The Real Russia. Today. Muscovites remember Great Terror victims’ names, Novaya Gazeta gets more threatening ‘gifts,’ and a Moscow regional mayor resigns under suspicious circumstances

On October 29, Moscow holds its annual “Returning the Names” commemoration at the Solovetsky Stone in Lubyanka Square, across from what used to be the KGB’s headquarters. The monument itself is made up of a large stone from the Solovetsky Islands, from the Solovki Gulag prison camp. Throughout the day, people come to remember and read aloud the names of victims in the Soviet Great Terror.

The election commissioner who oversaw Yeltsin’s 1996 re-election now accuses the West of trying to destroy Russia and unseat Putin

Former Russian Central Elections Commissioner Nikolai Ryabov said at a conference on October 25 that “extremely trying times” await the country, as Western nations try to meddle in Russian politics. The West’s strategic goal, Ryabov said, is the total dissolution of the Russian Federation, while the tactical objective in the U.S. and Western Europe remains the ouster of President Vladimir Putin.

As mayor of a town outside Moscow, Pyotr Lazarev granted permits to protesters. Now he’s resigned amid rumors that it might spare him criminal charges.

Volokolamsk Mayor Pyotr Lazarev has resigned, officially for “health reasons.” Tatiana Mozol, the city’s first deputy head, will take over his duties, according to the news agency TASS. Asked by Meduza if he resigned by choice or under pressure, Lazarev refused to comment. Regarding his health, the outgoing mayor said his condition started to decline during local protests against the “Yadrovo” landfill, “when I was trying to fix something,” Lazarev told Meduza.

The latest threatening gift is delivered to Russian independent newspaper ‘Novaya Gazeta’: nine caged sheep

Someone continues to mess with Novaya Gazeta. On October 17, a funeral wreath was delivered to the independent newspaper’s office with a note mentioning one of its reporters that read, “Denis Korotkov is a traitor to the Motherland.” A day later, somebody sent a basket containing a severed sheep’s head and a sign that said, “To Novaya Gazeta’s chief editor. Greetings to you and Korotkov!”

Federation Council speaker says there’s no more anti-Semitism or xenophobia in Russia

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko declared on Monday that there is no anti-Semitism or xenophobia in Russia today, crediting the government’s crackdown on extremism and hate speech. Speaking at a conference in Moscow dedicated to countering anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism, Matviyenko warned that anti-Semitism has “activated” in Europe and other countries “that position themselves as a model for civilization, democracy, respect for human rights, and freedom.”

Activist who protested Russian prison violence will reportedly face felony charges for ‘inciting hatred’ against prison officials

A Russian activist will face felony charges for staging a protest last week against Russia’s “repressive penitentiary system.” On October 25, Olga Shalina infiltrated a “security provision” convention in Moscow, where she scaled a police van prototype and scattered leaflets, before slashing open her left arm and bleeding profusely. Afterwards, she was taken to the hospital.

In annual commemoration, Muscovites remember the names of Great Terror victims

On October 29, Moscow holds its annual “Returning the Names” commemoration at the Solovetsky Stone in Lubyanka Square, across from what used to be the KGB’s headquarters. The monument itself is made up of a large stone from the Solovetsky Islands, from the Solovki Gulag prison camp. Throughout the day, people come to remember and read aloud the names of victims in the Soviet Great Terror.

The Real Russia. Today. Q&A on the INF Treaty, crippling The New Times, and Vladimir Kara-Murza’s missing lab results

On October 20, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which prohibits Russia and the U.S. from developing or deploying missiles with short or intermediate ranges. After Trump’s declaration, National Security Adviser John Bolton flew to Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin, and in an interview with the newspaper Kommersant Bolton blamed Russia for the collapse of the arms control agreement, saying the Kremlin has violated the treaty constantly. Moscow, for its part, has also accused Washington of breaking the agreement. Meduza takes a look at why two countries with thousands of intercontinental missiles should want rockets with shorter ranges, who’s more to blame for the agreement’s disintegration, and what will happen, if the INF Treaty really is scrapped. Behold the questions answered in this text:

Chechnya’s ruler and Ingush civic leaders have reportedly hugged it out and made amends

The street protests in Magas against a controversial Chechen-Ingush border agreement have fueled recriminations between Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov and several prominent Ingush civic leaders. After a series of public statements that amounted to “why don’t you come to my territory and say that to my face!” Kadyrov, Chechen Parliament Speaker Magomed Daudov, and State Duma deputy Adam Delimkhanov came in a massive motorcade on October 26 to the town Karabulak, where they met protest organizer Akhmed Barakhoev at the home of former Ingush Interior Minister Akhmed Pogorov.

Alexey Navalny’s lawyer is fined 250,000 rubles for promoting protests through YouTube while abroad

Earlier this week, police arrested Ivan Zhdanov, the lawyer for Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, and on October 26 a court fined him 250,000 rubles ($3,800) for organizing nationwide political protests on September 9 (many of them unpermitted) against the government’s plans to raise the retirement age. Zhdanov managed this feat despite being outside the country on September 9. Officials say his appearance on a live-streaming YouTube channel qualifies as illegal incitement.