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RFE/RL's Russia Report: Khodorkovsky's Birthday Rallies, Authorizing Absurdity, and The Kremlin's Favorite War

Activists in London unfurl banner wishing Mikhail Khodorkovsky a happy birthday, 26Jun2012
Former Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky celebrates his 49th birthday today. Khodorkovsky has been in prison since 2003 on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion that are widely believed to be a politically and economically motivated vendetta against him. He is considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Danila Galperovich spoke with Khodorkovsky's son, Pavel, in Strasbourg, where he is consulting with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Additional Radio Svoboda coverage of rallies in support of Khodorkovsky, including photos and video, is available in Russian, and a round-up of social media reports has been compiled by RFE/RL's Camilla Hawthorne at Storify.

Other news from Russia:

# In the weeks since a new restrictive protest bill became law, Brian Whitmore has been watching how opposition-minded citizens might react. The case of one man from Yekaterinburg has provided one amusing answer: compliance to the point of absurdity.

# Do you remember then-President Dmitry Medvedev's 2009 decree that created the "Presidential Commission of the Russian Federation to Counter Attempts to Falsify History to the Detriment of Russia's Interests"? If so, you can revisit that and more in an illuminating new thesis that explores the "myths and memories" of Russia's involvement in World War II. Transmission report by RFE/RL's Zach Peterson.