Post by TsarSamuil on May 14, 2015 18:45:40 GMT -5
US money destroys civil consciousness, claims United Russia MP.
RT.com May 14, 2015 13:24
The boost in US spending on Russian NGOs can be described as “aggressive humanitarian intervention,” the head of the State Duma Security Committee has said.
“This money is destroying civil consciousness, they organize informational provocations and teach technologies that can destroy the nation’s sovereignty and security,” MP Irina Yarovaya said in comments published on the United Russia party’s website.
She made this statement after mass media reported that the US National Endowment for Democracy spent over nine million dollars on support of Russian non-government groups in 2014 alone.
“Ukraine is the most vivid example of their ‘successful democracy’ – with all the murders of civilians, an anti-constitutional coup and the rehabilitation of Nazism,” the lawmaker added.
Yarovaya also noted that Russian citizens had the right to know which groups got paid for bringing foreign political technologies to their country and the so called law on foreign agents rightfully demanded the disclosure of this information.
According to public opinion research published last week, 59 percent of Russians currently perceive the United States as a general threat, up from 47 percent in 2007. Of these, 48 percent said the United States was purposefully creating various barriers in order to hinder Russia’s development, 31 percent said they feared a US military invasion on Russian territory and another 31 percent thought the US was imposing alien ideas and values on their country through non-military means.
Post by TsarSamuil on May 14, 2015 18:47:06 GMT -5
Justice Ministry seeks probe into Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia movement - report.
RT.com May 14, 2015 10:41
The Russian Justice Ministry has asked prosecutors to check the Open Russia public movement for ties with former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and foreign sponsorship, a business daily claims.
According to Vedomosti, the ministry’s request was made after a letter from State Duma MP Aleksandr Sidyakin, who represents the conservative majority United Russia party. In late April this year, he asked law enforcers to check if the Open Russia public movement could be categorized as a foreign agent and, if so, to see that it duly registers as such.
He explained his enquiry by the fact that Russian mass media had reported that Open Russia had received funding from abroad and taken part in the political life of the country – these two conditions legally require any group to register as foreign agent.
Vedomosti quoted an unnamed source in the State Duma as saying that the current situation with the Open Russia movement could be explained by the fact that it is not officially registered as a legal entity and therefore it has never come under the Justice Ministry’s radar.
Russian law allows the formation of political movements with a minimum set of documents approved at a founding convention. The activities of such groups are regulated not by the Justice Ministry, as in the case of registered political projects, but by the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The Open Russia NGO was founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his close allies in 2001. After the demise of his YUKOS oil company and the subsequent judicial process the organization ceased to exist. When Khodorkovsky was released in December 2013 and left the Russian Federation the organization was re-launched as a network structure aiming to assist the “Europe-oriented part of the Russian society.” Open Russia’s website claims it was formed “on Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s initiative,” but says nothing about the sources of its funds.
Khodorkovsky’s lawyer Andrey Drel said in press comments that Open Russia would register as soon as it becomes engaged into any activities that require such move. He emphasized that so far there has been no need to do so.
Post by TsarSamuil on May 21, 2015 11:34:43 GMT -5
Duma passes bill allowing expulsion of undesirable foreign organizations.
RT.com May 20, 2015 10:01
Russia’s lower house has given final approval to a bill that, once signed into law, will prohibit the activities of foreign groups if prosecutors recognize them as threatening to Russia’s security or defense potential.
The bill was drafted jointly by two opposition MPs – Aleksandr Tarnavsky of the Fair Russia party and Anton Ishchenko of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. Formally it is a set of amendments to the 2012 Federal law ‘On measures of influence on persons involved in violation of basic rights and freedoms of Russian citizens’.
The fresh draft charges the Prosecutor General’s Office with the task of creating an official list of “undesirable foreign organizations” and outlaw their activities in the country. For this, prosecutors must consult with the Foreign Ministry and the complete list must be made public by the Justice Ministry. The main criterion for putting a foreign or international NGO on the list is “the threat to the Constitutional order and the defense capability or security of the Russian State.”
Once the group is recognized as undesirable all its assets in Russia must be frozen, offices closed and distribution of any of its information materials must be banned.
If the group chooses to continue its activities in Russia despite the bans the law orders to impose administrative fines on those who continue to work with it. Private persons can be fined between 5,000 and 15,000 rubles ($1000-$3000), officials will pay between 20,000 and 50,000 rubles and companies will face fines between 50,000 and 100,000 rubles.
Heads of such defiant NGOs will face criminal prosecution and fines of between 300,000 and 500,000 rubles or up to six years behind bars. Ordinary staff members who continue to work for an undesirable group despite being brought to administrative responsibility twice within 12 months with face similar criminal responsibility.
The bill has already raised a wave of criticism among foreign NGOs and Russian rights community. Mass media reported that when interpreted broadly the new rules could oust all major rights organizations from Russia – including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others. HRW already called the bill “strangling” and “a draconic advance on civil society” in an official release.
The chairman of the Presidential Council for Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov described the new bill as “exotic” and said that many foreign groups were “shocked” by it.
The sponsors of the bill, however, have repeatedly denied that it was prepared against some particular groups and described it as more of preventive measure.
Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on the new bill on Tuesday evening, adding that Vladimir Putin would consider the document when it is officially submitted to him for signing.
“We never present any preliminary position,” Peskov told reporters.
The Upper House of the Russian Parliament – the Federation Council – passed the bill on undesirable groups on Wednesday.
The new bill can be seen in line with the ‘Foreign Agents Law’ introduced in Russia in late 2012. According to that act, all NGOs who receive funding from abroad, and that are even partially engaged in political activities, must register as foreign agents or risk substantial fines.
