Russia: Sobchak joins Muscovites to commemorate slain opposition leader Nemtsov.
Ruptly Mar 16, 2018
Dozens of people, including presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, gathered in Moscow on Friday near Boris Nemtsov's former home to honour him.
Nemtsov's son, Anton Nemtsov, put up a plaque reading: "Outstanding politician Boris Nemtsov, who was killed on February 27 2015, lived in this house" on the wall of Malaya Ordynka street 3. Anton Nemtsov stated the opposition leader "deserves to be memorialised."
Sobchak explained that the ceremony was held on March 16 "for only one reason. Only yesterday, on March 15, did we get all the people living in this house to agree to place this plaque exactly on the house where Boris Nemtsov lived," she said.
Former Russian Deputy-Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was shot down while walking along the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge on 27 February 2015. The murder site later became a makeshift memorial.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 18, 2018 10:44:32 GMT -5
Ukraine bars Russians from voting in presidential election.
RT.com 18 Mar, 2018 07:04
Ukraine is barring some 72,000 Russian citizens on its territory from voting in Russia’s presidential election, over the issue of reunification with Crimea. Moscow has slammed the move as "direct interference" in its affairs.
Two days before the Russian presidential election kicked off, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced that police and the National Guard would prevent Russian citizens living in the country from casting ballots at diplomatic missions. Only those who hold diplomatic passports would be allowed in the buildings, Avakov warned.
“Any other persons and Russian citizens will not be allowed onto the territory of the diplomatic missions,” he wrote on his Facebook page. It comes in retaliation to Moscow’s decision to hold voting in Crimea, despite a request by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry not to, Avakov said.
Crimea rejoined Russia in 2014 following a referendum that showed overwhelming support for reunification amid a violent coup that ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and foreshadowed years of bloodshed in the east of the country. The date of the presidential vote, March 18, marks exactly four years after the peninsula reunited with Russia. Ukraine considers Crimea to be “temporarily occupied territory” and elections there as violating Ukrainian law.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned Ukraine’s decision, saying that the steps taken by Kiev “contradict not only the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular relations, but also international human rights norms, including the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) of 1950.” Hindering Russian citizens' access to the polls constitutes “direct interference” into Russian domestic matters, it said.
The ministry also reminded Kiev that even at the lowest points of Russia-Ukraine relations, Moscow never infringed on the rights of Ukrainian citizens to take part in parliamentary and presidential elections, including in votes that brought the current Ukrainian administration to power.
Ukraine also called on other countries, including EU states and Turkey, not to accept the results of the presidential election in Crimea and introduce sanctions against those involved in their organization. The Russian Foreign Ministry said such calls were “puzzling,” adding that “Russia does not need the regime in Kiev to recognize its elections.”
Moscow expects the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), as well as other influential international organizations to take note of Ukraine’s stance.
Russians are voting on Sunday, March 18, to elect one of eight candidates: Pavel Grudinin (Communist Party of the Russian Federation), Vladimir Putin (independent), Ksenia Sobchak (Civic Initiative), Vladimir Zhirinovksy (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia), Sergey Baburin (All-People's Union), Maxim Suraykin (Communists of Russia), Boris Titov (Party of Growth) and Grigory Yavlinsky (Yabloko).
Some 72,000 Russian citizens in Ukraine are eligible to vote in the presidential elections, according to the Russian Electoral Commission. The diplomatic missions that would normally allow them to cast their ballots are located in the cities of Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa and Lvov.
Last Edit: Mar 20, 2018 12:09:35 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 20, 2018 12:06:23 GMT -5
Russian Central Election Commission comes under cyberattack.
RT.com 18 Mar, 2018 09:25
There is an ongoing cyberattack on Russia’s Central Election Commission, targeting its information center, the body’s secretary has said. The commission’s website earlier came under a DDoS attack from 15 countries.
“We are registering what is in fact a cyberattack on our information center,” the commission’s secretary, Maya Grishina, said.
