News of the Day: 13 May 2021

RFE/RL: A court in Siberia has sentenced an Orthodox priest to 25 days in jail for taking part in an unsanctioned rally to support jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny in April. Journalist Tatyana Khlestunova told RFE/RL that a court in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk sentenced Andrei Vinarsky on May 13. Vinarsky has already been sentenced twice in recent months for taking part in protests.

RFE/RL: A Russian court has cut the jail term of opposition politician and former Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman from nine days to one day after he appealed the ruling against him for his online posts about a January 31 rally to support jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny. The Sverdlovsk regional court in Yekaterinburg made the decision on May 13, a day after the city’s Oktyabr district court sentenced Roizman, who is also a former member of parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, for organizing an unsanctioned rally after he urged his nearly 500,000 followers on Twitter to take to the streets. No reason for the decision was given.” The court on May 2 also found Roizman guilty of organizing a pro-Navalny rally in Yekaterinburg on April 21 and sentenced him to nine days in jail on that charge as well, but ruled that the punishments on both charges must be served simultaneously. The Sverdlovsk regional court shortened both sentences to one day.

RFE/RL: A St. Petersburg court has upheld the legality of the Russian Justice Ministry’s decision to designate feminist performance artist and activist Darya Apakhonchich a “foreign agent.” The Leninsky District Court wrote in a press statement on May 13 that Apakhonchich’s lawsuit had failed to satisfy requirements for a case to be heard. Apakhonchich was among the first individuals in Russia to be included on the Russian government’s list of “media organizations fulfilling the functions of foreign agents.”

The Moscow Times: An influential Russian feminist activist and sex blogger, Tatiana Nikonova, has died from an unknown illness at age 43, a message on her website said Wednesday. Nikonova had advocated gender equality, sexual literacy and adolescent sex education, and supported the LGBT movement since 2001. She launched a feminist blog in 2012 and had since gained hundreds of thousands of social media followers. “Tanya Nikonova died suddenly due to illness this afternoon,” her friends and colleagues wrote on her website,, late Wednesday. They did not disclose the cause of Nikonova’s death. The activist had written on Facebook last week that she was in the hospital, BBC’s Russia service said

The Moscow Times: Only 16% of Russians viewed last month’s nationwide protests in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny positively, according to a poll by the independent Levada Center published Thursday, a signal of flagging momentum for his embattled opposition groups.  Navalny’s team had called on supporters to take to the streets on April 21 to demand proper medical care for the opposition politician after his doctors warned he was near death three weeks into a hunger strike. His allies called the protests the “final battle” between good and neutrality ahead of an anticipated court ruling to ban their activities as “extremist.”  Over one-third (39%) of Russians held negative attitudes toward the protests while 42% said they felt neutral toward them, Levada said.  Young people and new media readers were more likely to view the protests positively, while older age groups and television viewers held more negative attitudes. 

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