News of the Day: 24 August 2021

The Moscow Times: Russian authorities have declared an interregional state of emergency as tough-to-contain forest fires threaten the country’s top-secret nuclear weapons research center, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing the emergencies ministry.  Wildfires have raged in the Nizhny Novgorod region and the neighboring republic of Mordovia, both roughly 500 kilometers east of Moscow, since early August.

The Moscow Times: Russia’s Justice Ministry has said that gifts from relatives and participation in international conferences are fair game for a media outlet to be labeled a “foreign agent,” a member of the presidential human rights council said Monday. Eva Merkacheva’s account of the Justice Ministry briefing appeared after the ministry added the independent Dozhd broadcaster and investigative site Important Stories (iStories) to its registry of “foreign agents” Friday.

HRW: The Russian government is not providing adequate resources for home-based services for older people, denying some of them the ability to live independent and dignified lives, Human Rights Watch said today.

OSCE: OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro today expressed her grave concern regarding the expanding practice by Russian authorities to designate media outlets and journalists as ‘foreign agents’. Ribeiro’s comments follow the Ministry of Justice’s decision of 20 August to add the Moscow-based independent television channel Dozhd (TV Rain) and the Latvia-registered investigative media portal Vazhniye Istorii (iStories) to its list of ‘foreign agents’. On the same day, the Ministry also registered six journalists from iStories as ‘foreign agents’. 

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