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

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

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

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Post about Love” – Alexey Navalny/ Instagram

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

“Julia and I had our anniversary … 20 years of being wed … You, of course, have seen this a hundred times … one loving person lies in a coma … the other brings him back to life with her love and incessant care […]”

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian prosecutors ask German counterparts to interview Navalny, find out who planned Tomsk trip” – Interfax

Map of Germany

MOSCOW. Sept 21 (Interfax) – The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has asked the relevant German authorities to learn certain important details related to the incident involving Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny. “In particular, [the Prosecutor General’s Office] is seeking to find out who planned Navalny’s trip to Novosibirsk and Tomsk and when, who bought the tickets, booked the hotels, and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘I Didn’t Recognize People’: Navalny Says Long Recovery Ahead in Latest Health Update; Opposition leader says he has trouble walking, can’t use his phone or pour a glass of water.” – 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 – Sept. 19, 2020) Alexei Navalny has said he has difficulty performing everyday functions and that he faces a “long road” of recovery after his Novichok poisoning which left him in a coma. The opposition leader posted an update to his Instagram page Saturday from the Charite clinic in Berlin where he is being treated, outlining […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Navalny Says He is Breathing on His Own in a Message From His Hospital Bed; The poisoned Russian opposition leader plans to return to Russia, his spokeswoman says.” – New York Times/ Katrin Bennhold, Michael Schwirtz

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 message came hours after a senior German security official … [said] Navalny was awake, alert and had told German prosecutors that he was refusing to cooperate with a Russian inquiry into his case. He also vowed … to return to Russia as soon as possible to continue his work. … German officials now say they have almost no […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian paramedics’ accounts challenge Moscow’s explanation for Navalny’s coma – sources” – Reuters

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

Newly emerging accounts of the sudden illness of Russian opposition figure and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny reportedly refute official claims that Navalny had other medical causes for his symptoms. “… [P]aramedics who treated … Navalny after he fell violently ill on a plane last month found no increase in his blood sugar in initial tests and saw no signs of […]

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Russian Interior Ministry Wants To Question Navalny In Germany

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 Interior Ministry wants to question … Navalny in Berlin, where he is being treated after German doctors reported “unequivocal evidence” … he was poisoned with … military-grade nerve agent Novichok, contradicting … Russian counterparts who said they … found no trace of poison […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Germany hands over its Novichok investigation data to OPCW” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Nerve Agent Effects Body Chart, adapted from image at shareamerica.gov with credit to CDC

“Germany has handed over all … data related to its investigation into … [the] agent … used to poison … Navalny to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). … Merkel … announced that a top German military lab … [confirmed] ‘unequivocal proof of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group’ …. ‘… shocking information about the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What is Nord Stream 2 and Why Might Navalny’s Poisoning Stop Its Completion?” – Moscow Times

Gas Flame file photo

The confirmation that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok has heightened calls for Germany to review its support for Nord Stream 2 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH AUDIO: “Former CIA Chief Of Russia Operations On Poisoning Of Putin’s Rival With Novichok” – NPR

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

“… HALL: … it’s really not surprising at all that we’ve had this assassination attempt on a guy like Navalny. These are intelligence operations. It’s the Russian intelligence services that are responsible for doing this. … “

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‘It’s A Whole New Situation’: Russia’s Liberal Opposition Determined To Keep Fighting During Navalny’s Absence

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

Much of the Russian electorate is still seething over … constitutional amendments … foisted on the country … [that] could pave the way for … Putin to remain in power until 2036. And anger against … ruling United Russia … over a reviled reform that raised retirement ages has not abated […]

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RUSSIALINK: “The West Is Outraged By Navalny’s Novichok Poisoning. That’s No Guarantee of Tough Sanctions.” – Moscow Times

File Photo of G7 Leaders at Summit, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

Looming U.S. elections and disparate EU interests could translate into a symbolic response. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – Sept. 4, 2020) Lawmakers across Europe and the U.S. are scrambling to respond to the revelation that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok – a lethal Soviet-era military nerve agent – with the possibility of fresh sanctions […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office says no need to open criminal case into Navalny’s poisoning” – bne Intellinews

