Moldova says Russia’s Gazprom cuts gas supplies by 30%

Moldova says Russia’s Gazprom cuts gas supplies by 30%

CHISINAU, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Russia's Gazprom GAZP.MM cut natural gas supplies to Moldova on Saturday by around 30%, the director of gas firm Moldovagaz, Vadim Ceban, said.  A day earlier, deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said Gazprom had warned Moldova about the reduction in supplies.  Spinu said on Saturday that technical problems were behind the reduction and the country would ask Gazprom to increase supplies. "The reason for the reduction in gas supply...was explained by Gazprom too late," Spinu told a news conference, adding that technical problems could not be considered an "objective reason". Spinu said Moldova had around 53.5 million cubic meters…
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Russia aiming to fly solo without Airbus and Boeing

Russia aiming to fly solo without Airbus and Boeing

This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine MOSCOW, (Reuters) - Russia's aviation industry will aim to go it alone without the West, using locally built parts to produce 1,000 airliners by 2030 and end a reliance on Boeing BA.N and Airbus, state-owned engineer Rostec said. The remarks from Rostec, a vast state corporation headed by a close ally of President Vladimir Putin that includes Russia's only manufacturer of civil aircraft, are the strongest indication yet that the country's aviation sector sees the confrontation with the West as a permanent schism.…
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Q+A: Nord Stream gas ‘sabotage’: who’s being blamed and why?

Q+A: Nord Stream gas ‘sabotage’: who’s being blamed and why?

WARSAW, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Major leaks that suddenly erupted in the Nord Stream gas pipelines that run from Russia to Europe under the Baltic Sea have generated plenty of theories but few clear answers about who or what caused the damage. Here is what we know and what has been said so far: WHO IS BEING BLAMED? So far, most governments and officials have avoided pointing a finger directly, although some have made stronger hints than others. European Union states say they believe the damage was caused by sabotage but have stopped short of naming anyone. Fatih Birol, the…
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Factbox: The four regions that Russia is poised to annex from Ukraine

Factbox: The four regions that Russia is poised to annex from Ukraine

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will proclaim the annexation of four Ukrainian regions at a Kremlin ceremony on Friday, a major escalation in the seven-month war. Ukraine and the West have denounced the moves - as they did with Moscow's 2014 seizure of Crimea - as illegal seizures after what they called sham referendums held at gunpoint. Here are some details of the four regions - each roughly the area of the U.S. state of Massachusetts and together comprising about 15% of Ukraine's land area - and the varying extents to which Russia has already brought…
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Patriarch Kirill, head of Russia’s Orthodox Church, tests positive for COVID

Patriarch Kirill, head of Russia’s Orthodox Church, tests positive for COVID

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has tested positive for COVID-19, the Church's press service said on Friday. The Church said Kirill, 75, had cancelled all his planned trips and events as he was suffering "severe symptoms" requiring bed rest and isolation. It said his condition was "satisfactory". Under Kirill, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and supporter of the war in Ukraine, the Russian Orthodox Church has become a powerful political player, championing Russia's turn towards conservative social values.
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Russian spy chief: we have evidence West involved in ‘sabotage’ of Nord Stream pipelines

Russian spy chief: we have evidence West involved in ‘sabotage’ of Nord Stream pipelines

Sept 30 (Reuters) - Russia's top spy said on Friday that Moscow had materials which indicated the West had a role in ruptures to the undersea Nord Stream pipelines that have threatened to put them permanently out of use, Russian news agencies reported. "We have materials that point to a Western trace in the organisation and implementation of these terrorist acts," the Interfax news agency quoted Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia's foreign intelligence service, as saying on Friday. Naryshkin's remarks are the most direct accusation against the West from a senior Russian official. He did not say what evidence Russia…
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FACTBOX: Russia’s annexation plan in Ukraine: Kremlin signing ceremony

FACTBOX: Russia’s annexation plan in Ukraine: Kremlin signing ceremony

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin will host a signing ceremony in the Kremlin on Friday to incorporate four Ukrainian regions into Russia, a major step towards formally annexing around 15% of Ukraine. What happens now? The Kremlin said a signing ceremony on incorporating the new territories would take place on Friday in the Georgievsky Hall of the Great Kremlin Palace. Putin will give a speech, and meet with the leaders of the self-styled Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) as well as the Russian-installed leaders of the parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia…
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Russian region limits incoming cars amid queues at Georgia border to escape draft

Russian region limits incoming cars amid queues at Georgia border to escape draft

LONDON, (Reuters) - Russia's North Ossetia republic imposed restrictions on cars arriving from other parts of the country as an exodus of military-age men led to a queue of over 3,000 vehicles at the region's Verkhny Lars crossing point into Georgia. North Ossetia Governor Sergei Menyailo said the ban was being introduced after 20,000 people crossed the border in two days, with far more remaining in line. "We will not be physically able to ensure order and security if this flow continues to grow," he said on Telegram. Menyailo said the ban would not apply to residents or tourists, or…
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UPDATED: Moscow calls for ‘objective’ investigation into Nord Stream damage

UPDATED: Moscow calls for ‘objective’ investigation into Nord Stream damage

MOSCOW, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Russia called on Thursday for an international investigation into ruptures of the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea to be "objective", amid an escalating war of words between Moscow and the West over responsibility for the still-unexplained damage. In a press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also said the United States would have to "explain itself", referring to comments President Joe Biden made in February when he said "there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2" if Russia sent troops into Ukraine. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that…
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EU executive proposes eighth batch of sanctions against Russia

EU executive proposes eighth batch of sanctions against Russia

BRUSSELS, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The European Union executive proposed on Wednesday an eighth round of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including tighter trade restrictions, more individual blacklistings and an oil price cap for third countries.  The proposal will now go to the bloc's 27 member countries, which will need to overcome their differences to implement the new sanctions on top of seven sets of punitive measures imposed on Russia since its forces swept into Ukraine on Feb. 24. That may take time despite the EU being spurred into action by Russia's military mobilisation last week, nuclear threats and steps to annex a swathe of Ukraine, after…
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Russians resorting to private jets to get out of the country

Russians resorting to private jets to get out of the country

Russia is experiencing an unprecedented demand for private jets in the aftermath of the first mobilisation since World War II ordered by Vladimir Putin. Wealthy Russians are seeking ways to get out of the country amid speculation that the Kremlin might close the borders to men of mobilisation age. Seats are being sold at between 23,000 to 28,000 euro each with Russian men heading mainly to Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, three countries have allowed Russians visa-free entry. Yevgeny Bikov, a director at a company which brokers trips on private jets told The Guardian that “the situation is absolutely crazy at…
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Russia issues new nuclear warning as contested Ukraine referendum ends

Russia issues new nuclear warning as contested Ukraine referendum ends

LONDON/ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The head of the upper house of the Russian parliament said on Tuesday that it could consider the incorporation of Russia-controlled parts of four Ukrainian regions into Russia on Oct. 4, the RIA news agency reported. This was the latest development as today, an ally of President Vladimir Putin issued a stark new nuclear warning to Ukraine and the West on Tuesday as Russia began releasing results of referendums it bills as a prelude to it annexing four Ukrainian regions. Moscow's latest broadside came as European countries rushed to investigate unexplained, major leaks in two Russian natural gas pipelines under…
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Over 96% said to favour joining Russia in first vote results from occupied Ukraine regions

Over 96% said to favour joining Russia in first vote results from occupied Ukraine regions

LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - First partial voting results from four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine showed overwhelming majorities in favour of becoming part of Russia, Russian state news agency RIA said on Tuesday, after so-called referendums that Kyiv and the West have denounced as a sham. Hastily arranged votes had taken place over five days in the four areas - Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson - that make up about 15% of Ukrainian territory. Local election commission members pull out ballots for vote counting in a so-called 'referendum' on the joining of Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine to Russia, at a polling station in Melitopol,…
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German police investigating Russian billionaire Usmanov search yacht

German police investigating Russian billionaire Usmanov search yacht

German police investigating money laundering accusations against Russian billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov have searched a motor yacht in northern Germany, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Prosecutors did not identify the yacht or its owner but described him as a 69-year-old Russian businessman and said he was the target of the same investigation as last week, when police raided a lakeside villa registered to Usmanov. Usmanov's representatives were not immediately available to comment on Tuesday's yacht raid. In a statement on Monday, his press office rejected the allegations against him as "baseless and defamatory". He is on an EU sanctions list freezing his assets…
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Medvedev raises spectre of Russian nuclear strike on Ukraine

