Good morning, dear readers!
Russian authorities canceled elections on Single Voting Day (September 10) in the Shebekinsky urban district, which is located on the border with Ukraine. The voting, according to the head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, was postponed due to the “introduction of a high alert regime on the territory of the municipality.” And a little about what to expect from the new elections in Russia.
Meanwhile, journalists from the Russian project “We Can Explain” report, citing their sources, that mobilization may begin in Russia immediately after the Unified Voting Day. What makes it extremely likely is news from different regions about the failure of the campaign to recruit contract soldiers – the plan was not even half fulfilled. Read more about this here. And here you can read about how remote removal from military registration through State Services actually (doesn’t) work if a person has gone abroad.
More about military “achievements”. Putin awarded the rank of colonel general to the commander of the Central Military District, Andrei Mordvichev, who led the assault on Mariupol by Russian troops in the spring of 2022. It was he who was responsible for the fact that 95 percent of all buildings in the city were destroyed. In addition, Mordvichev is accused of giving the order to storm the Azovstal plant, where Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel and civilians were trapped in partially destroyed bomb shelters.
And here is the story of a native of Uzbekistan convicted in Russia, who went to fight in Ukraine for the Wagner PMC.
On the night of September 7, two Ukrainian drones were shot down in the Rostov region. One of them fell in the center of Rostov-on-Don, causing significant damage to buildings and nearby cars. The crash site is located in close proximity to the headquarters of the Southern Military District. Read more about this here.
The authorities of the Bryansk region announced an attack by a Ukrainian drone on an industrial facility. Bryansk telegram channels believe that the target of the drone attack could be one of the largest microelectronics manufacturers in Russia, the Silicon El plant. Earlier Thursday, the governor of the Bryansk region reported three drone attacks on the region. All the drones, he claims, were shot down by air defense systems.
Nepotism and threats
Fellow villager Kadyrov, the father-in-law of one of his daughters and the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Chechnya, Ruslan Alkhanov, was appointed to the post of deputy head of Center “E” (the Main Directorate for Combating Extremism of the Ministry of Internal Affairs). Before his appointment as head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Chechnya, Alkhanov headed the security service of Akhmat Kadyrov, the father of the current head of Chechnya. Kavkaz.Realii calculated that about 100 relatives of Ramzan Kadyrov at various times occupied one or another high government position. Lawyer Tatyana Solomina received threats to kidnap her 13-year-old son after she helped her 19-year-old client from Chechnya escape from domestic violence. The young man’s mother called the lawyer and said that when Solomina’s child goes to school, he will be “kidnapped in the same way” as the lawyer, according to the woman, “stole” her son. Two men were arrested in Russia in connection with donations to Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. The day before, security forces conducted searches of them. One of them, Gleb Kalinichev, was arrested in Nizhny Novgorod, and the second, Muscovite Ilya Startsev, was transported to Orel. They are accused of financing an extremist organization. A court in Moscow sentenced 21-year-old student from Astrakhan Gleb Verdiyan to six years in prison for treason. He became the youngest person convicted under this article in Russia. What became the reason for accusing the young man of treason was not reported in court. Verdiyan’s trial was held behind closed doors. Two Nizhny Novgorod residents were sentenced to five and seven years in prison for attempting to set fire to a military registration and enlistment office. According to investigators, Nizhny Novgorod residents received a proposal to set fire to local military registration and enlistment offices from “unidentified representatives of the Ukrainian special services.” For this they were allegedly promised to pay $3,500 in cryptocurrency. The arson never took place, but both received real sentences. A court in Abakan sentenced journalist Mikhail Afanasyev to five and a half years in prison in the case of “fakes” about the Russian army “using his official position.” The reason was a publication about 11 OMON officers who refused to fight in Ukraine. Read more about the publication and the case here. In Tver, a court sentenced 33-year-old businessman Sergei Kabanov to 12.5 years in prison on charges of treason. He was arrested in Moscow in 2021. Why is unknown, but according to Kabanov himself, the case is connected with his work “in the development of the aerospace industry” and relations with the United States. Vecherniye Vedomosti from Yekaterinburg was fined 245,000 rubles for “discrediting” the Russian army. The reason was 15 publications about anti-war protests in February last year, for which the publication had already been fined last year. Roskomnadzor blocked more than 885 thousand websites in the first half of 2023. This is 85 percent more than in the same period last year.
Exploits of Russians in the USA
A US court sentenced Russian businessman Vladislav Klyushin to nine years in prison in a case of insider trading worth tens of millions of dollars. According to the prosecution, he and his partners in 2018–2020 traded securities of public companies based on material non-public information about the income of these companies. The most interesting thing about this is that Klyushin is the owner of the media monitoring system for the Putin administration.
The United States has added 11 Russians to its sanctions list who are suspected of cybercrimes against American authorities. All of them were associated with the hacker group Trickbot. She was involved in the development and implementation of computer viruses that were used to steal financial data.
News from Ukraine
A Ukrainian court has brought a new charge against oligarch and billionaire Igor Kolomoisky: he is suspected of embezzling about $250 million from Privatbank. According to investigators, the bank was “artificially obliged to pay” more than 9.2 billion hryvnia to an offshore company controlled by the businessman. In Ukraine, female doctors may be prohibited from leaving the country. They will be required to register for military service from October 1, which is why they may be restricted from traveling abroad in the same way as men. The son of Dmitry Medvedev was appointed curator of the portal “I am in Russia” – that is, “State Services” for the territories of Ukraine occupied by Russian troops. Ilya Medvedev became the coordinator of the project on the part of United Russia, which he joined in June 2022. With the help of this portal, the Russian authorities intend to speed up the issuance of Russian passports to residents of the occupied territories of Ukraine. A court in the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” sentenced Ukrainian military man Konstantin Sychak to 26 years in prison. He was accused of allegedly committing war crimes in Mariupol. This is not the first sentence that Russian-controlled authorities have passed on the Ukrainian military. And here is more information about the persecution of Crimean Tatars in Crimea.
A little more about autocracies
In Belarus, a resident of Novopolotsk was fined for taking a photo of a white dog in a red jumpsuit. The court found her guilty of “unauthorized picketing,” considering this combination of colors to be an allusion to the symbol of protest, the white-red-white flag. According to investigators, she published a photo of the dog on Odnoklassniki with the caption “Long live Belarus!!!!! No violence!!!”
And here is an analysis of why China under Xi Jinping is unlikely to overtake America – and what the slowdown in the Chinese economy will mean for the rest of the world.
Five million denunciations. How political denunciations have returned to Russian public life and why Russians write them. Against imperialism. Interview with sociolinguist Vlada Baranova about ideal language policy, minority languages in schools and the prestige of native languages in Russian regions. How to understand terrorism from the inside. Philosopher Ivan Pyatakov explains in an essay about the paradoxical combination of archaic rituals and technological progress in modern terrorist attacks. Stories about the extraordinary. Translator Alexander Storozhuk talks about the life and work of Pu Sun-Ling, the legendary collector of fantastic stories, as well as the miracles, obsessions and career hardships of Old China. Body cult. How art has influenced our relationship with the body and physicality. The many faces of Baba Yaga. Film critic and specialist in the history of animated films Marina Belyaeva talks about the history of the development of the image of Baba Yaga in Soviet and Russian animation.