6 June 2020
Hi! This is Aleksei Yurtaev
“I’m turning off the TV, I’m writing to you”
At the start of the week, I happened to hear Viktor Tsoi’s timeless classic about summer soon being over, and it made me think how fast it really will fly by. Before you know it, the rain and cold will be with us, and we’ll be stuck at home all day. What I’m trying to say is, you should make the most of the early summer, even though it’ll be especially challenging this year.
“About how I can’t look at shit anymore”
On 1 July, voting on amendments to the Constitution will take place in Russia (despite it occupying third place in terms of the numbers of those infected). The voting will last for a whole week, and you’ll be able to vote online. Basically, the current president of this country is not far off hitting the reset button and honouring us with his presidency for another 16 years. Team 29 lawyer Valeria Vetoshkina outlined what other powers the president will get and whether anyone other than Vladimir Putin will be able to run for the position of head of state.
“About how I’ve run out of steam”
Sometimes you really have no energy left for a fight, and at times like this, the investigator in a criminal case might propose that you enter into a plea bargain, with the promise that the court will apply no more than half of the maximum term. What should you do in such situations, and what are the risks involved in such a deal? Team 29 Editor Tanya Torocheshnikova delved into the nuances of the plea deal – a process that only entered the Russian lawbook in 2009.
“I’m waiting for an answer, I’m not holding out hope”
Do you remember the raft of cases in 2014 that came under the article on treason? The other day, the first of those prisoners walked free: radio engineer Gennady Kravtsov. Six years ago, the FSB accused Kravtsov, a former GRU official, of treason. Allegedly, his CV, which he’d sent to a Swedish recruitment organisation, had contained classified information. Kravtsov served his full term. In 2018, he was refused parole because not long before, he’d been reprimanded for an unmade bed, and in the two months leading up to his release, he was sent to solitary confinement several times in a row.
“The stereo broke, I’m sitting in silence, And I’m quite happy about it”
Have you tried to explain to your parents or grandparents what a podcast is? You should definitely give it a go – and then have them listen to the new episode of our show Russia Shuts Down. In the sixth instalment, we talk to the people we’re featuring about what’ll happen if the borders don’t just close for a while, but forever. Hey, it’s happened before, you know! In this episode, a man who hijacked a plane in China, pilot Shamil Alimuradov, tells us why he fled the USSR a few years before perestroika. Also, the dissident Oleg Sofyanik shares his experiences from three days in a little boat out at sea, which was how he attempted to reach the Turkish border. You can listen on Apple, Google Podcasts, Simplecast, Yandex.Music, Castbox, YouTube, and VKontakte.
“And generally, life is sweet, though it’s raining outside”
Listen to Viktor Tsoi, make the most of the three months of summer, and try to stay out of trouble!
Have a good weekend!
Aleksei and Team 29
Translated by Lindsay Munford