Good morning!

King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander decidedto no longer ride to the opening of parliament in a 19th-century golden carriage adorned with colonial pictures in which wretched blacks kneel down to offer whites a variety of goods, and a white gentleman in return hands them a book. To the east of the Netherlands, things are not so progressive:

  • Rosfinmonitoring included Navalny’s associates Ivan Zhdanov and Leonid Volkov in the list of extremists and terrorists.
  • The websites of the government of Ukraine and several ministries were hacked.
  • According to US intelligence agencies, Russia is preparing provocations in Ukraine to justify a full-scale invasion.
  • Kazakh human rights activists talk about beatings and torture of detained protesters and random people.

Russia is a foreign extremist

  • Rosfinmonitoring included Navalny’s associates Ivan Zhdanov and Leonid Volkov in the list of terrorists and extremists. People included in this list are deprived of the opportunity to use any banking services. For Volkov and Zhdanov living abroad, this will not create any additional problems, but Ivan Zhdanov warns: everything that was tested at FBK has always been widely used in the future.
  • Portugal’s National Data Protection Commission has fined Lisbon City Hall 1.25 million euros for providing the Russian Embassy and the Russian Foreign Ministry with the personal data of three organizers of a rally in support of Alexei Navalny on January 23. Earlier, the official who provided this data was fired.
  • The Ministry of Justice, as always on Fridays, updated the register of “foreign agents”. This time there were legal entities created by “individuals performing the function of a media outlet – a foreign agent” at the request of the law on “foreign agents”: LLC “This message”, registered by Regina Khisamova and Regina Gimalova from the regional project of Radio Liberty Idel.Realii, and LLC “Number Seventy-Seven”, created by Andrey Zakharov, correspondent of the BBC Russian Service (he is listed as number 77 on the list of “individuals performing …”.
  • The Russian Ministry of Justice explained to the editor of Present Time Ekaterina Surnacheva, for which she was included in the list of “individuals performing …”: for the fact that she works in Present Time (a Radio Liberty project, long declared a “foreign agent”), took part in journalistic investigations “ various publications about corruption in power structures” and gave links to them on her Facebook.
  • According to the Free Russia Foundation, in 2021 from Russia left more than one and a half thousand activists and journalists (we are talking exclusively about political emigrants). Here are the conversations with some of them.
  • Belarusian stand-up comedian Slava Komissarenko left Russia – according to him, due to pressure from the KGB of Belarus (now he is in Kiev). But Boris Gryzlov, a veteran of Russian politics, will go to Minsk – he has been appointed Russian ambassador to the fraternal state.
  • City Duma of Gelendzhik approved the new master plan of the city, against which local residents protested all autumn. It forbids residential construction in the coastal zone, because of which ordinary people can lose their homes, but at the same time legalizes all villas and palaces already built on the coast. The people are outraged.

But good things happen

“Total Dictation” again received a presidential grant, which it was deprived of last year for choosing the “wrong” contemporary author.

Court in Moscow justified (!) coordinator of the project in the Vladimir region Boris Ushakov, who was accused of raping a former investigator of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Ushakov was detained in the summer of 2020; according to him, the investigators forced him to give false testimony against the founder of Vladimir Osechkin in order to be able to nominate criminal charges against him and obtain his extradition from France, where Osechkin left in 2015).

Radio engineering and cyber warfare

  • In Moscow in the case of a bribe arrested Chief of the Radio Engineering Troops of the Aerospace Forces of Russia, Major General Andrey Koban. A bribe in the amount of at least five million was allegedly given to him by the general director of the Nizhny Novgorod Research Institute of Radio Engineering.
  • Apple has registered a personal account on the Roskomnadzor website as part of the law on the “localization” of foreign IT companies. The second company to “localize” was the Singapore-based short video social network Likee.
  • Court in Moscow arrested two alleged REvil hackers. Earlier, the FSB reported on the detention of 14 members of this group. The FSB report says that the basis for the liquidation was the appeal of the “competent authorities” of the United States. In June 2021, the FBI accused REvil of a cyberattack on the world’s largest meat producer, the Brazilian company JBS. Because of the attack, JBS stopped the work of its factories in the US, Canada and Australia and was forced to pay 11 million dollars to hackers. In the United States, it was not ruled out that Russian special services were behind REvil. The activities of the hacker group abruptly ceased in July 2021 after Biden called Putin.
  • On the night of January 14, the websites of the Ukrainian government and several ministries were hacked. On the main page of the Foreign Ministry website, the hackers posted the following message: “Ukrainian! All your personal data has been uploaded to the public network. All data on the computer is destroyed, it is impossible to restore it. All information about you has become public. This is for your past, present and future. For Volhynia, for the OUN UPA, for Galicia, for Polissya and for historical lands.” So far, no official accusations have been made against any country, but everyone thought aloud about Russia. The attack was discussed at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brest (France). On the afternoon of January 14, it became known that NATO and Ukraine would sign agreements to strengthen cooperation in the field of cybersecurity.
  • Polish Ministry of Defense investigates a possible leak of the material support base of the national army, which lists all the property registered by the ministry.

Waiting for a provocation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a three-hour press conference on the results of the department’s work over the past year explainedwhy Russia demanded “security guarantees” from the US and NATO in an ultimatum form: “It has accumulated,” he said. From Lavrov’s answers to other questions, it is clear that Russia does not consider not only Ukraine or individual European countries, but also the EU as a whole, to be independent international players. In Ukraine, this is also understood: President Zelensky invited Joe Biden to hold trilateral talks with Putin.

The US administration has evidence that Russia has trained a group of individuals to conduct a false flag operation in eastern Ukraine to create a pretext for a full-scale invasion.

In Ukraine, they are actively preparing for a war (including a partisan one), and Sweden, just in case strengthened defense of the island of Gotland. Russian stock market continued to fall – along with the ruble.

Almaty under the supervision of special services

Detentions of protesters continue in Kazakhstan: according to official reports, two thousand more people were detained in the country’s largest city of Almaty, seven people are considered missing by the authorities. Human rights activists believe at least 350 people are missing, and the number of those killed among them is constantly growing as information is confirmed. Participants of the rallies are taken not only from their homes, but also from hospitals and even from intensive care units. The detainees are beaten and tortured – here are a few stories with names and surnames. This is done, probably, in order to detect “terrorists” whose attack on the country was announced by President Tokayev. According to political scientist Dimash Alzhanov, Almaty will remain under the scrutiny of the special services for a long time, and the reaction of citizens to what is happening will follow when the scale of the massacres becomes clear.

From Kazakhstan withdrawn Kyrgyz, Tajik, Armenian and Belarusian military, the complete withdrawal of Russian units is expected by January 19.

Meanwhile, journalists from Important Stories found an apartment and a house in Switzerland with the son of Kazakh President Timur Tokayev, in addition to an apartment and a dacha in Moscow.

Chronicles of a pandemic

Daily increase in new cases of COVID-19 in Russia increased up to 23,820, mortality remains at the same level – 739 people per day. Moscow City Hall expects a sharp increase in the incidence (from 30 to 90 thousand per day) in the next two weeks – in this case, the city may announce extraordinary holidays or transfer schoolchildren to distance learning.

Deputy Prime Minister Golikova promises, that from February 1 it will be possible to receive a QR code for the level of antibodies: this option will be available to those who have been ill, but have not consulted a doctor, as well as foreigners vaccinated with Western vaccines.

In Turkey will start doing soon paid vaccinations for foreign tourists, including the Pfizer vaccine. Since Turkish QR codes are connected to the European system, then it will be possible to freely travel around Europe with them.

The Australian authorities have again canceled the visa of the unvaccinated tennis player Djokovic. The chances that he will be able to take part in the Australian Open are beginning to dwindle.

Reading links

  • History. excerpt from the book by Pavel Lukin “Novgorod and Venice: Comparative Historical Essays on the Formation of the Republican System” (Publishing House of the EU St. Petersburg) – about why the Venetians needed a legend about their origin from the inhabitants of ancient Troy. Or fragment Andrey Shcheglov’s research “Together Forever: Sweden, Denmark and Norway in the XIV-XV centuries” (Eurasia Publishing House) – about the features of the union concluded by three countries in the Swedish city of Kalmar in 1397.
  • Philosophy. A two-part conversation with the historian of philosophy Petr Rezvy, a specialist in Schelling – in Schelling studies, as it turns out, epoch-making discoveries happened not so long ago: Part one, part two.
  • Linguists and literary critics. Chapter from a book Maria Buras “Linguists who came from the cold” (published in the “Editorial office of Elena Shubina”), dedicated to Vladimir Uspensky. Or conversation Tatyana Voltskaya with the Mandelstam scholars – about the international conference “Fear and the Muse: Akhmatova, Mandelstam and Their Time” opening on January 17 in St. Petersburg.
  • Conversations with translators. Interview with orientalist and linguist Yuri Boev, who translated into Russian the cult work of Thai prose “Children of Isan” by writer Khamphun Bunthavi. Or conversation with the journalist Leonid Bershidsky, who re-translated Kafka’s Trial and found “several unexpected things” there.
  • Science of the strange. excerpt from Christian Bush’s study “Non-random chance: How to control luck and what is serendipity” (published by Alpina Publisher) – on how to develop a serendipity worldview. Or fragment from the book of the American neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga “Who is in charge? Free will from the point of view of neuroscience” (Publishing House Corpus) – about the importance of the unconscious processes that control our actions.

Sincerely yours,
Seven forty


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