JRL NEWSWATCH: “Biden faces first foreign policy test with Russian balancing act; White House seeks arms control pact even as it warns of consequences for Navalny arrest” – Financial Times/ Katrina Manson, Henry Foy, Lauren Fedor

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… the White House said … it wanted a straight extension of [New START for five years,] a nuclear arms control agreement … fac[ing] imminent expiry …. even as incoming officials have condemned … the Kremlin’s [reputedly] most aggressive anti-western actions in years. … U.S. security services [recently] uncovered a massive cyber-espionage attack on U.S. government computers … blamed on […]

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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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RUSSIALINK: “Could Navalny’s Detention Derail His Movement? Some analysts believe the opposition figure’s arrest could lead to a broader crackdown on his supporters.” – 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

The arrest and detention … of prominent opposition activist … Navalny is threatening to upend Russian politics in an already fraught year that will include parliamentary elections […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Navalny Goes on Trial in Police Station Following Return to Russia” – 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

“Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny will be kept in custody until mid-February, a court ruled Monday, following his detention Sunday evening at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. The 44-year-old opposition leader flew back to Moscow after spending several months in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack that he said was carried out on the orders of President Vladimir Putin. In the hearing Monday, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Navalny Returns to Russia” – 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

“Chief Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny returned to Russia from Germany … and was immediately detained. The 44-year-old opposition leader flew back to Moscow after spending several months in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack that he said was carried out on the orders of President Vladimir Putin. …” Click here for: “Navalny Returns to Russia” – Moscow Times [Navalny image […]

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Navalny’s Expected Return To Moscow Lights Up The Russian Internet

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 has announced … he will return to Russia … following months of recuperation after being poisoned by a Novichok-type nerve agent …. Compelling evidence indicates he was poisoned by … FSB[] operatives …. The Kremlin has said it was not involved … but has refused to cooperate […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny Extracts Poisoning Confession From Alleged FSB Agent on Trick Call” – 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

Leading Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny said … he tricked one of the several security officers linked to his poisoning into outlining the details of the operation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Aleksei Navalny, Ready to Run Again in Russia” – The New York Review of Books/ Amy Knight

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

“The Russian opposition politician, who narrowly escaped death by nerve agent poisoning, remains undeterred from challenging Putin’s hegemony.” “Though not yet restored to full health, … Navalny is recovering in Germany from the poisoning that almost killed him … preparing to return to Russia to continue his fight for democracy. … Not surprisingly, the Kremlin has refused to initiate a […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s authorities increase pressure on NGOs with plans to strengthen ‘foreign agent’ laws” – Meduza

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“… Russia’s Government Cabinet … submitted a bill to the State Duma … strengthening the Justice Ministry’s control over NGOs … [designated as] foreign agents[.] [The bill would] empower[] … authorities to dissolve these organizations or … hinder their work. … requir[ing them] to inform Russia’s Justice Ministry of all of … [planned] programs and events … [T]he Justice Ministry […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Alexei Navalny Supporters Probe How the Russian Opposition Leader Was Poisoned” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove, Ann M. Simmons

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

“Team scoured his hotel room and found a water bottle they say has traces of Novichok, a nerve agent” “… [A]fter … Navalny collapsed … on a plane over Siberia with signs of poisoning, his supporters rushed to [his] hotel room ….. bagg[ing] everything they could find … in the hopes of solving the mystery …. Days later, German doctors […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Post about Love” – Alexey Navalny/ Instagram

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

“Julia and I had our anniversary … 20 years of being wed … You, of course, have seen this a hundred times … one loving person lies in a coma … the other brings him back to life with her love and incessant care […]”

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian prosecutors ask German counterparts to interview Navalny, find out who planned Tomsk trip” – Interfax

Map of Germany

MOSCOW. Sept 21 (Interfax) – The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has asked the relevant German authorities to learn certain important details related to the incident involving Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny. “In particular, [the Prosecutor General’s Office] is seeking to find out who planned Navalny’s trip to Novosibirsk and Tomsk and when, who bought the tickets, booked the hotels, and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘I Didn’t Recognize People’: Navalny Says Long Recovery Ahead in Latest Health Update; Opposition leader says he has trouble walking, can’t use his phone or pour a glass of water.” – 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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sept. 19, 2020) Alexei Navalny has said he has difficulty performing everyday functions and that he faces a “long road” of recovery after his Novichok poisoning which left him in a coma. The opposition leader posted an update to his Instagram page Saturday from the Charite clinic in Berlin where he is being treated, outlining […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Navalny Says He is Breathing on His Own in a Message From His Hospital Bed; The poisoned Russian opposition leader plans to return to Russia, his spokeswoman says.” – New York Times/ Katrin Bennhold, Michael Schwirtz

