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12 March 2018

posted 12 Mar 2018, 11:39 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Mar 2018, 11:56 ]
Russian spy: Highly likely Moscow behind attack, says Theresa May
Former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia, Theresa May has told MPs. The PM said the government concluded it was "highly likely" Russia was responsible for the Salisbury attack. The Foreign Office has asked Russia's ambassador for an explanation. Mrs May said if there is no "credible response" by the end of Tuesday, the UK would conclude there has been an "unlawful use of force" by Moscow. The chemical used in the attack, the PM said, has been identified as being part of a group of nerve agents known as Novichok. [...]
Source: BBC [12 March 2018]

Detained Ingush Opposition Activist Starts Hunger Strike
A detained opposition activist from Russia's North Caucasus region of Ingushetia has started a hunger strike to protest being held for trial on charges of illegally possessing weapons and insulting an official. Magomed Khazbiyev wrote on Facebook on March 12 that he has begun a "dry hunger strike," meaning he is refusing both food and water. He wrote: "I do not have any other tools to obtain justice." Khazbiyev’s lawyer, Khedi Ibriyeva, told the Mediazona website that Khazbiyev started the hunger strike because authorities were refusing to provide him with medical services that he needs. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [12 March 2018]

Russia Says ‘Terrorists’ Killed In Foiled Attack In Saratov
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says its units have foiled "terrorists" who were planning to carry out an attack near the southwest city Saratov, killing an undisclosed number of “criminals.” "Following an investigation and searches in the region of Saratov, the FSB foiled a planned terrorist attack by members of a secret terrorist cell," the FSB said on March 11. "The criminals, driving a car, opened fire on security personnel, and in the armed clash they were fatally wounded," the FSB said. The statement did not specify the number of casualties, but a video released by the FSB apparently showed the bodies of two men near a car with its windows broken out. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [12 March 2018]

Krasnodar police detain activists with posters in "Three Billboards" style
Activists have held a picket in the central street of Krasnodar with election campaigning posters styled as banners from the movie "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri". The action was held on March 11 in the vicinity of Pushkin Square, where the pre-election concert rally took place on that day. The pre-election event was attended by 15,000 people, the "Kuban" State TV and Radio Company has reported. [...]
Source: Caucasian Knot [12 March 2018]

Moscow Approves Left-Wing Demonstration After Presidential Elections
Moscow city authorities have reportedly approved a demonstration of anti-Kremlin left-wing activists for next Monday, the day after Russia holds presidential elections.  Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov tweeted last week that he had filed the paperwork to hold a rally in central Moscow to “takestock of the presidential election results.” Udaltsov was released last August after spending more than four years in prison for organizing anti-Kremlin protests following Russia's presidential elections in 2012. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [12 March 2018]

Russian journalist convicted of extremism applies for parole
RBC news agency journalist Alexander Sokolov sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for extremism has filed a petition for parole, according to the database of Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court. On August 10, 2017, four members of the Initiative Group to Campaign for a Referendum for Responsible Government, RBC news agency journalist Alexander Sokolov, publicist Yury Mukhin, civil activists Kirill Barabash and Valery Parfyonov were convicted of extremism. Sokolov was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, while Barabash and Parfyonov were given 4 years behind bars. Barabash was also stripped of a lieutenant colonel rank. Mukhin received a 4-year suspended term and additional 4 years of probation. Prison terms of Barabash and Parfyonov were later reduced by 2 months. [...]
Source: RAPSI ]12 March 2018]

Volgograd activist complains about flat-to-flat visits on election eve
Boris Pylin, the Chairman of the NGO "Union of Volgograd Region's Locals", told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that on March 9 he sent a complaint to Ella Pamfilova, the Chair of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) demanding to cancel the decision of the Volgograd Regional CEC to undertake flat-to-flat propaganda visits ahead of presidential elections in Russia scheduled for March 18. "On February 16, 2018, I sent a complaint to the Russian CEC about the decision of the Volgograd Regional CEC to conduct flat-to-flat visits to all the voters with the aim to tell about parties and candidates, and engage almost 10,000 members of the Precinct Election Commissions (PECs) with a decisive vote therein," Mr Pylin wrote in his complaint to Ella Pamfilova. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [11 March 2018]

Putin's 'Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews' Remark Triggers Backlash
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent suggestion that Jews and other minorities in Russia could have been behind the meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election have prompted a backlash in the United States.  The U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on March 11 voiced hope that Putin “swiftly clarifies” his remarks made in an interview with NBC News, “before they cause further damage to those communities he has singled out.” In the interview aired late on March 9, Putin was repeatedly asked about Russian interference in the election. At one point, Putin suggested that Ukrainians, Tatars, or Jews with Russian citizenship may have been involved. "Maybe they are not even Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars, or Jews with Russian citizenship, which should be also checked. Maybe they hold dual citizenship, or green cards. Or maybe Americans paid them for this job. How can you know? I do not know," Putin said. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [12 March 2018]