Russian Journalist Dmitry Tsilikin Found Stabbed to Death in St. Petersburg

April 1, 2016
Dmitry Tsilikin

LIVE UPDATES: Dmitry Tsilikin, 54, a music and art critic and journalist for a number of independent publications was found stabbed to death in his apartment in St. Petersburg.

Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.

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Tony Blair’s Former Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith Now Defending Russian Mob: Daily Beast

Michael Weiss, senior editor at the Daily Beast, co-author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, and editor-in-chief of The Interpreterhas published a piece on former British Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith, who served under Prime Minister Tony Blair, and his defense of the Russian mob.

Former U.K. Attorney General Linked to Russian Mob

Tangled Web The former attorney general of Great Britain has been representing the lawyer for an alleged Russian crime family, The Daily Beast has learned, based on a tranche of email correspondence leaked online. Lord Peter Goldsmith, who served for six years under Tony Blair's premiership and is now a senior partner at the London office of U.S.

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Apr 01, 2016 19:11 (GMT)

Lord Peter Goldsmith, who served for six years under Tony Blair’s premiership and is now a senior partner at the London office of U.S. law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, was retained in March 2014 by Andrey Pavlov to act as “legal advisor.” Pavlov for years acted as legal counsel for Russian crime boss Dmitry Klyuev; he was also directly implicated by whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky as being an accomplice in the theft of public Russian money. Pavlov has denied all these accusations.

Goldsmith—who provided the Blair government with the legal justification for Britain’s participation in the 2003 Iraq War— was tasked with helping Pavlov evade possible sanction by the European Parliament for being complicit in Magnitsky’s death in prison,, and for “the subsequent judicial cover-up and for the ongoing and continuing harassment of his mother and widow,” as the text for the European parliamentary resolution stated.

Magnitsky, a tax expert, began by questioning unlawful manipulation of the returns of Hermitage Capital, his client, then went on to discover more massive tax fraud totaling nearly $1 billion. Then he himself was arrested by the people he was exposing, tortured and left to die in prison.
William Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital, has ever sought justice for his slain colleague Magnitsky, helping to spearhead the Magnitsky List in the US Congress and urging the European Parliament to pass a resolution naming Pavlov as co-conspiratory in Magnitsky’s case.
At the rate of about $1,400 an hour, Goldsmith has been providing advice to Pavlov on how to beat the recommended EU sanctions. As Browder commented:

“We’ve been fighting legal nihilism inside of Russia for many years,” Browder emailed The Daily Beast in reaction to the revelation that Debevoise was representing Pavlov. “Now the Russians are trying to export these practices to the West. It doesn’t help that they’re finding western enablers who are willing to lend their good names.”

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

Ukrainian AFP Journalist Barred Entry from Russia
Sergei Supinsky, a photo correspondent for Agence France Press (AFP) has been refused entry to Russia, RosBalt reported.
Supinsky, a citizen of Ukraine, has worked for AFP for about 13 years. He attempted to board a plane to Moscow at Minsk Airport, but was stopped and told that he was barred from Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it “had no relationship” to this incident and that Supinsky was trying to travel to Russia “not as a journalist” although it was “not aware” of the purpose of his trip, suggesting that AFP contact the Federal Migration System.
Ukraine has a controversial blacklist of Russian and other foreign journalists, some of whom have engaged in war propaganda for Russian state media, and it may be that Russia is exercising reciprocity.

Last year, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that blacklists of journalists were a “disgrace” and that Russia did not plan to initiate one.

But a number of journalists have been denied entry to Russia nonetheless, usually on grounds of “violating migration law.”

David Satter, a US journalist who live in Moscow, was denied re-entry to Russia in 2013 from Kiev. Luke Harding, a British journalist at the time the Guardian‘s Moscow correspondent, was also denied entry in February 2011. Both had published books critical of the Russian government.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

Kursk Regional Deputy Olga Li Faces Criminal Libel Charges for Protesting about Judicial Corruption
A Kursk Region deputy is facing criminal charges of “inciting hatred” of “authorities including officials of the justice system” for her appeal to President Vladimir Putin to end corruption of law-enforcers in her region, RBC reported, citing OVDInfo, the police monitoring group and Radio Svoboda, the Russian-language service of RFE/RL.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, Olga Li delivers a formal statement in bureaucratic language describing complaints of citizens, both open and anonymous, on corrupt and abusive practices of local prosecutors and judges — and the cover-up by Moscow agencies that were supposed to inspect them.

For complaining about such issues on the Internet, she now faces charges of “incitement of hatred or enmity and “humiliation of human dignity” for “libel regarding a judge” under Art. 298-1, section 1 of the Russian Criminal Code.
The Special Cases Department of the Kursh regional Investigative Committee has already performed a linguistic analysis of her videotaped speech and opened a case.
Li first published an article titled “Statement on Bringing Regional Prosecutor Filimonov to Criminal Trial” which was deemed to be “dissemination of deliberate false information damaging the honor, dignity and undermining the professional reputation of a judge of the Lenin District Court of Kursk” by accusing him of “deliberately unjust decisions regarding administrative offenses.”

Complaints of violations of due process and manipulation of the justice system as well as bribe-taking are rampant in Russia and are extensively documented by human rights groups as well as reflected in the “Untouchables” on the Magnitsky List and the Savchenko List.

By singling out this provincial deputy likely authorities expect to create an object lesson and deter such criticism from others.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

Journalist Dmitry Tsilikin Found Stabbed to Death in St. Petersburg

A journalist has been found stabbed to death in St. Petesrburg, reported.

Dmitry Tsilikin, 54, was found with multiple stab wounds in his apartment at No. 55 Nauka Avenue. He was said to have died two days earlier. Tsilikin had returned from a trip to Riga last week, and relatives grew worried when they could not reach him.

The St. Petersburg branch of the Investigative Committee  has opened up a murder case and has said in a statement on its web site that Tsilikin “could have become the victim of a mundane conflict,” although they said they were looking at various motives for the murder, Kommersant reported.

A laptop and a mobile phone were missing from the apartment. 

Tsilikin, who was trained as an actor had in recent years worked as a critic and journalist, and was among those who worked at the first perestroika newspaper in St. Petersburg, Chas Pik. 

He also worked in television at RTR and Channel 5; on the radio at Ekho Peterburga, and published articles in Vedomosti, Kommersant, RosBalt, Vogue, Elle, Ekspert, Profile and DP. He often wrote on culture — music, art, and ballet. 

Colleagues expressed shock and condolences on his page on VKontakte but did not speculate as to whether his murder was related to his work.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick