The Russian government has drafted legislation that would prohibit members of the armed forces from sharing on the Internet any information about themselves, their fellow soldiers, or the military itself. The bill has already been submitted to the State Duma for consideration by federal lawmakers.
Vladimir Putin has awarded Russia’s Order of Courage to Nikolai Tutevich, the head of the team that investigated the February 2015 assassination of former Deputy Prime Minister turned opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Five Chechen men were later sentenced to between 11 and 20 years in prison for carrying out the murder, but police never identified the person responsible for ordering the attack, though lawyers for the Nemtsov family believe it was Ruslan Geremeyev, the deputy commander of the “Sever” Chechen battalion.
The Kremlin is supposedly urging acting Khahassia Governor Viktor Zimin to drop out of his reelection race, after he failed to win a first-round election on September 9. Sources close to the Putin administration told the newspaper Vedomosti that the situation in Khakassia has become “unmanageable,” complaining that the regional government has run out of money to pay civil servant salaries and needed outside intervention. “Let anyone take over, so long as it’s not him,” a source said.
A new national survey by the state-run pollster VTsIOM shows that Russians are more confident than ever in their government’s ability to protect them from terrorism. According to a poll conducted over the phone on August 31, eighty-five percent of respondents said they believe the state will keep them safe from terrorists, with just 12 percent voicing any doubts.
Viktor Zolotov, the director of Russia’s National Guard and Vladimir Putin’s former longtime head of security, says he wants to beat Alexey Navalny into a bloody pulp. Responding in a YouTube video to recent allegations by Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, Zolotov has challenged the opposition leader to a fight.
On September 9, eighty regions across Russia held elections at different levels, including 22 gubernatorial races, 16 legislative assembly races, and 12 races for the city councils of regional centers. Seven single-mandate districts also held special elections for seats in the State Duma. Unexpectedly, gubernatorial competitors succeeded in forcing runoff elections in four regions where candidates backed by the authorities failed to win more than 50 percent.
A 33-year-old blogger and member of Russia’s Libertarian Party, Mikhail Svetov hosts a YouTube channel where he discusses libertarian ideas with guests, including oppositionist Ildar Dadin, Barnaul resident Maria Motuznaya (now on trial for sharing supposedly extremist online memes), former Yekaterinburg Mayor Evgeny Roizman, and former Deputy Energy Minister Vladimir Milov. At the time of this writing, Svetov’s YouTube channel has amassed more than 102,100 subscribers and 7.1 million views.
Mixed martial artist Jeff Monson is now a bonafide city councilman in the town of Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow. He was elected this Sunday on United Russia’s ticket, though Monson instantly tried to distance himself from the party, tweeting, “I was invited by United Russia party [sic] to run but I am independent.”
The Russian animation company Evil Pirate Studio has released the first trailer for its new film, “Cyberslav.”
Sergey Naryshkin, the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, apparently belongs to that select group of state officials with relatives who have applied for residency in Hungary in exchange for investing at least 360,000 euros ($418,000) in government bonds. That’s one finding in a new joint report by the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, the Hungarian investigative center Direkt36, and the news portal 444, which matched the names and birth dates Naryshkin’s family to official records.