Reacting to the results of the snap parliamentary
elections in Bulgaria held on Sunday 12 May, ALDE Party
President Sir Graham Watson MEP today said: “with
the lowest turnout in the history of parliamentary elections
in Bulgaria, yesterday was a dark day for democracy and
a repudiation of the EPP-aligned government led by Boyko
Borisov. The conduct of the election also gives cause for
“It is worrying that the election
was marred by several reports of irregularities, vote-buying
and controlled voting. The discovery by police of 350,000
ballot papers printed by a company belonging to a GERB councillor
raises important questions. The next government must undertake
serious efforts to defeat fraud and regain the voters’
trust in democracy.”
“European Liberal Democrats congratulate
ALDE member party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF)
on their performance in the election and their efforts during
the campaign. Negotiations for a government coalition must
take their result into account.”
LI President, Hans van Baalen MEP, has written
to leader of the Progressive Party of Iceland (LI Full Member),
Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, to congratulate him on his
party's success in the recent parliamentary elections. Iceland's
President, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, invited
Mr Gunnlaugsson, who has been made Prime Minister-elect,
to form a government following parliamentary elections in
which the Progressive Party made the biggest gains in electoral
support; more than doubling their number of seats from 9-19.
The Progressive Party has experience of coalition politics
and as the Prime Minister-elect, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson,
entered into Coalition talks, he said: “I feel good
about this. There are of course many and big issues to discuss
so this will take some time, but it's right to be optimistic,
in the beginning at least”. The Liberal's return to
government comes as the Socialist Party they replaced were
unable to solve Iceland's national concerns, resulting in
voters punishing the Socialists for imposing tough austerity
measures and failing to tackle high levels of household
On the 68th anniversary of the Victory over
fascism YABLOKO leaders and supporters of the party paid
tribute to the heroes of the Second World War by laying
wreaths and flowers at the Eternal Flame at the mass grave
at Preobrazhenskoye Cemetery in Moscow. Thousands of Muscovites
- soldiers and officers who died during the Second World
War - are buried here. Preobrazhenskoye Cemetery has become
a traditional place for YABLOKO for paying tribute to those
fallen in the war. YABLOKO activists have been coming here
for several years already.
The ceremony was attended by YABLOKO Chairman
Sergei Mitrokhin, members of YABLOKO’s Political Committee
Alexei Arbatov, Sergei Ivanenko and Grigory Yavlinsky.
On the eve of the Victory Day of May 9,
activists and leaders of the YABLOKO party paid tribute
to the soldiers and victims of the Second World War laying
a wreath and flowers at the Eternal Flame at the Tomb of
the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in Moscow.
YABLOKO Chair Sergei Mitrokhin, the members
of YABLOKO’s Political Committee Alexei Arbatov, Sergei
Ivanenko and Grigory Yavlinsky, Bureau members Anatoly Golov
and Valery Goryachev, as well as members and supporters
of the party took part in the ceremony marking the 68th
anniversary of victory over fascism.
On May 9 YABLOKO will take part in ceremony
at Preobrazhenskoye Cemetery where thousands of Muscovites
- soldiers and officers who died in the war – are
The ceremony will begin at 12:00. Gathering
of the participants is at 11:30. Address: Preobrazhenskiy
val, dom 17 A (metro station Preobrazhenskaya Ploschad).
The YABLOKO party, the Alliance of Liberals
and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), Swedish People's Party
in Finland and the Swedish International Liberal Centre
(SILC) held in Helsinki a seminar entitled "The Future
of EU-Russia Relations: the Liberal View".
The seminar was attended by 250 people from Russia, Finland
and other European countries - politicians, civil society
activists, political scientists, experts, journalists and
students. Representatives of Russian non-governmental organisations
(GOLOS, the Moscow Helsinki Group), and independent press
("Novaya Gazeta") that were subject to increasing
pressure from the authoritarian government were also invited
to the seminar.
The European Union was represented by Carl
Haglund, Minister of Defence of Finland and leader of the
Swidish People’s Party, Kristiina Ojuland, MEP, and
Nils Torvalds, MEP, Astrid Thors, member of the Finnish
Parliament and Vice-President of ALDE and Martin Angeby,
Secretary-General of the Swedish International Liberal Centre.
Grigory Yavlinsky, founder and one of YABLOKO’s leaders,
delivered a key report "Russia in Ten Years."
Valery Borschev, Chairman of YABLOKO’s Human Rights
Faction and member of the Moscow Helsinki Group, and Galina
Mikhaleva, Secretary of YABLOKO’s Political Committee,
participated in panel discussions on human rights in Russia,
and trade and economic relations between Russia and the
Grigory Yavlinsky stressed in his speech
that only cooperation and integration of Russia and the
EU will allow both the sides to take a decent place in the
world of the 21st century, and give them the opportunity
to compete with the North American and Asian world economic
growth centers in the nearest perspective. According to
YABLOKO’s leader, the main obstacles for Russia’s
integration into Europe are Russia’s domestic problems,
such as "primitive authoritarianism", corruption
and "deformation of the principle of freedom of conscience"...
Press Release, the ALDE Group, European
Parliament, May 7, 2013
The European Parliament's Civil Liberties
Committee discussed today for the first time the report
on the situation of fundamental rights: standards and practices
in Hungary. The need for this report arose from a series
of controversial amendments introduced by the country's
ruling party to the media law, the legal order and the national
Constitution which go against the values of the European
Speaking at a mass rally in Bolotnaya Square,
Moscow, YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin urged democratically
minded people to go to polling stations and make the elections
honest, rather than ask the authorities for fair and honest
"There is nothing to discuss with these
authorities, they resist a dialogue, it is absolutely hopeless
to ask something from the authorities, to demand something
from them, it is even pointless to scold or criticize them.
The only thing that makes sense is to change the government.
It's time to change the power and take it into our hands,"
said Sergei Mitrokhin...
...According to Mitrokhin, a single from
the opposition in the gubernatorial elections in the Moscow
Region should be Gennady Gudkov [ousted from the Duma and
the Just Russia party for his oppositional views].
Mitrokhin also said that a single list of
candidates from the opposition should be nominated for the
Moscow City Duma elections as well...
A traditional May Day Democratic Manifestation
was held along Nevsky Prospekt and ended with a rally at
Konnyushennaya Square. This year the main slogan of the
manifestation was "For Russia Free from Political Reprisals
and Religious Obscurantism!"
The democratic manifestation was prepared and conducted
by an organizational committee formed on the basis of the
Democratic Petersburg coalition. According to different
estimates, the number of participants of the manifestation
amounted to 1.5 - 2 thousand people.
The rally meeting at at Konnyushennaya Square was opened
by Alexander Kobrinsky, deputy of the Legislative Assembly
from the YABLOKO party...
The Future of EU-Russian Relations - The
Liberal Viewpoint" seminar was held in Helsinki, Finland
on the 29th of April and gathered over 200 people in the
audience. The hosts of the seminar were the Swedish People’s
Party in Finland (SFP) and the Swedish International Liberal
Center (SILC) and it was arranged in cooperation with Russian
ALDE member party Yabloko and Svenska Bildningsförbundet.
The seminar was divided into three parts,
starting with introductory remarks from Carl Haglund, Minister
of Defence and SFP Party Chair, Martin Ängeby, Secretary
General of SILC and Astrid Thors MP, ALDE Party Vice President,
followed by key note addresses from Yabloko founder, Dr.
Grigory Yavlinsky and MEP Kristiina Ojuland. The seminar
continued with panel discussions on human rights as well
as trade and economic relations in the afternoon.
Carl Haglund commenced by pointing out that
a well-functioning relationship between Russia and the EU
is beneficial for both parties, which was echoed in later
discussions. Also the fact that the EU is Russia’s
biggest and Russia EU’s third biggest trading partner
was repeated during the day. Peace through trade is a fundament
for the EU and something to continue working on. It took
18 years of bargaining before Russia joined the WTO in August
2012 and there still remain obstacles in the trading policy.
EU-Russia cooperation must be based on mutual
respect. The importance of the EU putting pressure on Russia
to respect freedom of speech and human rights was underlined
during the seminar. The ”foreign agent”-law,
the Sergei Magnitsky case and other anti-democratic laws
are alarming. Russia is not interested in being led by the
hand towards democracy – the country must do the work
itself when it comes to democracy and human rights. Some
of the people working for these values are in jail, but
many were at the seminar – including the founder of
the Yabloko party.
In his key note speech Dr. Girgory Yavlinsky
stated: “The important question is not how long Putin
is going to stay in power – the important question
is what is going to be instead of him? All other questions
are secondary. Then we will be able to speak about elections
MEP Kristiina Ojuland reminded that the
Russian Parliamentary elections in 2011 were the real starting
point of the lack of trust. They were clearly not free and
fair and that has also changed the European Parliament’s
view on Russia. Corruption and VISA freedom for Russian
citizens were also addressed during the seminar which, thanks
to simultaneous translation into Russian and English, attracted
a vast number of participants. The seminar has been recorded
and can be viewed on www.sfp.fi/russia.
Every year on April 26, the anniversary
of the Chernobyl disaster, YABLOKO has been conducting an
action by the Russian Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) to
commemorate those who died, express sympathy for those who
got sick in this tragedy and remind everyone of the consequences
of nuclear energy sector.
The danger of explosion has not been the only issue for
the past years, the topic of distribution of budgetary funds
by Rosatom has also been touched. This time YABLOKO has
protested against Rosatom’s plans to spend billions
of dollars of budget money on construction of nuclear power
Rosatom plans to invest USD 20 billion in the economy of
Turkey to construct and operate the Akkuyu nuclear power
plant. Turkey’s economy will receive this colossal
amount of money from Russia’s taxpayers without any
counter profit for Russia. Rosatom also plans to construct
a nuclear power plant in Vietnam which will cost USD 10
billion. India, China, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Egypt and even
Bangladesh with its unstable situation and some other countries
are next in turn for Russia’s budgetary funds via
Liberal International 190th Executive.
Published on April 26, 2013
...But I should note that
the reaction of Vladimir Putin’s regime to the mass
protests was not only intensification of reprisals. Putin
responded to the challenge with a specific state ideology
based on aggressive clericalism and complete denial of the
liberal values. This is a significant difference from the
policies of ex President Medvedev who often appealed to
the liberal values.
Orthodoxy has been exploited by the regime in a very specific
way. The emphasis is laid on its contraposition to the Western
values and way of life. This "sacred resource"
provides the authorities an ideological basis for criticism
of the human rights concept, as well as political systems
based on respect for civil liberties...
...New evidence of the growth of aggressive
clericalism has been emerging every day. The Russian parliament
adopted a law envisaging five years of imprisonment for
the injury of religious beliefs and feelings. However, the
law protects only “traditional confessions”
Orthodoxy in the first place. It is obvious that opponents
of clericalisation of the state will become the first victims
of this vague norm based on subjective estimates...
Yesterday, representatives of democratic
parties and organisations gathered for their second meeting
in one of Moscow clubs to discuss nomination of a single
list in the Moscow City Duma elections.
Representatives of from the YABLOKO party
and YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin, RPR-Parnas (Vladimir
Ryzhkov), Democratic Choice (Vladimir Milov), the Civil
Initiative (Nikolai Alekseyev), the Solidarity (Michael
Schneider) and the Coordinating Council of the opposition
(Gennady Gudkov) participated in the meeting. This time
new participants joined the meeting: representatives of
the The Party of December 5 (Denis Bilunov and Sergei Davidis),
the Civil Initiative, the Civil Federation movement and
The White Ribbon joined the consultations.
The participants agreed to conduct regular
meetings so that to coordinate candidates in single-mandate
electoral districts and actions targeted at the increase
of voter turnout, as well as possible agreements on the
general list. A working group comprising one representative
from each organisation was formed. The tasks of the working
group are to formulate the agenda and possible solutions
for the next meeting in an expanded format. The YABLOKO
party delegated Galina Mikhaleva, First Deputy Chair of
the Moscow branch of the party, to the working group. The
first meeting of the working group will be held this Saturday,
on April 27...
On April 22, the Vladikavkaz Court declared
unlawful the refusal of the Ministry of Justice Department
in North Ossetia-Alania Republic to register the regional
branch of the YABLOKO party in the Republic.
"The refusal of the Ministry of Justice Department
in North Ossetia-Alania Republic to register the regional
branch of the YABLOKO party should be recognised unlawful
and cancelled,” runs the decisions of the court.
The court also ordered the Ministry of Justice of the Republic
to register a YABLOKO’s regional branch and pass all
the documents required for registration to the fiscal authority...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin called to
pay close attention to the Russian regions where dozens
of people had been persecuted for political reasons. He
made such a statement at a rally against the political reprisals
that took place in Moscow on April 17.
Sergei Mitrokhin recalled journalist Michael
Beketov who was attacked and severely injured in 2008 and
died of severe injuries in April 2013. The names of those
who ordered this crime were known, but they were not arrested.
Also many cases of murdered journalists and public figures
remained unsolved, Mitrokhin said.
"What should be done to make our law enforcement system
work and so that it stopped being so sluggish and inert,
amorphous and unclear? One should simply start to really
fight against corruption, as Alexei Navalny has begun doing
or Maxim Petlin, leader of the Sverdlovsk branch of YABLOKO,
who was imprisoned for disclosing a corruption scheme of
Alexander Shishlov, Ombudsperson in St.
Petersburg and YABLOKO Bureau member, made his first report
in the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg.
On the whole he received 1643 written appeals, complaints
and requests from citizens of St. Petersburg in 2012. Most
complaints referred to housing problems. Over half of them
(52.3 per cent) dealt with failure to get housing from the
government’s fund, 22 per cent dealt with housing
property title, 10.7 per cent with maintenance of the housing,
9.8 per cent with housing construction and 5.2 per cent
with bills on utility services...
The Ombudsman recalled that dozens of people had been detained
at different street protest actions in 2012; whereas the
authorities explained the fact of their detention with the
help of this law. “However, the court did not find
any violations in their actions,” Shishlov said...