In November, last year the Foreign Agents Law was expanded with a bill that makes it illegal for Russian political parties to receive sponsorship, or enter any business deals with NGOs with ‘foreign agent’ status.
Putin signs bill on ‘undesirable foreign groups’ into law.
RT.com May 25, 2015 09:52
The Russian president has signed a bill banning the activities of foreign groups that pose a threat to national security or defense capability, and to punish those who continue to cooperate with such groups.
The bill, initially drafted by two opposition MPs, was passed by both chambers of the Russian parliament last week. It tasks the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry with creating a proscribed list of “undesirable foreign organizations” and to outlaw their activities in the country. The main criterion for putting a foreign or international NGO on the list is a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability, or the security of the Russian state.”
Once the group is recognized as undesirable, all its assets in Russia must be frozen, its offices closed and distribution of any of its information materials must be banned.
If the group does not comply with the ban, its leaders and members would face punishments ranging from administrative fines to prison sentences of up to six years for repeated and aggravated offenses. Russian citizens and organizations that continue to work with banned groups would face administrative fines only.
The new law faced criticism from foreign NGOs and the Russian rights community when it was first drafted. The chairman of the Presidential Council for Human Rights, Mikhail Fedotov, described the new law as “exotic,” and said that many foreign groups were “shocked” by it. Another member of the council, lawyer Aleksandr Brod, said in comments to the media that the new law was redundant, as there were enough ways in existing legislation to ensure national security and prevent foreign interference with Russian domestic politics.
The European Union and the United States have officially expressed their concern over the new Russian law. The US State Department said in a statement that the move banning cooperation with various foreign groups could bring about the isolation of the Russian people from the outside world.
Russian officials have not yet reacted to these accusations. Previously, the sponsors of the bill, however, have described it as a preventive measure and denied that it was targeting any specific foreign organizations.
The new law is in line with the “Foreign Agents Law” introduced in Russia in late 2012. That law specifies that all NGOs who receive funding from abroad, and that are even partially engaged in political activities, must register as foreign agents or risk substantial fines. Groups with “foreign agent” status are banned from sponsoring Russian political parties, but otherwise their activities are not restricted.
New Russian law against foreign NGOs dubbed 'crackdown'
IN THE NOW May 25, 2015
Moscow has tightened screws on foreign NGOs in Russia. A new law targets so-called "undesirable foreign organizations". Undesirable - means that they pose threat to Russia's constitutional order, defense capability or security. Once a group is recognized undesirable its offices must be closed, assets frozen and distribution of its information materials must be banned. And one MP have already sent a request to check Carnegie Foundation, Transparency International, Human Rights Watch and so on. Surely not the smartest move when so many players are waiting for Russia to slip up. Really bad timing for the law to come up and then there is this guy who makes it even worse. Politicians in the US and the EU condemned the law, hardly any mainstream news outlet missed a chance to report on it. But what's they'll never tell you is why the Russian government is doing this. Or give you background. The Open Democracy foundation by George Soros supported protests in Macedonia and has been deeply involved in Ukraine's politics. There's also National Endowment for Democracy - an American government group - which funds NGOs worldwide.
Last Edit: May 26, 2015 13:44:03 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on May 27, 2015 15:21:11 GMT -5
Russia should ‘exclude international norms’ from its laws top investigator urges.
RT.com May 27, 2015 09:55
The head of Russia’s top federal investigation agency has said that Russia should follow the examples of Western nations and exclude the norms of international law from its legislation.
“I scanned through the constitutions of all 43 European nations and most of them do not include the generally accepted norms in their national legal systems,” Aleksandr Bastrykin told participants at the St. Petersburg Law Forum. He also emphasized that while the United States had signed only three of 10 major international conventions on human rights, it still claimed it was protecting these rights all over the world.
Bastrykin also elaborated on his recent suggestion to change the Russian Constitution, so as to exclude it from recognizing the precedence of international laws. He said it was wrong to take it as a suggestion to stop executing signed international agreements. “I only said that the generally accepted norms of international law should not be included in the national legal system. This principle works in many states,” the official noted.
Another principle of law Russia could borrow from foreign nations is criminal responsibility for legal entities, the head of the Investigative Committee told the forum’s participants. However, he said he wasn’t suggesting prison terms for businessmen but stricter rules concerning material compensation for damages.
Bastrykin suggested legally fixing the primacy of Russian law in the Constitution in late April this year in an extensive interview with government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta. He also blamed Boris Yeltsin’s US advisers for including the principle of the superiority of international law over domestic in Russian legislation. Bastrykin proposed this move could be construed as legislative sabotage against Russia.
Communists want Soros Foundation branded ‘undesirable’ group.
RT.com June 04, 2015 11:31
Two senior lawmakers from the Communist Party caucus have asked Russian prosecutors to use the recently introduced law on “undesirable” foreign groups against George Soros’s Open Society organization.
“The anti-Russian activities of Soros’s foundation must be recognized as undesirable before they assume the destructive forms that we could observe in Ukraine, Georgia and other countries,” MPs Valery Rashkin and Sergey Obukhov said, appealing to the Prosecutor General.
The Communist leaders claimed that the Open Society NGO had conducted “persistent anti-Russian activities for decades and that it happened both in Russia and in other countries. They said that the group was allegedly promoting hatred against Russians in Ukraine and also launched some “proxy subversive operations” in the Russian Federation.
In particular, the two MPs blamed George Soros’s NGO for the destruction of the Russian education system, manifested in the much-criticized system of single state exams for schoolchildren as well as underfinancing of schools and institutes.
