Team 29: Hi, I'm your curator, speaking ‘American English’

posted 1 Jul 2019, 01:40 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 1 Jul 2019, 01:46 ]
22 June 2019

This is Katya Arenina, hello there. There was no newsletter yesterday, I sat thinking “who was supposed to be doing that?” - but as it turned out, of course, I was! I’m writing to confess. The newsletter was written by Tanya last week, who turned out to be as far away as possible from everything going on in Russia. I, on the other hand, was away in Moscow strolling along the boulevards. More than a week has gone by and it would appear that I’ve not had any time to think about anything else since. But given so much has happened, I guess now’s the time!.

First of all, Putin hosted his “direct line” and, of course, nothing has changed: there are still no Russian troops in Donbass, the United Russia party will make life better for everyone, drug laws won’t be relaxed (but we do need to keep an eye on  law enforcement officers, to avoid another Ivan Golunov situation) and finally - we need our own sovereign Internet. (By the way, we’ve explained how that will work here). 

Secondly, it would seem that Putin has gone a little bit crazy. He has banned airlines from taking Russian passengers to Georgia, where there are protests taking place against the Russian occupation. This is thanks to State Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov, who decided to speak to the Georgian parliament in Russian. Gavrilov, by the way, is no fool: “It is absolutely clear that this is a planned provocation of the radical liberal anti-patriotic forces of Georgia. Dozens of people took to the streets with posters which they had prepared in advance- criticising Russia, its president and Orthodoxy. Our deputies saw how the Georgian journalists were sent by curators, who were speaking American English.

Then there’s the aftermath of the Golunov case: just yesterday, internal security investigators found violations in the actions of the Moscow police officers who planted drugs on him. We tried to rethink this story, and recorded a podcast: talking with Olga Dinze (Golunov’s lawyer), Aleksei Knorre from the Institute for the Rule of Law (who researched the manipulation of the quantities of seized drugs) and with Meduza journalist Ilya Zhegulev, whose brother is now in prison under similar drug-planting circumstances. We tell you what you can do if you find yourself in a similar situation. You can listen and subscribe on iTunes, Soundcloud, Android, VKontakte and Yandex.Music.

What else? The head of Memorial's Grozny office, Oyub Titiev, who was arrested on drug charges, was released on parole - which is great news. The Khachaturian sisters will go to trial for the murder of their father who sexually assaulted them for many years - which is terrible news. Finally, the investigation into the case of the Pskov journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva, who was accused of justifying terrorism, is still ongoing. Such is life.

Katya, K29

Translated by James Lofthouse