Medvedev raises spectre of Russian nuclear strike on Ukraine

An ally of President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday outlined the scenario of a nuclear strike on Ukraine, saying that the U.S.-led NATO military alliance would be too scared of a 'nuclear apocalypse' to directly enter the conflict in reponse. Dmitry Medvedev, a former president who now serves as deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, said Russia had the right to defend itself with nuclear weapons if it is pushed beyond its limits and that this is "certainly not a bluff". Putin last week ordered Russia's first mobilisation since World War Two and backed a plan to annex swathes of Ukraine, warning the…
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Pro-Putin Russian businessman admits link to Wagner mercenaries for first time

Pro-Putin Russian businessman admits link to Wagner mercenaries for first time

Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Monday that he had founded the Wagner Group private military company in 2014, the first public confirmation of a link he has previously denied and sued journalists for reporting. The Wagner Group, staffed by veterans of the Russian armed forces, has fought in Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic and Mali, among other countries. The press service of Prigozhin's Concord catering firm posted his comments on the social network VKontakte in response to a request for comment from a Russian news site on why he had stopped denying his links to Wagner. "I cleaned the…
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Kremlin says no decision yet on whether to seal Russia’s borders to stop men fleeing

Kremlin says no decision yet on whether to seal Russia’s borders to stop men fleeing

The Kremlin said on Monday no decision had been taken on whether to seal Russia's borders to stop an exodus of military-aged men fleeing the country, after days of chaotic scenes during its first military mobilisation since World War Two. Asked about the prospect of the border being shut, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: "I don't know anything about this. At the moment, no decisions have been taken on this." Reports that Russia might close the frontier have contributed to turmoil since President Vladimir Putin gave the order last week to call up hundreds of thousands of reservists in the biggest escalation yet…
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Orthodox Church leader says Russian soldiers dying in Ukraine will be cleansed of sin

Orthodox Church leader says Russian soldiers dying in Ukraine will be cleansed of sin

Sept 26 (Reuters) - The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has said that Russian soldiers who die in the war against Ukraine will be cleansed of all their sins, days after President Vladimir Putin ordered the country's first mobilisation since World War Two. Patriarch Kirill is a key Putin ally and backer of the invasion. He has previously criticised those who oppose the war and called on Russians to rally round the Kremlin. "Many are dying on the fields of internecine warfare," Kirill, 75, said in his first Sunday address since the mobilisation order. "The Church prays that this…
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UPDATED: Kremlin says no decisions taken on border closure amid mobilisation

UPDATED: Kremlin says no decisions taken on border closure amid mobilisation

This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine. MOSCOW, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Monday that no decisions had been taken on closing Russia's borders, amid an exodus of military-age men since President Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilisation last Wednesday. Asked about the possibility of border closures in a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "I don't know anything about this. At the moment, no decisions have been taken on this." Peskov also acknowledged that some call-ups had been issued in error, saying mistakes were…
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UPDATED: Swastika-wearing gunman kills 13 at Russian school

UPDATED: Swastika-wearing gunman kills 13 at Russian school

MOSCOW, Sept 26 (Reuters) - A gunman with a swastika on his teeshirt killed 13 people, including seven children, and wounded more than 20 at a school in Russia on Monday before committing suicide, investigators said. The identity of the attacker and the motive for the shooting in Izhevsk, about 970 km (600 miles) east of Moscow, were not clear. Russia's Investigative Committee, which handles major crimes, said the gunman was wearing a balaclava. It released a short video showing his body lying on the floor of a classroom with overturned furniture and papers strewn on the floor. He was…
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Russia’s Putin to meet Belarus’ Lukashenko later today

Russia’s Putin to meet Belarus’ Lukashenko later today

Sept 26 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko on Monday in Moscow, Belarus state media reported. Russia and Belarus are close allies, with Russia having used bases in Belarus as a staging post for its troops, aircraft and equipment in the invasion of Ukraine.
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Moscow pledges ‘full protection’ to any areas annexed by Russia

Moscow pledges ‘full protection’ to any areas annexed by Russia

Sept 25 (Reuters) - Russia has sought to defend its seven-month old war, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov telling the United Nations that regions of Ukraine where widely-criticised referendums are being held would get Russia's "full protection" if annexed by Moscow. The votes in four eastern Ukrainian regions, aimed at annexing territory Russia has taken by force since its invasion in February, were staged for a third day on Sunday. The Russian parliament could move to formalise the annexation within days. By incorporating the four areas of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia into Russia, Moscow could portray attacks to retake them as…
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Borrell: Putin not bluffing about nuclear weapons

