Tag Archive for Repression

‘Top 15 Russian Fears for ’15’ — a ‘Versiya’ Checklist

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 14, 2015) Russians face so many problems and have so many fears that it is often a daunting task to ensure that one is keeping track of all of them. As a guide for the perplexed, Kseniya Veretennikova provides a checklist of the “top 15 fears”

Khodorkovsky Speech Aired in St. Pete Hotel Despite Chaos

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – December 8, 2014) It seems St. Petersburg authorities on Sunday did not want a Holiday Inn conference room to show a speech by one of President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent and vocal critics: Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The conference area was searched for drugs, police attempted to evacuate the

Moscow Ready to Use Internal Troops against Any Maidan-Like Activity in Russia, Interior Minister Says

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 29, 2014) In words that are clearly intended to intimidate but that may have just the opposite effect by exposing official nervousness, Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev says that Moscow is ready to use its internal troops against any Maidan-like activity in any part of the

Half of Russians Expect Repeat of Soviet-Era Repression, Poll Says

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 30, 2014) Nearly half of all Russians believe that a return to Soviet-era repression is possible within their lifetime, a poll by the state-run Public Opinion Foundation revealed Wednesday. The poll, titled “Mass Repression in the Soviet Union,” examined the public’s perceptions and interpretations of Soviet-era

Interfax: Poll: Western-style democracy won’t work for Russia

Map of Russia

(Interfax – October 28, 2014) Russians are prone to describe the Western democratic model as unviable under the Russian conditions but exhibit an interest in the life and work in Western countries, sociologists told Interfax. Fifty-five percent of 1,630 respondents polled by the Levada Center in 134 populated localities in 46 regions in September said

Can Russia Disconnect From The Internet?

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(RFE/RL – Luke Johnson – October 02, 2014) After chairing a meeting of the Russian Security Council on October 1, President Vladimir Putin insisted the Kremlin was not planning to limit access to the Internet or put it under total state control. The authorities would, however, take additional measures to increase cybersecurity and continue to shut

RIA Novosti: Putin’s spokesman rules out return of Iron Curtain

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 1, 2014) It is absurd to raise the issue of a possible closure of the Russian borders, the Russian president’s press secretary Dmitriy Peskov has said, commenting on a survey by the Levada Centre about the possibility of a return of the Iron Curtain. “The absurdity of this survey does

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

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

Five Stories From Put-Upon Small Business in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – December 18, 2013) Before Mayor Sergei Sobyanin came to power in 2010, Guram Bolkvadze, a businessman from Georgia, owned 24 kiosks at bus stops across Moscow. Then one day, he was given just a few hours to get his goods out of the shops before the bulldozers

Interfax: There is no persecution of political views in Russia, but ‘law can’t be violated with actions’ – Putin

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 21 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said that no one is imprisoning anyone for their political views in Russia, but no one allowed to take actions that break the law. “No one is grabbing anyone and no one is imprisoning anyone for ideas, for political views, and we will never allow that.

A memorial day few Russians want to remember

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Julia Reed in Moscow – November 7, 2013) “Who was killed in your family?” A man in a beret in his early 60s asked me as he joined the long queue of people. We were both attending the annual recital of the names of the victims of political repressions

The writing on the wall?

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(opendemocracy.net – Daniil Kotsyubinsky – November 5, 2013) Daniil Kotsyubinsky is a Russian historian and journalist based in St. Petersburg On Friday, a Russian news agency had its publishing licence revoked, supposedly for publishing two ‘profane’ Youtube clips. For Daniil Kotsyubinsky, however, the episode was but the latest example of a ‘summary execution’ ­ intended

Greenpeace Rebuffs Talk of Arctic Protest Conspiracy

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – November 1, 2013) In early October, Rosneft head Igor Sechin made a brief, enigmatic comment suggesting that there was more than meets the eye behind a Greenpeace protest Sept. 18 against a Gazprom oil rig in the Arctic, an action that resulted in the arrest of 30

Victims of Soviet Repressions Remembered

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 31, 2013) Events were held around the country Wednesday to commemorate the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions, which is devoted to those affected by political persecution in the Soviet Union. Hundreds of people held a rally in central St. Petersburg near the Solovetsky Stone, a

Moscow Times: Russians See Greenpeace Protest as a Foreign Plot

Polar Map of Major Rail Lines in Russia, Canada and United States, With Hypothetical Additional Route Drawn In Connecting Them Across Bering Strait

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – October 29, 2013) State pollster VTsIOM released survey results Monday regarding last month’s Greenpeace protest in the Arctic that indicate more than a third of Russians believe the protest was a foreign plot and more than two-thirds disagree with the group’s message of needing to protect the

RIA Novosti: Russian Authorities Dismiss Punk Rocker’s Jail Abuse Claim

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

MOSCOW, October 24 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian investigators will not open a criminal case into allegations by jailed feminist punk rocker Nadezhda Tolokonnikova that a prison official threatened to kill her, a spokesperson for the Investigative Committee said Thursday. “A decision has been taken not to open a criminal case because no crime was committed,”

Russian Rights Council Asks Prosecutor To Suspend Checks On NGOs

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – October 21, 2013) The Russian presidential human rights council has sent a letter to Prosecutor-General Yuriy Chayka, asking for checks on NGOs to be suspended until a complaint about the law “On foreign agents” is considered in the Constitutional Court, council head Mikhail Fedotov told state news agency RIA Novosti on 21

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,

The Revolution Of The Nerds

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RFE/RL – Brian Whitmore – October 10, 2013) The fact that a Moscow court found Mikhail Kosenko guilty of assaulting a police officer despite video evidence to the contrary didn’t exactly come as a surprise. In recent years, Russian courts have convicted Mikhail Khodorkovsky of stealing oil from himself and Aleksei Navalny of embezzling money

Kremlin Adviser Likens Greenpeace Piracy Charge to Gang Rape

Polar Map of Major Rail Lines in Russia, Canada and United States, With Hypothetical Additional Route Drawn In Connecting Them Across Bering Strait

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov & Henry Meyer – October 11, 2013) President Vladimir Putin’s human rights adviser urged prosecutors to drop piracy charges against Greenpeace activists for an Arctic protest, saying it’s as stupid as accusing them of raping the oil platform they scaled. “These charges are laughable because there isn’t the slightest

Top Clinic Denies Return to Soviet-Era Punitive Psychiatry

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – October 10, 2013) Russia’s top psychiatric institution held an open house Wednesday in an attempt to popularize its work, amid speculation about a revival of Soviet-style punitive psychiatry following the sentencing of an opposition protester to mandatory mental treatment. The Serbsky Center of Social and Judicial Psychiatry

Russian State Duma passes bill in first reading giving new grounds to inspect NGOs

Russian Duma Building

(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 9, 2013) The Russian State Duma has passed a bill in the first reading expanding grounds for unscheduled inspections of non-governmental organizations (NGO). According to the explanatory materials to the bill, it is expected to expand the list of grounds over which the Justice Ministry can hold unscheduled inspections of NGOs

Interfax: Loss of ‘sovereignty’ unacceptable price for quality of life – Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 2, 2013) Loss of national “sovereignty” is not an acceptable price for higher quality of life in Russia, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. “It’s impossible for Russia to swap sovereignty for better quality of life, because if we lose our sovereignty, we will lose the country,” Putin said at a

How the Moscow mayoral election was stolen

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG, September 12, 2013) Everyone assumes that the Kremlin cheats when it comes to elections. Did the Kremlin steal the Moscow City election for mayor on September 8 from opposition blogger Alexei Navalny? Ballot stuffing has been par for the course. It is widely accepted that the authorities

Roizman Called In for Questioning 2 Days After Mayoral Win

Yekaterinburg file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 11, 2013) Opposition politician Yevgeny Roizman, who won Sunday’s mayoral vote in Yekaterinburg, was scheduled to be questioned by investigators Tuesday as a witness in a criminal case against a former employee of his City Without Drugs foundation. Roizman, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, was one of the

Apartment Raid Leaves Navalny Supporters Baffled

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – August 15, 2013) Supporters of mayoral hopeful Alexei Navalny on Wednesday were struggling to find answers over an incident that took place Tuesday evening that saw police force their way into a central Moscow apartment to seize what they said were illegal campaign materials. In a statement

Russia’s judicial system: summertime sadness

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief – August 6, 2013) It was a bit of throwaway news last week: A young man behind the wheel of a Ferrari had struck and killed a pensioner in Moscow in early July. The young man in question, rumored to be the son of a well-known

Moscow’s killing fields: inside a Stalinist execution site

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Joy Neumeyer – August 5, 2013) Across from the sprawling Gazprom offices on Moscow’s southern fringes, there is a forest. It is quiet, full of mushrooms and dead leaves. The only people usually there are a pair of monks, who live by a church built on the property. The forest

Russia Stands before Abyss of a New Totalitarianism, Pastukhov Says

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 17, 2013) Vladimir Putin’s “restorationist policy” is rapidly leading Russia to the abyss of a new totalitarianism, one in which political repression will spread across the entire society claiming ever new victims and ultimately Putin and his entourage as well, according to Vladimir Pastukhov, one of

Gordeyeva and Russian emigrants: Brave Sir Robins?

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief – July 8, 2013) Journalist Katerina Gordeyeva’s recent Colta.ru essay, “The impossibility of an island,” has caused quite a stir among Russian intellectuals. In the essay, Gordeyeva spoke about letting go of the illusion that Russia’s progressive middle class can live on its own special island,

58 Percent of Russians Now Say Kremlin Using Repression

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 8, 2013) Ever more Russians tell pollsters the Kremlin is repressing its political opponents, a reflection of their own anger about declines in their standard of living and of their sense that the country is increasingly unstable, according to experts who nonetheless argue that these popular

Whistle-Blower’s Case Revives Concerns Of Punitive Psychiatry In Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – April 18, 2013 – Robert Coalson) The whole process took less than an hour. At 10:26 a.m. on March 18, Lyudmila Popkova was handed a piece of paper ordering her to appear before Moscow Judge Tatyana Neverova. At 11 a.m. the same day. Hustled off to court by investigators, Popkova spent

Documentary Series Shows ‘Hairs and Wrinkles’ of Opposition Leaders

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – April 8, 2013) Anti-Kremlin leader Alexei Navalny walks methodically past a crowd of protesters standing behind metal barricades on Bolotnaya Ploshchad, heading for a stage. Two baby-faced police officers step out of his way, blank expressions on their faces. “We’re with you,” a man in sunglasses says

Former ‘Provocateur’ Blames Police for Bolotnaya Clashes

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – March 22, 2013) A man professing to be a former government operative has said that police officials, including the former interior minister, were involved in organizing clashes at an opposition rally last year, allegations that members of the Kremlin human rights council say could be trustworthy. The

At Putin’s Order, FSB Now Using Social Networks to Target Opposition

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 12, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-at-putins-order-fsb.html) At the direction of President Vladimir Putin, the FSB is not only monitoring social networks but using one of their features to create problems for those opponents of the regime who use them by posting statements on their sites and then invoking

“Moscow Trials” Puts Art on Trial, Trials in Art

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – March 11, 2013) Journalist and theater director Mikhail Kaluzhsky called it a “theatrical slam.” Olga Shakina, a journalist from the Dozhd television channel, said it was a moment when “one theatrical event replaced another.” What they were discussing on Saturday on Echo Moskvy radio was a now-notorious

Russians fear aging more than repression – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Alina Lobzina – February 12, 2013) Russians have nearly lost their fear of returning to Stalinism while old age and helplessness scare them more, a recent poll showed. The number of those concerned over a new wave of Stalin-era repression, anarchy, and civil wars has shrunk by nine times and

