News of the Week

Week-ending 3 May 2024

Russia’s War against Ukraine

Russian forces appear to have executed at least 15 Ukrainian soldiers as they attempted to surrender, and possibly six more who were surrendering or who had surrendered, since early December 2023, Human Rights Watch said. (HRW, 2/5/24)

The United States accused Russia of violating the international chemical weapons ban by deploying the choking agent chloropicrin against Ukrainian troops and using riot control agents “as a method of warfare” in Ukraine. (RFE/RL, 1/5/24)

A military court in Khabarovsk sentenced anti-war activist Angel Nikolayev to 15 years in prison on a charges of arson against a military recruitment center, desecration of Russia’s national flag, and vandalism. (RFE/RL, 3/5/24)

The International Red Cross movement decided not to suspend membership of the Russian Red Cross, despite potential breaches of neutrality regulations. (The Guardian, 29/4/24)

Five Russians accused of setting fire to a helicopter on behalf of Ukraine appeared before a Moscow court on Tuesday and were charged with “terrorism.” (The Moscow Times, 30/4/24)

Moscow resident Stanislav Netyosov was charged with discrediting the Russian military after he dyed his hair blue and yellow. (RFE/RL, 29/4/24)

A 24-year-old man from Siberia died in hospital in St. Petersburg after self-immolating in front of a military recruitment center in St Petersburg. (RFE/RL, 25/5/24)

398 naturalized Russian citizens had their passports revoked after the adoption of a law in October that allows naturalized Russians to be deprived of citizenship if convicted of a crime, including discrediting Russia’s military, distributing fake news about Russian armed forces, violating the laws on ‘foreign agents’ or ‘undesirable organizations.’ (RFE/RL, 30/4/24)

State-owned Gazprom has plunged to its first annual loss in more than 20 years, after gas sales more than halved following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. (The Guardian, 2/5/24)


Two journalists, Konstantin Gabov and Sergey Karelin, have been arrested on “extremism” charges and ordered by courts there to remain in custody pending investigation and trial on accusations of working for a group founded by Alexei Navalny. (The Guardian, 28/4/24)

Tajikistan’s Foreign Ministry summoned Russia’s ambassador in Dushanbe over alleged rights violations against Tajik citizens in Russia. (The Moscow Times, 29/4/24)

Three members of the Russian metal band Korrozia Metalla were arrested during a concert and charged with displaying “Nazi symbols,” authorities said. (The Moscow Times, 28/4/34)

North Caucasus

Authorities in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Karachai-Cherkessia said on April 29 that two police officers were killed and four wounded overnight in an attack by armed individuals who threw an explosive device and opened fire on a traffic police patrol. (RFE/RL, 29/4/24)

Russia – US – Germany

Russian state-affiliated accounts have boosted their use of TikTok and are getting more engagement on the platform ahead of the U.S. presidential election. (RFE/RL, 2/5/24)

Russia will face consequences for a cyberattack allegedly orchestrated last year by a group with ties to its military intelligence, the German Foreign Minister said. (RFE/RL, 3/5/24)

Brittney Griner, the US basketball star imprisoned in Russia for 10 months in 2022, revealed she had contemplated suicide while in jail. (The Guardian, 2/5/24)