Return to home2015 Jan 2,
The Eurasian Economic Union, a trade bloc of former Soviet states,
expanded to four nations when Armenia formally joined, a day after
the union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan began.
2015 Jan 5, Kremlin critic
Alexei Navalny said he would no longer comply with the terms of his
house arrest and had cut off his monitoring tag.
2015 Jan 12, Ukraine, Russia,
Germany and France scrapped plans to hold a summit in Kazakhstan
later this week because of the failure to implement a four-month-old
ceasefire agreement fully and there was no sign of when it might be
2015 Jan 12, In Armenia a
family of six was killed at their home in the city of Gyumri.
Suspect Valery Permyakov, a Russian soldier who deserted his unit at
a Russian military base, was detained the next day while trying to
cross from Armenia into Turkey.
2015 Jan 15, The EU parliament
condemned Russia as a "potential threat to the European Union
itself" even as the EU foreign policy chief sought to resume
dialogue with Moscow to help end the conflict in Ukraine.
2015 Jan 16, Kremlin critic
Alexei Navalny was questioned by Russian investigators and his
offices were raided by police in what his colleagues called an
attack on his anti-corruption campaigning activities.
2015 Jan 16, A senior Russian
diplomat said far more than 800 Russians are fighting alongside the
Islamic State group. Those who have joined the group include people
from Chechnya and some other regions in the volatile North Caucasus.
2015 Jan 17, In Russia 3 iron
ore miners were missing and two others were been hospitalized after
an explosion deep underground in the town of Kushva in the Ural
2015 Jan 19, Austrian police
said they have arrested a suspected gang leader over the weekend who
Russian authorities suspect was involved in the killing of at least
six people. Among the victims allegedly killed by the gang was
Kazbek Pagiyev, a former mayor of Vladikavkaz, the provincial
capital of Russia's republic of North Ossetia. He was shot dead in
2008. Aslan Gagiyev fled Russia last year and was sought on an
2015 Jan 19, In eastern Ukraine
pro-Russian separatists renewed attacks on Ukrainian forces at the
Donetsk airport complex. Ukrainian officials said 3 soldiers have
been killed and 66 wounded over the past 24 hours. Ukraine's
military claimed that some 700 Russian troops crossed into the
country to aid rebels fighting for control of the country's east.
(AP, 1/19/15)(AFP, 1/19/15)
2015 Jan 20, Russian Defence
Minister Sergei Shoigu signed a military cooperation deal with Iran
that his Iranian counterpart touted as a joint response to US
2015 Jan 20, Schlumberger Ltd.
Said it will spend about $1.7 billion for a minority stake in a big
Russian energy company at a time when that country's relations with
the West are under strain and as energy prices hit multiyear lows.
2015 Jan 21, In four-way talks
in Berlin involving Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France foreign
ministers agreed a "demarcation line" between pro-Russian fighters
and Kiev's forces from which withdrawal of heavy weapons could
start. There were no details.
2015 Jan 21, In Switzerland
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko courted European support World
Economic Forum in Davos against what he says are 9,000 Russian
troops occupying 7 percent of his nation's territory.
2015 Jan 23, A Russian court
convicted journalist Yelena Klimova (26) under a controversial law
banning "gay propaganda" aimed at minors. She had set up the
“children 404" website to support gay, lesbian and transgender
teenagers. "The verdict was a fine of 50,000 rubles ($783).
2015 Jan 26, Russian security
forces raided independent Crimean television station ATR, seizing
equipment and telling employees they were looking for archival
footage of an anti-Russia protest last year.
2015 Jan 26, Poland led EU
criticism of bilateral farm deals with Moscow following a French
accord with Russia to lift its ban on live pig and pork imports.
2015 Jan 26, The US charged
three Russian citizens with trying to recruit NYC residents as
intelligence sources for potential US sanctions against Russian
banks and US efforts to develop alternative energy sources. Yevgeny
Buryakov, an employee in the Manhattan office of a Russian bank, was
arrested. Two other low level diplomats were believed to have
returned to Russia.
(SFC, 1/27/15, p.A4)(Econ, 1/31/15, p.23)
2015 Jan 27, Ukraine's
parliament approved a statement defining Russia as an "aggressor
state", which deputies said could pave the way for consequences
under international law, and called for more international aid and
stronger sanctions on Russia. The Russian-backed separatist
republics in the east were declared terrorist organizations formally
eliminating the possibility of holding peace talks with their
(Reuters, 1/27/15)(SFC, 1/28/15, p.A6)
2015 Jan 29, A Bosnian arms
exporter threatened to sue government officials who are blocking a 5
million-euro deal his company has with Ukraine because of objections
from Russia, which called on Bosnia not to supply Ukraine with
2015 Jan 29, The EU extended by
six months an existing set of sanctions against Russia and
pro-Russian separatist officials because of continued fighting in
(SFC, 1/30/15, p.A7)
2015 Jan 29, Representatives of
the Syrian government and the opposition wrapped up four days of
consultations in Russia with a general statement avoiding any sharp
2015 Jan 29, Two pilots soaring
over the Pacific traveled farther than the 5,209-mile official world
distance record for human flight in a gas balloon. The Two
Eagles balloon passed a record set by the Double Eagle in
1981. Troy Bradley of Albuquerque and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia
began their flight from Saga, Japan, on Jan 25. On Jan 30 they
surpassed the 1978 duration record by spending over 138 hours in the
(SFC, 1/30/15, p.A8)(SFC, 1/31/15, p.A10)
2015 Jan 30, Russia's top
general said a strong nuclear arsenal will ensure military
superiority over the West as Moscow forges ahead with a
multi-billion dollar plan to modernize its forces by 2020. Gen.
Valery Gerasimov said the Russian military would receive more than
50 new intercontinental nuclear missiles this year.
2015 Jan 30, In a decree
published online Russia’s government said that a company owned by
Arkady Rotenberg, a longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin, would
be given the commission to build a bridge linking Crimea to mainland
2015 Jan 30, In Russia the
Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences, one of the
country’s largest public libraries, went up in flames in south-west
Moscow. The main storage which contained rare medieval Slavic texts
didn't seem to be affected.
2015 Jan, Russia’s Ministry of
Natural Resources and Environment introduced daily monitoring of
Lake Baikal levels in an effort to reverse the drying of the lake
due to a combination of climate change and growing use of
hydropower. In the past four months the lake’s water level has
dropped so low that experts are calling it a crisis.
2015 Feb 3, Russian
investigators agreed to free from detention a woman accused of high
treason after calling Kiev's embassy in Moscow to say Russian troops
might be heading to east Ukraine. Svetlana Davydova would, however,
have restrictions placed on her movements and she still faced the
charge of treason.
2015 Feb 4, The US ambassador
to NATO said that Russian soldiers were present in eastern Ukraine
in a command role and to operate advanced military equipment.
2015 Feb 5, The Russian film
"Leviathan," a harrowing portrayal of small-town corruption, opened
in about 450 theaters across Moscow and other cities. The
Oscar-nominated film was directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev.
2015 Feb 6, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande arrived in
Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the
2015 Feb 7, NATO and Russia
failed to narrow their differences over the Ukraine crisis in talks
but agreed they would keep talking to each other.
2015 Feb 7, Ukraine President
Petro Poroshenko brandished in front of world leaders several
passports taken from Russian soldiers in what he said was proof of
Moscow's "presence" in his country.
2015 Feb 10, Egypt's Pres.
Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said Egypt and Russia have agreed to build a
nuclear power plant together. El-Sissi also said the two nations
signed agreements to improve natural gas business and investment.
They also agreed to create a Russian industrial zone along the Suez
Canal. This came during a joint press conference in Cairo with
visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin.
2015 Feb 12, Germany, France,
Russia and Ukraine agreed a deal on that offers a "glimmer of hope"
for an end to fighting in eastern Ukraine after marathon overnight
talks in Belarus. The deal envisages a ceasefire between Ukrainian
forces and Russian-backed separatists starting on Feb 15, followed
by the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line and
constitutional reform to give eastern Ukraine more autonomy.
2015 Feb 12, A Ukrainian
military spokesman said around 50 tanks, 40 missile systems and 40
armored vehicles had crossed overnight into eastern Ukraine from
2015 Feb 15, Russian police in
Moscow detained Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner
and leading opposition figure, as he and supporters were handing out
leaflets urging people to take part in an "anti-crisis" march on
2015 Feb 16, The European Union
published a new sanctions list of individuals and entities. It added
9 more entities and 19 more individuals, including a Russian deputy
minister of defense, for their actions linked to the fighting in
eastern Ukraine. There was a week's lapse in the publishing of the
list because of the negotiations which led to an agreement between
Ukraine and Russia on Feb 12.
2015 Feb 17, Canada imposed
sanctions on Russia over its conduct in Ukraine, a move Moscow said
would fuel further tension in Ukraine and prevent the implementation
of the ceasefire.
2015 Feb 17, In Hungary PM
Viktor Orban hosted Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and reached a
political agreement on a new gas deal.
(SFC, 2/18/15, p.A2)
2015 Feb 19, Georgia condemned
the signing of a border agreement between its breakaway region of
South Ossetia and Russia, accusing Moscow of moving closer to
annexing a territory it supported in a five-day conflict in 2008.
2015 Feb 19, A German
government spokesman said Russian President Vladimir Putin has
agreed in a conference call with the leaders of France, Germany and
Ukraine to use his influence on separatists to start an agreed
prisoner swap with Ukraine.
2015 Feb 20, Ukrainian Pres.
Petro Poroshenko said that police evidence showed that a top Russian
presidential aide, Vladislav Surkov, had directed "foreign sniper
groups" who shot and killed protesters in Kiev a year ago.
2015 Feb 21, In Russia as many
as 40,000 ultranationalist bikers, pensioners, war veterans, members
of student organizations and activists from other pro-Kremlin groups
gathered in Moscow to protest US involvement in Ukraine. Critics
said many were paid to attend or bussed in.
(AP, 2/21/15)(AFP, 2/21/15)
2015 Feb 21, US Secretary of
State John Kerry said the United States and its allies are
discussing imposing more sanctions against Russia for undermining a
European-brokered truce in eastern Ukraine.
2015 Feb 23, The Russian
consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said it has suspended since Feb 20
all imports of cheese from Poland due to irregularities in
2015 Feb 25, Cyprus signed a
deal with Russia allowing its navy ships to make regular port calls
on the island.
2015 Feb 27, Russian opposition
politician Boris Nemtsov (55) was shot four times in the back by
assailants in a white car as he walked across the bridge over the
Moskva River in central Moscow just before midnight with a Ukrainian
woman, who was unhurt. Opposition figure Ksenia Sobchak said Nemtsov
had been preparing a report on the presence of Russian troops in
(Reuters, 2/28/15)(Econ., 3/7/15, p.94)
2015 Mar 1, Tens of thousands
of Russians marched through central Moscow, carrying banners
declaring "I am not afraid" and chanting "Russia without Putin" in
memory of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov.
2015 Mar 5, The Moscow City
Court found Roman Ushakov guilty of treason for handing over
classified information to the United States and sentenced him to 15
years in prison.
2015 Mar 5, Russian officials
sharply criticized US fast-food giants Coca-Cola and McDonald's for
their "unhealthy" products, comparing aggressive advertising
campaigns to a war on citizens.
2015 Mar 5, Energy-rich
Kazakhstan suspended Russian fuel and gas imports to protect its
domestic market from a surplus due to a weakened ruble which has
sent ripples of economic uncertainty through Central Asia.
2015 Mar 6, Russia’s Pres.
Putin announced a 10% pay cut for himself and those working for him,
including PM Medvedev and his entire Cabinet.
(SFC, 3/7/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 6, Kremlin critic
Alexei Navalny walked out of a Moscow detention center and promised
that Russia's opposition will continue to challenge President
2015 Mar 7, In Russia the
Investigative Committee, a state body leading the investigation in
the Feb 27 murder of Boris Nemtsov, named two men, Anzor Gubashev
and Zaur Dadayev. as suspects.
2015 Mar 7, In Chechnya a man
killed in a standoff with police was wanted by police in connection
with Nemtsov's killing. When police arrived at an apartment block in
Grozny, the man threw one grenade at officers and then blew himself
up with a second.
2015 Mar 8, Russian authorities
said they were holding five men over the Feb 27 killing of Kremlin
critic Boris Nemtsov, one of whom served in a police unit in the
Russian region of Chechnya.
2015 Mar 8, Chechnya leader
Ramzan Kadyrov drew criticism from Russian government opponents
after praising Zaur Dadayev, a Chechen suspect in the murder of
Kremlin foe Boris Nemtsov.
2015 Mar 9, Russian President
Vladimir Putin bestowed the state Order of Honor on Ramzan Kadyrov,
the leader of Chechnya.
2015 Mar 9, Russian President
Vladimir Putin awarded a state honor to Andrei Lugovoy, a man
suspected by Britain of using radioactive polonium to poison Kremlin
critic Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.
2015 Mar 11, In Russia a blaze
broke out in a first-storey cafe at a shopping center Kazan,
Tatarstan province. 5 people were killed and 25 were thought to be
trapped under the rubble.
2015 Mar 11, The US placed
sanctions on eight Ukrainian separatists and a Russian bank, warning
that recent attacks by rebels armed by Russia violated a
European-brokered ceasefire in the war-torn country.
2015 Mar 11, It was reported
that the United States has asked Vietnam to stop letting Russia use
a former US base to refuel nuclear-capable bombers engaged in shows
of strength over the Asia-Pacific region, exposing strains in
Washington's steadily warming relations with Hanoi.
2015 Mar 12, In Kazakhstan two
Russians and an American landed after nearly six months aboard the
Int’l. Space Station.
(SFC, 3/13/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 14, Sweden-based Ikea,
the world's largest furniture retailer, said it is halting its
online magazine in Russia out of fears it violates the country's law
banning promotion of same-sex gay values to minors.
2015 Mar 16, Russia’s Pres.
Putin made his first public appearance since March 5 meeting Kyrgyz
President Almazbek Atambayev at the Constantine Palace outside
Russia's second city of St. Petersburg. More than 45,000 Russian
troops as well as war planes and submarines started military
exercises across much of the country.
2015 Mar 16, The Stockholm
Int’l. Peaced Research Institute reported that China has overtaken
Germany as the world’s third largest arms exporter with a 5% share,
behind the US at 31% and Russia at 27%.
(SFC, 3/17/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 18, Russia’s Pres.
Vladimir Putin signed a new treaty with the leader of South Ossetia,
a breakaway region of Georgia, that called for nearly full
(SFC, 3/19/15, p.A5)
2015 Mar 18, GM said Opel will
leave the Russian market by December in the face of plummeting sales
in the economically troubled country. Chevrolet production will be
cut back significantly to focus on top-end products such as the
Corvette sports car and Tahoe SUV, which are imported into Russia
from the US.
2015 Mar 18, In Moldova airport
authorities banned a Russian television crew from entering Moldova
and sent them back to Moscow. They were traveling to cover elections
this weekend in the semi-autonomous region of Gagauzia, a region
where most voters disapprove of Moldova's European aspirations and
want closer links to Russia.
2015 Mar 18, Poland's foreign
minister says his government will reciprocate if Russia continues to
bill for Poland's diplomatic buildings after the Arbitration Court
in St. Petersburg allowed bailiffs to evict Poland's consulate
there, saying Poland owes some $1 million in rent.
2015 Mar 19, Moldova
authorities said two Russian journalists planning to travel to
Moldova to present a documentary on Crimea have been banned from the
country for five years.
2015 Mar 20, Russian President
Vladimir Putin called for a single currency with the Kremlin's
closest ex-Soviet allies at a meeting with his Kazakh and Belarusian
counterparts in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.
2015 Mar 24, Jordan signed a
$10 billion deal with Russia to build the kingdom's first nuclear
power plant, with two 1,000-megawatt reactors in the country's
2015 Mar 25, Russian President
Vladimir Putin fired the governor of a far-flung region who has been
arrested on charges of corruption. Alexander Khoroshavin, governor
of the island of Sakhalin just north of Japan, was arrested earlier
this month on suspicion of receiving a bribe for building a power
2015 Mar 28, NASA said a
Russian Soyuz spacecraft with three crew on board successfully
docked with the International Space Station after blasting off from
Kazakhstan. An American and two Russians floated into the
International Space Station, beginning what is to be a year away
from Earth for two of them.
(AFP, 3/28/15)(AP, 3/28/15)
2015 Mar 29, Saudi Arabia
accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of hypocrisy, telling an
Arab summit that he should not express support for the Middle East
while fuelling instability by supporting Syrian leader Bashar
2015 Mar 31, Crimea's
independent television station ATR went off air at midnight after
Russian authorities repeatedly refused to give it a broadcasting
2015 Mar, Russian television
anchor Pavel Lobkov was targeted by the hacking group known as Fancy
Bear, nine months before his messages were leaked. He was one of at
least 200 journalists, publishers and bloggers targeted by the group
as early as mid-2014 and as recently as a few months ago.
2015 Mar – 2016 May, US-based
cybersecurity company Secureworks, collected data over this period
identifying the US defense and security targets of Russian hackers,
known as Fancy Bear, from about 19,000 lines of email phishing data
created by the hackers. The hackers went after at least 87 people
working on militarized drones, missiles, rockets, stealth fighter
jets, cloud-computing platforms or other sensitive activities. This
was only made public in 2018.
2015 Apr 1, In Russia Zaur
Dadaev, a man charged with the killing of Russian opposition
politician Boris Nemtsov, told the court he was beaten and pressured
to confess. Dadaev was an ex-commander of the “North battalion," a
Chechen group made up of Pres. Ramzan Kadyrov’s irregular forces.
(AP, 4/1/15)(Econ., 3/14/15, p.55)
2015 Apr 1, Russia’s
statistical service said wage arrears have risen to $56 million as
the country’s economy contracted. Unpaid labor has led to strikes
around the country.
(SFC, 4/22/15, p.A5)
2015 Apr 2, The Russian fishing
trawler Dalny Vostok sank in minutes in the icy waters off Russia's
Far East coast, killing at least 56 of the 132 people. At least 13
others were missing. Investigators later said greed and corruption
were to blame for the sinking.
(AP, 4/2/15)(Reuters, 4/8/15)
2015 Apr 6, In Russia talks
began in Moscow on ending the war in Syria, but the absence of key
opposition groups meant there was little hope of progress in
resolving the conflict.
2015 Apr 7, Russia’s State Duma
voted overwhelmingly to strip Ilya Ponomarev of immunity against
prosecution. The opposition lawmaker was the sole deputy last year
to vote against the annexation of Crimea.
2015 Apr 10, Talks in Moscow
between the Syrian government and members of the domestic opposition
tolerated by President Bashar al-Assad broke up with no progress
made towards ending the war.
2015 Apr 12, In Russia the
government of Siberia’s Khakassia region reported that more than 70
people have been injured by agricultural fires that got out of
control and swept through more than 20 towns and villages. By April
21 at least 34 people were confirmed dead and 393 people injured.
(AP, 4/12/15)(Reuters, 4/13/15)(AFP, 4/21/15)
2015 Apr 13, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin lifted a ban on supplying Iran with sophisticated
S-300 air defense missile systems after Tehran's landmark outline
deal with the West over its nuclear program.
2015 Apr 15, In Russia a train
collided with a passenger bus near the border with Finland, killing
at least 3 people and injuring 27.
2015 Apr 16, Russia plans to
build its own orbiting space station by 2023, President Vladimir
Putin said during a marathon call-in session with the nation. Russia
and NASA recently agreed to keep operating and financing the
International Space Station at least until 2024.
2015 Apr 16, Russian masked
police raided the Moscow offices of a civil society organization
funded by former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Police said they
suspected the group, Open Russia, was preparing banners, leaflets
and posters that contained calls for "extremist activity" and
planned to distribute them at an opposition protest April 19, which
2015 Apr 17, In Russia the
RPR-Parnas, co-founded by Nemtsov, and Party of Progress, led by
anti-graft blogger Alexei Navalny, agreed to run on a joint platform
in 2016 parliamentary elections, aiming to make a first step in
uniting fractious Kremlin adversaries after the killing of party
leader Boris Nemtsov.
2015 Apr 18, Ukraine's army
chief of staff listed for the first time some of the specific
Russian military units alleged to be fighting against Kiev alongside
pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. He named the Russian
army's 15th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, the 8th Mechanized Infantry
Brigade, the 331st Airborne Regiment and the 98th Airborne Division.
2015 Apr 19, Russian security
forces killed the leader of an Islamist insurgency in the North
Caucasus during a raid on a house in the Dagestan region. Four other
suspected militants were also killed with Aliaskhab Kebekov, aka Ali
Abu Mukhammad. Kebekov (b.1972) became the leader of the Caucasus
Emirate group in early 2014 after Russian security forces killed his
predecessor, Doku Umarov.
2015 Apr 22, Russia said it is
arming Iraq and Syria to help them fight Islamic State, calling the
radical militant group the main threat to his own country's
2015 Apr 22, Russia's
opposition led by the charismatic activist Alexei Navalny vowed to
contest next year's parliamentary elections as liberals firm up
plans to close ranks amid an intensifying Kremlin crackdown.
2015 Apr 22, Russia said an
experimental solid-fuel rocket went off trajectory after being
launched from the Plesetsk launch pad in the northern Arkhangelsk
2015 Apr 22, Margrethe
Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, sent Russia’s Gazprom a
charge sheet alleging market abuses.
(Econ., 4/25/15, p.59)
2015 Apr 23, The United States
accused Russia of building up its forces along the border with
Ukraine, boosting air defense systems in the country and training
Ukrainian rebels in the east.
2015 Apr 24, Russia charged
Ukrainian air force officer Nadia Savchenko (33) over the deaths of
two Russian journalists in a politically charged case that has
become emblematic of tensions between Kiev and Moscow.
2015 Apr 24, Poland’s Foreign
Ministry says it will not allow the Night Wolves, a Russian
nationalistic motorcycle group loyal to President Vladimir Putin, to
enter Poland to commemorate next week the 70th anniversary of the
end of World War II.
2015 Apr 25, In Russia some 20
riders from a nationalist motorcycle group began their run
commemorating the Red Army's offensive against Nazi Germany, despite
Poland's announcement that it would refuse to let them into the
2015 Apr 27, Polish border
guards blocked 10 nationalistic Russian bikers loyal to President
Vladimir Putin from entering Poland as part of a ride to commemorate
the Red Army's victory over Nazi Germany 70 years ago.
2015 Apr 28, A Russian court
ordered the seizure of a factory belonging to Ukrainian President
Petro Poroshenko’s confectionery business Roshen, hampering his
plans to sell assets.
2015 Apr 28, Russia’s unmanned
Progress vessel, loaded with 3 tons of goods for the Int’l. space
Station, began tumbling shortly after its launch from Kazakhstan.
2015 Apr 28, Russia’s Justice
Ministry said that the registration of the opposition Progress
Party, led by Alexei Navalny, has been cancelled because it has not
registered operation in at least half of Russia’s regions.
(SFC, 4/29/15, p.A2)
2015 Apr 28, Russia’s unmanned
Progress M-27M, loaded with 3 tons of goods for the Int’l. space
Station, began tumbling shortly after its launch from Kazakhstan.
(AP, 4/29/15)(SFC, 4/29/15, p.A2)
2015 Apr, In Bulgaria
businessman Emilian Gebrev was poisoned by an unidentified
substance. The Investigative group Bellingcat later reported an
alleged Russian military intelligence agent (45) had arrived in
Bulgaria a few days before Gebrev was poisoned. The arms industry
executive survived, but authorities didn't know who poisoned him.
Sergei Fedotov, a suspect in the attempted killing of ex-spy Sergei
Skripal in 2018, visited Bulgaria three times this year and was
there when Gebrev was poisoned.
(AP, 2/10/19)(AP, 2/11/19)
2015 May 6, In Germany a Berlin
court overturned a federal entry ban on a group of nationalist
Russian bikers planning to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany 70
years ago by riding their motorcycles through the capital to mark
the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.
2015 May 12, Russian opposition
activists said least 220 Russian soldiers have been killed in east
Ukraine in a report offering what they called "ample evidence" to
rebut President Vladimir Putin's denial his troops are fighting
there. The report, the last project of murdered Kremlin critic Boris
Nemtsov, also said Russia had spent more than 53 billion rubles
($1.04 billion) in 10 months to fund the conflict and deprived
people of 2.75 trillion rubles of money lost to inflation.
2015 May 15, Russia said it
wants 1.163 billion euros ($1.32 billion) from France in
compensation for cancelling a contract to deliver two Mistral
helicopter carriers. Paris was offering to pay 785 million euros.
2015 May 15, Cambodia, a
Russian fugitive, was arrested today for living illegally in the
Southeast Asian country after he was accused of embezzling $175
million in his homeland. Sergei Polonsky was arrested in coastal
Sihanoukville because his visa has been expired for two years. On
May 17 Polonsky was put on a flight to Moscow.
(AP, 5/15/15) (AP, 5/17/15)
2015 May 16, Russia lost a
Mexican satellite on launch just hours after a glitch with a
maneuver involving the International Space Station, the latest in a
string of embarrassing failures for its troubled space program.
2015 May 16, Ukraine said a
government soldier was killed and three were wounded in fighting
between government forces and separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Pro-Russian separatists in turn reported violations of the ceasefire
by Ukrainian forces. Ukraine's military detained two Russian
(AFP, 5/16/15)(Reuters, 5/18/15)
2015 May 17, Russian police
detained 17 protesters as they gathered in central Moscow to release
colorful balloons into the air to mark the International Day Against
Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
2015 May 18, Ukraine Foreign
Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that Russia had tried to kill two
Russian servicemen detained in Ukraine on May 16, as the Kremlin
reiterated that there were no regular Russian troops fighting in
2015 May 19, Ukraine showed off
two purported Russian soldiers it captured during a gun battle with
separatist fighters in the industrial east of the war-wrecked state.
Ukraine's media said Captain Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Sargent
Aleksander Aleksandrov were both contract soldiers who had joined
the army's main intelligence branch.
2015 May 21, Russian Pres.
Vladimir Putin said Moscow and Baghdad are expanding military
cooperation during talks with Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi in the
2015 May 23, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law giving prosecutors the power
to declare foreign and international organizations "undesirable" and
shut them down.
2015 May 23, In Vienna,
Austria, Sweden beat Russia to win the 60th Eurovision Song Contest,
in an event described by organizers as beyond politics but marred by
boos for the Russian that were apparently prompted by the Ukraine
conflict and the Kremlin's anti-gay policies.
2015 May 25, Russia’s justice
ministry listed Liberal Mission and Dynasty, two of the country’s
most respected foundations for science and education, as “foreign
(Econ, 5/30/15, p.49)
2015 May 28, President Vladimir
Putin declared all deaths of Russian soldiers during special
operations to be classified as a state secret, a move that comes as
Moscow stands accused of sending soldiers to fight in eastern
2015 May 28, Moscow released a
blacklist of 89 European Union politicians barred from Russia in
response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine.
2015 Jun 2, The Dutch Safety
Board made a draft report on last year's crash of Malaysia Airlines
Flight 17 available to representatives of Malaysia, Ukraine, the
United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Australia and the
Netherlands. It did not publicize details of the confidential draft.
2015 Jun 4, Russia's Federal
Security Service (FSB) said it has broken up a ring that was
smuggling firearms into the country from Latvia. One Latvian citizen
and eight Russians were arrested in the case.
2015 Jun 4, NATO said Russia
was delivering sophisticated weaponry to rebels in eastern Ukraine,
renewing long-standing accusations amid the worst upsurge in
fighting in months between the Kiev government's forces and
2015 Jun 5, Russia successfully
launched a Soyuz 2.1A rocket from the Plesetsk launch pad placing a
military satellite into a designated orbit.
(SFC, 6/6/15, p.A2)
2015 Jun 6, Russia's
anti-terrorism committee said police in the Dagestan region killed
militant Suleiman Zainalobinov during the night after they stopped
his car and he opened fire.
2015 Jun 11, Russian state
statistics revealed the number of citizens living below the poverty
line rose by 3.1 million in the first quarter as the economy reeled
from the plunging ruble and soaring inflation.
2015 Jun 13, In Azerbaijan
Russian President Vladimir Putin met Turkish counterpart Recep
Tayyip Erdogan for talks expected to touch on energy issues and the
Syria crisis. They met a day after attending the opening ceremony of
the inaugural European Games, hosted by Azerbaijan.
2015 Jun 15, A Russian defense
official said a plan by Washington to station tanks and heavy
weapons in NATO states on Russia's border would be the most
aggressive US act since the Cold War, and Moscow would retaliate by
beefing up its own forces.
2015 Jun 15, In Armenia a
Russian soldier was found stabbed to death near the Russian military
base where he served. This was the second fatal incident involving a
Russian soldier at the base this year. He was believed to have been
killed by a fellow Russian soldier, who was taken into custody.
2015 Jun 16, President Vladimir
Putin said that Russia will boost its nuclear arsenal by over 40
intercontinental missiles this year.
2015 Jun 17, European Union
governments agreed to extend economic sanctions on Russia over its
actions in Ukraine by six months until Jan. 31.
2015 Jun 18, The Russian
government condemned the freezing of Russian accounts in France and
Belgium as part of an effort to enforce a $50 billion judgment for
the destruction of the Yukos oil company.
2015 Jun 19, Moscow warned that
state-linked foreign firms in Russia could be targeted for
retaliation to the freezing of Russian official assets in Western
Europe over legal claims from former Yukos shareholders.
2015 Jun 22, The EU extended
economic sanctions against Russia until January to keep pressure on
Moscow over the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russia in turn planned
to extend a ban on Western food imports for six months starting from
(AP, 6/22/15)(Reuters, 6/22/15)
2015 Jun 24, Russian President
Vladimir Putin extended a ban against most Western food imports for
a year after EU foreign ministers agreed to prolong sanctions
against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict until January 2016.
2015 Jun 24, In Russia the only
member of parliament who voted against the annexation of Crimea from
Ukraine last year was formally charged with embezzlement in a case
he has described as politically motivated. Ilya Ponomaryov (39) is
now in the United States and was stripped of his parliamentary
immunity from prosecution in April. Russia’s federal Investigative
Committee said that it may put Ponomaryov on an international wanted
list if he fails to turn up for the investigation.
2015 Jun 24, In Russia a bus
carrying poultry factory workers collided with a truck in the region
of Siberia, killing at least 16 people and injuring nine others.
2015 Jun 26, Yevgeny Primakov
(b.1929), former Russian PM (1998-1999), died in Moscow. His career
included desperate but unsuccessful diplomatic efforts to avert wars
in Iraq and NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia.
(AP, 6/26/15)(Econ, 7/18/15, p.78)
2015 Jun 28, In Azerbaijan the
European Games came to a close. Russia sent its top athletes to the
games as a warm-up for next year's Olympics and was rewarded by
winning almost four times as many gold medals as its closest rival.
2015 Jun 29, Russian President
Vladimir Putin met with Syria's foreign minister and pledged his
support for Syrian President Bashar Assad. Putin called on all
Middle East nations to join forces to fight Islamic State militants.
2015 Jun 29, Canada announced
economic sanctions against Russian energy firms including natural
gas producer Gazprom over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis.
2015 Jun 30, Russia expressed
disappointment over new sanctions imposed by Canada over Moscow's
role in the Ukraine crisis and warned that it would respond.
2015 Jul 1, The Russian gas
company Gazprom halted supplies to neighboring Ukraine after the
collapse of pricing talks. An EU official said the dispute would not
affect the flow of Russian gas to Europe.
2015 Jul 3, Russian lawmakers
voted for a bill forcing online search engines to remove search
results about a specific person at that person's request.
2015 Jul 3, Russia launched an
unmanned cargo ship from Kazakhstan to the Int’l. Space Station. The
Progress M-28 ship was set to dock on July 5.
(SFC, 7/4/15, p.A4)
2015 Jul 3, Slovakia's spy
agency in its annual report said Russian agents have significantly
increased their activities in Slovakia and all other NATO and
European Union countries in connection with the crisis in Ukraine.
2015 Jul 5, The Russian
Progress M-28 cargo ship successfully docked with the Int’l. Space
Station after two recent supply missions failed.
(SFC, 7/6/15, p.A2)
2015 Jul 6, In far eastern
Russia 2 pilots of a Sukhoi Su-24 military jet were killed when the
plane crashed during a training mission near the Khurba aerodrome.
2015 Jul 8, Russian lawmakers
in the pro-Kremlin upper chamber called on authorities to blacklist
12 foreign NGOs as "undesirable", the first proposals under a new
law critics say is part of a clampdown on civil society.
2015 Jul 8, A UN resolution
condemning the 1995 massacre of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica as a
"crime of genocide" was vetoed by Russia, earning denunciations by
the US and Britain and by international human rights groups like
(SFC, 7/9/15, p.A2)
2015 Jul 10, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin announced that India and Pakistan will join the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a group dominated by Russia and
China and also including former Soviet republics in Central Asia.
2015 Jul 12, In Russia 23
soldiers were crushed to death after their military barracks
collapsed in Omsk, Siberia.
2015 Jul 14, In far eastern
Russia 2 pilots were killed when a strategic Tu-95 bomber with seven
people on board crashed while landing outside of the city of
2015 Jul 16, The United States,
Russia and other Arctic nations signed an agreement to bar their
fishing fleets from fast-thawing seas around the North Pole. The
accord was also signed in Oslo by the ambassadors of Canada, Norway
2015 Jul 22, The MacArthur
Foundation, a prominent American non-governmental organization that
has operated in Russia for more than two decades, announced it was
leaving Russia because of the government's crackdown on foreign
groups. The group, which has worked in Russia since 1992, says it
has awarded more than $173 million in grants here.
2015 Jul 23, A Soyuz space
capsule carrying a Russian, an American and a Japanese docked
smoothly with the International Space Station.
2015 Jul 24, Moscow's highest
court sentenced Ilya Goryachev (33), a leader of a militant neo-Nazi
group, to life in prison after he was convicted of ordering five
brutal killings, including that of a prominent human rights lawyer.
2015 Jul 28, In Russia Igor
Kalyapin, head of the Committee against Torture, told reporters that
the organization will be "liquidated" this week because they refuse
to comply with the law and thus admit that they "work for a foreign
benefactor." Kalyapin said they have set up a new head office that
won't accept foreign funding, thus being able to dodge the listing
of "foreign agent."
2015 Jul 29, The Russian
government formally branded the US National Endowment for Democracy
as an “undesirable" operation, forcing the organization to shut down
offices and cease issuing grants to Russian rights groups.
(SFC, 7/30/15, p.A2)
2015 Jul 29, Ukrainian Pres.
Petro Poroshenko vowed to push for justice despite Russia's veto of
a UN resolution that would have set up a tribunal to try those
responsible for shooting down passenger flight MH17 on July 17,
2015 Jul 30, A Kremlin aide
said Russia has reached a compensation deal with France for the
non-delivery of two Mistral warships, but Paris the next day refused
to confirm a final agreement.
2015 Jul 30, The United States
imposed further Russia and Ukraine-related sanctions, adding
associates of a billionaire Russian gas trader, Crimean port
operators and former Ukrainian officials to its list of those it is
penalizing in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine.
2015 Aug 2, Russia's
counterterrorism agency said its forces in Ingushetia province have
killed 8 militants who had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State
group. Those killed included the group's leader, Adam Tagilov, who
was accused of staging December's attack in Chechnya's provincial
capital, Grozny, which left 25 people dead.
2015 Aug 2, A Russian Mi-28
military helicopter from an elite aerobatic squadron crashed during
an air show, killing one pilot and injuring another in the Ryazan
2015 Aug 2, In Russia police in
St. Petersburg detained several gay activists who held pickets in
defense of gay rights on Airborne Forces Day.
2015 Aug 2, Natalia Molchanova
(b.1962), Russian champion and the world’s greatest free diver, went
missing during a recreational dive near Ibiza, Spain. Search efforts
were abandoned on August 5.
2015 Aug 3, Russia said it has
merged several branches of its military into the Aerospace Forces, a
reorganization aimed at enhancing coordination and efficiency.
2015 Aug 3, Russia's Federal
Security Service (FSB) forces killed six Islamist rebels in in
Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria.
2015 Aug 4, Russia tightened
controls on imports of cut flowers from the Netherlands, a move that
comes amid a strain in ties over the downing of a Malaysia Airlines
plane in Ukraine.
2015 Aug 4, Russia's PM Dmitry
Medvedev ordered preparation of retaliatory measures against several
non-EU European nations that have joined the European Union's
sanctions against Russia. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway,
Montenegro, Albania, Moldova and Ukraine joined the EU sanctions
2015 Aug 4, Russian police
broke into a family apartment in Nizhny Novgorod and found the
bodies of the six children and their mother hacked to pieces. Oleg
Belov was detained on suspicion of carrying out the murders. A woman
(52), identified as Belov's mother, was found hacked to pieces, in
the neighboring Vladimir region. Local media said Belov was
unemployed and lived on disability payments after being diagnosed
2015 Aug 5, In far eastern
Russia at least 16 people were killed and more than 50 others were
injured when two buses collided head-on on a highway linking
Khabarovsk, on the border with China, and Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
2015 Aug 6, The Russian
government steamrolled tons of contraband cheese and destroyed fruit
with tractors in a public display of its commitment to its
one-year-old ban on Western foods. The move raised protests in
Russia, with people signing a petition urging the government to
instead donate the food to the poor suffering through the country's
2015 Aug 8, Six Russian
opposition activists ended their hunger strike in Novosibirsk after
one of them was hospitalized following 12 days of going without food
to protest being barred from elections.
2015 Aug 8, In Russia a
privately owned Cessna seaplane and a Robinson R44 helicopter
collided over the Istrinskoye reservoir outside Moscow late today
and fell into the water. All 9 people aboard the two crafts were
(AFP, 8/9/15)(AP, 8/10/15)
2015 Aug 8, Finland detained a
Russian citizen, Maxim Senakh, at the request of US federal
authorities on computer fraud charges. Senakh was accused in the
state of Minnesota of infecting computer servers with malware,
resulting in criminal gains worth millions of dollars. Russia later
called the move illegal.
2015 Aug 11, Russia and Saudi
Arabia failed in talks to overcome their differences on the fate of
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a central dispute in Syria's civil
war that shows no sign of abating despite renewed diplomacy.
2015 Aug 11, Russian security
services said Magomed Suleimanov (39), the leader of a Caucasus
Islamist group in the Dagestan region, has been killed along with 4
others in a mountain raid near Gimry that included air strikes.
Suleimanov was suspected of staging the 2012 killing Said Afandi, a
leader of Dagestan’s Sufi Muslim brotherhood.
(AP, 8/11/15)(SFC, 8/12/15, p.A2)
2015 Aug 11, Russian officials
said more than 5,000 emergency workers were battling to put out
wildfires raging across forests in Siberia with over 1,250 square km
of woodland ablaze in at least six eastern regions.
2015 Aug 13, Russia's foreign
minister hosted a delegation of the main Syrian opposition group,
part of the Kremlin's new push for a mediation role in the Syrian
2015 Aug 13, Russia broadened a
food embargo imposed in retaliation for Western sanctions over
Ukraine to include Iceland, a significant fish importer, as well as
Montenegro, Albania and Liechtenstein.
2015 Aug 15, A Russian Mi-8
helicopter crashed into the Sea of Okhotsk in the far east, and five
of the 16 people on board were missing and presumed dead.
2015 Aug 18, Russian police
said they had detained an "international criminal gang" that
produced contraband cheese worth some $30 million using banned
Western ingredients. An unnamed source in law enforcement said that
the rennet used by the ring had been imported illegally from
countries including Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, which are subject
to Russian sanctions.
2015 Aug 19, Russia sentenced
Estonian intelligence officer Eston Kohver to 15 years in jail,
drawing ire from the EU after Tallinn said he was kidnapped
September 5, 2014, at gunpoint on its territory.
2015 Aug 22, Russia published a
government resolution affirming the country's claim to the seabed
and natural resources in the central part of the Okhotsk Sea between
the Kuriles and the Russian mainland, adding more than 50,000 square
km (19,000 square miles) to Russia's territory.
2015 Aug 22, Japan lodged a
protest over Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev's visit to one of four
disputed Pacific islands which have strained ties between the two
countries since the end of World War Two. The islands are known in
Russia as the Southern Kuriles and referred to as the Northern
Territories in Japan.
2015 Aug 24, An international
arbitration panel said Russia must compensate the Netherlands for
seizing a Greenpeace ship protesting at an oil platform in Arctic
waters in breach of an international treaty regulating the laws of
the sea. The Arctic Sunrise, sailing under a Dutch flag, was seized
by Russian authorities in September 2013 during a protest against an
offshore oil platform.
2015 Aug 25, In Russia Crimean
filmmaker Oleg Sentsov was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in a
Russian maximum-security prison for an alleged terror conspiracy.
2015 Aug 25, Russia’s Consumer
Protection Agency said recent inspection of selected goods by top
foreign brands such as Colgate-Palmolive and Procter & Gamble
have found high levels of toxic ingredients in them leading
authorities to begin removing them from stores.
(SFC, 8/27/15, p.A2)
2015 Aug 27, In Russia
Alexander Borodai, a former leader of pro-Russian separatist rebels
in eastern Ukraine, announced he was launching a support network for
Russian volunteers who fought in the conflict and the families of
2015 Aug 27, NATO opened a
training center in Georgia as it eyes closer partnership with the
Western military alliance. Russia called the move provocative.
(AFP, 8/27/15)(Reuters, 8/27/15)
2015 Aug 28, In Russia court in
St. Petersburg sentenced Mikhail Glushchenko, a former lawmaker, to
17 years in prison for organizing the 1998 assassination of Galina
Starovoitova, a leading democratic politician. Glushchenko insisted
that he organized the killing at the request of a powerful mafia
leader who was threatening him.
2015 Aug 29, Russia said Latvia
has refused permission to a Russian state news agency to open a
bureau in the country, a case that Moscow says is open
2015 Aug 29, The leaders of
France, Germany and Russia backed a new ceasefire in eastern Ukraine
in a three-way phone call.
2015 Sep 2, Russia staged a
military parade to commemorate seizing Sakhalin and the nearby
Kurile islands chain from Japan in 1945, a move likely to inflame
tensions over a long-running territorial dispute with Tokyo.
2015 Sep 4, A Russian Soyuz
spacecraft carrying three new crew docked at the International Space
2015 Sep 7, A Greek official
said the United States has asked Greece to deny Russia the use of
its airspace for supply flights to Syria.
2015 Sep 9, Russia’s Foreign
Ministry confirmed that Russian military advisers were in Syria as
part of a long-standing agreement to provide military aid to the
(SFC, 9/10/15, p.A3)
2015 Sep 9, A Syrian military
official said Russian military experts have expanded their presence
in Syria over the last year. US officials said Russia has sent two
tank landing ships and additional aircraft to Syria in the past day
or so and has deployed a small number of naval infantry forces.
Germany's foreign minister warned Russia against increased military
intervention in Syria.
2015 Sep 11, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov called on world powers to help arm the Syrian
army, describing it as the most efficient force against the Islamic
2015 Sep 12, A Russian space
capsule landed safely in Kazakhstan, bringing home a three-person
crew from the International Space Station, including a
record-breaking Russian cosmonaut. Gennady Padalka completed his
fifth mission for a world record of 879 total days in space.
2015 Sep 13, Russia held local
elections. The Kostroma region was the only one of eleven regional
parliaments in allowing the anti-Putin opposition to run. Candidates
from the ruling United Russia party won the governor's seat in all
21 regions where an election was held, as well as in 11 regional
(SSFC, 9/13/15, p.A5)(AP, 9/14/15)
2015 Sep 15, Russian state news
agencies said French supermarket chain Auchan has been fined over
$370,000 by Russian officials over alleged food safety violations.
2015 Sep 16, Libya's coast
guard intercepted a Russian-flagged tanker suspected of carrying an
illegal shipment of petrol and detained 12 crew members from Russia.
2015 Sep 16, Ukraine's
parliament unanimously voted in favor of a recommendation for the
United Nations to revoke Moscow's right to block Security Council
resolutions in cases when "conflicts grow especially fierce".
2015 Sep 18, The United States
and Russian militaries renewed high-level contacts to discuss their
roles in the conflict in Syria.
2015 Sep 19, Russian President
Vladimir Putin said he has backed the establishment of an airbase in
2015 Sep 18, Russia delivered
new arms including warplanes as the regime increases attacks on
2015 Sep 19, Russian
investigators arrested and charged Komi region regional governor
Vyacheslav Gayzer (Gaiser) along with 18 others with serious crimes
including fraud and membership of a criminal group. Gayzer was
suspected of heading a criminal group along with other senior
officials including deputy Alexei Chernov.
(Reuters, 9/19/15)(SSFC, 9/20/15, p.A4)
2015 Sep 21, In Russia Israeli
PM Benjamin Netanyahu met Pres. Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss
ways of avoiding any unintended clashes in Syria between Israel and
Russian forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad.
2015 Sep 21, Russian radio
engineer Gennady Kravtsov, who once worked for military
intelligence, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for seeking work
with a Swedish company. The judge in the trial, which was held
behind closed doors, turned down all of the 23 motions the defense
filed and did not allow a single defense witness to testify.
2015 Sep 21, Lawyers for Sergei
Pugachev, a tycoon once dubbed "Putin's banker" because of his
influence in the Kremlin, said he has filed a claim against Russia
for more than $10 billion after his business empire was carved up
when he fell out of favor with President Vladimir Putin. The case
will likely to be heard in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The
2015 Sep 23, Russian President
Vladimir Putin in Moscow opened one of the biggest mosques in
Europe, warning against the lure of jihadists as the government
frets over its citizens fighting for the Islamic State group.
Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Palestinian president Mahmud
Abbas were the guests of honor.
2015 Sep 23, It was reported
that Russia is planning a second major military base near the border
with Ukraine, where NATO accuses Russian troops of helping
pro-Moscow separatists fight Kiev's forces.
2015 Sep 25, Ukraine said it is
banning flights by Russian airlines from Oct. 25 as part of a wave
of sanctions against Russia over its support for separatists in the
east of the country. PM Arseny Yatseniuk added that any Russian
planes carrying military hardware or troops had also been banned
from flying over Ukrainian territory. The government statement also
forbade Ukrainian state companies from using Russian software,
particularly from the Russian anti-virus giant Kaspersky Lab.
Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said that Russia would be forced to
take retaliatory measures.
2015 Sep 26, Russia exchanged
Estonian Eston Kohver, who had been convicted of espionage, for
Aleksei Dressen, a former Estonian policeman convicted of treason
for passing state secrets to Moscow.
2015 Sep 26, Moscow pressed its
military buildup at a new airbase in Syria. The US trained Division
30 of the New Syrian Forces handed over US provided military
equipment to the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front in exchange for
safe passage in northern Syria.
(AFP, 9/26/15)(Reuters, 9/26/15)
2015 Sep 27, An Iraqi spokesman
said Iraq, Russia, Iran and Syria have agreed to set up an
intelligence committee in Baghdad aimed at sharing and analyzing
2015 Sep 30, Russia launched
air strikes against Islamic State in Syria after Pres. Vladimir
Putin secured his parliament's unanimous backing to intervene to
prop up the Kremlin's closest Middle East ally. Russian air strikes,
which Moscow said targeted Islamic State fighters, hit a rebel group
in Hama province supported by Western opponents of Pres. Bashar
al-Assad. The Russian air strikes killed at least 36 civilians and
targeted areas where Islamic State and al Qaeda-linked fighters were
2015 Oct 1, Russia launched its
Progress M-29M cargo spacecraft from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, to the
Int’l. Space Station.
(SFC, 10/2/15, p.A2)
2015 Oct 1, Two Lebanese
sources said hundreds of Iranian troops had reached Syria in the
past 10 days with weapons to mount a major ground offensive. Russian
jets struck targets near the cities of Hama and Homs in western
Syria on the second day of their surprise air campaign. The area
where it struck is held by a rival insurgent alliance, which unlike
Islamic State is supported by US allies including Arab states and
2015 Oct 1, The Pentagon
launched talks with the Russian military to discuss ways to avoid
mishaps in Syria between planes from the US-led coalition and
2015 Oct 2, Russia bombed Syria
for a third day, mainly hitting areas held by rival insurgent groups
rather than the Islamic State fighters it said it was targeting. The
US-led coalition called on the Russians to halt strikes on targets
other than Islamic State. Russia said it had bombed the Islamic
State stronghold of Raqa for the first time.
(Reuters, 10/2/15)(AFP, 10/2/15)
2015 Oct 2, The leaders of
France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine met in Paris to consolidate a
fragile peace in Ukraine. The Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said monitors have spotted a Russian
mobile TOS-1 'Buratino' weapons system in rebel-held Ukraine this
(AFP, 10/2/15)(Reuters, 10/2/15)
2015 Oct 3, Russian jets hit
Islamic State targets and other rebel groups in Syria, on a fourth
day of air strikes by Moscow in support of President Bashar al-Assad
which have dramatically escalated foreign intervention in Syria.
Russia said its air strikes have sown "panic", forcing some 600
"militants" to abandon their positions and head to Europe.
(Reuters, 10/3/15)(AFP, 10/3/15)
2015 Oct 4, In western Syria
air strikes by suspected Russian jets hit targets around the town of
Talbiseh. One resident said at least 5 bodies had been recovered
from the western part of the town. Russian planes also struck in
Homs and Hama provinces.
2015 Oct 6, The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said Russian strikes at Palmyra killed
15 Islamic State fighters and destroyed 20 vehicles and three
weapons depots. Another 4 Islamic State fighters were reported
killed near Raqqa. The Observatory said Russian jets carried out at
least 34 air strikes in the last 24 hours. Russia’s defense ministry
dismissed reports that its planes had launched air strikes against
2015 Oct 7, Russia and Syria
carried out what appeared to be the first major coordinated assaults
on Syrian insurgents and Moscow said its warships fired 26 missiles
at them from the Caspian Sea, a sign of its new military reach.
2015 Oct 10, Russia said it had
stepped up its bombing campaign against Islamic State militants in
Syria, while local observers said several of the air strikes had hit
areas in western Syria where the hardline group has little presence.
2015 Oct 11, Russian President
Vladimir Putin met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed
al-Nahyan to discuss security in the Middle East and the conflict in
2015 Oct 11, Russian war planes
pounded Syrian rebels unaffiliated with Islamic State, helping
Moscow's ally Bashar al-Assad reclaim territory and dealing a fresh
setback to the strategy of Washington and its allies. A senior
Hezbollah commander was killed in the battle while fighting on the
Syrian government's behalf.
2015 Oct 12, Russia’s Gazprom
resumed gas supplies to Ukraine after receiving prepayment of $234
million from Kiev, assuaging European fears about a new energy
crisis ahead of the winter heating season.
2015 Oct 12, The EU demanded
the "immediate" halt of Russian air strikes against moderate Syrian
rebel groups and warned a lasting peace was impossible under
Moscow-backed President Bashar al-Assad.
2015 Oct 13, Russia said its
air force hit 86 "terrorist" targets in Syria in the past 24 hours.
2015 Oct 13, The Dutch Safety
Board concluded that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over
eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile in its final report on
the crash on July 17, 2014, that killed all 298 people on board,
most of them Dutch.
2015 Oct 14, Bulgaria denied
access to its airspace to a Russian plane carrying humanitarian aid
for Syria, as Moscow failed to file an application on time.
2015 Oct 14, In Syria Islamic
State militants battled rival insurgent groups north of the city of
Aleppo, where officials say the Syrian army is preparing an
offensive of its own backed by Iranian soldiers and Russian jets.
Russia said its jets hit 40 Islamic State targets in new strikes in
Syria over the past 24 hours.
(Reuters, 10/14/15)(AFP, 10/14/15)
2015 Oct 16, The Russian
parliament voted to sanction an arrest in absentia of Ilya
Ponomarev, the sole lawmaker who voted against the annexation of
Crimea last year. Ponomarev, who is currently in the United States,
is suspected of embezzlement related to his work for a state-funded
technological foundation. He said the motion is a politically
motivated attempt to kick him out of parliament.
2015 Oct 17, Russia said its
air force has made 36 sorties, hitting 49 Islamic State targets in
Syria in the last 24 hours.
2015 Oct 19, In Syria Russian
jets hit an Islamic State training camp and command post of Al-Qaeda
affiliate Al-Nusra Front as they bombed 49 targets in the latest
wave of strikes. Russian air strikes in Latakia province killed
rebel commander Basil Zamo and 4 other fighters from First Coastal
Division, a group armed by Pres. Bashar al-Assad's foreign enemies.
A further 15 civilians were killed in the air strike in Jabal Akrad.
At least 3 Russians fighting alongside Syrian government forces were
killed and several more wounded when a shell hit their position in
(AFP, 10/19/15)(Reuters, 10/20/15)
2015 Oct 20, Russia's defense
ministry said its planes had flown 55 sorties and struck 60 Islamist
militant targets in Syria in the last 24 hours.
2015 Oct 20, Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad flew to Moscow to thank Russia's Vladimir Putin
personally for his military support, in a surprise visit that
underlined how Russia has become a major player in the Middle East.
2015 Oct 20, In Syria 13 people
including medical staff were reportedly killed in Russian air
strikes against a field hospital in the northwestern province of
Idlib that was run by the Syrian-American Medical Society. Russia
later called the reports fake.
2015 Oct 20, The US and Russia
signed an agreement designed to minimize the risk of collisions and
other dangers as both countries carry out air strikes in Syria.
(SFC, 10/21/15, p.A2)
2015 Oct 21, Russia said its
jets have hit 83 targets in Syria over the past 24 hours.
2015 Oct 22, The Russian
defense ministry said its planes had flown 53 sorties and struck 72
militant targets in Syria in the last 24 hours.
2015 Oct 23, The United States,
Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia met in Vienna to explore a political
solution to the Syrian civil war despite the basic US-Russian
disagreement over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's fate.
2015 Oct 23, The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said Russian air strikes in Syria have
killed at least 446 people, more than a third of them civilians,
since they began end-September.
2015 Oct 24, The Russian
defense ministry said its planes had flown 934 sorties and destroyed
819 militant targets in Syria since the start of its operation there
on Sept. 30.
2015 Oct 24, In Syria Vadim
Kostenko (19) a Russian soldier, reportedly hanged himself at a base
on the Syrian coast because of problems in his personal life. At his
funeral his father said there were no signs on the body to support
the official account.
2015 Oct 25, Direct flights
between Russia and Ukraine stopped as a result of continuing
tensions over Russia's annexation of Crimea and backing of
separatists in eastern Ukraine.
2015 Oct 26, The Russian
defense ministry said its planes had flown 164 sorties and struck
285 Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra militant targets in Syria in
the last three days.
2015 Oct 28, Russia said its
air force flew 71 sorties over Syria in the last two days, carrying
out 118 strikes on militant targets.
2015 Oct 29, In Russia 5 people
were killed in a night-time blast of household gas in an apartment
block in the Khabarovsk region of the country's Far East.
2015 Oct 29, The British-based
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there had been 595 deaths
in Syria from Russian air strikes since September 30. Russian
warplanes renewed strikes, including in the central province of Homs
and the northwestern province of Idlib.
2015 Oct 31, A Russian airliner
carrying 224 passengers and crew crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula
after losing radar contact and plummeting from its cruising
altitude, killing all aboard. The Airbus A321 was operated by
Russian airline Kogalymavia under the brand name Metrojet. Egyptian
security sources said early investigations suggested the plane
crashed due to a technical fault. A militant group affiliated to
Islamic State in Egypt claimed responsibility for the downing of the
plane. On Jan 29, 2016 an EgyptAir mechanic, whose cousin joined
Islamic State in Syria, was reported as a suspect in planting a bomb
on the Russian plane.
(Reuters, 10/31/15)(AP, 1/29/16)
2015 Nov 2, Russia said its air
force flew 131 sorties and hit 237 targets in Syria in the last two
2015 Nov 2, A Russian military
court in the North Caucasus city of Rostov-on-Don jailed Gadzhi
Magomedov for 17 years for allegedly fighting with the Islamic State
group in Syria. Pres. Putin has said that up to 7,000 people from
Russia and its former Soviet neighbors may be fighting for IS and
that he does not want to see them returning to their native
countries en masse.
2015 Nov 2, Russian state-owned
arms exporter Rosoboronexport said it is preparing a contract to
supply Iran with S-300 missile systems.
2015 Nov 3, The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said it has confirmed 185 civilians
killed in Russian airstrikes in the past month. It also reported and
131 IS fighters as well as 279 rebels not connected to IS killed in
the Russian airstrikes. Air strikes by Russian warplanes on the
Islamic State-held city of Raqqa killed 42 people, including 27
(SFC, 11/4/15, p.A3)(Reuters, 11/6/15)
2015 Nov 5, Russia sent a plane
to rebel-controlled Yemen carrying what Moscow said was more than 20
tons of humanitarian aid for the conflict-torn country.
2015 Nov 5, NATO's
secretary-general sounded the alarm over the build-up of Russian
military forces from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean and called
on the US-led alliance to come up with a response.
2015 Nov 5, In Washington DC
controversial Russian media mogul Mikhail Lesin (57), who helped
found the RT English-language television network, was found dead at
the Dupont Circle Hotel. Lesin had amassed a fortune operating one
of Russia's first advertising agencies and spent years as Vladimir
Putin's media czar.
(AFP, 11/7/15)(SFC, 3/13/19, p.A7)
2015 Nov 6, A spokesman for
Russian President Vladimir Putin said all flights to Egypt will be
suspended until proper security is in place there.
2015 Nov 7, Russian Federal Air
Transport Agency said it will send 44 planes to repatriate its
nationals from two Egyptian Red Sea resorts. Around 80,000 Russians
were stranded in Egypt.
(AFP, 11/7/15)(Reuters, 11/7/15)
2015 Nov 7, The World
Anti-Doping Agency said Russia had sabotaged the 2012 London Olympic
Games by running a state-sponsored doping program.
(SSFC, 11/15/15, p.A25)
2015 Nov 9, Russia announced
that it has agreed to push on with a deal to deliver S-300 missile
systems to Iran after Moscow halted an earlier agreement due to UN
sanctions slapped on Tehran.
2015 Nov 9, Russia's Defense
Ministry said its air force flew 137 sorties and hit 448 targets in
Syria in the last three days.
2015 Nov 9, Pyotr Pavlensky,
one of Russia's most radical political performance artists, was
detained after setting fire to the main entrance to the headquarters
of the FSB security service.
2015 Nov 10, President Vladimir
Putin said Russia will counter NATO's US-led missile defense program
by deploying new strike weapons capable of piercing the shield.
2015 Nov 10, Russia rejected
explosive accusations of doping and corruption and promised a rapid
response to avoid suspension from the 2016 Olympics due to the
scandal that threatens to spread far beyond the borders of Russia
2015 Nov 11, Russia's Defense
Ministry said its air force flew 85 sorties and hit 277 terrorist
targets in Syria in the last two days.
2015 Nov 12, The Islamic State
released a Russian-language video threatening attacks in Russia
2015 Nov 13, Russia said it has
banned incoming flights by Egypt's state-owned airline effective as
of Nov 14.
2015 Nov 13, Russia said its
air force flew 107 sorties and hit 289 terrorist targets in Syria on
2015 Nov 15, Speaking at a G20
leaders summit in Turkey US President Barack Obama vowed to step up
efforts to eliminate Islamic State in Syria and prevent it from
carrying out attacks like those in Paris, while European leaders
urged Russia to focus its military efforts on the radical Islamists.
Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on the need for
UN-sponsored peace talks and a ceasefire to resolve years of war in
(Reuters, 11/15/15)(AFP, 11/15/15)
2015 Nov 17, The head of
Russia's FSB security service said a homemade explosive device
brought down a Russian passenger plane over Egypt last month.
President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian navy in the
Mediterranean to establish contact with its French counterparts and
(AP, 11/17/15)(AFP, 11/17/15)
2015 Nov 17, France and Russia
staged air strikes on Islamic State targets in northern Syria,
punishing the group for the Nov 13 attacks in Paris and against a
Russian airliner on Oct 31 that together killed 353 people.
2015 Nov 18, Russia set up a
taskforce to wipe out the "infection" of doping in track and field
as the country faces being banned from next year's Olympic
2015 Nov 18, The Russian
government said it has decided to introduce a ban on food imports
from Ukraine starting from January 1 because Kiev joined Western
sanctions over Moscow.
2015 Nov 19, Russia signed two
agreements to finance and build Egypt's first nuclear power plant,
in a ceremony attended by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
2015 Nov 19, Russian's military
blasted targets across Syria with long-range strategic bombers for a
2015 Nov 20, The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said more than 1,300 people, around
two-thirds of them combatants, have been killed in Russian air
strikes in Syria since Moscow's aerial campaign began on September
2015 Nov 20, Russian and Syrian
warplanes carried out more than 70 strikes in eastern Deir Ezzor
province, killing at least 36 people including 10 children. Dozens
of oil tankers were destroyed. Russian Defense Minister Sergei
Shoigu said that more than 600 rebels had been eliminated as a
result of a cruise missile strike a target in Syrian Deir ez-Zour
(AFP, 11/20/15)(Reuters, 11/20/15)(AFP, 11/21/15)
2015 Nov 22, Russian law
enforcement officers raided a hideout in the North Caucasus of armed
militants allied with the Islamic State group, killing all 11 of
them in an exchange of fire on the outskirts of Nalchik, the capital
of the Kabardino-Balkaria republic.
2015 Nov 23, Russia said its
warplanes had hit 472 targets in war-torn Syria in the past two
days, including tanker trucks and oil infrastructure in territory
controlled by the Islamic State group.
2015 Nov 23, A Russian court
ordered the Church of Scientology in Moscow to be dissolved. A
church representative said the decision would be appealed.
2015 Nov 23, In Iran President
Vladimir Putin met with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Following their meeting a Kremlin official said Russia and Iran
jointly oppose "external attempts" to bring regime change in Syria.
President Vladimir Putin eased an export ban on nuclear equipment
and technology to Iran.
(AFP, 11/23/15)(Reuters, 11/23/15)
2015 Nov 23, Iran's ambassador
to Russia said that Moscow had started the procedure of supplying
Tehran with S-300 anti-missile rocket system.
2015 Nov 23, Ukraine ordered a
halt to all delivery of goods to Crimea. PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk
described the halt as temporary, but added that he had ordered the
Cabinet to prepare a draft of a "concrete" halt of goods and
services from Ukraine to Crimea.
2015 Nov 23, Pro-Ukrainian
activists prevented repairs to sabotaged power lines leading to
Crimea, keeping the Russian-annexed peninsula starved of electricity
for a second day and tensions between Moscow and Kiev high.
2015 Nov 24, Syrian fighters
destroyed a Russian helicopter with a missile, shortly after they
forced it to make an emergency landing in a nearby government-held
area in Latakia province.
2015 Nov 24, Turkey shot down a
Russian warplane near the Syrian border, saying it had repeatedly
violated its air space, one of the most serious publicly
acknowledged clashes between a NATO member country and Russia for
half a century. The pilot was shot dead by rebels as he parachuted
to the ground.
(Reuters, 11/24/15)(Reuters, 11/25/15)
2015 Nov 24, Power cuts in
Crimea affected nearly 940,000 people as tensions raged between Kiev
and Moscow over the annexed peninsula and Russia threatened to cut
off gas supplies to Ukraine.
2015 Nov 25, Russia sent an
advanced missile system to Syria to protect its jets operating there
and pledged its air force would keep flying missions near Turkish
air space, sounding a defiant note after Turkey shot down a Russian
2015 Nov 25, Russian forces
launched a heavy bombardment against insurgent-held areas in Syria's
Latakia province, near where a Russian warplane had been shot down
by Turkey the day before. Air strikes hit a crossing on the Syrian
side of the border with Turkey's southern province of Kilis. The
strikes reportedly hit a garage for commercial trailers, killing 3
(Reuters, 11/25/15)(AP, 11/25/15)
2015 Nov 25, The surviving crew
member of a Russian warplane shot down by Turkey said the plane
received no warnings from the Turkish Air Force and did not fly over
Turkish air space. Navigator Konstantin Murakhtin was rescued by
Russian and Syrian special forces after ejecting from the plane. The
US said data showed the Russian aircraft had transited Turkish
(Reuters, 11/25/15)(SFC, 11/26/15, p.A4)
2015 Nov 25, Russia accepted
its "full suspension" from world athletics over widespread doping
without requesting a hearing from the International Association of
2015 Nov 25, Russia's natural
gas giant Gazprom said it would stop shipping fuel supplies to
Ukraine because Kiev had failed to make the required pre-payments on
2015 Nov 25, Ukraine decided to
stop buying gas from Russia and closed its airspace to its giant
eastern neighbor's airlines. The Ukrainian military said another
soldier was killed in a new bout of clashes across the shattered war
zone in the past 24 hours.
2015 Nov 26, Russia threatened
economic retaliation against Turkey and said it was still awaiting a
reasonable explanation for the shooting down of its warplane, but
Turkey dismissed the threats as "emotional" and "unfitting".
2015 Nov 26, Russia vowed to
work "very actively" with track and field's governing body to
eradicate the doping culture that led to its blanket ban from
2015 Nov 26, In Russia 10
people on board a Mi-8 helicopter, including employees of Russia's
state oil company Rosneft, died when the aircraft crashed in the
Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia.
2015 Nov 26, French President
Francois Hollande arrived in Moscow for talks on Syria with Russia's
Vladimir Putin. They agreed to tighten cooperation in the fight
against the Islamic State group, although they remained at odds over
their approach toward Syrian President Bashar Assad.
(AFP, 11/26/15)(AP, 11/27/15)
2015 Nov 27, Russia said it
would suspend its visa-free regime for Turkish nationals from
January 1 as it retaliates against Ankara for the downing of a
2015 Nov 27, In Syria suspected
Russian warplanes carried out several air strikes on the town of
Azaz near the Turkish border, killing an estimated 5 people
including a child.
2015 Nov 27, Ukraine said
Russia has begun to restrict coal supplies, days after the Kremlin
threatened to punish Kiev for a power blackout of Russian-annexed
Crimea. Ukraine depends on coal to fulfil around 44 percent of its
2015 Nov 28, Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed "sadness" over Turkey's downing of a
Russian warplane that has severely strained relations. Erdogan said
the climate change summit in Paris next week could be a chance to
repair relations with Moscow.
(AFP, 11/28/15)(Reuters, 11/28/15)
2015 Nov 29, Russia’s National
Anti-Terrorist Committee announced that security forces had killed
the three militants in Dagestan after they refused to surrender.
2015 Nov 29, The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said airstrikes believed to have been
carried out by Russian warplanes killed at least 18 people and
wounded dozens in the insurgent held town of Ariha. Ariha Today, a
Facebook page that covers events in the town, said the airstrikes
killed 40 people and wounding more than 70.
2015 Nov 29, Turkey recovered
the body of Russian pilot Oleg Peshkov from northern Syria and
presented it to Russian diplomats, five days after shooting down his
warplane in an incident that wrecked relations between the two
2015 Nov 30, Russia said it
will restrict imports of Turkish fruit and vegetables as part of a
package of new sanctions following the downing of a Russian warplane
by Turkey last week. Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu said his country
would not apologize to Russia for shooting down the warplane and
said he hoped Russia would reconsider sanctions.
2015 Nov, Russian authorities
declared the Soros Fund an "undesirable agent" and forced it to stop
working in Russia.
2015 Dec 2, Russia's defense
ministry said it had proof that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and
his family were benefiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from
Islamic State-held territory in Syria and Iraq.
2015 Dec 2, NATO invited
Montenegro to become the 29th member of the US-led military
alliance, defying Russia's warnings it would have to respond to what
it branded a threat to its security. Russia said it will end joint
projects with Montenegro if the ex-Communist country joins NATO.
(AFP, 12/2/15)(Reuters, 12/2/15)
2015 Dec 2, The Islamic State
posted footage online of Magomed Khasiev (23) in an orange jump suit
kneeling beside a lake in Syria and confessing in Russian to spying
on Islamic State militants. Another Russian speaker, this one in
camouflage fatigues, then uses a hunting knife to hack off the
kneeling man's head.
2015 Dec 3, Russian Energy
Minister Alexander Novak told reporters work on Turkish Stream, a
pipeline intended to pump Russian gas into southeastern Europe via
Turkey while bypassing Ukraine, had been suspended.
2015 Dec 3, The foreign
ministers of Turkey and Russia met in Belgrade in the first
high-level bilateral talks since the downing of a Russian warplane
by Turkish jets sparked an unprecedented crisis.
2015 Dec 4, Russian prosecutors
declared the US-Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the
Rule of Law (USRF) an "undesirable" organization, the fourth entity
to be banned under a controversial law targeting foreign groups
accused of political meddling in the country.
2015 Dec 7, The Kremlin said is
not interested in the allegations made in a recent documentary
because they do not concern the prosecutor general, but his sons.
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his team released
an investigation and a documentary online last week, detailing what
they described as shady deals involving sons of the prosecutor
general and other senior prosecutors.
2015 Dec 7, In Russia five
people were lightly injured when a grenade exploded at a bus stop in
central Moscow. The hand grenade went off on Pokrovka Street, an
area dotted with bars and restaurants.
2015 Dec 7, Syria's government
accused the US-led coalition of launching airstrikes a day earlier
on an army camp in Der el-Zour that killed 3 soldiers and wounded
13, which if confirmed would mark the first time US-led forces have
struck troops loyal to President Bashar Assad. A US military
official said the strike was from a Russian warplane.
(AP, 12/7/15)(SFC, 12/8/15, p.A4)
2015 Dec 8, Russia said that
recent air strikes against targets in Syria included the new Kalibre
cruise missile from its Rostov-on-Don submarine in the Mediterranean
(SFC, 12/9/15, p.A4)
2015 Dec 8, World Chess
Federation (FIDE) president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (53), a Russian
citizen, said he would seek $50 billion from the United States over
his addition to a blacklist for alleged ties to the Syrian regime.
Ilyumzhinov has dismissed the charge, repeatedly telling local media
he has no economic interests in Syria or Iraq.
2015 Dec 8, Syria said it will
export more than 700,000 tons of citrus fruits to Russia to "fill
the gap" left by Moscow's ban on Turkish agricultural products.
2015 Dec 9, Russia said its air
force flew 82 sorties against 204 targets in Syria in the last 24
2015 Dec 11, President Vladimir
Putin said that Russia has provided air cover, weapons and supplies
to a leading Western-backed opposition group in Syria and called for
closer coordination with the US-allied coalition.
2015 Dec 11, Russian
investigators charged ex-oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail
Khodorkovsky with organizing the 1998 murder of a mayor in Siberia.
Khodorkovsky, who now lives in London, has claimed that the new
probe into the mayor's murder was ordered personally by President
2015 Dec 11, Russia officially
launched its own rating agency as it seeks to counterbalance the
influence of Western agencies which have taken a pessimistic line on
the country's crisis-hit economy.
2015 Dec 12, Russian police
detained dozens of opposition activists who tried to hold a
demonstration in central Moscow on Constitution Day.
2015 Dec 12, In Russia a fire
swept through a home for people with mental illnesses, killing 23
patients and injuring another 23, many of whom were on medication or
otherwise unable to walk in Alferovka, a village in the Voronezh
2015 Dec 13, Russia warned
Turkey to stop staging what it called provocations against its
forces in or near Syria after one of its warships fired warning
shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean to avoid a collision.
2015 Dec 14, President Vladimir
Putin signed a law allowing Russia’s Constitutional Court to decide
whether or not to implement rulings of international human rights
2015 Dec 16, President Vladimir
Putin ordered his government to suspend Russia's free trade zone
with Ukraine from Jan. 1, making good on Moscow's threats to Kiev
which seeks closer ties with the European Union.
2015 Dec 16, Russia said its
air force made 59 sorties in Syria in the past 24 hours and hit 212
Islamic State targets in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Idlib,
Latakia, Hama, Homs, Khaseke and Raqqa.
2015 Dec 16, Ukraine accused
Russia of looting two of its oil rigs after Crimea-based oil and gas
firm Chornomornaftogaz moved the equipment off the coast of the
annexed peninsula into Russian waters.
2015 Dec 17, Indian defense
ministry sources said the Defense Acquisition Council has cleared
the purchase of five S-400 air defense systems from Russia.
2015 Dec 18, Ukraine PM Arseny
Yatseniuk said the government has imposed a moratorium on the
repayment of a $3 billion Eurobond held entirely by Russia, after
Moscow refused to accept the terms of a restructuring of the debt.
2015 Dec 20, The Syrian army
with the backing of Russian air power said it had seized the rebel
held town of Khan Touman in southern Aleppo. In northwest Syria air
strikes believed to have been carried out by Russian warplanes
killed 58 people in the center of the rebel-held city of Idlib. At
least 10 people were wounded in an explosion that hit a military bus
in the Mazzeh residential district of western Damascus.
(Reuters, 12/20/15)(AFP, 12/20/15)(AFP, 12/23/15)
2015 Dec 21, The EU extended
sanctions against Russia for six months for fueling the separatist
war in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.
(SFC, 12/22/15, p.A6)
2015 Dec 22, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu agreed in a phone
call to coordinate their two countries' actions to fight terrorism
in the Middle East.
2015 Dec 23, Russian Pres.
Vladimir Putin welcomed Indian PM Narendra Modi. Their planned talks
were expected to focus on defense, nuclear and space cooperation.
2015 Dec 23, Russia's Defense
Ministry said its air force has carried out 302 sorties in Syria
between Dec. 18 and 23, hitting 1,093 Islamic State targets.
2015 Dec 23, Investigators said
Russia has issued an international arrest warrant for Mikhail
Khodorkovsky on suspicion of ordering a contract killing, prompting
the former oil tycoon to declare the Kremlin had gone mad.
2015 Dec 25, Russia’s
environment ministry said the country is warming more than twice as
fast as the average for the rest of the world, sounding an alarm on
the rise in floods and wildfires nationwide.
2015 Dec 25, Bangladesh's
state-run Atomic Energy Commission signed a deal with Russia to set
up two nuclear power plants, each with 1,200 megawatt capacity.
2015 Dec 29, Russian
investigators filed an indictment against four men accused of
involvement in the Feb 27 murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov,
a brazen killing which sent shockwaves among the opposition earlier
2015 Dec 29, In Dagestan one
person was killed and 11 injured in a shooting near the UNESCO
heritage citadel site in Derbent, which claims to be Russia's oldest
city and celebrated its 2,000th anniversary this year.
2015 Dec 30, A Russian court
sentenced blogger Vadim Tyumenstev (35), from the Siberian region of
Tomsk, to five years in jail for what it said was his extremist
activity on the Internet after he urged people to attend a protest
against high transport fares and criticized Russian intervention in
2015 Dec 30, Russia said its
air force made 121 sorties and hit 424 targets in Syria during
2015 Dec 31, The Russian
finance ministry said it will file a lawsuit against Ukraine after
Kiev failed to repay a $3 billion Eurobond and $75 million of
interest due today.
2015 Dec, Sibur, a Russian
petrochemical firm co-owned by Gennady Timchenko, sold 10% of its
shares to Sinopec, China’s largest state-owned oil refinery, for
$1.3 billion. In 2016 Sibur sold another 10% to China’s state-backed
Silk Road Fund.
(Econ 7/29/17, p.36)
2015 Irina Borogan and Andrei
Soldatov authored “The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s
Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries.
(Econ, 9/12/15, p.78)
2015 Bill Browder authorer “Red
Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder and One Man’s Fight for
Justice." Browder’s lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in 2009 in a
Russian prison, had pieced together how corrupt officials had taken
over Browder’s assets and treated themselves to a $230 million tax
refund paid out in a single day.
(Econ, 1/31/15, p.73)
2015 Bobby Lo authored “Russia
and the New World Disorder."
(Econ, 8/1/15, p.73)
2015 Mikhail Zygar authored
“All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin." It
became available in English in 2016.
(Econ, 9/17/16, p.79)
2015 In Russia the total number
of registered HIV cases exceeded one million this year, with
authorities struggling to contain an epidemic that experts say could
be curbed by increased funding and more awareness campaigns.
2016 Jan 1, Ukraine's
free-trade deal with the EU came into effect, coinciding with the
start of Moscow's food embargo against Kiev that will force the
impoverished former Soviet republic to revisit its economic model.
2016 Jan 11, Russia detained
surgeon Ilya Zelendinov of Belgorod and prepared to jail him pending
trial after he punched a patient causing his death last Dec 29 in a
brutal attack captured on video.
2016 Jan 14, It was reported
that Russian authorities have burned more than 50 books and pulled
more than 500 other volumes from college libraries on the grounds
they contain sentiments "alien to Russian ideology." The books, most
of them humanities textbooks, were published with money from the
Soros Fund, which in November was declared an "undesirable agent"
and forced to stop its work in Russia.
2016 Jan 18, The Russian ruble,
battered by weak oil prices, fell to an all-time low against the
euro and dropped to its lowest level in more than a year against the
2016 Jan 19, Russia said its
air force has delivered more than 40 tons of humanitarian aid to
areas of Syria which are blocked by “terrorists."
2016 Jan 19, It was reported
that at least 17 people have died of H1N1 swine flu in Russia since
last month, as the virus appears to gain ground in the country.
2016 Jan 20, Ukraine ratcheted
up its trade war with Russia in reprisal for Moscow's seeming
efforts to slash its westward-leaning neighbor's economic ties with
other former Soviet states. PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Kiev was
adding 70 food and other products to its existing list of items
Russia cannot sell in Ukraine.
2016 Jan 21, The Russian ruble
hit another historic low against the dollar as currencies slid
across the former Soviet Union against the backdrop of low oil
2016 Jan 21, A British inquiry
concluded that President Vladimir Putin probably approved a 2006
Russian intelligence operation to murder ex-KGB agent Alexander
Litvinenko with radioactive polonium-210 in London, prompting a row
2016 Jan 21, Dubai-based port
operator DP World and the Russian Direct Investment Fund said they
are launching a joint venture to develop ports, transportation and
logistics infrastructure in Russia.
2016 Jan 27, Judges at the
International Criminal Court gave its prosecutor a green light to
launch a new inquiry into allegations of war crimes during a brief
but bloody 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.
2016 Jan 30, In Russia 12
people were killed after a fire in a sewing room in Moscow. The dead
were all workers from Central Asia and included 3 kids.
(Reuters, 1/31/16)(AP, 2/1/16)
2016 Jan, Russia called off all
purchases of gas from Turkmenistan.
(Econ, 12/17/16, p.36)
2016 Feb 1, Russia's Defense
Ministry said its air force has carried out 468 sorties in Syria
over the past week, hitting more than 1,300 "terrorist" targets.
2016 Feb 8, Russia's Central
Bank effectively closed down two of the country's smaller banks
after it revoked their operating licenses, its latest effort to
consolidate the sprawling banking sector.
2016 Feb 8, In Russia
demolition crews arrived near a metro station in central Moscow to
destroy nearly 100 buildings that allegedly posed a danger to the
(Econ, 2/20/16, p.45)
2016 Feb 8, At least 4 Russian
servicemen were killed when a military helicopter crashed in the
west of the country.
2016 Feb 11, Russia's Defense
Ministry said that two US aircraft had bombed the Syrian city of
Aleppo on Feb. 10, and that Russian planes had not been operating in
2016 Feb 12, Pope Francis
headed to Cuba to meet the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in
Havana before embarking on a tour of Mexico dominated by modern day
problems of drug-related violence and migration.
2016 Feb 14, Russia said
President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama agreed to
intensify diplomatic and other cooperation to implement an agreement
on Syria struck at talks in Munich.
2016 Feb 15, Ukraine PM Arseny
Yatseniuk said Russian trucks have been banned from crossing its
territory in response to a similar move by Moscow.
2016 Feb 16, Russia's energy
minister said that his country has agreed with OPEC members Saudi
Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela to freeze oil production levels if other
producers do the same.
2016 Feb 16, In Russia at least
7 people, including two children, were killed when a gas explosion
caused part of a block of flats to collapse in Yaroslavl.
2016 Feb 17, Hungarian PM
Viktor Orban, on a visit to Moscow, called for better relations
between Russia and Europe.
2016 Feb 19, A task force set
up to discuss a planned cessation of hostilities in Syria met for
the first time in Geneva. Western powers rejected a Russian bid at
the UN to halt Turkey's military actions in Syria, as France warned
of a dangerous escalation in the nearly five-year conflict.
(Reuters, 2/19/16)(AFP, 2/19/16)
2016 Feb 20, Russia said it has
reinforced its military base in Armenia with fourth-generation
fighter jets and a modernized helicopter.
2016 Feb 20, It was reported
that a bank collapse and the apparent disappearance of top sports
official and International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation
vice-president Georgy Bedzhamov, decorated by President Vladimir
Putin, have caused further disruption to Russian sport, already
reeling from its doping scandal.
2016 Feb 23, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia violated opposition leader Alexei
Navalny's right to a fair trial, and has ordered the government to
pay him €56,000 euros ($61,700) in legal costs and damages.
2016 Feb 24, Afghan officials
took delivery of 10,000 automatic rifles and millions of rounds of
ammunition as a gift from Russia, another sign of deepening
involvement by Moscow in the war-torn country.
2016 Feb 25, In Russia
explosions at a coal mine in the far north Komi region killed four
miners, and a further 26 were missing at the Severnaya coal mine. On
Feb 28 emergency services said the 26 miners have died and rescue
operations have been halted after a third blast underground killed 6
(AFP, 2/26/16)(AFP, 2/28/16)
2016 Feb 26, Russian warplanes
carried out intense air strikes on rebel strongholds in Syria hours
before a ceasefire was due to come into force.
2016 Feb 28, Russian news media
reported that the Russian coordination center in Syria has
registered nine violations of a cessation of hostilities in the past
24 hours, but that the cessation of hostilities was holding in
2016 Feb 29, In Russia Mikhail
Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, presented a new book
about his life and times ahead of his 85th birthday. The 700-page
book called "Gorbachev in Life" is a collection of memoirs,
interviews, letters, documents and articles by him and others.
2016 Feb 29, Russian police
arrested Gulchekhra Bobokulova (38), a nanny from Uzbekistan, was
seen waving the severed head of a small child outside a Moscow
subway station. On March 3 she said she had beheaded the child to
avenge Muslims killed in the Kremlin's campaign of air strikes in
(AP, 2/29/16)(Reuters, 3/3/16)
2016 Mar 1, Russia called for
the Syrian-Turkish border to be closed, saying arms were being
hidden in humanitarian aid convoys and channeled to fighters of
Islamic State and its allies.
2016 Mar 2, Russia's state
prosecutor demanded a 23-year prison sentence for Ukrainian pilot
and lawmaker Nadiya Savchenko who is accused of killing two Russian
journalists in war-torn Ukraine.
2016 Mar 2, US astronaut Scott
Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko landed in Kazakhstan
after almost a year in space in a ground-breaking experiment
foreshadowing a potential manned mission to Mars.
2016 Mar 2, In Russia some 15
tons (110 barrels) of oil spilled off from an idled pipeline on the
Pacific island of Sakhalin according to oil producer Rosneft. Local
ecologists said the scale of disaster was far larger.
2016 Mar 3, Russia's Defense
Ministry said in a statement it had registered 14 ceasefire
violations in Syria over the past 24 hours.
2016 Mar 3, Russia-based
Gazprom said The Bank of China will give it a 2 billion euro ($2.2
billion), five-year loan, the state-run energy company's largest
loan agreement from a single credit institution.
2016 Mar 3, Ukrainian pilot
Nadiya Savchenko, who is standing trial over the killing of two
Russian journalists in war-torn Ukraine, announced in court that she
was going on hunger strike and would refuse both food and water.
2016 Mar 4, Russia's Defense
Ministry said Turkey is shelling Kurdish units fighting against the
Nusra Front in Syria, while columns of trucks with various cargo and
weapons for rebels cross into Syria from Turkey daily.
2016 Mar 5, Russia's Defense
Ministry said it had registered nine ceasefire violations in Syria
over the past 24 hours.
2016 Mar 7, Russia's Defense
Ministry said that eight ceasefire violations had been registered in
Syria over the past 24 hours.
2016 Mar 8, Russia's Defense
Ministry said it had registered seven ceasefire violations in Syria
over the past 24 hours.
2016 Mar 8, Hundreds of angry
Ukrainians picketed Moscow's embassy in Kiev as global calls grew
for the release of Nadia Savchenko (34), a hunger-striking military
helicopter pilot on trial in Russia.
(AFP, 3/8/16)(Econ, 3/12/15, p.50)
2016 Mar 9, Ukrainian military
pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who is on trial over the killing of two
Russian journalists during the Ukraine conflict, vowed to press on
with a hunger strike without water unless Russia releases her.
2016 Mar 10, Nadezhda
Savchenko, the Ukrainian pilot on trial in Russia, agreed to take
water but will continue a hunger strike following an appeal by
2016 Mar 10, European Union
governments extended sanctions on Russians and Ukrainians targeted
in 2014 over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
2016 Mar 10, Lithuanian
authorities said three journalists from Russian state television
have been expelled from the Baltic country after trying to enter a
forum for Russian opposition leaders.
2016 Mar 13, Russia accused
Turkey of sending its military across the Syrian border to prevent
Kurdish groups there from consolidating their positions.
2016 Mar 14, Russia's defense
ministry said it had recorded 14 ceasefire violations in Syria in
the past 24 hours.
2016 Mar 14, In Kazakhstan a
joint European-Russian mission aiming to search for traces of life
on Mars blasted off for the start of a seven-month unmanned space
journey to the Red Planet.
2016 Mar 15, Russian warplanes
began leaving Syria as Moscow started to draw down forces that have
tipped the war President Bashar al-Assad's way. Russian Deputy
Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said the air force will continue
striking targets in Syria linked to Islamic State and other
terrorist groups despite a partial withdrawal.
2016 Mar 16, A second group of
Russian warplanes flew out of Syria in line with Moscow's decision
to withdraw most of its forces.
2016 Mar 17, President Vladimir
Putin honored Fyodor Zhuravlyov (27), a Russian soldier killed in
Russia's military operation in Syria, breaking four months of
official silence about his death.
2016 Mar 18, The European Union
called for more countries to impose sanctions on Russia over its
annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula two years ago, but the
Kremlin said Crimea was Russian land and its status non-negotiable.
2016 Mar 18, In Syria Russian
warplanes flew in support of government troops in an offensive to
recapture the historic town of Palmyra from the hands of the Islamic
2016 Mar 19, In Russia all 62
people aboard a passenger jet flying from Dubai to southern Russia
were killed when their plane crashed on its second attempt to land
at Rostov-on-Don airport. There was strong wind at the airport with
a speed of 43 km per hour, with gusts up to 69 km.
2016 Mar 19, A Soyuz space
capsule carrying two Russians and an American docked with the
International Space Station. Their rocket took off in windy
conditions from Russia's space base in Kazakhstan at 2126 GMT March
2016 Mar 19, Den Katenberg, an
alias used by Lt. Aleksey Lukashev, an email phishing specialist
with Unit 26165 of Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate, often
abbreviated GRU, won access to one of the most important inboxes in
2016 Mar 20, The Russian
Defense Ministry recorded five violations of a tentative ceasefire
agreement in Syria in the last 24 hours.
2016 Mar 21, Russia's state
statistical service said the number of people living in poverty last
year spiked up by nearly 20 percent.
2016 Mar 22, A Russian court
sentenced Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko to 22 years in jail
after finding her guilty of involvement in the killing of two
Russian journalists during the separatist conflict in eastern
2016 Mar 22, Finland's Defense
Ministry said its website had come under a cyberattack that forced
it divert web traffic to a temporary site. The latest incident
coincided with talks in Moscow between Finnish President Sauli
Niinistö and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on cross-border
cooperation and international issues including Ukraine and Syria.
2016 Mar 24, Syrian troops
backed by Russian warplanes advanced into the ancient city of
Palmyra, which has been under jihadist control for nearly a year. A
Russian special forces officer was killed in the combat operation.