Borrell: Putin not bluffing about nuclear weapons

The EU must take Vladimir Putin's threats he could use nuclear weapons in the conflict in Ukraine seriously, the bloc's foreign policy chief has said. Josep Borrell told the BBC's Lyse Doucet that the war had reached a "dangerous moment". His remarks come as Russia begins a partial mobilisation and moves to annex four regions of Ukraine. Mr Putin has faced setbacks on the battlefield, with his forces pushed back by a Ukrainian counter-offensive. "Certainly it's a dangerous moment because the Russian army has been pushed into a corner, and Putin's reaction - threatening using nuclear arms - it's very…
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Moscow “not threatening anyone” with nuclear weapons – Russia’s Ryabkov

Moscow “not threatening anyone” with nuclear weapons – Russia’s Ryabkov

This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine. MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow was not threatening anybody with nuclear weapons, and that open confrontation with the United States and NATO was not in Russia's interests, state news agencies reported. "We are not threatening anyone with nuclear weapons," the Interfax agency quoted Ryabkov as saying at a conference on Friday. "The criteria for their use are outlined in Russia's military doctrine." President Vladimir Putin this week told the West he was "not bluffing" when he…
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Hungary to continue issuing Schengen visas for Russians — foreign minister

Hungary to continue issuing Schengen visas for Russians — foreign minister

Russian state-owned news agency TASS reportsHungary has no plans to deny Schengen visas, including multiple-entry visas, to Russian nationals.  Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said this  in an interview with Russian news agency on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. "There is a clear methodology, how you issue visas for tourists coming from a country with which there’s no visa facilitation agreement. That’s a procedure, which is more complicated and a little bit, of course slower, compared to if you have the visa facilitation agreement in place. But even if you don’t have a visa facilitation agreement, it doesn’t…
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Russia excludes some IT professionals, bankers and journalists from mobilisation

Russia excludes some IT professionals, bankers and journalists from mobilisation

Russia said it was exempting some bankers, IT workers and journalists from being drafted into the army to serve in Ukraine under President Vladimir Putin's mobilisation. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that Russia would seek to call up 300,000 additional troops for Russia's war in Ukraine in what the Kremlin calls a "partial mobilisation". The section of the official decree announcing mobilisation which included the number of people who would be drafted was kept classified and unpublished, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Russia's defence ministry said some employees working in critically important industries would be excluded from…
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Russian airlines staff start to receive conscription notices -Kommersant

Russian airlines staff start to receive conscription notices -Kommersant

Sept 23 (Reuters) - Russian employees at airlines and airports have started to receive conscription notices after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial military mobilisation, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday citing sources. Employees of at least five airlines, including Russian top carrier Aeroflot AFLT.MM, and staff at more than 10 airports received notices within a day of Putin ordering the mobilisation, the paper reported. According to sources in three companies, potentially 50-80% of the employees could be called up, with a source close to Aeroflot saying that over half of the staff at three of the group's airlines potentially…
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Finland mulls barring Russians from entering as border traffic grows

Finland mulls barring Russians from entering as border traffic grows

VAALIMAA, Finland (Reuters) - Finland said it was considering barring most Russians from entering the country as traffic across the border from its eastern neighbour "intensified" following President Vladimir Putin's order for a partial military mobilisation. Finnish land border crossings have remained among the few entry points into Europe for Russians after a string of Western countries shut both physical frontiers and their air space to Russian planes in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday the government was assessing risks posed by individuals travelling through Finland, and was considering ways to sharply reduce…
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Lavrov defends Russia at U.N. showdown rife with anger over Ukraine war

Lavrov defends Russia at U.N. showdown rife with anger over Ukraine war

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov defended Moscow's war in Ukraine at the U.N. Security Council as the United Nations warned Moscow against annexing Ukrainian regions and Western ministers called for accountability over atrocities. Lavrov was only in the council chamber to deliver his address to the meeting of the 15-member body, which was attended by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Lavrov did not listen to anyone else speak. "I noticed today that Russian diplomats flee as aptly as Russian forces," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the Security Council…
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Czechs will not issue humanitarian visa to Russians fleeing mobilisation

Czechs will not issue humanitarian visa to Russians fleeing mobilisation

PRAGUE, (Reuters) - The Czech Republic will not issue humanitarian visas to Russian citizens fleeing mobilisation orders, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said. Many Russians are trying to leave their country after President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilisation on Wednesday as Russian forces fighting in Ukraine have suffered heavy losses. "I understand that Russians are fleeing from ever more desperate decisions by Putin. But those running because they don't want to fulfill a duty imposed by their own government, they don't meet the criteria for humanitarian visa," Lipavsky told Reuters. His stance was in line with that of fellow European Union…
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Russian anti-draft protesters being ordered to enlist

