The Real Russia. Today.

Unmarried mothers struggle for state assistance in Perm, while Russia sets out to protect WWII memories using viral videos.

Story of the day:

A daddy wins you 60,000 rubles ($1,000): young mothers in Perm can get state subsidies, but only if they’re married. But the region’s acting governor wants to open this assistance to all women, and he’s ordered local lawmakers to adopt amendments that would correct what he says is a violation of the rights of single mothers and their children. Currently, Perm’s government will only provide subsidies to married mothers or mothers who can prove their children’s paternity. Meduza looks at how Perm came to reconsider its treatment of these women. Story in English

Russia and the West:

  • Russia will launch a viral-video campaign in a bid to memorialize the sacrifices of Soviet soldiers in World War II. Meeting with Vladimir Putin on Thursday, politicians pledged to use the “truth as their weapon” to discredit Western governments waging a “full-scale information war” on Russia's past. Story in English
  • A 28-year-old German-Russian national has been arrested on suspicion of attacking the Borussia Dortmund soccer team with three homemade bombs. German police detained the suspect — identified only as Sergei W. — in the Tuebingen area of southwest Germany on Friday morning. Prosecutors say the suspect bought a large number of put-option shares in Borussia Dortmund, guaranteeing a set price for the shares if he wanted to sell them later. Story in English
  • The European Union has denounced a decision by the Russian Supreme Court to brand Jehovah’s Witnesses as “extremists” and ban their activities. EU Foreign Affairs chief Federica Mogherini's office said on April 21 that the ruling "could make it possible to launch criminal prosecutions against Jehovah's Witnesses for mere acts of worship."
  • Context: On Thursday, Russia’s Supreme Court ruled against Jehovah’s Witnesses’ administrative headquarters in St. Petersburg, banning Jehovah’s Witnesses’ activities nationwide. The court also ordered the state to seize the group's property.

Also in the news:

  • Zaur Dadaev, a former officer in Chechnya’s “Sever” battalion, says police scripted his confession to murdering Boris Nemtsov. Dadaev says officers had to record his confession in March 2015 in several different takes because he kept forgetting the words scripted by lead interrogator Igor Krasnov. Story in English
  • Context: Footage of Dadaev’s interrogation was published by the newspaper Kommersant on April 18, a day before his testimony was introduced as evidence in the murder case against him. In the video, Dadaev explains that he decided to kill Nemtsov because of the politician’s statements in support of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which infamously published cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. At the trial, Dadaev said he did not know Nemtsov at all, and even confused him with the late Boris Berezovsky. Dadaev said he spent the day of the murder at home, because he was ill.
  • More than half of Russians want to see Lenin's body removed from the mausoleum in Red Square, according to a new survey. Most Russians (63 percent) now agree with the idea that Lenin’s body should be buried. This is a slight rise since last year, when the same figure was 60 percent, according to surveys conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center. The latest poll indicates that 39 percent of the respondents consider the Lenin Mausoleum to be a tourist attraction and are indifferent to the issue, while 18 percent say the body of Lenin, great leader that he was, rightfully remains at the heart of the country. Data in English

Yours, Meduza