Tag Archive for Opposition

Kremlin Foe Navalny Fined $10 For Cutting Ankle Bracelet

Alexei Navalny file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – January 14, 2015) Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny has been convicted of large-scale theft twice and spent many nights in jail after street protests. The latest punishment meted out to one of the Kremlin’s fiercest foes is perhaps the least severe: a $10 fine. On his website on January 14, Navalny

Russian court explains decision not to jail Kremlin critic Navalnyy

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – January 12, 2015) A Russian court has explained its decision to give a suspended sentence to anti-corruption campaigner and Kremlin critic Aleksey Navalnyy while jailing his brother, Oleg, Interfax news agency reported on 12 January. Interfax quoted Moscow’s Zamoskvoretskiy court saying that “in handing down punishment, the court took into account the actual

Russia Civil Society will Grow like ‘Blade of Grass through Concrete,’ Gontmakher Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 13, 2015) Yevgeny Gontmakher, a prominent Moscow economist and commentator, has invoked one of the most powerful images available about the ways in which the human spirit can overcome ever the harshest and most repressive regimes: “like a blade of grass breaking through concrete.” As anyone

Opposition Posterboy Navalny Defies House Arrest … Again

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – January 12, 2015) Opposition firebrand Alexei Navalny has continued to defy what he has described as his “illegal” house arrest by going to work on Saturday, as the European Court of Human Rights prepares to consider his complaint over a recent conviction. Navalny has vehemently railed against

Any Russian Protests Ahead Likely to Be About Economic Issues Rather than Political Ones, Experts Say

Moscow Protest file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 5, 2014) Three Russian experts with whom Russkaya planeta spoke say that while declines in the standard of living of many Russians in the coming year as a result of the economic crisis may lead to some protests about economic issues, any such demonstrations are unlikely

Interfax/RIA Novosti: Russian human-rights figures divided over Navalnyy sentence

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax/RIA Novosti – December 30, 2014) Human-rights activists have greeted the conviction and sentencing of Aleksey Navalnyy and his brother for financial crimes with a mixture of anger and acceptance, with some denouncing it as politically-motivated hostage taking but others regarding it as justified. Aleksey and Oleg Navalnyy were found guilty of fraud and money

Is the protest movement dead? Street politics: Reform agenda loses appeal as pressure on the economy grows.

Moscow Protest file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ilya Krol, Yevgeny Levkovich, special to RBTH – December 16, 2014) Three years ago, Russia witnessed its largest anti-government protests since the early Nineties, with four mass demonstrations in a month, the largest of which drew an estimated 150,000 people to the streets of Moscow. Today, opposition rallies

Russian Tabloid Deletes Article Claiming Navalny Received Kremlin Funds

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 6, 2014) Russian tabloid LifeNews removed a report from its website Thursday that claimed prominent opposition activist Alexey Navalny had secretly been receiving state funds after the Kremlin vehemently denied the allegations, the TASS news agency reported. “Reports about the Kremlin financing [Navalny] are absolute nonsense and a stunt

Navalny Wins Court Case Against Federal Media Watchdog

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 29, 2014) Opposition activist Alexei Navalny announced his victory Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging the Russian federal media watchdog’s refusal to register his news outlet as an official media outlet. Navalny filed an application with the agency on June 2 to set up the “Alexei Navalny Information Agency,” a

Does Russian Liberalism Still ‘End at Ukraine’?

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 14, 2014) Since at least the time of the Russian Civil War, it has been common ground among many observers in Moscow and the West that Russian liberalism “ends at Ukraine,” a notion for which Aleksey Navalny’s statement that Russia will retain Crimea whatever happens appears

Navalny Wouldn’t Return Crimea, Considers Immigration Bigger Issue Than Ukraine

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 17, 2014) Prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said in an interview this week that he would not return the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine if he had the power to do so, and that the issue of illegal immigration was more important for Russia than anything

Russia Releases Opposition Activist Charged With Violence Against Police

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 9, 2014) Russia has released from custody opposition activist Sergei Mokhnatkin, who gained prominence among fellow activists for what he said was an attempt to protect a woman from police brutality at a protest rally, and who has been charged with violence against police. Mokhnatkin’s attempt

