Andrew Roth
Andrew Roth
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'A lifetime sentence': children of the gulag fight to return from exile

'A lifetime sentence': children of the gulag fight to return from exile

Millions of Soviet citizens were sent to vast network of prison camps under Stalin. Now their descendants seek recompense in MoscowTue 23 Feb 2021 01.00 ESTAlisa Meissner is paying to this day for the Soviet Union’s decision to exile her whole family from Moscow for their German heritage.She still lives in a town just 30 miles from the gulag village where her family were sent in the 1940s after the outbreak of the second world war. And despite the rehabilitation of her exiled family, the denunciation of and the collapse of the Soviet Union, she has never been able to leave.“It’s been a...

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Andrew Roth
2d ago
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Alexei Navalny protests: Moscow in lockdown as police detain thousands

Alexei Navalny protests: Moscow in lockdown as police detain thousands

Riot police and national guard troops close central metro stations and block off streets01:27 in MoscowSun 31 Jan 2021 20.00 ESTFirst published on Sun 31 Jan 2021 02.55 ESTPolice have paralysed the centres of Russia’s largest cities, including Moscow, as the Kremlin sought to beat back rallies in support of jailed opposition leader , the country’s most significant protests in a decade.Supporters of the Kremlin critic took to the streets to protest against his jailing, despite the biting cold and threat of arrest. At least 5,100 people, including Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, were...

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Andrew Roth
Feb 1
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Russian pro-Navalny detainees and relatives denounce jail conditions

Russian pro-Navalny detainees and relatives denounce jail conditions

Videos emerge from holding centre showing cells meant for eight filled with two or three times as many00:57 in MoscowThu 4 Feb 2021 07.54 ESTLast modified on Thu 4 Feb 2021 10.30 ESTThe wife of a Russian website editor jailed for a retweet has denounced the conditions in which he is being held, as thousands of protesters remain detained in holding centres overwhelmed by a recent crackdown on supporters of .Leaked videos from the Sakharovo holding centre for immigrants near Moscow, which has been turned into a jail owing to the more than 10,000 arrests in the last two weeks since protests...

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Andrew Roth
Feb 4
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Alexei Navalny release bid fails and senior aides charged over protests

Alexei Navalny release bid fails and senior aides charged over protests

Kremlin critic will remain in jail until parole hearing next week where he could be sent to penal colony in KrasnogorskThu 28 Jan 2021 08.28 ESTLast modified on Thu 28 Jan 2021 08.45 ESTA Moscow appeal hearing has rejected calls to release from jail, as investigators charged Navalny’s top aides in a series of inquiries meant to disrupt the protest movement that has arisen in support of the Kremlin critic.Navalny will remain in jail until a parole hearing next week where he could be sent to a penal colony for as long as three and a half years. He was arrested upon returning to this month...

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Andrew Roth
Jan 28
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Russia downplays Navalny protests as it dismisses US 'diktats'

Russia downplays Navalny protests as it dismisses US 'diktats'

Despite 3,500 arrests and reports of violence, Moscow insists few people turned out in MoscowSun 24 Jan 2021 11.43 ESTLast modified on Sun 24 Jan 2021 15.45 ESTThe Kremlin has broken its silence on Russia’s biggest opposition protest in years, claiming the size of the demonstrations against were overstated and accusing the US of meddling in Russia’s internal affairs.A record 3,500 people were arrested as police tried to shut down unsanctioned rallies in 10 time zones across the country in support of , the opposition leader who was jailed upon returning to Russia after being treated for a...

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Andrew Roth
Jan 24
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'The problem is Putin': protesters throng Russia's streets to support jailed Navalny

'The problem is Putin': protesters throng Russia's streets to support jailed Navalny

As riot police surged to retake Moscow’s Pushkin square on Saturday, all you could see of them from the crowd were their truncheons raised high, ready to strike. Then their black helmets came into view, and finally they pushed forward, driving waves of panicked Russians out on to the boulevards and side streets of the capital. “Respected citizens, the current event is illegal. We are doing everything to ensure your safety,” an officer repeated over a loudspeaker, despite all the evidence to the contrary.For more than a decade, the Kremlin has used every tool at its disposal to keep Russians...