(AFP, 3/24/16)(Reuters, 3/25/16)
2016 Mar 25, Russian Defense
Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia will deploy a range of coastal
missile systems on the far-eastern Kuril islands, claimed by Japan,
as part of its military build-up in the region.
2016 Mar 25, Russian officials
said the body of a lawyer representing one of two Russian servicemen
on trial in Ukraine has been found buried in an abandoned farm south
of Kiev. Two men have been detained in connection with his murder.
Yuri Grabovsky was representing Alexander Alexandrov, a serviceman
captured along with another Russian, Yevgeny Yerofeyev, last year in
rebel-held eastern Ukraine.
2016 Mar 28, The presidents of
Russia and Iran agreed to step up bilateral contacts, including over
the Syrian conflict, in which both countries are allies of President
2016 Mar 29, A Russian police
convoy hit a bomb in the restive North Caucasus, killing one person
and wounding four others.
2016 Mar 30, Russia's RIA news
reported that around 20 Islamic State followers have been arrested
in Moscow trying to recruit new fighters for the group.
2016 Apr 5, President Vladimir
Putin said Russia is creating a national guard to fight terrorism
and organized crime.
2016 Apr 5, Azerbaijan and
Armenian separatists in Nagorny Karabakh said they had halted
fighting after four days of bloodshed, as international powers
scramble to resolve the worst violence in decades over the disputed
region. The ceasefire was brokered in Moscow. The 4-day war left an
estimated 200 people dead.
(AFP, 4/5/16)(Econ, 4/9/16, p.53)(Econ, 5/21/16,
2016 Apr 11, In southern Russia
3 suicide bombers blew themselves up as they tried to storm a rural
police station in the village of Novoselitskoye, causing no other
2016 Apr 11, Iranian media
reported that Russia has delivered the first part of an advanced
missile defense system to Iran, starting to equip Tehran with
technology that was blocked before it signed a deal with world
powers on its nuclear program.
2016 Apr 13, A Russian court
sentenced former naval officer Yevgeny Mataitis (39) to 13 years in
jail for selling state secrets to Lithuania concluding he was guilty
of state treason. The court said Mataitis had been gathering
information in the Kaliningrad region for six years.
2016 Apr 13, The Lithuanian
government said it has blacklisted 46 Russian citizens involved in
criminal prosecutions of several Ukrainians including the imprisoned
pilot Nadezhda Savchenko.
2016 Apr 14, Russia's Federal
Security Service and tax inspectors searched the offices of Mikhail
Prokhorov, a tycoon whose newspaper has published revelations about
people close to Vladimir Putin.
2016 Apr 18, A Ukrainian court
sentenced two Russian servicemen captured last year to 14 years each
in prison after finding them guilty of terrorism and waging a war in
eastern Ukraine. The ruling opened the door to a possible prisoner
swap between the two countries.
2016 Apr 19, President Petro
Poroshenko said Ukraine has reached a deal with Russia to free a
jailed Ukrainian pilot, suggesting that she will be swapped for two
Russian servicemen jailed in Ukraine this week.
2016 Apr 20, A Dutch court
quashed a $50 billion award Russia had been ordered to pay the
former majority shareholders of Yukos, a major win for Moscow in the
high-stakes dispute over the dismantling of what was once Russia's
largest oil producer. The Dutch court said a Hague-based arbitration
panel in 2014 did not have jurisdiction to rule in the case because
the arbitration was based on an energy treaty that Russia had signed
but had not ratified.
2016 Apr 24, In Russia former
police officer Andrei Gosht and five relatives were discovered dead
in their home in Syzran, a village some 620 miles (1,000 km)
southeast of Moscow.
2016 Apr 26, The Supreme Court
in the Russia-annexed peninsula Crimea banned a Crimean Tatar group
in the latest step to marginalize the minority.
2016 Apr 28, Russia launched
its first rocket from a new Vostochny cosmodrome in the remote Amur
Region near China's border, a day after a technical glitch forced a
postponement of the event to carry three satellites into orbit.
2016 Apr, At a London meeting
Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud told an adviser to Republican
presidential candidate Donald Trump that the Kremlin had "thousands
of emails" about his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
2016 May 4, Russian Defense
Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia will form three new military
divisions to counter what it believes is the growing strength of The
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) near its borders.
2016 May 4, Russia said it has
withdrawn around 30 aircraft from Syria, including all of its Su-25
attack planes stationed in the country.
2016 May 8, In Russia 5 members
of a motorcycle club were shot with a hunting rifle shortly after
dawn in Chelokhovo. A suspect (27) was arrested at his nearby home
and confessed to shooting the bikers after a conflict.
2016 May 9, An Australian law
firm filed a compensation claim against Russia and President
Vladimir Putin in the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of
families of victims of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, shot down
over Ukraine on July 17, 2014. The application names the Russian
Federation and Putin as respondents and seeks $10 million in
compensation per passenger.
2016 May 13, In Russia three
key editors at the top media holding firm RBC said they have
resigned amid a flurry of probes and police raids around the
2016 May 13, A North Korean
coast guard ship detained a Russian yacht with a crew of five
people. Russia's Foreign Ministry sent a note to Pyongyang demanding
explanation for the cause of the detention. The yacht was released
on May 15.
(Reuters, 5/14/16)(AFP, 5/15/16)
2016 May 14, In Russia a brawl
at a cemetery involving up to 200 people has left two people dead
and 10 wounded. Police said the brawl was believed to have been
about control over providing burial services at the sprawling
Khovanskoye cemetery in southwest Moscow.
2016 May 15, Russian sports
minister Vitaly Mutko apologized for the doping scandal that
threatens the athletic superpower's participation in the Rio
2016 May 19, Russian
performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, known for his radical,
politically charged performances, was convicted of vandalism for a
pro-Ukraine protest and sentenced to 16 months in prison. He won't
have to serve prison time because the statute of limitations had
expired. He remained in custody while awaiting trial in Moscow in a
second case after he set fire to the doors of the Russian security
2016 May 19, Egypt’s official
gazette said Russia will loan Egypt $25 billion to finance building
and operating a nuclear power plant in Egypt.
2016 May 20, Moscow proposed
that Russia and United States, which have been flying separate
bombing campaigns in Syria, launch joint air strikes against
jihadists in the war-torn country from next week.
2016 May 22, In Syria Russian
warplanes hit a key rebel supply route to Aleppo in Moscow's first
strikes on Syria's battleground second city since a February
2016 May 25, Ukrainian military
pilot Nadiya Savchenko (35) arrived home to scenes of jubilation
after her release by Russia in a prisoner swap and she promptly
offered to fight again for Kiev in its conflict with pro-Russian
separatists. Russian State television showed Alexander Alexandrov
and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, descending the steps of an aircraft at
Moscow's Vnukovo airport after being handed over by Kiev.
2016 May 27, Russian President
Vladimir Putin made his first trip to a European Union country this
year with a visit to Greece for a two-day visit expected to focus on
energy cooperation and Russian investments during talks with Greek
PM Alexis Tsipras.
2016 May, Dr. Grigory
Rodchenkov, the former head of a Moscow lab, told the NY Times of a
system of swapping out urine samples at the 2014 Sochi Olympics to
avoid positive tests.
(http://tinyurl.com/ja976aa)(Econ, 7/23/16, p.41)
2016 Jun 1, Russian social
media users voiced their outrage at Twitter's decision a day earlier
to suspend popular accounts parodying Pres. Vladimir Putin and other
2016 Jun 1, The Russian Defense
Ministry said that a temporary ceasefire, which it called a "regime
of calm", had taken effect for 48 hours in the Damascus suburb of
Daraya to allow for the distribution of humanitarian aid to
2016 Jun 7, Russian President
Vladimir Putin hosted Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu for talks
expected to focus on boosting bilateral ties and the situation in
2016 Jun 7, Russia's gas
monopolist Gazprom says it will resume selling gas to Ukraine,
following an official request from Kiev.
2016 Jun 9, Russian Maj. Sergei
Yeremenko, a pilot for the air force's elite aerobatic squadron,
died when his Su-27 fighter jet crashed near Moscow.
2016 Jun 12, European soccer's
governing body, UEFA, launched disciplinary proceedings against the
Russian Football Union after violence marred the end of Russia's
Euro 2016 match against England in Marseille the previous evening.
2016 Jun 15, NATO chief Jens
Stoltenberg demanded that Russia withdraw its forces and military
hardware from Ukraine, and halt its support for pro-Moscow
separatists battling Kiev.
2016 Jun 16, Russia floated out
a new nuclear-powered icebreaker, said to be the world's biggest and
most powerful, to be used for hauling liquefied natural gas from its
2016 Jun 16, The Russian
Defense Ministry said a 48-hour cessation of hostilities has been
declared in the divided northern Syrian city of Aleppo and activists
reported a relative calm in the city. Barrels bombs hit Aleppo just
hours after a temporary truce came into effect in the war-torn city.
Russian warplanes struck at rebels battling Islamic State militants,
including forces backed by the United States, in southern Syria.
(AP, 6/16/16)(AFP, 6/16/16)(Reuters, 6/17/16)
2016 Jun 16, France sentenced
three Russian fans to prison and planned to deport 20 others next
week for their role in the violence in Marseille that marred
Russia's opening soccer match against England.
2016 Jun 17, Russia's track and
field athletes were banned from competing for their country at the
Rio de Janeiro Olympics because the country has failed to do enough
to clean up a deep-rooted doping system that tainted athletes who
may be clean.
2016 Jun 17, The EU rolled over
for another year sanctions imposed to protest Russia's 2014
annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, which the bloc deems illegal.
2016 Jun 17, The United States
expelled two Russian officials in response to an attack by a Russian
policeman on a US diplomat in Moscow earlier in the month. On July 9
Russia said it had expelled two US Embassy staff members in June
after a similar 'unfriendly' move by Washington.
2016 Jun 18, In Russia at least
11 children and their adult instructor died in a storm while boating
on a lake in the northwestern region of Karelia.
2016 Jun 18, France expelled a
Russian far-right leader of a football supporters group, Alexander
Shprygin, and 19 other fans after the troubles with England soccer
fans at Euro 2016.
2016 Jun 18, In Kazakhstan Tim
Peake, the first British astronaut on the ISS, Russia's Yury
Malenchenko and NASA's Tim Kopra parachuted down onto the Kazakh
steppe in their Soyuz capsule at 0915 GMT after spending 186 days in
2016 Jun 19, Russia said it had
reached an agreement with the United States to improve coordination
between their military operations in Syria, where they are backing
opposing sides of a civil war and launching air strikes.
2016 Jun 20, Russian
investigators announced they had completed a first probe into the
February 27, 2015, murder of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov,
describing the killing as a hit ordered by a low-ranking Chechen
official and other "unidentified" suspects. Five suspects currently
in detention had been reportedly offered 15 million rubles (about
$235,000) for the murder by Ruslan Mukhudinov and other individuals.
2016 Jun 21, The European
Union's Brussels envoys agreed to extend until the end of January
the energy, financial and defense sanctions on Russia over the
conflict in Ukraine, but formal approval is still pending.
2016 Jun 22, In China a
six-nation security forum opened in Beijing as a multilateral forum
involving high-level policymakers, defense ministry officials,
military officers, and researchers from China, Japan, North and
South Korea, Russia, and the United States.
2016 Jun 22, Moldova's foreign
ministry called on Russia to stop recruiting its citizens to the
Russian Army. It said the alleged recruitments violate bilateral
2016 Jun 24, The Russian
parliament adopted a set of controversial counter-terrorism
amendments which have sparked alarm among rights activists. The
amendments included introducing prison sentences for failure to
report a grave crime and doubling the number of crimes that Russians
as young as 14 years old can be prosecuted.
2016 Jun 24, In Russia Nikita
Belykh, the liberal minded governor of the Kirovsk region, was
arrested. He was accused of receiving a $445,000 bribe and faced 15
years in jail. Belykh claims he was set up. The next day a
Russian court ordered that Nikita Belykh be taken into custody for
(Reuters, 6/25/16)(Econ, 7/2/16, p.46)
2016 Jun 27, Russia said
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has written to Russian leader
Vladimir Putin to apologize over the shooting down of a Russian air
force jet by Turkey's military last November.
2016 Jun, Russia decriminalized
battery. The Duma exempted domestic abuse and made it subject to the
same two-year maximum sentence as racially motivated offences.
(Econ, 1/28/17, p.46)
2016 Jun, Spanish authorities
arrested half a dozen Russian citizens with alleged ties to
high-ranking Russian officials and Colombian drug cartels.
(Econ, 7/2/16, p.46)
2016 Jul 1, Russian
whistleblower Yulia Stepanova was cleared by track and field's world
governing body to compete as a neutral athlete in the European
championships and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The 800-meter runner
had provided evidence to the World Anti-Doping Agency of widespread
cheating in Russia that led the IAAF to bar the country's track and
field athletes from international competition, including the Rio
2016 Jul 1, In Russia an Il-76
plane with a crew of 10 disappeared while on a mission to fight
forest fires in the Irkutsk region of Siberia. Wreckage of the plane
was found on July 3 along with 8 bodies.
(AP, 7/1/16)(AP, 7/3/16)
2016 Jul 1, The European Union
extended its economic sanctions on Russia until the end of January
next year in a widely expected decision after EU leaders called for
more progress in bringing peace to eastern Ukraine.
2016 Jul 7, Russian President
Vladimir Putin signed into law a package of controversial
anti-terror amendments dubbed "Big Brother" measures by critics that
may cost internet companies billions.
2016 Jul 7, Russian officials
said at least 7 militants and one law enforcement officer have been
killed in clashes in Dagestan in the North Caucasus region.
2016 Jul 7, In Kazakhstan a
Russian space capsule was launched beginning a two-day trip to the
International Space Station. The Soyuz capsule carried Russian
Anatoly Ivanshin, NASA's Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi of Japan’s
space agency JAXA.
2016 Jul 8, In Syria militants
shot down a military helicopter near Palmyra, killing 2 Russian
pilots on board.
2016 Jul 14, Russia said it has
has conducted more than 50 air strikes since July 12 against Islamic
State (IS) jihadists near the Syrian city of Palmyra. Six Tupolev
bombers flew out of an airbase in Russia today and conducted strikes
east of Palmyra, near the cities of Arak and Sukhna, as well as in
the Homs region.
2016 Jul 18, An independent
Canadian investigator said Russia operated a state-dictated doping
system during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and other events, in a
report likely to lead to demands for Russia to be completely banned
from the Rio Games.
2016 Jul 19, The Russian
intelligence agency FSB said it is conducting a probe of several
top-ranking crime investigators on suspicion of collusion with
2016 Jul 19, A British court
ordered disgraced Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova (38) to repay
organisers of the London Marathon almost £400,000 (476,000 euros,
2016 Jul 21, Russia lost its
appeal against the Olympic ban on its track and field athletes, a
decision which could add pressure on the IOC to exclude the country
entirely from next month's games in Rio de Janeiro.
2016 Jul 24, In Switzerland the
International Olympic Committee held showdown talks on whether to
ban Russia from the Rio Games over state-run doping. The IOC said it
was up to each international sports federation to decide if Russians
could take part in Rio.
(AFP, 7/24/16)(AFP, 7/25/16)
2016 Jul 25, The FBI said it is
investigating how thousands of Democratic National Committee emails
were hacked, a breach that Hillary Clinton's campaign maintains was
committed by Russia to benefit Donald Trump. It was later reported
that two teams of Russian hackers were at work. One nick-named Fancy
Bear was thought to be linked to military intelligence. The other,
code-named Fancy Bear, was believed to be linked to another part of
the Russian security apparatus.
(AP, 7/25/16)(Econ, 9/24/16, p.29)
2016 Jul, Russian police in
Samara detained American pastor Jim Mulcahy (72), claiming he was
planning to perform a same-sex marriage. Hours later, the American
pastor was fined $30 and ordered to leave Russia within five days.
2016 Jul 28, Russian President
Vladimir Putin fired the governor of the Kirov region, Nikita
Belykh, a month after he was jailed on a charge of accepting a
2016 Jul 28, Russian PM Dmitry
Medvedev accepted the resignation of Andrei Belyaninov, the
head of the customs agency, several days after investigators
searched his home and founds hundreds of thousand dollars stashed in
2016 Jul 30, Russia's
intelligence service said that the computer networks of 20
organizations, including state agencies and defense companies, have
been infected with spyware in what it described as a targeted and
coordinated attack. The agency did not say who it suspected of being
behind the attacks.
2016 Jul 30, Russian President
Vladimir Putin struck a conciliatory tone on a visit to Slovenia,
shaking hands and honoring dead soldiers as he tested Western
resolve in maintaining crippling sanctions against the Kremlin for
its role in Ukraine.
2016 Jul 30, In Syria dozens of
civilians left the besieged and battered opposition-held east of
Aleppo city through a "humanitarian corridor" to the government-held
west. Russia's defence ministry announced that four additional
"humanitarian corridors" will be opened from Aleppo, adding that 169
civilians have been able to get out so far.
2016 Jul 31, The Islamic State
called on its group members to carry out jihad in Russia in a
nine-minute YouTube video.
2016 Aug 1, In northern Syria a
Russian transport helicopter was shot down in opposition rebel
territory. All five crew and officers onboard were killed.
2016 Aug 2, In Russia the Yamal
regional governor's office said a child has died of anthrax in
Siberia in the first fatal outbreak of the bacterial disease
reported in Russia in 75 years. More than 2,300 reindeer have also
died in the outbreak in the region.
2016 Aug 3, In Russia Yaroslavl
Mayor Yevgeny Urlashov, the only opposition mayor of a major Russian
city, was found guilty of soliciting bribes and sentenced to 12½
years in a high-security prison. Urlashov pleaded not guilty to the
charges and claimed that he had been framed by his political rivals.
2016 Aug 5, In Russia petition
calling on Pres. Putinto sack PM Dmitry Medvedev, whose comments
about teachers' pay sparked outrage earlier this week, attracted
more than 160,000 signatures. Medvedev was asked by a teacher from
the Dagestan region why teachers are paid half as much as police
officers. He said that teaching is not a job for those seeking to
make a fortune and that teachers could always do odd jobs to
supplement their income.
2016 Aug 9, Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held
their first meeting since the two leaders began healing a bitter
feud over Ankara's downing of a Russian warplane.
2016 Aug 10, Russia's Federal
Security Service said it had thwarted two armed Ukrainian attempts
over the weekend to get saboteurs into Crimea and dismantled a
Ukrainian spy network inside the annexed peninsula. Ukraine denied
2016 Aug 16, Russian warplanes
took off from a base in Iran to target Islamic State fighters and
other militants in Syria.
2016 Aug 17, In Russia Usman
Murdalov (21) and his friend Sulim Israilov (18) armed themselves
with axes and attacked a traffic police post near Moscow. In a video
posted online a day later, they professed loyalty to Islamic State.
Murdalov and Israilov had worked together at a small manufacturing
company in Valerik, Chechnya, producing windows and doors.
2016 Aug 19, Russian warships
in the Mediterranean Sea fired cruise missiles at targets near
2016 Aug 21, Ukraine said
Russian activist Roman Roslovtsev, better known for his walks across
Red Square in a President Vladimir Putin mask, has requested
political asylum in their country.
2016 Aug 22, Ukraine said it
has launched a criminal investigation of 20 senior Russian
officials, alleging their involvement in crimes against Ukraine's
2016 Aug 25, Russia launched
large-scale snap military drills, putting its troops on full combat
readiness in districts bordering Ukraine and the Baltic states.
2016 Aug 27, In Russia a fire
in a Moscow printing plant killed 17 people. A representative of the
Kyrgyz diaspora in Russia said all the dead were members of its
community. Some 500,000 Kyrgyz citizens worked in Russia.
2016 Aug, A Russian court
sentenced Alexander Belov, a leader of the banned Movement Against
Illegal Immigrants (DPNI) to seven and a half years in jail.
(Econ, 12/10/16, p.53)
2016 Sep 1, Russia’s new
data-localization law went into effect. It requires that personal
information from Russian citizens is kept in databases located
(Econ, 9/24/16, p.16)
2016 Sep 1, A coalition of NGOs
led by Human Rights Watch (HRW) said evidence is growing that Russia
is behind a significant increase in the use of cluster bombs in
Syria. More than 400 people were reported killed or maimed by the
banned munitions in the world last year.
2016 Sep 2, Russian Pres.
Vladimir Putin had a rare meeting with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in
Vladivastok but there was no breakthrough in a territorial dispute
that has kept the two countries from signing a peace treaty formally
ending their WWII conflict.
2016 Sep 5, At the G20 meeting
in China Russia and Saudi Arabia announced that they would start
working together to stabilize the market, including limiting output.
2016 Sep 6, A German court
dismissed appeals by 84 Russian athletes seeking to compete at the
Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Another 10 Russians had a similar
application rejected a day earlier as punishment for state-backed
doping in the country.
2016 Sep 12, The Chinese and
Russian navies launched eight days of war games in the South China
Sea, in a sign of growing cooperation between their armed forces
against the backdrop of regional territorial disputes.
2016 Sep 18, Russia held
elections for a new national parliament. Vladimir Putin won even
greater supremacy over Russia's political system after the ruling
United Russia party took three quarters of the seats in parliament,
paving the way for him to run for a fourth term as president. The
official turnout was 48%.
(AP, 9/18/16)(AP, 9/19/16)(Econ, 9/24/16, p.50)
2016 Sep 18, Moscow said air
strikes by a US-led coalition on the Syrian army threatened the
implementation of a US-Russian ceasefire plan for Syria and bordered
on connivance with Islamic State.
2016 Sep 18, Czech police
detained Oleg Vorotnikov (38), a founding member of the Russian
underground art collective Voina, wanted in Russia over a series of
high-profile stunts that authorities branded insulting and violent.
Vorotnikov was released on Sep 21 and allowed to stay in the
Czech Republic during extradition proceedings. Prague had not yet
received an official extradition request, which must be filed within
(Reuters, 9/20/16)(Reuters, 9/21/16)
2016 Sep 19, In Russia Yevgeny
Zhilin (40), a prominent Ukrainian separatist figure, was fatally
shot in the Gorki-2 neighborhood west of Moscow. Zhilin has been on
Ukraine's wanted list since 2015.
2016 Sep 22, In Russia 8
firefighters were killed as they battled a blaze at a warehouse in
2016 Sep 23, Russian President
Vladimir Putin reshuffled his inner-circle again by giving the
parliament speaker's job to Vyacheslav Volodin, his chief domestic
strategist and the man who oversaw a vote that further strengthened
the dominance of the main Kremlin party.
2016 Sep 23, German security
officials say a cyberattack believed to be directed by Russia
targeted journalists and lawmakers in a sophisticated email phishing
attempt between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15.
2016 Sep 25, Syrian and Russian
warplanes bombed a strategic camp on the northern edge of Aleppo as
government and rebel forces battled for control of the high ground
in a Russian-backed offensive that has left Washington's Syria
policy in tatters.
(Reuters, 9/25/16)(AFP, 9/25/16)
2016 Sep 28, A Dutch-led
inquiry into the July 2014 downing of Flight MH17 over eastern
Ukraine said the Boeing 777 was shot down by a BUK missile system
from an area in eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian
separatists, and that the system was brought in from Russia and then
taken back there. Russian missile-maker Almaz-Antey said the BUK
missile was fired from territory held by the Ukrainian army and the
prosecutors' findings were not supported by technical evidence.
(AFP, 9/28/16)(Reuters, 9/28/16)
2016 Sep 30, Russian
firefighters battled to extinguish wildfires that have engulfed
forests in eastern Siberia and forced schools to close in its
Irkutsk region. Some two million hectares had been on fire and large
amounts of carbon disgorged by the fires represented an
environmental threat and a danger to local communities.
2016 Sep, In Russia prison
staff reportedly beat and kicked Ildar Dadin (34) and put his head
down a toilet bowl while he was in an isolation cell. Dadin came to
prominence when he was handed a two-and-a-half year sentence under a
controversial law that punishes repeated participation in
unsanctioned rallies, after he demonstrated against President
Vladimir Putin's rule.
2016 Oct 3, Russia’s Pres.
Vladimir Putin withdrew his country from a plutonium disposal treaty
that was signed with the US in 2000.
(SFC, 10/4/16, p.A2)
2016 Oct 4, Rebels said they
had repelled a Syrian army offensive in southern Aleppo as Russian
and Syrian warplanes continued to pound residential areas in
besieged parts of the city where thousands of civilians are trapped.
25 deaths in government-held west Aleppo were documented as a result
of rebel shelling.
2016 Oct 4, The United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights warned Russia over use of
incendiary weapons in air strikes on the Syrian city of Aleppo,
where he said attacks on civilian targets may amount to crimes
2016 Oct 5, Czech police
arrested a Russian hacker in a Prague hotel. He was suspected of
cyberattacks in the United States. After the arrest suspect Yevgeniy
Nikulin collapsed, received first aid treatment and was
hospitalized. LinkedIn had confirmed a breach in May and cooperated
with the FBI to track the suspect down.
(AP, 10/19/16)(SFC, 10/20/16, p.C4)
2016 Oct 7, Russia's lower
house of parliament ratified a treaty with Syria that allows the
Russian military to stay indefinitely in the Mideast country.
2016 Oct 7, Estonia said a
Russian jet violated its airspace, hours after neighboring Finland
said two similar planes passed over its territory as it prepared to
sign a defense pact with the United States.
2016 Oct 9, The Russian
government announced that Rosneft’s 330 billion ruble ($5.3 billion)
bid for Bashneft, a state-controlled oil firm. Igor Sechin, head of
Rosneft, orchestrated the deal which had been rejected by Bashneft’s
former owner Vladimir Yevtushenko.
(Econ, 10/22/16, p.45)
2016 Oct 10, In Russia the
Basmanny District Court ruled that the Novaya Gazeta report linking
Rosneft Chairman Igor Sechin to the St. Princess Olga yacht was
untrue. The newspaper used social media and ship tracking data to
allege that Sechin was the yacht's possible owner. Novaya Gazeta
says it will appeal the court's ruling.
2016 Oct 10, Russia's defence
ministry said that the country was poised to transform its naval
facility in the Syrian port city of Tartus into a permanent base.
2016 Oct 10, In Turkey Russia’s
President Vladimir Putin met counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in
Istanbul, pushing forward ambitious joint energy projects on his
first visit to Turkey since a crisis in ties. Erdogan and Putin
reached a deal to proceed on the Turkish Stream project to carry
Russian natural gas to Turkey and on to the EU.
(AFP, 10/10/16)(SFC, 10/11/16, p.A2)
2016 Oct 11, In Syria regime
ally Russia carried out its heaviest strikes in days on Aleppo. The
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 12 people, among them four
children, were killed in raids in the Bustan al-Qasr and Fardos
neighborhoods. At least five children were killed in rebel fire on a
school in the southern city of Daraa.
2016 Oct 12, Egypt's military
announced it will host Russian troops for war games along the
Mediterranean coast, the latest step in the two countries'
rapprochement and another sign of Moscow flexing its muscles in the
2016 Oct 14, The Russian city
of Orel unveiled the country’s first monument to Czar Ivan the
Terrible, who reigned from 1547-1584.
(SFC, 10/15/16, p.A2)
2016 Oct 14, Russian President
Vladimir Putin ratified an agreement with the Syrian government that
allows Russia to use the Hmeimim air base in Syria indefinitely.
2016 Oct 14, The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitor, said Russian
and Syrian warplanes again pounded Aleppo’s opposition-controlled
eastern districts, though it did not have any immediate information
2016 Oct 16, The European Space
Agency dispatched an experimental probe on the final leg of its
quest to land on Mars, part of a mission aimed at exploring the red
planet's atmosphere and searching for signs of life. The ExoMars
mission was a joint endeavor by Europe’s and Russia’s space
(AP, 10/16/16)(Econ, 10/22/16, p.71)
2016 Oct 17, The
editor-in-chief of Kremlin-funded television network RT said that
all its bank accounts in Britain have been closed down.
2016 Oct 17, A Lithuanian court
called former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to testify in a mass
trial related to the 1991 crackdown on the country's independence
2016 Oct 17, In Syria
airstrikes by Russian warplanes on rebel-held areas in the northern
province of Aleppo killed at least 36 people, including children.
2016 Oct 18, Russian Defense
Minister Sergei Shoigu said airstrikes in Syria were to be suspended
starting from 10 a.m. today. He said the suspension is intended to
prepare for the opening of humanitarian corridors for the rebels to
2016 Oct 18, Lithuanian
President Dalia Grybauskaite said Russia's transfer of
nuclear-capable missiles to its western outpost of Kaliningrad this
month was an aggressive move against the whole of Europe.
2016 Oct 19, In Kazakhstan two
Russian cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut soared into orbit in a Soyuz
spacecraft at the start of a two-day journey to the International
2016 Oct 19, In Syria a pause
in Russian and Syrian strikes on Aleppo held into a second day,
ahead of a brief ceasefire aimed at allowing civilians and rebels to
quit the devastated city. Around 620 rebels and their families began
evacuating the besieged town of Moadamiyat al-Sham, southwest of
Damascus, under a deal with the government.
2016 Oct 20, The Syrian
military said a unilateral ceasefire backed by Russia had come into
force to allow people to leave eastern Aleppo, a move rejected by
rebels who say they are preparing a counter-offensive to break the
blockade. Russia has told the United Nations it will stop bombing
eastern Aleppo for 11 hours a day for four days.
2016 Oct 21, In Russia 3 crew
members and 16 passengers died when the Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter
came down late today in adverse weather conditions in northwest
2016 Oct 23, In Russia 3 people
were killed and 13 others injured after an explosion, believed to
have been caused by gas, hit a high-rise apartment building in
2016 Oct 23, Russian police
killed two suspected terrorists in a shootout in in Nizhny Novgorod.
A bomb was found in the suspects' car.
2016 Oct 24, Syrian government
forces and their allies captured strategic high ground in embattled
Aleppo as Russia — a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad —
said it was not planning more "humanitarian pauses" in the fighting
in the city's eastern, rebel-held districts. 16 civilians, including
three children, were killed in heavy bombardment across rebel-held
(AP, 10/24/16)(AFP, 10/24/16)
2016 Oct 28, The UN General
Assembly voted Russia off the Human Rights Council.
(SFC, 10/29/16, p.A2)
2016 Oct 30, A Russian Soyuz
space capsule landed in Kazakhstan, bringing astronauts Kate Rubins
of NASA, Japan's Takuya Onishi and Anatoly Ivanishin of Russia back
to Earth from a 115-day mission aboard the International Space
2016 Oct, Russian blogger
Ruslan Sokolovsky was detained for posting a video on his blog
showing him playing “Pokemon Go" on his phone in a church on the
supposed site of where the last Russian czar and his family were
killed in Yekaterinburg. On May 11, 2017, he was convicted of
inciting religious hatred and given a suspended sentence.
(SFC, 5/11/17, p.A2)
2016 Oct, The US began beaming
“Current Time," a 24-hour Russian language TV channel, to Russia. It
was only available online or by satellite.
(Econ 6/17/17, p.26)
2016 Nov 1, Britain's Treasury
Chief Philip Hammond promised that the UK will strike back against
cyberattacks amid fears that state-sponsored hackers jeopardize
society. The Kremlin dismissed as untrue allegations by the head of
Britain's MI5 intelligence agency that Russia is mounting
cyber-attacks and other aggressive measures which pose a growing
threat to Britain.
(AP, 11/1/16)(Reuters, 11/1/16)
2016 Nov 2, In Russia the
Moscow office of rights group Amnesty International was sealed off
by municipal officials without warning and staff could not get
2016 Nov 2, Moscow declared a
10-hour humanitarian truce in the war-ravaged city of Aleppo.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia seeks "honest
cooperation" for a political solution in Syria -- "the sooner the
better". Russia said it would extend the moratorium to Nov 4.
(AFP, 11/2/16)(SFC, 11/3/16, p.A2)
2016 Nov 3, Moscow declared a
10-hour humanitarian truce in the war-ravaged city of Aleppo.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia seeks "honest
cooperation" for a political solution in Syria -- "the sooner the
better". Russia said it would extend the moratorium to Nov 4.
(AFP, 11/2/16)(SFC, 11/3/16, p.A2)
2016 Nov 3, The Russian
Parliament adopted an anti-doping bill that includes prison terms
for coaches found guilty of coercing young athletes into using
2016 Nov 6, In Russia a gas
explosion hit a two-story apartment building before dawn in Ivanovo,
250 km (150 miles) northeast of Moscow. Six people were killed and
four seriously injured.
2016 Nov 9, President Vladimir
Putin said Russia is ready to do its part to fully restore ties with
Washington following the election of businessman Donald Trump as the
next US President.
2016 Nov 15, Russian President
Vladimir Putin dismissed Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev over
allegations he extorted a $2 million bribe from top oil producer
Rosneft, a case that could expose fault lines in the Russian
leader's inner circle.
2016 Nov 15, Russia launched
coordinated missile strikes against rebels in Syria and Moscow for
the first time used its only aircraft carrier in combat.
2016 Nov 16, Russia dealt the
International Criminal Court a fresh blow as the court's top
officials urged nations to support the tribunal hit by a wave of
unprecedented defections. Moscow has never ratified the world's only
permanent war crimes court, but in a heavily symbolic move on the
opening day of the ICC's annual meeting, it said it was formally
withdrawing its signature to the tribunal's founding Rome Statute.
2016 Nov 16, Russia overturned
a criminal conviction against opposition politician Alexei Navalny
following a European court decision, but ruled he must face a fresh
trial. He was convicted of embezzlement in 2013 along with a
businessman associate in a trial he and his supporters see as
2016 Nov 16, Russian security
services raided the offices of Rosnano, a state technology company
headed by Anatoly Chubais, an economic reformer of the 1990s.
(Econ, 11/19/16, p.45)
2016 Nov 17, In Russia economy
minister Alexei Ulyukayev was arrested on bribery charges. He was
the first serving cabinet minister to be arrested in decades.
2016 Nov 25, Russian President
Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to US actor Steven
Seagal (64) and said he hoped it would serve as a symbol of how the
fractious ties between Moscow and Washington are starting to
2016 Nov 25, Russian aircraft
maker MiG said Vano Mikoyan (b.1927), one of the developers of the
MiG fighter jets for the Soviet and then Russian air force, has
2016 Nov 29, Russian government
officials said they plan to send 100,000 tons of wheat in
humanitarian aid to Syria this year.
2016 Nov 29, Libyan military
commander Khalifa Haftar, the dominant figure in the divided
country's east, met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow
and said he was seeking Russia’s help in his fight against Islamist
militants at home.
2016 Nov 29, Pirates hijacked
the Greek-flagged Saronic Breeze off the coast of Benin and sailed
the vessel to Nigeria before abandoning it near the southeastern oil
capital of Port Harcourt. A Russian captain and two crewmen were
2016 Nov 30, President Vladimir
Putin named deputy finance minister Maxim Oreshkin (34) as Russia's
new economy minister, two weeks after former economy minister Alexei
Ulyukayev was detained and accused of bribery.
2016 Nov, Russia announced the
placement of missile defense systems on Etorofu and Kunashiri
islands, part of the lower Kurile island chain also claimed by
(Econ, 12/10/16, p.40)
2016 Nov, Russian hacker
Vladimir Anikeyev, who headed Shaltai-Boltai (Humpty-Dumpty) hacker
group, was arrested and later sentenced to two years in prison. The
group had hacked the accounts of several government officials,
including a spokeswoman for Russia's prime minister. On August 6,
2018, Anikeyev was set free in line with a new law that makes one
day spent in pre-trial detention equivalent to 1½ days in prison.
2016 Nov, In Russia a cull of
reindeer began in the northern Yamal region. The cull this year was
raised from 70,000 to 100,000 and would continue to the end of
January. Opponents of the plan said traditional pasture lands of the
Nenets people are disappearing due to the growth of the oil and gas
(SFC, 11/17/16, p.A6)
2016 Dec 1, In Kazakhstan an
unmanned Russian cargo ship blasted with a load of supplies to the
International Space Station, but Russian space officials said they
weren't getting data from it. The Progress MSD-04 cargo craft broke
up over Siberia.
(AP, 12/1/16)(SFC, 12/2/16, p.A2)
2016 Dec 4, In Russia at least
12 people, including nine members of a children's acrobatics team,
were killed in a road collision in eastern Siberia.
2016 Dec 5, In Syria opposition
rebel shelling in Aleppo killed two nurses and eight
(SFC, 12/6/16, p.A2)
2016 Dec 7, The CEO of Rosneft,
Russia’s state-controlled oil company, said that it had agreed to
sell a 19.5 percent stake to Swiss commodities giant Glencore and
Qatar's sovereign wealth fund.
2016 Dec 7, In Ireland a Dublin
judge ordered Irish authorities to unfreeze 100 million euros ($107
million) in cash belonging to exiled Russian oligarch Mikhail
Khodorkovsky, ruling that police had provided no evidence that the
funds were illegally gained as Russia contends.
2016 Dec 8, Germany's domestic
intelligence agency said Russia is trying to destabilize German
society with propaganda and cyberattacks ahead of the country's
2016 Dec 9, In France Kazakh
opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov was released from prison after
France's highest administrative authority blocked his extradition to
Russia, where he is accused of embezzling billions of dollars.
2016 Dec 9, Syrian warplanes
launched fresh raids on the last rebel-held districts in Aleppo, as
key regime ally Russia vowed the assault would continue until
opposition fighters left the battleground city. The UN human rights
office said hundreds of men from eastern Aleppo have gone missing
after leaving rebel-held areas.
(AFP, 12/9/16)(Reuters, 12/9/16)
2016 Dec 9, A senior US
official said the CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the
2016 election to help President-elect Donald Trump win the White
House, and not just to undermine confidence in the US electoral
system. The next day Trump challenged the veracity of the CIA
(Reuters, 12/10/16)(SSFC, 12/11/16, p.A10)
2016 Dec 10, OPEC and other
non-OPEC producers, including Russia, reached their first deal since
2001 to curtail oil output jointly and ease a global glut after more
than two years of low prices that overstretched many budgets and
spurred unrest in some countries.
(Reuters, 12/10/16)(SSFC, 12/11/16, p.A4)
2016 Dec 10, Syria's military
and Russian warplanes bombarded rebel-held districts of Aleppo as
Damascus's allies said victory was near, but insurgents fought back
and army advances halted after rapid gains during the week. Hundreds
more civilians fled what remained of the opposition's enclave in
(Reuters, 12/10/16)(AP, 12/10/16)
2016 Dec 12, Italian energy
company Eni said it would sell a 30 percent stake in an offshore
Egyptian gas field to Rosneft. The Russian company will pay $1.125
billion for the holding in the Shorouk concession, which contains
the giant Zohr gas field, and $450 million to cover past
expenditures on the project.
2016 Dec 13, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny (40) announced he would run for president in
2018 after a court victory allowed the outspoken Kremlin critic to
be a candidate.
2016 Dec 15, Japan and Russia
agreed at a hot spring resort in southwest Japan to revive security
talks and start discussing economic cooperation on disputed islands
at the core of a row that has kept them from signing a peace treaty
formally ending WWII.
2016 Dec 15, Serbia's PM
Aleksandar Vucic said Russia will arm Serbia with fighter jets to
boost its defenses amid a row with neighboring Croatia, a member of
2016 Dec 15, President Barack
Obama promised that the US will retaliate against Russia for its
suspected meddling in America's election process, an accusation the
Kremlin has vehemently denied.
2016 Dec 16, Japanese PM Shinzo
Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin wrapped up two days of
talks, with numerous economic deals but no big breakthrough on a
territorial row that has overshadowed ties since World War Two.
2016 Dec 18, A Russian
Investigative Committee said that at least 18 people were poisoned
after consuming a bath lotion containing methanol in Irkutsk. Eight
of them have died and the 10 others have been hospitalized in grave
condition. By Dec 19 the death toll had reached 49.
(AP, 12/18/16)(AP, 12/19/16)
2016 Dec 19, The European Union
extended economic sanctions against Russia by six months after
completing the legislative process for a decision endorsed last week
by national leaders at an EU summit.
2016 Dec 19, Serbia said that
it will purchase six Russian MiG-29 combat jets in a move likely to
add to tensions in the Balkans amid Moscow's apparent efforts to
prevent the volatile European region from joining Western
2016 Dec 19, In Turkey Russian
ambassador Andrey Karlov was shot and killed by Mevlut Mert Altintas
(22) at an art gallery in Ankara. Altintas, who had worked for
Ankara riot police, was killed minutes later by Turkish special
forces. Turkish authorities later alleged that Karlov's killer had
links to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric, accused of
masterminding the failed July 2016 coup. On Nov 23, 2018, a Turkish
prosecutor charged 28 suspects including US-based Muslim preacher
Fethullah Gulen, over the murder of the Russian ambassador.
(Reuters, 12/20/16)(AP, 4/2/18)(AFP, 11/23/18)
2016 Dec 20, In Syria President
Bashar al-Assad's army closed in on the last rebel enclave in
Aleppo. Russia, Iran and Turkey said they were ready to help broker
a Syrian peace deal. They adopted a document they called the "Moscow
Declaration", which set out the principles that any peace agreement
2016 Dec 21, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin demanded restrictions on the sale of surrogate
alcohol. At least 77 people died in the Irkutsk region of Siberia
from drinking bath oil laced with methylated spirit in search of
(Reuters, 12/21/16)(SFC, 12/23/16, p.A2)(Reuters,
2016 Dec 21, The Kremlin said
it did not expect the incoming US administration to reject NATO
enlargement overnight and that almost all communications channels
between Russia and the United States were frozen.
2016 Dec 22, Russian Defense
Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russian air strikes in Syria have killed
35,000 rebel fighters since the start of operations there and
prevented the collapse of the Syrian state.
2016 Dec 25, A Russian military
Tu-154 plane carrying members of the world-famous Russian army choir
to Syria crashed into the Black Sea killing 92 people on board.
2016 Dec 26, Russia’s Defense
Ministry said its troops have found mass graves in Syria’s Aleppo
with bodies showing signs of torture and mutilation.
(SFC, 12/27/16, p.A3)
2016 Dec 27, Representatives of
Russia, China and Pakistan met in Moscow and warned that the
influence of Islamic State (IS) was growing in Afghanistan and that
the security situation there was deteriorating.
2016 Dec 27, Russian rescuers
the clock found the main black box from the Syria-bound military
plane that crashed Dec 25 into the Black Sea with 92 people on
2016 Dec 27, Russia activated a
pipeline carrying Russian gas to Crimea with President Vladimir
Putin hailing it as a step that would power economic growth on a
peninsula Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
2016 Dec 27, Russia said that a
US decision to ease restrictions on arming Syrian rebels had opened
the way for deliveries of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, a
move it said would directly threaten Russian forces in Syria.
2016 Dec 28, Russian
investigators said they had opened a criminal case into a group of
men who filmed themselves crushing a bear to death by repeatedly
driving over it in off-road vehicles in the Siberian tundra.
2016 Dec 28, In Latvia US
senators visiting eastern European allies to discuss security issues
called for sanctions against Russia for interfering in the
presidential election by hacking American political sites and email
2016 Dec 28, International
observer body the Organization for Security and Co-operation in
Europe (OSCE) confirmed being the victim of a "major" cyber-attack
in early November. The Russian hacker’s group APT28 was believed to
be behind the attack.
2016 Dec 28, Turkish state
media said Turkey and Russia have agreed a ceasefire for all of
Syria that should come into force at midnight, but rebel groups said
no such official truce had been agreed.
2016 Dec 29, Russia's security
agencies said they have arrested seven people in Dagestan suspected
of preparing New Year's terror attacks in Moscow on orders from the
Islamic State group in Syria. One police officer and two suspected
militants were killed in a shootout outside the city of Khasavyurt,
(AP, 12/29/16)(AP, 12/30/16)
2016 Dec 29, Syria's army and
key ally Russia announced a nationwide ceasefire to take effect at
midnight, in a major potential breakthrough after nearly six years
of civil war. The ceasefire did not include Islamic State or the
Kurdish YPG militia.
