Rights Groups in Russia

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OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 200: Protests in Arkhangelsk, confessions in the Networks case, and the theatre the authorities can’t close

posted 15 Apr 2019, 10:21 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 15 Apr 2019, 10:39 ]

12 April 2019

OVD-Info is a Moscow-based NGO that monitors politically-motivated arrests in Russia. Every Friday OVD-Info sends out a mailing with the latest news, which is translated here. To receive the mailing in Russian, visit here



Greetings to our readers! This is our hundredth weekly bulletin. This week, 100 is not just an empty number. It is also the number of hours of forced labour handed down in sentences to those who marched in protest against the transportation of rubbish from Moscow to Arkhangelsk. And the same number of hours again handed down for the subsequent rally. Read on to find news about more than just punishments.




The case against The Network – which has already been officially declared a terrorist organisation – has gone to trial in St Petersburg. On the third day, Yuly Boyarshinov made several confessions, which revealed that The Network did indeed exist. But Boyarshinov joined up to confront the far right in the event of a government overthrow (like the one in Ukraine) and not to overthrow the authorities himself. The hearings lasted four days, after which the court called a break in proceedings until 14 May.

Defendant Viktor Filinkov appeared in court in a slogan t-shirt reading “electric shocks won’t kill our ideas”. The slogan was noticed by senator Liudmila Narusova, who was present at the first hearing. “It couldn’t be any clearer”, she noted. Narusova is preparing a bill, proposing criminal punishments for the use of torture. We spoke to her about it.

  • Why do I need to know this? The defendants in the Network case have recounted how they experienced psychological pressure, physical torture with electric shocks, and weapons planted on them by the FSB. Some of them have retracted their confessions, saying they gave them under duress.

No arrests were made during an anti-rubbish rally in Archangelsk on 7th April, but the next day everything changed. The police and the courts got involved: true to type, they started arresting protestors, journalists and activists, and issuing fine, after fine, after fine. The largest fine – 200,000 roubles – was issued to Dmitry Sekushin, who was at the march on an editorial assignment and had a media pass.

  • Why does this matter? Residents of the Arkhangelsk Region and the Komi Republic are protesting against a landfill site at the Shiyes train station, on the border between the two regions. The state is planning to transport rubbish to the 300-hectare area.

Another criminal case relating to an “undesirable” organisation has been initiated, this time against Yana Antonova, who formerly coordinated the Krasnodar branch of Open Russia. The movement was due to be disbanded, but its former members continue to face harassment. Antonova and other activists in Krasnodar have been subject to searches: have a look at what law enforcement officers did to Antonova’s front door.

  • In April 2017, the Prosecutor General declared several organisations with links to Mikhail Khodorkovsky to be “undesirable”. The Russian movement “Open Russia” was not banned, but its activists have been facing harassment nonetheless. The pressure caused several of them to leave the country. Russia’s first case relating to an “undesirable” organisation was incited against Anastasia Shevchenko, from Rostov-on-Don.

Features

The authorities have been trying to close Teatr.doc for several years. This week, the theatre company finished its temporary run in Moscow and reopened in a new, permanent location. Read about how the theatre ended up on the Ministry of Culture’s blacklist, was fined half a million roubles for the play “The Case of Bolotnaya Square”, and survived a forceful attempt to shut it down after it showed a film about the Maidan.


«You’re all guilty and you’ll serve out your whole sentence here”: The story of a teenager who was taken away “for a chat” because of a sign reading “give us back our elections, you f****ts”, and then placed in a juvenile detention centre for five days.


Around 100 searches have been conducted in connection with the case on the explosion in the FSB’s Archangelsk offices. This story concerns Haddad, an artist from Khaborovsk: during his interrogation, he was asked not only about Mikhail Zhlobitsky, who orchestrated the explosion, but also about shooter games. You can read Haddad’s story here.

Sentences have been handed down in Volgograd to supporters of Vyacheslav Maltsev: in November 2017, said supporters took a free minibus to Moscow “to join the revolution”, but ended up in jail. We even more evidence that the “5.11 revolution” was provoked by the security services.

We completely forgot to tell you about our new podcast. It contains five extracts from the writings of political prisoners, read out by OVD-Info members. These are anonymous letters, written to anonymous people, but they feel no less real and heartfelt for it. You can listen to us on any platform: iTunesGoogle PodcastsSoundcloudYandex Music.

Thanks!