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Andrew Roth
Jan 23
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Poisoned Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny to return to Russia despite threats

Poisoned Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny to return to Russia despite threats

Opposition leader says he plans to fly back from Germany on Sunday despite risk of jail term in MoscowWed 13 Jan 2021 06.31 ESTLast modified on Wed 13 Jan 2021 11.07 ESTRussia’s opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has said he will return to the country five months after , risking his own freedom to issue a direct challenge to the Kremlin.Navalny, who has been recovering in Berlin since he was targeted in August with a novichok-style poison, said he planned to fly back to on Sunday despite clear signs that Moscow is searching for a pretext to jail him.“I’ll be coming home on 17 January, on...

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Andrew Roth
Jan 13
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Global cyber-espionage campaign linked to Russian spying tools

Global cyber-espionage campaign linked to Russian spying tools

Kaspersky investigators uncover evidence that may support US claims Moscow was behind attack in MoscowMon 11 Jan 2021 08.31 ESTFirst published on Mon 11 Jan 2021 05.36 ESTA Moscow-based cybersecurity company has reported that some of the malicious code employed against the US government in a cyber-attack overlaps with code previously used by suspected Russian hackers.The by Kaspersky investigators may provide the first public evidence to support accusations from Washington that Moscow was behind the biggest cyber-raid against the government in years, affecting 18,000 users of software...

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Andrew Roth
Jan 11
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How Joe Biden’s cold war experience will shape his approach to Russia

How Joe Biden’s cold war experience will shape his approach to Russia

President-elect’s formative years of going toe-to-toe with the USSR on arms control hint at how he may deal with Putin in MoscowTue 29 Dec 2020 00.00 ESTLast modified on Tue 29 Dec 2020 07.37 EST“Would you mind my son, Hunter Biden, sitting in and listening? The gentleman is interested in international affairs and diplomacy,” he said, according to Victor Prokofiev, the Soviet foreign ministry interpreter at the meeting.A photograph from the meeting shows Biden’s son seated at the head of the table as his father and Andrei Gromyko, the chairman of the presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the...

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Andrew Roth
Dec 29
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Two men beheaded in videos from Nagorno-Karabakh war identified

Two men beheaded in videos from Nagorno-Karabakh war identified

Exclusive: Ethnic Armenian men refused to leave their villages before Azerbaijani forces arrived, locals say Moscow correspondentTue 15 Dec 2020 00.00 ESTLast modified on Tue 15 Dec 2020 15.00 ESTTwo elderly men who were beheaded by Azerbaijani forces in videos widely shared on messaging apps have been identified, confirming two of the bloodiest atrocities of the recent war in .The ethnic Armenian men were non-combatants, people in their respective villages said. Both were beheaded by men in the uniforms of the Azerbaijani armed forces. The short, gruesome videos of the killings are among...

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Andrew Roth
Dec 15
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Two men beheaded in videos from Nagorno-Karabakh war identified

Two men beheaded in videos from Nagorno-Karabakh war identified

Exclusive: Ethnic Armenian men refused to leave their villages before Azerbaijani forces arrived, locals say Moscow correspondentTue 15 Dec 2020 00.00 ESTLast modified on Tue 15 Dec 2020 00.56 ESTTwo elderly men who were beheaded by Azerbaijani forces in videos widely shared on messaging apps have been identified, confirming two of the bloodiest atrocities of the recent war in .The ethnic Armenian men were non-combatants, people in their respective villages said. Both were beheaded by men in the uniforms of the Azerbaijani armed forces. The short, gruesome videos of the killings are among...

theguardian.com
Andrew Roth
Dec 15
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Thieves target Russia's nuclear war ‘doomsday’ plane

Thieves target Russia's nuclear war ‘doomsday’ plane

Radio equipment stolen from Ilyushin-80 aircraft designed to protect Putin and top officials in MoscowTue 8 Dec 2020 12.03 ESTLast modified on Wed 9 Dec 2020 16.22 ESTThieves have targeted a Russian “doomsday” plane, the military aircraft that would be used by top officials, including Vladimir Putin, in case of a nuclear war.The robbery of the Ilyushin-80, a mobile command post specially designed to keep officials alive and in command of the military during a nuclear conflict, took place at an airfield in southern Russia, state media reported.The thieves managed to open the highly...

