Russian Duma Approves Sovereign-Internet Bill

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – April 16, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-duma-approves-sovereign-internet-bill/29883847.html) The lower chamber of Russia’s parliament has passed a controversial bill that critics say is part of efforts by President Vladimir Putin to expand government control over the Internet. In a 307 to 68 vote on April 16, […]

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Russian Bills Banning ‘Fake News,’ Insults Head To Putin For Signature

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(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – March 13, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-bills-banning-fake-news-insults-head-to-putin-for-signature/29819238.html) Legislation enabling Russian authorities to block websites and hand out punishment for “fake news” and material deemed insulting to the state or the public is headed to President Vladimir Putin’s desk for his signature. The legislation, which Putin’s […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘Point of No Return’: Russia’s Libertarians Lead Protest Against ‘Sovereign Internet’; A draft law aimed at creating an internet that can be cut off from the rest of the world’s has raised fears that Russia could turn into the next North Korea.” – Moscow Times

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(Moscow Times – Evan Gershkovich – March 10, 2019 – themoscowtimes.com/2019/03/10/point-of-no-return-russias-libertarians-lead-protest-against-sovereign-internet-a64758) It was Saturday afternoon and Mikhail Svetov was buzzing with nervous energy. Just 24 hours later, the member of Russia’s Libertarian Party would be leading a protest against a draft bill aimed at creating a so-called sovereign internet. “I see signals that something unusual is happening. Something similar to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Presses Case for Greater Control Over Its Internet” – AP

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“… Kremlin spokesman [Peskov] said … reports that the U.S. military carried out a cyberattack in Russia ahead of the U.S. midterm elections proves that the country needs to create its own, self-controlled segment of the internet. Russia’s parliament this month passed the first reading of a bill that proposes all internet traffic be routed through servers in Russia. Opponents […]

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Q&A: Hurdles Ahead As Russia Surges On With ‘Sovereign Internet’ Plan

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(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Alan Crosby – February 12, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/q-a-hurdles-ahead-as-russia-surges-on-with-sovereign-internet-plan/29766229.html) Draft legislation is in the pipeline in Russia that backers say is an effort to ensure the operation of a Russian Internet if access to servers located abroad is cut off or to prevent enemies abroad […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Great Firewall fears as Russia plans to cut itself off from internet; Moscow says temporary disconnection is a test of its cyberdefence capabilities” – The Guardian (UK)/ Alex Hern, Marc Bennetts in Moscow

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“Russia is planning to temporarily disconnect from the internet … to test its cyberdefence capabilities[, a]ccording to a report on the Russian news site RBC … to analyse … preparedness for a draft law mandating a ‘sovereign’ internet. Under the draft law, all internal internet traffic would be carried within the country’s own networks. Any traffic that leaves Russia would […]

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Russian Bill On ‘Autonomous Operation’ Of Internet Advances In Duma

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(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – February 12, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-bill-on-autonomous-operation-of-internet-advances-in-duma/29765882.html) Russia’s lower house of parliament has given preliminary approval to a bill that backers say is designed to ensure the operation of the Internet in Russia if access to servers located abroad is cut off. The legislation, which critics […]

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Russia’s isolationist ‘sovereign internet’ bill worries experts and users alike

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

(GlobalVoices – Christopher Moldes – January 26, 2018 – globalvoices.org/2019/01/26/russias-isolationist-sovereign-internet-bill-worries-experts-and-users-alike/) After a bill was introduced in the Russian State Duma (the lower chamber of Russia’s bicameral legislative branch), the Russian government soon plans to discuss the feasibility of creating a so-called “sovereign internet” system. This system would purportedly safeguard networks within Russia from foreign information attacks, and calls for significant […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Accuses Facebook, Twitter of Failing to Comply With Data Laws; Social-media giants’ servers for storing Russian’s personal data must be located in Russia, says watchdog” – Wall Street Journal/Ann M. Simmons

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“Russia launched administrative action against Facebook … and Twitter … for failing to comply with its data laws … just days after Facebook removed … accounts of what it said were two misinformation campaigns based in the country. … Roskomnadzor, the federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications, said the social-media networks hadn’t submitted … formal and […]

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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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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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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: “Based on new draft legislation, here’s how Russia would actually build its own, autonomous Internet” – Meduza

