Russia in Review, June 10-16, 2022

This Week’s Highlights

  • Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. estimates that more than 234,000 children had been transferred from Ukraine to Russia by early June, according to The Washington Post.
  • Biden has claimed this week that Zelensky “didn’t want to hear” early warnings about a Russian invasion only to see that claim rejected by the Ukrainian side. Publicly, the Ukrainian leader did play down the war threat prior to the invasion, but, privately, his government prepared for the worst, moving military units out of their bases, according to The Economist.
  • Biden announced $1 billion worth of new arms for Ukraine on June 15 as Ukraine’s hunt for weapons in the global arms market faces increasing competition from Russia, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping told Putin in a call June 15 that Beijing would keep backing Moscow on "sovereignty and security.” Xi also stressed that China has always made independent judgments based on the historical merits of the Ukrainian issue. The Kremlin’s account of the call said Xi “noted the legitimacy of the actions taken by Russia to protect the fundamental national interests in the face of challenges to its security created by external forces.”
  • The share of Russians who put China among Russia’s top five closest allies and friends has grown from 38% last year to 50% this year, according to the Levada Center pollster. Levada’s polls also show that the share of Russians who consider the U.S. to be the most hostile country toward Russia has increased from 66% in 2021 to 73% in 2022.
  • Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 16 that Moscow plays by its own rules after cutting gas deliveries to Germany and Italy. Once dubbed “Russia’s Davos,” SPIEF looked to be deeply diminished in its 25th anniversary year with this week’s guests including eastern Ukrainian rebels, Alexander Lukashenko and the Taliban, according to The Moscow Times.
  • Russia earned what is very likely a record 93 billion euros in revenue from exports of oil, gas and coal in the first 100 days of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, according to data analyzed by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air. The Institute of International Finance estimates that if commodity prices remain high and Russia’s oil and gas exports hold up, Moscow could receive more than $300 billion in payments for its energy sales this year.


I. U.S. and Russian priorities for the bilateral agenda

Nuclear security, safety and energy:

  • Of the 439 nuclear reactors in operation around the world in 2021, 38 were in Russia, an additional 42 were made with Russian nuclear reactor technology and 15 more under construction were being built with Russian technology. (RFE/RL, 06.15.22)

North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs:

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a special message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of Russia Day on June 12. Applauding the "special military operation" initiated by Putin, he said, "Russian people have achieved great successes in accomplishing their goal.” He extended warm congratulations to the “people-friendly government" and citizens of the Russian Federation on its national day. (Republicworld, 06.13.22)

Iran and its nuclear program:

  • Iranian tour guide Ali now welcomes businesspeople from Russia. Following a flood of western sanctions on Russian entities, they are “very interested to know how Iranians have been living under U.S. sanctions,” he said. Last month alone, Ali brought 160 Russians, mostly businesspeople, to Tehran. (FT, 06.15.22)

Humanitarian impact of the Ukraine conflict:

  • Denis Pushilin, the leader of the separatist Donetsk region said June 12 he would not alter the death sentences handed to two Britons and a Moroccan for fighting with the Ukrainian army. The Kremlin says the U.K. should address the leaders of separatist-controlled parts of Ukraine's Donetsk region and not Moscow over the sentence. (MT/AFP, 06.13.22, RFE/RL, 06.14.22)
  • Russian forces killed hundreds of civilians in Kharkiv by bombarding residential neighborhoods with rockets and cluster munitions, Amnesty International said. (NYT, 06.13.22)
  • According to the Ukrainian Permanent Representative to the U.N., more than 234,000 children had been transferred to Russia by early June. The kidnapping of minors is a violation of both the U.N. Genocide Convention and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. (WP, 06.14.22)
  • Pope Francis has chided Russia for the "brutality" shown by its troops in the war it launched against Ukraine, which has been "brave" in its fight to defend itself. (RFE/RL, 06.14.22)
  • At least three people including a child were killed and four injured on June 13 by Ukrainian artillery in the Russian-backed separatist Ukrainian region of Donetsk, the province's news agency has said. Also, the Russian town of Klintsy near the Ukraine border has reported three straight days of shelling. (MT/AFP, 06.14.22, France24, 06.13.22)
  • Ukrainian investigators exhumed seven bodies from makeshift graves in a forest near Bucha on June 13. (France24, 06.13.22)
  • Putin awarded the Order of Zhukov to the 239th Tank Regiment. According to Meduza, its servicemen may be involved in the killings of civilians in Bogdanovka, Ukraine. (Meduza, 06.15.22) 
  • Russia said on June 16 it was facilitating the export of grain and oilseeds from Ukraine through Russian-held transit points on the Azov Sea. Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing grain, but Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko rejected the allegation. (Reuters, 06.16.22)
    • Russian-flagged ships have been carrying grain harvested in Ukraine last season and transported it to Syria, U.S. satellite imagery company Maxar said June 16. (Reuters, 06.16.22)

Military aspects of the Ukraine conflict and their impacts:

  • Ukrainian officials on June 11 publicly rejected U.S. President Joe Biden’s claim that President Volodymyr Zelensky “didn’t want to hear” early warnings about a Russian invasion. “I know a lot of people thought I was exaggerating,” Biden said, adding, “but I knew we had data.” He added, “There was no doubt and Zelensky didn’t want to hear it, nor did a lot of people.” (NYT, 06.11.22)
    • Publicly, Zelensky and his defense minister Reznikov played down the war threat. Privately, they prepared for the worst. Reznikov is only now able to disclose some of the details. The main trick was to declare “routine” military exercises to mirror Russian and Belarusian drills in the first weeks of February. “This was the excuse that allowed us to secretly move our military units out.” (The Economist, 06.13.22)
  • The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces on June 11 said that Russia was preparing an assault on the Donbas city of Slovyansk. (WSJ, 06.11.22)
    • "I think that you're about to get to the point where one side or the other will be successful," said a senior NATO official. "Either the Russians will reach Slovyansk and Kramatorsk or the Ukrainians will stop them here. And if the Ukrainians are able to hold the line here, in the face of this number  [of]forces, that will matter."  (CNN, 06.14.22)
  • Authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya are forcing local men to join “volunteer” battalions for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, investigative news outlet The Insider reported June 15. In addition, conscription has been in force in Ukraine’s pro-Russia breakaway enclaves. (FT, 06.11.22, MT/AFP, 06.16.22)
  • The Russian military has lost more than two and a half thousand vehicles and pieces of equipment, according to Oryx blog. (Defence Blog, 06.11.22)
  • According to Alexei Arestovich, adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, since the beginning of the full-scale war, Ukraine has lost about 10,000 military personnel. (Odesa-Journal, 06.11.22, MT, 06.11.22)
    • Ukraine says its casualty rates have soared to as high as 200 soldiers killed in action on some days. Allow for those wounded or missing in action, and the daily toll could be as high as 800. (FT, 06.14.22)
  • In the Luhansk region “the situation is very difficult because the Russians have a significant superiority in the weapons available to them,” says Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s military intelligence. (RFE/RL, 06.11.22)
  • Jordan Gatley, a former member of the British Army, has become the second Briton killed fighting for Ukraine, his family has said. (RFE/RL, 06.13.22)
  • The Kremlin’s Dmitry Peskov said Russia sees the “protection” of eastern Ukraine’s pro-Russian separatist Donetsk and Luhansk peoples’ republics as the key goal of its nearly 16-week military campaign. (MT/AFP, 06.14.22)
  • Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak estimates Ukraine needs 1,000 155mm howitzers—long-range artillery launchers—to defeat Russia’s forces. (FT, 06.14.22)
  • Germany has proposed basing most of the 3,500 extra troops it plans to contribute to NATO forces on its own soil rather than in Lithuania, significantly softening its initial backing for more foreign forces to be stationed in the Baltics. (FT, 06.14.22)
  • The Ukrainian military claimed on June 14 to be bringing its forces to within 12 miles of the Russian-occupied city of Kherson. (NYT, 06.14.22)
  • NATO defense ministers gathered June 15 amid widening rifts over how much military assistance to give Ukraine and how far to go in answering Kyiv’s increasingly urgent pleas for help to repel invading Russian forces. (WSJ, 06.14.22)
    • U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on June 15 urged Western allies to redouble their military aid to Ukraine, warning that it “is facing a pivotal moment on the battlefield” in the nearly four-month war with Russia. (NYT, 06.14.22)
    • “We’re going to provide the Ukrainians what they need to prosecute the targets inside Ukrainian territory,” Colin Kahl, the under secretary of defense for policy, said at a security conference in Washington. (NYT, 06.14.22)
    • “We have on a number of occasions gone down line by line what they need that is relevant in this fight,” Austin said of the Ukrainians. “So we feel pretty confident that we’re working hard to give them what they think is relevant.” (WP, 06.16.22)
    • NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says there is an "urgent need" to send Kyiv more advanced weaponry, but he cautioned that familiarizing the Ukrainian military with such weapons systems takes time. (RFE/RL, 06.15.22)
  • Russia is experiencing a shortage of commercial drones amid increased demand from the military and China’s exit from the Russian market. (MT, 06.15.22) 
  • Two U.S. veterans, Andy Huynh and Alexander Drueke, who were assisting Ukrainian armed forces in the war against Russia, have gone missing in Ukraine's eastern region of Kharkiv. (RFE/RL, 06.16.22)
  • Biden announced $1 billion worth of new arms for Ukraine on June 15 as Pentagon officials defended the pace and quality of supplies as meeting Kyiv's battlefield needs. (MT/AFP, 06.16.22)
  • Ukrainian Maj. Gen. Dmitry Marchenko said that after Ukraine receives the weapons promised to it by the West, a blow will be struck on the bridge leading to Crimea. (Meduza, 06.16.22)
  • Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended ongoing weapons and security aid to Ukraine by saying that “the numbers clearly favor the Russians” in the war’s current state. Milley said the United States has already sent Ukraine more than 6,500 Javelins and 20,000 other anti-armor systems, among the nearly 97,000 antitank systems that he said have been provided to Ukraine by the international community. (WP, 06.16.22)
  • Ukraine’s hunt for weapons in the global defense market to help it fight Moscow’s forces is facing increasing competition from Russia, which is often looking to buy those same items or attempting to cut off Kyiv’s supply, according to government officials and arms brokers. (WSJ, 06.16.22)