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 General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) [said, in a Aug. 27 press release, that it] doesn’t see any grounds for opening a criminal case into the poisoning of anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny …. However, the press release was almost immediately deleted …. No explanation was given for the decision. The GPO’s statement said … no information “evidencing a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “In Wake of Suspected Poisoning, Navalny’s Allies Vow to Soldier On” – 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

But if the Kremlin critic is unable to return to health, Russia’s opposition will lose its most recognizable leader. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich- August 27, 2020) While Russia’s most prominent opposition politician Alexei Navalny lies in a coma in a Berlin hospital after suffering an apparent poisoning last week, the pressure on his activities continues back home. […]

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With Navalny Poisoning Confirmed, Focus Turns To With What And By Whom

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

For five days now, Russian anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny has been comatose, medically induced into unconsciousness in an effort to keep his body from shutting down […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH:”FSB admits to ‘close’ surveillance of Russian opposition activist Navalny, who was medivaced to Berlin after suspected poison attack” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

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

“… Navalny arrived at Berlin’s Charité hospital … in a police convoy from Tegel Airport and remains under heavy guard with three cordons of police …. [after] nearly two days in [the] [Omsk] hospital …. The [FSB] statement … surprising in … [its] level of detail … throw[s] … light on just how heavily Navalny’s movements are monitored …. admitt[ing] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Don’t Drink the Tea: Poison Is a Favored Weapon in Russia” – New York Times/ Andrew E. Kramer

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“Poison has been a preferred tool of the Russian security service for more than a century, and critics of the Kremlin say it remains in the arsenal today.” “… [O]ther countries … have targeted killing programs … limited to counterterrorism …. [yet] Russia … has been accused of targeting a wide variety of opponents both at home and abroad. The […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What Navalny’s Poisoning Really Says About the Current State of Putin’s Russia” – The New Yorker/ Joshua Yaffa

Kremlin and River

“… This guessing game, though tempting, is not only unsolvable; it misses the insight that attacks like Nemtsov’s murder and Navalny’s poisoning really offer about Putin’s Russia — the most pernicious and terrifying fact is not whether Putin did or did not issue orders to his underlings to off perceived enemies but that anyone from the ruling circle can use […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Would Vladimir Putin Want to Get Rid of Aleksei Navalny Now? The unchanging leader of the regime is Mr. Putin; the unchanging leader of the opposition is Mr. Navalny. But everything changes.” – New York Times/ Oleg Kashin

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

“… [In] [a] heart-rending video … one of the [plane’s] passengers … capture[d] … Navalny’s groans and cries of pain. They sounded like the screams of a dying man. … If the Russian government has now decided to get rid of … Navalny, that suggests … some new political configuration in which there is no longer a need for any […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Suspected Poisoning of Alexey Navalny, Putin’s Most Prominent Adversary” – The New Yorker/ Masha Gessen

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

“Alexey Navalny … creator of Russia’s leading alternative-media outlet and its only real political organization, is now in a coma in the Siberian city of Omsk. [An] anti-corruption blogger[,] … for years [Navalny] has been … Putin’s only formidable opponent[,] … [i.e., Putin’s] only adversary who has remained in Russia, stayed active, and maintained prominence despite repeated attacks from the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “As Discontent Grows at Home, Russia’s Opposition Is Watching Belarus” – Moscow Times

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Despite massive protests continuing in the Far East, all eyes in Russia are on its western neighbor. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – Aug. 18, 2020) During his weekly YouTube talk show Thursday, Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny summed up how Russia’s opposition feels about the protests that are raging on either end of the post-Soviet space with one […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Nearly Half of Russians Support Anti-Kremlin Protests in Far East – Poll” – Moscow Times

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

Nearly half of Russians say they approve of … anti-Kremlin protests in the Far East … [breaking] out … after the arrest of the Khabarovsk region’s popular governor … and his replacement with a Putin-appointed lawmaker …. People have taken to the streets of Khabarovsk near the Chinese border … 18 days in a row … an unprecedented show of opposition to the Kremlin in the region […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘Russia, Wake up’: Far East Protesters Seek to Set Example for Entire Country; Some local Khabarovsk activists and experts, however, wonder if the protest movement can be sustained.” – Moscow Times

