered how he would one day leave office. Riding in a presidential limousine through Moscow at night, he confided to an interviewer: “I very much hope that one day I will manage to go back to a normal life and that I will have some private future. I can’t say that the life of a monarch inspires me. A democracy is much more viable.” Read more 
14.03.20 How Russia Is Responding To The Coronavirus
The Moscow Times
As the coronavirus has run rampant around the world in recent weeks, bringing countries from Iran to Italy to a near halt, Russia has watched with bated breath. But perhaps because the country has yet to face the worst of the virus — which the World Health Organization has declared a pandemic and has killed nearly 5,000 people — not everyone is worried. Read more 
14.03.20 Russia Moves To Cancel Major Events As Coronavirus Looms
The Moscow Times
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread globally, with over 125,000 confirmed cases and over 4,900 deaths in 126 countries, governments have stepped in and canceled large-scale events in an effort to contain the virus’ spread. Italy, one of the epicenters of the outbreak, has been placed into a full lockdown. Spain has closed schools and banned all events with over 1,000 people. Germany has also closed schools in some regions and will hold major sporting matches without spectators. Read more 
14.03.20 Russia To Limit Flights To And From EU, Switzerland And Norway Over Coronavirus
Reuters
Russia will limit passenger flights to and from the European Union, Switzerland and Norway, starting on March 16, except for flights through Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, the authorities said on Friday. Flights from Moscow to the capitals of European states, however, will not be affected, they said. Read more 
14.03.20 Why Coronavirus Crisis May Keep Putin In Office Until 2036
The Christian Science Monitor
When Vladimir Putin first announced sweeping constitutional reforms two months ago to rebalance relations between Russia’s presidency and its parliament, it looked like he was paving the way to leave the presidency in 2024. That almost certainly would include taking up another authoritative role, but one within a more collective leadership. But that goal appears to have been overtaken by a more ambitious ideological project – and, perhaps, a touch of coronavirus panic. Read more 
14.03.20 Turkey Says Agreed With Russia On Details Of Idlib Ceasefire
Reuters
Turkey and Russia have agreed on the details of a ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib region after four days of talks in Ankara, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Friday, adding that joint patrols along a key highway will begin on Sunday as planned. Turkey and Russia, which back opposing sides in Syria’s war, agreed on March 5 to halt hostilities in the country’s northwest after a recent escalation of violence displaced nearly a million people and brought the two sides close to confrontation. Read more 
14.03.20 Turkish, Russian Troops To Start Syria Patrols On Sunday
The Associated Press
Turkish and Russian troops will begin jointly patrolling a key highway in northwest Syria on Sunday as part of a fragile truce brokered by the countries, Turkey's defense minister said Friday. Hulusi Akar made the announcement after Turkish and Russian officials ended four days of talks in Ankara over the technicalities of the cease-fire reached last week for Syria's Idlib province. Read more 
14.03.20 Poland's President Calls Off Russia Trip Due To Coronavirus
Reuters
Polish President Andrzej Duda will not travel to Russia next month due to the coronavirus outbreak, a government official said, missing ceremonies marking the 10-year anniversary of a plane crash that killed Poland’s president, central bank chief and military commanders. The crash in thick fog over a small airport near Smolensk in western Russia stunned Poland, exacerbating political divisions and reviving historic suspicions about Russia, Warsaw’s former Cold War master. Read more 
13.03.20 Russia’s President Reluctantly Agrees To 16 More Years In Power
The Economist
What a convenient thing a tame parliament is. On March 10th, acting on a proposal from the first woman in space (now a celebrity mp), the Russian Duma approved an amendment to the country’s constitution that would reset the clock barring anyone from serving more than two consecutive terms as president. As it happens, that would allow Vladimir Putin, at present ineligible to run for another term when his current one expires in 2024, to stay on for two more six-year terms after that date, assuming he can win two more elections on top of the four he has won already. By then, in 2036, he would be 83, and would have ruled Russia for 36 years, as long as Ivan the Terrible. Two of the world’s biggest military powers, China and Russia, now have what look like presidents-for-life. Such leaders seldom improve with age. Read more 