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

“… The message came hours after a senior German security official … [said] Navalny was awake, alert and had told German prosecutors that he was refusing to cooperate with a Russian inquiry into his case. He also vowed … to return to Russia as soon as possible to continue his work. … German officials now say they have almost no […]

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Russian Interior Ministry Wants To Question Navalny In Germany

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

Russia’s Interior Ministry wants to question … Navalny in Berlin, where he is being treated after German doctors reported “unequivocal evidence” … he was poisoned with … military-grade nerve agent Novichok, contradicting … Russian counterparts who said they … found no trace of poison […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny Recovering From ‘Deadlier, Slower-Acting’ Novichok Variant – Report” – Moscow Timess

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 – Sept. 10, 2020) Leading Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a new, deadlier variant of military-grade nerve agent Novichok, the German weekly Die Zeit reported Wednesday. Hours after the Die Zeit report, The Insider news website reported, citing anonymous sources, that Navalny, 44, has almost completely recovered after falling violently ill on a flight […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Navalny and Nord Stream 2; The poisoned Russian dissident opens a door for a Trump priority” – Wall Street Journal Editorial

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

“[G7] [f]oreign ministers … issued a joint statement … condemning … ‘the confirmed poisoning’ of … Navalny. … sa[ying] Germany … has concluded … he was ‘the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve-agent of the “Novichok” group, a substance developed by Russia.’ It called on Russia to investigate who is responsible, ‘bearing in mind Russia’s commitments under the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “In Wake of Suspected Poisoning, Navalny’s Allies Vow to Soldier On” – 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

But if the Kremlin critic is unable to return to health, Russia’s opposition will lose its most recognizable leader. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich- August 27, 2020) While Russia’s most prominent opposition politician Alexei Navalny lies in a coma in a Berlin hospital after suffering an apparent poisoning last week, the pressure on his activities continues back home. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What Navalny’s Poisoning Really Says About the Current State of Putin’s Russia” – The New Yorker/ Joshua Yaffa

Kremlin and River

“… This guessing game, though tempting, is not only unsolvable; it misses the insight that attacks like Nemtsov’s murder and Navalny’s poisoning really offer about Putin’s Russia — the most pernicious and terrifying fact is not whether Putin did or did not issue orders to his underlings to off perceived enemies but that anyone from the ruling circle can use […]

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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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Kremlin Critic Navalny Announces Closure Of His Anti-Corruption Foundation

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

Russian opposition politician and outspoken Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny has announced the closure of his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) after using it for almost a decade to reveal wrongdoing by the Russian authorities[…]

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VIDEO JRL NEWSWATCH: “Virtual Event: Russian Civil Society in the Time of COVID-19 proceedings” – The Harriman Institute at Columbia University

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

“… Russia’s restrictions of movement and extensive use of surveillance technologies during the coronavirus pandemic have raised concerns about possible damage to civil society and community organizing. Has the coronavirus pandemic disrupted civil society development in Russia, or has this peculiar time drawn more attention to the need for citizen-run efforts to better life in the country?  … [The] panel […]

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Contagious Solidarity: As Russia Faces Growing COVID-19 Crisis, Independent Activists Gear Up To Help

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

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Lyubov Chizhova, Aleksandr Litoi, Robert Coalson – ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, March 25, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/contagious-solidarity-as-russia-faces-growing-covid-19-crisis-independent-activists-gear-up-to-help/30509363.html) Aleksandra Krylenkova is a human rights activist with a long track record. In recent months, she has been campaigning in support of the defendants in the so-called Network […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny Links $50M Jet to Russian PM Medvedev’s Wife” – Moscow Times

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dec. 4, 2019) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s wife jetsets on the government’s dime, prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has said in a new video published ahead of Medvedev’s annual end-of-year interview with reporters from 20 television channels. [https://navalny.com/p/6276/] Medvedev, the subject of Navalny’s viral 2017 investigation into corruption that has been viewed 32.7 million […]

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Why does Russia need a new “foreign agent” law? Russia’s parliament has passed a law that will allow individual citizens to be labelled “foreign agents”. What effect will it have on the country’s most active citizens?

