Moscow - Several hundred Wagner fighters return to Ukraine, impact limited, Kyiv says

Moscow is the capital and largest city of Russia, with well over 12 million inhabitants within its borders. It is situated in the western part of the country, on the banks of the Moskva River. Moscow’s history stretches back over 800 years, and it is now one of the most important political, economic, cultural, and scientific centers in Russia and the world. In this article, we will explore the fascinating history, culture, attractions, and lifestyle of Moscow.


Moscow was founded in 1147 by Yuri Dolgorukiy, a Grand Prince of Kiev, who built a fort on the site of the present-day Kremlin. The town quickly grew as a center of trade and commerce, and by the 16th century, it had become the capital of the Russian Empire. Moscow played a crucial role in Russian history, serving as the center of political power, cultural and artistic life, and scientific innovation.

Moscow has seen many significant historical events, including the devastating fires of 1547, 1571, and 1812, and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. During World War II, Moscow became a vital strategic location for the Soviet Union, and the Battle of Moscow, which took place from 1941 to 1942, was one of the most significant turning points of the war, as the Soviet Union was able to repel the Nazi invasion.


Moscow is a cultural capital of Russia, and there is a plethora of cultural events and attractions to visit throughout the year. The city is home to an astounding number of museums, galleries, theaters, and concert halls.

One of the most famous museums in Moscow is the State Tretyakov Gallery, which displays the world’s largest collection of Russian art, including works by famous painters such as Ivan Kramskoy, Isaac Levitan, and Kazimir Malevich. The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is another popular destination, with a vast collection of European art and antiquities.

Moscow is also renowned for its architecture, with some of the most stunning examples being the Cathedral of St. Basil, the Kazan Cathedral, and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The Kremlin is another must-visit location, housing a vast complex of palaces, churches, and government buildings that date back to the 15th century.


Moscow has no shortage of amazing attractions, ranging from historic sites to modern marvels. Among the most popular is the Red Square, with its iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral, a symbol of Russia recognized worldwide.

Another prominent place to see is the Moscow Metro, widely known as the most beautiful subway system in the world. Each station was designed with unique artwork, creating a vast system of underground palaces. The Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is also worth visiting, with a range of outdoor activities available, from electric bike rides to yoga classes.


Moscow’s food scene is as diverse and dynamic as the city itself, with a range of cuisine options to suit every taste and budget. The city has an excellent selection of traditional Russian dishes, such as borscht, pelmeni, and stroganoff. However, Moscow also offers a range of international cuisines, including Italian, French, Chinese, and Japanese.


Moscow is an excellent destination for shoppers, with a vast array of shopping malls, department stores, and markets to choose from. For high-end luxury shopping, the Tretyakovsky Passage and the GUM department store, located next to the Red Square, are excellent options. The Tverskaya Street and the Arbat Street are popular streets to browse for unique souvenirs, including traditional Russian handicrafts and art.


Moscow is a city that never sleeps, with a wide range of entertainment options available around the clock. The city’s nightlife is legendary, with a vast selection of bars, clubs, and restaurants catering to all tastes. The city also offers a range of outdoor activities, such as ice-skating, skiing, and cycling.

Moscow’s residents, known as Muscovites, are known for their hard-working ethic and ambitious lifestyle. Despite the city’s size and fast pace, the people of Moscow are friendly and welcoming to visitors, always willing to share their love of their city.


Moscow is a city full of contrasts, where ancient history exists alongside modern amenities and entertainment. Its cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and vibrant lifestyle attract millions of travelers every year, making it one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. If you are looking for a place that offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity, then Moscow should undoubtedly be on your bucket list.

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Belarus PM replaces Lukashenko at ceremony, sparks speculation


23-05-15 00:42

Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko, has not been seen publicly since Tuesday. Although the leader has been battling an illness which has made him look unwell, causing speculation of a deeper problem with his health. The BelTA state news agency has no reason for his absence at the annual ceremony in which young people swear allegiance. Lukashenko has led Belarus since 1994, and has been using police to put down protests, whilst making the courts impose long jail terms on his opponents.
Wagner chief offered to give Russian troop locations to Ukraine, leak says

Washington Post

23-05-14 23:59

A leaked US intelligence report reveals that the Russian mercenary group, the Wagner Group, proposed a trade to Ukraine in late January, in which the mercenaries would share information on Russian positions, in exchange for Ukrainian soldiers withdrawing from the area around Bakhmut. The revelation has raised questions about the loyalty of Yevgeniy Prigozhin, who created the Mercenary group, to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who may see the offer as treasonous. Ukraine rejected the offer as its officials did not trust Prigozhin and felt it was disingenuous.
Russia says European armed forces treaty contrary to its security interests


23-05-14 23:25

Russia's envoy has said that the European armed forces treaty, from which Moscow is currently withdrawing, is contrary to Russia's security interests. Russia's parliament will decide on whether to formally denounce the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) today, which follows President Vladimir Putin's decree of 10 May. The CFE Treaty aimed to regulate the number of forces deployed by Warsaw Pact and NATO countries.
G7 leaders to target Russian energy and trade in new sanctions, sources say

South China Morning Post

23-05-14 23:25

The Group of Seven nations are set to tighten sanctions on Russia at their summit in Japan, with US officials hopeful other countries will adopt new rules that automatically blacklist exports unless they appear on a list of authorised goods.The move is aimed at closing the gaps in the current sanctions regime, which allows all exports to be sold to Russia unless they are explicitly blacklisted. Among the new measures will be bans on trade supporting Russia’s military and tactics aimed at undermining its future energy production. The new rules comes as allies hunt for ways to restrain Russia, whose exports have often sidestepped sanctions.
Belarus leader Lukashenko in hospital, reports say

Financial Times

23-05-14 23:19

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been reportedly admitted to hospital, according to independent news outlets. The country’s state media has yet to confirm reports about the 68-year-old’s health. Last week, Lukashenko left a visit to Moscow early, missing a lunch with President Vladimir Putin. The Belarusian leader has been a steadfast ally of Putin and has offered Belarus as a base for Russian operations against Ukraine. Following controversial presidential elections in Belarus last year, when protests against the result were met with a crackdown, several opposition leaders fled the country to avoid arrest. Among those who left was Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya who stood as a candidate after her husband, Sergei, was detained. Sergei Tsikhanouskaya was later jailed for 18 years in 2021 on charges of inciting “mass disturbances”.
G7 host Japan seeks unity on threat from China

Financial Times

23-05-16 01:23

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s key aim during the annual G7 summit this weekend is to establish a united G7 response to China's military ambitions and "economic coercion," as the country continues to seek closer ties with NATO and imposes sanctions against Moscow as a result of the ongoing war in Ukraine. China’s interventionism has driven Japan to adopt a very cautious approach, revamping its military organisation and increasing security cooperation with nations in Southeast Asia and Europe. However, it is anticipated that the G7 will not agree on any specific new economic tools of security, and crucially, China will not be named in the statement. This widespread caucus approach aims to support countries being bullied by China rather than being completely focused on an offensive strategy. The EU, as well as other G7 members, remain very reluctant to adopt a more antagonistic stance, preferring to improve relations with emerging economies, particularly from Asia, Africa and South America.
Why Vladimir Putin isn’t shutting down the outspoken ‘thug’ running the Wagner Group

The Toronto Star

23-05-16 00:07

Analysts are trying to understand the motivations behind Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the notorious private military company, the Wagner Group, who continues to flout what is acceptable in a time of war, despite having had talks with Ukraine which could be considered treasonous. He was also behind the Russian troll farm behind the effort to sway the results of the 2016 US presidential election. As the Russian military efforts stall, some analysts believe that in Russia he is becoming more important than President Vladimir Putin. Abbas Gallyamov, a political analyst and former Putin speech writer, said: “The situation is changing dramatically, and the things that were previously unimaginable are now becoming realistic.” Thus, Prigozhin may be making preparations for a smooth transition from the battlefield to the Russian political arena with ambitions of founding a conservative political movement. Russian military intelligence analyst, Oleksandr Danylyuk, has suggested that Prigozhin's angred persona may simply benefit Putin's strategic narrative that regime change in Russia would be bad for the West.
Report faults FBI’s handling of probe into alleged Trump-Russia collusion

