On November 25, Russia’s Federal Security Service border guard fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels at the Kerch Strait. Moscow and Kyiv have since traded allegations that the conflict was staged to shore up the other’s domestic support. In Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko signed an executive order imposing martial law for 30 days. In total, Russia captured more than 20 Ukrainian sailors, wounding three men when taking the “Berdiansk” gunboat. Neither Moscow now Kyiv has reported the ranks of these men, but it’s known that they’re currently hospitalized in Kerch, in Russian-controlled Crimea. Meduza reviews what we know about these injured sailors.
On Monday, November 26, a district court in Krasnodar overturned the 12-day arrest of the rapper Dmitry Kuznetsov, better known as “Husky,” and the performer was promptly released. According to Russia Today chief editor Margarita Simonyan, Husky has the Putin administration to thank: the jail sentence apparently angered “two or three” Kremlin officials, and they intervened in the local courts. A source close to the Putin administration later confirmed this rumor to the independent television network Dozhd.
On November 26, Russia’s federal media censor announced administrative charges against “Google, LLC” for failing to comply with a law that requires online search engines to purge any hyperlinks to materials that are banned in Russia. Google has also refused to connect to the federal information system where these websites are listed. For violating Russia’s Internet censorship rules, Google faces a fine as high as 700,000 rubles (about $10,430).
On November 25, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) border guards fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait area. Kyiv says at least of its six sailors were injured in the gunfire. The seized ships were brought to Kerch, where the wounded men received medical attention. The FSB says the ships violated Russia’s international border.
Igor Korobov, the head of Russia’s Military Intelligence Directorate (GRU), died “after a long and serious illness,” a Defense Ministry spokesperson told the news agency RIA Novosti early on November 22. Korobov was 63 years old. He served in the Soviet and Russian armed forces since 1973, joining the USSR’s military intelligence in 1985 and becoming Russia’s GRU director in 2016.
In early November, Russia’s Health Ministry wrapped up its “HIV Test: Expedition” program, where two minibuses visited 120 cities in 36 different regions, from Kamchatka to Kaliningrad. According to organizers, in six months the ministry was able to test more than 44,000 people for the deadly immunodeficiency virus, though officials haven’t revealed the number of positive results.
The Russian National Guard bought two vehicles equipped with a whole array of non-lethal crowd-control measures, including laser emitters. That’s right: the agency created in 2016, led by a man who recently challenged anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny to a fist fight, and described in the media as “a kind of Praetorian Guard” — will now have lasers to disperse groups of protesters.
We all lose our tempers occasionally on social media, but very few of us are also the governor of Karelia, a northwestern region of Russia that borders Finland. Artur Parfenchikov can claim both these honors, after telling off one of his constituents this September, when she asked the government to restore childcare services in her remote town.
He needed signatures from at least 140 municipal deputies to make the ballot, and he submitted paperwork with 147 endorsements, but Andrey Ishchenko has come up short in Russia’s Primorsky Krai, after election officials tossed out thirteen signatures.
Fifteen years ago, Sergey Basalaev saw the movie “Basic Instinct,” and consciously experienced sexual desire for the first time in his life. He was 20 years old at the time. Watching the scene where Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone dance in a night club, he suddenly realized that something “wrong” was happening to him. “I turned red and my heart started pounding like a steam hammer,” Sergey remembers.