NEWSWATCH: “Putin isn’t as all-powerful as he looks; In local elections, which are harder to rig, the opposition is rising.” – Washington Post/Jackson Diehl

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

“… If opposition leaders … start to look dangerous … bad things happen …. Yevgeny Urlashov, a charismatic opposition leader who in 2012 won election as mayor of Yaroslavl … is now serving a 12-year prison sentence on trumped-up charges. Boris Nemtsov … was murdered on a bridge outside the Kremlin …. Alexei Navalny … has been banned from elections […]

» Read more

Interfax: “Human Rights Council member Svanidze criticizes bill on imposing fines for involving minors in unauthorized rallies”

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. May 10 (Interfax) – The bill proposed by a number of Russian State Duma deputies that would make encouraging minors to participate in unsanctioned rallies an administrative offence is controversial and potentially unconstitutional, Nikolai Svanidze, a member of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council and the head of its commission on civil freedoms, told Interfax on Thursday. “It’s a […]

» Read more

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.org by Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and https://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 […]

» Read more

In Current Illiberal Cycle, Being an Autocrat like Putin is Fashionable, Albats Says

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 5, 2018) During the 1970s and 1980s, much of the world was in a liberal cycle with ever more countries being democratic and free; but now, it is in an illiberal one with ever more countries become less democratic and less free, according to Yevgeniya Albats, the editor of The New […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with candidates for post of Russian Federation President” – KremlinRu

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Kremlin.ru – March 19, 2018) Vladimir Putin met with candidates who ran in the presidential election. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. The election campaign is over, and I wanted to meet with you. I hope that today we will talk, first of all, about the campaign, and most importantly, about what needs to be done to ensure […]

» Read more

Sobchak says planned to go to Crimea on humanitarian mission, not to campaign

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

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK. March 13 (Interfax) – Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak said that she has no plans to campaign in Crimea and was going to travel there on a humanitarian mission. “I am not going to campaign there and have never planned to do so. But thousands of petitions are coming to me from Crimean Tatars, from people who have lost […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

CEC refuses to assess candidates’ behavior at debates

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. March 1 (Interfax) – The Central Elections Commission (CEC) has no right to assess the behavior of presidential candidates at debates; if need be, they can protect their integrity and reputation in court, CEC head Ella Pamfilova said in a statement obtained by Interfax on Thursday. “It is not within the Russian CEC’s purview to assess the behavior of […]

» Read more

Russia’s Opposition Leaders Come Together, Briefly, in Nemtsov March; But with three weeks until the presidential election, political analysts don’t see a viable strategy

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 25, 2018) For the third year running on Sunday afternoon, the disparate political movements in opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin came together – if only for a brief few hours – to march in the memory of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov. “The march is symbolically important for the entire democratic opposition,” one […]

» Read more

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.org by Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and https://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 […]

» Read more

Interfax: Opposition reports authorization of Nemtsov memorial event in central Moscow on Feb 25, authorities confirm it

Nemtsov March of Mourning

MOSCOW. Feb 14 (Interfax) – The Moscow mayor’s office has granted the request made by Solidarnost seeking authorization of a memorial march for politician Boris Nemtsov on February 25, Ilya Yashin, a member of the movement, told Interfax on Wednesday. “The mayor’s office granted our request and authorized the route from the Stastnoy Boulevard along the boulevards to Prospekt Sakharova,” […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “Russian network TV can show Oliver Stone’s ‘The Putin Interviews,’ but election officials wish they’d wait until after the March 18 vote” – Meduza

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

“Update: Pervyi Kanal has canceled the broadcast of the fourth and final installment of Oliver Stone’s “The Putin Interviews.” The state-run TV network has already aired the miniseries’ first two episodes, and a third broadcast on February 14 will go ahead, given that it’s already aired in Russia’s Far East, said a spokesperson for Pervyi Kanal. …”  

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “FEAR FOR ALL; Putin’s Opposition Stabbed, Bludgeoned, Burned, Even Attacked With Poison Gas; The police response to these attacks is predictable. Either assailants are never identified, or they are said to have had a personal, not a political, motive” – The Daily Beast

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“Why did it take a full week for Russian authorities to reveal the brutal murder, on Jan. 26, of 53-year-old St. Petersburg political activist Konstantin Sinitsyn? To give it a little time before shock waves emerged? In fact, there were few shock waves, even among Russia’s community of democratic oppositionists, because Sinitsyn’s murder was just another in a growing list […]

» Read more

Local Referenda Could Become the Black Swans of the Upcoming Election, Galyamina Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 6, 2018) Local referenda both where they can be held because opposition parties hold enough seats in local legislatures to authorize them and where people want them but are opposed by the power vertical can become an important means of challenging the regime by teaching people about the virtues of genuine democratic […]

» Read more

Interfax: Navalny tells of his questioning at Investigative Committee

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

MOSCOW. Feb 6 (Interfax) – The Russian Investigative Committee on Tuesday questioned the opposition politician Alexei Navalny in connection with injury caused to police officers during an unauthorized rally on January 28. “Today I was questioned by the Investigative Committee which explained to me what it was probing. I was shown a police report which contained this ridiculous phrase, literally: […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “How to Monitor Russia’s Next Election” – Moscow Times/Grigory Melkonyants (Golos)

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

  “… The country, the composition of the Central Elections Commission (CEC) and electoral laws have all changed. … changing the rules ahead of every federal election has become something of a tradition in Russia. Golos has calculated that the authorities introduced 15 amendments to presidential election legislation between 2012 and 2017. In total, 59 out of the law’s 87 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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.org by Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and https://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 […]

» Read more

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.org by Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and https://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 […]

» Read more

Interfax: Increase in number of minors taking part in unauthorized rallies is problem – human rights council

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

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) – The number of minors taking part in unauthorized events has increased considerably, the Russian presidential human rights council said. “One of the problems is a considerable number in the percentage of minors. At Sunday’s event, by 3:30 p.m., some 60% [of the participants] were minors,” Kirill Kabanov, a member of the human rights council, said […]

» Read more

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.org by Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and https://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 […]

» Read more

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, […]

» Read more

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.org by Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and https://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 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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. […]

» Read more

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. […]

» Read more

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.org by Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and https://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 […]

» Read more

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.org by Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and https://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 […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Populism Trap” – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/ Julia Gurganus

Putin Descending a Staircase

“In contrast to the populist image … Putin has created to galvanize support, he is part of today’s Russian establishment elite. This puts him in an awkward position as populism spreads across Europe and Russia marks the one hundredth anniversary of the 1917 revolution. Should Putin again take the populist approach, he is likely to inspire accusations of hypocrisy from the […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “AP Interview: Russia must be more tolerant, candidate [Ksenia Sobchak] says” – AP

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

“A celebrity Russian TV host who intends to run for president in next March’s election said Friday that she hopes to make the nations’ tightly-controlled political system more inclusive and democratic. The 36-year-old Ksenia Sobchak has cast herself as a ‘candidate against all’ in the March 18 vote. She’s seeking to reach out to those who have grown tired of […]

» Read more

Only 15 Percent of Russians are Politically Active, 10 Percent for the Regime and Five Against It, New Research Shows

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 9, 2017) Ten percent of Russians are actively supportive of the regime, while five percent back the extra-systemic opposition. The remainder, new research by sociologists at the Public Opinion foundation says, remain or have become “indifferent observers.” Those are some of the conclusions offered by Yekaterina Bogomolova, Yelena Galitskaya, Yuliya Kot, […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Reality TV Opposition” – New York Times/Oleg Kashin/ Translated by Carol Apollonio

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

“[Sobchak’s father] was mayor of Leningrad … [and] made … Putin his deputy. … he defended Mr. Putin from corruption accusations. … [Sobchak] fled the country … [facing] his own corruption allegations. … [returning] after … Putin became prime minister …. For the opposition, [Ksenia] Sobchak’s meeting with [Putin] … amounts to treachery: A true [Putin] opponent … would never negotiate with him about participating in the election. But are there any real […]

