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 russia s border agency head charged with embezzling 85m
russia's border agency head charged with embezzling $8.5m

A Moscow court has charged the former head of Russia’s border agency with embezzling nearly half a billion rubles ($8.5 million). Dmitry Bezdelov resigned as head of the Federal Border Development Agency in 2013 after an audit found that he had authorized the illegal transfer of money earmarked for the development of border zones. He was arrested in Italy a year later, and court proceedings began last January.A Moscow District Court ruled Friday that Bezdelov had committed fraud while he was the head of the agency, the Interfax news agency reported. State prosecutors asked the court to sentence Bezdelov to 10 years behind bars, his attorney told the state-run TASS news agency earlier this month. They sought prison terms of three to nine years for his accomplices. Previous reports said that

serebrennikov embezzlement case 'not political,' kremlin spokesman says

The high-profile case against prominent theater director Kirill Serebrennikov, who is accused of embezzling state funds, is not politically motivated, the Kremlin spokesman told reporters on a conference call Wednesday.“In this case, there shouldn’t be empty words about politicisation, some form of censorship or another,” Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying by the Interfax news agency, “such theories are completely out of place and don’t have any bearing on purely financial issues.”Serebrennikov was placed under house arrest last week after being detained and charged with embezzling 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) in government subsidies as part of a theater project connected to Moscow’s Gogol Center.Russia’s Culture Minister has previously denied widespread claims that Serebrennikov’s case

russia seals crimean border crossings with ukraine

Russia temporarily shut three checkpoints on Crimea's border with Ukraine on Tuesday following reports that an act of sabotage could have left part of the peninsula without power and gas.Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014 after a referendum criticized by the international community. Ukraine considers Russia’s presence in Crimea an illegal occupation.An unnamed Federal Security Service (FSB) border official in Crimea told the news agency Interfax on Wednesday morning that three border checkpoints — Armyansk, Dzhankoi and Perekop — had suspended their work “for technical reasons.”Later, Interfax cited an FSB spokesperson as saying work had been resumed.In a separate report, Sergei Aksyonov, the head of the local government, wrote on Facebook that an electricity

head of prisoner rights group flees russia after fraud charges

The head of the prisoner rights group Russia Behind Bars has fled to Germany after claiming she was falsely accused of embezzling state funds, the RBC business portal reported Wednesday.Russia Behind Bars, a non-profit group founded in 2008, documents the mistreatment of prisoners in Russia.Russia's Federal Corrections Service accused Olga Romanova of stealing state funds after searching her office in June.The NGO head, who does not believe she will get a fair trial, traveled to France and Italy after the searches this summer. She is currently in Germany where she has reportedly received a job offer from a German foundation.Referencing a Russian proverb, Romanova wrote of the accusations on Facebook on Wednesday: "to prove that you are not a camel, it is good to be a non-camel in freedom."

head of prisoner rights group romanova flees russia after fraud charges

The head of the prisoner rights group Russia Behind Bars has fled to Germany after claiming she was falsely accused of embezzling state funds, the RBC business portal reported Wednesday.Russia Behind Bars, a non-profit group founded in 2008, documents the mistreatment of prisoners in Russia.Russia's Federal Corrections Service accused Olga Romanova of stealing state funds after searching her office in June.The NGO head, who does not believe she will get a fair trial, traveled to France and Italy after the searches this summer. She is currently in Germany where she has reportedly received a job offer from a German foundation.Referencing a Russian proverb, Romanova wrote of the accusations on Facebook on Wednesday: "to prove that you are not a camel, it is good to be a non-camel in freedom."

russia cracks down on belarusian food imports

Russia announced last month that it would start tracking all Belarusian food imports as they crossed the border in a bid to “boost food quality.”It is also seen as a way of fighting smugglers seeking to cash in on Russian sanctions against the EU by sneaking embargoed Western food products into Russia using Belarusian documents.The phenomenon has led to several “miracle harvests,” with Belarus exporting five times more apples in 2015 than the country officially harvested. The head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) also signed an order introducing stricter border controls in Russia's Bryansk, Smolensk and Pskov regions at the start of February.Minsk has repeatedly denied allegations of widespread smuggling and sub-standard produce, instead claiming that below-par products are being

evaporating lake in siberia stirs outcry over border with kazakhstan

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) confirmed on Thursday that parts of Lake Sladkoe in southern Siberia had evaporated, silencing outcries the lake had been gifted to neighboring Kazakhstan."Residents were accustomed to the border being somewhere in the middle of the lake," a spokesman for Novosibirsk’s FSB press service was cited as saying by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. “But the lake has now dried out so much that the shore aligns with the [Kazakhstan] border.”Nestled on the Russian-Kazakh border in Novosibirsk’s Kupinsky district, Lake Sladkoe straddles both countries.Baffled by the lake’s disappearance from Russian territory, the Kupinsky administration issued an official statement on Aug. 10 that read, “Lake Sladkoe is now in Kazakhstan.”The disappearance was locally be

second suspect arrested in russia's mig fraud case

A second suspect has been arrested on
charges of embezzling millions of dollars from Russian's MiG aircraft
manufacturer.
Sergei Mamaev, MiG's former deputy
director general for economy and finance, was detained by police in
April, Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported Wednesday.The first suspect to be arrested in the
case, former Roskosmos quality control director Vladimir Evdokimov, was killed in pre-trial detention a month earlier.Evdokimov, who had worked at Russia's
United Aircraft Corporation between 2014 and 2015, was accused of
embezzling 200 million rubles ($3.1 million) from MiG.The 52-year-old was jailed in December, but
discovered dead on in his cell on March 18. The cell, which he shared with 11 other inmates, was not covered by CCTV cameras, Russian news
outlet Le

tanzanian detained at russia-china border while posing as 'american hacker'

A citizen of Tanzania posing as an "American hacker" was detained by Russian border guards after attempting to illegally enter the country from China.The 26-year-old man was fleeing from Chinese prosecutors attempting to arrest him for violating migration rules, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing sources in the security services. He was captured 16 minutes after crossing the Russian border.“The young man did not enter our country like all law-abiding citizens, using valid documents at a proper entry point, but by crossing fencing at the Russia-Chinese border under the cover of darkness,” a regional representative of the Federal Security Service (FSB), which controls border security, told RIA Novosti. He was detained using a video locator and a service dog named Zhom, the represen

serebrennikov fraud case won't harm russia’s reputation, says russia's culture m

Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky doesn’t think a high-profile corruption case against prominent director Kirill Serebrennikov, who on Wednesday was placed under house arrest, will harm Russia’s image.“I wouldn’t exaggerate the international significance of this situation,” Medinsky was cited as saying by BBC Russia. “Such situations are sad, but they happen all around the world.” Serebrennikov was detained by law enforcement on Tuesday and charged with embezzling 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) in government funds as part of the “Platforma” project connected to Moscow’s Gogol Center. He faces up to ten years in behind bars.The director’s arrest met with sharp criticism from many within Russia’s cultural elite who say the case against Serebrennikov is politically motivated, a cl

the fraud scandal engulfing russia's media watchdog, explained

The controversial Russian state agency charged with overseeing media and blocking websites has had the spotlight turned onto itself after four of its employees were charged with fraud Oct. 5.Roskomnadzor was established in 2008 as a growing number Russian homes were hooked up to the internet and "family values" parliamentarians agitated for greater internet safety. Initially, it went after websites involved in child pornography and illegal drug sales.But soon its brief to monitor the media brought about to closure of sites for political reasons and in no short order Roskomnadzor became known as Russia’s state censor. The agency has reportedly banned more than 82,000 websites since 2008 for reasons ranging from support for terrorism and “extremism” to calls for demonstrations.“Dead Souls” o

russian agents acted as recruiters to justify cia meetings

Russian intelligence officers charged
with betraying state secrets have been accused of covering up their
meetings with foreign spies by pretending to act as Kremlin
recruiters.The former FSB officers reportedly told
colleagues that they wanted to recruit foreign agents to work for the
Kremlin. Instead, they used their meetings to pass on classified
information, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.The four men were investigated for several years before they were arrested, an unnamed source told Interfax. All stand accused of working with U.S. spy agency the CIA.They have been named as Sergei Mikhailov, a top cyber-security specialist in Russia's FSB; his deputy, Dmitry Dokuchaev; and Ruslan Stoyanov, the head of the cyber-investigation division at private Russian technology firm