The Troubled Rebirth of Political Opposition in Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Vladimir Gelman – September 2014) Distinguished Professor, Political Sciences and Sociology; Aleksanteri Institute at the Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies In the 2000s, most experts considered the role of political opposition in Russia as peripheral at best. But with the protest wave of 2011-12, opposition actors and movements reentered

Russian Cultural Figures Targeted as New Opposition

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – September 2, 2014) With Russia’s political opposition either sidelined or splintered over Russian policy in Ukraine, dissenting cultural figures have become the new focus of pro-Kremlin witch hunts, with state media treating them as a political force and accusing them of treachery. The practice has echoes of

Opposition Must Admit Most Russians Were Deceived about What 1991 Meant, Eidman Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 20, 2014) “It is time to acknowledge the responsibility of the successful minority before the 90 percent of [Russian] citizens, whose hopes for a better future were deceived” following the collapse of the Soviet system, and for that minority to make changes “in the interests of

Interfax: Patrushev says Russian decision-makers must heed opposition

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. July 22 (Interfax) – The Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, has spoken of the need to draw conclusions from what is going on in Ukraine and heed the opinion of the Russian opposition. “The events occurring in Ukraine – their role for us is this: we must draw the right conclusions from them,”

Interfax: Russians losing interest in political opposition, say it is still needed – poll

Russian Duma Building

MOSCOW. June 17 (Interfax) – Over a half of Russians (57%) believes Russia needs political opposition, Levada Center told Interfax. Yet their number has reduced significantly since 2012 (72%), the sociologists said. Twenty-three percent of respondents say Russia does not need political opposition and 20% are undecided. The need for opposition was mostly expressed by

Navalny’s Popularity Takes a Dive, Poll Says

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – May 27, 2014) Once the darling of Russia’s opposition movement, Alexei Navalny has seen his reputation fall in recent months as he has made more headlines for the criminal cases launched against him than for his political activities. The number of Russians who have “nothing good to

Interfax: Human Rights Council seeks liability for pursuit over criticism

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

MOSCOW. May 14 (Interfax) – Head of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov said he intended to propose to include a provision in the Criminal Code on liability for pursuit over criticism. “The Soviet Code used to have such an article. Now we have proposed adding it again, however this idea has not

Public’s Desire to Protest Hits Record Low

Moscow Protest file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – May 14, 2014) Amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and lingering patriotic fervor following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a poll published on Tuesday showed that Russians are more reluctant than ever to participate in political protests. The Levada Center, an independent research organization, found that a record

Khodorkovsky Says ‘No Politics’ Deal Made With Putin

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – May 2, 2014) Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has said his surprise release from prison last December was facilitated by an agreement made with President Vladimir Putin to stay away from politics, but added that the deal expires in August. When asked about his abstention from political

Novosibirsk Race Seen as Win for Opposition

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladislav Shayman – April 8, 2014) Calling Novosibirsk a provincial backwater would be incorrect. With 1.7 million residents, Novosibirsk is Russia’s third-largest city with a nationally known opera theater and nearly 70 local universities and colleges. It also is known as “the town of academicians” for hosting the internationally known

Putin’s Crimea Move Cripples Opposition

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – March 21, 2014) During his triumphant speech on Crimea’s annexation earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin stressed that his policy was supported by an “absolute majority of Russians,” saying those who opposed it were “national traitors” acting on behalf of Western countries. While such a bold statement

Kasparov: It’s time to stop Putin

Garry Kasparov file photo

In a Washington Post op-ed, Garry Kasparov argues that Putin’s motives in seizing Crimea are shaped more by greed than Russia’s national interests, and that assessments of possible future Kremlin actions should be based on pragmatic assessments of what Putin actually does: When Vladi­mir Putin formally annexed Crimea this week, he acted in defiance of

Navalny Proposes Sanctions List to the West

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – March 20, 2014) Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, currently under house arrest in connection with a criminal case against him, has written an op-ed for the New York Times in which he calls for sanctions on officials and businessmen connected to President Vladimir Putin. Saying that previous U.S.

