Growth of Public History in Russia ‘Democratizing Memory,’ New Study Says

File Photo of Soviet Gulag at Belbaltlag, adapted from image at nps.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 17, 2019) [Text with links windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/01/growth-of-public-history-in-russia.html] Public history, the trend within the history discipline in many places around the world that seeks to rely on the digitalization of personal memoirs, diaries, and photographs of ordinary people to present the past from below, has come to Russia and is “democratizing memory” in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “State Duma refuses to resume cooperation with PACE, increasing chances that Russia could leave the Council of Europe ” – Meduza

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“Federal lawmakers in Russia say they are opposed to sending a delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) …. a plenary session of the State Duma … endorsed an announcement refusing to resume cooperation with PACE until Russia’s voting rights are restored …. According to the Duma[] … more than half the judges now working in […]

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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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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Justice Ministry begins inspection of Memorial research center as foreign-agent NGO – Memorial” – Interfax

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Jan 14 (Interfax) – The Russian Justice Ministry is beginning to inspect the Memorial Scientific Research and Education Center on January 14 to see if it is fulfilling the functions of a foreign agent NGO, International Memorial’s press service said. The organization has provided all the documents the ministry requested, the press service said. “The Memorial Scientific Research and […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Curious Story of an American Arrested by the Kremlin” – Stratfor/ Scott Stewart

Kremlin and River

“Highlights Russia has arrested an American corporate security director, Paul Whelan, but he doesn’t have the profile befitting a non-official cover intelligence officer, even though there are elements in his background that would bring him to the attention of the Kremlin’s security services. Russian authorities arrested Whelan not long after Russian citizen Maria Butina pleaded guilty in a U.S. court […]

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One Russian in Four Lacks an Indoor Toilet, One of Many Signs There are Now ‘Four Distinct Russias’

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 7, 2019) According to a new report by Russia’s state statistical agency, Rosstat, 35 million Russians live in houses or apartments without indoor toilets, 47 million do not have hot water, 29 million don’t have any running water inside their residences, and 22 million do not have central heating (ehorussia.com/new/node/17679). In […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Spy or Not? American Who Loves Russia Ensnared in New Cold War” – New York Times/ Julian E. Barnes, Neil MacFarquhar

File Photo of Russian Food and Nesting Dolls

“He loved to travel around Russia by train, collected tea glass holders stamped with Russian historical scenes and maintained social media friendships with ordinary Russians, from a hairstylist to retired members of the country’s military.  … Paul N. Whelan … former [U.S.] Marine and current security chief for [auto parts manufacturer] BorgWarner … has been accused of espionage by Russia […]

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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: “Boris Yeltsin’s shrine in Yekaterinburg brings tears for a legacy smashed by Putin” – Sunday Times (UK)/ Matthew Campbell

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

“… An ailing Yeltsin is believed to have chosen Putin, a former KGB officer, as his successor, because he had a reputation for loyalty. He knew he could count on Putin to protect him and his family. … [H]e made Putin promise to ‘look after Russia.’ In the eyes of Putin’s supporters, he has … [brought] relative prosperity … making […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Half of Russians now say Vladimir Putin is responsible for the country’s problems, according to new poll” – Meduza/ Levada Center

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

“… more than half the country … holds [Putin] responsible for Russia’s problems and the rising cost of living, according to a new poll by the Levada Center. Late last month, 55 percent of the country said Putin is to blame …. Ironically, the same number … credit Putin with … economic success and rising prosperity …. Nearly two thirds […]

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Putin Hails Solzhenitsyn As ‘True Patriot’ On Centenary Of His Birth

Alexander Solzhenitsyn file photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – MOSCOW – Dec. 11, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-solzhenitsyn-true-patriot-centenary-birth/29650018.html) President Vladimir Putin has praised late Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as a “true and real patriot” after unveiling a statue honoring the Nobel Prize-winning author in central Moscow. Speaking at the unveiling ceremony marking the centenary of Solzhenitsyn’s birth, Putin […]