Punitive measures related to Ukraine and their impact globally:

  • The Biden administration is trying to coax or cajole countries that have declared themselves neutral in the conflict—including India, Brazil, Israel and the Gulf Arab states—to join the campaign of economic sanctions. (NYT, 06.11.22)
  • The average price of gas in the U.S. hit $5 a gallon for the first time in history on June 11, adding further pressure to decades-high inflation that has become politically costly for the Biden administration. (FT, 06.11.22)
  • McDonald’s reopened in Russia after a lightning sale and hurried rebranding as Vkusno-i Tochka (Tasty- Period). (MT, 06.13.22)
  • Russia is expected to lose 15% of its millionaires this year as its wealthiest citizens move abroad following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine and ensuing Western sanctions, the Henley & Partners investment migration consultancy said in its report. In Ukraine, 2,800 millionaires (or 42% of the country’s high net-worth individuals) are expected to have left by the end of the year. (MT/AFP, 06.14.22)
  • Ukraine has lost a quarter of its arable land since Russia's invasion. (France24, 06.13.22)
  • Wall Street giants JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are withdrawing from handling trades of Russian debt after the Biden administration’s surprise announcement last week that it’s banning U.S. investors from scooping up such assets. (Bloomberg, 06.13.22)
  • Sberbank, Rosselkhozbank and Moscow Credit Bank have been disconnected from SWIFT. (Meduza, 06.14.22)
  • The Georgian government will become a co-owner of Borjomi, the country’s iconic mineral water brand, by taking over shares from its sanctioned Russian owners, Alfa Group. (MT/AFP, 06.14.22)
  • The U.S. Treasury has allowed energy transactions with sanctioned Russian banks until Dec. 5. (Kommersant, 06.14.22)
  • The U.S. government is quietly encouraging agricultural and shipping companies to buy and carry more Russian fertilizer. (Bloomberg, 06.13.22)
  • Swedish furniture retailer IKEA will scale down its business operations in Russia and sell all four country-based factories. (MT, 06.15.22)
  • The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum—once dubbed “Russia’s Davos”—looked to be deeply diminished in its 25th anniversary year. This year’s guests of honor include eastern Ukrainian rebels, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and a delegation from Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership. (MT, 06.15.22)
  • Russia on June 14 said it was blacklisting 49 U.K. citizens, including defense officials and prominent journalists and editors from the BBC, The Financial Times and The Guardian. (MT, 06.15.22)
  • Absent from EU sanctions, let alone discussion, is Rosatom, the Russian state-run nuclear power giant. "One of the reasons for that is certainly the heavy reliance on uranium and nuclear fuel as most of the 32 countries that use nuclear power rely on Russia for some part of their nuclear fuel supply chain," said Oksana Ananyeva, an energy-policy analyst at the Ukrainian NGO Ekodia. (RFE/RL, 06.15.22)
  • Gazprom said June 15 it was cutting daily gas deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline by a further 33%, after Germany slammed an earlier cut as political. Gazprom has cut its gas supply to Italy by 15%, says the Italian energy major Eni, a day after Russian flows to Germany were also reduced. (AFP, 06.15.22, FT, 06.15.22)
    • The head of Gazprom said June 16 that Moscow will play by its own rules after cutting daily gas supplies to Germany. "Our product, our rules. We don't play by rules we didn't create," Alexei Miller said during a panel discussion at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum. (MT/AFP, 06.16.22)
    • Israel, Egypt and the EU on June 15 signed a trilateral natural gas agreement in Cairo, as Europe scrambles to cobble together an energy strategy to replace the Russian supplies it has relied on for decades. (WP, 06.16.22)
  • Russia is scheduled to make its next Eurobond payment on June 24. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said upon payments on two dollar-denominated Eurobond issues, Russia-2027 and Russia-2047, on June 23, and on another, Russia-2028, on June 24, will be made in rubles. (RFE/RL, 06.16.22)
