JRL NEWSWATCH: “More than 600 Russian scholars worldwide demand end to ‘rioting’ case against Moscow protesters” – Meduza

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

“Russian scholars … in a range of countries … Russia included, have published a statement demanding that charges of mass rioting against Moscow election protesters be dropped. … ‘We demand that those who currently direct [Russia’s] governing apparatus cease their abuses of power, stop their political repressions, and begin adhering rigorously to the Constitution of the Russian Federation.’ … signatories […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow City Court upholds Gudkov’s disqualification from Moscow Duma elections” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Aug 21 (Interfax) – The Moscow City Court has upheld opposition activist Dmitry Gudkov’s disqualification from the Moscow City Duma election, an Interfax correspondent reported on Wednesday. The Russian Central Elections Commission had refused to register him as a candidate on August 6 on the grounds of lacking about 300 valid signatures in his support of his candidacy. A […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Unbowed; Protests in Moscow show that Putin’s critics are getting stronger; Repression isn’t working like it used to” – The Economist

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“It is 20 years this month since then-President Boris Yeltsin appointed a shadowy security chief called Vladimir Putin as Russia’s prime minister. The next New Year’s Eve, the ailing … Yeltsin would install the ex-KGB man as his successor. On the anniversary of his ascent to power … Putin has little reason to celebrate. [In one of a series of […]

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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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‘Bums, Freaks, And Gypsies’: How Pro-Kremlin Media Depict The Moscow Protesters

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Todd Prince – Aug. 14, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/how-pro-kremlin-media-depicts-the-moscow-protesters/30109908.html) More than 50,000 people joined a rally for fair elections in Moscow on August 10, biting back concerns about arrests and police beatings to show up for what turned out to be the largest anti-government […]

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Protest Movement Must Broaden Its Agenda or It will Ebb After September 8, Makarkin Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 11, 2019) Many observers, impressed by the growth of the number of people coming out to protest in Moscow in recent weeks, have ignored two important aspects of the situation that are likely to lead to the dying out of this wave of demonstrations rather than to its further expansion, Aleksey […]

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RUSSIALINK: “A roadmap for the Moscow crisis; In Moscow, the standoff between the democratic coalition and authorities is approaching its peak. But protesters have a weapon of their own: a clear advantage in the electoral fight.” – Opendemocracy.net/ Grigory Yudin

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

(Opendemocracy.net – Grigory Yudin – August 12, 2019) Grigory Yudin is a sociologist, philosopher and professor at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. Moscow’s democratic coalition has a clear advantage in electoral struggle – and this is a fact that the Kremlin can’t ignore. In the past month, 19 independent and opposition candidates have tried to run in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Bolotnaya riot case defendant arrested for 13 days for profane language from stage at Aug. 10 rally” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. Aug 12 (Interfax) – Moscow’s Meschansky District Court on Monday found activist Alexei Polikhovich guilty of petty hooliganism at the August 10 opposition rally on Sakharov Avenue in Moscow. “The court found Polikhovich guilty of committing an administrative offense defined in Article 20.1 of the Russian Administrative Offense Code and penalized him with 13 days of administrative arrest,” the […]

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Teflon Putin? Over 20 Years In Power, Scandals Don’t Seem To Stick To The Russian President

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tony Wesolowsky and Robert Coalson – August 8, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-20-years-power-corruption-scandals/30100279.html) Vladimir Putin was not well known when President Boris Yeltsin picked him as prime minister on August 9, 1999, a key point in his meteoric rise to power. But years earlier, back […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What we know so far about Moscow’s custody challenge against two parents who were seen with their toddler at an election protest” – Meduza

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

“Moscow prosecutors are pursuing a custody challenge against a couple who brought their one-year-old child to a … protest for fair elections. … [T]he city’s Prosecutorial Office claimed that ‘during the course of the protest, the parents gave their young child to a third party, which put the boy’s health and life in danger and caused him physical and emotional […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Levada and VTsIOM polls dramatically disagree on sentiment over the Moscow protests” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Kremlin and River

“… results of a poll by independent pollster the Levada Center violently disagreed with a poll by the state-owned pollster, the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), on the reaction to the weekend protests over the upcoming city council elections. Levada found that 37% of Muscovite supported the protests, 27% viewed them negatively and 30% were neutral. … a VTsIOM […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Violent Crackdowns on Russian Opposition Reveal Dangerous Policy Shift” – Moscow Times/ Sam Greene

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“The level of confrontation between the Kremlin and the Russian opposition has increased, and along with it the scale and severity of the law-enforcement response to protests.” “There has been a significant and sustained shift in the Kremlin’s relationship with the Russian opposition[] and … the Russian public [generally] …. Authorities across the country have issued ever fewer permits for […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Are regular Russians ready to face the police baton to get what they want?” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“Has the brutal beating of protestors in Moscow … and the arresting of over 1,300 people – some simply innocent passersby – radicalised Muscovites? … It’s clear that … Putin’s tight grip on popular politics is slipping. Several high-profile celebrities came out publicly in support of the protestors, which in ‘Putin’s Russia’ is unusual, as it is bad for your […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Some thoughts on the security side of Saturday’s Moscow crackdown” – In Moscow’s Shadows/ Mark Galeotti

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“… 1. There seems to have been something of a split between the police and the National Guard. …  2. … gas and guns were absent. … an entirely old school shield-and-baton operation …. [without] even … armed snatch squads … behind the lines as backup, suggesting [authorities] knew … they weren’t going to face serious trouble …. 3. Who […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Purpose of night searches of opposition activists’ residences was pressure – human rights council” – Interfax

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. July 25 (Interfax) – The recent searches of opposition activists’ residences were aimed at pressuring them, the chairman of the commission on civic control over law enforcement agencies of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council, Igor Kalyapin, said. “Very large doubts arise about whether these measures are actually founded. I have big doubts that the searches were conducted because […]

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At Time of Transition, the Kremlin Fears Competitive Elections More than Mass Protests, Martynov Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 21, 2019) Six years ago, the Kremlin feared mass protests and so allowed for competitive elections in local Moscow elections, Kirill Martynov says. Now, it fears competitive elections because of its concerns about organizing the transition and so doesn’t fear the mass protests which have come as a response. The Novaya […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘A Pre-Revolutionary Situation’: More Than 20,000 Rally in Moscow for Free Elections” – Moscow Times

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

Russia’s largest protest in years came after a week of demonstrations against the barring of opposition candidates from city council elections. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – July 20, 2019) Russian opposition leaders on Saturday led a protest in Moscow against the election commission’s decision to bar a host of candidates from the ballot for city council elections […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin distances itself from Moscow election controversy” – Interfax

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – July 16, 2019) The Kremlin has distanced itself from the controversy surrounding the registration of candidates in September’s Moscow city council election. “Broadly speaking, this is a matter for the electoral commission, and here the Kremlin simply has neither the authority nor any intention to intervene in this situation,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on 16 […]

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Putin has Always Opposed Liberalism, Moscow Commentators Say

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 29, 2019) Many in the West were taken aback by Vladimir Putin’s attacks on liberalism in his recent Financial Times interview, but two Russian commentators have pointed out what should have been obvious to everyone: Putin has been fighting against what he defines as liberal values his entire professional life. Petr […]

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Zyuganov Says He’s Loyal to Putin Out of Fears of Disorders

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 25, 2019) In an interview in advance of his 75th birthday, KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov says he has been loyal to Putin for the same reason he did not challenge the results of the 1996 election: he fears disorder in Russia now just as he feared war in 1996 — with […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH AUDIO: “Generation Putin; Russia’s youth flex their political power” – PRI/ Indra Ekmanis/ Producer Daniel Ofman

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

“… For more than 33 million Russians under age 20, the leadership of Putin is the only type of government they’ve ever known. Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin as president in 2000. Since then he’s bounced between the offices of president and prime minister, most recently barring Navalny from running against him in the 2018 presidential elections. … young Russians … […]

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Generational Change Makes Current Protests More Serious than Earlier Ones, Gontmakher Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 1, 2019) Many people in the regime and beyond are not inclined to take the current wave of protests in Yekaterinburg, Yakutsk, Siyes, and Ingushetia seriously, Yevgeny Gontmakher says, assuming the causes are so varied and the solution to the demonstrations the same as it was in 2011-2012. The economist says […]

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Russia’s Struggle Over the Meaning of the 1990s and the Keys to Kremlin Power

Kremlin and River

(PONARS Eurasia – Gulnaz Sharafutdinova – May 7, 2019) Gulnaz Sharafutdinova is Reader at King’s Russia Institute, School of Politics & Economics, King’s College London. (PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The days of political promise the Russian liberal opposition enjoyed during 2011-12 when the “angry urbanites” protested against the regime, are long over. The Russian “progressive era” failed without even starting. […]

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Russia’s Main Problem isn’t Populism but Two Forms of Elitism, Emil Pain Says

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 5, 2019) Russia’s main problem isn’t populism, Emil Pain says. Indeed, it does not really exist being instead just as much an imitation of political reality as Russian democracy is. Instead, “the real problem is Russia is elitism in its two basic forms,” the paternalist one in the state based on […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Great Firewall of Russia? Kremlin puts key bricks into place.” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

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

“Russians have enjoyed a relatively freewheeling internet, but that is likely to change with a new surveillance law. How will the Russian public respond to their online life being closely monitored and constrained?” “Officially, Russia’s new Sovereign Internet Law is aimed at addressing problems that are vexing governments globally: the proliferation of ‘fake news’ and illegal content, the disturbing reach […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “Russia’s Democracy: What Happens After Putin?” – CFR

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

“Mikhail Khodorkovsky provides his perspective on the domestic political climate in Russia, prospects for democratic change, and the future of U.S.-Russia relations.” (Council on Foreign Relations – cfr.org – April 29, 2019 – cfr.org/event/russias-democracy-what-happens-after-putin) [Click here for transcript and original post: cfr.org/event/russias-democracy-what-happens-after-putin] “Speaker: Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Founder, Open Russia Presider: Thomas Graham, Distinguished Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Special Assistant to […]

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Russian Opposition Now Not Heir to the Soviet Dissent It Believes Itself to Be, Podrabinek Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 1, 2019) Last Friday and Saturday, a group of civic activists met in Moscow to honor the memory of the late Arseny Roginsky, a dissident and political prisoner who served as chairman of the board of Memorial. Many of those attending believe that they are the heirs to the Soviet dissidents; […]

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As Opposition Wins Mount, Russians Increasingly Believe Their Votes Matter, Analysts Say

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 26, 2019) With every victory of opposition figures at the municipal or regional level, the most recent being that of a 28-year-old homemaker in Ust-Ilimsk, Russian experts say, ever more Russians especially outside of major cities like Moscow are realizing that their votes matter and that voting can be both an […]

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Protesters in Russia Today Younger, Poorer and Further Left than a Decade Ago, Sociologists Say

Moscow Protest File Photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 24, 2019) Sociologists like Oleg Zhuravlyev of Tyumen University say that there has been a major shift in the composition and attitudes of Russian protesters over the last decade. Compared to 2011-2013, protesters are significantly younger, from poorer groups, and further to the left. Those taking part in the earlier demonstrations […]