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1993 Constitution Not to Blame for Putin’s Authoritarian System, Shelin Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 12, 2018) Many analysts are inclined to blame the presidentialist nature of the 1993 Russian Constitution for the rise of authoritarianism under Vladimir Putin; but Sergey Shelin argues that is a mistake and that Putin’s approach to rule “arose not because a quarter of a century ago this document was adopted.” […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights; The President held a meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – December 11, 2018) The Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights is a consultative body that assists the President in exercising his constitutional authority in the area of protecting human and civil rights and freedoms. Speech at the meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, Today, we bid […]

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An Alekseyeva Lesson Russians Haven’t Learned: Far More has to Be Changed than Just the Leader

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 9, 2018) Vladimir Putin casts such a dark shadow on Russia that it is perhaps no surprise that many in the opposition believe, as commentator Aleksandr Rusin puts it today, that finding and installing a new leader is “the chief issue of present-day Russia” and that “everything else is secondary” (publizist.ru/blogs/110401/28399/-). […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Lyudmila Alexeyeva symbol of honesty, uncompromising struggle for human rights – Moskalkova” – Interfax

Lyudmila Alekseyeva file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 8 (Interfax) – Lyudmila Alexeyeva will forever remain a symbol of the uncompromising struggle for human rights and justice, Russian ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova said. “A big misfortune has befallen all of Russia. For all the people who did, do and will value democracy, freedom and human rights, Lyudmila Mikhailovna always was and will remain a symbol of honesty […]

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NEWSLINK: “The extraordinary life of Lyudmila Alexeyeva — Meduza remembers a Russian human rights icon” – Meduza

Lyudmila Alekseyeva file photo

“Late on December 8, Russian human rights icon Lyudmila Alexeyeva passed away at the age of 91. Since the mid-1990s, she led the Moscow Helsinki Group, earning the respect of both state officials and the anti-Kremlin opposition. Alexeyeva worked with everyone equally in pursuit of her mission: the protection of people’s rights by all means available. Meduza’s Andrey Kozenko looks […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Court in Kirov finds ban on Navalny’s international travel unlawful” – 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

KIROV. Dec 7 (Interfax) – The Oktyabrsky District Court in Kirov has partially granted the claim of opposition activist Alexei Navalny against the Federal Bailiff Service that banned his international travel. “The claim has been partially satisfied,” a court representative told Interfax on Friday. He added that the hearing was held on December 6. Navalny confirmed the partial satisfaction of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Decriminalization of Domestic Violence Was a ‘Mistake,’ Russian Official Admits” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 3, 2018) Russia’s top human rights official has called the country’s 2017 decision to adopt a law that decriminalizes domestic abuse “a mistake.” In 2017, Vladimir Putin signed a law that scrapped prison sentences for first-time abusers whose beatings result in “minor harm,” such as small abrasions, bruises and superficial wounds. Since the law […]

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NEWSLINK: “85 Years Later, Ukraine Marks Famine That Killed Millions” – New York Times/ Iuliia Mendel

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

“His frail hand covering his heart, Mykhailo Matvienko, 92, peered at the yellow flame of a candle on his kitchen table on Saturday and recounted his childhood during the Great Famine. A searing event seen as one of the great atrocities of 20th-century Europe, the Ukrainian famine of 1933 killed more than three million people, by most estimates, and has […]

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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: “Russia’s Human Rights Sphere Has a Female Face; Away from the public eye, women are at the forefront of the fight against human rights abuses” – Moscow Times

Russia Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – ANASTASIA MANUILOVA – October 30, 2018) Think back to the most high-profile human rights cases in Russia in recent years – Oleg Sentsov, Ildar Dadin, Oyub Titiyev – and they almost always concern men. Away from the public eye, however, it is usually women who are working to defend and free them. Although women are […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow govt formally allows Oct. 29 remembrance of victims of repression on Lubyanka Square” – Interfax

FSB Headquarters Building file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 23 (Interfax) – The Moscow government has formally granted Memorial’s request to hold a ceremony commemorating victims of political repression at the traditional venue near the Solovetsky Stone on Lubyanka Square on October 29, Yelena Romanova from the city administration’s regional security department said. “There was an interagency meeting today to discuss the provision of public peace and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Butina finally given normal prison conditions in U.S. in terms of sleep, daily activities – father” – Interfax

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

MOSCOW. Sept 26 (Interfax) – Russian citizen Maria Butina, who was recently detained in the U.S., can now sleep normally, do physical exercises and talk to other detainees during the day now that her detention regime has been eased, her father Valeriy Butin said. “You may ask, what does the easing of custody regime mean? Firstly, now she can have […]

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NEWSLINK: “Grave Robbers, Nazi Collaborators and Official Apathy: How Ukraine Is Erasing the Holocaust” – Haaretz/Shmuel Herzfeld

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

“At Janovska, the Auschwitz of Ukraine, I saw skulls, hypodermic needles and tons of trash. Looters desecrate mass graves of Jews, searching for gold; the sites’ histories are ‘revised’, overwritten by Christian and nationalist symbolism. This is why we should still care”

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Is Russia Really “Fascist”? A Comment on Timothy Snyder

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

(PONARS Eurasia – PONARS Policy Memo – Marlene Laruelle – September 5, 2018 – ponarseurasia.org/memo/russia-really-fascist-reply-timothy-snyder) Marlene Laruelle is Research Professor, Associate Director of IERES, Director of the Central Asia Program, and Co-Director of PONARS Eurasia at The George Washington University. Over the past decade, and even more overtly since the annexation of Crimea, there has been a growing tendency to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Anti-Semitism in Russia Falls Since USSR, Sociologists Say” – Moscow Times

Torah Scrolls

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 7, 2018) Anti-Semitism is on the decline in Russia, particularly since the Soviet period, according to a report by the independent Levada Center commissioned for the Russian Jewish Congress. Various estimates count the Jewish population in Russia anywhere from 180,000 to 1.5 million. During the Soviet Union, Jews in Russia were targeted by the […]

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U.S., EU Warn Ukraine Ruling Endangers Press Freedom, Corruption Fight

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – September 5, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/u-s-eu-warn-ukraine-sedletska-ruling-endangers-press-freedom-corruption-fight/29473976.html) The United States, the European Union, and international media watchdogs have expressed concern over a Ukrainian court ruling that gives the authorities access to the cellphone data of an RFE/RL investigative reporter spanning a period of 17 months. The court decision could […]

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Russian Officials Warn Google Not To ‘Meddle’ In Elections By Hosting Navalny Videos

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Sept. 5, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-officials-warn-google-not-meddle-in-elections-hosting-navalny-videos-youtube/29472527.html) Russian officials say they have warned U.S. Internet giant Google against “meddling” in local elections scheduled for this weekend by allowing Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny to post videos calling for mass protests on YouTube. Representatives of Russia’s election commission, the Prosecutor-General’s Office, […]

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“Sara’s Century” Podcast

Map of Former Soviet Union

Subject: “Sara’s Century” podcast Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2018 16:43:23 +0000 From: BARBARA T NORTON <btnorton@widener.edu> I wanted bring to your attention a fascinating new podcast serial, “Sara’s Century,” by a colleague at Rutgers U-Camden. The description below is from the website http://sarascentury.blogs.rutgers.edu/: “Sara’s Century” is a 12-episode podcast serial about Sara Mebel, a nearly 100-year-old Jewish woman who left […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: Sean Guillory: “WaPo publishes an op-ed about how McCain was a great champion for the ‘human rights community’ and uses a picture with McCain standing next to Oleh Tyahnybok … named … one of the top-ten anti-Semites in the world.”

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

(Sean Guillory – Facebook – August 29, 2018 McCain and Oleh Tyahnybok) [embedded live feed of facebook post should appear below; core text also recopied further below in case loading delayed] “This is too funny. WaPo publishes an op-ed about how McCain was a great champion for the ‘human rights community’ and uses a picture with McCain standing next to […]

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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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Who is ordering attacks on activists in Ukraine? In Ukraine, activists are being attacked, and law enforcement is standing idle. The pressure on civil society has become systematic. RU

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

(opendemocracy.net – Tetiana Kozak – August 23, 2018) Tetiana Kozak reports on conflicts connected to the transformation of the former Soviet Union, new conflicts related to the refugee crisis and the rise of nationalism in Europe. [Text with links and photos opendemocracy.net/od-russia/tetiana-kozak/who-is-ordering-attacks-on-activists-in-ukraine] The attack on activist Kateryna Gandzyuk in the southern city of Kherson has become the last straw for […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Administrative Mobilization and the Dynamics of Electoral Manipulations on Putin’s Presidential Election” [Excerpt] – PONARS Eurasia /Kirill Rogov