(AFP, 12/29/16)(Reuters, 12/29/16)
2016 Dec 29, Pres. Obama
sanctioned Russian intelligence services and their top officials,
kicked out 35 Russian officials and shuttered two Russian-owned
compounds in the US in response to Russian election hacking.
(SFC, 12/30/16, p.A1)
2016 Dec 29, Michael Flynn, the
national security advisor to US Pres.-elect Donald Trump, spoke on
the phone in Washington to Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. Flynn
later denied having discussed the new US sanctions against Russia,
but it turned out that he did. On Feb 13, 2017, Pres. Donald Trump
removed Flynn as national security advisor.
(Econ, 2/18/17, p.10, 21)
2016 Dec 30, Vermont’s
Burlington Electric Department confirmed it had found on one of its
laptops the malware code used in Grizzly Steppe, the name Homeland
Security has applied to a Russian campaign linked to recent hacks.
2016 Dec, In Russia Ruslan
Stoyanov, head of Kaspersky Labs computer incidents investigations
unit, was arrested. Stoyanov was arrested along with a senior
Russian FSB intelligence officer and both faced charges of treason.
Kaspersky later said the investigation dated back to the time before
Stoyanov was hired by Kaspersky.
2016 Charles Clover authored
“Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia’s New Nationalism."
(Econ, 4/23/16, p.72)
2017 Jan 5, America's top
intelligence official said that Russia undoubtedly interfered in the
US 2016 presidential election but stopped short of using the
explosive description "an act of war," telling lawmakers such a call
isn't within the purview of the US intelligence community. Senior US
officials said the CIA has identified Russian officials who fed
material hacked from the Democratic National Committee and party
leaders to WikiLeaks at the direction of Russian President Vladimir
Putin through third parties.
(AP, 1/5/17)(Reuters, 1/6/17)
2017 Jan 6, Russia's military
said it has begun scaling down its deployment to Syria, as the
regime intensified its bombardment of a rebel-held district home to
the capital's main water source.
2017 Jan 11, President-elect
Donald Trump angrily denounced the publishing of claims he had been
caught in a compromising position in Russia and attacked US
intelligence agencies over the leak of the information. President
Vladimir Putin's spokesman said the Kremlin has not collected
compromising information about Trump.
2017 Jan 11, Eastern Libyan
military commander Khalifa Haftar was given a tour of a Russian
aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean, a show of Kremlin support for
the faction leader who opposes Libya's UN-backed government.
2017 Jan 17, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia's policy of refusing to allow
Americans to adopt Russian children was discriminatory, a decision
Moscow said it would appeal.
2017 Jan 17, Moldova's new
Pres. Igor Dodon, who is visiting Russia on his first trip abroad,
voiced hope for rebuilding "strategic" ties with Moscow and hinted
that the ex-Soviet nation could eventually shelve a trade pact with
the European Union.
2017 Jan 17, In Syria Russian
warplanes carried out air strikes on Islamic State targets south of
al-Bab in coordination with Turkey.
2017 Jan 17, Ukraine said it
has filed a case against Russia at the United Nations' highest
court, accusing Moscow of illegally annexing Crimea and illicitly
funding separatist rebel groups in eastern Ukraine. Kiev also is
seeking compensation for deadly incidents including the 2014
shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
2017 Jan 18, Russian
authorities said they have extended US intelligence leaker Edward
Snowden's Russian residency permit by three years.
2017 Jan 18, Syria and Russia
signed an agreement allowing Russia to significantly expand its
naval facility in the Mediterranean port of Tartus and keep using it
for 49 years.
2017 Jan 21, A group of Russian
hackers claimed to have shut down the website of the African Cup of
Nations soccer tournament in a protest at organizers holding it in
Gabon, where Pres. Ali Bongo Ondimba retained power in disputed
elections last year.
2017 Jan 21, Russian security
forces in Dagestan tracked down and killed two suspected militants
in the village of Vperyod, Kizlyar region.
2017 Jan 21, In Syria six
Russian warplanes carried out airstrikes on Islamic State targets in
Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor.
2017 Jan 23, In Kazakhstan
indirect 2-day talks began in Astana between the Syrian government
and rebels. The talks were hosted by Russia, Turkey and Iran.
(Reuters, 1/23/17)(Econ, 1/28/17, p.39)
2017 Jan 24, The Russian
military says its bombers have struck Islamic State positions in the
province of Deir el-Zour in the third such raid in four days.
2017 Jan 24, In Kazakhstan
Russia, Turkey and Iran backed a shaky truce between Syria's warring
parties and agreed to monitor its compliance. On the ground rebels
faced continued fighting on two fronts, which could undermine the
2017 Jan 25, In Syria six
long-range Russian bombers struck Islamic State targets in Deir
2017 Jan 28, In Russia over
2,000 people rallied in St. Petersburg to protest plans by the city
authorities to give the landmark St. Isaac's Cathedral to the
Russian Orthodox Church amid an increasingly passionate debate over
the relationship between the church and state.
2017 Jan 29, In Dagestan
Russian security forces killed three suspected militants during a
firefight in the town of Khasavyurt.
2017 Jan 29, Dmitry Markelov
died from shrapnel and bullet wounds while on a clandestine mission
in Syria for the Russian state. In 2019 his wife decided to go
public because she and her daughter were unable to access state
benefits they would be entitled to as dependents of someone killed
2017 Jan 30, In Syria six
long-range Russian bombers launched an air strike against Islamic
State positions in Deir al-Zor province, destroying two command
points and several arms storehouses.
2017 Jan 31, Russia sources
said Sergei Mikhailov and Dmitry Dokuchaev, who worked for the cyber
wing of Russia's FSB domestic intelligence service until their
arrests in December, are accused of cooperating with the CIA. Ruslan
Stoyanov, head of the investigation unit at Moscow-based
cybersecurity giant Kaspersky, was also reported detained.
(AP, 1/31/17)(AFP, 2/1/17)
2017 Feb 1, Libyan sources said
around 70 soldiers from the forces of commander Khalifa Haftar have
been sent to Russia for treatment, in one of the first overt signs
of cooperation between Moscow and one of Libya's armed factions.
2017 Feb 2, Kremlin critic
Vladimir Kara-Murza (35) was hospitalized after collapsing in
Moscow. On Feb 7 his wife said he suffered from "acute poisoning" by
an unknown substance, two years after a suspected poisoning nearly
2017 Feb 2, Belarus said it
suspected Russia was trying to restore a formal border zone between
the two countries, a move it said flouted agreements on freedom of
movement and trade and raised questions about Moscow's real intent.
2017 Feb 2, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia violated the rights of opposition
politician and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny by breaking
up demonstrations and detaining him on seven occasions between 2012
2017 Feb 2, The US Treasury
Department said it will allow companies to do some transactions with
Russia's Security Service (FSB), despite cyber-sanctions put in
place by former President Barack Obama.
2017 Feb 3, Belarussian
President Alexander Lukashenko said a Russian move to create border
zones near his country's frontier looked like a political attack and
that Moscow had threatened to halve oil supplies to Minsk.
2017 Feb 4, Alexei Navalny,
Russia's most prominent opposition figure, opened his first regional
office for a presidential bid, despite an imminent court verdict
that could bar him from running.
2017 Feb 4, It was reported
that Louis Marinelli, leader of the “Yes California" campaign to
make California its own country, has partnered and received
financial support from the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, a
Kremlin-supported political group. Marinelli was reported to be
living and teaching in Russia.
(SFC, 2/4/17, p.A1)
2017 Feb 6, The EU’s top
diplomats vowed to uphold sanctions against Russia for destabilizing
(SFC, 2/7/17, p.A2)
2017 Feb 8, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny accused the Kremlin of trying to block him
from running in next year's presidential election after a court
found him guilty of embezzlement. A court in Kirov found Navalny
guilty of embezzlement in relation to a timber firm called Kirovles,
and gave him a five-year suspended prison sentence.
2017 Feb 9, In northern Syria a
Russian warplane "accidentally" hit a building on with Turkish
soldiers inside, killing at least three troops and wounding 11 near
al-Bab. Russia intervened to halt a clash between Syrian government
forces and Turkey-backed Syrian rebels, the first confrontation
between them as both sides fight Islamic State in the area.
(AP, 2/9/17)(Reuters, 2/10/17)
2017 Feb 16, In Syria four
Russian servicemen were killed when they their vehicle was struck by
a roadside in the center of the country. The loss raised the total
Russian combat casualties so far in Syria's war to 27.
2017 Feb 18, The Kremlin
announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an order
for Russia to recognize passports and other documents issued by
separatist rebel authorities in eastern Ukraine. Russian lawmaker,
Vladimir Dzhabarov, said the measure does not formally recognize the
rebel authorities as legitimate.
2017 Feb 18, Russia's Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov said after meeting with his Ukrainian, German
and French counterparts in Munich that a Feb. 20 ceasefire between
Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists has been agreed.
2017 Feb 20, Vitaly Churkin,
Russia's envoy to the United Nations, died suddenly in New York, one
day before turning 65.
2017 Feb 21, Ukraine's Pres.
Petro Poroshenko called for new sanctions against Russia over its
decision to recognize passports issued by separatist authorities in
eastern Ukraine, while the Kremlin accused Ukraine of denying vital
documents to people in the rebel regions.
2017 Feb 22, Russia's highest
court overturned the conviction of Ildar Dadin, a jailed opposition
activist, and ordered him released more than a year after he was
sent to prison. In December 2015 became the first person to be
convicted of breaking a new law against protesters.
2017 Feb 22, Russia
successfully launched a cargo ship to the International Space
Station (ISS) from Kazakhstan.
2017 Feb 26, Thousands of
Russians marched through Moscow shouting slogans such as "Russia
will be free!" and "Putin is war!" to mark two years since
opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down outside the Kremlin.
2017 Feb 26, Russian opposition
activist Ildar Dadin was released from his jail in the remote Altai
region in southern Siberia after Russia's Supreme Court annulled his
2½-year sentence last week because of procedural violations.
2017 Feb 26, The United States
called on Russia to "immediately" observe the ceasefire in Ukraine,
accusing combined Russian and separatist forces of targeting
2017 Feb, Russia’s state-owned
Rosneft signed a cooperation agreement with Libya’s National Oil
(Econ, 3/18/17, p.53)
2017 Mar 2, Russian opposition
politician Alexei Navalny accused PM Dmitry Medvedev of controlling
a property empire including mansions, yachts and vineyards financed
by oligarchs through a network of shadowy non-profit organizations.
2017 Mar 6, Russian and South
African communications officials pledged to work on collaborative
(Econ, 3/18/17, p.53)
2017 Mar 6, Ukraine’s deputy
foreign minister accused Russia of financing terrorism by shipping
arms, ammunition and funds to separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine
and of discriminating against non-Russians in the annexed Crimean
(SFC, 3/7/17, p.A2)
2017 Mar 7, Russia’s Culture
Ministry said children under age 16 won't be able to go to the new
Disney film "Beauty and the Beast" in Russia because it includes a
2017 Mar 7, In Turkey the top
generals of the Turkish, Russian and US military met in Antalya in a
bid to step up coordination in Syria and avoid clashes between rival
forces in the fight against IS.
2017 Mar 9, It was reported
that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has dismissed 10 senior law
2017 Mar 9, Moldova's
parliament accused Russia's intelligence service of intimidating
politicians, following an investigation into alleged money
laundering by Russian officials.
2017 Mar 13, The EU said it has
prolonged for six months until Sept. 15 a blacklist of Russian and
Crimean individuals and firms accused of undermining Ukraine's
integrity and independence.
2017 Mar 14, RIA news agency
reported that President Vladimir Putin has approved a decree
allowing some troops from Georgia's breakaway region of South
Ossetia to be incorporated into the Russian army.
2017 Mar 14, Russian-led peace
talks on Syria were derailed as rebels backed by Turkey boycotted a
third round of meetings in Kazakhstan and the Kremlin indicated
there were international divisions over the process.
2017 Mar 15, United States
charged two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers with
masterminding the 2014 theft of 500 million Yahoo accounts, the
first time the U.S. government has criminally charged Russian spies
for cyber offences. The indictment named the FSB officers involved
as Dmitry Dokuchaev and his superior, Igor Sushchin, who are both in
Russia. The alleged criminals involved included Alexsey Belan and
Karim Baratov, who was arrested in Canada a day earlier. Belan was
arrested in Europe in June 2013 but escaped to Russia before he
could be extradited to the US.
2017 Mar 18, Russian
authorities said Vladimir Evdokimov (56), a former top space agency
official, has been found dead with two stab wounds in a prison where
he was being held on charges of embezzlement. He had been jailed in
December on charges of embezzling 200 million rubles ($3.1 million)
from the MiG aerospace company.
2017 Mar 19, Russia concluded
an agreement with the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia to set up a
military base in northwestern Syria. Russia will be training YPG
fighters, who control the area, as part of the fight against
2017 Mar 20, Japan and Russia
agreed to step up work toward resolving a longstanding territorial
dispute through cooperation in a range of areas.
2017 Mar 20, A Russian group of
reporters said they have uncovered details of a complex system in
which $21 billion were allegedly transferred illegally out of the
country through a network of banks. The reporters in Moscow had
obtained bank records that show that funds were transferred
worldwide via 112 bank accounts in Eastern Europe.
2017 Mar 21, Bosnia and Russia
signed an agreement to settle Moscow's $125 million Soviet-era debt
to the Balkan country. In 2003, Russia took over the responsibility
for the Soviet Union's debt to the former Yugoslavia estimated at
2017 Mar 22, Tensions between
Russia and Ukraine spread to the May Eurovision Song Contest after
Kiev banned Russian contestant Yuliya Samoilova (27) from entering
the country over a past performance in Moscow-annexed Crimea.
2017 Mar 22, The US White House
acknowledged that Paul Manafort, Pres. Donald Trump’s former
campaign manager, had worked for a Russian billionaire to advance
the interests of Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin. Manafort had signed a
$10 million contract in 2006 with Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin
ally, in a business relationship that lasted to at least 2009.
(SFC, 3/23/17, p.A8)
2017 Mar 23, In Ukraine former
Russian parliamentarian Denis Voronenkov (45) was killed by an
assailant who was armed with a pistol and later died in hospital
after being shot in the chest and head by Voronenkov's bodyguard.
Voronenkov was key witness in a treason case against former leader
Viktor Yanukovich. Ukraine soon identified the assailant as Pavel
Parshov (28) and said he had been trained in Russia by Russian
(Reuters, 3/23/17)(AP, 3/24/17)
2017 Mar 23, In Ukraine fire
and explosions caused the detonation of ammunition in several sites
at a military base at in Balaklia in the Kharkiv region. One woman
was found dead in a home that was hit by a shell. Ukraine suspected
the Russian military or its separatist rebel proxies were
responsible and cited a possible drone attack.
(AP, 3/23/17)(AP, 3/24/17)
2017 Mar 24, President Vladimir
Putin granted an audience to French far-right party leader Marine Le
Pen in the Kremlin, bestowing a level of international recognition
that has so far eluded her in the countdown to France's presidential
2017 Mar 24, In Chechnya six
Russian soldiers were killed after successfully repelling an assault
on a military facility at Naurskaya. The Islamic State militant
group claimed responsibility.
2017 Mar 26, Russian police
detained dozens of protesters across the country, including
opposition leader Alexei Navalny, after thousands took to the
streets to demonstrate against corruption and demand the resignation
of PM Dmitry Medvedev. Riot police arrested more than 1,000 people
in Moscow alone.
(Reuters, 3/26/17)(Econ, 4/1/17, p.43)
2017 Mar 27, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny was sentenced to 15 days behind bars and fined
after staging the biggest anti-corruption protests in years, an act
branded a "provocation" by the Kremlin.
2017 Mar 30, Visa requirement
between Russia and South Africa were scrapped allowing up to 90 days
of trouble-free travel.
(Econ, 3/18/17, p.53)
2017 Mar 31, Russian
prosecutors moved to block calls on social networks for more street
protests in Moscow and other Russian cities following a wave of
rallies that have cast a new challenge to the Kremlin.
2017 Mar, Russia’s Ministry of
Justice asked the Supreme Court to outlaw the Jehovah’s Witnesses
Christian denomination. Members in Russia numbered about 170,000.
(SFC, 4/5/17, p.A5)
2017 Apr 1, Russian
investigators opened a criminal case against unidentified internet
users calling for what authorities say is an illegal anti-government
protest in central Moscow on April 2.
2017 Apr 1, Acclaimed Russian
poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko (b.1932) died in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1961
he gained international acclaim with the poem “Babi Yar," that told
of the Nazi slaughter of almost 34,000 Jews and denounced the
anti-Semitism that had spread throughout the Soviet Union.
(SSFC, 4/2/17, p.C11)
2017 Apr 2, In Russia police
detained more than 20 anti-corruption protesters who took to the
streets of Moscow in a follow-up of last week's large-scale
2017 Apr 3, In Russia an
explosion ripped through a subway train in St. Petersburg, killing
14 people and injuring 50 others. The blast came as Russian
President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city, his hometown. Within
two hours authorities found and deactivated another bomb at a
separate busy St. Petersburg subway station, Vosstaniya Square by
the Moscow railway station. Kyrgyz officials soon identified the
suspected suicide bomber as Akbarzhon Jalilov (Akbarjon Djalilov),
born in the city of Osh in 1995. One of the injured people died on
April 21, raising the death toll to 15. On May 11 suspects Bakhram
Ergashev, Ibragimzhon Ermatov and Makhamadyusuf Mirzaalimov were
charged with involvement in a "terrorist act" and with having
illegally used explosives. Seven other suspects awaited charges.
(AP, 4/3/17)(Reuters, 4/4/17)(AFP, 4/21/17)(AFP,
2017 Apr 4, In Russia two
suspects shot two traffic police officers dead at point-blank range
and seized their weapons in the city of Astrakhan.
2017 Apr 6, Russian security
agents arrested three people suspected of links to a suicide bomber
accused of attacking the St. Petersburg subway on April 3 and
deactivated an explosive device in the apartment where the suspects
2017 Apr 6, In Russia the
National Guard in the city of Astrakhan found suspects, who had
killed two traffic police on April 4. They refused to surrender and
fired back at officers. In the ensuing gunbattle, all four gunmen
were killed and three National Guard officers were wounded.
2017 Apr 6, Pres. Trump
announced a missile barrage on an air base in Syria in retaliation
against Syrian President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack
against civilians caught up in his country's long civil war. US
officials informed Russian forces ahead of the strikes.
(AP, 4/7/17)(Reuters, 4/7/17)
2017 Apr 7, Russian PM Dmitry
Medvedev complained that US cruise missile strikes on a Syrian
airbase were one step away from clashing with the Russian military.
Russia the US-led coalition of its intent to suspend a communication
channel for avoiding air accidents in the crowded airspace over
2017 Apr 7, In Spain Russian
computer programmer, Pyotr Levashov, was arrested in the city of
Barcelona. Levashov was suspected of being involved in hacking
attacks linked to alleged interference in last year's US election.
2017 Apr 8, Russia said
cosmonaut Georgy Grechko (85) has died. He made three trips into
space (1975 – 1985), spending a total of 134 days off the Earth. His
longest was a stay of more than three months aboard the Salyut-6
space station in 1977-78.
2017 Apr 10, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny walked free after spending 15 days in jail
over a rally he led against alleged massive corruption by PM Dmitry
2017 Apr 10, In Kazakhstan NASA
astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Russia's Sergei Ryzhikov and Andrei
Borisenko touched down after spending 173 days in space.
2017 Apr 11, The Russian
Defence Ministry said on that two of its soldiers had been killed in
a mortar attack in Syria and a third was fighting for his life.
2017 Apr 11, G7 industrialized
nations meeting in Rome urged Russia to pressure the Syrian
government to end the six-year civil war, but rejected a British
call to impose new sanctions on Moscow over its support of President
2017 Apr 12, Russian President
Vladimir Putin met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in
Moscow as the two countries traded sharp accusations about a
chemical weapons attack in Syria. Putin used the meeting to give his
views on why US-Russian relations had reached such a low point.
(AP, 4/12/17)(Reuters, 4/13/17)
2017 Apr 12, Russia banned the
use on its territory of US-based Zello, a smartphone app widely used
like a walkie-talkie to organize demonstrations and other
gatherings. A Russian law demands that Internet services store
copies in Russia of all messages sent via them for six months and
make them available to authorities on demand.
2017 Apr 12, President Donald
Trump declared that US relations with Russia "may be at an all-time
low." His top diplomat offered a similarly grim assessment from the
other side of the globe after meeting with Russian President
Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
2017 Apr 13, Russian police
stormed into the home of nationalist leader Vyacheslav Maltsev and
taken him to Moscow for questioning. Maltsev was being questioned in
connection with an investigation into an attack on a policeman at an
opposition rally in Moscow last month.
2017 Apr 13, A Russian court
said billionaire Alisher Usmanov has launched legal action against
opposition leader Alexei Navalny over an accusation of bribery in
his report into alleged corruption by PM Dmitry Medvedev.
2017 Apr 13, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia failed to adequately protect
victims of a 2004 school siege in the city of Beslan that left more
than 330 people dead. Moscow said it would appeal.
2017 Apr 13, Russia's state-run
Channel One said it would not broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest,
after rejecting proposals for contestant Yulia Samoilova to take
part via video link or be replaced, after Ukraine slapped her with
an entry ban over a concert she gave in annexed Crimea.
2017 Apr 13, The UN demanded
that Chechnya halt the abduction, detention and killing of gay and
bisexual men. Russia’s Novaya Gazeta had recently published a series
of reports saying recent waves of crackdowns in Chechnya have seen
more than 100 men arrested and at least three killed.
(SFC, 4/14/17, p.A2)(Econ, 4/8/17, p.44)
2017 Apr 13, US President
Donald Trump said "things will work out fine" between the United
States and Russia, a day after he said US-Russian relations may be
at an all-time low.
2017 Apr 17, Russian officials
announced an agreement with Google to settle a two-year-old case
against Google for requiring the pre-installation of some of its
apps on mobile devices using the Android system. Google is to pay
439 million roubles ($7.8 million) in fines and will not limit the
pre-installation of third-party apps.
2017 Apr 19, Russian
counterintelligence agency FSB said two suspects, both from Central
Asia, were killed in a shootout when they resisted arrest in a home
in the Vladimir region east of Moscow.
2017 Apr 19, Russian journalist
Nikolai Andrushchenko (73) died of his injuries six weeks after
being attacked in St. Petersburg. His assault was linked to articles
in the newspaper about corruption in St. Petersburg.
2017 Apr 19, Judges at the UN's
highest court rejected a Ukrainian interim request to order Russia
to stop supporting troops in the east of the country, saying its
request did not meet legal requirements under an international
terrorism treaty. The court ordered Russia to halt discrimination of
ethnic Crimean Tartars.
2017 Apr 20, Russia’s Supreme
Court declared Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization,
banning the group from operating on Russian territory and putting
more than 170,000 worshippers in the same category as Islamic State
(SFC, 4/21/17, p.A4)
2017 Apr 21, In far eastern
Russia an armed man killed two people and injured another before he
was shot dead at the office of the FSB intelligence agency in
2017 Apr 21, In Russia the
leader of an Islamic State "sleeper cell" and one of the cell's
members was killed late today in a shootout with police in the
2017 Apr 21, PEN, a Norwegian
press advocacy group, finally gave an award to Edward Snowden in
Moscow after several failed attempts to win a legal guarantee in
Norway that the former National Security Agency contractor could
travel freely without risk of being extradited to the United States.
2017 Apr 24, Top US military
officials said the United States must confront Russia for providing
weapons to the Taliban for use against US-backed forces in
2017 Apr 25, Russia's justice
ministry restored public access to the financial reports of
charities linked to the prime minister after taking them off its
website following claims of corruption.
2017 Apr 25, Russian officials
announced they will begin supplying electricity to
separatist-controlled areas in eastern Ukraine after the Ukrainian
government cut off the power because of millions in unpaid bills.
2017 Apr 27, Russian President
Vladimir Putin hosted Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to discuss a dispute
over four islands that has kept the two countries from signing a
peace treaty ending World War II.
2017 Apr 27, The Kremlin said
that an opposition protest planned for April 29 was illegal and
police would deal with anyone who showed up accordingly. Russian
police raided the Moscow office of Open Russia, an organization
founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a top foe of President Vladimir
Putin. Open Russia, which helps opposition candidates and political
prisoners, called for the protest.
(Reuters, 4/27/17)(AP, 4/27/17)
2017 Apr 27, In Russia unknown
attackers doused opposition leader Alexei Navalny with green
antiseptic, burning one of his eyes.
2017 Apr 27, The Russian naval
intelligence ship Liman sank off Turkey's Black Sea coast after
colliding with the Togo-flagged Youzarsif H carrying livestock. All
78 personnel on board were evacuated.
2017 Apr 28, In Russia Nataliya
Fyodorova, an activist of the liberal opposition Yabloko party,
suffered burns to her face and partial loss of her sight as a result
of an attack near the entrance to her apartment building. Fyodorova
has actively protested city development plans, including plans to
build a shopping center in her Moscow neighborhood.
2017 Apr 29, Several hundred
Russians lined up in central Moscow under the gaze of riot police to
hand over handwritten appeals for President Vladimir Putin to quit,
as similar protests took place in other cities. Police detained
dozens of activists in Saint Petersburg.
(Reuters, 4/29/17)(AFP, 4/29/17)
2017 May 1, Russian police
detained 17 young activists protesting against the persecution of
gay men in Chechnya at a May Day parade in Saint Petersburg.
2017 May 2, In Russia the
mayor’s office of Moscow published a list of 4,566 buildings, home
to some 1 million people, that will be up for demolition. It was
part of Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s plan for an urban makeover. May
residents were furious.
(Econ 5/6/17, p.50)
2017 May 4, Russia blocked
access to Chinese social media app WeChat, developed by Tencent
Holdings, for failing to give its contact details to Roskomnadzor,
the Russian communications watchdog.
2017 May 4, It was reported
that France has granted political asylum to Russian artist Pyotr
Pavlensky (33), who once memorably nailed his scrotum to Red Square
to denounce state power.
2017 May 4, Iran, Russia and
Turkey signed an agreement calling for the setting up of four
"de-escalation zones" in war-torn Syria at the cease-fire talks in
Kazakhstan and said that President Bashar Assad's air force would
halt flights over the designated areas in the country's north,
center and south. Members of the Syrian opposition delegation
shouted in protest and walked out of the conference room in Astana.
The opposition said it could not accept creating safe zones in Syria
because it threatens the country's territorial integrity and said it
would also not recognize Iran as a guarantor of the peace plan.
(AP, 5/4/17)(Reuters, 5/4/17)
2017 May 5, Russian President
Vladimir Putin backed an official check into reported brutal attacks
on gay men in Chechnya in his first public comment after German
Chancellor Angela Merkel confronted him on the issue.
2017 May 5, Russia’s Defense
Ministry said the agreement on safe zones in Syria will come into
force from midnight tonight, but that its air force will continue
striking Islamic State elsewhere in the country.
2017 May 5, In France the
Cartooning for Peace group, founded by French cartoonist Plantu,
said cartoonists were increasingly becoming the victims of
repressive crackdowns on free speech. Ten countries including
Russia, Turkey and India were condemned for censoring, locking up or
threatening cartoonists in a new report published by the group.
2017 May 6, Russia's Defense
Ministry said its military chief of staff and the chairman of the US
joint chiefs of staff have confirmed their readiness to restore a
communications channel aimed at preventing midair incidents between
Russian and US warplanes over Syria.
2017 May 8, The Islamic State
group released a video showing the beheading of an alleged Russian
agent who it said had infiltrated its ranks as a fighter to spy on
the militant group. Moscow denied the claim.
2017 May 9, A Dutch appeals
court ruled that Russian authorities knowingly plunged oil giant
Yukos into bankruptcy in 2006 by ordering it to pay huge tax bills,
the latest ruling in a long-running battle over the assets of a
Dutch Yukos subsidiary.
2017 May 10, President Donald
Trump welcomed Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Vladimir to
the White House marking his highest level face-to-face contact with
a Russian government official since taking office. Before that
session, Lavrov stopped at the State Department to see Secretary of
State Rex Tillerson.
2017 May 12, A global
cyber-attack infected computers at businesses, healthcare facilities
and other organizations in dozens of countries, disrupting
operations at some facilities. Spain said several Spanish companies
had been targeted in ransomware cyberattack that affected the
Windows operating system of employees' computers. Kaspersky Lab, a
Russian cybersecurity firm, said it had recorded at least 45,000
attacks in as many as 74 countries.
(AP, 5/12/17)(Reuters, 5/13/17)(SFC, 5/13/17,
2017 May 12, Federal
prosecutors in New York announced late today a surprise settlement
between the US government and Russian businessman Denis Katsyv, the
owner of Prevezon Holdings. The Russian-owned group of companies
agreed to pay nearly $6 million to settle US civil allegations that
the firms laundered proceeds of a $230 million tax fraud, ending a
politically charged case days before it was set to go to trial.
2017 May 13, Russia's central
bank said it had detected "massive" cyber-attacks on domestic banks,
which successfully thwarted them. State-owned Russian Railways also
successfully defended itself from a cyber-attack.
2017 May 14, In Russia
thousands of protesters took to the streets of Moscow to rally
against a bill to tear down Soviet-era low-rise apartment building.
2017 May 16, Ukraine imposed
sanctions on Russia's largest internet group Yandex and other
popular online firms, saying it wanted to guard against
cyber-attacks, and the Kremlin threatened retaliation.
2017 May 17, North Korea
launched a ferry service to the Russian city of Vladivostok to
develop links and boost economic cooperation.
2017 May 19, Stanislav Petrov
(b.1939), a former Soviet military officer known in the West as "the
man who saved the world" for his role in averting a nuclear war over
a false missile warning at the height of the Cold War, died in
Fyazino, a scientific town in Moscow Oblast.
2017 May 19, The Venezuelan
Foreign Ministry announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin has
promised to start delivering several tons of wheat each month after
speaking on the phone with President Nicolas Maduro.
2017 May 22, Turkey and Russia
signed a memorandum on lifting trade restrictions against each
other, after Ankara and Moscow agreed at a meeting this month to
settle trade disputes.
2017 May 26, In Russia a small
crowd gathered outside Moscow’s Higher School of Economics to watch
the unveiling of a 1.5 ton cube shaped like a six-sided die called
the “Monument to the Anonymous Peer Reviewer." The five visible
sides were carved with phrases such as “Minor Changes" and “Revise
(Econ 6/3/17, p.74)
2017 May 28, A Russian
airstrike targeting Islamic State leaders outside Raqqa reportedly
killed more than 300 militants. Russia announced the strike on June
16 and said IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may have been among those
(SFC, 6/17/17, p.A4)
2017 May 29, In Russia five
people were killed in Moscow by falling trees and one person died
after being hit by bus stop debris torn off by high winds as
thunderstorms and strong winds buffet the city and its surrounding
areas. The death toll soon rose to 16 with more than 200 others
(AP, 5/29/17)(Reuters, 5/30/17)
2017 May 29, French Pres.
Emanuel Macron held talks with Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin at
Versailles. Macron pushed for cooperation on Syria and against the
Islamic State group and launched an attack on two Russian media
outlets he accused of spreading lying propaganda.
(SFC, 5/30/17, p.A2)
2017 May 29, Moldova's
pro-European Union government expelled five Russian diplomats, a
move the ex-Soviet country's Moscow-backed president Igor Dodon says
has led to the worst crisis in bilateral relations in 25 years.
2017 May 31, A Russian court
ruled against Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in a defamation lawsuit
brought by Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia's richest businessmen,
ordering the removal of a popular video from the internet, released
in March, which details PM Dmitry Medvedev’s alleged secret wealth.
Navalny vowed to appeal and refused to comply.
(Reuters, 5/31/17)(SFC, 6/1/17, p.A2)
2017 May 31, Russia's Foreign
Ministry said it had ordered two Estonian diplomats to leave Russia
within five days, a move it said was retaliation for Estonia's
expulsion of two Russian diplomats.
2017 May 31, The Russian
Foreign Ministry said it has ordered five Moldovan diplomats to
leave the country within three days, in retaliation for the
expulsion of five members of its embassy in Moldova earlier this
2017 May 31, The Russian
defense ministry said its warships have fire four cruise missiles at
Islamic State positions in the area of Palmyra, Syria. There was no
information on when the missiles were launched.
(SFC, 6/1/17, p.A4)
2017 Jun 2, A Russian Soyuz
capsule, carrying astronauts Russia's Oleg Novitsky and Thomas
Pesquet of France, landed in Kazakhstan after a half-year aboard the
International Space Station. NASA's Peggy Whitson's mission aboard
the space station has been extended by three months.
2017 Jun 3, In Russia a drunken
man shot nine people to death after an argument broke out during a
festive dinner in Redkino, about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of
2017 Jun 5, Natalya Sharina
(59), the head of Russia's only state-run Ukrainian library, was
convicted of inciting hatred against Russians in a case that she
compared to a Stalin-era political show trial. Masked police
arrested her in October 2015, confiscating books that the
authorities called illegal anti-Russian propaganda.
2017 Jun 5, Lithuania started
building a 130km fence on its border with the Russian exclave of
Kaliningrad in an attempt to curb smuggling and illegal immigration
and strengthen the EU's external border.
2017 Jun 8, Russia's President
Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed close ties
between the two nations during their meeting on the sidelines of a
summit of an alliance dominated by Moscow and Beijing. The leaders
are attending a two-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO), which also includes India, Pakistan and several
ex-Soviet Central Asian nations.
2017 Jun 8, Portugal's public
prosecutor brought charges of espionage, disclosing state secrets
and corruption against a Portuguese spy and a Russian secret service
agent. The two men were arrested in Rome. A statement said the
Portuguese spy is in custody in Lisbon but an Italian court refused
to extradite the Russian, who was freed.
2017 Jun 9, The Russian
parliament gave preliminary approval to a controversial plan to tear
down Soviet-era, low-rise apartment blocks that would relocate 1.6
million people in Moscow, as hundreds of protesters rallied outside.
The bill will go up for the third and final reading next week, where
it can only be adopted or rejected.
2017 Jun 10, In Russia Lom-Ali
Gaitukayev, one of five men convicted in 2014 for gunning down of
Kremlin critic Politkovskaya in 2006, died of liver failure while
serving a life term. Gaitukayev was the uncle of Rustam Makhmudov,
who was also handed a life term for shooting Politkovskaya outside
the block of flats where she lived. Former Moscow policeman Sergei
Khadjikurbanov was given a 20-year term for helping to prepare the
killing while two of Makhmudov's brothers were handed shorter terms.
2017 Jun 12, Russian
authorities detained opposition politician Alexei Navalny. Protest
gatherings in cities from Far East Pacific ports to St. Petersburg
were spearheaded by Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has
become the Kremlin's most visible opponent. Police arrested 866
demonstrators in Moscow and 658 in St. Petersburg and about 50 of
them remained in custody a day later.
(AFP, 6/12/17)(AP, 6/12/17)(AP, 6/13/17)(Econ
2017 Jun 14, In Russia
Alexander Reimer, the former head of the penitentiary system, was
sentenced to eight years in prison for defrauding the state. He was
convicted of taking part in selling electronic monitoring bracelets
to the prison service at inflated prices. Two other high-ranking
prison officials were also found guilty in the case and sentenced to
terms of up to six years.
2017 Jun 14, The US Senate
voted to slap new sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy and
individuals over its interference in the 2016 US election campaign
and its aggression in Syria and Ukraine. The measures were attached
to a bill targeting Iran.
2017 Jun 16, Russia announced
that the Islamic State group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may have
been killed in a Russian airstrike in Syria on May 28.
(AP, 6/16/17)(SFC, 6/17/17, p.A4)
2017 Jun 16, A Russian court
cut Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's jail term by five days after he
appealed a one-month sentence handed down this week for calling a
2017 Jun 20, The European Court
for Human Rights ruled that Russia’s law banning dissemination of
so-called gay propaganda to minors violates the right to freedom of
(SFC, 6/21/17, p.A2)
2017 Jun 20, The Trump
administration announced that it has imposed sanctions on two
Russian officials and three dozen other individuals and companies
over Russian activities in the Ukraine. Soon after the announcement
Pres. Trump met with Ukraine’s Pres. Petro Poroshenko.
(SFC, 6/21/17, p.A3)
2017 Jun 21, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and his Brazilian counterpart Michel Temer signed a
statement on "strengthening a strategic dialogue on foreign policy
issues" following talks at the Kremlin.
2017 Jun 22, A Moscow court
sentenced Leonid Volkov, an ally of opposition leader Alexei
Navalny, to five days in jail for organizing a webcast of massive
anti-government protests earlier this month.
2017 Jun 25, Russian security
forces said they have killed two suspected militants during a gun
battle in the volatile Dagestan region.
2017 Jun 27, A major ransomware
attack hit computers at Russia's biggest oil company, the country's
banks, Ukraine's international airport as well as Danish global
shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk. Germany's Metro said its wholesale
stores in the Ukraine have been hit by a cyber-attack and the
retailer was assessing the impact.
2017 Jun 27, A Swiss government
information technology agency said ransomware known as Petya seems
to have re-emerged to affect computer systems across Europe, causing
issues primarily in Ukraine, Russia, England and India. In 2018
Britain blamed the Russian government for the NotPetya cyber-attack.
(Reuters, 6/27/17)(Econ 7/1/17, p.72)(SFC,
2017 Jun 28, The European Union
officially extended economic sanctions against Russia by six months
for destabilizing Ukraine.
2017 Jun 29, A Russian court
convicted five Chechen men of murdering opposition leader Boris
Nemtsov in 2015, but the late politician's allies said the
investigation had been a cover-up and that the people who had
ordered his killing remained at large.
2017 Jun 30, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin extended Russian counter-sanctions on the European
Union until the end of 2018. Russia said it has suspended payments
to the Council of Europe for this year, retaliation for its
delegation there being stripped of its voting rights after the
annexation of Crimea.
2017 Jul 2, In Russia fourteen
people died, two of them children, were killed when a long-haul
passenger bus collided with a truck 900 km (550 miles) east of
Moscow. In southern Russia a passenger car span out of control and
collided with a tree and a parked vehicle, killing five people
2017 Jul 4, China and Russia
proposed that North Korea declare a moratorium on nuclear and
missile tests while the United States and South Korea refrain from
large-scale military exercises.
2017 Jul 5, Irina Ratushinskaya
(63), Ukraine-born dissident and poet of the Soviet era, died in
2017 Jul 6, Russian
investigators raided the Moscow election headquarters of Kremlin
critic Alexei Navalny and police entered a warehouse, where
activists said they confiscated pre-election pamphlets.
2017 Jul 6, In Russia a Moscow
court sentenced Vladimir Anikeyev on a conviction of hacking the
accounts of several prominent Russians, including the spokeswoman
for PM Dmitry Medvedev. He was arrested last November, but the
arrest became known only after Russian news media reported that two
officials of the Federal Security Service's cybercrime unit had been
arrested on treason charges.
2017 Jul 7, Russian President
Vladimir Putin told US President Donald Trump that Moscow had not
meddled in the US elections, and Trump accepted it, according to
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Trump and Putin engaged in a
conversation during a G20 dinner.
(Reuters, 7/8/17)(SFC, 7/19/17, p.A4)
2017 Jul 7, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny was released from jail after serving 25 days
for organizing a wave of protests.
2017 Jul 9, US President Donald
Trump pledged to work "constructively" with Russia but ruled out an
immediate easing of sanctions while the countries remain at odds
over the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.
2017 Jul 9, US Secretary of
State Rex Tillerson told Russia that it must take the first steps to
reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine and that American and European
sanctions would remain in place until Moscow reversed course in the
2017 Jul 10, Russia’s PM Dmitry
Medvedev signed a package of anti-doping measures including orders
for the Russian Sports Ministry and national sports federations to
develop a scheme for "confiscating income and property from
athletes, coaches, doctors and other specialists" involved in doping
2017 Jul 10, Russia confirmed
that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin had discussed forming a joint
Russian-US group on cyber security, an idea that has provoked uproar
in Washington, but said it was only a tentative proposal.
2017 Jul 12, A Moscow court
convicted one of Russia's most flamboyant tycoons, Sergei Polonsky
(44), of fraud. The property developer, who symbolized the excess of
the oil-fueled boom times, walked away a free man after the judge
said too much time had elapsed since his crime for the sentence to
have legal force.
2017 Jul 12, It was reported
that the Russian city of Vladivostok has embraced cheap North Korean
painters. Human rights groups said most of the laborer’s earnings
are confiscated by the state.
(SFC, 7/12/17, p.A3)
2017 Jul 13, A Russian court
sentenced Zaur Dadayev, convicted of murdering opposition leader
Boris Nemtsov in 2015, to 20 years in jail. Four other Chechen men
convicted of being his accomplices received jail sentences ranging
from 11 to 19 years.
2017 Jul 17, A magnitude 7.8
earthquake struck off Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula.
2017 Jul 18, An international
tribunal ordered Russia to pay damages and costs of nearly 5.4
million euros ($6.2 million) to the Netherlands for unlawfully
seizing a Greenpeace ship protesting at an oil platform in Arctic
waters. The Arctic Sunrise, sailing under a Dutch flag, was seized
by Russian authorities in September 2013 during a protest against an
offshore oil platform.
2017 Jul 18, Separatists in
eastern Ukraine proclaimed a new state, Malorossiya (Little Russia),
that aspires to include not only the areas they control but also the
rest of the country. But Russia, their chief backer, sought to play
down the announcement, saying it was merely part of public
2017 Jul 18, Britain's National
Cyber Security Center said it had never certified products from
Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab.
2017 Jul 22, Russia's Defense
Ministry said an agreement has been reached with the Syrian
opposition on the boundaries for a de-escalation zone for the East
Ghouta area near the Syrian capital Damascus.
2017 Jul 23, Ukrainian
President Petro Poroshenko demanded Russia's Vladimir Putin halt
arms supplies to rebels as the leaders of France and Germany tried
to revive a peace plan.
2017 Jul 26, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin signed a law ratifying a deal with the Syrian
government allowing Russia to keep its air base in Syria for almost
half a century, official documents show.
2017 Jul 26, In Greece a
Russian man (38) wanted in the United States on suspicion of
masterminding a money laundering operation involving at least $4
billion through bitcoin transactions was ordered held in custody
until a US extradition request can be examined. The combined value
of bitcoins in circulation reached $40 billion with per day
transactions approaching 300,000 on average.
(AP, 7/26/17)(Econ 7/29/17, p.61)
2017 Jul 26, The family of
Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Hungarian
Jews during World War II before disappearing under Soviet rule, sued
Russia's security service for access to its files.
2017 Jul 28, The US Senate
approved a new package of stiff financial sanctions against Russia,
Iran and North Korea and sent it to President Donald Trump to sign.
Russia's Foreign Ministry ordered a reduction in the number of US
diplomats in Russia and said it was closing down a US recreation
retreat in response to fresh sanctions against Russia.
2017 Jul 30, Russian Pres.
Vladimir Putin said that the US diplomatic missions in Moscow and
elsewhere in the country will have to reduce their staffs by 755
people in response to American sanctions over the Kremlin’s
intervention in the 2016 US presidential elections.
(SFC, 7/31/17, p.A4)
2017 Jul, Yugra, Russia’s 34th
largest bank, collapsed.
(Econ, 9/2/17, p.64)
2017 Aug 1, In Russia three
people were killed and four injured in a shootout at a courthouse in
a Moscow suburb. Prosecutors said the gang members were placing
spikes on roads in 2014, forcing the motorists out of their vehicles
and shooting them dead.
2017 Aug 2, Russia’s Novaya
Gazeta reported that a Russian court has ordered Russia-born
reporter Khudoberdy Nurmatov to be deported to his native Uzbekistan
where he might face torture. Nurmatov, aka Ali Feruz, is openly gay,
a human rights activist and a correspondent for the independent
Novaya Gazeta newspaper. On August 4 it was reported that the
European Court of Human Rights has halted the impending deportation
(AP, 8/2/17)(AP, 8/4/17)
2017 Aug 2, Moldova declared
Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin persona non grata in
the wake of a diplomatic spat that saw his plane barred from flying
over Romania. Rogozin is under an EU travel ban over Russia's
annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014.
