Arrest Of Russian University Rector Sparks Fears Of Further Clampdown On Liberal Arts

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

His supporters have rallied to his cause, alleging that he fell victim to a criminal case that was opportunistically used to target a plucky school that some officials see as an incubator of dissent […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Journalist Dmitry Muratov Wins Nobel Peace Prize” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Nobel Prize Medal, adapted from image at lanl.gov

[Dmitry Muratov,] editor-in-chief of one of Russia’s leading independent newspapers, Novaya Gazeta, has won the Nobel Peace Prize. … for the paper’s reporting on human rights, freedom of speech and other politically sensitive topics […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Massive Video Leak Shows Rampant Torture at Russian Prisons – NGO” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and River

A prominent NGO that tracks abuses in Russia’s prison system says it has received “thousands” of leaked video clips showing inmates being beaten and tortured […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny, associates charged with extremist network establishment, participation – Russian Investigative Committee” – Interfax

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

MOSCOW. Sept 28 (Interfax) – The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who is serving time in a penitentiary in Russia, and his close associates on counts of establishing and participating in the activity of an extremist network. “The Main Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case under Part […]

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RUSSIALINK: “From Jail, Navalny Urges Russians to Vote Out Pro-Kremlin Candidates” – Moscow Times

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

With a number of independent and opposition candidates barred from running, Navalny’s team has in recent years switched tactics to promote a “Smart Voting” strategy that seeks to rally support behind the most promising challengers to United Russia […]

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Why the U.S. Should Rethink Its Russia-centric Ukraine Policy

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nicolai N. Petro – Sept. 9, 2021) Nicolai N. Petro is a professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island, specializing in Ukraine and Russia. His latest book, “Ukraine in Crisis,” was published by Routledge in 2017. Ahead of this month’s visit to Washington, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave a sense of his […]

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As Elections Loom, Russia’s Opposition Banks On Little More Than A Chance To Air Its Grievances

Russian State Duma Building file photo

Through an unrelenting campaign of intimidation and criminal prosecutions the authorities have purged the electoral field of all but a select few government critics […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Get them while they’re young: Vladimir Putin’s henchmen target Russia’s universities and students” – The Economist

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

“There’s an election coming.” “… But going after politicians and the media, and arresting students and activists, is no longer sufficient. The Kremlin is now trying to get a grip over schools and universities in a more systematic way. In the past nine months some 20 universities and institutes across Russia have had their deans replaced. … Russian students and […]

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Who Might Russia Declare A ‘Foreign Agent’ Journalist? Pretty Much Anyone, Really.

Kremlin and River

… the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin accelerates its campaign against independent journalism […]

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The Week In Russia: The Dangerous Summer

Forest Fire file photo

As September elections approach, COVID-19 takes a mounting toll and wildfires burn across huge swaths of the country …. The Kremlin crackdown on dissenters, civil society, and independent media continues […]

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Five Former Moscow Police Officers Jailed Over 2019 Arrest Of Journalist Golunov

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

A Russian court has sentenced five former police officers to several years in prison for the 2019 arrest of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov on trumped-up drug charges. … The journalist suffered bruises, cuts, a concussion, and a broken rib […]

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AUDIO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “What Russia Stands To Gain By Backing Belarus [Fiona Hill interview]” – NPR

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

“A growing number of European countries are blocking access to Belarusian airlines. … after Belarus intercepted a commercial flight and removed and arrested Roman Protasevich, an opposition journalist who was on board. … While Western democracies try to sanction Belarus, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, seems to support Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. … Fiona Hill … spoke to NPR’s All Things […]

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Russian Lawmakers Take Step Toward Ban Of Navalny Supporters From All Elected Posts

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

… The measure appears aimed at neutralizing the foundation of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, which Russian authorities are seeking to have declared “extremist” ahead of parliamentary elections […]

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RUSSIALINK: “After Plane Crisis, Is Belarusian President Lukashenko Becoming a Troublesome Partner for Russia?” – Moscow Times

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

Analysts say Moscow’s muted reaction to the diversion to Minsk of a Ryanair flight speaks to the Kremlin’s ambivalent view of the strongman. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Felix Light – May 24, 2021) In the hours after Belarus shocked the world by forcing a Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius to land in Minsk and arresting prominent opposition […]

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Image of Sakharov, Once the Conscience of the Nation, an Increasingly Blurred Figure for Russians, Lev Gudkov Says

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

The month marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Academician Andrey Sakharov who developed the hydrogen bomb … then became the leading spokesman for humanism and democracy against the Soviet regime […]

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After Seven Years Of Conflict, Ukraine’s Frontline City Is ‘Just Tired’ Of The Fighting

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

… The prospect of an invasion, unimaginable for most Europeans, has for the past seven years hung like a specter over this industrial port city located just 100 kilometers from Russian territory […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Navalny Fights to Stay in Public Eye in Putin Standoff” – Wall Street Journal

