Russia

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Russia sends gay men back to Chechnya
Russia sends gay men back to Chechnya
Credit: unsplash.com / Tim Bieler

Russian rights group The Russian LGBT Network has come forward saying that Russia has sent two gay men, who fled to Russia to escape torture, have been returned to Chechnya.

The group said that the men are in "mortal danger".

Reports say the pair were forcibly returned to Chechen authorities.

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Three European diplomats expelled from Russia
Sergei Lavrov (left) and Josep Borrell
Sergei Lavrov (left) and Josep Borrell Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Three diplomats from the EU have been expelled from Russia over their alleged participation in protests in support of Alexei Navalny, the jailed opposition activist who was jailed this week.

The expulsion of the diplomats, from Germany, Sweden and Poland, comes only hours after the EU's foreign affairs chief - Josep Borrell - met his counterpart Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

In response to the expulsion, Sweden called it "totally unfounded" and denied their diplomat had participated in any demonstration, and German's foreign ministry said that it was "in no way justified" and would retaliate if Russia did not reconsider the action.

Russia's foreign ministry said that the 3 diplomats allegedly took part in "illegal demonstrations" on 23 January.

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Doctor who treated Navalny in Russia suddenly died
Alexei Navalny
Alexei Navalny Credit: Evgeny Feldman / Novaya Gazeta (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Sergei Maximishin, the deputy chief physician at the clinic in Omsk, Siberia, has died "suddenly" at the age of 55. The hospital's administration said so "with regret" in an official statement, U.S. broadcaster CNN reported. No details were given on the cause of death.

The hospital treated Alexei Navalny last summer immediately after he was poisoned. The Kremlin critic had collapsed on a flight from Tomsk, Siberia, to Moscow in late August. Initially, he was then treated at the hospital in Omsk after an emergency landing of the plane. Two days later, still in a coma, he was taken to Berlin's Charité University Hospital for treatment.

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Almost 1400 demonstrators arrested after verdict against Navalny
Almost 1400 demonstrators arrested after verdict against Navalny
Credit: Медиазона (Twitter reproduction)

Around the trial of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, Russian security forces have again taken massive action against demonstrators in several cities. According to human rights activists, a total of almost 1,400 people were arrested. Supporters of the most important Putin opponent called for demonstrations immediately after the verdict was announced. According to the non-governmental organization OVD-Info, the police arrested 1116 protesters in Moscow alone, and 246 in St. Petersburg.

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Navalny has been sentenced to serve 3,5 years in a penal colony
Navalny has been sentenced to serve 3,5 years in a penal colony
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter / Christo Grozev

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been sentenced to serve 3,5 years in a penal colony for violating his probation rules after leaving Russia for medical treatment in Germany following his poisoning.

Multiple landmarks in Moscow such as the Red Square had previously been blocked off by police in expectation of the verdict.

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Moscow closes metro stations amidst pro Navalny protests
Representative image of a Moskow metro station
Representative image of a Moskow metro station Credit: unsplash.com / David Torres

Seven metro stations have been closed amidst pro Navalny protests in Moscow that demand the release of the opposition leader from prison. The announcement of the public transportation services stated that this has been done at the request of the police. In addition, several streets near the Kremlin have been closed.

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Navalny's brother arrested during raids in Moscow

In raids against relatives and associates of the imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, his brother was among those arrested. Oleg Navalny was initially detained for 48 hours, Navalny's associate Ivan Zhdanov announced on Twitter. The reason given was a violation of Corona hygiene regulations, Navalny's team wrote on Telegram. Lawyer Lyubov Sobol, a close confidant and associate of Alexei Navalny, and an employee of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation were also detained, he added.

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Russia arrests hundreds at protests supporting Alexei Navalny
Russian protesters
Russian protesters Credit: @ASLuhn (Twitter Reproduction)

Hundreds of people were detained across Russia on Saturday as police used force to break up rallies in cities across the country where protesters demanded Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's release. Among the arrested was Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny's wife.

Russian authorities had warned people to stay away from the protests, claiming they risked catching the coronavirus and prosecution and possible jail time for attending an unauthorized event.

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Russia tries to stop calls for protests against Kremlin on social networks
Роскомнадзор
Роскомнадзор Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Russian authorities are warning social networks, especially the video platform TikTok, popular with young people, to stop advertising for jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

"We request that you immediately take comprehensive measures to prevent the dissemination of such unlawful information on the TikTok platform," reads a statement from telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor.

Specifically, the authority refers to calls disseminated via TikTok to participate in a demonstration for Kremlin critic Navalny that had been announced for Saturday but had not been approved.

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Navalny team releases video with an investigation into 'Putin's Palace'
"Putin's palace" near Gelendzhik
"Putin's palace" near Gelendzhik Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Alexei Navalny's team on Tuesday released a two-hour video featuring details of a luxurious property on Russia's southern Black Sea coast purportedly belonging to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The video, and a blog post, claim Putin's property cost €1.1 billion and was paid for "with the largest bribe in history."

