News of the Day: 1 April 2021

RAPSI: Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court on Thursday sentenced a participant of the unauthorized rally held in Moscow on January 23 Alexey Milyayev to one year in penal colony for assault on a police officer, RAPSI was told in the court. The man was found guilty of using force against a representative of authority. He pled guilty. Earlier, the Investigative Committee published videorecords showing the defendant beating a law enforcement officer during the January 23 rally and trying to strip a helmet from him.

The Moscow Times: A television crew from the Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT has filmed a segment at Alexei Navalny’s prison colony, the jailed Kremlin critic’s Telegram channel said Thursday. The crew arrived at the prison colony, known as one of Russia’s harshest, a day after Navalny announced the start of his hunger strike to demand proper medical care for severe back pain and a numb right leg.

RFE/RL: Russia’s prison authority on April 1 rejected accusations of mistreatment of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, one day after the anti-corruption campaigner and frequent Kremlin critic announced a hunger strike to protest alleged abuses in custody. The 44-year-old Navalny has complained of medical care being withheld for serious ailments and near constant interruptions by prison guards at night to deny him sleep.

RFE/RL: Milana Magomedova is a 22-year-old woman who, until recently, lived with her parents and younger brother and sister in the Siberian oil city of Tyumen. Since December, Magomedova has been trying to escape her parents, natives of the North Caucasus region of Daghestan who ran their family life according to a strict interpretation of their region’s traditional Islamic values.

RFE/RL: The European Union has accused Moscow of launching a “conscription campaign” in the Russia-controlled Ukrainian region of Crimea, in a move that the bloc said violated international law. The EU’s strongly worded statement came as Ukraine accused Russia of massing troops near their shared border, an accusation rejected by the Kremlin. “Today, the Russian Federation has launched yet another conscription campaign in the illegally-annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to draft residents of the peninsula in the Russian Federation Armed Forces,” the EU said in a statement on April 1.

The Moscow Times: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday accused Moscow of building up troops on his country’s border as the United States warned Russia against “intimidating” Ukraine. Kiev has been locked in a conflict with Russian-backed separatists since 2014, and this week Ukrainian officials reported Russian troop movement in annexed Crimea and on the border, near territories controlled by Moscow-backed separatists. On Thursday, Zelenskiy’s ministers discussed the escalating security situation with Western allies including U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. “Muscle-flexing in the form of military exercises and possible provocations along the border are traditional Russian games,” Zelenskiy said in a statement.

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