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US Slaps China With Sanctions for Buying Arms From Russia

Military agency bought Russian aircraft, missiles

(Newser) - A Chinese military agency and its director are facing US sanctions over the purchase of Russian weapons, the State Department announced Thursday. China's Equipment Development Department and director Li Shangfu made a "significant transaction" involving the purchase of Russian combat aircraft and surface-to-air missiles, State Department spokeswoman Heather... More »

'Greatest Treachery': Russia's Anti-Doping Agency Reinstated

Country can now bid for major events again

(Newser) - The World Anti-Doping Agency declared Russia's scandal-ridden drug-fighting operation back in business Thursday, a decision designed to bring a close to one of sports' most notorious doping scandals but one bitterly disputed by hundreds of athletes and described as "treachery" by the lawyer for the man who exposed... More »

German Doctors: Pussy Riot Poisoning 'Highly Plausible'

Pyotr Verzilov is expected to recover

(Newser) - German doctors treating a member of Russian protest group Pussy Riot said Tuesday that claims he was poisoned are "highly plausible," but stressed they can't say how this might have occurred or who was responsible, the AP reports. Pyotr Verzilov has been receiving intensive care since arriving... More »

Moscow Blames Israel After Missile Brings Down Plane

15 killed after Il-20 caught in Syria crossfire

(Newser) - A Russian reconnaissance aircraft was brought down by a Syrian missile over the Mediterranean early Tuesday, killing all 15 people on board, the Russian defense ministry says. The ministry blames Israel for the crash, saying the plane was caught in the crossfire as four Israeli fighters attacked targets in northwestern... More »

Leak Seems to Show Assange Seeking Russian Visa in 2010

The AP has obtained tens of thousands of files related to WikiLeaks

(Newser) - Julian Assange had just pulled off one of the biggest scoops in journalistic history, splaying the innards of American diplomacy across the web. But technology firms were cutting ties to his website, WikiLeaks, cable news pundits were calling for his head, and a Swedish sex-crime case was threatening to put... More »

Severely Ill Pussy Riot Member 'Poisoned for Political Reasons'

Pyotr Verzilov is being flown to Berlin

(Newser) - A member of Russia's Pussy Riot protest group says a severely ill fellow activist was being taken to Germany on Saturday for treatment after his suspected poisoning. Maria Alekhina tells the AP that Pyotr Verzilov was being flown to Berlin, but she did not give details. Independent news site... More »

Novichok Suspects: We Only Wanted to See Stonehenge

Ruslan Boshirov, Alexander Petrov deny attack to Kremlin-funded 'RT'

(Newser) - That was fast. A day after Vladimir Putin hinted at an interview , two Russians claiming to be those accused of depositing a nerve agent on the door of a former Russian spy living in England announced they were only on a sightseeing trip. Describing themselves as victims of a "... More »

Pussy Riot: 'We Think He Was Poisoned'

Russian activist Pyotr Verzilov can no longer walk, activists say

(Newser) - Pyotr Verzilov, an activist long associated with protest group Pussy Riot, is in intensive care and may have been poisoned, members say. Verzilov, ex-husband of Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, was one of four activists who stormed the pitch in police uniforms during the World Cup in July before issuing... More »

Russia, China Flex Military Might Together

2 nations combine for huge war games

(Newser) - Russia launched a massive military exercise on Tuesday, its biggest since the Cold War, reports the BBC . That alone would be enough to make headlines, but another twist has cinched it: China is taking part in the war games as well—the first time Russia has invited any country beyond... More »

Putin Ally Makes Jarring Threat to Opposition Leader

Let's fight, so I can 'make a good juicy beef steak of you,' he tells Alexei Navalny

(Newser) - In an extraordinary public outburst, President Vladimir Putin's former bodyguard and chief of the National Guard on Tuesday challenged opposition leader Alexei Navalny to a duel. Viktor Zolotov recorded an emotional seven-minute speech, posted on the National Guard's YouTube channel on Tuesday, attacking Navalny for his investigation into... More »

Despite US Warning, Russia and Syria Hit Idlib

Monitoring group reports intense airstrikes at southern edge of province

(Newser) - Syrian government and Russian warplanes on Saturday targeted the southern edge of Idlib province with an intense wave of airstrikes and shelling, activists and a war monitoring group said, ratcheting up the military pressure on the densely populated rebel-held bastion. The intense air raids came a day after Iran and... More »

How a Perfume Bottle of Novichok Allegedly Got to UK

UK authorities say it was flown from Moscow as fake Nina Ricci perfume

(Newser) - The two men blended in with crowds in Salisbury, which was hosting its weekly Saturday market, then slipped away within a couple of hours. They returned the next day and, in broad daylight, allegedly sprayed the door handle of the home of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal with Novichok nerve... More »

Russia Plans Biggest War Games Since Soviet Era

'Vostok-2018' will run from Sept. 11-15

(Newser) - In 1981, the Soviet Union staged a pretend attack on NATO. Nearly 40 years later, Russia will move forward with its biggest war games since. The BBC reports some 300,000 military personnel will participate; that's thought to be a little less than a third of the country's... More »

Russian Trolls Apparently Whipped Up Frenzy Over Vaccines

Kremlin-linked accounts argued both sides to sow discord: study

(Newser) - You might think twice about heading to Twitter or Facebook to read about vaccinations. "A significant portion of the online discourse about vaccines may be generated by malicious actors with a range of hidden agendas," says George Washington University's David Broniatowski, author of a new study calling... More »

Facebook Pulls Plug on Hundreds of Iranian, Russian Accounts

Iran is now 'following Kremlin's playbook' on the disinformation front, one US senator says

(Newser) - Social media platforms have been battening down the hatches against disinformation campaigns, and Facebook just made a new dent. The site announced Tuesday it had yanked 652 pages or groups off Facebook and Instagram showing "coordinated inauthentic behavior" by those seeking to "mislead others about who they were... More »

Trump Worried Mueller Interview Will Be a Perjury Trap

He says it could be his word against Comey's

(Newser) - President Trump still hasn't confirmed whether he plans to speak to special counsel Robert Mueller—but he did speak to Reuters to outline his concerns about a potential interview, describing it as a possible "perjury trap." Trump said he worries that it could work against him if... More »

US: Russia Made 'Very Troubling Development' in Space

A State Department official shared US concerns at a UN conference Tuesday

(Newser) - Her title is a long one: US Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance. And on Tuesday Yleem Poblete sounded an alarm, bringing before a UN conference "a matter related to outer space that is of great concern to my government and that relates to space... More »

Chemical Attack in UK Leads to US Sanctions on Russia

The State Department is retaliating for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal

(Newser) - The US is poised to impose sanctions on Russia in retaliation for a March nerve agent attack on a former Russian double agent and his daughter. Per BBC , US investigators have determined the country is behind the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal, who were... More »

Trump Letter to Putin Gets Special Delivery

Sen. Rand Paul hands it over to Putin's reps while visiting Russia

(Newser) - A rep for Vladimir Putin says visiting GOP Sen. Rand Paul has presented a letter from President Trump to the Russian leader, though he added that the letter has not yet been examined by the Kremlin, reports the AP . "We expect that in the nearest time it will come... More »

Russian Lawmaker Presses Rand Paul on Alleged Spy

Kentucky senator is visiting Moscow

(Newser) - When President Trump was taking all kinds of flak after his meeting with Vladimir Putin last month, one of his most vocal defenders was Rand Paul, who praised the president for working to "prevent us from having World War III," per CBS News . On Monday, the Kentucky senator... More »

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