TODAY: 21 arrested at Markelov/Baburova memorial; Solidarity activists fined over leaflets; Medvedev meets Oleg Kashin; visa-free travel between Russia and Chile; Smolensk crash transcripts released; education reforms will cut curriculum in favor of patriotism; A Just Russia is not rebranding.
‘ of people attended an after-dark memorial rally in Moscow to mark the murders of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova two years ago, and a reported 21 of these, who were apparently wearing masks or lighting flares, were arrested
. Two further activists with the Solidarity movement in Buryatia have been fined for ‘inciting hatred
‘ by distributing leaflets
critical of the police and army. During his Middle East peace-boosting visit to Jericho, President Dmitry Medvedev ‘bumped into
‘ journalist Oleg Kashin, who was violently beaten in November, and promised to ‘tear the hands off
‘ his attackers. Kashin is currently in Israel for treatment, and says that ‘he does not see any other reason for the attack than his activities as a journalist.
Russia and Chile’s tourism-boosting visa-free travel policy comes into force this week
. In response to Polish complaints, Russia has released the air traffic control transcripts
of the Smolensk crash. A Finance Ministry official says that he would like Russia’s financial assistance programs to receive more media attention
. Boris Kagarlitsky criticizes newly proposed education reforms that will cut ‘the educational portion of the curriculum
‘ and boost patriotic studies such as visits to battle sites, warning of ‘a protracted period of slumber and degradation.
PHOTO: Protesters hold portraits of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and opposition journalist Anastasia Baburova during an anti-fascist rally in central Moscow January 19, 2011. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin