Alexei Navalny sentenced to 9 years in prison

Russia’s most prominent opposition figure Alexei Navalny has been given nine years in a “strict regime penal colony” in a fraud case rejected by supporters as fabricated. Navalny was detained when he returned to Russia last year, after surviving a poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin. He is already serving three and a half years in jail for breaking bail conditions while in hospital. A judge has now found him guilty of fraud and contempt of court. Prosecutors accused him of stealing $4.7m (£3.5m) of donations given to his now banned organisations, including his anti-corruption foundation. Delivering her verdict, Judge … Continue reading Alexei Navalny sentenced to 9 years in prison

Heartless: Baby found by teenagers in -20C in Siberia doing well

A baby abandoned in temperatures as low as -20C (4F) in Siberia is doing well, according to Russian officials. The newborn was found by five teenagers in an egg box on a remote road near the village of Sosnovka outside Novosibirsk on Friday, local reports say. The baby girl was rushed to hospital by one of the teenagers’ parents where she was declared fit and well. Police looking for the mother have opened a criminal investigation into the attempted murder of a minor. The parents of one of the teenagers who found the baby wish to adopt her but must … Continue reading Heartless: Baby found by teenagers in -20C in Siberia doing well

Outrageous: Russia orders health and drug checks for foreigners

A new law has come into force in Russia requiring foreigners and long-term visitors to be fingerprinted and have regular mandatory medical check-ups. Anyone staying for over 90 days will be checked for sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis and drug use. Several business groups, including the German-Russian chamber of commerce abroad, have objected to the law. Russia’s health ministry has denied reports that foreigners will have to repeat the checks every three months. US ambassador Jason Rebholz said earlier this month that the law was “xenophobic” and made it more difficult for foreigners to live in Russia. Mika Beuster of the German … Continue reading Outrageous: Russia orders health and drug checks for foreigners

Vladimir Putin says ‘I was once a taxi driver’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken of his regret at the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, revealing that he had to work as a taxi driver to supplement his income. Economic troubles triggered by the collapse forced many Russians to seek new ways to earn money. Mr Putin described the break-up as the collapse of historical Russia. The remarks could fuel speculation about his intentions towards Ukraine, a former Soviet republic. Russia has amassed more than 90,000 troops on its border with Ukraine and there are fears it is planning to invade. Russia denies this, accusing Ukraine of … Continue reading Vladimir Putin says ‘I was once a taxi driver’

Tragic: More than 50 miners and rescuers dead after coal mine explosion in Siberia

A devastating explosion in a Siberian coal mine has left 52 miners and rescuers dead about 250 metres underground, Russian officials said. Hours after a methane gas explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies but then were forced to halt the search for 38 others because of a build-up of methane and a high concentration of carbon monoxide fumes from the fire. Ambulances and fire trucks are parked near the Listvyazhnaya coal mine- AP Another 239 people were rescued. The state Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies cited emergency officials as saying that there was … Continue reading Tragic: More than 50 miners and rescuers dead after coal mine explosion in Siberia

Five climbers die on Russia’s Mount Elbrus

Five climbers died after a blizzard on Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak, Russia’s emergencies ministry said Friday. Photo shows rescuers on Mount Elbrus after a group of climbers was struck by severe weather conditions while at an altitude of over 5,000 metres Thursday’s incident struck when a group of 19 climbers were at an altitude of over 5,000 metres (16,000 feet). Elbrus, located in Russia’s North Caucasus, is the highest mountain Europe at 5,642 metres (18,510 feet).  “Unfortunately, five people died,” the emergencies ministry said. The remaining 14 were taken down to the Azau valley below and the rescue was carried out … Continue reading Five climbers die on Russia’s Mount Elbrus

Breaking News: Russia’s emergencies minister dies during training exercise

Russian Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev has died while attempting to save a person’s life during training exercises in the Arctic city of Norilsk. “Zinichev tragically died while performing official duties saving someone’s life during interdepartmental exercises to protect the Arctic zone from emergencies in Norilsk,” the ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies on Wednesday. Margarita Simonyan, chief editor of the state-funded RT news broadcaster, said Zinichev died while rescuing a cameraman who slipped and fell into the water, the Moscow Times reported. “There were plenty of witnesses, but no one even had time to figure out what … Continue reading Breaking News: Russia’s emergencies minister dies during training exercise

Three killed in Russian Covid-19 ward blaze, official blames ventilator

Three people were killed on Wednesday in a blaze that broke out at a Russian hospital treating patients with Covid-19, the authorities said, with one official suggesting a faulty ventilator was to blame.A view shows firefighting vehicles following an accident at a hospital in Ryazan. Since the start of the pandemic, Russia has reported several fires at intensive care units that doctors said were caused by malfunctioning ventilators used to treat patients severely ill with the virus. The fire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday at a hospital in the city of Ryazan, some 180 kilometres (112 miles) … Continue reading Three killed in Russian Covid-19 ward blaze, official blames ventilator

Breaking: Eleven dead in shooting at Russian school

Children and a schoolteacher have been killed by gunfire at a school in the Russian city of Kazan, officials say. Two people reportedly opened fire and a 19-year-old man has been detained. The attack happened some 820km (510 miles) east of Moscow. An explosion was heard and reports said the second attacker was killed on the fourth floor of the building. Kazan is in the mainly Muslim republic of Tatarstan. Heavily armed police and emergency vehicles were seen outside school number 175 in Kazan. Footage shared on social media showed some children jumping from windows to escape as well as … Continue reading Breaking: Eleven dead in shooting at Russian school

Fire destroys historic factory in St Petersburg

One firefighter has died and two are seriously hurt after a massive blaze at a historic factory in St Petersburg. The fire started at about 12:30 local time (09:30 GMT) on Monday, and quickly spread to all six floors of the Nevskaya Manufaktura building. Strong winds hampered efforts to put out the flames, with a huge plume of black smoke visible across the city. The building dates back to 1841, when it was used to manufacture fabric, and is an iconic landmark in St Petersburg. Forty people were evacuated and much of the roof and floor deck had collapsed, the … Continue reading Fire destroys historic factory in St Petersburg

Breaking News: Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny says he will return to Russia on January 17

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has said that he will return to Russia on January 17. He will make his return from Germany, where he has been undergoing treatment after being poisoned with a nerve agent in an attack that he has blamed on Moscow and President Vladimir Putin. On Twitter, Navalny said that remaining in Germany was never an option for him and that he would “return home on a victory flight.” Navalny fell into a coma while aboard a domestic flight from Siberia to Moscow on August 20. He was transferred from a hospital in Siberia to a Berlin … Continue reading Breaking News: Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny says he will return to Russia on January 17

Frozen waterfall collapse kills one in Russia’s far east

At least one person has been killed and three others injured after ice collapsed from a frozen waterfall in Russia’s far east. A rescue crew was sent to the 40m (131ft) tall Vilyuchinsky waterfall in the Kamchatka peninsula after four people became trapped on Thursday. All were pulled from the ice, and a boy and his father were flown to hospital, the regional government said the boy was in intensive care with serious injuries. “The father is in hospital with the child,” Marina Volkova, the Kamchatka Territory’s deputy minister of health, said. “The day before, they flew in from Vladivostok.” … Continue reading Frozen waterfall collapse kills one in Russia’s far east