At the Administrative Session of the 190th
Executive Committee Meeting, delegates from accorss the
words expressed concern about recent developments in Russia
and Ukraine and unanimously passed two
political resolutions: Condemning the burning of books
at Yabloko headquarters and The importance of fighting corruption
in Ukraine. The Executive Committee endorsed the cooption
of high-level politicians from un-represented regions on
the LI Bureau: Kasit Piromya, of the Democratic Party of
Thailand (Asia); Ahmed Hariri of the Future Movement/ al-Mustaqbal,
Lebanon (MENA); Edgar Hererra, Guatemala (Latin America).
One endorsement to full member status and three endorsements
to observer member status were also voted. The Republican
Party of Georgia is set to become a full member, while four
parties -- Alliance Nationale pour les Comores, Comoros;
United Democrats, Cyprus; Rassemblement National des Independents,
Morocco; Partido de la Libertad Individual, Spain —
were validated by the Executive as LI observer members.
The status of these parties will need to be verified by
the next Congress meeting...
On April 17, another rally organised by
Vladimir Putin’s supporters took place by the office
of the Krasnodar branch of YABLOKO in the South of Russia.
It is already the 15th such rally held under the slogan
“Hands off from Vladimir Putin!” taking place
by YABLOKO’s office...
On April 10, the YABLOKO party held a meeting
for representatives of democratic parties and organizations.
The meeting discussed YABLOKO’s proposal on compiling
of a single list of democratic candidates for the Moscow
City Duma elections 2014. Earlier YABLOKO had proposed to
give half of places on its party list to the candidates
from democratic forces.
Members of the Democratic Choice party and their leader
Vladimir Milov, representatives of the Solidarity movement
and RPR-PARNAS, activists from Grazhdanskaya Initsiativa
(Civil Initiative) and their leader Andrei Nechayev, Gennady
Gudkov , member of the opposition's Coordination Council,
and Ilya Ponomaryov, deputy of the State Duma, took part
in the meeting. Opening the meeting YABLOKO leader Sergei
Mitrokhin spoke about YABLOKO’s initiative on creating
a broad democratic and civil coalition for the Moscow City
Duma elections. YABLOKO proposed to conduct primaries, where
all the Muscovites could participate; whereas the winners
in the primaries would be included into the YABLOKO party
list of candidates and in single-mandate electoral districts.
Sergei Mitrokhin emphasized that if the parties reached
an agreement, YABLOKO would ready to take their representatives
on the “party’s” part of the electoral
The President of the ALDE Gender Equality
Network Flo Clucas and liberal European Commissioner for
Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström have expressed their
profound concern and disappointment after a report revealed
that human trafficking in the EU has increased in recent
years and 80% of the victims are women and young girls.
They also strongly criticised 21 EU member states for the
delays in implementing into national law the EU directive
on human trafficking, adopted in March 2011. The
European Commission report presented on Monday, the first
compilation of data from more than 25 European nations of
its kind, showed human trafficking increased by 18% between
2008 and 2010 and that during the same time the number of
convictions for the crime fell by 13%.
As EU member states identified human trafficking
as one of the priority areas in the fight against organised
crime, the ALDE Gender Equality Network is very disappointed
and worried that, despite the alarming trends, only a few
countries have implemented the anti-trafficking legislation.
Flo Clucas, President of the ALDE Gender Equality Network,
said: “Even though EU governments have had two years
to implement tougher standardised anti-trafficking legislation,
only six out of 27 states have done this. Large EU-states,
such as Germany, France and Great Britain have not implemented
tougher measures in their national legislatures, this is
Press Release, the ALDE Group, European
Parliament, April 16, 2013
Commenting on the investigation by the Bulgarian
Prosecutor General's Office into the allegations of illegal
wiretapping of scores of political opposition leaders in
Bulgaria, Guy Verhofstadt, President of the ALDE Group has
made the following statement:
"Sanctioning of illegal wiretapping of opposition politicians
in Bulgaria by state authorities undermines democracy and
the fairness of the electoral process. The European Union
monitoring mechanism covers adherence to the rule of law
matters and therefore the ongoing scandal should be seriously
analysed by the European Commission. With less than one
month before elections in Bulgaria, citizens need to be
reassured that their fundamental rights are protected"...
LI 190th Executive Council Meeting,
Beirut, Arpil 13, 2013
The Executive Committee of Liberal International,
meeting in Beirut recalls the burning of books by Nazis
in 1936, rightly condemned by the Free World, and expresses
its horror and indignation at the action by ultra-Orthodox
thugs who invaded the Headquarter of the Yabloko Party in
Moscow on March 15 removing publications and burning them
publicly in a Moscow Square.
The Executive Committee notes the failure
of the Russian and Moscow Authorities to investigate, prosecute
or even condemn this action with its sinister implications
for basic freedoms and demands that they do so without delay,
guaranteeing the right of all Russians to publish freely.
The Executive Committee calls on the Russian
authorities to adhere to their commitment as a member country
of the Council of Europe and investigate into the accident
and punish those guilty.
The Executive Committee further urges ALDE
members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe to sponsor a resolution condemning this action and
the failure of the Russian Authorities to take appropriate
LI Bureau member and Treasurer Robert Woodthorpe
Browne was among the high level speakers on migration and
assimilation at Yabloko (LI Full Member) Conference on 6th
April in Moscow, Russia.
The event was opened by Party Leader Sergey
Mitrokhin and Dr Astrid Thors, European Liberal Democrats
- ALDE Party Vice President and former Migration Minister
in the Finnish Government coming from the Swedish People's
Party (LI Full Member). Professor Grigoriy Alekseyevich
Yavlinskiy addressed the gathering on the subject issues.
He was particularly concerned at the potential knock-on
effect of the proposed US withdrawal from Afghanistan in
2014. Input was provided by speakers from Swedish, Estonian,
Moldovan, German and British liberals. LI Treasurer, Robert
Woodthorpe Browne, described the UK situation and added
an LI dimension...
Civil funeral service in memory of journalist
and public activist Mikhail Beketov took place at the House
of Journalists today. Mikhail Beketov was a Russian journalist
who combated against crime and corruption in the city of
Khimki (including defence of Khimki Forest which had to
be cut due the construction of the Moscow–Saint Petersburg
highway). Beketov was attacked and severely injured by “unidentified
persons” in 2008. As a result his leg and fingers
on the left hand were amputated, he lost speech and became
handicapped. The attackers have not been found. He died
in hospital of complications due to brain damage at the
age of 55 on 8 April 2013...
“Mikhail Beketov struggled face to face against the
crime in Khimki, and there are a few people like him, however,
there are a lot of journalists among these few. This list
[of murdered journalists] coincides with the list of unsolved
murders. The investigators know the name of the person who
ordered this crime, but there is no will so that to bring
this person to justice. The tragedy of our country is that
outright criminals are in power now. Mikhail stood in their
way and was murdered. President Putin should have sent not
only his condolences, but had to keep up his promise and
take the case under his control. What else but death can
become a reason for this? May the memory to a great person
Mikhail Beketov live forever,” said Sergei Mitrokhin...
The St.Petersburg branch of YABLOKO nominated
1550 candidates to the electoral commissions in all the
districts of the city. The registration of documents in
the electoral commissions is ending today.
“All of our candidates are well educated and active
citizens and their main goal is to ensure compliance with
the law at their electoral districts. Unfortunately YABLOKO’s
representatives were not welcome at all the territorial
electoral commissions” said Olga Pokrovskaya, member
of the city electoral commission.
In particular, one of the territorial electoral
commissions demanded statements of income from YABLOKO’s
candidates (which is not envisaged by the law), another
commission demanded that the copies of the work record books
should be changed as allegedly they had not been properly
The Russian participants of the conference
– representatives of the Russian United Democratic
Party YABLOKO – basing on the discussions of the conference
state the following:
Migration represents a natural development
in the globalised world of the 21st century. However, the
threat is represented by systemic problems in the states
– the shadow economy and corruption, lack of the rule
of law, encouragement of nationalistic moods and violation
of human rights, - rather than migration in itself.
We are certain the problems related to migration
can be resolved in compliance with international conventions,
proceeding from such principles as human rights, tolerance,
respect for the individual, responsibility, free and fair
competition and secularism.
We believe that in the short term Russia
must ratify Convention No 143 of the International Labour
Organisation “On Migrations in Abusive Conditions
and the Promotion of Equality of Opportunity and Treatment
of Migrant Workers” (Geneva, June 24, 1975) and International
Convention “On the Protection of the Rights of All
Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families” (New
York, December 18, 1990)...
The way towards an efficient migration policy
should go through the solution of major Russia’s problems:
separation of business from government, building of a law-governed
and democratic state, said YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
at the opening of an international conference on Migration.
The conference, organized by the YABLOKO party and the ALDE
party was held in Moscow on April 6...
Four panel discussions were held within
the framework of the conference: “Migration dynamics
and its political, economic and cultural consequences”,
“Integration of migrants of the first and further
generations: positive and negative experience”, “Restraining
and regulatory mechanisms: different countries’ experiences
and international cooperation” and “Regulation
of migration: the tasks of the state and the society”.
The reports were made by Russian and foreign experts and
On April 3 Acad. Alexei Yabloko, Chair of
YABLOKO’s Green Russia faction and member of YABLOKO’s
Political Committee, delivered a public lecture "Environmental
problems of Russia" in the Kemerovo business center
and held an informal meeting with representatives of public
and scientific organisations during his trip to the Kemerovo
Alexei Yablokov’s visit aroused concern
of the local authorities: a formal invitation to deliver
two lectures on environmental issues in the Kemerovo State
University was withdrawn, as the “lecture halls were
occupied”. The second public lecture by Alexei Yablokov
"Ecology and Health" scheduled at the Business
Center for April 4 was cancelled a few hours before it had
to begin due to the "collapse of the ceiling in the
The YABLOKO party is filing a lawsuit against
the electoral commission members and the policeman who beat
woman observer in an attempt to snatch a falsified final
protocol of the voting given to her. The incident occurred
late last night at polling station No 02-13 after the counting
of votes in the mayoral election of Anapa. Alexandra Garkusha,
aged 23, an observer from the YABLOKO party, together with
representatives from other parties and candidates was given
a falsified final protocol of the voting by the commission
members. The document had no legal force and could not form
a basis for filing a case in court.
Alexandra Garkusha drew the attention of
the Commission to this fact and refused to sign for the
receipt of such a protocol. After that, the commission members
expressed their dissatisfaction in extremely disproportionate
aggression and attacked Alexandra trying to snatch the protocol
from her hands. According to the witnesses, Irina Tropina,
Chair of the Electoral Commission, was the most aggressive
attacker encouraging her subordinates to more violence...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin demanded
from Vladimir Churov, head of the Central Election Commission,
to cancel the results of the mayoral elections in Anapa,
the Krasnodar Territory, held on Sunday. The number of cases
of stuffing of fraudulent ballots does not allow a genuine
expression of voters’ will to be determined. Information
about all the facts of fraud was also sent to the Central
Gross violations began already on Friday,
when road police detained a coach that had to transport
YABLOKO and independent observers from Taganrog to Anapa...
on the voting day about 20 cars with about a hundred of
YABLOKO’s observers could not get to the polling stations
by their opening time 8 a.m., due to blocking of the road
by the police and a staged “car accident” on
the road Sukko-Anapa...
“All this was done so that our observers
could not get to the polling station to their opening and
so that to do unhampered stuffing of ballots in favour of
Sergei Sergeyev, United Russia candidate and ex police head
whom Governor Tkachyov wanted to see as Anapa Mayor,”
said Sergei Mitrokhin who also visited the “accident
Voting demonstrated different violations
– from stuffing of ballots to ousting of observers
from polling stations, ban on filming, as well as threats
and physical violence against observers.
attack was undertaken against Sergei Mitrokhin. An unidentified
person sprayed some green liquid in the face of YABLOKO’s
leader at one of the polling stations. The liquid got onto
his neck and arms. An emergency doctor wiped the paint from
the skin, but advised Sergei Mitrokhin to go to hospital
for further observation, since "anything could have
been mixed into the liquid"...
"Maxim Petlin can be considered a political
prisoner," YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin commented
on the sentence to Maxim Petlin, leader of the Sverdlovsk
Region branch of YABLOKO and deputy of the Yekaterinburg
"We believe that the sentence is based on a case fabricated
by the investigators with gross procedural violations. Petlin’s
activities targeted at exposing corruption launched his
prosecution," said Mitrokhin.
According to Mitrokhin, the court acts "in the interest
of the clans controlling the city and influencing not only
on the city, but also the regional Federal Security Service
departments, the prosecutor's office and the court"...
Today YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin has
held a public inspection of the so-called "Serdyukov
cottage" in the Big Utrish natural reserve area. The
inspection was held within the framework of Mitrokhin’s
visit to the Krasnodar region. Alexei Yegorov, leader of
the Anapa branch of YABLOKO and candidate for the Mayor
of Anapa, and Andrei Rudomakha, leader of the regional branch
of YABLOKO also participated in the inspection.
The participants of the inspection have personally observed
that construction of the cottage in a natural reserve went
on despite the resignation of Anatoly Serdyukov fromk his
ministerial post. In 2009, the site was transferred to the
Ministry of Defence for "placement of a navigation
station" there. However, mysteriously, construction
of a luxury villa instead of a radar began at the site.
The contractor was Serdyukov’s son-in-law Valery Puzikov.
Presumably the villa is being built for him...
YABLOKO also carried out an inspection of another plot of
land: not far from "Serdyukov’ villa" there
may soon emerge the second villa of Governor Tkachyov. According
to the activists of the regional branch of YABLOKO, the
site in the natural reserve Big Utrish was transferred into
property of the Stroibeton company. Most likely the owner
of the cottage will be Governor of the Krasnodar Territory
Alexander Tkachyov. Such a scheme – transfer of land
into property of some firms controlled by him – Tkachyov
had already used in the construction of his first summer
cottage in the Blue Bay.
Sergei Mitrokhin is visiting Anapa to support Alexei Yegorov,
YABLOKO’s candidate for the post of the city mayor.
The elections will be held on March 24. Sergei Mitrokhin
appealed to the Central Electoral Commission so that the
Commission ensure lawful voting.
Press Release, the ALDE Group, European
Parliament, March 22, 2013
The ALDE Group welcomes today's launch by
the European Commission of two consultations on media freedom
and pluralism and audiovisual media regulator independence.
The first consultation asks specifically to comment on the
EU's competences to act in protection of media freedom and
on the roles of national regulatory authorities, as well
as if current laws need to be changed.
EP rapporteur on an "EU Charter: Standard settings
for Media Freedom across the EU", Renate Weber (PNL,
Romania) said: "We hope this consultation will pave
the way to the establishment of a regular mechanism of monitoring
and reporting over the full respect of media freedom and
pluralism, as a democratic exercise that all EU Member States
The St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly rejected
an inquiry from Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the YABLOKO
faction in the Legislative Assembly, on non-implementation
of the city budget. The Legislative Assembly referred to
its new regulations. The YABLOKO faction will seek in court
to cancel the new procedure for filing inquiries to officials.
Meanwhile Yavlinsky expressed his concern about the "very
unsatisfactory state of affairs in the budgetary process
of St. Petersburg" and wants to know what measures
Governor Georgy Poltavchenko is going to adopt so that to
amend the situation. In his deputy inquiry Grigory Yavlinsky
appeals to the Governor "in view of an extremely poor
state of affairs in the budgetary process of St. Petersburg"...
LI full member Yabloko, became a direct
victim of the rising intolerance in Russia, when its headquarters
in Moscow were attacked by “Orthodox fascists”. This video
demonstrates how they stole and publicly burnt books and
booklets published by the party. Yabloko suspects that the
reason behind this provocation is the fact that the party
has rejected the movement's proposal for building new Christian
Orthodox temples on sites where city gardens and children's
playgrounds are situated. Sergei Mitrokhin, Yabloko's leader,
was outraged, saying: 'We are expecting a reaction from
Vladimir Putin, the People's Front and the Russian Orthodox
Church to the provocations of the thugs acting on their
behalf. In the absence of any response we will consider
this attack as the beginning of “Maoist-style terror” against
the political opposition and we will build our party strategy
in line with these new realities.” ALDE-PACE President Anne
Brasseur condemned the attack and expressed “sincere hopes
that the legal proceedings that Yabloko has launched will
receive appropriate attention both from the judiciary and
the political authorities of Russia.”
The YABLOKO party believes that the stance
of the State Duma deputies in their
conflict with the MK newspaper violates the Russian
law envisaging that it is the court which takes decisions
on all the disputes relating to publications in the mass
media. The MPs actions not only contravene the procedures
established by law, but are also in conflict with ethical
and moral norms governing public life...
The MPs’ demands to [Pavel Gusev],
Editor-in-Chief of the MK to leave his post of Chairman
of the Moscow Journalists’ Union represents an attempt
to interfere into the spheres of public life that are completely
beyond control of the legislative authority and are governed
by internal corporate standards of professional communities.
The MPS’ idea to "take away"
MK from Pavel Gusev [who is also the owner of the paper]
is a direct attack on the principle of the inviolability
of private property. Proposing such solutions to disputes
with the media MPs undermine the legal foundations of the
state, which again demonstrates their great incompetence
and catastrophic failure as the legislators...
International conference on migration problems
will take place in Moscow on April 6. The organizers are
the ALDE Party (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)
and YABLOKO’s Political Committee.
The conference will discuss the following
- migration dynamics and its political,
economic and cultural consequences;
- integration of migrants of the first and further generations:
positive and negative experience;
- restraining and regulatory mechanisms: different countries’
experiences and international cooperation;
- regulation of migration: the tasks of the state and the
The ALDE Group of the Parliamentary Assembly
of the Council of Europe is deeply concerned with the news
we are receiving from Russia. The attacks perpetrated against
the Yabloko party in Moscow are yet another manifestation
of growing intolerance in the Russian society.
The ALDE condemns the perpetrators of these
attacks which are not simply an act of vandalism, but also
an offence against the freedom of expression. We sincerely
hope that the legal proceedings that you have launched will
receive appropriate attention both from the judiciary and
the political authorities of Russia. Such acts cannot be
I would like to assure you that the Monitoring
Committee will be duly informed about these deplorable developments...
Orthodox activists from the God's Will (Bozhya
Volya) public movement staged "Orthodox Inquisition
against the YABLOKO party". A group of young men burst
into YABLOKO’s Moscow headquarters on Friday night,
took all the freely available books and booklets published
by the party and burned them in the square by Novokuznetskaya
metro station which is in 3 minutes walk from YABLOKO’s
office. The video entitled "Confiscation and Burning
of Waste Paper of the Party of Satanists and Perverts YABLOKO"
was loaded by the young people on the Internet...
Press Release, the ALDE Group, European
Parliament, March 7, 2013
Ahead of International Women's Day, Liberals
and Democrats in the European Parliament (ALDE) call for
united international action to combat violence against women.
In Europe, 45 % of women will experience some type of violence
at least once in her lifetime. Every day one in five women
in Europe is a victim of violence. Antonyia Parvanova (NMSP,
Bulgaria), ALDE spokesperson on Women's Rights and Gender
Equality, participated in the UN summit meeting on 'The
elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against
women', being held from 4 to 15 March in New York. The Bulgarian
liberal presented the activities of the European Parliament
to eridicate violence against women while highlighting the
challenges faced in the EU.
Mrs Parvanova commented "We have to continue to take
concrete steps to defend women's and girls' fundamental
right to live free from violence. But we won't achieve concrete
results if acting alone . The EU has an excellent opportunity
to deliver on its commitments by pressing for coordinated
international action at the UN Conference"...
Nikolai Rybakov, member of the Federal Bureau
of the YABLOKO party, has sent to Vladimir Putin over 11,000
signatures collected in favour of resignation of Pavel Astakhov,
Ombudsman for Children’s Rights (notoriously known
for his support of the “orphans law” and calls
to return all the Russian orphans adopted abroad back to
Over 11,000 signatures were collected in
just a week, despite ddos-attacks and Internet bots attacking
the Demokrator.ru website where the signatures were collected.
"We believe that a man who has cynically
exploited the death of a child [adopted by a US family]
for his political gain, can not hold the post of Children's
Ombudsman," runs Rybakov’s statement.
"I think that the president should not wave away the
appeal of 11,000 citizens. Let us at least make him think
whether his representative Mr. Astakhov has been acting
in an honest and due manner? Our final goal is still there:
Russia should have a decent defender of children,"
Nikolai Rybakov said...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin called the
participants of the Social Manifestation to "change
the authorities at the next elections to the Moscow City
Duma," rather than ask the Mayor of Moscow team for
some "handouts". "We offer the entire civil
society to unite for the Moscow City Duma elections and
agree to provide our party candidates list for this purpose,
and we give half of the list for civil society activists,"
Mitrokhin said at a rally on Sakharov Square...
Mitrokhin also said that the policies of the Moscow authorities
was "authoritarian and incompetent in many areas, but
extremely self-confident and based on the most profound
contempt for the Muscovites". "The Sobyanin’s
team acts as if they came to some kindergarten rather than
Moscow. They know what is better for us, and we should wait
with our mouths open when they bring happiness to us,"
YABLOKO’s Alexei Firsov, head of Kolchuginsky
District, the Vladimir region, was dismissed from his post
because of a conflict with the head of the district administration
Andrei Mitroshkin. The decision on dismissal was taken at
today's meeting of the Council of People's Deputies of the
district by 12 votes "for" with three "against."
Most of the deputies of the Council refused to consider
the appeal of Governor Nikolai Vinogradov in support of
Firsov. Several dozens of local residents came to support
Alexei Firsov at the Council meeting, but only a few were
allowed into the assembly hall. After voting Firsov thanked
his supporters after which the residents together with Firsov
left the hall. Now Firsov will work
in the Council as an ordinary member. His term will expire
in two years...
Press Release, the ALDE Group, European
Parliament, February 28, 2013
Today the Commission presented its "Smart
borders" package. ALDE welcomes this legislative initiative
as it will simplify the life of "bona fide" foreigners
frequently travelling to the EU, whose number is expected
to increase in the future.
ALDE spokesperson of the dossier Nils Torvalds (Swedish
Peoples Party, Finland): "It is in the interest of
the EU to make it as easy as possible for tourists, business
travellers and students to come to Europe. At the same time
an easier access to the EU should go hand in hand with preventing
irregular migration. The "smart borders" initiative
should also help Member states better control their external
borders, an important issue for some of them which have
to manage a very long portion of the EU external borders"...
A roundtable "Democracy and Economic
Growth" held within the framework of the second Russian
Economic Congress in Suzdal discussed how the type of a
political system may affect economic growth.
Grigory Yavlinsky, Professor at the Higher
School of Economics and founder of the YABLOKO party, set
the tone of the discussion. He noted that economic growth
has been considered a key indicator of economic development.
However, he stressed that there has been no direct correlation
between the economic growth and the type of the political
system. Economics can not yet answer the question why the
most developed democratic countries do not show sustainable
economic growth while some authoritarian states may demonstrate
impressive economic growth rates...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin believes
that the attempted murder on Nikolai Nesterenko, Deputy
Ataman of the Anapa City Cossack Community, demonstrates
a qualitatively new stage of confrontation between public
activists and criminal authorities of the Krasnodar Territory.
Attempted murder on Nikolai Nesterenko was committed in
Anapa on February 22. A killer opened fire on the car of
the Cossack. Nesterenko was wounded and his driver Viktor
Zhuk was killed. Nikolay Nesterenko is one of the leaders
of the civil society in Anapa. For many years he has been
fighting against unlawfulness, violation of citizens’ rights
and abuse of power by businessmen and officials in the city.
"Earlier they have exerted pressure
on public activists in different forms, including their
unlawful conviction on trumped up criminal cases, but now
we can say that, that they begin shooting the most active
public figures who do not let them to do lawlessness,"
said YABLOKO’s leader...
The Democratic Petersburg coalition YABLOKO
is member of conducted a raid proving that St.Petersburg
authorities did not allow the Democratic Petersburg to conduct
rallies in the city on fictitious grounds. The city authorities
turned down 20 sites as possible grounds for the coalition
rally. "We have collected evidence of the officials’
lies and will file a law suit against them," said the
This Sunday, the coalition planned to hold a rally against
the federal law on the "gay propaganda". The application
was submitted to the authorities four times proposing 20
different locations. However, all the applications were
turned down. The organizers were ready to hold a rally at
any time from 12:00 to 18:00, but the officials said that
all proposed sites were taken by other activities at that
time or some renovation works or repairs were conducted
there. Each time the rally fell under some ban...
New laws adopted in the field of education
endanger the future of Russia and arouse fair concerns not
only from the civil society but also for the professionals
working in this sector.
Many teachers decided to actively participate
in the public debate and started looking for other forms
of communication of their position to the society. One of
such forms is creation of a free trade union of university
teachers which was initiated by a group of high school professors
and teachers. Unfortunately, the voice of this "official"
trade union was virtually unheard in discussion of the [government’s]
bills, and a broad attack on the rights of workers of the
education sector undertaken by the government, has not got
due assessment on behalf of the trade union.
The Bureau of the Russian United Democratic
Party YABLOKO supports the initiative of creation of the
Free Trade Union of Russian University Teachers and believes
that position of the professional community should form
a basis for a dialogue between the government and society...
The Independent Press Center invites journalists
on February 28 at 12:00 to the press conference "Women's
Spring 2013: Start of Preparation for the 3rd All-Russian
The participants of the conference are as follows: Dr. Galina
Mikhalyova, Chair of YABLOKO’s Gender Faction and
Secretary of YABLOKO’s Political Committee; Natalia
Dmitryeva, Co-Chair and Coordinator of the Council for Consolidation
of Women's Movement in Russia, Chair of the All-Russian
Public Organization "Business Women of Russia";
Natalia Velikaya, Chair of the Social Democratic Union of
Russian Women, Dean of the Political Sociology Faculty of
the Russian State Humanities University (RGGU);Irina Gorkova,
Adviser to the Moscow Region Governor; Irina Rukina, leader
of the political party "People Against Corruption,"
Dean of the Faculty of Large Cities Management of the International
Andrei Vorobyov, acting Moscow Region Governor,
agreed with the demands put forward during YABLOKO’s
manifestation and rally and sent the General Paln of the
Balashikha City Development for revision.
He made such a statement at his meeting with residents of
the city. The manifestation and rally organized by the YABLOKO
party were in the city in the past weekend. Participants
of the rally marched in the centre of the city. "The
new General Plan is a shame of Balashikha" was written
on the banner carried in front of the column.
"The Plan aroused outrage of the city residents by
its absolute negligence of the needs of citizens and its
cynical approach to the urban policy," Vladimir Konnov,
the leader of the Balashikha branch of YABLOKO said at the
The Moscow Times, February 19, 2013.
Vedomosti, January 28, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama took his second
oath of office on Jan. 20. The following Sunday, also in
Washington, Metropolitan Tikhon was enthroned as the primate
of the Orthodox Church in America.
A second major phenomenon largely overlooked by the media
is that 1 million Orthodox Americans affirm the importance
of upholding their faith in that multicultural "melting
pot" — even though most speak English and were
not raised according to traditional Russian customs. Although
many American Orthodox believers are not Russians or Europeans,
and some are not even direct descendents of Russian and
European immigrants, they often had an even stronger personal
connection to the Russian emigres and anti-Bolsheviks of
the 18th and 19th centuries and responded more passionately
when the Russian Orthodox Church was driven partly underground...
Reacting to the resignation this morning
of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and his government,
ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson said: “European
Liberal Democrats welcome today’s announcement. We
have become increasingly concerned about freedom and the
rule of law under Prime Minister Boyko Borissov since he
took office in 2009.”
“Together with the likes of Berlusconi
and Basescu – Europe’s B team – Borissov
has played fast and loose with the rule of law. I hope this
B team will not be revived in elections this year”...
The vote of the Constitutional Affairs Committee
of the European Parliament supported efforts by ALDE MEPs
aimed at correcting the worst anomaly in the original proposal
of the two rapporteurs (Trzaskowski-Gualtieri) on the apportionment
of seats at the next elections in 2014. The Liberals and
Democrats argued that to have a two seat gap between Hungary
and Sweden on the basis of a difference of population of
475,000 was unjust.
Andrew Duff's proposal that at the next constitutional Convention,
likely in 2015, the EU should agree on a fair, durable and
transparent arithmetical formula for the distribution of
seats was also accepted...
The Conference of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO
adopted a Manifesto on compiling of a list candidates for
the Moscow City Duma elections (which
are to take place in 2014) from united democratic opposition.
