News of the Day: 11 November 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Thursday confirmed 40,759 Covid-19 infections and 1,237 deaths.

RFE/RL: The Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office has asked the Supreme Court to shut down the international branch of one of the country’s most prominent human rights groups, Memorial, for failure to comply with requirements of the controversial law on “foreign agents.” International Memorial was added to the “foreign agents” registry in October 2016. The group said on November 11 that the hearing on the case will be held on November 25. International Memorial said the “foreign agents” legislation was meant to suppress independent organizations and that it saw no legal basis for it to be dismantled.

The Moscow Times: Russian prosecutors are moving to shutter the country’s most respected rights group Memorial, it announced Thursday, in the latest legal effort to silence independent voices critical of President Vladimir Putin. Memorial said it was notified by Russia’s Supreme Court that prosecutors had filed a demand to dissolve the group over systematic violations of “foreign agent” legislation.

The Guardian: Russian authorities have threatened to shutter Memorial, the country’s oldest civil rights group, in a move that the celebrated NGO has called politically motivated. Prosecutors have filed a lawsuit to liquidate the human rights organisation for alleged violations of Russia’s “foreign agents” act. If successful, the NGO’s closure would be a watershed moment in the Kremlin’s assault on independent thought in Russia.

The Moscow Times: A court in central Russia has jailed an ally of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, making her the first member of his network to be arrested on retroactive charges of extremism, her lawyer said Wednesday. Liliya Chanysheva is the former head of Navalny’s political headquarters in the city of Ufa 1,000 kilometers east of Moscow. The headquarters disbanded last spring in anticipation of a court ruling that outlawed Navalny’s groups as “extremist” organizations.

RFE/RL: A Russian court has extended the pretrial detention of Andrei Pivovarov, the former executive director of the pro-democracy Open Russia movement. On November 11, a court in the southern city of Krasnodar ruled that Pivovarov must be remanded in custody for another six months. He was first detained in late May when he was taken off a Warsaw-bound plane just before takeoff from St. Petersburg.

RFE/RL: Russian authorities deny that they deported noted Turkmen opposition activist Azat Isakov, who for several years lived in Russia’s Moscow region, saying that he left of his own accord for his native Turkmenistan where rights groups say he may face imprisonment and torture. The Chronicles Of Turkmenistan website obtained an official letter from Russia’s Interior Ministry saying that Isakov left Russia for the city of Turkmenabat in Turkmenistan on October 22 and recommending that Turkmen authorities should be contacted to ascertain his whereabouts. Exiled opposition politician Chemen Ore voiced concern about Isakov last week, saying that the 37-year-old opposition activist had been missing since October 20.

The Moscow Times: Plans to renovate the iconic central Moscow building that houses Russia’s state-run TASS news agency are facing fierce opposition from residents and architects. The unique Soviet brutalist building was built on Ulitsa Bolshaya Nikitskaya in 1977, with plans to reconstruct its facade and fit its windows with metal frames mothballed since 2016.

RFE/RL: Fyodor Dostoyevsky, best known for his novels Crime And Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, and The Idiot, was born in Moscow on November 11, 1821. Considered one of Russia’s greatest writers, Dostoyevsky is still widely read around the world and influenced many later writers, both at home and abroad. His books have been translated into at least 170 languages. He died on February 9, 1881.

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