13.03.20 Duma Speaker: Putin, Not Oil, Is Russia’s Greatest Advantage
The Moscow Times
Russia’s greatest advantage in forging a new future is none other than President Vladimir Putin himself, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said Thursday. Volodin’s speech came in the wake of a proposed constitutional amendment that could allow Putin to remain in office until 2036 by resetting his presidential terms. The amendment, proposed on Tuesday by deputy Valentina Tereshkova, has been controversial. Read more 
13.03.20 Russia Suspends Flights To Italy, Germany, France And Spain Due To Coronavirus
Reuters
Russia’s coronavirus crisis center said on Wednesday that Russia will suspend most flights to and from Italy, Germany, France and Spain over the coronavirus outbreak, starting from Friday. Russia will stop issuing tourist visas to Italian citizens to prevent a spread of the virus, the crisis center said in a statement. Read more 
13.03.20 Coronavirus, Testing Delays Push Europe-Russia Mars Mission To 2022
The New York Times
A European-Russian mission to put a rover on Mars and look for signs of life there has been postponed, to 2022. Most parts of the mission including the rocket and the rover, named Rosalind Franklin, are ready. But not enough time remains before the launch opportunity in July to complete tests of the parachutes, fix issues with an electronics module and finish the spacecraft’s software. “We could launch, but that would mean we are not doing all the tests,” Jan Woerner, the director general of the European Space Agency, said during a news conference on Thursday morning where the decision was announced. “We cannot really cut corners.” Read more 
13.03.20 Russia Supplies Ex-Soviet States, Iran, North Korea With Coronavirus Test Kits
AFP
Russia said Thursday it has sent test kits for the novel coronavirus to countries including Iran, North Korea and ex-Soviet states. The state health watchdog said in a statement that Moscow had sent 800 test kits to ex-Soviet states including Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, as well as to Iran, North Korea and Mongolia. Russia ally Iran received 500 kits which can be used to carry out 50,000 tests, the watchdog said, adding that these were supplied free of charge. Read more 
13.03.20 Russian City Cancels Holy Procession To Cure Coronavirus
The Independent
The rest of the world may have descended into panic and pandemonium over the coronavirus pandemic, but for a while Orthodox devotees in the Russian city of Lipetsk believed they had found a fail-proof way to a cure. A religious group going by the name of the “Holy Royal Martyrs” intended to delegate the problem of banishing Covid-19 from Lipetsk to God – by organising a “holy automobile procession” through the city. Organisers said the idea to give a “spiritual push to banish the virus woe” came about after “multiple requests” from believers. Read more 
13.03.20 Russia-Europe Mars Mission Delayed To 2022 Over Coronavirus
AFP
A joint Russian-European mission to Mars has been postponed for two years, the Russian and European space agencies said Thursday, citing the coronavirus and technical issues. "We have made a difficult but well-weighed decision to postpone the launch to 2022," said Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia's Roscosmos agency. The unmanned ExoMars mission aims to place a robot on the Red Planet to find out whether life is present. Read more 
13.03.20 Facebook Takedowns Reveal Sophistication Of Russian Trolls
The Associated Press
Facebook and Twitter revealed evidence Thursday suggesting that Russian efforts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election are getting more sophisticated and harder to detect. The companies said they have removed dozens of fake accounts and pages from their services. Facebook said the network of accounts it removed was in the “early stages” of building an audience. It was operated by people in Ghana and Nigeria on behalf of individuals in Russia. The accounts posted about topics such as black history, celebrity gossip and fashion. Read more 
13.03.20 Dream Island: Both Open For Business And “Coming Soon”
The Moscow Times
