Team 29: Plenty of bad news; not so much good news

posted 13 Aug 2019, 22:48 by Translation Service   [ updated 13 Aug 2019, 22:55 ]

9 August 2019

Hi! This is Nastya Andreeva. 

Usually you hear me in our podcasts or watch my videos. But today I’m compelled to write a dispatch. A second variant of my non-standard assignment was to receive someone’s parcel at the Ladozhsky railway station at 10 AM, so now you’re reading it.

If you’ve forgotten or never knew the sound of my voice, I have something for you! Namely, a new installation of “Little Terror.” It seems that until this year elections to the Moscow City Duma were never interesting. That’s partly true, of course. But still, something curious happened, and we’ve done a podcast on how the elections went in 2005 and 2009. Spoiler: it’s very similar to 2019. You can hear the podcast on iTunesSoundcloudAndroid«In Contact» and on «Яндекс.Музыке», and you can leave evaluations and write opinions and commentaries (even in response to this letter, but better to do it on iTunes).

To make it more convenient for you to share our podcast with friends, we’ve made a page on our site with links to all sources where you can listen to us.

Meanwhile in Moscow, still, all is hell. On 3 August the Investigative Committee filed money laundering charges against the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). Almost an anniversary celebration: in August 2001, Russia hastily passed a law “On Countering the Legalisation (Laundering) of Criminally Obtained Incomes”. Searches were conducted in FBK’s office and in workers’ homes – you can read a chronicle on our friends’ site, OVD-Info.

On that same 3 August, a former Russian National Guard member, while being arrested, ostensibly injured the shoulder of a current National Guard member. A court remanded the former one in custody for two months on a charge of using violence against a public official. There are new defendants in the case of mass disturbances, which was opened after the demonstration of 27 July. There are already ten accused persons. Mediazone reported on the first six here, and on the most recent ones here.

Colleagues from Novaya Gazeta have drafted a petition and are demanding an end to the prosecution of participants in the peaceful protest of 27 July. Sign the petition, and if you planning on going to tomorrow’s demonstration, which will take place not only in Moscow, but also in other cities (this time it’s approved, true, but at times security forces have stopped them), please read our reminder to protest participants, which has been revised based on the outcome of recent events.

But we’re not just about demonstrations. We’ve had two nice victories.

Russian law prohibits disclosing the secret of adoption without the permission of the adoptive parents. The adoptive family of Olga Ledeshkova was not against the government naming her biological mother, but it could not do so. Team 29 has been fighting together with Ledeshkova for three years to have the information revealed. The Supreme Court initially found that the lower courts were wrong to refuse Ledeshkova, and upon a recent review of her case released the documents. Olga got to know her biological mother – but now she’s seeking her father. We tell her convoluted story here.

We’ve already written about this, but we’re happy to write again. Until recently it was possible to gain access to archival files on one’s relatives only in cases where the family member was a rehabilitated victim of political repressions. Relatives of those who have not been rehabilitated (and it’s no simple procedure at all), have been refused by courts – people could not find out why their relatives had been shot or sent to the Gulag. Since a complaint filed by actor Georgy Shakhet, the Supreme Court has allowed relatives access to such files. We spoke with Shakhet and recorded a short video. It contains the story of a man who has longed his entire life to know what happened to his grandfather and why it was unacceptable to mention his name at home except in a whisper.

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Nastya, Team 29

Translated by Mark Nuckols