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The Real Russia. Today. Columbine T-shirts in Novosibirsk, Ambassador Babich is recalled, and the man behind ‘StalinGulag’ grants his first interview

Источник: Meduza

Thursday, May 2, 2019

This day in history: five years ago, on May 2, 2014, clashes in downtown Odessa and a fire at the city's Trade Unions House claims the lives of 46 pro-federalism (anti-Maidan) activists and two pro-Ukrainian unity activists.
  • A Russian high schooler sold T-shirts to start a conversation about the Columbine shooting. He came home to a conversation with the police.
  • Russian government recalls ambassador to Belarus after Minsk officials complained he treated the country like a ‘federal subject’
  • The author of one of Russia's most popular Telegram channels has verified his identity in a new interview
  • Dagestani state minister is jailed on embezzlement charges
  • Multiple St. Petersburg government agencies simultaneously publish complaints that ‘provocateurs’ ruined the mood at May Day demonstrations
  • Belarus receives ‘clean’ petroleum from Russia after almost two weeks of contamination

Controversial tees 👕

Nikita Dmitriev already stood out from his high school classmates in Novosibirsk. The young man, whose name was changed for an April 26 story published in Mediazona, has strong ties to Russia’s contemporary art scene and founded his own fashion brand, “Provokatsia” (“Provokation”), a year ago. The brand’s latest collection, however, has not produced the kind of attention the young artist hoped for.

Read Meduza's summary of this report: “A Russian high schooler sold T-shirts to start a conversation about the Columbine shooting. He came home to a conversation with the police.”

Russia's Belarusian recall 🕊️

Vladimir Putin recalled Mikhail Babich from his post as the Russian ambassador to Belarus “in connection with plans to transfer him to another position.” Mezentsev’s appointment reportedly violated federal regulations. Babich worked in Belarus for less than one year. The ambassador entered into public conflicts with the Belarusian government at least twice. Babich was reportedly removed from his post at Lukashenko’s request. Before Babich was appointed to his Belarusian post, there were plans to make him the ambassador to Ukraine. The Ukrainian government did not accept his appointment. 

Read Meduza's report: “Russian government recalls ambassador to Belarus after Misnk officials complained he treated the country like a ‘federal subject’”

News briefs

  • 💬 Alexander Gorbunov has confirmed in an interview with the BBC Russian Service that he is the author of StalinGulag, one of the most popular Telegram channels in Russia. The 27-year-old Makhachkala native launched the channel in 2016, three years after starting an anonymous Twitter account with the same name. Read the story here.
  • 👮 Two days after police arrested him at the airport in Makhachkala, Dagestan’s economic and territorial development minister, Osman Khasbulatov, has been formally placed in pretrial detention, while investigators build their case against him. Khasbulatov is charged with embezzling more than 20 million rubles ($306,700) when fulfilling government contracts to equip several multipurpose centers in Dagestan. Read the story here.
  • 📣 Several administrative committees within St. Petersburg’s municipal government simultaneously posted identical messages that blamed “provocateurs” for “disturbing the good mood for Petersburg residents” on May 1. Read the story here.
  • 🛢️ The Belarusian energy conglomerate Belneftekhim has reported that the country’s petroleum imports from Russia now meet industry standards, Interfax wrote. Petroleum contaminated with organic chloride compounds was removed from the Druzhba oil pipeline to enable renewed imports. Read the story here.

Yours, Meduza