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Russian Duma Approves Move Against LGBTQ Rights

Legislation prohibits 'gay propaganda' in ads, art

(Newser) - Russian lawmakers on Thursday gave their final approval to a bill that significantly expands restrictions on activities seen as promoting gay rights in the country, another step in a yearslong crackdown on the country's embattled LGBTQ community. The new bill expands a ban on what authorities call "propaganda...

Ukraine Raids 'Monastery of the Caves' in Its Own Capital

In effort to stop Russian sympathizers from using Pechersk Lavra complex for sabotage

(Newser) - If it seems counterintuitive that Ukrainian forces raided one of its own holy sites this week, it's strictly a preemptive strike. The BBC reports that the nation's SBU security service descended Tuesday upon Kyiv's Pechersk Lavra Christian monastery, a 1,000-year-old Eastern Orthodox church that, until recently,...

AP Reporter Canned Over Story on Deadly Missile in Poland

James LaPorta cited anonymous US official who suggested missile was Russian; it was Ukrainian

(Newser) - The world held its breath last week after a report suggested two missiles had been fired by Russia amid its war in Ukraine and killed two people in Poland—an incident that could have qualified as a breach against a NATO nation and possibly triggered a military response from western...

Russia Says Inmate Swap Has Become More Likely

A day after Griner is put in a penal colony, diplomat expresses confidence about getting arms dealer back

(Newser) - A Russian official said Friday that the likelihood of a prisoner exchange with the US has improved, a day after his government imprisoned American athlete Brittney Griner in a penal colony. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia wants a trade that would have the US return arms trafficker Viktor...

Griner Begins Serving Term at Notorious Penal Colony

Athlete's lawyers say they've visited her there

(Newser) - Brittney Griner has started to serve her sentence at an infamous Russian penal colony, her legal team said Thursday. The basketball star has been moved to the IK-2 female penal colony, which has a reputation for unsanitary and harsh conditions, the Wall Street Journal reports. The penal colony, where the...

Russia Bans Jim Carrey, 99 Other Canadians

'Carrey and I had planned a little naughty weekend getaway in Moscow,' Margaret Atwood jokes

(Newser) - Russia's Foreign Ministry has barred another 100 Canadians from entering the country, including actor Jim Carrey and Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Atwood. They join more than 900 other Canadians banned in retaliation for sanctions imposed by what Moscow says is Canada's "Russophobic" government, Radio Free Europe...

NATO, Poland: No, Missile Wasn't Fired by Russia

Jens Stoltenberg, Polish prez say fatal incident was most likely Ukrainian air defense missile

(Newser) - First President Biden expressed doubt that a missile that killed two in Poland had been fired by Russia. Now, NATO's chief and Poland's president are doing the same. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that there is "no indication" of a deliberate Russian attack and preliminary...

Russia Unleashes One of Its Largest Assaults Yet

Missiles rain down from east to west in Ukraine, leaving many cities in the dark

(Newser) - Russian airstrikes targeting energy and other facilities rocked Ukraine from east to west Tuesday, causing broad power blackouts. A senior official warned that the situation was "critical" and urged Ukrainians to "hang in there" as neighborhoods went dark, per the AP . The Washington Post describes the assault as...

Russia Says It Will Retreat From Kherson
Russia: Withdrawal From
Kherson Is Complete

Russia: Withdrawal From Kherson Is Complete

Unconfirmed video purports to show locals hugging Ukrainian soldiers in celebration

(Newser) - Russia now says it has completely withdrawn its forces from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. Russia's Defense Ministry says there is "not a single piece of military equipment or weapons" left on the western bank of the Dnipro River and remaining troops have been moved to the...

Putin to Skip G20 Summit: 'Saves Him the Embarrassment'

Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky to attend events in Bali as virtual guest

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin will be missing from the G20 summit next week amid a series of setbacks for Russia in its war in Ukraine—though he might appear via video. That's according to officials at the Russian Embassy in Indonesia, where leaders of the world's 20 largest economies will...

