Russia

Russia detects first case of H5N8 bird flu in humans

Officials said seven workers at a poultry plant in the south of the country had been infected following an outbreak there in December.

"All seven people... are now feeling well," said the head of Russia's consumer health watchdog, Anna Popova.

She said that adequate measures had been quickly taken to stop the spread of infection.

There was no sign of transmission between humans, Ms Popova said, adding that the case had been reported to the World Health Organization.

Russia Navalny protests: Kremlin hits out at West as it downplays rallies

Tens of thousands defied a heavy police presence to join the rallies on Saturday. More than 3,500 were detained, monitors say.

But President Vladimir Putin's spokesman the next day claimed only "a few" people had turned out.

There are calls for the EU to step up sanctions on Russia amid US accusations of "harsh tactics" against protesters.

In Moscow, riot police were seen beating and dragging away demonstrators.

Mr Navalny, President Putin's most high-profile critic, called for protests after his arrest last Sunday.

Frozen waterfall collapse kills one in Russia's far east

A rescue crew was sent to the 40m (131ft) tall Vilyuchinsky waterfall in the Kamchatka peninsula after four people became trapped on Thursday.

All were pulled from the ice, and a boy and his father were flown to hospital.

The regional government said the boy was in intensive care with serious injuries.

"The father is in hospital with the child," Marina Volkova, the Kamchatka Territory's deputy minister of health, said. "The day before, they flew in from Vladivostok."

Russia begins Covid-19 vaccinations in Moscow

Its own vaccine Sputnik V, which was registered in August, is being used.

Developers say it is 95 percent effective and causes no major side effects, but it is still undergoing mass testing.

Thousands of people have already registered to get the first of two jabs over the weekend, but it is unclear how much Russia can manufacture.

Producers are only expected to make 2 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the year.

Russian police raid Jehovah's Witnesses' homes

The Investigative Committee (SK) posted a video on YouTube showing SK men in balaclavas breaking into a flat and seizing piles of foreign currency.

The SK - which operates like the FBI - said "conspiratorial meetings" had been held at a Moscow flat since June 2019.

In 2017 Russia's Supreme Court banned the Jehovah's Witnesses as "extremist".

Putin eases Russian lockdown as cases rise

He said the country's "non-working period" imposed to curb the virus had lasted six weeks.

The easing of restrictions will affect all sectors of the economy, Mr Putin said, but some regions may keep tighter controls if necessary.

Russia now has the third-highest number of confirmed infections worldwide.

In the last 24 hours it reported a record daily rise of 11,656 cases, bringing the official total to 221,344.

Russia's cases rise by 10,000 in one-day record

The increase brings Russia's total number of coronavirus cases to 134,686, the seventh highest tally in the world.

But Russia's mortality rate remains low relative to other countries, such as the US, Italy and Spain.

On Sunday, a further 58 coronavirus-related deaths were announced, bringing the total to 1,280 in Russia.

Moscow has been hit particularly hard by the virus, leaving its healthcare system struggling to cope.

Russia's Putin wants traditional marriage and God in constitution

It is among several constitutional amendments proposed by Mr Putin, which are set to be put to a public vote.

Critics see the proposals as a move by Mr Putin to keep a hold on power after his presidential term ends in 2024.

The package includes a proclamation of Russians' faith in God and a ban on giving away any Russian territory.

Russia bids to overturn global ban

RUSADA was declared non-compliant with World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] standards over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.
Athletes will not be able to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games, while Russia's place at the 2022 World Cup is also in jeopardy.
WADA said on December 9 it had given Russia three weeks in which it could launch an appeal, and RUSADA supervisory board chairman Alexander Ivlev was quoted on Thursday as confirming there would be a challenge to the decision.

Russia banned for four years

Athletes will not be able to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games, while Russia's place at the 2022 World Cup is also in jeopardy.

A WADA panel last month recommended the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be declared non-compliant again over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

WADA's independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) recommended strong sanctions be imposed on Russia, including a four-year ban from competing in and hosting major sporting events.