News of the Day: 21 October 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Thursday reported a record high number of both new coronavirus cases and deaths. Officials reported 36,339 new coronavirus cases and 1,036 fatalities from Covid-19 over the last 24 hours.

The Guardian: Moscow authorities have announced a weeklong closure of most non-essential services from 28 October, as Russia registered its highest daily number of coronavirus deaths and infections since the start of the pandemic.

RFE/RL: A court in Moscow has sentenced a man to three years and three months in prison for setting the wheel of a police car on fire during the January 31 rally in support of jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. The Presnensky district court on October 20 found 26-year-old Sergei Vasilenko guilty of damaging police property, and sentenced him the same day.

The Moscow Times: A Russian comedic actress has been jailed in the Far East after appearing in a video where she satirized the country’s Interior Ministry spokeswoman, local media reported Thursday. Larisa Krivonosova was fined and jailed for 10 days in September for illegally wearing an official uniform after she portrayed Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk on a satirical YouTube series to make fun of Russian bureaucracy, local media reports said. […] The Ussuriysk district court in the Primorye region has found Krivonosova, 43, guilty of repeatedly evading administrative supervision and sentenced her to three months in jail, the local Interior Ministry said in a statement Wednesday. 

RFE/RL; Russian opposition politician Lyubov Sobol, a close associate of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, has been added to Russia’s wanted list after she fled the country days after being found guilty of breaking coronavirus measures.

RFE/RL: The Kremlin says is has no “respect” for the decision by European lawmakers to award jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny with the Sakharov Prize, the European Union’s highest human rights honor.

RFE/RL: For months, the Kremlin has been trying to convince its citizens and others that opposition leader Aleksei Navalny is just a criminal who ran an extremist organization.

Human Rights in Ukraine: A ‘court’ in Russian-occupied Crimea has sentenced a man who tried to set his partner alight in a drunken row to two years’ imprisonment.  The following day, on 20 October, a Russian prosecutor demanded a 20-year sentence against Crimean Tatar historian Seitumer Seitumerov for discussing religious subjects in a mosque.  The prosecutor also asked for a 17-year sentence against Seitumer’s brother Osman Seitumerov, and 16 years in the case of their uncle Rustem Seitmemetov.  A fourth Crimean Tatar, Crimean Solidarity civic journalist Amet Suleimanov could face a sentence of 13 years, although he has a life-threatening heart condition, and would probably be dead within days.  The four Crimean Tatars are all charged under ‘serious’ articles of Russia’s criminal code, but with no recognizable crime, and the ‘evidence’ against them was from illicitly taped conversations about, for example, Judgement Day and ‘anonymous witnesses’ whose identity and reason for collaborating with the Russian FSB is, in fact, known.

RFE/RL: Turkish authorities have arrested four Russian citizens, one Ukrainian citizen, and one Uzbek national on charges of “military and political espionage” linked to alleged plans to attack Chechen opposition activists residing in Turkey.

The Moscow Times: Four Russians, one Ukrainian and one Uzbek citizen were allegedly detained in Turkey on suspicion of preparing armed attacks against Chechen dissidents, Reuters reported, citing Turkish broadcaster TRT Haber on Thursday.

RFE/RL: A reactor at a nuclear power plant in Russia’s southwestern Rostov region was taken offline after the detection of a steam leak, but the operator said radiation levels were normal.

The Guardian: A new Russian film tackles one of the country’s great taboos: the role of Russian mercenaries in trouble spots around the world and the toll this takes on the family members of the often unacknowledged soldiers who die in combat.

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