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Archive for Nonprofits, Activists, NGO’s

U.S. Education NGO American Councils Ordered to Cease Operations

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – April 11, 2014) The Justice Ministry has ordered the Russian branch of American Councils, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that administers student exchanges and other educational programs, to cease its operations indefinitely, in what appears to be part of an ongoing crackdown on NGOs funded by the U.S.

Human Rights Group to Close Over ‘Foreign Agent’ Label

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – April 10, 2014) The Constitutional Court has upheld the controversial law requiring some nongovernmental organizations with foreign funding to register as “foreign agents,” while an affiliate of the prominent Memorial human rights group faces closure after being labeled a foreign agent by a St. Petersburg court. The

Russian law on NGOs as “foreign agents” ruled constitutional

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Interfax – April 8, 2014) The Russian Constitutional Court has ruled that the controversial law that requires all non-government organizations to register as “foreign agents” if they receive funding from abroad and are involved in political activities is constitutional. However, the court said that the provision that lists fines for violating the law is unconstitutional

Foreign funding alone not enough to define NGO as foreign agent – judge

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – April 8, 2014) The mere fact that a nonprofit organization receives foreign funding cannot provide grounds for identifying this organization as a foreign agent, Constitutional Court Judge Sergei Knyazev told reporters on Tuesday. Such an organization will however find itself in the group of foreign agents if it engages in political activities, he

RIA Novosti: Russia Won’t Let NGOs Be Used for Destructive Ends as in Ukraine – Putin

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday the country will not allow the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to be used toward destructive ends as has recently happened in Ukraine. “Modern Russian legislation creates all of the conditions for the transparent and free activity of non-governmental social organizations, but we

When charity should begin at home

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

(opendemocracy.net – Alex Jackson – March 31, 2014) Alex Jackson is a writer for Salzburg Global Seminar, an independent non-profit organisation based in Salzburg, Austria with a mission to challenge current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern. You can follow him on @salzburgglobal and @ajacko26 Civil society development in Russia has been

NPOs law could be further corrected – diplomat

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Interfax – February 19, 2014) No more than 1,000 checks have been conducted with respect to nonprofit organizations (NPOs) operating in Russia, which were fined a meager amount, whereas the total number of NPOs in our country is 200,000, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Human Rights Commissioner Konstantin Dolgov said. The accusations against Russia over NPOs

RIA Novosti: Only One NGO Registered Under Russian Foreign Agent Law

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, February 14 (RIA Novosti) – Only a single NGO has registered as a foreign agent under a hotly contested 2012 Russian law to regulate the activities of foreign-funded organizations, the Justice Ministry said on its website Friday. The law, widely denounced by human rights organizations as an attempt to suppress political opposition in the

Interfax: Russian NGOs have many issues with transparency – Transparency International

Map of Russia

(Interfax – February 11, 2014) The Russian branch of Transparency International has started studying the transparency of Russian non-governmental organizations (NGO) receiving EU grants, head of Transparency International office in Russia, Yelena Panfilova, said. “Due to the fact that Russia has many organizations receiving not just Russian budget funds but also EU budget funds, which

Russian academics protest Kennan closure

Woodrow Wilson Center Facade file photo

(Interfax – February 11, 2014) The Russian academic community reacted with shock and alarm to the recent decision by the Washington, D.C.-based Woodrow Wilson Center to shut down the Moscow office of the Kennan Institute. The oldest of the Wilson Center’s programs, the Kennan Institute brings together “scholars and governmental specialists to discuss political, social,

Interfax: Russia oldest rights group cuts staff, salaries – veteran activist

Lyudmila Alekseyeva file photo

(Interfax – February 10, 2014) Russia’s oldest human rights organization, the Moscow Helsinki Group, has been forced to cut its staff size by several times due to the notorious law on NGOs, Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax reported on 10 February, quoting the veteran rights champion, Lyudmila Alekseyeva, who heads the organization. “In connection with

RIA Novosti: Local NGO Fights ‘Foreign Agent’ Status

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(RIA Novosti – February 5, 2014) The St. Petersburg-based Freedom of Information Foundation has filed a complaint against the prosecutor office’s request that it register with the Justice Ministry as a “foreign agent.” The request was issued after the NGO’s founder attended a meeting of human rights activists with US President Barack Obama during the