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“The supposed story. … Russian authorities are abandoning the global Internet under the pretext of national security … transitioning to … [Russia’s] own domain name system and Internet traffic routing, where only Russian websites will work. … [F]ederal media regulator, Roskomnadzor, will be responsible for centralizing the state’s control … and all major Russian tech companies have agreed to the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin on Rap Music: It’s the Drugs That Really Bother Him” – New York Times/ Andrew E. Kramer

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

“Told that rap and hip-hop have grown wildly popular among Russian youth, and that … lyrics are rebellious, mention drugs and include many swear words … Putin mused about banning the music outright … then suggested … he might try to control it. ‘If it is impossible to stop, then we need to lead, and in an appropriate way, direct’ […]

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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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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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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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Maria Trofimova: “[SEELANGS] European University at Saint Petersburg Reopens Its International Programs”

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

Subject: [SEELANGS] European University at Saint Petersburg Reopens Its International Programs Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2018 From: Maria Trofimova <mtrofimova@EU.SPB.RU> Dear SEELANGers, I am happy to let you know that on August 10 2018 European University at Saint Petersburg has received a new educational license. After a forced year without students we are opening our doors for them again. This […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Mail.ru Group calls for amnestying people convicted of extremism over reposts, likes” – Interfax

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

MOSCOW. Aug 15 (Interfax) – The Mail.ru Group has urged the State Duma, the Supreme and Constitutional Courts, and the Justice Ministry to decriminalize the activity of social media users and amnesty persons convicted on such counts. “We have sent the following official petitions today: we urged the State Duma to initiate the submission of a bill on the amnesty […]

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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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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: “Don’t ‘overdo’ it online, if you fear the fuzz; A linguist explains the messy science that fuels Russia’s anti-extremism policing” – Meduza

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

“The number of ‘extremist’ crimes committed in Russia has been growing for the past several years. According to the ‘Sova’ analytical center, police launched 563 extremism investigations in 2016 and 858 new cases in 2017. Most of the suspects in these investigations are ordinary Internet users who have expressed their political views on social media. Dozens of these people have […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Russian government blocks Navalny’s website, as Instagram caves to the censor’s demands and YouTube wavers” – Meduza

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“When the dust finally settled, the morning after Valentine’s Day, it was Instagram – not YouTube – that had complied with orders from Russia’s federal censor to delete content flagged as a privacy violation by a court in Ust-Labinsky. On February 9, Instagram was given three weekdays to delete 14 posts uploaded by a self-described escort who calls herself ‘Nastya […]

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Roskomnadzor threatens to block sites that don’t delete info from Navalny film by Wed night

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MOSCOW. Feb 14 (Interfax) – Roskomnadzor has given websites that have yet to delete the information contained in the film made by Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation until Wednesday evening to do so, saying they will be blocked if they do not comply. “The monitoring of the sites that have failed to delete the prohibited information and remain in the Unified […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s media scene: not just a state affair; Despite Western preconceptions of a Soviet-like puppet media, the Russian news landscape is quite diverse, with outlets public and private, big and small. But government influence remains a critical concern” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Collage of Russian Newspapers

“… Today’s Russian media is a mixture of old Soviet products – which have evolved but often retain dependency on the support of the state or Kremlin-friendly oligarchs – and a few independent ones that answer to business or politically minded owners. … most information about national and foreign affairs comes from the three big Moscow-based TV networks and national-scale […]

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Interfax: Increase in number of minors taking part in unauthorized rallies is problem – human rights council

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

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) – The number of minors taking part in unauthorized events has increased considerably, the Russian presidential human rights council said. “One of the problems is a considerable number in the percentage of minors. At Sunday’s event, by 3:30 p.m., some 60% [of the participants] were minors,” Kirill Kabanov, a member of the human rights council, said […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Bell: meet the Russian media start-up fighting for the precarious future of independent media”

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

“After she was fired as editor-in-chief of Russia’s highly respected media outlet RBC for critical reporting, Elizaveta Osetinskaya left her country and headed to the US. Now she’s founded The Bell, a six-person media start-up fighting for space in Russia’s troubled world of independent media. * * * The Bell launched a weekly English-language website and newsletter in December, which is […]

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NEWSLINK: “STALIN, PADDINGTON, AND THE PRESS” – irrussianality/Paul Robinson

File Photo of Reel of Film

“What do Josef Stalin and Paddington Bear have in common? Answer: The Russian Ministry of Culture has tried to ‘ban’ films about them – or at least that what recent headlines would have you believe. The truth is a bit more complex. …”

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NEWSLINK: “A hybrid hunt for criminal journalists; Meduza reviews how federal censors monitor and punish Russia’s mass media” – Meduza

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“A lot is illegal when you’re a mass media outlet in Russia. … To enforce all these prohibitions, Moscow has a special state enterprise that reports to Roskomnadzor: the Main Radio Frequency Center ‘GRChTs’ federal state unitary enterprise. The outfit employs hundreds of people to scan the Internet every day, analyzing hundreds of websites with pornography, obscenities, and other illegal […]

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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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Russia’s new media law: expanding the field of uncertainty; Russia’s new legislation is not only aimed at foreign media. It’s another step in the process of blurring legal definitions – until they’re useless.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Sergey Lukashevsky – November 29, 2017) Sergey Lukashevsky is the director of the Sakharov Center, Moscow. The Russian state currently lives for two problems – its relations with the US, and the upcoming presidential elections. Society is worried about something slightly different – the state of the healthcare system, rising taxes and reducing incomes. But it’s the authorities […]

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NEWSLINK: “‘You can always expect retaliatory measures from Moscow’ Deputy Duma Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy explains Russia’s new legislation against ‘foreign agents’ in the news media” – Meduza

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“On November 15, lawmakers in the lower house of Russia’s parliament unanimously passed all three readings of amendments to federal laws on the mass media. If adopted by the Federation Council and President Putin, the reforms will empower the Justice Ministry to add certain media outlets to Russia’s registry of foreign agents. State Duma deputies say the legislation is being […]

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Russian Duma Approves Restrictions On Foreign Media

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – November 15, 2017- also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-amnesty-foreign-media-bill-repressive/28854885.html) The lower house of Russia’s parliament has unanimously approved legislation that would authorize the government to designate media outlets receiving funding from abroad as “foreign agents.” The State Duma approved the amendments — which Amnesty International said would deal a “serious blow” to […]

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Roskomnadzor not preparing coercive measures against U.S. media, social networks – head of agency

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

MOSCOW. Nov 1 (Interfax) – The Russian telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor is currently not preparing any coercive measures against the U.S. media, including CNN and social networks, Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov said. “Speaking about now, we are working within the legal framework and we are not preparing any specific actions on the U.S. media and U.S. social networks,” he told reporters […]

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Russian Director Vows To Quit Cinema After ‘Hysteria’ Over TV Spy Thriller

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, October 17, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-director-vows-to-quit-cinema-after-tv-spy-thriller/28800376.html) Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agents battle fifth columnists and CIA “sleeper” cells bent on sowing chaos and torpedoing a gas deal with China. Americans seeking a “colored revolution” try to frame Russia for the assassination of an […]

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Russia Prepares to Blacklist Five ‘Undesirable’ U.S. Media Outlets

Satellite Dishes

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 18, 2017) Russian senators have drawn up a list of five U.S.-based media outlets, including CNN, whose activities in Russia could be restricted in response to a requirement to have the American branch of Russia’s state-funded RT television channel register as a foreign agent. The U.S. Justice Department has asked that the Kremlin-backed RT […]

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Navalny Fund Publishes Retractions in Usmanov Libel Suit

Alisher Usmanov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 11, 2017) The Anti-Corruption Foundation has complied with a court order to publish retractions related to a video critical of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Foundation founder and opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sued for libel in April by Uzbekistan-born Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov over allegations of bribery. Navalny is currently serving a 20-day jail […]

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NEWSWATCH: “European University at St Petersburg faces research-only future. With latest application for teaching licence rejected in long-running battle with authorities, time is running out to start the new academic year” – Times Higher Education (UK)

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

“Russia’s ‘European’ university is contemplating a future as a research-only institution …. The European University at St Petersburg, a private postgraduate institution, has been wrangling with the government since last year, when it endured a series of snap inspections by authorities and had its teaching licence suspended. Officials claimed that EUSP, which has just 250 students and offers courses in the […]

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Russians Mull Movie Ban On British Farce ‘Death Of Stalin’

File Photo of Reel of Film

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – Sept. 20, 2017 – also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-death-stalin-movie-ban-outrage/28747021.html) The Russian Culture Ministry has warned it may ban a British satirical film about Soviet leader Josef Stalin’s death amid an outcry from Communist Party lawmakers who call it the latest example of Western “psychological warfare.” Adapted […]

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‘The Death of Stalin’ Comedy Has Russia’s Culture Ministry Bracing for Communist Backlash