Russian anti-draft protesters being ordered to enlist

LONDON/GDANSK, (Reuters) - Some Russians detained while protesting against President Vladimir Putin's partial mobilisation have been handed draft papers while in custody, the OVD-Info rights group said. Since Putin on Wednesday announced the first large-scale mobilisation in Russia since World War Two, flights to leave the country have sold out and protests have been held - and swiftly broken up by police - in cities across Russia. OVD-Info said at least 1,310 protesters had been detained, and some had been presented with summonses to enlist. One protester in Moscow was told they faced a 10-year jail sentence for refusing to…
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Russia’s Medvedev: new regions can be defended with strategic nuclear weapons

Russia’s Medvedev: new regions can be defended with strategic nuclear weapons

LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that any weapons in Moscow's arsenal, including strategic nuclear weapons, could be used to defend territories incorporated in Russia from Ukraine. Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, said that referendums being organised by Russian-installed and separatist authorities in large swathes of Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory will take place, and that "there is no going back": "The Donbas (Donetsk and Luhansk) republics and other territories will be accepted into Russia." Medvedev said the protection of all the territories would be significantly strengthened by the Russian armed forces, adding:…
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UPDATED: EU says members will need joint position on Russians arriving at borders

UPDATED: EU says members will need joint position on Russians arriving at borders

BRUSSELS, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The European Union will need to establish a joint position on requests for entry by Russians fleeing their country due to the war in Ukraine, the bloc's executive said on Thursday. The European Commission said, however, that member states will have to assess requests on a case-by-case basis, taking into account fundamental rights and asylum procedure legislation. Commission spokesperson Peter Stano noted reports of many Russians trying to leave the country after President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilisation on Wednesday, and said half a million have left since the invasion of Ukraine in February.…
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Some Russian banking staff will be exempt from draft, bank CEO says

Some Russian banking staff will be exempt from draft, bank CEO says

Sept 22 (Reuters) - Some personnel working in Russia's banking sector deemed critically important will be exempt from the country's military call-up, the CEO of Russia's No. 2 bank VTB said on Thursday. "For banks and companies in the financial sector, a number of critical staff will be identified who will not be called up," VTB head Andrei Kostin said. President Vladimir Putin ordered the immediate call-up of 300,000 reservists on Wednesday, although Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the mobilisation would be limited to those with experience as professional soldiers. In Other Developments FIGHTING * In Moscow's first update on…
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More than 1,300 detained in anti-mobilisation protests across Russia

More than 1,300 detained in anti-mobilisation protests across Russia

 (Reuters) - Security forces detained more than 1,300 people in Russia on Wednesday at protests denouncing mobilisation, a rights group said, hours after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia's first military draft since World War Two. The independent OVD-Info protest monitoring group said that according to information it had collated from 38 Russian cities, more than 1,311 people had been held by late evening. https://twitter.com/ASLuhn/status/1572652676000907266 It said those figures included at least 502 in Moscow and 524 in St Petersburg, Russia's second most populous city. Unsanctioned rallies are illegal under Russia's anti-protest laws. Russian Interior Ministry official Irina Volk, in a…
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China urges dialogue, consultation after Putin’s warning to West

China urges dialogue, consultation after Putin’s warning to West

BEIJING, Sept 21 (Reuters) - China's foreign ministry urged all parties to engage in dialogue and consultation and find a way to address the security concerns of all parties after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West over what he described as "nuclear blackmail". China's position on Ukraine is consistent and clear, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular media briefing on Wednesday. Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia's first mobilisation since World War Two and warned that Moscow would defend itself with the might of all its vast arsenal if faced with a nuclear threat from the…
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UPDATED: Russian Defence Minister says 6,000 soldiers killed in Ukraine

UPDATED: Russian Defence Minister says 6,000 soldiers killed in Ukraine

Sept 21 (Reuters) - Russia will draft 300,000 reservists to support its military campaign in Ukraine, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday in televised remarks. In Moscow's first update on casualty numbers in almost six months, Shoigu said 5,937 Russian soldiers had been killed since the start of the conflict. President Vladimir Putin had ordered Russia's first mobilisation since World War Two in an early-morning television address, saying the additional manpower was needed to win a war against not only Ukraine but also its Western backers. Shoigu dismissed assertions by Kyiv and the West that Russia has suffered heavy…
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Russia modifies Kalashnikov weapon to speed up firing