A Quarter Century Of Rights Activism: Memorial Turns 25

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Kristina Gorelik and Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – January 29, 2014) Memorial, one of Russia’s most venerable human rights and history organizations, is 25 years old. Memorial began as a group of Soviet-era dissidents, including Nobel laureate Andrei Sakharov, that formed during Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika in the late 1980s. It came

Seven Greenpeace Activists Allowed to Leave Russia

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – December 26, 2013) As the last Greenpeace activist detained in the Arctic 30 protest   received notification Thursday that he was cleared of all charges under a recently passed amnesty, several other international activists who’d already been granted amnesty received permission to leave Russia. The news marks the

Public Chamber Report Says Russians Don’t Want More Human Rights NGOs

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 23, 2013) Russians would like to see nongovernmental organizations provide more help for socially vulnerable groups but aren’t interested in an increase in human rights advocacy, the Public Chamber said in a report. Russia has roughly 100,000 registered “socially oriented NGOs,” but only 5 percent of them are “really

Russia’s Memorial regional branch branded “foreign agent”

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – December 12, 2013) Russian human rights activists have said that a St Petersburg court has upheld the Prosecutor’s Office’s claim that the antidiscrimination center Memorial is a “foreign agent”, Russian Interfax news agency reported on 12 December. The antidiscrimination center Memorial is a regional office of Russia’s Memorial human rights organization. The antidiscrimination

RIA Novosti: Putin Cautiously Urges Civil Society Role in Decision-Making

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW, December 12 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that civil society should be more actively engaged in decision-making by government and parliament, but that NGOs should not be motivated by politically biased positions. All bills should be submitted to public review before reaching the State Duma, the lower house of parliament,

Interfax: Russian NGOs that won government grants won’t abandon foreign financing

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Dec 5 (Interfax) – The Russian civil rights organizations that have won in a tender for government grants are not going to abandon foreign financing. “These are our projects. We are pursuing them regardless of financing sources. We are not carrying out projects ordered by Russian or foreign funds,” Memorial historical and civil rights

RIA Novosti: Human Rights Groups Critical of Kremlin Win State Funding

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

MOSCOW, December 5 (RIA Novosti) ­ State grants worth 200 million rubles ($6 million) allotted by Russian President Vladimir Putin for human rights initiatives have been distributed among 124 projects, including some organizations critical of the Kremlin. In early September, Putin ordered the Civil Dignity movement to hold a grant competition for socially important initiatives

RIA Novosti: Last Imprisoned Greenpeace Activist Granted Bail in Russia

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

MOSCOW, November 28 (RIA Novosti) ­ The last of the Greenpeace activists arrested in Russia over a September protest at an Arctic oil rig was granted bail Thursday by a St. Petersburg court. The court set bail for Colin Russell from Australia at 2 million rubles ($60,000), the same condition set for the other 29

Interfax: Greenpeace has noble goals but wrong methods – Putin

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

MOSCOW. Nov 21 (Interfax) – The actions of the Greenpeace environmentalists who tried to climb an oil platform in the Arctic posed a threat to the lives of the people who are working there, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “When they climb the platform and create an emergency situation, there could be not just one

RIA Novosti: Detained Greenpeace Activists Deserve Clemency – Putin

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

MOSCOW, November 21 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Greenpeace activists detained in Russia over a protest at an Arctic oil rig should be granted clemency, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday as 10 of them were released and many others granted bail. When asked to comment on their case at a meeting with Russian writers, publishers,

Interfax: Hearing of Memorial, Golos Complaints Against Prosecutors Postponed Until February

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) – The Moscow Zamoskvoretsky Court has postponed until February 4, 2014 the hearing of the complaint filed by the human rights center Memorial about the prosecutors’ demand to register as a foreign agent. Thus, the court has postponed the hearing of the human rights activists’ until the Strasbourg court or the

