Funding Russian NGOs: opportunity in a crisis?

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – Almut Rochowanski – February 13, 2013) Almut Rochowanski is a co-founder and coordinator of Chechnya Advocacy Network, a US-based NGO. Russian NGOs have traditionally looked abroad for their funding, and are dismayed at recent legislation setting up new barriers to this practice. Almut Rochowanski argues, however, that this should be seen as a challenge to increase the involvement […]

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Law on “foreign agent” NGOs does not work, has “large psychological effect” – Fedotov

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 6 (Interfax) – The law on “foreign agent” NGOs has not had a legal effect as yet, Presidential Human Rights Council Chairman Mikhail Fedotov told a press conference at Interfax. “The law in its current form has had a psychological rather than legal effect,” he noted. Not a single organization has been registered as a foreign agent, Fedotov […]

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Justice Ministry Requires Approval for Use of ‘Foreign Agent’ Law

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 5, 2013) The Justice Ministry has called on the ministry’s regional branches to get approval from the central office before applying the controversial law on “foreign agents.” The move was prompted by the Saratov branch issuing a warning to a local non-governmental organization that the central office considered “not fully lawful,” Vedomosti reported Monday, […]

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Expect More Anti-Americanism in 2013

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm – January 18, 2013) Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times. An increase in anti-Americanism stands out as one of the most dominant features of the Kremlin’s policy in 2012. Since the propaganda campaign worked so effectively on many Russians, we can expect even more state-sponsored anti-Americanism in 2013. The […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian lawmakers back adoption ban in row with U.S.

Russian Orphanage file photo

[Russian lawmakers back adoption ban in row with U.S. – Reuters – Alissa de Carbonnel – December 21, 2012 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/21/russia-adoptions-idUSL5E8NL4FK20121221] Reuters covers the Duma’s support for a ban on U.S. citizens adopting Russian children, as well as a ban on U.S. nonprofits funding Russian democratization nonprofits, in retaliation for Congressional efforts to hold Russian human rights abusers accountable: Russia’s […]

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US Funding of Russian NGOs Faces Uncertain Future

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

WASHINGTON, December 20 (By Carl Schreck for RIA Novosti) – US groups financing politically active nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Russia are facing a potentially jarring shake-up of these programs amid Moscow’s escalating clampdown on such funding. The question now is: What are they going to do about it? At least two US taxpayer-funded organizations viewed with suspicion by the Russian […]

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NGO Says Russia Ordered It Out Over USAID Funding

USAID Logo with Caption USAID From the American People

WASHINGTON, December 13 (By Carl Schreck for RIA Novosti) – A Washington-based political advocacy group, the International Republican Institute (IRI), said on Thursday it was ordered to leave Russia because it is funded by a US government agency. Russian officials told IRI that it must halt its work in Russia because it is financed by the US Agency for International […]

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Putin Slams ‘Foreign Interference’ in Russian Politics

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

MOSCOW, December 12 (RIA Novosti) ­ President Vladimir Putin warned against foreign interference in Russia’s domestic affairs during his state-of-the-nation address Wednesday, casting local political actors who get money from abroad as a fifth column serving foreign interests. “Direct or indirect interference from outside in our internal political processes is unacceptable,” he said. Someone “who receives money from abroad for […]

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NEWSLINK: As ‘Foreign Agent’ Law Takes Effect in Russia, Human Rights Groups Vow to Defy It

Kremlin and St. Basil's

[As ‘Foreign Agent’ Law Takes Effect in Russia, Human Rights Groups Vow to Defy It – Ellen Barry – New York Times- November 22, 2012 – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/world/europe/rights-groups-in-russia-reject-foreign-agent-label.html?_r=0] Ellen Barry and the New York Times cover Russia’s adoption of its “Foreign Agent Law” impacting nonprofits: Workers at the human rights organization Memorial arrived at work on Wednesday morning to see a […]

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Russian Human Rights NGO Offices Vandalized

Map of Russia

MOSCOW, November 21 (Dan Peleschuk, RIA Novosti) ­ The Moscow headquarters of two influential human rights groups were vandalized on Wednesday, the first day a controversial new law on non-governmental organizations (NGO) took effect. The entrances to the offices of Memorial and For Human Rights, two prominent civil rights groups headed by veteran activists, were spray-painted with the words “Foreign […]

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Law on foreign agents needs to be enforced – Naryshkin

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Nov 19 (Interfax) – Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin has criticized the statements made by representatives of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Memorial, Golos, and the For Human Rights movement, which have publicly refused to comply with the law on foreign agents. “I can only say that the law has been adopted and needs to be observed,” Naryshkin told […]

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Activists Scoff at NGO Law

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – November 20, 2012) Although much-debated amendments for nongovernmental organizations go into force this Wednesday, do not expect foreign-funded NGOs to rush to re-register as “foreign agents” with the Justice Ministry. Prominent rights activists have announced they would boycott the new law, which they have lambasted as imposing an insulting title that makes […]

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Russian human rights activists boycott Law on Foreign Agents

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – November 19, 2012) Leading Russian NGOs intend to ignore the legislative amendments which require the registration as “agents of foreign influence” of non-governmental organizations with Western backing. The law will enter into force on Nov. 20, Tuesday. “I do not know a single human rights organization, which has appealed for being registered as a “foreign agent,” said Lyudmila […]

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US Critics Compare Russia’s New Treason Law to Soviet-Era Thinking

Kremlin and St. Basil's

WASHINGTON November 14 (By Suleiman Wali for RIA Novosti) – A controversial new law that expands the definition of treason in Russia is being decried by critics in the United States as the Kremlin’s continuing effort to return the country to a “darker criminal code.” “Over the past six months, a series of laws have been passed in Russia that […]

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