Lawyer Who Helped Navalny’s Mother Recover His Body Briefly Detained

A lawyer who helped the mother of late opposition figure Alexei Navalny recover his body from prison authorities was briefly detained, independent media reported Tuesday. Vasily Dubkov had accompanied Lyudmila Navalnaya to Salekhard, the capital of Russia’s Yamal-Nenets autonomous district, following Navalny’s death in a nearby prison colony on Feb. 16. He and other Navalny lawyers helped…

Bears, Robots and Zhirinovsky: The Best and Weirdest of Russia’s Election Campaign Ads

With Russia’s presidential election weeks away and early voting already underway in parts of Russia and occupied Ukraine, campaign season is in full swing.  While President Vladimir Putin is all but certain to win in the March 17 vote, his political organization and the three candidates allowed to run against him are nonetheless blanketing television and the internet…

Russia Develops ‘Spiritual’ Psychology University Course

Russia’s Science and Higher Education Ministry has created a new psychology course that trains future mental health professionals to instill traditional conservative values in their patients, the youth news website Doxa reported Tuesday. The new course, which will be offered to both undergraduate and master’s students, is called “Individual Spiritual Security and Traditional Russian Spiritual and…

Moscow Police Detain Navalny Mourners

Police in Moscow have detained at least four people who were previously arrested at memorials to the late Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the rights group OVD-Info reported Tuesday. Hundreds were arrested across Russia for laying flowers at memorials in the days after Navalny died at a remote Arctic prison on Feb. 16.  OVD-Info said Mikhail…

‘I Believe in a Better Future’: Rights Veteran Oleg Orlov on His 2.5-Year Sentence for Opposing Ukraine War

A Moscow court sentenced veteran human rights campaigner Oleg Orlov to two-and-a-half years in prison on Tuesday for speaking against the war in Ukraine and “discrediting” the Russian military. Orlov, the co-chair of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Memorial human rights group, is one of the few prominent anti-war figures who have stayed in Russia since the…

Denmark Closes Nord Stream Sabotage Probe

Danish police said Monday that they were closing their investigation into the 2022 sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines linking Russia and Germany, a move dubbed “close to absurd” by the Kremlin. Neighboring Sweden closed its investigation in early February citing a lack of jurisdiction, meaning only Germany now has an ongoing investigation into…

The Food of War and Isolation

The past two years of full-scale war are not only the most shameful time in Russian history. They also show how the entire Putin government is permeated with lies and hypocrisy. Attempts to create some kind of racially pure Russian culture or even cuisine to spite Western civilization turned out to be just the usual…

2 Years Into Ukraine War, Russia’s Ethnic Minorities Disproportionately Killed in Battle

Russia’s ethnic minorities continue to suffer outsized fatalities in the country’s two-year war in Ukraine, a trend that analysts warn will have long-term destructive impacts on these communities. Though ethnic Russians comprise the majority of deaths in absolute terms, Russia’s non-Slavic minorities and indigenous peoples are greatly overrepresented among the casualties relative to their share…

Boris Nadezhdin: ‘I Learned from Navalny’s Mistakes’

Boris Nadezhdin says he will not rally his supporters to protest against his exclusion from next month’s presidential election — because, he says, he has learned from “Alexei Navalny’s mistakes.” “It would mean exposing my supporters to the police and Rosgvardia’s batons,” Nadezhdin told The Moscow Times, referring to the inevitable crackdown awaiting unauthorized protests…

Russian Appeal Against Olympic Suspension Dismissed as Moscow Blasts ‘Discrimination’

Russia’s appeal against its suspension by the International Olympic Committee was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday with Moscow lambasting its banishment from this summer’s Paris Games as “discrimination.” The IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in October last year for violating the territorial integrity of the membership of Ukraine…

Russia Blocks Radio Liberty’s Central Asia Services – NGO

Russia has blocked the websites of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) five Central Asian bureaus, the independent internet freedom monitor Roskomsvoboda said Friday. An “unspecified state body” ruled to block the websites more than a year ago, in January 2023, but their domains were restricted inside Russia only on Thursday. RFE/RL operates in 27 languages in 23 countries,…

U.S. Charges Russian Banker Kostin With Sanctions Evasion, Money Laundering

The United States on Thursday charged Russian banking tycoon Andrei Kostin and two U.S.-based associates for violating sanctions by paying for the maintenance of his luxury property. Kostin, chairman of Russia’s second-largest state-owned bank VTB, was accused of participating in a scheme to evade sanctions and launder funds to support his two superyachts, the Justice Department…

Political Persecution Under Putin Highest Since Stalin Era – Proekt

Russian authorities have prosecuted more than 116,000 activists during President Vladimir Putin’s latest term in office, the investigative news outlet Proekt reported, surpassing levels of political repression seen during the rule of Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev. Between 2018 and 2023, Russian courts fined 105,000 people for making public statements or attending protests.  Another…