JRL NEWSWATCH: “Alexei Navalny Supporters Probe How the Russian Opposition Leader Was Poisoned” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove, Ann M. Simmons

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

“Team scoured his hotel room and found a water bottle they say has traces of Novichok, a nerve agent” “… [A]fter … Navalny collapsed … on a plane over Siberia with signs of poisoning, his supporters rushed to [his] hotel room ….. bagg[ing] everything they could find … in the hopes of solving the mystery …. Days later, German doctors […]

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Exposing Putin’s Hidden Riches Won’t Stop Russia’s Election Meddling

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Lincoln Pigman – Aug. 19, 2020) Lincoln Pigman is a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Center and an alumnus of King’s College London’s Department of War Studies and Oxford University’s School of Global and Area Studies. Four years have passed since the alarm was first raised about Russia’s meddling in U.S. elections, from its […]

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Russia Tightens Tax Screws on Super Wealthy

The Kremlin … secured major changes to Russia’s double-tax treaty with Cyprus, where last year oligarchs and Russian corporations deposited $25 billion in the island’s banks, avoiding higher taxes in Russia […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The contest after the vote; Eight major takeaways from the immediate aftermath of the Belarusian presidential election” – Meduza

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“… Belarusian election officials published … preliminary results … [indicating that] Lukashenko … won more than 80 percent …. radically contradict[ing] [opposition] reports … say[ing] [Svetlana] Tikhanovskaya won 70 percent. … Tikhanovskaya’s campaign refuses to recognize the election’s results … [S]he called on ‘those who believe their vote was stolen’ ‘not to remain silent.’ … [R]eporting suggests … tens of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Chat Group Becomes Target of Moscow’s Wrath as Security Crackdown Widens” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

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

“The group started out as an online discussion of hobbies, schoolwork and sometimes politics. But then it was infiltrated by an informer for Russia’s all-powerful security services.” “… [T]he chat group … was joined by a new member who promoted unusually strident views … and pushed to turn the online chatter into a political movement …. [He] gave his name […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What just happened and what’s next in Belarus?” – Meduza

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“A rundown of the contentious presidential race, Lukashenko’s surprising struggles, and the likely post-election scenario.” “… August 9, Belarus will conclude its most contentious, openly dirtiest, and toughest presidential campaign …. [O]ne candidate has been imprisoned (as well as two campaign chiefs of staff) … another fled the country …. [P]olitical prisoners in Belarus spiked from one to 24 … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Man of steel; ‘Novaya Gazeta’ reports on the backroom business schemes that maybe ruined a Russian governor” – Meduza

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… [T]here’s a convoluted story of cutthroat competition for a steelworks. … Sergey Furgal, until recently … duly elected governor of Khabarovsk, is now suspected of involvement in four murders committed in 2004 and 2005. While many observers have assumed openly that the allegations are plausible, given the rough and tumble of the Far East’s business world at the time, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How is Putin able to remove popularly elected governors?” – Meduza

Russia Regions Map

“… Putin and … Medvedev (… [as] president) have dismissed … 11 governors prior to Furgal. Article 19 of the federal law ‘On the general principles of organization of legislative (representative) and executive bodies of state power’ gives the head of state this right. … in particular situations … [for] inadequate performance of duties and loss of confidence. While the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Putin pushed aside the oligarchs and made Russia his own” – Washington Post/ Anders Åslund

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

In her deeply researched new book, Catherine Belton tells a dark tale of … Putin’s rise to power and … 20 years as [Russian] leader …. ‘Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West‘ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s ‘Little Green Men’ In Voting Booths” – Kennan Institute/ Sergey Parkhomenko

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

… independent research and polls show that to make sure the Kremlin could trumpet the longed-for support of 50 percent of the Russian electorate, Putin and his cronies still needed large-scale ballot manipulations during the day and astronomical fraud during the vote count at night […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Evidence of massive ballot stuffing emerges in Russia’s referendum on constitutional changes” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“Evidence of massive ballot stuffing emerged in a mathematician[‘s] … statistical study of … the referendum on constitutional changes that would allow … Putin to remain in office until 2036. As bne IntelliNews reported before the vote …. Russian statistician Sergey Shpilkin … made a name for himself … highlighting vote rigging in past elections in Russia … studying … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Parade’s end; A phoney referendum shows Putin’s legitimacy is fading” – The Economist

