The Real Russia. Today. The man in charge of explaining Russian media censorship is now under house arrest; a leading independent radio station comes under fire; and Moscow isn't happy about extra U.S. troops in Poland
Story of the day: the spokesman for Russia's federal censor is placed under house arrest
Vadim Ampelonsky, the press secretary for Roskomnadzor, Russia's federal censor, has been named in a fraud case, a source familiar with the situation told the website VC.ru. On October 12, a court placed Ampelonsky under house arrest. Sources tell the news agency RBC that he is potentially suspected of involvement with fictitiously registering Roskomnadzor employees. Russian officials have not commented on the case, and Ampelonsky’s lawyer says his client denies the charges.
Russia's leading independent radio station is accused of facilitating Western political meddling 📻
The Russian television network Rossiya-24 aired a segment this week accusing the liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy of working with unspecified “Western nonprofits.” According to the channel’s anchor, “Western nonprofits are conducting propaganda in Russia, organizing the collection of information, and trying to cultivate a pro-Western position” ahead of Russia’s 2018 presidential election. The news segment also claimed that Ekho Moskvy received more than 3 million rubles ($52,000) from its “foreign counterparts” in 2016, listing various large Western media outlets, supposedly for supplying regular comments from liberal experts. Rossiya-24 called this “trading in information weapons.”
“Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.” 📖
What’s former Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev reading while on trial for soliciting a $2-million bribe from the Russian oil giant Rosneft? You guessed it: Franz Kafka’s “The Trial.” He even brought his copy to court on Thursday, according to the newspaper Vedomosti.
A Russian delegation denies NYC its honorable presence 🇷🇺🍎
A Russian civic group based in New York City will have to make due without a visit from four State Duma deputies, after the delegation announced on Thursday that it’s canceling its planned trip, in response to U.S. officials’ decision to remove the Russian flags from atop Moscow’s former consulate in San Francisco.
War games 🎖
Russia’s Defense Ministry is accusing the United States of “quietly” deploying a second armored brigade in Poland, during last month’s Russian-Belarusian “Zapad-2017” military exercises. “And so, contrary to all of the announcements by NATO and the U.S. about the ‘insignificance’ of their troops being concentrated at Russia’s borders, now we see that it’s de facto not a brigade but a mechanized division of the U.S. armed forces within two hours of trained personnel who could be redeployed from the nearest American base in Europe,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
Kaspersky, you've been a bad boy 💻
The Russian government used a popular antivirus software to secretly scan computers around the world for classified U.S. government documents and top-secret information, modifying the program to turn it into an espionage tool, according to current and former U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter. Story by The Wall Street Journal.