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The Real Russia. Today. Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Source: Meduza

🪖 How the idea that war can be good for soldiers’ mental health is spreading in Russian society (12-min read)

Over the last two and a half years, Russia has sent hundreds of thousands of men to fight in its brutal invasion of Ukraine. Data on the number of former Russian soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is scarce, though as early as December 2022, Russian psychologists had identified at least 100,000 military personnel as having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the U.K. Defense Ministry. Meanwhile, the trauma of the war has had undeniable effects in Russian society: most than 100 people have been killed by returning soldiers, and at least 100 others have been seriously injured. According to a new report from the regional news site People of Baikal, however, it’s becoming “bad form” in Russia to talk openly about PTSD; instead, many psychologists and public figures prefer to focus on “post-traumatic growth,” referring to the positive effects that combat experience can supposedly have on soldiers’ psyches.

💣 An exhibition showcasing Russia’s Putin-era achievements is becoming a national center that could rival Lenin’s Mausoleum (4-min read)

Over the weekend, a closing ceremony that featured a wide array of “patriotic” Russian pop stars marked the end of a major exhibition in Moscow devoted to showcasing the accomplishments of Vladimir Putin’s long and unfinished presidency. The “Rossiya” exhibition at the All-Russian Exhibition Center is over for now, but Putin has ordered its transformation into a permanent “national center” in the capital (regional affiliates are planned, too). While some officials warn that talk of “legacy” flirts dangerously with bookending the Putin era, it’s possible that the new center could serve symbolically as “a future alternative to Lenin’s Mausoleum.” In a new report for Meduza, special correspondent Andrey Pertsev explains the exhibition’s genesis, success, and place in Kremlin politics. Here are a few of his main findings.

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  • ⚖️ And that’s why she didn’t attend the funeral: Moscow court issued arrest warrant against Yulia Navalnya, widow of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, on charges of participating in “extremist organization”
  • 🔍 Debunking the Kremlin’s latest missile denials: Bellingcat’s analysis of open-source evidence and interviews with missile experts show that a Russian-launched Kh-101 cruise missile is what struck Kyiv’s Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital, “debunking claims from pro-Russian accounts and actors that denied responsibility and sought to shift the blame for the incident on to Ukraine.” Danielle Bell, head of mission for the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, has also supported this finding, citing her office’s own analysis. 
  • 🇸🇦 Saudi discomfort with expropriating Russia: Bloomberg reports that Saudi Arabia’s Finance Ministry “hinted” earlier this year that it might sell some European debt holdings (specifically, debt issued by the French treasury) if the G-7 decided to seize almost $300 billion of Russia’s frozen assets. G-7 nations ultimately agreed to tap the profits generated by the frozen assets without expropriation. Bloomberg reports that European officials feared other countries might follow after Saudi Arabia. Bloomberg could not determine if Saudi officials acted out of self-interest or solidarity with Moscow.
  • ⚖️ Venediktov abandons lawsuit: A company owned by former Echo of Moscow editor-in-chief Alexey Venediktov has withdrawn a lawsuit seeking 1.1 billion rubles ($12.1 million) from senior executives at Gazprom-Media for damages associated with the dissolution of news outlet and the relinquishment of rights to the radio station’s trademarks. Venediktov told Vedomosti newspaper that his company’s lawyers advised him to abandon the hopeless lawsuit. After broadcasting for more than 30 years, Echo of Moscow was suddenly blocked by the government and dissolved by its parent company in the aftermath of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The state propaganda media holding company Rossiya Segodnya now owns Echo of Moscow’s old radio wavelength and last year applied for a license to use its old branding.
  • 🩺 Vladimir Kara-Murza remains hospitalized and inaccessible: For the sixth consecutive day, jailed opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza’s lawyers have been denied access to their client, who last week was moved to a prison hospital in Omsk. Officials have reportedly offered only flimsy pretexts for refusing access to Kara-Murza, claiming that hospital policies are under review and that visitation hours don’t permit it. The formal reason for Kara-Murza’s hospitalization is also unknown, though his health has suffered in the aftermath of two past poisonings. He is currently serving a 25-year sentence for various alleged crimes, including “treason.”
  • 🇺🇿 Moscow jails treason suspect apparently apprehended in Uzbekistan: Briefly published court records in Moscow show that a Russian emigre named Georgy Pirogov has been jailed pending treason charges. Pirogov left Russia after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and moved to Georgia. He later disappeared during a business trip to Uzbekistan and turned up at Moscow’s infamous Matrosskaya Tishina pretrial detention center. Pirogov is one of several Russian nationals who fled his homeland since February 2022 and later disappeared while traveling in Central Asia, only to reemerge behind bars back in Russia.

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