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 Manzanar, 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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NEWSLINK: “World Cup dream is ‘sportswashing’ Russia’s appalling record” – Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

“In 2010 when this tournament was awarded, no one thought Russia would suddenly become a bastion of human and civil rights, though it’s worth reflecting on all that’s happened since then. There’s not just the annexation of Crimea, the war in Ukraine and the concerns about US election meddling. Or just the controversy surrounding the nerve agent attack on the […]

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NEWSLINK: “A political prisoner in Russia is starving. The world should take notice” – Washington Post Editorial

Oleg Sentsov file photo, adapated from image at csce.gov

“Four years after Russia invaded and illegally annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine … a courageous activist and filmmaker named Oleg Sentsov … imprisoned in a Siberian penal colony above the Arctic Circle, embarked on a hunger strike to demand the release of 64 Ukrainian political prisoners held by Russia … his health has seriously deteriorated … he has lost […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow City Court upholds Navalny spokesman Yarmysh’s sentence” – Interfax

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted 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

MOSCOW. May 31 (Interfax) – The Moscow City Court on Thursday upheld the sentence of Kira Yarmysh, the press secretary of opposition activist Alexei Navalny, to 25 days in jail for violating the rules governing the organization of a protest in central Moscow on May 5, an Interfax correspondent has reported. “The appeal is declined. The decision made by the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Who Killed the Kiev Protesters? A 3-D Model Holds the Clues. A team of civilian investigators used cellphone videos, autopsy reports and surveillance footage to reconstruct a virtual crime scene.” – New York Times Magazine/Mattathias Schwartz

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… Most of the deaths occurred within half an hour along a few hundred feet of streetscape. The scene unfolded before dozens of cameramen, smartphones and security cameras. But these recorded fragments from the day were overshadowed by a fight over what they really showed: The claims of grief-stricken activists, who blamed the Ukrainian paramilitary for shooting the protesters, collided […]

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NEWSLINK: “Babchenko’s Death and Russia’s Dark Power; Russia has adopted a policy of blessing freelance murders carried out in its name” – Moscow Times/Mark Galeotti

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Editor’s note: Since the publication of this article, Arkady Babchenko has appeared at a press conference in Kiev, and said his ‘murder’ was part of a sting operation. … Another dead critic of the Kremlin. Another round of knee-jerk accusations and denials. Another funeral.  Does the Putin regime murder its enemies as a matter of policy, does it simply create […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kara-Murza Jr. to face criminal liability if Duma adopts law on punishment for sanctions – Isayev” – Interfax

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW. May 16 (Interfax) – Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., deputy chairman of the movement Open Russia, may fall under the bill criminalizing actions leading to the introduction of foreign sanctions against Russia if the bill is adopted, Andrei Isayev, first deputy chairman of the United Russia faction, said. “Among the people I know who are doing it is Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin isn’t as all-powerful as he looks; In local elections, which are harder to rig, the opposition is rising.” – Washington Post/Jackson Diehl

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

“… If opposition leaders … start to look dangerous … bad things happen …. Yevgeny Urlashov, a charismatic opposition leader who in 2012 won election as mayor of Yaroslavl … is now serving a 12-year prison sentence on trumped-up charges. Boris Nemtsov … was murdered on a bridge outside the Kremlin …. Alexei Navalny … has been banned from elections […]

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Russia’s Strange Obsession with Sobibór

File Photo of Reel of Film

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Izabella Tabarovsky, Senior Associate, Manager for Regional Engagement at The Kennan Institute – May 9, 2018) [Text with links kennan-russiafile.org/2018/05/09/russias-strange-obsession-with-sobibor/] A new Russian movie, Sobibór, is making its way into Russian theaters and European capitals. The big-budget, highly promoted film tells the story of a prisoner escape from the Nazi death camp Sobibór in October […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Blacklists Progressively Fewer ‘Foreign Agent’ NGOs, Justice Ministry Says” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 10, 2018) Russia has blacklisted NGOs at a progressively slower rate since an infamous foreign agent law was signed in 2012, the Justice Ministry has said in an annual report. President Vladimir Putin observed last year that the sharp decline in “foreign agents” resulted from organizations turning down foreign funding. The law has been […]