Import of Goodwill: Ex-expat fighting for Moscow’s buildings

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – November 19, 2013) This year, as part of the Moskovskiye Novosti’s New Intelligentsia Awards, The Moscow News is giving out a special prize honoring expats who perform community service/work for public benefit in Russia. Our prize is called Import of Goodwill, and Clementine Cecil is one of

Putin Adviser Sees Political Will to End Greenpeace Dispute

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – November 19, 2013) Russia is showing “political will” to end a two-month-long dispute over the prosecution of Greenpeace activists after they began to be set free on bail, President Vladimir Putin’s human rights adviser said. “It’s a good sign,” Mikhail Fedotov said in a phone interview today from

Interfax: Kudrin concerned about expansion of “fake” NGOs created by authorities

Alexei Kudrin file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) – The authorities prefer to work with the non-governmental organizations (NGO) they themselves create, Head of the Committee for Civil Initiatives Alexei Kudrin said. “I understand the topic of the so-called ‘fake’ NGOs, when the authorities create quasi NGOs passing those for NGOs and real public opinion. Today we are virtually

Interfax: Key human rights group: Russia must ditch ‘foreign agents’ law

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Nov 15 (Interfax) – A prominent Russian human rights group has called for repealing the law on “foreign agents,” Russia-based nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive funding from abroad and pursue political activities. “This law cannot be amended. No amendment, not even one having the best of intentions behind it, would affect its essential concept

Pravda.ru: “Can Russia collapse and fall under Western control?”

Russian Duma Building

(Pravda.ru – Anton Kulikov – November 12, 2013) The Russian State Duma deputies proposed an introduction of the “Separatist Propaganda” article in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and establishing a prison sentence of three to six years for said propaganda. So far this is only a draft bill, and its future is unclear.

Interfax: Lawyers say custody conditions of Arctic Sunrise activists acceptable

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

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 14 (Interfax) – Lawyers have met with several Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise activists in a St. Petersburg detention facility, a Greenpeace spokesman told Interfax on Thursday. “The lawyers met with five environmentalists, including Russian citizen Andrei Allakhverdov, who had been placed into the Kresty [detention facility]. The detention facility is basically all right,

Leading Russian NGOs may switch to voluntary basis – veteran rights activist

Lyudmila Alekseyeva file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, November 13, 2013) Russia’s key non-governmental organizations could change to the voluntary principle of operating because of pressure from the authorities, the head of the oldest human rights organization in Russia, Moscow Helsinki Group, Lyudmila Alekseyeva, told Interfax on Wednesday [13 November]. “It pains me to look how our human rights movement

First Generation With Wealth Shape Philanthropy Culture

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Lena Smirnova – November 13, 2013) The first Russians to dispose of free wealth in nearly a century are putting down the institutional roots of philanthropy, but donations trail behind the sums shelled out by donors in the U.S., Britain and China, according to a report released by private bank

Interfax: Kremlin rights council asks Investigative Committee head to change pre-trial restrictions of Greenpeace activists

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

MOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) – The Russian president’s Human Rights Council has asked Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Bastrykin to consider the possible release of the Arctic Sunrise crewmembers who were detained for staging a protest off Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Pechora Sea from custody. “The Russian president’s Council for the Development of Civil

Corporate charity poised to expand

Empty Boardroom

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Maria Prikhodina, special to RBTH – November 11, 2013) Despite the lack of legislation to encourage corporate giving, social entrepreneurship is growing among Russian firms. Darya Alexeyeva, the director of a workshop for young adults with developmental disabilities, felt like celebrating when her students earned $6,000 at a

Interfax: Prosecutor’s office cannot suspend proceedings of civil cases regarding several NGOs

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 7 (Interfax) – The Prosecutor General’s Office cannot satisfy the request of the presidential Human Rights Council to suspend probes of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). A letter from Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Malinovsky to head of the council Mikhail Fedotov says Russian law does not give prosecutors such rights. “Proceedings in a concrete case

Greenpeace Rebuffs Talk of Arctic Protest Conspiracy

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

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

Moscow Times: Russians See Greenpeace Protest as a Foreign Plot

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

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

RIA Novosti: ‘Foreign Agent’ NGO Forced to Stop Work in Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