Russian Government Now Views Internet as Main Threat to Its Position, Agora Says

File Photo Dmitry Medvedev at Desk with Laptop Computer

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 4, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/02/window-on-eurasia-russian-government.html) The growth in Internet use in the Russian Federation over the last year has meant that “for the first time, the Internet began to be considered by the Russian government as the main source of threat to its well-being and stability,” according

Police Began Violence At Protest, Panel Says

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Winning – February 4, 2013) Members of the Kremlin’s human rights council believe that police, not activists, instigated violence at a May opposition protest, a council member said Friday. “The qualification of the Bolotnaya Ploshchad protest as a mass riot was artificially thought up by the Investigative Committee. It

Russia sinks to 148th place on Press Freedom Index

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru –  Yulia Ponomareva, Combined report – February 4, 2013) Russian media fell near the bottom of the list on the 2013 Press Freedom Index. The authors of the rating, Reporters without Borders, cite President Putin’s return to power as the main catalyst in the increase of repression aimed against

Navalny says prosecution aims to bar him from elections

Alexei Navalny file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 18 (Interfax) – Opposition campaigner Alexei Navalny said his prosecution in the fraud case connected with the Kirovles logging company is part of the law enforcement services’ plan to obstruct his political activities and prevent him from running in elections. “The goal is to obstruct my political activities and to prevent my running

Investigators Open New Case Against Putin Foe

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

MOSCOW/IRKUTSK, January 18 (RIA Novosti) ­ Investigators opened a new criminal case against opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev on Friday and denied media reports of his disappearance. Investigators accuse the activist of spreading false information, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told RIA Novosti on Friday, stemming from Razvozzhayev’s continuing claims that he was tortured into confessing

‘Final’ Charges Brought against Opposition Figure Navalny

Alexei Navalny file photo

MOSCOW, January 18 (RIA Novosti) – Final charges in a grand embezzlement case have been brought against Russian opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny, the Investigative Committee said on Friday. Navalny has refused to testify, committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said, adding the investigation into the case “is nearing completion.” Navalny has been charged with “organizing embezzlement on

Russia Now Faces ‘Years of Reaction,’ Moscow Commentator Says

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 12, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/01/window-on-eurasia-russia-now-faces.html) In the absence of any deep division within the power elites ­ — and there is none evident now ­ — Vladimir Putin’s current turn to repression is completely logical from his point of view and guarantees that the Russian Federation now faces

Russia: An Oprichnik Economy

Empty Boardroom

(www.opendemocracy.net – Andrei Zaostrovtsev – January 9, 2013) Andrei Zaostrovtsev is lecturer at the M-Centre at the European University, St. Petersburg and professor of the Higher School of Economics Owning a business in Russia today is a hazardous affair: each year thousands of companies close after their owners are accused of ‘economic crimes’ and face

Opposition Activist Charged with Coup Plot Sent to Siberia

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

MOSCOW, January 9 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti) ­ A leftist activist charged with plotting to overthrow President Vladimir Putin was sent on Wednesday from the central Russia holding cell where he had spent the New Year holidays to Siberia, prison officials said. Left Front activist Leonid Razvozzhayev’s lawyer told RIA Novosti he had not been

Putin’s Start Points to Authoritarian Rule Through 2018

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Voice of America – James Brooke – December 24, 2012) MOSCOW ­ Vladimir Putin’s six months back in the Kremlin may say a lot about his next six years. In May, angry protests greeted Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin for a third term as president of Russia. On inauguration day, Putin’s motorcade swept through

Putin critic to remain under arrest until spring

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

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Alina Lobzina – Dec. 12, 2012) Investigators successfully appealed on Wednesday to prolong the detention of opposition figure Leonid Razvozzhayev for nearly four more months. The activist is accused of staging mass unrest in Moscow. The decision to allow investigators to continue work on the case until April 1 was

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

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