Russia modifies Kalashnikov weapon to speed up firing

Sept 21 (Reuters) - Russia has modified the Kalashnikov AK-12 weapon its forces use in Ukraine to speed up firing and give soldiers more control over firing modes, RIA state news agency reported early on Wednesday, citing the weapon maker's president. The AK-12 version, which entered service in 2018, will have its two-round burst cut-off disabled and will have a two-way control of firing modes, as well as an adjustable cheek rest, Kalashnikov Concern's President Alan Lushnikov told RIA. "In the shortest possible time, we selected technical solutions, made a prototype and demonstrated it to representatives of the Russian Ministry…
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UPDATED: Putin signs decree on mobilisation, Russia’s partial mobilisation will see 300,000 drafted

UPDATED: Putin signs decree on mobilisation, Russia’s partial mobilisation will see 300,000 drafted

 (Reuters) - Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin's decree on partial mobilisation would see 300,000 additional personnel called up to serve in Russia's military campaign in Ukraine. In an interview with Russian state television, Shoigu said that students and those who served as conscripts would not be called up, and that the majority of Russia's millions-strong reserves would not be drafted. President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia's first mobilisation since World War Two, warning the West that if it continued what he called its "nuclear blackmail" that Moscow would respond with the might…
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PepsiCo ends Pepsi, 7UP production in Russia months after promising halt over Ukraine

PepsiCo ends Pepsi, 7UP production in Russia months after promising halt over Ukraine

PepsiCo Inc has stopped making Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew in Russia nearly six months after the U.S. company said it would suspend sales and production after Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine. Pepsi's announcement came after Reuters visited dozens of supermarkets, retailers and gyms in Moscow and beyond and found cans and bottles of Pepsi printed with July and August production dates from factories within Russia. The most recent date on a Pepsi product was Aug. 17. In a statement to Reuters, the U.S. company said it had stopped making concentrates for PepsiCola, Mirinda, 7Up and Mountain Dew in Russia. "All concentrates…
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Russia triggers plan to formally annex occupied Ukrainian regions

Russia triggers plan to formally annex occupied Ukrainian regions

Two Russian-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine announced plans to hold referendums on joining Russia later this week and an ally of President Vladimir Putin said the votes would alter the geopolitical landscape in Moscow's favour forever. The move, which seriously escalates Moscow's standoff with the West, comes after Russia suffered a battlefield reversal in northeast Ukraine and as Putin ponders his next steps in a nearly seven-month-old conflict that has caused the most serious East-West rift since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The Russian-backed, self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) and the neighbouring Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) said the planned referendums would be held from Sept. 23-27. In a…
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Ukraine marches farther into liberated lands, separatist calls for urgent referendum

Ukraine marches farther into liberated lands, separatist calls for urgent referendum

IZIUM, Ukraine, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Ukraine said its troops have marched farther east into territory recently abandoned by Russia, paving the way for a potential assault on Moscow's occupation forces in the Donbas region as Kyiv seeks more Western arms. "The occupiers are clearly in a panic," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a televised address late on Monday, adding that he was now focused on "speed" in liberated areas. "The speed at which our troops are moving. The speed in restoring normal life," Zelenskiy said. The Ukrainian leader also hinted he would use a video address to the United Nations General Assembly…
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Kremlin says it values Hungary taking ‘sovereign positions’ inside EU

Kremlin says it values Hungary taking ‘sovereign positions’ inside EU

MOSCOW, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Monday said it welcomed Hungary taking "sovereign positions" on many issues within the European Union, as it wade into the 7.5-billion-euro funding row between Budapest and Brussels. In a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was following developments related to Hungary after the EU Commission over the weekend recommended suspending some funding to Budapest over the country's corruption. (Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)
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Russia says ready for U.S. prisoner swap talks but scolds embassy

Russia says ready for U.S. prisoner swap talks but scolds embassy

MOSCOW, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Russia's foreign ministry said on Monday that it was ready for talks on a prisoner exchange to free U.S. citizens jailed in Russia, but that the American embassy in Moscow was "not fulfilling its official duties" to maintain dialogue. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: "We have stated many times that we are ready for negotiations to resolve the fate of U.S. citizens convicted in Russia and Russian citizens in the U.S." Russia has previously suggested that it is open to a prisoner exchange which could include U.S. Marine Corps veteran Paul Whelan, basketball star…
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Russian pop megastar Alla Pugacheva condemns Ukraine war

Russian pop megastar Alla Pugacheva condemns Ukraine war

Alla Pugacheva, the queen of Soviet pop music, on Sunday denounced President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine which she said was killing soldiers for illusory aims, burdening ordinary people and turning Russia into a global pariah. Since the Feb. 24 invasion, Russia has cracked down on dissent, with fines for artists who make anti-war comments. State TV casts critics as traitors to the motherland. Pugacheva, 73, a Soviet and then post-Soviet icon who is probably Russia's most famous woman, requested Russia also class her as a "foreign agent" after her husband, 46-year-old TV comedian Maxim Galkin, was on Sept. 16…
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To buy or not to buy: Russian aluminium dilemma for Europe’s buyers

To buy or not to buy: Russian aluminium dilemma for Europe’s buyers

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Europe's power crisis, production cuts and shortages of aluminium have left consumers in a quandary about Russian supplies of the metal vital for the region's transport, construction and packaging industries. Some are choosing to shun Rusal's metal, while others are more sanguine - pointing to the fact that neither the company nor its metal is under sanctions imposed on other Russian companies after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February. Known in the industry as "the mating season", consumers and producers gathered at a conference in Barcelona this week to agree deals to buy and sell aluminium for…
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Moscow’s military reserves may be smaller than initially assumed

Moscow’s military reserves may be smaller than initially assumed

BERLIN (Reuters) - Russia has suffered significant troop and equipment losses in Ukraine and the impact of Kyiv's latest counter-offensive may reveal Moscow's military reserves to be smaller than assumed, Germany's defence minister told Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin has yet to comment publicly on the setback suffered by his forces this month. Ukrainian officials say 9,000 sq km (3,400 sq miles) have been retaken, territory about the size of the island of Cyprus. "Russia's military has suffered significant losses by now - both in troops and equipment," Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said in an interview. "The notion that the…
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Russia says it launched strikes on Ukrainian troops in several regions

Russia says it launched strikes on Ukrainian troops in several regions

MOSCOW, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Russia's defence ministry said on Saturday that its forces had launched strikes on Ukrainian positions in several parts of Ukraine, and accused Kyiv of carrying out shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Russian forces conducted their strikes in the Kherson, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, according to the ministry, which added that Ukrainian forces had carried out an unsuccessful offensive near Pravdyne in Kherson. The radiation situation at Zaporizhzhia, Europe's biggest nuclear power plant, remains normal, according to the ministry. It said two incidents of Ukrainian shelling were recorded near the plant on Saturday. A spokesperson…
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Russian prisoners told they can go free if they do six months’ service in Ukraine

Russian prisoners told they can go free if they do six months’ service in Ukraine

A leaked video appears to show a close ally of President Vladimir Putin offering pardons to Russian prisoners if they fight in Ukraine - but warning they will be shot dead if they desert when they get there. In the footage, a man who is believed to be Yevgeny Prigozhin, the reported head of the private military company Wagner Group, is seen speaking to a large group in the outdoor area of a prison in Yoshkar-Ola. He describes himself as a representative of the Wagner Group. He tells the prisoners that they will be freed if they serve in Ukraine…
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Russia says longer-range U.S. missiles for Kyiv would cross red line

Russia says longer-range U.S. missiles for Kyiv would cross red line

MOSCOW, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that if the United States decided to supply Kyiv with longer-range missiles, it would cross a "red line" and become "a party to the conflict". In a briefing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova added that Russia "reserves the right to defend its territory". Washington has supplied Ukraine with advanced rockets that can hit targets up to 80 km (50 miles) away, while so far holding back from publicly announcing it would send rockets with more than double that range. U.S. officials say Ukraine has promised not to use U.S.…
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UPDATED: Putin to Xi: Russia values China’s ‘balanced position’ on Ukraine

UPDATED: Putin to Xi: Russia values China’s ‘balanced position’ on Ukraine

SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday praised China's Xi Jinping for his "balanced" position on the conflict in Ukraine and scolded the United States for what the Kremlin chief said were provocations over Taiwan. Xi, on his first trip outside China since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, met Putin in the ancient Uzbek Silk Road city of Samarkand where they will attend a summit of The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Speaking at their first face-to-face meeting since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began, Putin praised Xi for his position on the war in Ukraine but also…
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As war began, Putin rejected a Ukraine peace deal recommended by his aide: sources