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Interfax: “Human Rights Council member Svanidze criticizes bill on imposing fines for involving minors in unauthorized rallies”

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. May 10 (Interfax) – The bill proposed by a number of Russian State Duma deputies that would make encouraging minors to participate in unsanctioned rallies an administrative offence is controversial and potentially unconstitutional, Nikolai Svanidze, a member of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council and the head of its commission on civil freedoms, told Interfax on Thursday. “It’s a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Hundreds arrested during Russian ‘He’s not my tsar’ protests” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted 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

“Up to 2,000 people were briefly arrested during a series of protests across Russia on May 5 just a few days before … Putin’s upcoming inauguration. … [with the] slogan was ‘He’s not my tsar.’ The biggest, and what turned out to be the most violent protest, was organised for the heart of Moscow on Pushkin Square by anti-corruption blogger […]

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NEWSLINK: Doctors ordered at gunpoint to deny Syria chemical attack or else their children will be killed; ‘Unless you give a testimony, doctor, that there wasn’t a gas attack, we’ll be killing your children'” – The Mirror (UK)/Andrew Gregory

Syria Map

“Unless you give a testimony, doctor, that there wasn’t a gas attack, we’ll be killing your children”

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Russia haunts the western imagination; The dividing line between authoritarian Russia and liberal democracies is growing ever thinner.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Ivan Krastev – April 16, 2018) Ivan Krastev is Visiting Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Programmes at The Graduate Institute and Geneva Permanent Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna. He is also Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia. He is author of After Europe (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017). If a Martian were sent to earth with […]

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Why Ekaterinburg needs a directly elected mayor; One of Russia’s biggest cities is losing the right to elect its mayor. The position may be symbolic, but so is its loss.

Yekaterinburg file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Dmitry Kolezev – April 5, 2018) Dmitry Kolezev is deputy editor of Znak.com. He lives in Ekaterinburg. [opendemocracy.net/od-russia/dmitry-kolezev/why-ekaterinburg-needs-a-directly-elected-mayor] At the beginning of this week, several thousand residents of Ekaterinburg attended a demonstration against plans to cancel elections for the position of city mayor. People held placards bearing democratic slogans. Prominent city residents spoke from the stage, including the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Is it a crime to worship God? According to Russia, yes.” – Washington Post

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

“… Dennis Christensen … of Denmark, has been held [in Russia] in pretrial detention for 11 months … about to be tried on charges of organizing … activities of an ‘extremist organization,’ the Jehovah’s Witnesses. … [potentially] fac[ing] 10 years in prison. … the Russian Supreme Court declared the group ‘extremist’ and banned it from operating [in Russia]; there were […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia: Sham Elections for a Dictator” – Freedom House

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

“‘… ‘… Putin will win by an overwhelming margin thanks to regime-controlled media that glorifies the leader and demonizes his critics, the regime’s monopoly of all sources of economic power and wealth, and the removal of all serious opposition candidates through fraudulent legal maneuvers or by assassination.  Russia’s fake elections are now a model for autocrats in other countries, from […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian lawmaker accused of sex harassment apologizes” – AP

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“An influential Russian parliament member accused of sexual harassment by several female journalists has issued an apology and asked for forgiveness. … allegations against [foreign affairs committee head] Leonid Slutsky by three journalists include groping and making demeaning comments. … demonstrators including … Sobchak held pickets outside the parliament demanding [his] resignation ….” Click here for: “Russian lawmaker accused of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Opposition activist Alexei Navalny will spend Russia’s presidential elections in jail” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted 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

“Anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny and his chief of staff were arrested on February 22 and will be held for 30 days, taking them out of circulation for the March 18 presidential elections. Navalny has been touring the country for most of the last year and is calling for a boycott of the elections. While President Vladimir Putin […]

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Interfax: Navalny tells of his questioning at Investigative Committee

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted 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

MOSCOW. Feb 6 (Interfax) – The Russian Investigative Committee on Tuesday questioned the opposition politician Alexei Navalny in connection with injury caused to police officers during an unauthorized rally on January 28. “Today I was questioned by the Investigative Committee which explained to me what it was probing. I was shown a police report which contained this ridiculous phrase, literally: […]

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Belykh case reveals flaw of Russian law enforcement: lack of mercy for the ill – Kudrin

Nikita Belykh file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 2 (Interfax) – The case of Nikita Belykh, the former governor of the Kirov region, who has been sentenced to eight years in jail, is a manifestation of the absence of mercy for sick people, Russia’s former finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, said. “Among other things, the Belykh case revealed the most anti-humane flaw of our law enforcement system: […]

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Kremlin’s New Approach to Dissent has Marginalized Even Navalny, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted 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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 30, 2018) The Russian authorities have “learned how to marginalize the actions of the opposition without the use of force,” the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say; and unless Aleksey Navalny can come up with a slogan that will unite more of the opposition than does his call for a boycott, he […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Future of Navalny’s Opposition Movement; Why It Will Continue to Challenge the Kremlin” – Foreign Affairs/Anton Barbashin

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted 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

“In March 2017 … Navalny released a shocking video investigation … reveal[ing] that Medvedev has been able to amass a tremendous fortune while in power … several mansions in Russia, a villa and property in Italy, and other assets worth roughly $1.2 billion. … spark[ing] a great deal of interest among Russians … receiv[ing] almost 26 million views on YouTube […]

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Interfax: Russian Foreign Ministry suggests barring U.S. diplomats from monitoring presidential election

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

MOSCOW. Jan 17 (Interfax) – A proposal to deprive United States diplomats of the right to monitor Russia’s upcoming presidential election has been forwarded to the Russian Central Elections Commission (CEC), a source at the Foreign Ministry told Interfax. “The Russian Foreign Ministry assumes that the U.S. side did not allow [Russian] diplomats who planned to visit some polling stations […]

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Interfax: Zyuganov files complaints over biased coverage of Communist candidate’s campaign

Satellite Dishes

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) – Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov urged President Vladimir Putin on Monday to take measures to stop the use of TV programs to spread “counter-propaganda” against the Communist Party’s presidential candidate, Pavel Grudinin. In his letter to Putin, which was shared with Interfax, Zyuganov pointed out that Grudinin has publicized “a substantive, detailed, and constructive […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Barred From Running and Boycotting: Navalny’s Quandary in Russia” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

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

“… Navalny, a Russian anticorruption activist, would have no real chance of defeating … Putin in an election. … But on Monday the Kremlin barred him from running for president in March. Then on Tuesday, threatening legal action, it warned him against organizing a boycott of the election. In one surreal turn after another, the Russian authorities have dismissed Mr. […]

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Russia’s Media Monitor Moves To Block Websites Of ‘Undesirable’ Organizations

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – December 12, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-blocks-access-website-khodorkovsky-open-russia-prodemocracy-group/28910984.html) Russia’s Roskomnadzor media regulatory agency has begun blocking access to websites of organizations deemed “undesirable” by the Justice Ministry under a 2015 law aimed at restricting the activity of organizations the Kremlin accuses of fomenting political dissent. The regulator’s website on December […]

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Nine Months After New Domestic Violence Law, Russian Women Still Struggle; The decriminalization of battery has made it harder for women to come forward, advocates say

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Manuilova – November 24, 2017) For Svetlana, a 35-year-old mother of three from Moscow, domestic violence is a family affair. Her ex-husband repeatedly threatened to take their son away and beat her mother. Last spring, it was Svetlana’s turn. “He cornered me in our flat in Moscow for several hours and beat me,” she […]

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On Revolution Centenary, Perplexed Russians Ask, ‘Who Am I To Judge?’