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

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

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

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Opposition Activist Defects to Kremlin-Run RT” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 28, 2019) A onetime Russian opposition activist has taken a job at the Kremlin-run RT television channel, stirring heated debate among former colleagues and observers. Once described as the face of Russia’s opposition, Maria Baronova had recently headed the Moscow branch of the Open Russia pro-democracy movement. In 2012, she was detained and charged […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Chaotic’ sanctions against Russia have failed, says Navalny’ Putin critic claims they miss target and US and UK avoid tackling dirty money” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

“… Navalny said western sanctions against Moscow missed the target and were not working, and that the U.S. and UK had no real interest in tackling ‘dirty money.’ … Navalny labelled existing economic curbs ‘chaotic’ and ‘incomprehensible’ and said attempts to rein in Russia should refocus to target properly the powerful oligarchs with close links to … Putin. … argu[ing] […]

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Russian Political Opposition, Russian Popular Protests Seldom Coalesce

Moscow Protest File Photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 19, 2019) The agendas of those typically identified as the Russian opposition and those of Russians angry enough to go into the streets seldom intersect, thus depriving the protesters of leadership and depriving the political opposition of the energy that the protesters could provide. That suits the Kremlin just fine because […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Court in Kirov finds ban on Navalny’s international travel unlawful” – 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

KIROV. Dec 7 (Interfax) – The Oktyabrsky District Court in Kirov has partially granted the claim of opposition activist Alexei Navalny against the Federal Bailiff Service that banned his international travel. “The claim has been partially satisfied,” a court representative told Interfax on Friday. He added that the hearing was held on December 6. Navalny confirmed the partial satisfaction of […]

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NEWSLINK: “Arms For All? Khodorkovsky Says Russians Need Guns” – RFE/RL/ Timur Olevsky, Tony Wesolowsky

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

“Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a staunch Kremlin critic who went from Russia’s wealthiest man to its highest-profile inmate, remains upbeat about the country he fled upon his release from prison in 2013. His vision of a future democratic Russia would be anchored by a decentralized government, including improved criminal investigations, and also offers a few surprises. …”  

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RUSSIALINK: “Dozens leave St. Petersburg’s Yabloko branch over differences with Yavlinsky” – Interfax

Grigoriy Yavlinskiy file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 22 (Interfax) – Mikhail Amosov, a deputy of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, said he is leaving the Yabloko party. Several dozen others in the region have also left. “The wish to decide from Moscow who will run the organization, who will be included in the bureau, the issuance of yarlyks for princedoms – unfortunately, these things […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Dissident Wins a Bittersweet Victory Over Putin; Europe’s rights court condemned the Kremlin’s persecution of Alexei Navalny, but the ruling could push Russia further away from the West.” – Bloomberg/Leonid Bershidsky

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

“… Russian dissident Alexei Navalny has long had a catch-and-release relationship with … Putin and his regime. … [T]he European Court for Human Rights ruled that arrests in 2012 and 2014 violated Navalny’s rights. … likely to bring Russia a step closer to breaking off its remaining ties with European institutions.  The Putin regime has been playing an unpredictable game […]

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On Second Try, Navalny Leaves Russia For European Court Ruling

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Nov. 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/on-second-try-navalny-leaves-russia-for-european-court-ruling/29600022.html) Opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has managed to leave Russia to attend a ruling in his case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), a day after he was barred from boarding a flight out. Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin’s most […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian Politician Details Future of Russian Opposition Party” – Cornell Daily Sun/ Vale Lewis

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

“After spending twenty years in the technology industry, Leonid Volkov had a rude wake-up call to the reality of Russian politics when he was elected to city council as the only independent member – the other 34 officials were members of the United Russia Party – the party of President Vladimir Putin. … Volkov – chief of staff for Alexei […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Fines in Kirovles case can’t be reason for travel ban, were already paid – Navalny” – 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. Nov 13 (Interfax) – The enforcement proceedings in the “second Kirovles case” cannot be the reason opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been banned from traveling abroad, as they were opened less than five days ago, according to Navalny. “The law allows five days for the voluntary execution of a warrant by court bailiffs,” Navalny said on his website on […]

