A Judge Calls on Russia to Renounce Legal Succession to USSR

Konstantin Aranovsky, a Russian Constitutional Court judge believes that the Russian Federation should renounce the status of the successor to the Soviet Union, as, in his opinion, the latter was created illegally and pursued a repressive and terrorist policy.

Will St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Be United?

The issue of unification of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region has once again gotten into the agenda. Local residents are promised a unified transport system, solution of the problem of garbage, the equalizing of the tariffs and social discounts in the city and in the region, as well as many other advantages. However, the talk about unification began in 2008 but things are still where they started. So what is it – an eventual real-action plan or just another pre-election activity without any effective consequences?

The Central Bank Revises Grounds for Blocking Accounts

The Central Bank of Russia has published amendments to Regulation No. 375-P which define the indications of suspicious transactions. By these criteria, banks can block the clients’ accounts. The list of the latter has not changed since 2012 and contains more than 100 items.

City of Tver Fails Transport Reform

A new reform has been launched in Tver, a Russian city to northwest of Moscow, between Moscow and St Petersburg. It is aimed at replacing the shuttle vans, known as marshrutkas in Russian, with comfortable buses. This should improve the public transport system, address the issue of passengers who enjoy discounted fares and allow people with reduced mobility to freely move around the city.

Russians Getting Under-the-Counter Wages Are Denied Loans

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation has drafted a bill that permits the lending institutions to use data of the Federal Tax Service. The relevant document has been submitted to the State Duma lower house of parliament for consideration.

Nizhny Novgorod Pharmacies Boosted Prices for Medical Face Masks by 374%

At the end of last week, the prices of medical masks in the pharmacies of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia’s fourth largest city 450 km to the east of Moscow, were at the usual level of 15 to 80 rubles per pack, depending on the number of pieces in a package.

The Historical Center of Krasnoyarsk Gets into a New Mess

A yet another time, investors have made public a plan to build an ultramodern office complex in Strelka, an urban locality under the administrative jurisdiction of the town of Lesosibirsk in the Krasnoyarsk territory, near the place where the River Kacha flows into the Yenisei. The local people once again have gotten a reason for worries.

Residents of the Chelyabinsk Region Protesting against Quarantine Centers

Residents of townships in the Chelyabinsk region in southern Urals are rebelling against the deployment of quarantine centers for Chinese citizens and the Russians who have visited China near their homes. They are making attempts to block the roads to the centers for buses and hold unauthorized demonstrations, even committing arsons.

Self-Employed Russians Hiding Away From Taxes in Their Garages

Driven by the desire to get more taxes from people, the government extended the regulations for registration of self-employed persons to 19 more regions in addition to the four regions where they had been introduced previously in the test mode. However, residents are not in a hurry to pay taxes and make contributions to state funds, as the country has a ramified “garage” economy.

Kazan Protesting Against the Construction of a Waste Incineration Plant

At the end of last year, RT-Invest, a subsidiary of Rostec, Russian state-owned holding conglomerate that specializes in consolidating the corporation’s stakes in the strategically important companies, mainly in the defense and high-tech industries, was to begin construction of a zero waste incineration plant near Kazan, the capital of Russia’s constituent republic of Tatarstan.

Stevedores Are to Pay for Dust

Finally, it happened: from now on, coal dust is considered a pollutant. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed a decree on state regulation that provides for the introduction of fees for the emission of coal dust into the atmosphere.

"Not Enough Money for a Slice of Cake:" the State Duma Accuses the Pension Fund of Robbery

There is no doubt that the officials will take the credit of this "generous" gift to the disabled people. Moreover, some of them will continue uttering the words like "increase” and “premium" -- or even "care" -- forgetting to specify the real figures.

Duma Passes Bill Permitting Hunting in Enclosures

The State Duma lower house of parliament passed in the final third reading the law on hunting enclosures which will allow businesses to legally offer to shoot animals in the fenced areas. The law was drafted by a group of deputies, who are United Russia party members -- Nikolai Nikolayev, chairman of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Natural Resources, Property and Land Relations, Maxim Shablykin, a member of this committee, Vladislav Reznik, a member of the Committee on Budget and Taxes, and Nikolai Valuyev, first deputy chairman of the Committee on Ecology and Environmental Protection.

Federal Security Service Demands Access to the Russians’ Online Correspondence

The Federal Security Service (FSB) demanded access to the Russians’ online correspondence and addressed Internet services to install special equipment for that purpose. The round-the-clock access to users’ data was requested back in the summer of 2019, but only now the information about it has leaked the media.

Clashes in Kazakhstan Reveal Presence of “Foreigners”

The Kazakh village of Aukatty, where the ethnic group called the Dungans settled densely, looks like the war film shots: burnt-out houses and cars off the roads blackened by fire. Aukatty, Sortobe and Masanchi, mostly Dungan villages in southern Kazakhstan, suffered greatly from clashes on the night of February 7-8.

Kamchatka Territory at Odds with Far Eastern Mortgage Plan

The Far Eastern Mortgage project at 2% interest rate, launched by a presidential decree in 2019 for residents of the Far Eastern Federal District (the easternmost territory of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean), has not delivered effectively everywhere. For example, president's plenipotentiary in the Far East, Yuri Trutnev, had to interfere in the Kamchatka territory, in order to overcome the resistance of its governor Vladimir Ilyukhin.

Russia is Being Forced to Get off the Oil Needle

Oil exports from Russia dropped in early 2020. Although the rate of decline remains insignificant, the damage to the Russian oil industry stemming from the fall in "black gold" prices in early 2020 is yet to be calculated. Nonetheless, it is already clear that it is difficult to avoid the decline in oil export revenues in the first quarter of the year. As well as the budget losses, of course.

Businessman Who Prefers Monitoring

Maxim Protasov, the head of Russian quality control system Roskachestvo, apparently imports his goods hiding behind Russian names and runs his key businesses, TomatoProm and Russalt, from Cyprus. Is it possible for a businessman of this kind to develop the Russian agricultural industry and monitor the quality of products?

The Black Skies over Russia's Regions

"Black sky mode" – this expression can often be heard in Russia’s major industrial cities. Usually it is set in frosty windless weather in winter. Sometimes during heatwaves in the summer. The Hydrometeorological Center has a special term for it -- "adverse weather conditions."

Moscow Producer of Cheese Spread Objects to Marking of Its Produce

From the date of a meeting held on January 30, 2020 at the Ministry of Agriculture, reports have been coming on the possible plans of the Moscow cheese processing factory KARAT (the producer of Druzhba and Yantar processed cheese, highly popular with Russian consumers) on the transfer of some of its manufacturing facilities from Russia to Belarus in case of introduction of obligatory marking of dairy products.