RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – October 31, 2018

TODAY: Kremlin considering its “Ruxit”. Crowds gather to honour Soviet victims. Teen wins “gay propaganda” case. Nemtsov memorial attacked (again). Putin commemorates 25th birthday of electoral system. NATO blames Russia for INF schism. Explosion kills one at FSB building.

Kremlin officials have been hinting that Russia will pull out of the Council of Europe. “Ruxit” would sever ties with the European Court of Human Rights, although Russia is already the country with the most unimplemented ECHR decisions. Many of Russia’s human rights advocates and leaders are women; the Moscow Times looks at the ways in which gender stereotypes help and hinder their line of work. Crowds gathered in Moscow yesterday for the Bell of Memory, an event honoring the victims of Soviet-era repression under Stalin; President Vladimir Putin did not attend, and did not release any statements marking the event. A teenage boy has won a case in which he was charged with violating laws against “gay propaganda” with a Vkontatke post. A pro-Kremlin group attacked a memorial to Boris Nemtsov, removing the wreath left by US National Security Adviser John Bolton last week. 

On the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Russia’s electoral system, Central Election Commission head Ella Pamfilova suggested that blockchain technology could be implemented for future voting, provided it gets a name-change. To commemorate the event, Vladimir Putin spoke about the importance of protecting voters’ rights. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is calling on Russia to comply with the INF nuclear treaty, blaming US threats of withdrawal on the deployment of new Russian missiles. RFE/RL reports on the pollution of Karabash, a town home to a dead lake and copper-smelting plant that regularly fills the town with toxic gases. 

An explosion happened this morning at a Federal Security Service (FSB) building in Arkhangelsk, injuring three and killing one person, who apparently brought the explosive device with him. The FSB is in a process of reviewing and conducting raids on officials who sell information from its closed databases. 

PHOTO: Priests, politicians, and a Moscow college have all made attempts to regulate Halloween this year. (Andrei Lyubimov / Moskva News Agency via the Moscow Times)