The Law on Undesirable Foreign Groups that came into force earlier this week charges the Prosecutor General’s Office together with the Foreign Ministry with the task of creating an official list of “undesirable foreign organizations” and outlaw their activities in the country. The main criterion for putting a foreign or international NGO on the list is “the threat to the Constitutional order and the defense capability or security of the Russian State.”
Once the group is recognized as undesirable all its assets in Russia must be frozen, offices closed and distribution of any of its information materials must be banned. Violating the bill is punished with heavy fines both for the personnel of the banned organizations and Russian citizens who cooperate with them. A repeat offense can carry up to six years in prison.
From the moment it was drafted, the new law was sharply criticized by the Russian rights community, foreign NGOs and officials. The European Union and the United States have officially expressed their concern over it and warned that the move banning cooperation with various foreign groups could bring about the isolation of the Russian people from the outside world.
The two opposition MPs who originally drafted the bill have described it as a preventive measure and denied that it was targeting any specific foreign organizations.
The Open Society Institute, also known as the Soros Foundation after its main sponsor, US billionaire George Soros, has worked in Russia since 1995 and financed many projects in the humanitarian and educational spheres. In 2003, the organization stopped issuing direct grants and announced that it had stopped all Russian operations but to this day it maintains representative offices in Russia’s four largest cities – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Novosibirsk.
George Soros has openly admitted that his organizations played a key role in the so called “color revolutions” – forceful regime changes through violent political rallies – in many post-Soviet states, including Ukraine and Georgia.
Earlier this month a group of hackers from Ukraine released some leaked texts that show that Soros was still actively involved in the Ukrainian politics, advocating EU financial aid and military assistance to Ukraine to restore Kiev’s fighting capacity without violating the Minsk peace deal.
Moscow protesters rally against budget cuts in science, education.
RT.com June 06, 2015 17:14
Over 3,000 protesters have gathered in Moscow to call for science and education reforms in Russia, amid budget cuts and the closure of a leading scientific foundation over a “foreign agent” tag.
About 3,500 protesters have gathered at central Moscow’s Suvorov Square demanding the Russian government support scientific research and education by increasing its budget, providing self-governance and autonomy in education and science and to respect academic freedoms.
“We [also] demand an immediate stop to the persecution of science and education organizations, charity funds, as well as other non-profit organizations using the tag ‘foreign agent’ or the equivalent,” the protesters’ resolution said.
Leading scientists, including the head of the Institute for Information Transmission Problems, member of the Public Council of the Ministry of Education Mikhail Gelfand, made speeches at the rally held under the slogan: “No science, no future.”
Opposition politicians such as Aleksey Navalny joined the protests, along with journalists, human rights activists and students.
The protest follows the closure of The Dynasty Foundation after the government branded it a “foreign agent” on May 25, a tag applied to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive funding from abroad and engage in political activities.
Dmitry Zimin, the 82-year-old founder of the organizational and a telecoms tycoon, has argued that he financed the foundation from personal bank accounts located abroad. Shortly after the Dynasty Foundation’s closure he left Russia.
The Dynasty Foundation was established in 2002 as a non-profit organization to aid the development of fundamental scientific research and education, the popularization of science, civic education and help projects in the sphere of culture. The planned 2015 budget for programs and projects of the foundation was 435 million rubles (about $7.7million).
The Ministry of Justice is not going to review its decision unless the organization stops being funded from abroad, said Aleksandr Konovalov, the ministry’s head, as cited by RIA Novosti on Thursday.
The “Foreign Agents Law,” introduced in Russia in 2012, specifies that all NGOs receiving funding from abroad and even partially engaged in political activities, must register as foreign agents. In May, President Vladimir Putin signed a bill banning the activities of foreign groups that pose a threat to national security.
In 2013, Vladimir Putin signed a law to reform the Russian Academy of Sciences, the country’s leading scientific research establishment comprising about 50,000 researchers in over 400 institutions. Under the law, the management of most of the academy’s property was transferred to a new federal government agency.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jun 18, 2015 22:23:44 GMT -5
Chechen leader blames western special services for killing opposition figure Nemtsov.
RT.com June 18, 2015 10:38
Ramzan Kadyrov has told reporters that the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov could have been masterminded by US and Ukrainian special services, with the help of Chechen terrorists.
“I hold that the traces of this crime should be looked for not in Chechnya but in Ukraine’s State Security Service and further in the United States,” Interfax news agency quoted Kadyrov as saying Thursday.
The Chechen leader also said that there were many preconditions, hinting at the possibility that Nemtsov’s murder could have been organized by Adam Osmayev, an ethnic Chechen who was heading one of the volunteer units fighting on the side of pro-Kiev forces in the military conflict in southeast Ukraine. Kadyrov added: “Osmayev has been working for Western special services and he knows very well how to get rid of a person who causes problems.”
“The organizers of the murder used Nemtsov for their own purposes and then killed him, and now they are seeking to shift the blame on somebody,” Kadyrov explained.
The Chechen leader also told reporters that his own murder was ordered by Adam Osmayev’s father Aslambek Osmayev back in 2004.
Kadyrov categorically ruled out that he himself or any of his subordinates had been involved in Boris Nemtsov’s assassination. “There are claims that I have once said that Nemtsov must be killed. But this is not true! Why would we kill him? What had he done to us? Was he causing us any obstructions? He even did not visit us for a long period of time – I last saw him in Gudermes [the Chechen town] 14 years ago.”
Kadyrov also said that he knew nothing about the investigation of Nemtsov’s murder except for the information provided by relatives of the suspects and their lawyers.
Adam Osmayev was detained in Ukraine in February 2012 on charges of organizing a deadly bombing in Odessa and preparing an attempt on the life of Vladimir Putin, ordered by Chechen terrorist Doku Umarov. Russia demanded extradition of Osmayev but Ukrainian law enforcement turned it down. After the start of conflict in the Donbass, media reports said that Osmayev replaced the killed commander of the “Dzhokhar Dudayev Battalion” – a mercenary unit manned largely by ethnic Chechens fighting on the side of the Ukrainian military.
Earlier this year, Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda quoted an unnamed source in the Federal Security Service as saying that investigators consideredOsmayev to be the main suspect in organizing the killing of Boris Nemtsov. The source added that one of the people detained on suspicion of carrying out the hit had been “closely connected” with Osmayev, and that the two men met many times and talked a lot by phone.
Boris Nemtsov was one of the leaders of the Russian opposition party RPR PARNAS who was shot dead in central Moscow in February in an apparent contract hit. About a week after the killing, Moscow police detained five people and charged them with both organizing and carrying out the attack. The investigation into the case continues.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jun 26, 2015 16:07:09 GMT -5
FM Lavrov on Primakov: The passing of a great Russian diplomat.
RT Jun 26, 2015
Evgeny Primakov, a Soviet and Russian statesman, who held several senior governmental posts at various points in his career, has died at the age of 85.
Russia: Yevgeni Primakov laid to rest.
Ruptly TV Jun 29, 2015
Patriarch Kiril I of Moscow led prayers for the deceased Russian Statesman Yevgeni Primakov, at the Novodevichy Convent, Moscow, before joining with Russian President Vladimir Putin to lead a procession in Primakov's honour, Monday. The president was joined by members of the State Duma, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Last Edit: Jun 29, 2015 15:29:11 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Putin’s approval rating hits historic high at 89 percent.
RT.com June 24, 2015 14:37
Russian independent pollster, the Levada Center, says the share of Russians who are happy with Vladimir Putin’s work as president has reached 89 percent, which is his highest-ever approval rating.
The poll was conducted over the period June 19-22, with the Levada Center releasing its results on Wednesday.
The number of Russians who expressed dissatisfaction with Putin’s work was 10 percent.
Sixty-four percent think the current policies of the Russian authorities are correct – also the highest in history.
Sixty-six percent of responders said they approved of Dmitry Medvedev’s work as prime minister and 33 percent expressed disappointment with it. At the same time, the government in general has earned the approval of 62 percent of Russians and the disapproval of 37 percent.
The Lower House of Parliament was less popular, with 54 percent of those polled approving the MPs’ actions and 44 percent saying their efforts weren’t good enough.
When researchers asked the Russian public to name five or six politicians they trusted most, Putin again ranked first with 64 percent of responders naming him their favorite. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu was second with 28 percent and third place was split between PM Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who each garnered 21 percent.
Opposition party leaders claimed significantly less – only 11 percent of Russians said they trusted the head of the Communist Party Gennadiy Zyuganov, nine percent gave Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovskiy the nod, and just four percent said they trusted the head of the Fair Russia party, Sergey Mironov.
At the same time, 9 percent of responders said they trusted no politicians at all and 13 percent answered they had no interest in politics.
Putin’s previous record-high rating was registered in mid-March this year, when it reached 85 percent. In March, the Levada Center said their research indicated Putin would win the presidential elections in the first round if they were held over the next weekend. According to sociologists, 57 percent of Russian citizens were ready to cast their votes for Putin. Among those who said that they knew for sure who they would support, this share was even higher at 80 percent.
When Russians were asked who they would like to see elected when the actual ballot is due (in March 2018), 57 percent replied they would be happy if Putin is reelected. Twenty-five percent said they would prefer someone else and 19 percent found it difficult to make a choice.
Putin’s approval ratings have been constantly rising since the beginning of last year and in December an overwhelming majority of citizens named their president the “Man of the Year”, when they chose from serving Russian politicians.
Foreign Ministry praises law banning undesirable foreign groups in Russia.
RT.com July 03, 2015 09:58
Russia’s deputy FM has told senators that the recently introduced law allowing automatic bans on groups that pose a threat to national security was a necessary step, adding that many such NGOs were in reality funded by foreign governments.
“We hold that the passing of the law on undesirable organizations was without any questions a step in the right direction,” Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said at the Friday session of the Federation Council. He added that the new law was a significant and much-needed follow-up to the “Foreign Agents Law” passed in 2012.
Gatilov also said that a long time ago the Russian Foreign Ministry had noticed that many organizations working abroad as NGOs were in reality funded by their home country’s governments.
At the same time, the deputy minister stated that recognizing certain organizations as undesirable must happen only after serious joint work of several state agencies, and such moves should target only particular groups, with detailed explanations at every step.
Next week, the Upper House of the Russian Parliament is scheduled to look into the list of organizations that can be listed as undesirable, according to prosecutors’ decisions. Russian media has reported that the preliminary list includes 15 groups, but has not disclosed any names.
The bill on undesirable foreign organizations was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in late May. The new law allows the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to create a proscribed list of “undesirable foreign organizations,” making the activities of such groups in Russia illegal. The main criterion for putting a foreign or international NGO on the list is a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability, or to the security of the Russian state.”
Non-compliance with the ban can be punished by administrative penalties, and for repeated and aggravated offenses can carry prison sentences of up to six years. Russian citizens and organizations that continue to work with banned groups would face administrative fines only.
Foreign and international NGOs, as well as the Russian domestic rights community, criticized the new law as “exotic” and “shocking,” while the European Union and the United States have officially expressed their concern over the new Russian law. The US State Department said in a statement that the move banning cooperation with various foreign groups could bring about the isolation of the Russian people from the outside world.
Russian politicians who had prepared and promoted the bill replied that it was more of a preventive measure and it was not targeting any particular organizations.
The so-called “Foreign Agents Law” introduced in late 2012 orders all NGOs engaged in Russian politics and receiving any funding from abroad to register as foreign agents or risk substantial fines. Groups with “foreign agent” status are banned from sponsoring Russian political parties, but otherwise their activities are not restricted.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jul 10, 2015 16:57:57 GMT -5
Upper house approves first list of 12 ‘undesirable’ foreign groups.
RT.com July 08, 2015 10:55
Russia’s Federation Council has released a list of foreign organizations it plans to declare ‘undesirable’. The 12 entries in the document include the Soros Foundation and the US National Endowment for Democracy.
The upper house approved the list on its Wednesday session and forwarded the document to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry. Speaker Valentina Matviyenko told reporters that it had been created out of reports from regional authorities that are concerned about alleged subversive activities by certain organizations. She also noted that the proposed version of the document is subject to change.
Matviyenko emphasized that the inclusion of the anti-Russian groups on the blacklist would make their work transparent and clear for local authorities, political and non-government organizations.
“Today Russia faces its strongest attack in the past 25 years, targeting its national interests, values and institutes,” reads the Federation Council’s address to state agencies. “Its main goal is to influence the internal political situation in the country, undermine the patriotic unity of our people, undermine the integration processes within the CIS space and force our country into geopolitical isolation,” the senators state in the document.
The first list created in accordance with the recently-introduced law ‘On Undesirable Foreign Organizations’ includes foreign and international groups “known for their anti-Russian bias.”
They are: the Open Society Institute, also known as the Soros Foundation; the National Endowment for Democracy; the International Republican Institute; the National Democratic Institute; the MacArthur Foundation; Freedom House; the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; the Education for Democracy Foundation; the East European Democratic Center; the Ukrainian World Congress; the Ukrainian World Coordinating Council; and the Crimean Field Mission on Human Rights.
The head of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, told reporters that very often the groups who posed as NGOs were working on orders from government structures of foreign nations with the objective of countering Russia’s interests.
The Law on Undesirable Foreign Organizations came into force in early June this year. It requires the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to make an official list of undesirable foreign organizations and outlaw their activities. Once the group is recognized as undesirable, all its assets in Russia must be frozen, offices closed and distribution of any of its information materials must be banned.
If the ban is violated, both the personnel of the outlawed group and Russian citizens who cooperate with them face punishments of heavy fines, or even prison terms in case of repeated or aggravated offence.
Just days after the law came into force two senior Communist Party MPs asked the Prosecutor General to use it against George Soros’s Open Society organization. The lawmakers blamed the group for “persistent anti-Russian activities both in Russia and in other countries,” in particular for promoting hatred against Russians in Ukraine via the destruction of the Russian education system.
Justice Ministry to add Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia NGO to list of undesirable groups - report.
RT.com July 09, 2015 11:29
A new Russian list suggesting 12 undesirable foreign organizations will soon be expanded to 20 groups and include the Open Russia NGO sponsored by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Izvestia daily reports.
In an article published on Thursday, Izvestia quoted unnamed, high-placed sources in the Upper House as saying the Justice Ministry is preparing amendments to the “stop-list” approved by the Federation council and had forwarded it to the Prosecutor General’s office on Wednesday.
The added groups will include the Ford Foundation, the Jamestown Foundation, the Eurasia Foundation, and the Albert Einstein Institute. The Justice Ministry is also seeking a ban on the Russian activities of the Open Russia association, created and sponsored by former oil tycoon and staunch opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the sources said.
“This will not be the end, the network of foundations that implement the politics of the US State Department is quite ramified and our list will be expanded,” added the high-placed Upper House official.
The head of the Federation Council’s International Relations Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, said in comments that the creation of the stop-list was “a start of the public discussion and not its end” and stressed that the whole project was not targeted against Russia’s civil society or its partners abroad. The senator said the main objective of the new law was to “create a barrier against the forces that openly demand regime change in Russia.”
In May, the Justice Ministry initiated the prosecutors’ probe into the Open Russia public movement in order to clarify its ties with former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and foreign sponsorship. In April, MP Aleksandr Sidyakin, who represents the parliamentary majority United Russia party, asked law enforcers to check if the Open Russia public movement could be categorized as a foreign agent, and, if so, to see that it duly registers as such.
However, any legal action against the group is complicated by the fact that it is not officially registered as a legal entity and therefore it has never come under the Justice Ministry’s radar.
The Open Russia NGO was founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his close allies in 2001. After Khodorkovsky was tried and sentenced for large-scale tax evasion, the organization ceased to exist, but when the former Yukos boss was pardoned and released in December 2013, Open Russia was re-launched as a network structure aiming to assist the “Europe-oriented part of Russian society.”
The Law on Undesirable Foreign Organizations came into force in early June. This stipulates that the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry make a list of undesirable organizations and outlaw their activities, including the distribution of information materials or any cooperation with Russian citizens or legal entities. Violation of the ban is punishable with heavy fines, or even prison terms in cases of repeated or aggravated offences.
As events in Syria have proved, Russia is the biggest block on the endless war lobby’s plans for world domination, which is why the removal of Putin and his replacement with a marionette who will do exactly what the neocons want is their overriding objective.
However, the chances of them achieving their ambitious goal are as slender as was the prospect of Saddam Hussein’s WMDs turning up in Iraq. The new neocon instigated ‘Cold War’ on Russia, which was supposed to weaken the Russian economy and lead to Maidan-style anti-government protests in the country, has actually boosted President Vladimir Putin’s popularity, as new polls show.
The approval ratings of the man who Western neocons have demonized for the last twelve years is at record levels - with almost 90 percent of Russians saying they had a positive view of the president.
