An overwhelming majority of respondents to an informal street poll in Moscow favors good relations with Ukraine. One respondent said that relations can improve through renewed trade, while another suggested that Russia stop building Nord Stream 2 and transfer gas through Ukraine. Some said that willingness must be demonstrated from both sides. Only one respondent blamed Ukraine for taking steps to worsen relations. (Russian Service)
The World Cup has transformed Russia's streets into a global carnival of songs, dancing, and weird costumes.
Turkmen state TV reports that President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has redesigned and rebuilt "from scratch" a rally car.
For 29 years, Ukraine’s legendary AN-225 aircraft, nicknamed “Mriya” (the dream), the largest aircraft in the world, has awaited completion. It sits like a museum exhibit in the middle of a huge hangar in Ukraine’s Antonov factory, in need of an estimated $300 million to complete construction and take flight. Ukraine has reportedly discussed financing of the aircraft with China. (Ukrainian Service)
U.S. President Donald Trump says he is considering a meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in July."We’re looking at the possibility," Trump told a White House meeting with U.S. governors on June 21, according to Bloomberg News.
Nine member states of the European Union will establish "rapid-response teams" to counter cyberattacks, according to project leader Lithuania, which has issued warnings about what it calls Russia-directed "hostile cyberactivities."
In a joint statement released via Twitter on June 21, ambassadors of the Group of Seven leading industrialized states say they are "deeply concerned" about the situation of film director Oleh Sentsov and "other Ukrainian prisoners and detainees" in Russia.
U.S. senators have moved for a second time to block delivery of F-35 stealth fighter jets to Turkey unless it abandons an arms deal with Russia, even as the plane's manufacturer announced the roll-out of the first aircraft purchased by Ankara.
Two U.S. lawmakers have urged U.S. President Donald Trump's administration to consider hitting Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov with sanctions and examine whether he has engaged in corruption.
Advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin have questioned the legality of criminal cases opened against members of the Jehovah's Witnesses, saying law enforcement is misinterpreting a ruling last year by jailing people for collective bible reading and praying.
Russian media reports that Moscow city authorities have refused requests from the opposition to hold protests in early July against the raising of the retirement age, citing the World Cup and concerns over tourists in the city. Requests by Alexei Navalny to convene rallies in Stavropol, Lipetsk, Belgorod, Krasnodar, Khabarovsk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Murmansk have been approved. (Russian Service)
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has declared, “Documents are in perfect order. I think nobody can say that we don't have enough members,” after submitting documents to the justice ministry to register his new party, Russia Of The Future. (Russian Service)
A lawyer for the convicted killers of slain politician Boris Nemtsov has told Russian media that investigations are being reopened into the February 2015 murder. Accomplice Hamzat Bakhayev has reportedly provided new polygraph testimony, and Zaur Dadayev, who was found guilty of executing the murder, was reportedly informed by the Irkutsk’ prosecutor’s office that his name is being put on a terrorist list. Some reports suggest that the renewed measures are intended to identify who ordered the murder, and locate the murder weapon. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Reaction to Russia’s 3-1 defeat over Egypt on June 20 was noticeably muted in Chechnya, which posted a 99.8 percent vote for Russian President Vladimir Putin in this spring’s presidential elections. One Grozny sportswriter said Chechens have been reluctant to root for Russian teams in international competitions for the last 20 years because of bitterness that endures over Russia’s two Chechen wars.
Russian political parties, Russia’s Central Election Commission, Russian oligarch Arkady Rotenberg, a number of Russian defense enterprises, and the Luhansk Aircraft Maintenance Plant were added to Ukraine’s blacklist of individuals and enterprises sanctioned over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and backing of a separatist campaign in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s parliament has adopted a law on national security that prioritizes countering Russian aggression and improving management of the military, to include more transparent procurement. Lawmakers also approved the anticorruption court as a permanent institution in Ukraine’s judicial system. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
In a June 21 meeting in Minsk with Johannes Hahn, EU commissioner for European neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations, Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka hailed the improvement of relations between his country and the bloc, and cited economic ties as the "foundation" of the partnership.