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Op-ed: A Cold Shoulder from the West for Russian Opposition

NY Times– By OLEG KASHIN LAST week, Alexander Dolmatov, an activist in a political party opposed to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin,committed suicide at a detention center in the Netherlands. He had fled Russia last June, hoping to be granted political asylum. When his application was denied, he took his life — the only way to […]

January 13, 1948: A Dark Day in Soviet Jewish History

JTA– By Adam Soclof In 1948, prominent Yiddish theater actor and director Solomon Mikhoels died in what was later revealed to have been a political assassination ordered by Joseph Stalin’s security police chief Lavrenti Beria. (The death murder was believed by many, including his daughters, to have been carried out in the form of a staged car accident). A similar account […]

Thousands in Moscow Protest New “anti-Magnitsky” Law that Bans Americans from Adopting Russian Children

On Sunday, January 13th, thousands in Moscow protested Russia’s passing of the “anti-Magnitsky” law, which bans Americans from adopting Russian orphans. This social protest, referred to as the “March Against Jerks,” included both hardened political activists, as well as first-time protesters. Many feel that it crosses a moral line to target children to make a […]

Masha Sergeeva: Using Art to Promote Modern Jewish Culture

JDC– Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia in the years after the fall of Communism, Masha Sergeeva, 21, grew up with limited understanding of—or pride in—her Jewish identity. That’s all changed now. “My uncle, my mom’s brother was a refusnik, and went to Israel in the first aliyah in the ‘80s,” explains Masha. “But my mom worked as an engineer at a […]

Updated Version of “One Hour, Eighteen Minutes” Especially Poignant With Recent Passing of Magnitsky and ‘Anti-Magnitsky’ Laws

From The Moscow Times – Some things remain relevant longer than you would expect. Take the death of Sergei Magnitsky. This muck-raking attorney was allowed to die in a Moscow prison in November 2009. That story was still making news when Teatr.doc opened a show called “One Hour Eighteen” in the early summer of 2010. The show examined the actions of several people in close proximity to the prisoner when […]

Remembering the Refusenik Movement

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN (CNN) — Driven by desperation, Marina and Lev Furman stepped out of their home in Leningrad and took a 20-minute walk into uncertainty. Trailed by KGB agents, they bundled up and set out in the weak winter light for Palace Square, site of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. They brought signs demanding freedom. And […]

Honoring Vladimir Bukovsky: A Champion of Human Rights

December 30, 2012 marked the 70th birthday of Vladimir Bukovsky – one of the most prominent pioneers of the Movement for Human Rights. Vladimir started his civil service back at school. It is difficult to overestimate the role of this man who underwent the man-made hell of special psychiatric institutions, years of prisons and concentration camps and deportation […]

A Moscow Response: “Let U.S. Parents Save Russian Orphans”

From The Moscow Times — 18 December 2012 | Issue 5038 By Yulia Latynina In retribution for the recent passage of the Magnitsky Act by the U.S. Congress, United Russia has introduced an initiative to prohibit U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children. Modern Russia not only has more orphans than any other country — 678,000 — but even more than the Soviet Union had during […]

Saturday’s Demonstration in Moscow Shows Opposition’s Determination

Last Saturday, December 15th, Russian leaders of the political opposition took part in an unsanctioned demonstration. This protest, which took place in Lubyanka Square near a monument to victims of Soviet political repression, was an act of defiance against a law signed by President Putin in June that fines participants $9,000 and organizations $18,000 for […]