As World Watches Russia, Opposition Seeks To Score With Pension Protests

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – June 20, 2018) – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-world-cup-russia-opposition-pension-protests/29306847.html) As World Cup fever mounts in Russia, opponents of a government plan to raise the retirement age find themselves jostling for political position, with a handful of protests announced against the proposed measure set to coincide with soccer’s centerpiece […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow City Court upholds Navalny spokesman Yarmysh’s sentence” – Interfax

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

MOSCOW. May 31 (Interfax) – The Moscow City Court on Thursday upheld the sentence of Kira Yarmysh, the press secretary of opposition activist Alexei Navalny, to 25 days in jail for violating the rules governing the organization of a protest in central Moscow on May 5, an Interfax correspondent has reported. “The appeal is declined. The decision made by the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny foundation lawyer Zhdanov detained for organizing unpermitted rally on May 5” – Interfax

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

MOSCOW. May 24 (Interfax) – Ivan Zhdanov, a lawyer working for Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, has been detained for organizing an unauthorized opposition rally on May 5, Leonid Volkov, the head of Navalny’s headquarters, said. “Ivan Zhdanov was just detained while leaving the office. The very same Article 20.2 [of the Russian Administrative Offense Code], they found another ‘organizer of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Hundreds arrested during Russian ‘He’s not my tsar’ protests” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“Up to 2,000 people were briefly arrested during a series of protests across Russia on May 5 just a few days before … Putin’s upcoming inauguration. … [with the] slogan was ‘He’s not my tsar.’ The biggest, and what turned out to be the most violent protest, was organised for the heart of Moscow on Pushkin Square by anti-corruption blogger […]

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Kemerovo governor warned not to use administrative resources in election – Pamfilova

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) – The Russian Central Elections Commission (CEC) has sent the Kemerovo region’s governor a telegram warning him not to use administrative resource in the presidential election. “The Kemerovo region needs monitoring. We sent a telegram to the governor today warning him that administrative resource cannot be used,” CEC Chair Ella Pamfilova said during a meeting with […]

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On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia; Part One: Ksenia Sobchak

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

Subject: The Siberian Campaign Trail Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia Part One: Ksenia Sobchak By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the hub for the first civil society development support network in the former Soviet Union.] [Text with […]

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NEWSLINK: “Post-Soviet Swingers Versus the Kremlin” – CNN/Ivan Watson

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“They claimed that after stumbling upon evidence of Russian government meddling in the 2016 US election, they were in danger of knowing too much. … Supporters of the couple claim the Russian government orchestrated their arrest to stop them leaking compromising information, accusations that were of course denied by the Kremlin. … I still have no idea whether or not […]

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NEWSLINK: “Alexey Navalny’s election boycott reveals the symbolic matrix of Russian politics; Boycotting the Russian presidential elections is the logical extension of the opposition politician’s radical street politics” – OpenDemocracy/Dmitry Lebedev

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

“Presidential elections in today’s Russia are often talked about as mere formalities, as procedures essential to maintaining a democratic façade. The outcome of the process is known to everyone in advance. In public, the only person who can doubt the outcome is the one who is actually responsible for it – Vladimir Putin, who delayed announcing his re-election bid for […]

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West Now Focusing on Young People to Change Russia a Decade from Now, Federation Council Report Says

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 6, 2018) Foreign governments are seeking to change the attitudes of young people everywhere in hopes “of transforming them into an instrument for undermining national political systems and realizing scenarios of ‘color revolutions’ and the overthrow of existing governments,” according to a report prepared by a special commission of the Federation […]

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NEWSWATCH: “If Russia’s minorities are excluded from national political life, then why are they the most “loyal” on paper? By rejecting popular support in Russia’s national republics, you can win more votes than you lose.” (Excerpt) – OpenDemocracy/Badma Biurchiev

Russia Regions Map

(opendemocracy.net – Badma Biurchiev – March 1, 2018) [Full text opendemocracy.net/od-russia/badma-biurchiev/If-russias-minorities-are-excluded] Badma Biurchiev was born in Kalmykia in 1973, and has worked as a journalist since 2003. He currently works for Kavpolit, where he covers Dagestan and Kalmykia. He has previously worked for Bolshoy Kavkaz and Caucasian Knot. On 20 February, Alexey Navalny, banned from standing as a candidate in […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Opposition activist Alexei Navalny will spend Russia’s presidential elections in jail” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“Anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny and his chief of staff were arrested on February 22 and will be held for 30 days, taking them out of circulation for the March 18 presidential elections. Navalny has been touring the country for most of the last year and is calling for a boycott of the elections. While President Vladimir Putin […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Russian government blocks Navalny’s website, as Instagram caves to the censor’s demands and YouTube wavers” – Meduza

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“When the dust finally settled, the morning after Valentine’s Day, it was Instagram – not YouTube – that had complied with orders from Russia’s federal censor to delete content flagged as a privacy violation by a court in Ust-Labinsky. On February 9, Instagram was given three weekdays to delete 14 posts uploaded by a self-described escort who calls herself ‘Nastya […]

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Roskomnadzor threatens to block sites that don’t delete info from Navalny film by Wed night

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

MOSCOW. Feb 14 (Interfax) – Roskomnadzor has given websites that have yet to delete the information contained in the film made by Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation until Wednesday evening to do so, saying they will be blocked if they do not comply. “The monitoring of the sites that have failed to delete the prohibited information and remain in the Unified […]

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The symbolic meaning of the presidential elections for Russian liberals; The Sobchak and Navalny campaigns are two very different options for the future of Russia’s democratic movement.

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Alexander Kynev – February 6, 2018) Alexander Kynev is a Russian political scientist. This article originally appeared on Republic in Russian. On the pages of Vedomosti, I recently analysed the electoral options that democratically-oriented voters have under various electoral systems and various pre-electoral choice of candidates. I would now like to draw attention to the long-term strategic consequences […]

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Interfax: Moscow City Court overturns sentence of Navalny foundation’s lawyer due to insufficient evidence

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

MOSCOW. Feb 5 (Interfax) – The Moscow City Court has acquitted Alexander Pomazuyev, a lawyer of Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation charged with resisting police during an unauthorized rally, and canceled his administrative arrest on Monday. “The court has overturned the ruling of Moscow’s Simonovsky District Court and halted the proceedings in the administrative case due to the failure to prove […]

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Kremlin’s New Approach to Dissent has Marginalized Even Navalny, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 30, 2018) The Russian authorities have “learned how to marginalize the actions of the opposition without the use of force,” the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say; and unless Aleksey Navalny can come up with a slogan that will unite more of the opposition than does his call for a boycott, he […]

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Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman on Why Russians Should Boycott the Elections

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 29, 2018) The Moscow Times spoke with opposition politician Yevgeny Roizman, who has been the mayor of Yekaterinburg since he defeated a United Russia candidate in 2013. Roizman has openly supported opposition leader Alexei Navalny in calling for an electoral boycott of the upcoming presidential elections. Here is why. On the presidential election in […]

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Interfax: Russian Constitutional Court doesn’t accept Navalny’s complaint over participation in presidential election

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. Jan 19 (Interfax) – The Russian Constitutional Court has refused to accept Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny’s complaint about the norms of the court’s law on presidential elections. The court’s ruling, dated January 18, is available on the court’s website. The Russian Constitutional Court earlier scrutinized a norm similar to that contested by Navalny as part of a […]

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Tyumen city hall approves Navalny supporters’ Jan 28 rally

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

TYUMEN. Jan 19 (Interfax) – Supporters of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny have been permitted to hold a rally in Tyumen on January 28, a city administration representative told Interfax on Friday. “We have issued permission for the rally, which will take place at Zarechny Park,” the representative said. The opposition originally sought permission for a procession along Tsvetnoi Boulevard […]

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Moscow City Hall proposes three alternative venues for Jan. 28 opposition rally

Moscow Protest File Photo

MOSCOW. Jan 19 (Interfax) – Moscow authorities have proposed three alternative venues for a rally the Russian opposition plans to hold in the center of Moscow on January 28 – places in the city’s northeast, southeast and northwest, a Moscow City Hall spokesperson told Interfax. “We have responded to this application by suggesting three options: a rally at Sokolniki Park, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Future of Navalny’s Opposition Movement; Why It Will Continue to Challenge the Kremlin” – Foreign Affairs/Anton Barbashin

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“In March 2017 … Navalny released a shocking video investigation … reveal[ing] that Medvedev has been able to amass a tremendous fortune while in power … several mansions in Russia, a villa and property in Italy, and other assets worth roughly $1.2 billion. … spark[ing] a great deal of interest among Russians … receiv[ing] almost 26 million views on YouTube […]

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Snob: The Mathematics of a Boycott

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – January 12, 2018) Dmitry Oreshkin argues that Navalny’s call for a boycott is good step for him, but not for voters Even before he was officially denied nomination as a presidential candidate, Alexei Navalny called on his supporters to boycott the presidential elections. Political commentator Dmitry Oreshkin discusses why this is good step […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin’s Rival Can’t Run for President, But He’s Still a Threat; Did the Russian leader add to Alexey Navalny’s protest prowess by barring him from this year’s election?” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“Now that he’s been officially barred from challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin in presidential elections next March, opposition leader Alexey Navalny is counting on becoming an even bigger nuisance for the Kremlin. The 41-year-old Navalny, who is banned from appearing on state television and whose name Putin never even mentions in public, is urging his supporters to protest nationwide on […]

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Interview: Sobchak Calls Presidential Run A Step To Changing Russian System, Rejects Navalny Boycott

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – December 29, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-sobchak-interview-presidency-navalny/28946492.html) Russian journalist and TV personality Ksenia Sobchak has dismissed calls by a barred opposition leader for an election boycott as “pointless” and said her candidacy in the March presidential vote could help fuse opposition elements into a legitimate political force in Russia. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Barred From Running and Boycotting: Navalny’s Quandary in Russia” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Navalny, a Russian anticorruption activist, would have no real chance of defeating … Putin in an election. … But on Monday the Kremlin barred him from running for president in March. Then on Tuesday, threatening legal action, it warned him against organizing a boycott of the election. In one surreal turn after another, the Russian authorities have dismissed Mr. […]

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NEWSLINK: “‘I don’t like the Central Election Commission’ Alexey Navalny’s speech to the government officials who moments later barred him from Russia’s 2018 presidential election (full translation)” – Meduza

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“Russia’s Central Election Commission refused to register Alexey Navalny’s presidential candidacy on December 25, a day after the opposition politician’s campaign staged nomination gatherings in 20 cities across the country and Navalny personally submitted his candidacy application to the commission. Before the formal vote, Navalny addressed the commission in a fiery speech where he called on election officials to let […]

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Russian electoral body ready to consider Navalny’s documents

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

(Interfax – December 18, 2017) Russia’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) will consider the documents of all those who want to register as contenders in next year’s presidential election, including opposition politician Alexei Navalny, Interfax news agency reported on 18 December. The agency quoted the head of the commission, Elena Pamfilova, as saying that after the would-be contenders “conduct the appropriate […]

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Russian Elections Chief Says Navalny Cannot Run Until 2028

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – October 17, 2017 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-navalny-elections-pamfilova-presidency/28799529.html) Russia’s top election official says that opposition politician Aleksei Navalny will not be eligible to run for office until about 2028. Speaking at a youth festival in the southern city of Sochi, Central Election Commission chief Ella Pamfilova warned Navalny and […]

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Kremlin had Its Reasons for Not Cracking Down Harder on Latest Protests, Commentators Say

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 10, 2017) The relative paucity of detentions in Moscow during the anti-Putin Navalny demonstrations last weekend, despite the much larger and more brutal actions of the authorities beyond the ring road, has generated a lively discussion as to why the Kremlin didn’t come down harder. Two commentators, Yekatarina Vinokurova of Znak […]

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Navalny Fund Publishes Retractions in Usmanov Libel Suit

Alisher Usmanov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 11, 2017) The Anti-Corruption Foundation has complied with a court order to publish retractions related to a video critical of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Foundation founder and opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sued for libel in April by Uzbekistan-born Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov over allegations of bribery. Navalny is currently serving a 20-day jail […]

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New York Times Covers Russia [Headlines & Links]

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

October 3, 2017 ‘Look Up! Sputnik!’ 60 Years Later By MICHAEL KHODARKOVSKY https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/03/opinion/sputnik-cold-war-space-race.html [“America’s response in 1957 was a huge investment in space technologies; within 12 years, it had put the first men on the moon. Today, too, a major investment in cybersecurity by a much wealthier and more innovative West might remind Moscow that it cannot afford or win […]