Financial Times

23-05-15 23:19

The FBI's investigation into the links between the Trump administration and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election lacked analytical rigour and was biased, according to a report by John Durham, a special counsel appointed by the Trump administration. Durham's report found that both US intelligence and law enforcement had no evidence of collusion when the FBI launched the probe five years ago. However, the report didn't recommend further legal action. Durham's office has already laid three criminal cases in connection with the investigation, resulting in one guilty plea and two acquittals.
Belarus state media publish photo of Lukashenko following health speculation


23-05-15 23:15

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has made his first public appearance in almost a week, after speculation over his health. A Belarusian state news channel released a photo of Lukashenko at a military command centre with a bandage on his left hand. He was last seen in public on 9 May at Victory Day events in Moscow and Belarus. Unofficial reports suggested he had been taken to a medical facility.
In European Tour, Zelensky Reaps Billions More in Promised Military Aid

NY Times

23-05-15 23:00

Germany has pledged to give Ukraine a nearly $3 billion package of weapons, as well as making less concrete promises of additional weapons from France and Italy. The United States remains by far the largest supplier of weapons to Ukraine but support for Ukraine in the US is likely to come under pressure. US white house officials have said privately that they remain confident they have bipartisan support in Congress to continue helping Ukraine in the near term. The European Union package of aid includes long-range missiles, attack drones and tanks, and other armoured vehicles, which will fulfill many but not all the demands for weapons that Ukraine has said it needs for a counteroffensive. Military analysts have said the European reinforcements make it highly likely that Ukrainian troops forces will soon strike back at Russian forces that control the country’s south. The European Union's show of support for Ukraine underscores that the war is in a pivotal phase, with Ukrainian forces massing for a counteroffensive that could set the terms for any future negotiation with Russia.
EU top diplomat calls on bloc to court developing countries

Financial Times

23-05-16 05:18

The EU's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, has called for a tailored approach to reaching out to countries in the developing world, and has urged the EU to accept that these countries will not take sides in disputes such as that between Russia and Ukraine. Borrell's comments come ahead of a G7 summit in Japan, a meeting that will aim to persuade developing countries to align themselves with the G7 in condemning Russia's actions. Borrell added that Europe would need to work hard to gain the trust and respect of developing nations.

Research suggests that Europe’s desire to plough billions of dollars into gas infrastructure banks on a future that may not materialise. Even if energy becomes cheaper, gas consumption is set to fall in Europe, with the fossil fuel infrastructure being seen as unnecessary by 2030 by some. The push towards renewables due to environmental concerns will coincide with a reduction in gas consumption, which could decrease by almost a third in a low price scenario. Politicians have argued that much of the gas infrastructure can be converted for use in the production of green hydrogen produced by renewable power, however, engineers have warned this may not be a cost-effective investment.

Russia's war on Ukraine latest: Kyiv defends against heavy air raid


23-05-16 04:51

In an intense air attack on Tuesday, Russia launched drones targeting Kyiv and the Ukrainian military reported that most of these had been destroyed by air defences. Although Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that he received pledges of further military assistance from the UK, including long-range attack drones and training, the Kremlin said it did not believe that British military hardware would change the course of the conflict. Leaders of the G7 nations are reportedly due to tighten sanctions on Russia at this week’s Japan summit, as part of continued diplomatic pressure on Russia.
Putin launches fresh wave of deadly strikes on Kyiv – live