Since Russia War Began, These Creatures Are Dying in Droves

Scientists think loud noises from invasion may disrupt navigation of dolphins, porpoises, whales

(Newser) - The human death toll from the Russian invasion of Ukraine is believed to be in the tens of thousands so far. But marine mammals in the Black Sea, directly to the south of Ukraine, are also dying in droves, and scientists think the loud sounds that accompany battle are to...

US Diplomats Meet With Brittney Griner

Administration says Russia still refuses US offer for 2 Americans being held

(Newser) - Officials from the US Embassy in Moscow were able to meet Thursday with Brittney Griner, the American WNBA star imprisoned in Russia, for the first time in months. The meeting was confirmed by the State Department, the Washington Post reports. "We are told she's doing as well as...

Power, Water Knocked Out Again Across Ukraine

Critical infrastructure hit by Russian missile strikes in Kyiv, Kharkiv; 80% in capital without water

(Newser) - A massive barrage of Russian strikes on Monday morning hit critical infrastructure in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and other cities, knocking out water and power in apparent retaliation for what Moscow alleged was a Ukrainian attack on its Black Sea Fleet over the weekend. The mayor of Ukraine's capital said 80%...

Russia Swipes Potemkin's Remains From Ukraine

Bones of Prince Grigory Potemkin stolen from Kherson church for their own 'protection': official

(Newser) - Russia has held a grip on the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson and its capital of the same name since the earliest days of the war. Kherson is also one of the four regions that were illegally annexed by Russia earlier this month. But Ukrainian forces have been pushing hard...

Putin Says Russia's Enemy Is 'Elites,' Not the West

In the US, 'there’s a very strong part of the public who maintain traditional values, and they're with us'

(Newser) - In a wide-ranging speech Thursday, Vladimir Putin slammed "Western elites" and warned that the world is facing "probably the most dangerous, unpredictable, and at the same time important" decade since the end of World War II. He blamed the West for "igniting" the war in Ukraine and...

Top Russian Celebrity, Long Close to Putin, Flees Country

Ksenia Sobchak goes to Lithuania after her home was raided

(Newser) - Ksenia Sobchak, one of Russia's biggest celebrities and the daughter of a politician who helped launch President Vladimir Putin's career, has left the country. Lithuania security officials said Thursday that the TV anchor arrived using an Israeli passport, NBC News reports. Russian state media said Sobchak, 40, fled...

To Preserve Ukraine, War Refugees Shouldn't Come Home: Government

Energy system wouldn't be able to handle their return, government warns

(Newser) - Refugees who fled Ukraine amid Russia's invasion shouldn't return until spring, the government warned. Ukraine's energy infrastructure has been under relentless attack from Russia, and it "will not cope" if everyone comes home, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk warned, per the BBC . "If it is...

How Brittney Griner Is Feeling as Her Appeal Looms
Russian Court Doesn't
Give Griner a Break

Russian Court Doesn't Give Griner a Break

WNBA star's appeal is rejected

(Newser) - Update: To nobody's surprise, a Russian court rejected the appeal of WNBA star Brittney Griner on Tuesday. The decision means her nine-year sentence for drug possession stands, though it will be "slightly decreased" based on her time already spent in custody, reports CNN . The upshot of Tuesday's...

US, UK Blast Russian Official's Dirty Bomb Claims as 'False'

Nation's defense minister alleges Ukraine has plans to use dirty bomb, which Ukraine refutes

(Newser) - A phone call over the weekend between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his counterpart in Russia, Sergei Shoigu, resulted in an alarming assertion from the latter. A US administration official says that Shoigu told Austin, who'd also talked to Shoigu on Friday for the first time in months,...

Berlusconi's Birthday Gift From Putin Breached Sanctions

20 bottles of vodka sent to ex-Italian PM by Russian president violated measures on Ukraine

(Newser) - What do you get a former Italian prime minister who has everything when his birthday rolls around? In Silvio Berlusconi's case, his old pal Vladimir Putin figured nearly two dozen bottles of hard liquor would do the trick. Unfortunately, the European Commission has determined that thoughtful gift breaches sanctions...

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