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Russian video reportedly shows gay student beaten and raped at gunpoint

A series of video clips currently making the rounds on the clip-sharing app WhatsApp purportedly shows an Uzbek student in Russia being forced at gunpoint to admit that he is gay, then being stripped, beaten and raped with a bottle by a gang of homophobic thugs. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty…

Russia to deploy ‘star wars’ defense system in 2017: report

Russia’s defence ministry plans to deploy in 2017 a sophisticated new air missile defence system that can hit targets in space, a senior ministry source told Russian news agencies on Friday. “The promising S-500 air defence missile system is at the development stage. It’s planned to be deployed in 2017,”…

Russia sending warships to the Mediterranean: report

Russia will “over the next few days” be sending an anti-submarine ship and a missile cruiser to the Mediterranean as the West prepares for possible strikes against Syria, the Interfax news agency said on Thursday. “The well-known situation shaping up in the eastern Mediterranean called for certain corrections to the…

Russian journalist gives a snapshot of gay life in Russia

Russian politicians are beginning to squirm under international scrutiny around their anti-gay legislation, but not enough yet to change, a prominent gay journalist told NBC on Friday. A campaign of anti-gay hate reminiscent of fascist propaganda has been consciously promoted by the Kremlin in the last couple of years, and…

Russia urges Syria to cooperate on UN chemical arms probe

Russia said on Friday it had told Syria to cooperate with UN experts investigating reports of a deadly chemical weapons attack, and called on rebels to allow access to the area. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US counterpart John Kerry in a phone call that immediately after the reports first…

‘Zombie’ pigeons fall from the sky in Russia

A disease is causing pigeons in Russia to fall from the sky, fly into buildings and behave oddly around humans. According to Al Jazeera America, the birds may be suffering from a malady called Newcastle disease. “Before death they start to act like zombies,” one Russian news broadcast said. “They…

Russia’s sports minister dismisses criticism of anti-gay law: ‘This is an invented problem’

Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko on Sunday accused western media of overplaying the anti-gay issue that has plagued the World Athletics Championships in Moscow. However, Mutko insisted the controversial law was not just about homosexuality but also to protect Russian youth from ‘drugs, drinking and non-traditional relationships’ — the term…

Flooding in eastern Russia could force 100,000 to be evacuated

More than 17,000 people have been evacuated in Russia’s flood-hit Far East, a minister said Saturday, warning this figure could reach 100,000 as floodwaters wreak havoc across the region. The deluge has been declared a natural disaster in the worst-affected regions of Amur and Khabarovsk, where Russian President Vladimir Putin…

Russian pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva slammed for anti-LGBT comments

Russian pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva faced outrage Friday from activists and fellow athletics legends after backing Russia’s controversial new anti-gay law and saying competitors at the Sochi Winter Olympics should respect it. The 31-year-old kicked up a storm on Thursday when she said in Moscow she supported the law…

Russia closes 700 schools amid dramatic drop in birth rates

More than 700 Russian schools are set to close this year because of a slump in the number of children of school age, Russia’s chief public health doctor said Wednesday. Russia saw birth rates drop dramatically in the turbulent 1990s and its demographic situation has remained negative, with more deaths…

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