The Independent

23-05-16 04:23

Russian forces have launched another volley of missile attacks on Kyiv, killing three people and injuring others, according to official sources. The wave of rocket and missile assaults targeted the Ukrainian capital as well as the regions surrounding it and came a week after similar attacks garnered worldwide condemnation. The Putin-led regime's actions have triggered air raid alarms, with city-dwellers across the country bracing themselves as Ukraine declares advanced weapon sales across European nations. Meanwhile, China's envoy is preparing to visit both Ukraine and Russia despite slim hopes of brokering a peace agreement between the two countries.
EU urged to crack down on imports of Indian fuels made with Russian oil

Financial Times

23-05-16 04:21

The EU should restrict Indian reselling of fuel made out of Russian oil, which is allowed under sanctions, the bloc's foreign policy high representative has said. Controversially, Indian refiners buy Russian crude oil, which is sold to Europe as market-price fuels. While it is legal under EU sanctions, critics object that it enables Moscow to make a substantial amount of revenue from oil sales, a crucial contributor to Russian state finances. Despite the G7 price cap limiting sales of Russian crude oil to other countries to $60 a barrel, India has become a huge buyer of the commodity since the Ukraine invasion. EU foreign policy high representative Josep Borrell has said it is fine for India to buy "Russian oil, it’s normal," but highlighted his concern over a large volume of the oil now being returned to Europe.
US and EU step up efforts to co-ordinate sanctions policies

Financial Times

23-05-16 04:19

The US and EU are increasing collaboration on sanctions policies in an effort to make western economic policies more effective. The two will jointly target Russia and other important countries and will harness technical coordination to make deployment of economic weapons easier in the future. Both countries have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia’s banks and top officials along with co-ordinated regulatory efforts to speak with a single voice. However, splits did occur over how far to go in isolating Russia, with G7 export bans failing due to resistance from European countries.
EU urged to crack down on sanctions-dodging India reselling Russian oil

South China Morning Post

23-05-16 09:43

The EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has called for the EU to clamp down on the import of Russian oil resold by India as refined fuel; the diesel and petrol could be considered a circumvention of sanctions. The EU has already banned Russian oil orders, so access to cheap Russian crude has allowed Indian refineries to export refined products competitively to Europe and take a greater market share. According to ship-tracking data from Kpler, Reliance Industries and Nayara Energy were the key exporters of refined fuels and buyers of Russian oil.
Euro zone Q1 GDP growth confirmed at 0.1% q/q


23-05-16 09:20

Eurostat has confirmed that the Eurozone grew by 0.1% quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2015 with a sharp increase in exports that boosted the Eurozone trade surplus. The statistics also showed that employment grew by 0.6% in Q1 2015 for a 1.7% YoY rise. The better net trade result came mainly from higher exports of machinery, vehicles and chemicals, and a drop in imports of energy.
Russian oil exports hit post-invasion high

Financial Times

23-05-16 09:19

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in April, Russia exported more oil than it had at any point since its full invasion of Ukraine last year. Almost 80% of the crude shipments reportedly flowed to China and India, reflecting Moscow’s success in finding new buyers, particularly since Europe blocked imports and new vessels to transport the oil cargoes. Moving to new, little-known trading companies and tanker-owners, Russia has achieved one of the largest commodity flow shifts, directing millions of barrels of oil per day from Europe to Asia over the last 12 months. In total, Russia shipped 5.2 million barrels a day of crude in April and 3 million barrels a day of refined petroleum products.
Move over, U.S. dollar. China wants to make the yuan the global currency.

Washington Post

23-05-16 09:00

Large Argentinian home appliance retailer, Newsan, has started to settle its deals in Chinese yuan in a bid to protect itself from the weakening American economy. With access to US dollars in short supply, and Argentine companies being prevented from importing goods as a result of it, Newsan started ordering its products in yuan, and is being joined by others, including importers in Brazil which has just announced the ability for its companies to settle their trade in yuan. The use of the yuan by more economies, particularly as it is used instead of the dollar for large amounts of trade, is the first indication that it could be successful in causing a shift in the current global economic order. Furthermore, as western sanctions have been applied to Russia, and Russia and China conduct more trade, the use of the yuan is likely to become more commonplace.