Opposition planned Moscow micro-Maidan in May 2012 – activist

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW. March 12 (Interfax) – The convicted Left Front activist, Konstantin Lebedev, who is serving a prison term for organizing the mass disturbances in Moscow in May 6, 2012, told Moscow City Court that he and the other co-accused, Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev – were planning to stage a “micro-Maidan.” “We were prepared for

Protest Crackdowns Illegal, Human Rights Ombudsman Says

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 6, 2014) Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin called crackdowns on unsanctioned opposition protests illegal. According to Russia’s Supreme Court decisions, unauthorized protests were not necessarily illegal, Lukin said, Interfax reported. He added that often the protests pose no disturbance to citizens and that violations should only be pursued

Kremlin to tighten screws in wake of Kiev unrest

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – February 24, 2014) A Moscow court sentenced seven people on Monday to prison terms ranging from one to four years for their roles in protest riots on the city’s Bolotnaya Ploshchad in May 2012, in a ruling seen as an indicator of whether government pressure would increase

Critics Fear Post-Sochi Crackdown

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – February 21, 2014) With three days to go until the Winter Olympics in Sochi draw to a close, fears are growing among many Russians that the apparent tolerance of President Vladimir Putin toward critics of his government in the run-up to the games will dissipate after the

Fearing Persecution, Bolotnoye Suspects Flee Abroad

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – February 19, 2014) When a judge delivers a verdict Friday in the high-profile Bolotnoye case, the defendants’ cage will contain eight people. It might have held dozens more if some of the potential suspects had not fled abroad, fearing unfair prosecution in what many observers call a

Russian Opposition Envies Ukrainians’ Willingness to Face Bullets

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – February 12, 2014) When Russian anti-government activists look over the border at the political standoff in Ukraine, they can not help but feel pangs of envy. While the anti-Kremlin protests that began in late 2011 sputtered and faded over the course of the year, with few tangible

Dozhd Television Faces Closure But Strives to Stay Afloat

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – February 5, 2014) Dozhd, Russia’s only opposition-oriented television channel, on Tuesday announced that the decision of large cable providers to drop it could lead to its closure and attributed the move to a Kremlin-driven campaign to get rid of them. All major cable companies, including OnLime, Akado,

Interfax: Russian ministry explains suspension of Navalny party registration

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, January 22, 2014) The state registration of People’s Alliance, political party of [anticorruption campaigner and protest leader] Aleksey Navalnyy’s supporters has been suspended over the similarity of names with the [pundit] Andrey Bogdanov’s political organization, procedural violations during [the party’s constituent] congress as well as poor paperwork, the press service for the

Nemtsov Says Investigators Will Question Him Over Tax Evasion Report

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 21, 2014) Investigators have summoned opposition leader Boris Nemtsov for questioning over complaints that his report about supposed tax-dodging by 16 pro-Kremlin lawmakers in Yaroslavl had violated their privacy, Nemtsov said. A United Russia deputy from the Yaroslavl regional legislature, Mikhail Krupin, had demanded that investigators charge Nemtsov with

RIA Novosti: Investigators and Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Clash Over Travel Ban

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

MOSCOW, January 13 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny rejected an allegation from investigators Monday that he had breached a court order not to leave Moscow. The Investigative Committee threatened Monday to seek tighter restrictions on Navalny, who is facing embezzlement charges, if he again violated an alleged undertaking not to leave Moscow.

‘Yaroslavl ­ graveyard of the Russian spring’

File Photo of Yevgeney Urlashov Standing Near One of His Campaign Posters

(opendemocracy.net – Elena Vlasenko – January 2, 2014) Elena Vlasenko is a Russian correspondent writing for Sovershenno Sekretno and Index on Censorship. When Yevgeny Urlashov became the democratically elected mayor of Yaroslavl, the tourist city on the Volga, he described it as the ‘birthplace of the Russian spring.’ A year later, Urlashov is in jail…

RPR-PARNAS party may split because of internal disagreements – statement

Map of Russia

MOSCOW. Dec 30 (Interfax) – The Republican Party of Russia-PARNAS (RPR-PARNAS) may split up in the near future, says a statement made by some members of the RPR political board on Monday. “If we cannot consolidate the three components of the party, the issue of RPR’s restoration in its classical shape as a liberal, democratic,

Russian opposition figures differ on Khodorkovskiy’s political prospects

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Interfax – December 22, 2013) Russian opposition politicians and human rights figures have expressed different views on the political future of former head of the Yukos oil company, Mikhail Khodorkovskiy, who was pardoned by President Vladimir Putin and released from prison on 20 December. Eduard Limonov, radical opposition figure and leader of the unregistered Other