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – Khabarovsk, July 27, 2020) As they have for nearly three weeks, the first protesters started to gather at Lenin Square in the city of Khabarovsk in Russia’s Far East at 7 pm on a recent weekday evening. They were soon joined by independent Russian journalists and a small army of YouTube bloggers, […]

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

Cash, Calculator, Pen

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

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An Isolated Case? Observers Doubt Far East Unrest Will Spread Across Russia

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

… [Khabarovsk] residents … have been protesting following the … arrest of … popular governor[] Sergei Furgal. After … Putin named a Moscow-based politician with no ties to the Far Eastern region as Furgal’s temporary replacement, the protests took a sharply anti-Moscow turn […]

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Russian Opposition Must Talk with Siloviki and Attract Them to Its Side, Gallyamov Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 15, 2020) Up to now, Russian protests have focused all their attention on Vladimir Putin as if he were the only person who matters; and in the regions, where they have on occasion focused on governors, they have done so because they view the governors as a kind of stand in […]

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Protesters In Russia’s Far East Demand Release Of Regional Governor Charged With Murders

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

Demonstrators have continued to peacefully protest in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, demanding the release of the region’s governor Sergei Furgal of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Vote to Extend Putin’s Rule Faces Little Protest in Russia” – AP

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“They’ve offered prizes ranging from gift certificates to cars and apartments. … put up billboards … enlisted celebrities to urge a ‘yes’ vote. … encouraged state-run businesses like hospitals and schools to pressure employees to register at the polls. Russian authorities seem to be pulling out all the stops to get people to vote on constitutional amendments that would enable […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Citing Virus, Some Russian Election Officials Shun Vote to Extend Putin Rule” – Reuters

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

“… [C]iting … coronavirus, … around 350 [Russian polling station officials] across the country say taking part [in a nationwide vote on reforms that could extend … Putin’s rule until 2036] is too dangerous … [with] authorities … reporting thousands of new infections each day despite a drop … in … Moscow. The officials have started a petition … to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Communists Campaign Against Reforms Giving Putin More Years in Power” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 5, 2020) Russia’s Communist Party has launched a campaign urging supporters to vote against a set of constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power for the next decade and a half. Russians are set to vote on July 1 to approve Putin’s changes to Russia’s basic law that would, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians Are Angry, but Putin’s Foes Struggle to Seize the Moment” – New York Times/ Anton Troianovski

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

“The main opposition leader, Aleksei A. Navalny, has seen his YouTube audience triple during the coronavirus crisis. But street protest, his most potent weapon, is off the table.” “… Many Russians are enraged with the Kremlin over its botched handling of the coronavirus pandemic. … Putin’s approval rating … is at its lowest ebb since 1999, when he was a […]

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‘Rage Is Brewing’: Navalny Warns Of Public Anger Over Russia’s COVID-19 Response

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Russian citizens are expressing greater protest sentiment as the spread of the coronavirus and the state’s fight against it has left many people dissatisfied, including doctors and small-business owners, said one of the nation’s most influential opposition activists. […]

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First Russian Opposition Online Meeting Attracts Widespread Interest and 4800 Participants

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 30, 2020) The “No!” campaign organized on YouTube a virtual protest action against the amendments to the constitution and the failure of the Kremlin to act to help the population during the pandemic. It attracted only 4800 participants but far more likes and visits, observers said. This virtual protest (youtube.com/watch?v=gYDkz-tjn7E), which […]

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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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Even if Navalny Replaced Putin, Russia Wouldn’t Change Because Putin is ‘Simply a Product of Russian Society,’ Milin Says

Kremlin and River

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 22, 2020) Vladimir Putin has not changed Russian society as much as many think, Dmitry Milin says, because he “is simply the product of Russian society.” Consequently, even if he is replaced by someone like Aleksey Navalny, little or nothing will “change for the better.” Among Russians, the Moscow commentator argues, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Thirty-four Russians subjected to administrative liability for insulting state symbols – Prosecutor General’s Office” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Courts have found 34 Russians guilty of administrative violations for insulting state symbols, Russian Prosecutor General’s Office spokesman Alexander Kurennoi said. “The police made 56 protocols of administrative violations over a period of nine months. Courts found 34 people guilty, 13 cases were closed, nine cases are pending trial,” Kurennoi said on the video channel […]

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

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

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

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RUSSIALINK: “Almost 40% of Russians Call Moscow Protest Convictions ‘Politically Motivated’ – Poll” – Moscow Times/ Levada Center

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oct. 9, 2019) Nearly 40% of Russians believe that the recent criminal convictions of more than a dozen people over this summer’s Moscow protests were politically motivated, according to new independent polling. The Sept. 8 local and regional elections were among the most remembered events of the past month, according to the independent Levada Center […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Where else do leaders do what Trump is accused of? Start with Russia. And he has plenty of chances to do it again.” – Washington Post/ Scott Radnitz

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium with U.S. Seal, With Ukrainian and U.S. Flags in Background

“The House of Representatives is investigating … Trump’s alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine’s government to dig up dirt on Joe Biden …. [I]ncumbent presidents generally have a modest advantage … in familiarity, fundraising and media coverage. …. [I]n countries where … rule of law is weak, such as the post-Soviet region[ there is the prospect of] using … ‘administrative resources’ […]

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Khodorkovsky: Putin ‘Doesn’t Believe In Institutions’

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – BERLIN, Oct. 2, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/tycoon-khordokovsky-talks-putin-russia-s-problems-and-opposition/30194417.html) In a far-ranging interview with RFE/RL, Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky analyzed the Russian president, spoke about the opposition’s prospects and Russia’s problems, and compared governing systems from a viewpoint of living in self-imposed exile for more than […]

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Will the Electoral Success Achieved by the Opposition Inspire a New Wave of Opposition Activity?

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

(PONARS Eurasia – Mikhail Vinogradov – September 18, 2019) Mikhail Vinogradov is the president of the “St. Petersburg Politics” foundation, one of Russia’s top think tanks. Maria Lipman discusses the political developments of the past two months and the Russian government’s general policy toward elections with Mikhail Vinogradov, a Russian political expert and one of the most-often cited political commentators. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “St. Petersburg court releases opposition activist Ivankin arrested for protest action in cemetery” – Interfax

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

ST. PETERSBURG. Sept 26 (Interfax) – St. Petersburg’s Vasileostrovsky District Court on Wednesday dismissed the coroner’s motion and released member of the opposition movement Agit Rossiya Pavel Ivankin, whom police suspected of desecrating graves while staging protest action in a cemetery. Ivankin was released in courtroom, an Interfax correspondent reported. In releasing him, the judge cited shortage of evidence presented […]

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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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Viewed from Regions, Moscow Opposition Very Much Like Regime It Says It Opposes

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Sept. 7, 2019) Moscow opposition groups regularly give lip service to the idea of federalism, but when push comes to shove, they take positions so similar to the powers that be that people in the regions beyond the ring road find it difficult if not impossible to tell them apart, the Region.Expert […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Sending blank election monitoring forms to Navalny’s campaign was criminal – CEC” – Interfax

Alexei Navalny file photo

MOSCOW. Sept 10 (Interfax) – The Central Election Commission (CEC) is looking into how blank election monitoring referrals, signed by a senior Communist Party member, ended up at the campaign office of the opposition politician Alexei Navalny, CEC deputy chair Nikolai Bulayev said. “Electronic mass media have been actively reporting that Mr. Rashkin [first secretary at the Communist Party’s Moscow […]

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

Russia Regions Map

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

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow’s election results The opposition wins nearly half the City Duma seats, and United Russia’s local leader loses his seat” – Meduza/ Alexander Baklanov, translation Kevin Rothrock

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

“… Russia’s ‘systemic opposition’ (registered parties and candidates that ostensibly oppose the ruling party, United Russia) won 20 of the Moscow City Duma’s 45 seats. In Moscow’s September 8 parliamentary elections, the Communist Party won in 13 precincts, the liberal opposition party ‘Yabloko’ … in four, and ‘Just Russia’ … in three. The authorities’ winning candidates were nine active members […]

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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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