‘Why Don’t You Like Putin?’: Russian Students Pay A Heavy Price For Political Protests

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

… In the weeks since the demonstrations, local officials … have cracked down on young people … who participated …. Many have found themselves facing expulsion from their educational institutions, serious criminal charges, or … both […]

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VIDEO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Putin keeps his grip over Russia, even with support waning” – ABC

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

“How much of a challenge does Alexey Navalny pose to the Russian leader?” “[VIDEO FOLLOWS BELOW:] … [After] Navalny … survived a nerve agent poisoning … [and returned to] Moscow … The Kremlin[] … swiftly sentenced [him] to … prison in a trial condemned internationally as … politically motivated. … [Subsequent] large protests … were swiftly and robustly suppressed … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The brutal third act of Vladimir Putin; After eras of prosperity and patriotism, Russia’s president is now ramping up repression to hold on to power” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

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

“… For Russians … oppos[ing] Putin, Navalny’s imprisonment represents a bellwether moment … long expected and feared. … [A] forceful, sweeping effort to tighten political freedoms … signposts a new era for a regime … extending into its third decade. … Putin’s rule … propped up first by economic prosperity … then … pugnacious patriotism, now pivot[s] to repression as […]

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Top Moscow Police Official Rejects Criticism Over Excessive Use Of Force Against Navalny Supporters

Flashlight and Beam file photo, adapted from image from lbl.gov

… More than 10,000 … were detained across Russia during the protests, sparking an international outcry over what rights groups and some Western governments called tactics of intimidation and the use of excessive force [… ]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “Navalny and the Kremlin: Politics and Protest in Russia” – NYU Jordan Center, Columbia University Harriman Institute

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

“On February 1st, the Jordan Center and the Harriman Institute co-hosted a panel on Alexei Navalny as part of the New York–Russia Public Policy Series. Panelists included Yana Gorokhovskaia, Research Fellow at the Institute of Modern Russia; Pjotr Sauer, Journalist at the Moscow Times; Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, Reader in Russian Politics at King’s College London; and Aleksandra Urman, Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Communication and […]

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Navalny Has Won First Round With Putin Who’ll Find It Hard to Recover, Nikolay Petrov Says

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’s return after the Kremlin poisoned him and … three massive and widespread demonstrations [by] his followers … have largely destroyed … Putin’s plans … to use constitutional changes to usher in an era of ‘mature Putinism’ … [according to] Nikolay Petrov […]

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Justice Or Commemoration? As Maidan Massacre Anniversary Approaches, Both Appear Elusive

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

… There is no police cordon to give away the forensic significance of the vacant lot atop Instytutska Street, but investigators believe it may hold important clues to conclusively establish who gunned down dozens of anti-government demonstrators […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Pro-Navalny Flashlight Flashmob a Success Despite Lack of Crowds, Allies Say” – Moscow Times

Flashlight and Beam file photo, adapted from image from lbl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Feb. 15, 2021) Courtyard protests across Russia in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were a success despite lacking the massive crowds of previous rallies, his team said Monday. The Valentine’s Day demonstrations saw Navalny supporters hold up flashlights and candles in residential courtyards rather than stage traditional street protests. Photos from the event […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s popularity slumps to 53% in wake of Navalny demonstrations” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

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

“… Putin’s popularity slumped to 53%, according to … state-owned pollster … VTsIOM[] … [after] a brutal crackdown by police on weekend demonstrations called by jailed anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny. … In the trust poll [Putin] fared less well, with the level of trust falling from 59% in 2017 to 25% in May 2020, the latest data […]

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Protests in the Russian Regions: Take Two

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

Subject: Week Two in the Regions Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2021 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Protests in the Russian Regions: Take Two By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova Has lived in Siberia since 1992. Was a community development activist for 20 years. Currently, focuses on research and writing. With Photos: echosiberia.medium.com/protests-in-the-russian-regions-take-two-98aa9b451f09 What happened in the Russian regions week two of the “Navalny” protests? […]

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Navalny Kept in Custody Ahead of Sunday Protests

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 – Jan. 28, 2021) A Moscow court has upheld opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s 30-day pretrial detention on charges of violating probation terms from a previous conviction he says was politically motivated, the Mediazona news website reported Thursday. Navalny was placed in custody until Feb. 15 upon his return from Germany, where he spent months recovering from […]

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Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “A Good Day for Russia: The Navalny Protests”

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

Subject: A Good Day for Russia: The Navalny Protests Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2021 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> A Good Day for Russia: The Navalny Protests By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has lived in Siberia since 1992. Was a community development activist for 20 years. (With photos: echosiberia.medium.com/a-good-day-for-russia-the-navalny-protests-e7e437b5cda2) To the great relief of anyone paying attention, there were no big […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘A Step Into the Unknown’: Russians’ Relationship With Jailed Navalny Is Complicated” – 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

Putin critic Alexei Navalny is banking on his popularity to bring thousands to the streets … to protest his incarceration on his dramatic return to Russia after months in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian opposition activist Navalny calls for supporters to take to the streets this weekend” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

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

“Jailed anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny has called on Russians across the country to take to the streets this weekend …. Navalny appears to be hoping for a repeat of the 2013 demonstrations where thousands … gathered outside the Kremlin … to protest against his arrest at that time. … [T]he Kremlin backed down and released him, but […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Over 20 NGOs appeal to Russian ombudsman, Council of Europe over broadening of foreign agent list, tightening of requirements” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

… The authors of the address added that, if these bills are passed, it will become far more challenging to organize rallies, demonstrations, processions, and pickets […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow Plans Expanded Social Credit-Style Tracking System – Open Media” – Moscow Times

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Moscow plans to track its residents’ “loyalty” with detailed digital profiles […]

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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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