– Russia to create Soviet-style youth movement –

Russian lawmakers approve legislation to create a patriotic youth movement reminiscent of Soviet-era youth organisations that will be headed by President Vladimir Putin.

The movement will aim to enhance Russian values among children from the age of six.

“The state must create conditions that contribute to the comprehensive spiritual, moral, intellectual and physical development of children, to the learning of patriotism, civil responsibility and respect for adults,” the authors of the legislation said.

In Soviet times, children were drilled in Communist values by three youth organisations — the Little Octobrists, Young Pioneers and the Komsomol.

– Exodus from Sloviansk –

Evacuations from the flashpoint eastern city of Sloviansk continue as Russian forces continue their relentless offensive in the Donbas region at the heart of the war.


Sloviansk mayor Vadym Lyakh says 23,000 people out of a pre-war population of 110,000 have yet to leave but that people are being bussed out every day.

He says 17 people have been killed in Sloviansk since Russian forces turned their guns on the Donetsk area of Donbas after conquering neighbouring Lugansk.

– France’s Total quits Russian oil project –

French oil and gas firm TotalEnergies has pulled out of a major Russian oil field in the Arctic.

Total had already reduced its stake in the Kharyaga oil field since Russia invaded Ukraine. On Wednesday it said Russian oil firm Zarubezhneft would take over its remaining 20 percent stake.

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The French energy firm has been gradually reducing its activity in Russia, albeit at a slower pace than rivals BP and Shell.

It has promised to stop purchasing Russian oil and gas by the end of the year, and make no further investments there.

– Jail for Russians who cooperate with foreigners –

Russia’s parliament introduces harsh prison terms for cooperating with foreigners and calls to undermine national security.


In a bill harkening to the Soviet era, establishing and maintaining “confidential” cooperation with a foreigner or international organisation and helping them act against Russia’s interests will be punishable by up to eight years in prison.

Public calls to act against Russia’s security will be punished by up to seven years in prison.

They are part of an unprecedented crackdown on dissent under Putin which has intensified since he sent troops into Ukraine.

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