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India Agrees To Multi-Billion Dollar Russian Jet Deal Amid Standoff With China

India has green-lighted the purchase of 33 Russian fighter jets and upgrades to 59 others worth $2.4 billion at a time of rising border tensions with China. The Defense Ministry announced on July 2 the purchase from Russia of 21 MiG-29s as well as upgrades to 59 existing MiG-29 aircraft. The government also approved the procurement of 12 Russian Su-30 MKI aircraft to be built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The purchase, alon..

Prominent Russian Expert On Mercenary Groups Convicted Of Treason

The St. Petersburg City Court has sentenced military analyst Vladimir Neyelov to seven years in prison after convicting him of treason. "The court found that Neyelov, for money, gave a German consulting firm information about the process of training and preparing operative agents of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation," the court said in a statement on July 2 after a closed trial. The court added that Neyelov "partially" admi..

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Says Russia-Annexed Crimea’s ‘De-Occupation Is Inevitable’

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says Russia's departure from the Black Sea Crimea Peninsula, which it annexed in 2014, is "inevitable." In an interview with RFE/RL, Kuleba said that Crimea's "de-occupation" won't be stopped, even by the controversial constitutional amendments -- one of which reiterates the "inviolability of Russian borders" -- approved in a vote in Russia on July 1. "We insist that this [annexation] is t..

Elevated But ‘Not Harmful’ Radioactivity Detected In Baltic Sea

A global monitoring network this week detected unexplained "higher than usual levels" of radioactive isotopes at a station in Sweden that likely came from somewhere around the Baltic Sea. But the group also said late on June 26 that the levels it saw were "not harmful for human health." The head of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Lassina Zerbo, tweeted that the elevated levels of three radionuclides generally as..

On Pride Day, Western Diplomats Urge Russia To Protect LGBT Rights

Ambassadors and other diplomats from the United States and other Western democracies called on Russia to protect the rights of all its citizens, including sexual minorities, as the world marked Global Pride Day 2020 on June 27. In a statement by representatives from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the diplomats said they "affirm the inherent dignity of each individual as expressed in the Universal Decl..

Macron To Travel To Russia ‘Soon’ To Continue Dialogue With Putin

French President Emmanuel Macron said on June 27 that he plans to visit Russia "soon" to continue talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on key issues like security and climate change. Macron has encouraged Europe and NATO to reexamine their strategic partnership with Moscow and suggested Europe's defiant approach has failed. The French and Russian presidents talked one day earlier by videoconference. "The trust-building dialogue ini..

Senate Democrats Rebuke White House For Withdrawal From Open Skies Treaty With Russia

WASHINGTON -- A group of top Democratic senators rebuked the Trump administration for unilaterally withdrawing from a treaty that permits the United States and Russia to conduct reconnaissance flights over each other’s territory, saying it impairs national defense. In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper on June 22, the senators also called the timing of the withdrawal “suspect,” saying it would b..

Member Of Russia’s Pussy Riot Jailed For ‘Swearing At Police’

A court in Moscow on June 22 sentenced a founding member of the protest music group Pussy Riot to 15 days in jail for allegedly swearing at police, local media reported. Pyotr Verzilov, who is also a publisher of Mediazona, was detained on June 21 after police searched his residence in connection with an investigation into Moscow protests last year. Verzilov said that when he was released later that day after questioning and was walking toward th..

Kremlin Denies Eyeing Territorial Claims After Putin’s Comments In Documentary

MOSCOW -- The Kremlin has denied it has any territorial claims on former Soviet republics after President Vladimir Putin appeared to question the redrawn borders of Russia after the breakup of the Soviet Union. "No, Russia does not have territorial claims against its neighbors," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on June 22. Peskov was responding to a question about Putin's statement during the documentary "Russia. Kremlin. Put..

Chechen Leader Kadyrov Denies Plot To Kill Georgian Journalist

The Moscow-backed leader of Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has denied accusations that he was behind an alleged plot to kill a Georgian journalist. "Believe me, if someone is acting on my orders, he will carry them out, and if a mission is to be accomplished quietly, nobody...would learn about it," Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel late on June 16. The previous day, Georgia's Service for State Security (..

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