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at state.gov

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth, Robert Coalson – ST. PETERSBURG/MOSCOW – Nov. 5, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/anniversary-bolshevik-revolution-100-lenin-assessment/28836011.html) The small museum in St. Petersburg located in the apartment where Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin lived in the months before the October 1917 Bolshevik coup was inexplicably closed one recent weekday afternoon. A small, […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: [Vladimir Putin and Igor Borisov at] Meeting of Council for Civil Society and Human Rights (transcript concluded)” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2017) [Full transcript here en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55947] Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights at the Kremlin …. Igor Borisov: Mr President, thank you for giving me the floor. I have just a few words about the elections. I understand we have a very compressed schedule; Mr Fedotov is ready to […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia moves up to 35th place in the World Bank’s annual ‘Doing Business’ index” – bne Intellinews

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

“… Russia is ranked 35th in the 2018 issue of the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report published on October 31, moving up five places …. Another international rating, the 2017 Economic Freedom Index compiled by the Heritage Foundation in February, placed Russia in the 114th position in the ‘Mostly Unfree’ category … with a score of 57.1 of 100. … the […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Opening of Wall of Sorrow memorial to victims of political repression” – KremlinRu

Russia Map

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2017) Following the meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Vladimir Putin and the Council members attended the opening of the Wall of Sorrow memorial to victims of political repression on Akademika Sakharova Prospekt. The opening was also attended by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. President […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Fedotov at] Meeting of Council for Civil Society and Human Rights” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2017) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights at the Kremlin. The focus of the meeting was on measures to implement the State Policy Concept on immortalising the memory of victims of political repression. The agenda also included issues related to the Council’s activities on ensuring citizens’ environmental rights, […]

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Interfax: Don’t forget saddest lessons of Russian history – Volodin in connection with day memorializing victims of repression

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that the events associated with political repression in the 20th century should be remembered so that the past can unite society, not divide it. “The Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repressions is one of the hardest memorial dates in our country’s calendar. In the year of […]

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Russia To Unveil Monument To Victims Of Political Repression

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – October 30, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-stalin-putin-soviet-repression-remembrance-day-moscow/28823208.html) Amid controversy over his own methods of maintaining control over Russia, President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to appear at the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to victims of state repression during the Soviet era. The Wall Of Sorrow will be unveiled on […]

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Journalist Felgengauer’s attacker says deed prompted by ‘telepathic harassment’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Oct 23 (Interfax) – The individual who attacked Tatyana Felgengauer, the Ekho Moskvy radio station’s deputy editor-in-chief, has failed to provide a rational explanation for his actions, providing confusing testimony. “[I was] compelled [to attack the journalist] because she harassed me for two months,” the attacker said in a video, which was posted on the radio station’s Telegram account. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “No pomp as Russia revolution centenary nears” – AFP

Kremlin and River

“… Russia strives to strike an odd balance … remembering the uprising that brought about the Soviet Union … stopping short of romanticising regime change. … 1917 saw Tsar Nicholas II abdicate in March and the Bolsheviks … seize power in October. Civil war erupted … followed by the creation in 1922 of the USSR, built on the ruins of the Russian empire. … Russia still […]

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Russian Elections Chief Says Navalny Cannot Run Until 2028

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted 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 ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – October 17, 2017 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-navalny-elections-pamfilova-presidency/28799529.html) Russia’s top election official says that opposition politician Aleksei Navalny will not be eligible to run for office until about 2028. Speaking at a youth festival in the southern city of Sochi, Central Election Commission chief Ella Pamfilova warned Navalny and […]

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Kremlin had Its Reasons for Not Cracking Down Harder on Latest Protests, Commentators Say

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 10, 2017) The relative paucity of detentions in Moscow during the anti-Putin Navalny demonstrations last weekend, despite the much larger and more brutal actions of the authorities beyond the ring road, has generated a lively discussion as to why the Kremlin didn’t come down harder. Two commentators, Yekatarina Vinokurova of Znak […]

