Protests, Political Pressure on Media Behind Rise of ‘New Russian Journalists’

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 8, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/01/window-on-eurasia-protests-political.html) The rise of a new generation of independent journalists in Russia who use technology to report directly to their audience and who are not shy about declaring their interest in promoting civil society is an entirely natural response to the increasing government restrictions on the official media […]

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NEWSLINK: Speak up: Moscow introduces ‘Hyde Parks’ for public gatherings

Gorky Park file photo

(Speak up: Moscow introduces ‘Hyde Parks’ for public gatherings – January 7, 2013) Pro-Kremlin Russia Today reports that areas are being designated at two Moscow parks for demonstrations, requiring advance notification to authorities. Click here for full article: http://rt.com/politics/moscow-demonstration-special-parks-484/

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NEWSLINK: In Ex-Soviet States, Russian Spy Tech Still Watches You

FSB Headquarters Building file photo

[In Ex-Soviet States, Russian Spy Tech Still Watches You – wired.com – Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan – December 21, 2012 – http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/12/russias-hand/all/] Wired.com reports on Russian security services spying on citizens, with the Russian legal system deeming citizen activities such as opposition protests to be extremist and a justification for surveillance: On November 12, the Russian Supreme Court okayed […]

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Poor State of Housing Services Could Be Next Rallying Point

File Photo of Water Facet with Drop of Water Coming Out

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – December 27, 2012) Calls for honest elections and President Vladimir Putin’s removal might attract the urban middle class to rallies, but it is rusty pipes and the poor state of the utilities sector that might persuade thousands of disgruntled citizens of all classes to march in the streets. The possibility that higher […]

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Moscow Students Invoke Putin for Protection in Rare Strike

MOSCOW, December 26 (Alexey Eremenko, RIA Novosti) ­ Moscow students on strike to protest the merger of their college plastered the premises with portraits of President Vladimir Putin in an attempt to repel possible police attacks, a strike organizer said on Wednesday. “Riot police are known to crack down on protesters who do not represent a threat, we hope this […]

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Putin: Protesters should not be sent to prison

Moscow Protest file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com –  David Burghardt – December 20, 2012) Russian President Vladimir Putin said he does not believe that those who participate in mass protests should be sent to prison, but added that anyone who resists police authority should be punished. “I don’t think that participation in a mass protest, even if it was held in breach of […]

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Russian Opposition Leaders Attend Student Protest

Sergei Udaltsov file photo

MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) – Leading opposition figures joined students protesting against the inclusion of their university on Russia’s notorious “list of inefficient colleges” on Tuesday evening. Leftist opposition figure Sergei Udaltsov and two State Duma lawmakers from the A Just Russia party, Ilya Ponomaryov and Dmitry Gudkov, visited students, who began their sit-in in a lecture hall of […]

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Try being constructive: When protesters on municipal councils ‘get in the way’ of democracy

Map of Russia

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – Anna Arutunyan is the politics editor of The Moscow News – Dec. 17, 2012) I should say something about the latest anti-government protest ­ how about 2,000 people showed up to the first white-ribbon demonstration that failed to get City Hall authorization, but… snore. The rallies have disintegrated into a mere tribute […]

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Russian Pundits Blame Lack Of Clear Agenda For Wane In Protest Movement

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

(RIA Novosti – Dec. 17, 2012) The decision of the Russian opposition Coordination Council to hold off on mass rallies until spring 2013 is a sensible one in view of the wane in protest activity, political analysts told state-owned news agency RIA Novosti on 17 December. Meanwhile, the managing director of the independent Levada Centre pollster, Lev Gudkov, predicted a […]

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Soul-Searching Starts After Puny Rally

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – Dec. 17, 2012) Hundreds of protesters braved subfreezing temperatures and the threat of detention on Saturday to voice a wide range of grievances against President Vladimir Putin’s government in the first major demonstration to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the street protest movement. But the event was the smallest major demonstration since […]

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Georgian Organized Clashes, Investigators Say

Map of Russia and European Region of Former Soviet Union or Commonwealth of Independent States

