Returning - or Silencing - the Names of Stalin’s Victims
This Day in Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression comes as Memorial, the organization that enabled us to learn the fate of our parents or grandparents is under threat of closure and the Kremlin is increasingly trying to conceal or distort the darkest days of the country’s recent history
Crimean Tatar activists jailed: Closed court and bizarre charges
Charges on a supposed incident 6 months ago which result in three men being remanded in custody for (at least) two months are already a matter of concern. In this case, the court and prosecution have clearly not even learned their roles, with the charges and the claims of ‘Right Sector’ involvement and extremism seeming unrelated.
Russian antagonism and suspicion of USA and EU at all time high
A recent Levada Centre survey found 79% convinced that western countries, by criticizing Russian policy in relation to Ukraine are trying to weaken Russia. 55% however do not believe that Russia should interfere in the internal affairs of its neighbours.
A Lustration Law for the Record – and the Elections
The farcical nature of Ukraine’s new Law on Cleaning up the Government was seen within hours of the law coming into force. The list made public of the first 36 heads to roll was like a modern public execution – of suspected witches rather than of known criminals.
Crimean Tatar Mejlis will not register as a ‘civic organization’
Attempts to pressurize the representative-executive body of the Crimean Tatar people into registering as some kind of ‘civic organization’ are unacceptable, the deputy head of the Mejlis, Akhtem Chyyhoz says
Persecution of elderly activist exposing Russian soldiers’ deaths in Ukraine continues
73-year-old Ludmila Bogatenkova was released only because her state of health was near critical. Please help circulate information about this case and about the investigations into the deaths of Russian soldiers that Moscow is so clearly trying to silence
Provoking predictable UPA anniversary disturbances
On who was behind the disturbances outside parliament on Oct 14, and why out of 364 days, President Poroshenko had to choose October 14 as Day of Defender of Ukraine, a day closely associated with the Ukrainian Insurgent Army [UPA]
Positive anti-corruption laws passed with dubious amendments
The adoption of vital anti-corruption legislation, including on the creation of a national anti-corruption bureau was marred by criticism of amendments which anti-corruption campaigners believe may cripple the body
Two Crimean Tatar students disappear in the Crimea
Update: There are entirely divergent reports emerging in the media, all saying that one of the young men - Belyal Bilyavov - has been found dead, but varying radically as to the cause of death. A full update will be provided as soon as possible
Bogus claims of ’Muslim radicalism’ as weapon against the Crimean Tatars
Kremlin strategists seem to be hoping to gain dividends out of mounting fears in the West of the hard-line Islamic State and ‘Muslim radicals’. The ploy has worked in the past but the manipulation as regards the Crimean Tatars is overt, the ‘extremism’ invented as a weapon of repression and the dangers immense.
Memorial recognizes Nadiya Savchenko as a political prisoner
The Memorial Human Rights Centre which the Kremlin is trying to close has declared Ukrainian officer Nadiya Savchenko a political prisoner. Russia’s Investigative Committee meanwhile is refusing to add proof of Savchenko’s innocence to the case, claiming that it has no ‘legal force’.
Kremlin plays ‘extremist’ card against ’Memorial’ rights organization
Russia’s Justice Ministry and the pro-Kremlin television channel NTV have launched a major attack aimed at destroying one of the most important human rights organizations now active in Russia
Forced to flee then refused medical care
The government is continuing to delay adoption of vital legislation regulating IDP rights, procedure for obtaining assistance, etc. In the meantime, individual medical establishments are demanding that people pay or provide proof that they’re registered locally
Russian "Right Sector War against Odesa Jews” Debunked
Russian attempts to fabricate anti-Semitic attacks in Ukraine have yet again clashed head on with reality. This time the Odesa Jewish Community has been forced to issue a statement denying every part of the ‘story’ after being deluged with anxious calls from around the world.
Law enabling Yanukovych’s trial in absentia passed
The law addresses the present impasse where the former president and others wanted on serious charges are in hiding in Russia and all assets frozen. It does, however, have dangers given Ukraine’s corrupt and notoriously politicized judiciary
Luhansk pro-Russian militant ‘republic’ criminalizes homosexuality
This legislative opus from the self-proclaimed Luhansk people’s republic was ‘voted on’ with a show of hands, which the self-styled parliamentarians appear to consider sufficient for people to be sent to prison or executed for homosexual acts
Missing Crimean Tatar Edem Asanov found dead
25-year-old Crimean Tatar, Edem Asanov, has been found dead in an abandoned sanatorium in Yevpatoria, a week after he disappeared on Sept 29. Edem Asanov was one of four young Crimean Tatars to have been abducted or disappear over the last 10 days
Maidan killings suspect missing after being released from custody
Dmytro Sadovnyk, one of the men charged with involvement in the mass killing of peaceful protesters in February, has disappeared after his controversial release from custody on Sept 19
Russia’s Crimean Political Prisoners to remain in detention
A Moscow court has extended until Jan 11 2015 the pre-trial detention of renowned Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko. This is despite a case so full of holes as to be reminiscent of the notorious show trials of Soviet times.
Moscow endorses offensive against Crimean Tatar Mejlis
Say that the Crimea was annexed by Russia, that the rights of Crimean Tatars, ethnic Ukrainians and others are being infringed, and you risk being labelled an ‘extremist’, prosecuted for ‘inciting inter-ethnic enmity’ or deported as ‘undesirable’. And most terrifyingly, you risk being ignored by western leaders who really don’t want to know.