Russian truckers stage mass protests against fee limits on grain shipments that force them to break the law

Russian truckers are staging mass demonstrations in the country’s southern regions, protesting against the low fees they are allowed to charge clients for transporting grain. According to the newspaper Kommersant, the maximum “tariffs” truckers are permitted to charge for grain shipments aren’t enough to cover fuel and maintenance costs, forcing drivers to overload their vehicles to earn reasonable income, which incurs fines and creates safety hazards.

The Russian Duma is set to outlaw ‘fake news’ and insulting the government. How is this going to work?

  1. What’s going on?
  2. So what does “unreliable news” mean?
  3. What counts as socially significant information?
  4. How can I tell whether I’m reposting a reliable story or a fake one?
  5. Will people be punished for spreading fake news?
  6. Sheesh. But what was that about bad-mouthing the government?
  7. Could you give me a specific example of “indecent” speech?
  8. How will people be punished for all this?
  9. But they can put people in jail?
  10. But how do they define the difference between administrative and criminal violations?
  11. Hang on, don’t these bills violate Russians’ constitutional rights?
  12. How are Russian authorities explaining the impulse for introducing these limits on freedom of speech?

Russian lawmakers move forward with legislation banning online insults of state officials and outlawing the spread of ‘fake news’

Russian federal lawmakers have passed the first readings of two controversial bills that would prohibit online insults against state officials and ban the publication of “fake news.” Under the former law, offenders would face up to 15 days in jail, while media outlets and individuals who violate the latter law would be subject to fines.

What does Russia stand to lose in Venezuela?

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has once again slammed “progressive Western society” for flouting “international law, state sovereignty, and the principle of noninterference.” The latest catalyst for these truth bombs is the presidential crisis in Venezuela, where the U.S. and others have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the new acting leader, following protests that have already killed more than a dozen people. Moscow’s support for President Nicolás Maduro, whose landslide 2018 reelection is now in question, is no surprise, given Russia’s massive loans to Venezuela. What does the Kremlin stand to lose, if Guaidó comes to power? The website The Bell studied this question, and Meduza summarizes that report.

Who is Alexey Gromov? New report finds the de facto curator of Russian state TV owns major real estate and has ties to oligarchs

The online media outlet Proekt (Project) has released a new investigative report about the Russian presidential administration’s first deputy chief of staff, Alexey Gromov—the man responsible for state propaganda on Russian television. Proekt reported that Gromov owns a country home in the wealthy Rublyovka district as well as an apartment in central Moscow whose cost greatly exceeds his income.

Duma deputies want the author of Russia’s latest draconian Internet legislation to present it in person. He refuses.

The State Duma Council says Senator Andrey Klishas, who heads the Federation Council’s Legislation Committee, should personally present the first readings of legislation he helped draft that would prohibit online insults against state officials and the publication of “fake news.” (Under the former law, offenders would face up to 15 days in jail. Media outlets and individuals who violate the latter law, meanwhile, would be subject to fines.)

Parents in Russian town say mobsters delivered homophobic lectures at local school. Officials say don’t worry, they weren’t mobsters.

Prosecutors in Russia’s Primorsky Krai, which forms the southeast corner of the country, have begun investigating claims that one of the region’s schools has allowed criminal leaders to give lectures to its students, according to Interfax. The regional branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee has also begun preliminary inquiries into the matter.

The top 1% controls a third of the wealth, and the poor are getting poorer. How Russia became one of the most unequal places on Earth.

According to January 2018 research by Oxfam, the richest one percent of people worldwide “bagged 82 percent” of the wealth created in 2017, while the poorest half of humanity “got nothing.” Since the 1980s, inequality has been growing everywhere on Earth, except in Western Europe. The rich own more and more, while the working class and middle class own less and less. This process is especially pronounced in Russia. Meduza breaks down these trends into graphs and takes a closer look at how Russia became a world leader in social inequality.