The Civic Chamber’s website observing the election was down after a DDoS attack, RIA reported, adding the problem is now over.
The commission’s website was also attacked soon after voting began. A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack peaked between 2am and 5am on Sunday, chairperson Ella Pamfilova said.
The attack originated from 15 countries, according to Pamfilova.
The State Automated System Vybory (‘Elections’) cannot, however, be exposed to any cyberattacks, since it’s not connected to the global network, Pamfilova said. “It’s impossible to reach it,” she added. When all the ballots have been counted after polling stations close, the data will be punched into the system, along with the information from the ballot boxes with scanners and fully electronic voting devices.
The head of the state corporation Rostelecom, Mikhail Oseyevsky, earlier said that cyberattacks on various Russian websites surged in the days prior to the election. On Saturday, Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor and online news outlet Lenta were attacked.
Vladimir Putin decisively re-elected as Russian president after 99% of votes counted.
RT.com 18 Mar, 2018 18:02
Incumbent Russian leader Vladimir Putin has secured a landslide victory in the presidential election with over 99% of the ballots counted.
Vladimir Putin is now leading with 76,6 percent of the vote, Ella Pamfilova, head of the Russian Central Election Commission. Pamfilova announced the preliminary results during a news conference on Monday morning.
With 99.83 percent of the vote counted, first-time Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin is running second with 11.9 percent. Heavyweight nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who first ran against Boris Yeltsin in 1991, rounds out the top three with 5.66 percent.
The Central Elections Commission (CEC) has now 10 days to tally the final vote, Pamfilova announced.
None of the other five candidates managed to receive more than two percent of the vote.
Pamfilova has said that there were no major violations during the vote, and that only “minor and local complaints” were received.
Shortly after the first results were announced, Vladimir Putin addressed his supporters at a massive anniversary rally in Moscow’s Red Square, marking Crimea's reunification with Russia, and talked to reporters in his election campaign HQ. He thanked his backers and answered questions on the hottest political issues.
Putin was first elected to the Kremlin in 2000, and again four years later. Constitutionally barred from serving more than two consecutive terms, he did not run in 2008, the same year presidential terms were extended from four years to six years. Putin won 63.6 percent of the vote in 2012, and, if the early results are confirmed, he will now stay in his post until 2024, the year he turns 72.
Last Edit: Mar 20, 2018 14:40:37 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 20, 2018 12:15:22 GMT -5
Navalny accuses Sobchak of running in exchange for 'tremendous sum of money'
RT.com 18 Mar, 2018 19:09
As two Russian politicians discussed the future after the presidential election, their discussion quickly turned into a confrontation, with both sides accusing each other of lies, hypocrisy and betrayal of the liberal cause.
The scandal developed when Ksenia Sobchak, the former socialite and now glossy magazine editor, proposed that Aleksey Navalny, the anti-corruption blogger turned opposition activist, should cooperate with the new political party that she wanted to launch. Sobchak tried to win Navalny’s sympathies by reminding him that she also built her political platform around numerous allegations of corruption in the higher echelons of Russian power.
The response was quick, harsh and unambiguous. “Everything that you have just said are just empty words,” Navalny said in a conversation that was broadcasted live on Youtube. “I don’t want to be a part of a cartoonish opposition that you are painting now together with Putin."
The activist went on to describe all of Sobchak’s latest activities as “despicable and hypocritical” and then, while still live on internet broadcast, he said that a few months ago Sobchak visited him at home and told him and his wife, Yulia, that she had been offered “a tremendous sum of money” for agreeing to participate in the presidential elections and that she did not know what to do.
“This is not true, you are lying right now,” Sobchak parried and told her version of the event, in which she asked Navalny to join an opposition coalition and put forward a joint candidate in the presidential polls.
“All of these are lies from the beginning to the end, you were used to turn even more people away from the opposition,” Navalny replied, before calling Sobchak “Putin’s tool.”