Each day we publish news reports and provide assistance to people who have been arrested. We very much need your assistance. After all, we depend for all our work on your support. Please sign up to make a monthly donation to OVD-Info. That way we can continue to send you your favourite mailing, our Weekly Bulletin.


Photo of the court building where the Network trial is taking place by David Frenkel for OVD-Info


Translated by Judith Fagelson


Team 29: Kemerovo, Ingushetia, Ukraine and a small request for help...

posted 9 Apr 2019, 11:24 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 9 Apr 2019, 11:28 ]

5 April 2019

Hi, Kolya Ovchinnikov here. 

 The office was dead by the end of the week – everyone is either sick, away with work or on holiday (outrageously!) People are disappearing like online posts with the words ‘Nailya Askerzade’, ‘Kostin’ or ‘VTB’. I hope that this note doesn’t vanish as you’re reading it, because it contains an important request at the end.


What’s going on?

  • We scored a victory! The Belovsky District Court, Kemerovo Oblast, has dismissed the case on the confiscation of land plots, allegedly for the needs of the motherland (but actually, worst of all, for coal mining). We asked our lawyers Max Olenichev and Anya Fomina to film what happened in the case (they even travelled to a different region of the country), and this is what happened.

What is there to read and listen to?

  • Have a listen to the latest episode of ‘We Don’t Have Any Troops There’, about how Russia was seeking out ‘Ukrainian spies’, and found them.

How can I help?

Thanks to your help, last month we raised 301,908 roubles. That went towards the provision of expert advice in the case of Lev Shlosberg and our People’s lawyer, Stas. This is an incredible amount, and we are grateful to everyone who supports us.It’s particularly important to us to have ongoing support. It helps us to plan our work in the long term and enhance our capabilities. Last month, thanks to the People’s lawyer, we ran 57 online consultations and wrote seven long pieces on how to live in Russia. Our leaflets and advice are read over 100,000 times each month. We would like that number to go up. Your regular donations help make our aims a reality.

Thanks for reading, and please support us!

Kolya and T29 


Translated by Lindsay Munford


OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 99: Persecution of protesters in Ingushetia, interrogations over the explosion in Arkhangelsk and literature in prison.

posted 9 Apr 2019, 10:54 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 9 Apr 2019, 11:06 ]

5 April 2019

OVD-Info is a Moscow-based NGO that monitors politically-motivated arrests in Russia. Every Friday OVD-Info sends out a mailing with the latest news, which is translated here. To receive the mailing in Russian, visit here



Greetings to our readers! As you know, the situation around freedom of assembly in Russia leaves much to be desired. Lawyers from OVD-Info and Memorial have lodged a complaint with the Prosecutor General: protests are being illegally restricted in several regions, and local laws on rallies contradict federal law, which should not be the case. This violation has already been investigated in the Tver region – we explore whether the situation will change in other regions.


Searches and arrests in Ingushetia. After clashes with police at a protest attended by thousands, oppositionists in the republic have faced harassment. On 3rd April, protesters’ homes were searched. Ten people were arrested on suspicion of assaulting police officers and causing public unrest, and were taken to Nalchik for reasons as yet unknown. On Friday, eight of them were sent to pre-trial detention facilities while another protester’s period of detainment was prolonged by 72 hours.

  • Why does this matter? In September 2018 the authorities signed an agreement to transfer part of Ingushetia’s territory over to Chechnya. This caused upset among residents and led to protests, but they had ground to a halt by the end of the year. Rallies started up again in March, and this time protesters were demanding the Head of the Republic’s resignation. Click here to read about how the protests in Ingushetia have unfolded and how the authorities have responded.

Eight hours – that’s how long people detained for taking part in a car rally against the Platon toll system and OVD-Info members, Ekaterina Selezneva and Polina Glukhova, spent in the courthouse basement. If Ekaterina had not paid attention to the court secretary, who had been carrying the detainees’ cases, nobody would have known that these cases had been returned to the police because of legal violations.

  • Why should I read this? Lorry drivers are still protesting against the Platon toll system, which charges HGV drivers for crossing federal roads. On 27th March 2017, activists called an All-Russian lorry drivers’ strike, and in 2019 – on its second anniversary – a car rally was held. Eight people were detained in Moscow, where they are represented by OVD-Info’s lawyer Ekaterina Selezneva.

On 2nd April in a least seven cities, searches were carried out relating to the explosion in the FSB’s Arkhangelsk offices, orchestrated by 17-year-old Mikhail Zhlobitsky. Law enforcement officers attended the home of the parents of human rights activist Alexandr Peredruk, as well as the homes of people who had never heard of Zhlobitsky.

