Russia This Week: Kremlin Advisor Speaks at Yalta Conference Amid Separatists, European Far Right (25-31 August)
-Kremlin advisor Sergei Glazyev speaks in Yalta, surrounded by separatists and European far right; advocates for “Novorossiya” to join Customs Union.
-There was an anti-war rally in St. Petersburg.
-Lev Shlosberg, Pskov deputy who investigated Pskov paratroopers’ deaths, assaulted, hospitalized; he links his attack to his investigation, and Acting Governor Turchak condemns attack.
-Russians make Facebook groups and web pages to try to find Russian soldiers MIA or KIA. TV Rain starts a list of researched cases of soldiers killed/captured abroad.
-Solidarity activist arrested at lone picket.
-Journalists investigated how Russian POWs ended up in Ukraine.
-Soldiers’ Mothers of St. Petersburg declared “foreign agents” after probe of soldiers’ death.
-Presidential Human Rights Council members probe disturbing reports of wounded soldiers brought to St. Petersburg.
-The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has announced the capture of 9 Russian POWs whose interrogations they have posted online. They may have been mistreated and their confessions are coerced.
-Relatives of the POWs held in Ukraine gather in Kostroma to demand answers, and further details of their capture emerge; the wife of a Russian officer MIA pleads for information about his whereabouts.
-Veteran rocker Andrei Makarevich, the front man for Mashina Vremeni, appeals to Putin to put a stop to the state TV vilification against him for his criticism of the war in Ukraine.
-Prominent civil rights attorney Genri Reznik pickets NTV for a program denouncing anti-war critics.
-Russian blogger Oleg Kashin asks the Russian Defense Ministry hard questions about news of Russian soldiers fighting and dying in Ukraine; the editors of Vedomosti also recall Soviet history and cover-ups of wars and demand that the government tell the truth about Russian soldiers sent to Ukraine.
-Russian journalists have been tracking down news of mysterious deaths of Russian paratroopers abroad — and finding many obstacles to getting at the truth as they are attacked by thugs.
-Juliya Navalny, wife of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, is summoned to give testimony in a contrived “art theft” case but refuses citing Russian constitutional protection against self-incrimination.
-As pictures of the painted star of the Stalin-era building in Moscow in Ukraine’s colors go vial, a campaign begins to call a dare-devil nicknamed “Mustang Wanted” a “Nazi” and “fascist.” The real story is complicated, but Mustang has sparked controversy again by donating his fee from LifeNews to the Donbass Battalion.
-Leonid Martynyuk, opposition author and video producer, was sentenced to 10 days of jail in an incident believed to have been fabricated for retaliation of his expose of the corrupt Sochi Olympics and the cover-up of the downing of MH17.
For last week’s issue go here.
-Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov joined the “Night Wolves,” a bikers’ gang that Putin has favored.
-Leonid Martynyuk, opposition author and video producer was arrested in Krasnodar in an incident his colleagues fear was trumped up in retaliation for his exposes of corruption in the Sochi Olympics and the cover-up of the shooting-down of MH17.
-Russian press and social media mined the popular social media network VKontakte for information on Russian paratroopers said to be killed or captured in Lugansk Region in Ukraine; oddly, some pictures were removed of armored vehicles and a draft notice, and some accounts were deleted.
-Four Russians were placed under house arrest pending trial for a stunt involving the painting of a Stalin-era building’s star in the colors of the Ukrainian flag; mystery painters then struck again.
-Moscow authorities have closed four McDonald’s restaurants ostensibly for sanitation violations, sparking a lot of social media commentary. -Pro-Kremlin propagandist Konstantin Rykov used a fake photo in Ferguson commentary on Twitter.
-Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov ordered 1,000 guests at a state function interrogated after an entertainer lost her phone.
-While Siberian autonomy demonstrators were banned and arrested, bikers promoting Russian fertility were allowed to ride through Novosibirsk.
-Protesters seeking greater freedom for Siberia were arrested in two cities, and received solidarity from some Ukrainians but hate messages from fellow Russians.
For the previous week’s issue, go here.
-Siberian activists were denied a permit for a rally.
-New reports of a Russian battalion with Chechens and others from the North Caucasus surfaced and videos were found to confirm their involvement.
-The followers of Col. Igor Strelkov, the charismatic separatist leader who resigned from the “Donetsk People’s Republic” were distraught.
-The trial of opposition leader Alexey Navalny in the Yves Rocher East case resumed.
-Prime Minister Medvedev’s Twitter account was hacked with a claim he was resigning in shame and protests against the Crimean annexation and robbing of pensions to pay cost of forcible annexation; a hacker’s group called Shaltai Boltai took credit for the unauthorized access, then claimed to leak his e-mail, which they found “boring.”
-Following confusion and wishful thinking that new regulations regarding Internet access will not be so restrictive, Russia’s Minister of Communications clarifies that ID of some form if not a passport will be required to access wi-fi and will be recorded.
-A pro-government Anti-Fascist Committee was formed to fight Western influence.
-South Stream pushes forward as EU gas dependence makes it hard to take strong action on Ukraine. If Russian “humanitarian convoy” enters Ukrainian territory, this will validate a Russian military presence in Ukraine.
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