RUSSIALINK: “Michael Calvey Case Revisited: A Corporate Hit, a Bargaining Chip” – Kennan Institute/ Pavel Koshkin

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Pavel Koshkin – wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/michael-calvey-case-revisited-corporate-hit-bargaining-chip) Pavel Koshkin is a research fellow of the Institute of U.S. and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN) and a contributor to Forbes Russia The American investor Michael Calvey, who was detained in February in Moscow on fraud charges, is back in the news again. Calvey, who has […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Top Auditor Kudrin Blasts Corruption in Legal System” – Moscow Times

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 6, 2019) Russian economic growth is hampered by deep-seated corruption in the country’s legal system, the head of Russia’s auditing agency said Thursday. Audit Chamber head Alexei Kudrin told a St. Petersburg International Economic Forum panel that corruption in the Russian judiciary system goes back centuries, pointing to one of the classic Russian poet […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “Russia’s Democracy: What Happens After Putin?” – CFR

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

“Mikhail Khodorkovsky provides his perspective on the domestic political climate in Russia, prospects for democratic change, and the future of U.S.-Russia relations.” (Council on Foreign Relations – cfr.org – April 29, 2019 – cfr.org/event/russias-democracy-what-happens-after-putin) [Click here for transcript and original post: cfr.org/event/russias-democracy-what-happens-after-putin] “Speaker: Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Founder, Open Russia Presider: Thomas Graham, Distinguished Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Special Assistant to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Calvey to stay under house arrest till mid-summer” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. April 12 (Interfax) – The Basmanny District Court in Moscow has extended the period of house arrest of Baring Vostok investment fund founder and senior partner Michael Calvey, who is charged with fraud, until July 14, an Interfax correspondent reported from the courtroom. “The court will grant the request of investigators. The court will also extend the period of […]

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Russian Director Serebrennikov Freed From House Arrest

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – April 8, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-director-serebrennikov-freed-from-house-arrest/29867678.html) A Moscow court has ordered the release of theater director Kirill Serebrennikov and two associates from house arrest. The three are on trial in an embezzlement case they claim is politically motivated. In an April 8 ruling, the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Serebrennikov’s house arrest prolonged by another 3 months” – Interfax

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

MOSCOW. April 2 (Interfax) – The Meshchansky Court of Moscow has extended the house arrest of the Gogol Center’s artistic director Kirill Serebrennikov, who has been charged as part of the Studio Seven case, until July 3, an Interfax correspondent reported. “The court finds that the state prosecutor’s request shall be granted and rules that defendant Serebrennikov’s house arrest shall […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Bulldogs under the rug; Russia’s new purges rattle the elite; No one is immune in the Kremlin’s in-fighting” – The Economist

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

“… [Mikhail Abyzov’s] arrest has … demonstrat[ed] to the Russian political class that everyone is vulnerable, unless … personally protected by … Putin. All must live in fear. … corruption is omnipresent, the rule of law is selective and property rights are dependent on the will of the Kremlin …. [with] a pattern of growing in-fighting and repression among elite […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Dirtiest’ Race Ever Drags Ukraine Election Into Perilous Waters” – Bloomberg/ Kateryna Choursina, Yulia Surkova

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… the first of two spots in an almost certain runoff next month looks wrapped up[;] a battle for the other is raging between incumbent Petro Poroshenko and ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Accusations are flying — everything from voter payoffs to wiretaps and shady donors. There’s even a decoy candidate …. Dirty tricks aren’t unique to Ukraine. They’re a common […]

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Putin Tells Prosecutors To Protect Rights Of Business Owners

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – March 19, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-tells-prosecutors-to-protect-rights-of-business-owners/29830693.html) President Vladimir Putin has urged Russian prosecutors to protect the rights of businesspeople “with a view to improving the business climate.” Speaking to a gathering of prosecutors in Moscow on March 19, Putin said that a “more effective […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. investor jailed by Russia tells Washington to keep distance: prison monitor” – Reuters

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

“The detention … of Michael Calvey, founder of the Baring Vostok private equity group, has strained U.S.-Russia ties and stoked talk of a possible U.S. boycott of an annual economic forum in June attended by … Putin. Calvey was detained along with three other executives from Baring Vostok after investigators accused them of stealing 2.5 billion roubles ($38.09 million), a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Prosecutors must ensure proper prison conditions – Putin” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. March 19 (Interfax) – Prosecutors must step up monitoring of conditions in jails and prisons, President Vladimir Putin said. “The penal system must remain under the constant scrutiny of prosecutors,” Putin said at a meeting with senior prosecution officials on Tuesday. “Together with colleagues from the [Federal Penitentiary Service] FSIN, regional human rights commissioners and representatives from human rights […]

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Russia Risk: It’s a Feature, Not a Bug

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – February 19, 2019 – wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/russia-risk-its-feature-not-bug) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily. In a story both typical of Russian business practices and so unusual as to bring a response from Putin’s key business allies, the American investor Michael Calvey and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Calvey’s arrest sends chill through Russia’s foreign investors; U.S. founder of Moscow-based Baring Vostok was seen as savvy operator” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon, Anne-Sylvaine Chassany

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

“Kremlin officials were touting Russia’s investment opportunities at a [Sochi resort] conference … when news trickled out that one of the country’s last remaining American investors had been thrown behind bars. Michael Calvey … founder of Moscow-based private equity fund manager Baring Vostok, remained one of the last Russia bulls at a time when most of his contemporaries had left […]

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Russia’s Kudrin Calls Detention Of American Investor ‘Emergency’ For Economy

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – February 19, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-official-calls-us-investor-s-detention-emergency-for-economy-/29778434.html) A longtime former finance minister who is close to President Vladimir Putin has called the arrest of a prominent American investment-fund manager an “emergency” for the Russian economy, suggesting it could further damage the country’s image and harm the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is the arrest of US fund manager Michael Calvey a litmus test for Russia?” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

“The arrest of Michael Calvey on February 14 on ‘large-scale embezzlement’ charges sent shockwaves …. Calvey has been both a savvy investor and at pains to keep his head down. He never comments on politics and is known as a straight shooter. … What is unusual is that a court issues an arrest warrant and a leading fund manager and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Top American investor detained in Moscow” – BMB Russia/ Bear Market Brief

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Michael Calvey … was detained in Moscow … on charges of fraud. … Since founding Baring Vostok in 1994, Calvey has been one of the preeminent foreign investors in Russia. … [T]he fraud allegations may be fallout from an ownership dispute over Vostochny Bank …. a blow to Russia’s already cold investment climate. … one journalist noted, the Kremlin must […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian lawmakers amend criminal code to reduce pressure on social media activity” – bne Intellinews

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

“… the State Duma … adopted amendments to … partially decriminalise … [criminal] code[] Article 282 … widely used for … offences involving social media content. As reported by … Meduza, first-time offenders will now face … misdemeanour charges, risking a RUB20,000 fine ($287 at the current exchange rate) or a 15-day jail sentence, instead of felony charges and a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘The art of rejection’ A new report reveals the hidden mechanisms authorities use to restrict protests in Russia” – Meduza

Moscow Protest File Photo

“Article 31 of the Russian Constitution states that citizens of the Russian Federation ‘shall have the right to assemble peacefully.’ However, when protests are not approved by local authorities, those who join them can face arrest, professional consequences, and even criminal charges. The anti-corruption protests that swept Russia on March 26 and June 12, 2017, as well as the Voters’ […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin signs law partially decriminalizing Article 282 of Russian Criminal Code on extremism” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Dec 28 (Interfax) – President Vladimir Putin has signed the law adjusting Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code. The law passed in the State Duma on December 19 and approved by the Federation Council on December 21 was published on the official Internet portal of legal information on Thursday. The law initiated by the Russian president decriminalizes first-time […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Dissident Wins a Bittersweet Victory Over Putin; Europe’s rights court condemned the Kremlin’s persecution of Alexei Navalny, but the ruling could push Russia further away from the West.” – Bloomberg/Leonid Bershidsky