According to the Manifesto, half of the candidates in the
party list will be given to civil activists and representatives
from other political forces. Muscovites will determine the
nominees in the primaries.
"Moscow has accumulated a critical mass of active people,
they awoke from the “sleep’ during Putin's 2000s,
and they want to act. They do realise that their children
will not have any normal human prospects in this country
without changing of the political situation in the country,
that is why they want to go into politics. We give them
such an opportunity," YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
stated at the Conference.
"A year ago we promised at the rallies
that we would propose a definite political mechanism to
address different problems. The adopted Manifesto is a direct
and earnest answer to all the questions: what people who
manifested at Bolotnaya Square and Sakharov Prospect and
participated in other mass opposition rallies should do
now," said Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO founder and member
of the Political Committee. "The time of general discussions
is over. It's time to act," he stressed...
On Sunday, February 17, the Conference of
the Moscow branch of the YABLOKO party will adopt a Manifest
on the creation of nomination of a joint list of candidates
from united democratic opposition for the Moscow City Duma
elections of 2014.
The Manifesto will appeal to civil society activists and
representatives of political forces sharing democratic values
to participate in the formation of a joint list of candidates.
YABLOKO will provide to such joint candidates half of the
number of places allotted to the YABLOKO party nominees,
as well as half of places in single-mandate precincts.
The candidates will be nominated via primaries. YABLOKO
proposes to hold primaries in all the 22 electoral territories...
Alexei Melnikov’s blog in
the Live Journal,
February 11, 2013
Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev has
said today that he supports the death penalty for people
who have committed serious crimes, "I fear to bring
down the anger of the opponents of the death penalty on
myself, but speaking as an ordinary citizen, rather than
a minister, I would see nothing wrong [in the death penalty]
for such kind of criminals".
It is no good when the high post prevents
the expression of civic feelings. After such a statement
by Mr. Kolokoltsev, he should have been immediately dismissed.
Let him speak out as a citizen not burdened with the weight
of public duties. In any case, the dismissal of Mr. Kolokoltsev
would have been an adequate measure for the authorities
who believe that the purpose of the government is installing
Our ruling system suffers from a serious hereditary contempt
for human life. Here the concept of a "violent crime",
and any crime in general, is like rubber. And just like
civil activities in case of a police state are easily transferred
into crimes, this notion [of a violent crime] can be transferred
into a grave offense. For example, "foreign agents"
[which all the NGOs were pushed to turn into according the
new Russian law] may be considered traitors and liberal
views equated with an ideology targeted at destruction of
the state. And the punishment here will be execution...
European Liberals strongly condemn the recent
clampdown on liberal activists in Azerbaijan. Among others
Tofig Yagublu, deputy chairman of ALDE member party Musavat
was arrested and charged with “violation of public
Liberals welcome the statement by European
top officials and encourage the European Commission to strongly
defend fundamental human rights in their bilateral discussions
with the Azeri authorities...
North Caucasus Environmental Watch.
Open Letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC),
February 11, 2013
...A unique environment is being damaged
irreparably over a large area. According to our information,
functionality of approximately 2000 hectares of the Greater
Sochi had been radically changed; radical land expropriation,
destruction of natural landscapes and appearance of anthropogenic
landscapes have taken place. First of all, this concerns
the Mzimta river valley (deforestation) in the area of construction
of a combined railroad and highway Adler – Alpinka
Service and Imeretinskaya valley, where substantial agricultural
lands and wetlands were replaced by compensation housing
construction and by transportation infrastructure and storage
facilities. Some of the territories of the Western Caucasus
(UNESCO World Heritage site) were removed from World Heritage
protection, natural heritage sites are being destroyed,
and crushed-stone quarries are mined in the reserve areas
of the national park. That is, diverse ecosystems were damaged
practically irreparably. New threats of landslides, erosion,
avalanches, and mudslide have appeared on the slopes of
mountain ridge Aibga as a result of continuing deforestation
and construction of ski trails, chair lifts and other objects.
Disappearance of specific natural habitats, even when there
are analogous remote natural habitats, of numerous plant
and animal species in Sochi is reaching critical levels
and is leading to local extinction of the species, which,
in its turn, is leading to impoverishment of biodiversity.
This is a consequence of the inability of the affected species
to migrate across regions unfit for their survival...
Michael Kauch, an FDP MP, is the new president
of GLOBE Europe, the European Chapter of the Global Legislators
Organisation for a Balanced Environment. He was elected
at the recent General Assembly to succeed the Danish Green
Steen Gade, who didn't run for another term. Vice Presidents
are Petra BAYER (Austria), Linas BALSYS (Lithuania), Barry
GARDINER (UK), Jens HOLM (Sweden) and Arnaud LEROY (France).
GLOBE is a cross-party and trans-national
network of MPs, who are committed to the environment and
to sustainability. At present, MPs from 88 countries around
the world represent their countries in the network. Major
activities are global parliamentary dialogues on climate
policy, forest protection and sustainable development...
On February 7, the day of celebration of
the "Year of the Olympic Games" in Sochi, environmentalists
from the Kudepasta village opposing the construction of
the Kudepsta thermal electric power station in the area
and YABLOKO activists of the Sochi branch of YABLOKO conducted
an action targeted at drawing public attention to the environmental
problems in the region and maintaining of healthy environment...
The Sochi branch of the YABLOKO party joined the
campaign for collection of signatures under an appeal to
the federal and regional authorities to preserve the unique
park Southern Cultures, as an asphalt concrete factory is
being built by the park.
The construction site is located within
the buffer zone of the park. A walk among 60 rare trees
enlisted in the Red Book which has become a place interest
in Sochi is used now as a road for trucks. And cutting of
trees has been going on.
In 2012, the Federal Property Management
Agency (Rosimuschestvo) transferred the Southern Cultures
Park to the Ministry of Natural Resources. However, in the
process of transfer it turned out that a 250-meter walkway
connecting the park with the sea shore, was not part of
the park any more and was in the disposal of the city administration...
ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson MEP
has expressed the collective concern of European Liberal
Democrats to news of a fresh wave of reprisals against members
of the Russian United Democratic party (Yabloko).
Sergei Mitrokhin, the leader of ALDE member
party Yabloko, has condemned the Federal Security Bureau
in the Sverdlovsk region which has interpreted a recent
Russian law ‘on the counteraction to the extremist
activity’ to obtain a court order permitting Maxim
Petlin, Chair of Yabloko’s Sverdlovsk Region branch
to be placed under surveillance and for all his all telephone
conversations to be monitored. A complaint filed to the
Supreme Court was also dismissed.
ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson MEP
said: “European Liberal Democrats are increasingly
concerned at the instances of persecution facing members
of open and fully legal political parties. During its years
of existence the Yabloko party has not provided an occasion
for it to be equated to extremist organisations. It seems
the government regards the words ‘opposition’
and ‘extremism’ as synonyms.”
“European Liberal Democrats and Yabloko
call on the European Union to put pressure on Russia and
for the Russian government to immediately stop such reprisals
and to bring those responsible to justice”...
...When officials of such a high rank as
Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin support the idea of returning
the name of Stalin to the city of Volgograd and [Chair of
the Federation Council] Valentina Matviyenko and [head of
the Central Electoral Commission] Vladimir Churov say that
a referendum should be conducted on this issue, they think
least of all of historical justice. The Battle of Stalingrad
is part of the world history, as well as the heroic defence
of besieged Leningrad. However, if we speak about returning
of previous names to these cities, then we can speak only
about their original names, as it was in case with St. Petersburg.
And in case of Volgograd this should be Tsaritsyn. And without
After all, if [head of the Central Electoral
Commission] Vladimir Churov counts the votes, there is no
doubt that 146 per cent will vote for returning Joseph Stalin’s
name to Volgograd. It willl be done in accordance with the
saying attributed to Stalin: "Those who cast the votes
decide nothing, those who count the votes decide everything".
The YABLOKO party demands to put an end
to the Stalinist sabbath around the anniversary of the victory
at Stalingrad. To make it, as President Putin have said,
so that Russia "would always be victorious", first
we must get rid of the salves complex, which Stalin instilled
in the people and condemn the executioners...
The YABLOKO party notes with concern a
new wave of reprisals against YABLOKO members.
The adoption of the Federal Law "On
the Counteraction to the Extremist Activity" encouraged
the law enforcement activities that are clearly violating
the law: gathering information about the members of the
party and their activities, inviting them for ‘conversations’
[in the police], detentions, searches, seizure of documents
and institution of criminal proceedings.
According to the Federal Security Bureau Department (FSB)
for the Sverdlovsk region, the YABLOKO party is a radical
oppositional structure sharply criticising the state authorities
and negatively assessing broadening of the proxies of the
FSB of Russia. According to FSB, it is a party setting such
a goals as changing Putin-Medvedev’s regime, elimination
of monopoly in politics, economy and media and the democratisation
of the country.
Such a political stance of the party was
laid in the basis of the ruling of the Sverdlovsk Region
Court giving a permission to wiretap all the telephone conversations
conducted by Maxim Petlin, Chair of the Sverdlovsk Region
branch of the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO, control
all his postal, telegraph and other messages and information
from technical communication channels, as well as put him
After the decision of the court, further supported later
by a judge of the Supreme Court in response to a complaint
filed by Maxim Petlin [to the Supreme Court], we can conclude
that a political surveillance regime has been introduced
in respect of the YABLOKO party, as well as other opposition
parties claiming similar goals...
Boris Vishnevsky, Alexander Kobrinsky and other
deputies of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg received
an official reponse from Governor Georgy Poltavchenko on
the collective parliamentary inquiry about the closure
of St.Petersburg public hospital No 31.
The Presidential Administration plan to
turn this hospital specialising in treating children with
cancer into a medical centre for Russia's top judges arouse
public uproar in Russia. YABLOKO deputies initiated several
inquiries about the public hospital in the St.Peterburg
parliament. The St.Petersburg branch of YABLOKO organised
collection of signatures in its St.Petersburg headquarters
against turning the public hospital into a special medical
centre for the judges. St.Peterburg residents conducted
a special rally in support of the public hospital and its
In his letter the Governor stated that “a
decision was taken not to station” the medical centre
for Russia’s top judges in the hospital...
Reacting to the first reading of an LGBT
Rights discrimination bill at the Russian Parliament, the
leader of Yabloko (LI full member), Sergei Mitrokhin, expressed
a concern that the bill in its present version allows for
the authorities to limit the civil rights of the LGBT community.
The law prohibits gay propaganda among children and it has
already been adopted by eight regional parliaments. 'Legislators
proceed from an allegation that propaganda can change a
person's sexual orientation. However, its adoption will
inevitably lead to the deepening of the split in the society
and a growing risk of violent collisions between different
groups. The application of the law has already demonstrated
that there has been a rise of open clashes between the LGBT
and the Orthodox activists' said Mitrokhin. Liberal International
hosted a public dialogue with Sergei Mitrokhin back in November
where he revealed the undemocratic realities of yet another
discriminatory legislation in Russia...
Mikhail Nazarov, leader of the Udmurtian
branch of YABLOKO, forwarded a letter
to President Vladimir Putin wit ha request to investigate
into the distribution of gratuitous plots of land intended
for families with many children.
"Our region demonstrates facts of corruption
in the distribution of free lands to large families are
mass-scale," runs Nazarov’s letter to the President.
Thus, in 2011, Galina Batolova, head of
Zaviyalovsky District, was convicted for broad-scale distribution
of lands to high ranking officials. However, the Supreme
Court of the Republic of Udmurtia sentences her such large
scale corruption only to a fine amounting to 200,000 roubles
(approximately Euro 5,000). As of to-day, the Investigative
Committee of Udmurtia has not conducted an investigation
on those who due to fraud with lands received plots of land
in the most prestigious neighborhoods. Mikhail Nazarov gave
a list of such persons in his letter...
YABLOKO activists held one-person pickets
in front of the State Duma, as the Duma had to consider
two unconstitutional projects: one of them had to simplify
the procedure of requisition of land title from the residents
of the "new Moscow territories" (ex Moscow Region
territories) like was the case in the Olympic Sochi, and
the other would allow regions to replace election of governors
by their appointment...
A conference of the Novgorod regional branch
of the YABLOKO party took place on January 21. Members of
the party discussed nomination of a candidate from YABLOKO
for the post of the head of the city of Chudovo, Novgorod
region. According to the results of the secret ballot, the
conference unanimously supported the nomination of Yelena
To date, YABLOKO’s candidate has been registered in
the Territorial Electoral Commission of Chudovo and has
begun preparations for the election campaign. Skorodumova’s
competitors in the elections will be United Russia’s
Andrei Alexandrov, Communist Igor Kovalyov and LDPR member
Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO founder and member
of its Political Committee, led YABLOKO’s column at
the anti-fascist manifestation in Moscow. The action was
held in memory of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist
Anastasia Baburova killed by Neo-Nazis in the centre of
Party activists held a banner "Fascism
will not go" and photographs of the killed Stanislav
Markelov, Anastasia Baburova, Yury Schekochikhin, Farid
Babayev, Anna Politkovskaya and Larissa Yudina.
"Fascism is very dangerous: it emerges
all of a sudden and embraces a vast mass of people. This
is a huge problem in human history and probably one of the
most tragic and terrible pages in the political history
of mankind. In our country fascism may be very dangerous
especially when linked with Stalinism, so even the slightest
movements towards it have to be stopped it. And there are
lots of such movements in life and politics now. Therefore,
the more people will consciously, openly and loudly oppose
fascism, the better it is. And this must be done continuously,"
Sir Graham Watson MEP, President of the
ALDE Party expressed the shock of all European Liberals
on Saturday at the attempted shooting of Bulgarian liberal
leader Ahmed Dogan at the MRF Party Congress in Sofia which
Sir Graham was attending. He expressed his relief that the
pistol had not gone off as intended.
"Liberals have become increasingly
concerned about freedom and the rule of law under Prime
Minister Boyko Borisov. The European Union may need to mobilise
to put the country back on track."
"I hope the government will move quickly
to establish the forces behind this attempted murder and
to bring them to justice." Sir Graham Watson said...
The YABLOKO party will take part in an anti-fascist
manifestation in memory of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and
journalist Anastasia Baburova. The action will be held in
Moscow on January 19. Party activists will hold a banner
"Fascism will not go". YABLOKO’s column
will be headed by Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO founder and
member of its Political Committee.
