News of the Day: 24 September 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Friday reported 21,379 new coronavirus cases and a record of 828 deaths.

The Moscow Times: A court in the city of Volgograd in southwestern Russia sentenced four Jehovah’s Witnesses to more than 6 years in prison each on extremism charges Thursday, the religious organization said in a statement.

The Moscow Times: Russia has designated the Church of Scientology an “undesirable organization” Friday, effectively banning it within the country and putting its members at risk of jail time.

The Guardian: Some were flying home. Others starting the holiday of a lifetime. But they never arrived at their destination. On 17 July 2014, a missile shot down Malaysia Airlines MH17 over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch nationals. More than seven years later, a court in the Netherlands has heard some of their stories and how the lives of their grief-stricken families were changed for ever.

The Moscow Times: The ruling, pro-Putin United Russia party kept its supermajority in the lower house of parliament despite critics claiming mass fraud and tampering during the three-day election, according to final results announced by election officials Friday.

RFE/RL: Russia’s Central Election Commission has validated the results of last week’s State Duma elections in the face of opposition allegations of irregularities in favor of the Kremlin-backed ruling United Russia party.

RFE/RL: This week, a court in Ussuriisk, north of the regional capital, Vladivostok, sentenced two local actors to short jail stints because of their appearances in an online comedy sketch ribbing local officials and the ruling United Russia party.

Human Rights in Ukraine: Russia’s FSB have substantially increased the charges against Nariman Dzhelyal which they brought shortly after the Deputy Chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis took part in Ukraine’s Crimea Platform, together with high-ranking representatives of 45 countries. 

RFE/RL: Moscow police and city officials have warned the Communist Party against following through with calls for a gathering in the Russian capital on September 25 to protest the results of last weekend’s elections. Russia’s media regulator, Roskomnadzor, has also ordered the publishers of the party’s website to delete references to such an event, according to two Communist candidates. […] Reports quote city officials as saying gatherings violate anti-pandemic restrictions.

The Moscow Times: The European Union on Friday condemned alleged Russian cyberattacks that have targeted Germany in the run-up to this weekend’s election for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor. 

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