News of the Day: 4 January 2021

Caucasian Knot: The law enforcers named in the journalistic investigation into the poisoning of the opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, had visited Kabardino-Balkaria and Dagestan when the human rights defender, Timur Kuashev, and the activist of the “Sadval” movement, Ruslan Magomedragimov, died there, as follows from the materials published by Khristo Grozev, a Bellingcat journalist. The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that opposition leader Alexei Navalny fell into a coma after being poisoned at the Omsk airport. He regained consciousness in Berlin, where he was taken for medical treatment. Alexei Navalny claimed that the Russian authorities initiated an attempt on his life. Mr Grozev has published data on the travels of the law enforcers named in the investigation into the assassination attempt on Navalny. “There are so many clues about potential new crimes apart from those already identified,” Khristo Grozev wrote on the Twitter. He has pointed out that the published materials have links to the death of Timur Kuashev: one of the law enforcers was in Nalchik in 2014 on the same days when Timur Kuashev died there. Another investigation figurant was in Dagestan in March 2015. Then, Ruslan Magomedragimov, an activist of the “Sadval” movement, was found dead there.

Human Rights in Ukraine: Childhood ended abruptly for 20 Crimean Tatar children in 2020, when armed and masked Russian enforcement officers burst into their homes, turned them upside down and took their fathers away.  There was no reason for the machine guns, since the searches were about finding – or planting – ‘prohibited literature’, and not one of the men was accused of an actual crime.  No reason, that is, except for instilling terror, which certainly appears to be one of the main aims of all such ‘operations’. 185 children in Crimea have now had their fathers taken from them, and, if Russia has its way, most will be adults before their fathers return from this new Russian form of deportation.  Back in 2016, with arrests becoming ever more frequent, renowned Crimean Tatar journalist Lilya Budzhurova wrote a pivotal article entitled These are our children now’.  Repressive measures were swift, with a formal warning issued within a couple of days of “the admissibility of extremist activities”.

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