News of the Day: 18 July 2021

RFE/RL: An association of Russian human rights lawyers linked to jailed Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny’s group says it has suspended its work to protect its members and supporters from criminal prosecution amid a government pressure campaign. Komanda 29 announced on July 18 that it was liquidating, the latest independent civil-society organization to fold under new, repressive “foreign agent” laws. Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking to quash growing opposition to his two-decade-long tenure running the country, including four years as prime minister, with draconian laws that make it all but impossible for opposition groups to function.

The Moscow Times: A Russian legal group that recently defended the organizations of Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny said on Sunday it was disbanding over fears of criminal sanctions. Team 29 said its website had been blocked after a request from prosecutors, who accuse the group of links with a Czech organization that has been deemed “undesirable.”

RFE/RL: Veronika Nikulshina, a member of the Pussy Riot performance-art collective, has left Russia after being released from custody following her second arrest in less than a month. Nikulshina told Dozhd television that she left because of the ongoing state “persecution” of Pussy Riot members and her repeated arrests for failure to obey police officers.

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