File Photo of Reel of Film

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 18, 2017) The Russian Culture Ministry’s public council should pre-screen a satirical movie on the death of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to avoid repeating the ongoing controversy over a Tsar Nicholas II biopic, a senior council member told the Govorit Moskva radio station on Monday. Scottish director and writer Armando Iannucci’s “The Death of […]

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NEWSLINK: “European University in Russia faces closure. With its teaching licence revoked and the forced removal from its premises, the European University in St Petersburg is on life support. ‘We have lost virtually everything,” says one of its professors.” – ScienceBusinessNet

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… The private and internationally-backed postgraduate school has been a target of lawmakers for over a decade, in what critics claim is a complicated plot to stifle independent points of view, take ownership of a historic building, and stamp out western influences. …”

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Bill on multi-million fines for slander on social networks may pass State Duma in fall – Isayev

Russian State Duma Building file photo

IZHEVSK. July 26 (Interfax) – The State Duma will debate bills introducing increased fines for the dissemination of illegal content and slander on social networking sites in the fall session, Andrei Isayev, first deputy head of the United Russia faction on legislative activities, said. “At the beginning of the fall session, they [the authors of legislative initiatives] will insist on […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Across Russia, Protesters and Kremlin Backers Seek the Upper Hand; In towns like Izhevsk, a reinvigorated opposition is running into efforts to nip the movement in the bud” – Wall Street Journal/ James Marson

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

“… Protest leaders face fines and jail time for minor infractions, relatives of activists receive warnings from bosses, and students are told not to attend rallies, according to opposition supporters. … The movement has energized Russia’s youth, who make up the bulk of protesters. … But protests are still relatively small. Opposition leaders say people are preoccupied with their own problems, […]

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Russia Leading ‘Assault’ on Freedom of Expression – HRW

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 18, 2017) Russian authorities have clamped down on Internet freedoms and introduced “invasive” surveillance” online, under the pretext of fighting extremism, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report published today. The report criticizes Russia for unjustly imprisoning dozens based on their activity online and for introducing new laws that give the government tools […]

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Why Russian Officials Want to Control the Social Sciences; In authoritarian regimes, the social sciences are the most vulnerable to state interventions

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Moscow Times/Kennan Institute – themoscowtimes.com –  wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Irina Olimpieva – July 11, 2017) Irina Olimpieva is a senior researcher at St. Petersburg Center for Independent Social Research On June 23, the Board of Trustees of the European University in St. Petersburg accepted the resignation of the rector, Oleg Kharkhordin. The EUSP is a private Russian university operating as a […]

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Putin Needs an Intelligentsia that Complains but Knows Its Place, Shevtsova Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 7, 2015) Vladimir Putin needs a constantly complaining but one that knows what not to criticize – his person and immediate entourage – and how not to act – by taking part in demonstrations or in politics – so that Russia will appear to be a civilized country and popular anger […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin Critic Alexei Navalny Vows to Fight On; As legal obstacles to opposition figure’s presidential run multiply, he says in interview ‘Kremlin will have no choice’ than to let his campaign proceed” – Wall Street Journal/ Nathan Hodge

Alexei Navalny file photo

“… Navalny has mobilized thousands of demonstrators across [Russia] to protest corruption under … Putin. Now he says he is pressing ahead with a quixotic effort to run against his country’s powerful leader in elections next year. … despite … serious legal obstacles …. he was found guilty of embezzlement by a court in Kirov … a verdict he said was politically motivated to […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian Social Media Seen as Threat to Ukraine and to Cybersecurity. Kiev has shut down Russian Facebook-like platforms VKontakte and Odnoklassniki” – Wall Street Journal

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“Ukraine has taken a drastic step in a continuing cyberwar with Russia, its powerful, nuclear-armed neighbor: shutting down Russia’s homegrown versions of Facebook. The Ukrainian government earlier this month blocked Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki, Russian-language social media platforms that are hugely popular across the former Soviet Union, saying they were serving as vehicles for pro-Russian propaganda. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Hardliners urge Kremlin crackdown on social media; Russia has introduced increasingly draconian web laws but some are pushing for more” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

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

“… success in using social media to mobilise youthful anti-corruption protesters has sparked calls for the Kremlin to step up internet censorship. … [A]t a censorship conference … Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov … showed a documentary that accused … Navalny of luring children to violent protests against … Putin. ‘… [Young people] don’t know any history and they won’t until they get a rubber […]

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