Hello, dear readers!
The President of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Samvel Shahramanyan signed a decree on the termination of its existence from January 1, 2024 and the dissolution of all state institutions. Shahramanyan’s adviser and former foreign minister of the self-proclaimed NKR David Babayan decided to surrender to the Azerbaijani authorities. Previously detained on the border with Armenia, the former Russian billionaire and former head of the NKR government Ruben Vardanyan was arrested in Azerbaijan: he was charged with financing terrorism, creating illegal armed groups and illegally crossing the border (at least 12 years).
70.5 thousand refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh arrived in Armenia – this is more than half of the Armenian population of the region, here are photographs from the border, here is a report on what is happening. No one can predict what the policy of the Azerbaijani authorities will be towards the Armenians who decide to stay.
On Thursday night, Russia fired 44 Shahed missiles into Ukraine, 34 of which were shot down; The Ukrainian authorities decided not to say where those who were not shot down ended up. On Thursday, five people became victims of Russian shelling of Kherson, as well as Krasnohorivka and Konstantinovka in the Donetsk region, and six more were injured.
The NATO Secretary General, as well as the defense ministers of France and Great Britain, visited Kiev: they talked about the prospects for the Ukrainian offensive, the needs of the army and strengthening the air defense system. According to military analyst Michael Kofman, the most that Ukraine can achieve in the current offensive is the capture of Tokmak (what are the chances, described here); The West, in his opinion, became stronger in the idea of a protracted war and began planning its stages. As part of this process, the German authorities allowed the arms concern Rheinmetall to engage in the maintenance of military equipment and the production of weapons in Ukraine, the training of Ukrainian pilots began in the United States, and the European Union extended measures to protect Ukrainian refugees until March 2025 (how is the attitude towards refugees from Ukraine in the Czech Republic changing, read here).
Iran and Russia are agreeing on the supply of Iranian long-range missiles – they could begin after October 18, when UN Security Council restrictions on Iranian weapons expire. How the Russian authorities recruit labor migrants from Central Asia for the war is described here, and regarding the Cubans, it turned out that their recruitment was carried out by the leading researcher of the Volga region branch of the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a member of the Expert Council under the Russian government, Vladimir Shkunov – this is his area of scientific interests. Another great scientist, president of the National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” and Putin’s friend Mikhail Kovalchuk proposed “at least once” to test nuclear weapons on Novaya Zemlya so that “everything would fall into place” and the Americans would “agree.” Read about how Russian propaganda invents the exploits of military personnel killed in Ukraine for internal use here.
Putin signed a law declaring September 30 – the day of the annexation of four regions of Ukraine in 2022 – an official memorial date, and met with Kadyrov: they discussed that there are no problems in the “republic”, and agreed on the construction of a mosque in South Butovo (how this meeting could be associated with the publication of a video in which Kadyrov’s 15-year-old son beats a prisoner in a pre-trial detention center, explained in this podcast). The State Duma adopted in the first reading a bill on five-year sentences for “justifying and promoting extremism” (not to be confused with “justifying terrorism”). It is expected that the new article of the Criminal Code will be used to combat independent media, although it seems that there are none left. A court in Khakassia liquidated the publication “New Focus”. Its editor-in-chief, Mikhail Afanasyev, was imprisoned for 5.5 years on charges of spreading “fake news” about the Russian army. Here is an interview with the wife of the editor of the Dagestan publication “Chernovik”, sentenced to 17 years for “terrorism”. A court in Tyumen arrested Omsk activist Anton Kovrik in the case of donations to Navalny. Previously, he was included in the Rosfinmonitoring list of extremists and terrorists. Why Kovrik had to be transported from Omsk to Tyumen for this remains a mystery. Investigators managed to persuade one of the defendants in the “Tyumen case” to cooperate, in which six anti-fascists from Yekaterinburg, Surgut and Tyumen are accused of creating a terrorist community to carry out sabotage and arson (everyone was tortured after their arrest to extract a confession of guilt). Now, on the basis of the confession of the broken one, everyone else will be convicted, and the “organizer of a criminal community” could receive life imprisonment. The ECHR awarded three defendants in the Network case compensation for torture after detention, but Russia no longer implements ECHR decisions. Former Kommersant journalist Ivan Safronov, sentenced to 22 years in a treason case, was returned to his former colony from the Krasnoyarsk tuberculosis hospital, rather than transferred to a new one (probably, the transfers took place in order to prevent him from seeing his family). Vladimir Kara-Murza, serving 25 years in an Omsk colony, was sent to a punishment cell for the second time in a row. Here, the founder of the Sitting Rus’ Foundation, Olga Romanova, explains why political prisoners began to be put under so much pressure.
Around the world
Ukraine was elected to the IAEA Board of Governors along with ten other states. The council handles financial matters, safety regulations and appoints the head of the agency. The Belarusian Ministry of Defense again stated that the Polish helicopter “violated the state border” several times; Poland again denies this. A court in the Brest region sentenced psychologist Alesya Lyantsevich to 3.5 years in prison for donations to the BYSOL and ByHelp foundations, made before they were recognized as “extremist formations,” and insulting Lukashenko, expressed in the words “complete clown.” A court in Switzerland found former Belarusian SOBR fighter Yuri Garavsky not guilty of the disappearances of Lukashenko’s opponents in 1999–2003. Previously, Garavsky told reporters that he participated in the murders of former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus Yuri Zakharenko, former head of the Central Election Commission Viktor Gonchar and his friend Anatoly Krasovsky. The Latvian Seimas approved the national security concept, which envisages the closure of Russian-language media funded from the state budget by the beginning of 2026. The Lithuanian authorities demanded that owners of cars with Russian license plates take them out of the country within six months. In Sweden, the prosecutor requested a five-year sentence for Russian and Swedish citizen Sergei Skvortsov, accused of transferring Western technologies to the Russian military. Skvortsov, who was arrested last November, has lived in Sweden since the 1990s and runs import-export companies. Three people were killed in a shooting in Rotterdam, including a 14-year-old girl. The alleged killer has been detained. On Thursday night in Tashkent there was a powerful explosion in a warehouse near the airport. One person was killed by a door torn out by the blast wave, and 163 people were injured (mostly from glass). Authorities say lightning struck the warehouse where electric vehicles and spare parts were stored. A more realistic version has not been put forward, that is, nothing is known.
Genocide. An excerpt from Iris Chan’s book “The Nanjing Massacre” (Peter publishing house) and Arthur Grand’s story about this very sensational book. Inequality. An article by sociologist Tamara Kusimova about the mechanisms of reproduction of inequality in modern Russia. Or a fragment from the monograph by Canadian historian Jeff Sahadeo “Voices of the Soviet Borderlands. The life of southern migrants in Leningrad and Moscow” (UFO publishing house) – about racism in the late USSR. Languages. An excerpt from the book by linguist Sverker Johansson “The Dawn of Language. The path from monkey chatter to human speech” (Bombora publishing house) about the diversity of languages and their universal properties. Or a conversation with Tatar language teacher Aidarlm Shaikhin about the translation of “Harry Potter”, Tatar literature and language protest.