KOSTROMA, October 29 (RIA Novosti) ­ A Russian rights organization that promoted public initiatives said Tuesday that it was suspending operations because it is unable to pay a $9,000 fine imposed for failing to register as a “foreign agent.” The NGO, based in the central Kostroma Region, said it was able to raise 100,000 rubles

Amnesty will promote civil accord, dialogue between society, authorities – Russian rights activists

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

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – The leaders of Russian human rights organizations believe a broad amnesty timed with the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution will help establish effective dialogue between the authorities and civil society. “Will the authorities find the energy to build relations with civil society again” The best way out of this

Kremlin advises municipal authorities to cooperate with NGOs

Sergei Ivanov file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Russian presidential chief-of-staff Sergei Ivanov has called on the municipal authorities to cooperate with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) instead of shunning them. “You should not be afraid of NGOs. Rather, you ought to work together with them,” Ivanov said at a meeting of city mayors and city managers on Thursday. Practice

Russian NGOs accused of being ‘foreign agents’ vindicated – report

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – October 23, 2013) A report published on the website of the Human Rights Council under the Russian president says practically all the cases in which the Prosecutor-General’s Office (PGO) accused NGOs of being in breach of the controversial recent law on “foreign agents” have been thrown out by courts, privately-owned Russian news agency

Organizations Fighting Illegal Migration Could Get State Support

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 22, 2013) A bill submitted to the State Duma on Tuesday could add NGOs engaged in the fight with illegal immigration to the list of organizations that the government is authorized to support. The law currently sanctions government aid for organizations involved in 12 areas of

Russian Rights Council Asks Prosecutor To Suspend Checks On NGOs

Kremlin and St. Basil's

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

Pressure Growing on Putin to Free Greenpeace Activists

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – October 18, 2013) International pressure on Russia over the arrest of Greenpeace activists mounted Thursday as 11 Nobel Peace Prize winners urged President Vladimir Putin to drop the piracy charges against them. The 11 laureates made such an appeal in a letter sent to the Russian president,

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

Russian Duma Building

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

Russia Pushes for Further Arctic Exploitation

Polar Bear on Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – September 26, 2013) It is impossible to stop Arctic exploitation, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, adding that Russia guaranteed that there would be no environmental catastrophe, since the most innovative technologies would be used. SALEKHARD, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District ­ The time for an industrial breakthrough has come

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (partial transcript continued)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) MODERATOR SVETLANA MIRONYUK: They say that Senator McCain followed your example and published an article of his own in Pravda newspaper. He probably remembers from the Soviet years that Pravda was a well-known publication and the most popular newspaper in the country. True, a lot of time has

RIA Novosti: Russian Parliamentary Committee Approves NGO Snap-Check Bill

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 18, 2013) ­ A relevant parliamentary committee on Wednesday recommended that lawmakers pass a bill providing additional grounds for unscheduled checks of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The committee for public unions and organizations recommended that the bill, submitted by the Russian government in June, be passed in its first reading. According

EVENT & CALL FOR PAPERS: ASN 2014 Convention Call for Papers

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

From: Dominique Arel <darel@uottawa.ca> Subject: ASN 2014 Convention Call for Papers Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 Call for Papers 19th Annual World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) International Affairs Building, Columbia University, NY Sponsored by the Harriman Institute 24-26 April 2014 www.nationalities.org ***Proposal deadline: 24 October 2013*** [Please note that

Valdai Club opens 10th session

Valdai Club Gathering at Long Tables in Large Hall

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Paul Duvernet, special to RBTH – September 17, 2013) Intellectuals, politicians and journalists gathered in central Russia for four days of discussion about the country’s future. The 10th annual meeting of the Valdai Club opened Sept. 16 with a collective inquiry into the competition between identities at the

10th Annual Valdai Club Meeting Opens

Valdai Club Gathering at Long Tables in Large Hall

(RIA Novosti – September 16, 2013) Today, beginning at 9:15 a.m. Moscow time (5:15 a.m. GMT), RIA Novosti is broadcasting live from the opening of the 10th annual meeting of the Valdai Club, a discussion forum where high-level Russian officials have been meeting with foreign political scientists since 2004. A recording of the event will

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