Russia

Regional News • Americas • United States
Final presidential debate: Candidates discuss New York, economy, foreign interference in US elections and health care
Video still of Thursday's finale presidential debate
Video still of Thursday's finale presidential debate Credit: C-SPAN, Video Screenshot via YouTube

During Thursday's final presidential debate, moderated by Kristen Welker of NBC News, Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump were asked questions regarding the current state of the US economy, the effect of Covid-19 on New York, foreign interference in US elections and health care. The candidates’ microphones were muted at times while the other was speaking.

Biden insisted that "people deserve to have affordable health care" which would be provided by Bidencare. Trump has said again he would replace Obamacare but didn't give any further information.-

Trump stated he knew all about foreign interference in US elections but alleged it was a ploy to undermine his candidacy. Biden promised that "they will pay a price if I’m elected" as they were interfering with American sovereignty, referring to China, Russia and Iran.

Regional News • Europe
European Union negotiates over new sanctions against Russia over Navalny poisoning

At a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, the foreign ministers agreed to begin the necessary preparations, as the German Press Agency learned from several diplomats.

Austria's foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) confirmed on Monday that there was a "fundamental consensus" among EU countries to impose "sanctions against individuals directly connected with these chemical weapons" in the Navalny case. No details on possible concrete measures have been given so far. According to Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, the preparation of a sanctions list could take several more weeks.

Business
Poland anti-trust regulator fines Russia's Gazprom $7.61 billion over new gas pipeline to Germany
Poland anti-trust regulator fines Russia's Gazprom $7.61 billion over new gas pipeline to Germany
Credit: James Offer (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Gazprom pledges to appeal the case against the Nord Stream 2 project, which is also backed by five Western companies and headed by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

Sports
Valtteri Botas wins Russian Grand Prix
Valtteri Botas wins Russian Grand Prix
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Valtteri Botas won the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. The Finish driver has now nine victories in the category.

Botas finished ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, with Lewis Hamilton in third.

In the post-race interview, Botas said: "Once I was in clean air I felt that the pace was pretty awesome and that I could control everything.

Sports
Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton on the pole position in Sochi, the 96th of his career
Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton on the pole position in Sochi, the 96th of his career
Credit: LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton is on pole position for the Russian Grand Prix, in Sochi. Hamilton, the current leader of the Formula 1 championship, finished ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas took the third place, Sergio Perez the fourth position, and Daniel Ricciardo will start in the fifth position.

After the session, Hamilton said, "Firstly, I have say a big hi to all the fans that are here, we've missed the fans all year! I hope everyone's staying safe."

The Russian Grand Prix will happen Sunday, September 27, at 11:10 (UTC).

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Navalny has been discharged from Berlin hospital
Navalny has been discharged from Berlin hospital
Credit: @ChariteBerlin via Twitter

The Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been discharged from the Berlin Charité hospital. He had been treated for 32 days at the hospital after being poisoned in Russia.

The hospital has stated that "the patient's state of health has improved to such an extent that the acute medical treatment could be terminated".

Science • Space
Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Roscosmos, states Venus is a Russian planet
Dmitry Rogozin
Dmitry Rogozin Credit: Government.ru (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Following the announcement that phosphine had been detected in the atmosphere of Venus, Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin stated Tuesday that "Venus is a Russian planet." Russia plans to send its own mission to Venus in addition to "Venera-D," the planned joint mission with the US.

During an interview, Rogozin said: "We think that Venus is a Russian planet, so we shouldn't lag behind," and "Projects of Venus missions are included in the united government program of Russia's space exploration for 2021-2030."

Studies carried out in Russia between 1967-1984 were at the forefront of international research into Venus.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Navalny was poisoned with Novichok at his hotel, not at the airport
Screenshot of Navalny's Instagram post
Screenshot of Navalny's Instagram post Credit: Alexei Navalny

Novichok, the nerve agent used to poison Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detected on an empty water bottle from his hotel room in the Tomsk. His team now believes that he was poisoned in that hotel room, not at the airport as they had initially suspected.

In a video posted on Navalny's Instagram, his aides are seen collecting items from the hotel room an hour after they learned he had fallen sick in suspicious circumstances.

Navalny fell violently ill on a domestic flight in Russia last month and was transferred to Berlin for treatment. Germany says he was poisoned by a Novichok nerve agent, while Russia says it has seen no evidence he was poisoned.

Regional News • Europe
Alexander Lukashenko says he asked Russia to supply new weapons to Belarus
Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin
Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin Credit: Kremlin

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday he had asked the Russian president to supply Belarus with new weapons.

During a visit of the Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to Minsk, Lukashenko stated: "I also asked the Russian president to provide certain types of weapons to us. I told him: when you come, we will see what things we need to strengthen in terms of the Union State."

Regional News • Europe • Russia
German government announces that Navalny is awake and plans to return to Russia
Alexei Navalny
Alexei Navalny Credit: Evgeny Feldman (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has awakened from a medically induced coma and seemed mentally sharp according to a senior German security official.

The official stated that "he’s fully aware of his condition, he’s fully aware of what happened and he’s fully aware of where he is" and added that Navalny "wants to go home to Russia and he wants to continue his mission".

Regional News • Europe
Vladimir Putin promises a €1.26 billion loan to Belarus at Lukashenko meeting
Vladimir Putin promises a €1.26 billion loan to Belarus at Lukashenko meeting
Credit: Kremlin

During a visit of Alexandar Lukashenko to Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would grant a loan worth €1.26 billion to Belarus. Putin also supported Lukashenko's initiative to reform Belarus's constitution.

Putin told Lukashenko, at the joint press conference: "I am sure that, considering your political experience, the work in this direction would be organised on the highest possible level."

Russia announced they would also continue the pre-planned joint military drills. At the same time, Putin emphasised that Russian soldiers would "return to their permanent deployment locations" after the routine ends.

Regional News • Europe
Belarus: At least 100,000 rally against Lukashenko in Minsk
Protest rally against Lukashenko, 13 September 2020. Minsk, Belarus
Protest rally against Lukashenko, 13 September 2020. Minsk, Belarus Credit: Homoatrox (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

For the fifth weekend in a row, protesters took the streets in Belarus against President Alexander Lukashenko under the slogan "We won’t let him sell the country." According to news agencies, at least 100,000 people joined the rally in Minsk, with Police claiming they had detained over 400 people in the city.

The Russian Government has stepped up support, offering to potentially restructure Belarusian debt, and providing banking liquidity. It has also said Russian riot police could be made available if needed.

Lukashenko will meet Vladimir Putin Monday in the Russian resort of Sochi. It will be their first face-to-face encounter since Belarus’s presidential election on August 9.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Microsoft finds Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting US elections
Microsoft finds Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting US elections
Credit: Element5 Digital

Hackers from China, Russia and Iran are targeting the 2020 presidential elections, Microsoft found. In a blog post, Microsoft stated that the three hacker groups Strontium (Russia), Zirconium (China) and Phosphorus (Iran) have launched attacks aimed at both the Democratic and Republican party. The groups have attacked "more than 200 organizations including political campaigns, advocacy groups, parties and political consultants", "high-profile individuals associated with the election" including associates of Biden's campaign and "personal accounts of people associated" with the Trump campaign.

"The majority of these attacks were detected and stopped by security tools built into our products. We have directly notified those who were targeted or compromised so they can take action to protect themselves," so Microsoft

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Navalny out of his medically induced coma, responds to verbal stimuli

The Berlin university hospital Charité has announced that the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny "has been removed from his medically induced coma and is being weaned off mechanical ventilation".

Navalny is able to respond to verbal stimulation, but "it remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning".

Regional News • Americas • United States
Michael Cohen paints Trump as a "master manipulator" in tell-all memoir, White House calls it "fan fiction"
Cover of "Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump"
Cover of "Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump" Credit: Skyhorse Publishing, via Amazon

Michael Cohen's tell-all book "Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump" paints President Donald Trump as a "master manipulator" and someone who has "low opinions on Black folks" but an admiration for "President Vladimir V. Putin’s willingness to treat Russia like a personal business."

The White House has since called the book "fan fiction" and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that "Michael Cohen is a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer who lied to Congress [...] and it’s unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies."

Cohen's book will be released on September 8.

"He shows Trump’s relentless willingness to lie, exaggerate, mislead, or manipulate. Trump emerges as a man without a soul—a man who courts evangelicals and then trashes them, panders to the common man, but then rips off small business owners, a con man who will do or say absolutely anything to win, regardless of the cost to his family, his associates, or his country," so the book's summary.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Trump says Putin and him "get along" when asked about Navalny poisoning

During a news conference, United States president Donald Trump has stated in regards to the assassination attack on the Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny that he doesn't "know exactly what happened. I think it's tragic. It's terrible; it shouldn't happen. We haven't had any proof yet, but I will take a look". He added that "I do get along with President Putin" who is the main political opponent of Navalny. 

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Navalny poisoning should have international consequences according to NATO
Representative image of Jens Stoltenberg in 2020
Representative image of Jens Stoltenberg in 2020 Credit: U.S. Secretary of Defense (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has stated that "the use of such a weapon is horrific. All allies today were united in condemning this attack" as Navalny is recovering in a German hospital from the assassination attack.

He added that "this is not just an attack on an individual but on fundamental democratic rights. And it is a serious breach of international law which demands an international response".

Regional News • Middle East
Iran enriched uranium stockpile '10 times limit' set in the nuclear deal
The ministers of foreign affairs and other officials from the P5+1 countries, the European Union and Iran while announcing the framework of a Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme
The ministers of foreign affairs and other officials from the P5+1 countries, the European Union and Iran while announcing the framework of a Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme Credit: United States Department of State (Public Domain)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said Tehran continues to violate the limitations set in the 2015 nuclear deal with the US, Germany, France, the UK, China and Russia. The limit was set at 300kg of enriched uranium, while the country now has 2,105kg.

The watchdog noted, however, that Iran's stockpile remains far below the many tons of enriched uranium Iran had amassed before the 2015 deal and that its stockpile of heavy water had decreased and is now back within the JCPOA limits.

Health
Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine trial shows 'encouraging' results
Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine trial shows 'encouraging' results
Credit: SputnikVaccine.com

The "Sputnik-V" Covid-19 vaccine produced a neutralising antibody response in all 76 participants, according to data published Friday in the medical journal The Lancet. The vaccine often caused mild side effects such as fever.

Experts have claimed the sample size of the Russian study was small and urged for more research on the elderly.

The Brazilian institute Tecpar announced plans to conduct the phase III trials on 10,000 volunteers at the start of next year.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
German government states that Navalny has been poisoned with Novichok

A special laboratory of the German Federal Armed Forces has carried out a toxicological investigation on samples of Alexei Navalny. This revealed the unequivocal proof of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group.

The German government states that "it is a shocking event that Alexei Navalny has become the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent in Russia" and "condemns this attack in the strongest terms".