Drone danger: Russian military wants tighter controls on civilian UAVs

The commander of Russia’s anti-aircraft troops has called for urgent action to introduce laws regulating the sale and use of drones, saying that their widespread use could lead to serious dangers. Speaking on the Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio station, Major-General Sergey Babakov noted that Russian laws do not regulate the sale of unmanned aircraft, and as a result ...

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Kadyrov describes Telegram as ‘convenient messenger,’ opposes blocking plans

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has said that he likes Telegram messenger as a means of direct communication with people, and added that he hoped some compromise would avoid it being blocked in Russia. “I have always advocated an open and direct dialogue between the authorities and society on all platforms, including the internet. This is why I have accounts in ...

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Russian anti-gay lawmaker wants ‘vice squad’ to target prostitution during 2018 World Cup

A Russian pro-Christian MP says ahead of the 2018 World Cup the police should launch special units manned by “true patriots” and deploy them in cities to fight “asocial persons” including prostitutes and pimps. Vitaly Milonov, widely known as the key sponsor of the Russian law that bans the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relations to minors (also known as the ...

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Russian internet watchdog seeks block on Telegram messenger over refusal to give up encryption keys

Russia’s internet watchdog has requested that the Telegram internet messenger service be blocked, after it failed to hand over encryption keys to special services before the given deadline. The press statement released by Roskomnadzor on Friday reads that the agency has addressed a district court in Moscow with a demand “to limit the access to all resources belonging to the ...

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Russian civil servants’ careers now depend on internet reviews from citizens

The Russian government has changed the assessment criteria for civil servants – now their careers will depend on feedback from ordinary citizens, as well as their reactions to reviews posted on the internet. The order, signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and published on the government’s website on Friday, details the rules by which the work of heads of regional ...

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Prominent Russian rights activist cleared of child porn charges

The head of the Karelia branch of the Russian NGO that deals with the history of Stalinist purges has been acquitted of creating child pornography, but received a minor sentence for illegal possession of firearms parts. In late 2016, the head of the Karelia Memorial NGO, Yury Dmitriyev, was detained on charges of making child pornography and corrupting his underage ...

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Slander websites face crackdown under new Duma measures

The Russian lower house has passed a bill allowing court bailiffs to restrict access to websites that refuse to delete slanderous information about citizens or businesses. The bill changes the current situation, under which owners of websites that publish slanderous reports can be ordered to delete them and can be fined for refusal to comply, although there are no legal ...

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Three-quarters of Russians say they need break from internet

More than three-quarters of Russians regularly feel the need to take a break from the internet, according to a recent poll. Most of those who have done so said that they didn’t suffer any negative effects as a result. Read more According to research conducted by the state-run public opinion research agency VTSIOM, by April 2018  the share of internet ...

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Convicted pedophiles face life sentences under Duma proposals

The Russian lower house Committee for Family, Women and Children has approved calls to hold a vote on introducing life sentences as possible punishment for sex crimes against children. If passed, the bill would change the current situation in which the maximum punishment for sex crimes against persons under 14 years of age is 20 years in prison. It also ...

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Russian 4th largest city scraps direct mayoral elections

The city of Ekaterinburg in Russia’s Urals has scrapped direct mayoral elections prompting mass protests. Now instead of a popular vote, the mayor in the fourth largest Russian city will be elected by the city council members. The lawmakers of Sverdlovsk region (where Ekaterinburg is located) voted by 42-4 to abolish direct elections on Tuesday.  The city is a manufacturing ...

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