Another Russian Researcher Charged With High Treason

The Russian authorities have charged the president of the St. Petersburg-based Arctic Academy, Valery Mitko, with high treason in an ongoing spate of similar investigations targeting Russian academics.
 

In Diplomatic Tit-For-Tat, Moscow Expels Two Czech Diplomats

Russia's Foreign Ministry has declared two Czech diplomats personae non gratae in retaliation to a similar move by Prague several days ago.
 

U.S. Citizen Whelan Sentenced To 16 Years For Spying By Russian Court

A Russian court has found former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan guilty on an espionage charge, a verdict that the top U.S. diplomat in Russia called a "mockery of justice."
 

Famed Iranian Actor Mohammad Ali Keshavarz Dies At 90

Mohammad Ali Keshavarz, a legendary actor in Iranian film, theater, and television, has died at the age of 90 in Tehran.
 

Nuclear Powers Modernize Arsenals As Warheads Decrease, Report Finds

A Sweden-based, nonproliferation think tank says nuclear powers have continued to modernize their arsenals despite a decrease in the number of nuclear warheads.
 

Germany Says Further U.S. Sanctions Over Nord Stream 2 Would Interfere With EU Energy Security

The German government has "noted with regret" a U.S. proposal to expand sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.
 

Dozens Arrested During Opposition Protests Outside Armenian Security Service

Armenian police have arrested more than 90 protesters in Yerevan after National Security Service (HAAT) officers searched the home and office of an opposition leader over alleged economic crimes.
 

Russian Military's Cathedral Consecrated Without Mosaic Featuring Putin

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has consecrated the main cathedral dedicated to the armed forces, built to mark Victory Day in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.
 
The global death toll from the coronavirus is more than 430,000 with more than 7.8 million infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the respiratory illness.
 

RSF Warns New Tajik Legislation Could Hamper Coronavirus Coverage

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called for the withdrawal of newly approved legislative amendments in Tajikistan under which false or inaccurate COVID-19 coverage would be subject to heavy fines.
 

Report: Ukrainian Security Service Chief Runs Company In Spain, Illegally

KYIV -- The head of the Ukrainian Security Service holds a top position in a private company registered in Spain, in violation of an anti-corruption law, according to a Skhemy investigative program.
 

Third Member Of RFE/RL Film Crew Dies After Belarus Road Accident

A third member of an RFE/RL film crew working on a documentary in Belarus died after suffering critical injuries in a car crash earlier this month.
 

Iran's Supreme Leader Calls Israel 'Cancerous Tumor'

Iran's supreme leader has called on Palestinians to continue their uprising against Israel, suggesting the Israeli government was a "cancerous tumor."In a speech online marking Quds Day on May 22, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also hailed Tehran's supply of arms to Palestinians, saying the "fight to liberate Palestine is an obligation and an Islamic jihad.""The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor in the region," he said."Today, the world is counting one by one every victim of the coronavirus across the globe, but nobody has asked who is responsible for the hundreds of thousands of martyrdoms, imprisonments, and disappearances in Palestine and in countries where the U.S. and Europe have waged wars?" he added.Following's Khamenei's remarks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "whoever threatens Israel with destruction puts himself in similar danger."The United States and European Union also condemned the comments.Khamenei and other senior Iranian officials have called repeatedly over the years for an end to the Jewish state, including through a referendum in the region, where Palestinians are in the majority.But his comments on supplying weapons are the first public confirmation from the supreme leader that Tehran was arming the uprising. However, leaders of Palestinian militant groups in Gaza, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have often praised Iran's financial and military support.Khamenei's speech came on what Iranian authorities calls Quds Day – which has been observed every year since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, on the last Friday of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in solidarity with the Palestinians.Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.The Iranian regime has typically observed Quds Day with massive rallies, though this year, with Iran in the midst of being hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, officials have asked people to stay home and not hold the mass demonstrations that usually mark the event.
 

U.S. Lawmakers Criticize White House On Shipment Of Ventilators To Russia

U.S. congressional lawmakers have complained to the White House about the shipment of dozens of U.S.-built ventilators to Russia, saying the move was done without justification and could potentially deprive coronavirus-infected Americans of treatment.The May 22 letter, signed by five Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives, was the latest development in the ongoing story of how and why medical supplies were shipped by Russia to the United States, and the reciprocal gesture made to Russia by the U.S. administration this week.The State Department announced that around 200 ventilators, valued at around $5.6 million, were being sent to Russia in what was described as a "humanitarian donation." A military plane carrying the items arrived in Moscow on May 21.In their letter to President Donald Trump, the lawmakers questioned the White House’s rationale for the shipment."It does not appear that your Administration has any policymaking process in place to determine whether these ventilators are going to the countries where they are needed most and whether their delivery will advance our national security," they wrote."Instead it appears you may be providing or selling ventilators to other countries as gifts or favors to serve your own political or personal interests without any meaningful strategic justification, thorough interagency process, or policy rationale for doing so," they said.There was no immediate response from the White House or the U.S. State Department.The U.S. gesture followed an earlier shipment of 45 ventilators, and other medical supplies, that Russia sent to the United States in April.Both the Kremlin and State Department hailed the delivery as an example of collaboration despite the toxic state of relations between Washington and Moscow.