News of the Day: 25 August 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Wednesday reported 19,536 new coronavirus cases and 809 pandemic deaths.

CPJ: Russian authorities should cease labeling news outlets as “foreign agents,” and shou ld let all independent media companies work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Human Rights in Ukraine: A Russian-controlled ‘court’ in occupied Crimea has fined the Head of the St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki Men’s Monastery for holding a church service on the private land on which the monastery stands.  Russia, which is internationally condemned for its illegal occupation of Ukrainian Crimea, claimed that such worship constituted ‘unlawful missionary activities’.   

Human Rights Watch: The health of a Ukrainian journalist in custody in Simferopol on the Crimean peninsula is reported to be deteriorating, following alleged torture by Russian security services. Vladyslav Yesypenko, a freelance journalist who covered environmental problems and social issues in Crimea, including for U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/EL), was arrested in March 2021 on apparently fabricated charges. According to Russian security services he confessed shortly after his arrest to spying for Ukraine and to keeping a self-made explosive device in his car. He was charged with illegally obtaining and transporting explosives and unlawfully storing weapons.

The Moscow Times: Russia’s central regions on Wednesday battled “extreme” wildfires fueled by an unusual heatwave that comes after forest fires linked to climate change ravaged Siberia for most of the summer. 

The Moscow Times: Nearly two out of every five Russians have avoided buying necessities because they can’t afford them, according to a survey by the independent Levada Center pollster published Wednesday. 

RFE/RL: As the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin accelerates its campaign against independent journalism, declaring multiple investigative outlets “foreign agents,” reporters caught up in the dragnet have long been wondering why some have been targeted while others have not.

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