Nieuws

Freedom lecture with Zhanna Nemtsova

On 30 November De Balie in Amsterdam invited Zhanna Nemtsova, journalist at Deutsche Welle and daughter of Boris Nemtsov – a Russian liberal oppositional politician who was assassinated on 27 February 2015 – to give a freedom lecture. Nemtsova spoke about her father, propaganda in Russia and the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom. The event, moderated by Kirsten van den Hul, also featured discussions with PvdA Member of Parliament Michiel Servaes and the Insideout documentary team, Masha Ru and Katia Krupennikova.

Dag van de overwinning, 9 mei. День Победы 9 мая

Ook dit jaar was elke zijstraat naar Tverskaya Ulitsa, de 8-baans toegangsweg naar het Kremlin, geblokkeerd met grote zicht-blokkerende vuilnis- en vrachtwagens en piepjonge agenten. Alles was afgezet tot kilometers rondom het Rode Plein, inclusief hele lijsten aan metro-uitgangen. Hier, in Moskou marcheren de opgedofte eenheden enkel voor de kleine elite van genodigden op het Rode Plein. Boodschap: als je iets wil zien, volg het maar via de TV op je hotelkamer (of de generale repetities een paar dagen eerder).

Fraud and pressure on independent observers during Russia’s regional elections

On Sunday September 13th nationwide regional elections were held in Russia in 84 of the 85 regions of the country, including the disputed region of Crimea. More than 189.000 candidates were eligible for election by 59 million voters in 10,700 different elections and 70 referendums were held in 10 regions. In 21 regions Governors were elected. The Kostroma region was the only region where an opposition party openly critical of the Kremlin, the People’s Freedom Party (Parnas), participated in the elections. Preliminary results show that Vladimir Putin’s party United Russia won the elections. Independent watchdogs registered multiple violations during the elections, including fraud and pressure on independent observers.

Fraud and pressure on independent observers during Russia’s regional elections

On Sunday September 13th nationwide regional elections were held in Russia in 84 of the 85 regions of the country, including the disputed region of Crimea. More than 189.000 candidates were eligible for election by 59 million voters in 10,700 different elections and 70 referendums were held in 10 regions. In 21 regions Governors were elected. The Kostroma region was the only region where an opposition party openly critical of the Kremlin, the People’s Freedom Party (Parnas), participated in the elections. Preliminary results show that Vladimir Putin’s party United Russia won the elections. Independent watchdogs registered multiple violations during the elections, including fraud and pressure on independent observers.

Youth Summer Academy Eastern Europe takes place in Lviv, Ukraine

On 19-23 August the sixth annual Summer Academy organised by the British Labour Party, Foundation Max van der Stoel, European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity and partners in Ukraine from the New Social Democratic Platform was held Lviv, Ukraine. The Summer Academy is organised for young social democrats from Eastern Europe and is aimed to help the participants learn new skills in political ideology, campaigning, communication and debating as well as gain enough confidence and knowledge to be able to repeat the training themselves. The participants were selected from social democratic parties from 4 countries - Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. Trainers from the UK and The Netherlands facilitated the training together with trainers from Moldova and Ukraine (who were themselves alumni of previous Summer Academy editions).

Russia investigates legitimacy of Baltic States’ independence

The Russian chief prosecutor's office examined whether the Soviet Union acted legally when it recognised the Baltic states' independence in 1991. A source related to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, accepted an enquiry previously made by two members of the Russian Duma (parliament) - Anton Romanov, and Yevgeny Fyodorov; both members of President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party. In their letter, Fyodorov and Romanov, said the 1991 decision to recognise Baltic independence had been taken "by an unconstitutional body". The State Soviet was an interim assembly formed in September 1991, and comprised the Soviet president and the leaders of 10 of the country's republics. But the Soviet Constitution allowed no provisions for the creation of such a body. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that the move had not come from the Kremlin "We were not familiar with this initiative in the Kremlin, and I am struggling to understand the essence of it," he told reporters. Even though, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office decided these claims have no legal grounds, it has raised strong reactions among Baltic states and their allies.

Impressions: Opposition in Putin's Russia

On Wednesday, the 13th of May, FMS organized a debate on the opposition in Russia in De Balie, Amsterdam. Joined by approximately sixty gripped by the domestic situation in Russia, we were welcomed by Arjen Berkvens, the moderator for the discussion. He introduced the speakers for the evening: Russian opposition leader Gennady Gudkov, PhD-candidate Honorata Mazepus (Leiden University) and Russia-expert Tony van der Togt (Institute Clingendael).

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