border force head defends agency after corruption arrests

A corruption problem within the Australian Border Force has been "cauterised" with the arrests of two customs officials accused of facilitating an international drug syndicate, according to the body's acting head.A Fairfax Media investigation revealed on Thursday the officials had long-standing links to some members of Sydney's Jomaa family, an alleged organised crime group.Man knocked out in one-punch attackVideo duration00:57Previous slideNext slideVideo duration02:52Corrupt Australian Border Force officers ...Corrupt Australian Border Force officers arrestedA federal public servant has been charged in relation to an alleged international tobacco smuggling ring that has embroiled Sydney's Ibrahim family.Man knocked out in one-punch attackVideo duration00:57Video duration00:57Man knocked

moscow court extends serebrennikov's house arrest over embezzlement

A Moscow city court has upheld the decision to extend prominent Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov’s house arrest until Jan. 19 next year.The theatre director was charged in August with embezzling 68 million rubles ($1.2 million) in government funds as part of the “Platforma” project connected to Moscow’s Gogol Center, in a case seen as political in Russia's artistic community."The court’s decision is to be recognized as lawful," Judge Oleg Gaidar was cited as saying by the state-run TASS news agency on extending the director's house arrest.The court also upheld its decision regarding two other defendants in the Gogol Center embezzlement case — former director Yuriy Itin will remain under house arrest and former managing director Alexei Malobrodsky will remain in a detention center unti

serebrennikov fraud case won't harm russia’s reputation, says culture minister

Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky doesn’t think a high-profile corruption case against prominent director Kirill Serebrennikov, who on Wednesday was placed under house arrest, will harm Russia’s image.“I wouldn’t exaggerate the international significance of this situation,” Medinsky was cited as saying by BBC Russia. “Such situations are sad, but they happen all around the world.” Serebrennikov was detained by law enforcement on Tuesday and charged with embezzling 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) in government funds as part of the “Platforma” project connected to Moscow’s Gogol Center. He faces up to ten years in behind bars.The director’s arrest met with sharp criticism from many within Russia’s cultural elite who say the case against Serebrennikov is politically motivated, a cl

russia’s fsb arrests norwegian suspected of espionage

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has arrested a retired Norwegian border guard on charges of suspected espionage. A Moscow district court ordered Frode Berg to be held in custody after the FSB arrested him in a sting operation earlier this month, the Rosbalt news agency reported Tuesday, citing a law enforcement official. “He was caught red-handed while receiving documents containing secret information,” the official told Rosbalt. Berg is suspected of receiving classified documents about the Russian Navy from Alexei Zhitnyuk, a Russian national who was charged with high treason earlier this month. The FSB suspects Berg of sharing the documents obtained from Zhitnyuk with Norwegian intelligence services as well as the CIA. The Moscow court ordered Berg to remain in custody until Feb.

russia blacklists hotels guilty of inflating prices for world cup

Russia's Federal Tourism Agency has said that it will create a public blacklist for hotels that hike their prices for the 2018 World Cup.The agency has already identified several hotels guilty of price inflation in Volgograd and Saransk, among other cities. Prices for hotel rooms in these cities rose 40 times, the head of the agency Oleg Safonov was cited as saying by the Izvestia newspaper on Thursday.Earlier in December, the Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor initiated a case against a hotel in Volgograd that increased prices 20-fold, the state-owned TASS news agency reported.The Gallery Park Volgograd Hotel asked 130,250 rubles ($2,262) for a one-night stay in its presidential suite during the World Cup, which will be held in Russia between June 14 and July 15. The regular

presstv-russia charges 3 with terror in metro bombing

Russian prosecutors have charged three suspects over involvement in last month’s bombing attack in the Saint Petersburg metro.Russia's Investigative Committee said on Thursday that the three, Bakhram Ergashev, Ibragimzhon Ermatov and Makhamadyusuf Mirzaalimov, were charged with involvement in a "terrorist act."Investigators said the trio was also charged with having illegally used explosives in the April 3 attack, which killed 15 people. The committee added that seven other suspects will be charged in the near future.Meanwhile, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said that another suspect head been arrested on Thursday over links to the metro bombing.The FSB said the individual who bore the last name Ermatov had reportedly been involved in the "illicit trafficking of explosives linked

