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Rights and freedoms in Russia have been restricted to the point that the country is de facto under martial law. This is the conclusion of a new report authored by prominent human rights experts Pavel Chikov, head of the rights group Agora, and Damir Gainutdinov, head of the Net Freedoms Project. Indeed, against the backdrop of Moscow's month-long i…
 
Five weeks ago, 25-year-old contract soldier Albert Sakhibgareyev was in Russia's Belgorod region, several miles from the Ukrainian border, where his brigade was "conducting training exercises." Sakhibgareyev says he and his fellow soldiers would fire "wherever they were ordered to," though what exactly they were firing at was unclear. According to…
 
In the first weeks after Vladimir Putin announced his "special military operation" and invaded Ukraine, tens of thousands of Russians flew to Georgia, despite there being no direct flights there from Russia. Many continued on to other countries, but about 12 thousand have stayed. One of those 12 thousand Russians, reports on what problems these Rus…
 
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the United States and European countries have imposed harsh sanctions against Russia in an attempt to force the country to halt its attacks and withdraw its troops. Russian citizens are already experiencing economic difficulties, including losing their jobs and businesses. Supporters of the sanctions conte…
 
Today, March 24, 2022, marks one month since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to undertake a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. These four weeks have changed the country beyond recognition: Ukrainian cities -- from Kharkiv to Volnovakha, and Mariupol to Kherson -- have suffered widespread damage and destruction from bombardments; more than 3.6 mi…
 
Before the war came to Kharkiv, Pavel Dorogoy specialized in documentary and archival photography, and captured his hometown's architecture. Today, Pavel mainly works as a volunteer, but he continues to document life in the city during the war. In early March, he started taking photos and videos in the subway stations in one of Kharkiv's outlying n…
 
It's been 28 days since Russia went to war against Ukraine. And it's been 12 days since the public has laid eyes on Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. Indeed, as first pointed out by Mediazona journalist Dmitry Treshchanin, Shoigu hasn't appeared in public or in the press since March 11. Original Article: https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/03/2…
 
Russia's war against Ukraine has been raging for almost a month. In that time, the UN Human Rights Office has recorded more than 2,510 civilian casualties in Ukraine: 953 people killed and 1,557 injured. The UN says the actual toll is much higher. During a press briefing on Wednesday, March 23, Meduza's correspondent asked Kremlin spokesman Dmitry …
 
Russia's war against Ukraine has gone on for almost a month now. As pressure from sanctions and other restrictions on the Russian economy grows, Russia's domestic situation is looking worse and worse -- despite the authorities' successful repression of the anti-war movement through threats and arrests. Meduza has learned of recent efforts by the Ru…
 
On March 18, 96-year-old Kharkiv resident Boris Romanchenko, who survived four Nazi concentration camps, died when his apartment was hit by a Russian shell. Romanchenko lived in North Saltovka, a district that's been under fire since the earlier days of the war. According to his granddaughter, his apartment building "burned down completely." Origin…
 
On March 20, mathematician Konstantin Olmezov died by suicide in Moscow. Originally from Donetsk, Olmezov moved to Russia to pursue a career as a mathematician. After Russia invaded Ukraine, Olmezov tried to leave the country, but was arrested and sentenced to administrative detention; after being released, he died by suicide. In his suicide note, …
 
War has completely changed the lives of millions of Ukrainians. While some fight for their country's freedom, millions have been forced to flee abroad as refugees. Others remain in their homes, struggling to survive in wartime conditions and waiting to reunite with their loved ones. Iryna Egorchenko is a 43-year-old community leader in Kyiv, whose …
 
Mariupol has been under siege for more than three weeks. More than 200,000 civilians remain trapped in the city, despite repeated attempts at evacuations. According to the Ukrainian authorities, around 20,000 Mariupol residents managed to flee through a humanitarian corridor on March 15. But a lucky few managed to get out of the city even earlier. …
 
Like other sectors of the Russian economy, the book market hasn't been spared the fallout from Moscow's war against Ukraine and the ensuing Western sanctions. Despite the fact that many competing forms of entertainment are now unavailable to people in Russia, there are few reasons for those in the book business to celebrate. For Meduza, literary cr…
 
Kamran Manafly is a 28-year-old schoolteacher in Moscow. Or rather he was until recently, when he lost his job after refusing to follow state guidelines on how to discuss Russia's "special military operation in Ukraine" with students. The final straw for the administrators was a photograph Manafly shared on Instagram from an antiwar protest where h…
 
Working in exile, Alexey Navalny's team of anti-corruption activists have released a new investigation linking a $700-million superyacht to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The luxury vessel, officially registered to an offshore company in the Marshall Islands, is allegedly crewed by members of Russia's Secret Service (the FSO). Navalny's team pub…
 