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

“Imprisoned dissident’s supporters are looking for new ways to maintain his visibility and, they say, keep him alive.” “… Russian authorities are moving to have [Navalny’s] political movement, including his anticorruption foundation, declared an extremist organization, putting it on a par with terrorist groups such as al Qaeda or violent religious cults. The move would choke off funding and provide […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny Has ‘Recovered’ After Hunger Strike — Prisons Chief” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 20, 2021) Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has recovered after he ended a 24-day hunger strike last month demanding adequate medical treatment, a top aide and the head of Russia’s prison service said Thursday. Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s best known domestic critic, is serving two-and-a-half years in a penal colony outside Moscow on old […]

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The Inconvenient Sakharov: His legacy is a moral challenge to the Kremlin, to Western elites and to many of Russia’s oppositionists

Andrei Sakharov file photo, adapted from image at Russian-speaking Community Council facebook event page

Subject: THE INCONVENIENT SAKHAROV Date: Thu, 20 May 2021 From: DDGlinski <DDGlinski@alumni.harvard.edu> THE INCONVENIENT SAKHAROV His legacy is a moral challenge to the Kremlin, to Western elites and to many of Russia’s oppositionists by Dmitri Glinski Dmitri Daniel Glinski, Ph.D., a member of the council of the Democratic Russia Movement in the early 1990s and of Russia’s Constitutional Consultative Assembly […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Russia, Alexei Navalny’s Allies Fight to Stay Afloat” – Wall Street Journal/ 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

“With the Kremlin critic jailed and key aides exiled or under house arrest, his supporters are struggling to launch a coherent challenge to President Vladimir Putin.” “Russian authorities are tightening the screws on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s opposition network, threatening the survival of his political movement as he languishes in jail. His key aides are under house arrest or in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Bullying Russia yearns to be treated as a great power; Vladimir Putin generates suspense in world affairs like some geopolitical Alfred Hitchcock” – Financial Times

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

“… As Russia’s chief decision maker, Putin’s personal moods obviously matter. However, more important is the logic of the Russian system of power, with its demand for … great power status. According to this logic, Russia cannot be ignored and must be a member of the global concert of powers. It believes macho bullying is the entry ticket …. Despite […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians’ Views of Navalny Protests Increasingly Negative – Poll” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

… Young people and new media readers were more likely to view the protests positively, while older age groups and television viewers held more negative attitudes […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Jailed Russian Dissident Alexei Navalny Ends Hunger Strike” – Wall Street Journal

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

“Opposition leader says doctors advised him to end the hunger strike because it was threatening his life.” “… Navalny announced Friday that he would end a weekslong hunger strike after he received medical treatment and his doctors warned that continuing to refuse food could kill him. … Navalny … started his hunger strike … to protest poor treatment in prison […]

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‘Why Don’t You Like Putin?’: Russian Students Pay A Heavy Price For Political Protests

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

… In the weeks since the demonstrations, local officials … have cracked down on young people … who participated …. Many have found themselves facing expulsion from their educational institutions, serious criminal charges, or … both […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “House of the dead: Does the Kremlin want Alexei Navalny to die in prison? It is beginning to look like it” – The Economist

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

“… Putin may have hoped that locking up … political opponent [Navalny] in a harsh [Pokrov] penal colony would finally put him out of sight and out of mind. … [Navalny] has been on a hunger strike … protesting … the appalling conditions of his confinement … deprived … of sleep and … medical care. … [with] a fever and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Leaders of Russia, France, Germany discuss global crises” – AP

Map of Europe, adapted from image at loc.gov

The leaders of Russia, France and Germany met by conference call … discuss[ing] coronavirus vaccines, the Iranian nuclear standoff[,] … eastern Ukraine, Libya … Syria [and Navalny] […]

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Russia’s Navalny Says Risks Solitary Confinement Over Prison Infractions

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

Jailed Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny says he fears the possibility of solitary confinement in a punishment cell after being accused of minor infractions. … six reprimands within two weeks at the correctional colony where he is being held. […]

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Russian Oversight Commission Meets Navalny In Prison

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

Members of the Public Oversight Commission in the Vladimir Region have met with jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny following … complaints about … declining health and poor medical treatment […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Facing Heightened Threats, Russia’s Main Independent Paper Contemplates a Bleak Future” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Woman's Hands Typing on Computer Keyboard, adapted from image at fbi.gov

The latest attack on Novaya Gazeta is making some of its editors wonder how long it can survive in the country. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Felix Light, Pjotr Sauer – March 25, 2021) On the way to work at Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta last Monday morning, journalists noticed a strong chemical stench on the street outside their central Moscow […]

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The Dzerzhinsky Discord: Who Will Fill the Vacancy in Lubyanka Square?

