News of the Week

Week-ending 8 March 2024

Russia’s War on Ukraine

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) searched the homes of nearly a dozen Crimean Tatar activists and religious figures in annexed Crimea, detaining at least 10 people. (The Moscow Times, 5/3/24)

A Moscow court on March 4 issued an arrest warrant for Abbas Gallyamov, the self-exiled former speechwriter of Vladimir Putin, on a charge of distributing false information about Russia’s military. (RFE/RL, 4/3/24)

An appeal court in Kemerovo rejected an appeal by journalist Andrei Novashov against a sentence over his social media posts saying Russian forces attacked civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. (RFE/RL, 5/3/24)

Historian Ivan Kurilla opposed to the invasion of Ukraine was fired from the European University in St. Petersburg. (The Moscow Times, 5/3/24)

Aleksei Navalny

More than 40 countries on Monday called at the UN Human Rights Council for an independent international investigation into the death of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny. (The Moscow Times, 4/3/24)

The head of human rights for the United Nations chided Russia for its throttling of “dissenting voices” prior to this month’s presidential election, adding that the death of Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny added to concerns over the state of human rights in the country. (RFE/RL, 4/3/24)

A court in Samara sent the case of Lilia Chanysheva, imprisoned former chief of Aleksei Navalny’s team in Ufa, to the Appeal Board of the Supreme Court of Bashkortostan after prosecutors said her 7 1/2 year prison sentence on extremism charges was too lenient. (RFE/RL, 4/3/24)

At least four Moscow residents were reportedly detained on March 5 for laying flowers to honor late opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, who died in prison last month. (RFE/RL, 5/3/24)

Yulia Navalnaya urged her supporters to protest against Putin by voting en masse at noon local time in the 17 March election, forming large crowds and overwhelming polling stations. (The Guardian, 6/3/24)

Jehovah’s Witnesses

A court in Russia’s Irkutsk region in Siberia sentenced nine Jehovah’s Witnesses to prison terms ranging from three to seven years as a crackdown on the religious group continues. (RFE/RL, 5/3/24)

International Criminal Court

The international criminal court in The Hague issued arrest warrants for two senior Russian military figures accused of being responsible for a missile campaign targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure. (The Guardian, 5/3/24)

International Olympic Committee

The IOC president, Thomas Bach, directly criticised Russia’s leaders for their “blatant violation” of the Olympic charter. (The Guardian, 6/2/24)

Belarus opposition activist killed

Mikalai Aliakseyeu, a Belarusian opposition activist, was shot and killed by FSB officers in Karelia. (The Moscow Times, 7/3/24)

‘Undesirable’ organizations

Three more U.S. NGOs have been designated ‘undesirable organizations.’ (RFE/RL, 7/3/24)


In St. Petersburg, police detained Lena Patyayeva, a friend of Seda Suleimanova, forcibly sent to her native Chechnya where she is feared to have become a victim of an ‘honour killing’. (RFE/RL, 8/3/24)

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