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“A proposal to extend his rule passes, buried in a huge package of feel-good measures.” “… [Following voter-luring with offers of prizes and pressures from employers, some of the week-long voting utilized cardboard boxes and other voting was online, creating opportunities to rig the vote.] … [N]ot a proper referendum[,] [i]t had no precedent or legal basis. … did not […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin gets Russians’ mandate to reset power – expert” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. July 2 (Interfax) – The results of the nationwide vote on changes to the Fundamental Law reflect a high level of public trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin, the head of the Foundation for Civil Society Development with close links to the Kremlin, Konstantin Kostin, said. “Many experts are talking about total support by Russian citizens for the constitutional […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Coronavirus Crisis Strains Russia’s Soviet-Era Regional Health System” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“Doctors, equipment and basic supplies run short as cases climb; some facilities lack running water.” “… The episode at Karabanovo hospital offers a glimpse into the dysfunction and inefficiency that plagues Russia’s health-care system as the country fights the new coronavirus … the world’s third-highest caseload after the U.S. and Brazil. Many front-line medical workers in Russia say their safety […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “People are finally fed up with Belarus’s leader. Will they be heard?” – Washington Post Editorial

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

“[Belarus president] Alexander Lukashenko … is a fabled fence-walker, balancing between East and West. … a recidivist election fixer, rigging presidential contests, and a notorious strongman who tolerates little dissent. … [keeping] him in power for a quarter of a century. But as he seeks a sixth term in a[n] [Aug. 9] presidential election … he confronts … discontent. … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Suing Russia’s president; An ‘ultra-Putinist’ ex-governor has made history with a lawsuit challenging his dismissal. Here’s his story.” – Meduza

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

“Mikhail Ignatiev … lost his job as the head of Chuvashia in January … after two scandals: … he advocated ‘wiping out’ bloggers and journalists who praise Western countries … then … humiliated a fireman by forcing him to jump for the keys to a new fire engine. Ignatiev is now … the first public official in Russia to contest […]

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Khodorkovsky Marks the Spot: Russia’s Turning Point From Economic Freedom to State Control

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

… Khodorkovsky was not the first oligarch harassed by Putin, but this was indeed a turning point. Khodorkovsky was the richest man in Russia at that point precisely because he cleaned up his oil company’s corporate governance. […]

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Ukrainian President Names Saakashvili To Head Reform Council

Mikheil Saakashvili file photo

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has named former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to head the executive committee of Ukraine’s National Reform Council, created in 2014 to carry out strategic planning and coordinate reforms.

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Russia’s Energy Czar, Disliked And Feared, Catches Blame As Oil Prices Collapse, Venezuela Deals Crumble

File Photo of Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

March was the cruelest month for one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s longest-serving and most hawkish confidants[,] Igor Sechin … head of state oil company Rosneft …

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RUSSIALINK: “Wealth and Power Transfer as Russia’s Central Political Problem” – Kennan Institute/ Maxim Trudolyubov

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – March 6, 2020) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily. Mr. Trudolyubov was the editorial page editor of Vedomosti between 2003 and 2015. He has been a contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times since the fall of […]

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How Russian Media Reacted to 4-Year Olympics Ban

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dec. 10, 2019) The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday hit Russia with a four-year ban from competing or hosting major world sporting events, including the Olympic Games and World Championships. The move comes after WADA’s executive committee unanimously ruled that Moscow had tampered with doping laboratory data. Russian athletes will only be able to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny Links $50M Jet to Russian PM Medvedev’s Wife” – Moscow Times

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dec. 4, 2019) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s wife jetsets on the government’s dime, prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has said in a new video published ahead of Medvedev’s annual end-of-year interview with reporters from 20 television channels. [https://navalny.com/p/6276/] Medvedev, the subject of Navalny’s viral 2017 investigation into corruption that has been viewed 32.7 million […]

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Russia Used $50 U.S.-Based Donation To Help Brand Navalny Foundation ‘Foreign Agent’

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Todd Prince – October 10, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-used-50-dollar-us-donation-to-help-brand-navalny-foundation-foreign-agent/30209400.html) A Russian citizen living in Florida says he donated $50 to an opposition politician seeking to run for a Moscow city-council seat. Now the Justice Ministry is using that as part of the reason to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Justice Ministry blacklists Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation as a ‘foreign agent'” – Meduza

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

“Russia’s Justice Ministry has added Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) to its list of so-called ‘foreign agents.’ … [stating] that an audit in Moscow has determined that Navalny’s nonprofit organization ‘performs the functions of a foreign agent.’ [https://minjust.ru/ru/novosti/nekommercheskaya-organizaciya-fond-borby-s-korrupciey-vklyuchena-v-reestr-nekommercheskih] In a tweet, FBK Director Ivan Zhdanov said the organization is ‘funded exclusively by citizens of the Russian Federation,’ and maintained that […]

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RUSSIALINK: “United Russia Officials Meddled in St. Petersburg Vote, Top Election Official Says; Ella Pamfilova said members of the ruling party had ‘directly intervened in the electoral process.'” – Moscow Times

St. Petersburg

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daniel Kozin – September 25, 2019) Top members of the ruling United Russia party in St. Petersburg meddled in the city’s municipal elections earlier this month, Central Election Commission Head Ella Pamfilova said Wednesday. Observers noted widespread violations during the Sept. 8 elections, including lengthy delays in the official count, intimidation and recounts. According to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Why Is Russia So Unproductive? Analysts say a toxic cocktail of state capitalism, corruption and low investment curbs output” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – September 23, 2019) During his annual phone-in with the public in June this year, President Vladimir Putin described low productivity as “one of the most acute and important” problems facing Russia. Economists agree. Russia is one of the least productive moderately rich countries in the world, ranking 39th out of the 42 […]

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VIDEO & ARTICLE: A Blow To Fair Elections: Russian Police Stand Idly By As Election Observer Is Sucker Punched

Screenshot of Video at https://twitter.com/CurrentTimeTv/status/1171888101989539842 showing man punching another man in the stomach at Russian polling place while second man was looking down at mobile device

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Todd Prince – Sept. 12, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-police-stand-idly-by-as-election-observer-sucker-punched/30160427.html) [click here to jump down to video] Based on the reaction of police and election officials inside St. Petersburg polling station 1619, the event that unfolded before them on election day last week was nothing […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Turns Trampled Grass Into Weapon Against Opponents” – Bloomberg/ Jake Rudnitsky, Ilya Arkhipov

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

“A state-owned organization responsible for maintaining Moscow’s roads is seeking compensation from protest leaders for grass trampled during a recent unsanctioned protest, part of a multi-pronged assault on the opposition …. [A]uthorities raided at least 39 offices in Navalny’s political network [across the country], seeking evidence for a money laundering investigation … against his Anti-Corruption Foundation, his ally Leonid Volkov […]

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RUSSIALINK NEWSWATCH: “Hand It Over: Court Awards Moscow City Transport 1.2 Million Rubles in Suit Against Opposition Politicians” – Kommersant/ Maria Litvinova

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

“Alexei Navalny, Lyubov Sobol, Ivan Zhdanov, Yulia Galyamina, Ilya Yashin, Alexander Solovyov, Oleg Stepanov, and Vladimir Milov must jointly pay Moscow City Transport (Mosgortrans) 1.2 million rubles [approx. $18,000] for … traffic stoppages during the ‘unauthorized’ protest rally on July 27 in Moscow. … [according to a] ruling … by the Koptevo District Court on [a] lawsuit brought by Moscow […]

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A New Hope? Five Takeaways From The Elections In Moscow And Elsewhere

Russia Regions Map

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – Sept. 9, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/five-takeaways-moscow-elections-russia/30155264.html) The opposition is up. The ruling party is down. Incumbent governors are in. The Kremlin is worried. Aleksei Navalny’s Smart Voting strategy is … smart? Despite Russian elections still being largely a stage-managed process, the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Opposition Puts Putin Under Pressure in Moscow Election; The opposition alliance didn’t fare well elsewhere in Russia, but its leaders hail Moscow showing as a success” – Wall Street Journal/ Georgi Kantchev

