News of the Day: 1 November 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Monday confirmed 40,402 Covid-19 infections and 1,155 deaths.

Human Rights in Ukraine: Olga Smirnova, a political activist from St. Petersburg, has been charged with ‘justifying terrorism’ over a picket in defence of four recognized Crimean Tatar political prisoners from Alushta.  This is a frightening precedent since Russia is already abusing ‘terrorism’ legislation to target civic activists and ‘religious dissidents’ in occupied Crimea.  Now it has adopted the same weapon of persecution against those who protest against entirely fictitious terrorism charges.

Human Rights in Ukraine: The ‘judges’ who sentenced  Amet Suleimanov to 12 years’ harsh regime imprisonment on 29 October are well aware that the first months would likely kill him. They are doubtless equally aware why the civic journalist was targeted. In his final address to this Russian court on 27 October, Amet Suleimanov stated that “if  you ask me if I would behave differently if given the chance … I can confidently say that I would still  come to the searches carried out against my compatriots. I would provide coverage of  injustice; I would go to mosques, would sacrifice my time and property in order to help my neighbour. ..”’

The Guardian: Dmitry Davydov is the self-taught Russian director from the remote eastern republic of Sakha who has been gaining golden opinions on the festival circuit for his spare and fervent films, often using non-professional actors. Here is Davydov’s first feature, The Bonfire, from 2016, which is intriguing, if sometimes baffling in its stylistic variations. 

The Moscow Times: A recent leak at a pipeline owned by Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom pumped a huge cloud of potent greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, Bloomberg reported, citing satellite tracking data from geoanalytics firm Kayrros SAS.

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