• Sentsov refuses to ask Putin for pardon

    Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who has been sentence to 20 years in prison in Russia, refuses to write a petition for a pardon, stated his lawyer, Dmitry Dinze, reports Interfax.

    "Oleg is against a pardon. he will not write anything to the [Russian] President," Dinze said. According to the lawyer, Sentsov's condition remains unchanged.

    "He says he basically lays down, because he started having problems with his kidneys and heart. He had a crisis on the 26th day of the hunger strike. He was …

  • Kremlin: 11 Russian aircraft and helicopters returned from Syria

    11 Russian military planes and helicopters returned from Syria last week, arriving at their permanent bases in Russia, the Russian Defense Ministry reported as quoted by to RIA Novosti.

    “Eleven aircraft have returned to their permanent bases in the Russian Federation from Syria over the past week,” the Ministry informed.

    According to the Defense Ministry, the Russian warplanes flew to their base while the army aviation helicopters were carried by military-transport aircraft. Additionally, the …

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania visits the boundary line in the Donbas

    On Saturday, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius visited a local school and one of the transit checkpoints in the frontier town of Stanytsia Luhanska.

    On his Twitter, he shared his impressions from the visit. "I am at the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint on the line of contact. The only operating checkpoint in the region: a violation of the Minsk Agreements. People are standing in line for 4 hours in the heat. It’s inhumane and unacceptable,” the Lithuanian diplomat wrote.

    The Head of …

  • High-ranking Iranian officer killed in Syria

    The news  outlet Sepah News reported on Saturday that a senior officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the elite part of the armed forces of Iran, has been killed in Syria.

    "Second Brigadier General Shahrokh Daeipour, one of the commanders and veterans of the Iran-Iraq War, died in [the] Syrian [town of] Al-Bukemal during an advisory mission," the portal said, without specifying in what circumstances and when the Iranian officer was killed.

    Al-Bukemal was considered less …

  • American congressmen seek sanctions against Russian oligarch over 'large-scale investments in Crimea'

    Shares of billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's companies were pummeled on the Moscow Stock Exchange on Friday following news from the US that a group of congressmen is seeking sanctions against the businessman, who has already given the State key oil assets and lost 70% of his fortune due to a conflict with Rosneft.

    US Congressmen affiliated with the Republican Party, Mark Walker and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, argued that the inclusion of Yevtushenkov, as well as his companies AFK Sistema and MTS, in …

  • Russian companies prepare to be disconnected from SWIFT

    Russia’s largest companies continue to report that they are ready for a possible disconnection from the SWIFT international payment system.

    Gazprom Neft announced that it has followed Rostec and Rosneft in transitioning to the Central Bank of Russia’s SWIFT equivalent - the Financial Message Transmission System (FMTS).

    The nearly 100% Gazprom-owned company, which holds the 4th place for oil extraction in Russia, has begun to use the Russian SWIFT equivalent instead of the traditional one, …

  • Russia displeased by Canada’s legalization of marijuana

    Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that the Canadian parliament’s decision to legalize the recreational use of cannabis is a “gross and deliberate violation by the country of its international legal obligations”.

    The Russian foreign policy department drew attention to the fact that Canada has signed a number of conventions which obligate its member states to restrict the use of drugs exclusively to medicinal and scientific purposes. The obligations are not open to alternative interpretations, the …

  • Despite US warnings Russian warplanes strike Daraa de-escalation zone in Syria

    Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that Russian warplanes carried out airstrikes in southern Syria, violating one of the so-called "de-escalation zones".

    “For the first time since the ceasefire in southern Syria was agreed last year, intense Russian air strikes hit cities in the eastern part of Daraa province," said the head of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman.

    According to Reuters, the two monitoring centers controlling the movement of …

  • Council of Europe Secretary General to officially request Sentsov’s release

    On June 25, Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CE), will send Russian President Vladimir Putin an official request to pardon Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, a senior CE official told Deutsche Welle.

    “On Monday, Jagland will file a petition for the pardoning of Sentsov,” Deputy Secretary General Daniel Holtgen announced. He also pointed out that the Secretary General has a right to do so according to the European Convention on Human Rights.

    On June 20, Jagland …

  • Iran threatens Europe with 'terrible future' if the nuclear deal is broken

    The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, warned the European countries of the "terrible future" if the nuclear agreement with Iran is abolished, Interfax news agency reports with reference to the Iranian TV channel Press-TV.

    "If the EU and other countries supporting a joint comprehensive action plan do not demonstrate a principled position and respond to U.S. policy in a timely fashion, they will face a terrible future and unprecedented security gaps in the region …