Russia

Russia detains cyber-security tycoon Ilya Sachkov in treason case

A court in Moscow said it had ordered that 35-year-old Ilya Sachkov be held in custody for two months, but did not provide further details on the charges.

An unnamed security source told state news agency Tass that Mr Sachkov had denied passing on secret information to foreign intelligence services.

Mr Sachkov has previously been awarded by the Russian president for his work.

His company, Group-IB, specialises in detecting and preventing cyber-attacks and has a global client base that includes the international police agency Interpol.

Russia offers North Korea Covid vaccines again as crisis worsens

Pyongyang has refused vaccines and aid from a number of countries.

It has instead sealed borders to try and keep the virus out but that has affected trade with China. It relies on Beijing for food, fertiliser and fuel.

Kim Jong-un has acknowledged that the country is facing food shortages, describing the situation as "tense".

He made the comments last month and also told citizens to prepare for the "worst ever outcome" which has invoked comparisons to a deadly famine in the 1990s.

Russia plans its own space station in 2025

The International Space Station (ISS) was launched in 1998 by the Russian and US space agencies and has been hailed for its exemplary co-operation involving numerous countries.

But Russian officials have indicated they could pull out of the ISS in 2025.

The station's structure is ageing.

Russia blames Google outage on data centre fire

The country's media watchdog Roskomnadzor tweeted that the disruption was due to the incident.

The data centre belongs to French cloud service provider OVH, which runs 32 such sites in Europe, America and Asia.

No-one was injured in the fire, which was declared a major incident.

It is not clear how the blaze started.

OVH's chief executive Octave Klaba tweeted early this morning to say that fire had destroyed one of the data centres and a part of a second. He asked customers to "activate your disaster recovery plan".

Russia detects first case of H5N8 bird flu in humans

Officials said seven workers at a poultry plant in the south of the country had been infected following an outbreak there in December.

"All seven people... are now feeling well," said the head of Russia's consumer health watchdog, Anna Popova.

She said that adequate measures had been quickly taken to stop the spread of infection.

There was no sign of transmission between humans, Ms Popova said, adding that the case had been reported to the World Health Organization.

Russia Navalny protests: Kremlin hits out at West as it downplays rallies

Tens of thousands defied a heavy police presence to join the rallies on Saturday. More than 3,500 were detained, monitors say.

But President Vladimir Putin's spokesman the next day claimed only "a few" people had turned out.

There are calls for the EU to step up sanctions on Russia amid US accusations of "harsh tactics" against protesters.

In Moscow, riot police were seen beating and dragging away demonstrators.

Mr Navalny, President Putin's most high-profile critic, called for protests after his arrest last Sunday.

Frozen waterfall collapse kills one in Russia's far east

A rescue crew was sent to the 40m (131ft) tall Vilyuchinsky waterfall in the Kamchatka peninsula after four people became trapped on Thursday.

All were pulled from the ice, and a boy and his father were flown to hospital.

The regional government said the boy was in intensive care with serious injuries.

"The father is in hospital with the child," Marina Volkova, the Kamchatka Territory's deputy minister of health, said. "The day before, they flew in from Vladivostok."

Russia begins Covid-19 vaccinations in Moscow

Its own vaccine Sputnik V, which was registered in August, is being used.

Developers say it is 95 percent effective and causes no major side effects, but it is still undergoing mass testing.

Thousands of people have already registered to get the first of two jabs over the weekend, but it is unclear how much Russia can manufacture.

Producers are only expected to make 2 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the year.

Russian police raid Jehovah's Witnesses' homes

The Investigative Committee (SK) posted a video on YouTube showing SK men in balaclavas breaking into a flat and seizing piles of foreign currency.

The SK - which operates like the FBI - said "conspiratorial meetings" had been held at a Moscow flat since June 2019.

In 2017 Russia's Supreme Court banned the Jehovah's Witnesses as "extremist".

Putin eases Russian lockdown as cases rise

He said the country's "non-working period" imposed to curb the virus had lasted six weeks.

The easing of restrictions will affect all sectors of the economy, Mr Putin said, but some regions may keep tighter controls if necessary.

Russia now has the third-highest number of confirmed infections worldwide.

In the last 24 hours it reported a record daily rise of 11,656 cases, bringing the official total to 221,344.