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Putin Acknowledges Acute COVID-19 Problem In Daghestan After Locals Warn Of ‘Catastrophe’

President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged a "complicated" situation in Russia's southern republic of Daghestan after a local mufti described the region's battle against COVID-19 as a "catastrophe." In a virtual conference with Daghestani officials on May 18, Putin said the "danger of coronavirus infection remains throughout the country, and the situation in Daghestan is not easy now." He said that "experts" suggested that "the late t..

Russian Plans To Move Ahead On Second Gas Pipeline To China

Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom says it has launched feasibility studies for the construction of a second gas pipeline to China that would more than double the volumes it could deliver there. Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller said on May 18 that a Power of Siberia 2 pipeline might carry up to 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to energy-hungry China. The pipeline might pass through Mongolia, Miller said, without mentioning a potent..

Pandemic Partnership: Coronavirus Clears Path For Deeper China-Russia Ties In Hi-Tech

Beijing and Moscow are being pushed together by the coronavirus pandemic in what could lead to a deepening partnership on next-generation technologies, a development that could greatly affect Eurasia. China and Russia were already cooperating closely on building up their high-tech infrastructure and capabilities prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. “The pandemic doesn’t create a new reality, but amplifies existing trends,” said Alexander Gabuev, ..

Pussy Riot Singer Says Latest Songs Challenge Domestic Abuse

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Pussy Riot activist Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has described the latest songs by her Russian feminist protest group as challenges to those who abuse women. In an interview with RFE/RL on May 13, Tolokonnikova said the songs -- Ona (She) and Nozh (Knife) -- were both about women who've been victimized by domestic violence and psychological abuse. The release of the songs comes as Russia begins to gradually emerge from ..

Germany Has ‘Hard Evidence’ Of Russian Cyberattack On Parliament

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says there is "hard evidence" of the involvement of "Russian forces" in a 2015 cyberattack on the German parliament in which documents from her own parliamentary office were reportedly stolen. The German daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported last week that federal prosecutors in Germany had issued an arrest warrant for a suspected officer with Russia's GRU military intelligence agency. The alleged GR..

Mistaken Identity: Finnish Soldier Is Latest Odd Image To Grace A Russian Victory Day...

On May 4, officials in the city of Usinsk, in Russia's northern Komi Republic, hung a Victory Day banner featuring a photo of a sturdy, chiseled soldier holding a reindeer on a lead with the inscription: "During the Great War, people and reindeer fought north of the Arctic Circle. We honor them, standing in silence. May they have eternal glory!" It took locals only a few hours to point out that the soldier in the photograph was a Finn who pa..

Russia’s New Coronavirus Cases Top 10,000 For Sixth Straight Day

Russia registered more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases for the sixth day in a row -- an indication the spread of the virus inside the country remains serious despite a stringent lockdown-- as the Communist party leader called for the release of non-violent criminals from prison. Russia’s coronavirus crisis response center reported 10,669 new coronavirus cases on May 8, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 187,859, the fifth high..

Discussion: A New Time Of Troubles In Putin’s Russia?

Last fall, Russian President Vladimir Putin suddenly began to reveal far-reaching plans for a future that could include the extension of his time in the Kremlin until 2036. Just as abruptly this spring, the coronavirus forced the postponement of a nationwide vote on those blueprints -- and the elaborate May 9 Victory Day celebrations that could have burnished his image. The pandemic has also compounded economic problems that have hurt Putin’s s..

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 goals, known inside Russia as the National Projects, will still be a priority for the government and that the “adjustments” will not impact their implementation. “It is obvious that when drawing up the national plan for..

COVID-19: Russia Again Reports New Record In Cases; Belarus To Go Ahead With Victory...

The global death toll from the coronavirus is more than 246,000 with almost 3.5 million infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the new respiratory illness. Here's a roundup of COVID-19 developments in RFE/RL's broadcast regions. Russia Russia on May 3 registered more than 10,600 new coronavirus infections, marking a fresh one-day record increase amid expanded testing. New i..

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