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“Candidates backed by Russia’s opposition won nearly half the seats up for grabs in Moscow’s city elections … building on a wave of protests … that exposed some of the frailties … in Putin ‘s closely controlled political machine, but failed to make significant inroads in local races elsewhere …. Sunday’s vote came after a tumultuous summer that saw a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Summer of Unprecedented Brutality in Moscow” – The New Yorker/ Masha Gessen

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“… Moscow [recently] has seen an unprecedented number of large, confrontational protests … met with unprecedented brutality …. [While] the Kremlin has been cracking down on dissent for seven years … arrests continue to multiply, prison terms grow longer … brutality becomes more brutal. Once in a while, the cruelty … comes into sharper focus. … prosecutors tried to strip […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin Vows to Investigate Moscow Lawmaker Accused of Fraud Ahead of Elections” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 5, 2019) The Kremlin has agreed to probe a senior member of Moscow’s city legislature over two investigations into his dealings by opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption team, the Vedomosti business daily reported. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has claimed that municipal lawmaker Andrei Metelsky’s family owns a motorcycle dealership in Moscow and a hotel […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s ‘Shadow Economy’ Is Nearly 13% of GDP, Reports Say” – Moscow Times

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 29, 2019) More than $175 billion had circulated in Russia’s shadow economy in 2017, according to the latest available official data analyzed by the RBC news website on Thursday. Russia’s State Statistics Service (Rosstat) defines the shadow economy as off-the-books salaries, unofficial employment and informal sales, but not criminal activity. Financial authorities say the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Election Chief Defends Ban on Moscow Candidates” – AP

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

“… Russia[] election commission [head Ella Pamfilova] is standing by a decision to keep a dozen independent candidates from running for the city legislature in Moscow, but concedes after weeks of protests drew unusually large crowds, thousands of arrests and unfavorable attention that the qualification rules are outdated. … [C]andidates excluded from the Sept. 8 election said they had presented […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia to decide on Magnitsky family’s compensation within 3 months – Justice Ministry” – Interfax

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 27 (Interfax) – The Russian Justice Ministry is studying the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)’s judgment granting 34,000 euros in compensation to the family of Hermitage Capital auditor Sergei Magnitsky; a decision on appealing this judgement will be made within three months. “The judgment has yet to take effect, therefore, the Russian Justice Ministry will decide on […]

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Mission: Impossible? Ukraine’s New President Ventures To Reform Powerful State Spy Agency [Excerpt]

File Photo of Zelenskiy Extending Handshake, adapted from image at a subdomain of senate.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, Aug. 17, 2019 – full article text appeared at rferl.org/a/ukraine-zelenskiy-reform-state-spy-agency-sbu-/30114589.html) When Ukraine’s domestic security service revealed last year that it had faked the death of a dissident Russian journalist to expose a team of hit men allegedly hired by Moscow to destabilize the country […]

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Teflon Putin? Over 20 Years In Power, Scandals Don’t Seem To Stick To The Russian President

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tony Wesolowsky and Robert Coalson – August 8, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-20-years-power-corruption-scandals/30100279.html) Vladimir Putin was not well known when President Boris Yeltsin picked him as prime minister on August 9, 1999, a key point in his meteoric rise to power. But years earlier, back […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Is Running Out of Options to Extend His Power; None of the relatively legitimate scenarios for keeping the Russian leader in power past 2024 look comfortable for him.” – Bloomberg/ Leonid Bershidsky

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

“… The Kremlin controls the Russian parliament … makin[g] it possible to change the constitution at any moment, making Putin president for life. … [a] ‘nuclear option’ … anathema to Putin … despite persistent election rigging in his favor. …  That makes it difficult to follow the path laid out by Kazakhstan[‘s] … Nazarbayev. … [who] … resigned as president […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow police press secretary fined for photos of drug lab that police passed off as photos from Ivan Golunov’s apartment” – Meduza/ RBC

Internet Archive Screenshot of мвд.рф webpage

“Yury Titov … [head of] the press service for … [the] Russian Internal Affairs Ministry [Moscow branch], has been disciplined in connection with the case against Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov, RBC reported.  Titov and the press service … have not yet commented on the disciplinary actions … Alexander Khaminsky … former advisor for the Moscow police … submitted a[ related] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The evictors For the past five years, loan sharks have forced more than 500 Muscovites from their homes. Here’s how the industry works.” – Meduza