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle and Alec Luhn – Dec. 14, 2012) On the eve of the next major anti-government protest, investigators announced that they had evidence that a Georgian politician helped organize violent clashes at a May 6 protest in Moscow. Givi Targamadze, a close ally of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, “managed” opposition leaders responsible for the […]

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Opposition protests change nothing in Russia – poll

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

(Interfax – Dec. 13, 2012) Mass protests in Russia, such as For Fair Elections, March of Millions and others that have taken place in the country since the end of 2011, are now supported by 40 per cent of Russians. As many people (41 per cent) are against them and others could not say (19 per cent ), Russian Interfax […]

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Russia’s Protests: Government Tactics Got Tougher with Time

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

MOSCOW, December 10 (RIA Novosti, Alexandra Odynova) ­ Amid last year’s large-scale opposition protests in Moscow, Russian leader Vladimir Putin jokingly compared himself to the powerful python Kaa from Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.” Since then, Kremlin critics have certainly felt a squeeze, with authorities employing anti-opposition tactics that have ranged from counter-rallies and media campaigns to tough new legislation […]

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Protest movement comes to naught – VTsIOM head

Moscow Protest file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 9 (Interfax) – Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) General Director Valery Fyodorov claims that protest movement has broken down in Russia and the political situation has stabilized. “The election campaign ended several months ago. Protest movement experienced a crisis and actual breakdown against the backdrop of de-politicization of the society. Everyone can see its signs: preparedness to […]

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Russians Tired of Rallies But Not Politics – Analysis

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

MOSCOW, December 7 (Alexey Eremenko, RIA Novosti) ­ One year ago, large-scale street protests in Moscow seemed to overturn the indifference toward politics that had dominated the Russian public consciousness for much of the 2000s. Today, sociologists say, people’s willingness to hit the streets has waned considerably, with many voters skeptical both of the Kremlin and the opposition. But the […]

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Experts sum up results of protest year at Interfax press conference

Moscow Protest file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) – Politicians and experts, who attended the presentation of a research study of the Civil Society Development Fund at Interfax on Thursday, made interesting or even paradoxical comments on the protest movement in Russia that marked its first jubilee. The “white ribbon” movement saved Russia from a social outburst, political expert Leonid Polyakov told the press […]

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Former protesters ready to support Putin under certain conditions – VTsIOM

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) – The majority of people who attended protests staged by the Russian opposition said they would be ready to support President Vladimir Putin at elections if he agreed to implement some reforms, the director of the All Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies (VTsIOM), Valery Fyodorov, said. The center’s sociologists drew these conclusions after interviewing those […]

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Russia Riot Prison Dubbed ‘Hell’ by Kremlin Rights Council

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW, December 6 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti) ­ A prison in Russia’s Urals region where inmates rioted last month against alleged abuse and extortion was compared to a “concentration camp” on Thursday by a member of the Kremlin’s human rights council. “We saw a splendid park and a beautiful church, marble ­ but behind the facade there was hell,” Maxim […]

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Protest movement losing steam in Russia due to disappointment in its leaders – expert Kostin

Moscow Protest file photo

(Interfax – Dec. 6, 2012) The protest movement in Russia is losing steam, Civil Society Development Fund head Konstantin Kostin said in a presentation of his report at Interfax on Thursday. “Protests were escalating from December 2011 through February 2012 and then started to subdue,” he said. Kostin put the blame on internal problems of the protest movement. “People are […]

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After Year of Protests, Activists Founding Political Parties

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscow.times.com – Alexander Bratersky – Dec. 6, 2012) Activists who took part in large-scale protests against the Kremlin over the last year are putting their hopes in new political parties that could be used as a platform for opposition leaders like Alexei Navalny. With public enthusiasm for protests seeming to have waned after a year of mass […]

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Russia’s top law officer defends prosecutions aiming to rout ‘destructive forces’

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 4 (Interfax) – Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has argued that current criminal action against people featured in the documentary film “Anatomy of Protest 2” is a necessary measure against “destructive forces.” “The danger is that people may have their protest sentiments manipulated by interested persons and their associations in attempts by destructive forces to use the protest […]