Kremlin and River

(Opendemocracy.net – Ivan Davydov – Dec. 4, 2019) Ivan Davydov is a Russian journalist and writer. His articles can be seen at The New Times, Republic, Inliberty and Gazeta.ru, among other publications. In case you missed it, Russian MPs have spent the past several years debating amendments to media and information legislation which would allow the state to give individual […]

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Russian Duma Approves ‘Foreign Agents’ Bill That Threatens Journalists With Label

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Nov. 21, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-duma-approves-foreign-agents-bill-threatens-journalists/30284789.html) The Russian parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, has approved the final reading of a bill allowing reporters who work for organizations officially listed as foreign agents to be designated as foreign agents themselves. The bill, approved on […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘Where Is Our Land?’: Challenges for Indigenous Groups in the Russian Arctic” – Kennan Institute/ Arbakhan K. Magomedov

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Arbakhan Magomedov – Nov. 14, 2019) Arbakhan Magomedov is visiting professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities. (RSUH). His fieldwork in the Far North was done as part of the project “Rising Voices of Northern Indigenous People in the Context of Growing Pressure of Russian Nationalism,” for which he received financial support through […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Supreme Court decision on movement For Human Rights shows authorities are not ready for criticism, compromise – HRW” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Nov 1 (Interfax) – The Russian Supreme Court’s decision on the liquidation of the movement For Human Rights led by Lev Ponomaryov indicates the flaws of the Russian judicial system and the position of the Russian authorities, which are not ready to take criticism and achieve compromises, Tanya Lokshina, associate director for Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia […]

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Sure, Help The Homeless, These Moscow Residents Say, But Don’t Do It In Our Neighborhood

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Anastasia Kuzina, Robert Coalson – MOSCOW – Oct. 27, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-homeless-moscow-neighborhood-not-in-my-backyard/30238628.html) “If you want to do good deeds, do them – but don’t make those around you uncomfortable,” said Kira Gorchakova, a resident of Moscow’s Begovoi district when asked about a shelter […]

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Russia Used $50 U.S.-Based Donation To Help Brand Navalny Foundation ‘Foreign Agent’

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Todd Prince – October 10, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-used-50-dollar-us-donation-to-help-brand-navalny-foundation-foreign-agent/30209400.html) A Russian citizen living in Florida says he donated $50 to an opposition politician seeking to run for a Moscow city-council seat. Now the Justice Ministry is using that as part of the reason to […]

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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: “Serebrennikov’s house arrest prolonged by another 3 months” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. April 2 (Interfax) – The Meshchansky Court of Moscow has extended the house arrest of the Gogol Center’s artistic director Kirill Serebrennikov, who has been charged as part of the Studio Seven case, until July 3, an Interfax correspondent reported. “The court finds that the state prosecutor’s request shall be granted and rules that defendant Serebrennikov’s house arrest shall […]

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Sharon Tennison: “Video: Russian Journalist Dimitri Babich Speaks to CCI Group”

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

Subject: Video: Russian Journalist Dimitri Babich Speaks to CCI Group Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2019 From: Sharon Tennison <sharon@ccisf.org> Video: Russian Journalist Dimitri Babich Speaks to CCI Group: youtube.com/watch?v=Np0XktwyekQ&feature=youtu.be I want to share with you my favorite young news journalist in Moscow, Dmitri (Dima) Babich. He is one of our “CCI Experts.” I’ve known Dima a long, long time. He […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Justice Ministry begins inspection of Memorial research center as foreign-agent NGO – Memorial” – Interfax

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Jan 14 (Interfax) – The Russian Justice Ministry is beginning to inspect the Memorial Scientific Research and Education Center on January 14 to see if it is fulfilling the functions of a foreign agent NGO, International Memorial’s press service said. The organization has provided all the documents the ministry requested, the press service said. “The Memorial Scientific Research and […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights; The President held a meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – December 11, 2018) The Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights is a consultative body that assists the President in exercising his constitutional authority in the area of protecting human and civil rights and freedoms. Speech at the meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, Today, we bid […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Amid growing tensions with Russia, a push for meaningful dialogue” – Christian Science Monitor/Linda Feldmann

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags, 200, 1807-2007

“… U.S.-Russian relations have only sunk into deeper distress … more sanctions, more diplomatic expulsions, more military clashes in Syria, and a growing sense that the entire U.S.-Russian arms-control regime is at risk.  * *  * For … Russian and American delegates here – [such as] retired diplomats, politicians, academics, clergy, doctors, and media, including this reporter – the prospect […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Blacklists Progressively Fewer ‘Foreign Agent’ NGOs, Justice Ministry Says” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 10, 2018) Russia has blacklisted NGOs at a progressively slower rate since an infamous foreign agent law was signed in 2012, the Justice Ministry has said in an annual report. President Vladimir Putin observed last year that the sharp decline in “foreign agents” resulted from organizations turning down foreign funding. The law has been […]

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Defending Digital Democracy

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

Subject: Democracy’s Front-Line Defenders Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2018 From: Eric Rosenbach <erosenbach@belfercenter.hks.harvard.edu> Defending Digital Democracy America’s enemies aren’t resting. Neither are we. I hope you’ll be in touch with me with thoughts about how we can strengthen our efforts to defend democracy. Warm regards, Eric Rosenbach Co-Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University Director, Defending Digital […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] ASI Supervisory Board meeting” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – March 7, 2018) In Samara, Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the supervisory board of the autonomous non-profit organisation Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects (ASI). The meeting participants summed up the Agency’s performance in the past six years and outlined prospects for 2018. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, First of all, I […]

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Interfax: External funding of foreign NGOs in Russia grows to 7.1 bln rubles within less than year, while their number reduces by 10% – report

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. March 5 (Interfax) – The external funding of foreign NGOs operating in Russia has grown to more than 7 billion rubles in less than a year, the Federation Council’s commission for counteracting foreign interference in Russian affairs said in a special report presented on Monday. “In 2015, Russian socio-political NGOs received 80 billion rubles from the United States alone […]

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NEWSLINK: “Ukrainian Association of the Kennan Institute Alumni: ‘We are deeply concerned by the Kennan Institute’s growing pro-Kremlin policies'” – Kyiv Post/Ukrainian Association of the Kennan Institute Alumni

File of Reagan Building, adapted from image at archives.gov

“The following is an open letter of the Ukrainian Association of the Kennan Institute Alumni published on Feb. 27.”

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NEWSLINK: “Toxic cash: the risks of Russia’s ‘sovereign civil society’ programme; By banning NGOs from receiving foreign funding, the Russian government has forced them to seek financial support at home. But state grants undermine civil society’s independence” – OpenDemocracy/ Andrey Kalikh

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: [Vladimir Putin and Igor Borisov at] Meeting of Council for Civil Society and Human Rights (transcript concluded)” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2017) [Full transcript here en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55947] Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights at the Kremlin …. Igor Borisov: Mr President, thank you for giving me the floor. I have just a few words about the elections. I understand we have a very compressed schedule; Mr Fedotov is ready to […]

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Putin notes big drop in number of “foreign agent” NGOs

Kremlin and River

(Interfax – October 30, 2017) The number of Russian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) registered as foreign agents has nearly halved over the past year, President Vladimir Putin has said. “Currently the number of such organisations in the register of foreign agents has almost halved. Their number dropped from 165 to 89. This is only 0.39 per cent of the total number […]

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NEWSWATCH: “[Re: European Values]” – Fred Weir (facebook profile)

Europe Map

(Fred Weir – facebook profile – https://www.facebook.com/fred.weir – Oct. 21, 2017) [embedded live feed of abbreviated facebook post should load below; or click here for direct link to full post on facebook, with accompanying comments]

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Top Russian official ‘unaware’ of plans for new ‘foreign agent’ law

Kremlin and River

(Interfax – October 18, 2017) The first deputy head of Russia’s presidential administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, has said he is unaware of any forthcoming Russian legislation which would designate individuals with the status of “foreign agents”. “I don’t know anything about this,” Kiriyenko said on 18 October when asked about the matter. Media reports on 9 October, citing a source, said: […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s surveillance state is giving us a false sense of security The Russian state’s mass expansion of surveillance online and offline is not making citizens any safer.” – OpenDemocracyNet – Damir Gainutdinov

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

“… Human rights defenders moving around the country regularly encounter increased attention from law enforcement agencies — they are detained, searched and questioned about why they’re travelling ….”

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Five years of Russia’s Foreign Agent Law; Russia’s Foreign Agent Law has made the existence of many NGOs practically impossible. But solidarity is rising among organisations that are working against these restrictions.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Daria Skibo – August 14, 2017) Daria Skibo is a sociologist and researcher at the Centre for Independent Sociological Research, St Petersburg. Russian civil society received July’s news happily: the case against Valentina Cherevatenko, the first person to face criminal charges under Russia’s Foreign Agent law, was dropped. In June 2017, Cherevatenko, head of the Women of the […]

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