Russia Digested 29.11

Let’s start digesting with a little laugh. Alexei Navalny, major opposition candidate for presidency, has found an error in Youtube, when he tried to type his own name into the search field. Same error was detected with “Rain” (opposition channel), “Open Russia” (Mikhail Hodorkovsky’s opposition party), “Yashin” (opposition politician) and dozens of other requests. Small mistake or another hacker attack?

Moscow City Hall has not approved the opposition action “Constitution Defense” in the center of the city, organized by PARNAS, “Open Russia” and Ksenia Sobchak, planned for December 10, instead suggesting another location – a lot further from the center. The action will be dedicated to the 24th Anniversary of the Constitution.

Ksenia Sobchak opened her first regional HQ in Rostov, thereby finally shaping her campaign into something material. After the opening a policeman with a dog visited the HQ, searching for weapons but finding nothing. Standard welcome from the executive.

Tatar language will no longer be compulsary in the schools of Tatarstan. The discussion started after Putin’s statement in July that “it is equally unacceptable to make children learn the language that is not a mother-tongue to them, as it is unacceptable to lower the status of Russian”. Some experts believe this will plan the seeds of disagreement and a gap between the capital and the region. Why foreign languages like English or German are still compulsary, if it’s unacceptable to teach against the will, is not clear.

Vladimir Putin called the main event of 2017 the exit of Russian economy from recession. The President also noted progress in strengethening Russia’s defense and the army. Who said Russians are grim people? That’s a pretty optimistic view.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, while inaugurating a new church, has opened up about the number of staff and how many churches they have at all. The numbers are rather striking. There are more than 50,000 priests (totally) and 36,878 temples, 462 friaries and 482 nunnaries. Average growth of clergy – 521 per year.

Some news for members of LGBTQ community – if you are soccer fans and are planning to go to Russia for the World Cup, there will be a special memo on what dangers might await you. That is the initiative of FARE – organization dealing with discrimination in soccer. In addition to specific advices, status of LGBTQ in Russia will be described.

Three more bobsled athletes were disqualified for doping. Russia lost the last three bronze medals in bobsled. In addition to that, Elena Vyalbe, President of the Russian Ski Race Federation, has declared that no Russian athlete will return the 2014 medals, stating the situation and accusations are absurd. Well, denying is the first step in recovery, right?


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