News of the Week

Week-ending 31 May 2024

Russia’s War against Ukraine

The Supreme Court in Tatarstan gave a two-year suspended sentence to anti-war activist Zulfia Sitdikova for rehabilitating Nazism and discrediting the military. (RFE/RL, 28/4/24)

Ukrainian journalist Viktoria Roshchyna, who went missing in Russian-occupied Ukraine last August, has turned up in Russian custody. (RFE/RL, 28/5/24)

A military court sentenced a Chelyabinsk resident to 13 years in a maximum-security prison for calling on Russian soldiers to surrender to Ukrainian forces. (RFE/RL, 30/5/24)

Travel blogger Ilya Varlamov has been charged with “discrediting” the Russian armed forces. (The Moscow Times, 30/5/24)

Moscow and Kyiv have traded 150 prisoners of war with the help of mediators from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). (The Moscow Times, 31/5/24)

A new song by Russian pop star Monetochka is inspiring Russians to share videos about life before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. (The Moscow Times, 30/5/24)

Aleksei Navalny

A court has extended the pre-trial detention of two lawyers who represented Alexei Navalny. Vadim Kobzev, Alexei Lipster, and Igor Sergunin are on remand on charges of participating in “extremist” activities. (The Moscow Times, 28/5/24)

A Tomsk court rejected an appeal by Ksenia Fadeyeva, a former lawmaker and head of Navalny’s regional team, over a nine-year prison term for extremism. (RFE/RL, 28/5/24)

Other legal cases

A Moscow court has rejected an appeal by imprisoned dissident Oleg Orlov to be removed from the Russian Justice Ministry’s “foreign agent” list. (The Moscow Times, 29/5/24)

A court extended the pretrial detention of Alsu Kurmasheva, a Prague-based journalist with RFE/RL who holds dual U.S. and Russian citizenships, until August 5. (RFE/RL, 31/5/24)

The ECtHR ordered Russia to pay $56,500 in damages to Zarema Musaeva the jailed mother of exiled Chechen human rights lawyer and activist Abubakar Yangulbaev. She is serving to five years on charges of fraud and assaulting police. (The Moscow Times, 28/5/24)

Rosfinmonitoring has added actor Aleksei Panin to the register of terrorists and extremists. No reason was given. (RFE/RL, 28/5/24)

A Moscow court upheld the four-year prison term for Igor Girkin for “inciting extremism.” In 2022 a Dutch court sentenced him in absentia to life in prison over the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 which killed 298 people. (The Moscow Times, 29/5/24)

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Gordon Black, arrested in Vladivostok on suspicion of theft, has been charged with threatening to kill his partner. (RFE/RL, 27/5/24)

Other matters

Russia’s traffic police is now called, as in the Soviet-era, GAI. (The Moscow Times, 28/5/24)


EU foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions on 19 Russian officials and Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) over their involvement in the persecution of opposition politicians and activists. (RFE/RL, 27/5/24)

At least seven journalists and activists, vocal critics of the Kremlin and its allies, have been targeted inside the EU by a state using the Pegasus spyware. (The Guardian, 30/5/24)

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