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Russia

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Russian investigators say an "explosive device" ignited and ripped through a train car as it was traveling in between metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday afternoon. A second, unexploded device was found at a different metro stop.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET Friday

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is negotiating with the House and Senate intelligence committees to testify about any Trump campaign dealings with Russia — after he is given immunity from prosecution, according to his lawyer.

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Yuri Maltsev/Reuters

Going into Sunday, no one really knew how many people would show up for the “anti-corruption” rallies across Russia. But show up they did.

Independent estimates say some 60,000 Russians defied strict government, anti-assembly laws in more than 90 cities across Russia — the largest turnout against the Kremlin since mass street protests in 2011. Then as now, hundreds of people were arrested for protesting without permission.

But Sunday’s rally also proved a test of the power of the internet.

Updated 2:45 p.m. ET

President Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner is going to talk to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his meetings with Russian officials, Senate sources tell NPR.

The committee is looking into Russia's attempt to meddle in last year's presidential election, as well as possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

A Russian billionaire paid former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort millions of dollars to boost the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press reports. The new allegations arise months after Manafort resigned from the campaign amid concerns over his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian Intelligence Activities.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Starting Monday morning, NPR reporters provide live coverage of the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearing on the investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

FLICKR PHOTO/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/av619h

Bill Radke speaks with Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel about the "gathering storm" around President Trump's attorney general. The Post broke the story that AG Jeff Sessions spoke twice with the Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign, which sounds fishy because Sessions claimed under oath that he didn't have contact with Russian officials.

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will recuse himself from any investigations into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.

"Let me be clear: I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign," Sessions reiterated during an afternoon news conference in response to reports that he had met twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. last year.

"I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in," Sessions said.

The White House is admitting that it discussed with the FBI media reports that Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian intelligence agents and that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to publicly knock down the story.

FBI Director James Comey refused.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made his way to the Duma, the lower house of parliament, on the eve of Defender of the Fatherland Day. The Feb. 23 national holiday was once known as Soviet Army and Navy Day, and Shoigu, dressed in the uniform of a general, came to boast about the Russian military's latest achievements.

"We tested 162 types of contemporary and modernized weapons in Syria, which showed a high level of effectiveness," Shoigu said. Only 10 weapons systems performed below expectations, he added.

President Donald Trump
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9hKraP

Bill Radke talks to former Congressman Jim McDermott and former chairman of the Washington State Republican Party Chris Vance about the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency. They discuss immigration, Russia and the future of the Republican Party.  

Candidate Donald Trump was a big fan of leaks, especially when they targeted Hillary Clinton and reports of her deleted emails.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said last July in Florida. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

President Trump and his inner circle have reached their first crisis with the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, but the crisis extends well beyond one empty chair in one critical moment.

Russian intelligence officials made repeated contact with members of President Trump's campaign staff, according to new reports that cite anonymous U.S. officials. American agencies were concerned about the contacts but haven't seen proof of collusion between the campaign and the Russian security apparatus, the reports say.

Updated at 9:59 a.m. ET Feb. 14

President Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned late Monday night amid allegations he inappropriately talked about U.S. sanctions with a Russian official, and later allegedly misled then-Vice President-elect Pence about the conversations. Flynn spoke with the Russian ambassador in December, before Trump was inaugurated.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. in December included a discussion of U.S. sanctions imposed by then-President Barack Obama, according to new reports that contradict what the White House has said about the matter.

The sanctions included the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats; when they were announced in late December, they drew a notably muted response — and no retaliation — from Moscow.

This has been updated at 10:00 pm ET with Clapper statement

President-elect Donald Trump denounced as "fake news" Wednesday reports that Russia had compromising information about him before the election.

He also acknowledged for the first time that Russia was behind the hacking of emails from the Democratic National Committee, although he seemed to couch it later in the news conference by saying it "could have been others."

Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

The intelligence report on Russia's interference in the U.S. elections concludes that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an "influence campaign" that aimed to help President-elect Donald Trump.

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Rashid Umar Abbasi/Reuters

President Barack Obama evicted the Russians from two vacation homes in the United States — though mansions may be a more fitting term.

Obama is shuttering two vacation homes used by Russian diplomats. Home is an understatement — these compounds are mansions, one in Maryland and one on New York's Long Island.

The Long Island home that will be shut down is called the Upper Brookville House, a grand building on Long Island's Gold Coast.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia won't be expelling U.S. diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to U.S. sanctions, as his foreign minister had suggested earlier Friday.

Instead, he says he will decide how to move forward depending on the actions of President-elect Donald Trump's administration.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to praise Putin's decision, calling it a "great move."

Updated at 6:15 p.m.

The White House has announced new actions targeting Russia in response to what U.S. officials say were cyberattacks intended to interfere with the U.S. election.

Russian authorities say that there was no explosion onboard the plane that crashed earlier this week, killing 92, though some prominent officials have yet to rule out terrorism.

In a press conference Thursday, members of a Russian government commission investigating the crash told reporters it could have been one of several factors, but that data from the crash ruled out an explosion.

"After deciphering the first flight recorder we have made a conclusion that there was no explosion onboard," said Lt. Gen. Sergei Bainetov, head of the air force's flight safety division.

William Evanina holds two official job titles: national counterintelligence executive and director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center.

Eyes glazing over? Here's a simpler way to think of him: as the nation's spy catcher in chief.

As the head of U.S. counterintelligence, Evanina is in charge of keeping America's secrets out of enemy hands. 2016 has proved an exceptionally challenging year, between Russian hacks and another massive data breach at the National Security Agency.

Editor's note: An image below shows Ambassador Andrei Karlov on the ground after he was shot.

Russia's ambassador to Turkey has died after he was shot Monday evening at an art exhibition in the capital, Ankara, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in comments broadcast on Russian state television.

Hillary Clinton has kept a low profile since losing the election to Donald Trump, but at a private event before donors Thursday night, she blamed her loss, in part, on "some unprecedented factors" — namely Russian hacking and the letter about the investigation into her email server released by FBI Director James Comey days before the election.

President Obama says the United States will respond to Russian cyberattacks that the intelligence community has concluded were part of an effort to influence the 2016 presidential election.

When Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, many of the region's most precious artifacts were on loan to a museum in Amsterdam.

This kicked off a two year legal battle over where The Netherlands should return the priceless collection of gold and jewels: to Ukraine or to the four Crimean museums that lent the objects.

Donald Trump hasn't been inaugurated yet, but members of his campaign entourage are already riding the president-elect's coattails all the way to Moscow.

On Monday, Jack Kingston, a former Trump surrogate, briefed American businesspeople in Russia on what they might expect from the incoming administration.

Lifting Western sanctions that were imposed on Russia because of its armed intervention in Ukraine has become the top priority not only for the Kremlin but for foreign companies working in Moscow.

At the CIA and the FBI, conversations about Russian hacks before the U.S. presidential election are moving into quiet spaces or stopping altogether, three sources told NPR.

The agencies are steeling themselves for a congressional investigation that could become one of the most sensitive and politicized in years.

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