The head of Russia’s Central Election Commission has said that the results of the March 18 poll had been canceled in seven districts across the country, citing deliberate provocations as the reason.
“At present, the voting results have been canceled in seven elections districts,” Ella Pamfilova told reporters on Tuesday, adding that some of the violations were deliberately prepared stunts. “These were provocations of falsifications,” she said. The seven districts are located in four regions across the country: in Dagestan, Tymen, Kemerovo and in the Moscow Region.
Pamfilova said that the violations had been uncovered by monitors who worked at the elections. She also noted that all polling stations were equipped with CCTV cameras that duly recorded the incidents, but the monitors’ work still helped to address the problem quicker.
She used the Tuesday press conference to address other public monitors with a request to “stir the information garbage” and “separate the wheat and the chaff” when dealing with media reports about violations at the polls. She recalled a ridiculous but serious incident in which an opposition NGO released a report and a video about a violation that allegedly took place in Irkutsk, Eastern Siberia.
In the video, a man dropped two ballots into a ballot box at once, which is against the rules. The report has already started to cause a stir over the internet when users noticed that the alleged violation took place well before the elections actually started. Further investigation reportedly showed that the video was made well in advance, and was heavily doctored to achieve the desired sensational effect.
“Call the liars liars and slap the hands of those who cheekily lie,” Pamfilova said in a message to the public elections monitors.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 27, 2018 14:31:18 GMT -5
Don't bring back Medvedev..
Putin re-elected as Russian president, Election Commission declares polls valid.
RT.com 23 Mar, 2018 08:08
Russia’s Central Election Commission has announced the final results of the country’s presidential election, after declaring the vote valid.
According to protocol signed by the commission members on Friday, Vladimir Putin has claimed 76.69 percent of the vote, winning his next term as Russian president. Putin’s candidacy was supported by 56.43 million voters.
Communist Party candidate, Pavel Grudinin, came second on 11.77 percent, with LibDem leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky claiming third spot on 5.65 percent. They were followed by Ksenia Sobchak (1.68 percent), Grigory Yavlinsky (1.05 percent), Boris Titov (0.76 percent), Maxim Suraykin (0.68 percent), and Sergey Baburin (0.65 percent).
Putin has already mapped out his main priorities for the forthcoming presidential term, saying that the domestic agenda will be of “primary importance.” The president plans to work on improving the living standards of the Russian citizens by promoting innovation and economic growth.
Maintaining Russia’s defense capabilities will also remain among his priorities, he said, but promised that “there will be no increase in spending, no arms race.” In Wednesday’s phone conversation with Donald Trump, during which the US president congratulated Putin on the win, the two leaders agreed that a new arms race would be “undesirable,” the Kremlin said.
As for the composition of his future government, Putin said that he will announce changes after his inauguration
Putin thanks voters for “greatest support in modern Russia’s history”
RT.com 23 Mar, 2018 10:09
President Vladimir Putin has thanked all Russians for re-electing him, promising deep and stable positive changes in everyone’s lives, and asking political opposition to abstain from populism in their criticism of authorities.
In an address that was broadcast soon after the Central Election Commission announced the official results of the March 18 presidential poll, Vladimir Putin said that over 76 percent of voters had backed him for a new term, which was the largest-ever support for a presidential candidate in modern Russian history.
Putin recalled his previous addresses to voters, which he had made immediately after elections. He said they had been right and timely but added that, given such a tremendous level of support, he considered his previous expressions of gratitude insufficient.
“I feel the need to address you directly, address all those who voted for me across the country, address all Russian people. I think that this high level of engagement, your responsible position, such consolidation – these things are extremely important, especially given our current circumstances, as we face serious challenges, both domestically and internationally,” Putin said.
The president stated that he was aware of the numerous problems that Russian society and its individual members had to face, and said citizens’ complaints were “absolutely justified.” However, he said that he saw his high result at the polls as an appreciation of some achievements recorded over the past years.
