In the town of Yegoryevsk, outside Moscow, someone set fire to the front door of the Central District Hospital, hours after Alexey Navalny’s live YouTube channel aired an investigative report about the facility.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has commented on Maria Butina’s cooperation with American law enforcement, claiming that she was subjected to “a kind of torture.”
The prison population in Russia is lower than at any point in modern history, according to new figures released by the Federal Penitentiary Service. There are currently 467,724 inmates in Russia today. For comparison, the prison population was 588,000 people in January 2013 and 497,000 in January 2018.
Vladimir Anikeev, the former leader of the hacktivist group “Anonymous International” (better known in Russia as “Shaltai Boltai” or “Humpty Dumpty”), has announced that he will form his own cybersecurity consultancy. He told the magazine RBC that he’s even considering keeping the “Shaltai Boltai / Anonymous International” brand name.
People living in Chelyabinsk have declared a boycott against the state television network Rossiya 1, following a recent broadcast of the debate show “60 Minutes,” where the hosts denied evidence of a protest against the city’s smog. According to a local environmentalist community on Vkontakte, Chelyabinsk residents are complaining on social media that the channel reports lies, vowing not to tuned in any longer.
Lawmakers in Russia’s State Duma have passed the second reading of legislation that will make it illegal to involve minors in unpermitted public assemblies. First-time offenders convicted under this law will face between 20 and 100 hours of community service, fines as high as 50,000 rubles ($750), or up to 15 days in jail. Repeat offenders will face community service, fines as high as 300,000 rubles ($4,520), or up to 30 days in jail.
Columnist Oleg Kashin and anti-corruption activist and politician Alexey Navalny are at each other’s throats this week, following Kashin’s latest op-ed in Republic, where he speculates that Russia’s Federal Security Service leaked data from its investigation into corruption at the National Guard to Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. Kashin says Navalny might have received this information anonymously, meaning that even he might be unaware about its origins, and the data could have come from anyone in the government: from a frustrated secretary at the Federal Antimonopoly Service to the very head of the FSB, perhaps wishing to “fight in silence.”
For only the third time in Putin’s presidency, more than half the country currently holds him responsible for Russia’s problems and the rising cost of living, according to a new poll by the Levada Center. Late last month, 55 percent of the country said Putin is to blame for these trends. (Sociologists recorded previous spikes in August 2012, at 51 percent, and in August 2014, at 65 percent.)
The Russian state news network Rossiya 24 has retracted a report about “one of the most advanced robots in the world” featured at the “Proektoriya” youth forum. The channel’s original story included footage of “Boris the Robot” and narration claiming that some of the students in the audience “might commit themselves to robotics.” In the segment, the narrator also noted that the robot had “already learned how to dance” and he “wasn’t half bad.”
Moscow has unveiled a new statue dedicated to the Russian novelist and Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn on what would have been his 100th birthday. Designed by sculptor Andrey Kovalchuk, the monument was installed in Moscow’s Tagansky District on the street that bears Solzhenitsyn’s name. President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony.