Russian officials worried influx of migrants becomes unmanageable

Migrant Workers file photo

(Interfax – June 6, 2013) The influx of migrants in Russia is becoming alarming, head of the Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovskiy has said, as quoted by Interfax news agency on 6 June. “For the last four years, we have recorded a significant increase in the number of immigrants to Russia. It was especially high in 2012 and 2013. Certainly, […]

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Muscovites don’t see Navalny as serious candidate – analyst

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 9, 2013) Opposition blogger Alexei Navalny, recommended for nomination as a mayoral candidate by the Bureau of the opposition Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS), will not pass through the municipal filter as a serious candidate, said First Vice President of the Center for Political Technologies think tank Alexei Makarkin. “Navalny can act […]

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Russia Beefs Up Arms in Face of New Threats

Russian Nuclear Submarine file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) Russia’s ambitious program to revamp its army and fleet has already produced a “missile defense killer” that “neither modern nor future American missile defense systems will be able to stop,” Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Friday at a lecture organized by the ruling United Russia party. “We live in a forest […]

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Missile Defense Key to Developing US-Russian Ties – MP

Russian Duma Building

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 10, 2013) ­ Resolving differences between Russia and the United States over missile defense is key to developing bilateral relations, a senior Russian lawmaker said Monday. “Missile defense has become a key issue: If we find a common language here, we could speak of a beginning of new positive dynamics in US-Russian relations,” Alexei Pushkov, […]

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Russia No Security Rival to Washington – U.S. Ambassador

Ambassador Michael McFaul file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 10, 2013) ­ The US administration does not regard Russia as a rival in security matters but views Moscow as a partner with whom it can jointly resolve global issues, the US ambassador to Russia said on Monday. “We do not consider Russia as a rival to the United States either in security or in […]

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RPR-PARNAS Bureau’s recommendation to nominate Navalny is not mandatory – Ryzhkov

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 9, 2013) The Bureau of the Opposition Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS) adopted a recommendation on Sunday to nominate opposition blogger Alexei Navalny to run for Moscow mayor, the party’s co-chairman Vladimir Ryzhkov told Interfax. “The recommendation was adopted following a preliminary discussion. By law, the recommendation has no legal force. The […]

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‘Islamic Factor’ Already Looms Large in Upcoming Moscow Mayoralty Race

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 10, 2013) Even though Muscovites will cast their votes for mayor only three months from now, Sergey Sobyanin and other aspirants are already playing the Muslim card to win support among ethnic Russians, a practice that is further alienating the Russian capital’s large and growing Muslim community. In a commentary in […]

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Prokhorov Could Team Up With Luzhkov in Snap Elections

Mikhail Prokohrov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) Businessman and Civil Platform party head Mikhail Prokhorov has announced his plans to work together with former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov in the upcoming city elections, a news report said Monday. “Last Saturday I met with Yuri Luzhkov. We had a two-hour-long conversation during which we discussed the plans for summer,” Interfax […]

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Navalny Judge Digs in Heels Again

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) The KirovLes trial judge Sergei Blinov has once again rejected motions for his removal by Alexei Navalny’s defense team who complained about procedural violations and case prejudice, a new reports said Monday. “The court has taken the decision to reject the defense’s request to remove the presiding judge,” Blinov announced, adding that […]

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New wave of Russian emigration: Leave or stay?

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, RBTH – June 10, 2013) Within the space of one week, two prominent representatives of the Russian intelligentsia, known for openly voicing their disagreement with the authorities, have announced their political exile. In early June, former world chess champion and opposition leader Garry Kasparov stated at a press conference in Geneva […]

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Russian Public TV denies canceling programme over Putin divorce jokes

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, June 8, 2013) Russian Public TV is not planning to cancel its Social Network programme, the next episode will air on 10 June. The channel’s press service told Interfax on Saturday (8 June) that the 7 June edition of the programme was not aired for technical reasons. “No-one is closing the programme, it will continue to run. […]

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Peskov: There is no other woman in Putin’s life

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov has dismissed rumors that Putin will re-marry soon after divorce. “There is no other woman in the president’s life,” he said on Ekho Moskvy radio, noting that one should look at Putin’s busy schedule. “It is easy to understand that his life is in no way connected […]

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On disillusionment

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(opendemocracy.net – Dmitry Travin – June 6, 2013) Dmitry Travin is Research Director at the European University in St. Petersburg’s Centre of Modernization Studies. Discontent may soon be the norm across all sections of Russian society. But it’s unlikely to benefit the opposition or professional classes, says Dmitry Travin. Russia viewed from the Kremlin The official Kremlin view goes something […]

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About 70% of Russians have no problems with Putin divorce – poll

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) More than two-thirds of Russians don’t believe that the status of a country’s president deprives him or her of the right to divorce, an opinion poll suggests. Asked, “Does the president have the right to divorce, in your opinion?”, 71% of those questioned by the Superjob.ru portal on Friday answered in the affirmative. Every […]

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News of Putins’ Divorce Met With Shrugs

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – June 10, 2013) Ordinary Russians reacted with a mix of compassion, skepticism and indifference to Thursday’s announcement that President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila would divorce after 29 years of marriage, the first time a Russian leader has dissolved his marriage in over three centuries. “Honestly, it’s a circus, it’s funny, […]

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Interfax: 41% of Russians See Putin as Ideal Leader

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) Almost half of Russian people consider President Vladimir Putin an ideal or “close to ideal” president of Russia, a nationwide survey conducted by Levada Center said. Overall, 64 percent of respondents said that they approve of the president’s dealings. Of the 41 percent of people who consider Putin an ideal leader, 6 […]

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Moscow’s life span reaches European level – Sobyanin

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) Life span in Moscow has almost reach the level common in Europe, said Moscow’s acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. “Muscovites’ life span has increased considerably in recent years, reaching 75.5 years, which is almost as long as in Europe,” he said. The birth rate has risen, too, he said. “About 130,000 births were registered in […]

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Russia Gearing Up for National Holiday

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) On Wednesday June 12 offices around Russia will empty as Russia celebrates Russia Day, one of the nation’s youngest public holidays. Since the day falls in the middle of the week, it will not be rearranged to make up a long weekend. “People will have to organize their working week to take […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#103 :: 7 June 2013

Map of Russia

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#103 :: 7 June 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: www.russialist.org JRL on Facebook: www.facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: http://russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. BBC Monitoring: Putin announces end of marriage on Russian TV. […]

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Nearly One Russian in Four Now Wants to Move Abroad, Survey Finds

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 7, 2013) Twenty-two percent of Russians say they would like to move to a foreign country to live and work, up from only 13 percent in 2009, and an indication that the deteriorating political situation in Russia is forcing not only high profile figures like Gari Kasparov but many others as […]

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Moscow Slams Western Support for Syria Opposition

Syria Map

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) Western support for Syria’s armed opposition will only fuel violence in the war-torn country, Russia’s foreign minister insisted on Friday. “We are disturbed by statements coming from leaders of the so-called Free Syrian Army as well as from some US representatives, to the effect that support for the armed opposition will continue in […]

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U.S. shields won’t stop Russia’s new missiles from reaching their targets – Russian Deputy Premier

Missile Defense Launch file photo

(Interfax – June 7, 2013) U.S. missile defense shields will not be able to stop Russia’s new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which was test launched successfully on June 6, from reaching its target, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in his lecture as part of the Civil University project on Friday. “We closely watched last night’s events. They were […]

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Ukrainians have trust in church, media, army – poll

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(Interfax – KYIV, June 6, 2013) Only three social institutes – the Church, the media and the Armed Forces – enjoy confidence of Ukrainians, according to the survey done by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Razumkov Center. Some 31.7% trust the Church fully, 38.4% are inclined to trust, 10.6% are not inclined, and 9.3% have no confidence […]

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Revised Russian ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban To Be Put To Key Vote On 11 June

Russian Duma Building

(RIA Novosti – June 6, 2013) A controversial piece of Russian legislation banning the promotion of homosexuality among children has undergone significant changes since it won preliminary approval in January and is to be put to its key second reading in parliament on 11 June, Russian news agencies reported on 6 June, quoting senior MPs involved in pushing for the […]

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More than one in five Russians want to emigrate – poll

Map of Russia

(Interfax – June 6, 2013) The share of Russian citizens who would like to emigrate has risen to 22 per cent, up from 13 per cent in 2009, private-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 6 June, quoting the latest Levada Centre opinion poll. Among students, the figure reaches 45 per cent. The poll was conducted on 23-27 May among […]

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Russian rights veterans issue statement in support of ‘foreign agent’ NGOs

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – Moscow, June 6, 2013) A number of Russian rights activists have stood up for the Golos NGO and other organizations that have been labelled foreign agents, saying that their work should not be labelled political. “Accusations about NGOs taking part in political activities strikes out citizens’ constitutional rights,” reads Rights Council statement released in Moscow on Thursday (6 […]