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Russian Opposition Must Have a Bigger Agenda than ‘Putin Must Go,’ Rumarchuk Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 8, 2018) As Russian economist Vladislav Inozemtsev has pointed out, “in Russia, politicians more often raise ‘big questions’” than do their counterparts in the West, talk about the struggle of good against evil or engage in historical discussions rather than address immediate issues that they might actually be able to do […]

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Russian Officials Warn Google Not To ‘Meddle’ In Elections By Hosting Navalny Videos

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Sept. 5, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-officials-warn-google-not-meddle-in-elections-hosting-navalny-videos-youtube/29472527.html) Russian officials say they have warned U.S. Internet giant Google against “meddling” in local elections scheduled for this weekend by allowing Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny to post videos calling for mass protests on YouTube. Representatives of Russia’s election commission, the Prosecutor-General’s Office, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Extreme prejudice: how the Kremlin is cracking down on discontent” – The Times (UK)/Tom Parfitt

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

“… Incitement to commit a crime by undercover officers is illegal under Russian law. Critics say the defendants have been set up as hardened plotters intent on a nationwide revolt, when in fact they were simply a small group of disgruntled, naive, young people led on by a provocateur. The trial has a wider significance. … the most prominent of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How bad are things for Russia’s oldest liberal democratic political party? Well, it’s currently suing itself in Moscow” – Meduza

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

“The federal bureau of the ‘Yabloko’ political party is being sued for refusing to nominate Moscow branch leader Sergey Mitrokhin as the party’s candidate in this September’s Moscow mayoral election. The party held primaries … but the winner withdrew his candidacy in favor of Mitrokhin …. Yabloko’s federal bureau [then] refused to nominate Mitrokhin, though the party’s Moscow branch submitted […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny foundation lawyer Zhdanov detained for organizing unpermitted rally on May 5” – 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. May 24 (Interfax) – Ivan Zhdanov, a lawyer working for Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, has been detained for organizing an unauthorized opposition rally on May 5, Leonid Volkov, the head of Navalny’s headquarters, said. “Ivan Zhdanov was just detained while leaving the office. The very same Article 20.2 [of the Russian Administrative Offense Code], they found another ‘organizer of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin isn’t as all-powerful as he looks; In local elections, which are harder to rig, the opposition is rising.” – Washington Post/Jackson Diehl

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

“… If opposition leaders … start to look dangerous … bad things happen …. Yevgeny Urlashov, a charismatic opposition leader who in 2012 won election as mayor of Yaroslavl … is now serving a 12-year prison sentence on trumped-up charges. Boris Nemtsov … was murdered on a bridge outside the Kremlin …. Alexei Navalny … has been banned from elections […]

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Interfax: “Human Rights Council member Svanidze criticizes bill on imposing fines for involving minors in unauthorized rallies”

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. May 10 (Interfax) – The bill proposed by a number of Russian State Duma deputies that would make encouraging minors to participate in unsanctioned rallies an administrative offence is controversial and potentially unconstitutional, Nikolai Svanidze, a member of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council and the head of its commission on civil freedoms, told Interfax on Thursday. “It’s a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Hundreds arrested during Russian ‘He’s not my tsar’ protests” – 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

“Up to 2,000 people were briefly arrested during a series of protests across Russia on May 5 just a few days before … Putin’s upcoming inauguration. … [with the] slogan was ‘He’s not my tsar.’ The biggest, and what turned out to be the most violent protest, was organised for the heart of Moscow on Pushkin Square by anti-corruption blogger […]

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In Current Illiberal Cycle, Being an Autocrat like Putin is Fashionable, Albats Says

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 5, 2018) During the 1970s and 1980s, much of the world was in a liberal cycle with ever more countries being democratic and free; but now, it is in an illiberal one with ever more countries become less democratic and less free, according to Yevgeniya Albats, the editor of The New […]

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