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Mourners Bid Farewell To Russian Human Rights Icon

Russians have been saying farewell to Lyudmila Alekseyeva, a human rights activist who challenged Soviet and Russian leaders for decades.

'Altered Beyond Recognition': Solzhenitsyn Came Home To A Different Country In 1994

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would have turned 100 on December 11. When he returned to Russia in 1994, ending 20 years of exile and landing in Vladivostok, he said Russia had been "altered beyond recognition."

'Hard Times Produce Strong People': Ukraine's Women Warriors

The number of female soldiers in Ukraine's military has risen sharply since Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea. About one-third are officers like Olena Belska, who commands a mortar unit in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region.

'The Village Is Dying And No One Cares,' says Russian Social Worker

Vera Selivanova is a social worker in Shelepovo in Russia's Kurgan region. She cleans houses, brings in food and tends gardens. She says soon only the elderly will be left, and then the village will die.


Roskomnadzor Threatens To Escalate Penalties Against Foreign Internet Firms

Russian media reports that Roskomnadzor head Vadim Subbotin has threatened to take “extreme measures” and block Google or other internet companies entirely if “a foreign company does not comply with Russian legislation.” Google has been accused of ignoring Russian prohibitions on search results. Under current legislation, violations are subject to a fine. (Russian Service)

Putin Says He Never Heard Of Alleged Agent Butina

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that before her July arrest, he hadn’t previously heard of the woman who is accused of working as an unregistered foreign agent in the United States.

Former Russian Navy Officer Sentenced For Spying For Ukraine

Retired Russian navy officer Leonid Parkhomenko has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after a military tribunal in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don found him guilty of passing classified documents to Ukrainian intelligence.

Russian Cosmonauts Investigate Hole In ISS During Six-Hour Space Walk

Russia's space agency said two cosmonauts took samples of the exterior of the International Space Station during a space walk on December 11 as part of an effort by Roskosmos to pinpoint the cause of a hole that was found in a Soyuz capsule docked at the station in August.

Medvedev Explains ‘Non-Standard Approach’ To Human Rights In Russia

In an article published in the Russian magazine Law, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev explained the Russian Constitution’s limitations on human rights, citing “values that are traditional for Russian society.” (in Russian, Current Time TV)

HRW Calls For Repeal Of Russia's LGBT 'Propaganda' Law

Human Rights Watch has called on Russian authorities to abolish the country's 2013 law banning gay "propaganda,” arguing it has intensified hostility against LGBT people and is having a deeply damaging effect on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.

POLL: Almost Half Of Russian Women Fear Domestic Violence

A poll by the state-owned Russian Public Opinion Research Center finds that 49% of women in Russia fear they could become a victim of domestic violence, and 43% believe their rights are often violated. In 2017, Russia downgraded penalties for domestic violence, designating assault by a close relative an administrative, rather than a criminal, offense. (Russian Service)

European Parliament To Award Sakharov Prize To Ukrainian Director Sentsov

The European Parliament is scheduled to award imprisoned Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov its 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Sentsov has been imprisoned in Russia since opposing Moscow's takeover of his native Crimea in 2014.

Ukrainian Court Reinstates Nasirov After He Was Charged With Embezzlement

A court in Kyiv has reinstated Roman Nasirov as head of the State Fiscal Service after he was fired in January following his arrest on charges of embezzlement. Nasirov, one of the highest officials expected to face prosecution in Ukraine, is being investigated on suspicion of defrauding the state of 2 billion hryvnyas ($70 million).

Turkmenistan Marks International Day Of Neutrality With Prisoner Amnesty

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has deceed an amnesty pardoning 796 prisoners to mark the International Day of Neutrality on December 12.

COMMENTARY: Human Rights Day Shines Unwelcome Spotlight On Tajikistan

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Alekseyeva On Being Interrogated

In a 1977 interview, Lyudmila Alekseyeva spoke to RFE/RL’s Russian Service about her fear of being interrogated, and her techniques to avoid making a slip. At the outset, she would warn interrogators, “First, I will often say ‘I don’t remember,’ because I have a bad memory.” Secondly, she told them: “I find it absolutely impossible to tell you anything that could lead to the interrogation of anyone except myself,” and answered only those questions that concerned her personally. (Russian Service)

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