The Moscow Times: Russia on Thursday confirmed 33,796 Covid-19 infections and 1,238 deaths.
The Guardian: A Russian court has begun hearing arguments on the liquidation of International Memorial, a human rights group founded to research and inform the public about state-sponsored crimes and repression under the Soviet Union. Prosecutors have said the organisation should be shut down for violating Russia’s contentious “foreign agents” law, which the government has increasingly used to punish and close organisations it deems unfriendly.
The Moscow Times: Defenders of Russia’s most prominent rights group Memorial urged the Supreme Court on Thursday to dismiss a case to shut it down, saying the move would mark a dark day for the country. In court for alleged violations of its designation as a “foreign agent,” Memorial is facing its biggest threat since being founded by Soviet dissidents including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov in 1989.
RFE/RL: Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed Aleksandr Kalashnikov as director of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), the Kremlin said in a statement, after disturbing videos of torture and rape inside a jail were leaked. Putin replaced Kalashnikov with Arkady Gostev, a former deputy interior minister.
Human Rights in Ukraine: A court in Russian-occupied Crimea has jailed 21 Crimean Tatars, including five civic journalists, for up to 14 days after they were detained on 23 November while trying to report on the release of lawyer Edem Semedlyaev after the latter spent 12 days imprisoned for carrying out his duties as a lawyer. ‘Administrative arrest’ in the case of the journalists is considerably less savage than the 15-20-year sentences which eleven other journalists in occupied Crimea are either already serving or are facing, but it is nonetheless shocking, not least because the Russian occupiers are quite brazenly arresting journalists as they carry out their professional duties.
Human Rights Watch: This week, the European Court on Human Rights ruled that Luisa Tapayeva, a Chechen woman, should be reunited with her four daughters who were taken from her after their father died. Under local customs, children are “owned” by the father and his family.
The Moscow Times: Russian police will probe Netflix for allegedly streaming content that contains so-called “gay propaganda” without labeling it properly, the Vedomosti business daily reported Thursday.
RFE/RL: At least three rescuers have been reported killed and rescue operations halted after an early-morning explosion killed at least 11 miners and trapped dozens more in a coal mine in the Kemerovo region of Siberia.