During his 1959 visit to the United States, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was famously denied a visit to Disneyland. Upon returning home, he vowed that the Soviet Union would have its own theme park, and set about designing an elaborate fantasy kingdom large enough to compete with Disneyland. The plan was abandoned after Khrushchev’s ouster, and Russia’s quest for a large-scale theme park wouldn’t be realized for another 60 years, until “Dream Island'' opened this month in Moscow. The Moscow Times’ Anna Belokur spent an afternoon determining whether the park, whose creation budget rivals that of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa skyscraper, has lived up to Khrushchev’s dreams. Read more 
12.03.20 Moscow To Build New $135M Coronavirus Hospital
The Moscow Times
Moscow plans to earmark 8.5 billion rubles ($135.7 million) for the construction of a new coronavirus hospital as the Russian capital continues to detect new cases, the Znak.com news website reported Wednesday. The funds will go toward constructing the building on the city’s outskirts and will not be used for the purchase of medical equipment, Znak cited an unnamed source close to City Hall as saying. Read more 
12.03.20 Russia's Latest Reform Allows Putin To Stay In Power Past 2024
The Christian Science Monitor
he Russian parliament approved a sweeping constitutional reform in the third and final reading Wednesday, a move that will allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power for another 12 years after his current term ends in 2024. The Kremlin-controlled lower house, the State Duma, endorsed a set of amendments to the constitution and a provision resetting the term count for Putin after the revised constitution goes into force. It passed by a 383-0 vote with 43 abstentions, and was approved by the upper house, the Federation Council, several hours later. Read more 
12.03.20 Russian Lawmakers Adopt Putin’s Sweeping Constitutional Amendments
The Moscow Times
Russian lawmakers have backed a set of constitutional amendments Wednesday that would allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036. Putin, who has dominated the Russian political landscape either as president or prime minister for the past 20 years, is constitutionally mandated to step down in 2024. He paved the way for running again in 2024 when he backed a “reset” of presidential terms in a surprise visit to the Russian parliament Tuesday. Read more 
12.03.20 Coronavirus Concerns Hit Sales Of Russia's Alrosa In February
Reuters
Russian diamond miner Alrosa said on Wednesday that its sales in February were hit by risks related to the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, which is likely to continue hurting demand for gemstones in the coming months. Its sales of rough and polished diamonds reached $346.4 million in February, down 14% from January, it said in a statement. The sales were broadly unchanged from a year ago. Read more 
12.03.20 Russia Labels European Democracy NGO 'Undesirable'
The Moscow Times
Russia has declared the European Endowment for Democracy grant-making foundation an “undesirable” organization Wednesday, making it the 20th foreign group facing limitations for its work in the country. The European Union founded the Brussels-based EED in 2013 to support pro-democracy movements and independent media outside its borders that cannot obtain funding otherwise. “This organization’s activities pose a threat to the foundations of Russia’s constitutional system and security,” the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement. Read more 
12.03.20 Russia To OPEC - Deeper Oil Cuts Won't Work
Reuters
This week’s oil price rout had become inevitable and cutting output has ceased to make sense because it is unclear how deep the impact of the coronavirus on demand will be, Russia’s deputy energy minister said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday. Last week, Saudi Arabia failed to secure Moscow’s support for deeper output cuts at a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+. Read more 
12.03.20 Prince Harry 'duped By Greta Thunberg Call' Russian Pranksters Say
BBC News
Two Russian pranksters claim they duped the Duke of Sussex into making comments about quitting the Royal Family. One of the pair, Alexey Stolyarov, told the BBC Prince Harry discussed various issues after they impersonated teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and her father in two phone calls. In the calls, Prince Harry is said to criticise Donald Trump over climate change and describe his decision to end official royal duties as "not easy". Read more 
12.03.20 Russia Tries U.S. Student For Police Assault As Father Questions Evidence
Reuters
Russia put a U.S. student on trial on Wednesday for allegedly drunkenly assaulting two police officers as his father said state investigators had failed to secure basic evidence that could potentially prove his son’s innocence. Trevor Reed, 28, a student at the University of North Texas and a former U.S. Marine, was taken into custody in Moscow last August for allegedly endangering the lives of two police officers who had detained him. Read more 
