News of the Day: 4 June 2021

RFE/RL: Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill that would ban supporters and members of organizations deemed by authorities as “extremist” from being elected to any post — a move making it virtually impossible for anyone connected to jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny from gaining public office. The law endorsed by Putin on June 4 bars leaders and founders of organizations declared extremist or terrorist by Russian courts from running for elective posts for a period of five years.

RFE/RL: A court in Moscow has upheld the Justice Ministry’s move to designate the Latvia-based independent Meduza news outlet as a “foreign agent” — a move that requires it to label itself as such and subjects the media outlet to increased government scrutiny and regulation. Meduza said that the Zamoskvorechye district court rejected its appeal on June 4, adding that the court’s decision will also be appealed. The Justice Ministry added Meduza to the registry of “foreign agents” on April 23, without giving detailed justification for the move.

The New York Times: When the spooks started following him again, Ivan Pavlov felt at ease. “That’s our profession,” the lawyer famed for taking on Russian spies wrote on Facebook. Two days later came an early morning knock on his Moscow hotel room door, and Mr. Pavlov realized he should have been more worried. For a quarter-century, Mr. Pavlov defended scientists, journalists and others swept into the maw of what he calls Russia’s “leviathan” — the security state descended from the Soviet K.G.B. Crusading against state secrecy, Mr. Pavlov turned his legal battles into spectacles. Appealing to public opinion, he sometimes helped his clients avert the worst.

The Moscow Times: Russia recorded one of its lowest monthly jumps in fatalities since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in April, according to official statistics published Friday. Nationwide deaths from all causes during the month were 14,500 higher — or 9.6% — than during April 2019, data published by the Rosstat federal statistics service showed. 

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