News of the Day: 4 January 2022

The Moscow Times: Russia on Tuesday confirmed 15,903 Covid-19 infections and 834 deaths.

Human Rights in Ukraine: Roman Tsymbaliuk has left Russia, fearing for his personal security after being summoned to a Moscow prosecutor over pro-Ukrainian sentiments.  Although the prosecutor who had suspected the UNIAN correspondent of ‘inciting enmity’ did not turn up, Tsymbaliuk sees no guarantee that there will not be a second attempt to summons, or prosecute, him. According to UNIAN, Tsymboliuk is, or was, the only accredited Ukrainian journalist in the Russian Federation.  He is best known for his hard-hitting questions to Russian President Vladimir Putin about Russia’s aggression and ongoing imprisonment of Ukrainian political prisoners, as well as his very blunt reports on YouTube.

Meduza: A U.S.-based Russian-language blogger says Google is threatening to delete one of his YouTube posts after Russia’s federal censor flagged it as prohibited content and a Russian court added it to Russia’s Internet blacklist. Court records from late November 2021 confirm that a judge in Vladivostok granted a request by Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor to ban a video uploaded to YouTube on June 11, 2019, by a man named Felix Glyukman because the content supposedly violates Russia’s law against “gay propaganda.” The video, titled “How Did I Realize That I’m Gay?” was added to Russia’s Internet blacklist on November 26, 2021.

Human Rights in Ukraine: Russian President Vladimir Putin has tabled a new draft law on Russian citizenship which, rather menacingly, envisages ‘change of the state border of the Russian Federation’ as grounds for obtaining Russian citizenship.  Media and social media supporting the Russian-controlled Donbas militants clearly view this as a step towards Russia’s recognition of the so-called ‘Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics’ [D-LPR] and / or open Russian annexation.  The new bill comes at a time when Russia’s military escalation on Ukraine’s border and warmongering propaganda are raising concerns that Moscow is planning to invade more of Ukraine’s territory.

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