"Nationalism is impermissible in Russia and is far
more dangerous than in other countries. Xenophobia and demonstration
of the extreme nationalist views is a time bomb for such
a multinational country as Russia. I am urging all who oppose
fascism in Russia and in the world to come to the manifestation
on January 19 and honor the memory of the victims of neo-Nazis,"
said YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin. He himself will be
in Kemerovo on that day, as mayoral elections will be held
there in a week.
The manifestation under the slogans "Moscow is an antifascist
city" and "For Freedom! Against fascism!"
will start at 2 p.m. from the crossing of Tversloy Boulevard
and Tverslaya Street (by the Pushkin Square) along Nikitsky
The activists and supporters of the YABLOKO party will gather
by the office of the Izvestia paper (Tverskaya metro station)
at 1:30 p.m...
Tragic news has come from the Netherlands
– Alexander Dolmatov who fled from Russia to this country
fearing political reprisals committed
a suicide. I express my condolences to Alexander’s family
and express them support in their grief .
Those of us who have lost their loved ones,
know how hurtful it is, as how the world seems to be alien
and how one’s life begins to change as one realizes that
nothing will be as it once was.
Who is to blame? The Netherland authorities that refused
to grant Alexander a political asylum? Those from whom he
escaped in Russia, those who have now unleashed reprisals
in Russia? Or headless leaders of the protest? If a person
is killed in such circumstances, then, in all fairness,
no one can shun the responsibility.
A little man wanted to change his country.
He was forced to flee. The little man was seeking asylum
in another country. But that country calmly turned its back
on him. Anger was breathing behind his back, and cold breathed
into his face. The little man could not resist. He has gone.
But he has remained a Man.
The Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg
lacked two votes so that to adopt Grigory Yavlinsky’s
bill on equipping police stations and cars with video cameras.
The initiative was supported by the following factions:
YABLOKO, the Communist Party, the majority of the Just Russia.
Even Vyacheslav Makarov, the Speaker of the Legislative
Assembly and leader of the United Russia faction, voted
for the bill. Thus the bill gathered 24 votes in its favour.
However, another 24 deputies present at the plenary session
did not participate in the vote and did not allow to adopt
Speaking to the MPs, Yavlinsky mentioned
the example of Tatarstan, where the tragedy in one of the
police stations where a detained man died of tortures made
the President of Tatarstan promise to install video cameras
in all the police departments and this promise has almost
been fulfilled. "Last year a young man died in one
of St. Petersburg police stations," said Yavlinsky...
According to Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of
the YABLOKO faction, adoption of the draft law on rallies
with the restrictions it envisaged could lead only to a
sharp increase in the number of unauthorized actions and,
consequently, increase of tension in St. Petersburg.
"It will not restoration of order,
but violation of order," said Grigory Yavlinsky.
According to the BaltInfo agency, this morning, the Governor's
bill lacked only one vote so that to be included into the
agenda of the Legislative Assembly. MPs from YABLOKO, the
Communist Party and Just Russia voted against it".
The bill proposed a ban on rallies, meetings
and other events on Nevsky Prospekt, the St. Isaac's and
the Palace Squares, and also contained many other prohibitions
In Moscow the leaders of Yabloko (LI Full
Member), Grigori Yavlinski and Sergei Mitrokhin, led
a march against the Anti-Magnitsky law. The Anti-Magnitsky
law prohibits American citizens from adopting Russian orphans
and is widely considered to be a response to US reprisals
against those responsible for the killing
of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian human rights lawyer.
During the march the crowd held banners and yelled that
‘MPs should fight against corruption, not against
children'. At the rally Sergei Mitrokhin stated: “Our
government has demonstrated that its main goal is to protect
the murderers involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case. The
authorities have put a human shield of orphans around this
scum.” Mitrkohin continued: “But we will again
and again resist this political regime, and again we will
go to the streets and use any other peaceful, constitutional
means so that to remove the regime from power.' Earlier
a letter to the now Russian actor Gérard Depardieu,
to raise attention of the law and the case of Sergei Magnitsky.
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed
his satisfaction with the call of Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin
to the deputies of the Moscow City Duma to preserve the
institute of public hearings on different construction and
development projects in Moscow. Earlier, the Public Advisory
Council of Political Parties under the Moscow City Duma
severely criticized the amendments introduces by the ruling
United Russia and targeted at cancelling of public hearings.
Mitrokhin also noted that the "attempt
to cancel public hearings has clearly revealed the utter
incompetence of the Moscow City Duma which is ready to obey
any orders from the Moscow government, no matter how senseless
and harmful for the Muscovites it could be"...
On 12 May 2010, the leader of the Liberal
Democrats (UK) Nick Clegg stood together with the leader
of the Conservative party David Cameron in the Rose Garden
of 10 Downing Street and outlined the joint programme for
coalition, the first full coalition government in the United
Kingdom since 1945. Two and a half
years later and the coalition have this week published a
Mid Term Review with Liberal Democrat party analysis showing
that “about 95%” of objectives and policies
outlined in the Coalition Agreement are on course...
...Amongst the Top 10 achievements of the
Liberal Democrats in government include: reducing the national
deficit by 25%, the scrapping of ID cards, the creation
of 1 million jobs and 1 million apprenticeships, the delivery
of a £600 tax cut for 24 million working people by
raising the income tax threshold to £9,440, the cutting
of crime by 10% and the creation of a Green Investment Bank
to unlock billions of pounds of private investment in renewable
energy and create thousands more green jobs...
Press Release, Photographs, Video.
January 13, 2013.
YABLOKO Chairman Sergei Mitrokhin and Grigory Yavlinsky,
YABLOKo founder and member of YABLOKO’s Political
Committee, led YABLOKO’s column at the manifestation
against the “Anti-Magnitsky law”.
The march started from the Pushkin square
along boulevards to Sakharov Prospect. YABLOKO activists
held banners “MPs and officials fight against corruption,
not against children!”, “Cannibalistic Duma
should be dismissed!” and others.
Yevgeny Bunimovich, Moscow Ombudsman for
Children and member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee,
joined YABLOKO’s column during the march...
The YABLOKO party will support the March
against the “Anti-Magnitsky law” which will
take place in Moscow on Sunday, January 13. Activists will
gather by the Izvestia paper office (by Tverskaya metro
station) at 13:30. The march along boulevards to Sakharov
Prospect will begin at 14:00. The action got a permission
from the Moscow authorities.
..."We oppose the barbaric so-called
Dima Yakovlev law. We believe that with this law represents
a kind of a human shield of orphans put by the government
around its corrupt officials. That is, our government has
virtually told the world: we will protect our corrupt officials
so that the whole world will tremble in terror," YABLOKO
leader Sergei Mitrokhin said to journalists. According to
Mitrokhin, the Anti-Magnitsky law shows that our government
is cannibalistic in nature, therefore all the forces of
our society that are in favor of a civilized development
must unite so that to say 'no' to the cannibalistic state".
He also stressed that it was important that there were no
Nazis or leftists among the organizers of the March...
After having been granted a Russian passport
by President Vladimir Putin, French actor Gerard Depardieu
last week visited the Russian federal Republic of Mordovia.
Vladimir Gridin, the Chairman of the Mordovia branch of
Yabloko (LI Full Member) has written a
public letter to Depardieu, in which he points the attention
of the actor to stringent issues in Russia today. Amongst
the issues mentioned by Gridin are electoral fraud and the
illegal expropriation of houses without compensation in
the Russian republic. Gridin also states Depardieu is used
to divert public attention away from the Anti-Magnitsky
law, which prohibits Americans from adopting Russian orphans
in response to reprisals by the United States against those
responsible for the
murder of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. In the
World Today Resolution, adopted at the 58th Congress
in Abidjan, Liberal International 'expressed its extreme
concern with the strengthening of Vladimir Putin's authoritarian
regime', and called on the Council of Europe 'to respond
adequately to Russia's breach of its obligations as member
of the Council'.
Alexander Kobrinsky, deputy of the Legislative
Assembly of St. Petersburg from the YABLOKO faction, sent
a letter to St.Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko in
connection with dispersing of the "Snow Battle"
flash mob organised by young people in Marsovo Polye (Champ
de Mars), St.Petersburg.
St.Petersburg police dispersed several hundreds
of young people who gathered for a traditional snowball
fights at Marsovo Polye on January 6. Several people were
detained by police.
In his letter YABLOKO’s MP asked the
Governor to give an answer whether he would go on with "tightening
of the screws" and whether the principle "more
than three people make a crowd" would become fundamental
for St.Petersburg dwellers.
Alexander Kobrinsky urged the Governor to
give an assessment to the actions of the police and demand
from the heads of the St. Petersburg interior to change
their attitude to the city residents who gathered to play
"Such harmless actions are held without
any problems and permissions all over Europe," Kobrinsky
wrote. In confirmation of his words Kobrinsky set the Governor
a reproduction painting by Vasily Surikov "Taking a
Snow Town" (1891), depicting ancient Russian fun game,
noting that the same game was banned by St.Petersburg police
three days ago...
The YABLOKO party will support the March
against the “Anti-Magnitsky law” which will
take place in Moscow on Sunday, January 13.
YABLOKO has consistently opposed the so-called
Dima Yakovlev law prohibiting Americans to adopt Russian
children. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin called this law
"profoundly anti-human." "Adopting the Anti-Magnitsky
law all the branches of power demonstrated their willingness
to protect their corrupt officials in such a way that the
whole world was left horrified," Mitrokhin said.
YABLOKO’s MPs in the Legislative Assemblies
of St. Petersburg and the Pskov Region opposed the bill,
but were not supported by the parliamentary majority. Activists
from the Youth Yabloko conducted a series of one person
pickets by the Federation Council on the day the senators
had to examine the law. The slogan of the action was "Children
are frozen in the Cold War". Four party members were
detained by police and now they face large fines or community
In connection with your plans to settle in Mordovia, let
me ask you a few questions as so to say your new compatriot.
1. A few days ago you visited Mordovia and, as you put it,
you were stunned by the hospitality shown to you there.
Vladimir Volkov, President of the Republic of Mordovia,
offered you in a handsome gesture an apartment or a plot
of land under a house. The generosity of the head of the
region struck many people in the republic, especially the
residents of Tambovskaya street in Saransk...
The police released Artur Babayev, the leader
of the Dagestan branch of YABLOKO, who had been previously
detained in Makhachkala. The politician stated that the
press service of the republican Interior Ministry lied that
he had allegedly tried to break through the cordons into
the building. Allegedly the building was cordoned as explosives
had been found in the roof...
A police officer in the police department
took Babayev’s fingerprints and photographed him allegedly
"on suspicion of the previously committed crimes".
In his report the policeman who brought Babayev to the police
department wrote an obvious lie that the politician had
tried to “break the cordon". Later this lie was
broadcasted by the Interior Ministry.
Later Babayev was released, but the police
refused to give him any documents proving the fact of his
YABLOKO is considering the possibility to
appeal against the police actions, as the law envisaged
that only those "suspected of committing a crime, accused
of a crime, convicted of a crime or subject to administrative
arrest" are subjects to mandatory fingerprinting.
Artur Babyev, leader of the Dagestan branch
of YABLOKO, is detained in Makhachkala. The party office
is surrounded by police cordons.
About an hour ago Babayev came to the party
office at Yusupova, 53. The building was surrounded by police.
When Babayev tried to clarify the reasons of police cordons,
one of police officials told to detain him and escort him
to the Leninsky police department of Makhachkala...
Grigory Yavlinsky’s address
to the deputies of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg,
December 26, 2012
The Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg
did not put into the agenda the address to the Federation
Council calling the latter to reject the so-called Dima
Yakovlev law (the "orphans law"). The address
was initiated by ten members of the Legislative Assembly,
including the YABLOKO faction. An appeal from Grigory Yavlinsky,
leader of the YABLOKO faction, was distributed among deputies
before the plenary session. Here comes the complete text
of the appeal...
Statement by YABLOKO leader Sergei
Mitrokhin in connection with dismissal of Sergei Baburin,
Rector of the Russian University for Trade and Economy (RGTEU),
December 26, 2012.
At present we can observe an attack against
the remnants of independence of the Russian university education.
Sergei Baburin, Rector of RGTEU, was dismissed from his
post by the order of the Ministry of Education on December
24. This decision is an act of political violence by the
Ministry of Education against the rector, who demanded from
the Ministry to explain why and under what criteria his
university had been listed as "inefficient" and
had had to be merged with another university.
I believe that the dismissal of Sergei Baburin, Rector of
RGTEU, is unlawful and only aggravates the situation around
the merger of universities. It is
surprising that federal television channels are employed
in the fight against the students and the former rector
RGTEU. The pieces of news broadcasted by TV diminish the
role and significance of Sergei Baburin as an academic...
of the Youth YABLOKO protesting this morning by the Federation
Council against the so-called Dima Yakovlev law (“the
orphans law”) are facing administrative fines amounting
to RUR 30,000 (approximately USD 1,000) and compulsory community
service works. Cases of administrative violations are filed
against four activists.
A series of pickets against the approval
by the Federation Council of the law prohibiting American
families to adopt children from Russia started an hour before
the plenary session of the Federation Council. In order
not to violate the law, as only one-person pickets can be
conducted without getting a prior permission from the authorities,
the protesters planned to picket in turn changing each other
every ten minutes and passing the banners "Senators,
fight against corruption, not orphans" and "Children
freeze in the cold war” from hand to hand...
Boris Vishnevsky's blog at the Ekho
Moskvi web-site, December 22, 2012.
"Vote for anyone but the [ruling] United
Russia! ", this is how Alexei Navalny tried to persuade
people on the threashold of the State Duma elections [in
December 2011]. Such a variant of voting was supported then
by Eunegia Chirikova, Grigory Golosov, Andrei Buzin, Artemiy
Troitsky, Grigory Chkhartishvili [Boris Akunin] and others.
A large part of the protest electorate followed
that advice, thus the Just Russia and the Communist party
candidates got into the Duma (whereas their results were
much higher than they had expected). However, YABLOKO did
not get into the Duma, as many people chose to vote for
the Just Russia so that “not to vote in vain”.