  • Britain has sanctioned Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. (RFE/RL, 06.16.22)
  • Russia's Foreign Ministry placed sanctions on 121 Australian citizens June 16, accusing them of promoting a "Russophobic agenda." (MT/AFP, 06.16.22)
  • One of Moscow’s Tagansky district courts has fined Google 15 million rubles under the article on the repeated violation of "data localization." (Media Zona, 06.16.22)
  • U.S. Commerce Department agents who enforce export controls are conducting inquiries with the FBI, paying joint visits to companies to ask about Western chips and components found in Russian military systems. (WP, 06.16.22)
  • Russian basketball clubs were suspended June 16 from the next season of the EuroLeague. (AP, 06.16.22)
  • France’s Decathlon stores in Moscow will close on June 26. (MT, 06.16.22)
  • Once Coca-Cola HBC AG’s stock in Russia is depleted, it will "no longer produce or sell Coca-Cola or other brands of the Coca-Cola Company in Russia," the company said. (Reuters, 06.16.22)

Ukraine-related negotiations:

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has repeated his call for eventual negotiations between Ukraine and Russia to secure peace in Europe once the “war of aggression” launched by Putin has ceased. “At some point, when we have helped Ukraine to resist to the maximum and when—I hope—Ukraine has won and above all when there can be a ceasefire, we must negotiate, the Ukrainian president and his government should negotiate with Russia,” Macron said. (FT, 06.15.22)
  • “Right now, the economic sanctions are not an incentive for Russia to negotiate,” said Janis Kluge of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. “The Kremlin is convinced it can withstand a few years with a bad economy and wait for better days. Russia is emboldened by its own success in fending off the West’s sanctions.” (WSJ, 06.16.22)

Great Power rivalry/new Cold War/NATO-Russia relations:

  • Austin insisted that U.S. policy on Taiwan has not shifted. "The Ukraine crisis poses some urgent questions for us all," he said. "Do rules matter? Does sovereignty matter? … The rules-based international order matters just as much in the Indo-Pacific as it does in Europe." (NYT, 06.11.22)
  • Russian opposition politician Mikhail Kasyanov, Putin's first prime minister, has warned that the outcome of the war Moscow launched against Ukraine will determine Russia's future, and if Ukraine falls, "the Baltic states will be next." (RFE/RL, 06.13.22)
  • France's vision of a new "European political community" involves core EU states entering into a political union with nonmembers that it believes will strengthen the security, stability and prosperity of Europe as a whole in the face of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. A discussion paper discussed by EU ambassadors on June 15 comes amid discussions in the European Union about granting Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine candidate status. (RFE/RL, 06.15.22)
  • The European Union will give a "clear" and "positive" response to membership bids by Moldova and Ukraine, but there will be "conditions" before either obtains candidate status, Macron said on June 15 in Chisinau. (RFE/RL, 06.16.22)
  • Macron, Germany’s Olaf Scholz and Italy’s Mario Draghi met Zelensky after touring the suburb of Irpin, outside Kyiv, where Russian forces inflicted severe damage and were accused of serious human rights violations. Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis also made the trip. (FT, 06.16.22)
    • All four European leaders who visited Ukraine on June 16 support "immediate" EU candidate status for Ukraine, Macron said. (RFE/RL, 06.16.22)
    • “The only desirable outcome of the conflict is either a Ukrainian military victory or at some point a negotiation because there will have been a ceasefire, which could allow for an agreement between Ukraine and Russia,” Macron said on June 15. (FT, 06.16.22)
    • Macron has vowed to "do everything" to halt Russia's war on Ukraine. (RFE/RL, 06.15.22)
  • The Dutch intelligence service said June 16 it had stopped a Russian spy posing as an intern from accessing the International Criminal Court. (MT/AFP, 06.16.22)
  • A man has been arrested at Gatwick Airport by counter-terror police on suspicion of spying. It is thought the case relates to Russia. (BBC, 06.15.22)