11.03.20 FBI Arrests Russian Accused Of Heading Hacker 'Storefront'
AFP
U.S. authorities have arrested a Russian national who ran a hacker "storefront" that took in at least $17 million by selling stolen personal data and other illegal products and services, according to court records. The FBI arrested Kirill Victorovich Firsov, described as "a Russian cyber hacker," and the administrator of the deer.io platform "which catered to hackers," according to a criminal complaint. Court documents showed Firsov was arrested upon arriving at a New York airport on Saturday. The arrest was first reported by the website ZDNet. Read more 
11.03.20 Russia Seen Weathering Oil Storm But Growth, Living Standards Under Threat
Reuters
A sharp drop in oil prices and the rouble’s fall to a four-year low pose no immediate risks to the Russian budget, but they may hurt already tepid investment activity and thwart President Vladimir Putin’s plans to raise living standards in Russia. Russian assets have taken a hammering since Friday when a deal on cutting global oil output unexpectedly fell apart, sending oil prices, the mainstay of Russia’s economy, into a tailspin. Read more 
11.03.20 ‘President For Life’: Putin Opens Door To Extending Rule Until 2036
The Moscow Times
In a whirlwind series of events on Tuesday, Russia’s lower house of parliament laid the groundwork for President Vladimir Putin, who first took office in 2000, to remain in the Kremlin until 2036. The move came as part of sweeping constitutional changes that Putin first announced in January and many saw as a ploy by the Russian leader to retain power beyond 2024, when his second consecutive presidential term will come to an end. Read more 
11.03.20 Russia's Ability To Ramp Up Oil Output Curbed By Export Bottlenecks
Reuters
Russia’s ability to quickly lift oil production following the collapse of a global agreement to cut is restrained by bottlenecks in exporting capacity, market sources said and Reuters calculations showed on Tuesday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other large oil producers led by Russia failed last week to agree on further joint action to curb production after the current deal expires at the end of March. Read more 
11.03.20 MH17 Trial Postponed As Prosecution Slams Russian 'Misinformation'
The Moscow Times
The presiding judge in the MH17 murder trial on Tuesday postponed the hearings until March 23, when the court will decide on how the trial should proceed following judical requests from the defense and relatives of the victims of the plane crash. Monday was the first day of the long awaited trial. Dutch prosecutors allege that the defendants, three Russians and a Ukrainian who are being tried in absentia, were instrumental in the 2014 shooting down of the passenger plane that killed all 298 people on board, most of them Dutch nationals. Read more 
11.03.20 Market Turbulence Buffets Russia's Sberbank Stake Sale
Reuters
Russia’s central bank is set to receive much less from the sale of its stake in Sberbank than expected because of steep slides on the market and it may not take place this year if oil prices fall too far, senior Russian officials said on Tuesday. The sale, which had been expected to begin in April, is in part meant to end years of debate about potential conflicts of interest arising from the central bank’s control over the country’s top lender. Read more 
11.03.20 Russian Stock Market Plunges, Oil Shares Hit Hard
The Moscow Times
The Russian stock market plunged 10% on opening Tuesday morning, following the rout on global financial markets Monday. Russia’s oil companies were hit hardest, with giants Rosneft and Lukoil leading the loserboard with falls of more than 10%. The fall appeared softer than traders had been anticipating, however, as the MOEX Index of leading Russian shares had recovered more than half of the initial drop by afternoon, and emergency measures such as a complete halt to trading were not required. Read more 
11.03.20 Putin Paves Way For Another Presidential Term
BBC News
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out running for president again beyond 2024, when his term ends. But he told parliament that the Constitutional Court would first have to approve such a step. An MP has proposed "resetting to zero" the number of presidential terms. Mr Putin, 67, could potentially stay in power until 2036, by winning two more six-year terms. The former Soviet KGB officer has been in power for 20 years. Read more 