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Andrew Roth
Dec 8
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Russia moves to expel American human rights activist

Russia moves to expel American human rights activist

Vanessa Kogan, director of the Justice Initiative project, says migration officials have revoked her residency permit in MoscowThu 3 Dec 2020 00.00 ESTLast modified on Thu 3 Dec 2020 04.23 ESTA prominent US human rights activist faces expulsion from as it ratchets up pressure on non-governmental organisations fighting abuses, particularly those who receive financial support from abroad.Vanessa Kogan, director of the project, told the Guardian that Russian migration officials had revoked her residency permit under a statute that indicates she is a threat to Russia’s national security.Kogan...

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Andrew Roth
Dec 3
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Russian warship 'threatens to ram' US destroyer

Russian warship 'threatens to ram' US destroyer

A Russian warship has allegedly threatened to ram a US destroyer during a rare naval standoff between the two countries in the waters off Russia’s Pacific coast.said on Tuesday that the Admiral Vinogradov, a destroyer, threatened the USS John S McCain, a US navy guided-missile destroyer, for “operating illegally” in its territorial waters in the Sea of Japan.The US Navy said its vessel had been in international waters as it carried out a “freedom of navigation” operation to assert its rights and challenge what it said were Russia’s excessive maritime claims. The US ship retreated to neutral...

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Andrew Roth
Nov 24
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'We will perish': embattled Lukashenko sends SOS to Putin

'We will perish': embattled Lukashenko sends SOS to Putin

Isolated from the west and besieged by mass protests, the Belarusian leader has made repeated calls for Vladimir Putin to intervene and save his 26-year-old regime.In telephone calls to the Kremlin on Saturday and Sunday, he sought confirmation that would provide military assistance against external threats, while warning supporters that the country was under foreign pressure.“Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and our native Ukraine, their leadership are ordering us to hold new elections,” Lukashenko said in a speech. “If we follow their lead, we will go into a tailspin … we will perish as a...

theguardian.com
Andrew Roth
Aug 16
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'They were smashing me with batons': detained Belarusians tell of jail abuse

'They were smashing me with batons': detained Belarusians tell of jail abuse

eople detained in Belarus during the past few days of unrest have told the Guardian about systematic mistreatment and abuse, suggesting that guards and riot police loyal to Alexander Lukashenko’s regime have terrorised thousands of Belarusians caught up in the .Those detained in police stations, jails and makeshift prisons spoke of ritual beatings, up to 55 women being crammed into a cell meant for two people and men who were kept in stress positions for hours on end. Leaked audio files and other testimony has corroborated the reports of widespread torture as Lukashenko tries to hold on to...

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Andrew Roth
Aug 13
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Belarus protests: more than 6,000 arrested, says interior ministry

Belarus protests: more than 6,000 arrested, says interior ministry

Authorities in say they have arrested more than 6,000 people during three nights of violently suppressed demonstrations against vote-rigging in Sunday’s disputed presidential election, as more footage and accounts emerged of police beating and violently detaining protesters.Opposition leaders have been jailed and driven out of the country in a massive crackdown following the election, which the election commission by President Alexander Lukashenko.Among those to have fled is Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the main opposition candidate, after an apparent threat to her children.Opposition members...

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Andrew Roth
Aug 12
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Opposition candidate comes out of hiding as Belarus votes

Opposition candidate comes out of hiding as Belarus votes

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya appears at polling station in election president is expected to win in Moscow and Yan Auseyushkin in MinskSun 9 Aug 2020 11.54 EDTBelarusians have gone to the polls in presidential elections that have prompted the country’s largest opposition rallies since the fall of the Soviet Union.Alexander Lukashenko, who has consolidated immense power over his 26 years in office, is expected to claim victory after Sunday’s polls, but anger over vote rigging is likely to trigger a backlash.The opposition candidate for president was forced into hiding the night before challenging...

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Andrew Roth
Aug 9
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Huge crowds rally for Belarus opposition leader in run-up to presidential election

Huge crowds rally for Belarus opposition leader in run-up to presidential election

Tens of thousands of supporters of a Belarusian opposition candidate crowded into a Minsk square on Thursday evening before upcoming elections for what may have been the largest political rally in the country’s modern history.More than 63,000 people attended the event, according to the human rights organisation Viasna, which has sent monitors to the opposition protests. That number would mark it as the “largest in since 1991”, according to Charter97, a prominent opposition website.Read moreMore conservative estimates of the number in attendance would still make the rally in Minsk’s...

