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(RFE/RL Russian Service)

VISUAL REPORTS

Russia Stages Massive 'Victory Day' Parade Amid Pandemic

Russia staged a postponed Victory Day military parade in Moscow on June 24 with President Vladimir Putin seeking to solidify support ahead of a July 1 referendum that could pave the way for his extended rule. The parade, commemorating the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II is traditionally held on May 9, but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Alexei Navalny’s anticorruption fund has calculated the Parade in Moscow is expected to cost Russia approximately $14.5 million, check out the breakdown from Current Time TV.

Activists Detained Outside Russian Court Hearing 'Network' Case

Russian police detained dozens of activists outside a St. Petersburg courthouse where a trial was under way for two defendants accused of belonging to a terrorist organization. Opposition figures and rights defenders have said the charges against members of the group called Network are politically motivated and meant to silence activists.

Arrested Belarusian Presidential Candidate Releases Prerecorded Video

The campaign of arrested Belarusian presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka has released a video he had prerecorded. In it he suggests that even if authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka wins a sixth presidential term in the August election, Belarus will have a new constitution with term limits by the end of the year. International Pressure Mounts On Minsk To Stop Press Crackdown Ahead Of Election.

The Timber Raftsmen Of Siberia Move Forests The Old-Fashioned Way

Little has changed over the past century for timber raftsmen in Russia's Krasnoyarsk region, who still rely on the same working methods that their grandfathers used.

TOP NEWS

U.S. Pushes For Broadening Of New START Treaty, Pushes For China To Join Accord

The United States has pushed for a broadening of the main agreement to control nuclear arms with Russia as it pushes for China to join the talks. U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea told a news conference in Vienna on June 23 that he and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov had agreed to set up "multiple" technical working groups, with a second meeting possible before the 2010 New Strategic Arms Treaty (New START) expires in February.

Putin Announces Tax Hike For High Earners Ahead Of Constitutional Vote

Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed raising income tax on high earners as of next year, as he laid out measures to tackle the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The plan seeks to raise the tax by 2 percentage points to 15 percent for annual personal income that exceeds 5 million rubles ($72,700) starting January 1, 2021.

Whelan's Lawyer Says Client Hopes For U.S.-Russia Prisoner Swap

A lawyer for the former U.S. Marine convicted of espionage in Russia last week says his client will not appeal the verdict because he doesn’t trust the country’s judicial system. Whelan’s lawyer reportedly said on June 23 that his client hopes Washington and Moscow will instead agree on an exchange of prisoners.

Russian Court Refuses To Release American Investor Michael Calvey From House Arrest

A Russian court has refused to release American investor and founder of Baring Vostok financial fund Michael Calvey from house arrest, despite an appeal from his lawyer, who said Calvey is fighting cancer. He is under house arrest until August 13th. (in Russian, Current Time TV)

Clooney Foundation To Monitor Russian Journalist Trial For 'Justifying Terrorism'

The Clooney Foundation for Justice, a human rights watchdog founded by Hollywood star George Clooney and his wife, Lebanese-British lawyer Amal Clooney, will be monitoring the high-profile trial of Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva, who is accused of "justifying terrorism."

Member Of Russia’s Pussy Riot Sentenced To 15 Days In Prison For ‘Swearing At Police’

Pyotr Verzilov, a founder of the protest musical group who is also a publisher of the news outlet Mediazona, was detained on June 21 after police searched his residence in connection with an investigation into Moscow protests last year. Verzilov said police questioned him about the protests and his ties to popular opposition figure Aleksei Navalny. After being released, he was arrested again while on his way to the metro for “swearing at police” in what he told the court was “a classic police provocation.”

Jehovah's Witness Jailed In Russia Granted Early Release

A court in southwestern Russia has granted early release to Dennis Christensen, a Danish member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, who had been imprisoned since 2017. A spokesman for the organization said Christensen was ordered to pay a fine of 400,000 rubles ($5,800) in place of serving out the remaining four years of his sentence.

Remains Of People Executed By Nazis Reburied In Russia

The remains of more than 500 men, women, and children executed by Nazi troops during World War II have been reburied in Russia's northwestern region of Novgorod as the country commemorates Germany's attack on the Soviet Union.

Putin Former Friend Publishes Photos Of President’s Daughters

Former Russian banker Sergei Pugachev has published photos from his personal archive of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s teenage daughters, Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova. Pugachev, previously a close personal friend of Putin’s, was once among Russia’s wealthiest, but has had billions of dollars in assets seized and is wanted over alleged crimes involving his Mezhprombank. (Russian Service)

Why Is A Czech Firm Selling Furniture In Separatist-Controlled Donetsk?

A blue upholstered wooden chair and a chrome-and-plastic barstool stand in a spartan display window under the flag that Russia-backed forces use for the land they control in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. In the adjacent window, a sign boasts in Russian of furniture from the Czech Republic above the name of the firm, Hanak, and its official logo. The shop is located on a main thoroughfare in the regional capital, Donetsk, which the separatists have held since April 2014.

Covid-19 Outbreak Amid Bulgarian, Romanian Workers Threatens Germany’s Lockdown Strategy

So far, the German government has stuck to its policy of gradually reopening the country while seeking to stamp out local outbreaks of the coronavirus. But a mass infection at a slaughterhouse that employs at least 6,500 workers in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia -- many of them Romanians or Bulgarians -- has helped drive up the virus’s reproduction rate over the past week.

Romanian State-Run Company Head Faces Bribery Charges Over Coronavirus Mask Contract

Romanian prosecutors have charged the head of a Romanian state-owned company with corruption over a contract to acquire medical equipment aimed at fighting the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The Anti-Corruption Directorate has said that Adrian Ionel demanded a 760,000-euro ($860,000) bribe to help a company secure the contract for three million surgical masks and 250,000 medical gowns.

Armenian Parliament Adopts Contentious Amendments That Would Shake Up Constitutional Court

The Armenian parliament has adopted proposed changes to the constitution that would lead to the removal of Constitutional Court judges, potentially opening the door for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian to exert more influence over the South Caucasian nation.

Kazakh Activist Convicted Of Criticizing Government's Coronavirus Response

Alnur Ilyashev, an activist who criticized Kazakhstan’s ruling party on social media, has been convicted of spreading “false information” about the coronavirus and banned from social or political activism for five years, even as the government itself warns of a worsening outbreak.

Former Kyrgyz President Atambaev Sentenced To 11 Years In Prison For Release Of Crime Boss

A Kyrgyz court has sentenced former President Almazbek Atambaev to 11 years and two months in prison for the illegal release of notorious crime boss Aziz Batukaev in 2013.

Coronavirus 'Out Of Control' In Turkmenistan, Medics Claim

Authorities in Turkmenistan are battling to keep a coronavirus “outbreak” secret as infection numbers rise and fatalities are reported, including the deaths of two doctors at the Choganly infectious-diseases hospital outside the capital last week. Turkmenistan is the only country in Central Asia that continues to insist it is COVID-19-free.

MAJLIS PODCAST: Central Asia Eases Lockdowns And Coronavirus Cases Rise

INFOGRAPHIC: Nuclear Stockpiles: Who Owns What?

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