And another part of those who could have supported the democratic
opposition and get it into the Duma spoiled their ballots
tempted by persuasions by Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Ryzhkov,
Viktor Shenderovich, Dmitry Bykov, Andrei Piontkovsky and
others to choose the “off with all of you” strategy.
Which, as I recall, its authors proudly called "a real
threat to the government" and "the only correct
strategy leading to a change of government and restoring
of fair elections"...
A year has passed, and that the Duma adopts
the "law of scoundrels" [i.e. the law on orphans].
[The ruling] United Russia and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s
faction and the communists and the Just Russia factions
vote in unison on a single impulse: 420 of 450 votes "for"
the law is almost an unprecedented result for parliament.
Everything is clear with the Zhirinovsky’s faction
and the communists. But some people vested hopes in the
[socialist] Just Russia. But how did the latter vote?..
St.Petersburg, Dec. 24, RIA Novosti. Alexander
Shishlov, Human Rights Commissioner in St. Petersburg, considers
the adoption of amendments to the draft law "On measures
against persons involved in violations of fundamental human
rights and freedoms, rights and freedoms of citizens of
the Russian Federation" prohibiting the adoption of
Russian orphans by U.S. citizens, immoral...
"The adoption of the amendments prohibiting
adoptions of orphaned Russian children by U.S. citizens
seems to me a very cynical act. The authors of the amendments
virtually propose to apply "sanctions" not against
the individuals involved in human rights violations (which,
as follows from its title the draft law targets at), but
against Russian children who can not find a family in Russia
at present, " said Shishlov...
On December 20, representatives of non-parliamentary
parties spoke to the deputies of the Krasnoyarsk Region
Legislative Assembly. Oksana Demchenko, Chair of the Krasnoyarsk
regional branch of YABLOKO, urged the lawmakers to oblige
the owners of the Boguchanskaya Hydroelectric Power Station
to evaluate and compensate for the damage caused to the
environment and local people, as well as conduct an environmental
assessment of their further development of the Lower Angara
According to Demchenko, the creation of powerful new industries
in the area (an aluminum plant, a timber complex and wood-chemical
and pulp and paper mills) is impossible without a strategic
environmental assessment, otherwise the present practices
of development of the territories will inevitably lead to
an imbalance between the industrial development and the
environment. "The lack of a strategic environmental
assessment of the investment projects does not allow to
create a model of a rational use of natural resources in
the region," she said in her speech. Oksana Demchenko
also recalled that six weeks ago, the federal Political
Council of the YABLOKO party sent a special message to the
Legislative Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk region, noting disturbing
examples of negligence of the standards of social and environmental
responsibility in the Lower Angara area...
Statement by the YABLOKO party,
December 21, 2012.
The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO
expresses a categorical protest against the prosecution
of Suren Gazaryan and putting him on the federal wanted
list. Suren Gazaryan is a well-known environmentalist, an
organizer of public actions against outrageous environmental
violations in the Krasnodar region, the initiator of the
resonance investigations of unlawful construction of permanent
facilities in the natural reserves, Gazaryan plays an important
role in the socio-political life of the region and criminal
prosecution of Gazaryan represents nothing but a revenge
of the authorities to him for his civil and political activity...
Considering the prosecution of Suren Gazaryan
politically motivated, the YABLOKO party demands from Alexander
Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee of Russia,
to check the actions of his subordinates in the Krasnodar
region who have been fabricating the second criminal case
against Suren Gazaryan on absolutely fictitious grounds.
YABLOKO calls on all opposition forces,
all the honest people to switch into the campaign in defence
of Suren Gazaryan. Let us not allow the authorities to imprison
ALDE spokeswoman on Russia Kristiina Ojuland
MEP today expressed satisfaction at news of the two-year
reduction in the prison sentence of businessman Mikhail
Khodorkovsky but warned EU leaders at today's EU-Russia
summit not to be misled...
"This welcome news on the Khodorkovsky
case should not be allowed to obscure the profound deterioration
in the rule of law in Russia"...
The YABLOKO party invited experts to discuss
migration problems in Russia. Opening the round table, Boris
Misnik, Coordinator of YABLOKO’s Political Committee,
outlined the key issues for the discussion, including control
over residence and registration, their legal basis, living
conditions in the country of residence, everyday xenophobia
Galina Mikhalyova, Secretary of YABLOKO’s Political
Committee, stressed that YABLOKO realized the complexity
of the migration problems.
"We have invited experts so that they
would help us to develop a clear position on this issue.
Because a social-liberal political party offering an alternative
to the government’s policy, can not avoid this complex
problem," she said...
Grigory Yavlinsky's Live Journal,
December 19, 2012.
The issue on the [Russian Duma] ban on adoptions
of [Russian] orphans by Americans is important. I am very
sorry for the children.
It is a significant law. Not only it gives
another proof of stupidity and the resulting cruelty, but
also demonstrates the Bolshevik and Stalinist nature of
the Russian political system. A kind of capitalism with
a Stalin's face.
Bolsheviks and Stalinists always take a
"revenge" on their enemy in such a way that it
brings a huge and often irreparable damage to the citizens
of Russia, in this case to desolate and helpless children,
whom they regard as their property, as serfs, as inanimate
The sanctions against Russian orphans imposed
by the State Duma are a disgusting, cruel, unfair and cowardly
decision adopted in a unanimous pseudo-patriotic frenzy...
The YABLOKO party expresses its resolute
protest against the intention of the State Duma to adopt
an amendment into the controversial draft law "On measures
against persons involved in the violation of the rights
of citizens of the Russian Federation" (the so-called
"Dima Yakovlev Law") as a “response”
by the Russian authorities to the Magnitsky Act adopted
in the US. The amendment bans the adoption of Russian children
by US citizens
We do not think that the adoption of the
Magnitsky Act was right, as the "punishment" in
the form of a refuse to issue visas is not based on a court
decision. Actually in dealing with this foreign policy issue
the US abolished a juridical approach they are guided in
the solution of domestic issues.
However, the "response" of the
Russian Duma turned out to be not even more unlawful, but
simply disgusting. The victims of legal nihilism of the
Russian lawmakers are not Americans (who will simply adopt
children in other countries), but the most vulnerable category
of the Russian citizens – the orphans...
On Saturday 15 December, Mihai Ghimpu MP,
President of the Liberal Party of Moldova, Corina Fusu MP,
Deputy President of the Liberal Party and Elena Prus, President
of the Institute for Liberal Studies opened the conference
"Liberals - the engine of European integration of Moldova"
. Sir Graham Watson MEP, President of the ALDE Party addressed
conference participants in a video message. He encouraged
Moldova's European integration aim and appreciated the efforts
of the MPs and ministers of adjusting the national framework
to European standards and values...
Yabloko Party representative in the Russian
Federation, Galina Michaleva, spoke about the relationship
between Russia and the EU and about the problems of the
post-Soviet countries in the process of EU integration.
The Expert of the Foreign Policy Association, Eugen Revenco
spoke about the role of civil society in Moldova's European
Statement by YABLOKO's Gender faction,
December 18, 2012.
On December 19, 2012, the State Duma is
going to pass a bill targeted against a part of our society,
namely, people belonging to the LGBT community (Lesbian
- Gay - Bisexual - Transgender) under the pretext of taking
care of children who for some reason should not know about
people with other view points and habits.
In the West and other parts of the world
the states have ceased to look under their citizens’
blankets prescribing how and with whom they should have
sex. Moreover, many countries have legalised gay marriages,
and even adoption of children by such couples.
This shameful law against different people
disseminating hatred and ousting part of our compatriots
into ghettos is virtually accusing them of inferiority.
The adoption of such a law means returning of the Soviet
law on "sodomy" envisaging criminal prosecution
or even refers to the Nazis’ "final solution
of the problem" of homosexuality in gas cameras...
Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of YABLOKO’s
parliamentary faction in St.Petersburg, introduced his amendments
to the Rules of the Budget and Finance Committee of the
Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg. These amendments
are targeted at improving the transparency of the Committee,
as well as enhancing control over the budget planning. According
to Yavlinsky, adoption of these amendments would reduce
abuse in the field of public funds.
"We need to qualitatively change our approach to the
[city] budget. The whole process should be modern and transparent.
Only in this case it is possible to reduce corruption,"
Yavlinsky said. He proposed to the city MPs to publish the
agenda of the Committee and all the relevant documents at
the web-site of the Legislative Assembly. Also he noted
that the agenda of the Committee should be approved in advance...
"[At present] most of St.Petersburg
Legislative Assembly MPs vote for the budget without its
detailed analysis or control over expenditures, being satisfied
by redistribution of less than one per cent of the budget
for their own goals within the frameworks of the Committee.
It resembles an exchange of services: MPs do not control
the budget, and the officials allow them to spend 0.5 per
cent of the budget at their discretion. This is a pattern
of political corruption," Yavlinsky said...
Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the YABLOKO
faction in St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly, commented
on the Governor’s decision to deprive a number of
city officials of their bonuses for poor implementation
of the budget for 2012.
"Implementation of the budget lies in the direct responsibilities
of the Government of St. Petersburg. Year after year, we
have observed non-implementation of the law [on the budget].
The authorities regularly proclaim that the budget is ‘socially
oriented’, however also regularly do not implement
the key items of the budget: do not build social facilities
such as schools, kindergartens and hospitals, they do not
to build roads and other infrastructure facilities. St.Petersburg
dwellers pay taxes, and the government in exchange for this
promises them mountains of gold, however, in the last minute
the government reports that citizens will not receive even
what has been planned. The residents of the city quite correctly
perceive this as a deceit and their trust to the government
drops," Yavlinsky said...
The Supreme Court of the RF adopted a resolution
announcing wiretapping of any opposition member absolutely
The resolution was adopted on the Maxim
Petlin case. The highest court recognised the sanction of
the court on listening to Petlin’s telephone conversations
and spying on him lawful, as he is member of the YABLOKO
The decision of the Supreme Court, which
will clearly form a precedent for the entire court system
was based only on Petlin’s participation in the work
of the YABLOKO party and, therefore, can be applied to any
member of our or any other opposition party.
The court ruled out that participation in the activities
of a political party held "some evidence of crime as
envisaged by Article 280 of the Criminal Code [namely] "public
calls for extremist activities".
Indeed, the YABLOKO party, as was indicated
by the court, was aiming at “changing the Putin-Medvedev
regime” organizing protest actions, and, which is
the worst thing, giving a negative assessment to the "broadening
of the proxies of the Federal Security Service of Russia”...
Statement by the Social Democratic
Faction of the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO,
December 12, 2012.
We are outraged by the statement made by
Maxim Mishchenko, leader of the [pro-Kremlin] Young Russia
movement, on the need to reduce budget expenditure on treatment
of cancer patients. The former MP from the United Russia
faction intends to introduce his criminal initiative at
the hearings of the Public Chamber devoted to paid medical
services, after which he intends to send the draft to the
Ministry of Healthcare.
We regard the initiative proposed by the
leader of United Russia's youth organisation as an open
manifestation of fascism and violation of the Constitution
of the Russian Federation guaranteeing all citizens the
right to life and free health care.
We demand that the ruling party stop its
mockery of Russia’s people and the attack on the right
of citizens to high-quality free education and free health
care, as well as curbing of the social responsibilities
of the state taking place against the background of an unprecedented
in Russia's history growth of oil and gas revenues...
"Tomorrow's EU summit in Brussels lacks
ambition", according to ALDE group leader, Guy Verhofstadt,
addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg today.
"Last June, the European Council decided that by the
end of the year 'a time bound road map for the achievement
of a genuine economic and monetary union' would be agreed,
yet expectations of any agreement at this week's summit
are so low that EU leaders might as well stay home."
"Meanwhile the crisis is not over, spreads remain above
400 base points for Spain and the mere prospect of a return
of Berlusconi to politics in Italy sends shock waves through
Sharon Bowles (UK, Lib Dem), chairwoman of Parliament's
economic and monetary affairs committee, underlined the
cost of delay: "Delay may be politically convenient
but it has a high cost - not just in financial terms, but
in the human cost and the blight of uncertainty that lies
over the plans of individuals and businesses across Europe"...
On Monday morning, ALDE Party President
Sir Graham Watson MEP hosted a breakfast for members of
the press and presented a liberal view on the latest headlines
around Europe before answering questions.
He first welcomed the result of the elections
in Romania, remarking: “despite the low turnout, early
indications are the ruling USL social-liberal alliance in
Romania has won a large majority of the popular vote which
could rise to as much as 70%. I now foresee a period of
difficult cohabitation in the country.”
“I see a lot of parallels with the
situations in Romania and in Italy,” he continued.
“I regret the pulling of support by Silvio Berlusconi's
People of Liberty party for the government of Mario Monti
and I fear that in the aftermath of this election, the pressure
for economic discipline could slip. The last thing we need
at this time are crises in those two economies which are
bigger than Greece’s.”
Sir Graham also answered questions on the
UN Climate Summit in Doha, Qatar, that concluded on Sunday
and which he attended...
Greetings from Sergei Mitrokhin,
December 9, 2012.
Dear Elena Pavlovna,
For and on behalf of the YABLOKO party I
am pleased to congratulate you on awarding you the Lawyer
of the Year prize. This prize is especially valuable because
it is awarded to you by your colleagues. This represents,
though to a small extent only, the recognition of your high
qualification, your commitment to principles and independence.
Your respect for the law, which characterises your professional
activity, may serve as a model for all lawyers.
We are proud that our views coincide and
that we have been working together...
On December 4, 2012, the third action of
Vladimir Putin supporters took place in front of the Krasnodar
office of the YABLOKO party. The action was organised by
the Social Justice public organisation uniting Vladimir
Putin supporters. The participants of the action burned
the effigies of Sergei Mitrokhin, Evgenia Chirikova and
About 50 people participated in the ‘puting’
(a word coined of two words - “Putin” and “meeting”
- and meaning a loud action in support of Vladimir Putin).
Most of them were elderly people. They stated that “YABLOKO
was trying to destroy Russia”, and that “YABLOKO
was fungus and moldiness parasiting on Russia’s healthy
YABLOKO’s candidate for the post of
the head of the Krymsk District in the South Russia, removed
from elections due to a sly provocation from the authorities
A few days ago the Krymsk District Court imposed a fine
amounting to RUR 2,000 on a Mr.Petrenko, who pretended to
campaign for Yugeny Vitishko distributing food-stuff allegedly
on behalf of Vitishko. Vitishko did not know the campaigner
and therefore did not interfere into the trial or challenge
the court’s decision.
