Sergey Badamshin, an attorney for Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov, told Meduza that he has not received any reports of a criminal case against the police who arrested Golunov in early June. Golunov was framed for drug possession and distribution charges before a massive solidarity campaign helped trigger his release.
Novaya Gazeta has published a public letter written by the family members of those killed when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down near Donetsk in 2014. The letter called on the Russian government to “take [its] share of responsibility” for the disaster and to stop its “disingenuous denials … lies and deceit.”
After seven employees of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) were arrested on robbery charges, three of them have submitted guilty pleas and one has pleaded guilty in part. Artur Vlasov, who works for the FSB’s K Division investigating financial crimes, pleaded guilty in full and said he would cooperate with investigators, as did FSB employee Khetag Margiyev and FSB captain Vladimir Urusov. Despite the plea deals, the Moscow District Military Court rejected Vlasov’s request to be transferred from pretrial detention to house arrest. Another suspect in the same robbery case, Roman Obolensky, submitted a partial guilty plea, his attorney said.
Local election commissions in Moscow have registered 233 individuals as candidates for Moscow City Duma seats, Moscow City Election Commission Chair Valentin Gorbunov reported. 57 candidacy petitions were rejected.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against the police officers who arrested Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov in June, a source familiar with the case told Meduza. Golunov was charged with attempted drug distribution before a historic solidarity movement spurred his release.
On July 5, Russia’s Supreme Court ruled that the Moscow region’s police department must grant Georgy Shakhet, a Russian actor, access to archival files concerning the criminal case against his grandfather, Pavel Zabotin. In 1933, Zabotin was executed on the orders of one of the NKVD’s notorious extrajudicial sentencing panels, or “Troikas.” Shakhet has been fighting for access to his grandfather’s case since 2016, and since 2018, he has been demanding that his grandfather be legally rehabilitated. The rehabilitation process, which is intended to restore the reputation of those targeted in the Stalinist repressions, must often be conducted posthumously because so many victims of those repressions were killed or died in labor camps. However, like many before him, Georgy Shakhet has found that rehabilitation is impossible without access to the case materials of the individual in question. Those case materials, in turn, cannot be released unless the target of the case has been rehabilitated. Shakhet is the first person to have successfully argued in court that the resulting catch-22 only emerged because law enforcement agencies incorrectly interpreted Russian law.
On the evening of July 16, Moscow residents protested for the third day straight to demand that opposition candidates be permitted to register for September’s Moscow City Duma elections. The protest began with approximately 100 people standing in a steady downpour and reached about 1,000 participants at its peak. Multiple prominent opposition activists were told earlier in the day that their candidacy applications had been rejected, supposedly because too many of the signatures they collected from voters could not be verified. Several of those candidates, including Lyubov Sobol, Konstantin Jankauskas, and Ivan Zhdanov, gave speeches to the crowd. While police officers had made nearly 40 arrests on the first day of the protests, they did not interfere in the July 15 and July 16 demonstrations.
Around the globe, the school climate strike movement founded by Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg has inspired hundreds of thousands of children to take to the streets, skipping school on Fridays to demand action on the climate crisis. In Russia, however, the very principle of the movement seems nearly impossible to achieve: anyone in Russia who protests as part of a group without government permission risks arrest, and individuals under 18 may not legally protest without official approval at all. That means Russia’s branch of the global Fridays for Future movement has involved smaller numbers of older students. However, that reality is set to shift on July 19.
Alla Chikinda, a representative of the LGBT Resource Center in Yekaterinburg, told Komsomolskaya Pravda that the center has received messages threatening to cause “something very unfortunate” to happen to its employees if the center does not close by August 1. The letter also demanded that the center and its employees donate all of their funds, including personal funds, to a well-known charity organization. The sender identified themselves as a member of Pila, which claims to be a nationwide movement against LGBTQ people. Pila has reportedly offered up to $5,000 to individuals willing to kidnap and torture gay residents of Russia.
Top Russian human rights official Tatiana Moskalkova and her Ukrainian counterpart, Lyudmila Denisova, have taken steps toward returning Russians imprisoned in Ukraine and Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia to their home countries, TASS reported.