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The Real Russia. Today. Fining Google for refusing to work with Russia's censor, Sechin has words for the Americans, and Ole Two-Face Kadyrov

Source: Meduza

Thursday, October 25, 2018

This day in history. On October 25, 2008, Russia's anti-Kremlin opposition organized “Day of Popular Rage” protests in 40 cities and towns across the country.
  • Russia's federal censor wants to fine Google for ignoring its Internet blocklist
  • Activist cuts open veins to protest against Russian prison abuse
  • Rosneft CEO badmouths the Americans
  • Human Rights Watch releases a new report on the Russian state's weak response to domestic violence
  • Imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker wins the 2018 Sakharov Prize
  • Ramzan Kadyrov is two-faced when it comes to public comments in Russian and in Chechen

Testing the limits with Google 💸

Russia’s federal censor faces a fine as high as 700,000 rubles ($10,675) for refusing to connect to the government’s system for blocking banned websites from its search results. Google will reportedly have the opportunity to challenge the penalty in court. According to a law enacted last year, Internet search engines are required to delete hyperlinks to blocked websites from their search results. The same legislation also prohibits Internet anonymizers and technology used to circumvent online censorship. Last year, journalists at noticed that Google and Yandex had started removing links to such websites from their search results.

Sacrificial protest 📣

Olga Shalina, an activist from the “Other Russia” movement, went the extra mile in a protest on October 25 at a “security provision” convention in Moscow, scaling a police van prototype and scattering leaflets, before cutting open the veins in her arms. Eyewitnesses say Shalina’s demonstration lasted at least 10 minutes, and then guards detained her and handed her over to paramedics. The protest, which took place at the “Interpolitex” International Homeland Security Exhibition, was reportedly against Russia’s “repressive penitentiary system.” Shalina’s leaflets apparently highlighted that there have been 168 reported cases of prisoner abuse in Russia since a shocking video leaked that showed the torture of inmate Evgeny Makarov in Yaroslavl.

From engine to the brakes 🛢️

On October 25, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin delivered a thoroughly anti-American speech at the Ninth Eurasian Economic Forum, arguing that sanctions have become “an outrage” and a “routine tool” in Washington’s non-economic and extra-legal competitive tactics. Sechin also implied that U.S. sanctions might be part of a protectionist scheme to help local manufacturers. The United States has gotten used to playing the role of oil-market regulator, Sechin said, warning that Washington is now guided by vested interests. America was once the world’s economic engine, Sechin said, but it’s become the brakes today, and Washington only seeks the temporary and one-sided benefits of protectionism.

And there’s more: U.S. actions around the world are destabilizing other oil-producing countries and spreading uncertainty, Sechin said, before warning that this could raise the price of oil from its current “comfortable” level. Sechin also said people put too much hope in shale oil and electric cars, and he claimed that Russia will maintain its oil market dominance for another 15 years.

I could kill you ♀️

Russian authorities often fail to protect women from domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. “Serious gaps in Russia’s laws, the lack of protection orders, and inadequate police and judicial responses leave women who face even severe physical violence with little or no protection,” the study concluded. Based on 69 in-depth interviews with women throughout Russia who experienced domestic violence, the 84-page report is available here: “‘I Could Kill You and No One Would Stop Me’: Weak State Response to Domestic Violence in Russia.’”

Honoring Sentsov 🏆

On October 25, the European Parliament awarded its 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Oleg Sentsov, the Ukrainian film director imprisoned in Russia on controversial terrorism charges. The show of solidarity with Russia’s top political prisoner was likely intended to put further pressure on Moscow to release or trade Sentsov, though Vladimir Putin has showed no indication that he plans to hand him back to Ukraine. Earlier in October, Sentsov ended a hunger strike after 145 days, when prison guards allegedly threatened him with force-feedings.

The two Ramzans 👬

The BBC’s Russian-language service published a video on Twitter comparing Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov’s rhetoric when speaking in Russian and in Chechen. As you might have guessed, the strongman leader puts on kinder, gentler face for Russian TV crews. When yelling at his subordinates, however, the gloves come off.

Some examples: (1) in Russian, he calls himself a public servant, while in Chechen he calls himself the only authority on Earth; (2) talking about the border dispute with Ingushetia, in Russian he calls for a commission and negotiations, but in Chechen he threatens to expel any outsiders with land claims; (3) in Russian, he welcomes U.S. sanctions and the loss of his social media accounts, while in Chechen he complains bitterly about it; and (4) in Russian, he says he respects human rights, while in Chechen he says the law is meaningless.

Yours, Meduza