In April, Bloomberg added Igor and Dmitry Bukhman to its list of U.S. dollar billionaires. The brothers, born in the northwest Russian city of Vologda, founded a video game company out of their hometown in 2004. Now, Playrix, which employs more than 1,000 employees and entertains about 30 million users every day with popular games like Homescapes and Township. The Bukhmans made their first games out of their Vologda apartment and almost immediately started raking in a profit. Now, Igor is 37 years old, Dmitry is 34, and each is said to have a net worth of $1.4 billion. We spoke with the Bukhmans about how they started making more money off their games, why they no longer live permanently in Russia, and what’s going on in the country’s domestic video game market today.
Malsag Uzhakhov, the chair of Ingushetia’s Council of Teips, has been arrested in the republic’s Nazran district, Mediazona reported. Uzhakhov’s son said that a group of armed individuals took his father away in an unmarked vehicle.
A company called GLONASS-TM that is controlled jointly by Igor Rotenberg, Rostekh, and GLONASS has announced plans to create a federal network using Internet of things (IoT) technology. IoT technology establishes remote connections among objects that would typically lack Internet access, enabling them to exchange data and be controlled remotely.
The Russian state oil company Rosneft says a recent report by the news agency Reuters contains “patently false” information that President Nicolas Maduro is funneling money from Venezuelan oil sales through Rosneft to evade U.S. sanctions.
The Moscow region’s Odintsovsky District is holding local elections on April 21. To drum up support among a younger demographic, candidates from United Russia, the country’s ruling political party, recently released three music videos. The website Odintsovo.info was the first to write about the rap mashups.
Georgy Borisenko, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s North America Department, says Robert Mueller’s report contains no evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. “There’s nothing there that would attract attention. It actually confirms the absence of any argument that Russia supposedly meddled in the American elections. There’s not a shred of evidence there. In fact, the report’s authors concede that they have no evidence,” Borisenko says.
In the last seven years, the Russian government has drastically tightened its regulation of the Internet, and it has shown no signs of slowing down: on April 16, 2019, the State Duma passed a new law enabling the isolation of the Russian segment of the Internet from the World Wide Web. Opposition to the government’s onslaught of new laws has come primarily from small organizations and individual activists, and Roskomsvoboda has emerged as the most prominent group among them. The small-scale project, which was founded in 2012 by activists from the Pirate Party of Russia, has transformed itself alongside the growth of Russian censorship into a full-blown advocacy group. Now, Roskomsvoboda fights to unblock websites, soften the language of new bills, and beat back criminal cases against Web users. Meduza special correspondent Pavel Merzlikin took a look at how Roskomsvoboda is structured and asked whether the organization has a chance against the Russian government in the struggle for a free Internet.
Police officers raided the Moscow newsroom of the media outlet Rosbalt on Thursday, seizing three computer processing units that contain information about the “Young Shakro” case, Rosbalt Moscow editor Nikolai Ulyanov told the news agency Interfax.
According to a report by the BBC Russian Service, federal officials recently met with leaders of Russia’s mass media. Representatives of the federal censor, Roskomnadzor, reportedly said that they consider the two phrases listed above to constitute illegal offensive speech. The agency’s spokesperson clarified, however, that each instance of either phrase appearing in the media will be considered in context, and the Attorney General’s Office will be responsible for this evaluation. The government-media meeting took place after Roskomnadzor blocked two news websites in Yaroslavl after they published photographs of graffiti reading, “Putin is a faggot.” The Russian authorities determined that this phrase constitutes an illegal insult directed at a state official.
The writer and journalist Dmitry Bykov, who was hospitalized in Ufa, Russia, on April 16, will be transported to Moscow for further treatment. Dmitry Muratov, the former editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, told Interfax about the upcoming move.