News of the Day: 8 November 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Monday confirmed 39,400 Covid-19 infections and 1,190 deaths.

RFE/RL: Russian prosecutors in the souther region of Rostov have opened a criminal investigation into the torture of inmates at a prison hospital, local rights activists said. Igor Omelchenko, the chairman of the local Public Monitoring Commission, told Meduza news agency that the case was opened in September and focuses on the torture of prisoners at Interregional Tuberculosis Hospital No. 19.

The Guardian: The videos from the Russian prison hospital are almost too horrific to describe. In the worst, the victims are tied down while other inmates rape or penetrate them with metal objects, the screams and abuse recorded in bodycam footage that was later used as blackmail. Sergey Savelyev says he spent two of his years as an inmate secretly copying hundreds of videos of rape and other abuse, taking them from an internal network in a prison hospital that activists call one of the country’s most notorious torture chambers. “I was always scared,” he said in an interview from France, where he has requested asylum. “If I ever talked about what I was doing, I wouldn’t be talking to you today.”

RFE/RL: Russia on Monday declared the main group defending LGBTQ rights a “foreign agent” on Monday, as part of a continuing crackdown on media outlets and rights groups. The ministry also declared several lawyers close to the Russian opposition “foreign agents.” The Russian LGBT Network, which was set up in 2006 and operates in several regions, was entered in the justice ministry’s register of foreign agents, which already includes journalists, lawyers and activists.

RFE/RL: A Russian court has ordered Google to pay 2 million rubles ($28,085) for violating the country’s rules on banned content. In recent months, Russian courts have ordered Google to pay fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to delete banned content on its search engine and YouTube.

RFE/RL: A court in Russia has confirmed the refusal of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Mordovia to consider a request by former U.S. marine Paul Whelan to serve out in his home country the rest of his prison term on espionage charges that he says are fake.

Human Rights in Ukraine: Russia has deprived Ivan Yatskin of his liberty, and now appears intent on leaving him crippled through its failure to provide him with any medical care or to even pass on the medication provided by his family. The treatment he has received over recent weeks is tantamount to torture.

RFE/RL: Several dozen Chinese workers in Russia’s Far East staged a protest on November 7 against their employer, Kremlin-controlled oil giant Rosneft. Roughly 50 workers walked out of their temporary housing in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and walked toward the center of the city, local media reported.

The Moscow Times: On Nov. 7, 1917, the Russian Bolshevik Party, led by its leader Vladimir Lenin, seized control of Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), the capital of Imperial Russia, and overthrew the Provisional Government. The events would herald the Russian Civil War and eventually the formation of the Soviet Union. Over 100 years later, Russian Communist Party members and other devotees continue to celebrate the anniversary with a parade on Red Square in Moscow.

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