News of the Week

Week-ending 12 April 2024

Russia’s War against Ukraine

Russia has issued an arrest warrant for Sandra Andersen Eira, a former Norwegian politician who currently serves as a medic in the Ukrainian military, the state-run news agency TASS reported Tuesday, citing law enforcement agencies. (The Moscow Times, 9/4/24)

Alexander Demidenko, a Russian activist and volunteer who had helped Ukrainian refugees return home during the invasion and was reportedly abducted and tortured in October 2023, has died in police custody. (The Moscow Times, 8/4/24)

A court in the Siberian city of Nizhnevartovsk on April 10 sentenced 20-year-old Magomed Magomedov to nine years in prison for attempting to join the pro-Ukrainian Russian Volunteers’ Corps. (RFE/RL, 10/4/24)

Belgian PM Alexander De Croo announced an investigation into Russian interference in EU-wide elections intended to undermine support for Ukraine. (RFE/RL, 12/4/24)

Aleksei Navalny

The late Russian dissident Aleksei Navalny and his wife will receive the Freedom Prize of the Media from a leading German forum this year, with Yulia Navalnaya set to accept the award in person. (RFE/RL, 7/4/24)

The Supreme Court of Bashkortostan extended the prison sentence of Lilia Chanysheva, former head of Aleksei Navalny’s team in Ufa, by two years. Prosecutors had said her initial 7 1/2-year sentence for extremism was too lenient. (RFE/RL, 9/4/24)

A memoir by the late Russian politician Alexei Navalny is due to be published this autumn, publisher Penguin Random House (PRH) has announced. (The Guardian, 11/4/24)

Human Rights Defenders / Civil Society Activists

Evgenia Kara-Murza, wife of Vladimir Kara-Murza, says she fears for her husband’s life on the second anniversary of his arrest. (The Guardian, 11/4/24)

Evgenia Kara-Murza said her husband has been in solitary confinement for the last six months in a cell just a few square meters with a single stool, a tiny, barred window and a folding bed. (RFE/RL, 11/4/24)

A court in the Russian city of Perm on April 10 issued an arrest warrant for Robert Latypov, the self-exiled former chief of Perm Memorial on charges of “attempting to smuggle cultural artifacts” – namely, to transfer Memorial’s archives to Germany last year.  (RFE/RL, 10/4/24)

LGBT rights

Sergei Burtsev, a Russian official in the Samara region, has resigned after federal lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein  accused him of being in a relationship with a man. (The Moscow Times, 12/4/24)

Chechnya

Chechnya has banned dance music it deems either too fast or too slow, in an attempt to quash a “polluting” western influence on the majority-Muslim region. (The Guardian, 9/4/24)

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee said two alleged militants were killed in a “counterterrorism” operation in the North Caucasus. (RFE/RL, 11/4/24)