However, due to this decision, the Court was able to remove
Vitishko from the elections because bribing of voters was
allegedly conducted on behalf of Vitishko. This decision
was made by Judge Galina Yurchevskaya on December 4...
At the initiative of Silvana Koch-Mehrin
(FDP, Germany) and Kristiina Ojuland (Reform Party, Estonia),
the ALDE group held today a seminar on the trade relationship
between EU and Russia with the key participation of Pascal
Lamy, General Director of the WTO, and Karel de Gucht, EU
Commissioner for Trade. Russia is the EU's third largest
trading partner. In a resolution adopted during last October's
plenary session, the European Parliament stressed that its
accession to the WTO should accelerate reforms in Russia,
including the fight against corruption and application of
the rule of law...
"The internet is borderless and it
is its decentralised organisation that has created so much
value for billions of people worldwide", said ALDE
Party President Sir Graham Watson as the delegates
of the world conference of the International Telecommunication
Union (ITU) gathered for the opening in Dubai discussing
a revision of a global treaty governing the internet.
Many states and corporations seek a tight
grip on the internet to suppress people or pursue vested
business interests but the internet must remain free to
allow people to freely create and innovate, organise and
influence economic progress and societal development.
Next week YABLOKO launches a series of lectures
on the work of electoral commission members with a casting
vote. All candidates to electoral commissions (those registered
at the party web-site and those not registered yet) can
listen to the lectures.
A law on formation of precinct electoral
commissions for next five years came into force on November
1. These commissions will work at elections of all levels
until April 2018. YABLOKO goes on recruiting candidates
for nomination as members of precinct electoral commissions
with a casting vote...
A “memorial action of the deceased
fair elections” has begun by the Central Electoral
Commission Moscow office and in other cities. The action
was launched by YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin by laying
flowers to the Central Electoral Commission Moscow office
Today YABLOKO activists have been laying
white carnations to electoral commissions in Ufa, Saransk,
Kazan, Izhevsk, Voronezh, Kirov, Penza, Pskov, Ryazan, Smolensk,
Tula, Vladimir, Vologda and Novgorod.
The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) has
not realized what happened in the parliamentary elections
on December 4, 2011. It was not the YABLOKO party which
stole the votes, votes were stolen from the YABLOKO party.
This is how YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin commented on
the statement from the CEC press service running that if
YABLOKO did not recognize the results of the voting, then
it would be "logical" for YABLOKO to refuse state
financing [allotted to all the political parties in Russia
that obtaining over three 3 per cent at the elections].
Sergei Mitrokhin compared such a proposal on behalf of the
CEC for YABLOKO to give up state financing with a situation
when a police would suddenly demand money from a robbery
victim as they can not find the robbers.
YABLOKO leader also noted that the party
had filed hundreds of complaints to courts, but they had
been rejected, despite obvious evidence of violations –
election carousels, stuffing of fraudulent ballots into
ballot boxes, ousting of observers from polling stations
and faking of final voting protocols.
Mitrokhin also said that he applied to Gennady
Zyuganov, Communist Party leader, in April 2012 with a proposal
to file a joint lawsuit demanding cancellation of the elections.
"Only a few days are left until this plan can be realised,"
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin proposed
to commemorate the death day of the most important democratic
procedure – fair elections – on the one-year
anniversary of the parliamentary elections of 2011...
The Tula regional branch of YABLOKO also
calls on all supporters of fair elections bring white carnations
to the 6th entrance of the Government of Tula Region office,
where the Electoral Commission of the Tula region is located.
The action will be held on December 4, from 12:00 to 13:00.
The Vladimir branch of the YABLOKO party
will lay flowers to the office of the Oktyabrsky District
Administration in Vladimir on December 4. The territorial
electoral commission is located in this building. On December
4, 2011, this commission adopted and counted six thousand
fraudulent votes from the "Ladoga" resort complex.
All the votes were cast for the ruling United Russia party.
On Saturday, December 1, a rally in support
of hundreds of deceived farmers organised by the YABLOKO
party will take place in Mozhaisk, the Moscow region. YABLOKO
leader Sergei Mitrokhin will participate in the action.
In 1992, 827 workers of the farms Pavlishchevo and Klementevo
received documents confirming their right of collective
share on land. Each of the workers received 6.64 hectares
In 2001, the companies management persuaded about 600 farmers
(mainly elderly people) to give their documents to the Registration
Chamber allegedly for mandatory registration of their rights.
According to the victims, the deputy head of the rural settlement
who had the right to notarize documents forged the powers
of attorney and transferred the land to the companies without
any pay to the farmers. Head of the Registration Chamber
was bribed and signed the deal...
Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog at
the Ekho Moskvi Radio Station web-site, November 28, 2012.
December 4 marks a mournful date. A year
ago our country suffered a terrible loss: elections to the
State Duma which took place on this day hammered the last
nail in the coffin of fair elections.
Deeply regretting this and we are urging
all of you to commemorate the death day of the most important
We invite all those grieving with us to
participate in the mourning ceremony. Let us honor the memory
of the deceased – please bring white carnations to
the main entrance of the Central Electoral Commission office
(Bolshoi Cherkassky pereuluk, 9, Moscow).
If access to the main entrance is blocked, the flowers can
be left anywhere by the Central Electoral Commission office.
YABLOKO activists plan to lay flowers starting from 11:00
a.m., I will come to the ceremony at 12:00...
LI Prize for Freedom Laureate and Leader
of the opposition National League for Democracy, Aung San
Suu Kyi, met with US President Barack Obama in Burma earlier
this week which further solidified the remarkable democratization
progress that the country has been undergoing for the past
year. Her welcoming speech to the President was marked with
concern as she clearly stressed that while the on-going
reforms by the Burmese government are certainly encouraging
one should use caution and remember that many prisoners
of conscience still remain behind bars...
According to Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of
the YABLOKO faction in St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly,
the city budget was implemented only by 51 per cent for
the first nine months of 2012. This had been announced by
St.Petersburg government on the eve of discussion of the
budget in the parliament. This means that many social facilities,
roads, etc. were not built.
According to Yavlinsky, failure to implement the budget
in 2012 demonstrates the overall work of the government.
"This non-implementaiton of the budget shows that the
government of St. Petersburg fails in solving its main task.
If this non-implementation goes on, then what is the point
in the social obligations declared by the city government?
If these tasks are never fully implemented? What's the point
in the continuous discussions that there is no enough funding
for this or that thing? If the money is in the treasury,
then what it is spent on? What's the point in raising taxes,
excise taxes, etc.? " Yavlinsky said...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin said that
not only officials from district and city governments, but
also officials from the Krasnodar Territory Administration
and Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachyov
much be charged with negligence in the case of a flood in
Krymsk resulting in many victims.
“I am satisfied with the fact that a charge was brought
against the local authorities, but this is not enough. We
have convincingly shown that the regional authorities have
failed to implement their duties, however, none of the officials
incurred the responsibility. Why Governor Tkachyov guilty
of criminal negligence should remain in his post for another
five years endangering the population of his territory?
“ Mitrokhin said...
On Saturday activists of the YABLOKO held
a picket in support of YABLOKO’s Suren Gazoryan facing
several years of imprisonment for standing up against Governor
Tkachyov’s unlawful seizure of public lands in the
Black Sea Coast.
About 15 people participated in the picket
in Kazan. Nailya Biktimirova, representating of the Social-Ecological
Union, said that this summer she met with Gazaryan in Moscow
at the award ceremony of the Presidential Council for Civil
Society Development and Human Rights. At that time Gazoryan
was sentenced to three years of probation for graffiti and
“damaging” of the fence around Governor’s
cottage built on public land. However, a new case against
Gazaryan may lead to his imprisonment, as accordikng to
the investigators, YABLOKO’s activist had allegedly
threatened to kill the three guards of the so-called Putin’s
"I think any environmental activist
may be imprisoned now, as the authorities have been trying
to defend the territory they did not have any right to sale
and develop,” said Naila Biktimirova...
Press Release, the ALDE party, November
Convèrgencia i Unió (CiU) continues
to be the leading political force in the Catalan parliament
with 50 seats after last Sunday's elections. While Party
leader Artur Mas will have to form a coalition agreement
in order to hold a parliamentarian majority, he does “not
regret his decision to call for new elections, since it
was necessary to find out where the majorities were,”
according to Mas. With a strong economic programme to propel
Catalonia out the financial crisis and a pledge to call
for a referendum on the future status of Catalonia, CiU
is expected to lead the future coalition government...
The YABLOKO faction has been formed in the
Municipal Council of the Presnensky district, Moscow. It
consists of three municipal deputies: Ekaterina Kalatskaya,
Sergei Bocharov and Yuri Novikov.
Despite the fact that municipal deputies decided to create
a faction immediately after the elections in March 2012,
they have managed to implement this only now. Normally formation
of a faction does not require a decision from a municipal
council, however, YABLOKO’s deputies had to face resistance
from the chairman and some deputies of the Council...
The Russian United
Democratic Party YABLOKO demands investigation of the events
that led to the riot in the Penal Colony No 6 in the city
of Kopeysk, the Chelyabinsk region, on November 24, and
unjustified cruelty in suppressing of the riot and use of
riot police (OMON) for dispersing prisoners’ relatives
and human rights activists who gathered by the prison.
So far, the Russian society has not received
any coherent explanation from the prison administration
and the heads of the Federal Service for Execution of Punishment.
However, there is no doubt that such a large-scale confrontation
between prisoners and the prison administration can not
occur all of a sudden. Unfortunately, Penal Colony No 6
has been notoriously "famous" for a series of
scandals involving the deaths and tortures of prisoners.
Information coming from the administration and the Federal
Service for Execution and Punishment of "an unlawful
demand of 250 prisoners on weakening of the regime"
does not look credible. We see the prisoners’ calls
for help, excessive use of force by the riot police against
prisoners’ relatives and human rights activists...
Yugeny Vitishko, a renowned environmentalist
and civil rights activist, member of the Regional Council
of the Krasnodar branch of YABLOKO and member of the North
Caucasus Environmental Watch, is running for the post of
head of the Krymsk District in South Russia (the district
which suffered from a large flood this summer) from the
YABLOKO party. The elections will be held on December 9.
This summer, Vitishko was sentenced due to fraudulent evidence
to three years probation for the "damage to the fence"
around the Governor Tkachyov’s cottage. The lands
under the cottage and the fensed beach nearby still registered
as public are virtually in the Governor’s property.
Now new charges are invented so that to withdraw a strong
candidate from the election campaign. The authorities threaten
to replace a suspended sentence by a real imprisonment...
The campaign of mobbing of renowned human
rights organisations - the "Memorial", Transparency
International, the Moscow Helsinki Group, the Foundation
for Economic and Legal Development USRF and "For Human
Rights" movement - unleashed by pro-Kremlin youth movements
is unlawful and immoral.
Press Service by the Krasnodar branch
of YABLOKO, Videos, November 21, 2012.
On November 19, a rally of public non-governmental
organisation Social Justice (supporting Vladimir Putin)
took place in front of the in front the Krasnodar office
of the YABLOKO party.
The organizers of the rally tried to make the Krasnodar
YABLOKO "publicly apologize for the insulting leaflets
against the elected President".
This is already the second action against
YABLOKO organised by Krasnodar supporters of Vladimir Putin.
The first action in a form of a pocket was held in front
of the office of the Krasnodar branch of YABLOKO on November
1. The pro-Putin rally gathered about 50 participants who
carried slogans "The Krasnodar Territory supports Putin"
and "Social justice." The overwhelming majority
of the participants were elderly women. Several supervisors
registered those who came to the rally so that to give them
remuneration for participation in the rally...
YABLOKO activists, in turn, spread among
the protesters different materials about Putin, including
the booklet "The Black Sea Palaces and Their Hosts"
and "Life of the Galley Slave" and other booklets
(‘anti-government’ from the point of the view
of the organizers of the rally). The booklets went like
hotcakes, despite of active counteraction of the organizers
who tried to snatch the booklets from the hands of their
own activists. But the participants of the pro-Putin rally
turned out to be interested in alternative information about
Putin and carried away about 100 "anti-government’s"
Activists of the YABLOKO party, led by party
leader Sergei Mitrokhin, together with the residents of
the Ostankino district, Moscow, held a public inspection
of natural and historical park Ostankino.
The inspection revealed a large number of violations of
environmental legislation in the interests of unknown businesses
and officials from the administration of the park and the
Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament
(ALDE) firmly support Commissioner Reding with regard to
her EU-wide gender quota plan to increase the number of
women in leadership roles presented today. In March 2012
ALDE called for such binding measures to reverse the insufficient
progress made towards better gender-balance in corporate
management boards. The liberals acknowledge that quotas
are a very blunt instrument but a necessary evil at the
same time because voluntary measures have proven unsuccessful
in addressing the equality gap. The legislation put forward
today includes clear quotas to increase female representation
in companies' boards to 40% by 2020...
Suren Ghazaryan, PhD, is a speleologist
and biologist studying bats in the Institute of Ecology
of Mountain Territories of the Kabardino-Balkar Research
Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, member of the
Northern Caucasus Environmental Watch non-governmental prganisation.
His and Yegeny Vitishko’s participation in the public
campaign against the seizure of forest and coastline at
the Black Sea (near the village of Dzhubga) by Governor
of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachyo resulted in
criminal prosecution against Ghazaryan and Vitishko and
three years of a suspended sentence for the "damage
to property" ("This is our forest", "Alexander
is a thief!" was written on the fence around the Governor’s
However, earlier environmentalists had got
several answers from the Public Prosecutor’s Office
where the latter had been denying the existence of any fence
around the Governor’s cottage located at unlawfully
seized public lands...
