News of the Week

Week-ending 10 May 2024

Russia’s War against Ukraine

The Ukrainian Defence Ministry says a Russian prison officer in occupied Berdyansk implicated in alleged torture of Ukrainians has been ‘eliminated.’ (RFE/RL, 6/5/24)

Russia has added Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to its list of wanted criminals, a government database showed on Saturday. (The Moscow Times, 5/5/24)

The EU has reached a deal to seize profits from Russia’s frozen assets to fund weapons and aid for Ukraine within months. (The Guardian, 8/5/24)

A court in Russia’s Chelyabinsk region has ruled to hand over the assets of pasta manufacturer Makfa Group to the Russian state. (The Moscow Times, 8/5/24)

Freedom of expression

A Russian military court on Friday extended the pre-trial detention of theater director Yevgenia Berkovich and playwright Svetlana Petriychuk by six months on charges of ‘justifying terrorism.’ (The Moscow Times, 5/5/24)

A Moscow court on May 7 sent noted Russian journalist Nadezhda Kevorkova to pretrial detention until at least July 6 on a charge of ‘justifying terrorism.’ (RFE/RL, 7/5/24; The Moscow Times, RFE/RL, 6/5/24)

A court in the Siberian city of Omsk has sentenced psychologist Olga Belova to six years in prison in absentia on a charge of distributing ‘deliberately false’ information about Russia’s armed forces motivated by political hatred. (RFE/RL, 7/5/24)

Moscow’s city assembly voted to unseat Yevgeny Stupin, an exiled anti-war deputy, whom the Russian authorities designated as a ‘foreign agent.’ (The Moscow Times, 8/5/24)

Authorities in Russia have issued an arrest warrant for the exiled anti-war rapper Oxxxymiron. (The Moscow Times, 9/5/24)

A court in Tatarstan fined Ruzilya Sharafutdinova for violating Russia’s ‘territorial integrity’ after she appealed on social media for people to learn the Tatar language. (RFE/RL, 10/5/24)

‘Undesirable’ foreign organisations

Russian prosecutors on May 7 declared the Washington-based Freedom House human rights watchdog an ‘undesirable organization.’ (RFE/RL, 7/5/24)

Elections

The State Duma, approved in the second and third readings a bill that would ban individuals designated ‘foreign agents’‘from taking part in elections. (RFE/RL, 6/5/24)

Vladimir Putin has been sworn into his fifth term as Russia’s leader. (The Guardian, 7/5/24)

Other news

Authorities in Russia’s Irkutsk region declared a state of emergency after a fast-spreading fire ripped through villages. (The Moscow Times, 6/5/24)

A court sentenced Antonina Martynova, the wife of exiled journalist Kirill Martynov, to nine years in prison for attempted murder of her daughter. (The Moscow Times, 7/5/24)

Russian officials said two U.S. nationals were arrested in separate cases, including a serving army member. (RFE/RL, 7/5/24)

Russia’s Constitutional Court has registered its first lawsuit against the government over its climate policy. Environmental activists are demanding that all citizens have the right to a healthy environment. (RFE/RL, 9/5/24)