Judge Irina Akkuratova of Moscow’s Meshchansky Court has refused to rule on the Seventh Studio criminal case, which has sparked widespread opposition among Russian activists and artists since it was opened in 2017. Akkuratova ordered the case to be returned to prosecutors for further development, writing, “The case as it stands cannot be considered by the court.”
The Perm Regional Court has canceled the deportation of Liu Yankun, a Chinese citizen studying for a graduate degree at Perm University. Liu’s attorney, Lyudmila Chegrina, said he was released from the police holding cell where he had been kept in custody since August 31.
Multiple sources close to Russia’s presidential administration told Meduza that the Kremlin is happy with pro-government candidates’ performance in the September 8, 2019, elections. Officials are especially pleased in the State Council’s Department of Affairs, which is managed by Alexander Kharichev, a close associate of Sergey Kiriyenko, President Putin’s deputy chief of staff and “domestic policy curator.” Responsible for overseeing Russia’s gubernatorial races, Kharichev’s office had a clear task: don’t allow any second-round votes. The Kremlin was eager to avoid a repeat of 2018, when the Putin administration’s candidates couldn’t win first-round elections and lost runoffs in four gubernatorial contests — including elections in the strategically important Primorsky and Khabarovsk regions.
The newspaper Novaya Gazeta has published a copy of the linguistic expertise carried out in the extremism case against Higher School of Economics student and popular YouTuber Egor Zhukov.
Oleg Smolenkov, the CIA’s reported asset inside the Kremlin, worked for at least five years in the office of Yuri Ushakov, now a presidential adviser on foreign policy, a source close to Russia’s intelligence community told the newspaper Vedomosti.
A long-time IT consultant for the Anti-Corruption Foundation has accused the organization of lying to constituents and mismanaging its volunteer labor force. In a blog post on September 10, Vladislav Zdolnikov announced that he is ending his collaboration with Alexey Navalny’s group, in response to what he says was its public dishonesty surrounding recent elections.
Last winter, the Russian television channel Pyatnitsa! (Friday!) aired the first four episodes of a new documentary series called Wish to the Sky. The episodes followed the show’s creators as they made dreams come true for terminally ill patients: Some patients took their first trip abroad to see the ocean, others went parachuting or mountain climbing, and still others met their celebrity idols or reconciled their relationships with their parents. Wish to the Sky not only helps patients cope with extreme hardship; the show is an attempt to create a new kind of language for talking about death in Russia. By the time it aired, two of the patients the program featured had passed away. Darya Nevkritaya spoke with Semyon Zakruzhny, a host and producer for Wish to the Sky, about how the project has changed both its heroes and its creators.
Moscow’s Koptevsky District Court has upheld a lawsuit brought by the state-owned bus company “Mosgortrans” against nine opposition leaders who advocated and organized an unpermitted protest in the capital on July 27. The defendants have been ordered to pay 1,218,591 rubles (about $18,630) for supposedly disrupting bus service and reducing the company’s revenue.
The wildly popular American singer Billie Eilish followed up two sold-out concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg by appearing on the Russian comedy talk show Vecherny Urgant (Evening Urgant). The segment featuring Eilish aired on September 9.
Beginning in March of 2020, women will be able to train as drivers for the Moscow metro system. Vice Mayor Maxim Liksutov announced the change on September 10, saying new trainees have been eager to sign up since registration for the March training group opened.