December 22, 2013

Don't Be Fooled by Putin

Masha Gessen, CNN

The Associated Press

From a distance, Russia is looking awfully good the last few days. First, we learned that members of the art group Pussy Riot would be released from prison under a new amnesty, then that the Arctic 30, a group of Greenpeace activists who spent two months in Russian jails, would be free to go. And finally, President Vladimir Putin announced he would pardon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the country's best-known and longest-serving political prisoner. Inside the country, things look a little different. A majority of the people facing the largest political trial in more than half a century, stemming from a May 6, 2012, anti-Putin protest, will remain behind bars, as will Khodorkovsky's business partner, friend and co-defendant, Platon Lebedev.

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TAGGED: Pussy Riot, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia, Vladimir Putin


December 21, 2013
A Human Rights Victory in Russia
Washington Post
Vladimir Putin's release Friday of his most famous prisoner showed that Western censure can change his calculations. In recent days, President Obama and the presidents of Germany and France announced they would not attend the... more ››
December 22, 2013
Putin's Pretend Justice
Granting freedom to a man who was wrongly imprisoned is always progress. But Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement today that he plans to pardon former oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky merely confirms the arbitrary... more ››
December 22, 2013
Putin Shows He Is in Control
David Herszenhorn & Steven Lee Myers, NY Times
The decisions demonstrate Mr. Putin’s singular ability not only to wield executive power but also to bend the legislative and judicial branches of government to his will, and to exert heavy control over the Russian news... more ››
December 20, 2013
International Pressure on Putin Is Working
Judah & Knaus, Reuters
When dealing with Putin’s Russia, democratic politicians need to keep in mind one key point: Whatever the bravado — this regime is not as strong as it seems. more ››
December 20, 2013
Pussy Riot's Prison Break
Michael Weiss, Newsweek
On Wednesday, the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, unanimously passed an amnesty bill that will free thousands of prisoners, including some of the country’s highest-profile detainees. Said to commemorate... more ››