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Tag Archive for Opposition

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

Interfax: Russians recognize need for political opposition but don’t believe in it coming to power – poll

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

(Interfax – November 7, 2013) In the last eight years the opinion of Russians about the place and role of the opposition in the world today has changed, studies of VTsIOM public opinion center indicate. The share of Russians believing that the objective of opposition forces is to work out their own course and come

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Russian opposition abandons street protests

Moscow Protest file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – October 30, 2013) The protest movement in Russia is dwindling and growing old. The march in support of political convicts, which took place in Moscow on Oct. 27, gathered 5,000­7,000 people ­ a remarkable setback compared to what happened a year ago. Experts note

RIA Novosti: Russia to Consider Letting Ex-Convicts Run for Office

Russian Duma Building

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian lawmakers will consider letting people who have been convicted for serious crimes run in elections, on the condition that voters are told about their criminal records. “As it turns out, people’s rights are affected, even though they’ve already been punished,” state lawmaker Sergei Ivanov of the nationalist LDPR

Russians differ on whether Russia has opposition – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Forty percent of the respondents surveyed by the Public Opinion Foundation believe Russia has political opposition, 30% believe it does not, and the others were undecided. The poll was conducted in 43 regions of Russia in mid October. It surveys 1,500 respondents. Only 4% of those who believe Russia has

Sobyanin and Putin ‘Talked Over’ Navalny Election Participation

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 21, 2013) Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said that he conferred with President Vladimir Putin about the decision to allow opposition leader Alexei Navalny to participate in the mayoral election on Sept. 8, confirming widespread speculations at the time. Putin and First Deputy Chief of Staff Vyacheslav

Prisoners of the psyche: Forced psychiatry in today’s Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – October 16, 2013) A court last week ordered activist Mikhail Kosenko to undergo compulsory psychiatric treatment for attacking a riot police officer during the May 6, 2012 protest rally on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration. The ruling sparked concerns among rights activists that Soviet-era punitive psychiatry,

Interfax: Russian politicians welcome Navalnyy news but Zhirinovskiy wants him banged up

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Interfax – October 16, 2013) Russian party leaders have for the most part welcomed the commutation of opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner Aleksey Navalnyy’s sentence to a suspended one, on appeal, on 16 October. In reaction sampled by the Russian news agency Interfax, Vladimir Zhirinovskiy, of the nationalist Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), stood out,

Interfax: Navalny says appellate court will not acquit him of Kirovles embezzlement charges

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 15, 2013) Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny has said he does not expect the Kirov Regional Court to acquit him as it hears an appeal contesting Navalny’s embezzlement conviction on October 16. “I will be given a real or a suspended prison sentence, but I will not be acquitted,” he told

Current History October Issue; Can Putin Keep His Grip on Power?

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 Subject: Re: Current History’s October issue From: Joshua Lustig [Managing Editor] <JoshuaLustig@currenthistory.com> Current History’s October 2013 issue, devoted to Russia and Eurasia, is available at www.currenthistory.com, in print, and via Kindle. It includes the following essays: Can Putin Keep His Grip on Power? by Daniel Treisman Moscow’s Soft Power Strategy,

Navalny

Alexei Navalny file photo

From: “Michael Herzen” <mikeh@4herzen.net> Subject: Navalny Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 Re: JRL #145 of August 9, items 24 and 25: “ALEKSEI NAVALNY ­ AN EXAMINATION OF HIS TRIAL AND CONVICTION”, By Alexander Mercouris Surprised and dismayed that no one has commented on this “examination”, I will have to do so myself, though I am

United Russia Lawmaker Backs Amnesty for Bolotnoye Suspects

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – September 25, 2013) A key United Russia lawmaker said Tuesday that he supported granting amnesty to suspects in the high-profile Bolotnoye case, echoing recent comments by President Vladimir Putin. Speculation about a possible amnesty for suspects in the case has grown since Putin said at the Valdai

Navalny and the Moscow Mayoral Election – new issue of Russian Analytical Digest

Alexei Navalny file photo

Subject: No. 136: Navalny and the Moscow Mayoral Election Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 From: “Russian Analytical Digest (RAD)” <newslist@isn.ch> RUSSIAN ANALYTICAL DIGEST Newsletter 16 September 2013/No. 136 NAVALNY AND THE MOSCOW MAYORAL ELECTION To download this issue please click here: http://www.css.ethz.ch/policy_consultancy/products_INT/DetailansichtPubDB_EN?rec_id=2712 Analyses Navalny’s Campaign to be Moscow Mayor, by Robert W. Orttung, Washington Re-Setting

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