Prosecutors should continue paying more attention to protecting fair business from pressure, unjustified checks – Putin

File Photo of Cash Register with Drawer Open and Hands of Cashier

MOSCOW. Jan 11 (Interfax) – Fair business must be reliably protected by the state, including from unjustified checks, prosecutors must continue work in this direction, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Fair, honest, transparent business must be reliably protected by the state, including from unjustified checks and other pressure,” he said at a meeting on the occasion of the 295th anniversary […]

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Russia may take asymmetric measures against U.S. in response to ‘Magnitsky list’ expansion – Russian MP Slutsky

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) – Moscow may asymmetrically react to Washington’s decision to expand the ‘Magnitsky list’ – similarly to Russia’s response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United States, Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky said. “I would like to remind you that Russia has a law on measures of response to the Magnitsky […]

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Vladimir Putin Is His Economy’s Worst Enemy

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – July 27, 2016 – Editorial) Russian President Vladimir Putin urgently needs to revive his country’s economy. His greatest obstacle will be himself. While Americans argue about the extent of Russia’s intervention in the U.S. presidential election, Putin is battling a recession at home. To that end, he has recently focused on the ruble’s exchange rate: A […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Former U.S. diplomat criticizes Canada’s ‘weakness’ on Russia” [Michael McFaul] – The Globe and Mail (Canada)

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

… Obama’s former ambassador to Russia says Canada is showing a ‘sign of weakness’ by not pushing ahead with a promised U.S.-style Magnitsky Act that would punish Russians deemed to be human-rights violators with visa bans and asset freezes. … McFaul, who served as the U.S. envoy to Moscow from 2012 to 2014 and before that was … Obama’s special […]

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The Monster Under The Kremlin

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – May 19, 2016) At first glance, the massive shoot-out at Moscow’s Khovanskoye Cemetery this past weekend seemed pretty retro. What, after all, reminds us more of the 1990s than rival Russian gangs staging a deadly brawl in a turf war over control of the lucrative burial business? What is more reminiscent of the […]

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Law Guaranteeing Phone Call After Arrest Comes Into Force in Russia

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 11, 2016) A law outlining the right of a detainee to make a phone call no later than three hours after being arrested has come into force in Russia, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta state-owned newspaper reported Sunday. “A suspect as soon as possible, but not later than three hours after he [or she] was arrested, […]

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Foreign Investors Complain About Russia’s Unpredictable Laws

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – October 20, 2015) Unpredictable lawmaking is undermining Russia’s ability to attract foreign investors, the Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC) – a group of the biggest foreign companies working in Russia – told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday. A report by financial services group and FIAC member EY (Ernst & Young) into […]

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Khodorkovsky Calls for Civil Disobedience against Unjust Laws and Putin’s Unjust System

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 27, 2015) Mikhail Khodorkovsky says that Russian citizens are fully entitled not to observe unjust laws imposed not to promote justice but to protect the power of Vladimir Putin, a potentially dramatic development in the relationship between the Russian opposition, the Russian people, and the Kremlin. In a blog post on […]

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Putin’s ‘New People’ are the Black Hundreds of Today, Golts Says

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

(Paul Goble – Windows on Eurasia – Staunton, August 22, 2015) Vladimir Putin’s “new people,” the lumpen who are prepared to take the law into their own hands in the name of advancing the goals of the Kremlin leader that they think are being undermined by the bureaucracy and oligarchs, are the exact equivalent of the Black Hundreds that carried […]

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Rights activists to work for judicial, penitentiary system reform in 2014 – Moscow Helsinki Group chair

Lyudmila Alekseyeva file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 4 (Interfax) – Russian human rights activists will give priority to reforms of the judicial and penitentiary systems in 2014, Moscow Helsinki Group Chair Lyudmila Alexeyeva told Interfax. “The absence of independent courts is our main problem. Another problem on which we need to work in 2014 is the situation in the penitentiary system,” she said. “The improvement […]

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Why do Russians ignore laws?

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Pravda.ru – Nadezhda Alexeeva – December 25, 2013) Do the Russians know the laws? Are they able to defend their rights in court? Are they aware of their constitutional rights? It seems that the level of legal culture in Russia is not particularly high, and even the officials do not read the Constitution. What is behind this legal nihilism, and […]

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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 lingers that at least some […]

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Interfax: Amnesty declared not resolving issue of disproportionate charges in Russia – human rights activists

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) – The amnesty declared by the State Duma on Wednesday does not resolve one of the main issues in the Russian justice system, the Human Rights Watch international human rights organization said. “The amnesty will allow the release of a number of citizens and this is good. This is better than nothing but the amnesty does […]

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RIA Novosti: Two Russian Courts Denounce Kremlin’s Legal Reform Plan

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW, December 3 (RIA Novosti) ­ Two top Russian courts have criticized a proposed reform of the legal system spearheaded by the Kremlin, arguing that some of the provisions are unconstitutional, a newspaper reported Tuesday. The Supreme Court and the Supreme Arbitration Court are under an imminent reform set to be merged into a single body, a move that has […]

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Former Prosecutor Details Violations in Magnitsky Case

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – November 28, 2013) A former senior federal prosecutor has accused her one-time colleagues of illegally intervening in the probe into the 2009 death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, as well as committing legal violations in connection with other high-profile cases. Galina Tarasova, who says she was fired from the Prosecutor General’s […]

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Critics Call New Russian Counterterror Law A Return To ‘Collective Justice’

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, November 4, 2013) Critics say a new law designed to quell the insurgency in Russia’s restive North Caucasus region revives the Stalin-era principles of collective guilt and collective justice. President Vladimir Putin signed the legislation on November 3, requiring “close relatives and acquaintances” of those who commit acts of “terrorism” to pay […]

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Interfax: Russian society should not tolerate corruption – Putin

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said an atmosphere of intolerance of corruption should be created in Russia. “The laws alone, the demands [against corruption] alone are not enough. We need to form an atmosphere of zero tolerance of corruption in society,” Putin told the Council on Corruption Prevention on Wednesday. The president believes there is a […]

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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 businessman, was let go under […]

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Local Politics in Moscow Goes Global

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 139 – Pavel K. Baev – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – July 29, 2013) Last week, Aleksei Navalny re-entered the Moscow mayoral election campaign after his implausible release from jail the day after being condemned to five years behind bars on a blatantly fabricated charge. His team has jump-started the work in earnest, mobilizing […]

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Let’s Say “No” to the Erosion of the Constitution

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Ekaterina Mishina – July 29, 2013) Russia’s leading legal experts have published an open address in which they detail the threats to the country’s constitutional order. IMR Advisor Ekaterina Mishina, a co-signatory of the address, emphasizes that, for the lawyers, to point out the dangers of the current situation is a professional, civic, […]

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Putin Uses His Favorite Ax to Grind Navalny

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm, Opinion Page Editor – July 26, 2013) All autocracies have two things in common: They exaggerate the threats they face from leading opposition figures and take extreme, repressive measures to limit or remove those threats. Russia is certainly no exception, and the trial and conviction of opposition leader Alexei Navalny is a case […]

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Corruption, concerns about judicial system may impact Russian investment climate – EESC head

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 27, 2013) Opacity of the Russian judicial system and corruption may influence investors’ decisions to enter the Russian market, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) President Henri Malosse said. “Today investors indeed may feel some trepidation for reasons that are linked to the reliability of the Russian judicial system, as well as for reasons of corruption,” […]

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Russian Court Refuses To Hear Defence Witnesses In Navalnyy’s Embezzlement Trial

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(RIA Novosti – Kirov, June 18, 2013) Judge Sergey Blinov refused on Tuesday (18 June) the request of the defence that 13 witnesses, including an auditor and several experts, be summoned to court in at the Kirovles (Kirov Timber) trial, a RIA Novosti correspondent has reported from Kirov’s Leninskiy court. On Monday, defence lawyer Svetlana Davydova submitted a request for […]

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Russia Ranks Dismally in Rule of Law Index

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – 11.29.12) Russia ranked dismally in the yearly Rule of Law Index published by the nongovernmental World Justice Project, scoring in the bottom third for each of the ranking’s eight criteria. Russia ranked 92nd out of 97 countries for the extent to which its government’s powers are limited, 92nd for order and security and 71st for […]

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