Support for President Putin’s foreign policies is also strong - with 70 percent supporting him on Ukraine.
It’s not only Putin’s popularity that is the stumbling block to neocon plans for ‘regime change’. The main opposition to Putin and his United Russia party, are not pro-NATO, pro-Israel ‘liberals’, but the Communist Party, which is the second most popular party in the country.
Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov polled over 17 percent in the last presidential election, while the Communists won 92 seats in the 450 State Duma elections in December 2011.
The Communists have urged Putin to be even more assertive against those they regard as Russia’s enemies. In May 2013, they called for Russia to convene a meeting of the UN Security Council after Israel had illegally bombed Syria.
“Syria is not the first, and obviously not the last victim of the global expansion of the US and its NATO allies. Events of the past twenty years show that Russia is also in the crosshairs. Therefore, our country borders’ protection passes through the Syrian cities, which have now become the scene of fierce fighting. The Russian side should not turn a blind eye to the subversion of America and its satellites directed against our allies,” the Communist Party Central Committee statement declared.
The serial regime changers in the West are faced with a situation that the most credible opposition to the person they want to see toppled would actually follow policies that they would hate even more.
So what do they do? With breathtaking disdain for the views of the Russian people, they completely ignore the fact that the Communists are the second largest party in Russia - and instead portray so-called ‘liberals’ - who have minimal levels of popular support (currently around 1 percent), as the ‘democratic opposition’.
The neocon line is: ‘in the name of democracy, the parties whose views are the most unpopular with the electorate, should be running Russia.’ Their interpretation of the word ‘democracy’ is beyond Orwellian.
“Although ‘regime change’ has become a dirty phrase, the best thing that could happen to Russia, its neighbors and the world would be a change from Vladimir Putin’s brand of strongman authoritarianism to some form of democracy,” opined Alexander Motyl in Newsweek in January. The article first appeared on the Atlantic Council’s blog.
So, in other words, the man with sky-high approval ratings needs to be toppled, so someone much less popular can rule Russia. And all in the name of spreading “democracy”!
In any case, the neocon plans for promoting their form of undemocratic democracy in Russia face another big stumbling block, namely Russia’s foreign agents law. This legislation requires all NGOs which receive funding from abroad and that engage in political activities to register as ‘foreign agents’. Russian political parties are also forbidden to receive sponsorship or enter into any business deals with NGOs that have ‘foreign agent’ status.
This makes the possibility of a foreign-funded ‘color coded revolution’ in Russia much harder to pull off. Neocons, needless to say, don’t like the law:
The neocon plans for regime change in Russia predate the current Ukraine crisis and the conflict in Syria. They be traced back to 2003 when it became clear that Vladimir Putin would stand up for Russia’s legitimate interests, in contrast to the more compliant Boris Yeltsin. The first post-Perestroika president stood by, vodka bottle in hand, and brown envelopes in pocket, as NATO illegally bombed Yugoslavia and Western-supported oligarchs plundered the country, impoverishing millions of ordinary Russians in the process.
As I argued in a previous Op-Edge, the turning point was the action taken against corrupt oligarchs who had strong links to the West.
Rebuilding the economy and improving living standards for ordinary Russians inevitably meant action being taken against certain oligarchs, who had made vast fortunes in the Yeltsin years. These oligarchs, such as Boris Berezovksy and Mikhail Khodorkovsky had powerful supporters in the West. As I detailed in an article for the New Statesman in November 2003, influential neocons in Washington, who had links to Russian oligarchs, used the arrest of Khodorkovsky for fraud and tax evasion to push for a hardening of US policy towards Moscow.
The arrest of Khodorkovsky led to neocon calls for sanctions on Russia - calls which were to be repeated over the following years. This anti-Putin crusade was ratcheted up to a new level when Russia had the temerity to block ‘regime change’ plans for Syria.
In his article ‘How war on Syria lost its way’, former CIA officer Ray McGovern told of how he was in the same CNN studio as two uberhawks Paul Wolfowitz and Joe Lieberman, after the US’s plans to bomb Syria in 2013 had been dropped.
McGovern described the atmosphere as “distinctly funereal.”
“I felt I had come to a wake with somberly dressed folks (no pastel ties this time) grieving for a recently, dearly-departed war.”
After Damascus avoided airstrikes, a wave of full-on attacks on Russia appeared in the elite media. British ‘left’ neocon Nick Cohen, who in 2012 had written a piece on Syria entitled ‘Russia is playing Western democrats for dupes’ complained that Putin had made Barack Obama “look like a conman’s stooge.”
His thoughts echoed those of Michael Weiss, who, writing for the ultra-neocon Henry Jackson Society in 2012, berated the Obama administration for “still trying to woo the Kremlin” after Russia had vetoed two attempts to pass a UN Security Resolution “condemning the Assad regime.”
Ukraine was where the neocons sought to get their revenge for being thwarted on Syria. As I argued in an earlier op-edge piece: “The US sponsored regime change in Kiev, an enterprise in which the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, the wife of the Project for a New American Century co-founder Robert Kagan, played a prominent role, finally enabled the hawks to get what they been dreaming of for over 10 years – the sanctioning of Russia. The ‘get tough with Russia’ stance they’ve long been calling for has finally become the official policy of the US and leading EU countries. The demonization of President Putin in the West has become ‘mainstream’.”
Neocons were banking on sanctions leading to mass protests against Putin’s rule. But as we see from the polls the opposite has occurred and Putin is more popular than ever. The bullying of Russia has only made the Russian people more determined than ever not to do what the Western hawks want.
The question is now - what will the neocons do next? There have been calls for even tougher sanctions on Russia - sanctions that would ban Russia from the SWIFT banking system.