2017 Aug 2, US President Donald
Trump reluctantly approved sanctions against Moscow calling the
legislation "significantly flawed" and adding that some of its
provisions were unconstitutional.
2017 Aug 3, Russia's Defense
Ministry announced a cease-fire for a third safe zone in war-torn
Syria, paving the way for the delivery of sorely needed humanitarian
relief to rebel-held areas north of the city of Homs.
2017 Aug 4, A Russian court
extended probation for opposition leader Alexei Navalny by one year,
a sentence that should bar him from running for office until at
2017 Aug 4, In eastern Russia
rescuers at Alrosa’s Mir diamond mine in the Sakha region searched
for 9 miners still unaccounted for after water leaked into an
underground shaft with more than 100 workers inside. One of nine
missing was rescued the next day. On Aug 26 Alrosa said it has
called off the search for the missing miners.
(AFP, 8/4/17)(AP, 8/5/17)(AP, 8/26/17)
2017 Aug 4, A British judge
refused to extradite a London-based Russian businessman who is
accused of organizing the killing of a retail tycoon in his
homeland, saying there was little solid evidence against him.
Russian officials say Georgy Shuppe (46) arranged the January 2014
murder of Alexander Mineev, who was shot 22 times with a Kalashnikov
rifle on the outskirts of Moscow.
2017 Aug 4, In Syria Russian
military police deployed north of the central city of Homs, setting
up checkpoints and observation points as part of a cease-fire in a
third safe zone, but opposition activists said the truce was
violated by government forces.
2017 Aug 7, Russia said it will
speed up work on reducing dependency on US payment systems and the
dollar as a settling currency in response to the new sanctions.
2017 Aug 7, In Russia two
members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot were detained after a
protest outside the prison colony in Siberia's Yakutia where
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov is being held.
2017 Aug 7, Indonesia said that
it will barter coffee, palm oil and other commodities for 11
Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets, calling US and European sanctions
against Russia an opportunity to boost the Southeast Asian nation's
2017 Aug 8, Russian President
Vladimir Putin visited the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia and
assured it of Moscow's military support, an act of defiance to
Western governments that have condemned Russia's backing for the
2017 Aug 8, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny launched a new YouTube attack against
President Vladimir Putin's close associates. The video described the
assets of billionaire brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg and their
sons. Navalny's video charged that they won lucrative government
orders unfairly and included footage of their palatial mansions.
2017 Aug 10, Russian opposition
politician Sergei Udaltsov (40), freed this week after completing a
four-and-a-half-year prison term, urged a boycott of next year's
presidential elections, calling them "dishonest".
2017 Aug 10, A Moscow court
jailed Russian journalist Alexander Sokolov (29) after finding him
guilty of organizing an extremist group and attempting to overthrow
the authorities in a trial denounced by human rights groups as
2017 Aug 14, Russia's FSB
security service said that it had captured a gang planning major
attacks on Moscow transport networks and shopping centers, directed
by members of the Islamic State jihadist group from Syria.
2017 Aug 14, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomed Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, the
head of Libya's eastern military forces, as part of efforts to boost
its influence in the chaotic country. Hifter is a rival to the
internationally recognized government in Tripoli led by Faez Sarraj.
2017 Aug 17, Spacewalking
cosmonauts set free the world’s first satellite made almost entirely
with a 3-D printer.
(SFC, 3/18/17, p.A7)
2017 Aug 19, In Russia seven to
eight people were wounded in a knife attack in the Siberian city of
Surgut. The attacker (b.1994) was shot dead by police. The militant
Islamic State group said one of its fighters had carried out the
2017 Aug 20, It was reported
that a Moscow court has rejected a request by Siemens to seize its
gas turbines, which have turned up in Crimea contrary to EU
sanctions, and to ban their installation ahead of preliminary
hearings next month.
2017 Aug 21, Russia said it has
intensified its air campaign in Syria to help Pres. Bashar Assad’s
forces drive Islamic State militants from Deir el-Zour, killing an
estimated 800 militants across the country this month alone.
(SFC, 8/22/17, p.A2)
2017 Aug 21, The United States
began to scale back its visa services in Russia, drawing an angry
reaction from Moscow three weeks after President Vladimir Putin
ordered Washington to more than halve its embassy and consular
2017 Aug 22, Russia detained
and charged the theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov (47)
with fraud in a move that critics denounced as the latest sign of
increasing censorship of the arts. In recent years Serebrennikov has
fallen out of favor with the authorities and has criticized a
government clampdown on artistic works, warning last year that
"everything is returning to the most pathetic Soviet practices". On
Dec 4 a court ruled that Serebrennikov should stay under house
arrest at least until late January, rejecting a plea for bail.
(AFP, 8/22/17)(AP, 12/4/17)
2017 Aug 22, US Treasury
officials said the United States is imposing sanctions on Chinese
and Russian companies and individuals for supporting North Korean
weapons programs, including those dealing in Pyongyang's energy
trade and helping North Korean entities gain access to the US and
international finance system.
2017 Aug 23, A Moscow court put
revered theater director Kirill Serebrennikov (47) under house
arrest on charges of embezzling $1.1 million, the latest step in a
case widely seen as part of a crackdown on freedom of expression in
2017 Aug 23, Israeli PM
Benjamin Netanyahu visited Russia to voice concern about Iran's
efforts to expand its foothold in Syria.
2017 Aug 25, In southern Russia
at least 14 people died after a bus carrying construction workers
veered off a pier and plunged into the Black Sea on the Taman
2017 Aug 29, Russia’s central
bank (CBR) took a 75% stake in Otkritie, a private lender run by
Vadim Belyaev, to keep it functioning following a run on its
(Econ, 9/2/17, p.64)
2017 Aug 30, Ukraine said
Russian propagandist Anna Kurbatova will be forcibly returned to
Russia. Kiev accused her of spreading anti-Ukrainian propaganda.
2017 Aug 31, In Russia
unidentified assailants attempted to set fire to a building housing
the studios Alexei Uchitel, whose film "Matilda," set for release in
October, describes Nicholas II's relationship with ballerina Matilda
2017 Aug 31, The US State Dept.
ordered Russia to shutter its San Francisco consulate on Green St.
in Pacific Heights and close trade offices at its missions in
Washington and New York. It gave Moscow 48 hours to comply.
(AP, 9/1/17)(SSFC, 7/15/18, p.C9)
2017 Sep 1, Russian vowed to
respond to a US order to shut the Russian Consulate in San Francisco
and offices in Washington and New York, but also indicated that
Moscow was not inclined to raise the stakes in the diplomatic
tit-for-tat between the two countries.
2017 Sep 2, In Russia a biplane
flying in an airshow just outside Moscow crashed in front of
spectators, killing both people aboard.
2017 Sep 3, China’s state news
agency Xinhua said President Xi Jinping and Russian President
Vladimir Putin agreed to "appropriately deal with" the latest
nuclear test by North Korea. Putin was in China for the summit of
business representatives of the BRICS nations.
2017 Sep 5, President Vladimir
Putin said Russia will ask the UN Security Council to send
peacekeepers to patrol the front line in eastern Ukraine.
2017 Sep 5, In Russia a boy
(15) walked into a full classroom in the Moscow suburb of
Ivanteyevka with an air gun hidden under a raincoat. He attacked a
teacher and opened fire. The teacher was hospitalized with a brain
injury. A student who jumped out of the window suffered a fracture,
while two others who jumped had bruises.
2017 Sep 8, Russian Finance
Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters that Venezuela is having
problems with fulfilling its obligations on its debt to Russia.
2017 Sep 8, Swiss commodities
trader Glencore said that it and Qatar Investment Authority, the
rich Persian Gulf emirate's sovereign wealth fund, have agreed to
jointly sell a 14.16 percent stake in Rosneft to CEFC China Energy
2017 Sep 10, Prominent Russian
political commentator and writer Yulia Latynina said she has left
Russia fearing for her life. Latynina, who works as a columnist at
the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, has been critical of the Kremlin's
policy in the Chechnya republic in the Caucasus, as well as the
2017 Sep 13, The US banned
federal agencies from using Kaspersky Labs software citing concerns
about Kaspersky's ties to Russian intelligence services. The
anti-virus company has repeatedly denied the existence of any such
2017 Sep 14, A spokesman for
Russian President Vladimir Putin said hundreds of bomb threats made
by anonymous telephone callers against major public buildings this
week amount to "telephone terrorism."
2017 Sep 14, Russia’s Zapad
(West) 2017 maneuvers, mainly in Belarus this year, got underway
involving thousands of troops, tanks and aircraft. The exercises
will last until Sept. 20.
2017 Sep 14, The European Union
said it has extended sanctions by a further six months against
dozens of Russian citizens and companies deemed to have a role in
threatening the stability and independence of Ukraine.
2017 Sep 14, In Syria the
Russian Navy fired seven cruise missiles at Islamic state targets in
the suburbs of Syria's Deir al-Zor at Islamic State targets in the
eastern province of Deir el-Zour as pro-government forces closed in
on the militants holed up in the eponymous capital.
(AP, 9/14/17)(Reuters, 9/14/17)
2017 Sep 14, Ukraine welcomed
Russian President Vladimir Putin's declared openness to deployment
of United Nations peacekeepers in separatist-controlled areas of
eastern Ukraine, but said Russian troops must not join such an
2017 Sep 15, Turkey’s foreign
ministry said Russia, Iran and Turkey have agreed to post observers
on the edge of a de-escalation zone in northern Syria's Idlib
region, which is largely controlled by Islamist militants.
2017 Sep 17, Russia and Iraq
restored scheduled commercial airline services for the first time
since 2004, in what officials hailed as a sign of stability
returning to the war-torn country.
2017 Sep 18, Russian
President Vladimir Putin attended the weeklong war games with
Belarus that have demonstrated the Russian military's resurgent
might and made neighboring countries nervous.
2017 Sep 19, Russia unveiled a
statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle
that became by some estimates the most lethal weapon ever made and
the best known Russian brand abroad.
2017 Sep 20, Russia agreed to
accept a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights criticizing
its handling of the 2004 Beslan siege which left 330 dead. Russia is
required to pay a total of three million euros ($3.2 million) in
compensation to 409 surviving hostages and relatives of the
2017 Sep 21, Russian police
said they had detained four men, including the leader of a radical
religious group, in connection with an arson attack related to the
film “Matilda," by award-winning director Alexei Uchitel. Three of
the men were charged with arson, including their alleged role in
setting fire to two cars parked outside the office of Uchitel's
2017 Sep 21, Russia filed a
counter-extradition request with Spanish authorities to stop the
extradition of Pyotr Levashov, a notorious spammer, to the US where
he is wanted on charges of fraud and unauthorized interception of
(SFC, 9/23/17 p.A2)
2017 Sep 22, In northwestern
Syria Al-Qaida-linked militant positions were hit by Russian cruise
missiles fired from the Veliky Novgorod submarine in the
Mediterranean. A day earlier three Russian troops were wounded after
militants encircled Russian military officers outside Idlib.
(SFC, 9/23/17 p.A2)
2017 Sep 24, The Russian
Defence Ministry said that Russian Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov
had been killed by Islamic State shelling near Deir al-Zor.
2017 Sep 25, Russian police
arrested Natalia Baksheeva and her husband Dmitry Baksheev (35) in
the city of Krasnodar. They were suspected of killing a woman
in an abandoned house earlier this month after a drunken brawl.
Investigators said construction workers found a phone on the scene
with the man's photographs posing with body parts. Authorities said
the couple may be responsible for the death or disappearance of as
many as 30 people.
(AP, 9/25/17)(SFC, 9/27/17, p.A2)
2017 Sep 25, In Syria Russia
bombed positions of US-backed forces in a major natural gas field
they recently captured from Islamic State militants. The SDF said
the airstrike killed one of its fighters and wounded two others in
the Conoco gas field, in Deir el-Zour province. Russia's Defense
Ministry denied the report.
(AP, 9/25/17)(SFC, 9/26/17, p.A2)
2017 Sep 25, The UN human
rights office said in a report that Russia is violating
international law in Crimea, including by imposing Russian
citizenship on its people and deliberately transferring hundreds of
prisoners and detainees to prisons in Russia.
2017 Sep 26, Russia's
communications agency threatened to block access to Facebook if the
company refuses to store its data locally. A 2015 Russian law on
personal data obliges foreign companies to store it in Russia.
2017 Sep 27, President Vladimir
Putin announced that Russia was destroying its last chemical
weapons, hailing the move as a "historic event" and accusing the
United States of not following suit.
2017 Sep 27, A Russian court
found Ilmi Umerov (60), a Crimean dissident opposed to Russia's
annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, guilty of separatism and sentenced
him to two years in a prison colony. Umerov, who suffers from
Parkinson's disease and attacks of high blood pressure, was deputy
head of the Crimean Tatars' semi-official Mejlis legislature before
it was suspended by Moscow after it took control of the peninsula in
2017 Sep 28, Russia’s Pres.
Vladimir Putin visited Turkey for talks that focused on Iraq, Syria
and bilateral trade.
(SFC, 9/29/17, p.A2)
2017 Sep 28, The Russian
Foreign Ministry told the United States to step back from a
confrontation over military observation flights before the two
countries became embroiled in another round of tit-for-tat
2017 Sep 28, Ukraine's
Commander in Chief Viktor Muzhenko said Russia has withdrawn only a
few units from Belarus and had lied about how many of its soldiers
were there in the first place. A Belarussian defense ministry
spokesman later said the last train of Russian troops and equipment
had left Belarus today.
(Reuters, 9/29/17)(Reuters, 9/30/17)
2017 Sep 29, Russian police
took opposition leader Alexei Navalny into custody in Moscow and
detained his associates in a city where he was heading for a rally.
2017 Sep 29, A Russian soldier
fired his Kalashnikov rifle at his comrades waiting to have target
practice at a base outside the town of Belogorsk near the border
with China and then fled. The soldier offered resistance to arrest
and was shot dead early the next day following a massive manhunt.
2017 Sep 29, Shareholders in
Rosneft, a Russia energy giant, appointed Germany’s ex-chancellor
Gerhard Schroder as a board director.
2017 Oct 1, North Korea opened
a second internet connection with the outside world, this time via
Russia, a move which cyber security experts said could give
Pyongyang greater capability to conduct cyber attacks. Dyn Research,
which monitors international internet traffic flows, said it had
seen Russian telecommunications company TransTeleCom routing North
Korean traffic since about 0908 GMT today.
2017 Oct 2, Russian President
Vladimir Putin met with the president of Turkmenistan on a rare
visit to the gas-rich Central Asian nation.
2017 Oct 2, A Russian court
sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny for 20 days for calling
for an unsanctioned protest.
(SFC, 10/3/17, p.A2)
2017 Oct 3, Russia carried out
airstrikes in Syria that it later said critically wounded Abu
Mohammed al-Golani, leader of the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation
Committee. 12 other militant commanders were also believed killed.
(SFC, 10/5/17, p.A2)
2017 Oct 3, Islamic State
released a video that it said showed two Russian soldiers captured
by its fighters in the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor, where Russia has
been backing the Syrian military against militants.
2017 Oct 4, In Russia jailed
government critic Alexei Navalny called on his supporters to hold
street protests this weekend across Russia, in defiance of an
official ban, to demand that Navalny be allowed to run in next
year's presidential election.
2017 Oct 4, Russia said it will
retaliate tit-for-tat over a new Canadian law that will impose
sanctions on officials from Russia and other nations considered
guilty of human rights violations.
2017 Oct 4, In Moscow
Venezuelan Pres. Nicolas Maduro met with Russian Pres. Vladimir
Putin and thanked him for his political and diplomatic support in
difficult times. Putin said Russia would continue its economic
cooperation with Venezuela, including on major projects.
2017 Oct 4, A Greek court ruled
to extradite Russian cybercrime suspect Alexander Vinnik to the US,
where he is wanted in connection with a $4 billion bitcoin fraud
2017 Oct 4, An official
document issued by the Russian consulate in Damascus showed that at
least 131 Russian citizens died in Syria in the first nine months of
2017 Oct 5, The Russian Defense
Ministry said its submarines have fired 10 cruise missiles at
Islamic State positions outside the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen,
one of the last major IS strongholds in the country.
2017 Oct 5, Saudi Arabia signed
preliminary agreements to buy S-400 air defence systems and receive
"cutting edge technologies" from Russia during King Salman's
landmark visit to Moscow.
2017 Oct 6, In Russia more than
130 fake bomb calls prompted the evacuation of some 100,000 people
in the Moscow area.
(SFC, 10/7/17, p.A2)
2017 Oct 6, In Russia at least
16 people were killed when a train slammed into a bus that had
broken down on a level crossing near the town of Pokrov, east of
2017 Oct 7, In Russia
supporters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny rallied across the
country, heeding his call to pressure authorities into letting him
enter the presidential race with a wave of demonstrations on
President Vladimir Putin's 65th birthday. Riot police detained at
least 10 opposition protesters in central St Petersburg.
(AP, 10/7/17)(Reuters, 10/7/17)
2017 Oct 7, Russia’s defence
ministry said some 120 Islamic State fighters and 60 foreign
mercenaries were killed in a series of Russian air strikes in Syria
over the past 24 hours. The ministry also said three senior IS
commanders including Omar al-Shishani had been confirmed dead as a
result of an earlier Russian strike. The Pentagon said in 2016 the
notorious fighter had been killed by American troops in Iraq.
2017 Oct 9, It was reported
that Google has discovered Russian operatives spent tens of
thousands of dollars on ads on its YouTube, Gmail and Google Search
products in an effort to meddle in the 2016 US presidential
2017 Oct 9, Ukraine's chief
prosecutor blamed Vladimir Tyurin, a Russian crime lord linked to
Russia's security agency, for ordering the killing of renegade
Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov last March.
2017 Oct 10, Russia said it had
dropped accusations against CNN International of violating Russian
media law and the US channel could continue broadcasting in Russia.
2017 Oct 10, In Syria a Russian
military jet crashed while taking off from the Hmeymim air base in
an incident that killed its two-man crew.
2017 Oct 11, Russia’s domestic
security agency said it has detained six people in Crimea accused of
involvement in an extremist organization, a move described by one of
the suspects' lawyer as part of Moscow's crackdown on the Crimean
2017 Oct 12, A group of senior
officers from the general staff of the Russian armed forces could
not attend the joint briefing with the Chinese military at the UN in
NYC because they were not issued US visas.
2017 Oct 13, Russia
successfully launched a satellite into orbit that will monitor
Europe's atmosphere, helping to study air pollution. The European
Space Agency's Sentinel-5P satellite was launched by a Rokot missile
from the northwestern Plesetsk launch pad.
2017 Oct 13, On four voyages
between Oct. 13, 2017, and May 7, 2018, the Russian Tantal tanker
gave its destination as the Chinese port of Ningbo when it set sail.
It then met up in international waters with a North Korean vessel to
which it transferred its cargo of fuel.
2017 Oct 14, An unmanned
Russian cargo ship was launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, to take
supplies to the six astronauts aboard the International Space
2017 Oct 15, Russia resumed sea
trips to isolated North Korea after a two-month break. The ferry
line, the only one between the two countries, was opened in May to
carry passengers, predominantly Chinese tourists, and cargoes. It
stopped operating in August because the port in Vladivostok refused
to provide services to the vessel after the company failed to pay
2017 Oct 16, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin signed a decree imposing restrictions on North Korea
in order to comply with a UN Security Council resolution introduced
in response to Pyongyang's missile tests in late 2016.
2017 Oct 18, Ksenia Sobchak
(35), a celebrity Russian TV host, announced her intention to run in
the March 2018 election. She is the daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, the
reformist St. Petersburg mayor in the early 1990s. President
Vladimir Putin once worked as her father's deputy.
2017 Oct 20, Russia formally
handed over six MiG-29 fighter jets to Serbia, part of an arms
delivery that has the potential to accentuate tensions in the
2017 Oct 22, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny was released from detention after spending
around three weeks in jail.
2017 Oct 23, In Russia Tatyana
Felgengauer (32), a presenter for the Echo of Moscow radio station,
suffered a knife attack after a suspect entered the radio station's
building in central Moscow and blinded the security guard with a
spray. The attacker, identified as Boris Grits (48), was caught.
(AFP, 10/23/17)(AP, 11/8/17)
2017 Oct 24, Russia cast a veto
at the UN Security Council preventing the renewal of the mandate to
a mission that investigates the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
The mission's mandate is due to expire in mid-November.
2017 Oct 23, In Chechnya a
Russian National Guard officer killed four other servicemen before
he was killed by guards in Shelkovskaya.
(SFC, 10/24/17, p.A2)
2017 Oct 25, Crimean Tatar
activists Ilmi Umerov and Ahtem Chiygoz, who opposed to Moscow's
annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, were released from prison and
flown to Turkey. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko thanked Turkey's
president for helping broker the release.
(AP, 10/25/17)(Reuters, 10/27/17)
2017 Oct 26, Norwegian rescuers
searched for a Russian helicopter which went down with eight people
on board at sea off the coast of the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.
On Oct. 29 Norwegian rescue officials said the wreckage of the
Russian helicopter has been located on the seabed east of Cape Heer.
(Reuters, 10/26/17)(AP, 10/29/17)
2017 Oct 26, Twitter Inc
accused Russian media outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik of
interfering in the 2016 U.S. election and banned them from buying
ads on its network, after criticism in the United States that the
social network had not done enough to deter international meddling.
2017 Oct 27, In China Vlada
Dzyuba (14), a Russian model, died after working on a photo shoot in
Yiwu, about 300 km (186 miles) south of Shanghai. A Chinese modeling
agency that hired the girl denied media reports that a "slave
contract" contributed to the teen's sudden death.
2017 Oct 29, Hundreds of
Russians gathered in central Moscow to honor the victims of
Stalin-era purges, with many calling for the release of jailed
activist Yury Dmitriyev, who researched mass graves. Dmitriyev (61)
was arrested last year and accused of producing pornography, charges
2017 Oct 30, Russian journalist
Ekaterina Gordon (37) became the second woman to enter the country's
presidential race, saying she wanted to use the election to campaign
for the rights of single mothers and children.
2017 Oct 31, The Russian
submarine “Veliky Novgorod" launched three "Kalibr" missiles at
Islamic State targets in Syria's Deir al-Zor province.
2017 Oct 31, The US Treasury's
Office of Foreign Assets Control published an amendment which bans
US entities from helping sanctioned Russian oil companies in
exploration or production for deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale
projects anywhere in the world.
2017 Nov 1, Russian President
Vladimir Putin arrived in Iran for trilateral talks with Tehran and
2017 Nov 1, The Russian Defense
Ministry said in a statement that six long-range bombers struck
Islamic State positions in Deir al-Zor province.
2017 Nov 2, Russia dismissed a
report by a UN-led panel that blamed the Syrian regime for the April
4 sarin gas attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun as
"superficial and unprofessional".
2017 Nov 2, In Syria six
Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers struck Islamic State targets near
the town of Abu Kemal.
2017 Nov 3, Russia's top
domestic security agency said it has detained a group of suspects
accused of planning firebomb attacks on official buildings. It said
the suspects belonged to the Artpodgotovka (Artillery Bombardment)
group founded by opposition activist Vyacheslav Maltsev, a former
regional legislator from Saratov. He unsuccessfully ran for the
federal parliament in 2016 and left Russia during the summer. In
October he was arrested in absentia on extremism charges.
2017 Nov 3, The Tversky court
in Moscow confirmed that opposition leader Alexei Navalny has filed
a lawsuit against Pres. Vladimir Putin over repeated refusals by
authorities to sanction rallies for his supporters.
(SFC, 11/4/17, p.A2)
2017 Nov 3, The Russian Defense
Ministry said that six Tu-22M bombers unloaded bombs on IS targets
near Boukamal. Two Russian submarines in the Mediterranean also
launched six cruise missiles at IS targets.
2017 Nov 3, Russia’s FSB, the
successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said on its web site that it had
arrested all the members of Artpodgotovka, an anti-government
movement in the Moscow region, and seized 15 bottles of Molotov
cocktail. It said the group had planned extremists actions on Nov.
4-5 Unity Day weekend.
2017 Nov 3, Russian authorities
said they were investigating whether 141 Baikal earless seals
starved to death after their carcasses began washing up last weekend
on the shoreline of Lake Baikal.
2017 Nov 3, Canada banned and
froze assets of 30 Russians linked to the case of Russian lawyer
Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison after exposing a $230-million
tax fraud. Russia quickly reacted to the sanctions by announcing
2017 Nov 4, Russian riot police
detained dozens of people at a nationalist anti-Kremlin march on a
public holiday known as the Day of National Unity. Some 200-300
people participated In the march.
2017 Nov 4, Russian Tu-22M3
long-range bombers struck Islamic State targets near the town of
Albu Kamal in Syria.
2017 Nov 4, A Russian
helicopter was raised from the seabed where it had crashed last
month off Norway's Arctic Svalbard archipelago with eight people on
board. None of the missing people were inside the helicopter that
went down Oct. 26.
2017 Nov 5, Russian security
services said they had detained 263 people in the center of Moscow
for "breach of public order".
2017 Nov 6, US Commerce
Secretary Wilbur Ross denied wrongdoing over business ties to a
shipping firm linked to Vladimir Putin's inner circle, detailed in a
vast leak of financial documents that also revealed Britain's Queen
Elizabeth II's investments in tax havens. The findings emerged as
part of the Paradise Papers released by the US-based International
Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which was behind the
Panama Papers made public last year.
2017 Nov 7, In Russia thousands
of Communist party members and supporters marched across downtown
Moscow to mark the centennial of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution even
as the Russian government ignored the anniversary.
2017 Nov 7, Estonian
prosecutors said a Russian citizen was detained over the weekend
over suspicions of spying and preparing a computer crime on behalf
of Russia's domestic security agency.
2017 Nov 8, Russian Deputy
Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow opposed a draft UN
resolution to extend the mandate of the investigation by the United
Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
(OPCW) into chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
2017 Nov 8, Moscow's finance
minister said Venezuela has agreed to Russia's terms for
restructuring its debt. As of 2016 Venezuela's official debt to
Moscow stood at $2.8 billion.
2017 Nov 9, In Russia at least
three people were killed when a corner section of a nine-storey
residential building collapsed due to a suspected gas explosion in
the provincial city of Izhevsk.
2017 Nov 9, Four more Russian
cross-country skiers were found guilty of doping at the 2014 Sochi
Olympics, including three-time silver medalist Maxim Vylegzhanin,
and were banned from all future Olympics. President Vladimir Putin
disputed the bans, saying that United States interests were trying
to use doping scandals to discredit his government and influence the
country's presidential election in March.
2017 Nov 9, Britain accused
Russia of carrying out a "thinly veiled political attack" on the
head of the world's chemical weapons watchdog, escalating a row over
the agency's investigation into toxic attacks in Syria.
2017 Nov 9, A report by
France's nuclear safety agency said an apparent accident at a
Russian facility is suspected of causing a recent spike in
radioactivity in the air over much of Europe. It said the release of
the isotope Ruthenium-106 posed no health or environmental risks to
European countries. The Ruthenium appeared to come from an accident
in late September involving nuclear fuel or the production of
2017 Nov 10, In Vietnam on the
sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
summit President Donald Trump used a speech to denounce multi-nation
agreements embraced by the region and deliver what appeared to be a
rebuke to China, railing against trade practices he says have put
Americans out of work. Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin shook hands
at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit dinner.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said nations need to stay committed to
economic openness or risk being left behind.
(AP, 11/10/17)(Reuters, 11/10/17)
2017 Nov 10, In Vietnam
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte thanked Moscow for its "timely
assistance" in defeating pro-Islamic State militants who took over a
southern city for months, expressing his willingness to buy Russian
weapons on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC). Duterte also defended his country’s brutal crackdown on
drugs and said that at age 16 he had killed a person.
(Reuters, 11/10/17)(SFC, 11/11/17, p.A2)
2017 Nov 11, US President
Donald Trump said he believed President Vladimir Putin when he
denied accusations that Russia meddled in last year's US election
after the two met briefly at the APEC summit in Vietnam and agreed a
statement on Syria.
2017 Nov 12, Turkey said its
purchase of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missiles has been
completed. Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said Ankara is still
discussing a further deal with a European consortium to help it
develop its own missile defense system.
2017 Nov 13, Russian President
Vladimir Putin hosted Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for
talks focusing on the situation in Syria.
2017 Nov 13, Spain's defense
and foreign ministers said they had evidence that state and
private-sector Russian groups, as well as groups in Venezuela, used
Twitter, Facebook and other Internet sites to massively publicize
the separatist cause and swing public opinion behind it in the
run-up to the Oct. 1 referendum.
2017 Nov 14, Russia's top
domestic security agency detained 69 suspected members of an
outlawed Islamic group during a raid near Moscow.
2017 Nov 14, Human Rights Watch
said Russian authorities have intensified a crackdown on Crimean
Tatars in an apparent bid to silence dissent on the Black Sea
(SFC, 11/16/17, p.A2)
2017 Nov 15, The Russian
Finance Ministry says it has signed a deal to restructure
2017 Nov 15, In Syria six
Russian long-range bombers struck Islamic State targets near the
town of Albu Kamal in Deir al-Zor Province.
2017 Nov 16, President Vladimir
Putin signed a decree which said Russia's armed forces numbered just
over 1.9 million people, including over 1 million military
2017 Nov 16, Russia named nine
US government-sponsored news outlets likely to be labeled "foreign
agents" under a new law that is being rushed through parliament in
response to what Moscow says is unacceptable US pressure on Russian
2017 Nov 16, In central Russia
at least 14 people were killed in a collision involving a bus and a
logging truck in the Mariy El region.
2017 Nov 17, Russia cast a
second veto in as many days at the United Nations Security Council
to block the renewal of a probe to identify the perpetrators of
chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
2017 Nov 17, In Syria six
Russian long-range bombers struck Islamic State targets near the
town of Albu Kamal in Deir al-Zor province.
2017 Nov 19, In Turkey top
diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey met in Antalya to discuss the
civil war in Syria ahead of a three-way summit in the Russian city
of Sochi Nov. 22.
2017 Nov 20, Russian President
Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for three hours
of talks to lay the groundwork for a new push by Moscow to end
Syria's conflict now that Islamic State's territorial caliphate is
2017 Nov 20, French police
arrested Suleiman Kerimov (51), a Russian businessman and lawmaker,
at Nice airport in connection with a French tax evasion case.
Kerimov built his multi-billion natural resources business through a
combination of debt, an appetite for risk, and political
2017 Nov 21, The Russian
Meteorological Service said in a statement that it recorded the
release of Ruthenium-106 in the southern Urals in late September and
classified it as "extremely high contamination." Rosatom's Mayak
plant nuclear fuel processing plant, denied it was the source of
2017 Nov 22, Vladimir Putin
called for "concessions and compromise" from all parties in Syria's
six-year conflict as he kicked off a key summit in Sochi with the
leaders of Turkey and Iran aimed at reviving stuttering peace
2017 Nov 22, Two more Russian
athletes were stripped of their Olympic medals from the 2014 Sochi
Games, leaving the United States as the country with the most
2017 Nov 23, Meeting in Russia
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the
International Criminal Court for genocide and war crimes, asked
Russia's Vladimir Putin to protect his country from the United
States. Bashir also said he wanted to ramp up military ties and
praised Moscow's military campaign in Syria.
2017 Nov 24, Russia's Defense
Ministry said six TU-22M3 long-range bombers had carried out air
strikes on Islamic State targets on the western bank of the
Euphrates river in Syria.
2017 Nov 25, Russia’s RIA news
agency reported that President Vladimir Putin has signed a law which
will allow authorities to list foreign media operating in Russia as
2017 Nov 25, Russian Defense
Ministry said Russian long-range bombers hit Islamic State targets
in the northeast of Syria.
2017 Nov 26, Syrian government
airstrikes and shelling outside Damascus killed at least 23
civilians. Six Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers hit Islamic State
targets in Deir al-Zor province. The Britain-based Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes on Al-Shaafa, an
Islamic State-held village, killed 34 civilians, including 15
(AP, 11/26/17)(Reuters, 11/26/17)(AFP, 11/26/17)
2017 Nov 28, Russian weather
satellite Meteor M 2-1 and nearly 20 micro-satellites from various
nations failed to enter their designated orbits following the launch
from Russia's new Vostochny launch pad in the Far East. It wasn't
immediately clear if they fell into the ocean or were stranded in
2017 Nov 29, Kremlin-backed RT
published a letter from the Executive Committee of the Congressional
Radio And Television Correspondents Gallery saying the channel's
Congressional press credentials had been withdrawn due to its
registration as a foreign agent in the United States.
2017 Nov 29, Washington urged
tough action at an emergency meeting of the Security Council held
today to respond to North Korea's launch of an intercontinental
ballistic missile (ICBM). US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s call for
nations to "cut off all ties with North Korea" was rejected by
2017 Nov 30, Russia's
government published a draft agreement between Russia and Egypt
allowing both countries to use each other's air space and air bases
for their military planes. The draft was set out in a decree, signed
by PM Dmitry Medvedev on Nov. 28.
2017 Nov 30, Russian Security
Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev said Moscow was already
preparing to withdraw its military contingent from Syria.
2017 Nov 30, Denmark passed a
law that could allow it to ban Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline
from going through its waters on grounds of security or foreign
2017 Dec 1, In Russia Leonid
Volkov, the campaign chief of Russian opposition leader Alexei
Navalny, was jailed for 30 days over an unauthorized Sept. 29 rally.
Volkov has already served four days of his sentence and is set to be
released on December 26.
2017 Dec 1, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov said that a US threat to destroy North Korea
in the event of a war was "a bloodthirsty tirade" and that military
action against Pyongyang would be a big mistake.
2017 Dec 1, Russia’s Defense
Ministry said six Russian long-range bombers have hit Islamic State
targets in Syria's Deir al-Zor province.
2017 Dec 1, Ukraine head
Patriarch Filaret said the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will never
return to Russia's fold, accusing Moscow of "lying."
2017 Dec 5, Russia named Voice
of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and seven affiliated
news services as foreign agents. The Russian parliament prepared to
ban the organizations from attending its sessions in response to
similar US actions against English-language Russian network RT.
(SFC, 12/6/17, p.A2)
2017 Dec 5, Russia arrested
Norwayian pensioner Frode Berg, a former guard working on the
Norwegian-Russian border. FSB security service later said it caught
the Norwegian taking secret documents about the Russian Navy from a
2017 Dec 6, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin announced he would seek re-election in March 2018, a
contest opinion polls show he will win comfortably.
2017 Dec 6, Russian President
Vladimir Putin said his government will allow Russians to compete as
neutral athletes at the upcoming games in South Korea. The
International Olympic Committee has banned the Russian team from
games as punishment for doping violations at the 2014 Sochi
2017 Dec 8, Russian authorities
denied that a radioactivity spike in the air over Europe this fall
resulted from a nuclear fuel processing plant leak in the Ural
mountains, saying their probe has found no release of radioactivity
2017 Dec 9, Russia said it was
fully committed to a Cold War-era pact with the United States
banning intermediate-range cruise missiles, a day after Washington
accused Moscow of violating the treaty.
2017 Dec 11, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin flew into Syria and ordered "a significant part" of
Moscow's military contingent there to start withdrawing, declaring
their work largely done. Putin added that Russia would keep the
Hmeymim air base in Syria's Latakia Province and its naval facility
in the port of Tartous. The Russian defense ministry has said
41 of its troops have died in Syria. The St. Petersburg-based
website Fontanka has said 73 private contractors have been killed
fighting in Syria.
(Reuters, 12/11/17)(Reuters, 12/12/17)(SFC,
2017 Dec 11, Bulgaria said it
has asked Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG to overhaul and maintain
its 15 aged MiG-29 fighter jets in a four-year deal worth up to 81.3
million levs ($49 million).
2017 Dec 11, Egypt and Russia
signed a final contract for the building of Egypt's first nuclear
power plant, during a visit to Cairo by President Vladimir Putin.
2017 Dec 12, Russia suspended
its diplomatic presence in Yemen and all its staff left the country
due to the situation in the capital Sanaa. Russia’s foreign ministry
said some diplomatic staff will be working temporarily out of the
Saudi capital Riyadh.
2017 Dec 13, A senior executive
at the Russian nuclear processing plant suspected of being behind a
spike of radioactivity over Europe this fall admitted that the
Ruthenium-106 isotope recorded does emerge as part of the plant's
production cycle but said its levels are negligible.
2017 Dec 13, Russia's FSB
security service began detaining members of an Islamic State cell
who had been planning attacks in public places. Over the next 24
hours seven members of the group were detained in St Petersburg.
2017 Dec 14, The EU extended
sanctions against Russia because of the stalled peace process in the
(SFC, 12/15/17, p.A2)
2017 Dec 14, Three astronauts
returned to Earth from the Int’l. Space Station (ISS) after nearly
six month in orbit. A Russian Soyuz capsule landed in Kazakhstan
with NASA’s Randy Bresnik, Russia’s Sergey Ryazansky and Paolo
Nespoli of the European Space Agency.
(SFC, 12/15/17, p.A4)
2017 Dec 15, The Russian
Central Bank said it has started bailout proceedings for private
lender Promsvyazbank, the country’s ninth-largest lender.
2017 Dec 15, In Russia former
economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev was found guilty of soliciting a
$2 million bribe and sentenced to eight years in jail, in a case
that has shone a rare light on infighting among the elite ahead of a
2017 Dec 15, Russia’s Federal
Security Service (FSB) said seven suspected followers of the Islamic
State have been arrested for allegedly planning to carry out terror
attacks in St. Petersburg. The arrests were enabled by information
provided by America’s CIA.
(SFC, 12/18/17, p.A2)
2017 Dec 15, Russia and Egypt
signed a deal in Moscow to resume flights between Moscow and Cairo
starting from February, after more than a two-year break.
2017 Dec 17, Russian security
operatives killed three suspected militants in a raid in the village
of Gubden, Dagestan province.
2017 Dec 17, In Kazakhstan a
Soyuz capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, Japan and the
US blasted off for a two-day trip to the Int’l. Space Station. Anton
Shkaplerov, Norishige Kanai and Scott Tingle will join Russia's
Alexander Misurkin and Joe Acaba and Mark Vandde Hei of NASA, who
have been aboard since September.
2017 Dec 18, The Russian
foreign ministry said it was recalling officers serving at the Joint
Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) in Ukraine, accusing the
Ukrainian side of obstructing their work and limiting access to the
2017 Dec 18, Russian
agriculture safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor banned all imports of
agricultural products from Sri Lanka starting today, saying it found
an insect known as the Khapra beetle in the packaging of a
consignment of Sri Lankan tea. The beetle is one of the world's most
destructive pests for grain and seed products.
2017 Dec 18, Moldova recalled
its ambassador to Russia for consultations in response to the
harassment and intimidation by Russian authorities of Moldovan
politicians and officials. The Chisinau government says its
officials are being mistreated partly to derail a Moldovan
investigation into an alleged Russian-led money laundering
2017 Dec 20, In Russia Maria
Alekhina, an activist from the punk collective Pussy Riot, and two
photographers were detained during a protest outside the
headquarters of the FSB, the main intelligence agency in Moscow,
after unfurling a placard saying "Happy birthday, butchers!".
2017 Dec 20, The US Treasury
Dept. said it is slapping five Russians with sanctions under the
(SFC, 12/21/17, p.A2)
2017 Dec 21, The Russian
parliament voted to extend Russia's lease of a naval base in Syria
for 49 years, following Vladimir Putin's announcement of a partial
pullout of Russian troops from the war-torn country.
2017 Dec 21, Russia's Rosatom
nuclear agency signed an agreement in Khartoum to build a nuclear
power plant in Sudan, a month after a meeting between President
Vladimir Putin and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir.
2017 Dec 22, Russian Defense
Minister Sergei Shoigu said a total of 48,000 of Russian troops have
taken part in Moscow's military campaign in Syria.
2017 Dec 22, A group of Russian
scientists sounded the alarm over what they said were attempts by
Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the security service (FSB), to
openly justify Stalin's mass purges, the first such attempt in
2017 Dec 23, President Vladimir
Putin presented his vision for modernizing Russia, while some of his
challengers in next March's presidential vote were formally
nominated for the race. He pledged to offer broader incentives for
business, fight corruption and pour extra resources into the
underfunded health care and education system.
2017 Dec 24, In Russia more
than 15,000 people nationwide endorsed the candidacy of Alexei
Navalny (41), seen as the only Russian opposition leader who stands
a fighting chance of challenging strongman Vladimir Putin in a March
2017 Dec 25, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny was barred from running in next year's
presidential election after officials ruled he was ineligible to
take part due to a suspended prison sentence he says was trumped up.
Navalny said he would appeal and called on his supporters to boycott
the election and campaign against it being held.
2017 Dec 25, In Russia four
people were killed when a Moscow bus ploughed into a pedestrian
underpass in the west of the city.
2017 Dec 26, Russia’s defense
minister said it has started establishing a permanent military
presence at naval and air bases in Syria, as parliament ratified a
deal with Damascus to cement Russian presence in the country.
2017 Dec 26, Angola’s
Russian-built AngoSat 1 satellite successfully entered orbit after
launch from the Baikonur pad in Kazakhstan, but experts couldn't
immediately establish contact. By Dec. 29 state-run Energia company
engineers established communications with the craft and received
data indicating that all its systems are operating properly.
2017 Dec 27, In Russia
opposition leader Alexei Navalny announced a series of rallies
across the country in January to press home his call for a boycott
of next year's presidential election, a move likely to draw a sharp
response from the Kremlin and police.
2017 Dec 27, Russia said it
will supply Turkey with four batteries of S-400 surface-to-air
missiles for $2.5 billion under a deal that is almost complete. The
deal has caused concern in the West because Turkey is a member of
NATO, but the Russian missile system cannot be integrated into
NATO's military architecture.
2017 Dec 27, In Russia Ilya
Averyanov, a factory's former director, opened fire in the Moscow
pastry factory, wounding a guard. He reportedly shot in self defence
to stop people taking the factory from him. Averyanov fled the scene
but was arrested the next day.
(Reuters, 12/27/17)(Reuters, 12/28/17)
2017 Dec 27, Russia’s RIA news
agency reported that Moscow will limit the scope of US military
observation flights over Russia from Jan. 1 next year in retaliation
for US curbs on similar Russian flights over the United States.
2017 Dec 27, In Russia an
explosion injured 18 people in a branch of the Perekrestok
supermarket chain. Investigators opened a criminal case into the
blast, which they say was caused by a homemade bomb packed with
pieces of metal.
(Reuters, 12/28/17)(SSFC, 12/31/17, p.A4)
2017 Dec 28, In Russia Andrei
Rudomakha, head of the Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus
NGO, and a group of activists were assaulted late today in Krasnodar
upon returning from the Black Sea coastal city of Gelendzhik where
they were documenting the illegal construction of a mansion for
2017 Dec 29, A Moscow court
sentenced William Browder, the financier who has advocated for a US
law targeting Russian officials over human rights abuses, to nine
years in prison in absentia over tax evasion and funneling money
overseas. The Tverskoy District Court also sentenced Browder's
associate Ivan Cherkasov to eight years in prison for avoiding taxes
and illegally funneling funds overseas.
2017 Dec 29, Turkey and Russia
signed an accord for Moscow to supply Ankara with S-400
surface-to-air missile batteries, finalizing a deal set to deepen
military ties between NATO member Turkey and the Kremlin.
2017 Dec 30, Russia's Supreme
Court dismissed an appeal by Russian opposition leader Alexei
Navalny against a decision by the country's central election
commission to bar him from taking part in next year's presidential
2017 Dec 30, Russia's main
domestic security agency said it has arrested a man suspected of
setting off the Dec. 27 explosion at a supermarket in St.
2017 Dec 30, Two senior Western
European security sources said Russian tankers have supplied fuel to
North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by
transferring cargoes at sea. The Russian Foreign Ministry denied
claims that UN sanctions against North Korea had been breached by
Russian tankers transferring fuel to North Korean tankers at sea.