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[1993] NEWSWATCH: “Yeltsin crushes revolt; Parliament taken in tank battle; Opposition parties and newspapers banned” – The Guardian (UK)/ Jonathan Steele, David Hearst [from Oct. 5, 1993]

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

[From 1993 archived article:] “President Boris Yeltsin moved swiftly last night to stamp his absolute power on Russia by suspending a range of political movements and closing opposition newspapers after the surrender of his main parliamentary opponents in the wake of the assault on the Russian White House. * * *  After a grisly 10-hour gun battle in which tanks punched […]

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Interfax: Foreign activity on Kirovles case is attempt to influence 2018 elections in Russia – Federation Council

File Photo of Council of Europe Headquarters Building with Flags in Front

MOSCOW. Sept 25 (Interfax) – The high interest of structures of the Council of Europe in the Kirovles case is an attempt to influence the preparations for the presidential elections in Russia, the Russian Federation Council commission on the protection of state sovereignty said. “Foreign activity around the debate in the structures of the Council of Europe on the so-called […]

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In Russia, It’s a Woman’s Job to Challenge Soviet-Era Labor Laws; It took Svetlana Medvedeva five years to fight for her right to become a captain

Two Babushkas file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Francesca Visser – September 20, 2017) In Soviet propaganda posters, women feature alongside men as powerful and resolute workers. Forward-looking and muscular, they are portrayed as heroines of the proletariat. It was women workers who in February 1917 started a protest that would evolve into the Russian Revolution. Today, Russia’s labor legislation is among the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Show Trial of a Russian Theater Director; If it is not clear by now, let me say it in no uncertain terms: The #Serebrennikov case is a show trial” – Moscow Times/ John Freedman

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“The arrest of director Kirill Serebrennikov … created a firestorm of reaction …. Serebrennikov’s arrest is the latest development in an affair that went public in late May. At that time, he was questioned about funds allegedly embezzled from theater projects mounted by an entity called Seventh Studio, an offshoot of the Gogol Center, where Serebrennikov has been artistic director …. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “You’ve Lost Control Again; Black Lists and Total Monitoring: Agora’s New Report on the Surveillance of Russians; A person’s life is utterly transparent to the secret services” – The Russian Reader/ Republic.ru/ Damir Gainutdinov

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

“The Agora International Human Rights Group has released a report entitled ‘Russia under Surveillance 2017: How the Authorities Are Setting Up a Total System for Monitoring Citizens.’ …. The Russian state has been harvesting an unprecedented amount of information about its citizens …. It maintains a system of black lists … and has been engaged in a relentless assault on internet […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin, Stalin, Orthodoxy, and Russian Traditionalism” – Russian and Eurasian Studies/ Gordon Hahn

Joseph Stalin file photo

“Much Western media and many observers of Russian politics are fond of playing up an ostensible revival of Stalin – his ‘rehabilitation’ as it were – under Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rule. …”

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Big Data Convert Channels Big Brother to Take Russia’s Pulse

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – August 22, 2017) Raw numbers no longer cut it for Russia’s central bank in its effort to keep up with the economy. Instead, the man running its research and forecasting wants to know how Russians really feel by mining “big data,” gathered from social media and online stores. The Bank of Russia has […]

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U.S. Religious Freedom Report Names Russia ‘Country of Concern’

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 16, 2017) A U.S. report on religious freedoms puts Russia on a par with countries like North Korea and Sudan in its treatment of religious minorities. The annual report produced by the state United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said Russian authorities’ policy towards minorities ranged from “administrative harassment to arbitrary imprisonment […]

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Five years of Russia’s Foreign Agent Law; Russia’s Foreign Agent Law has made the existence of many NGOs practically impossible. But solidarity is rising among organisations that are working against these restrictions.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Daria Skibo – August 14, 2017) Daria Skibo is a sociologist and researcher at the Centre for Independent Sociological Research, St Petersburg. Russian civil society received July’s news happily: the case against Valentina Cherevatenko, the first person to face criminal charges under Russia’s Foreign Agent law, was dropped. In June 2017, Cherevatenko, head of the Women of the […]

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