Russia

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Growing Doping Scandal May Keep Russia Out of Rio

'Unprecedented level of criminality'

(Newser) - Allegations of sports doping are so common it's easy for the eyes to glaze over, but a series of recent developments raises the possibility of a jarring reality check: Russia might be barred from the Rio Olympics. Related coverage:
  • A panel from the International Association of Athletics Federations is
... More »

Medieval 'Knight' Knocks Out Drone With a Spear

Nice shot, sire

(Newser) - We now know what would happen if a drone traveled back in time to the Middle Ages. A talented knight—more precisely, a talented medieval reenactor—at Russia's Rusborg festival managed to down a drone with a throw of his spear. The drone was recording the event from about... More »

Hundreds Fight in Deadly 'Turf War' at Russian Cemetery

They were armed with shovels, bats, and more

(Newser) - Two people died during a massive fight involving up to 200 people—though initial reports put the number at 400—armed with shovels, steel bars, and baseball bats Saturday at a Russian cemetery, the AP reports. According to RT , the police and national guard were called in to break up... More »

Russia: US Missile Defense Site in Romania a 'Direct Threat'

The US says defense site is meant to stifle threats from Iran, not Russia

(Newser) - A US missile defense site in Romania aimed at protecting Europe from ballistic missile threats went live Thursday, angering Russia, which opposes its presence in its former area of influence, the AP reports. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tried to reassure Russia as he spoke at a ceremony attended by... More »

Russia's Military Buys 5 Dolphins, but It's Unclear Why

Moscow just came into a dolphin-training facility; is it resurrecting old programs?

(Newser) - Dolphins can do more than just jump through hoops and balance balls. They can be trained for a variety of military—some say deadly—applications, which is why the Russian military's recent purchase of five bottlenose dolphins is getting some attention. Russia's Defense Ministry sought bids on a... More »

Historian: $500M Treasure Hides in Old Nazi Bunker

Is it really Russia's lost 'Amber Room'?

(Newser) - Some consider it "the world's most valuable piece of lost art," says Reuters , and according to a Polish historian, the Russian treasure may have been located. Bartlomiej Plebanczyk on Friday told his country's TVN24 he's "almost certain" the Amber Room, a chamber made of... More »

Lenin About to Turn 146, but He Still Looks 53

Russia will spend $200K this year to keep it that way

(Newser) - Maintaining the corpse of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin isn't cheap. In fact, the Russian government this year will spend about $200,000 for work of a "biomedical nature" to ensure the communist leader's body remains in "lifelike condition," the BBC reports. Lenin's preserved body... More »

'Aggressive' Russians Buzz US Warship

Baltic Sea encounter was one of the most brazen in years

(Newser) - In a move that American officials are calling "aggressive," "potentially provocative," "unprofessional," and simply "unsafe," Russian fighter jets and a helicopter buzzed a US warship in international waters Monday and Tuesday. The Guardian reports that US European Command says the encounters were... More »

US Student Who Vanished in Siberia Found Dead

No one knows why Colin Madsen took off into freezing cold in middle of the night

(Newser) - A Missouri man attending college in Russia headed with friends on Easter weekend to a popular resort town known for its mineral springs, with plans to hike a mountain, the AP reports. But when 25-year-old Colin Madsen's friends—two Russian locals and an American student—woke up early Easter... More »

Leak Shows How Putin's Friends Hid Billions of Dollars

The 'Panama Papers' point to shady transactions

(Newser) - A massive document leak apparently shows how friends of Vladimir Putin hid about $2 billion in secret, offshore accounts—money that likely ended up benefiting Putin's family, the Guardian reports. The documents from Mossack Fonseca, an offshore law firm in Panama, show wealthy Russians moving money through Russia, Switzerland,... More »

Russian Soldier Reportedly Calls In Airstrike on Himself

'He was discovered and surrounded by terrorists'

(Newser) - A Russian special forces soldier appears to have pulled a move straight out of an action movie, calling down an airstrike on himself after he was discovered by ISIS troops in Syria, Reuters reports. According to AFP , the soldier was on a week-long mission identifying ISIS targets and passing the... More »

Russia Court: Ukrainian Pilot Guilty in Journos' Murder

Judge says Nadezhda Savchenko was driven by 'political hatred'

(Newser) - A Russian court on Monday found Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko guilty of complicity to murder two Russian journalists in war-torn eastern Ukraine, the AP reports. The judge who began reading the verdict said that Savchenko, who served in a volunteer Ukrainian battalion at the time, called in the coordinates for... More »

62 Die in Russia Plane Crash

FlyDubai jet crashed on second landing attempt

(Newser) - All 62 people on board a flight from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don were killed when the Boeing 737-800 crashed on landing in the Russian city, authorities say. Poor visibility and high winds are suspected to be factors in the crash, reports the BBC . The FlyDubai jet is believed to have abandoned... More »

Putin Pulling Russian Troops From Syria

Mission 'generally accomplished'

(Newser) - Surprise, surprise: Vladimir Putin is pulling most of his troops out of Syria with his own version of "mission accomplished":
  • “I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished," he said Monday, per RT.com . "That is why I
... More »

Autopsy: Putin Aide's Death in DC Hotel Wasn't Natural

Moscow wants answers on death of Mikhail Lesin

(Newser) - Russia-watchers—or readers of spy novels—may be unsurprised to learn that the sudden death of a former Vladimir Putin aide in a Washington, DC, hotel last fall now appears a little fishy. Mikhail Lesin, the former Kremlin press minister who helped set up Russia Today and spent more than... More »

Sharapova Used Same Drug as Soviet Troops in the '80s

Soldiers took meldonium for stamina while fighting in Afghanistan

(Newser) - The drug at the center of Maria Sharapova's doping case was regularly given to Soviet troops in the 1980s to boost their stamina while fighting in Afghanistan, the AP reports. The tennis star said Monday she failed a doping test at the Australian Open in January for meldonium, which... More »

Russian Man Could Be Jailed for 'No God' Internet Comment

He's been charged with hurting religious people's feelings

(Newser) - Wow, Russia takes Internet comments super seriously. AFP reports 38-year-old Viktor Krasnov is facing up to a year in jail after writing "there is no God" online. He also called the Bible "a collection of Jewish fairy tales" during the same 2014 argument on social media, according to... More »

Nanny Says Beheading Girl, 4, Was Revenge on Putin

Gulchekhra Bobokulova says she is angry at Putin for Syria airstrikes

(Newser) - A nanny from Uzbekistan accused of decapitating a 4-year-old girl and brandishing her head outside a Moscow subway station said during an apparent interrogation captured on video that the killing was an act of revenge against President Vladimir Putin for Russian airstrikes in Syria. Gulchekhra Bobokulova, 38, was detained in... More »

36 Killed, Including 5 Rescuers, in Russia Mine Blast

Methane gas leak led to explosions

(Newser) - A total of 36 people were killed at a coal mine in Russia's far north where a methane gas leak triggered three explosions that resulted in a raging fire and the collapse of the mine, officials said Sunday. The dead include five rescue workers and a miner who were... More »

Russian Ad: 'Smoking Kills More People Than Obama'

The ad is part of a spate of Russian projects calling Obama a killer

(Newser) - “Smoking kills more people than Obama, although he kills lots and lots of people. Don't smoke; don't be like Obama." So reads a new anti-smoking ad spotted on a bus stop in Moscow, the Guardian reports. Dmitry Gudkov, a liberal member of Russia's parliament, spotted... More »

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