News of the Week

Week-ending 23 February 2024

Russia’s war on Ukraine

Russian authorities prosecuted more than 116,000 activists during President Putin’s latest term in office, Proekt reported. (The Moscow Times, 23/2/24)

Amnesty International says the Russian authorities increasingly use false, politically motivated terrorism-related charges for dissent. (AI, 19/2/24)

Amnesty International called for full accountability for Russia for all crimes committed in Ukraine since 2014. (AI, 22/2/24; see also AI, 23/2/24)

A Russian helicopter pilot who defected to Ukraine last year in a secret operation has been found dead in Spain. (The Guardian, 19/2/24)

Russian courts have convicted more than 4,600 soldiers for desertion and other offenses, Proekt reports. (The Moscow Times, 22/2/24)

Aleksei Navalny

Despite repeated requests, Navalny’s family was denied access to his body. (RFE/RL, 19/2/24)

Alexei Navalny’s mother has said she has been shown the body of her son but that the authorities were “blackmailing” her into burying him in a secret. (The Guardian, 22/2/24)

At least four journalists were briefly detained while reporting on gatherings to mourn Navalny’s sudden death in prison.  (CPJ, 21/2/24)

Russian authorities have begun a campaign of persecution against those paying respects to Navalny, Amnesty International said. (AI, 19/2/24)

Russian courts have sentenced dozens detained for commemorating Navalny to short jail sentences. (The Moscow Times, 19/2/24)

Yulia Navalnaya published a video address in which she vowed to continue her late husband’s political work. (The Guardian, 19/2/24)

Jailed activist Ilya Yashin says he fears for his life; the authorities brought new charges against Navalny’s brother Oleg. (The Guardian, 20/2/24)

President Putin promoted the Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), Valery Boyarinev, to the rank of colonel general just three days after Navalny’s death. (RFE/RL, 20/2/24)

Senior U.S. diplomat Victoria Nuland said the United States will impose “a crushing new package of sanctions” over Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the death of Aleksei Navalny.  (RFE/RL, 23/2/24)

Other cases

Russia announced it had arrested Ksenia Khavana, a dual US-Russian citizen, on treason charges. (The Guardian, 21/2/24)

Moscow City Court rejected an appeal by US journalist Evan Gershkovich over his pretrial detention on espionage charges. (RFE/RL, 20/2/24)

A Moscow court issued arrest warrants for self-exiled economist Konstantin Sonin and politician Leonid Gozman on charges of knowingly spreading false information about the Russian army. (RFE/RL, 20/2/24)


The Amsterdam Court of Appeals rejected Russia’s appeal against a 2014 order to pay $50 billion to shareholders of the now defunct Yukos oil company. (RFE/RL, 20/2/24)

‘Undesirable’ organisations

Russia has labeled Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as an “undesirable organization.” Last week Russia labeled Article 19 an ‘undesirable’ organisation. (RFE/RL, 20/2/24, CPJ, 21/2/24, CPJ, 16/2/24) )

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