Sri Lanka, Russia, Guinea... a sad state of affairs for human rights in 2009

Amnesty International released its annual report on Thursday, weighing up the world's worst human rights offenders of 2009, country by country. Our Observers from some of the 159 countries on the list give their reactions. Read more...

Commercial developers accused of razing listed buildings

Russian authorities are under fire from heritage conservation activists for not providing enough protection for listed buildings, which are being destroyed in the night by unknown culprits. Activists say that developers are demolishing the buildings illegally in order to acquire lucrative sites for commercial contracts. And while most Russian officials do little to stop them, the ones who do so are risking their lives. Read more...


If the bigwigs use flashing lights, the Moscovites will use blue buckets

The Moscow movement against self-declared VIPs - or bureaucrats who use flashing lights illegally to evade traffic queues - is growing in strength. On Sunday, two hundred Moscovites took to the streets with blue buckets secured, upside-down, on top of their car roofs. Did the police stop them? But of course! See the videos...


Road rage against self-declared VIP in Moscow

About a thousand officials in Russia have the right to use flashing lights on their cars. But many more use it without being allowed, and blatantly ignore traffic rules, driving on the wrong side of the road, passing through red lights and generally being a danger to other road users. To highlight this problem, a Russian businessman filmed himself blocking the Mercedes of an official driving the wrong way down a street in Moscow. Read more…


Moscow attacks in amateur images

Two explosions ripped through the central metro stations of Lubyanka and Park Kultury at rush hour this morning, killing at least 37 people. As the day wears on, increasingly graphic images are emerging on the Web. Read more…


Latvia's Soviet ghost town auctioned off to Russian pig farmers

A ghost town in Latvia that hosted giant Soviet radars has been auctioned off to a mysterious Russian investor for more than ten times the asking price. The buyer? A company registered as pig farmers at an address in Samara Oblast, over 2,000 kilometres away. Read more...


Moscow, both hated and helpless in Kaliningrad

Russia's westernmost city staged the biggest anti-Moscow protests in a decade on Sunday. But while similar demonstrations across the rest of the country saw the swift deployment of riot police, in the distant Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad Oblast, the authorities were left helpless in the face of an estimated 10,000 protestors. Read more...


An extreme way to rid yourself of sin…

If you were told that jumping in a lake on a -25°C day was holy, would you take the plunge? That's what 30,000 Moscovites did on Tuesday for the Orthodox celebration of Epiphany. Read more and see the photos...


Moscow hackers replace ads with porn

A giant roadside screen in Moscow which usually displays advertisements was hacked on Thursday (Jan. 14). For two minutes, the screen showed graphic scenes from an adult film, which according to local press, caused a temporary traffic build up as passers-by slowed down to watch.


Olympic Sochi port destroyed in storm

The Russian city of Sochi, set to host the Olympic Winter Games in 2014, was hit by a violent storm earlier this week, destroying a half-finished port, being built for the specific purpose of serving the delivery of construction materials for the games.