Russia holds high-profile Afghanistan talks with Taliban

Moscow calls for aid to avert refugee crisis but also demands more inclusive government in Kabul Russia has hosted the most high-profile international talks on Afghanistan since the Taliban took power, calling for an injection of aid to help the crippled economy but also demanding a more inclusive government. Senior Russian diplomats made clear that […]

Covid news live: UK records 45,140 new cases; daily jump is UK’s highest since July; Russia sees 997 deaths as cases continue to soar

Follow all the latest on the coronavirus pandemic from the UK and around the world UK records highest daily jump in Covid cases since mid-July England plans walk-in vaccine clinics for children aged 12 to 15 Gordon Brown urges emergency Covid vaccine airlift to Africa Russia records record level of coronavirus cases See all our […]

Russia’s daily Covid death toll passes 1,000 for first time

Officials report 33,208 new cases in fifth consecutive day of record coronavirus infections Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Russia reported 1,002 deaths from the coronavirus on Saturday, the first time the country’s daily number has passed the 1,000 mark since the start of the pandemic. New Covid-19 cases confirmed in the […]

Russia and neighbours are source of most ransomware, says UK cyber chief

Lindy Cameron, head of National Cyber Security Centre, says extortion is most serious online threat to UK Cybercriminals from Russia and neighbouring states are behind the majority of online extortion conducted against businesses and other organisations in Britain, according to the chief of the UK’s cybersecurity agency. Lindy Cameron, the chief executive of the National […]

At least 16 die as plane full of skydivers crashes in central Russia

Six people in ‘very serious condition’ after being rescued from wreckage of aircraft in Tatarstan An aircraft carrying skydivers has crashed in central Russia, killing 16 people and severely wounding six others, the country’s health ministry has announced. The L-410 plane crashed around 9.20 am local time during a flight over the Republic of Tatarstan, […]

Coronavirus live news: US has given over 400m jabs; Protesters in Rome try to break into PM’s office

CDC says 187 million people in US are fully vaccinated; About 10,000 people join protest against mandatory Covid certificates Unions call for tighter Covid safety measures in schools Russia reports record daily death toll as Kremlin shrugs off lockdown Anti-vaccine chiropractors sowing misinformation See all our coronavirus coverage Russia reported 968 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, […]

Illegal spirits containing methanol kill 29 people in Russia

Nine people detained in connection with the deaths in Orenburg region bordering Kazakhstan Twenty-nine people have died from alcohol poisoning this week in a region near Kazakhstan after consuming locally produced spirits that contained methanol, Russian authorities said. Investigators looking into the production and sale of the illegal spirits said nine people had been detained […]

Europe’s soaring gas prices: does Russia hold solution to crisis?

Some believe Kremlin sees gas prices as chance for Gazprom to pressure west to speed up Nord Stream 2 approval The natural gas market has entered uncharted territory. The movements in the price of gas on Wednesday had been, in the words of one analyst, “unprecedented since the year dot of gas liberalisation in Europe”. […]

Nato expels eight members of Russia’s mission for spying

Russia rejects claim officers were secretly working as intelligence officers and warns of retaliation Nato has expelled eight members of Russia’s mission to the military alliance, saying that they were secretly working as intelligence officers, and halved the size of Moscow’s team able to work at its headquarters. “We can confirm that we have withdrawn […]

Judges ‘used signals’ to fix Olympic boxing bouts, McLaren report finds

Culture of ‘favours’ saw incorruptible officials driven out Aiba president Wu Ching-kuo let ‘manipulation flourish’ A damning investigation into boxing at the Rio 2016 Olympics has found widespread evidence of “corruption, bribery and the manipulation of sporting results” – with judges giving each other signals at ringside to fix bouts. The report by Prof Richard […]

Up to 10 suspicious matches at 2016 Olympics, boxing investigation finds

One involves Michael Conlan’s defeat against Vladimir Nikitin Richard McLaren to reveal details of investigation into judging A major investigation into boxing at the 2016 Olympic Games has identified seven to 10 suspicious matches where bout manipulation is likely to have taken place. It is understood one of those fights involves the Irish boxer Michael […]

Russia threatens to block YouTube after suspension of German RT channels

Moscow warns of retaliation against video-sharing platform after RT channels blocked over Covid disinformation Russia on Wednesday threatened to block YouTube and take other retaliatory measures, after the US video-sharing platform blocked the German-language channels of state broadcaster RT. Moscow has recently been ramping up pressure on foreign tech giants as it seeks greater control […]

IEA calls on Russia to send more gas to Europe before winter

World’s energy watchdog intervenes after Russia decides not to increase exports despite record prices The world’s energy watchdog has called on Russia to send more gas to Europe as the energy supply crunch bleeds across the continent, in a rare public rebuke of the Kremlin. The International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises global governments on […]

Russia slams New York’s vaccine requirement for UN general assembly

Russia’s ambassador requests meeting after letter says delegates must provide proof of vaccination to enter debate hall All diplomats attending the UN general assembly in New York next week will have to provide proof of vaccination, the city government has confirmed, prompting an angry response from Russia. Delegates must be vaccinated to enter the debate […]

Russian minister complains to US about role of ‘digital giants’ in election

Sergei Ryabkov’s claim of interference in Duma vote believed to be reference to anti-Putin apps on Apple and Google The Russian foreign ministry has summoned the US ambassador, John Sullivan, to complain about alleged interference by “American digital giants” in Russia’s upcoming parliamentary election. According to a ministry statement on Friday, the deputy foreign minister, […]

Putin’s crackdown: how Russia’s journalists became ‘foreign agents’

Will an oppressive new law stifle independent media outlets – or lead to a weakening of the president’s authoritarian regime? Usually the bad news is dumped late on Friday when most Muscovites are heading out for the evening: a new list of names of journalists and outlets declared “foreign agents”, a label that for some […]

The Taliban takeover must not mean the end of international aid to Afghanistan | Christopher de Bellaigue

A humanitarian crisis looms unless Americans and Europeans continue to fund the projects keeping Afghans from oblivion Leaving is the easy bit. It’s the looking back that hurts. There was – as Joe Biden pointed out when announcing America’s defeat at the hands of the Taliban on 31 August – nothing “low-grade or low-risk or […]

Putin and Lukashenko discuss integrating Russia and Belarus

Russian president and Belarusian leader negotiate over greater union of countries’ economies and policies Vladimir Putin is meeting with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko in the Kremlin on Thursday as the two discuss negotiations to integrate their countries’ economies and government policies before massive joint military exercises. Ahead of the talks, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said […]

Russia’s emergencies minister dies during Arctic training exercise

Yevgeny Zinichev, a former KGB officer and Putin bodyguard, died ‘trying to save life of cameraman’ Russia’s emergencies minister has died during a training exercise in the Arctic Circle city of Norilsk after officials said he jumped from a cliff in an apparent rescue attempt. Yevgeny Zinichev, a member of the influential security council and […]

The Guardian view on dealing with the Taliban: no good options | Editorial

Strategic failure has drastically reduced the west’s ability to influence the future course of events As the final evacuation flights leave Kabul, watched in despair by those abandoned and in peril, the lasting consequences of strategic failure must now be faced. During the Doha peace talks, American diplomats liked to talk of a process towards […]

Vladimir Putin urged to end crackdown on Russian journalists

More than a dozen independent media sign open letter calling for halt to ‘foreign agent’ designations Russia’s leading independent media have appealed to Vladimir Putin and other top government officials to halt a crackdown on journalists under which some of the countries’ top outlets have been declared foreign agents or banned outright over the last […]

Taliban have captured more than 100 military helicopters, Russia says

Fleet of Russian-made Mi-17 transport aircraft had been procured by US for Afghan armed forces Afghanistan withdrawal – live updates The Taliban have captured more than 100 Russian-made helicopters in various states of operability, the head of a Russian state arms exporter has said, but will be largely unable to use them with little access […]

Only action against corruption can solve the world’s biggest problems | Alexei Navalny

In a message from his prison cell, the jailed Russian opposition activist calls for the west to take sanctions against oligarchs Exactly one year ago, I did not die from poisoning by a chemical weapon, and it would seem that corruption played no small part in my survival. Having contaminated Russia’s state system, corruption has […]

British man accused of spying for Russia will not be extradited from Germany

Counter-espionage laws too weak to deal with spies acting against British interests The British national accused of selling secrets to Russia will not be extradited back home to face justice despite the seriousness of the claims. Britain’s “archaic” counter-espionage laws have been exposed, say sources, by the arrest of David Smith, 57, a security guard […]

Expulsions lead BBC to fear for reporters in authoritarian regimes

Broadcaster says relations with China and Russia are fraught as its correspondent Sarah Rainsford is forced out of Moscow BBC news executives vowed on Saturday night to continue to report from Russia and China despite growing fears that both countries are becoming increasingly difficult to cover. After a surprise Russian move last week that will […]

BBC journalist speaks of ‘increasingly repressive’ Russia ahead of expulsion

Sarah Rainsford says she is caught up in wider diplomatic game as country ‘turns in on itself’ A senior BBC journalist who is to be expelled from Russia has condemned “an increasingly repressive environment” for critical journalists in the country. Sarah Rainsford, whose visa is due to expire at the end of the month and […]

Russian firefighting plane crashes in southern Turkey

Eight Russian and Turkish crew members and emergency workers killed trying to land in Adana province A firefighting plane from Russia crashed on Saturday in a mountainous area in southern Turkey, killing the eight crew members and emergency workers aboard, Russia’s defence ministry said. The ministry said five Russian and three Turkish citizens were on […]

BBC condemns ‘assault on media freedom’ as Russia expels reporter

State media call Sarah Rainsford’s expulsion a response to alleged UK barriers for Russian journalists Russia is to expel a senior BBC journalist in Moscow by refusing to extend her accreditation in a move the broadcaster has condemned as a “direct assault on media freedom”. Sarah Rainsford’s visa is due to expire at the end […]

Briton suspected of spying for Russia ‘kept himself to himself’

Neighbours know little of David Smith though Russian flags are visible inside his Potsdam flat A security guard at the British embassy in Berlin who has been arrested on suspicion of passing state secrets to Russia lived in a two-room flat on a tidy estate in the city of Potsdam. David Smith was arrested at […]

UK police involved in Berlin embassy spy case for ‘number of months’

Arrest of David Smith, 57, on suspicion of spying for Russia prompts calls for review of embassy contractors British police have been involved in the case of a British embassy employee arrested in Germany on suspicion of spying for Russia for “a number of months”, the head of Scotland Yard said. David Smith, a 57-year-old […]