  • Following the explosion, law enforcement agencies took an interest in activists from a range of movements all over the country and started calling them in for interviews in the FSB.

Features

Rallies which pose no danger to society: the case against the Kolomnf activist has been declared unlawful. Vyacheslav Egorov, an activist from Kolomna, is in his third month of house arrest. He is charged with “multiple violations of the law during protests” under the so-called “Dadin Article”. The defence and the council on human rights maintain that the investigation did not have the right to press criminal charges against Egorov. We explain why..

Moscow municipal deputies are being attacked by anonymous people in masks, having acid poured on their cars and finding pigs’ heads at their front doors. They told OVD-Info about the harassment they are facing because of their civic activity. Read the deputies’ stories here.


“Books, of course, have an important role to play – when you’re reading or sleeping, it’s as if you weren’t in prison” says Oleg Navalny, who spent three and a half years behind bars. But good books can be hard to come by: there is a limited choice available in prison libraries and, besides, a system of censorship is officially in operation in both prisons and remand facilities.  We have studied the culture of reading in prisons and describe what and how prisoners are reading.

Thanks!

Each day we publish news reports and provide assistance to people who have been arrested. We very much need your assistance. After all, we depend for all our work on your support. Please sign up to make a monthly donation to OVD-Info. That way we can continue to send you your favourite mailing, our Weekly Bulletin.


Illustration by Оlya Terekhova for OVD-Info

 

Translated by Judith Fagelson


Golos: News Digest 18-24 March 2019

posted 1 Apr 2019, 13:55 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 1 Apr 2019, 13:58 ]

31 March 2019

 

Everything you need to know from the past week

What the Investigative Committee sees

Volunteers have studied 2000 hours of footage from polling station in the Kemerov region and uncovered a load of violations – Golos passed the information on to the Investigative Committee. However, they decided that the evidence was circumstantial. We continue telling you about our attempts to uncover the criminals – and what has come of it.

Who will be a Duma Deputy

A vacant position is available in the lower parliament for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation following the death of Zhores Alferov. At first, it was presumed that the mandate would be given to ex-presidential candidate Boris Grudinin but something didn’t quite work out. Golos experts on why things went wrong:

Have the jokes stopped?

We will have announced our election anecdote competition by the 1st April. The best ones will be given our group’s tee-shirts. We’re being serious!

Context

Golos call for observers at the elections in Solnechnogorsk in the Moscow region – Golos

City council did not order second round at mayoral elections in Novosibirsk – Taiga Info

Not possible without violations. Elections in Tyumen region only more transparent thanks to interference of Sverdlovsk observers – Tyumen Pro

Imposters with falsified accreditation found in Chuvashia electoral commission – Pravda PFO

Our Bloggers

Elections with two candidates, one of whom didn’t even come to the village he planned to lead. Vladislav Khodakovsky on voting in the village of Ostrovki, Voronezh Region.

SupportGolos does what it does thanks to your donations.


Translated by Matthew Quigley


Team 29: Russia, despair, and disrespecting the government

posted 1 Apr 2019, 13:39 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 1 Apr 2019, 13:41 ]

29 March 2019


Hi. This is Kolya Ovchinnikov. Spring has arrived here and you just feel like skipping class, like you used to, and, you know, having a beer.  But there’ll be no classes and no beer for me for the foreseeable future.  Before me there’s Russia, despair, and prefab apartment blocks, as in the brilliant computer game ‘ShKhD: winter’ (which you must play, by the way). For now, let’s talk about the main events this week.

What’s happened?

  • In a pleasant surprise, investigators dismissed the case about leaflets made by the Pskov branch of Yabloko, which called on people to vote against all candidates (they supposedly violated someone’s voting rights – WTF). We were involved in the case, on the side of the chairman of the Pskov branch of Yabloko, Lev Shlosberg.
  • In a nasty surprise, the government gave Rosmolodezhi (remember that organisation?) permission to block websites without a court order.  It seems that they’ve chosen for now either to disband the organisation or to find a nominal role for it. And find one they have, dammit.
  • Nasty, but predictable, was the entry into force of a law punishing those who disrespect the government.  We feel a strong urge to show our disrespect, repeatedly, for every single person who approved the damn thing, but we’ll refrain from doing so.

What did we do?