11.03.20 Oil War: Who Will Blink First?
The Moscow Times
When Russia refused to back Saudi Arabia’s proposal for a deeper oil production cut in Vienna on March 6, it effectively fired the first shot in what looks like being an expensive and prolonged oil price war. Against the backdrop of the coronavirus crisis, which looks set to cut at least 2 million barrels of daily global demand, at least through the first half of 2020, there is only one conclusion to be drawn — the price of Brent will test the low of early January 2016 when it briefly dipped below $30 per barrel (p/bbl). Read more 
11.03.20 Putin Backs Proposal Allowing Him To Remain In Power In Russia Beyond 2024
The Guardian
Vladimir Putin has moved to cement his hold on power in Russia beyond the middle of the decade, backing a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow him to seek another two terms in the Kremlin. The Russian president is required by the constitution to step down in 2024, and there have been months of conjecture about how he could stay in power beyond then, or at least ensure a safe transition for himself. In the end, the puzzle was resolved in an afternoon, in a series of choreographed political steps that took just over three hours and could result in Putin staying on as president until 2036. Read more 
10.03.20 Oil Plunges 25%, Hit By Erupting Saudi-Russia Oil Price War
Reuters
Crude prices suffered their biggest daily rout since the 1991 Gulf War on Monday as top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia began a price war that threatens to overwhelm global oil markets with supply. A nearly 25% slump in oil prices triggered panic selling and heavy losses on Wall Street’s main stock indexes as the rapid spread of coronavirus amplified fears of a global recession. Saudi Arabia and Russia both said they would raise production at the weekend after a three-year pact between them and other major oil producers to limit supply fell apart on Friday. Read more 
10.03.20 Russian Ruble Plummets Amid Oil Market Chaos
The Moscow Times
The Russian ruble plummeted almost 10% Monday, falling to its lowest level in more than four years, as oil prices crashed following the breakdown of the Russia-Saudi Arabia pact to limit production. The ruble was trading at 75 to $1 on Monday evening in Moscow — a 9.5% drop — after another wild start to the week for financial markets around the world. Russia’s rejection of a renewed round of oil production cuts in the OPEC+ format at a crunch meeting in Vienna on Friday shocked the global energy markets and has prompted analysts to talk of an “oil price war” between two of the world’s largest energy suppliers. Read more 
10.03.20 Russia Vs Saudi: How Much Pain Can They Take In Oil Price War?
Reuters
Oil titans Russia and Saudi Arabia have accumulated vast financial cushions that will help them weather a lengthy price war. It’s a battle of nerves - so who will blink first? Global oil prices crashed by a third after Riyadh discounted its crude and signalled it would raise output. Shares in national oil champions Saudi Aramco and Rosneft tanked. The world’s top two oil exporters each have war chests of around $500 billion to weather economic shocks and are making bullish noises about their stamina as they square up. Read more 
10.03.20 Russia 'hired Network Of Britons To Go After Enemies Of Putin'
The Guardian
Russia has been accused of hiring a network of British politicians and consultants to help advance its criminal interests and to “go after” Vladimir Putin’s enemies in London, MPs who drew up the Russia report suppressed by Boris Johnson were told. In secret evidence submitted to parliament’s intelligence and security committee (ISC), the campaigner and financier Bill Browder claimed Moscow had been able to “infiltrate” UK society by using well-paid British intermediaries. Read more 
10.03.20 Russian Oil To Remain Competitive Despite Price Slump
Reuters
Russia’s oil sector will remain competitive and keep its share of the market regardless of price forecasts, the country’s energy ministry said on Monday. At a meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the plunge in oil prices, which on Monday suffered their biggest daily rout since the 1991 Gulf War, would not affect the country’s oil sector. Read more 
10.03.20 Six RAF Jets Intercept Russian Aircraft Heading For Scottish Coast
BBC News
Six RAF fighter jets were scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft as they approached British airspace, the Ministry of Defence has said. The Russian bombers were tracked heading towards the north-west coast of Scotland on Saturday. It prompted the air force to deploy three pairs of Typhoons from its Quick Reaction Alert programme. Two pairs left from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, while the third flew from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. Read more 