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Sobyanin has more supporters than opponents amongst Muscovites – poll

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 6, 2013) The Moscow mayor’s rating has grown over the past few months, sociologists said. Thirty percent of Muscovites support Sergei Sobyanin at present. The number was 26% in March, shows a Superjob.ru portal survey done on May 17-20 amongst 2,000 economically active respondents. Men (31%) are more inclined to approve of the mayor’s work than […]

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Putin wants information about ministries’ work to be made public

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) The ministries and executive agencies’ work and its results must be made open to the public, said President Vladimir Putin. The government presented a plan to Putin in the Kremlin on Friday for implementing the presidential decrees passed in May 2012, followed by Putin’s remarks. “A concrete and clear picture must be drawn to […]

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Putin Slams Ministers’ 5-Year Plans

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he was not satisfied with the quality and contents of plans compiled by Russian ministers to show what they intend to do within the next five years in order to fulfill the tasks set by the president in May 2012. On May 7, 2012, the […]

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Russians React With Humor To Putin’s Divorce Announcement

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – June 7, 2013) Within hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila announced their divorce on state television on June 6, jokes about their separation became a big hit on social media, particularly on the microblogging site Twitter. RFE/RL’s Central Newsroom has compiled a selection of some of the more notable tweets and comments. […]

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Putin’s spokesman Peskov calls for treating president’s life with respect

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 7, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov has called for treating the president’s private life with respect and not intruding into it. Peskov refrained from answering Interfax how Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin’s daughters had taken the news about their divorce. “Anything that concerns Vladimir Putin’s private life concerns only him, and he has […]

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Court Extends Detentions as Bolotnoye Trial Begins

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow TImes – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – June 7, 2013) The trial against 12 people charged with violence against police and participation in alleged mass riots in the so-called Bolotnoye case ­ a case observers say is one of the largest politically motivated trials in recent history ­ opened at the Zamoskvoretsky District Court on Thursday. More than 400 […]

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Can Alexey Kudrin Be The Next Russian Prime Minister?

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – June 6, 2013) As Russia’s economy slows, corruption worsens, and current Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s political stature shrinks, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin’s name is mentioned more and more frequently as a potential candidate for Russia’s next prime minister. However, Donald N. Jensen, Resident Fellow at the Center for […]

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Russia Wants Tourism, Not Terrorism, for Embattled Caucasus

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(Voice of America – James Brooke – June 6, 2013) A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors. Car bombs and shootings make Dagestan the leader in political […]

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FSB cooperates with FBI, CIA in Boston terror attack investigation – Bortnikov

File Photo of Boston Bombings Aftermath with Ambulance and Security Personnel

(Interfax – KAZAN, June 6, 2013) The Federal Security Service is cooperating with the U.S. security services in the investigation of the Boston terror attack, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov said. “We are cooperating very actively with our FBI and CIA colleagues, responding to their requests and assisting in the arrangement of necessary procedures on the Russian territory,” he said on […]

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Russia Invests in American Cows

File Photo of Cattle Grazing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 7, 2013 – Anatoly Medetsky) The right species of foreign agent can get incentives to prosper and propagate in Russia, as shown by a deal announced Thursday. A unit of state-controlled lender Sberbank said it agreed to loan 1 billion rubles ($33 million) to an agricultural company for expanding its herd of U.S. bovines. […]

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Moscow wants clarity from Turkey on detention of militants with sarin – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – PIONERSKY, Kaliningrad region, June 6, 2013) Turkey has still not clarified reports that militants possessing sarin were detained on its territory some time ago, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “I would like to seize this opportunity to remind you that we still expect full information from our Turkish partners regarding reports, which came about a week ago, […]

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RIA Novosti: UN ‘Welcomes’ Russian Peacekeepers in Golan Heights

Partial Map of Portions of Northern Israel, Golan Heights, Syria, Lebanon

(RIA Novosti – New York, June 7, 2013) ­ The United Nations would welcome Russian peacekeepers in the Golan Heights, UN spokesman Farhan Haq told RIA Novosti on Friday. “The UN welcomes any contribution by the world community to peacemaking efforts in the Golan Heights, and the UNDOF [UN Disengagement Observer Force] is very important for the maintenance of peace […]

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Turkey won’t have ‘Arab spring’ – Senator Shnyakin

