Friday, 30 June

<< Daily Digests – June 2017 >>

— “OPEN RUSSIA” DEPUTY HEAD LEAVES COUNTRY, CITING POLICE PRESSURE —
Ilya Novikov, a deputy head of the Open Russia civic movement, says he has “temporarily” left Russia amid what he describes as “large-scale harassment of  those engaged in any political protest.” Novikov wrote on social network VKontakte on 29 June that he had left for an unidentified country in Europe following “constant attempts by police to conduct searches” at his workplace. He also said the authorities were trying to punish him for his political activities and prevent him from criticizing the government. Novikov is also the head of Open Russia’s Tatarstan office. (For more, see RFE/RL, 30 June 2017.)

— RUSSIA SUSPENDS PAYMENTS TO COUNCIL OF EUROPE —
Russia says it is suspending its financial contributions to the Council of Europe over a dispute regarding Russian delegates who were stripped of their authority following the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula by Russia. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov informed the Council of Europe’s Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland of the decision in a phone conversation, the Foreign Ministry said on 30 June. It quoted Lavrov as telling Jagland that the payments would not resume until the “unconditional total restoration” of the rights of Russia’s delegation to the organization. (For more, see RFE/RL, 30 June 2017.)

— PUTIN EXTENDS COUNTER-SANCTIONS ON WESTERN FOOD —
President Vladimir Putin has extended Russia’s embargo on food products from the West until the end of 2018, continuing Moscow’s policy of retaliation for Western sanctions against Russia for its seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and its support for pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine. A presidential decree published on 30 June states that the embargo on Western produce, dairy, meat, and most other foods has been extended until 31 December 2018. (For more, see RFE/RL, 30 June 2017.)

— DESPERATE FAMILIES CAMP OUT AT KAZAN BUILDING SITE —
Families are camping out at a building site in Kazan, Tatarstan, where their new homes have not been finished on time. They say they’ve nowhere else to go, reports Current Time TV. (For more, see RFE/RL, 30 June 2017.)

— MOTHER OF SOLDIER CAPTURED IN UKRAINE PLEADS FOR HIS RELEASE —

While official Russian and Kremlin-backed militant sources present conflicting stories about the Russian contract soldier captured in the Luhansk Region, Viktor Ageyev’s mother is stubbornly repeating what Moscow has tried to dismiss as a “fabrication by Ukrainian propagandists”.

She wants to know where her son is and since the Russian military are refusing to give any information, she has turned for help to the opposition Yabloko Party. Novaya Gazeta has published Svetlana Ageyeva’s letter to the Altai branch of Yabloko and a letter to the Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu from a prominent Yabloko politician. (For more, see Human Rights in Ukraine, Author: Halya Coynash, 30 June 2017.)

— DETAINED PROTESTING AGAINST SEIZURE OF CHILDREN’S CAMP IN OCCUPIED CRIMEA —
Elderly people and mothers with children were among those detained in Russian-occupied Simferopol on 26 June at a totally peaceful protest against plans to ‘nationalize’ the Salute Children’s [holiday] Camp. The two organizers of the protest are now facing administrative proceedings, while others were forced to provide ‘an explanation’ in writing. Under Russian occupation, any peaceful protests are increasingly being stopped. (For more, see Human Rights in Ukraine, Author: Halya Coynash; 30 June 2017.)

— INTERIOR MINISTRY BACKS BILL TO CANCEL CITIZENSHIP FOR TERRORISTS —
Russia’s Interior Ministry has prepared a concept of national migration policy, including provision on cancellation of Russian citizenship for committing terrorist and extremist crimes, the document published on the official website of judicial acts reads on Friday. The concept also introduces further changes to Russian legislation, namely an option to decline a motion for acquiring or reinstating Russian citizenship for foreign citizens and people without citizenship extradited to other countries for criminal prosecution or enforcement of sentence. (For more, see RAPSI, 30 June 2017.)

 

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