» Read more

Russian Liberals Attack Current Regime but Defend Foundation of Regime as Such, Birna Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 27, 2017) One of the fundamental weaknesses of liberal Russian thought and behavior, Irina Birna says, is Russian liberals are always ready to criticize the current regime but defend the basis of that regime as such, refusing to see the links between the two and thus manifesting “a latent imperialism.” They […]

» Read more

Udaltsov calls for consolidation of left-wing forces in Russia

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

ST. PETERSBURG. Oct 25 (Interfax) – The Left Front movement will resume its activity before the Russian presidential election, movement coordinator Sergei Udaltsov told reporters in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. “We’d like to declare that the left-wing movement in Russia is not just looking back but is also mindful of the future,” Udaltsov said, adding that it was not accidental […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “When ‘against all’ isn’t necessarily against Putin; Prominent Russians react to Ksenia Sobchak’s presidential campaign” – Meduza

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

“Television host, socialite, and LʼOfficiel Russia chief editor Ksenia Sobchak announced on October 18 that she intends to run for president next year, confirming rumors that have circulated for the past six weeks. We still know very little about her campaign, though there are reports that political consultant Vitaly Shklyarov (who helped several opposition candidates win municipal races in Moscow […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “A Bernie Sanders campaign veteran advises a surging opposition movement in Russia” – Washington Post/ Andrew Roth

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

“Vitali Shkliarov, a 41-year-old political operative born in Belarus, speaks the gospel of Bernie Sanders in the style of a Silicon Valley executive. Technology, he says, is a key to access …. The idea got a test drive in Moscow’s recent municipal elections … the veteran of the Sanders and … Obama campaigns sees it as part of a worldwide movement. * […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

United Democrats win over 260 seats in Moscow municipal assemblies – Gudkov

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

MOSCOW. Sept 11 (Interfax) – Over 260 members of the United Democrats team, which comprised members of the Yabloko, Parnas parties, the Communist Party of Russia and independent candidates, were elected municipal deputies in Moscow according to the results of the September 10 election, the organizer of the coalition, opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov said. “According to the latest data, we […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “Russia’s surveillance state is giving us a false sense of security The Russian state’s mass expansion of surveillance online and offline is not making citizens any safer.” – OpenDemocracyNet – Damir Gainutdinov

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

“… Human rights defenders moving around the country regularly encounter increased attention from law enforcement agencies — they are detained, searched and questioned about why they’re travelling ….”

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “You’ve Lost Control Again; Black Lists and Total Monitoring: Agora’s New Report on the Surveillance of Russians; A person’s life is utterly transparent to the secret services” – The Russian Reader/ Republic.ru/ Damir Gainutdinov

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

“The Agora International Human Rights Group has released a report entitled ‘Russia under Surveillance 2017: How the Authorities Are Setting Up a Total System for Monitoring Citizens.’ …. The Russian state has been harvesting an unprecedented amount of information about its citizens …. It maintains a system of black lists … and has been engaged in a relentless assault on internet […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

Former Chess Champion Kasparov Set For Onetime Return From Retirement

Chess Pieces File Photo

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – August 14, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/chess-kasparov-russia-us-croatia-putin/28674990.html) Former world chess champion and Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov is briefly coming out of retirement after 12 years. Kasparov, who dominated professional chess from 1985 to 2000, will compete in the Rapid and Blitz competition at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

Dissent in Russia: a festival of disobedience? What kind of freedom do the latest wave of protesters want? Has a new kind of Russian emerged since the collapse of the USSR? The conclusion of our interview with one of Russia’s leading sociologists, Lev Gudkov.

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

(opendemocracy.net – August 10, 2017) Lev Gudkov is a Russian sociologist, director of the analytical Levada Center and editor-in-chief of the journal The Russian Public Opinion Herald. He is the author of numerous books and articles on sociology and inter-ethnic relations in Russia For the last 28 years, The Levada Center has been one of Russia’s most important surveyors of […]

» Read more
1 2 3 10