Russian troops have been shelling Kharkiv nonstop for over three weeks now. The city's residential areas and historic center are completely destroyed, and necessities like food and medicines are difficult to come by. More than 100 civilians have been killed, while hundreds of thousands of others have fled the city. Meduza spoke to some of the peopl…
 
In early March, the Telegram channel ZaTelecom published several government documents, which seemingly hinted that the Russian authorities were preparing to disconnect the country from the "external" Internet. The authenticity of these memos has yet to be confirmed. At this writing, Russia remains connected to the global Internet -- but could the a…
 
As the war against Ukraine grinds on, Russia's state television networks continue to rack up resignations. Last week, Channel One employee Marina Ovsyannikova staged a one-person antiwar protest on a live news broadcast; special correspondent Zhanna Agalakova resigned from the network at the same time. Shortly after, Dmitry Likin, who has worked as…
 
On March 14, during a live broadcast on Russian state television network Channel One, a station employee named Marina Ovsyannikova ran out on stage behind the news anchor, unfurled an antiwar sign, and shouted antiwar slogans. After the broadcast, Ovsyannikova was immediately arrested; she was later convicted of participating in an unauthorized pro…
 
The war arrived in Kyiv on February 24, the day Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Three weeks later, what's happening on the front lines indicates that Moscow still hopes to take the Ukrainian capital -- Russian forces are still trying to encircle Kyiv (albeit unsuccessfully). Many of the city's residents have fled. Mayor Vitaly Kli…
 
Almost every weekday, Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov holds a briefing where he responds to questions from journalists, including those reporting from abroad like Meduza. Below is an excerpt from Peskov's briefing on March 17. Original Article: https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/03/18/the-traitors-will-disappear-on-their-own…
 
On March 16, Vladimir Putin held a meeting on "socioeconomic support measures for Russia's regions." At the beginning of the meeting, he gave a speech dedicated not just to the war but to a "fifth column" within Russian society -- "traitors" who have a "slavish mentality." Read Meduza's brief retelling of Putin's speech below. Original Article: htt…
 
On March 16, both RT and Radio Sputnik reported that a "founding congress" for "a new governing body" called the "Rescue Committee for Peace and Order" had been held in Ukraine's Kherson region. RT's reporting included a video that shows several people sitting at a table in the regional administration building; one man says that the "current region…
 
After three weeks of all-out war, Ukrainian officials have begun to show "a degree of cautious optimism" about the talks underway with Russia. On March 16, Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych even suggested that Kyiv "should reach an agreement with Russia now or within a week or two." In a special interview for Meduza, Kit journalist …
 
On Tuesday, March 15, the world learned of the deaths of two more journalists in Ukraine. Their car was shot at on March 14 in the village of Horenka, near Hostomel. Original Article: https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/03/18/three-weeks-inBy Nikolai Priser
 
The first photos and videos featuring Russian military vehicles with an unknown marking on their sides appeared on social media several weeks before the start of the war. Most often, it was the letter Z, either inside of a box or without it; there were also V's. The letters were most likely tactical markings referring to Russia's various military d…
 
There's no doubt that the sanctions passed against Russia by the U.S., the EU, and others will have an enormous effect on Russia's economy, while the exodus of international companies from the Russian market will have a significant impact on the country's employment rate. To get a sense of how these changes will affect people's lives, Meduza spoke …
 
It's been two days since Roskomnadzor blocked Instagram in Russia. The agency, which is in charge of telecommunications control and censorship, believes that the social network is filled with "calls to commit violent actions against Russian citizens and military personnel." Russia's Attorney General has called for Meta, Instagram's parent company, …
 
On the first day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, protests broke out across the world. Weeks later, thousands of people continue taking to the streets to demand Russian troops leave Ukrainian territory and stop the war. Many of them use a symbol that began appearing alongside traditional Ukrainian flags in late February: the white-blue-white flag, …
 
On March 15, 2022, in Correctional Colony No. 2 in the town of Pokrov in Russia's Vladimir region, Alexey Navalny was put on trial yet again. Federal prosecutors asked Moscow's Lefortovo court to sentence Navalny, who stands accused of fraud and contempt of court, to 13 years in a maximum security penal colony. Navalny used the opportunity to addre…
 
During a live broadcast on Monday evening, March 14, on Channel One Russian state television, a station employee named Marina Ovsyannikova ran out on stage behind the news anchor, unfurled an antiwar sign, and shouted antiwar slogans. Ovsyannikova managed just a few seconds on the air before the transmission cut away to another segment. She was lat…
 