Putin said that he felt tremendous personal responsibility for promises made in the course of his latest election campaign, but noted that it would be irresponsible of him to pledge that citizens would immediately feel the changes for the better. He noted that Russia and its people needed some deep and irreversible changes that would steadily produce positive results in the present and in the future.
He promised to boost the economy, reduce the unemployment rate, and increase the average personal income, as well as developing national infrastructure, healthcare and education on the basis of a “powerful technological breakthrough.”
The president emphasized that all decisions would be made in the interests of the nation. “I’d like to underline that our development agenda is nationwide in scale, with consolidation at its core. It should unite all of us,” he said.
He also addressed the Russian opposition, saying that he understood the logic of political competition and the need for debates and discussions. At the same time, he asked all Russian politicians and activists to abstain from “irresponsible populism,” and asked them to understand that the fate of Russia was a common concern for all of its people. “I'm absolutely certain that working together we will achieve great success,” the president stated.
Putin inaugurated as Russian president (FULL VIDEO)
RT Streamed live on May 7, 2018
Vladimir Putin is inaugurated in Moscow for his fourth term as president of the Russian Federation, marking the start of a six-year term. The presidential election was held on March 18, 2018, when Putin was re-elected with 77 percent of the vote.
Russian parliament approves Medvedev as prime minister.
RT.com 8 May, 2018 14:10
The Russian Lower House has approved Vladimir Putin’s longtime ally Dmitry Medvedev as cabinet chairman for a new term, despite opposition from leftist parliamentary caucuses.
Of 433 lawmakers, present at the Tuesday session of the State Duma, 374 voted in favor of Medvedev’s candidacy and 56 voted against. There were no abstentions. Earlier, representatives of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the center-left party Fair Russia said they would not support Medvedev’s nomination for the post as they considered the cabinet’s performance over the past years as 'extremely poor'.
Less than an hour after the Duma vote, Vladimir Putin signed a decree that appointed Dmitry Medvedev as the head of the government.
In accordance with Russian law, Medvedev’s government was dismissed after Vladimir Putin was sworn in as president on Monday, but all of its members continue to work until the new cabinet is formed. Also on Monday, Putin nominated Medvedev as prime minister, and the State Duma set the vote for Tuesday.
Dmitry Medvedev, 52, chaired the Russian government for the duration of Putin’s previous presidential term, from 2012. Before that, he served as Russian president for four years while Putin headed the government.
After being confirmed as prime minister, Medvedev has a week to present to the president his proposals on the structure of the new government, along with candidates for major cabinet posts. He already named several candidates for deputy positions at a Monday meeting with leaders of the parliamentary majority party United Russia.
Medvedev said he wants to expand the powers of Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and make him deputy PM in charge of economic development. Former Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov is poised to become deputy PM in charge of the defense industry. The head of the Russian Audit Chamber, Tatyana Golikova, has been nominated as deputy PM in charge of social policy, labor and healthcare, replacing Olga Golodets who, in turn, will be appointed deputy PM in charge of culture and sports.
Other nominations include: former Agriculture Minister Aleksey Gordeyev, who is set to become deputy PM in charge of the agricultural sector; the deputy PM in charge of integration of the Crimean Republic, Dmitry Kozak, will become deputy PM in charge of industry and energy. The former sports minister and deputy PM in charge of sports issues, Vitaly Mutko, will oversee the construction sector and regional policies.
Medvedev noted that he is only proposing candidates for key posts in the government now and will nominate others later.
Russia reforms government, introduces digital development ministry.
RT.com 15 May, 2018 21:13
While the names of the ministers inside the new Russian government are yet to be announced, its structure will undergo subtle but potentially impactful transformations, after a decree was signed by Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, which oversees not only data technology, but also the mass media in Russia, will be transformed into the ministry of digital development. According to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who will keep the post he has occupied for the past six years, the new ministry will drive “Russia’s digital agenda – something that is relevant for the world as a whole at the moment, and specifically to this country.” Previously many of the functions for adopting technology – both for the government, and population as a whole, were undertaken by different departments. That the new body should maintain its predecessor’s mass media remit seems fitting in the current era of digital news consumption.
