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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russia Update: February 2, 2017

Publication: Russia Update
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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Latest Medical Bulletin on Russian Opposition Activist in Serious Condition Kara-Murza, Jr. From His Lawyer
As we have reported, journalist and opposition activist Kara-Murza, Jr. was hospitalized early yesterday, February 2, with the same symptoms of poisoning he experienced in 2015, under similar conditions -- returning from a provincial town to Moscow after organizing an event.

His lawyer Vadim Prokhorov and friends believe he has been poisoned again; when he was hospitalized two years ago, there was no valid explanation for his symptoms and none have yet been found now.

His lawyer Prokhorov posted on Facebook 15 minutes ago (translation by The Interpreter):


Current information on his status as of February 3, 2017 (10:00 am Moscow time).

According to the report from his attending physicians (enormous gratitude to them for their selflish work!), Vladimir Kara-Murza's condition continues to remain critical.

There is artificial ventilation of his lungs, kidney dialysis and other procedures.

Even so, it must be noted that a certain stabilization has occurred, and the negative dynamics are absent now.

At the same time, along with other negative symptoms, as before, problems with his heart function and low arterial pressure remain.

We wish Vladimir to bear this trial and get better! 

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Latest Medical Update on Situation of Kara-Murza, Opposition Activist Hospitalized Today

Vadim Prokhorov, lawyer of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and a close associate of Vladimir Kara-Maza, Jr., issued two reports on his status on his Facebook page about 14 and 11 hours ago, which are the latest known bulletins.

As we reported, Kara-Murza was hospitalized this morning after returning from Tver where he showed a movie about the life of Boris Nemtsov produced by Open Russia, the organization founded by former political prisoner and businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Kara-Murza works as a program manager for Open Russia:

The following is a translation by The Interpreter of Prokhorov's posts on Facebook:

(11 hours ago) Friends! Due to numerous requests I am posting below the latest information about the status of the health of Vladimir Kara-Murza, obtained directly from his attending physicians during a visit to the hospital:

Unfortunately, his status is critical.

At the present time, Volodya [Vladimir] is not conscious.

Multiple organ failure has begun.

There is artificial ventilation of his lungs, kidney dialysis and other emergency procedures.The reasons for the onset of the critical condition is not clear to the doctors.

I will post news on the status of his health to the extent I can here.

I would like to convey enormous gratitude from loved ones, friends and relatives to all those expression concern and offering to help.

I apologize that I cannot reply to numerous phone calls right away regarding the status of Volodya's health.

We all sincerely hope he will get well!!

(11 hours ago) On the status of the health of Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr. -- Latest Information

The situation at 20:00 of Vladimir Karaz Murza is without significant changes.

As before, there is artificial ventilation of his lungs, hemodialysis and other emergency procedures.

An update can be expected tomorrow around 10:00.

Thanks to all for their support!

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Opposition Activist Kara-Murza, Jr. Hospitalized in Serious Condition in Moscow with Similar Symptoms to 2015 Poisoning

Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., journalist and activist in the Russian opposition, has been hospitalized again today in serious condition with the same symptoms as his poisoning in 2015, Interfax and CBS have reported.

CBS reported:

Open Russia, run by exiled Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, said in a statement on Thursday that Vladimir Kara-Murza was hospitalized earlier in the day after becoming ill. 

Kara-Murza worked as a program manager for Open Russia.

Just yesterday, he tweeted from the make-shift memorial in honor of Boris Nemtsov his close friend and colleague assassinated two years ago. This memorial has been repeatedly swept away either by the authorities of pro-government ultranationalist activists, but liberal opposition members continue to put it back.

Translation: We're here. We remember. 

He and another colleague, Ilya Yashin, whose interview we published this week had submitted an application to hold a march in memory of Nemtsov.

Translation: Together with @IlyaYashin and @agitator_mass we submitted a letter to the Moscow Mayor's offer on the intention to hold on February 26 (Sunday) a march for Boris Nemtsov.

The letter was signed by veteran human rights advocate Ludmila Alexeyeva, anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny and other rights or opposition leaders. 

Navalny, who is on trial today in the provincial city of Kirov, stopped to tweet a message of support:

Translation: Wow. Voldoya @vkaramurza, get well! Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr. hospitalized in serious conditions.

Earlier this week on January 21, Kara-Murza travelled to Tver, about 180 km northwest of Moscow, where he showed a film about Boris Nemtsov and led a public discussion about the film. 

