JRL NEWSWATCH: “Khabarovsk [Protests]” – BMB Russia

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

“… [Khabarovsk] protests … against the arrest of former local governor Sergei Furgal have … been ongoing for … 100 consecutive days … remarkable … [for] Putin era protests. … [On] October 10 … for the first time[] [there was] … a crackdown by riot troops and the arrest of about 30 …. [T]he numbers … have significantly dwindled … […]

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Khabarovsk Protesters Add Concern for Navalny to Demands [For] Furgal’s Return and Putin’s Ouster

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

… [T]housands … came into the streets of Khabarovsk … to reiterate … demands … their elected governor be restored … and Putin [removed] … [and, now, additionally] to express … solidarity with opposition leader Aleksey Navalny who remains in a coma […]

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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: “Fire and Brimstone: The Rise and Fall of Russia’s Coronavirus-Denying Rebel Priest” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Samantha Berkhead – July 29, 2020) In a forest outside Yekaterinburg, pilgrims chant and wave banners in their annual midnight procession in honor of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia and a saint in the Russian Orthodox Church. But this year’s pilgrimage to the spot where the emperor and his family were executed by […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Russia’s Far East, a New Face of Resistance to Putin’s Reign” – New York Times/ Anton Troianovski

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

“As the protests swell in the city of Khabarovsk, 4,000 miles from Moscow, residents who had never before found a public outlet for anger are becoming activists.” “… [P]rotests in Khabarovsk reached well into the tens of thousands … establishing this distant city – some 4,000 miles from Moscow – as the site of the biggest popular challenge to … […]

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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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Protesters in Khabarovsk Now Talking about Independent Far Eastern Republic of the 1920s

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

… What began as protests against the removal of their governor, Khabarovsk residents have transformed into something more and attracted the attention of others across the Russian Far East …. [B]y talking about a possible restoration of the Far Eastern Republic, they beyond doubt have attracted the attention or and possibly repressive actions by the Russian authorities in the capital […]

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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: “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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‘The Message Sends Itself’: In Coverage Of U.S. Protests, Russia Reveals Its Own Fears Of Unrest, Disorder

File Photo of Moscow Protest with Riot Police

… Putin’s government has clamped down on protests at home, sometimes deploying violent methods that have earned it opprobrium from Washington and the West and demands that it respect human rights. … Accusations of U.S. hypocrisy are nothing new for the Kremlin and the media outlets it controls […]

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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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Taming the Leviathan: How Russians Learn to Counter the State

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

(PONARS Eurasia – Andrei Semenov – March 20, 2020) Andrei Semenov is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Perm State University and Associate Research Scholar at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. (PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Among the distinctive features of Vladimir Putin’s 20 years in power, the resurgence of the state […]

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Why So Few Protests Against Putin’s Constitutional Shake-Up?

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – Moscow, Jan. 28, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/why-so-few-protests-against-putin-s-constitutional-shake-up-/30402490.html) When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a raft of constitutional changes in his state-of-the-nation speech on January 15, immediately fueling mounting suspicion that he was seeking a way to retain power after his current […]

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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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Russia’s Born-Again Citizens and Their Discontents

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Boris Grozovski- November 21, 2019) Boris Grozovski is a prominent Russian journalist writing about the country’s economy and development. His work has appeared in Forbes Russia, InLiberty, the Moscow Times, the New Times, Vedomosti Daily, penRussia and others. The year 2019 saw numerous signs of Russian society awakening from its post-annexation-of-Crimea slumber. Young people were […]

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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: “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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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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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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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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Russians Learn about Protests from State TV but No Longer Accept Official Explanations, Levada Poll Finds

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 3, 2019) The most significant finding of a new Levada Center poll released today is that most Russians continue to get their news about demonstrations from the official media rather than the Internet but no longer accept the government’s explanations about what is going on and why. That suggests that there […]

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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: “Russia’s Opposition, Barred From Moscow Vote, Looks Elsewhere for Gains; Putin’s opponents hope a wave of dissent will carry them past a crackdown and their own discord” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove, Ann M. Simmons

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

“Targeted by police … barred from the ballot in Moscow’s city elections, Russia’s opposition is trying to gain a political foothold in other municipal races … as it rides a rising wave of dissent against … Putin. But to convert a surge in support into a coherent political challenge to … Putin, opposition leaders must first overcome a crackdown against […]

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Awakening a new generation of activists in Eurasia; An emerging young, urban population has begun to challenge the lasting legacies of the Soviet era

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Opendemocracy.net – Erica Marat – September 5, 2019) Erica Marat, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University. She is the author of The Politics of Police Reform: Society against the State in Post-Soviet Countries (Oxford University Press, 2018). A new wave of anti-government mobilization has swept across the Eurasian countries that once […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Most Russians Don’t Believe ‘Western Meddling’ Is to Blame for Moscow Protests, Poll Says” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 3, 2019) A majority of Russians don’t believe in the authorities’ claim that Western powers are to blame for election protests in Moscow this summer, according to the independent Levada Center polling agency. Weeks of demonstrations over elections for the city legislature have turned into the biggest sustained protest movement in Russia since 2011-2013. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What Appeared to Be a United Opposition During Moscow’s Vote Protests Is Fraying – Again; A sudden switch in strategy by core opposition leaders has left some supporters confused.”Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – August 27, 2019) Just as Moscow’s mass protests for fair elections had reached their peak in mid-August and seemed to be gathering momentum, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, called for his supporters to vote strategically rather than take to the streets. The sudden change of focus has left confusion in […]

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Protest technologies: can innovation change the balance of power in Russia? Russian civil society is becoming more effective with the help of technology. But how far does the solidarity created online go?

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

(Opendemocracy.net – Gregory Asmolov – August 23, 2019) Gregory Asmolov is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at King’s College London’s Russia Institute. He researches the role of information technology in crisis situations. Crisis situations, whether natural disasters, armed conflicts or political protests are often accompanied by a cycle of technical innovation. And if it’s a question of political conflict, each […]

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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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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: “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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RUSSIALINK: “A Student Arrest Puts Elite Moscow University to the Test” – Moscow Times

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

The Higher School of Economics, a bastion of free thinking since the 1990s, has become caught up in the opposition protest movement. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Pjotr Sauer – August 16, 2019) A chill ran down Artyom Tyurin’s spine when he heard the news that his friend and fellow student Yegor Zhukov had been hauled from his bed in […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Relentless rise of consumer debt in Russia fuels bubble fears for some” – Reuters/ Darya Korsunskaya, Elena Fabrichnaya, Tatiana Voronova

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

“… After five years of shrinking real incomes, many Russians are borrowing to make ends meet or even just to pay off their creditors – and the issue is climbing up the political agenda. … Some 2.5 million people earning up to 20,000 roubles ($303.09) a month … less than half the average wage, spend more than half of that […]

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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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RUSSIALINK: “What to Expect From Moscow Protests This Saturday” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 8, 2019) Moscow’s opposition plans to press ahead with more protests this Saturday even after election officials closed all avenues for several Kremlin critics to run for office in the Russian capital next month. The ongoing standoff between Russia’s opposition and its leadership that has taken place in recent weeks has drawn international attention […]

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