Russian LGBT activist fined for ‘gay propaganda’ family drawings

MOSCOW – A Russian LGBT activist said she was fined 75,000 roubles ($1,000) on Friday on charges of spreading “gay propaganda” among minors by publishing drawings of same-sex couples with children online. Yulia Tsvetkova and her lawyer said she was prosecuted over a series of colourful pictures, some showing two men or two women, holding babies or standing with young children, sometimes surrounded by rainbow-coloured love hearts. The court in the eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur…

"Russian LGBT activist fined for ‘gay propaganda’ family drawings"

Russian anti-doping chief rejects social media corruption allegation

MOSCOW – The head of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA on Friday rejected allegations made on social media that he had misappropriated the agency’s funds, calling the claims an attempt at undermining the fight against doping in the country. Yuri Ganus said that allegations made on Thursday on a Telegram channel that he could face prosecution for alleged corruption were a “pack of lies.” “This is a complete lie that is not based on fact,” Ganus…

"Russian anti-doping chief rejects social media corruption allegation"

Dutch government to file suit against Russia over downing of MH17

THE HAGUE – The Dutch government on Friday said it would file a suit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights over the downing of Malaysia Airlines passenger flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine six years ago. The Netherlands, home to roughly two-thirds of the 298 victims, holds Russia responsible for the crash on July 17, 2014. The Kremlin has consistently denied involvement in the matter. “The submission is a new step in our…

"Dutch government to file suit against Russia over downing of MH17"

AliExpress Russia eyes $10 billion turnover by 2022-2023, up an estimated 66%

MOSCOW – AliExpress Russia, an e-commerce venture between Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba and Russian partners, said it was aiming for annual turnover of $10 billion by 2022-2023, up from what analysts estimate is about $6 billion now. Chief Executive Dmitry Sergeev, who did not give details on current turnover, told the company could consider an initial public offering (IPO) in three to four years, although he called the existing shareholding structure “optimal”. “We are…

"AliExpress Russia eyes $10 billion turnover by 2022-2023, up an estimated 66%"

Russia seeds clouds in Siberia to douse raging wildfires

MOSCOW – Russian firefighters have been seeding clouds to bring down rain over wildfires raging in Siberia, the authorities said on Friday. The Russian forestry agency said active work was underway to battle 158 forest fires covering 46,261 hectares as of Friday. Just a few days ago, that area was more than three times larger. Firefighters were using planes to fire chemicals into the clouds above fires in northern, remote parts of the Krasnoyarsk and…

"Russia seeds clouds in Siberia to douse raging wildfires"

Russia fails again at U.N. ahead of last-ditch vote on Syria cross-border aid

NEW YORK – Russia on Thursday failed in a second U.N. Security Council bid to cut aid access to Syria from Turkey, diplomats said, and the council will now vote on a last-ditch attempt to extend approval for cross-border aid deliveries before it expires on Friday. The 15-member council has been split, with most members pitted against veto-powers Syrian ally Russia and China, who want to halve the number of border crossings for aid deliveries…

"Russia fails again at U.N. ahead of last-ditch vote on Syria cross-border aid"

Biden-appointed panel to make recommendations for climate policy Wednesday: sources

– A task force led by Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Secretary of State John Kerry will release recommendations for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to beef up his climate change policy on Wednesday after two months of meetings, two sources familiar with the announcement said. Biden named Ocasio-Cortez, a supporter of one-time rival Bernie Sanders and champion of aggressive climate policies that would transform the economy, and Kerry as the co-chairs of the…

"Biden-appointed panel to make recommendations for climate policy Wednesday: sources"

Russian firm gets approval for drug said to block coronavirus replication

MOSCOW – Russia has approved a new antiviral drug, Coronavir, to treat COVID-19 patients, its developer R-Pharm said on Wednesday, as Russia’s tally of infections hit 700,000. It said a clinical trial involving mild or medium-level cases had shown the drug to be highly effective in inhibiting replication of the new coronavirus. “Coronavir is one of the first drugs in Russia and in the world that does not tackle the complications caused by SARS-CoV-2, but…

"Russian firm gets approval for drug said to block coronavirus replication"

Russia opens criminal case against activist for failing to declare dual nationality

MOSCOW – Russian investigators on Tuesday opened a criminal case against Pyotr Verzilov, an anti-Kremlin activist and associate of the Pussy Riot punk group, for having allegedly failed to declare his dual Canadian citizenship. The announcement came as Verzilov, publisher of the private Mediazona news outlet, had just been released following a 15-day stint in jail after he was found guilty of petty hooliganism for swearing in public. Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes serious crimes,…

"Russia opens criminal case against activist for failing to declare dual nationality"

Investors in Russian bonds relaxed about extended Putin rule

MOSCOW/LONDON – The prospect of President Vladimir Putin staying in the Kremlin until 2036 does not seem to be deterring buyers of Russia’s high-yielding sovereign bonds as investors focus on economic fundamentals and political stability rather the risk of policy stagnation. Investors in Russia are no strangers to shocks, having seen the country’s markets roiled in recent years by sanctions and oil price collapses. Yet very little of this has taken the shine off rouble-denominated…

"Investors in Russian bonds relaxed about extended Putin rule"