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Presidential Human Rights Council gets ready to tread carefully in meeting with Putin

Source: Meduza

In advance of the Russian president’s annual meeting with members of the Presidential Human Rights Council (“SPCh”), the Kremlin and the SPCh head Valery Fadeyev have finalized a list of topics not to be raised by council members in conversation with Putin.

Citing two council members and another source close to the SPCh, Verstka reports on Fadeyev’s instructions to the council. The list of undesirable topics includes the internationally-criticized Russian law against “fakes” about the military, the protests among mothers of mobilized soldiers, and the extra-judicial execution of Evgeny Nuzhin: “Fadeyev said that’s it’s a trifle and just one particular case,” said one of the sources in the SPCh.

Talking about the Russian army’s hardships at the front is also “not recommended.” Questions about the conscripts and army-supply shortages are “dangerous,” and should be broached “very carefully.”

Council members were advised to ask Putin about mobilization, so that he would once again be prompted to say it’s finished. The Kremlin hopes that this will placate those Russians who are concerned about a possible new round of mobilization in the winter.

The president would also be “happy to talk” about the environment, Western sanctions against Russia, refugees and their problems, and the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the existence of the “stop-list” described by Verstka.

The meeting will take place remotely, on December 7.

In mid-November, Putin issued a decree that altered the balance of power inside the SPCh. The decree excluded 10 former council members, some of them being actual human-rights activists, and replaced them with a “deputy” from the annexed Donetsk region of Ukraine, a Komsomol Pravda propagandist Alexander Kots, and Yuliya Belekhova from the All-Russia People’s Front.

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