Back To The Future: Echoes Of Soviet Past In Modern Russia
To mark Back to the Future day on October 21, RFE/RL takes a look at seven aspects of the Soviet era that have reappeared since Russian President Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000.
Kremlin hostage Oleg Navalny punished for New Times article
Oleg Navalny, brother of the prominent Kremlin critic and politician Alexei Navalny, has been put in a punishment cell for 15 days and is to be transferred to maximum security conditions after writing a first blog article for the Russian journal Novoye Vremya [New Times]
Punished for Courage? Crimean Political Prisoner Gennady Afanasyev found
Please write to Gennady Afanasyev - even a line or two will be moral support for him and a clear message to the Russian authorities that any act of reprisal for his courage in retracting testimony against Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko will be seen
Russian solo mother on trial for social network reposts in support of Ukraine
The trial has begun in Yekaterinburg of Yekaterina Vologzheninova who is accused of ‘inciting inter-ethnic enmity’, otherwise known as reposting material on the social network VKontakte critical of Russia’s policy with respect to Ukraine.
The Russian People Saw A Strikingly Different Picture Of MH17 Findings
On their front pages and Internet sites, Russian media moved headlines that seemed aimed at absolving Moscow of any of the blame for the downing of Malasyia Airlines flight MH17, which crashed on July 17, 2014, on territory held by Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine
Russia demands unacceptable ransom for release of Savchenko & other hostages
Ukraine cannot and should not recognize sentences in falsified prosecutions of Ukrainian hostages held in Russia, a former judge of the International Criminal Court on Former Yugoslavia stresses
Russia sentences 73-year-old Ukrainian pensioner to 6 years for ‘spying’
In a closed trial held after Yury Soloshenko was denied access to the lawyers of his choice and to the Ukrainian consul, a Russian court has sentenced the 73-year-old pensioner with no access to state secrets or Russian weapons to 6 years maximum security imprisonment.
Russian soldiers jailed for refusing to fight in Donbas
Five Russian contract soldiers have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment over their unwillingness to end up fighting in Ukraine, with the soldier most active in communicating with the media receiving the longest sentence.
Afanasiev disappears after retracting testimony against Oleg Sentsov
It is 5 weeks since Crimean political prisoner Hennadiy Afanasiev was moved from Rostov, apparently to a prison colony, and all efforts by his mother to find out his whereabouts have been unsuccessful.
Savchenko’s sister, a crucial defence witness, banned from Russia
Russia has demonstrated the nature of the ‘trial’ of Nadiya Savchenko by banning her sister who is a vital witness from entering Russia for the next five years, probably as a ’threat to national security’’.
Tourists Beware: Putin’s KGB-Kafkaesque Justice is for Foreigners Too
If Moscow’s foreign hostages are currently all Ukrainian, the recent abduction, detention and long sentence of Estonian Eston Kohver and the Russian media’s increasing anti-western hysteria demonstrated that no foreign national should feel totally immune
Mystery ’Trial’ begins of Russia’s Elderly Ukrainian Hostage
The preliminary court hearing took place on Oct 5 in the Kafkaesque trial of 73-year-old Yury Soloshenko, a pensioner from Poltava in Ukraine. He is facing charges of ‘spying on behalf of Ukraine’, but this is effectively all that is known.
The Same Fingerprints in the Killing of Nemtsov & Politkovskaya
It should have been Boris Nemtsov’s 56th birthday on Oct 9. Instead it is the first birthday since Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic was gunned down outside the Kremlin, and two days after the ninth anniversary of the killing of another bitter critic of Putin and his regime – Anna Politkovskaya. Novaya Gazeta marked these anniversaries by “comparing the fingerprints”.
Russian jailed for 12 years for mystery ‘spying for Ukraine’
In the latest of a number of ‘spying’ cases brought by Russia in the months following its annexation of Crimea, Viktor Shur, about whom virtually nothing is known, has been convicted of ‘spying for Ukraine’ and sentenced to 12 years maximum security imprisonment.
Savchenko Trial turns into Insultingly Absurd Pantomime
As well as an FSB officer (or not) in make-up and a wig, a witness was heard whose account is alleged by the defence to be a lie from beginning to end but who was protected by the court and allowed to conceal information that would have immediately confirmed that his story was false
Remembering Anna Politkovskaya
The division between us versus the enemies has only grown in Russia to give birth to overwhelming tones of propaganda. Anna’s country lives under what PEN has called “a tsunami of anti-free expression laws emerging in Russia, which include treating international NGO’s as foreign agents; anti-gay laws; a law permitting the blocking of websites without a court order; laws against discussing Russian history; a Religious Defamation law.”
Dear Mr. Putin, God Won’t Forgive You For This. Signed, Oleg Kashin
Journalist Oleg Kashin’s letter is an indictment of what he portrays as Putin’s corruption-ridden 15-year reign that has been "a monumental moral catastrophe for our generation" and "left the nation demoralized and disoriented."
A Perfect Day For Bombing: Russian TV Forecasts Favorable Weather For Syria Strikes
On October 3, state-run television channel Rossiya-24 aired an exhaustive weather bulletin describing the current climatic conditions in Syria as "very favorable" for a bombing campaign.
Russian Blind Society Journalist Sacked for calling Crimean annexation illegal
Oleg Shevkun lost his post as Chief Editor of the Russian Blind Society’s Internet radio service after honestly criticizing Russia’s forced annexation of Crimea. He is one of an ever-increasing number of Crimeans and Russians who have faced dismissal or prosecution for stating the undeniable truth that Russia is in breach of international law
Savchenko returned if Ukraine ‘recognizes’ a predetermined sentence
Agreement, as now suggested, to ‘extradition’ if Ukraine accepted the Russian court’s verdict could have serious implications for applications to the European Court of Human Rights whose findings in this gross case are otherwise entirely foreseeable