  • We highlighted what wasn’t right about the idea some Duma members had to compel the media to submit files relating to their investigations to the prosecutor’s office.
  • We looked into terrorism by telephone and explained how to get your money back for cinema showings that are cancelled for an evacuation.
  • The text of the week is the story of the ‘signalmen’, that’s people from the government and establishment who have decided to speak out about irregularities in the system and have paid for this with their positions and their freedom.

What else is there to do?

 §  Have a listen to our podcast about enemies of the state.  It’s now on VKontakte as well.

 I hope that things won’t turn out like ‘ShKhD: winter’ for you all.

 Love from Kolya and T29

Translated by Lindsay Munford


OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 98: Crimean Tatars arrested en masse, the tale of an “extremist’s” granddaughter, and the first fine for “inciting” children to protest.

posted 1 Apr 2019, 13:21 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 1 Apr 2019, 13:32 ]

29 March 2019

OVD-Info is a Moscow-based NGO that monitors politically-motivated arrests in Russia. Every Friday OVD-Info sends out a mailing with the latest news, which is translated here. To receive the mailing in Russian, visit here


Greetings to our readers! We often write about peaceful protests being broken up, but almost never about police siding with the protesters. It turns out it is possible! Soldiers from Ingushetia’s patrol service barred members of the National Guard from joining a protest against a redrawing of the borders, thereby avoiding potential casualties. Only, it seems that the police want nothing to do with these people – the whole battalion was subsequently fired.


Torture against Jehovah’s Witnesses. In February, we published the stories of Jehovah’s Witnesses who had been tortured while in police custody. This week, the Investigative Committee conceded that they had been beaten, but did not recognise this as torture. An independent assessment has reached a different conclusion, confirming that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were tortured using electric currents.

Regardless, the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses shows no signs of abating. Congregation members in the Kirov and Chelyabinsk regions have been searched and criminal proceedings have been initiated against them.

·  Why do I need to know this? In 2017, Jehovah’s Witnesses were named an extremist organisation. Since then, they have actively persecuted: community members who take part in communal prayer and read the bible have faced criminal proceedings and prison sentences.

We have already written about life for Jehovah’s Witnesses under the ban, and this week we published the story of a Jehovah’s Witness’s granddaughter. She told us what it is like to have an “extremist” grandmother.

23 Crimean Tatars have been remanded in custody, including members of Crimean Solidarity, a movement in support of Crimean political prisoners. Cases are being brought against them for organising and participating in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a pan-Islamist party which has been groundlessly labelled a terrorist organisation and banned in Russia. Crimean activists told us that banned literature was planted on the suspects during police searches.

Public figures and statesmen from around the world, including the US Department of State, have condemned the actions of the Russian authorities and called for the release of those currently detained.

·  Why does this matter? Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the security and police forces have been putting continuous pressure on Crimean Tatar activists. They are being subjected to criminal cases for membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir and handed lengthy prison sentences.


Features

“The Federal Financial Monitoring Service’s list is a civil death”. Life for people charged with terrorism and extremism is incredibly complicated; they literally live under economic sanctions: “You can’t open a bank account, take out a loan or receive a salary”. How do people like this? And can you avoid being placed on the list? We have gathered answers from “extremists” and “terrorists” for you.

18-year-old libertarian Ivan Luzin has been charged with two counts of administrative offences because of his photo-shoot with an anti-torture protest. The first charge is for supposedly organising an unauthorised rally, while the second is for involving two underage activists in it. Luzin was this week fined 30,000 roubles. By all accounts, this is the first fine in Russia for involving minors in a protest. Read all about it here. 

Thanks!

Each day we publish news reports and provide assistance to people who have been arrested. We very much need your assistance. After all, we depend for all our work on your support. Please sign up to make a monthly donation to OVD-Info. That way we can continue to send you your favourite mailing, our Weekly Bulletin.


Illustration by Аnastasiya Vikulova for OVD-Info

Translation by Judith Fagelson

Team 29: A Very Strange (and Dead) Institution, Stolen Missiles, Ukraine

posted 28 Mar 2019, 12:55 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 28 Mar 2019, 12:59 ]

22 March 2019


Hi, this is Katya Arenina. Recently there’s been a lot of talk about the mercy of Russian authorities. Hope in human justice is ever diminishing, it seems, but for now one may still wish to believe there’s some humanity in those making high-level decisions. Today we have a special installment of our Team 29 broadcast on mercy.

A Study: Who has a chance at a presidential pardon

In 2017 Vladimir Putin pardoned three of our clients: Oksana Sevastidi, Marina Janjgava, and Annik Kesyan. All three had been convicted of sending acquaintances in Georgia SMSs on tanks they had seen in Sochi on the eve of the Russian-Georgian conflict in 2008. Since then I’ve not been able to stop thinking that the institution of presidential pardons is a very strange one.

Think for yourself: every year the president signs several decrees on pardoning convicts. Half of those pardoned are usually persons of interest in very high-profile cases, but the other half – well, they’re simply nobodies. I’ve always found it interesting: there are very few pardons, so what exactly did these unknown people do to deserve special leniency?

Along with the publication Project we have tried to figure out what Vladimir Putin’s guiding principle is when signing this or that decree on pardoning. It’s all very interesting – Putin has turned a practically dead institution into a means of managing his reputation by hand. Read this study about who has a chance for a presidential pardon.

Podcast: The latest Ukrainian to be pardoned by Putin

In a new installment of the podcast Little Terror, we relate how the unsuccessful attempt of Russian propaganda to accuse Ukrainians of stealing Russian arms has reverberated with ordinary people. The topic has quickly fallen from the agenda – but the criminal cases have remained.

You probably know that, in 2014, a missile, launched from a Buk anti-aircraft missile system, shot down a passenger airline over Ukrainian territory. Thus far no guilty parties have been found, but an international investigative committee has determined that the Buk was brought in from Russia and was returned after the launch. Russian itself vetoed a proposed United Nations resolution on the formation of an international tribunal which would have brought guilty parties to account.

After that incident, pro-Kremlin channels began talking about Ukrainian spies trying to illegally obtain Russian armaments, including sets of components for Buk and other anti-aircraft systems. The FSB considered the elderly Ukrainian Yuri Soloshenko to be one of such spies.

Soloshenko is one of few people pardoned by Putin in recent years. We discuss events that led authorities to release him and how his affair ended. Listen to the recent episode of “Our armed forces are not there” and subscribe to the Little Terror podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud, YouTube, and Android.

One more podcast: How the (lack of) mercy begins

I recommend one more human rights podcast, especially since it meshes marvelously with the topic of this letter. (I was amazed when it came out the day after our study). It’s a podcast by human rights activist and journalist Zoya Svetovaya and lawyer Anna Stavitskaya.

In the podcast they speak of mercy, not only in the context of presidential pardons, but also of the courts. The podcast very accurately continues the subject we began in our study. Zoya and Anna try to answer the question: are Russian courts unmerciful because of an unmerciful regime, or, to the contrary, is the regime becoming such because of judicial decisions?

Read and listen to all of this on the weekend, and enjoy yourself for now (sometimes you have to).

So long,

Katya and Team 29


Translated by Mark Nuckols


OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 97: Human rights defender Oyub Titiev convicted, new developments in the Network case, and a checklist for witnesses under questioning

posted 24 Mar 2019, 14:07 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 24 Mar 2019, 14:11 ]

22 March 2019


Greetings to our readers! This week we teamed up with Memorial and went to the UN to give them some advice! Or rather, we presented our recommendations on how states the world over should guarantee freedom of assembly. And that’s not all – we have also released a new episode of our podcast. We asked a teacher, a sociologist, a lawyer and a teenager whether children have a place in politics.



Ladies and gentlemen, one the most important news items this week: Oyub Titiev, who heads the Chechen branch of Memorial, has been sentenced to four years imprisonment for possession of drugs. The judge’s sentencing lasted over eight hours, during which time several lone picketers stood in solidarity with the activist; in St Petersburg, eight people were arrested during the protest.

The Titiev case has been called the loudest political trial in Chechnya. Human rights activists, journalists and diplomats from all over the world have come to Shali, the city where the hearings took place. Read the impressions of four Muscovites who were in attendance at Titiev’s trial.

·  Why does this matter? Titiev has argued repeatedly that the drugs were planted on him at the time of his arrest, and the defence highlighted the fabricated nature of the investigation. The practice of bringing drug-related cases against activists is widespread in the Caucasus, and used as a means of exerting pressure. Click here to read more about legal violations that took place during Titiev’s trial.

Some developments in the Networks case. Defendant Yuly Boyarshinov has requested for his case to be considered separately. If his petition is approved, the court will not consider the evidence. His lawyer clarified that he has not agreed a deal with the investigation – he does not intend to give evidence against the other defendants to the investigation. Viktor Filinkov’s lawyer held a press conference where he told reporters that the prosecution has no real evidence against Filinkov. You can read his main arguments here.

·  Why do I need to know this? Some of the defendants in the Networks case, including Filinkov, claim to have confessed under duress, having undergone both physical and psychological torture.

In Kolomna, Vyacheslav Egorov, an activist against the landfill site, has had his house arrest extended. At the hearing, his wife, Olga Mizraeva, recounted his experiences under house arrest: his children have no access to the internet, and their family of six is having to live on his mother’s pension, which is just 15,000 roubles a month. The courts have afforded these arguments any recognition.

·  Why does this matter? Egorov is charged under the so-called “Dadin article” which punishes repeated violations of the laws governing public protests. In 2017, the Constitutional Court ruled that this article applies to people whose “violations” constitute a danger to society. In Egorov’s case there are no such violations.

Features

How to testify without harming anyone else? Soviet dissident Vladimir Albrecht came up with a system he called PLOD, which helped users give testimony without helping the investigation to place the defendant behind bars and without putting the witness him or herself in danger. We cover the basic principles behind the PLOD system and find out how relevant it still is today.

Lone picketers: data about restrictions, theory and practice. We have launched a large-scale project to collect data about regional legislation. The first topic covered by the project is lone picketers. Click here to see the minimum distance that lone picketers have to stand from one another, broken down by region, in various forms: on a map, in a table and as a graph. And on this page, we look at the practicalities of the different restrictions enforced by authorities to make it harder for people to carry out lone pickets.

Thanks

Each day we publish news reports and provide assistance to people who have been arrested. We very much need your assistance. After all, we depend for all our work on your support. Please sign up to make a monthly donation to OVD-Info. That way we can continue to send you your favourite mailing, our Weekly Bulletin 

Illustration by Аnastasiya Vikukova for OVD-Info

Translated by Judith Fagelson


Golos News Digest 11 – 17 March 2019

posted 22 Mar 2019, 13:20 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 22 Mar 2019, 13:23 ]

17 March 2019


Everything you need to know from the past week

With and without cameras

How does the presence of cameras at polling stations affect the voter turnout? David Kaknia analysed the results by region presenting the data in graphs in a way that was vivid and quite telling.

The Party’s Wallets: Novgorodskaya Oblast 

Ksenia Cherepanova gave a master class in which she showed people how to use Golos’ new Party Wallet service. She explained how politics works in the Novogorodskaya Oblast – who sponsors the parties in the region and what they get for it.

Falsifying Marathon

It will soon be a year since the presidential elections – we remember how it all took place. Keep an eye on Golos’ social media pages: we show you how а brave girl managed to persuade the commission that votes cast needed to be counted (they had been simply packed up and taken away). As well as that there is the infamous ballot stuffing that took place in Lyubertsy where members of the local commission nonchalantly stuffed the ballot boxes completely unphased by the presence of cameras.

Context

Opposition in parliament complain to president about changes to election rules – Kommersant

Alexander Kynev: Paper still has its use: why it’s still early to introduce e-voting in Russia - RBC

Changes to ease the work of election observers yet to be approved in the State Duma – Tass

Central Election Commission taking all risks of e-voting in Moscow into consideration – Tass

Our Bloggers

Siberian flair, and the elections: an ethnographic report and some beautiful photos from Alexey Petrov. He tells us about the people who elected the head of the Cheremhovsky region.

United Russia’s total victory with a voter turnout of 42%. Ilya Sivoldaev and Pavel Gubanov on election in Khrenovskyy in Voronezh region.


Team 29: Your opinion is important to us (it really is)

posted 21 Mar 2019, 12:51 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Mar 2019, 13:00 ]

15 March 2019


Hi, this is Tanya Torocheshnikova from Team-29, and we need your help.

Perhaps you know we run an online service called RosOtvet which you can use to ask the government questions about which it doesn’t usually really want to talk.

For example, using RosOtvet we found out how benefits for children are paid and we discovered whether there are any centres providing assistance to people with autism in St. Petersburg. We also asked the rapid transit authorities about problems with security on the city's public transport.

We want to make RosOtvet better, and for this we need you. Tell us what you would like to find out from government. Or perhaps you can send requests to the government and get answers better than us - and are ready to share with us useful life hacks? Or maybe something is missing in the way the service works and we can put it right?

We have made a small questionnaire. It really is small – there are only ten questions of which four are short, and three only need a tick. You can fill in the questionnaire even if you have never used RosOtvet.

Please do answer the questionnaire. It will help us understand what we can do better, and make RosOtvet useful to as many people as possible. If you have any questions, please do get in touch.

With love,
Tanya and Team 29

Write to us at info@team29.org

And here is the questionnaire!

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