JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Global Ambitions Are Upended by Coronavirus’s Heavy Toll in Russia” – Wall Street Journal/ Yaroslav Trofimov, Thomas Grove

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Russian president’s efforts to showcase the country’s strength abroad backfired amid virus troubles at home […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Pro-Kremlin entrepreneur buys leading Russian business newspaper; Media executive Ivan Eremin to acquire Vedomosti after censorship row sinks alternative deal” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

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

A little-known Russian media executive with close commercial ties to the state has bought leading business newspaper Vedomosti […]

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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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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow’s First Steps Out of Coronavirus Lockdown, Explained” – Moscow Times

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

Starting Monday, Muscovites will be allowed to walk outside for the first time in two months – with a number of restrictions still in place […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “New evidence reinforces the suspicion that Russia was behind the downed MH17 plane” – Washington Post Editorial

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

…. The findings suggest … Putin’s regime was overseeing the separatists at the time the Russian missile was fired at the airliner. …

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Censorship row threatens Russia’s top business newspaper; Journalists at Vedomosti in open revolt against new editor” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

File Photo of Empty Chair and Desk with Computer, adapted from image at osha.gov

“A row over censorship has plunged Russia’s top business newspaper into a crisis that could either see it fall under the Kremlin’s control or torpedo a deal to sell it, leaving it on the verge of bankruptcy. Staff at Vedomosti are in open revolt against new acting editor Andrei Shmarov … they say he banned writing about taboo topics for […]

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Zelenskiy’s First Year: He Promised Sweeping Changes. How’s He Doing?

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

“… the first year since the 42-year-old comedic actor’s election has been chock full of ups and downs and twists and turns, with plenty of serious criticism … from constituents and international observers, not to mention an array of opponents. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “With the World Distracted by Coronavirus, Hopes for Peace in Ukraine Are Dimming” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

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

“Sound of gunfire and shelling has become part of everyday life in the city of Mariupol as hopes fade for an end to the war.” “… in eastern Ukraine … hopes for an end to the long-running war between Russian-backed separatists and Kyiv have faded since this winter’s tentative detente between … Putin and … Zelensky. … The conflict has […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Law and order under lockdown; How the coronavirus quarantine is making it even harder to find justice in Russia’s courts” – Meduza/ Liliya Yapparova, Maxim Solopov, Translation by Kevin Rothrock

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

“… in an effort to curb … coronavirus, Russia’s Supreme Court imposed a moratorium on all hearings across the nation’s judicial system except for particularly ‘urgent cases.’ Individual judges get to decide what qualifies as urgent … sources in the justice system tell Meduza that they worry Russia’s COVID-19 containment measures are making it even harder … to get a […]

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Contagious Solidarity: As Russia Faces Growing COVID-19 Crisis, Independent Activists Gear Up To Help

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

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Lyubov Chizhova, Aleksandr Litoi, Robert Coalson – ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, March 25, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/contagious-solidarity-as-russia-faces-growing-covid-19-crisis-independent-activists-gear-up-to-help/30509363.html) Aleksandra Krylenkova is a human rights activist with a long track record. In recent months, she has been campaigning in support of the defendants in the so-called Network […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Priests, Cossacks Negotiated Ukraine’s Surrender During Crimean Annexation – Meduza” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 16, 2020) Priests from the Russian Orthodox Church and Cossacks followed Defense Ministry orders to negotiate the Ukrainian army’s surrender during Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, the independent Meduza news website has reported ahead of the sixth anniversary of the land grab. On Feb. 27, 2014, masked troops in unmarked uniforms seized the Crimean parliament […]

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Fewer than Half of Russians Value Competitive Elections or Freedom of Religion or Speech, Pew Research Reports

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble) Staunton – Only 40 percent of Russians value competitive elections and only 23 percent consider it important that opposition parties can operate freely, according to a conducted by Pew Research (pewresearch.org/global/2020/02/27/democratic-rights-popular-globally-but-commitment-to-them-not-always-strong/ in newtimes.ru/articles/detail/191401?fcc). The Russian figures in this regard are significantly lower than in most of the other countries surveyed, but what is particularly […]

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Show Trials in the Information Age

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – Dec. 9, 2019) 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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Reporter’s Notebook: They Do Things Differently in Russia

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

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Jamie Dettmer – Nov. 29, 2019) Everyone overlooks them as they scurry about in their luminescent orange uniforms at all hours of the day and night, armed only with small brushes and the the type of long-handled lobby dustpans a concierge might use in New York or London to tidy up an entrance. Moscow’s […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s New ‘Foreign Agent’ Law, Explained” – Moscow Times

Satellite Dishes

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dec. 2, 2019) Russia has passed legislation that will allow individual journalists and bloggers to be labeled “foreign agents,” a move that critics say will tighten curbs on the media and free speech. At least nine news organizations funded by the U.S. government have been designated “foreign agents” under the original version of the law […]