There Were No Bolotnaya Riots, International Experts Say

Russian Riot Police file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – December 19, 2013) An international public commission declared Wednesday that there were no “riots” at the May 2012 opposition protest on Bolotnaya Ploshchad in Moscow, which was dispersed after violence broke out with police, resulting in more than 400 detentions. The commission’s findings were announced as hope

RIA Novosti: Moscow Court Halts Prosecution of Four Accused Rioters

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) ­ A Moscow court said Thursday that it was halting prosecution of four protesters accused of attacking police last year at an opposition rally that deteriorated into mass riots. The Nikulinsky Court decided to halt the proceedings as part of a sweeping amnesty that is being granted to thousands of

Interfax: Navalny “oligarchic project” – Yabloko leader

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

MOSCOW. Dec 14 (Interfax) – The leader of Russia’s liberal Yabloko party, Sergei Mitrokhin, has described opposition activist Alexei Navalny as an “oligarchic project.” “Here is an oligarchic project under the tentative name Alexei Navalny. We know that this project is supported by the big interests and money of dissatisfied oligarchs and enjoys latent support

Gudkovs Aim to Consolidate Opposition Parties

File Photo of Gennady Gudkov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – December 16, 2013) Some of Russia’s most prominent nonsystemic opposition leaders founded the Social Democrats of Russia party on Sunday, marking a first step toward the possible consolidation of the country’s marginal social democratic factions. The announcement comes amid a proliferation of opposition parties, among them former

Navalny Says His Lawyer Status Has Been Scrubbed

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 4, 2013) Opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been stripped of the right to practice law due to his criminal conviction earlier this year, a post on his LiveJournal blog said. “Since I am a criminal and convicted of a premeditated crime the bar association simply didn’t have any other

Navalny Testifies at Bolotnoye Riot Trial

Russian Riot Police file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 3, 2013) Contrary to investigators’ claims, organizers did not intentionally orchestrate riots at the demonstration on Bolotnaya Ploshchad on May 6 last year, opposition leader Alexei Navalny told a Moscow city court on Monday. “Officials intentionally instigated the crush so as to claim there were riots,” Navalny, who was

The Price of the Opposition: Should One Walk in the Counsel of the Wicked?

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Alexander Podrabinek – November 25, 2013) The participation of Russian opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov in a recent Kremlin meeting with Vladimir Putin has reignited the debate about whether it is acceptable for the democratic opposition to engage with the leader of an authoritarian regime. Author and human rights

Russian opposition parties’ leaders praise meeting with Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Interfax – Moscow, November 21, 2013) [Non-parliamentary] opposition parties’ leaders have welcomed yesterday’s [20 November] meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying it was constructive and expressing hope for [positive] outcome. As the co-chairman of the RPR-Parnas party Vladimir Ryzhkov told Interfax, “the impressions from the meeting with the president are good”. “Some changes have

Interfax: McFaul angry with Russian mass media reports on U.S. sponsoring opposition in Russia

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 21 (Interfax) – U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said he was angry with mass media reports on Washington supporting the Russian opposition. McFaul said at a public meeting in Moscow on Wednesday that nothing made him angrier about the Russian media than propaganda about the U.S. government sponsoring Russian opposition. According to

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with leaders of non-parliamentary parties

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru – The Kremlin, Moscow – November 20, 2013) [Complete transcript of meeting in Russian here http://www.kremlin.ru/news/19659] Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of non-parliamentary parties. Taking part in the meeting were representatives of Civic Platform, Communists of Russia, Right Cause, Patriots of Russia, the Republican Party of Russia ­ Party of People’s Freedom, Motherland,

Putin Meets for First Time With Nonparliamentary Opposition

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  Natalya Krainova – November 21, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday met with leaders of major nonparliamentary parties for the first time in his 13 years in power, to discuss issues that will be addressed in his state-of-the-nation speech to be delivered next month. Participants in the meeting, who included

Navalny’s Party Holds Founding Congress for Third Time

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – November 18, 2013) Opposition politician Alexei Navalny formally joined the People’s Alliance party and was elected its leader on Sunday when it held its founding congress. The congress, which was attended by 111 delegates from 48 regions, marked the party’s third attempt to be registered. The People’s

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