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

“In Moscow and [environs] … ‘black creditors’ – microfinance institutions (MFOs) … deceive [debtors] and seize … homes. Meduza … [found ] almost 500 apartments lost … over the past five years without so much as a court order. … more than simply ‘squeezing’ people from their homes … possibly part of a wider, international money-laundering system. * * * […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘A Pre-Revolutionary Situation’: More Than 20,000 Rally in Moscow for Free Elections” – Moscow Times

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

Russia’s largest protest in years came after a week of demonstrations against the barring of opposition candidates from city council elections. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – July 20, 2019) Russian opposition leaders on Saturday led a protest in Moscow against the election commission’s decision to bar a host of candidates from the ballot for city council elections […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “It’s been more than a month since Ivan Golunov was framed, charged, and released. What’s happened to his story since?” – Meduza

FSB Building file photo

“… thirty leading Russian and international news outlets … published the report Ivan Golunov was working on … before his arrest. Journalists from seven Russian media sources had already begun working to complete the report …. Golunov’s exposé … shed light on corruption and FSB ties in the Moscow funeral industry. … [and] includes allegations of misconduct committed by intelligence […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin distances itself from Moscow election controversy” – Interfax

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – July 16, 2019) The Kremlin has distanced itself from the controversy surrounding the registration of candidates in September’s Moscow city council election. “Broadly speaking, this is a matter for the electoral commission, and here the Kremlin simply has neither the authority nor any intention to intervene in this situation,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on 16 […]

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Dirty Tricks: Navalny Aide’s Bid For Moscow Duma Seat Brings Out The Worst

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dmitry Volchek, Robert Coalson – June 26, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/dirty-tricks-navalny-aide-bid-for-moscow-duma-seat-brings-out-the-worst/30022120.html) On the face of it, the task ahead of 31-year-old lawyer Lyubov Sobol seems simple enough. To qualify as a candidate for the September 8 Moscow City Duma elections, Sobol just needs to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin touts Russia as a great power. But he’s made it a weak one.” – Washington Post/ Timothy Frye

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“… Moscow is playing an assertive role [globally] … despite … weakness. … If anyone has made Russia’s hand weak, it’s [Putin, in power for two decades with a] … failure to create a more dynamic economy …. Thanks to high energy prices and fiscal caution … [there are] large reserve funds, but the economy has stagnated …. in 2012, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Top Auditor Kudrin Blasts Corruption in Legal System” – Moscow Times

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 6, 2019) Russian economic growth is hampered by deep-seated corruption in the country’s legal system, the head of Russia’s auditing agency said Thursday. Audit Chamber head Alexei Kudrin told a St. Petersburg International Economic Forum panel that corruption in the Russian judiciary system goes back centuries, pointing to one of the classic Russian poet […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “When flats become safe deposit boxes. Videos showing incredible amounts of money seized from officials and security services convince ordinary people of total corruption of state apparatus.” – Vedomosti/ Pavel Aptekar

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

“The phrase … a ‘flat where the money lies’ is increasingly … literal … [when there is] confiscation from yet another high-ranking official or security services officer of colossal amounts of cash stored … at home, in bags and packages. … Rosbalt … and … other media … reported … money and valuables worth R12bn … confiscated from FSB [Federal […]

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RUSSIALINK: “3% of Russians Trust Officials’ Income Declarations – Poll” – Moscow Times

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 7, 2019) Only 3 percent of Russians believe that government officials submit trustworthy income declarations every year, according to an independent Levada Center survey. The 2018 declaration showed President Vladimir Putin earning 8.6 million rubles ($134,000), or less than half of what he earned in 2017. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s yearly pay rose to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia is no place for young people” – Deutsche Welle

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

It’s almost impossible to find a decent salary and comfortable living conditions in Russia. For many young people, the only options are to build a life in Moscow or leave the country, says Anastasia Arinushkina. “… half of Russia’s citizens are unhappy with the size of their salaries and struggle to pay for health care and education, according to recent […]

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