China-Russia: Allied or aligned?

  • U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan met China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and raised Washington’s determination to see a “democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression.” (FT, 06.13.22)
  • Le Yucheng, the most senior of China’s vice foreign ministers and seen as a potential successor to foreign minister Wang Yi, was made deputy director at the National Radio and Television Authority, which oversees state media broadcasts. Le has completed stints in the Soviet Union and Russia during his career as a diplomat. He has also served as ambassador to Kazakhstan and to India. (FT, 06.15.22)
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping told Putin in a call June 15 that Beijing would keep backing Moscow on "sovereignty and security," according to state media. Beijing was also willing to "intensify strategic coordination between the two countries," Xi reportedly said. Xi also stressed that China has always made independent judgments based on the historical merits of the Ukrainian issue. The Kremlin’s account of the call said Xi “noted the legitimacy of the actions taken by Russia to protect the fundamental national interests in the face of challenges to its security created by external forces.” (MT/AFP, 06.15.22, Xinhua as translated by David Cowhig, 06.15.22, WP, 06.16.22)
    • A U.S. State Department spokesperson said following June 15’s call that “Nations that side with Vladimir Putin will inevitably find themselves on the wrong side of history.” (WP, 06.16.22)
  • A May 26-31 survey by the Levada Center has revealed that Russians continue to consider Belarus the most friendly country: 72% hold this view, which represents an increase of 24 percentage points compared to 2021. In second place is China. When asked to name five countries they consider to be “close friends, allies” of Russia, some 50% of respondents named China, compared to 38% last year. In third place is Kazakhstan, which is considered friendly by 28% of respondents (compared to 34% in 2021). (RM, 06.16.22)

Nuclear arms:

  • The nine nuclear-armed states are likely to grow and modernize their arsenal of warheads and to be more vocal about it in the coming decade in what is seen as a "worrying trend,” the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said June 13. (RFE/RL, 06.12.22)


  • No significant developments.

Conflict in Syria:

  • No significant developments.

Cyber security:

  • Ukrainian government officials have begun storing sensitive data outside the country to protect it from Russian cyber and physical assault, and are negotiating with several European nations to move more databases abroad. (WSJ, 06.14.22)

Energy exports from CIS:

  • India has gone from buying less than 100,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia before the war to nearly 800,000. (NYT, 06.11.22)
  • Russia earned what is very likely a record 93 billion euros in revenue from exports of oil, gas and coal in the first 100 days of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, according to data analyzed by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air. About two-thirds of those earnings, the equivalent of about $97 billion, came from oil, and most of the remainder from natural gas. (NYT, 06.13.22)
    • The Institute of International Finance estimates that if commodity prices remain high and Russia’s oil and gas exports hold up, Moscow could receive more than $300 billion in payments for its energy sales this year—roughly equivalent to the amount of Russia’s foreign reserves frozen by Western sanctions. (WSJ, 06.16.22)
  • Berlin is putting together a multibillion-euro rescue package for Gazprom Germania, the subsidiary of the Russian gas giant. (FT, 06.12.22)
  • Ukraine's Naftogaz has carried on its business of routing Russian gas to Europe since Russia invaded. Its longstanding but rocky partnership with Russia’s Gazprom is so politically and financially important to both sides that neither has been willing to shut the spigot. (WSJ, 06.14.22)
  • Russia’s biggest natural gas field with reserves up to 10 trillion cubic meters, the Urengoy, is ablaze after a pipeline burst near one of the production units. (Barents Observer, 06.16.22)

Climate change:

  • No significant developments.