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Far From Home: Russia Weighs Law To Allow Convicts To Do Time Closer To Their Families

Russia Regions Map

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Karina Merkuryeva and Robert Coalson – Dec. 1, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/far-from-home-russia-weighs-law-to-allow-convicts-to-do-time-closer-to-their-families/30301657.html) Zulaikhat Nurmagomedova has only seen her fiancé once in the last two years after he was sentenced to 12 years in prison on drug charges he denies and sent 700 kilometers east […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin wants to ‘understand’ Ukrainian leader’s approach to conflict settlement” – Interfax

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

(Interfax – Dec. 1, 2019) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has said that the expected meeting between Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris would be “very useful” for understanding the Ukrainian leader’s vision for the implementation of the east Ukraine conflict settlement plan known as the Minsk accords. The meeting will “certainly be very useful because we […]

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Russian Duma Approves ‘Foreign Agents’ Bill That Threatens Journalists With Label

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Nov. 21, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-duma-approves-foreign-agents-bill-threatens-journalists/30284789.html) The Russian parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, has approved the final reading of a bill allowing reporters who work for organizations officially listed as foreign agents to be designated as foreign agents themselves. The bill, approved on […]

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Maria Butina’s New Job? Maybe Advocating For Other Russians Held In U.S. Prisons

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags, 200, 1807-2007

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – Nov. 19, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/maria-butina-s-new-job-russians-u-s-prisons/30281107.html) During and after the 15-month prison sentence she served after admitting to working as an unregistered foreign agent, Maria Butina complained about both her sentence — “this is absolutely absurd” — and her treatment in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians Increasingly Value Free Speech, Civil Rights – Poll” – Moscow Times

Russia Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nov. 20, 2019) The share of Russians who view free speech, the right to a fair trial and other civil rights as important freedoms has increased by double digits in two years, according to the independent Levada Center pollster. Experts and sociologists link the double-digit growth in the importance of civil rights issues among Russians […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Supreme Court decision on movement For Human Rights shows authorities are not ready for criticism, compromise – HRW” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Nov 1 (Interfax) – The Russian Supreme Court’s decision on the liquidation of the movement For Human Rights led by Lev Ponomaryov indicates the flaws of the Russian judicial system and the position of the Russian authorities, which are not ready to take criticism and achieve compromises, Tanya Lokshina, associate director for Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Returning the Names event begins near Solovetsky Stone in Moscow” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Oct 29 (Interfax) – The names of the victims of repressions during the Great Terror under Stalin have begun to be read as part of the Returning the Names event in front of the Solovetsky Stone in Moscow. “Today, we have gathered in front of the Solovetsky Stone as a symbol of sorrow, memory, and repentance for the 13th […]

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RUSSIALINK: “On This Day Victims of Political Repressions Are Honored; The day was declared by political prisoners in 1974” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 30, 2019) On Oct. 30, 1974 a group of dissidents imprisoned in Soviet labor camps in Mordovia and Perm declared the date the Day of the Political Prisoners in the U.S.S.R. Led by Kronid Lyubarsky, the prisoners put forward a list of demands, which included recognition of political prisoner status; separation of political prisoners […]

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Zelenskyy’s High-Stakes Russia Game

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Vitaliy Syzov – October 9, 2019 – wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/zelenskyys-high-stakes-russia-game) Vitaliy Syzov is chair of the Donetsk Institute of Information, an NGO working in the media field in Ukraine. He worked for ten years a journalist in regional and national media and graduated from the Political Science Department, History Faculty, at Donetsk National University in 2012. The […]

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Putin Personally Responsible for All Repression in Russia, Krasheninnikov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 8, 2019) Vladimir Putin is personally responsible for all the repressive acts his system carries out because over the last two decades he not only appointed all those officials who are carrying them out but also has clearly signaled the direction they follow and could change things overnight if only he […]

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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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Kremlin Sees Role For U.S. In Helping Resolve Conflict With Ukraine

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Oct. 8, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/kremlin-sees-role-for-u-s-in-helping-resolve-conflict-with-ukraine/30205596.html) The Kremlin says the United States could play a role in helping resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict given Washington’s influence in Kyiv. “The U.S. can undeniably use the influence it has over Kyiv to make Ukraine fulfill its Minsk […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Want to Insult Putin? It Will Cost You $462; Russia’s new lèse majesté law helps turn the president into a laughingstock” – Bloomberg/ Leonid Bershidsky

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

“Six months ago, Russia adopted a law making it an administrative offense to insult the government on the internet. … and in a majority of the cases where a court imposed a fine[] Russians have been punished for insulting … Putin. Instead of sheltering Putin and other top officials from harsh and vulgar criticism, however, the use of the Russian […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Census begins in self-proclaimed Donbas republics” – Interfax

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

DONETSK/LUHANSK. Oct 1 (Interfax) – The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics (DPR/LPR), or, as Kyiv calls them, certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, have begun taking a census. “Today, the DPR has begun the population census that will last through October 14 by means of traditional polling of citizens, with census takers visiting households. Stationary […]