10.03.20 Russian Share Prices Collapse, Ruble And Oil Tumble
The Moscow Times
Leading Russian firms saw their share prices collapse Monday, as the fallout from Moscow rejecting an oil production pact with Saudi Arabia rocks global financial markets. Among the biggest losers were state-backed lenders Sberbank and VTB, which both plunged by more than 20% when European markets opened. Oil major Rosneft, also state-owned, recorded a 20% drop — equivalent to a $15 billion fall in value — while Gazprom shares crashed by almost 25% initially, before recovering slightly to stand 15% down. Read more 
10.03.20 Russian Share Prices Collapse, Ruble And Oil Tumble
The Moscow Times
Leading Russian firms saw their share prices collapse Monday, as the fallout from Moscow rejecting an oil production pact with Saudi Arabia rocks global financial markets. Among the biggest losers were state-backed lenders Sberbank and VTB, which both plunged by more than 20% when European markets opened. Oil major Rosneft, also state-owned, recorded a 20% drop — equivalent to a $15 billion fall in value — while Gazprom shares crashed by almost 25% initially, before recovering slightly to stand 15% down. Read more 
09.03.20 Empty Chairs For MH17 Victims Outside Russia's Hague Embassy
Reuters
Rows of white chairs were placed in front of Russia’s embassy in The Hague on Sunday in a quiet protest by families of those who were shot down with Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, on the eve of the trial - in absentia - of four men accused of murder for their involvement. MH17 was downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, by what international investigators say was a Russian missile sent to help Moscow-backed rebels fight Ukrainian government forces. All 298 people aboard died, including 196 Dutch citizens. Russia, which has been held politically responsible by the Netherlands and Australia, denies any involvement. Read more 
09.03.20 Russia Sought UN Backing For Syria Cease-fire, But Failed
The Associated Press
Russia sought U.N. Security Council backing Friday for its agreement with Turkey aimed at establishing a cease-fire in Syria’s northwest, but diplomats said the United States called it premature and several European countries wanted to amend Moscow’s proposed statement welcoming the deal. Russia’s proposed press statement, obtained by The Associated Press, would have encouraged all parties “to fully implement the cease-fire.” Read more 
09.03.20 Oil Prices Dive As Saudi Arabia Takes Aim At Russian Production
The New York Times
Saudi Arabia slashed its export oil prices over the weekend in what is likely to be the start of a price war aimed at Russia but with potentially devastating repercussions for Russia’s ally Venezuela, Saudi Arabia’s enemy Iran and even American oil companies. The effects were quickly felt, as the Brent global oil benchmark price collapsed by about $11 a barrel, or 25 percent, late Sunday in the sharpest decline since at least 1991, and stock market futures fell by about 3 percent. Read more 
09.03.20 Muscovites Ignoring Coronavirus Self-Isolation Rules Could Face Prison
Reuters
Moscow city authorities threatened prison terms of up to five years on Sunday for people failing to self-isolate in their homes for two weeks after visiting countries hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. The city government had announced a "high alert regime" and imposed extra measures on Thursday to prevent a spread of the illness in the Russian capital. Read more 
09.03.20 'Crazy' Saudi Oil Price Cuts Seen Reigniting Market Share War With Russia
Reuters
Asian oil traders are bracing for another round of hefty price falls on Monday in key benchmarks Brent and Dubai after the world’s top exporter Saudi Arabia slashed prices, reigniting a market share battle among key producers. The world’s top producers including Saudi Arabia, Russia and other Middle East producers were last locked in a market share war between 2014 and 2016 as they tried to squeeze out shale production from the United States by reducing prices and offering more supplies to Asia. Read more 
08.03.20 Uzbekistan To Become Observer In Russia-led Trade Bloc
Reuters
Uzbekistan will become an observer in the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) before deciding if it wants to become a full member of the trade bloc, the Tashkent government said on Saturday. The union established by Russia and allies Belarus and Kazakhstan in 2015 has since grown to include Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Another former Soviet republic, Moldova, is an observer. The bloc aims to ensure free flow of goods and capital within its borders, although some members have criticized it for allowing too many exceptions to free trade. Read more 