Since the last Russian government was formed, similar ministries have been introduced in the UK, France and other European states, though there is no such separate ministry in the US.
The Ministry of Education and Science will be split into its two constituent parts. The new science department will be tasked with fulfilling Russia’s ambitious plan to become a top-5 country in scientific publications by 2024, and to create 15 world-class research and development centers, which was voiced in a blueprint published by Putin following his inauguration.
According to Medvedev, one of the ministries will be focused on basic school and specialized technical education, while the other will bring universities, science and industry closer together.
Meanwhile, an additional agency will be created to oversee educational standards – raising them was another one of Putin’s stated aims – that will respond directly to the government, but will not be part of the new ministries.
The number of deputy prime ministers, who serve either as super ministers responsible for entire spheres of government policy, like Dmitry Rogozin, who curated defense and space during the last government, or special task tsars, will go up from nine to ten. Their exact identities, to be announced by next week according to Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, will give pointers to the direction of the Russian government until 2024.
Putin signs decree on new government with all candidates proposed by Medvedev.
RT.com 18 May, 2018 10:43
President Vladimir Putin has approved all candidates for senior positions in the new Russian government, who were proposed earlier today by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Most key positions in the new cabinet remain with the same outgoing ministers, such as the experienced and popular Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.
However, there are new faces in several portfolios, including the Communications Ministry, Emergencies Ministry, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Transport, Ministry for Open Government, Ministry for Development of the Caucasus Region, and the Ministry for Development of the Far East Region.
“These are all known people with good working experience who have performed well in previous posts,” Putin said, after discussing the new government with Medvedev. The president also asked the prime minister to personally oversee the process of replacing several officials as quickly as possible. “Yes, we will definitely do this. In the nearest future, we will introduce all of the new ministers to their ministries’ collectives,” Medvedev replied.
President Putin signed a decree detailing the new government structure last Tuesday. The new cabinet has 22 ministerial posts instead of 21, as the Ministry of Education and Science was split into its two constituent parts. The Ministry of Telecoms and Mass Communications, which oversees the digital sector of the economy and the mass media, will be transformed into the Ministry of Digital Development. In addition, Russian trade missions abroad were transferred from the Ministry of Economic Development to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in a bid to boost exports.
The number of deputy prime ministers, who oversee the execution of major national programs and whole sectors of the economy, increased from nine to 10. However, this did not change the overall size of the cabinet, as the additional deputy PM will combine the post with that of the finance minister.
Shortly after the presentation, Russian news agencies reported that Vladimir Putin had approved all ministerial candidates and signed a decree on the new Russian government. At the talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which also took place on Friday, Medvedev said that the new cabinet had been formed and was able to function.
Funding NGOs & stirring dissent: Russian special commission exposes election meddling by US.
RT.com 31 May, 2018 02:50
A special commission report on foreign meddling in the 2018 presidential election has been unveiled in Russia’s Upper House. The document highlighted the main methods of the elaborate campaign, spearheaded by the US.
The report, presented on Wednesday in Russia’s Upper House (the Senate), was prepared by the Commission for State Sovereignty Protection in cooperation with leading experts and analysts. The publicly available document was presented by the head of the commission, Senator Andrey Klimov.
The document pinned the blame for the meddling in Russia’s election directly on Washington, linking the ongoing surge in hostile activities with the domestic political struggle in the US. Attempts to interfere in internal Russian affairs, however, are not new, as they have been going on since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The US has been the “main violator of international law” since the founding of the United Nations, and has “interfered more than 120 times in the affairs of 60 countries on all continents.” Washington’s closest allies – the UK, Germany, France, NATO, and European countries – are also to blame, since they either participate directly or support US activities, according to the document.
“We tried to show… the areas in which the subversive work took place. We’ve named 10 such areas. We have concrete examples for all of them based on absolutely reliable facts. It’s not someone’s guess, it’s not ‘highly likely,’ it’s something we can prove anywhere, it is backed up by testimonies, documents and it is, by great margin, not disputed by the other side [the US],” Klimov said at a press conference, which followed the hearings in the Upper House.
The main purpose of the commission’s report, according to Klimov, is to show the public – both Russian, and international – the scale and systematic nature of the efforts to undermine Russia’s “electoral sovereignty.” The ultimate goal of these activities is to force changes of Russia’s political course, destroy its territorial and economic integrity, he said.
Direct election meddling & stirring dissent
The West has been trying to de-legitimize each and every election in Russia, routinely dismissing them as “undemocratic.” Ahead of the 2018 presidential election, both the US and EU condemned the barring of opposition figure Aleksey Navalny from the election. Ignoring his criminal conviction that bars Navalny from running for president, a US State Department representative called it a move to “suppress independent voices.”
The EU foreign office went even further and stated that barring the politician from the election due to “an alleged past conviction” casted “serious doubt on political pluralism in Russia and the prospect of democratic elections.” Such calls for “democracy” completely disregard Russian law and constitute a blatant attempt at election interference. While one may view Navalny’s conviction as they please, it is certainly not an “alleged” but a very real one, Klimov noted.
The election meddling also included wide-scale cyberattacks on government electronic resources, primarily the Central Election Commission. All in all, roughly one-third of such attacks are conducted from US territory, according to the report.
More discreet methods include stirring dissent by intensifying the activities of foreign-based Russian-language media outlets and “independent” bloggers. The use of modern technology and communication methods apparently yielded some results, since the latest protests, while much smaller than those of 2011-13, increasingly attracted younger and even underage activists into the streets.
Generous NGO funding
NGOs operating in Russia have enjoyed a steady flow of funding from abroad, which spiked following the failure to discredit the 2012 presidential election. In 2015, for instance, politically active NGOs received 80 billion rubles (around $1.3 billion) from the US alone, the report says.
Although Russia limited the activities of foreign NGOs within the country, requiring them to openly register as ‘foreign agents,’ the flow of funds did not stop. Various ‘grey’ schemes came into use, such as providing large sums in cash or transferring funds to private individuals. In the meantime, Russia-based subsidiaries of foreign NGOs flourished – their funding in 2017 almost doubled compared to 2016.
The total amount of NGO funding greatly surpasses the upper limit for a presidential candidate’s campaign in Russia. The scale is comparable to the entire budget for holding elections in the entire country, according to the report.
Apart from directly financing “civil activists” in Russia, the US and its allies spent money on more covert activities. Ahead of the election, several unsanctioned socio-political surveys were conducted in Russia, which were sponsored by foreign government structures – including the Pentagon – the report stated.
Targeting top Russian leadership, and Putin personally
A large part of the foreign efforts to interfere in domestic affairs targeted Russian President Vladimir Putin directly. This was observed as early as 2004, but spiked ahead of the 2012 election, according to the report. Then-US Vice President Joe Biden visited Russia and met with opposition figures, and told Putin that he should not run for a new term, since “Russia was tired” of him, the report says.
A similar pattern was seen in the following years, with Putin being portrayed as the only obstacle to the growth and prosperity of the Russian economy, and the man who “deprives the people of the democratic achievements of the 1980-90s.” Apart from smear campaigns, the report said some media also tried to demonize the Russian president in the eyes of the public by exaggerating certain problems to provoke Putin into making “unacceptable mistakes.”
The foreign activities outlined, however, failed to yield any tangible effect on the election, proving not their ineffectiveness, but the strength and stability of Russia’s socio-political system, the report concludes.
The commission prepared a set of recommendations on countermeasures against future foreign meddling, primarily by tightening up the laws. The proposed measures include prohibiting foreign-printed election campaign handouts, banning the participation of non-Russian citizens in the campaigns in any form, and barring dual-citizenship individuals from becoming trustees of candidates.
