(MOSCOW, Russia.) FSB REPORT: Despite a lack of material evidence, and no established intention of harm, three Russian 14-year-olds are facing lengthy prison sentences after being charged with “training for terrorist activities” in a case that initially alleged the schoolboys were planning to destroy a virtual building they created in the popular computer game Minecraft #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.12: The case, which has attracted widespread attention due to the age of the accused and the notion that child’s play could constitute terrorism, appears to have entered a sort of legal Nether — Minecraft’s hell-like alternate dimension:

‘Minecraft Terrorism’ Case Casts Russian Teens Into Legal ‘Nether’ Russia’s Investigative Committee earlier this year dismissed the original case opened in November against schoolmates Nikita Uvarov, Denis Mikhailenko, and Bogdan Andreyev after determining that their relationship did not have the necessary structure, subdivisions, or distribution of functions “to regard this group as a terrorist community.”

A screenshot from Minecraft, the computer game in which the teenagers were purportedly "training for terrorist activities."
A screenshot from Minecraft, the computer game in which the teenagers were purportedly “training for terrorist activities.”

And the remaining charges against them under Article 205.3 of the Russian Criminal Code — “training for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities” — no longer cite their alleged plans to “blow up” an “FSB building” in Minecraft as evidence they had established an online terrorist network.

But the pupils at School No. 21 in the Krasnoyarsk Krai city of Kansk are not in safe mode by any means: The three still face from seven to 10 years in prison on charges that stem from their detention nearly a year ago for pasting leaflets supporting a jailed anarchist on the local FSB department building.

Following their arrest in June after two days of interrogation, investigators determined that the boys had constructed at least one Molotov cocktail and set it alight in Kansk in March 2020. The following May, prosecutors allege, the three used another Molotov cocktail to set fire to an abandoned building.

And at some point between late May and early June they allegedly produced and detonated an “Ammokisa” explosive, for which investigators did not provide a gauge of strength but which was reportedly a crude and weak device using antiseptic tablets.

To buttress the argument that the three were engaged in dangerous activities, investigators have reportedly homed in on communication shared between the three on Telegram and VKontakte in which they discussed the American rock musician Kurt Cobain and his “fierce revolutionary struggle,” the “Yellow Vests” movement in France and anti-government protests in Belarus, and the tsarist-era Russian anarchist Pyotr Kropotkin.

‘Rude’ Boys

The three schoolboys have been described by their parents and school officials as curious yet rebellious students with an interest in anarchy.

“They were normal children, like usual, like other kids,” school director Sergei Kreminsky told Current Time in September, three months after they were arrested after pasting leaflets supporting jailed university student Azat Miftakhov on the building of the local FSB department. “In the case of some of their parents there was insufficient control. They were rude, snapped sometimes at school.”

That the three were facing serious charges, the school director and current city-council deputy representing the pro-Kremlin United Russia party said: “Well, since the investigation is under way, it means they are guilty, I think. What else?”

The boys did not hide their interest in chemistry from their parents, and Svetlana Mikhailenko, Denis’s mother, told Current Time recently that she was aware of their pyrotechnic activities.

“I always knew where the child was, even when they were making these bombs,” she said. “But it was a small, childish prank, a child’s bomb.”

Photos displayed in Denis Mikhailenko's home, showing the teenager as a young boy.
Photos displayed in Denis Mikhailenko’s home, showing the teenager as a young boy.

Svetlana Mikhailenko also told the Russian-language media network run by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA that the investigators skewed the boys’ testimony, replacing their description of the devices as “bombochki” — little bombs — with “bombs,” and focusing on the amount of material required to make them.

Anna Uvarova, Nikita’s mother, spoke to Current Time following an April 16 court hearing. She said in the family’s apartment that following her son’s detention in June, investigators searched her home from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., seizing but eventually returning a toy musket that she shows to the cameras.

But after they realized that a case was being built against the three boys, “we looked at what was in their phones” and saw that they had recorded a video of them throwing a Molotov cocktail.

‘Evidence’ Working Against Them

The case against the three boys contains no material evidence — no caches of explosives, no weapons. And while Vladimir Vasin, a lawyer for the Russian legal-defense organization Agora who is representing Uvarov, cited a previous case in which an activist in Russia was imprisoned for 10 years for throwing a Molotov cocktail in a public case, in this case there was no harm, and no intention of harm.

“The guys were really cooking something up with chemicals and were playing with something,” Vasin said. “But they went far into a field, to a deserted place, and did it there.”

Russian lawyer.Vladimir Vasin
Russian lawyer.Vladimir Vasin

“One was very fond of history, the other loved chemistry,” he said of the boys. “And as I know my client, he had no thoughts of doing anything” more.

Unfortunately, Vasin said, to Russian prosecutors “the go-to recipe is a confession — the queen of evidence.”

Mikhailenko and Andreyev each provided confessions of guilt — while facing a mix of “pressure, threats, and promises,” according to the news site Baza — to “undergoing training in order to carry out terrorist activities” following the initial interrogations into their pasting leaflets on the FSB building.

The two have since retracted their confessions and Mikhailenko’s mother, in comments to Current time, said that investigators tricked the parents into implicating their own children.

Uvarov refused to confess — a decision the teens’ parents believe led the FSB to accuse him of being the leader of a group they say never existed, and of sending him immediately to pretrial detention, where he has remained for 11 months.

Close Comparisons

The case has drawn comparisons to other cases in which young people in Russia with views not in step with the official line have been accused of extremism and sentenced to lengthy prison sentences.

Miftakhov, the avowed anarchist and graduate student at Moscow State University for whom the three teens were expressing support in their leaflets, stands as a prominent example.

In January, the 25-year-old was sentenced to six years in prison for aggravated “hooliganism” after being found guilty of involvement in an arson attack against the ruling United Russia party’s office in Moscow in 2018.

The Russian human rights organization Memorial has said that his body showed signs of torture that Miftakhov, who denies the charges against him, said were the result of investigators’ attempts to force a confession.

In late 2020, eight young men and women were found guilty of charges that they had created an extremist group called New Greatness with the intention of overthrowing President Vladimir Putin’s government. The eight received punishments ranging from four-year suspended sentences to seven years’ imprisonment after an FSB agent infiltrated their chat group and suggested they turn it into a political movement.

Another alleged member received an 18-month prison sentence in 2019 after cutting a deal with investigators, and yet another left the country and applied for asylum in Ukraine. All 10 are considered by Memorial to be political prisoners.

Also in 2020, a regional court’s decision in Penza was described as “heinous” after seven activists belonging to a group called Set — or the Network — were sentenced to prison terms of six to 18 years after being found guilty of planning terrorist attacks to destabilize Russia’s presidential election and hosting of the World Cup in 2018.

Seven men who received sentences of six to 18 years appear in court in the Volga Military District Court in Russia.

SEE ALSO:’Pure Stalinism’: Russia’s ‘Heinous’ Sentencing Of Activists Sparks Outrage

The defendants all said the group never existed, and that while they shared anti-fascist views they merely played BB-gun war games together. Several of the young men said they were subjected to torture in order to extract their confessions.

Human rights groups believe the case was fabricated by the state as a signal to others who express political views that run counter to the government.

Date With Destiny

Today, Nikita Uvarov, Denis Mikhailenko, and Bogdan Andreyev sit in pretrial detention awaiting their own trial, for which a date has yet to be set.

Uvarov’s lawyer Vasin, speaking while riding on a train to see his client, falls short of saying the entire case was fabricated, but does note that there have been three cases accusing adolescents of terrorism in Krasnoyarsk Krai in the last year alone.

He said he struggles to imagine how such situations involving youths play out.

“My colleagues and I were discussing how it could have been done — invite the police to the children’s room, I don’t know, to summon the director of the school to for a meeting” to try to talk and sort things out,” Vasin said. “But instead, boom! — immediately to interrogation. Two days of interrogation. A third interrogation. Endless interrogations.”

Ten years ago, he said, the matter might have been settled by a spanking with a belt, but “now everything is different. And it will get worse.”

Written by RFE/RL senior correspondent Michael Scollon based on reporting in Krasnoyarsk Krai by Current Time correspondents Aleksei Aleksandrov and Kirill Ralev

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.12: 2021:

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#russia, #fsb, #moscow

(RUSSIA) JUST IN: The main ruble-denominated index on the Moscow Exchange reached the 3,700-point level for the first time ever on Monday, as global oil prices continue to climb #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.11: The index has risen over 12% since the beginning of the year and is up by 4% in May alone. Monday’s gains mark the second time in less than a week that the Russian stock market has smashed its own record:

MOSCOW: Russian stock market smashes historic high on weaker dollar & rising crude: ‘The ruble-traded MOEX index was up nearly 0.7% on Monday afternoon and stood at 3,708 points as of 11:55am GMT. Earlier in the day, the index, which covers stocks of major Russian companies listed on the Moscow Exchange, hit a new all-time high of 3,711 points’ as Russian economy returns to growth after pandemic-fueled downturn

10 May, 2021 13:08 

Russian stock market smashes historic high on weaker dollar & rising crude
Currency Report:

The stock rally comes as global crude prices continue to rise. It could be also linked to the inflows of cash from funds investing in Russia, RBC reported, citing analysts from investment company Freedom Finance. They pointed that the weakening of the US dollar boosts commodity prices as well as safe heaven assets like gold, and a lot of raw material companies are present on the Russian market.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: May.11: 2021:

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#russia, #currency, #finance, #moscow

(MOSCOW) Corruption Report: Businessman Turned Journalist after being disillusioned with ‘ Criminal Underworld’ leads to digging up the dirt on oil companies that has led to Russia wanting to jail him for 11yrs #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.07: From the time Eduard Shmonin was a young man, he always wanted to be a gangster: The business model he adopted involved digging up dirt on officials and industry players — and then publishing it or withholding it, depending on the bidder:

SIBERIA: A Siberian Muckraker Exposed Massive Oil Theft: Now Russia Wants To Imprison Him For 11 Years: ‘But disillusionment with Russia’s criminal world came quickly for the Sverdlovsk region native after he served two years in prison for burglary in the 1990s. Shmonin, now 50, instead decided to get into journalism — a profession that he quickly determined was inextricable from local battles over money, resources, and influence’ I understood at the time that the job of a journalist is to get paid for what he doesn’t write,” Shmonin told RFE/RL’s Russian Service, known locally as Radio Svoboda, last year.

May 04, 2021 12:01 GMT

Russian journalist Eduard Shmonin believes he was targeted by investigators for his exposé on massive oil theft in western Siberia. (photo illustration)
RFERL

Now prosecutors have asked a court to sentence Shmonin to 11 years in prison on charges of blackmail and distributing pornography — allegations linked to media operations he ran in Russia’s oil-rich Khanti-Mansi Autonomous District in western Siberia.

A verdict in Shmonin’s trial in Surgut, in western Siberia, which has been closed to the public, is expected next week.

And while Shmonin has never denied trafficking in “kompromat,” or compromising information, he believes he was targeted for an entirely different reason: a documentary he released exposing evidence of massive oil theft in the Khanti-Mansi region with the complicity of corrupt law enforcement officials.

An archive of materials gathered by Shmonin for the exposé and a planned sequel that never aired served as a pillar of an independent investigation by Radio Svoboda in March exposing the central role that Federal Security Service (FSB) and Interior Ministry officials play in the industrial-scale theft of oil from Russia’s network of pipelines.

Radio Svoboda was able to independently corroborate numerous details of this illicit business, which, according to a 2013 estimate by state-owned investment bank VTB Capital, costs Russian oil companies $1.8 billion to $3.5 billion annually and the Russian budget $632 million to $1.2 billion.

Shmonin released his documentary, Criminal Oil, in November 2016 and was arrested the following April on not only the blackmail and pornography charges, but also for suspected libel based on a complaint by four individuals mentioned in the film — all of whom worked in security for a subsidiary of Rosneft, the state oil giant whose CEO, Igor Sechin, is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin.

One of the plaintiffs was a retired FSB general, and the other was a former FSB officer who has since been arrested and charged with oil theft.

Crude Conspiracy: How Russian Cops And Criminals Collude To Steal Oil

0:00 0:03:20

Shmonin was held for nearly a year in pretrial detention, while his muckraking website and his TV channel, Yugra Public Television, ceased operations. He claims that, during his detention, he was tortured by FSB officers who tried to force him to reveal who financed the Criminal Oil documentary.

“They said, ‘You have three options to get out of here: You can be carried out of here feet first; you can eat the charges, we’ll release you on bail, and you leave the country; or you reveal who is behind you and we will classify you as a witness,’” Shmonin told Radio Svoboda, adding that he told investigators the documentary was made on his own initiative.Shmonin protesting in 2010 in defense of his kompromat-filled website. His sign reads: “Corrupt cops: Fight corruption, not the media.”

Shmonin claimed his interrogators then wrapped a plastic bag over his head and tased him, though Radio Svoboda was unable to independently corroborate his torture claims. The FSB did not respond to requests for comment sent in March.

Disappearing Evidence

A funny thing happened on the way to the verdict in Shmonin’s case: A trove of evidence went missing or was damaged, including hard drives, computers, mobile phones, and flash drives that authorities had confiscated. And the libel charges related to his Criminal Oil documentary were ultimately dropped.

Of the 13 original charges Shmonin faced, only two remain: blackmail and illegal distribution of pornography.

The blackmail charge relates to Shmonin’s alleged demand for money from Yevgeny Vostrikov, a lawmaker in the Khanti-Mansi city of Nefteyugansk, in exchange for withholding release of a film in which he was accused, among other things, of domestic abuse and trafficking in drugs. (Many of these allegations had already appeared on Shmonin’s websites prior to the film’s eventual release.)

Shmonin in the courtroom in Surgut, where a verdict in his trial is expected next week. (file photo)
Shmonin in the courtroom in Surgut, where a verdict in his trial is expected next week. (file photo)

The pornography charge relates to a secretly recorded video showing a sexual encounter between a lawmaker in the city of Nizhnevartovsk and another man. Shmonin has denied releasing the video.

He insists that the evidence that went missing in his case includes alibis that would exonerate him.

All of these developments have taken place behind closed doors. The trial was closed to the public, formally because of the intimate nature of the video related to the pornography charge.