In February, an editorial entitled “No More Appeasement” in the Rupert Murdoch owned Times, Britain’s most hardline neocon newspaper, declared its support for “tougher sanctions than those already in force.” Meanwhile, Victoria Nuland warned a few days ago that “the costs will go up” for Russia if violence increases in Donetsk and Lugansk, although of course she did not mean violence initiated by Kiev, or violence between the Kiev authorities and the Right Sector.
However, the problem for Ms Nuland and the London Times is that European countries are itching for sanctions on Russia to be eased, not intensified, as their economies are hurting due to counter-measures taken by the Kremlin. How much longer will leading Western Europeans companies allow their profits to be hit because a bunch of political extremists have an obsession with toppling Putin? And how much longer will European governments sign up to a sanctions policy clearly not in their countries’ interest?
Some believe that fanatical neocons would even go as far as provoke war with Russia to get their way.
“The most determined push for war in 2015 will come from neocons and interventionists who want a US-Putin confrontation and regime change in Russia,” warned America paleoconservative commentator, Patrick J. Buchanan earlier this year.
Certainly, during the worst of the fighting in Ukraine, it has seemed that escalation is what some in the West desired. “Putin must be stopped. And sometimes only guns can stop guns” was the title of a bellicose piece by Timothy Garton-Ash. who praised the serial warmongering US Senator John McCain for spurring on US Congress to pass the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which allocated funds for the supply of military equipment to Ukraine.
It’s worth noting though that neocons like to attack countries that are weak and not ones that are strong. Iraq got ‘Shock and Awe’ not because it possessed WMDs, but because it didn’t. Libya was vulnerable because its defenses were weak and Muammar Gaddafi had surrendered his WMDs. Russia, by contrast has a large nuclear arsenal, up-to-date conventional weaponry, and 771,000 active military personnel.
A neocon-instigated military attack on Russia is unlikely, but we can’t rule it out completely, given the fanaticism of the people we are dealing with. In December, Robert Parry wrote of the insanity of the neocon-driven regime change scheme to take down President Putin.
“What we’re seeing here is the usual step-by-step progress towards a neocon regime change scenario, as the targeted foreign ‘demon’ fails to take ‘reasonable steps’ dictated by Washington and thus must be confronted, with endless escalations, all the more severe to force the demon to submit or until ultimately the sufferings of his people creates openings for ‘regime change’”.
Perry warned that “the future of the planet” was at stake if Western efforts to ‘regime change’ in Russia continue.
Veteran award winning journalist John Pilger has warned of a ‘new holocaust’ if the serial warmongers aren’t stopped. “Their man in Moscow used to be Boris Yeltsin, a drunk who handed his country’s economy to the West. His successor, Vladimir Putin, has re-established Russia as a sovereign nation, that is his crime.”
A few days ago the New York Times published an op-edge by Yelstin’s former Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, entitled ‘Russia‘s coming regime change’. Kozyrev said that regime change was “inevitable, maybe imminent.” But polls showing the country’s leader with 90 percent approval ratings don’t really back that assessment up.
Despite all their obsessive efforts, pulling off a regime change in Russia does look too big a project even for the neocons. The Russian people don’t wish to the return to the 1990s, and they quite clearly don’t want a neocon-approved puppet to lead them. And Russia is ready and able to defend itself if the nightmare scenario of war does come to pass - just take a look at the pictures of the Victory Day military parade if you have any doubts.
As to how we can end the ‘new Cold War’, it’s not up to Russia to change its stance, as it has done nothing wrong, but the neocons in the West… What part of ‘Nyet’ don’t these people understand?
Post by TsarSamuil on Jul 28, 2015 17:09:50 GMT -5
US National Endowment for Democracy labeled ‘undesirable’ group under new law.
RT.com 28 Jul, 2015 13:53
Prosecutors have recognized NED’s activities in Russia as undesirable and undermining national security after the US NGO spent millions on attempts to question the legitimacy of Russian elections and tarnish the prestige of military service.
According to the release published on the Prosecutor General Office’s website deputy head of the agency Vladimir Malinovsky on Tuesday signed the decision to recognize as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation all activities of the foreign non-government organization the National Endowment for Democracy. On the same day this decision was forwarded to the Justice Ministry that must now include NED in the list of undesirable foreign organizations.
Prosecutors added in their report that the decision was based on the analysis of the endowment’s recent work. This analysis showed that it controlled some Russian commercial and non-commercial organizations and used them in campaigns aimed at recognizing the results of Russian polls illegitimate, influencing the authorities’ decisions through political actions and discrediting of the Russian military forces.
The release reads that in 2013 and 2014 the National Endowment for Democracy rendered $5.2 million in financial aid to its Russian partners. According to RBC the endowment itself has earlier reported that in 2014 alone it satisfied 95 Russian applications for aid amounting to $8.4 million.
The National Endowment for Democracy, founded in 1983 on Ronald Reagan’s initiative, is sponsored by the US Congress and sees its main task as helping the democratic institutions all over the world. The Russian Justice Ministry has earlier recognized this organization as the most active provider of various grants in politics and politics-related spheres, such as sociology or political research.
The NED was also included in the very first draft of the ‘patriotic stop-list’ – the document approved by the Russian upper house that names the groups that the senators see as potential threat to security and want to be probed and, if these suspicions are confirmed, officially declared undesirable.
The bill on undesirable foreign organizations was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in late May. The new law allows the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to create a proscribed list of ‘undesirable foreign organizations’, making the activities of such groups in Russia illegal. The main criterion for putting a foreign or international NGO on the list is a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability, or to the security of the Russian state.”
