LIVE UPDATES: The Anti-Maidan movement has appealed in a public statement to the Ministry of Justice to investigate the Levada Center, a respected polling organization, for failing to register as a “foreign agent
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.
The previous issue is here.
Recent Analysis and Translations:
– NATO Got Nothing From Conceding To Russia In the Past, Why Should It Cave To The Kremlin Now?
– Who is Hacking the Russian Opposition and State Media Officials — and How?
– Does it Matter if the Russian Opposition Stays United?
Despite the ban, a number of groups with the name “Misanthropic Division” can be found on VKontakte, Russia’s most popular social network, as well as videos and other content.
These include Misanthropic Division Siberia (Reserve).
But some such as “Misanthropic Division Novorossiya” are shown as blocked by the Russian government.
Translation: This material is blocked on the basis of a demand from the Russian Federation Prosecutor General’s Office from 7.21.2016 No. 27-31-2015/Id2313-15
The Siberian group for example carried a notice that Right Sector and Azov members mourned the death in battle of a fighter by the nom de guerre Ratibor at Shirokino.
“People bid farewell to Ratibor as was fitting for a nationalist. At the Maidan in Kiev, under the Russian tricolor under which Kolchak led his forces in battle against the communists during the civil war. With the flag of the Siberian state which was the last independent Russian state which fell to the pincer of the Sovok. To the music of the group Kolovrat and Sokir Perun.”
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
For about 10 years, we have worked with Wisconsin University and have conducted the most diver projects [during that time–NG]: on historical awareness, on historical memory of the youth of various groups. Now there is reearch on families’ living conditions. After an inspection and warnings in May 2013, we ceased to receive grants from foreign partners directly, but we continued to work on a commercial basis, there is no criminal offense in this, on the contrary, we are proud that major research centers collaborate with us. It is a nasty lie and falsification that we perform contracts for the USA Department of Defense.
Gudkov is referring to a tactic that a number of groups used to work around the notorious “foreign agents” law passed by President Vladimir Putin in 2013, mandating that any group with foreign funding involved in vaguely-defined “politics” has to register as a foreign agent.
By converting from grants to fee-based consulting or contract work as a business, the law — aimed at non-profit organizations — could be circumvented. The Russian government did not seem to have a problem with profit-making activity involving foreign companies; it was only opposed to NGOs that might be directly or indirectly involved in elections or political work (i,e, anything disliked by the government).
The All-Russian Center for Public Opinion (VTsIOM) is known as the Levada Center for Yury Levada, a political scientist who worked at the Academy of Sciences for many years, was dismissed from his post during the Brezhnev-era purge of sociologists, and who was among the founders of the Center in 1988. Levada directed VTsIOM from 1992 to until 2003, and was subsequently editor of Social and Economic Changes: Monitoring Public Opinion until his death in 2006. VTsIOM is a company founded with 100% of the shares owned by the government.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick