Team 29: New website and news of a closed trial

24 October 2020

Hi, this is Ksyusha Ufimtseva.

I’m the new editor of the Team 29 website. Nice meet you! Today, I’m going to tell you about developments here over the past week.

Most importantly, we launched a new website. Team 29 has been getting it ready for a while now and unveiled it on Monday, 19 October. The new site can be accessed at the old address but is now faster and easier to use. It has some new sections. For example, our news is now grouped together under a single banner. This week, we told a funny story about how Moscow’s Tagan District Court had spent two months refusing to provide Team 29’s lawyers with the decision on blocking the website of the company NET!. Then, a few hours after the story broke, the document the lawyers needed appeared on the Court’s web portal. So, we witnessed a miracle! Aside from that, our lawyers said a few words on the authorities’ commitment to make it easier for businesses to access government IT systems. If the idea becomes reality, private companies will be able to purchase data from the Government Services Portal, for example. Spoiler alert: there are long odds on this one.

We also had a section about an important case being handled by Team 29 lawyers Ivan Pavlov and Evgeny Smirnov. It’s the case of Karina Tsurkan, who stands accused of espionage. The court will sit in closed session, although we can print the written pleadings. Read them to find out what ‘evidence’ can be used to try you as a spy.

We’re asking for your support for Karina. She’s been in custody in Lefortovo remand centre since summer 2018 (with a short break). Please send her a friendly letter – Karina really needs it right now. Letters should be addressed here: 111020, Moscow, Pre-trial Detention Facility 2 FSIN, Russia, 5 Lefortovsky Val; Tsurkan, Karina Valerevna.

We also need your support. Without it, our Team 29 lawyers can’t defend those who have been unfairly accused, and our journalists can’t run stories on how to survive in today’s Russia. We exist thanks to your regular cash donations.

Thanks for sticking with T29. Take care!


Translated by Lindsay Munford

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