Russia Could Use Prison Labor For 2018 World Cup

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, May 25, 2015) A prominent member of parliament for the ruling United Russia party has drafted a bill to allow enterprises to employ thousands of convicts as a cheap workforce to build infrastructure for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The legal amendments reported on May 25 in leading business daily Kommersant create a mechanism […]

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NEWSLINK UNIAN: Ukrainian prisoners in Donbas made slaves in Chechnya, relatives say

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

From 400 to 700 Ukrainians captured in the Donbas conflict zone have been taken to Russia, and many sold into slavery in Chechnya, Ossetia and Adygea, according to an open letter of the relatives of prisoners to the Russian human rights defenders published on the Web site of Open Russia public organization on Wednesday, a Ukrainian news broadcaster has reported. […]

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Working in the Gulag: Russia’s Prison Service, the FSIN, wants to put inmates’ employment on a more businesslike footing, but their working conditions are still more like slave labour

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

( – VYACHESLAV KOZLOV – January 9, 2015) Vyacheslav Kozlov is a journalist for daily newspaper Kommersant. He writes on international relations, nationalism, extremism, narco-politics, the Russian opposition and the problems facing Russia’s NGOs. He has at various times worked for Vremya Novostei, Moskovskiye Novosti and the online publication His work has also appeared in Novaya Gazeta and […]

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Russia’s Boom Business: Forced Labor In Prisons

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(RFE/RL – – Vladimir Abarinov – August 11, 2014) When Nadezhda Tolokonnikova arrived at penal colony IK-14 in August 2012, a deputy warden proudly announced: “As far as my political convictions go, I am a Stalinist.” Tolokonnikova soon learned what that meant in practice. One year into her sentence for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” the Pussy Riot activist launched a hunger strike […]

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The Gulag within: Harsh realities of Russian penal colonies

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – – Anna Arutunyan – October 1, 2013) For 22-year-old Lena Ivanova, work at a penal colony sewing military uniforms began at 8:30 a.m. and could last well into the night. “There were situations when there was a big [production] order, and the warden would call everyone outside [into the square] rain or snow, and we were […]

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Russia slips lower in human trafficking ranking

Map of Russia

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – – Yulia Ponomareva, RBTH – June 24, 2013) Russia, China and Uzbekistan face targeted sanctions from the U.S., after finding themselves in a group of countries that Washington deems to have made the least progress addressing human trafficking over the past year. For the first time since 2002, the U.S. Department of State shifted […]

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