Seven defendants convicted in Russian Bolotnaya Case

A Moscow court has sentenced seven defendants in the Bolotnaya Case to jail terms of between two and a half to four years. On Friday 21 February, the defendants were found guilty, but sentencing was delayed until Monday 24 February. Critics say the court delayed sentencing until after the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sochi, yesterday.

Russia presents own draft UN resolutions on Syria

On 13 February Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had presented two U.N. Security Council draft resolutions on humanitarian aid access and the fight against "terrorism" in Syria. Russia counter-offered an earlier draft resolution backed by the West and the Syrian opposition, which Russia called biased against the government of Assad. Russia’s calls for a resolution condemning acts of "terrorism" are in tune with rhetoric of the Assad-regime.

Sotsji: Hete winterspelen voor een zware prijs

De keuze van het IOC, om een van de weinige subtropische badplaatsen die Rusland rijk is, te kiezen voor de Olympische winterspelen, is op z’n minst vreemd te noemen. Poetin heeft ongelimiteerd geld beschikbaar gesteld. Maar welke prijs betaalt men voor deze Olympische Spelen als het gaat om de kernwaarden van Spelen zelf: de menselijke waardigheid, mensenrechten en natuur?

Russia extends ‘security zone’ deeper into Abkhazia ahead of Sochi Olympics

On January 21st, Georgia’s Foreign Ministry expressed ‘deep concern’ over the expansion of its ‘border zone’ with Russia, where heightened security measures are enforced, 11 kilometers deeper into the breakaway region of Abkhazia. This means a shift of the Russian-Georgian state border 11 kilometers deeper into Georgian territory. This expansion, which the Georgian Foreign Ministry condemned as an ‘illegal action’, came in advance of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi next month, which is less than 40 kilometers away from the Abkhaz section of the Georgian-Russian border. ‘The Georgian Foreign Ministry calls on the Russian Federation to stop provocative policy against Georgia and to live up to its international commitments, envisaged under the provisions of the [2008] cease-fire agreement,’ the Georgian Foreign Ministry’s statement read.

Russian Opposition leader Navalny jailed

On July 18 the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been sentenced to five years in a penal colony after a Russian judge found him guilty of embezzlement from a timber firm. Navalny, one of the fiercest critics of the Russian government, says the verdict is politically motivated and claims he will appeal against it.

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