(Reuters, 12/30/17)(AP, 12/30/17)
2017 Dec 31, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin signed a law doubling the penalty for false reports
of impending explosions or fire to a possible 10 years in prison.
2017 Dec 31, In Syria a Russian
Mi-24 helicopter crashed on New Year's Eve killing both pilots
following a technical fault.
2017 Dec 31, In western Syria
two Russian service personnel were killed in a mortar attack on the
2017 Jonathan Miles, a British
cultural historian, authored “St. Petersburg: Three Centuries of
(Econ 7/29/17, p.72)
2018 Jan 4, Pres. Vladimir
Putin authorized the resumption of regular Russian airline flights
to Cairo, according to a document published on the Moscow
government's website. It said the clearance for flights to resume
was effective from Jan. 2.
2018 Jan 4, In Russia at least
10 people were killed in a warehouse fire in Chernoretsky village,
Siberia. The dead were believed to be workers from China and
2018 Jan 4, In Syria at least
30 civilians were killed when Russian jets dropped bombs on the
Eastern Ghouta residential area, a besieged rebel enclave east of
2018 Jan 6, Russia's Supreme
Court turned down an appeal by opposition politician Alexei Navalny
to overturn a controversial ruling barring him from running in the
March presidential election against Vladimir Putin.
2018 Jan 6, Syrian regime and
Russian air strikes on Eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held enclave near
Damascus, killed at least 17 civilians. In western Syria militants
used 13 drones to attack Russia’s Hmeimim air base and Tartus naval
(AFP, 1/6/18)(Reuters, 1/8/18)
2018 Jan 12, The Russian
military said it has eliminated a group of rebels that had attacked
Russia's air base in Syria, and destroyed a rebel facility for
assembling drones in Idlib.
2018 Jan 13, Russia deployed a
new division of S-400 surface-to-air missiles in Crimea, in an
escalation of military tensions on the Crimean peninsula.
2018 Jan 17, In Russia masked
attackers torched the office of the prominent Russian rights group
Memorial in the region of Ingushetia, the latest escalation of
tensions between the activists and officials in the North Caucasus.
2018 Jan 18, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny said that police were raiding his campaign
headquarters in Saint Petersburg as he pressed ahead with a call for
a boycott of presidential polls.
2018 Jan 18, In Lithuania the
commercial television station TV3 was reportedly hacked late today
and shortly after that a fake news story appeared on the channel's
website accusing Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis of sexually
harassing a local radio journalist. The IP address of the hacker was
traced to St. Petersburg, Russia.
2018 Jan 20, Russia said it has
relocated Russian military operational group and military police
from Syria's Afrin where Turkey has started its military operation
against the Kurds.
2018 Jan 22, A Moscow district
court ordered the closure of the foundation crucial to the failed
election campaign of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
2018 Jan 23, Russia's Culture
Ministry banned a satirical film about Soviet leader Josef Stalin's
death from movie theaters following criticism from communists and
others that the British-French production made a mockery of Russia's
history. Scottish writer-director Armando Iannucci's "The Death of
Stalin" film premiered in Britain in October and was scheduled to
open in Russia on January 25.
2018 Jan 24, Russia’s Supreme
Court overturned an earlier Moscow court's decision to send
Khudoberdy Nurmatov back to Uzbekistan, which has shown little
tolerance to dissent. Nurmatov fled the country in 2008 after he was
allegedly tortured and coerced into collaborating with security
2018 Jan 24, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny took his battle with President Vladimir Putin
back to Europe's top rights court, complaining of his repeated
arrests ahead of elections in March.
2018 Jan 25, It was reported
that a Reuters investigation has found that major global technology
providers SAP, Symantec and McAfee have allowed Russian authorities
to hunt for vulnerabilities in software deeply embedded across the
2018 Jan 25, The United States
called on Russia and Myanmar to reconsider a reported agreement for
the supply of six Russian fighter planes and potential further
purchases of military hardware.
2018 Jan 26, Russian police
officers have shown up at Moscow’s Pioner movie theater that
screened a satirical film about Soviet leader Josef Stalin in
defiance of an official government ban. Showing an unlicensed movie
is punishable by a fine.
2018 Jan 26, A Dutch newspaper
and television show jointly reported that the Netherlands' spy
service in 2014 broke into the computers used by a powerful Russian
hacking group, often nicknamed Cozy Bear, and may be sitting on
evidence relating to the breach of the US Democratic National
2018 Jan 26, Three Western
European intelligence sources said North Korea shipped coal to
Russia last year which was then delivered to South Korea and Japan
in a likely violation of UN sanctions. A US security source also
confirmed the coal trade via Russia and said it was continuing.
2018 Jan 28, Russian police
wrestled opposition leader Alexei Navalny into a patrol wagon
moments after he appeared at a rally to urge voters to boycott what
he said would be a rigged presidential election in March. Protesters
shouting slogans including "Putin is a thief!" gathered briefly
around the Russian government's headquarters while marching through
(Reuters, 1/28/18)(AP, 1/28/18)
2018 Jan 29, In Russia
delegates arrived in the Black Sea resort of Sochi for peace talks
aimed at ending the Syrian conflict, but hopes of progress were
dimmed after the main opposition group and the Kurds said they would
boycott the event.
2018 Jan 29, Russia's Defense
Ministry called on the Syrian government to hold talks with the
rebels in eastern Ghouta to arrange for the medical evacuation.
2018 Jan 29, The US Treasury
Department named top businessmen including the heads of the two of
Russia's biggest banks, metals magnates and the boss of the state
gas monopoly on a list of oligarchs close to Russian power. Two
lists included 114 Russian politicians and 96 oligarchs.
2018 Jan 30, A Syrian peace
conference in Russia was marred by discord after the Russian foreign
minister was heckled, an opposition delegation refused to leave the
airport on arrival, and delegates squabbled over who should preside
over the event.
2018 Jan 30, The head of the UN
agency for Palestinian refugees said that Russia, Kuwait and nine
European countries have agreed to speed up their contributions to
help fill a shortfall left by the Trump administration's decision to
greatly reduce crucial US funding.
2018 Feb 1, Russia’s PM Dmitry
Medvedev approved the deployment of Russian warplanes on a disputed
island near Japan.
2018 Feb 1, A court in Moscow
convicted former Kirov regional Gov. Nikita Belykh of taking a
400,000-euro ($500,000) bribe and sentenced him to eight years in
2018 Feb 1, Switzerland's
market regulator said it has banned the Swiss affiliate of Russia's
Gazprombank from taking new private clients over money laundering
concerns over a 10-year period that emerged from the Panama Papers
2018 Feb 2, In Syria warplanes,
believed to be Russian, hit a convoy of civilians fleeing along a
major highway killing at least seven people in northwestern Idlib
2018 Feb 2, Thailand police
arrested Russian national Sergey Medvedev in Bangkok. On Feb. 7 a US
indictment accused him of running an online cybercrime marketplace
where everything from stolen credit card information to hardware for
compromising ATM machines could be purchased. The Infraud
Organization's main servers were seized in Paris on February 6.
2018 Feb 2, The Trump
administration announced it will continue much of the Obama
administration's nuclear weapons policy, but take a more aggressive
stance toward Russia.
2018 Feb 3, In Syria rebels
shot down a warplane in the country's northwest where government
forces and their allies are advancing under the cover of intense
airstrikes. A Russian pilot who ejected from his fighter jet was
killed by militants after he landed alive on the ground and resisted
capture by an al-Qaida-linked group. The Britain-based Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights reported more than 35 airstrikes on
Saraqeb over the last 24 hours.
2018 Feb 4, In Russia heavy
snow and freezing rain over the last 24 hours knocked down thousands
of trees in Moscow and one person was reported killed.
2018 Feb 5, Vladimir Shamanov,
head of the Russian lower house of parliament's defense committee,
said that Russia has deployed advanced nuclear-capable Iskander
missiles to its Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic Sea.
2018 Feb 5, The Agora rights
group presented a report in Moscow on "the creeping criminalization
of the internet," in which it registered 115,706 cases of
restrictions on internet freedom last year. Agora warned that the
country is slowly criminalizing internet use as the security service
tightens its grip.
2018 Feb 7, In Syria about 300
men working for a Kremlin-linked Russian private military firm were
either killed or injured near Deir al-Zor as US-led coalition forces
attacked forces aligned with Moscow's ally. Sources later said about
100 Russian military contractors were killed in the Deir al-Zor
battle. Russia later acknowledged that at least five of its citizens
may have been killed. The Kremlin-linked private military
organization that recruited the fighters returned bodies more than
seven weeks after the battle and with official documents bearing
details that people who knew them say were incorrect.
(Reuters, 2/16/18)(SFC, 2/16/18, p.A2)(Reuters,
2018 Feb 7, The US Justice
Department announced indictments against 36 people accused of being
active in the Infraud Organization — founded in 2010 and operated
under the slogan "In Fraud We Trust" — which was an anonymous online
forum that the department described as a "one-stop shop for
cybercriminals." The US indictment described Russian national Sergey
Medvedev (31) as the group's co-founder.
2018 Feb 8, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny published an investigation alleging that a
Russian Cabinet member received lavish hospitality from billionaire
Oleg Deripaska, a tycoon who has been linked to US President Donald
Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
2018 Feb 8, A spokeswoman for
the Russian Foreign Ministry said North Korean workers can stay in
Russia until Dec. 2019, in line with a United Nations' resolution.
2018 Feb 8, Moldova’s
parliament adopted a declaration condemning alleged Russian attacks
on cybersecurity and accusing the Russian secret services of
financing Moldovan political parties.
2018 Feb 8, In Syria the US-led
coalition and its local allies struck pro-government forces with
deadly air and artillery fire overnight to repel "an unprovoked
attack" near the Euphrates. The US-led coalition said it killed at
least 100 pro-regime fighters to fend off an attack on its allies.
It was later reported that at least four Russian private military
contractors were killed in the strike.
(Reuters, 2/8/18)(AFP, 2/8/18)(SFC, 2/14/18,
2018 Feb 9, The Russian Federal
Nuclear Center confirmed the arrest of two employees of its top
nuclear research institute in Sarov for using the facility's
supercomputer for crypto-currency mining.
2018 Feb 10, Russia's National
Anti-terrorism Committee said two militants have been killed in a
gun battle in Ingushetia, one of whom was being sought for having
fought with the Islamic State group.
2018 Feb 10, Estonia and Russia
exchanged two men convicted of espionage at a border crossing
between the two countries. Raivo Susi, an Estonian found guilty of
espionage and sentenced to 12 years in prison in Russia, was
exchanged for Artern Zintsenko, who had been given five years by
Estonia for spying for Russia in May.
2018 Feb 11, Russia scrubbed
the planned launch of an unmanned cargo spacecraft that was to have
delivered tons of supplies to the International Space Station.
2018 Feb 11, A Russian Saratov
Airlines passenger plane crashed near Moscow after take-off on and
the Kremlin said all 71 people on board were feared dead.
Investigators later said that the plane’s pilots failed to turn on
the heating unit for measuring equipment, resulting in flawed speed
(AP, 2/11/18)(SFC, 2/14/18, p.A2)
2018 Feb 15, A Russian Foreign
Ministry spokeswoman said Moscow has tangible evidence of "the
destructive interference of some Western countries" in Russia's
domestic affairs ahead of a presidential election next month.
2018 Feb 15, Russia's
communications providers blocked access to the website of opposition
leader Alexei Navalny on orders of the state communications
2018 Feb 15, In Dagestan a
Russian special forces officer was killed in a shootout with a
militant that also left the fighter dead.
2018 Feb 16, US Special counsel
Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians, and three Russian
organizations, with meddling in the 2016 US election.
2018 Feb 19, In South Korea a
doping case involving a medal-winning Russian curler rocked the
Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Alexander Krushelnitsky's failed drug
test came to light a week after he won mixed doubles bronze with his
wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova.
2018 Feb 22, A Russian court
slapped a $1,700 fine on a Moscow cinema which screened British
comedy "The Death of Stalin" in defiance of an official ban,
prompting a police raid.
2018 Feb 22, Argentina's
security minister announced that 389 kg (856 pounds) of cocaine were
discovered in luggage in 2016 and that agents swapped the cocaine
for flour. The luggage was tracked in a 2017 shipment to Moscow and
three people were arrested there. Two Russian-Argentine citizens
were arrested on Feb. 21.
2018 Feb 24, It was reported
that St. Petersburg restaurateur Yevgeny Prigozhin is believed to
control more than a dozen news portals in Russia that attract tens
of millions of visitors and serve as an important state propaganda
weapon as President Vladimir Putin runs for re-election in the March
18 vote. Other Prigozhin assets included a "troll farm," 12 of whose
operatives were indicted in the US along with Prigozhin.
2018 Feb 25, In South Korea
Russian hockey players won their first hockey gold medal since 1992
with a 4-3 win over Germany.
2018 Feb 26, Russia called a
daily "humanitarian pause" in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, bowing to
pressure to halt the carnage in the rebel-held enclave where
bombardments eased late today after hours of deadly raids.
2018 Feb 26, Thai police
arrested a group of 10 Russians who were running a sex training
class for their compatriots in the seaside town of Pattaya, and have
charged them with working in Thailand without permission.
2018 Feb 27, Russia said it
would strive to maintain a "humanitarian corridor" to let aid in and
civilians out of Syria's besieged eastern Ghouta region, although
the first five-hour truce unilaterally declared by Moscow quickly
2018 Feb 27, In Russia nine
people were killed when a minibus collided with a truck in the
2018 Feb 28, The Int’l Olympic
Committee (IOC) lifted Russia's ban from the Olympic movement
despite two failed doping tests by its athletes at the Pyeongchang
2018 Feb 28, In Thailand
Anastasia Vashukevich, a Belarusian woman jailed for offering sex
lessons without a work permit, said she has a story to tell
involving the Kremlin, Russian billionaires and even the president
of the United States.
2018 Feb 28, In Syria the
Russia-ordered brief humanitarian pause was in effect for a second
day in rebel-held Damascus suburbs but no civilians used the
corridor manned by Syrian and Russian forces to leave the enclave.
Government forces, meanwhile, tried to push their way into the area,
setting off ground battles.
2018 Mar 1, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin declared that an array of new strategic nuclear
weapons has been tested that can't be intercepted, claiming a
technological breakthrough that could dramatically increase Russia's
military capability, boost the Kremlin's global position and also
raise Western concerns about a potential renewed arms race in the
2018 Mar 2, Russian President
Vladimir Putin told Washington to send him hard evidence that his
citizens meddled in US elections, mocking accusations to date as
"yelling and hollering in the United States Congress".
2018 Mar 2, In Moldova a
one-day security conference was held in the capital, Chisinau.
Pro-EU leaders from Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia said that the
continued presence of Russian military in their countries was
2018 Mar 3, In Russia tens of
thousands of supporters of Pres. Vladimir Putin gathered for a
campaign rally at Moscow’s sprawling main sports complex.
(SSFC, 3/4/18, p.A6)
2018 Mar 3, Russia’s state
natural gas monopoly Gazprom said it is beginning efforts to end its
contract to supply gas to Ukraine, raising concerns about downstream
gas supply to European countries. The move comes after the Stockholm
international arbitration court ruled that Gazprom should pay
Ukraine more than $2 billion for failure to deliver the agreed-upon
volumes of so-called "transit gas".
2018 Mar 4, In England former
Russian spy Sergei Skripal (66) and his daughter (33) were in a
critical condition after collapsing in unexplained illness in
Salisbury. Skripal had been convicted in Russia on charges of spying
for Britain and sentenced in 2006 to 13 years in prison. He was
freed in 2010 as part of a US-Russian spy swap. Yulia Skripal was
discharged from Salisbury district Hospital on April 10 and taken to
a secure location. Her father was reported to be recovering more
(AP, 3/6/18)(SFC, 4/11/18, p.A3)
2018 Mar 7, In Chechnya at
least three people died in a Russian border guard Mi-8 helicopter
crash in the North Caucasus mountains.
2018 Mar 11, Russia said it has
successfully launched the hypersonic Kinzhal missile, which
President Vladimir Putin called "an ideal weapon" as he unveiled a
new array of next-generation arms earlier this month.
2018 Mar 12, In London Russian
businessman Nikolai Glushkov (68), an associate of late tycoon Boris
Berezovsky, was found dead. Police said the cause of death was
"compression to the neck".
2018 Mar 12, The EU said it has
prolonged sanctions against senior Russian officials, lawmakers and
military officers for a further six months over alleged meddling in
(SFC, 3/13/18, p.A2)
2018 Mar 13, Britain's
ambassador in Moscow, Laurie Bristow, said Britain expected an
explanation from Russia on how a nerve agent used in an attack on a
former double agent came to be in Britain.
2018 Mar 13, British
independent regulator Ofcom warned that it could strip Russia Today
(RT) of its UK license if the government determined that Moscow was
behind the poisoning of a double agent in England this month. Russia
in return threatened to expel all British media.
2018 Mar 14, Britain said it
will expel 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow failed to meet a
deadline to explain the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter
with a Soviet-made nerve agent on British soil. Russia denies
involvement in the attack. PM Theresa May said Britain is looking to
find other countries to supply gas as part of steps being taken by
London against Russia following the poisoning.
(Reuters, 3/14/18)(AP, 3/14/18)
2018 Mar 14, In Syria about 25
civilians in need of medical treatment left the besieged eastern
Ghouta enclave for the 2nd straight day under a medical evacuation
agreement. Bombardment of Ghouta continued with fresh Russian air
strikes. Opposition activists said at least 20 civilians have been
killed in government bombing of the enclave.
(Reuters, 3/14/18)(AFP, 3/14/18)(AP, 3/14/18)
2018 Mar 14, The Ukrainian
government ordered its athletes not to take part in any competitions
held in Russia, which the country accuses of occupying its
2018 Mar 15, Local media
reported that Bosnia has banned leaders of the Russian Night Wolves
motorcycle club from entering the country next week because of
security concerns. The club is under US sanctions for its role in a
pro-Russian separatist insurgency in Ukraine.
2018 Mar 15, Syrian charities
and rights groups called on Western leaders to threaten a boycott of
the upcoming football World Cup in Russia to protest against
Moscow's support for Syria's regime.
2018 Mar 15, The US Treasury
Department said sanctions have been slapped on 19 Russian
individuals and five groups, including Moscow's intelligence
services, for meddling in the 2016 US election and malicious cyber
2018 Mar 15, The leaders of the
United States, France and Germany joined Britain in blaming Russia
for poisoning a former spy with a powerful nerve agent.
2018 Mar 16, Egypt's national
carrier EgyptAir said it would resume direct flights between Cairo
and Moscow, three years after they were halted following the bombing
of a Russian charter jet over the Sinai.
2018 Mar 16, Ukraine said
Russians living in Ukraine will be unable to vote in Russia's
presidential election because access to Moscow's diplomatic missions
will be blocked.
2018 Mar 17, Russia expelled 23
British diplomats. Russia also suspended the British Council, a
network of cultural and linguistic institutes, amid escalating
tensions over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and
his daughter in England.
2018 Mar 18, Russians voted in
a presidential election that was expected to give Vladimir Putin an
easy victory, but his opponents alleged officials were compelling
people to come to the polls so that a low turnout does not tarnish
the win. President Vladimir Putin easily won another six-year term
with about 76.69 percent of the vote with turnout at 67.7 percent.
(Reuters, 3/18/18)(Reuters, 3/19/18)
2018 Mar 20, Russia's Supreme
Court threw out an appeal by messaging app Telegram ruling that it
can be forced to provide user data to Russian security services.
(SFC, 3/21/18, p.C4)
2018 Mar 21, In Russia a gas
poisoning linked to a toxic landfill outside Moscow left dozens
hospitalized in Volokolamsk.
(SFC, 3/22/18, p.A2)
2018 Mar 21, In Kazakhstan two
Americans and a Russian cosmonaut blasted off from the Baikonur
launch pad on their way to the Int'l. Space Station.
(SFC, 3/22/18, p.A2)
2018 Mar 22, Top Russian media
outlets launched a rare boycott of parliament after it dismissed
claims from several journalists that a senior lawmaker had sexually
harassed them. Several reporters for Western and Russian independent
media have accused Leonid Slutsky, head of the State Duma's foreign
affairs committee, of making lewd sexual comments and groping.
2018 Mar 22, EU member states
agreed at a summit in Brussels to take further punitive steps
against Russia in the coming days for the nerve agent attack in
Salisbury, as Moscow accused the bloc of joining a London-driven
hate campaign against it.
2018 Mar 24, In Russia the
Urals city of Yekaterinburg blew up its most famous landmark -- a
rusty, half-finished Soviet-era television tower. The tower's
construction started in 1983 but it was never completed due to the
collapse of the Soviet Union.
2018 Mar 25, In Russia at least
64 people died in a fire that broke out in a multi-story shopping
center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo. Dozens of children were
feared to be among the dead.
(AP, 3/25/18)(Reuters, 3/26/18)
2018 Mar 26, It was reported
that Sergei Mavrodi (62), an operator of Ponzi schemes and sometime
politician, has died in a Moscow hospital. He was a TV personality
and was elected a member of parliament in 1994, which gave him
immunity from prosecution. He later served a four-year prison term
for fraud, but was only ordered to pay back a fraction of the sums
invested in his schemes.
2018 Mar 26, British PM Theresa
May said 18 countries have announced they are expelling more than
100 Russian intelligence officers in response to the nerve-agent
poisoning of a former spy.
2018 Mar 26, Canada said it is
expelling four Russians alleged to have worked as spies or
interfered in Canadian affairs under diplomatic cover and denied
three applications for Russian diplomatic staff.
2018 Mar 26, Several EU
countries and Ukraine said they are expelling Russian diplomats in
response to the poisoning of a former Russian double agent with
military-grade nerve agent in the English town of Salisbury.
2018 Mar 26, The US said it is
expelling 60 Russians, including 12 intelligence officers from
Russia's mission to UN headquarters in New York and closing the
Russian consulate in Seattle. Moscow said it will expel at least 60
staff from US diplomatic missions in Russia.
2018 Mar 26, Spanish
authorities said police have captured a cybercrime gang made up of
Ukrainians and Russians that allegedly stole more than $1.24 billion
from financial institutions worldwide in a 5-year spree. Almost all
of Russia's banks were said to have been targeted and about 50 of
them had lost money.
(SFC, 3/27/18, p.A2)
2018 Mar 26, Syria and its ally
Russia threatened to resume bombing the final opposition holdout of
Douma in Eastern Ghouta unless rebels there agree to evacuate.
2018 Mar 27, In Russia
thousands of angry residents rallied in Kemerovo to demand a full
probe following a fire in a shopping mall that killed at least 64
people, many of them children. Russian President Vladimir Putin flew
to the city to look at the investigation into the blaze and declared
March 28 a day of national mourning.
2018 Mar 27, In Russia monkey
chants could be heard from the crowd in St. Petersburg when black
French players touched the ball in a friendly against Russia. The
abuse was also audible on a TV broadcast after Paul Pogba scored
France's second goal in a 3-1 win.
2018 Mar 27, Australia and
Ireland joined more than 20 other nations in expelling Russian
diplomats in response to the nerve agent attack on a former Russian
military intelligence officer and his daughter in Britain.
2018 Mar 27, Bulgaria, which
holds the rotating EU presidency, said it has recalled its
ambassador from Russia to discuss the nerve agent attack in Britain
which London blames on Moscow.
2018 Mar 27, Moldova's foreign
ministry ordered three Russian diplomats to leave the former Soviet
republic within seven days.
2018 Mar 27, NATO
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO has expelled seven
diplomats from Russia's mission to the alliance and blocked the
appointment of three others over the nerve agent attack in Britain
2018 Mar 28, In Russia the head
of a human rights office in Dagestan was attacked near his home.
Memorial, one of Russia's biggest human rights groups, said the
assault was linked to his work.
2018 Mar 28, Montenegro decided
to expel a Russian diplomat over the poisoning of a former Russian
double agent that the British government has blamed on Moscow.
2018 Mar 28, Slovakia's foreign
minister said the government has decided to recall its ambassador to
Moscow for consultations over the nerve agent attack on a former spy
2018 Mar 30, Russia ordered new
cuts to the number of British envoys in the country, escalating a
dispute with the West over the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain.
Scores of foreign ambassadors streamed into the Russian Foreign
Ministry in Moscow to receive the notices given to 23 nations:
Albania, Australia, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia,
Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Romania, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine.
2018 Mar 31, Moscow's Tverskoy
District Court said on that the co-owner of Russia's Summa group,
Ziyavudin Magomedov, and his associates are suspected of embezzling
more than 2 billion rubles ($35.01 million), including from the
state budget. Magomedov and two of his business partners had been
2018 Mar 31, Moscow said it has
told Britain it must cut "just over 50" more of its diplomatic and
technical staff in Russia in a worsening standoff over the poisoning
of a Russian former spy and his daughter in England.
2018 Mar 31, In Russia
Ziyavudin Magomedov (49), who is worth $1.4 billion according to the
Russian Forbes magazine, was arrested along with his brother after a
court refused to release him on bail of 2.5 billion rubles ($44
million), the sum police say he embezzled from government
infrastructure contracts. He was involved in the construction of one
of the stadiums to be used in this summer's World Cup.
2018 Apr 1, In Russia Aman
Tuleyev (73), the longtime governor of the Kemerovo region, where a
huge mall inferno killed dozens of people, most of them children,
resigned after bitter criticism over his response to the tragedy.
2018 Apr 2, Russia's foreign
ministry said a diplomat from Montenegro will be expelled, after
Montenegro expelled a Russian diplomat over a nerve agent attack in
England that the British government has blamed on Russia.
2018 Apr 3, In Russia regional
lawmakers, despite protests, voted to cancel direct elections in
Yekaterinburg, the country's fourth-largest city, in a blow to
opposition Mayor Yevgeny Roizman as the Kremlin intensifies a
crackdown on dissent. The new mayor will be elected by city
2018 Apr 3, In Turkey Russian
President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
remotely gave the go-ahead for the construction of the $20 billion
Russian-built Akkuyu nuclear plant on the Mediterranean coast at
2018 Apr 3, The British defence
laboratory at Porton Down analyzing the nerve agent revealed that it
could not say whether the substance came from Russia.
2018 Apr 4, Russia's foreign
ministry said it was expelling one Hungarian diplomat in response to
Budapest's decision to expel a Russian diplomat.
2018 Apr 4, Russia began
testing missiles with live munitions in the Baltic Sea, alarming
Latvia, a member of NATO, which says the drills have forced it to
partly shut down Baltic commercial airspace.
2018 Apr 4, In Russia a fire at
a shopping center in an eastern Moscow district killed an employee
and left six firefighters injured.
2018 Apr 4, At The Hague
Britain and Russia accused each other of duplicity and
untrustworthiness. London slammed as "perverse" a Russian proposal
for a joint probe into the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and
his daughter Yulia at the start of a meeting of the Organization for
the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
(AFP, 4/4/18)(AFP, 4/4/18)
2018 Apr 4, Turkey, Iran and
Russia pledged to accelerate efforts to bring stability to Syria,
following a summit meeting in Ankara.
2018 Apr 5, Russian gulag
historian Yury Dmitriyev, who has exhumed Stalin-era mass graves,
was found not guilty of child pornography charges and released
following a trial that supporters have denounced as a sham.
2018 Apr 6, The United States
imposed sanctions against 24 Russian businessmen, companies and
government officials, in one of Washington's most aggressive moves
to punish Moscow for a range of activities, including alleged
meddling in the 2016 US election and other "malign activity".
(Reuters, 4/6/18)(Reuters, 4/7/18)
2018 Apr 8, Russia's Foreign
Ministry said reports of a gas attack in Syria were bogus.
2018 Apr 10, Russia warned that
any US missiles fired at Syria over the deadly assault on a rebel
enclave would be shot down and the launch sites targeted.
2018 Apr 10, The ruble plunged
for the second day in a row following fresh US sanctions against
2018 Apr 10, Ukraine's
President Petro Poroshenko said sanctions will be imposed on Russian
oligarchs including Oleg Deripaska, following the lead of penalties
ordered by the United States.
2018 Apr 11, The Russian ruble
fell sharply again as US sanctions imposed last week continued to
bite and President Donald Trump threatened a missile strike on
Syria. By late afternoon, the ruble traded at around 64.5 to the
dollar, the most since 2016.
2018 Apr 11, US President
Donald Trump warned Russia of imminent military action in Syria over
a suspected poison gas attack, declaring that missiles "will be
coming" and lambasting Moscow for standing by Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad. Trump offered to help boost Russia's economy and
sought an end to what he called an "arms race," in an apparent
diplomatic overture less than one hour after warning Moscow about
pending missile strikes in Syria.
2018 Apr 11, Police in Thailand
confirmed that new charges have been filed against a self-described
Russian sex guru and a woman who claims to have evidence of Russian
ties to President Donald Trump's election campaign. Anastasia
Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, has attracted widespread
attention for claiming to have recordings of Russian oligarch Oleg
Deripaska, a crony of President Vladimir Putin, discussing
interference in the US election.
2018 Apr 12, Egypt and Russia
resumed direct flights, more than two-and-a-half years after they
were suspended in the wake of a bombing that brought down a Russian
passenger plane over the Sinai Peninsula.
2018 Apr 13, A Russian court
ordered that a popular messaging app, Telegram, be blocked after the
company rejected to share encryption data with authorities.
2018 Apr 14, Russia called for
an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council as
Moscow said it would consider supplying S-300 missile systems to
Syria following US-led strikes. Russia said Syria's air defence
system, which mostly consists of systems made in the Soviet Union,
has intercepted 71 of the missiles fired by the US, British and
French forces. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White warned that Russia
was actively attempting to sow confusion about the attack.
2018 Apr 15, In Russia
journalist Maxim Borodin died in a hospital, three days after
reportedly falling from his fifth-floor balcony in Yekaterinburg.
Borodin had written about the deaths of Russian mercenaries in
2018 Apr 16, Russia's
communications watchdog said it has begun enforcing a nationwide ban
for the popular messaging app Telegram. Entrepreneur and app
developer Pavel Durov said last week the latest version would have
"built-in" features that would be able to circumvent the ban.
2018 Apr 19, The WTO web site
posted a filing from Russia joining the European Union, India and
China in demanding compensation from the United States for its
tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.
2018 Apr 19, The head of the
consular section of the US Embassy in Moscow told Nezavisimaya
Gazeta newspaper that it was having difficulties issuing urgent
visas to Russian pilots because of a shortage of staff.
2018 Apr 21, Russia said the
United States was trying to fence off Russians with a "visa wall"
after two Bolshoi ballet dancers were refused visas to perform in
2018 Apr 22, Russia's
communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said that it is adding some
Google IP addresses to the state registrar of banned sites, as a
dispute intensified over Telegram, a banned messaging app.
(SFC, 4/23/18, p.A2)
2018 Apr 25, Russia's Supreme
Court upheld a criminal conviction against opposition leader Alexei
Navalny and his brother. The 2014 conviction gave Navalny a
suspended sentence and sent his brother to prison for 3½ years.
2018 Apr 25, Russia's military
indicated that it will soon supply the Syrian government with a
sophisticated air defense system.
(SFC, 4/26/18, p.A2)
2018 Apr 25, In Syria OPCW
chemical weapons inspectors collected samples from a new location in
Douma, their second visit to the area that was hit by a suspected
gas attack on April 7. Russia has even said the attack was staged
and Russian diplomats said they plan to bring evidence of this to
2018 Apr 26, In the Netherlands
Russian officials brought purported Syrian witnesses for a briefing
at The Hague headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons. Moscow says they were filmed in "staged videos" in
the aftermath of the April 7 reported chemical weapons attack in
Douma. Britain and France denounced this as a stunt and an "obscene
2018 Apr 27, Russia's main
intelligence agency said it has detained four men from a Siberian
oil town who are linked to the Islamic State group and are suspected
of plotting terror attacks in Moscow.
2018 Apr 27, A declassified US
congressional panel report released today on its investigation into
Moscow's suspected interference in the 2016 US election said Russia
has aggressively engaged in information warfare against the West for
2018 Apr 28, In Moscow Russian,
Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers talked up their successes in
brokering a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
2018 Apr 28, A floating nuclear
power plant built in Russia embarked on its first sea voyage so its
reactors can be loaded with fuel. The Lomonosov is to be put into
service in 2019 in the Arctic off the coast of Chukotka in the far
east, providing power for a port town and for oil rigs.
2018 Apr 29, In Albania Russian
Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (71) celebrated mass in Tirana, the
highlight of his first visit to the mainly Muslim country.
2018 Apr 29, Iraq sentenced 19
Russian women to life in prison for joining the Islamic State group.
Six women from Azerbaijan and four from Tajikistan were also
condemned to life in prison on the same charge.
2018 Apr 30, In Russia
thousands rallied in Moscow in support of internet freedom after
authorities tried to block access to the popular messaging app
Telegram in the latest onslaught against dissent under Vladimir
2018 May 1, In Russia more than
100,000 people came out on the streets on Moscow to march in the
traditional May Day parade.
2018 May 3, A Russian Su-30
fighter jet crashed off the coast of Syria, killing both pilots.
2018 May 5, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny was detained by police during street protests
against Vladimir Putin ahead of his inauguration for a fourth term
as president. At least 1,575 people, nearly 500 of them in Moscow,
were arrested in demonstrations in 26 cities across the country.
Navalny was soon released from detention but faced charges of
organizing an unauthorized meeting and of resisting police.
(Reuters, 5/5/18)(AP, 5/6/18)
2018 May 7, Russia's President
Vladimir Putin stuck with his long-serving PM Dmitry Medvedev in his
first act after being sworn in for a new 4th term.
2018 May 8, Russia's lower
house of parliament confirmed Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister,
voting 374 against 56 in favor of him remaining in the job he has
held since 2012.
2018 May 9, Russia celebrated
the Soviet Union's World War Two victory over the Nazis. The Moscow
parade was one of many which took place across Russia involving a
total of 55,000 troops, 1,200 weapons systems and 150 war planes in
28 Russian cities.
2018 May 9, Russian President
Vladimir Putin held a brief meeting in Moscow with Nechirvan Barzani
the prime minister of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
2018 May 9, Israeli PM Benjamin
Netanyahu traveled to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin
and discuss military coordination amid new strikes in Syria blamed
2018 May 10, The Russian
Foreign Ministry said Russia will maintain close coordination on
nuclear issues with Iran despite the US quitting the international
2018 May 14, Russia's Pres.
Vladimir Putin opened the Eurasian Economic Summit in Sochi.
2018 May 14, New Armenian
premier Nikol Pashinyan (42) assured Russia's Vladimir Putin that
Yerevan's ties with Moscow will remain close following his rise to
power on the back of mass anti-government protests.
2018 May 15, Russian Pres.
Vladimir Putin, driving a truck, unveiled the auto section of a new
11.8-mile, road-and-rail bridge linking Russia's Taman Peninsula to
the annexed Crimea, defying Ukraine which said the move showed
cynical disregard for international law.
(Reuters, 5/15/18)(SFC, 5/17/18, p.A2)
2018 May 15, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny was sentenced to 30 days in jail for staging
the May 5 unsanctioned protest in Moscow.
2018 May 15, In Kazakhstan
talks on Syria spearheaded by Russia in Astana failed to edge the
seven-year conflict closer to a political settlement, and cast the
future of diplomatic efforts to end the crisis into uncertainty.
2018 May 15, Ukraine's security
service raided the Kiev offices of Russia's state-run RIA Novosti
news agency, detaining one journalist who was accused of treason.
2018 May 17, Russian state oil
firm Rosneft said in a statement that its drilling in the South
China Sea is within Vietnamese territorial waters, two days after
its Vietnamese subsidiary began drilling in Vietnamese waters
claimed by China.
2018 May 17, Polish authorities
said they plan to expel one Russian and banned four others from
entering for five years on allegations they had engaged in
"information warfare" seeking to fuel animosity between Poles and
2018 May 18, Russian President
Vladimir Putin wished "good health" to former agent Sergei Skripal
as he was released from a British hospital, after recovering from a
nerve agent poisoning alleged to have been orchestrated by the
2018 May 22, Russia's
parliament adopted a wide-ranging bill that could freeze crucial
exports to the United States and imports to Russia from the US and
2018 May 22, In Russia Yevgeny
Roizman, a rare critic of the Kremlin in a senior regional job, said
he was resigning as mayor of Yekaterinburg after authorities moved
to scrap mayoral elections in the soccer World Cup host city.
2018 May 23, In Syria the
Islamic State targeted a group of Syrian and allied Russian fighters
near the town of Mayadeen in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor. 35
pro-government forces were reported killed, including at least nine
2018 May 24, The European Union
imposed obligations on Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom to
improve the flow of gas at competitive prices in eastern EU nations,
but did not fine the company.
2018 May 24, Dutch prosecutors
said a detailed analysis of video and photos by an international
team of investigators has unequivocally established that the Buk
missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern
Ukraine nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based military unit
in Kurst. Russia's military denied that any Russian missile complex
had ever crossed the border between Russia and Ukraine.
(AP, 5/24/18)(Reuters, 5/24/18)
2018 May 25, The Netherlands
and Australia announced they were holding Moscow legally responsible
for its role in the July 17, 2014, missile attack and downing of
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine nearly four years ago.
2018 May 27, The Russian
Defence Ministry said four Russian military personnel were killed in
fighting in Syria's Deir al-Zor province after several groups of
rebels attacked an artillery battery of the Syrian army. The
Ministry said 43 rebels had been killed in the same fighting. This
appeared to be the same incident as the May 23 IS attack reported
(Reuters, 5/27/18)(AFP, 5/27/18)
2018 May 30, Spanish police
detained and then released British businessman Bill Browder, a
prominent Kremlin critic, after a warrant from Russia for his arrest
for tax evasion was found to be invalid.
2018 May 30, In Ukraine Russian
dissident journalist Arkady Babchenko, who was reported murdered in
Kiev, dramatically reappeared alive and well in the middle of a
briefing about the killing by the Ukrainian state security service.
Ukraine admitted it had staged the murder of Babchenko in order to
foil an attempt on his life by Russia.
(Reuters, 5/30/18)(AFP, 5/30/18)
2018 Jun 1, Belarus President
Alexander Lukashenko said his country was ready to bring back border
controls with Russia after 20 years of free movement if a recent
reimposition of spot checks by Moscow proved to be long-lasting.
2018 Jun 3, In Kazakhstan
Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, Scott Tingle of the United
States and Norishige Kanai of Japan touched down in a Russian Soyuz
space capsule on the Kazakh steppe after a 168-day mission aboard
the International Space Station.
2018 Jun 4, Russian President
Vladimir Putin signed into law counter-sanctions legislation that
was drawn up by lawmakers in response to US sanctions imposed on
Russia in April.
2018 Jun 4, A Russian court
sentenced a Ukrainian journalist, Roman Sushchenko (49), to 12 years
in jail after convicting him of spying for his native Ukraine.
Sushchenko was detained in 2016 after he flew into Moscow from Paris
where he worked as a correspondent for Ukrainian state news agency
2018 Jun 5, Austria welcomed
Russia's Pres. Vladimir Putin, making his first foreign trip since
being sworn in for a fourth term. Putin's sixth official visit to
traditionally neutral Austria marked the 50th anniversary of the
start of Soviet gas deliveries to the country.
2018 Jun 6, In Kazakhstan a
trio of astronauts from Russia, the United States and the European
Space Agency blasted off for a mission on the International Space
Station. A Russian spacecraft carried Serena Aunon-Chancellor of
NASA, Sergey Prokopyev of Russian space agency Roscosmos and the
ESA's Alexander Gerst, from Germany, as it lifted off as scheduled
from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome.
2018 Jun 7, In northwestern
Syria suspected Russian warplanes attacked Zardana, a rebel-held
village in Idlib province, killing at least 44 people late today and
wounding dozens more, including children. Russia denied that its war
planes carried out the strike.
(Reuters, 6/8/18)(AP, 6/8/18)
2018 Jun 8, Moscow's Gulag
History Museum said it has discovered a secret Russian order in 2014
instructing officials to destroy data on prisoners — a move it said
"could have catastrophic consequences for studying the history of
the camps." Up to 17 million people were sent to the Gulag, the
notorious Soviet prison camp system, in the 1930s and 1940s, and at
least 5 million of them were convicted on false testimony.
2018 Jun 8, Chinese President
Xi Jinping gave visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin China's
first friendship medal, calling him his best friend. The two oversaw
the signing of several agreements, including a joint $1 billion
industrial investment fund.
2018 Jun 8, In Finland US Gen.
Joseph Dunford, current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and
Russia's chief of the military's General Staff, Gen. Valery
Gerasimov, met in Konigstedt Manor to exchange views on US-Russia
military relations, Syria and the current international security
2018 Jun 8, President Donald
Trump injecting fresh drama even before he arrived at the G7 meeting
in Quebec by calling for Russia, ousted from the elite group of
nations for its annexation of Crimea, to be reinstated.
2018 Jun 9, Russia's President
Vladimir Putin welcomed soccer teams and fans to the World Cup,
saying the tournament will be thrilling and memorable.
2018 Jun 11, In Russia a
pleasure craft carrying 16 people collided with a tugboat on the
Volga River in Volgograd, about 250 meters from the riverbank, late
today, killing 11 people. Investigators the next day blamed a drunk
captain for a boat crash.
2018 Jun 11, The US Treasury
imposed sanctions on three Russian individuals and five firms,
saying they had worked with Moscow's main intelligence service on
ways to conduct cyber attacks against the United States and its
2018 Jun 13, In Russia the FIFA
Congress in Moscow voted that the 2026 World Cup will return to
North America for the first time since 1994 after gaining 134 votes,
while Morocco got 65.
2018 Jun 14, In Russia a North
Korean official handed a written message to Pres. Vladimir Putin
from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. President Vladimir Putin asked
North Korean official Kim Yong Nam at their meeting to pass an
invitation to visit Russia in September to North Korean leader Kim
2018 Jun 14, The World Cup
trophy was displayed at Moscow's 80,000-seat Luzhniki Stadium ahead
of the tournament's opening match between host nation Russia and
2018 Jun 16, In Russia the Fare
Network, which helps FIFA and UEFA investigate cases of
discriminatory behavior by fans, accused St. Petersburg authorities
of having it evicted from premises in the city.
2018 Jun 18, The EU said it has
extended restrictions on doing business with companies or officials
in Ukraine's Crimea region an d the city of Sevastopol for a year
over Russia's annexation of the peninsula.
(SFC, 6/19/18, p.A2)
2018 Jun 19, A Moscow court
said Karina Tsurcan, a top manager of a state-controlled Russian
energy company, has been placed in custody of charges of espionage.
She was accused of spying for Romania.
(SFC, 6/20/18, p.A2)
2018 Jun 20, The Russian
Foreign Ministry said it had given Latvia a list of Latvian citizens
it has banned from entering Russia for their "Russophobic" views and
calls to tighten sanctions against Russia. The entry ban is
retaliation for a similar move by Latvia with regard to 49 Russian
2018 Jun 22, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in
agreed to support "efforts to establish complete denuclearization on
the Korean peninsula" following the US-North Korea summit last week.
2018 Jun 23, Russia and other
oil-producing allies said they would endorse a nominal output
increase of 1 million barrels crude oil per day after their meeting
in Vienna with OPEC countries.
2018 Jun 25, Romania's the
defense minister said his country faces Russian aggression on a
daily basis, and is fending off a wave of cyber-attacks and
2018 Jun 26, Russia, backed by
Iran and Syria, sought to head off a Western push to endow the
world's global chemical watchdog (OPCW) with new powers to identify
those behind toxic arms attacks.
2018 Jun 28, Russian President
Vladimir Putin said that Russia has withdrawn 1,140 military
personnel and 13 warplanes from Syria in last few days.
2018 Jun 28, It was reported
that US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin
will hold their first summit on July 16 in Helsinki.
2018 Jun 29, In Russia Oleg
Navalny (35), the brother of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was
released from prison after serving a 3½-year term on fraud charges.
His verdict was widely seen as retribution for the political
activities of his brother, who got a suspended sentence in the same
2018 Jun, The Moscow School of
Social and Economic Sciences, known colloquially as Shaninka, was a
stripped of its government accreditation.