08.03.20 Trump Sues CNN For Article About Russia Election Interference
The Independent
Donald Trump's top three media targets for attacks are the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN – and now he is suing all three. After filing suits claiming the two major newspapers made false claims in articles, his re-election campaign has filed a suit against the cable network for a piece it says claimed "the campaign 'assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia's help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table," Jenna Ellis, senior legal adviser to the president's campaign, said in a Friday statement. Read more 
08.03.20 Russia Confirms Four New Coronavirus Cases
The Moscow Times
Four new cases of coronavirus have been identified in Russia, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Saturday. The new cases take the total number of people who have been infected with coronavirus in Russia to 17, three of whom have since recovered. Three of the four live in Lipetsk, a city 250 miles south of Moscow, with one in Russia’s second largest city St. Petersburg. Authorities said all four had returned to Russia from Italy, where there are almost 4,000 confirmed cases of the virus, in the last two weeks. Read more 
08.03.20 Dutch Trial Over Downing Of Flight MH17 To Start Without Suspects
Reuters
Four fugitive suspects go on trial in the Netherlands on Monday charged with the murder of 298 passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, shot down with a Russian-made missile over eastern Ukraine in July 2014. Wreckage of the Boeing 777 fell into fields surrounding the Ukrainian village of Hrabove in territory held by pro-Russian separatists fighting Ukrainian government forces. It was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was hit by a surface-to-air missile. There were no survivors. Read more 
08.03.20 Russian Bureaucrats Now Offer Service With A Smile
The Christian Science Monitor
The portrait of the average Russian with a bureaucratic boot on his throat is a theme as old as Russian literature. From youth, Russians learn to kowtow before – and often bribe – petty clerks who enjoy the power to grant or withhold vital documents. They endure endless lineups, rude treatment, and, all too often, rejection because their papers are not complete or haven’t been submitted in the proper order. Many of Russia’s greatest writers, from Gogol to Chekhov to Bulgakov, have turned their talents to skewering the Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Read more 
08.03.20 Two Russians Arrested For Assassination Attempt On Chechen Dissident Blogger
AFP
Two Russian citizens have been arrested in Sweden suspected of a hammer attack last month on a blogger critical of Chechen strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov, media reported Saturday. A district court in the central Swedish town of Gavle on Friday ordered a Russian woman in her thirties held in custody, suspected of being an accessory to the attempted murder of Tumso Abdurakhmanov on February 26. A 29-year-old Russian man was previously detained by the court for attempted murder. Read more 
07.03.20 Coronavirus Could Rock Russia’s ‘Stable And Isolated’ Economy
The Moscow Times
The coronavirus outbreak is shaping up to be the first serious test of Russia’s stability-first economic policy introduced in the wake of the economic and geopolitical turmoil of 2014. However, economists are divided on whether the country’s macroeconomic war chest will be enough to weather the coronavirus storm, or if the nature of the downturn still leaves the country exposed to global turmoil. Read more 
07.03.20 Russia-Turkey Truce In Syria: Just 'time For Fighters To Rest'?
The Christian Science Monitor
Idlib's skies were completely free of Russian and Syrian government warplanes for the first time in weeks Friday, and residents reported a relative but tense calm as a cease-fire deal brokered by Turkey and Russia took hold in Syria's northwestern province. The truce halted a terrifying campaign of bombing from above that killed hundreds and sent a million people fleeing toward the Turkish border during the Russian-backed assault by Syrian government forces on the country's last rebel stronghold. Read more 
07.03.20 Putin Critic Navalny Takes Russia To European Court Over Money Laundering Case
Reuters
ussian opposition politician Alexei Navalny lodged a complaint against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights on Friday to contest a money laundering investigation he says authorities have opened to thwart his political activities. Russian investigators opened the case against Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation last August after he called on people to attend rallies that grew into Moscow’s biggest sustained protest movement in years before fizzling out. Read more 
07.03.20 Tinkoff Bank Shares Fall As Founder Indicted In U.S.
AFP
Shares of Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov's credit card supplier TCS plummeted Friday after the U.S. Department of Justice charged its founder with fraud and demanded his extradition from Britain. Shares of TCS (Tinkoff Credit Systems) group were showing a loss of more than 17%t on the London Stock Exchange and 24% on the Moscow Exchange at around 1510 GMT. Read more 
07.03.20 Russia Quits OPEC+ Deal But Will Monitor Situation
Reuters
There is no more oil output deal between Russia, its allies and members of OPEC oil-producing countries, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday, adding that the OPEC+ group of nations would continue to monitor the market situation. “Considering the decision taken today, from April 1 of this year onwards, neither we nor any OPEC or non-OPEC country is required to make (oil) output cuts,” Novak said. Read more 
07.03.20 Young Ukraine Chess Couple 'killed By Laughing Gas'
BBC News
A 27-year-old Ukrainian chess champion and his girlfriend, 18, have been found dead in their Moscow flat, apparently poisoned by laughing gas. Media reports say Stanislav Bogdanovich and Alexandra Vernigora - also a top chess player - were found with balloons containing the gas, nitrous oxide. The gas is inhaled using a balloon. Russian investigators reported the deaths, without naming the pair, and said there were no signs of foul play. Read more 
07.03.20 How Russia's Putin Became The Go-to Man On Syria
BBC News
President Recep Tayip Erdogan of Turkey needs to extricate himself from a difficult situation in Syria so he heads for the one capital that matters, not Washington but Moscow. How times have changed. Not so long ago it was the Americans who were the dominant external player in the region. No longer. Read more 
06.03.20 Russia Cancels Flagship St Petersburg Economic Forum Over Coronavirus Fears
Reuters
Russia has canceled its flagship annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum this year as a precaution against coronavirus, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov said on Thursday. The forum, which was due to be held in St Petersburg on June 3-6, is usually chaired by President Vladimir Putin and is seen as one of the main international events on Russia’s economic agenda. Read more 
06.03.20 Russia And Turkey Agree Ceasefire In Syria's Idlib Province
The Guardian
Russia and Turkey have said they have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib province after clashes left scores of Turkish and Syrian soldiers dead in a dangerous escalation of violence. Speaking at the Kremlin, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the ceasefire would begin at midnight on Thursday evening and that they hoped it would defuse tensions in the region. Read more 
06.03.20 'I Was Waiting To Die': In Russia, HIV+ Migrants Fear Death And Deportation
Reuters
Dilovar moved to Russia from Tajikistan a decade ago hoping for a better life but he contracted HIV and now lives with the threat of deportation and unable to access proper medical care. Russia is among 19 states that deport HIV positive non-nationals, along with Egypt, Malaysia and Singapore, according to UNAIDS, the United Nations’ HIV/AIDS program, which describes such laws as stigmatizing and a violation of human rights. Read more 
06.03.20 Putin, Erdogan Seek To Ease Syria Tensions At High-Stakes Talks
AFP
The leaders of Russia and Turkey meet in Moscow on Thursday in a bid to ease tensions that have threatened to bring their two countries into direct conflict in Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would be looking for Russia's Vladimir Putin to agree to a rapid ceasefire in Idlib, the northwestern province of Syria where Ankara is battling Moscow-backed regime forces. Read more 
06.03.20 Russia's Aeroflot To Suspend Hong Kong Flights Amid Coronavirus Fears
Reuters
Russia’s state carrier Aeroflot said on Thursday it would suspend its flights to and from Hong Kong amid fears over coronavirus. The route will continue flying from Moscow to Hong Kong until March 7 and from Hong Kong to Moscow until March 8, the report said, after which those services would be suspended. Read more 
06.03.20 Moscow To ‘Shut Down’ In Case Of Coronavirus Outbreak
The Moscow Times
Moscow authorities have drafted an emergency plan that envisions a shutdown of the Russian capital in case of a coronavirus outbreak, BBC Russia and the Vedomosti business daily reported Wednesday. Russia has confirmed seven coronavirus cases, two of whom have recovered last month, with the latest case reported Thursday. Temperature checks in arrivals for international flights at Moscow’s airports, at metro stations and in schools and kindergartens are part of City Hall’s “Plan A” preventive measures, according to the reports. Read more 
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