News of the Week

Week-ending 19 April 2024

Russia’s War against Ukraine

Over 50,000 Russian soldiers have been confirmed killed in Ukraine since the start of the Kremlin’s invasion over two years ago. (The Moscow Times, 17/4/24)

Ukraine said on April 16 it had identified almost 37,000 people who have not been accounted for since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022. (RFE/RL, 16/4/24)

Alexander Demidenko, who guided Ukrainian refugees back to their homeland, was arrested and tortured by Kremlin forces. Prison authorities say his death was suicide. The death certificate states the cause of death “was not yet established”. (The Guardian, 13/4/24)

More than 200 animals died in a fire at a zoo in Yevpatoria in Russian-occupied Crimea. (RFE/RL, 17/4/24)

Aleksei Navalny

Two people have been detained in Poland on suspicion of attacking Leonid Volkov, an exiled ally of late Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, the president of Lithuania announced Friday. (The Moscow Times, 19/4/24)

A court in Oryol ordered Russian-US citizen Ilya Startsev to pay 400,000 rubles ($4,240) on a charge of financing an extremist group for donating to Navalny’s FBK. (RFE/RL, 18/4/24)

Courts / Law enforcement agencies

Rosfinmonitoring added theater director Yevgenia (Zhenya) Berkovich and playwright Svetlana Petriychuk to its list of “terrorists and extremists.” (The Moscow Times, 15/4/24)

Oleg Orlov was transferred to a detention center in southwestern Russia before his prison sentence was set to enter into force. (The Moscow Times, 15/4/24)

Russia’s Interior Ministry on April 17 added Zalina Marshenkulova, an activist journalist in exile, to its wanted list on unspecified charges.  (RFE/RL, 17/4/24)

The organizer of the so-called “Nearly Naked” party, Russian blogger Anastasia Ivleyeva, has been charged with discrediting Russia’s armed forces. (RFE/RL, 16/4/24)

The Supreme Court of Baskortostan rejected the appeal by Bashkir activist Fail Alsynov against a four-year prison sentence. (RFE/RL, 18/4/24)

Prosecutors in Perm appealed a court decision to hand a three-year suspended prison term to Aleksandr Chernyshov, the ex-chief of the Centre of Historic Memory, successor entity of the Memorial human rights group. (RFE/RL, 18/4/24)

Telegram founder Pavel Durov said he fled Russia over Kremlin pressure to share Ukrainian pro-democracy protesters’ personal data in 2013. (The Moscow Times, 17/4/24)

The Federation Council, on April 17 voted to appoint Irina Podnosova, who in 1975 graduated from the Leningrad State University’s law school along with Vladimir Putin, to the post of chairwoman of the Supreme Court. (RFE/RL, 17/4/24)

LGBT rights

A song by the Russian pro-war pop star Shaman is being used in TikTok videos showing same-sex couples embracing, a trend that appears aimed at ironically juxtaposing “extremist” LGBTQ+ lifestyles with the song’s militaristic overtones. (The Moscow Times, 15/4/24)


In the city of Orenburg, the River Ural burst its banks, inundating thousands of homes, after heavy rain and melting ice swelled rivers across the region. (The Moscow Times, 14/4/24)