News of the Week

Week-ending 16 February 2024

Russia’s war against Ukraine

Human Rights Watch, Truth Hounds, and SITU Research published a new report on the Russian military assault on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol between February and May 2022. (Human Rights Watch, 8/2/24)

Aleksei Navalny dead at 47

The Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has died in jail, the country’s prison service has said. (The Guardian, 16/2/24)

Aleksei Navalny was again placed in a punishment cell for unspecified reasons three days after he served a previous 10-day term.  (RFE/RL, 14/2/24)


A court issued arrest warrants for two of Navalny’s lawyers, Olga Mikhailova and Aleksandr Fedulov, on extremism charges. (RFE/RL, 15/2/24)

Russian authorities issued an arrest warrant for Russian lawyer and outspoken Kremlin critic Ilya Novikov, who resides in Ukraine. (RFE/RL, 15/2/24)


A Moscow court sentenced Kirill Sukhanov, commercial director of the Ostorozhno Media media holding, to 7 1/2 years in prison on extortion charges and two journalist co-defendants (Arian Romanovsky and Tamerlan Bigayev), received seven years in prison on the same charge. (RFE/RL, 12/2/24)

RSF says more than a hundred journalists have been victims of violence in the past two years; including 11 reporters killed. (RSF, 12/2/24)

Human Rights Defenders

Human rights defender Bakhrom Khamroev has been placed in a punishment cell for five days in Vladimir Central Prison. (Front Line Defenders, 16/2/24)

Punitive psychiatry

A Russian court again refused to transfer Yakut shaman Aleksandr Gabyshev to a less restrictive psychiatric clinic, known for his attempts to march to Moscow to drive President Putin out of the Kremlin. (RFE/RL, 12/2/24)

Other cases

A court sentenced activist Maksim Ivankin, already serving a lengthy prison term in the “Set” (Network) case, to an additional 24 years on a double murder conviction  he first confessed to under torture. (RFE/RL, 12/2/24)

A court of appeal sentenced prominent anti-war sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky to five years in prison. Amnesty International condemned the move. (The Moscow Times, Amnesty International, 13/2/24)

Russian authorities detained Siberian activist Sergei Piskunov at a checkpoint along the Russian-Kazakh border and charged him with organizing an extremist group. (RFE/RL, 12/2/24)

Police detained a former member of the Yabloko opposition party, Mikhail Sharygin, on extremism charges in Nizhny Novgorod. (RFE/RL, 14/2/24)

Moscow placed Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on Russia’s wanted list for “destroying monuments to Soviet soldiers.” (RFE/RL, 13/2/24)

‘Undesirable’ organisations

Lawmakers introduced a bill extending the classification “undesirable” organizations to state-sponsored entities. (The Moscow Times, 12/2/24)


Russia’s Supreme Court on February 15 rejected an appeal filed by anti-war presidential hopeful Boris Nadezhdin against a decision by election officials not to register him for next month’s election. (RFE/RL, 15/2/24)

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