Other recommended measures include introducing a “special relationship” format with countries that impose sanctions or meddle in Russian affairs.
The recommended measures are not limited to restrictions. The report called for other countries and international organizations to become united in jointly opposing US meddling practices. On the home front, special attention will be given to education work, aimed primarily at young people, who are deliberately targeted with foreign propaganda, Senator Lyudmila Bokova told the press conference. The classified version of the report, according to Klimov, contains additional recommendations for countering foreign meddling.
Last Edit: Jun 3, 2018 4:00:35 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
'Revolutionary’ studies: Pranksters claim Yale told them how it coached Navalny to 'improve' Russia.
RT.com 23 Jul, 2018 13:05
A Russian phone-pranking duo claims to have recorded a call with the manager of the Yale fellowship program, who joked about training revolutionaries and took some credit for making Navalny an opposition figure.
On Sunday, famous Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus released audio which they claim contains a candid conversation with Timothy Stumph, associate director of the Yale Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows Program. The international four-month program is aimed at emerging leaders and was attended by Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny in 2010.
The audio itself is unverified, and it is unclear whether it was edited or not. In what appears to be a 10-minute phone call, the prankster impersonating Polish education minister Jaroslaw Gowin is having a lighthearted chat with the man thought to be Stumph.
“Maybe Navalny became a revolutionary after your program,” the prankster suggested. His interlocutor is heard laughing, saying “I guess we can take a little credit for that. Though, I don’t think Kremlin appreciates that.”
Responding to the question whether Navalny was taught at Yale “to destroy Russia,” the person joyfully said: “I know! Well, hopefully not destroy, but – improve, you can say, yes.”
He seemed to have conceded to the prankster’s assertion that the Yale world fellows program is aimed against Russian authorities. “I’ve given up any hope of ever obtaining a Russian visa at this point. They would never let me into their country,” he laughed.
They also talked about another prominent Russian opposition politician set to attend the program - Leonid Volkov. Volkov, one of Navalny’s closest associates, who worked as his lead campaign manager, was nominated to join by Navalny.
Volkov had earlier confirmed that he will become a Yale world fellow this August. “It’s a very prestigious program. I’m proud that I’ve made it [through the selection process], and hope it will be useful and interesting,” he wrote on his website.
“We have very high expectations for him!” the voice, reportedly belonging to Stumph, told the prankster, adding that he had met Volkov in person and “really liked him.” He explained that Volkov will be trained in “making himself a more effective leader” to help promote the “idea of democracy in Russia.”
The person on the recording further explained that Yale has a strict and exclusive selection process for its world fellows, with just 16 chosen every year out of several thousand applicants. Volkov is “the right person to be doing this, with his background within the Russian opposition,” the voice said.
The pranksters, whose real names are Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, built their career pulling off high-profile pranks with politicians and celebrities, such as US Congresswoman Maxine Waters and British pop star and activist Elton John. Their pranking skills earned them their own show on a Russian TV channel.
Volkov and Navalny rose to prominence in Russia as anti-government campaigners and organizers of protest rallies in Moscow and other cities. Both of them have been arrested several times for violating rules on public assembly.
In 2013, Navalny came second in Moscow's mayoral election, garnering 27 percent of the votes. In 2018, he was barred from running for president because of his suspended sentence in an embezzlement case.
Russian prosecutors brand US group Pacific Environment ‘undesirable organization’
RT.com 24 Aug, 2018 15:05
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has included US NGO Pacific Environment (PERC) on a list of undesirable foreign organizations after determining the group’s work can threaten Russia’s security and constitutional order.
“After studying some materials it had received the Prosecutor General’s Office on August 24 decided to recognize as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation, the work of foreign non-government organization Pacific Environment (PERC) from the USA,” chief spokesman for the agency, Aleksandr Kurennoy, was quoted as saying by TASS on Friday.
“It has been established that the work of this organization creates a threat to the foundations of Russia’s constitutional order and the security of the Russian state,” the official added. The order to put the group on the list of undesirable organizations will now be forwarded to the Justice Ministry where it needs to be registered to come into force.
Founded in 1987, the Pacific Environment group states its primary objective as protecting the living environment of the Pacific Rim. In Russia, its activists have instigated public opposition to several major mining and energy projects in Siberia and the Far East.
Russia introduced the law on undesirable foreign organizations in mid-2015. According to this act the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry have the powers to create a list of “undesirable foreign organizations,” making the activities of such groups in Russia illegal. Violations of this law are punished by civil penalties, but repeated and aggravated offenses can cause criminal prosecution and carry prison sentences of up to six years.
White Cossack: How are you, Nikolov? I heard it's a hot summer in Sweden this year. Do you enjoy it? Regards, Yaroslav
Jul 20, 2018 5:51:43 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Very very hot...sometimes around 31-35...and it has been going on since month of May, everything is scorched yellow and dry, things are dying or dead, this is abnormal summer..must be global warming, usually have rainy dull summers, this feel like south eu
Jul 30, 2018 10:49:17 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: large forest fires, not where I live, but have country-wide BBQ ban..which I find ridiculous...not to enjoy this warm summer? pffft..
Jul 30, 2018 10:50:42 GMT -5
White Cossack: You enjoy it, huh.
Jul 30, 2018 12:41:41 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Bbq is basic slavic right
Aug 3, 2018 10:18:31 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: @ussrstrong: I blame general low activity on social medias, all the people sit there today
Oct 10, 2018 12:53:50 GMT -5
reznik: @proto-Orchid: very true. What's worse, is that the system is designed specifically to keep those people dormant in their echo chambers. Nothing new to learn for them there, just stupid cat videos and such. Sad.
Oct 14, 2018 5:48:26 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Its the substitute for going out, meeting and spending your time with friends in real life. Its just part of the story. When I was younger I remember people were meeting to play team sports, but today you see completely autistic people jogging with iPhone.
Oct 14, 2018 18:18:38 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Then they come back home, put pictures on Instagram or Facebook to show off how they spent their time jogging, and as mental satisfaction they get few likes or hearts, or whatever social medias have today, which is a measure of how good their life is. Sick
Oct 14, 2018 18:21:43 GMT -5
Pan-Slavic Patriot: Sto Latz! Today marks 100 years of Polska! May there be 100 more! Wish I could have gone to the Independence March to celebrate this year, of all years. Theres always the next one to look forward to...
Nov 11, 2018 6:56:57 GMT -5
prawiomir: Hello. : )
Nov 25, 2018 17:19:11 GMT -5
Pan-Slavic Patriot: The latest flare up in the Ukraine-Russia conflict is painful to watch. Two brothers pit against one-another by foriegn elites, for what? Money and power... Sad.
Nov 30, 2018 3:17:07 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Seems like its loosing momentum? lets hope...
Dec 29, 2018 9:15:04 GMT -5
Farm needs Production with alu: To Direktor: Herr Wasilij Rosinov Adresse: Kasachstan, 110 006 Kostanay, ul. Schewchenko, 64 Tel: +7 (3142) 54 09 89 Fax: +7 (3142) 54 65 53 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.ivolga.kz
To Ms. Yuliya Ryaskina Please place this email to concerning Managemen
Feb 27, 2019 23:01:32 GMT -5
Marcinko: Looking for contacts to research Marcinko name in Slovakia.
Jun 3, 2019 0:37:57 GMT -5
White Cossack: Nikolov, my dear.. What's up
Jul 28, 2019 9:08:27 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Bought a 3rd book shelf, for some reason I'm crazy about buying lots of books..
Aug 12, 2019 15:49:41 GMT -5
kooratz: I don't shout , it's considered rude, here in the US. I do shout a few things though, for one, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, IS RUINING OUR NATION!
Sept 13, 2019 20:32:33 GMT -5