In December 2018, as pro-government activists campaigned nationwide against “extremism” by rappers and rockers, an experimental Russian rock band with a taste for apocalyptic lyrics caught the attention of police in the western Russian city of Voronezh. A documentary by Andrey Loshak and Current Time.
Russia’s Ministries of Health and Education are reported to have issued an order on April 27 requiring medical universities to send senior students to do their internships in hospitals that accept patients with the coronavirus. The document states that medical students may be involved in work with infected people only with their consent and if they offered an employment contract, but students say that university management is trying to force them, using threats of student debt, poor marks, and disrepute on social networks. Students have launched a flash mob in protest under the hashtag #Studentisnotaslave, and more than 9,000 have signed a petition. (video, Current Time)
Complaints of domestic violence in Russia increased 2.5 times since April 10, Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said in an interview with RIA Novosti, rising from 6054 reports to more than 13,000. Many crisis centers for women reported receiving requests from victims of domestic violence under self-isolation orders relating to the coronavirus. (Russian Service)
Many migrant workers in Moscow have lost their jobs and are not getting enough to eat amid the COVID-19 lockdown, according to volunteers who are distributing food parcels. (video)
Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov has vowed to punish persons who publish videos showing the detention of residents who violate the region’s quarantine regime. Kadyrov said they would be assigned to mandatory labor and forced to clean the streets, hospitals, and facilities of the Interior Ministry. Kadyrov earlier compared people who test positive for the coronavirus and violate quarantine to terrorists, and said they should be imprisoned and buried in pits. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Prime Minister Viktor Orban has accused his political opponents and Hungary's allies alike of "spreading fake news" about the EU member's coronavirus law that allows his government to rule by decree for an unlimited period.
Four U.S. Navy ships and a British Royal Navy frigate entered the Barents Sea north of Russia on May 4 to conduct Arctic security operations, the Pentagon said. The move is the first time U.S. Navy surface vessels have entered the Barents Sea since the mid-1980s.
Russia’s Embassy in Pyongyang reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been awarded a Russian medal marking the “75th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.” The medal recognizes Kim’s “great personal contribution to perpetuating the memory of Soviet citizens who died and were buried in the republic.” (Russian Service)
German media reports that the country’s federal prosecutor is seeking the arrest of alleged GRU officer Dmitry Badin for organizing a hacker attack on the Bundestag in 2015 that resulted in stolen documents being published on Wikileaks. Badin is also being sought by the U.S. in connection with attacks on the global anti-doping agency WADA and the headquarters of the U.S. Democratic Party. (Russian Service)
Relatives of inmates in Russia's Irkutsk region have picketed a penitentiary and a detention center, demanding detailed information about their family members following a violent prison riot on April 9. The colony's administration said guards quelled a riot, blaming the incident on a prisoner who allegedly assaulted a guard, while prisoners claimed the incident was touched off by the beating of a prisoner by a guard.
Georgia's Maritime Transport Agency says pirates have attacked a Panamanian-flagged ship off the coast of Nigeria and abducted 10 sailors, including nine Georgians. The agency's director, Tamar Ioseliani, said on May 3 that four Georgian sailors managed to escape capture when the pirates boarded the vessel on April 30.
Uzbekistan's Interior Ministry has taken the unusual step of promising to investigate the temporary detention of two independent journalists while they were covering the aftermath of a dam that burst on May 3 in the Sirdaryo region and neighboring Kazakhstan. The ministry said on Telegram that it will "assess the legality" of the officers’ actions.
Four Turkmen prosecutors have visited Turkey in connection with the deadly poisoning of dozens of Turkmen nationals from bootleg alcohol in Istanbul. Some 58 Turkmen citizens died in Istanbul after drinking the liquor, Turkish media reported in March.
The abrupt dismissal from parliament of Darigha Nazarbaeva -- the powerful chairwoman of the Senate and eldest daughter of Kazakhstan's founding father, Nursultan Nazarbaev -- has raised questions about the country's political leadership and the future of the ruling family.