Shmonin, who has been out on bail since 2018 pending a verdict in the trial, is barred by law from discussing the case with the media.

Meanwhile, the trial of Roman Chernogor — the former FSB officer who filed a libel complaint against Shmonin over his Criminal Oil film — continues.

Chernogor has been charged with illegally tapping into oil pipelines. His co-defendant, former FSB officer Vladimir Chernakov, was also implicated in oil-theft schemes in Shmonin’s film.

Written by Carl Schreck based on reporting by RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Sergei Khazov-Cassia.

Sergei Khazov-Cassia is a correspondent in Moscow for RFE/RL’s Russian Service.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: May.07: 2021:

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#journalist, #moscow, #oil, #russian

(MOSCOW) Federal Security Service Report: Founder of the nation’s largest Islamic publishing house arrested for financing the #IslamicState through publishing house #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.04: Russia has arrested on Thursday Aslambek Ezhayev, the director of the largest Islamic publishing house in Russia, “Ummah”, on suspicion of financing #IsllamicState according to the Federal Security Service.

Russia: Arrests the founder of the largest Islamic publishing house in Russia for financing #IslamicState acordsing to Shafaq, News on April 30, 2021”

The official representative of the Russian Investigation Committee, Svetlana Petrenko, said today, Friday investigators, in cooperation with the Federal Security Service and the Ministry of Interior, found that Ezhayev is involved in financing ISIS terrorist group.

Investigations revealed that since 2012, Ezhayev had held “multiple secret meetings with his counterparts and received funds to finance ISIS”

“Later, He transferred more than 34 million rubles (more than 455 thousand dollars) to people who are wanted in Russia for committing terrorist crimes.”…

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: May.04: 2021:

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#russia, #fss, #moscow

(MOSCOW) JUST IN: (Interfax) – A justice of the peace from Tagansky district has found Twitter guilty of yet another administrative offense, failure to remove calls for minors’ participation in the unsanctioned protests held in late January #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Apr.05: To find the Twitter entity guilty of an administrative offense and to impose an administrative fine of 2.4 million rubles [over $31,000] as a penalty,” the justice of the peace said.

“Twitter fined 2.4-million rubles ($31,000) by justice of the peace on Friday for failure to remove minors in unsanctioned protests”

https://newsd.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/twitter.jpg

Earlier on Friday, the court found Twitter guilty of committing two similar administrative offenses on January 23 and January 24 and imposed fines of 3.2 million and 3.3 million rubles, respectively. Hence, the overall amount of fines imposed on Twitter by the court over failure to remove prohibited content has reached 8.9 million rubles (over $116,000).

The ruling says that the fines must be paid within 60 days of the date of the ruling’s entry into force. Hence, Twitter must pay the fines by mid-June unless the rulings are challenged.

Popular online platforms visited by hundreds of thousands of Russians each day bear great social responsibility, the press service for Russian telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor said, commenting on the rulings. “Not restricting access to unlawful information endangers the lives and health of users, especially children and adolescents,” it said.

“Care for user safety, the prompt removal of prohibited content, timely moderation of calls for socially dangerous and unlawful actions must, in the opinion of Roskomnadzor, be of the highest priority for the administrations of every Internet platform,” the press service said.

The court postponed until May 4 hearing three similar protocols regarding Facebook and Google LLC, in order to allow them to review their case files.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Apr.05: 2021:

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#moscow, #protests, #twitter, #unsanctioned

(MOSCOW) JUST IN: Three Russian nuclear ballistic missile submarines have surfaced simultaneously breaking the Arctic ice during drills, reported the commander-in-chief of the Russian fleet at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin via videolink on Friday #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.27: The commander, Nikolai Yevmenov, said the sophisticated manoeuvre was carried out by submarines “for the first time in the history of the Russian Navy”. The submarines surfaced within a 300 meters radius and the ice they broke was 1.5 meter deep, the admiral added: 

‘The Kremlin has pushed to beef up defences in the Arctic, which Putin has touted as a vital region for Russian interests as climate change makes it more accessible’ https://t.me/reuters_news_agency/70099

Reuters Wire News, [Mar 26, 2021 at 6:10 PM]

The Russian defence ministry published footage of the submarines emerging from underneath the ice with loud noise. After one of them surfaced, a sailor showed up on top of it and waved at a camera with his hand.

The drill was held near Franz Josef Land Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean and was aimed at testing Russian military hardware in extreme weather conditions.

“The Arctic expedition… has no analogues in the Soviet and the modern history of Russia,” Putin said.

#AceNewsDesk report ……..Published: Mar.27: 2021:

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#russia, #alaska, #kremlin, #moscow, #russian-president-vladimir-putin

(MOSCOW) JUST IN: Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology & Mass Media Report: To initially decelerate Twitter’s loading speed apply only to photo and video content and do not apply to text messages #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – March 10. /TASS/. “ Starting today, Roskomnadzor (Russian media watchdog – TASS) has taken measures of a centralized response, namely, decelerated the service’s loading speed. The slowdown will cover 100% of mobile traffic and 50% of fixed traffic,” he said:

Restrictions on Twitter to apply only to transfer of photos and videos: ‘According to the watchdog’s deputy head, users will be able to exchange messages smoothly’ full update here: But on Thursday they were still not removed

© Nopparat Khokthong/Shutterstock/FOTODOM

Reasons for blocking: Putin blasts ‘monsters’ who drive kids to commit suicide, goad teens into lawless rallies

Russia hits Twitter with slowdown, vows block unless content pushing suicide, drugs erased

“It involves slowing down the transmission of photo and video content, without limiting transmission of text messages. Thus, users will be able to smoothly exchange messages,” he added.

Subbotin stressed that, when choosing an enforcement measure for Twitter, the federal agency proceeded from the goal that inconvenience for users of the social network should be minimal.

According to the official, restrictions on Twitter will remain in effect until all prohibited information is removed.

“Roskomnadzor’s actions are aimed at forcing Twitter to comply with Russian legislation in order to protect users, including children, from prohibited content posted on the Twitter platform – until it is completely removed,” Subbotin said.

He also stressed that the watchdog has every reason to completely block Twitter, but hopes for a constructive position of the company: The official recalled that his agency had repeatedly warned the company about the need to comply with the legislation of the Russian Federation, but the company ignored the requirements: Earlier the regulator specified that as of March 10, the social network had not removed 3,168 pieces of content containing proscribed information:

“This includes incitements to commit suicide on March 3 of this year: As you know, on that day there were attempts among minors to commit suicide, which, fortunately, were prevented in a timely manner,” Subbotin stressed: Calls to remove this information were also ignored, he added: Twitter has not deleted information about the use and making of narcotic substances, psychotropic substances and precursors. There are tweets containing direct links to online drug stores.

“Almost no other social network allows itself to ignore the requirement to remove pieces of content of these categories: At the moment, Twitter does not respond to the demands of the Russian authorities regarding the removal of clearly prohibited information. Based on the current legislation, Roskomnadzor has included the dissemination information on Twitter in the list of threats,” he said:

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Mar.11: 2021:

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#media, #moscow, #roskomnadzor, #technology, #twitter, #watchdog

(MOSCOW, Russia.) JUST IN: Security police have detained at least 72 people on Saturday over opposition protests staged in several cities, the OVD-Info protest monitor said on social media #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Aug.10: Tens of thousands rally in #Moscow in support of candidates barred from city council election https://t.co/9IazlSPZmp https://t.co/BhjtjjsGv4 RT_com tens of thousands of Muscovites staged Russia’s biggest political protest for years on Saturday, rallying to demand free city elections in spite of a government crackdown: The monitor said 72 people had been detained in St Petersburg, 10 in Moscow and seven in Roston-on-Don Reuters reported.

Around 20,000 people have gathered for an authorized rally in the heart of Moscow, the Russian Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate for Moscow said: “ About 20,000 people are attending the event on Academician Sakharov Avenue”, the Moscow police said in a statement.” SputnikInt reported https://t.co/3y1lMyjORu

The protests have been going on since mid-July in the Russian capital: They were hosted by opposition figures who were denied registration for the elections to the Moscow city council scheduled for 8 September.”The previous rallies were unauthorized by the Moscow authorities. The protests resulted in the detentions of hundreds of protesters. Most of them were released later. Some of the organizers of the protest were arrested till late September.”

#AceNewsDesk reports ………………Published: Aug.11: 2019: Reuters: Additional Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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MOSCOW: ‘ Police raid on Church of Scientology reveals spy-equipment allegedly used to blackmail parishioners – Sources ‘

#AceNewsReport – MOSCOW:Aug.18: Police sources say a raid on the Moscow headquarters of the Church of Scientology earlier this year revealed spy equipment installed in reconciliation rooms. A leak claims the recordings could allegedly be used to blackmail parishioners of the church.

Illegal audio and video recording equipment was planted in the headquarters of a religious organization situated on Taganskaya Street in downtown Moscow, says Russia’s Investigative Committee representative Yulia Ivanova.

“As part of criminal action a search was made in the premises occupied by the religious association. The search revealed special technical devices, used for surreptitious obtaining of information, being installed in the personal interview rooms,” Ivanova said, adding that investigation on the issue continues in order to determine who, if anybody, was at fault.

@AceNewsServices

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#church-of-scientology, #moscow, #police-sources, #spy-equipment, #video-recording-equipment

VIDEO: RUSSIA-AZERBAIJAN: ‘ Closed door talks on Energy ‘

#AceNewsReport – Featured Post:June.13: The leaders of Russia and Turkey have held talks behind closed doors in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. They attended the opening ceremony of the first European Games, before discussing energy projects and the Ukrainian conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counteroart recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed large energy projects, such asthe construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant,and the situation in Ukraine, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov revealed. The leaders confirmed their readiness to bring bilateral trade turnover between Russia and Turkey to $US 100 billion by 2020. In 2014, trade between the two countries exceeded $31 billion.

During a photo session that preceded the talks, the presidents didn’t talk much and only exchanged opinions about the previous day’s opening ceremony. The presidents agreed the ceremony was superb and wished success to the host team of Azerbaijan.

When President Erdogan remarked that none of the EU leaders had attended the event, President Putin replied: “As EU accession candidate, Turkey represented the whole of the European Union.”

The Russian delegation included Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak, head of Gazprom Aleksey Miller, head of Rosatom nuclear monopoly Sergey Kirienko and the Russian president’s senior foreign policy adviser, Yury Ushakov.

In December 2014, after opposition from the EU, Russia announced the scrapping of the South Stream gas pipeline project that would have bypassed the current routes via Ukraine. Moscow presented a new project, the Turkish Stream – a gas pipeline that will pass through Turkey.

This new 1,100-kilometer transportation route will be laid out under the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey. It will deliver Russian gas to Turkey and the EU border. Europe will have to arrange a means of accessing the gas by itself.

The Turkish Stream will consist of four lines with a capacity of up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Some 16 billion will be reserved for Turkey; the rest will go to Europe when the necessary infrastructure is in place.

In 2014, Russia supplied 27.4 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey, primarily through the Blue Stream pipeline that also passes across the Black Sea. Russia and Turkey agreed earlier to increase Blue Stream capacity from 16 to 19 billion cubic meters per year.

Tension between Moscow and Ankara had arisen after Putin attended the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), which took place in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

President Erdogan had threatened to withdraw the Turkish ambassador from Russia, but the meeting in Baku apparently diffused things. President Putin congratulated Erdogan on his party’s win in Turkey’s parliamentary elections on June 7.

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MOSCOW: ‘ Navalny Supporter Accused of large scale fraud released ‘

#AceNewsReport – MOSCOW: June 12: (RAPSI) – Konstantin Yankauskas, a Moscow municipal legislator who stands charged with large-scale fraud, has been released on his own recognizance, his lawyer Sergei Panchenko told RAPSI on Thursday.

Yankauskas was placed under house arrest on June 11, 2014. Panchenko said earlier that his client was suspected of illegally transferring large funds to opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s campaign during the Moscow mayoral election last year.

According to investigators, Yankauskas and businessmen Nikolai Lyaskin and Vladimir Ashurkov each transferred 1 million rubles ($18,200) to Navalny’s election account posted an online address “for web users to voluntarily refill their digital wallets, presumably to compensate for the funds that had been transferred to Navalny’s account, and to support his political activity.”

“As a result, over 10 million rubles (over $182,400) was transferred to these digital wallets. Investigators have cause to believe that Yankauskas, Lyaskin and Ashurkov embezzled these funds,” Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said earlier.

Entrepreneurs Nikolai Lyaskin and Vladimir Ashurkov are also under investigation, searches were conducted earlier at their premises. Searches were also conducted at Yandex.Money offices.
An arrest warrant was issued for Ashurkov who had left Russia and asked for asylum in the UK.

This is not the first time that Navalny’s supporters have been suspected of embezzling funds. Last year, the Interior Ministry announced that Yankauskas had received 5 million rubles ($91,200) via transfers to the Yandex. Money wallet, of which he embezzled 4 million rubles (about $73,000).

The ministry said that Ashurkov embezzled 2.27 million rubles ($41,400) and Lyaskin 790,000 rubles ($14,400).

Navalny ran for Moscow mayor, losing to the incumbent mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, who received 51.37% of the vote. Navalny finished second with 21.24%. The turnout was 32.03% of the electorate.

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#russia, #activism, #alexey-navalny, #federal-penitentiary-service, #moscow, #novosibirsk, #russian-opposition, #siberia, #subdivisions-of-russia, #suspended-sentence

RUSSIA: ‘ 195 Soviet-Era Decommissioned Submarines are Disposed ‘

#AceNewsReport – Featured Post:June.12: Currently, 195 of the 201 decommissioned submarines have been disposed. The demolition of the rest submarines and 14 technical support vessels is due to be completed by 2020.

1023270658
‘ 195 of 201 Decommissioned Soviet-Era Submarines are Disposed ‘

Russia’s Rosatom Corporation is nearing to complete the disposal of Soviet-made decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines and support vessels.

Currently, 195 of the 201 decommissioned submarines have been disposed. The demolition of all the decommissioned nuclear submarines and 14 technical support vessels is due to be completed by 2020.

“We have started the disposal of technical support vessels and depot ships. By 2020, we are expected to complete the disposal of all 14 support ships decommissioned from the Northern and the Pacific Fleets as well as two Atomflot support ships,” Rosatom CEO Sergei Kirienko said during the “70th anniversary of the Russian Atom” forum in Chelyabinsk.

K-3 Leninsky Komsomol

“195 of the 201 submarines have been dismantled and recycled. Six submarines are left. Now we have no vessels standing in queue for dismantling. In 1999, when Rosatom was charged with the disposal there were 120 submarines waiting,” Kirienko said.

In 2014, the disposal of the “Volodarsky” depot ship was completed. Now, the disposal of the “Lepse” depot ship has begun. Within six months, it will be discharged of nuclear fuel. Then it will be prepared for wet storage before the disposal.

Kirienko also pointed out that under the “Nuclear radioactive safety 2” program new equipment and technology were developed, including the recycling technology for the uranium-beryllium fuel from project 705 submarines which were equipped with liquid-metal reactors.

The need for the disposal of nuclear submarines and depot ships emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union. At that time, military spending was significantly reduced.

More than 200 submarines built-in the 1950-1980s, and a large number of support vessels, were decommissioned from the Russian navy.

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DOJ: ‘ Naturalised American admits Smuggling $65-Million in key Electronics ‘

#AceNewsReport – WASHINGTON:June.11: Alexander Brazhnikov, a naturalized US citizen born in Moscow, has admitted obtaining and smuggling sensitive electronic components worth $65 million from the United States to Russia, US Attorney Paul Fishman said in a press release on Thursday.

Naturalised American admits stealing $65-milion of key electronic component's '
Naturalised American admits stealing $65-milion of key electronic component’s ‘

Under questioning by a federal prosecutor, Brazhnikov admitted that between January 2008 and June 2014, he conspired to export 1,900 shipments of high-tech electronics components valued at $65 million to Russian defense contractors who supply Russian military and security forces.

“As he admitted in court, Brazhnikov was responsible for nearly 2,000 illegal shipments of regulated, sensitive electronics components, many of which wound up in the hands of Russian military and security forces,” Fishman said.

Brazhnikov admitted concealing the actual contents of the shipments, which were, in several instances, sent to the addresses of vacant apartments in Moscow.

Brazhnikov is a US citizen who has been in the country since the age of 22. He owned microelectronic exports companies in Carteret, Mountainside, Union and Manalapan.

He lives in Mountainside with his wife and two daughters.

His attorney, Jack Arsenault, said his client was enlisted by his father of the same name. He said his father, who is in Russia and has not been charged, turned his back on his son after his arrest in June 2014.

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MOSCOW: ‘ Student detained in Turkey trying to join ISIL returns home to Russia ‘

#AceNewsReport – #BreakingUpdate:MOSCOW:June.11: A Russian student, Varvara Karaulova, who had been detained in Turkey during an alleged attempt to join the Islamic State, has returned to Russia with her father, her mother said Thursday.

The plane with my former husband and my daughter has landed. As far as I know, they are currently in the airport going through some juridical procedures,” the student’s mother told RIA Novosti.

Moscow State University student Varvara Karaulova, 19, was detained earlier in June on the border between Turkey and Syria while travelling with a group of foreigners allegedly recruited by Islamic radicals.

Since the rise of the Islamic State militant group, Turkey has become a gateway for foreign fighters attempting to join the group. As many as 20,000 foreign fighters have joined militant groups in Syria, including ISIL, according to the US National Counter-terrorism Center.

Earlier Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Turkey to allow diplomatic access to 14 Russian nationals detained for allegedly attempting to cross the Syrian border to join the Islamic State.

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MOSCOW: ‘ Drones being readied for Arctic monitoring missions ‘

#AceNewsReport – MOSCOW:June.10: Russian Defence Ministry said that group of Russian military industry experts has arrived in the far eastern Chukotka Autonomous Area to prepare the Eastern Military District’s drones for monitoring missions in the Arctic.

' Russia Prepares Drones for Arctic Mission's '
‘ Russia Prepares Drones for Arctic Mission’s ‘

A group of Russian military industry experts has arrived in the far eastern Chukotka Autonomous Area to prepare the Eastern Military District’s drones for monitoring missions in the Arctic, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a press release Wednesday.

“The drones will be used for surveillance of the littoral part of the Pacific Ocean, the mainland part of the zone of responsibility of the troops and forces in the northeast, and Navy combat training ranges,” Capt. 1st Rank Roman Martov said.

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MOSCOW: ‘ Russian Investigators open criminal case against Ponomaryov for Embezzlement ‘

#AceNewsReport – MOSCOW:June.09:. /TASS/. Russian Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Bastrykin has opened a criminal case against State Duma deputy Ilya Ponomaryov over his complicity in embezzling 22 million rubles ($750,000) from the Skolkovo hi-tech hub’s funds, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Tuesday.