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‘Caricature Candidate’? Sobchak, Navalny Clash Over Her Rumored 2018 Kremlin Bid

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – September 25, 2017) [Text with video, graphics, and links at https://www.rferl.org/a/sobchak-navalny-putin-kremlin-election-presidency-rumors/28756447.html] Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny is trading barbs with Russian celebrity and TV host Ksenia Sobchak over speculation she will run for the Russian presidency in March — a rumor widely discussed in media […]

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Interfax: Foreign activity on Kirovles case is attempt to influence 2018 elections in Russia – Federation Council

File Photo of Council of Europe Headquarters Building with Flags in Front

MOSCOW. Sept 25 (Interfax) – The high interest of structures of the Council of Europe in the Kirovles case is an attempt to influence the preparations for the presidential elections in Russia, the Russian Federation Council commission on the protection of state sovereignty said. “Foreign activity around the debate in the structures of the Council of Europe on the so-called […]

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Russian Intelligentsia, Loyal Experts, Putin’s Court [excerpt]

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Institute of Modern Russia – Russian media roundup, August 26 – September 1, 2017) [imrussia.org/en/the-rundown/media-must-reads/2841-russian-intelligentsia,-loyal-experts,-putin%E2%80%99s-court] In this week’s roundup, Sergei Medvedev discusses the shortcomings in the Russian intelligentsia; Konstantin Gaaze juxtaposes Putin’s “court” and the country’s “Politburo 2.0” system; Lilia Shevtsova classifies Russian experts and intellectuals who support the current regime; Vasily Zharkov explains the public support for Russia’s aggressive […]

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NEWSLINK: “Alexei Navalny’s Techno-Populism. Is opposition leader Alexei Navalny a ‘Kremlin project,’ a ‘future tyrant,’ or ‘Russia’s only hope?’ Conversations about Navalny often proceed along these moral lines, though it is Navalny’s practicality-especially in the technological realm-that has been the driving force of his popularity.” – Carnegie Moscow

Alexei Navalny file photo

“… Udaltsov’s release from prison and his subsequent criticism of … Navalny have sparked renewed discussions about what Russia would look like under a Navalny presidency. These conversations often take place along moral lines: ‘Would he be a tyrant?’ and ‘Is he better or worse than Putin?’ are common refrains in Russia today. The source of Navalny’s popularity is no […]

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Putin’s Renationalization Campaign: Fighting Corruption or Forcing Officials’ Loyalty? (excerpt)

Alexei Navalny file photo

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Hilary Appel, Wendy Chuyi Sheng – August 18, 2017) Hilary Appel is Podlich Family Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College. Wendy Chuyi Sheng graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2017 with degrees in Economics and Government. [Full text here http://www.ponarseurasia.org/memo/putins-renationalization-campaign-fighting-corruption-or-forcing-officials-loyalty] (PONARS Policy Memo) Large street protests returned to Russia […]

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How can Russia’s left work with Navalny? Across Russia, Alexey Navalny’s anti-corruption campaign is gaining an audience. Can Russia’s left benefit from the political opening he has provided?

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(opendemocracy.net – KIRILL MEDVEDEV, OLEG ZHURAVLEV – August 21, 2017) Kirill Medvedev is a Moscow-based poet, translator, activist and a member of the Russian Socialist Movement. Oleg Zhuravlev is a researcher at the Public Sociology Laboratory (Russia), which he and his colleagues founded in 2012. He is also a PhD-candidate at the European University Institute (Italy) and teaches at the […]

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Putin’s Would-Be Successors Ranked Ahead of 2018 Elections

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 21, 2017) Ahead of presidential elections scheduled for March next year, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and opposition firebrand Alexei Navalny are among President Vladimir Putin’s potential successors, according to a new ranking produced by a Russian think-tank. Published by the independent Peterburgskaya Politika NGO on Monday, the list casts current […]

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Alexey Navalny and the moral pillars of democracy; Will the restoration of democratic institutions in Russia usher in a liberal paradise? The answer could very well be “no”.

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(opendemocracy.net – William Echols – August 11, 2017) William Echols formerly served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kazakhstan and has an MA in International Politics from Queen’s University Belfast. He has spent nearly 10 years living and traveling around the post-Soviet world, working as a volunteer, journalist, teacher and translator. He is also the founder of the blog Russian […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Communists Pursue a Red Revival” – Stratfor

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“… The [Communist] Party’s rise, coupled with that of … other dissident factions, will not pose an immediate threat to the Kremlin, but … represents a trend that the current administration can’t afford to ignore in the long term…. cracks are beginning to show in the system that has supported … Putin’s government for 17 years. Demographic shifts, economic stagnation and building pressure […]

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Released Russian Activist Udaltsov Vows To Continue Protests, Won’t Back Navalny

File Photo of Sergei Udaltsov Speaking Outdoors, Holding Microphone and Gesturing

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Aug. 10, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-calls-us-senator-mccain-old-world-but-admires-his-patriotism/28537171.html) Sergei Udaltsov, a prominent Russian opposition activist who was released on August 8 after nearly five years in custody, has vowed to revive his dormant Levy Front (Left Front) movement and hold new protests. But at a news conference in Moscow on […]

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If Navalny Takes Power He Could End Up Like Putin, Says Khodorkovsky

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 9, 2017) Former tycoon turned opposition politician Mikhail Khodorkovsky has warned Russians against pinning their hopes on Alexei Navalny, saying that if he should come to power, the country would face “hard times.” “On one hand, I would feel joy [if Navalny won.] A change in leadership is a good thing,” the former CEO […]

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Navalny Was ‘Joking’ When he Said the Kremlin Could Murder Him

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 8, 2017) In an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station on Monday, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said he had been “joking” when he said in earlier comments that there was a 50 percent chance he would killed by the Russian authorities for his political activism. In an interview with U.S. television channel […]

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Why Navalny Can’t Lose

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 2, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-navalny/28654383.html) One way or another, we’re in for one hell of a show next year. One way or another, the March 2018 presidential election will probably be like nothing we’ve seen before in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And the reason, of […]

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For the Chekists, Navalny is the Yeltsin of 1987, Portnikov says

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – July 22, 2017) Many have forgotten that in May 1987, Boris Yeltsin, then head of the Moscow city committee of the CPSU, received representatives of the chauvinist and anti-Semitic Pamyat organization, thus sending a signal that he was someone the KGB and its allies could count on to defend their interests, Vitaly Portnikov […]

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Putin’s No Good, But Where’s the Alternative?; No opposition leader can muster a vision inspiring enough to compete.

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – July 21, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. No wonder it’s so difficult to imagine Russia without President Vladimir Putin: Even his most vehement opponents can’t seem to offer an alternative vision for the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Across Russia, Protesters and Kremlin Backers Seek the Upper Hand; In towns like Izhevsk, a reinvigorated opposition is running into efforts to nip the movement in the bud” – Wall Street Journal/ James Marson

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

“… Protest leaders face fines and jail time for minor infractions, relatives of activists receive warnings from bosses, and students are told not to attend rallies, according to opposition supporters. … The movement has energized Russia’s youth, who make up the bulk of protesters. … But protests are still relatively small. Opposition leaders say people are preoccupied with their own problems, […]

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Navalny Clashes With Ex-Commander Of Russia-Backed Separatists

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Carl Schreck, Christopher Miller – July 20, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/navalny-girkin-debate/28629308.html) Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and a prominent former commander of Russia-backed separatists sparred over patriotism and the war in Ukraine in a debate that stoked widespread discussion and criticism among political players and watchers after it […]

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VIDEO NEWSWATCH: “In Russia, opposition grows as fear of the state fades” – PBS Newshour

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(PBS Newshour – July 15, 2017 – transcript at: pbs.org/newshour/bb/putin-faces-growing-opposition-lead-4th-term/) “While Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to seek a fourth term next year, the country’s largest anti-government movement in recent history continues to grow. For the final installment of NewsHour’s six-part series “Inside Putin’s Russia,” special correspondent Nick Shifrin reports on the movement and one of its main leaders.”

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Anti-Corruption Protests Didn’t Make Navalny More Popular – Poll

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 17, 2017) Highly publicized anti-corruption protests organized by opposition leader Alexei Navalny in June did not increase his popularity, the news outlet RBC reported Monday. Citing an unpublished report by independent pollster Lavada Center, RBC said the percentage of respondents who recognize Navalny and the Anti-Corruption Fund that he leads remained unchanged from March […]

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