The town of Volnovakha lies 60 kilometers (almost 40 miles) outside Donetsk. Or rather it used to. On March 11, Russia's Defense Ministry announced that soldiers from the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic had "liberated" the town. Ukrainian officials phrased this a bit differently, saying that Volnovakha no longer exists. Before Moscow's full…
 
Over the last few weeks, thousands of people have fled Russia, hoping to avoid the domestic political, social, and economic consequences of war. But those people are in the minority -- not everyone can leave home and move to a new country with such little notice, no matter how much they might want to. Some people have remained in Russia for family …
 
For over two weeks, Mariupol has been under siege: water, food, medicine, electricity, and means of communicating with the outside world are all scarce. Meanwhile, Russian bombs continue to fall. On March 9, the Ukrainian authorities reported that Russian forces had bombed the maternity wing of the city's Hospital No. 3. Kyiv later announced that t…
 
The millions of families spread across Russia and Ukraine now find themselves on opposite sides of a war. And in recent weeks, many on the Ukrainian side of the border have learned the hard way that their relatives in Russia would rather believe the Kremlin's story than their family's first-hand accounts. Meduza spoke with Ukrainians who have had t…
 
It's now been more than two weeks since Vladimir Putin launched an all-out war against Ukraine. Russian troops began rolling across the border on the morning of February 24, immediately after Putin announced the start of a "special military operation" (a Kremlin euphemism for invasion). In an address broadcast on state television, Putin claimed, am…
 
Russia's latest criminal trial of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny got underway on Tuesday, February 15. Already serving a nearly three-year prison sentence, Navalny now stands accused of fraud and contempt of court -- charges that could prolong his incarceration by up to 15 years. In a strange twist, Moscow's Lefortovsky District Court held Tu…
 
On February 15, the Russian State Duma sent a motion to President Vladimir Putin calling for diplomatic recognition of the pro-Russian "republics" in eastern Ukraine. In turn, Putin gave an evasive, informal response: the lawmakers, he said, were "guided by public opinion" and Russians' widespread sympathy for the inhabitants of the Donbas -- howev…
 
On Wednesday, February 16, law enforcement officers raided the Moscow home of political analyst Valery Solovey. Solovey and his son Pavel were then taken to the Russian Investigative Committee for questioning. As it turns out, Solovey is considered a witness in a criminal investigation into felony hate speech. Solovey and his son were released late…
 
On Thursday, February 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a written response to Washington's counter-proposals on security guarantees in Europe. Unlike the response Moscow received from the U.S. and NATO earlier this month, which wasn't officially made public (though the full text was leaked to Spanish newspaper El Pais), the Russian Foreign Mi…
 
The tensions surrounding the Russia-Ukraine crisis have continued to escalate with no end in sight. On Thursday, February 17, U.S. President Joe Biden said that there's still a "very high" threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, warning that this could happen "in the next several days." The Kremlin, meanwhile, underscored that it has no plans of b…
 
On Friday, February 18, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk "people's republics" announced that increased tensions in eastern Ukraine necessitated mass evacuations. Over the next three days, more than 60,000 people were relocated to Russia, according to official reports. In total, 43 Russian regions have agreed to take in evacuees. President Vl…
 
Vladimir Putin has officially recognized the independence of the self-proclaimed "republics" in eastern Ukraine. The Russian president signed the corresponding decree on Monday, February 21, following a lengthy address to the nation. The issue of recognizing the "Donetsk People's Republic" (DNR) and "Luhansk People's Republic" (LNR) was also discus…
 
The Kremlin's handling of recognition for the self-proclaimed separatist "republics" in eastern Ukraine has raised many questions, including purely logistical uncertainties surrounding the National Security Council session, where President Putin ordered senior officials to state their support or opposition to the recognition of the so-called DNR an…
 
Russia recognized the self-proclaimed "people's republics" in eastern Ukraine on February 21. President Vladimir Putin formally announced the decision following a National Security Council meeting that looked more like staged production than an actual debate. Senior Russian officials expressed unanimous support for recognition, even though it appea…
 
On February 21, 2022, Vladimir Putin delivered a 56-minute televised national address that ended with his announcement that Russia would recognize the independence of eastern Ukraine's self-declared separatist "republics." The president spent most of the speech, however, contesting Ukrainian statehood and arguing that the government in Kyiv owes it…
 
Early in the morning on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a "special military operation" on Ukrainian territory -- in reality, he started a full-scale war against Ukraine. Several days earlier, Russian women began posting on social media that their sons, currently doing their mandatory military service in the Russ…
 
Three days into the war against Ukraine, Russia's Defense Ministry has yet to report any losses, both in terms of military personnel and technical equipment. Russian state media outlets have also been silent on this front. Two anonymous sources -- one at a major wire agency and one at a federal television channel -- confirmed to Meduza that their n…
 
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