The film was produced while Navalny was still in Germany, where he was recovering from an attack with the nerve agent Novichok in August.

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Kremlin critic Navalny has been arrested after landing in Russia
Kremlin critic Navalny has been arrested after landing in Russia
Credit: Courtesy of Instagram

Russian opposition leader and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been arrested upon his arrival in his homeland Russia. A plane of the Russian company Pobeda with the number DP 936 had previously landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport in the northwest of the capital.

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Russian authority issues ultimatum for return into the country to Nawalny
Russian authority issues ultimatum for return into the country to Nawalny
Credit: Evgeny Feldman / Novaya Gazeta (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The Russian prison service has ordered Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to report in person to the authority's office. Should he return to Russia after the deadline, he said, he would face imprisonment. The FSIN prison authority announced this on Monday.

Navalny was released from the hospital on Sept. 20 and has been symptom-free since Oct. 12, the statement said, citing a report in The Lancet journal. Therefore, Navalny had to report to the scene, according to the parole conditions of a prison sentence to which Navalny was sentenced in 2014.

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Russian biologist researching Covid-19 vaccine found dead after falling out of a window
Russian biologist researching Covid-19 vaccine found dead after falling out of a window
Credit: Alexander Kagansky

The body of assistant Professor Alexander Kagansky, who had been researching a Covid-19 vaccine, was found under the windows of a multi-story building in the Kalininsky district of St Petersburg. An informed source told the Russian newspaper Interfax on Sunday that the body of Alexander Kagansky has been found in the yard of a 16-story building on Zamshina Street. He had worked in laboratories in St. Petersburg, Washington, Edinburgh, and headed the Centre for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok.

According to preliminary reports, shortly before the tragedy, a conflict arose between Kagansky and a friend he was visiting, which the landlord denies and says that Kagansky committed suicide.

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Russia would have 'finished' the job if it wanted to kill opposition leader Navalny according to Putin

Putin's stated that if Russian special services had wanted to kill opposition politician Alexey Navalny, they would have "finished it" in response to a question at his annual press conference following an investigation by the investigative group Bellingcat and CNN, published Monday, which uncovered evidence that Russia's Federal Security Service (the FSB) formed an elite team specializing in nerve agents that trailed Navalny for years.

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Offices of poisoned Russian opposition leader Navalny raided

According to reports masked uniformed security forces raided the Moscow offices of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Authorities charged one of his key aides with contempt of court. FBK director and Navalny’s lawyer Ivan Zhdanov tweeted that "I’m being told these are bailiffs looking for 29 million rubles ($375,000) as part of enforcement proceedings".

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Russia reports over 20,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day for the first time
Russia reports over 20,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day for the first time
Credit: Kremlin.ru / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

20,582 Covid-19 cases have been reported in Russia in a single day. This makes an all-time high in single day cases as the country has reported 1,733,440 cases in total.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stated that "additional measures are being taken" but a broad lockdown is still out of the discussion as it is too "early" for that.

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Russia plans on granting former presidents immunity from prosecution
Russia plans on granting former presidents immunity from prosecution
Credit: Пресс-служба Совета Федерации РФ / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Russian chair of the upper-house Federation Council’s Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, Andrey Klishas, has stated that the new legislation “expands the timeframe of immunity guarantees for a president who stops exercising their powers,” The newly proposed bill also grants both chambers of the Russian parliament the power to strip presidents of immunity by a two-thirds majority within three months if they are accused of high treason or other felonies. Both pieces of legislation are part of constitutional reforms, which Russians approved in a nationwide vote this summer, that pave the way for Putin to extend his rule until 2036 after his current term ends in 2024.

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Belarusian police announce use of deadly weapons against opposition demonstrators
Belarusian police announce use of deadly weapons against opposition demonstrators
Credit: Homoatrox / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

With the re-election of President Lukashenko, who has been ruling Belarus for 26 years, a protest movement has started. It accuses the head of state of election fraud. The state security forces are trying to stem the demonstrations that have been going on since then by violent means. For the first time, the Belarusian police announced the use of deadly weapons.

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Navalny: Russian apartment seized and bank accounts frozen
Alexei Navalny
Alexei Navalny Credit: Evgeny Feldman (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Russian opposition figured Alexei Navalny had his Russian apartment seized and his bank accounts frozen after a court order while recovering from suspected poisoning in a Hospital in Berlin, Germany, so his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh.

"They seized the assets and the apartment of a person who was in a coma," Yarmysh said. "This means the flat cannot be sold, donated or mortgaged."

The move comes after a lawsuit was filed by the Moscow Schoolchild catering company, which is owned by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin who is known as "Putin's chef".

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Navalny has been discharged from Berlin hospital
Navalny has been discharged from Berlin hospital
Credit: @ChariteBerlin via Twitter

The Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been discharged from the Berlin Charité hospital. He had been treated for 32 days at the hospital after being poisoned in Russia.

The hospital has stated that "the patient's state of health has improved to such an extent that the acute medical treatment could be terminated".

