// The major stories you need to understand Russia. An insider view, in 5 minutes. Subscribe free now.

Russia’s new anti-money laundering campaign is picking up speed. As a result of the Central Bank’s drive to shut down bad banks it has become more and more difficult to launder money, so this business has been taken over by restaurants, stores and car dealerships (have you ever wondered why…


// The major stories you need to understand Russia. An insider view, in 5 minutes. Subscribe free now.

Putin gave one of his strangest speeches of the year on Thursday. He used harsh language to tell the West he is not afraid of a nuclear war because Russians, as martyrs, will all go to heaven. This was said at the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual showpiece event where…


What happened

The rift between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Patriarch of Constantinople has become a personal tragedy for some Russian Orthodox billionaires. Since the early 2000s, the Orthodox monasteries on Mount Athos in Greece have been major cult symbols for religious tycoons, who have invested over $200 million in reconstruction…


Sberbank CEO Herman Gref (left), Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and the founder of Yandex Arkady Volozh at a tech conference in Moscow, 18th October 2018. Photo credit: TASS/Aleksandr Astafyev

On Thursday, The Bell found out that Russia’s largest bank, state-owned Sberbank, is in talks to buy a 30% stake worth about $3.8 billion in Yandex, the country’s biggest private internet company. Sberbank argues it will help protect Yandex, but this looks like it could be yet another Russian story…


Kokorin and Mamaev have been arrested for at least 2 months

Russian law works selectively: if a criminal has money and connections, he or she can almost always escape punishment. But there are exceptions — when bad luck gets in the way. This is what happened to two stars of Russian soccer: Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev. On Monday morning, when…


Experts who spoke with The Bell didn’t believe that Russia’s rocket program will be halted for long

On Thursday, the Russian space industry suffered one of its largest setbacks in recent years when a Soyuz rocket with two crew members bound for the International Space Station fell out of the sky. The crew survived, but the first Soyuz accident since 1975 will have serious consequences. …


Over the last few months, Moscow has sent special forces to help Tripoli’s main adversary

The Kremlin continues to expand its military presence in Africa, with Libya the latest country to see an increase in Russian troop numbers. Officially, Russia and the West recognize the government in Tripoli. But, over the last few months, Moscow has sent special forces to help Tripoli’s main adversary, Marshall…


The Kremlin wants to change the law to be able to confiscate money sent to the West

While the scandal in Europe surrounding Russian money and Danske Bank is growing, the Russian authorities are starting a new anti-money laundering campaign. The Kremlin wants to change the law to be able to confiscate money sent to the West. …


Only six months after Putin’s election victory, the Kremlin is beginning to prepare for the end of his term in 2024

Valery Zorkin (left) has supported all the constitutional amendments inspired by Vladimir Putin

Only six months after Vladimir Putin’s presidential election victory, the Kremlin is beginning to prepare for the end of his term in 2024. To stay in power beyond this, Putin will have to amend the constitution. …


What happened

A new shocking corruption case is beginning in Russia that might shed light on the riddle behind the largest recorded bribe in Russian history, 9 billion ($140 million) which was paid by an ordinary police colonel, Dmitry Zakharchenko, in 2016. This week, businessman Valery Markelov was arrested on bribery charges…

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