• Putin extends Russian passports to entire Donbas

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree allowing Ukrainians who have previously resided in the Luhansk or Donetsk regions to obtain Russian passports through a simplified procedure, Kommersant reports.

    “This is related to the large number of applications for Russian citizenship from the inhabitants of these regions,” the news outlet notes.

    According to Kommersant, as of 17 July, 10,000 residents of the regions of eastern Ukraine which are not under Kyiv’s control had obtained …

  • Ukrainian Security Service unmasks Russian special ops soldier who killed LPR ringleader and got rid of Plotnitsky

    The counter intelligence department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has unmasked the Russian special forces soldier Alexander “Gray” Sadovy, who has been one of the most active participants in Russian special operations in the occupied Luhansk province since 2014, TSN writes.

    Sadovy was born in Russia on 13 November 1969. A colonel, he is the director of the so-called “Special Forces Center of the LPR Interior Ministry”.

    He was sent by Russia’s intelligence agency to occupied Luhansk …

  • Russia prepares to block Facebook and Instagram

    Russia’s Public Prosecution Service has begun scouring social networks in search of materials that violate the law “On insulting state symbols and organs of state power” which was initiated by senator Andrey Klishas in December last year and came into force on 29 March.

    Images offensive to the Russian government have been found on Facebook and Instagram, Interfax reports, citing Russia’s federal censorship agency, Roskomnadzor (RKN).

    Facebook has already been added to the register of …

  • Council of Europe: Russia must take responsibility for MH17 catastrophe

    The Council of Europe has adopted a declaration which asks Russia to admit responsibility for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, RBC reports.

    “The EU calls on Russia to take responsibility and to fully cooperate with the ongoing investigation,” the declaration reads.

    On 19 July, the international Joint Investigation Team (JIT) pressed charges against four suspects for complicity in the incident: the Russian citizens Major-General Sergey “Gloomy” …

  • Russia considers using National Wealth Fund to finance defense industry

    The funds in the Russian National Wealth Fund (NWF) should be used to give long-term and cheap loans to the defense industry, said Andrei Klepach, formerly the Russian deputy minister of economic development and currently an economist and vice chair of the board at Vnesheconombank (VEB).

    “The government should provide the resource of long-term, cheap funds, which would enable us to solve the defense industry’s problems,” said Klepach. “In my understanding, the money in the National Wealth Fund …