News of the Week

Week-ending 29 March 2024

Russia’s War on Ukraine

A new report by the UN said Russia may have executed at least 32 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) in the three months to 29 February. (RFE/RL, 27/3/24)

Crocus City Hall terrorist attack

President Putin’s spokesman refused to answer a question regarding indications that four suspects in the terrorist attack outside of Moscow may have been abused during and after their detention. (RFE/RL, 25/3/24)

Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova criticized the alleged violent detention of the four suspected gunmen in last week’s deadly attack on a Moscow concert hall. (The Moscow Times, 26/3/24)

‘[,,,] the Russian authorities and media sources have provided deeply disturbing and what appear to be credible images of torture of criminal suspects. […] torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment only serves to tarnish and undermine the path to truth and justice.’ (Amnesty International, 25/3/24) 

Several apparent xenophobic incidents targeting Central Asian migrants have been reported in Russia. (RFE/RL, 24/3/24)

Nikolai Konashenok, a prominent St. Petersburg developer, was detained by police in connection with two Facebook posts related to the Moscow terrorist attack at Pulkovo airport. (RFE/RL, 26/3/24)

Journalists

A court extended the detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on charges of spying to 30 June. (The Guardian, 26/3/24)

SOTAvision journalist Antonina Favorskaya was not released after serving 10 days in jail on charges of disobeying police orders but was remanded in custody on charges of involvement with Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. (RFE/RL, 28/3/24; The Guardian, 29/3/24)

A former member of Aleksei Navalny’s team in Bashkortostan, Olga Komleva, was sent to pretrial detention on March 28 on a charge of participating in an extremist group’s activities. Komleva, 45, is also a journalist with the RusNews online media outlet. (RFE/RL, 28/3/24)

Prisoners

A court in Ekaterinburg sentenced Azat Miftakhov to four years in prison on a charge of justifying terrorism. Miftakhov was arrested immediately after serving almost six years for involvement in an arson attack against offices of the United Russia party. (RFE/RL, 28/3/24)

Zarema Musayeva, the imprisoned mother of three self-exiled Chechen opposition activists, has been hospitalized. after her eyesight deteriorated sharply and swellings appeared on her body. Her lawyer Aleksandr Savin said his client has an acute form of diabetes, cataracts, and constant pain in her knee. (RFE/RL, 28/3/24)

LGBT rights

A queer bar in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk has been fined for “LGBT propaganda,” local police said Thursday, a month after the bar announced its closure over police raids. (The Moscow Times, 28/3/24)

Local democracy

The city of Ulan-Ude in Buryatia will no longer hold direct mayoral elections and instead select its local political leader through a council of electors, its regional assembly announced. (The Moscow Times, 28/3/24)