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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russia Update: July 13, 2015

Publication: Russia Update
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Unidentified Attackers Break Neck of Prominent Human Rights Activist and Opposition Journalist in Buryatia
Human rights activist and opposition journalist Yevgeny Khamaganov was beaten yesterday by unidentified assailants who broke his neck in Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Buryat Autonomous Republic, TV Rain reported.

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Photo by russianstock.ru

Khamaganov was found by neighbors near the entrance to his home, another activist Dorzho Dugarov wrote on his Facebook page today.

Khamaganov was taken unconscious to the neurosurgery department of the Republic Hospital in Ulan-Udea and has been diagnosed with a fracture of his cervical vertebra. Dugarov said a complicated operation is anticipated. A local paper said his life was in danger.

According to Dugarov, the attackers came up from behind and hit Khamaganov over the heady with a heavy object, then struck him in the head several more times. No criminal case has yet to be opened into the attack.

Khamaganov, the editor-in-chief of Asia-Russia Daily and Yabloko party member, had created an opposition forum called the Buryat People's Site and was one of the founders of the Buryat youth human rights movement called Erkhe. Last year he praised the organizers of a beauty pageant who established a consolation prize for a Buryat woman who participated in a beauty pageant and was targeted by racist remarks.

He was known for his criticism of the republic's government and president and support of free speech. He has been threatened for his work repeatedly since 2006.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Truck Explodes In West Of Moscow, Initial Reports Say Fuel Tank Blew Up

Russia's LifeNews reports that a truck has exploded in Moscow.

According to initial reports, one person has been killed and two have been hospitalised with traumatic injuries.

The news channel, which is suspected of having close ties to the state security services, reports that the trucks fuel tank had exploded.

Police and ambulance crews are on the scene outside number 20 Marshal Proshlyakov street, in the western Strogino district.

Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that the blast occurred opposite the Zenit Plaza business centre. 

-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
UK Bank Freezes Accounts of Rossiya Segodnya, Russian Media Holding Company, Owner of RT.com

The British Barclays bank has frozen the accounts of Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today), the media holding company that owns RT.com and other state media, RIA Novosti reported.

A representative of Barclays stated that the account was closed and refused to provide the reasons or any other information about the closure.

But a source in the banking community said that the British Treasury has placed Dmitry Kiselyev, general director of Rossiya Segodnya on the list of persons sanctioned over Russia's aggression against Ukraine, which could lead to financial restrictions on the holding company. Rossiya Segodnya has not received any official notice about the closure.

Kiselyev called the move "censorship."

Russian assets and accounts were also frozen in France and Belgium last month in compliance with a decision of the arbitration court in the Hague regarding the YUKOS case. Russia is obliged under this court ruling to pay $50 billion in damages to various YUKOS shareholders. Rossiya Segodnya was among the companies with assets frozen in these EU countries.

Russian officials have said they will contest the ruling.

YUKOS was acquired by Mikhail Khodorkovsky during the controversial "loans for shares" program of the 1990s. Khodorkovsky then opposed the increasing authoritarianism of President Vladimir Putin and was arrested on charges of tax fraud in 2003 and ultimately served 10 years in prison before his pardon in 2014. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that there had been unfair use of the legal and tax system when the government seized YUKOS.

Khodorkovsky gave up his shares in the company at the time of his arrest and will not personally benefit from the court ruling.

(Note: The Interpreter is a project of Institute for Modern Russia, funded by Pavel Khodorkovsky, the son of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.)

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick


The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
The State of Gay Rights In Russia In One Video
The Guardian's Alec Luhn shares this video:

The two men are physically confronted on two occasions. What is more surprising, perhaps, is the frequency of the verbal assaults and the ubiquitous sideways glances the two men receive from a surprisingly-large percentage of those whom they encounter on the street.

The Russian government has helped fuel an atmosphere which is hostile to the LGBT community by passing laws against "homosexual propaganda," an arbitrary law which could be used to target anything that can be seen as promoting the 'homosexual lifestyle,' and a law which can also be used to target those who advocate for greater rights for the LGBT community.

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
23 Russian Soldiers Killed, Another 19 Injured, As Roof Collapses At Siberian Barracks

Earlier (below) we reported on the collapse of an army barracks at the Omsk Airborne Troops Training Center in Siberia. The Guardian and other news outlets now say that the death toll has risen to 23, with 19 injured, 10 of them seriously.

Rescuers searched for hours for victims trapped under the debris of an airborne troops training centre in Omsk after the collapse in the early hours of Monday morning.

See below for additional pictures and details.

-- James Miller

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