Russian opposition activist sent to jail amid crackdown
A Russian court on Wednesday sent a prominent opposition activist to jail pending a probe, as authorities continue to crack down on dissent ahead of September's parliamentary election. In the southern city of Krasnodar, a court ordered Andrei Pivovarov, the head of the Open Russia movement that has just disbanded itself, to be held for two months pending an investigation, rejecting the defense’s appeal against his arrest. Last week, Open Russia’s leaders dissolved the group to protect its members from prosecution after Russian authorities designated it as an “undesirable” organization along with more than 30 others, using a 2015 law that made membership in such organizations a criminal offense.news.yahoo.com
AP Interview: Kremlin cracking down on dissent before vote
Russian authorities are cracking down on dissent before a crucial parliamentary election in September, in what a leading Kremlin critic on Tuesday described as an attempt to sideline opponents. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a Russian tycoon who moved to London after spending a decade in prison in Russia on charges widely seen as political revenge for challenging President Vladimir Putin’s rule, said the latest moves against opposition activists reflected the authorities' concern about the waning popularity of the main Kremlin-directed party, United Russia. Khodorkovsky told The Associated Press in an interview over Zoom that the upcoming election is a “theatrical performance, in which any candidates that the government isn't happy with will simply not be allowed to run.”news.yahoo.com
Police detain participants in Russian opposition forum
A man stands near a police bus after he was detained in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, March 13, 2021. Russian police on Saturday detained about 150 participants of a forum of independent members of municipal councils, an action that comes amid the authorities' multi-pronged crackdown on dissent. They included Ilya Yashin, an opposition politician who leads one of Moscow's municipal districts; former Yekaterinburg mayor Yevgeny Roizman; and Moscow municipal council member Yulia Galyamina. The police crackdown on Saturday's forum follows the arrest and imprisonment of Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny. Russian authorities have rejected the accusation.
Russian court sentences activist under law on 'undesirables'
(AP Photo)MOSCOW – A Russian court on Thursday handed a suspended sentence to an activist accused of membership of an “undesirable” organization, part of the authorities’ effort to tighten control over the nation's political scene. Anastasia Shevchenko, 41, was accused of engaging in political activities under the aegis of Open Russia, a group funded by self-exiled Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Prosecutors had asked the court in Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia to sentence Shevchenko to five years in prison, but the court handed her a four-year suspended term. About 30 groups, including Open Russia, have been branded “undesirable” by the Russian government. The designation has been widely criticized as part of the Kremlin’s efforts to stifle dissent, but the Russian authorities have described it as a due response to the alleged Western efforts to undermine the country.
Toxic tea: Multiple Russians hit by suspected poisonings
MOSCOW When Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny collapsed in an airplane bathroom Thursday, his supporters immediately suspected poisoning. If true, he wouldnt be the first prominent, outspoken Russian to be the target of toxic attack. A British inquiry found that Russian agents had killed Litvinenko, probably with President Vladimir Putin's approval. At the time of Litvinenkos poisoning, he had been investigating the killing of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya three weeks earlier. PYOTR VERZILOVVerzilov, a member of Russian protest group Pussy Riot, ended up in an intensive care unit after a suspected poisoning in 2018 and had to be flown to Berlin for treatment.