News of the Week

Week-ending 29 December 2023

Russia’s war on Ukraine

The command of the Ukrainian military’s Airborne Assault Forces said on December 28 that three Ukrainian POWs whose alleged execution by Russian forces is being investigated by the Prosecutor-General’s Office served in the 82nd Separate Airborne Assault Brigade. (RFE/RL, 29/12/23)

Many women are staging public protests and writing open letters taking to task the official narrative that mobilised troops are required in Russia’s war in Ukraine. (The Moscow Times, 25/12/23; 29/12/23)

The Kremlin is investing in movements of wives and mothers who support the war in Ukraine and promote traditional values to counter the growing influence of protesting relatives of soldiers. (The Moscow Times, 26/12/23)

A Moscow court on December 28 sentenced poets Artyom Kamardin and Yegor Shtovba to seven and 5 1/2 years in prison on charges of “inciting hatred and calling for anti-state activities” for publicly reciting verses condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (RFE/RL, 28/12/23)

Law enforcement officials on 29/12 were quoted as saying a new probe on a charge of distributing “fake” information about the Russian armed forces has been launched against Russian lawyer and outspoken Kremlin critic Ilya Novikov, who lives in Ukraine. (RFE/RL, 29/12/23)

Russia has issued an international arrest warrant for opposition politician Anastasia Bryukhanova under its wartime censorship laws, the state-run TASS news agency reported Wednesday. (The Moscow Times, 28/12/23)

Aleksei Navalny

Allies of the jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny expressed relief on reading a message from Navalny saying he was “fine”, relief tempered by grave concern about the harsh conditions he faces in the Arctic prison known as “Polar Wolf”. (The Guardian, 27/12/23; 27/12/23)

A court in Siberia has sentenced Ksenia Fadeyeva, Navalny’s former Tomsk regional coordinator, to nine years in prison on charges of creating an “extremist organization. (The Moscow Times, 29/12/23)


Russia’s Supreme Court on 27/12 upheld the Central Election Commission’s decision to bar journalist Yekaterina Duntsova – who has called for peace in Ukraine – from running for president. (RFE/RL, 27/12/23; 23/12/23)

Arrest warrants

A Moscow court on December 27 issued an arrest warrant for Dmitry Dovgy, a former top official of the Investigative Committee and a former lawyer for Sergei Furgal, imprisoned former governor of the Khabarovsk region. (RFE/RL, 27/12/23)

Russian authorities have issued arrest warrants for popular animators Oleg Kuvayev and Pavel Muntyan and exiled opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov. (The Mosow Times, 26/12/23)

LGBT rights

Since the Russian Supreme Court banned the “international LGBT movement” in late November, an atmosphere of unease has settled over St. Petersburg’s gay nightlife scene. (The Moscow Times, 23/12/23)

A Moscow court on December 27 sentenced noted queer blogger Khilmi Oleinik (aka Khilmi Forks) to three years in prison on a charge of producing and online distribution of pornographic images with his participation. (RFE/RL, 27/12/23)

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