Non-compliance with the ban can be punished by administrative penalties, and for repeated and aggravated offenses can carry prison sentences of up to six years. Russian citizens and organizations that continue to work with banned groups would face administrative fines only.
As the sponsors of the bill faced criticism from the domestic and international rights community, they replied that it was more of a preventive measure and it was not targeting any particular organizations.
In early July the Federation Council released a list of foreign organizations it plans to declare ‘undesirable’. The 12 entries in the document include the National Endowment for Democracy, the Soros Foundation, Freedom House and other major US-sponsored groups as well as two Ukrainian organizations.
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 15, 2015 11:11:22 GMT -5
They are criminal organizations, don't really matter whether they'd participate in politics, they should be banned regardless!
‘Anti-Maidan’ activists seek Russian ban on Hells Angels, Bandidos.
RT.com 14 Aug, 2015 11:04
A Russian conservative movement has asked the authorities to recognize two major US-based motorcycle clubs as ‘undesirable’ groups, saying bikers could be used by foreign forces to push a ‘color revolution’ upon the country.
The Anti-Maidan movement addressed the upper house Committee for Constitutional Legislation, saying the activities of the clubs “that name themselves Hells Angels and Bandidos” are already banned in many countries and suggesting that Russia follow suit. The address also said members of these clubs were violating Russian laws and that they were among active participants of violent events on the Independence Square in Kiev that led to the change of government in Kiev, and eventually to the military conflict in the southeast of Ukraine.
The Russian activists warned that bikers from the two clubs can be used as the main physical force in an attempt to launch a ‘color revolution’ in Russia.
The ‘Anti-Maidan’ movement was founded in January 2015 in Moscow by a group of social activists to counter the ‘color revolutions’ that they believe could pose a threat to Russia’s security and its very existence. The name is derived from the Ukrainian word Maidan, which originally meant ‘city square’, but is now being used to describe anti-government protests seeking regime change.
The address to the Federation Council was signed by two anti-Maidan leaders – politician and writer Nikolay Starikov and Aleksandr Zaldostanov, the head of the openly pro-Putin Russian Night Wolves motorcycle club. Last year Zaldostanov and his club were included in the US and EU sanctions lists over their alleged role in the reunification of Russia and Crimea (the Russian bikers held several festivals in Sevastopol both before and after this event).
On Thursday, Russian Senator Andrey Klishas asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to launch a probe into the activities of Hells Angels and Bandidos so that the authorities could make a decision about whether to recognize them as undesirable.
Russian business daily Kommersant on Friday published an interview with a Russian member of the Hells Angels MC presented as ‘Ivan the Hippo’, who blasted Zaldostanov’s address as complete lies and “behavior not worthy of a gentleman.” He also suggested that the real motive behind the motion could be competition between Hells Angels and Night Wolves.
The bill on undesirable foreign organizations was introduced in Russia in late May this year. The new law allows the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to create a proscribed list of “undesirable foreign organizations,” making the activities of such groups in Russia illegal. The main criterion for putting a foreign or international NGO on the list is a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability, or to the security of the Russian state.”
Non-compliance with the ban is punishable by administrative penalties, and for repeated and aggravated offenses can carry prison sentences of up to six years. Russian citizens and organizations that continue to work with banned groups face administrative fines only.
In July, the Federation Council made up the list of first 12 undesirable foreign organizations that include the National Endowment for Democracy, the Soros Foundation, Freedom House and other major US-sponsored groups as well as two Ukrainian organizations. In comments Russian officials said that the list would be further expanded.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 1, 2015 12:38:44 GMT -5
Nationalist party Motherland launches ‘Tiger’ youth movement, pledges support to Putin.
RT.com 31 Aug, 2015 15:49
Rodina, or Motherland, a re-registered conservative nationalist party, has announced the creation of a youth wing called TIGR, which is Russian for tiger but also an acronym formed from the Russian words traditions, empire, state and motherland.
The Motherland Party held a news conference dedicated to the creation of the new movement in an underground bunker in central Moscow that was built in 1950s as a shelter against a nuclear strike but was re-opened as a public attraction in the mid-1990s.
The congress approved the candidacy of 27-year old Vladimir Laktyushin as the head of the TIGR youth movement. The leader of the new movement said that the place of the press conference was deeply symbolic.
“This is not an ordinary bomb shelter, this is a place from which an order was to be made about a reciprocal strike in case of a foreign invasion. And we hold that such an order has been given when [Russian President] Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s future depended on the younger generation,” Laktyushin told reporters.
“We are following this call. Woe to those who will try to stand in our way and attempt to take a place in the Russian ruling bodies through their usual methods of slander, manipulations and black PR. We will not be shy and we will not remain silent because internal enemies are the worst enemies,” the TIGR leader said.
“Russia has always been, is and will always remain an empire. We have no other way with all our resources, vast territories and a great number of peoples and ethnic groups populating our country.”
Laktyushin also told reporters that the name and the emblem of the new youth group had been developed together with Dmitry Rogozin, who currently occupies the post of deputy prime minister in charge of the defense industry, but previously was a co-founder of the Rodina party and the Congress of Russian Communities movement, which unifies organizations of ethnic Russians abroad.
The particular initiatives of the new movement outlined at the conference included some sports programs and a nationwide poll to legislatively define the meaning of the white blue and red stripes on the Russian tricolor flag. They also pledge to take care of monuments and memorials, and to recruit Russian football supporters to take part in political initiatives.
The Motherland party first existed in Russia between 2003 and 2006, when it was dissolved due to insufficient representation in regions under tougher laws on party registration. After the registration of political parties was made easier again in 2012, the party was among the first to re-register and now is the most popular non-parliamentary party in the country, according to some polls.
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