In YouTube video, National Guard officer in Buryatia calls on colleagues to ignore ‘criminal orders’ to arrest protesters

A National Guard officer in Buryatia has declared in a video shared on YouTube that police illegally arrested demonstrators in Ulan-Ude, where local residents have demanded the invalidation of September 9’s mayoral election results. In his video appeal, Viktor Khorzhiev also calls on colleagues in the National Guard not to obey “obviously criminal orders.”

From Bach to ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ here’s the music Russia’s government is using to inject the youths with ‘cultural literacy’

Russia’s Culture Ministry has issued a new set of recommendations for what it calls “The Schoolchild’s Cultural Standards.” This new educational project is intended to bolster “the spiritual, aesthetic, and artistic development of Russian schoolchildren and increase the cultural literacy of our rising generation.”

The Russian officials responsible for authorizing supposed CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov’s trip abroad have reportedly been punished

The state officials who allowed suspected CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov to leave Russia have been punished, a source told the news agency Interfax. Smolenkov took his family to Montenegro on vacation in 2017 and never returned. According to Interfax’s source, the trip was permitted, despite the fact that Russia barred state officials from traveling to Montenegro at the time.

‘From cultural capital to gangland’. An election monitor explains how chaos in St. Petersburg has led to mass fraud

Days after election day, the results in St. Petersburg still haven’t been announced. In precincts where opposition candidates apparently won, election officials are busy with recounts that have handed opposition seats to candidates from United Russia, the country’s ruling political party. To learn more about this chaos, Meduza spoke to the “Golos” election monitoring group’s local coordinator in St. Petersburg, Natalia Menkova, who says her beloved city has succumbed to “gangland” rule. 

How a shaman, a vlogger, and a communist deputy helped trigger massive election protests in an eastern Siberian city

In Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia, a spontaneous protest has devolved into mass demonstrations that have now been ongoing for several days. Residents of the eastern Siberian city are demanding a new mayoral election and the release of 15 protesters who were arrested during the very first demonstrations. Among those detainees is the local video blogger Dmitry Bairov: The protests began when he confronted the city’s acting mayor about an incident involving the self-labeled warrior shaman Alexander Gabyshev, who was traveling from Yakutia to Moscow in order to perform an exorcism on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Gabyshev had been riding through the city in another individual’s car when the driver was stopped by police and ultimately arrested for insubordination. After Bairov was confronted by police officers and called for help, a number of Ulan-Ude residents joined him on Soviet Square. They included Russian Communist Party officials, who have supported the city’s protesters in part because their candidate took second place in its recent mayoral election. On September 13, Buryatia’s branch of the party announced that it had received a permit for a new protest in Ulan-Ude. Meduza spoke about the situation with People’s Khural Deputy Bair Tsyrenov, who has taken part in the demonstrations since they first began.