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Shaman Story Overwhelms Russian Media, Highlighting Deep Problems among Russians and in the Kremlin

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 19, 2019) Sometimes the real story is the story, the fact that some event has so captured the attention of the media and the public that it has overwhelmed coverage of almost everything else. That is what has happened in Russia in the case of the shaman who promised to exorcize […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Domestic Violence Affects 1 in 3 Russians, Poll Says” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 13, 2019) Nearly one-third of Russia’s population has come face-to-face with domestic violence in their own families or among acquaintances, according to an independent survey published Friday. Russia decriminalized certain forms of domestic violence in 2017, a decision that top lawmakers have said was a mistake two years later. Activists say the absence of […]

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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: “Ukraine-Russia Prisoner Swap: Necessary, Not Sufficient” – International Crisis Group

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

“… Moscow released 35 Ukrainian citizens. … includ[ing] four Crimeans arrested shortly after Russia’s … takeover of the peninsula, along with 24 sailors … Russian security forces apprehended [on] the Black Sea …. Russian courts had charged them with crimes including terrorism, espionage, conspiracy to violate state borders, and, most bizarrely, killing Russian troops in Chechnya in the mid-1990s. Human […]

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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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RUSSIALINK: “Russian PM questions dominant party’s election strategy” – Interfax

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Interfax – September 9, 2019) Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has suggested reconsidering the practice of United Russia-backed candidates running as independents in city council elections. “We can see how events are developing, there is much talk right now on the topic of so-called independent candidates – is this good or not good. Some were running as a representative of […]

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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: “The unraveling of Vladimir Putin” – Joseph Dresen/ The Hill

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

“… as tens of thousands of protesters once again took to the streets in Moscow to protest upcoming municipal elections, Russian state television showed a smiling … Putin riding with … [a] motorcycle club in Crimea. … a typical scene … the president doing tough guy stuff at the location of his most popular act of [the] annexation of Crimea. […]

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After Ukraine-Russia Prisoner Swap, Can Zelenskiy Capitalize On Momentum?

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller- KYIV, Sept. 7, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/after-ukraine-russia-prisoner-swap-can-zelenskiy-capitalize-on-momentum-/30151851.html) “Our guys are home.” As those words were shared by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on September 7, the Ukrainian nation simultaneously celebrated and breathed a collective sigh of relief upon learning that 35 of their compatriots […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians go to polls after summer of protests” – AFP

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

“[… A] hugely controversial campaign in Moscow that degenerated into the biggest police crackdown on protesters in nearly a decade. … [Local election] results … will be keenly watched ahead of [2021] parliamentary elections … and help shape Russia’s political future as … Putin’s regime enters [its] third decade …. [T]ens of thousands have taken part in Moscow protests demanding […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump slow-walks Ukraine military aid meant to contain Russia” – Politico/ Caitlin Emma, Connor O’Brien

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

“The Trump administration is slow-walking $250 million in military assistance to Ukraine, annoying lawmakers and advocates who argue the funding is critical to keeping Russia at bay. … Trump asked his national security team to review … the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative … to ensure the money is being used in the best interest of the United States, a senior […]

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Proposed Law Would Help Russians Hold Siloviki Accountable

File Photo of Moscow Protest with Riot Police

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 24, 2019) Many Russians believe that the anonymity policemen and Russian Guards feel in the uniforms they wear when moving against protesters gives the siloviki the feeling that no one will be able to identify the individual officers responsible and hold them accountable. Indeed, they suspect that is one of the […]

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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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U.S. Special Envoy To Ukraine Says Russian Propaganda Hindering Peace Efforts

File Photo of Kurt Volker and W. Bruce Weinrod, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Senior Airman Nathan Lipscomb

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/u-s-special-envoy-to-ukraine-says-russian-propaganda-hindering-peace-efforts/30112993.html) The U.S. special peace envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, says Russian propaganda is making it a challenge to solve the conflict in the east of the country. Speaking to RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service in Washington, Volker said Moscow’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow’s East-German scenario; Oppositionist Leonid Volkov explains how a daring new voting strategy is supposed to destroy Russia’s political monopoly” – Meduza

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

“Moscow’s political crisis continues, as demonstrators gear up for more protests against election officials’ refusal to register dozens of independent candidates for September 8’s City Duma race. … [S]upporters of … Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) proposed a voting strategy for the opposition, coordinated through the organization’s ‘Smart Vote’ project. If the city’s independent candidates are not allowed onto the ballot, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “For Russia’s detained protesters, rights group is first on scene [Re: OVD-Indo]” – AFP

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

“What started as a Facebook post during a wave of mass protests in Russia eight years ago has turned into a rights group that helps arrested demonstrators … in increasing demand as police crack down hard on opposition rallies. OVD-Info, which has around 27 staff, more than 300 volunteers and a small office in Moscow, is the first port of […]

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