Chechnya and Ingushetia trade borderlands, prompting protests from Ingush against the ‘surrender’ of historically contested territory

On September 26, the heads of Chechnya and Ingushetia signed an agreement securing the border between the two Russian republics. According to Yunus-bek Yevkurov, the deal strengthens a border that’s been in place “since Ingushetia’s independence” (in 1992), while making “a few small revisions at the bottom, in the plains,” and exchanging “inch for inch” uninhabited “croplands owned by state unitary enterprises.” An official statement on the Ingush government’s website says the border revisions “will only affect mountainous wooded areas.”

Putin appoints new acting governor in Far East region where Communist challenger was poised to win third-round election

The Kremlin has revealed its next step in Primorsky Krai, where invalidated voting results recently snatched away the incumbent governor’s suspicious runoff election victory: Vladimir Putin is appointing Oleg Kozhemyako, currently the head of the Sakhalin region, to be Primorye’s new acting governor. The president also said he won’t object if Kozhemyako decides to run in the third-round gubernatorial election, which is scheduled to take place in the next three months.

Russian State Duma adopts second reading of legislation raising the retirement age

On September 26, the Russian State Duma adopted the second reading of legislation that will raise the country’s retirement age from 55 to 60 for women and from 60 to 65 for men. Amended slightly according to recommendations by Vladimir Putin, the revised bill softens some aspects of the original legislation (the hike to women’s pension age is now three years fewer, and certain pension benefits will remain unchanged).

The Real Russia. Today. Punishing Russia’s ‘opposition’ parties, hunting down the Salisbury suspects’ passport leakers, and profiling Fiona Hill

On September 23, candidates from LDPR won gubernatorial races in Russia’s Vladimir and Khabarovsk regions; in Primorye, election officials recently invalidated the incumbent governor’s runoff victory against his Communist rival; and in Khakassia the acting governor has dropped out of the second round of voting, likely meaning that his Communist challenger will win. The Communist Party and LDPR have already announced that they plan to cooperate and form coalition governments in Vladimir, Khabarovsk, and Abakan.

Russian federal agents are reportedly on a man hunt for the officials who leaked the Salisbury suspects’ passport docs

Russia’s Federal Security Service is reportedly trying to hunt down the Interior Ministry staff members who “sold off” passport and identification documents belonging to Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov (the two suspected GRU agents accused of trying to assassinate Sergey Skripal and his daughter with a nerve agent in Salisbury, England). A source told the news agency Rosbalt that “serious measures” are planned against whomever was responsible for leaking the two suspects’ personal information.

Russians have elected several new ‘opposition’ governors, here’s the likely fate that awaits these politicians, warts and all

On September 23, LDPR candidates won runoff gubernatorial elections in the Khabarovsk and Vladimir regions. After a first-round election in Khakassia, where Communist Party candidate Valentin Konovalev won the most votes, incumbent Governor Viktor Zimin withdrew from the race, virtually ensuring that Konovalev will win the second round. LDPR and the Communist Party, meanwhile, have vowed to form coalition governments in “their” regions. But what happens next for Russia’s new “opposition” governors? In the following text, Meduza looks at a few likely scenarios, based on what’s happened to opposition candidates who’ve won past elections. (Some examples concern mayors because direct gubernatorial elections were abolished in Russia between 2005 and 2012. Before the recent upsets, just one opposition candidate won a gubernatorial race in the past six years.)

The Kremlin is reportedly planning to ‘punish’ two opposition parties for winning a few races. Here’s what that really means.

On September 23, candidates from LDPR won gubernatorial races in Russia’s Vladimir and Khabarovsk regions; in Primorye, election officials recently invalidated the incumbent governor’s runoff victory against his Communist rival; and in Khakassia the acting governor has dropped out of the second round of voting, likely meaning that his Communist challenger will win. The Communist Party and LDPR have already announced that they plan to cooperate and form coalition governments in Vladimir, Khabarovsk, and Abakan. Meanwhile, the newspaper Vedomosti says the Kremlin plans to “punish” the two parties for violating its “agreement” not to challenge United Russia’s near monopoly on political power. Sources in the Putin administration told Vedomosti that the LDPR and Communist candidates in these races were supposed to be merely “technical” opponents who didn’t actually campaign against the incumbents. To learn more about the feasibility of LDPR and the Communist Party joining forces to mount “real opposition” against United Russia — and to know what it could cost the two parties — Meduza turned to Grigorii Golosov, an associate professor of political science and sociology at European University at St. Petersburg.

The Real Russia. Today. Navalny gets another 20 days in jail, United Russia blows gubernatorial races, and the GRU has some funny passport policies

Just as he was leaving jail after serving 30 days for staging an unpermitted protest in January, Alexey Navalny was detained again and dragged to another courtroom on September 24, to face charges for promoting a rally on September 9 against pension reform that lead to injury or property damage (a violation of Administrative Code 20.2). Hours later, he was convicted and sentenced to 20 more days in jail.

Alexey Navalny gets another 20 days behind bars (immediately after serving 30 days in jail), and it could pave the way to new felony charges

Just as he was leaving jail after serving 30 days for staging an unpermitted protest in January, Alexey Navalny was detained again and dragged to another courtroom on September 24, to face charges for promoting a rally on September 9 against pension reform that lead to injury or property damage (a violation of Administrative Code 20.2). Hours later, he was convicted and sentenced to 20 more days in jail.