The criminal probe was opened into the misuse of $750,000 allocated under a 2010 contract on the fulfillment of R&D work and lecturing, the spokesman said.

Under the existing legislation, Russia’s Investigative Committee has received consent from the State Duma, the lower house of the country’s parliament, for opening the criminal case against Ponomaryov, Markin said.

The investigation of the case has been assigned to the Investigative Committee’s Department for High-Profile Investigations, the spokesman said.

“Considering that Ponomaryov is currently staying outside the Russian Federation, investigators plan to initiate his international search with his subsequent extradition so that he can go on trial in Russia.

Along with this, measures will be taken to compensate for the damage caused by this crime,” Markin said. @AceNewsServices

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‘ RUSSIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL DOES NOT QUESTION RESULTS IN DONETSK & LUHANSK ELECTIONS ‘

#AceNewsServices – MOSCOW – October 06 – Members of the Russian Presidential Council of Human Rights and Civil Society do not question the results of the November 2 elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics:    “There are no reasons to question the will expression of residents in Luhansk and Donetsk republics which local Central Elections Commissions found valid officially,” member of the presidential human rights council Igor Borisov who conducted distance monitoring of these elections told a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.

' Russia presidential human rights council does not doubt Donetsk, Luhansk poll results '

‘ Russia presidential human rights council does not doubt Donetsk, Luhansk poll results ‘

Petitions for falsifications, injections of false ballot papers were not reported, he said. “We do not find cases of pressure on candidates and beating of candidates,” he added, saying with confidence that “this information would have leaked in the Ukrainian media.”

“Facts of bribing people so that local residents will vote for a piece of bread here, though Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics are suffering from famine, we do not find such cases that a vote was bought for foodstuffs and, moreover, for money,” he added.

LUHANSK, November 6. /TASS/. The first meeting of the People’s Council of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) that was elected on Sunday may be held on Monday, head of the republic’s Central Election Commission (CEC) Sergey Koziyakov told TASS on Thursday.

#ANS2014 

#elections, #moscow, #peoples-republics

MOSCOW: ‘ SKR OPENS CRIMINAL CASE OVER BOMBING DONETSK SCHOOL & KILLING OF CHILDREN ‘

#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – October 06 – The Russian Investigative Committee (SKR) has opened a criminal case over a shelling of a school in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, where children were killed.

'Donetsk republic mourns children killed in school shelling '

‘Donetsk republic mourns children killed in school shelling ‘

The killing is qualified as an international crime that involved the use of illegal methods of warfare, TASS reported, citing SKR spokesman Vladimir Markin.

Also on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry’s envoy for human rights and the supremacy of law Konstantin Dolgov said that those responsible for the killing of children in Donetsk are to be punished severely.

#ANS2014 

#bombing, #children, #donetsk, #killing, #moscow

MOSCOW: ‘ VLADIMIR PUTIN AWARDS POSTHUMOUS ORDER OF HONOUR TO CHRISTOPHE DE MARGERIE ‘

#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – November 02 – Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded a posthumous Order of Honour to Frenchman Christophe de Margerie Tass reported. 

'For major contribution to strengthening economic and cultural ties between Russia and France, Christophe de Margerie shall be awarded with the Order of Honour, says the text of the decree '

‘For major contribution to strengthening economic and cultural ties between Russia and France, Christophe de Margerie shall be awarded with the Order of Honour, says the text of the decree ‘

For major contribution to strengthening economic and cultural ties between Russia and France, Christophe de Margerie shall be awarded with the Order of Honour, says the text of the decree

He was the chief executive of the French oil company Total but died in October when his business jet collided with a snow plough at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow.

Putin had a good working relationship with de Margerie, who was a strong opponent of Western sanctions against Russia. Patrick Pouyanne has taken over as the new head of Total.

#ANS2014 

#acenewsservices, #moscow, #order-of-honour

MOSCOW: ‘ AIRPORT CHIEF ENGINEER CHARGED WITH DEATH OF CEO IN FALCON CRASH ‘

#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – October 31 – Russian Investigative Committee charged the third defendant in the criminal case over the crash of a French jet Falcon in which France’s energy giant Total CEO Christophe de Margerie died at Moscow airport, Tass reported:  

“Today chief engineer of Vnukovo airport service Vladimir Ledenev was charged with violation of jet operation rules that entailed the death of two and more people through negligence. Ledenev was questioned as a defendant. Now he is under arrest,” committee’s spokesman Markin said.

The same accusation was earlier brought against flight controller Alexander Kruglov and probationary flight controller Svetlana Krivsun. They face up to seven years in jail.

“Investigative actions continue with other defendants in the criminal case including flights chief Roman Dunaev and operator of a snow-plough Vladimir Martynenko. They will also face charges in the near future,” Markin said.

#ANS2014 

#moscow