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NEWSLINK: After a year of protest, a different Russia beckons

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

[After a year of protest, a different Russia beckons – Washington Post – Will Englund and Kathy Lally – Dec. 5, 2012 – Click here for full article] The Washington Post covers the one-year anniversary of the large protests that broke out in Russia in December 2010: The political protests that suddenly began a year ago seemingly accomplished little concrete […]

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Russia’s Anti-Putin Opposition: One Year On

Moscow Protest file photo

MOSCOW, December 5 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti) – When thousands of Muscovites swept into the streets to protest alleged vote-rigging in favor of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party at the December 4, 2011, parliamentary polls, they revived a passion for politics not seen here for some two decades and set the scene for the greatest challenge to the ex-KGB officer’s […]

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Opposition Council Seeks Purpose

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – Dec. 5, 2012) “Who is in favor of fair courts? Seems like no one wants fair courts. How about early elections? Don’t you want early elections?” former chess champion Garry Kasparov asked the opposition Coordination Council regarding the main slogan to be used for a Dec. 15 protest march. “For now, we […]

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Year After First Protest, Future of Movement Uncertain

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  Jonathan Earle – Dec. 5, 2012) One year ago Wednesday, tens of thousands of protesters filled Chistiye Prudy, a leafy park in downtown Moscow, in a spontaneous protest against State Duma elections that they said were rigged. The participants ­ led by students and urban, middle-class professionals ­ described the event in terms of jubilation […]

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Has the Russian opposition lost its way?

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

(Ben Judah – www.opendemocracy.net – Nov. 27, 2012 – Ben Judah is the author of Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In And Out Of Love With Vladimir Putin to be published in May 2013 by Yale University Press. He is an associate fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.) From the euphoria of last winter, reality has bitten Russia’s […]

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NEWSLINK: Constitutional Court considering law on rallies

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Constitutional Court considering law on rallies – ITAR-TASS – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – November 28, 2012 – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/583381.html) ITAR-TASS reports on the Russian Constitutional Court’s review of a law on protests: Russia’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday began to consider complaints filed by parliamentarians of the State Duma and opposition leader Eduard Limonov. They oppose new rules for organizing rallies and […]

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Response to your question (re Masha Gessen) [Whether Massive Prison Protest Reported]

Map of Russia

Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 Subject: Response to your question (re Masha Gessen) From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> A response to David’s request concerning the accuracy of Masha Gessen piece “In the Penal Colony. This Being Russia, A Massive Prison Protest Isn’t Being Reported”. By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova The temperatures here in Novosibirsk are currently ranging between -20 and -30.  That allows […]

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Year-old protests hit snag: Plagued by infighting and a seeming caste system, the opposition is at a crossroads

Moscow Protest file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – November 26, 2012) Nearly a year after a modest opposition rally against an allegedly rigged parliamentary vote sparked the biggest demonstrations Russia has seen in two decades, anti- Kremlin groups are suffering from fatigue ­ and an identity crisis. “If someone knew what to do in this situation, then [President Vladimir] Putin […]

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Kashin Fired From Kommersant

File Photo of Oleg Kashin Outdoors with Boat and Water in Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – November 27, 2012) Kommersant has fired opposition-minded journalist Oleg Kashin for writing too much for other media and too little for his employer, the leading daily’s editor said Monday. “An agreement has been reached with Kashin [to terminate his employment] because he practically has not worked for Kommersant for one year,” […]

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NEWSLINK: Opposition will have its protest march on December 15

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

[Opposition will have its protest march on December 15 – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – ITAR-TASS – November 26, 2012 – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/581381.html] ITAR-TASS covers Russian opposition plans to hold a combined protest march in mid-December, as well as a split in alleged opposition goals: The opposition’s second meeting of the Coordinating Council managed to agree on a date of a new […]

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Analyst: Time of street protests gone in Russia

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

(Interfax – November 22, 2012) MOSCOW – The street protests that erupted in December 2011 had tapped their potential by the beginning of the autumn, said Civil Society Development Foundation Chairman Konstantin Kostin. “The story that started back in December ended in September 2012. I think the reason is obvious. The motives that encouraged people to fill the streets in […]

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Moscow Bans ‘Political Repression’ Protest – ‘No Such Thing’

Moscow Protest file photo

MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) – The Moscow authorities have refused to grant permission for an opposition rally against “political repression” that was to be held later this week on that grounds that there is no such thing in Russia. “The current law does not provide any measures used by the state for repression based on political motives,” according to […]

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Few Russians know about and believe in opposition Coordination Council – poll

Moscow Protest file photo

(Interfax – November 8, 2012) Only 5 per cent of people surveyed by Russian pollster FOM consider themselves to be properly informed about the opposition Coordination Council (CC), Interfax news agency reported on 8 November, citing the latest survey data. Another 19 per cent of the 1,500 respondents from 43 Russian regions said they had “heard something” about the Council […]

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Anti-Putin Protest Movement ‘Gaining Influence’ ­- Valdai Index

Moscow Protest file photo

MOSCOW, November 8 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia’s extra-parliamentary opposition has grown in influence since last year, according to almost 70 percent of political analysts who contributed to the Valdai Development Index published on Thursday. The Russia Development Index (Valdai Index) is an analytical initiative which grew out of the Valdai Discussion Club, and which seeks to harness the opinions of […]

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Vedomosti Misrepresented Survey Results in Recent Article [Re: Protests]

Moscow Protest file photo

From: “William Dunkerley” <wd@publishinghelp.com> Subject: Vedomosti Misrepresented Survey Results in Recent Article Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2012 Vedomosti Misrepresented Survey Results in Recent Article By William Dunkerley William Dunkerley is a media business analyst and consultant specializing in Russia and the former Soviet Union. An October 30, 2012 Vedomosti article titled “No Pathologies in Anatomy: Russians disbelieve that protesters meant […]

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Inquiry Begins Into Razvozzhayev’s Abduction – Human Rights Activists

Leonid Razvozzhayev file photo with hand to ear, as if holding cellphone

MOSCOW. Oct 31 (Interfax) – An inquiry into the abduction of Russian opposition figure Leonid Razvozzhayev in Ukraine has begun, Moscow Public Oversight Commission head and Moscow Helsinki Group member Valery Borshchev said. Commission members again visited Razvozzhayev at the Lefortovo detention facility on Wednesday. “A detective has been assigned to investigate the abduction. Razvozzhayev has met with him,” Borshchev […]

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NEWSLINK: Prospect of show trial stirs some Russians’ memories of Stalinism; Some Russian activists are drawing parallels between a potential ‘mega-trial’ for leftist leader Sergei Udaltsov and Stalin’s show trials in the 1930s. But the comparison remains controversial.

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Prospect of show trial stirs some Russians’ memories of Stalinism; Some Russian activists are drawing parallels between a potential ‘mega-trial’ for leftist leader Sergei Udaltsov and Stalin’s show trials in the 1930s. But the comparison remains controversial. – Christian Science Monitor – By Fred Weir – October 30, 2012 – http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2012/1030/Prospect-of-show-trial-stirs-some-Russians-memories-of-Stalinism) The Christian Science Monitor reports on concerns by some onlookers […]

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New Coordination Council Weighs Rally and Magnitsky

Moscow Protest file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  October 29, 2012) Members of the opposition’s newly elected Coordination Council agreed at their first meeting over the weekend to stage their next rally in December and press the U.S. to expand its Magnitsky list of banned Russian officials. The opposition group, which met at a restaurant in central Moscow on Saturday, is tasked with […]

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Report Shows Plunging Support for Putin -­ and Protest Leaders

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – October 25, 2012) Russians view the ruling elite as aggressive and predatory and believe that revolution is one of the only realistic ways to change the government, according to a report released Wednesday by an influential think tank. The report, ordered by the Committee of Civic Initiatives, a group of political and […]

