‘Novaya Gazeta’ reports Russia helped sell Venezuelan gold. Russia’s Central Bank denies it.

On January 31, Novaya Gazeta reported that Russian agencies may have assisted in the liquidation of Venezuelan gold. The previous day, a Boeing 757 owned by the Russian company Yerofei flew from Moscow to Caracas through Dubai, increasing speculation among journalists and anti-Maduro politicians that the jet was to remove $840 million, or 20 tons of gold, from Venezuela’s national bank. That amount would reportedly represent about 20 percent of the country’s holdings. The Boeing jet made one additional trip between Moscow and Caracas between January 18 and 19.

Russian executive who bragged about sex with subordinates to remain at work for two more weeks

Ruslan Gorring, the deputy director of the Russian state-owned geological holding Rosgeo, lost his contract with the company after engaging in a range of inappropriate behavior on the live streaming platform Twitch. However, RIA Novosti wrote one day later that a federal registry continued to list Gorring as the general director of Krasnodarneftegeofizika, a subsidiary of Rosgeo, even after his reported firing from all Rosgeo companies. In the Twitch footage released Tuesday, Gorring bragged about having sex with women who reported to him at the holding. He also repeatedly threatened physical violence against other players of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Russia’s media regulator says local ‘BBC’ broadcasts violate TV rules

Russia’s media regulator, Roskomnadzor, says the company responsible for carrying BBC World News in Russia is guilty of “certain violations,” according to the news agency Interfax. The federal censor is currently assessing the “procedural status” of these infractions, Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky said on Thursday, without offering any further details about how the agency plans to respond.

The first person in Russia arrested for ‘undesirable’ activism just lost her daughter to bronchitis complications

Anastasia Shevchenko now has two unpleasant distinctions. On January 21, she became the first person in Russia to be arrested for the felony offense of working for an illegal “undesirable organization,” which could land her in prison for up to six years. On January 31, Shevchenko became the first person facing these charges to lose a child, when her 17-year-old daughter, Alina, succumbed to complications resulting from bronchitis, dying after a long battle with lung problems.

After dramatic closed session, federal agents arrest Russian senator on Senate floor

On Wednesday, Rauf Arashukov was arrested on the Senate floor of the Federation Council. On the morning of January 30, the parliament’s upper chamber was unexpectedly closed to the public, and Federal Protective Service officers sealed the assembly hall’s entrances and exits. Attorney General Yuri Chaika then addressed the senators. Federal Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin and his deputy director were also in the audience, a source told Interfax. During Chaika’s speech, Arashukov tried to leave the room, but Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko insisted that he stay, according to the news agency TASS. Arashukov’s colleagues then voted to strip him of his legal immunity as a senator and sanctioned his arrest by federal agents. Afterwards, the ruling political party United Russia suspended his membership, pending the results of an investigation.