As war began, Putin rejected a Ukraine peace deal recommended by his aide: sources

PARIS, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin's chief envoy on Ukraine told the Russian leader as the war began that he had struck a provisional deal with Kyiv that would satisfy Russia's demand that Ukraine stay out of NATO, but Putin rejected it and pressed ahead with his military campaign, according to three people close to the Russian leadership. The Ukrainian-born envoy, Dmitry Kozak, told Putin that he believed the deal he had hammered out removed the need for Russia to pursue a large-scale occupation of Ukraine, according to these sources. Kozak's recommendation to Putin to adopt the deal is…
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Kremlin: Ukraine’s NATO ambitions remain threat to Russia

Kremlin: Ukraine’s NATO ambitions remain threat to Russia

This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine. MOSCOW, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Ukraine's ongoing ambitions to join the Western NATO military alliance presented a threat to Russia's security and highlighted the necessity for Russia to conduct what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine. The Kremlin on Wednesday played down the impact of lost gas sales to Europe on Russia's economy and said there were plenty of other countries that wanted to buy Russia's energy resources. "Europe is not the only consumer of…
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U.S. allows Russia’s Lavrov to travel to United Nations

U.S. allows Russia’s Lavrov to travel to United Nations

UNITED NATIONS, (Reuters) - The United States has given Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a visa to travel to New York for the United Nations' annual gathering of world leaders next week with half the delegation Moscow requested, a Russian diplomatic source said. Moscow had asked Washington for 56 visas, according to a Sept. 2 letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres from Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. The Russian diplomatic source said on Tuesday the United States had approved 24 visas. Nebenzia had also noted in his letter that the flight crew for Lavrov's plane had not received visas. It…
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Russia covertly spent $300m to finance political parties abroad

Russia covertly spent $300m to finance political parties abroad

Russia has covertly spent more than $300m since 2014 to influence politicians in more than 24 countries, the US has alleged. The Department of State's allegation is based on a declassified US intelligence assessment. The United States expects that Russia will increasingly turn to covert political financing in the coming months to undermine international sanctions over the war in Ukraine and maintain Moscow's influence abroad, a senior Biden administration official said, citing the declassified U.S. intelligence assessment. The official briefed reporters by phone on a review by the U.S. intelligence community of Russia's efforts to influence other countries' politics. It…
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Russia, Myanmar not invited to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral – source

Russia, Myanmar not invited to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral – source

Britain has not invited representatives from Russia, Belarus and Myanmar to attend Queen Elizabeth's state funeral due to be held next Monday, a Whitehall source said on Tuesday. Britain, along with its Western allies, has sought to isolate Russia and its ally Belarus on the world stage with economic sanctions and other measures in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. Myanmar and its military have also been the subject of British sanctions as London steps up support for the Southeast Asian country's Rohingya community. About 500 foreign dignitaries are expected to attend Queen Elizabeth's funeral in London, with invites having been sent to the heads of…
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Zelenskiy calls for more Western arms after Russian setback

Zelenskiy calls for more Western arms after Russian setback

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on the West to speed up deliveries of weapons systems as Ukrainian troops move to consolidate control over a large swath of northeastern territory seized back from Russia. Since Moscow abandoned its main bastion in northeastern Ukraine on Saturday, marking its worst defeat since the early days of the war, Ukrainian troops have recaptured dozens of towns in a stunning shift in battleground momentum. A senior U.S. military official said Russia has largely ceded territory near Kharkiv in the northeast and pulled many of its troops back over the border.  Washington and its allies have provided Ukraine with billions…
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Russia gives up key northeast towns as Ukrainian forces advance

Russia gives up key northeast towns as Ukrainian forces advance

KYIV/HRAKOVE, Ukraine, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Moscow abandoned its main bastion in northeastern Ukraine on Saturday, in a sudden collapse of one of the war's principal front lines after Ukrainian forces made a rapid advance. The swift fall of Izium in Kharkiv province was Moscow's worst defeat since its troops were forced back from the capital Kyiv in March. Ukraine hailed it as a turning point in the 6-month-old war, with thousands of Russian soldiers leaving behind ammunition stockpiles and equipment as they fled.  Russian forces used Izium as the logistics base for one of their main campaigns - a months-long assault…
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