(SFC, 7/23/18, p.A2)
2018 Jun, US lobbying firm
Mercury LLC sought to recruit the ambassadors of France, Germany and
several other countries to demonstrate international support for
severing Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska's control of Rusal, the
aluminum manufacturing giant sanctioned by Washington.
2018 Jul 3, Russian
investigators said historian Yury Dmitriyev (62) has been charged
with sexual assault and faces up to 20 years in prison, if
convicted. Dmitriyev was accused of sexually abusing his adopted
daughter between 2012 and 2016 and vehemently denied all the
charges. He spent decades locating and exhuming mass graves of
people killed under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's rule. Activists
said the case against him is an attempt by authorities to muzzle the
2018 Jul 4, In Russia a
resident (63) was killed and three other people were hospitalized
after a car mounted a pavement and hit pedestrians in the World Cup
host city of Sochi. Initial signs suggested the driver had fallen
asleep at the wheel.
2018 Jul 5, The European Union
extended sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine for
another six months.
2018 Jul 6, Meeting in Vienna
top diplomats from Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China
reaffirmed their commitment to the 2015 deal with Iran, known as the
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
2018 Jul 7, Russia was
eliminated in a penalty shootout after its quarterfinal match
against Croatia in Sochi was tied 1-1 after regulation and 2-2 after
2018 Jul 10, A Russian cargo
ship delivered a fresh load of fuel, food, and other supplies for
the International Space Station, making it in record time. The
unmanned spacecraft docked at the station in automatic mode less
than four hours after the launch.
2018 Jul 10, In the World Cup
semifinals in St. Petersburg French defender Samuel Umtiti's
second-half headed goal led France to a 1-0 victory over Belgium.
2018 Jul 11, Greece said it
will expel two Russian diplomats suspected of meddling in the
politically sensitive issue of Macedonia. Russia said it would
respond in kind to the Greek move.
2018 Jul 12, The Russian
Foreign Ministry complained that Macedonia was being sucked into the
NATO military alliance by force.
2018 Jul 13, A US federal grand
jury indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers alleged to
have hacked into Democratic party and campaign accounts in 2016. The
charges were drawn up by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the former
FBI director who is looking into Russian interference in the
November 2016 vote. The indictment identified "Kate S. Milton" as an
alias for military intelligence officer Ivan Yermakov, one of 12
Russian spies accused of breaking into the Democratic National
Committee and publishing its emails in an attempt to influence the
(AFP, 7/14/18)(AP, 8/1/18)
2018 Jul 14, Palestinian
president Mahmud Abbas was in Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin, just
days after the Russian leader hosted Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
2018 Jul 14, Syrian state media
said rebels in the southern city of Daraa were surrendering their
heavy weapons to government forces, under a deal brokered by regime
2018 Jul 15, In Russia Croatia
lost France 4-2 to in the World cup final.
2018 Jul 15, Hungarian PM
Viktor Orban denounced EU sanctions imposed on Russia, during a
visit to Pres. Vladimir Putin in Moscow ahead of the Moscow World
2018 Jul 16, Presidents Donald
Trump and Vladimir Putin held a historic summit vowing their
determination to forge a reset of troubled relations between the
world's greatest nuclear powers as they met in Helsinki, Finland.
Trump's news conference alongside Putin, where he discounted US
intelligence assessments that Russia meddled with the 2016 election,
drew fire from members of both political parties, who said he put
Russia above US interests.
(AFP, 7/16/18)(Reuters, 7/17/18)
2018 Jul 16, The French Embassy
said a decision to close the Business France office in Moscow was
made because "operating conditions have degraded considerably" in
2018 Jul 17, Russian Orthodox
Patriarch Kirill led some 100,000 people in a nighttime procession
to mark 100 years since the Bolsheviks murdered tsar Nicholas II and
his family, amid a simmering conflict between the state and the
Church over their remains.
2018 Jul 17, Russia's Defense
Ministry said it's ready to boost cooperation with the US military
in Syria, following talks between US President Donald Trump and
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
2018 Jul 17, Russia and
Tajikistan began joint military exercises near the Tajik-Afghan
border to prepare to ward off potential Taliban attacks.
2018 Jul 17, The European Court
of Human Rights ordered Russia to pay 20,000 euros ($23,442) in
damages to relatives of murdered investigative journalist Anna
Politkovskaya, saying it had failed to carry out an effective
investigation into her killing.
2018 Jul 19, Russian President
Vladimir Putin accused forces in the United States of trying to
undermine the success of his first summit with US President Donald
Trump, but said the two leaders had begun to improve U.S.-Russia
2018 Jul 19, Russian lawmakers
tentatively approved a hugely unpopular government plan to raise the
pension age to 65 for men and 63 for women. The plan has led to
protests and a record slump in Vladimir Putin's approval ratings.
2018 Jul 19, The Press
Association reported that British police have identified several
Russians who they believe were behind the March 4 nerve agent attack
on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
2018 Jul 19, US President
Donald Trump said he wants a second meeting with Russia's Vladimir
Putin to start implementing ideas they discussed at the Helsinki
2018 Jul 20, Russian President
Vladimir Putin said a plan to raise the retirement age would be
reviewed, signaling a retreat from a reform that is needed to
balance state finances but which has hurt his popularity.
2018 Jul 21, Humanitarian aid
sent by France and Russia arrived in Syria as the two countries'
leaders discussed a joint mission to distribute much-needed relief
supplies in a ravaged former rebel enclave.
2018 Jul 23, In Syria Russian
air strikes late today killed four civilians in the pocket held by
the Islamic State group in the southern province of Daraa.
2018 Jul 24, Russian agencies
reported that scientist Viktor Kudryavtsev (74) has been arrested in
a probe into allegations that staff at from the Central Research
Institute of Machine Building near Moscow, a top space research
center, have been passing information on the country's weapons
program to the West.
2018 Jul 24, Syrian and Russian
aircraft pummeled a jihadist holdout in southern Syria bordering
Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after deadly strikes
2018 Jul 25, Russia said it has
sent working groups to Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to help coordinate
the return of refugees to Syria.
2018 Jul 25, In Russia Elena
Yampolskaya, an ultra-conservative journalist and MP who once said
only God or Stalin could save Russia, was appointed head of the
country's parliamentary culture committee.
2018 Jul 25, In South Africa
leaders of the BRICS emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India,
China and South Africa) began an annual three-day summit, with
attention focused on the threat of a US-led global trade war. The
meeting opened with a business forum.
2018 Jul 26, In South Africa
the leaders of the BRICS bloc of emerging economies, meeting in the
wake of tariff threats by US President Donald Trump, signed a
declaration supporting an open and inclusive multilateral trading
system under World Trade Organization rules at their summit. Brazil,
Russia, India, China and South Africa agreed at the three-day
meeting to fight unilateralism and protectionism.
2018 Jul 26, A US government
report said China, Iran and Russia, along with their proxy hackers,
are hard at work trying to steal trade secrets and proprietary
information from the US. The report identified a Chinese
cyberespionage group called APT10 and an Iranian hacker group called
(SFC, 7/27/18, p.A3)
2018 Jul 28, In Russia tens of
thousands took part in rallies across the country organized by
Communists to protest against highly controversial plans to hike the
2018 Jul 29, In Russia
thousands protested in central Moscow against a proposed increase to
the retirement age and the crowd chanted slogans critical of
President Vladimir Putin whose approval ratings have been dented by
2018 Jul 30, Russia's Pres.
Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree creating a new
directorate inside the Russian army to promote patriotism. In the
Soviet Union, a similar directorate worked to ensure that the army
stayed loyal to the then ruling Communist party.
2018 Jul 31, The EU expanded
its sanctions against Moscow to include companies that helped build
a bridge from mainland Russia to Kremlin-annexed Crimea, which it
says violates Ukraine's sovereignty.
2018 Jul 31, Central African
Republic and Russian officials said three Russian journalists were
killed in an ambush outside Sibut, CAR. Russian media said they were
reporting on a private Russian security firm.
(SFC, 8/1/18, p.A2)
2018 Jul, In Russia Mikhail
Khachaturyan (57) was maced, hit with a hammer and stabbed 36 times
by his three teenage daughters at home in Moscow's northern
outskirts. Investigators hit the girls with the toughest murder
charges on the books and they faced up to 20 years in prison. It was
later reported that the prominent local businessman and churchgoer
had insulted, humiliated, threatened and subjected his daughters to
physical and sexual violence.
(The Telegraph, 7/5/19)
2018 Aug 2, Russia said it will
deploy its military police on the Golan Heights frontier between
Syria and Israel, after weeks of mounting volatility in the area.
2018 Aug 3, Russia denied a
report by the Wall Street Journal that said Moscow was allowing
thousands of fresh North Korean laborers into the country and
granting them new work permits in potential violation of UN
sanctions. Russia said fresh documents had been issued to laborers
already based in Russia who were working on old contracts.
2018 Aug 3, The United States
imposed sanctions on Moscow-based Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank, which
it said had facilitated a transaction with Han Jang Su, a person
blacklisted by Washington for involvement with North Korea's nuclear
weapons program. The Treasury also added Ri Jong Won, the
Moscow-based deputy representative of Foreign Trade Bank, North
Korea's primary foreign exchange bank.
2018 Aug 4, Russia's Defence
Ministry confirmed that it had proposed cooperating with the United
States on Syrian refugees and de-mining in a letter sent to the top
US general in July.
2018 Aug 4, Russian police
arrested 30 LGBT activists in Saint Petersburg during a coordinated
demonstration defending the rights of sexual minorities.
2018 Aug 4, A Russian
helicopter crashed shortly after takeoff in Siberia, killing all 18
people aboard, mostly oil workers.
2018 Aug 7, In Russia Maria
Alekhina, an activist from the Pussy Riot punk collective, led a
protest outside the headquarters of the state penitentiary agency in
response to torture and slave labor in Russian prisons.
(SFC, 8/8/18, p.A2)
2018 Aug 7, The European Union
reiterated its "firm support to the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders"
and lamented the Russian military presence in Abkhazia and South
Ossetia. Russia's PM Dmitry Medvedev said an attempt by NATO to
incorporate the former Soviet republic of Georgia could trigger a
new, "horrible" conflict.
2018 Aug 7, The lawyer for
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, hunger striking in a Russian jail
for nearly three months, said that the prisoner has lost 30 kg from
his original weight of 100 kg, his heart rate has slowed and he has
very low levels of red blood cells. The 42-year-old was serving a
20-year sentence in the far north of Russia after being convicted
three years ago of arson attacks in his native Crimea following its
annexation by Moscow. According to Kiev's estimates, Russia is
currently holding around 70 Ukrainian political prisoners.
2018 Aug 8, The US announced it
would impose new sanctions on Russia for illegally using a chemical
weapon in an attempt to kill former spy Sergei Skripal and his
daughter in Britain earlier this year.
(SFC, 8/9/18, p.A6)
2018 Aug 9, Russia condemned a
new round of US sanctions as illegal after news of the measures sent
the ruble tumbling to two-year lows and sparked a wider asset
sell-off over fears that Moscow was locked in a spiral of
never-ending curbs by the West.
2018 Aug 9, The Russian punk
collective Pussy Riot said its member Maria Alekhina has departed
for Britain for a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe festival,
despite being banned from leaving the country.
2018 Aug 10, Russia's PM Dmitry
Medvedev sternly warned the United States against ramping up
sanctions, saying that Moscow will retaliate with economic,
political and unspecified "other" means.
2018 Aug 12, Azerbaijan, Iran,
Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan agreed in principle how to
divide up the potentially huge oil and gas resources of the Caspian
2018 Aug 14, Eduard Uspensky
(80), legendary Soviet children's writer and creator of the USSR's
most popular cartoon characters, died in his home in the Moscow
suburbs. He was most famous for his iconic cartoon characters Gena
the Crocodile, a friendly crocodile who works at a zoo and plays the
accordion, and Cheburashka, a strange brown-haired creature with
2018 Aug 15, Shipping industry
sources said that some Russian shipowners not subject to sanctions
have now stopped shipping to Ukraine for fear of losing their cargo.
The Mekhanik Pogodin oil tanker, under the Russian flag, has
detained in the port of Kherson since August 10, and prevented from
offloading because its owner is on a list of sanctions imposed by
2018 Aug 15, The United States
imposed sanctions on a Russian port service agency and Chinese firms
for aiding North Korean ships and selling alcohol and tobacco to
Pyongyang in breach of US sanctions.
2018 Aug 19, Russia's top
investigative agency said it has detained a deputy head of the
nation's top space corporation on fraud charges. The Investigative
Committee said Alexei Beloborodov, a deputy director general of the
state-controlled RKK Energiya company, has been detained along with
his two associates.
2018 Aug 20, Microsoft Corp
charged that hackers linked to Russia's government sought to launch
cyber attacks on the US Senate and conservative American think
tanks, warning that Moscow is broadening attacks ahead of November's
congressional elections. Russian authorities quickly denied the
2018 Aug 21, Moscow and the
Central African Republic signed a military cooperation agreement,
less than a month after three Russian journalists were killed in the
strife-torn CAR while probing alleged Russian mercenaries.
2018 Aug 21, Serbia's air force
took the delivery of two Russian MiG-29 fighter jets, part of an
arms purchase that could heighten tensions in the Balkans and
increase Moscow's influence in the region.
2018 Aug 22, The US State Dept.
said it has rejected an invitation to join Russia-led talks on
Afghanistan because they are unlikely to help bring peace. Russia
said the Taliban will be joining the Sept. 4 talks in Moscow along
with representatives of several neighboring countries.
(SFC, 8/23/18, p.A2)
2018 Aug 23, Russian Security
Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said he and his US counterpart
John Bolton have broadly agreed to re-open communication lines
between their respective foreign and defense ministries.
2018 Aug 23, The Russian
Central Bank said it will halt foreign currency purchases, a move
that helped the ruble to recover from its lowest level against the
dollar since 2016.
2018 Aug 25, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny (42) was detained in Moscow.
2018 Aug 25, Iran said it has
resumed talks with Russia to build a new nuclear power plant capable
of generating up to 3,000 megawatts of electricity.
2018 Aug 27, A Russian court
sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny to 30 days in jail after
convicting him of breaking public protest laws, a move that will
prevent him from leading a planned anti-government rally against
pension reform next month.
2018 Aug 29, Russia's Pres.
Vladimir Putin proposed measures to soften a pension reform deeply
unpopular among Russians, in an apparent attempt to stem a major
fall in his approval ratings.
2018 Aug 31, In Russia three
people were killed in a blast at the Sverdlov plant, one of the
country's largest makers of explosives and ammunition, in the city
2018 Aug, Vladimir Lyubishin
Jr. and Sr. were flown to Moscow and jailed pending investigation
and trial. They had been in a Hungarian jail, charged in an
elaborate plot to ship weapons to Mexican drug cartels and cocaine
to the US.
2018 Aug, Spanish authorities
reportedly uncovered a plot by anti-Brexit campaigners to
assassinate leading Brexiteer and now favorite to be Britain's next
prime minister, Boris Johnson. A 2019 study found that this story
and others like it were created by a network of social media
accounts operating from Russia which have attempted to seed false
narratives across 30 different online platforms.
2018 Sep 1, In Russia a
supervisor at Sochi airport died during an emergency response early
today after a landing plane careered off the end of the runway into
a riverbed and caught fire. 18 people were injured in the accident.
2018 Sep 2, Thousands of people
across Russia protested against a deeply unpopular pension reform
despite President Vladimir Putin's announcement of several
concessions this week.
2018 Sep 2, A Russian
state-owned television channel began a new weekly current affairs
program devoted to President Vladimir Putin. The first episode of
"Moscow. Kremlin. Putin." aired this evening, stressing the Russian
president's work to address various crises and stay in touch with
2018 Sep 3, Estonian officials
arrested former military officer Deniss Metsavas (b.1980) and his
father Pjotr Volin (b.1953) on suspicion of treason and spying for
2018 Sep 4, In Syria Russia
resumed its air strikes against insurgents in Idlib after 22 days,
following weeks of aerial bombardment and shelling against rebels by
pro-Syrian government forces in an apparent prelude to a full-scale
offensive. The next day the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war
monitor said the Russian strikes killed 13 civilians, including
children, but no fighters.
(Reuters, 9/4/18)(Reuters, 9/5/18)
2018 Sep 5, The Russian Defense
Ministry said that four jets struck targets linked to an
al-Qaida-linked group, including a weapons depot and a launch pad
for drones that Russia says have targeted its military bases in
2018 Sep 5, Russian athletes
Tatyana Lebedeva and Maria Abakumova were stripped of three world
track championship medals because of doping. Abakumova had her
javelin results from August 2008-August 2012 erased, stripping her
of her world championship bronze from 2009 and gold from 2011.
Lebedeva had her results from August 2008-August 2010 erased,
including a silver medal from the 2009 worlds.
2018 Sep 5, Britain charged two
Russians in absentia with the attempted murder of a former Russian
spy and his daughter, and said the suspects were military
intelligence officers almost certainly acting on orders from high up
in the Russian state. British authorities identified the suspects as
Russian nationals traveling on genuine passports under the aliases
Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.
2018 Sep 6, Russia's head of
the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said Vietnam
has placed orders for Russian weapons and military services worth
more than $1 billion.
2018 Sep 6, Polish prosecutors
said they have indicted a former employee of the EU member's economy
ministry with spying for Russia's GRU intelligence agency, the
latest case in a string of espionage allegations in the region.
2018 Sep 6, Rescue workers in
Syria's northwestern Idlib province said they were forced to halt
operations in a rebel-held town after Russian air strikes damaged
their center there. Warplanes, believed to be Russian, struck the
southern countryside of Idlib and a village in nearby Hama province.
(AFP, 9/6/18)(Reuters, 9/6/18)
2018 Sep 7, Meeting in Tehran
the presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia failed to agree on a
ceasefire that would forestall a Syrian government offensive in
rebel-held Idlib province. They agreed in a final statement that
there could be no military solution to the conflict and it could
only end through a negotiated political process. But as Syrian
government and Russian warplanes mounted air strikes in Idlib, Putin
and Rouhani pushed back against Erdogan's call for a truce.
2018 Sep 7, Hundreds of Syrians
took to the streets in the country's last major rebel bastion of
Idlib, calling on neighboring Turkey to help prevent a regime
assault on their region. Air strikes targeted positions belonging to
rebel groups in the northern Hama and southern Idlib provinces.
Russian air strikes killed five people in Idlib.
(AFP, 9/7/18)(Reuters, 9/7/18)
2018 Sep 7, The Istanbul-based
Ecumenical Patriarchate said it is sending two bishops to Ukraine
"within the framework of the preparations for the granting of
autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine." The patriarchate's
leader is considered the "first among equals" of Eastern Orthodox
2018 Sep 8, The Russian
Orthodox Church denounced a decision by Orthodox Christianity's
leading body to send two envoys to Ukraine as a step toward
declaring ecclesiastical independence for the church there.
2018 Sep 8, Syrian government
and Russian warplanes targeted the southern edge of Idlib province.
Rescue workers said at least four civilians were killed, including
two children and a woman, most of them in Abdeen, a village west
Khan of Sheikhoun, Idlib province.
2018 Sep 9, Thousands of
Russians turned out to protest deeply unpopular pension reforms as
the country voted in local elections. Police arrested 1,018 people
who were taking part in nationwide demonstrations called by jailed
opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The ruling United Russia party
suffered a major blow in several regions as Russians voted to elect
governors and local lawmakers in a nationwide day of polls. Sergei
Sobyanin, mayor of Moscow since 2010, won a predictable victory with
70.02 percent of the vote. Turnout stood at 30.8 percent.
(AFP, 9/9/18)(AFP, 9/10/18)(SFC, 9/11/18, p.A2)
2018 Sep 9, Syrian government
forces bombed the village of Hobeit in Idlib province, killing an
infant girl and wounding several other civilians. Russian and Syrian
government airstrikes struck the towns of Latamneh and Kafr Zeita in
neighboring Hama province.
2018 Sep 11, Russia's largest
war games in recent history kicked off in the Far East. The Vostok
2018 exercises, the largest military drills since the end of the
Cold War, will involve about 36,000 tanks and 300,000 troops at sea
and on the ground.
2018 Sep 11, In Russia Viktor
Zolotov (64), President Vladimir Putin's former bodyguard and chief
of the National Guard, challenged opposition leader Alexei Navalny
to a duel. Last month Navalny published an investigation alleging
that at least $29 million had been stolen in procurement contracts
for the National Guard.
2018 Sep 11, In Geneva the UN
envoy for Syria hosted key diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey to
discuss work toward rewriting the country's constitution, amid
concerns about a possibly devastating military offensive on
rebel-held Idlib province.
2018 Sep 12, President Vladimir
Putin said Russia had found the two men accused by British
prosecutors of trying to murder ex- Russian spy Sergei Skripal and
his daughter Yulia in Britain, but that there was nothing criminal
2018 Sep 12, Russian news media
reported that Pyotr Verzilov, a member of the Pussy Riot punk
protest group, was been hospitalized in grave condition for what
could be a possible poisoning.
(SFC, 9/13/18, p.A2)
2018 Sep 14, Russia's Central
Bank hiked its key interest rate for the first time in nearly four
years, moving to shore up the ruble amid increasing risks of US
sanctions. It raised the rate to 7.5 percent from 7.25 percent.
2018 Sep 14, The Russian
Orthodox Church announced a rebuff to Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew I, the leader of the worldwide Orthodox community,
saying it would not participate in events headed by the
Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate due to a dispute over control
of the church in Ukraine.
2018 Sep 14, Greece's supreme
court approved a Russian extradition request for Alexander Vinnik
(38), a bitcoin fraud suspect. The Greek supreme court also has
accepted an extradition request from the United States, where Vinnik
is accused of allegedly laundering billions of dollars with bitcoin.
2018 Sep 14, Swiss authorities
said that the Netherlands arrested and expelled two suspected
Russian spies earlier this year who allegedly tried to hack a Swiss
laboratory that conducts tests for the UN-backed chemical weapons
2018 Sep 14, US Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo accused Russia of actively working to undermine
international sanctions on North Korea and said the enforcement of
the steps was essential to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear
2018 Sep 15, Pyotr Verzilov,
publisher of a Russian online news outlet and affiliated with the
anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot, arrived in Berlin from Moscow
late today on a medical transport plane. The anti-Kremlin activist
lost his sight, hearing and his ability to walk in a suspected
poisoning last week.
2018 Sep 16, In Russia up to
thousand protestors demonstrated in Saint Petersburg against a plan
to raise the state pension age which has sparked public anger.
2018 Sep 17, US Ambassador to
the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Russia of "cheating" on UN
sanctions on North Korea and said Washington has "evidence of
consistent and wide-ranging Russian violations."
2018 Sep 17, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met
in Sochi to try to come to an agreement over the Syrian rebel
stronghold of Idlib. Russia and Turkey announced they would create a
"de-militarized zone" ringing Syria's Idlib province.
(AFP, 9/17/18)(AFP, 9/18/18)
2018 Sep 17, Hundreds of
Russian Communist Party supporters took to the central square of
Vladivostok to protest against what they said was the brazen rigging
of a regional election in favor of a politician backed by President
2018 Sep 17, A Russian Il-20
reconnaissance aircraft, with 15 Russians on board, was shot down by
Syrian anti-aircraft systems. Russia accused Israel of indirectly
causing the incident, saying Israeli jets nearby had put the Russian
plane in the path of danger.
2018 Sep 18, President Vladimir
Putin, standing next to Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, said that the
Russian state atomic energy firm Rosatom would start the
construction of two new reactors at the Paks power nuclear plant in
Hungary soon. Orban told reporters that they had agreed on gas
supplies for 2020.
2018 Sep 19, Russia's election
commission recommended re-running a key regional poll, an
unprecedented move triggered by claims of vote-rigging in favor of a
candidate backed by Vladimir Putin.
2018 Sep 20, Russian election
officials in the Far East cancelled the results of the Sept. 16
gubernatorial election following reports of blatant vote rigging and
said they will hold a new vote.
2018 Sep 20, The World
Anti-Doping Agency WADA) reinstated Russia despite a wave of
protests, ending the nearly three-year suspension of the country's
drug-testing program because of a state-sponsored doping scheme.
2018 Sep 20, The United States
blacklisted 33 Russian nationals and three entities in a new round
of sanctions for the Russian interference in the 2016 election. One
of the companies is an aircraft-making factory in Russia's Far East.
The US also imposed sanctions on a Chinese military agency over the
purchase of Russian weapons.
2018 Sep 21, The Norwegian
Police detained a Russian citizen on suspicion of illegal
intelligence activities. The man had attended a seminar this week on
digitalization in the Norwegian Parliament.
2018 Sep 22, Thousands rallied
across Russia to protest the government's plan to raise the
eligibility age for retirement pensions by five years. Communist
Party chief Gennady Zyuganov called for rolling back the proposed
changes, arguing that the government should redistribute resources
to avoid raising the pension age.
2018 Sep 24, Russia announced
it will supply an S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria in
two weeks against strong Israeli objections, a week after Moscow
blamed Israel for indirectly causing the downing of a Russian
military plane in Syria.
2018 Sep 26, The Russian
parliament's lower house passed a controversial pension reform bill,
after President Vladimir Putin announced concessions to try to
dampen widespread public anger over plans to raise the state
retirement age. The bill, which still has to go through the
formality of a third reading and a senate hearing, would see Russian
men retire at 65 instead of 60.
2018 Sep 26, An investigative
group in Britain named Bellingcat said one of the two suspects in
the March poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK is
in fact Col. Anatoliy Chepiga with the Russian military intelligence
agency GRU, who in 2014 was awarded Russia's highest medal.
2018 Sep 26, Norway's
Borgarting Court of Appeals said there was evidence that Mikhail
Bochkaryov of Russia had collected information from computer and
wireless networks at the parliament last week, upholding a decision
by a lower court that he can be held for two weeks.
2018 Sep 30, The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said more than 18,000 people, nearly
half of them civilians, have been killed in Russian air strikes on
Syria since Moscow began its game-changing intervention three years
2018 Oct 2, Moscow said it had
delivered the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria after the
downing of a Russian spy plane by Syrian forces in September.
2018 Oct 4, Russian President
Vladimir Putin arrived in India for a two-day visit during which
India is expected to sign a $5 billion deal to buy Russian S-400 air
defense systems despite a new US law ordering sanctions on any
country trading with Russia's defense and intelligence sectors.
2018 Oct 4, Russia's Defense
Ministry said the United States appears to be running a clandestine
biological weapons lab in the country of Georgia, allegedly flouting
international rules and posing a direct security threat to Russia.
2018 Oct 4, In Ingushetia
thousands attended a rare protest to decry a land-swap deal with
neighboring Chechnya, despite authorities reportedly setting up
roadblocks to hinder demonstrators. Russia turned off 3G and 4G
mobile Internet services in Ingushetia from Oct. 4 to Oct. 17 "on
the basis of the justified decision of the law enforcement
(AFP, 10/4/18)(Reuters, 11/16/18)
2018 Oct 4, In Kazakhstan the
Russian Soyuz MS-08 space capsule carrying Russia's Oleg Artemyev
and NASA's Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold landed safely after a
six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.
2018 Oct 4, In Norway Russian
businessman Boris Rotenberg, under US sanctions over the Ukraine
conflict due to his close ties with President Vladimir Putin, filed
suit against four Nordic banks, accusing them of discrimination.
Rotenberg also holds a Finnish passport and is not subject to
European sanctions over Russia's role in Ukraine, but European banks
must comply with the US sanctions in order to do business with
2018 Oct 4, The US Justice
Department charged seven Russian military intelligence officers with
hacking anti-doping agencies and other organizations. Britain and
the Netherlands condemned the Russian GRU military intelligence for
a series of alleged global cybercrimes. Konstantin Kosachev, the
head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of Russian
parliament, denounced the accusations as fake.
2018 Oct 5, Russia signed a $5
billion deal with India to supply five regiments of S-400
anti-aircraft missiles to India. The contract was signed during
Pres. Vladimir Putin's trip to India.
(Reuters, 10/5/18)(SFC, 10/6/18, p.A3)
2018 Oct 5, Ukrainian film
director Oleg Sentsov, jailed in Russia on terrorism charges, said
he had been forced to end a prolonged hunger strike because prison
authorities had told him they planned to force feed him.
2018 Oct 8, Russia's foreign
ministry said four Russians, accused by the Netherlands last week of
hacking, were traveling with technical equipment intended to test
their embassy's IT systems in the Hague.
2018 Oct 8, The second of two
Russians who Britain blames for the poisoning of former Russian spy
Sergei Skripal was named by investigative website Bellingcat as
Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin (39), a military doctor for Russia's
GRU intelligence service.
2018 Oct 11, The two-man
US-Russian crew of a Soyuz spacecraft en route to the International
Space Station was forced to make a dramatic emergency landing in
Kazakhstan when their rocket failed in mid-air.
2018 Oct 13, The Russian
Orthodox Church said it would respond firmly to the Istanbul-based
Ecumenical Patriarchate over its decision to back Ukraine's request
to establish an independent, or "autocephalous", Church.
2018 Oct 14, Kremlin opposition
leader Alexei Navalny was released from jail after serving 50 days
on two consecutive sentences for organizing unsanctioned protests.
2018 Oct 15, Egyptian President
Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi arrived in Russia on a visit expected to
further boost ties between the two nations.
2018 Oct 17, In Russian-annexed
Crimea 19 people were killed and dozens more wounded, most of them
teenagers, after a student opened fire at the Kerch Polytechnical
College. Investigators identified the attacker as Vladislav
Roslyakov (18), a fourth-year student whose body was found "with a
gunshot wound" on the premises.
2018 Oct 17, Twitter said that
it had identified 3,841 accounts affiliated with the St.
Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, a Russian “troll farm"
that has been indicted by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller for
attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
2018 Oct 18, The Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said it had seen
weapons being transported from Russia to rebel-held areas of eastern
Ukraine over the last week, contradicting Moscow's claim it is not
2018 Oct 19, In Uzbekistan
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Uzbek President Shavkat
Mirziyoyev ordered the start of preliminary work at the ex-Soviet
republic's first nuclear power plant. The $11 billion plant will
have two 1,200-megawatt nuclear reactors and was set to begin
operating in 2028.
2018 Oct 19, The US accused
Russian woman Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova of helping oversee the
finances of a sweeping, secretive effort to sway American public
opinion through social media in the first federal case alleging
foreign interference in the 2018 midterm elections.
2018 Oct 19, American
intelligence officials released a rare public statement asserting
that Russia, China, Iran and other countries are engaged in ongoing
efforts to influence US policy and voters in future elections.
2018 Oct 20, Russia's defence
minister said that almost 88,000 rebels had been killed in Syria in
the three years since Moscow's intervention to back government
2018 Oct 20, President Donald
Trump said Washington would withdraw from a landmark 1987 Cold
War-era treaty that eliminated nuclear missiles from Europe because
Russia was violating the pact, triggering a warning of retaliatory
measures from Moscow.
2018 Oct 21, Russian Deputy
Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that a unilateral withdrawal by
the United States from a landmark 1987 Cold War-era treaty that
eliminated nuclear missiles from Europe would be "very dangerous"
and lead to a "military-technical" retaliation.
2018 Oct 22, Russia's President
Vladimir Putin, in a presidential decree posted on the Kremlin's
website, instructed the government to draw up a list of Ukrainian
firms and individuals to be targeted for economic sanctions.
2018 Oct 24, Russian President
Vladimir Putin met with Italian PM Giuseppe Conte in Moscow. They
vowed to expand economic ties between their two countries despite
European Union sanctions against Russia.
2018 Oct 25, President Vladimir
Putin says Russia will commission new weapons that have no
comparisons anywhere in the world.
2018 Oct 25, A Russian military
tribunal upheld murder and torture convictions against senior
security and police officers in the region of Ingushetia. The
officers were convicted of using electric shocks and other torture
techniques to force confessions from detainees in the mainly-Muslim
2018 Oct 25, The EU awarded its
top human rights prize to Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker
imprisoned in Russia accused of plotting acts of terrorism, calling
him a symbol of all political prisoners being held there.
2018 Oct 26, Russia's Federal
Security Service (FSB) said it had detained six members of an
Islamic State cell plotting attacks in Moscow.
2018 Oct 27, The leaders of
Turkey, Russia, France and Germany met to try to find a political
solution to Syria's devastating civil war, provide access to
humanitarian aid and salvage a fragile ceasefire in the country's
last major rebel-held bastion.
2018 Oct 29, Russia sent a
high-level official delegation to Venezuela, including a deputy
finance minister, to help advise the cash-strapped country on
economic reform at a time of crisis.
2018 Oct 30, German police
arrested a Russian man (43) suspected of smuggling some 12 million
cigarettes into the country from 2009-2011.
2018 Oct 31, Russia opened an
investigation into suspected terrorism after a 17-year-old youth
blew himself up in the lobby of an office belonging to Russia's
Federal Security Service (FSB) in the northern city of Arkhangelsk.
On Nov. 6 a Moscow court arrested a 14-year-old boy believed to be
linked to the bomb attack.
(Reuters, 10/31/18)(AP, 11/6/18)
2018 Oct, Valery Alemchenko, a
former convict who worked for Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian
businessman who has been indicted by American investigators for
allegedly trying to interfere with the 2016 US election, disappeared
early this month. Alemchenko had recently told a reporter that he
orchestrated attacks on Prigozhin's opponents as well as the killing
of an opposition blogger in northwest Russia, all at the mogul's
2018 Oct, Russia's National
Guard, which polices anti-government protests, received delivery of
two vehicles fitted with a laser and a sonic sound system to
disorient people. News of this raised fears among the opposition
they could be used to disperse peaceful protesters.
2018 Nov 1, The Russian
government published a list of 322 individuals and 68 companies in
the Ukraine who will have their assets — if they have any — frozen,
in a largely symbolic gesture in the ongoing conflict between the
2018 Nov 2, Russian President
Vladimir Putin met Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel who was making
his first official visit to long-term ally Moscow.
2018 Nov 3, Russia said that
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had agreed to send a group of senior
politicians to peace talks in Moscow, at which a delegation
representing the Taliban would be present.
2018 Nov 6, Russia's PM Dmitry
Medvedev signed measures approving regulations that would identify
smartphone messenger users by their cellphone numbers. The decree
goes into effect after 180 days.
2018 Nov 9, Austria's
government said that a retired colonel in the country's military is
suspected of having spied for Russia for decades, a claim swiftly
dismissed by Moscow.
2018 Nov 9, In Russia a Taliban
delegation attended a diplomatic conference for the first time, in a
move that underscored Moscow's keenness to play a role in the Afghan
peace process, but the Kabul government sent no official
2018 Nov 10, Russian
billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, a formal suspect in an investigation
into corruption and influence-peddling in Monaco, returned to
Moscow. Earlier this week, police in Monaco had detained the
billionaire, who also owns soccer club AS Monaco, for questioning as
part of the probe.
2018 Nov 12, Russia denied
being behind the recent disruption to GPS signals across Lapland
which put civil aviation at risk, after Finland's PM Juha Sipila
said the interference was "almost certainly deliberate".
2018 Nov 13, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny said he was prevented from flying out of
Moscow for a European court ruling on whether his recent detentions
have been politically motivated.
2018 Nov 13, The independent
Russian New Times magazine, fined 22 million rubles last month for
failing to notify authorities on time of receiving foreign funding,
said it has raised over $370,000 in four days to pay the fine.
Critics and media experts have viewed the fine as retribution by the
government for the New Times' critical reporting.
2018 Nov 14, Meeting in
Singapore Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Japan's PM Shinzo
Abe agreed to step up the pace of talks to end a decades-old
2018 Nov 15, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia's repeated arrests and detention
of opposition leader Alexei Navalny were politically-motivated and
breached his human rights, a decision Moscow called questionable.
2018 Nov 16, Investigative
group Bellingcat and Russian website The Insider published a report
suggesting that Russian intelligence has infiltrated the computer
infrastructure of a company that processes British visa
2018 Nov 16, The Russian
Defense Ministry said that nearly 6,000 people have returned to
Syria in the last week alone and that nearly 270,000 Syrian refugees
have returned home in recent months, a fraction of the estimated 5.6
million Syrians who have fanned out across the world fleeing the
2018 Nov 16, Russian
investigators opened a criminal case after finding pollution levels
in the Novaya river in St. Petersburg far exceeded norms, with ethyl
alcohol levels charted at 5,400 times the acceptable limit.
2018 Nov 16, A Russian Soyuz
rocket launched its first cargo mission to the International Space
Station since a Soyuz rocket carrying astronauts failed last month.
2018 Nov 19, Russia clashed
bitterly with the West as it tried to block the world chemical arms
watchdog's new ability to attribute blame for attacks like those in
Syria and Salisbury.
2018 Nov 19, Russian
prosecutors said they suspected Kremlin critic Bill Browder (54) of
ordering the 2009 murder of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky whose memory he
has championed, but he dismissed the accusation as a cynical ploy to
tar him for lobbying for sanctions on Moscow.
2018 Nov 19, In Turkey Russian
President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
marked the completion of a key phase of TurkStream, a natural gas
pipeline connecting the two countries. The last part of the offshore
pipe was laid on live broadcast, reaching Turkish shores at Kiyikoy
2018 Nov 20, Russia failed in
its bid to stall the global chemical warfare watchdog's
controversial new power to apportion blame for attacks like those in
Syria. Member states approved the 2019 budget for the Organization
for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which includes
funding for the new role.
2018 Nov 21, Russian police
detained rapper Dmitry Kuznetsov (25), aka Husky, for performing on
a car in Krasnodar after prosecutors banned his gig. Husky is known
for his songs mocking authorities and police brutality.
2018 Nov 21, Russian
Colonel-General Igor Korobov (62), the head of the military
intelligence agency that the West has blamed for a string of brazen
attacks died, after "a serious and long illness".
2018 Nov 25, Russia stopped
three Ukrainian navy vessels from entering the Sea of Azov via the
Kerch Strait by placing a huge cargo ship beneath a
Russian-controlled bridge, with officials from both countries
accusing the other of provocative behavior. A bilateral treaty gives
both countries the right to use the sea, which lies between them and
is linked by the narrow Kerch Strait to the Black Sea. Russian coast
guards opened fire on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait
and then seized them. Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded and 24
(Reuters, 11/25/18)(Reuters, 11/26/18)
2018 Nov 26, Ukraine's biggest
state-run bank said an arbitration court in Paris has ruled that
Russia must pay $1.3 billion in damages for property seized in the
annexation of Crimea.
2018 Nov 27, Russia's TASS news
agency reported that a court in Russian-annexed Crimea ordered the
first of 24 Ukrainian navy sailors captured by Russia to be detained
for two months.
2018 Nov 27, The European Court
of Human Rights issued a fresh rebuke to the Kremlin, ruling that
Russia's continued ban on LGBT rallies is discriminatory and
represents a violation of human rights.
2018 Nov 27 The US State
Department said Hungary denied a US request to extradite suspected
Russian arms dealers Vladimir Lyubishin Sr. and Vladimir Lyubishin
Jr. and sent the men to Russia, where it is unclear whether they
will face trial.
2018 Nov 28, President Vladimir
Putin said that Russia had no choice but to cut its dependency on
dollars to conduct trade, after becoming the target of increasingly
severe US sanctions.
2018 Nov 28, President Vladimir
Putin insisted that Russian forces had the right to seize three
Ukrainian ships at the weekend, as Kiev lashed out at Moscow for
failing to release its sailors.
2018 Nov 28, Moscow's latest
tourist attraction, a cable car over the Moskva River, was shut the
day after it opened because of what the operator said was a
2018 Nov 28, Ukrainian
President Petro Poroshenko signed an act introducing martial law
after Russia's seizure of three of Kiev's navy vessels sparked the
worst crisis in years between the neighbors.
2018 Nov 29, Police in Russia's
fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg seized children's paintings
over what they consider to be depictions of gay love. A high school
drawing competition on the subject of tolerance had featured several
drawings which depicted same-sex couples.
2018 Nov 29, Ukrainian
President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia's Vladimir Putin of
wanting to annex his entire country and called for NATO to deploy
warships to a sea shared by the two nations. Ukrainian border guards
said all non-Ukrainians will be barred from crossing into the
Russia-occupied Crimean peninsula by land after martial law went
(Reuters, 11/29/18)(AP, 11/29/18)
2018 Nov 29, Ukraine's
infrastructure minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, said two Ukrainian Azov
Sea ports, Berdyansk and Mariupol, are effectively under blockade by
Russia as vessels are being barred from leaving and entering.
2018 Nov 30, In Argentina
Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly briefed his US
counterpart Donald Trump on the Ukraine crisis as the leaders met
briefly at a G20 summit dinner.
2018 Nov 30, G7 nations called
Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian ships off Moscow-annexed Crimea
unjustified and demanded the release of the 24 sailors, saying the
standoff had "dangerously raised tensions".
2018 Nov 30, Ukraine banned
Russian men of combat age from entering the country, a move
introduced under martial law after Russia fired on and captured
three Ukrainian naval ships off Crimea last weekend.
2018 Dec 1, Ukraine's President
Petro Poroshenko said Russia is building up its land forces and
weapons along the border as German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned
Russia not to block Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov.
2018 Dec 3, The Czech spy
agency BIS said it's "obvious" that Russia was behind cyberattacks
against the country's foreign ministry, calling them the most
serious case of cyberespionage to hit the European country.
2018 Dec 3, A Soyuz rocket
carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts took off from
Kazakhstan and reached orbit, the first manned mission since a
failed launch in October.
2018 Dec 4, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro arrived in Russia, looking for support amid
a spiraling economic crisis.
2018 Dec 5, Russian President
Vladimir Putin voiced support for Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro
as he visited Moscow seeking financial assistance for the socialist
country's collapsing economy.
2018 Dec 5, Russia warned
authorities in Cyprus not to allow the US military to deploy on
their territory, saying such a move would draw a Russian reaction
and result in "dangerous and destabilizing consequences" for the
2018 Dec 5, EU diplomatic chief
Federica Mogherini urged Russia and the US to save a Cold War arms
control treaty after Washington issued a 60-day ultimatum to Moscow.
2018 Dec 5, Slovakia's PM Peter
Pellegrini said his country has expelled a Russian diplomat after
discovering he was a spy working under diplomatic cover.
2018 Dec 6, The Ukrainian
parliament voted to withdraw from a wide-ranging treaty on
friendship with Russia, the latest step in escalating tensions
between the two neighbors.
2018 Dec 7, Russia's Pres.
Vladimir Putin held Kremlin talks with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and
overcome a rift over the expulsions of diplomats that have strained
their traditionally friendly ties.
2018 Dec 8, In Russia Lyudmila
Alexeyeva (91), the founder of Russia's oldest human rights group,
died in hospital in Moscow.
2018 Dec 10, In Russia Mikhail
Popkov (54), a former police officer jailed for murdering 22 women,
received a second life sentence for the murder of 56 more people,
making him one of modern Russia's deadliest serial killers. He has
been dubbed the "maniac of Angarsk" after his home city in Siberia.
2018 Dec 10, EU security
commissioner Julian King alleged that Russia launched a year-long
fake news campaign about Kiev's and NATO's plans for the Azov Sea
before seizing three Ukrainian ships and their crew there.
2018 Dec 10, The EU blacklisted
nine locals involved in last month's rebel elections in east
Ukraine, but was unlikely to heed swiftly Kiev's call for more
reprisals against Moscow over the latest flare-up of tensions in the
2018 Dec 11, President Vladimir
Putin said it was unclear to him why a Russian woman, Maria Butina,
had been detained in the United States and accused of being a
Russian agent because his intelligence chiefs had told him they knew
nothing about her.
2018 Dec 11, The Russian
military said that nearly 114,000 Syrian refugees have been
repatriated this year, a fraction of the estimated 6 million who
have fled since the start of the conflict.
2018 Dec 12, In France a cousin
of jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov accepted the European
Parliament's Sakharov human rights prize on his behalf, saying the
director remained committed to winning the release of all "political
prisoners" in Russia.
