News of the Day: 28 June 2021

The Guardian: Poem of the week: from War of the Beasts and the Animals by Maria Stepanova. Ranging across Russian history, this work brings the cost of war into stark and tragic focus.

RFE/RL: The jailed former executive director of the pro-democracy Open Russia movement, Andrei Pivovarov, has called on a founder of the opposition Yabloko party, Grigory Yavlinsky, to register him as a party candidate for upcoming parliamentary elections. In an open letter addressed to Yavlinsky on June 28, Pivovarov wrote that the elections to parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, on September 19 will “most likely be the last poll at which it will be possible to form a list of independent candidates” that can be supported by the tens of millions of voters “who want freedom in the country.”

RFE/RL: A Russian court has upheld the nine-year prison sentence of U.S. Marine Trevor Reed after being convicted in July 2020 for assaulting two police officer, in what the U.S. ambassador to Moscow called “another absurd miscarriage of justice.” “The verdict of the Golovinsky District Court of Moscow has been left without change, the appeal is without satisfaction,” the Moscow City Court said on June 28 in a statement.

RFE/RL: A Russian stand-up comic of Azerbaijani origin, Idrak Mirzalizade, says he was attacked in Moscow after several pro-government media outlets accused him of insulting ethnic Russians. Mirzalizade wrote on Instagram on June 27 that he was attacked two days earlier after receiving several threats because of the accusations.

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) knows of at least 22 newspapers throughout the world that were driven to close by governments they annoyed during the past five years – the fate suffered by Apple Daily, Hong Kong’s most popular tabloid, which announced on 23 June that it was shutting down under pressure from the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities.

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