RUSSIALINK: “Hacker Attacks on Russia Gain Attention But Cause Little Damage” – Moscow Times

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – Alexandra Vladimirova – April 29, 2022) Two days after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a group of hackers managed to get access to several Russian state-owned television channels and broadcast anti-war videos. But the attack ended after a few minutes and regular programming resumed. This type of fleeting hacking operation has been repeated many times […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Offensive Bears Down on Donbas as West Races to Supply Ukraine With More Weapons; Ukraine is reinforcing units as it also counterattacks southeast of Kharkiv” – WSJ

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

“Russian forces Wednesday made incremental gains … in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas … as Western nations rushed more weapons to … Ukrain[e]…. In … Mariupol … Russia … insisted on … unconditional surrender and kept pounding … Ukrainian forces — … mostly holed up in the sprawling Azovstal steel plant — with artillery and airstrikes. Ukraine[] … said … that Russian […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny Calls Ukraine War ‘Distraction’ From Russia’s Problems” – Moscow Times

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

“I think this war is designed to divert attention from Russia’s problems, and it will only lead to greater impoverishment …. I consider those who unleashed this war to be bandits and thieves. I went into politics to fight this criminal regime of thieves.” […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin: Russia-U.S. talks inspire no significant optimism” – AP

Wendy Sherman file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

“The Kremlin said Tuesday it saw ‘no significant reason for optimism’ …. The talks aimed at defusing tensions over Ukraine took place in Geneva on Monday and offered no sign of immediate progress. Moscow went in insisting on guarantees to halt NATO’s eastward expansion and even roll back the military alliance’s deployments in Eastern Europe — demands that Washington had […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “CIA Chief Says Intelligence Agencies Haven’t Concluded Russia Will Invade Ukraine” – WSJ

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

Russian President Putin is assembling a potent military force and may see a chance to act this winter, William Burns says […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia clamps down on historical memory and justice” – Financial Times

Gulag file photo featuring barbed wire across open ceiling, adapted from image at nps.gov

“The threat to liquidate the research group Memorial is an assault on a brave outpost of post-Soviet civil society.” “… Putin’s crackdown on dissent is inextricable from a desire to control Russia’s past. … Memorial has [painstakingly] compiled a database of more than 3m victims of Soviet political repression, mostly … executed, imprisoned, sent to labour camps or exiled during […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Life under siege: residents fear new surge of war in rebel-held east Ukraine” – Reuters

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

“… On the edge of Horlivka, … controlled by … separatists since 2014, … neighbors are trapped between the two warring sides in a conflict that the Ukrainian government says has killed more than 14,000 people. Russia has accused Ukraine of preparing to try to recapture the breakaway eastern regions by force …. Ukraine fears Russia might use that as […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow Court Begins Hearings on Closing Top Rights Center” – Moscow Times

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

A court in Moscow on Tuesday began hearings into a request by prosecutors to shut down a key center of Russia’s leading rights group Memorial […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: Alexei Navalny: “You wait all the time 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

“You wait all the time in prison. Any prisoner will tell you that the term breaks down into large and small waiting periods. In the endless groundhog day, there are certain regular events … It is clear that people here keep count of their total term too. Most prisoners can immediately answer “I have 583 days left.” But my prospects […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Lenin would be baffled: Russia’s once-tame Communist Party is becoming an opposition force: The Kremlin and the party’s own leader are worried” – The Economist

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“… many Russian democrats, desperate to get Yeltsin’s successor [Putin] out of the Kremlin, find themselves voting for the Communists. … aware of the irony. … With nearly all forms of politics banned and [] Navalny behind bars, the Communist Party … [has benefited the most from Navalny’s] ‘smart voting’ strategy. … Had … votes been counted honestly in parliamentary […]

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‘I Was Always Afraid Of Getting Caught’: Former Inmate Who Leaked Russian Prison-Torture Videos Speaks Out

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

А former Russian inmate who leaked a massive cache of videos showing evidence of rampant torture in Russian prisons said he believes prison guards were prone to using sexual assault against their victims “because it is the cruelest” […]

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‘Sword Of Damocles’: With First Legal Charges, Russia’s ‘Foreign Agent’ Law Bares Its Teeth

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

“‘… you have to remember how every single ruble ended up in your account.’ If a report is deemed erroneous, a designated “foreign agent” could face a fine of up to 300,000 rubles ($4,250) or a prison term from two to five years […]

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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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