2018 Dec 16, Russians living in
the far eastern region of Primorsky Krai elected a Kremlin-backed
candidate for governor on Sunday after a previous election was
thrown out due to voting fraud. Oleg Kozhemyako won 61.4 percent of
the votes after 95 percent of the ballots had been counted.
2018 Dec 17, Russia said it had
built new barracks for troops on a disputed chain of islands near
Japan and would build more facilities for armored vehicles, a move
likely to anger Tokyo after it urged Moscow to reduce its military
2018 Dec 18, Russia said it has
cut its military flights in Syria from more than 100 per day to
fewer than four a week, in another sign the country's conflict is
2018 Dec 18, Meeting in Geneva
the foreign ministers of Iran, Russia and Turkey said that a new
Syrian Constitutional Committee should convene early next year,
kicking off a viable political peace process.
2018 Dec 19, Russia's top
domestic security agency said it has killed suspected members of the
Islamic State group plotting a terror attack. FSB commandos tracked
down the IS members in the city of Stavropol in southwestern Russia.
2018 Dec 19, The Greek Supreme
Court ordered the extradition to France of Russian Alexander Vinnik,
who headed the Bitcoin exchange BTC-e, on suspicion of money
2018 Dec 19, Police in
Lithuania said one Russian and several Lithuanians have been
detained, suspected of being part of a ring spying for Russia. Those
arrested included Valery Ivanov, a former anti-independence leader
in the early 1990s, and Algirdas Paleckis, a former lawmaker and
leader of the Lithuania's Socialist People's Front.
2018 Dec 19, The US Treasury
Dept. sanctioned 15 Russians over hacking, interference in US
elections and a nerve agent attack in England.
(SFC, 12/20/18, p.A6)
2018 Dec 20, Vladimir Putin
took over 60 questions from a hall of journalists, speaking on
everything from rap to pensions to the prospect of taking over the
world. Putin said the West was trying to hold back an increasingly
2018 Dec 20, Three astronauts
returned to Earth after more than six months aboard the
International Space Station. A Russian Soyuz capsule with NASA's
Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Russian Sergey Prokopyev and German
astronaut Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency landed on the
snow-covered steppes in Kazakhstan.
2018 Dec 21, A Russian court
charged one of the Kremlin's most vocal foreign critics, British
financier and human rights activist William Browder, with creating
an international criminal syndicate. The court called for his
extradition to Russia and a two-month period of arrest.
2018 Dec 22, Russia's
state-controlled Rosatom corporation said that Reactor No. 1 at the
Leningrad nuclear power plant has been shut down as planned. It said
it will take until 2023 to fully unload its uranium fuel. Launched
in 1973, the reactor became the first unit of the RBMK-1000 type to
be built in the Soviet Union. A reactor of the same type exploded in
Chernobyl in April 1986.
2018 Dec 22, In Russia nine
construction workers were trapped inside a burning potash mine in
the Perm region near the Ural Mountains. Rescuers soon found the
nine construction workers dead in the mine operated by potash maker
(AP, 12/22/18)(Reuters, 12/23/18)
2018 Dec 26, The Russian
government approved a draft bill allowing the country to produce
crops used in medicinal narcotics, saying this would reduce its
dependence on foreign states that have imposed sanctions against it.
2018 Dec 26, Russian blogger
Alexander Valov, critical of the authorities in Sochi, was sentenced
to six years in prison. He was charged earlier this year with
extorting money from federal lawmaker Yuri Napso.
2018 Dec 26, Russia's
Kommersant newspaper reported that a Russian court has sentenced
Igor Kiyashko, a Ukrainian lawyer, to eight years in a maximum
security prison for espionage and trying to illegally obtain and
export military goods.
2018 Dec 28, Russia's FSB state
security service detained an American citizen suspected of spying in
Moscow. This was only announced on Dec. 31. The English-language
service of TASS news agency then named him as Paul Whelan (48). The
Canadian-born former US Marine with triple UK, US and Irish
citizenship, was charged with espionage. His lawyer Vladimir
Zherebenkov later said Whelan was handed a USB drive containing
state secrets but he had thought it was information about Russian
culture. Whelan denied the charge. If found guilty he could face up
to 20 years in jail.
(AP, 12/28/18)(AFP, 12/28/18)(AFP,
2018 Dec 29, The United States
detained Russian citizen Dmitry Makarenko (b.1979) on the Northern
Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth in the Pacific Ocean. He was soon
transferred to Florida. Makarenko was accused in June 2017 by
federal prosecutors of conspiring with another man, Vladimir
Nevidomy, to export defense articles including night-vision scopes
from the United States to Russia without US approval. Court papers
showed Nevidomy pleaded guilty in the case in June 2018 and was
sentenced to 26 months in prison with three years of supervised
2018 Dec 30, Russia's Defence
Ministry said it will deploy in 2019 the S-350 Vityaz new generation
short-to-mid range surface-to-air defence missile complex, in a
long-planned move to replace its ageing S-300 system.
2018 Dec 31, A Russian
apartment block partially collapsed in an explosion, killing at
least four people in Magnitogorsk. Russian rescue crews soon pulled
two more bodies from the rubble of a collapsed apartment building,
bringing the death toll to nine. By Jan. 2 the number of confirmed
dead rose to 22 and 19 remained missing. The number of dead from the
gas explosion jumped to 39 on Jan. 3 as rescuers finished searching
for bodies in the rubble of the partially collapsed building.
(Reuters, 12/31/18)(AP, 1/1/19)(AP, 1/2/19)(AFP,
2019 Jan 9, Russia's Defense
Ministry says it has received 30 Soviet WW II-era T-34 battle tanks
from Laos, a move reflecting the national veneration of the weapon.
The ministry said more than 58,000 T-34s were built between 1940 and
1946, making it the world's most widely produced tank. The T-34 was
widely exported and used in numerous conflicts.
2019 Jan 10, Belarus Pres.
Alexander Lukashenko sternly warned Russia that it could lose its
ally if it fails to offer compensation for higher oil prices.
2019 Jan 11, Russia's space
agency lost control of the Spektr-R satellite, an orbiting radio
telescope launched in 2011 with an expected useful life of about
2019 Jan 11, Prominent Russian
LGBT activist Igor Kochetkov said that gay rights supporters have
seen a spike in detentions in Chechnya of men and women suspected of
being gay since late December.
2019 Jan 14, Russia's Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov threw cold water on Tokyo's hopes for a quick
return of disputed islands in the Pacific, warning Japan that it
must recognize them as part of Russia's territory as a starting
point for talks.
2019 Jan 14, In southern Russia
one person was killed and four were missing after a gas explosion
tore through a multi-storey residential building in the town of
2019 Jan 14, LGBT activists in
Russia charged the republic of Chechnya with launching a new
crackdown on gays in which at least two people have died and about
40 people have been detained.
2019 Jan 15, Russia extended
the detention of Ukrainian sailors captured together with their
vessels off Crimea in November despite protests from Kiev and the
2019 Jan 17, Anastasia
Vashukevich, the Belarusian model who claimed last year that she had
evidence of Russian interference in the election of Donald Trump as
US president, was arrested immediately upon her arrival in Moscow
following deportation from Thailand.
2019 Jan 17, President Vladimir
Putin arrived to a rousing welcome in Serbia, a key Moscow ally,
where he will confer Russia's top award to his counterpart
2019 Jan 17, Facebook said it
has removed hundreds of Russia-linked pages, groups and accounts
that it says were part of two big disinformation operations
targeting users outside the US.
2019 Jan 18, Russia said it has
agreed for France and Germany to monitor shipping traffic in the
Kerch Strait following a naval confrontation between Moscow and Kiev
2019 Jan 21, The European Union
sanctioned the heads of Russia's military intelligence and two of
their officers blamed for poisoning a former Russian double agent in
Britain last year, a decision Moscow dismissed as groundless. The EU
also sanctioned a Syrian research center and five staff members.
(Reuters, 1/21/19)(AP, 1/21/19)
2019 Jan 22, Russia's Pres.
Vladimir Putin met with Japan's PM Shinzo Abe in the Kremlin for the
latest round of talks on the dispute over a chain of islands in the
Pacific Ocean. Police detained 11 people protesting against
territorial concessions outside the Japanese embassy in Moscow.
2019 Jan 22, In Russia
Anastasia Vashukevich, a Belarusian model and self-styled sex
instructor who last year claimed to have evidence of Russian
interference in the 2016 US presidential election, was released from
detention pending trial.
2019 Jan 22, A Russian a
long-range Tu-22M3 bomber crash-landed in the Arctic, leaving three
of its crew of four dead.
2019 Jan 22, Russia's Transport
Ministry said ten crew died and another 10 were missing presumed
dead in a fire that broke out on two ships while they were
transferring fuel in the Black Sea. The vessels which caught fire a
day earlier have the same names as two Tanzania-flagged ships, the
Maestro and Venice, which last year were included on a US sanctions
advisory as delivering fuel to Syria.
2019 Jan 23, In Russia Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sat down for Syria-focused talks with
Pres. Vladimir Putin as their governments bargain over zones of
influence in the war-torn country.
2019 Jan 23, The Russian
military rolled out a new missile and released its specifications,
seeking to dispel the US claim that the weapon violates a key
nuclear arms pact. The military insisted that the 9M729 land-based
cruise missile conforms to the limits of the 1987 Intermediate-Range
Nuclear Forces Treaty.
2019 Jan 24, Russia accused
Washington of stoking street protests in Venezuela and called
Nicolas Maduro the legitimate president. Moscow alongside China has
become a creditor of last resort for Caracas, lending it billions of
dollars as its economy implodes.
2019 Jan 25, Russia offered to
mediate between the government and opposition in Venezuela if
necessary, saying it was ready to cooperate with all political
forces that acted responsibly.
2019 Jan 25, It was reported
that a board game that makes light of last year's nerve agent attack
on a former Russian spy in Britain has gone on sale in Russia.
Players of "Our Guys In Salisbury" roll dice to advance across the
board from Moscow to Salisbury, the city where Britain says two
Russian spies used a chemical weapon to poison Sergei Skripal and
2019 Jan 25, The head of
Ukraine's cyber police said hackers likely controlled by Russia are
stepping up efforts to disrupt Ukraine's presidential election in
March with cyber-attacks on electoral servers and personal computers
of election staff.
2019 Jan 27, Russia marked the
75th anniversary of the end of the World War II siege of Leningrad,
which claimed more than 800,000 lives.
2019 Jan 27, Berlin and Moscow
announced that Germany had provided 12 million euros to help Russian
World War II veterans and siege survivors but Moscow said it was not
2019 Jan 30, Russian lawmaker
Rauf Arashukov (32) was arrested during a session of the upper house
of parliament and was led away to face questions over two murders
after failing in a bid to flee the chamber.
2019 Jan 31, Russian news
agencies reported that the state communications regulator said that
the BBC World News channel had committed "certain violations" while
operating in Russia.
2019 Jan, The European Court of
Human Rights ordered Russia to pay Georgia 10 million euros ($11.5
million) over the mass deportation of Georgian citizens from Russia
in 2006. The court found that Moscow carried out a coordinated
policy of targeting at least 1,500 Georgian nationals for expulsion.
2019 Feb 1, Belarusian model
Anastasia Vashukevich, who claims to have information on the ties
between Russia and Donald Trump's election campaign, said she has
turned it over to Russian billionaire businessman Oleg Deripaska.
2019 Feb 1, The United States
announced that it was pulling out of a landmark nuclear arms control
treaty with Russia, accusing Moscow of violating the Cold War-era
pact with "impunity" by continuing to develop banned missiles.
2019 Feb 2, President Vladimir
Putin said Russia will abandon a centerpiece nuclear arms treaty but
will only deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles if Washington
does so. US President Donald Trump accused Moscow a day earlier of
violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with
"impunity" by deploying banned missiles.
2019 Feb 2, China called for
Washington to negotiate with Russia instead of pulling out of the
1987 nuclear arms treaty the Trump administration sees as a
restraint on its ability to compete with Beijing and Moscow.
2019 Feb 2, It was reported
that Cape Verde police have detained 11 Russian sailors for the
suspected smuggling of more than nine tons of cocaine.
2019 Feb 3, In Russia a bus
crashed south of Moscow killing at least seven people, four of them
children, and sending 32 others to the hospital with injuries.
2019 Feb 5, It was reported
that activists in Russia are expressing alarm about more than 100
whales that are being kept in small, crowded pools in what
environmentalists are calling a "whale prison," off the coast of the
Russian Far East.
2019 Feb 6, A regional court in
western Russia sentenced Dennis Christensen, a Danish Jehovah's
Witness, to six years in prison, in arguably the most severe
crackdown on religious freedom in Russia in recent years.
2019 Feb 6, It was reported
that Russia has finalized a 38 million euro ($43.27 million) loan
for Cuba's defense sector.
2019 Feb 8, In Russia a truck
carrying miners to the Raspadskaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region
in central Siberia veered off the road and fell 8 meters (26 feet)
down a slope. Six workers were killed and 16 others were injured and
hospitalized. In the nearby Belovo region of Kemerovo, a section of
a coal mine collapsed, trapping four workers. One of them died of
injuries while three others have been rescued.
2019 Feb 8, Sergei Yursky (83),
a renowned Russian film and stage actor, died in Moscow. He has been
widely recognized as one of the most talented actors of his
2019 Feb 10, In Russia
protesters in several cities took to the streets in solidarity with
opposition activist Anastasia Shevchenko, the first person to be
charged under a new law that carries a prison term for
"participation in the activities of an undesirable organization".
2019 Feb 10, A Russian official
said that Moscow had repatriated a fresh batch of 27 children whose
mothers are being held in Iraq for belonging to the Islamic State
group. Thirty other children were sent back to Moscow in late
2019 Feb 11, Russia and Turkey
agreed that they needed to take decisive measures to stabilize the
situation in Syria's Idlib province after talks between the two
country's defense ministers.
2019 Feb 11, A court in Estonia
found former Estonian military officer Deniss Metsavas (38) and his
father, Pjotr Volin (65), guilty of treason for spying for Russia.
Metsavas passed information along for a decade and was sentenced to
15½ years in prison. Volin worked with the GRU for approximately
half as long and received a six-year prison term.
2019 Feb 14, Russia's Pres.
Putin hosted a meeting in Sochi to weigh the future of Syria with
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan
Rouhani. Russia told Turkey it had no right to create a "safe zone"
in northeast Syria unless it sought and received the consent of
Syria's Pres. Bashar al-Assad.
2019 Feb 15, A Russian court
ordered Baring Vostok executive Phillipe Delpal, a French national,
to be held in custody for one month and 30 days after he was
detained on suspicion of embezzlement. He was one of several
executives at private equity group Baring Vostok including Michael
Calvey, a US citizen, who were detained a day earlier.
2019 Feb 16, A Russian court
ordered Michael Calvey, the US founder of one of Russia's biggest
private equity firms accused of fraud, to be kept in custody until
April 13. Investigators accused Calvey and other executives of
embezzling 2.5 billion rubles ($37.73 million).
2019 Feb 19, Russian lawmakers
approved a bill prohibiting military personnel from using
smartphones on duty, a move intended to block leaks of sensitive
information on social media.
2019 Feb 20, Russian President
Vladimir Putin threatened to deploy new missiles against Western
capitals as he delivered a state of the nation address aimed at
boosting falling approval ratings.
2019 Feb 20, Russian news
agencies said a shipment of Russian medicine and medical equipment
has arrived in Venezuela.
2019 Feb 20, A Thai court ruled
that Dmitry Ukrainsky, a Russian man who allegedly was part of a
gang that stole millions of dollars online from bank accounts, can
be extradited to the United States to stand trial. However,
Ukrainsky's extradition to Russia was previously approved last year
by a Thai court after he agreed to return there after he finishes
serving a 10-year, 8-month prison term in Thailand for fraud, money
laundering and conducting business illegally as a foreigner.
2019 Feb 21, Russian state
prosecutors formally charged top US investor Michael Calvey, the
founder of the Baring Vostok private equity group, with fraud, hours
before Washington accused Moscow of denying its diplomats access to
2019 Feb 21, Ukraine's State
Security Service SBU accused Russia of meddling in the electoral
process in Ukraine by creating illegal structures to help guarantee
victory for a certain candidate.
2019 Feb 22, A Russian court
ruled that Paul Whelan, a former US marine accused of spying, should
be held in a pre-trial detention facility for a further three months
to give investigators more time to look into his case.
2019 Feb 22, Russia accused the
United States of using aid deliveries to Venezuela as a ploy to
carry out military action against President Nicolas Maduro's
2019 Feb 23, In Russia a train
carrying war "trophies" captured in Syria left Moscow on a two-month
tour to parade Russia's military gains in the eight-year conflict.
2019 Feb 24, In Russia
thousands of people marched in central Moscow to commemorate Russian
opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, who was killed on Feb. 27, four
2019 Feb 26, In Russia a court
in Moscow sentenced Col. Sergei Mikhailov, former deputy head of the
FSB's Information Security Center, to 22 years in prison and a fine
on treason charges. The court also sentenced Ruslan Stoyanov, an
executive at the Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity firm, to 14 years in
prison and a fine.
2019 Feb 26, Sweden arrested a
suspected Russian spy in Stockholm. Kristian Dmitrievski (45), a
naturalized Swedish citizen who previously held a Russian passport,
was arrested by Sweden's domestic security agency SAPO as he met
with a Russian intelligence officer working at Russia's Embassy in
Stockholm under diplomatic cover. On March 29 a prosecutor said
Dmitrievski has been released.
(Reuters, 2/27/19)(AP, 3/29/19)
2019 Feb 27, Israel's PM
Benjamin Netanyahu visited Russia for talks with President Vladimir
Putin expected to focus on regional security and Syria.
2019 Mar 1, Russia vowed to
maintain support for the embattled regime of its Venezuelan "friend"
President Nicolas Maduro, including with humanitarian aid supplies.
2019 Mar 1, Belarus Pres.
Alexander Lukashenko strongly rejected the possibility that Russia
could incorporate his nation, as the two former Soviet republics
discussed how to more closely integrate their economies, including a
possible joint currency.
2019 Mar 1, Venezuela's Vice
President Delcy Rodriguez said President Nicolas Maduro has ordered
state oil company PDVSA's office in Lisbon to be relocated to
Moscow, a move she said was designed to help safeguard her country's
2019 Mar 2, Russia announced
that Zhores Alferov (88), a physicist and Nobel Prize laureate, has
died in in St Petersburg. Alferov shared the Nobel Physics Prize in
2000 for developments in semiconductor research that have been used
in satellite communications and cellular telephones.
2019 Mar 4, President Vladimir
Putin officially suspended Russia's participation in a key Cold
War-era arms treaty, after the US first moved to ditch the INF deal.
2019 Mar 10, In Russia
thousands of people took to the streets of Moscow and two other
cities to rally against tighter internet restrictions, in some of
the biggest protests in the capital in years.
2019 Mar 11, The United States
imposed sanctions on the Russian bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank over
its dealings with the Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA.
2019 Mar 15, The EU imposed
sanctions on eight more Russian officials that it says were involved
in the seizure by Russia of Ukrainian ships and crew in November.
2019 Mar 16, Russia said it
will respond to new European Union sanctions, without saying what
action it would take.
2019 Mar 18, It was reported
that Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed bills restricting
online media and making a criminal of anyone who insults the state,
laws that critics see as part of Kremlin efforts to stifle criticism
and tighten media control.
2019 Mar 18, In Crimea Russian
flags flew across Simferopol as Pres. Vladimir Putin flew in to mark
the fifth anniversary of Moscow's internationally condemned
annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine. Putin inaugurated two new
power stations in Crimea.
(AFP, 3/18/19)(Reuters, 3/18/19)
2019 Mar 18, The European Union
and NATO condemned Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean
Peninsula five years after Moscow declared the region Russian
2019 Mar 20, Ukraine's Pres.
Petro Poroshenko ordered new sanctions against Russian companies and
individuals involved in construction and other activities in Crimea.
(SFC, 3/21/19, p.A2)
2019 Mar 22, A Russian court
sentenced Pavlo Gryb (20), a Ukrainian teenager, to six years in
prison for plotting a bombing in a Russian school. He was kidnapped
in summer 2017 in Belarus where he had traveled to meet a girl he
met online. He later surfaced in a Russian prison. The girl turned
out to be an officer from the Russian intelligence services who was
messaging him on her behalf shortly before his trip. Gryb's family
said he suffers from cirrhosis of the liver and partial vision loss,
urgently needs surgery and may die in a Russian prison.
(AP, 3/22/19)(AFP, 3/22/19)
2019 Mar 24, Two Russian air
force planes carrying a Russian defense official and nearly 100
troops arrived in Caracas, Venezuela, amid strengthening ties
between the two countries.
2019 Mar 26, Turkish and
Russian forces carried out the first "independent and coordinated"
patrols in the mainly Kurdish-controlled northern Syrian region of
2019 Mar 27, A Lithuanian court
found former Soviet defense minister Dmitry Yazov (94) guilty of war
crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in a 1991 crackdown
against the Baltic state's pro-independence movement. 67 former
military officials and army officers were being sentenced after a
2019 Mar 27, Ford said it will
close three factories in Russia, causing heavy job losses, as it
pulls out of passenger vehicle manufacturing in the country.
2019 Mar 27, A $436 million
superyacht belonging to Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov, at the
center of one of the world's costliest divorce battles, was released
by a Dubai court after being impounded last year. Forbes has
estimated Akhmedov's net worth is $1.4 billion. The US Treasury
Department has put him on a list of sanctioned Russian state-owned
2019 Mar 28, Russia detained a
former cabinet minister and oil executive on suspicion of defrauding
oil giant Rosneft. Viktor Ishaev was the second former minister from
PM Dmitry Medvedev's cabinet to be detained this week.
2019 Mar 31, In Germany Russian
airline S7 Group co-owner Natalia Fileva was aboard a single-engine,
six-seat Epic LT aircraft that crashed and burned in a field as it
approached the small airport at the town of Egelsbach near
Frankfurt. Three bodies were recovered in the crash.
2019 Apr 1, Russian state-owned
industrial conglomerate Rostec said it has opened a training center
in Venezuela to help the country's pilots fly Russian-made military
2019 Apr 3, Kazakhstan's
interim president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev made his first foreign visit
since being appointed two weeks ago, meeting with Russian President
Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
2019 Apr 4, The Russian
Progress freighter blasted off from a launch facility in Baikonur,
Kazakhstan, and docked with the International Space Station after
two orbits. It set a record time for a trip to the ISS, docking in
three hours and 21 minutes.
2019 Apr 5, Russia won a
dispute about "national security" at the World Trade Organization,
in a ruling over a Ukrainian transit dispute because it had invoked
national security. The WTO ruling, the first ever on national
security, can be appealed.
2019 Apr 5, A small Russian
bank owned by former US congressman Charles Taylor was stripped of
its license after allegedly breaking anti-money laundering rules.
Taylor, a Republican widely considered a hard-line conservative, was
a congressman from North Carolina between 1991 and 2007. Taylor
bought CBI in 2003 alongside his business partner Boris Bolshakov, a
former KGB agent and Supreme Soviet deputy who is listed as the
bank's second-largest shareholder.
2019 Apr 5, Jean-Michel
Cousteau of the Ocean Futures Society arrived in Russia's Far East
on a mission to inspect 97 belugas and orcas and help create
conditions for them to be released. Environmentalists said four
animals likely died because of cramped conditions and low
2019 Apr 7, The lawyer for
Vladimir Barsukov, an imprisoned Russian organized crime figure,
says the man has been charged in the 1998 assassination of reformist
lawmaker Galina Starovoitova. Barsukov has been behind bars since
2007 and is serving sentences for murder, extortion, fraud and money
2019 Apr 8, Russian President
Vladimir Putin hosted Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for
talks focusing on the situation in Syria, the sale of advanced
Russian missiles to Turkey and other economic deals.
2019 Apr 8, Russian officials
said they will work towards freeing all orca and beluga whales from
a notorious facility in the east of the country, after a visit by
US-based marine mammal advocates.
2019 Apr 8, A Russian court
ordered the release from house arrest of renowned film and theatre
director Kirill Serebrennikov (49) who is on trial on embezzlement
2019 Apr 9, Russia's President
Vladimir Putin put forward an ambitious program to secure the
country's foothold in the Arctic, including efforts to build new
ports and other infrastructure facilities and expand an icebreaker
2019 Apr 9, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia violated the rights of Russian
opposition leader Alexei Navalny by placing him under house arrest
in 2014 and imposing other restrictive measures on him.
2019 Apr 11, A Russian court
released Alexei Kordichev from pre-trial detention and put him under
house arrest. The former chairman of Vostochny bank, which is
co-owned by Baring Vostok, was accused of fraud along with
executives from the Baring Vostok private equity fund. Interfax news
agency reported that he has admitted his guilt.
2019 Apr 11, A Russian court
released from jail Michael Calvey, a US investor who faces charges
of embezzlement, and placed him under house arrest.
2019 Apr 12, Russia's Pres.
Vladimir Putin visited rocket-maker Energomash and said the
government will offer more cash to develop new rockets and create
more incentives for space industry workers. Putin's visit came on
Cosmonauts Day, a holiday marking the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's
flight on April 12, 1961, to become the first human in space.
2019 Apr 16, A Moscow court
convicted a retired Norwegian border guard on spying charges and
sentenced him to 14 years in prison. Frode Berg (63) was detained in
Moscow in 2017 following a sting operation by Russia's FSB security
2019 Apr 17, Ukraine's security
service SBU said it had captured a Russian military intelligence hit
squad responsible for the attempted murder of a Ukrainian military
spy in the run-up to a presidential election on April 21. Two of the
group's members were said to be Russian citizens, the other six were
2019 Apr 18, Estonia's Pres.
Kersti Kaljulaid met with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in
Moscow for talks on trade and global relations, during the first
such Russian visit in eight years.
2019 Apr 18, The United States
and Russia said they could not support a UN Security Council
resolution calling for a ceasefire in Libya at this time.
2019 Apr 19, In Russia nine
people were hospitalized in critical condition after a fire engulfed
the Nizhnekamskneftekhim (NKNK) petrochemical complex in the
Republic of Tatarstan.
2019 Apr 24, Russian President
Vladimir Putin signed an order simplifying the procedure for
obtaining a Russian passport for residents of separatist-controlled
eastern Ukraine, prompting an angry response from Kiev. Ukraine's
Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin denounced the Russian move.
2019 Apr 24, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un arrived in the Russian city of Vladivostok or a
summit he is likely to use to seek support from President Vladimir
Putin while Pyongyang's nuclear talks with Washington are in limbo.
2019 Apr 25, Russian President
Vladimir Putin said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un confirmed during
their first summit he is willing to give up his nuclear weapons, but
only if he gets an ironclad guarantee of security beforehand.
2019 Apr 25, President Vladimir
Putin said that Russia was ready to restore full relations with
Kiev, after a political novice won the Ukraine presidential
2019 Apr 25, Ukraine's
parliament approved a controversial law to enhance the status of the
Ukrainian language at the expense of Russian. Russia slammed the
move as "scandalous." The law was championed by outgoing President
(AFP, 4/25/19)(Reuters, 4/25/19)
2019 Apr 26, In northwestern
Syria Russian strikes killed 10 civilians in Idlib province, the hub
of territory held by the jihadists of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
2019 Apr 26, In Washington DC
Maria Butina, the only Russian arrested and convicted in the
three-year investigation of Moscow's interference in US politics,
was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
2019 Apr, Russian Col. Kirill
Cherkalin, a section chief in the economic security department of
the Federal Security Service, or FSB, was arrested along with two
other senior FSB officers on suspicion of taking bribes. Russian
media reported that the suspects were found in possession of 12
billion rubles (about $186 million) in cash. Cherkalin, the former
head of the unit, and Andrey Vasilyev and Dmitry Frolov, his
associates, were jailed on suspicion they took huge bribes from
banks and other commerce they were supposed to supervise. A video
purported to show the equivalent of $185.5 million being hauled out
of Cherkalin’s residence. The initial charge against him involved a
single bribe worth $850,000.
(AP, 5/20/19)(The Daily Beast, 7/10/19)
2019 May 1, Russia's Pres.
Vladimir Putin signed into law a measure expanding government
control over the internet. The law requires internet providers to
install equipment to route Russian internet traffic through servers
in the country.
(SFC, 5/2/19, p.A2)
2019 May 1, Russian President
Vladimir Putin signed a decree fast-tracking Russian citizenship for
more Ukrainians, a controversial new move expected to deepen the
crisis between the two countries.
2019 May 1, Russian riot police
and national guardsmen detained more than 100 people during May Day
protests, sometimes using extreme force to take into custody
2019 May 2, Syrian and Russian
forces intensified air strikes and shelling in rebel-held
northwestern Syria overnight, the heaviest assault since the area
was declared a demilitarized zone under a Russian-Turkish deal.
2019 May 5, A Russian Sukhoi
Superjet 100 passenger plane caught fire during an emergency landing
in Moscow. 41 people were killed.
2019 May 6, In Russia a blast
at the Azot chemical plant in the region of Perm killed three
people. Russian fertilizer producer Uralchem owns the plant.
2019 May 6, Seven Russian
tourists on a hiking holiday in Siberia were feared dead after an
avalanche on a ridge in the Altai region. Two people survived.
2019 May 9, Russian President
Vladimir Putin told the 74th annual military Victory Day parade in
Red Square that the country will continue to strengthen its armed
2019 May 9, Russia’s government
agency for aerial protection of forests said wildfires are blazing
on about 58,000 hectares (145,000 acres) throughout the eastern
2019 May 9, A Montenegro court
sentenced 13 people, including two Russian secret service
operatives, to up to 15 years in prison after they were convicted of
plotting to overthrow the Balkan country's government on Oct. 16,
2016, and prevent it from joining NATO. The two Russians, identified
as Eduard Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov, were tried in absentia.
2019 May 16, Russian police
detained several dozen people in the early hours at a rally
protesting plans to build a cathedral in a popular park in
Yekaterinburg, Russia's fourth-largest city.
2019 May 16, In northern
Germany activists occupied a building site to protest against the
ongoing Nord Stream 2 pipeline project with Russia.
2019 May 16, The United States
imposed sanctions on five Russians over abuses including the killing
of a prominent opposition leader, days after top-level talks seemed
to ease tensions between the two powers.
2019 May 17, The Council of
Europe adopted a declaration that allows Russia to start voting
again at the continent's main human rights body following a spat
related to its annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in
2019 May 20, In Russia a senior
editor and 10 journalists at the daily newspaper Kommersant said
they were resigning to protest against the firing of two colleagues
over an article about a possible reshuffle of Pres. Vladimir Putin's
2019 May 20, In Syria overnight
air strikes by regime ally Russia killed 10 civilians including five
children in a northwestern jihadist bastion, hours after Moscow
announced a ceasefire there.
2019 May 21, Russia's top
security chief raised alarm about Islamic extremists massing on
Afghanistan's northern border.
2019 May 22, The Kremlin
condemned as unacceptable an alleged US ultimatum to Turkey designed
to force it to cancel a deal to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air
missile systems and purchase US Patriot missile systems instead.
2019 May 22, Syrian government
troops repelled three big attacks by militants in Idlib province.
Nusra Front militants based in Idlib also launched a missile attack
on Russia's Hmeymim air base, but the Russian Ministry of Defense
said that their missiles were either shot down or did not reach
2019 May 23, A court in Russia
ruled that Dennis Christensen, a Danish Jehovah's Witness, must stay
in prison for the next six years. He had been found guilty of
participating in the activities of an extremist organization.
2019 May 24, A Russian court
extended the arrest for Paul Whelan, a former US Marine charged with
espionage, for three more months. Whelan had complained in court
about abuse in custody.
2019 May 25, A UN maritime
tribunal ruled that Russia must immediately release three Ukrainian
naval vessels captured by Russia in November and also free the 24
sailors it detained.
2019 May 27, Russia rebuffed a
call by an international maritime tribunal for it to release 24
Ukrainian sailors, saying the court had no jurisdiction over the
strait where Russian security forces captured them on Nov. 25, 2018.
2019 May 28, It was reported
that Russia's space sector is at the heart of a staggering
embezzlement scheme that has dampened ambitions of recovering its
Soviet-era greatness. In mid-May Alexander Bastrykin, the powerful
head of Russia's Investigative Committee, said billions (of rubles)
are being stolen there.
2019 May 28, Russia's Ministry
of Foreign Affairs accused Kosovo of provocation after its police
detained what Moscow said were 13 Serbians in Serb-populated
municipalities in Kosovo's north.
2019 May 30, In Russia the
Taliban and other Afghan factions wrapped another round of talks in
Moscow to discuss peace settlement. There was no breakthrough in
their bid to end 18 years of war and that further talks would be
2019 May 31, The Kosovo
government said that Mikhail Krasnoshchenkov, a Russian national
working for the UN mission would not be allowed back into the
country after his expulsion.
2019 May, Libyan security
forces arrested two men accused of working for a Russian troll farm
seeking to influence elections in the oil exporter and other African
2019 Jun 1, In central Russia
at least two people were missing after blasts at the explosives
plant Kristall in the town of Dzerzhinsk.
2019 Jun 3, Russia's
communications regulator said that Tinder was included on a list of
online services operating in Russia that are required to provide
user data on demand to Russian authorities, including the FSB
2019 Jun 4, Russia's leading
internet company, Yandex, said it's committed to data privacy as it
responds to reports that the national intelligence agency is
pressuring it into handing over encryption keys.
2019 Jun 5, In Russia Chinese
President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin sat down for
talks at the Kremlin in a visit affirming the increasingly close
relationship between the two former Cold War communist rivals.
2019 Jun 5, Russian rights
activists and US diplomats said Paul Whelan, a former US Marine held
in Russia on suspicion of spying, is being illegally isolated in a
Moscow pre-trial detention center and prevented from communicating
2019 Jun 6, Russia detained
investigative journalist Ivan Golunov (36) on drugs charges that
supporters the next day condemned as trumped-up and suggested were
punishment for his reporting. In his investigations, Golunov zeroed
in on everything from Russia's shady funeral industry to corruption
within Moscow city hall.
2019 Jun 7, Russia's Pres.
Vladimir Putin called for rethinking the role of the US dollar in
global trade and slammed US pressure against Chinese tech giant
Huawei. China's Xi Jinping and Putin hit back at US global economic
dominance as they took the stage together at Russia's showcase
2019 Jun 10, Russian
authorities faced unprecedented pushback against the arrest last
week of Ivan Golunov, an investigative reporter on drugs charges,
with independent as well as pro-Kremlin figures urging his release.
2019 Jun 10, Russian
authorities said police have uncovered around $3 million worth of
stolen diamonds, and over $2.5 million in cash, at the homes of a
criminal ring operating inside state-controlled diamond producer
2019 Jun 11, In Russia three
people were missing and two injured after a blast on an oil tanker
caused a fire while it was pumping oil in the southern port of
2019 Jun 12, Russian police
detained more than 400 people, including opposition politician
Alexei Navalny, at a protest in Moscow calling for punishment for
police officers involved in the alleged framing of a journalist.
Police had abruptly dropped drug charges a day earlier against
investigative journalist Ivan Golunov.
2019 Jun 13, Russian President
Vladimir Putin fired two police generals involved in a discredited
criminal case against a journalist, an episode that sparked a mass
protest in Moscow the previous day.
2019 Jun 13, Russian lawmakers
said that a new US military deployment to Poland announced by
President Donald Trump would force Moscow to take retaliatory steps,
with one saying it would make Poland a target in the event of a
2019 Jun 14, EU officials said
that "Russian sources" stepped up a long-running disinformation
campaign against the European Union in a bid to undermine the bloc's
elections last month.
2019 Jun 15, US President
Donald Trump accused The New York Times of "a virtual act of
treason," after it reported the US is stepping up digital incursions
into Russia's electric power grid.
2019 Jun 17, A Russian court
released a local newspaper editor and former lawmaker who had been
facing extortion charges, following an outcry from supporters and
international organizations. Igor Rudnikov (53), founder and editor
of the weekly Novye Kolesa (New Wheels) in the Russian exclave of
Kaliningrad, had been in detention since November 2017, accused of
extorting $50,000 from a senior investigator.
2019 Jun 19, Dutch-led int'l.
team charged three Russians (Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky and Oleg
Pulatov) and one Ukrainian (Leonid Kharchenko) with murder over the
2014 shooting down of flight MH17 above rebel-held eastern Ukraine
in which 298 people were killed.
2019 Jun 20, Russians took
their fears over falling incomes and a creaking healthcare system to
President Vladimir Putin during a glossy annual phone-in that comes
following a decline in his ratings.
2019 Jun 20, State TV said
Russia has started releasing a group of captive killer whales whose
detention in Russia's Far East has caused an international outcry.
Russian Deputy PM Alexei Gordeyev said the whales would be taken
back to where they were caught and released within four months.
2019 Jun 20, In Russia former
US Marine Paul Whelan, held on suspicion of spying, called on US
Pres. Donald Trump and the leaders of Britain, Canada and Ireland to
help him as he appeared in court at an appeal hearing that extended
custody to Aug. 29.
2019 Jun 20, Malaysian PM
Mahathir Mohamad rejected the implication that Russia may have been
involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine,
after international prosecutors charged with murder four men in the
July 17, 2014, missile attack that killed all 298 people aboard.
2019 Jun 21, President Vladimir
Putin signed a decree banning Russian airlines from flying to
pro-Western Georgia from July 8 late today in response to
anti-government rallies in the ex-Soviet neighbor.
2019 Jun 21, Prominent Russian
human rights advocate Oyub Titiev (61), jailed on charges his
supporters say were trumped up, walked free, but said he would not
return to his work in Chechnya because he felt the risk to his staff
there would be too great.
2019 Jun 22, Russia's travel
industry and ordinary Russians hit out at a decision by the Kremlin
to suspend flights to Georgia as a politically motivated move that
has little to do with safety concerns.
2019 Jun 24, Russia served
notice to ex-Soviet Georgia it faces painful consequences if
anti-Russian protests are not brought under control, saying it was
tightening controls on wine imports that bring Georgia millions of
dollars in revenue each year.
2019 Jun 24, In Russia Defense
Minister Sergei Shoigu in talks with his Egyptian counterpart,
Mohamed Zaki, said that Moscow is ready to continue helping
strengthen Egypt's defense capability.
2019 Jun 25, The Council of
Europe voted 118-62 to readmit Russia early today, five years after
suspension over Crimea. The decision was supported by France and
Germany as a way of keeping communication open at a time of
2019 Jun 25, Ukraine expressed
anger at its Western partners after lawmakers at the Council of
Europe agreed to allow Russian representatives back following a five
year absence prompted by Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
2019 Jun 27, Russia said six
beluga and two killer whales, captured to perform in aquariums and
held in cramped pens, have been released into the wild.
2019 Jun 29, Japanese PM Shinzo
Abe and Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin announced new initiatives to
further expand economic ties and tourist exchanges between the two
nations, but have made no visible progress on a decades-long
2019 Jul 1, Russia called on
the US to free Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko and proposed a
prisoner swap with Washington to win the release of any American
national held in Russia.
2019 Jul 2, Aeroflot and two
other Russian airlines canceled several flights to and from the
Czech Republic after the Czech Transport Ministry withdrew permits
for the flights. The Czech ministry said it took action after Russia
limited the right of national carrier Czech Airlines to use routes
across Siberia on its flights from Prague to Seoul. A Russian
decision early today to grant temporary access to the transit routes
until July 7, enabled the Czech ministry to authorize Russian
carriers' flights to the Czech Republic until that date to provide
time for negotiations.
2019 Jul 1, Fire broke out on
one of the Russian navy's deep-sea research submersibles, and toxic
fumes from the blaze killed 14 sailors aboard.
2019 Jul 3, President Vladimir
Putin signed a bill suspending Russia's participation in a pivotal
nuclear arms treaty. The decree formalizes Russia's departure from
the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with the US
following Washington's withdrawal from the pact.
2019 Jul 4, At the Vatican
Russia's Pres. Putin met with Pope Francis for talks on a range of
subjects including Ukraine and the Catholic church in Russia.
(SFC, 7/5/19, p.A3)
2019 Jul 5, Russia's Federal
Security Service (FSB), the country's top KGB successor agency, said
it has arrested Alexander Vorobyov, an aide to the presidential
envoy to Russia's Urals region, on treason charges that carry
punishment of up to 20 years in prison.
2019 Jul 9, Russian lawmakers
adopted a resolution in favor of introducing economic sanctions
against Georgia. President Vladimir Putin said he was against
imposing sanctions on Georgia after MPs backed economic measures
with the neighboring Caucasus country.
2019 Jul 9, Russian officials
raised an alarm about massive bee deaths in at least seven regions
across the country. Experts attributed the deaths to a careless and
excessive use of pesticides.
(SFC, 7/10/19, p.A2)
2019 Jul 11, Russian President
Vladimir Putin had his first phone call with Ukraine's new president
and discussions centered on the conflict in eastern Ukraine that has
bitterly blighted relations between the two countries.
2019 Jul 11, In Russia three
orcas were loaded onto trucks at a controversial facility near the
far eastern port town of Nakhodka, as the country continues to
release animals from what the media have dubbed a "whale jail".
2019 Jul 12, Russia began
delivery of the advanced S-400 missile defence system to Turkey, a
move expected to trigger US sanctions against a NATO ally and drive
a wedge into the heart of the Western military alliance.
2019 Jul 13, A Russian Proton-M
rocket successfully delivered Spektr-RG, a new space telescope, into
orbit. It was destined to orbit at the L2 Lagrange point, where
objects can maintain their position relative to the sun and the
planets 930,000 miles from Earth.
(SSFC, 7/14/19, p.A8)
2019 Jul 13, Syrian government
and Russian airstrikes in northwestern Kfarya village killed a
mother, her baby and another man, leaving 11 injured, including one
White Helmet volunteer. Other airstrikes in the town of Khan
Sheikhoun hit a farm, killing two families— four children and four
2019 Jul 13, Turkey continued
receiving components of a Russian-made air defense system, despite
Washington's warnings that it will impose sanctions on the
2019 Jul 14, Russian opposition
leaders led a rally in Moscow of about 1,000 people to protest the
city election commission's decision that will keep several
opposition candidates off the ballot in a local election.
2019 Jul 16, Russian officials
refused to register nearly 30 candidates for elections to Moscow's
local parliament including prominent critics of Pres. Vladimir Putin
despite protests over the move.
2019 Jul 17, The United States
accused Russia of using children as pawns, after Moscow rejected
visas for dozens of new teachers at an English-language school set
up by the US, British and Canadian embassies in Moscow for the
children of diplomats.
2019 Jul 17, Two South Korean
and 15 Russian crew members were aboard a Russia-flagged fishing
boat when it was detained by North Korea. North Korea is holding six
other South Koreans it has detained in recent years for alleged
attempts to build underground Christian churches inside the North
and other anti-state charges.
2019 Jul 18, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and French leader Emmanuel Macron agreed via phone on
the need to "consolidate efforts" to save the Iran nuclear deal
following months of soaring tensions.
2019 Jul 19, Ukraine's Pres.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in televised comments that Ukraine could
release journalist Kirill Vyshinskiy, who has been in jail for a
year on treason charges, if Russia releases film director Oleg
Sentsov from a Russian prison colony. Sentsov is serving 20 years in
a Russian prison for allegedly plotting acts of terrorism.
2019 Jul 20, In Russia more
than 10,000 people took to the streets of Moscow to protest against
the exclusion of most opposition-minded candidates from an election
for the city's legislature.
2019 Jul 21, In Russia Elena
Grigoryeva (41), an activist for LGBT rights, was fatally stabbed in
St Petersburg. She had regularly received death threats and reported
them to police, who did nothing to protect her before she was
2019 Jul 22, President Vladimir
Putin handed Russian citizenship to gas producer Novatek's veteran
finance chief Mark Gyetvay, a move that could potentially help the
US national bypass some sanctions restrictions.
2019 Jul 24, Russian police
detained opposition leader Alexey Navalny (43) as a standoff
intensified over the authorities’ decision to bar prominent
anti-government candidates from September elections in Moscow.