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Andrew Roth
Jul 31
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Belarus says detained Russian mercenaries were plotting terror attack

Belarus says detained Russian mercenaries were plotting terror attack

President Lukashenko accuses Russia of interference in country’s imminent elections in MoscowThu 30 Jul 2020 07.23 EDTBelarus has accused 33 Russian mercenaries of preparing a terrorist attack to destabilise the country ahead of its presidential elections in a sharp escalation of tensions with Moscow.Belarus has claimed that the men are mercenaries employed by the Russian private military company Wagner, which has been tied to an ally of Vladimir Putin and has fought in armed conflict in Ukraine, Syria and countries in Africa. Several of the men, who were arrested at a sanatorium outside...

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Andrew Roth
Jul 30
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Up to 1,000 babies born to surrogate mothers stranded in Russia

Up to 1,000 babies born to surrogate mothers stranded in Russia

Exclusive: closure of borders means biological parents from other countries have not been able to meet their children in MoscowWed 29 Jul 2020 10.39 EDTAs many as 1,000 babies born to surrogate mothers in Russia for foreign families have been left stranded in the country by the coronavirus pandemic and closure of international borders, the Guardian has been told.The babies, some born as far back as February, are being cared for mainly by hired caregivers in rented apartments in Moscow, St Petersburg, and other Russian cities.Border closures have put additional strain on surrogate mothers,...

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Andrew Roth
Jul 29
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Hostage siege ends after Ukrainian president endorses Joaquin Phoenix film

Hostage siege ends after Ukrainian president endorses Joaquin Phoenix film

A gunman in armed with an automatic rifle and grenades has surrendered to police and released 13 hostages after the country’s president consented to his demand to recommend the 2005 film Earthlings starring .The niche film recommendation, delivered by President over Facebook, helped end an hours-long standoff in the western Ukrainian city of Lutsk, where 44-year-old Maksym Kryvosh seized a bus and demanded that dozens of government officials admit to being “terrorists”.During the hostage crisis, which began on Tuesday morning, Kryvosh opened fire and threw a grenade at a police drone. The...

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Andrew Roth
Jul 21
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Member of Pussy Riot protest group detained by anti-extremist police

Member of Pussy Riot protest group detained by anti-extremist police

Pyotr Verzilov seized at his apartment by unidentified men who broke down his door in MoscowMon 22 Jun 2020 10.02 EDTA prominent member of the protest group was interrogated for hours and charged with petty hooliganism after his sudden disappearance sparked concerns he had been kidnapped.Pyotr Verzilov, an activist and artist, was seized at his apartment by unidentified men who broke down his door with a sledgehammer on Sunday morning.Verzilov is a veteran member of Pussy Riot who launched a pitch invasion with three other activists at the 2018 World Cup finals to protest against police...

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Andrew Roth
Jun 22
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Russia to hold Victory Day parade on 24 June, says Vladimir Putin

Russia to hold Victory Day parade on 24 June, says Vladimir Putin

President announces new date for military showpiece as rate of Covid-19 infections slows in MoscowTue 26 May 2020 12.09 EDTVladimir Putin has said Russia will hold its postponed Victory Day military parade on 24 June and declared that the country’s coronavirus outbreak has stabilised, on the same day as it posted a record death toll from the virus.The decision to hold the parade in a month’s time is likely to mean thousands of soldiers being scrambled to begin rehearsals for the complex event, while millions of Russians remain under strict orders to shelter at home.The rate of infections in...

theguardian.com
Andrew Roth
May 26
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Ramzan Kadyrov not seen publicly since reports he has coronavirus

Ramzan Kadyrov not seen publicly since reports he has coronavirus

Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman leader of the southern Russian republic of Chechnya, has not been seen publicly in the 24 hours since Russian state media said he had been with coronavirus symptoms.While online sleuths have sought to or motorcades that may have ferried Chechnya’s leader in Moscow, local officials have either declined to give information about his whereabouts or health or opted to who have asked.Experts on the region said that Kadyrov’s status was unclear but that hiding an illness would fit a wider strategy of minimising problems in , particularly when reporting to the...

theguardian.com
Andrew Roth
May 22
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