A ‘dire time for human rights in Russia’ as World Cup begins

The 2018 FIFA World Cup started today with a kick-off at the Luzhniki stadium in the capital Moscow. (Photo: Sandra Montanez - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
“This is a very dire time for human rights in Russia,” according to the Russia programme director for Human Rights Watch, Tanya Lokshina, speaking ahead of the start of the 2018 Football World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow earlier today. Since Vladimir Putin became Russia’s president again in 2012 . . . Read More

Pope and Patriarch ‘feared nuclear war could erupt over Syria’

Flag of Syria is waving as sign of victory over the destroyed heavily damaged city of Aleppo. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The historic meeting between the heads of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches took place not only out of shared concern for Middle Eastern Christians, but to try to avert confrontation between nuclear powers in Syria, according to the Russian Orthodox Patriarch. When Patriarch Kirill met Pope Francis in 2016 it . . . Read More

Russia: ‘Extremist’ identified after five women killed in Dagestan church attack

Dagestan mosque
Authorities in one of the least stable parts of Russia have identified the suspected gunman who killed five women at a church yesterday (18 February) before being shot dead by security forces. The mayoral office in Kizlyar, in the restive and ethnically diverse region of Dagestan, named the assailant as . . . Read More

The rise of Islamic extremism in Central Asia and the Caucasus

The rise of Islamic extremism in Central Asia and the Caucasus
Islamic extremism in Central Asia and the Caucasus will further increase in the next few years, predicts a new report by Anna Münster, a Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House. US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, and expected regime changes in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan threaten to . . . Read More