Expulsion of U.S. Lawyer from Russia Possibly Due to Magnitsky Backing

The Moscow Times-- The lack of an official explanation for the abrupt expulsion from Russia of U.S. lawyer and former Justice Department official Thomas Firestone earlier this month has led to a flurry of speculation about what may have prompted it. Firestone, an expert on corruption in Russian law enforcement agencies who worked as a lawyer for the Moscow office of the Baker &…

Europe’s Oldest Human Rights Org Plans to Upgrade Office in Russia

The Moscow Times-- The Council of Europe, the continent's oldest human rights organization, has announced an agreement to upgrade its Russian office, a sign that Russia takes the 47-member group seriously, a spokesman said, at a time when the Kremlin routinely rejects outside criticism of its rights record. Turning its information office into a program office with diplomatic immunity will allow the council…

Russian NGOs Discuss State Pressure

From The Moscow Times-- The leaders of some of Russia's largest nongovernmental organizations raised their concerns about a Kremlin crackdown during a meeting Wednesday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry, who was wrapping up a two-day visit, met with the NGO representatives at Spaso House, the Moscow residence…

Top Psychologists Ask Putin to Allow U.S. Parents to Adopt 100 Children

From The Moscow Times-- A group of top Russian child psychologists, psychiatrists and educators have appealed to President Vladimir Putin to allow about 100 Russian children who were in the final stages of the adoption process to be allowed to join their new U.S. parents. The open letter says the children had met with the potential parents many times and developed an emotion attachment, but…