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

“… Russian dissident Alexei Navalny has long had a catch-and-release relationship with … Putin and his regime. … [T]he European Court for Human Rights ruled that arrests in 2012 and 2014 violated Navalny’s rights. … likely to bring Russia a step closer to breaking off its remaining ties with European institutions.  The Putin regime has been playing an unpredictable game […]

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On Second Try, Navalny Leaves Russia For European Court Ruling

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted 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 ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Nov. 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/on-second-try-navalny-leaves-russia-for-european-court-ruling/29600022.html) Opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has managed to leave Russia to attend a ruling in his case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), a day after he was barred from boarding a flight out. Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin’s most […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Over 70 administrative protocols filed against parents of minors detained at St. Petersburg rally” – Interfax

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

ST. PETERSBURG. Sept 10 (Interfax) – The police have drawn up protocols on parental neglect against parents of minors, who had been detained during an unauthorized rally against the pension reform in St. Petersburg yesterday. Several hundred of people, including 80 teenagers, were detained during the protest on Sunday, the office of the children’s rights commissioner for St. Petersburg, Svetlana […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Extreme prejudice: how the Kremlin is cracking down on discontent” – The Times (UK)/Tom Parfitt

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

“… Incitement to commit a crime by undercover officers is illegal under Russian law. Critics say the defendants have been set up as hardened plotters intent on a nationwide revolt, when in fact they were simply a small group of disgruntled, naive, young people led on by a provocateur. The trial has a wider significance. … the most prominent of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Maria Butina: Private Messages Reveal Accused Russian Spy’s True Ties to D.C. Wise Man” – Daily Beast/Betsy Woodruff

File Photo of Washington, D.C., Monuments and Environs at Twilight with Moon, Looking Across Potomac, adapted from image at nasa.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

“…. The executive director of the organization, the Center for the National Interest, insisted that its interaction with Butina was ‘very limited.’ But previously unreported emails and direct messages between Butina and officials at the Center show her relationship with the think tank’s president – former Richard Nixon adviser Dimitri Simes – was closer than previously understood ….” Click here […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin urges social media prosecutions to stay within ‘reason'” – Interfax

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(Interfax – August 14, 2018) The Kremlin has called on investigators and courts in Russia to stay within reason when prosecuting social media users for content they have posted online. “Of course, it is impossible to use general phrases here as each case is unique and needs a separate investigation … But, of course we know that there have been […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia to play minor role, if any, in Paul Manafort trial” – AP

File Photo of Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, Va., adapted from image at uscourts.gov by Steven C. Welsh, www.stevencwelsh.com :: ww.stevencwelsh.info

“The trial of President Donald Trump’s onetime campaign chairman will open … with tales of lavish spending, secret shell companies and millions of dollars of Ukrainian money flowing through offshore bank accounts and into the political consultant’s pocket. What’s likely to be missing: answers about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election, or really […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Pardon request sent by Sentsov’s mother to Putin to be processed as soon as it is received – Peskov” – Interfax

Oleg Sentsov file photo, adapated from image at csce.gov

MOSCOW. July 13 (Interfax) – The request for pardoning Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, which has been sent by Sentsov’s mother to Russian President Vladimir Putin, will be processed as soon as it is received by the Kremlin, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told the press on Friday. “Let us wait until it is received. Of course, it will be processed […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Provision on criminal liability for complying with Western sanctions on Russian territory may be removed from bill – Volodin” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. July 10 (Interfax) – Russian MPs may remove the provision criminalizing compliance with Western anti-Russian sanctions in the country from a draft bill that is currently under consideration in the lower house of the Russian parliament, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin said. “Everyone, including the business community, experts and deputies, have reached consensus on the second part of the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Savchenko kept in individual cell, has ceased hunger strike” – UNIAN (Kyiv)

Nadiya Savchenko file photo, adapted from image at osce.usmission.gov

“Tetiana Protorchenko, the press secretary of Ukrainian Member of Parliament Nadiia Savchenko, who has been arrested on charges of plotting a coup, has said the lawmaker is kept in a single confinement cell of a detention center. ‘Nadiia is in an individual cell, she takes a shower once a week. She ceased her hunger strike two weeks ago for taking […]

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Putin Advisers Question Legality Of Prosecution Of Jehovah’s Witnesses

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – June 21, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-calls-us-senator-mccain-old-world-but-admires-his-patriotism/28537171.html) Advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin have questioned the legality of criminal cases opened against members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, saying law enforcement is misinterpreting a ruling last year by jailing people for collective bible reading and praying. “It cannot but be […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Public outcry can’t influence court ruling in Oleh Sentsov’s case – Peskov” – Interfax

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. June 19 (Interfax) – The public outcry cannot influence the sentence of Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who has been convicted in Russia, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “The public outcry cannot in any way influence the ruling of a Russian Federation court that has already entered into force. These are totally different dimensions,” Peskov said following […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “An outrageous penalty; As the World Cup begins, Russia should free Oleg Sentsov; A film-maker locked up for protesting against the annexation of Crimea is on hunger strike” – The Economist Editorial

Oleg Sentsov file photo, adapated from image at csce.gov

“… Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director serving a 20-year sentence … in Siberia. … was jailed for protesting against … Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the war Russia’s president unleashed in eastern Ukraine …. Sentsov started a hunger strike demanding the release of all 64 Ukrainian political prisoners from Russian jails. The … World Cup … June 14th […]

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NEWSLINK: “A political prisoner in Russia is starving. The world should take notice” – Washington Post Editorial

Oleg Sentsov file photo, adapated from image at csce.gov

“Four years after Russia invaded and illegally annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine … a courageous activist and filmmaker named Oleg Sentsov … imprisoned in a Siberian penal colony above the Arctic Circle, embarked on a hunger strike to demand the release of 64 Ukrainian political prisoners held by Russia … his health has seriously deteriorated … he has lost […]

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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.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: “Russian govt proposes barring foreign-agent NGOs from anti-corruption examinations – bill” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. May 29 (Interfax) – The Russian government has proposed a number of measures to bar foreign-agent NGOs and certain categories of Russian citizens from participating in anti-corruption examinations; a relevant bill was submitted to the State Duma on Tuesday. The bill, which has been published in the State Duma’s database, “would prohibit citizens with outstanding or unexpunged convictions or […]

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RUSSIALINK: “State Duma ready to heed opinion of businessmen opposed to penalizing compliance with U.S. sanctions in Russia – MP Zhukov” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. May 25 (Interfax) – The Russian State Duma stands ready to heed the opinion of the business community that has voiced opposition to a bill that would make it a crime to comply with Western sanctions in Russian territory, the lower chamber’s First Deputy Chairman Alexander Zhukov said. “Yes, they have objections, especially as far as the first […]

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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.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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RUSSIALINK: “Kara-Murza Jr. to face criminal liability if Duma adopts law on punishment for sanctions – Isayev” – Interfax

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW. May 16 (Interfax) – Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., deputy chairman of the movement Open Russia, may fall under the bill criminalizing actions leading to the introduction of foreign sanctions against Russia if the bill is adopted, Andrei Isayev, first deputy chairman of the United Russia faction, said. “Among the people I know who are doing it is Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., […]

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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 […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Don’t ‘overdo’ it online, if you fear the fuzz; A linguist explains the messy science that fuels Russia’s anti-extremism policing” – Meduza

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

“The number of ‘extremist’ crimes committed in Russia has been growing for the past several years. According to the ‘Sova’ analytical center, police launched 563 extremism investigations in 2016 and 858 new cases in 2017. Most of the suspects in these investigations are ordinary Internet users who have expressed their political views on social media. Dozens of these people have […]

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NEWSLINK: “Autumn of the Oligarchs; Vladimir Putin’s Billionaire Buddies Are Getting Scared, and Not Just of Sanctions” – The Daily Beast/Amy Knight

Kremlin and River

“Some of the oligarchs now face major U.S. sanctions, while others are getting arrested on the Kremlin’s orders. Is Putin’s circle of the shameless rich beginning to crumble?”  

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NEWSWATCH: “Is it a crime to worship God? According to Russia, yes.” – Washington Post

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

“… Dennis Christensen … of Denmark, has been held [in Russia] in pretrial detention for 11 months … about to be tried on charges of organizing … activities of an ‘extremist organization,’ the Jehovah’s Witnesses. … [potentially] fac[ing] 10 years in prison. … the Russian Supreme Court declared the group ‘extremist’ and banned it from operating [in Russia]; there were […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Billionaire Arrest Jolts Stocks, Fuels Cabinet Shake-Up Speculation” – Bloomberg/Ksenia Galouchko, Ilya Arkhipov, Stepan Kravchenko

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

“The arrest of one of Russia’s best-connected billionaires on charges of fraud and embezzlement knocked shares in his companies lower and fueled speculation it could be the harbinger of a shake-up in the cabinet …. [Dagestani-born] Ziyavudin Magomedov was arrested … with his brother … as he prepared to fly to the U.S. … he denied the charges but was […]

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Interfax: Russian Constitutional Court restricts use of house arrest

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. March 24 (Interfax) – House arrest cannot be used in charges that do not envisage imprisonment and deviation from this rule is only possible in a situation when the person has already breached a preventive measure before, the Russian Constitutional Court has ruled. The decision was posted on the court website on Friday. The claim was filed with […]

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What does the flight of a controversial news editor tell us about press freedom in Ukraine? After the editor-in-chief of a controversial (and anonymously funded) website flees for Vienna, there are questions to answer – both for Ukraine’s authorities and the editor.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Brian Milakovsky – March 8, 2018) Brian Milakovsky lives in eastern Ukraine where he works on post-conflict economic recovery. He has worked on ecological and humanitarian issues in Ukraine and Russia since 2009. Kyiv is abuzz with the news that the editor-in-chief of several popular and controversial media outlets has fled Ukraine and asked for political asylum in […]

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Belykh case reveals flaw of Russian law enforcement: lack of mercy for the ill – Kudrin

Nikita Belykh file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 2 (Interfax) – The case of Nikita Belykh, the former governor of the Kirov region, who has been sentenced to eight years in jail, is a manifestation of the absence of mercy for sick people, Russia’s former finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, said. “Among other things, the Belykh case revealed the most anti-humane flaw of our law enforcement system: […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin Toughens Penalty for Bomb Threats Plaguing Russia” – AP

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

“… Putin has signed a law doubling the penalty for false reports of impending explosions or fire to a possible 10 years in prison. … Since September, authorities have received false bomb reports allegedly targeting more than 3000 structures in about 180 Russian cities. The subsequent building evacuations have sometimes caused severe traffic problems. A top Interior Ministry official said […]

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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.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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NEWSLINK: “Putin’s Russia Keeps Getting More Dangerous; The Ulyukaev verdict shows that personal loyalty to Putin cannot protect an official in the event of a conflict with those who are part of Putin’s inner circle” – The National Interest/ Sergey Aleksashenko

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo » Read more

Top Russian official ‘unaware’ of plans for new ‘foreign agent’ law

Kremlin and River

(Interfax – October 18, 2017) The first deputy head of Russia’s presidential administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, has said he is unaware of any forthcoming Russian legislation which would designate individuals with the status of “foreign agents”. “I don’t know anything about this,” Kiriyenko said on 18 October when asked about the matter. Media reports on 9 October, citing a source, said: […]

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