News of the Day: 16 August 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Monday sentenced four Crimean Tatars to between 12 and 18 years in prison for taking part in a banned Islamic group, the defendants’ lawyer said.   A military court in southern Russia “has carried out a guilty verdict,” lawyer Ayder Azamatov told the Interfax news agency. 

The Moscow Times: Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh has been sentenced over her role in this winter’s protests calling for his release, Russian media reported Monday. Yarmysh is at least the fourth Navalny ally to be convicted for violating coronavirus restrictions on mass events by calling on supporters to take to the streets in January in what has become known as the “sanitary case. Moscow’s Preobrazhensky district court found Yamyrsh guilty and sentenced her to 1.5 years of so-called “restricted freedom.”

Human Rights in Ukraine: The first closed hearing in Russia’s trial of Ukrainian Kostiantyn Shyrinh on ‘spying’ charges ended abruptly on 12 August, with an ambulance needing to be called.  The 61-year-old suffers from cardiovascular problems, however the administration at the Simferopol SIZO [remand prison] in occupied Crimea has simply ignored his repeated requests for medical care.

Human Rights in Ukraine: Ruslan Nagayev gave a powerful final address on 12 August to the Russian court about to pass ‘sentence’ on him and three other recognized Crimean Tatar political prisoners.  He recalled the Russian proverb ‘Don’t come to somebody else’s monastery, foisting your own rules’.

Amnesty International: The fate and whereabouts of Salman Tepsurkaev, moderator of the 1ADAT Telegram channel, critical of Chechen authorities, remains unknown almost a year after his abduction on 6 September 2020 in Gelendzhik, Krasnodar Region, southern Russia. 

CPJ: Russian authorities should extend the visa of BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford and allow foreign correspondents to work in the country freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

RFE/RL: Daily coronavirus deaths in Russia have exceeded 800 for four days straight, while many other countries continue to report setbacks in their efforts to contain the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

The Moscow Times: In the day since a Taliban offensive swept away the U.S.-backed Afghan government, Russian officials are taking satisfaction from their principle global adversary’s humiliation as they prepare to work with the Islamist militia, Russian Afghanistan experts told The Moscow Times on Monday.

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