News of the Day: 24 November 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Wednesday confirmed 33,558 Covid-19 infections and 1,240 deaths.

The Guardian: Russia may dissolve Memorial, the country’s premier human rights group, in an attack on civil society and symbolic reversal of the freedoms won by dissidents at the fall of the Soviet Union.

RFE/RL: A Russian environmental activist who had protested against coal-mining projects in the Siberian region of Kemerovo says he was attacked and beaten by unidentified men in the presence of a former local lawmaker. Sergei Sherementyev said on November 24 that he was assaulted near the town of Apanas by three individuals who were transported to the site by Pyotr Fink, a former deputy in the local legislative assembly.

RFE/RL: A second lawyer for jailed Russian journalist Ivan Safronov, who is charged with high treason, has fled the country. Yevgeny Smirnov told The Insider investigative group on November 23 that he is now in Georgia, adding that he had decided to leave Russia after an internal disciplinary investigation had been initiated against him by the Federal Security Service (FSB).

The Moscow Times: The former head of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s St. Petersburg headquarters said Wednesday she has left Russia, becoming the latest opposition figure to depart the country amid a wide-reaching crackdown on dissent. Irina Fatyanova said she relocated to an unspecified country last week after the jailing of another member of Navalny’s regional political network, Liliya Chanysheva, on retroactive extremism charges.

Human Rights in Ukraine: Russia is turning to open terror against Crimean Tatars with nobody spared.  31 Crimean Tatars were detained on Tuesday evening after arriving at the temporary detention centre in occupied Simferopol for the release of lawyer Edem Semedlyaev who had just spent 12 days in detention for carrying out his work and properly representing people earlier detained.  Among those seized on 23 November were ten women and four civic journalists, reporting on the events for Crimean Solidarity.  In total violation even of Russian legislation, three women have been held in detention overnight, although all three have small children.

RFE/RL: Jailed Kremlin-critic Aleksei Navalny has filed another lawsuit against Correctional Colony No. 2 in the Vladimir region where he is serving a prison sentence that he and his supporters consider politically motivated. Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev told the Novaya Gazeta newspaper on November 24 that his client’s lawsuit is against the colony’s decision to label him as “a person inclined to commit crimes of a terrorist or extremist nature.”

The Moscow Times: Popular rapper Morgenshtern has left Russia after the country’s top investigator accused him of drug dealing, the news website reported Wednesday. Alisher Valeyev, who goes by the stage name Morgenshtern, reportedly boarded a train from the western Russian border city of Smolensk to Minsk, the capital of neighboring Belarus, with his wife and bodyguards.

The Guardian: A judge has ruled that a number of passages in the bestselling book Putin’s People convey a defamatory meaning against Roman Abramovich, including a claim that he bought Chelsea football club on Vladimir Putin’s orders.

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