Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook changed its name to Meta, but decided not to rename the social network itself. In a metafacebook, things work like this:
- In Russia, a new maximum daily mortality from COVID-19 has been recorded since the beginning of the pandemic and a record number of new cases per day.
- Lawyer Ivan Pavlov, who left Russia, was put on the wanted list, and Gulagu.net informant Sergei Savelyev was arrested in absentia.
- In Moscow, another participant in the January rally in support of Navalny was detained in a criminal case on the use of violence against a police officer.
- The site of the TV channel Present Time has been blocked in Belarus.
Chronicles of a pandemic
According to the operational headquarters on Thursday morning, the daily increase in new cases of COVID-19 in Russia amounted to 40,096 – this is a record figure for the entire time of the pandemic. The official number of infected in the country since the beginning of the pandemic is 8 million 393 thousand; the official number of victims reached 235,057 by Thursday morning (+1159 per day). This is another historic maximum. In hospitals in Russian regions lacks oxygen.
Against this background in Moscow passes a luxurious exhibition of the funeral industry, and Russians, tired of covid hopelessness, fly en masse to the resorts of Turkey, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
- In Moscow, on charges of using violence against a Russian Guard during a rally in support of Navalny on January 23 detained 20-year-old student of the Moscow Automobile and Highway University. The maximum sentence under this article is five years in prison.
- Here the lawyer comments on the verdict passed on Wednesday to the libertarian Gleb Maryasov: he received 10 months in prison for going out onto the road and waving his hands. In addition, the court recovered from Maryasov 2.7 million rubles in the claim of the Moscow Metro and Mosgortrans for the damage that he allegedly caused them by his access to the roadway. (Such monetary claims are becoming fashionable without any connection with Navalny: here is the story pensioners from the Novosibirsk region, with whom local officials demand half a million rubles for reposting opposition videos, but absolutely crazy case recovery of 400 thousand rubles for the repair of the train from the mother of the child who died under the wheels of this train).
- A priest from the Ulyanovsk region spoke about his dismissal from the press service of the diocese for his post in support of Navalny.
- Court extended arrest of Yuri Zhdanov – father of former FBK director Ivan Zhdanov – until January 12. Zhdanov Sr. is accused of fraud with the use of official position and official forgery, Navalny’s associates are sure that this is revenge on his son.
- The State Hermitage turned to the Prosecutor’s Office with an application against a St. Petersburg resident who hung his portrait in the Military Gallery in 1812. Museum workers see in his actions “a public insult to the memory of the defenders of the Fatherland.” Criminal liability for this very insult (up to five years) was introduced by the State Duma in the wake of the case of “Navalny’s libel against a veteran,” but the heroes of the war of 1812 were also kind of defenders of the Fatherland. We are waiting for criminal cases on insulting Alexander Nevsky.
- The former head of Team 29, lawyer Ivan Pavlov, who left for Georgia, said that he was put on the wanted list in Russia.
- Sergei Savelyev, who gave the video recordings of torture in Russian colonies to the human rights project Gulagu.net, was arrested in absentia in Russia for “having access to legally protected computer information.” Savelyev is in France, where he asked for political asylum.
- Roskomnadzor blocked the site of the Project, “for distributing materials from an organization recognized as undesirable in Russia” (the parent company of the publication was recognized as “undesirable”). The blocking took place the day after the founder of “Project” Roman Badanin, who is in the United States, published in the Wall Street Journal column about Svetlana Krivonogikh – Putin’s alleged mistress and mother of his third daughter – with explanations why it is not only possible, but also necessary to write about Putin’s love life.
- investigative committee refused to initiate a criminal case on the fact of the work of unauthorized persons in the precinct election commission No. 177 in St. Petersburg – the replacement of real PEC members with fake ones was considered “a shortcoming in the work of the election commission”.
- The heads of Russian charitable foundations appealed to Putin with a request not to apply the law on “foreign agents” to them, because their activities cannot be considered political. The letter was also signed by Chulpan Khamatova and Konstantin Khabensky, appointed the day before the new artistic director of the Moscow Art Theater.
- On the TV channel “Muz-TV” made up the protocol on “gay propaganda”; TV channel STS postponed showing of the show “Russian Ninja” with rapper Morgenstern in the role of the host – they are waiting to see how the examination of Morgenstern’s critical statements about the magnificent celebrations of Victory Day, initiated by the Investigative Committee, will end.
- In Petersburg excited a criminal case under the article on “damage to a cultural heritage site” (up to three years) against the person who wrote “Wake up” on the wall of the church. The damage is estimated at 51 thousand rubles.
The suspect in the murder of the former top manager of “Smolensk Bank” and members of his family committed suicide in the Belarusian pre-trial detention center. Andrei Skripkin, whom Kommersant calls a former business partner of the murdered man, fled to Belarus and was detained in Vitebsk.
The Ministry of Information of Belarus has blocked access to the website of the TV channel Present Time on the territory of the country. The sites of Deutsche Welle and the Novy Chas newspaper also became unavailable. Earlier, the printing houses refused to print the newspaper, and Belsoyuzpechat refused to distribute it. The Deputy Minister of Information of Belarus explained that hyperlinks to materials recognized as “extremist” in Belarus are disseminated on these media platforms.
Hundreds of migrants still remain at the borders of Belarus with the European Union, whose delivery is provided by travel agencies associated with the Belarusian authorities. Here, Polish activist Kasia Vappa tells how volunteers help people hiding in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and here the former head of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry Linas Linkevicius talks about possible ways to resolve this crisis (spoiler: sanctions against the Lukashenka regime should be strengthened).
Around the world
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba substantiated the right to self-defense the use of the Bayraktar drone by government forces on the demarcation line in Donbass. In this way, he responded to the concerns of the German Foreign Ministry in connection with the use of a Turkish drone. Here, Ukrainian journalist Yuri Butusov and military expert Mikhail Samus explain why this drone was used and whether this new type of weapon is capable of changing the situation in Donbass.
Lawyers for the families of those killed in the MH17 crash over Donbass noticed being followed. The Dutch authorities provided them with protection.
The Russian and Argentinean trials of 400 kilograms of cocaine found at the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires have entered their final stages. No one is allowed to attend the court hearings in Moscow due to covid restrictions, but here is a report made from audio recordings of what is happening there. The Russian investigation considers Andrei Kovalchuk, extradited from Germany, to be the main organizer of the operation, and his lawyers say almost in plain text that the supply of cocaine through the embassy was organized by the FSB, and when this channel was opened by the Argentine special services, it was decided to find the last one – he turned out to be a “simple smuggler” Kovalchuk.
- Russian history. Conversation with the Novosibirsk historian Sergei Chernyshov on the colonization of Siberia. Or chapter from the book by Yakov Gordin “Tsar and God. Utopia of Peter the Great ”- about the history of the opal of Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich.
- Survival miracle. Story about the camp experience of Nikolai Zabolotsky. Or conversation with the writer Katya Petrovskaya about her book “It seems Esther” and the life circumstances that formed its basis (you can listen).
- Cinema. Two articles from the collection of materials “Long happy life. Instructions for Beginners ”(Subscription Editions – The Art of Cinema), dedicated to the film by Gennady Shpalikov (1966). Or story about how, after the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong tried to bury the Chinese film industry.