general michael flynn received funds from russia-based rt and kaspersky, documen

Washington: Former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn received more than $US45,000 ($58, 675) from RT, the Russian government-backed television network, for his participation at a gala where he sat at President Vladimir Putin's table, according to documents released Thursday by congressional Democrats.Flynn also received $US11,250 ($14,667) from Kaspersky Government Security Solutions, Inc., described as the US subsidiary of Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity firm, according to the documents.Trump's budget: border wall and defenceVideo duration01:22Previous slideNext slideVideo duration01:43Trump's three pro-Russia picksTrump's three pro-Russia picksFormer US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was a paid commentator for Russia's RT network, is not the only one of Dona

the ioc will announce if russia is banned from winter games in early december

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce Dec. 5 if Russia can compete at the next Olympics in South Korea.Russia faces a ban from the February games in Pyeongchang after the World-Anti Doping Agency (WADA) ruled Nov. 15 for the third year running that Russia’s anti-doping agency is not meeting international standards.

presstv-latvia to construct fence along belarus border

Officials in Latvia said Wednesday that a 120-kilometer (74-mile) border fence with Belarus will be built as soon as a similar fence along the Baltic state's border with Russia has been completed next year.Speaking on Latvian public radio, Olegs Jemasovs, the border guard chief for the southeast Daugavpils region, said 3.7 million euros ($4.3 million) would be spent on securing the country's eastern borders in 2018, with the total cost of the Belarus fence expected to reach 10.5 million euros."The fence will be two meters high with barbed wire on top. It will not be a monolithic fence -- there will be breaks due to natural obstacles such as lakes, swamps and rivers," Jemasovs said.In 2016, the European Union and NATO member state of two million people started construction of a fence along

customs officer among eight charged over alleged international tobacco ring

An Australian Border Force official has been nabbed over an alleged international tobacco ring operating between Sydney and Dubai. The serving officer was arrested alongside a female former Customs and Border Protection Service officer.In a statement released by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), NSW Police, Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the NSW Crime Commission, they said the border force official had been charged with multiple offences, including allegedly using his position to assist with avoiding law enforcement detection, while the female officer has also been charged with similar offences relating to her alleged conduct during the investigation.The arrests follow dawn raids on Tuesday when more than 570 AFP officers swooped on homes an

customs officer among eight charged over alleged international tobacco ring

An Australian Border Force official has been nabbed over an alleged international tobacco ring operating between Sydney and Dubai. The serving officer was arrested alongside a female former Customs and Border Protection Service officer.In a statement released by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), NSW Police, Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the NSW Crime Commission, they said the border force official had been charged with multiple offences, including allegedly using his position to assist with avoiding law enforcement detection, while the female officer has also been charged with similar offences relating to her alleged conduct during the investigation.The arrests follow dawn raids on Tuesday when more than 570 AFP officers swooped on homes an

russia's space agency announces a casting call for tomorrow's cosmonauts

Russia’s state corporation for space activities, Roscosmos, has announced a recruitment drive for cosmonauts. The winners will be the first to pilot Russia’s new “Federation” spaceship, which is currently in development, and possibly the first Russians to go to the Moon. According to Roscosmos’ latest projections, Russia hopes to launch a manned lunar mission before 2040. The recruitment drive is open to all Russian citizens younger than 35, with priority given to experts in aviation, rocket science, and the space industry. Candidates must also be fluent in English and “have a knowledge of computer technology.”Roscosmos says it will study applicants’ education, professional skills, psychological profile, and physical health.According to Yuri Malenchenko, the deputy head of Roscosmos’ cosmo

7.2 magnitude earthquake jolts area around iran-iraq border

(TEHRAN) — Iranian state TV says a 7.2-magnitude earthquake has jolted the region near the border between Iran and Iraq.The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the quake on its website, placing its epicenter at around 32km (19 miles) outside the Iraqi city of Halabja, and issuing an “orange” alert for “shaking-related fatalities and economic losses.”The semi-official Iranian ILNA news agency reported that at least 14 provinces had been impacted by the earthquake.Iranian social media was abuzz with posts of people evacuating their homes, especially from the cities of Ghasr-e Shirin (near Iraqi border) and Kermanshah.Faramarz Akbari, Ghasr-e Shirin’s governor, said that six people had died and scores more injured, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.Esmail Najar, head of Iran’s National

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