FSB Headquarters file photo

(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo – Maria Lipman – March 19, 2021) Maria Lipman is an affiliate of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES) and the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia) at George Washington University. For about a decade, negative, anti-Western, and anti-liberal ideological trends have been on the rise in […]

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Putin’s New Authoritarianism Existential Threat to Russia and the West, Skobov Says

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

… Skobov says … Putin’s new authoritarianism reflects … worldwide trends and specific Russian realities … a far more dangerous threat to Russia and the West than many imagine … fundamentally different from … authoritarianisms of the past […]

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VIDEO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Putin keeps his grip over Russia, even with support waning” – ABC

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

“How much of a challenge does Alexey Navalny pose to the Russian leader?” “[VIDEO FOLLOWS BELOW:] … [After] Navalny … survived a nerve agent poisoning … [and returned to] Moscow … The Kremlin[] … swiftly sentenced [him] to … prison in a trial condemned internationally as … politically motivated. … [Subsequent] large protests … were swiftly and robustly suppressed … […]

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Navalny Moved To Penitentiary In Pokrov, Says Russian News Agency

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 state news outlet TASS has been reporting that opposition politician Aleksei Navalny is being held in a penitentiary in … Pokrov, though the anti-corruption campaigner’s staff say they have not received official confirmation of his whereabouts […]

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Top Moscow Police Official Rejects Criticism Over Excessive Use Of Force Against Navalny Supporters

Flashlight and Beam file photo, adapted from image from lbl.gov

… More than 10,000 … were detained across Russia during the protests, sparking an international outcry over what rights groups and some Western governments called tactics of intimidation and the use of excessive force [… ]

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Navalny’s Movement Faces Tough Obstacles To Expanding Into Russia’s North Caucasus

Caucasus Mountains Satellite Image

Although Navalny’s team has long touted ambitions to become a truly national movement in opposition to the rule of longtime authoritarian President Vladimir Putin, the movement has made no inroads in the North Caucasus […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “Navalny and the Kremlin: Politics and Protest in Russia” – NYU Jordan Center, Columbia University Harriman Institute

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

“On February 1st, the Jordan Center and the Harriman Institute co-hosted a panel on Alexei Navalny as part of the New York–Russia Public Policy Series. Panelists included Yana Gorokhovskaia, Research Fellow at the Institute of Modern Russia; Pjotr Sauer, Journalist at the Moscow Times; Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, Reader in Russian Politics at King’s College London; and Aleksandra Urman, Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Communication and […]

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Banning Pro-Russian Media: Fighting Disinformation, Silencing Dissonant Opinions, or Both?

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

The basic questions at play … are not unique to Ukraine, though they are sharpened by Russia’s aggression in the Donbas and Crimea: Who defines the boundary between disinformation and dissonant opinions? […]

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Russian Duma OKs Bill To Fine Violators Of Controversial ‘Foreign Agents’ Law

Russian State Duma Building file photo

… First passed in 2012 and expanded …, the law gives authorities the power to brand nongovernmental organizations, human rights groups, news media, and individuals working for organizations deemed to receive foreign funding for political activity as a “foreign agent” […]

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Justice Or Commemoration? As Maidan Massacre Anniversary Approaches, Both Appear Elusive

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

… There is no police cordon to give away the forensic significance of the vacant lot atop Instytutska Street, but investigators believe it may hold important clues to conclusively establish who gunned down dozens of anti-government demonstrators […]

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By Attacking Navalny, Yavlinsky Confirms Him as Opposition Leader of the Future, Gallyamov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Feb. 8, 2021) Grigory Yavlinsky’s diatribe against Aleksey Navalny is “yet another confirmation” that Navalny’s position as leader of the opposition is solidifying, something Yavlinsky, an opposition leader from the 1990s, cannot bear but that is only good news for Navalny, Abbas Gallyamov says. For Russian voters, who attacks someone is often […]

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Andrei Liakhov: “Subject: Navalny saga: What does it mean?”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Subject: Navalny saga: What does it mean? Date: Sat, 6 Feb 2021 From: Andrei Liakhov <gaffriloff@yahoo.co.uk> [About: third-rome.com/en/team/] In its article dated 9 December 2011 New York Times described Navalny as a representative of the movement uniting skinheads and neonazis and mentioned an early Nalavny video where he called for physical elimination of Caucasian militants. I think it is the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s popularity slumps to 53% in wake of Navalny demonstrations” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

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

“… Putin’s popularity slumped to 53%, according to … state-owned pollster … VTsIOM[] … [after] a brutal crackdown by police on weekend demonstrations called by jailed anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny. … In the trust poll [Putin] fared less well, with the level of trust falling from 59% in 2017 to 25% in May 2020, the latest data […]

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