News of the Day: 22 November 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Monday confirmed 35,681 Covid-19 infections and 1,241 deaths.

RFE/RL:  The arrested former leader of a regional organization for jailed opposition activist Aleksei Navalny in Russia’s Bashkortostan has been transferred to a detention center in the Moscow region. The lawyer for Lilia Chanysheva told RFE/RL that he was unable to meet with his client in a detention center in Bashkortostan’s capital, Ufa, on November 22 because of the move.

RFE/RL: Russian journalist and human rights activist Viktoria Ivleva has been fined for taking part in single-person protests to support one of the country’s oldest human rights organizations, Memorial, which faces possible closure. A court in Moscow on November 22 found Ivleva guilty of repeatedly violating the law on public gatherings, and ordered her to pay a fine of 150,000 rubles (more than $2,000). Ivleva was among at least seven other activists who were detained over the weekend on Moscow’s Pushkin Square. While other activists were released hours later on November 20, Ivleva remained in custody.

The Moscow Times: International rights groups raised alarm over recent transfers of activists to Tajikistan and Turkmenistan from Russia as top EU diplomat Josep Borrell met foreign ministers from five Central Asian states Monday.

FIDH: We, the undersigned 50 organizations of the International Federation for Human Rights, condemn in the harshest terms the ongoing attempts by the Russian authorities to liquidate two of Russia’s foremost human rights NGOs: International Memorial and its related organization, member of the Federation, Human Rights Center “Memorial”. The politically motivated charges aim to further decimate Russia’s civil society and should be dropped immediately.

Human Rights in Ukraine: Russia’s new attempt to crush the world-renowned International Memorial Society and Memorial Human Rights Centre is backed by an ‘expert assessment’ from a maths teacher and translator.  Neither Natalia Kryukova nor Alexander Tarasov has any expert knowledge, but they most certainly have experience of what Russia’s FSB requires of such ‘assessments’.  Maths teacher Kryukova is co-founder of the Centre for Socio-Cultural Expert Assessments [“Центр социокультурных экспертиз“]  to which translator Tarasov also provides his services.  The Centre is most notorious in connection with the dodgy ‘assessments’ provided for Russia’s politically motivated persecution of the Pussy Riot punk group and historian of the Soviet Terror Yury Dmitriev, as well as for conclusions used for Russia’s extraordinary banning of the Jehovah’s Witnesses

The Moscow Times: The United States has warned European allies that Russia is readying for a possible invasion of Ukraine “on a scale far greater than seven years ago,” Bloomberg reported Monday.

The Moscow Times: Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service on Monday dismissed growing Western allegations that Moscow is planning an invasion of Ukraine. “The Americans are painting a frightening picture of hordes of Russian tanks that will start to crush Ukrainian cities, saying they have some ‘reliable information’ of such Russian intentions,” the SVR said in a rare statement to Russian news agencies. 

The Moscow Times: Russia is losing increasing amounts of its Arctic coast each year as climate change accelerates natural erosion processes, a phenomenon that could catalyze new ecological disasters, scientists have warned.

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