‘Fake News’ Law Targets Russian Media Over Coronavirus Info
Russians who share information about the coronavirus crisis that's judged to be "fake news" can now face a fine or even prison time. Critics say the new law can be used to silence independent media and maintain official control over information concerning the pandemic. (video)
Russian State TV Repeats Baseless Claims About Bill Gates And COVID-19
Russian state TV has broadcast a 15-minute prime-time report amplifying unfounded conspiracy theories that U.S. billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is responsible for the coronavirus pandemic.
Third Russian Doctor Mysteriously Falls From Hospital Window Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
A doctor at an ambulance unit in Russia's western Voronezh region is in serious condition after falling from a hospital window following complaints that he was forced to work even after testing positive for COVID-19. The incident involving Aleksandr Shulepov is the third such case in the country in recent days. He is currently in an emergency ward room with a fractured skull.
St. Petersburg Doctor Quits Over Protective Equipment Shortages
The head cardiologist at a St. Petersburg hospital in Russia has resigned, claiming staff have not been given the protective equipment they need during the COVID-19 epidemic. Marianna Zamyatina says she was demoted after complaining to hospital administrators about the lack of equipment. (video)
Russia To Adjust Spending On Putin's 'National Projects' As Economy Hit By Coronavirus
Russia may alter spending plans for a series of national goals promoted by President Vladimir Putin two years ago as the spread of the coronavirus slashes budget revenues. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on May 3 that the “adjustments” will not impact the implementation of the goals, known inside Russia as the National Projects.
Crony Charities Spring Up In Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan Amid COVID-19 Crisis
Charities are springing up around the world to help those suffering from the coronavirus and the lockdown measures taken to stop it from spreading. But questions have emerged in Kazakhstan about the people running one particular fund, and in Uzbekistan there are questions about how much of a charity is voluntary and who, exactly, is receiving the aid.
MAJLIS PODCAST: Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, And The Coronavirus
Tajik authorities announced the country’s first official case of the coronavirus on April 30. To discuss Tajikistan’s and Turkmenistan’s response, the podcast spoke with Peter Leonard, Eurasianet editor for Central Asia; and Sirojiddin Tolibov, managing editor of RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi.
COVID-19 Roundup: Belarus Going Ahead With Victory Day Parade
Trump To Nominate Retired Army Lieutenant General As Ambassador To Ukraine
U.S. President Donald Trump intends to nominate Keith Dayton, a retired Army lieutenant general, to become the nation’s ambassador to Ukraine, filling a critical position that has been vacant for nearly a year.
Kremlin Energy Czar, Disliked And Feared, Catches Blame As Oil Prices Collapse, Venezuela Deals Crumble
March was the cruelest month for Igor Sechin, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's longest-serving and most hawkish confidants.
Russian Ship Capable Of Completing Nord Stream 2 Approaches Danish Waters
A Russian ship capable of laying pipe is approaching Danish waters, raising speculation it may seek to complete an $11 billion natural-gas pipeline whose construction was halted by U.S. sanctions last year.
Russian Fleet Tracks NATO Ships In Barents Sea
The command center of Russian Northern Fleet has begun tracking the actions of three U.S. destroyers and one British frigate after they entered the Barents Sea. The ships are part of a combined NATO force and include the Porter, Donald Cook, and Franklin Roosevelt destroyers and the frigate Kent. (Russian Service)
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Cancels Debate With Navalny
The pugnacious spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry has canceled an online debate with prominent opposition figure Aleksei Navalny. Maria Zakharova announced on May 1 that Navalny had made too many demands for the debate, planned for later that day, to take place.
Turning A Newspaper Into 'Toilet Paper': Business Daily Caught Up In Putin's War On Journalism
On April 23, the editorial staff of the business daily Vedomosti took the unusual step of publishing an editorial that accused the paper's own acting editor in chief, Andrei Shmarov, of undermining the values of professional journalism that underlie Vedomosti's reputation.
Russian State TV Cancels 'Conspiracy Extravaganza' By Pro-Kremlin Filmmaker
Russian state television canceled the reruns of a program by Nikita Mikhalkov, one of its most famous directors, after he criticized the head of the nation’s largest bank. The same program also accused American billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates of seeking to insert microchips into people. The cancellations caused Mikhalkov to accuse state TV of censorship. Rossia-24 did not give a reason for the cancellations.
Kazakh President Dismisses Nazarbaev's Daughter As Speaker Of Parliament
Darigha Nazarbaeva, the daughter of former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, has been dismissed from her post as speaker of the upper house of parliament. On May 2 President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev, her father's hand-picked successor, "terminated the powers" of Nazarbaeva, his office said.
Uzbek Authorities Launch Probe Into Burst Dam
Uzbek authorities on May 3 launched a criminal probe after a newly constructed dam burst in the eastern Uzbek region of Sirdaryo, prompting the evacuation of at least 70,000 people from both Uzbekistan and neighboring Kazakhstan. Experts told RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service that the reason for the rupture was massive corruption and theft during construction.
WATCH: WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY SCREENING: ‘Let It Burn’ [Пусть все горит]
A documentary by Andrei Loshak and the Current Time network about the Russian electronic music group IC3PEAK, whose concerts have been banned by the government. In English.
PRESSROOM: RFE/RL Remembers Fallen Afghan Colleagues