Newsletters / The Open Russia Club is opening in London

The Open Russia Club is opening on 10 November in London. In Russia any creative initiative, whether political or cultural, which goes against pro-government ideology, nowadays has little chance of success. So Russian cultural life is moving to London, where 300,000 Russians are living, working and studying. The Open Russia Club will be a meeting place for the giants of Russian culture: writers, artists, political journalists, academics, theatre and cinema directors, as well as for public and political figures.

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On September 25 Andrei Pivovarov, head of the Democratic Coalition election campaign headquarters in Kostroma, was released from jail on one million roubles bail.

Pivovarov was arrested on 29th July in Kostroma, Russia. He was accused of illegal access to digital information and abuse of office, and faced seven and a half years imprisonment. He has been recognised as a political prisoner by the human rights group Memorial.

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MBK commented on the upcoming 2016 Duma elections:

The Open Elections project is continuing its work. We are once more training independent observers not only to record any violations, but also to pre-empt them. But in 2016 we shall go further. Open Elections will support independent candidates if they show they have the necessary motivation and skills.”

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MBK commented on the case of the attempted murder of Oleg Kashin:

“We are dealing here with the system of power that Putin has gradually built up based on the principles of a mafia clan:  a “godfather,” “we don’t rat on our own,” and rituals of signing “in blood as a pledge of loyalty.” Something that looks like the mafia will eventually start to act like the mafia too. I personally doubt [a mafia can successfully run a huge country] and it saddens me that my fellow citizens are going to have to experience this for themselves.”

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On Election Day, 13 September, the “Open Elections” project, which trains election observers, carried out its first campaign in the Kostroma and Novosibirsk regions. Open Elections encountered obstruction and falsifications in Kostroma. Members of the Open Elections team were barricaded inside their building for several hours, and then detained after the door was broken down and a search was carried out. Personal effects were confiscated from observers and human rights activists had money stolen.

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