Live Updates: The Russian State Duma called for “preparing for the worst” regarding the policies of US President Donald Trump. Police searched the home of human rights activist Zoya Svetova in the YUKOS case.
The previous issue is here.
Recent Analysis and Translations:
‘Hybrid Cyberwars’: Are the Russian Hackers’ Arrests About American or Internal Russian issues?
Donât Forget About âSoft Powerâ Part of Russiaâs âHybrid Warâ in Ukraine: Russian Activist Yashinâs New Report
Russiaâs Propaganda War Against Ukraine: Interview with Russian Opposition Activist Ilya Yashin
How Many Russians Are Fighting for ISIS? A Brief History of The Kremlinâs Arbitrary Numbers
“Inside the country, residents have gradually found themselves in the rear, fighting in the state’s cyberspace, in which virtually martial law operates, with heavy censorship and a brutal reaction to any disagreement, even the most harmless criticism of the bosses or an attempt to dispute the actions of the leadership is viewed as an armed attack. This all enables us to make the confident conclusion: the Runet has moved to a state of war.”
Gainutdinov gave an interview to Novaya Gazeta last year in which he said the “Yarovaya package” of legislation restricting the Internet ostensibly in the interests of combating terrorism was having an effect. Using the words “annexation” or “occupation” regarding the Crimea was grounds for prosecution, for example, because it could be construed as “propaganda for violating the territorial integrity” of Russia. Several milder articles in the criminal code dealing with “hate speech” have now been toughened up so that a careless blogger could find himself facing five years of imprisonment.
“But you’re a vatnik and katsap [another pejorative word used by Ukrainians to refer to Russians]. How else could you call such cattle? You cite facts, and he doesn’t believe.”
Novaya Gazeta has covered the “Internet cases” in a column titled “Who, What, For What” about court cases, many of them politically-motivated.
In November 2016, VKontakte’s administration blocked a group with the sarcastic title “Rashka Kvadratny Vatnik” which translates as “Russia is a Total Vatnik”. “Rashka” is a term for “Russia” said to be used by Soviet emigres. While originally a slur, the word began to be picked up ironically by Russian patriots themselves.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Demonstrators hangs a banner over a bridge in Cheboksary with the slogan ‘You Can’t Put Everyone in Jail”. Photo via Meduza.
The ruble is trading for 58.49 to the dollar and 62.11 to the euro. Brent crude is selling for $55.36 per barrel.
The following news items were taken from 7:40 na perrone, RBC, Interfax, Guardian, Novaya Gazeta, Facebook, Meduza, Svoboda, Om-Saratov, Reuters, and Currenttime TV.
– House Trump-Russia Probe Kneecapped Before It Gets Started [English]
– Helsinki Commissioners Chamipon Security, Human Rights at OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Winter Meeting in Vienna
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick