Russia backed Luhansk ‘republic’ bans Jehovah’s Witnesses and other ‘non-traditional’ faiths
The self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ [LPR] has yet again followed Russia’s lead, this time by banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses, calling them and other banned faiths ‘religious groups’. The move comes just days after the Kremlin-backed ‘LPR parliament’ passed several ‘laws’, including one aimed at hunting down and prohibiting so-called extremism in religious or political organizations, as well as in the media. .
Internet providers forced to conceal total FSB surveillance in occupied Crimea & Russia
Any Crimean still using Russian social media like VKontakte or Odnoklassnik for correspondence should close them down immediately, preferably after deleting all personal messages and posts from the last decade. It is likely that Russia’s FSB [security service] has long had unimpeded access to Russian-based Internet messengers, postal services and social media, however a new ruling has now strictly prohibited any Internet providers from even divulging details of their collaboration with the FSB.
Oleg Sentsov and two other Kremlin hostages receive Sakharov Award for Courage
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, sentenced in Russia to 20 years for non-existent ‘terrorism’, has become one of the laureates of the Andrei Sakharov Award for Courage, together with two other Ukrainians facing Russian persecution: journalists Mykola Semena and Roman Sushchenko.
Crimean journalist & politician jailed on ‘extortion’ charges for criticism of United Russia party
The ‘trial’ in Russian-occupied Crimea of journalist Alexei Nazimov and politician Pavel Stepanchenko is descending into farce, after never really making much sense. This has not prevented the two men being held in detention since October 2016, and the lack of any substance to the charges may well have no impact upon the eventual verdict.
Yes, Ukraine’s Oligarchs Own the Airwaves, but Their Days Are Numbered
Oligarchs own the airwaves in Ukraine. More than 75 percent of Ukrainians regularly watch TV channels owned by Ukrainian oligarchs Viktor Pinchuk, Ihor Kolomoisky, Dmytro Firtash, and Rinat Akhmetov. But this is hardly news since TV serves as the primary source of information for 58 percent of Ukrainians.
Crimean Tatar on trial for not betraying his oath of allegiance to Ukraine
How do you flesh out the ‘trial’ of a Ukrainian prosecuted by the Russian occupiers of his homeland for writing on Facebook that ‘Crimea always was, and remains Ukrainian”? A Russian-controlled prosecutor and court in occupied Crimea are trying to find something sensible to add to this grotesque ‘trial’ of Crimean Tatar activist Suleyman Kadyrov and failing badly.
Ukraine imposes baffling ban on work by renowned English historian & others
Ukraine’s State Television and Radio Broadcasting Committee has announced a ban on the import into Ukraine of 25 books published in Russia. The list is so baffling that one might suspect the reports were fake news aimed at discrediting Ukraine had the announcement not been posted on the Committee’s official website.
Police killer of journalist Georgy Gongadze could be freed amid silence about those who ordered the crime
A court in Ukraine has effectively doubled the number of years which former Police General Oleksy Pukach is considered to have served of his prison sentence for the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze. It has been suggested that a deal may be underway to give Pukach his freedom if he stops “pointing the finger at” former President Leonid Kuchma
Ukrainian activist sentenced in occupied Crimea for ‘anti-Russian’ Facebook posts
A court in Russian-occupied Crimea has passed a 2-year suspended sentence on 54-year-old Larisa Kitaiska, a businesswoman and former Maidan activist, over supposed ‘Russophobic’ posts on Facebook .
State TV in Russia as a weapon against the opposition
It is not only the Kremlin’s counterparts on the international stage that are targeted by the disinformation campaign. Opposition politicians, human rights defenders and other members of civil society inside Russia are no less frequent victims of discrediting media attacks.
Suspended sentence for the savage murder of Maidan journalist Viacheslav Veremiy
The first and only trial so far over the fatal attack on journalist Viacheslav Veremiy during Euromaidan has ended in a four-year suspended sentence with a two-year probation period passed on Yury Krysin for his undisputed part in the killing. Judge Oleh Linnyk from the Shevchenkivsk Court in Kyiv, ignored the prosecutor’s call for a six-year prison sentence, and found him guilty only of ‘hooliganism’, with his alleged repentance and two underage children given as mitigating circumstances.
Putin rival Sobchak defends Crimean Tatar activist on trial for saying, like her, that Crimea Is Ukraine
The ‘trial’ has begun in Russian-occupied Crimea of Suleyman Kadyrov who is facing a possible 5-year sentence for a Facebook comment stating that Crimea is Ukraine – just like Russian presidential candidate Ksenya Sobchak who has spoken out in Kadyrov’s defence
Ukraine’s Oligarchs Still Control the Media. Will Anyone Ever Challenge Them?
There’s an effort underway to put a public broadcaster in place. While the government has adopted legislation to create the first-ever public broadcaster, it has encountered numerous problems, namely funding and independence.
Ukrainian journalist imprisoned in Russia awarded Sakharov Prize for Courage
Roman Sushchenko has been honoured ‘For Courage’ by the Andrei Sakharov Committee on Journalism as an Act of Conscience. The Ukrainian journalist has been illegally held in Russia for the last 14 months, with the FSB using various forms of pressure to get him to ‘confess’ to fictitious ‘spying’.
Mounting concern over Ukraines imprisonment of Zhytomyr journalist Vasyl Muravytsky
As feared, the charges of state treason brought against Vasyl Muravytsky appear to be based on no more than the blogger and journalist’s highly contentious statements and a contract of employment concluded with ‘Russia Today’. Whatever we may think of this Russian state-funded propaganda machine and Muravytsky’s views, much more seems needed to warrant the criminal charges he is facing.
Russia confirms ban on independent journalists & freedom of speech in occupied Crimea
The High Court in Russian-occupied Crimea has upheld the two and a half year suspended sentence passed on 67-year-old Ukrainian journalist Mykola Semena for expressing the position of the UN, EU, Council of Europe and international community regarding Russia’s occupation of Crimea.
New draft law proposes up to 5-year sentence for denying Russian aggression against Ukraine
A new draft bill criminalizing denial of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine has been strongly criticised by human rights activists for several reasons, including its authors’ failure to take into consideration the persecution Ukrainians living under occupation in Crimea or Donbas face simply for using words like ‘occupation’.
Menacing attack on Independent Polish TV channel as ruling party set to gain control over judiciary
A massive fine has been imposed on one of the main independent television channels in Poland over coverage of protests in the Sejm and outside it in December 2016. The move is especially chilling as the court challenges already promised by the channel are likely to come after judicial changes widely viewed as jeopardizing the independence of judges in Poland.
EU vs. Disinfo: Breaking the Rules: Crimea, Disinformation, Doping
The Olympic scandal is a reminder of two things: That Russian authorities do not shy away from systematically breaking fundamental rules in sports, in media and in international relations; but also that Russia is facing more and more consequences for these actions.
Russia adds a vital source of information about rights abuse in occupied Crimea to its list of ‘foreign agents’
Russia has used the recent requirement in the USA that its propaganda outlets RT and Sputnik register with FARA to add Krym.Realii, one of the only media resources providing information about politically-motivated prosecutions and other rights abuses in Russian-occupied Crimea to its list of ’foreign agents’