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Alexei Navalny pictured walking down stairs, on a "clear road" towards recovering
Alexei Navalny pictured walking down stairs, on a "clear road" towards recovering
Credit: Alexei Navalny Instagram

On his Instagram account, the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been pictured walking down stairs, days after the Charité hospital in Berlin said he had been taken off a ventilator and could breathe independently.

In the Instagram post, Navalny wrote: "Let me tell how my recovery is going. It is already a clear path although a long one."

He also stated "Quite recently, I did not recognize people and did not understand how to talk," Navalny wrote. "Every morning the doctor came to me and said: Alexey, I brought a board, let's figure out which word we can write on it. This drove me to despair because although I understood in general what the doctor wanted, I did not understand where to get the words from."

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Navalny was poisoned with Novichok at his hotel, not at the airport
Screenshot of Navalny's Instagram post
Screenshot of Navalny's Instagram post Credit: Alexei Navalny

Novichok, the nerve agent used to poison Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detected on an empty water bottle from his hotel room in the Tomsk. His team now believes that he was poisoned in that hotel room, not at the airport as they had initially suspected.

In a video posted on Navalny's Instagram, his aides are seen collecting items from the hotel room an hour after they learned he had fallen sick in suspicious circumstances.

Navalny fell violently ill on a domestic flight in Russia last month and was transferred to Berlin for treatment. Germany says he was poisoned by a Novichok nerve agent, while Russia says it has seen no evidence he was poisoned.

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German government announces that Navalny is awake and plans to return to Russia
Alexei Navalny
Alexei Navalny Credit: Evgeny Feldman (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has awakened from a medically induced coma and seemed mentally sharp according to a senior German security official.

The official stated that "he’s fully aware of his condition, he’s fully aware of what happened and he’s fully aware of where he is" and added that Navalny "wants to go home to Russia and he wants to continue his mission".

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Navalny out of his medically induced coma, responds to verbal stimuli

The Berlin university hospital Charité has announced that the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny "has been removed from his medically induced coma and is being weaned off mechanical ventilation".

Navalny is able to respond to verbal stimulation, but "it remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning".

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Trump says Putin and him "get along" when asked about Navalny poisoning

During a news conference, United States president Donald Trump has stated in regards to the assassination attack on the Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny that he doesn't "know exactly what happened. I think it's tragic. It's terrible; it shouldn't happen. We haven't had any proof yet, but I will take a look". He added that "I do get along with President Putin" who is the main political opponent of Navalny. 

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Navalny poisoning should have international consequences according to NATO
Representative image of Jens Stoltenberg in 2020
Representative image of Jens Stoltenberg in 2020 Credit: U.S. Secretary of Defense (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has stated that "the use of such a weapon is horrific. All allies today were united in condemning this attack" as Navalny is recovering in a German hospital from the assassination attack.

He added that "this is not just an attack on an individual but on fundamental democratic rights. And it is a serious breach of international law which demands an international response".

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German government states that Navalny has been poisoned with Novichok

A special laboratory of the German Federal Armed Forces has carried out a toxicological investigation on samples of Alexei Navalny. This revealed the unequivocal proof of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group.

The German government states that "it is a shocking event that Alexei Navalny has become the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent in Russia" and "condemns this attack in the strongest terms".

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EU calls for independent investigation in Nawalny case

In the case of the allegedly poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Nawalny, the EU is demanding that Russia conduct an "independent and transparent investigation". The European Union strongly condemns the alleged "attack on Nawalny's life", EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell declared in Brussels on Monday evening.

It is "imperative" that the Russian authorities launch an independent investigation "without delay" into the alleged attack on Nawalny's life, Borrell demanded. The Russian people and the international community wanted to know "the facts behind Mr. Nawalny's poisoning. Those responsible for the attack must be "brought to justice".

The Berlin clinic Charité, where the prominent critic is being treated by Russia's President Vladimir Putin, assumes after a thorough investigation that the 44-year-old was poisoned.

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Alexei Navalny arrives in Berlin for medical treatment
Alexei Navalny arrives in Berlin for medical treatment
Credit: Никита Баталов @nikbatalov Коммерсант ФМ

Alexey Navalny, the Russian opposition leader and Vladimir Putin critic, has arrived Saturday in the Charite hospital in Berlin, after a evacuation flight from Omsk.

The hospital confirmed Navalny was admitted and that an "extensive medical diagnosis" is being carried out.

Jaka Bizilj, founder of the German NGO Cinemas for Peace, said to reporters: "The good news is that he's stable, so the whole travel did not affect him," Bizilj said. "But there is no reason to celebrate, because he is in a very critical condition. So the real work starts now with the doctors at the Charite."

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Russian opposition leader has arrived in Germany
Russian opposition leader has arrived in Germany
Credit: Никита Баталов @nikbatalov Коммерсант ФМ (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who fell seriously ill on Thursday and has been in a coma in Omsk since then, has been flown to Germany. The permission had been announced by a doctor at the hospital treating him on Friday. Earlier, doctors in Omsk, Siberia, had declared that the 44-year-old was not fit for transport.

He will now treated in the university clinic Charité.