Team 29: 🕵️‍♀️ Are you sure you aren't a foreign agent?

posted 19 Dec 2019, 05:59 by Translation Service   [ updated 19 Dec 2019, 06:37 ]

14 December 2019

Hi, Dima Okrest here, Team 29 Editor-in-Chief

On Friday, the Justice Initiative foundation was entered in the Register of Foreign Agents. It had been preparing a case at the European Court of Human Rights on extrajudicial killings in Chechnya and had defended Ingush activists following protests over the redrawing of the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia. Anonymous individuals put together and published a fake interview with the foundation’s leader, and the Ministry of Justice promptly saw something criminal in it.

On Thursday, MPs proposed making it an offence to study on the courses of ‘undesirable NGOs’ overseas. I’m now worried about the fact I’ve studied in the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris. Who else might be affected?

Vitaly Milonov studied at the Budapest Schuman Institute. Mikhail Leontev founded the Delo newspaper with the support of Khodorkovsky. Irina Yarovaya graduated from the Moscow School of Political Studies (in 2014, it was named a foreign agent and dismantled). Vladimir Solovev taught in a university in Alabama. Margarita Simonyan did an internship in the neighbouring state, and later studied on Internews courses (abolished in 2007). The programme they were a part of, incidentally, was organised by Dmitry Kiselev. In fact, with European Commission funding, he created the ‘Window on Europe’ programme to support democratic institutions in Russia.

These events took place not long ago and yet are now almost forgotten. As part of the educational project ‘Russia is Shutting Down’, we reflect on recent history and look into what has changed, and in what way:

‘Russia is Shutting Down’ VKontakte

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Dima & Team 29

Translated by Lindsay Munford