31 января показали фильм "Немцов" в... - Vladimir Kara-Murza | FacebookDetails... →
Feb 02, 2017 16:36 (GMT)

Some indirect reports indicate that his condition may not be as serious as in 2015:

But Kara-Murza's wife reported on Facebook to friends (translation by The Interpreter):

"My dears...Volodya [Vladimir] is once again in emergency with symptoms reminiscent of those with which he was hospitalized in 2015...Pray along with me, please. "

Later, friends said she had reported that Kara-Murza was unconscious, on a ventilator, and receiving kidney dialysis. 

The pattern was eerily similar to his days before his last hospitalization, when he returned to Moscow from a lecture in Kazan and suddenly wound up in serious condition where he spent many days in a medically-induced coma in dialysis and had a long recovery period.

At that time despite pro-government disinformation about his case, he was not found to have any drugs in his system or food poisoning. His family attempted to get alternative diagnoses but the substance that caused the poisoning was never found, although heavy metals were discovered in his system. He continued to believe he was deliberately poisoned in order to hinder his activism. 

There was no word yet on whether the mayor was permitting the march. 

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Kirovles Trial Re-Opens; Opposition Activist Navalny Defies Court Order to Remain in Kirov

Opposition leader Alexey Navalny, head of the Anti-Corruption Fund which has exposed graft in the top Kremlin leadership and among major oligarchas, is on trial again.

His colleagues have a live feed:

Translation: Live feed from Kirovles [trial]. Questioning of Navalny.

Navalny has remained humorous about his predicament in yet another trial with yet another case, as have some commenters on social media. 

Here he makes a quip about a picture circulating everywhere on pro-government social media and state media showing Putin visiting a youth group in Tula. 

Translation: the slogan of the young Putinlets should be -- Be prepared for the battle for the cause of Rotenberg and Roldugin! Always prepared!

Arkady Rotenberg is Putin's childhood friend and an oligarch who often obtains lucrative state contracts. Roldugin is a cellist who has also been Putin's long-time friend who was exposed as having an offshore account in the Panama Papers.

Translation: For many years now, I start my day with morning coffee, a fresh newspaper and broadcast of the trial of Navalny.

At first the theory was that the Supreme Court was allowed to overturn Navalny's sentence because Putin had wanted to deploy him in the elections to give the semblance of democracy.

But that may have changed: 

Translation: Navalny says he will not sign the pledge and intends on Saturday to go to St. Petersburg for the opening of his election campaign office.

Navalny hopes to run in the 2018 presidential elections and his colleagues have already gathered 100,000 signatures. 

Meanwhile, the trial may result in his arrest. 

Translation: The court rejected Navalny's request to cross-examine the witnesses in the Kirovles trial.

The European Court of Human Rights had ruled in Navalny's favor. 

Translation: !!! The ECHR awarded Navalny 63,000 euros for unlawful detention.

From Twitter, where the topic of Navalny has been trending this morning in Moscow, we can see a certain amount of support for him, and also a lot of hateful comments have been directed at him from both organized troll accounts and people who may be genuine.  

And now that he is defying the law, although it is unjust, he may lose sympathizers in the intelligentsia who have become more cautious with the wave of political arrests, including 4 computer professionals in Kaspersky and the FSB charged with treason on behalf of the US.

Aleksey Venediktov is editor-in-chief of Ekho Moskvy, the last independent radio station which has come under a lot of pressure in recent years. 

Translation: As they want it -- the pledge of Navalny not to leave Kirov, Navalny violates it, they change the lawful measures of restraint. It's a provocation.

In other words, the authorities would then have grounds to arrest Navalny to serve time in pre-trial detention and if the sentence is restored -- four years -- he would have to serve it. 

The trial of Navalny in the Kirovles case in the provincial city of Kirov is a re-opening of a case under which Navalny was already sentenced -- a sentence which the European Court of Human Rights ruled was unjust, and which even the Supreme Court of Russia overturned. But the case was sent back for re-investigation, providing a hook for the authorities to use the affair again to hobble Navalny's activism.

Under Russian law, a judge decides "the measures of restraint" -- these could be a pledge not to leave town, house arrest with or without an ankle bracelet, or pre-trial detention.

Navalny had refused to appear in court as a protest against the unjust action in re-opening it. He was then brought forcibly by bailiffs on a plane to Kirov. There, he has refused to sign the pledge not to leave town. 

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick