A teenage figure skater has caused an uproar among sports officials in Russia after publicly stating that doping is the only way of ensuring consistent results on the ice.
A new law which creates a new organ donor database for Ukraine has led to surgeons refusing to perform transplants. They say operating could result in prosecution because many new bylaws have yet to be enacted. The government says it’s sabotage.
Bulgarian-born Kosta Karakashyan was so moved by "horrifying" stories of torture against the LGBT community in Chechnya, that he is using dance to express their suffering in a new film.
Several hundred people marched in central Moscow on January 19 to honor human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova, who were gunned down near the Kremlin 10 years ago. Both were known for crusading against ultranationalist violence. Two members of a neo-Nazi group were convicted for the killings in 2011.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has adopted a resolution calling on European countries to enact legislation on the model of the U.S. Magnitsky law, allowing them to impose sanctions on individuals involved in human rights violations and corruption. (Russian Service)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking by live video link, has told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that Washington and Moscow are not "doomed to a Cold War rivalry, " but "it has been a struggle" to reduce the risk of confrontation with Russia. He said the Kremlin needed to change its "outlook and behavior."
Russia has held an elaborate presentation to amplify its claim that a new missile at the center of a dispute with the United States does not violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Foreign military attaches were invited to the Defense Ministry's January 23 event in Moscow.
Belarusian escort Anastasia Vashukevich, who claimed to have evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, was released from police custody in Moscow on January 22 along with her mentor, Aleksandr Kirillov. Belarus Foreign Minister Uladzimer Makey has said that Vashukevich was free to come to Belarus but must return to Moscow for her next court hearing.
Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has called on the Russian Investigative Committee to open a criminal case against U.S.- sanctioned Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska for “systematically” organizing prostitution services for businessmen and acquaintances, including government officials, and giving bribes. (Russian Service)
Russia’s state-own space agency Roscosmos has requested additional funds to construct the Vostochny cosmodrome, amid findings of numerous financial crimes related to the project. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told his government on January 23 the company has missed all deadlines and completed only 5 of 19 objects slated for construction last year. The Prosecutor General’s office reports that since 2014 it has initiated more than 140 criminal investigations into $151 million of misspent or missing project-related funds. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
A Russian long-range bomber has crash-landed in the Arctic, killing three of its crew of four, officials said on January 22. The Tu-22M3 bomber, which reports say was carrying no weapons, crashed while landing in a blizzard after a routine training flight in the Murmansk region.
Following an outcry from its academics, the Russian Academy of Sciences has decided to retract its decision to name the head of the Russian Orthodox Church an honorary professor.
The director-general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has defended a decision not to impose new penalties against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) for delaying access to data from the Moscow drug-testing laboratory at the center of alleged state-sponsored doping. WADA decided at a January 22 meeting that it would not take further action against RUSADA for the delay.
Bulgaria has revoked the citizenship of Russian millionaire Sergei Adonyev over a 20-year-old fraud conviction in the United States, the Justice Ministry has said.
Uzbekistan’s foreign ministry has said that during her February visit to the U.S., Vice Premier Tanzila Norboyeva will seek to persuade major U.S. retailers Nike, Zara, GAP, Levi's, H&M, UNIQLO and others to lift the boycott of Uzbek cotton. Uzbek media reported last July that the U.S. Department of Labor removed Uzbek cotton from the so-called blacklist of goods produced using child labor. (in Russian, Uzbek Service)
Speculation that the merger of Russia and Belarus is just over the horizon has become so strident in recent weeks that top officials in both countries have made efforts to refute it.