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Udaltsov Calls for Pickets Over Aide’s Detention

Sergei Udaltsov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 18, 2012) Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, who investigators suspect of plotting mass riots on Russian soil, called on supporters to picket law enforcement agencies on Thursday in support of his assistant charged in the same case. “We must struggle to free Lebedev,” Udaltsov told Interfax on Thursday, referring to his aide Konstantin Lebedev, […]

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Pussy Riot and the party line: Why was Samutsevich set free? The answer is simpler than you think

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(Moscow News –  themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – October 15, 2012) Sometimes, the best indication of what’s going on in Russian politics ­ and Pussy Riot is clearly a case of Russian politics ­ comes from simply reading the official line. Forget the experts and the oppositionists, just turn on the TV, curb your instinctive vitriol, and try to take […]

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Q&A: Navalny’s Fundraiser Sees the Power of the Crowd

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – October 12, 2012) Vladimir Ashurkov Education 1989-1993 ­ Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology 1994-1996 ­ Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Work Experience 1993-1994 ­ PepsiCo Holding, financial analyst 1997-1999 ­ Renaissance Capital, investment banking department 1999-2001 ­ Saint Petersburg Sea Port, financial director 2001-2003 ­National Container Co., president 2003-2004 ­TransCare logistics […]

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Russian Protest Leader Quizzed Over Coup Claims

Sergei Udaltsov file photo

MOSCOW, October 11 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti)-Russian protest leader Sergei Udaltsov was questioned by investigators on Thursday in connection with allegations aired on federal TV that he had conspired to launch a violent revolution. State-run NTV broadcast last week what it said was secretly-filmed footage of Left Front leader Udaltsov meeting Georgian politician Givi Targamadze to discuss plans to seize […]

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Samutsevich was freed because she didn’t have time to shout in church – judge

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

MOSCOW. Oct 11 (Interfax) – The Moscow City Court has evaluated the degree of every Pussy Riot member’s participation in the stunt in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The court found that Yekaterina Samutsevich did not shout in the cathedral and she was freed. “Samutsevich, like the others, put on a cap, took out her guitar, got into a […]

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New NTV Documentaries Likely to Cause a Stir

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – October 4, 2012 State-controlled NTV television is scheduled to air two new politically themed documentaries this weekend ­ an opposition expose on Friday and a feature about the day-to-day life of President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, his 60th birthday. The channel has a history of producing controversial documentaries about Kremlin foes ­ […]

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Sobchak to Get Her Money Back

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  September 28, 2012 Federal investigators will return the almost $2 million in cash they seized from the apartment of it-girl-turned-political activist Ksenia Sobchak in June, the Investigative Committee said late Thursday. “Checks conducted by investigators revealed no tax evasion by Sobchak,” the Investigative Committee said in a statement posted on its website. The money will […]

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Protest sentiment abating over restructuring in civil society

Moscow Protest file photo

(Interfax – September 24, 2012) Restructuring in civil society and in the protest movement may give birth to fresh and serious ideas, said Russia’s ex-Finance Minister and Civil Initiative Committee chairman Alexei Kudrin. “One shouldn’t fear abatement in the [protest] sentiment. I think we are witnessing a restructuring in civil society, including the protest movement, which may give rise to […]

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Next Mass Protest Postponed Until December – Russian Opposition Activist

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

(Interfax – Moscow, 19 September): The opposition organizing committee has postponed the next March of Millions event from 20 October until early December, Left Front leader Sergey Udaltsov has said. “The opposition organizing committee decided today to hold the next March of Millions in early December, the (first) anniversary of the start of mass protest,” Udaltsov told Interfax on Wednesday […]

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Opposition Calls for More Rage in Fight With Kremlin

Moscow Protest file photo

Moscow Times –  September 17, 2012 – by Jonathan Earle Sending a signal of defiance to President Vladimir Putin, an eclectic crowd of tens of thousands marched peacefully through central Moscow over the weekend, although their numbers appeared smaller than at previous protests. While opposition leaders trumpeted the protest as the largest yet ­ more than 100,000 turned out, they […]

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