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

[Full text: ponarseurasia.org/memo/administrative-mobilization-dynamics-electoral-manipulations-putins-presidential-election] (PONARS Policy Memo) Vladimir Putin’s new presidential term is shaping up to be the most complicated of his political career. According to the Russian Constitution, he is not allowed to become president again in 2024. Finding a solution for this problem is a major issue for the Kremlin. Either there will be a transition of power or […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s VK announces privacy changes to protect users from arrest” – bne Intellinews

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

“Russia social media site vKontakte (VK) expanded its privacy functions to give its users more tools to protect them from arrest, the company said …. The Kremlin has been cracking down on online criticism of the government. Vedomosti reports that of 182 criminal cases launched in 2017 for social network posts, 138 were based on VK posts, with another four […]

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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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NEWSLINK: “How Bill Browder Became Russia’s Most Wanted Man; The hedge-fund manager has offered a fable for why the West should confront Putin” – The New Yorker/Joshua Yaffa

File Photo of William Browder Seated at Table with Microphone as Woman Listens, with Image Watermark Saying Presented by Library of Congress with U.S. House of Representatives Seal, adapted from image at house.gov

“… In 2009, Browder’s tax adviser Sergei Magnitsky testified that the Russian police and tax authorities had attempted to steal two hundred and thirty million dollars in Russian taxes paid by Browder’s Moscow-based investment firm, Hermitage Capital. Magnitsky was arrested, and died in a pretrial detention center in Moscow. In the years that followed, Browder strenuously lobbied for a law […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Russia, the Corporate Raiders Are Often Cops; Companies face harassment from law-enforcement officials, according to business owners, lawyers and activists” – Wall Street Journal/James Marson, Thomas Grove

File Photo of Judge and Clerk in Russian Court, with Russian Flag Behind Bench

“… Russian companies routinely face harassment from law-enforcement officials seeking to extort money or expropriate businesses, according to business owners, lawyers and activists. One in six Russian business owners is facing criminal prosecution, according to [a Kremlin-launched agency]. …  Putin’s authoritarian rule relies on security officials and political heavyweights who use their authority not only to squash political opponents but […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia to memorialize 20 Holocaust execution sites” – Interfax

Russia Map

MOSCOW. Aug 6 (Interfax) – Twenty sites in Russia where Jews were executed and buried during the war will be memorialized as part of the next stage of the Return Dignity program this year. Monuments to Holocaust victims will be built in cities and villages in the Bryansk, Volgograd, Oryol, Ryazan, Smolensk, and Tula regions, the Stavropol Territory and the […]

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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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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why the World Cup is bigger than Putin; ‘I can write about the genius of French forward Kylian Mbappé, knowing the FT is also covering Russian elite corruption'” – Financial Times/Simon Kuper

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

“…  the Russian World Cup isn’t Berlin all over again. First, Putin isn’t as evil and ambitious as Hitler. Second, he’s a much better-known quantity than Nazism was in 1936. Hitler at that point had said disturbing things but few foreigners took him either literally or seriously. He hadn’t lifted a finger against other countries. Many Jews were still living […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “5 ways the football World Cup has transformed Moscow – for now” – Deutsche Welle

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“‘This is a Moscow I don’t know’ has become the rallying cry of the Russian capital’s residents since the World Cup started. The tournament has seemingly pressed pause on laws – and has changed the city’s public space. …. In some of Russia’s host cities … reports of banners being hung and large fences being built to cover crumbling buildings. […]

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NEWSLINK: “The World Cup Is Fun. Except for the Russians Being Tortured.” – New York Times/Alexey Kovalev

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

“… Putin has given the Russian security services free rein in the lead-up to the World Cup.  …”

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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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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Ministry: Gulag Prison Records Digitized, Not Destroyed” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Soviet Gulag at Belbaltlag, adapted from image at nps.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 14, 2018) Russia’s Interior Ministry has denied reports that records of Soviet-era gulag labor camp survivors are being destroyed, saying instead that the files are being digitized. The Gulag Museum in Moscow alleged last week that cards with the personal information of former inmates and their release dates were being permanently destroyed under secret […]

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