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Putin Hopes Move of Jewish Religious Archives Resolves Dispute

RIA Novosti – Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope on Thursday that moving the disputed collection of Jewish religious texts to the newly built Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow puts the issue to rest. A complex legal dispute over the so-called Schneerson Library has turned into a full-scale diplomatic feud between the United States […]

Human Right Watch– “Foreign Agents” Law Hits Hundreds of NGOs: Updated June 10, 2013

From Human Rights Watch– Starting in early March 2013 the Russian government launched a nationwide campaign of inspections of nongovernmental organizations, unprecedented in its scale and scope. The inspections were highly extensive, disruptive, invasive, and often intimidating. To date, hundreds of organizations in different regions of Russia have been subject to such inspections; most have […]

Stop the Persecution of Maxim Efimov

Maxim Efimov is a chairman of the Karelian regional branch of the inter-regional youth social charity organization “Youth Human Rights Group (YHRG).”  The Karelian branch of YHRG implements human rights protection programs and supports civic initiatives, in particular youth-oriented projects.   On 5 April 2012 the criminal case № 012012120035 against Maxim Efimov was opened […]

The Passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg

We at the Union of Councils for Jews in the former Soviet Union are saddened by the passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg. He was a devoted public servant and a friend of all  those around the world fleeing from religious discrimination; in particular, the millions of Jews from the former Soviet Union who owe him a […]

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 & McKenzie law firm, was detained […]

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 to assist the Russian government in implementing a list […]

The Inevitabilty of Navalny’s Trial: Only 1 Percent of Verdicts Passed in Russia Are Not Guilty

On May 22nd, The Moscow Times reported on the inevitability of a guilty verdict for Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader who is facing a sentencing for fraud. This is because only 1 percent of verdicts passed in Russia are not guilty, according to official statistics. Navalny’s conviction could put him in jail for ten years […]

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 of U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul, […]

Irish Lawmakers to Scrap Magnitsky List Due to Child Adoption Threat

From The Moscow Times– Ireland has dropped plans to impose U.S.-style Magnitsky sanctions on Russia after Moscow warned that it might respond by banning Irish parents from adopting Russian children. The Russian opposition assailed Ireland for the reversal, saying it had not only bowed to Kremlin blackmail but had also shown a lack of leadership as the current president of the European Union. Irish lawmakers […]

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 the courts were unable to finalize the adoptions […]