Support The Moscow Times!

News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

St. Petersburg police discovered historian Oleg Sokolov in the Moika River with a backpack containing the severed arms of his former student. Alexander Demyanchuk / TASS

Napoleon complex

Prominent Russian historian Oleg Sokolov has confessed to murdering one of his former students after he was discovered in a St. Petersburg river with a backpack containing the woman's arms.

Sokolov is believed to have planned to get rid of the body before publicly committing suicide dressed as French statesman and military leader Napoleon Bonaparte, according to reports of his police testimony.

Free willy

Russian authorities said they had completed the release of dozens of captured beluga whales whose plight sparked an appeal by Hollywood celebrities and the intervention of President Vladimir Putin.

The whales' captivity sparked international outcry this year. vniro.ru

The 87 beluga whales, caught last year to be sold to marine parks or aquariums in China, were being kept in cramped conditions in a bay near the Pacific port of Nakhodka along with 11 orcas. Russian media dubbed the mammals’ enclosures a "whale jail."

‘Final invention’

Putin has said that Russian tech firms and the professional community should draft a “code of ethics” to govern interaction between humans and artificial intelligence.

Two years after predicting that whoever leads the AI race would “rule the world,” Putin called the technological race “the toughest and most uncompromising in the history of our civilization.” He added: “some even say that humankind is making its final invention.”

Troop pullout

Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed rebels began withdrawing from a village in the disputed Donbass region Saturday, one of a series of measures that could pave the way for a summit between Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany.

Moscow has blamed Kiev for delaying the four-way summit.

AK-100

At least 100 schoolchildren marked inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov’s 100th anniversary by assembling and disassembling his famous AK-47 assault rifle at a Moscow park, Agence France Presse reported.

The Kalashnikov Concern manufacturer had said that 15 Russian regions planned to mark the famous inventor’s centenary on Nov. 10.

Includes reporting from Reuters.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.