News of the Day: 30 August 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Monday reported 18,325 new coronavirus cases and 792 deaths.

RFE/RL: Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) has warned Apple over what it called the U.S. technology giant’s “abuse of its dominant position” in the distribution of apps.

RFE/RL: Russia’s Interior Ministry has banned a stand-up comic of Azerbaijani origin, Idrak Mirzalizade, from entering and residing in the country for life over his on-stage joke about Russians.

The Moscow Times: Russia has issued an expulsion order against a popular Belarusian comedian after ruling he insulted ethnic Russians in a stand-up routine. Mirzalizade had sparked controversy with a joke on a popular YouTube show this spring, where he told a story about non-Slavs facing discrimination when trying to rent apartments in Moscow.

Human Rights Watch: In an outrageous move, the Russian Interior Ministry announced today it has banned a stand-up comedian, Idrak Mirzalizade, from Russia for life, over a joke he told which Russian authorities consider insulting to ethnic Russians.

The Moscow Times: Russia has blocked the website of independent media outlet Readovka after it published an investigation into the alleged hidden wealth of a parliamentarian.

RFE/RL: A Moscow court has sentenced another supporter of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny to 18 months of so-called “restricted freedom,” a parole-like sentence, for allegedly violating restrictive measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

The Moscow Times: Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s spokeswoman, one of his last close associates remaining in the country, has fled Russia, Interfax reported Monday.

RFE/RL: An activist who publicly supports jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Smart Voting system says he was detained and pressed to disclose information on others by police in Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg.

RFE/RL: Prosecutors in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk have asked a court to sentence an anarchist couple to six years in prison each on charges of hooliganism and vandalism motivated by hatred and enmity. Pavel Chikov of the legal defense organization Agora wrote on Telegram that prosecutors asked the Central District court in the Ural’s city to convict Dmitry Tsibukovsky and his wife Anastasia Safonova on August 30. The charges against the couple stem from their placing a large banner in February 2018 near the building of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Chelyabinsk, saying “FSB — Main Terrorist.”

The Moscow Times: A Russian sushi delivery chain has publicly apologized for an advertisement that featured a black man after its owner received death threats from an ultra-nationalist hate group.

Human Rights in Ukraine: One of the five cloned ‘trials’ with which Russia is trying to deflect attention from its  attack on Crimean Tatar civic journalists and activists is likely to result in the death of two of the five recognized political prisoners.  There is virtually no movement in the ‘trial’ of 61-year-old Servet Gaziev, Dzhemil Gafarov (59) and three other men due to the number of hearings that have needed to be adjourned because one or both of the men were too unwell to take part. 

Human Rights in Ukraine:  Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree enabling traitors and fugitives from justice to hold public service posts in the Russian Federation or occupied Crimea.  While the vast majority of such individuals are likely to be in hiding from Ukrainian justice, including for murder and torture, there may well be others whose treason and / other crimes to their country of origin demonstrate their value to the current regime in Russia, or are at least not viewed as a hindrance. Certainly Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov has indicated that for the Russian regime, these individuals are viewed as “needed”.

Leave a Reply