U.S.-Russian economic ties:

  • No significant developments.

U.S.-Russian relations in general:

  • A May 26-31 survey by the Levada Center shows that the share of Russians who consider the U.S. to be the most hostile country to Russia has increased from 66% in 2021 to 73% in 2022. About half (49%) of respondents named the U.K. when asked to name five countries most hostile to Russia (up from 28% in 2021), 41% named Poland (21% in 2021) and 37% named Germany (16% in 2021). (RM, 06.16.22)
  • The U.S. government has pushed new, increased funding into three technology companies since the start of the Ukraine conflict to help Russians sidestep censors and access Western media. The financing effort is focused on three firms that build Virtual Private Networks (VPN)—nthLink, Psiphon and Lantern. (Reuters, 06.15.22)
  • The pretrial detention of American basketball star Brittney Griner has been extended to July 2. Griner could face a 10-year jail sentence on possible charges over traces of cannabis or hashish oil in a vape device allegedly uncovered in a search of her luggage at Sheremetyevo Airport. (RFE/RL, 06.14.22)


II. Russia’s domestic policies

Domestic politics, economy and energy:

  • The Institute of International Finance expects the Russian economy to contract by 15% this year, followed by a further 3% decline in 2023, wiping out economic gains of roughly 15 years. (WSJ, 06.16.22)
  • Russia has recorded 2,996 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the first daily total below 3,000 since April 14, 2020. (RFE/RL, 06.13.22)
  • Russia has added the Committee Against Torture, a nongovernmental organization founded in 2000 to advocate for investigations into allegations of torture, to its registry of so-called foreign agents. (RFE/RL, 06.11.22)
  • Putin removed Natalya Poklonskaya from her post as the deputy head of Rossotrudnichestvo. Poklonskaya’s dismissal comes after the former lawmaker spoke out against Moscow’s invasion of her native Ukraine, calling it a “catastrophe.” She has most recently been appointed as an advisor to Prosecutor General Krasnov. (MT/AFP, 06.13.22, Media Zona, 06.14.22)
  • Moscow police have detained dozens of journalists and activists after they were identified using a facial recognition system in the city's metro according to the OVD-Info group. (RFE/RL, 06.13.22)
  • Jailed opposition figure Alexei Navalny has been transferred to a maximum-security prison after his prison term was extended to nine years. (MT/AFP, 06.14.22)
  • The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia's foreign agents law violates the rights of the groups and individuals designated as foreign agents and ordered Russia to issue compensation. (RFE/RL, 06.15.22)
  • A court in Moscow has replaced the 18-month parole-like sentence handed to Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s press secretary, to actual prison time, saying she violated the terms of her punishment when she fled the country. (RFE/RL, 06.16.22)
  • Governor of the Moscow Region Andrei Vorobyov and his father, Russian lawmaker Yuri Vorobyov, publicly supported the war. However, some of the governor’s relatives and friends do business in the U.K., invested in the U.S., bought real estate in Europe and arranged Latvian and Monegasque citizenship for their children. (Istories, 06.14.22)
  • In April, the Levada Center conducted a methodological experiment, the purpose of which was to get an idea of which groups of the population are currently more likely to agree to take part in telephone surveys. The highest rate of refusals is among young people aged 18-24, while respondents aged 40-54 are most willing to take part in surveys. The share of refusals among respondents with different levels of education is the same, but respondents with higher education answer the phone more often. (, 06.15.22)
  • Gazprom CEO Miller has been linked with assets worth $3 billion, a new investigation by media outlet Proekt and a team working with Navalny, has found. Many of the properties in which Miller has been in residence were held in the names of high-ranking former special services officers, reporters found. (MT, 06.16.22)

Defense and aerospace:

  • Russia is reconstructing a long-dormant military airport on its far northern Kola Peninsula as part of a major upgrade of Northern Fleet airstrips in the European Arctic. The Severomorsk-2 airfield, which lies 11 kilometers northeast of Murmansk, was shut down in 1998. (MT, 06.15.22)
  • This year’s expenditures under Russia’s armaments procurement program will go up by 600 billion to 700 billion rubles, a senior military procurement official, Andrei Yelchaninov, told Interfax on June 10. Yelchaninov cited a forecast by Russia’s Military-Industrial Commission but the Interfax report did not specify the baseline for the increase—e.g., 2021 spending, initial 2022 forecast or something else. Yelchaninov also said most of Russia’s defense enterprises are now working double shifts to cover the military’s needs, including replenishing the supplies used on the battlefield in Ukraine. (RM, 06.10.22)
  • See section Military aspects of the Ukraine conflict and their impacts above.

Security, law-enforcement and justice:

  • FSB investigators have detained a resident of Moscow on suspicion of high treason, a TASS source said. The suspect's name is Yekaterina Zavalishina. Her full namesake is the founder of the Moscow company Kompleksnoe Snabzhenie, which sells plumbing equipment. (Meduza, 06.14.22)
  • A senior executive in charge of aircraft purchases for Russia’s Aeroflot has been arrested on suspicion of fraud. Mikhail Minayev, director of Aeroflot’s fleet planning and aircraft procurement, was placed in pre-trial detention by Moscow’s Khoroshevsky court until Aug. 8. (MT, 06.15.22)
  • A Russian man went on trial in Munich on June 15, charged with plotting to kill a Chechen dissident living in Germany on the orders of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The suspect, named as Valid D., is accused of planning the murder commissioned by the state, carrying out shooting exercises with the intended hitman and spying on the target. (AFP, 06.15.22)


III. Russia’s relations with other countries

Russia’s general foreign policy and relations with “far abroad” countries:

  • The number of asylum applications by Russian citizens in the EU more than doubled in March, the period immediately following the invasion and the most recent month for which data is available. (MT, 06.11.22)
  • “Western sanctions are leading to the establishment of another group of eight nations—China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Iran and Turkey—that is 24.4% ahead of the old group of developed countries in terms of GDP and purchasing power parity,” Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on Telegram. (TASS, 06.11.22)


  • The Kremlin began formally issuing Russian passports to Ukrainians living under occupation on June 11, even as Moscow’s forces confront a growing insurgency in areas they control in southern Ukraine and struggle to provide essential services like medical care. The proxy government in the Kherson region announced on June 10 that all newborns would be granted Russian citizenship. (NYT, 06.11.22, NYT, 06.16.22)
  • The European Union’s executive will likely be ready this week to present its opinion on Ukraine’s request to join the bloc, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Zelensky during a visit to Kyiv. The bloc’s leaders are set to discuss the matter in Brussels on June 23-24. (RFE/RL, 06.11.22)
  • Deputy Head of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev on his Telegram channel questioned the existence of Ukraine in two years. “Just a question. Who said that in two years Ukraine will even exist on the world map?” he wrote. (Meduza, 06.14.22)

Russia's other post-Soviet neighbors:

  • A Tajik border guard has been shot dead in a clash with Kyrgyz guards along the volatile and poorly demarcated common border. (RFE/RL, 06.14.22)
  • A court in Minsk has designated company Media as “extremist” and banned its operations in Belarus as a crackdown on independent media and journalists continues. (RFE/RL, 06.15.22)
  • President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has vowed that Kazakhstan won't break international sanctions imposed against Russia over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. (RFE/RL, 06.15.22)
  • Armenia's opposition says it will look to impeach Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian over his government's handling of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute with Azerbaijan. (RFE/RL, 06.16.22)


IV. Quotable and notable

  • Renowned Russian economist Alexander Auzan said: “The estimated fall in GDP by the end of 2022 is 10%. Considering that in recent years we have been growing at an average rate of 1% per year, then consider that we have been thrown back by ten years.” (, 06.10.22) 
  • “It seems to me that it’s obvious to everyone that it won’t be as it was before,” Elvira Nabiullina said of the Russian economy at a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “We export at a discount, import at a premium. And in these conditions, of course, in my opinion, it is necessary to rethink the benefits of exports," Nabiullina said. "A significant part of production should work for the domestic market." (Reuters, 06.16.22, WP, 06.16.22)
  • “The militarization of the information space by the West and attempts to turn it into an arena of interstate confrontation, have greatly increased the threat of a direct military clash with unpredictable consequences,” the Russian Foreign Ministry’s head of international information security said. (NI, 06.11.22)