Turkey map

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 6, 2013) Valery Shnyakin, military expert and deputy head of the Federation Council committee on international affairs, believes the situation with protests in Turkey will gradually stabilize and will not follow the “Arab spring” scenario. “Turkey is a special country in the Arab world. It’s a secular and democratic state and I think Prime Minister Erdogan […]

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Tbilisi says supplies of Georgian wine to Russia to resume next week

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Interfax – TBILISI, June 6, 2013) A first batch of Georgian wine will be sent to Russia next week, Head of the National Wine Agency of the Georgia Agriculture Ministry, Levan Davitashvili, said at a briefing on Thursday. “Two Georgian wine enterprises have already received Russian excise stamps and plan to begin supplying their products to Russia next week,” Davitashvili […]

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Lyudmila Putina Once Called Her Husband a Vampire

Vladimir Putin and Lydumila Putin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 7, 2013) Lyudmila Putina once called President Vladimir Putin a vampire, while he in turn has suggested that anyone who could put up with her for three weeks was heroic and deserved a monument. These and other observations about the private family life of the Putins were detailed in a 2001 book that provided […]

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On Intolerance to “Others”: An Ideological Portrait of Modern Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Boris Bruk – June 3, 2013) The principal idea that consolidates different parts of Russian society is xenophobia and intolerance to “others.” Such, at least, was the conclusion of a new study on Russia’s “ideological portrait.” IMR Advisor Boris Bruk, who has analyzed the study, is skeptical about predictions of a “fascist” future […]

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WWF Identifies Threatened Areas

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 6, 2013) Ten ecologically pristine zones in Russia are at risk of becoming polluted, according to a report that the World Wildlife Fund released Wednesday, as the nation celebrates ecologist day. Krasnodar, Irkutsk and Kamchatka regions lead the list with two endangered areas each. The paper mill at Baikalsk on Lake Baikal is the […]

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Science For Others

Adaptions of Image from Livermore.gov of Element 118 Atoms

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Olga Khvostunova – June 4, 2013) The system of Russian science is deteriorating, despite the government’s claims that the country is modernizing. This April, Thomson Reuters published a report revealing that Russia is absent from leadership groups in the 100 top-ranked specialties in the sciences and social sciences. Another report, produced by the […]

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Bloggers Claim Photos Show Yakunin Mansion

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – June 4, 2013 – photo here: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/bloggers-claim-photos-show-yakunin-mansion/480966.html) Bloggers have published pictures of a luxury mansion, believed to be owned by Vladimir Yakunin, the head of Russian Railways and powerful member of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. The three-story marble-clad mansion, occupying 70 hectares of land near the Moscow suburb of Domodedovo, was […]

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Putin Boosts Russian Role in Global War on Drugs

Russian Drug Den File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 6, 2013) In an effort to enhance its image as a global player in combatting drug flows, Moscow welcomed 120 top anti-drug officials from around the world on Wednesday to discuss possibilities for cooperation in curbing an issue responsible for an estimated 200,000 deaths annually. Addressing participants at the International Drug […]

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Kasparov ‘Refrains’ From Returning to Russia Over Bolotnoye Case Fears

Older File Photo of Garry Kasparov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – June 6, 2013) Garry Kasparov, the world chess champion-turned-political-opposition-stalwart, told a news conference in Geneva that he would not return to Russia for fear of criminal prosecution for his political activities, his website reported Wednesday. Kasparov’s announcement comes amid fears of a new wave of emigration of opposition-minded intellectuals, a fear intensified […]

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Memorial wants independent evaluation of May 6, 2012 events in Bolotnaya Square

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 6, 2013) The human rights center Memorial has called for an independent legal evaluation of the events that occurred in the Moscow Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012 and the trial of the people charged in the riots, which is now beginning. “We believe it is extremely important to conduct an independent legal evaluation of the […]

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In Russia, World Environment Day Marred By Pressure On Green Groups

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Lyubov Chizhova and  Claire Bigg – June 5, 2013) On June 5, “green-minded” people around the planet are marking World Environment Day, created in 1972 to raise awareness about the need to protect nature. But in Russia, the mood among ecologists is sour. Russia established its own Ecologist Day, also held on June 5, six years […]

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About 20 environmental NGOs named as ‘foreign agents’

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Interfax – June 5, 2013) Around 20 Russian major environmental non-governmental organizations (NGO) have received prosecutors’ requests to register as foreign agents. “Around 20 environmental organizations have received prosecutors’ requests. Those who sound familiar, who comprise the environmental movement and who are not of just regional importance have received the requests,” Director of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) […]

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