Continuing the series of LI Public Dialogue
events, the leader of the Russian liberal party Yabloko
(LI full member) Sergei Mitrokhin addressed the assembledaudience
in London focusing on the current trends in Russian politics
and the perspectives of future democratic development of
his speech Mitrokhin warned that Russia had 'a similar
situation exactly 100 years ago', and continued: 'Today
we observe a new wave of reprisals in Russia against opposition
activists and all dissenters against the backdrop of the
curb on human rights and freedoms; suppression of the freedom
of speech; use of the law enforcement and the judiciary
as a tool for reprisals.'' Hosting the event in the Houses
of Parliament Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leader of LibDems
(LI full member) and Lord Alderdice, immediate past LI President,
expressed concern about the ongoing deterioration of civil
rights and liberties in Russia. They praised Mitrokhin and
Yabloko for their peaceful, but decisive actions in fighting
to safeguard the freedoms of the Russian people, guaranteed
by the international European instruments that Russia has
Such a statement was made by Grigory Yavlinsky,
founder of the YABLOKO party and leader of the YABLOKO faction
in the St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly, during an open
lesson on social studies for senior students in St.Petersburg
School No 526 on November 13, 2012.
According to Yavlinsky, health care and
education are the most fundamental sectors for the future
of Russia. He criticised the policies of the present Russian
government, "Recently Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
said that the expenditures on education in the coming years
will be the same as expenditure on the defence. First, this
is not quite true, consolidated defence expenditures are
considerably higher. Second, these things can not be compared.
Indeed, the security of the country virtually bases on the
high quality of education"...
Sergei Mitorkhin's lecture
in the British Parliment. London,
November 12, 2012
...Soon it will turn a year since the beginning
of mass protest rallies in Russia. For many people these
rallies meant hopes for rapid democratic changes. Frankly
speaking, I have never shared such an optimistic point of
For me, it was clear that Vladimir Putin
would consider the awakening of the society as disorders
and side-affects of the "liberalization" carried
out by ex President Dmitry Medvedev. And this meant that
Putin’s only possible response to the mass protests could
be "tightening the screws" or, in other words,
increase of reprisals.
This is how Vladimir Putin’s regime tries
to avoid the fate of his Middle Eastern counterparts. Obviously,
Putin has been very concerned of the fates of his colleagues
from the Arab world, and this makes him take up preventive
measures against the Arab Spring scenario in Russia...
In his speech in the Houses of Parliament
in London YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin stated that policies
of the Russian government towards an anti-European way of
development had been changing the situation in the country.
In his speech Mitrokhin touched upon such topics as political
reprisals, toughening of the laws, clericalisation of the
state and the problems of the opposition.
“A conflict with the West has become more apparent
and moreover demonstrative. Cultivation of xenophobia and
hostility to the outside world allows the regime to feel
more confident when rejecting accusations of election fraud,
destruction of an independent judiciary, and so on,”
Sergei Mitrokhin’s briefing was held
on the initiative of Lord John Alderdice. The meeting was
hosted Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leader of LibDems, and Lord
Alderdice, immediate past LI President. British MPs from
the Liberal Democratic Party and their supporters and students
from the London School of Economics and other British Universities
participated in the meeting...
Prominent YABLOKO’s activists Natalia
Yevdokimova and Andrei Babushkin have been appointed members
of the Presidential Council for Civil Society Institutions
and Human Rights. They were recommended to the Human Rights
Council basing on the results of an Internet voting. Presidential
decree on the appointment of new Council members has been
signed and published today.
"The Council has been an effective mechanism, it has
revealed to the public many violations of civil rights,"
said Andrei Babushkin, Chair of the "Committee for
Civil Rights" and YABLOKO Bureau member.
"I am convinced that such a large number of human rights
activists in this body, its openness to the public, and,
I hope, President's attention to this body can help in work
of protection of human rights. The Council I will do the
same thing [I have been engaged with for many years] - development
of the law on public control [over the governments] and
spread of the institute of amending judicial errors. We
will seek so that the removal of judicial errors would became
a part of the Criminal Administrative Code and subordinate
legislation and regulations," noted Babushkin.
"Hopefully, it will be easier to work for us because
we feel a friend’s shoulder,” says Natalia Yevdokimova,
Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Council of St. Petersburg
and YABLOKO member. “The Council joins together many
well-known human rights activists, and for us it is an opportunity
to cooperate with them and discuss things with experienced
Being a Liberal in Russia is
a risky vocation, as putting one’s head above the
parapet politically is an invitation to harrassment, arrest,
criminal proceedings and heafty fines or imprisonment. High
profile anti-establishment activists such as Pussy Riot
get lots of foreign media attention and noises of sympathy
from the outside world, of course, but even in their case
that did not stop two of their number being sentenced to
two years detention each in different gulags. Alas, as the
leader of Russia’s Liberal Party Yabloko, Sergei Mitrokhin,
detailed in a speech at Westminster this lunchtime, the
long arm of President Putin’s law is getting firmer.
He highlighted three aspects of particular concern regarding
the current political situation in Russia and the crackdown
against Liberal forces...
The Congress of the Alliance of Liberals
and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) adopted an urgency resolution
“On reprisals against YABLOKO activists and dissenters
The resolution was submitted by YABLOKO
leader Sergei Mitrokhin who was delegate of the Congress.
ALDE (the earlier name ELDR) joins together
all the European liberal and democratic parties. The Russian
United Democratic Party YABLOKO has been full member of
ALDE since 2006. The ALDE Congress is held in Dublin, Ireland,
on November 8-10, 2012.
The resolution marks a new wave of reprisals in Russia against
opposition activists and all dissenters against the present
government’s policies against the backdrop of the
curb on human rights and freedoms; suppression of the freedom
of speech; use of the law enforcement and the judiciary
as a tool for reprisals”.
The ALDE Congress called on the ALDE groups to raise the
issue in the European Parliament and the Council of Europe
and draw the attention of the Russian government to the
inadmissibility of persecutions for criticism...
- a new wave of reprisals in Russia against
opposition activists and all dissenters against the present
government’s policies against the backdrop of the
curb on human rights and freedoms; suppression of the freedom
of speech; use of the law enforcement and the judiciary
as a tool for reprisals;
- persecution against YABLOKO activists
and candidates to the regional parliament Suren Gazaryan
and Yenegy Vitishko, who have been charged with a criminal
offence that could lead to their imprisonment for criticising
Krasnodar Region Governor Alexander Tkachev for his unlawful
seizure of public lands and their fight for human rights
and environmental safety in the region
- On the ALDE groups to raise the issue
in the European Parliament and the Council of Europe and
draw the attention of the Russian government to the inadmissibility
of persecutions for criticism, in violation of Russia’s
obligations relating to its membership of the Council of
Europe and in direct contrast with the statements of the
Russian authorities on adherence to democratic values;
- On the Russian government to stop the
reprisals against Gazaryan and Vitishko and revoke the unlawful
court decisions against them and punish those guilty of
giving false evidence and prosecutions.
Deutscher Bundestag Drucksache 17/11327
17. Wahlperiode 06. 11. 2012
Der Bundestag wolle beschliessen:
I. Der Deutsche Bundestag stellt fest:
Russland ist ein zentraler Partner fur Deutschland und Europa.
Als standiges Mitglied des Sicherheitsrates
der Vereinten Nationen, als Mitglied der G8 sowie des Europarates
und der Europaischen Menschenrechtskonvention, strategischer
Partner Deutschlands und wichtigster Energielieferant Europas
ist Russland von besonderer Bedeutung; regionale und globale
Herausforderungen konnen nur mit und
nicht gegen Russland bewaltigt werden. Russland ist unabdingbar
fur eine gesamteuropaische Friedensordnung...
The resolution expresses deep concern of
a global rise of extremism and xenophobia among youth stating
that liberals must tackle these challenges “basing on liberal
values of human rights, individual freedoms, rule of law,
respect for the individual, tolerance and civil and moral
responsibility of each person”.
The Russian state still uses Joseph Stalin’s
political methods, said YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
at the Returning of the Names action which is annually held
in the centre of Moscow by the Solovetsky Stone monument.
People commemorate the victims of the Great Terror and read
out loud the names of the people shot during those years.
"The roots of Stalinism have not been removed from
our society and our state. Commemorating the victims of
the terror we must also recognize our responsibility so
that this will never happen again," Mitrokhin said
after reading out loud the names of the people shot in 1937
The Federal Bureau of the YABLOKO party
expelled from the party Andrei Ponomaryov, Chair of the
Bryansk branch of YABLOKO, and three members of the Regional
Council of the Bryansk branch of YABLOKO. The Ponomaryov’s
decision to withdraw his candidacy from the gubernatorial
elections and support the incumbent Governor Nikolai Denin
was recognized as inflicting political damage to the party.
Despite of the decision of the governing
bodies of the arty, Andrei Ponomaryov withdrew from the
election race for the post of Governor of the Bryansk Region
and supported acting Governor Nikolai Denin, candidate from
the ruling "United Russia" party...
On October 27, YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
participated in the socio-political forum Moscow Perspectives
organized by the Democratic Choice party. Other reports
on the prospects of Moscow development were made by representatives
of the Moscow Mayor Office, political parties, as well as
research centres and business associations.
Vladimir Milov, organizer of the Forum and
leader of the Democratic Choice party, told about the need
to involve Moscow residents in the solution of the different
tasks. Milov stated that municipalities lacked real power
and bureaucratisation of the city prevented development
of small and medium businesses and, consequently, the middle
class – the major contributor to the city budget.
According to Milov, there is a need of a dialogue between
the society and experts with the city administration so
that to create a strategy of Moscow development. "Moscow
can set the right direction to the rest of Russia",
said Vladimir Milov...
"The Moscow government in Moscow should create a platform
for a dialogue with the public about the development of
the city. Public hearings are a good method here. But the
chief architect of the city and Sergei Sobyanin [the Moscow
Mayor] government apparently believe that Muscovites are
not ready for this and do not conduct hearings on the most
important issues of Moscow development, " Mitrokhin
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and Galina
Mikhalyova, Bureau member, paid tribute to the memory of
hostages of a Moscow theatre who came to watch the Nord-Ost
musical (in Dubrovka district, Moscow). They laid flowers
to the memorial plaque with the names of the victims set
by the Theatre Center.
Iranian lawyer and human rights activist
Nasrin Sotoudeh and Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi have
won the Sakharov Prize 2012 which is the annual human rights
prize of the European Parliament. They were nominated for
the award by the ALDE group and other MEPs in recognition
of their exceptional courage in exposing state-sponsored
persecution and Human Rights abuses.
Sotoudeh (Tehran, 1963) was arrested in September 2010 on
suspicion of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm
state security. She is currently serving a six-year jail
sentence, in solitary confinement, in the notorious Evin
prison, in addition to disbarment and a ten-year ban on
leaving the country. Jafar Panahi is an Iranian film director
whose films focus on the hardships of children, the impoverished
and women in Iran...
Sergei Mitrokhin demands from Alexander
Bastrykin, head of the Investigation Committee, to file
a criminal case on the abduction and tortures of Leonid
Razvozzhayev, Assistant of oppositional Duma MP Ilya Ponomaryov.
(Ed. Leonid Razvozhayaev together with Sergei Udaltsov were
accused of preparing a coup d’etat in Russia with
the help of Georgian money after a notorious film The Anatomy
of Protest-2 picturing all the opposition figures as criminals).
Mitrokhin insists that the criminal case should be opened
in accordance with three articles of the Criminal Code “abduction”
(Article 126), “threat of murder or grievous bodily
harm” (Article 119) and “compulsion of evidence”
Mitrokhin also applied to Sergei Kudneyev,
Public Prosecutor of Moscow, demanding to immediately explain
the circumstances of the detention of Leonid Razvozzhayev
and how it was announced Rozvozzhayaev had “voluntarily
admitted his guilt and surrendered”...
...Charges may be brought now against any
person or organisation whose activities seem dangerous for
the secret services. Punishment envisaged by the draft law
for links with an international non-governmental organisation,
rendering of “financial, material, technical, consultative
or other assistance” spread of information in the Internet
which can later be recognized as a state secret by the intelligence,
toughening of punishment for violations take us back into
the period of mass reprisals and resemble Stalin's methods
of dealing with political opponents and lead to the formation
of a new "iron curtain."
Any person - an ordinary public activist
or a federal level official who may arise discontent – may
get under the sanctions of the new law. Russian special
services are interested in obtaining a legal basis for the
arrests of the dissenting...
Open Vld Leader Alexander De Croo replaces
Vincent Van Quickenborne as the new Pensions Minister and
Deputy Prime Minister in the Belgian federal government.
He was sworn in by King Albert II on Monday. The appointment
of Alexander De Croo will allow him to take part in the
difficult discussions on next year's budget.
Van Quickenborne will become the new Mayor
of the city of Kortrijk, where he ended 150 years of Christian
Oksana Demchenko, ex-deputy of the Legislative
Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk Region, was elected new chair
of the Krasnoyarsk branch of YABLOKO. The conference of
the regional branch of the party took place on October 21.
The conference also elected members of the Regional Council
and a representatives of the regional organization in YABLOKO’s
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin participated
in the conference. He set the following for the delegates:
to participate and win in the elections. The next election
– to the Krasnoyarsk City Council - will be held in
After the conference, Mitrokhin held a roundtable
with Krasnoyarsk entrepreneurs and discussed the prospects
of development of small businesses in the Krasnoyarsk region
and in Russia in general.
This morning Mitrokhin met with Sergei Ponomarenko,
First Vice-Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. They specifically
discussed the upcoming elections. Deputy Governor expressed
his hope that the YABLOKO party will be able to create a
faction in the City Council of Krasnoyarsk then...
Olga Vlasova, member of YABLOKO Bureau,
made report in the Federation Council on mass-scale violations
in the recent regional and municipal election campaign.
The report was made within the framework of a round table
discussion on "The Results of the Elections in the
Russian Federation as the Prospect for Improving the Electoral
Law" which took place on October 18. The meeting was
attended by members of the State Duma, the Federation Council,
representatives of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme
Court, the Public Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation,
representatives of the Russian Central Electoral Commission
and electoral commissions of the regions.
In her speech Olga Vlasova focused on the following three
1. Mass-scale violations in all the Russian regions where
elections were held. YABLOKO observers documented widespread
ballot stuffing, "carousel" votings, illegal refusals
to allow observers to the polling stations and use of administrative
resources. On voting day, regional electoral commissions
turned into battle fields for upholding the rights of observers
to be at the polling stations. In one of the polling stations
in Tula YABLOKO observer was broken a finger...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin handed to
Sergei Naryshkin, Chairman of the State Duma,
an amendment to the Housing Code which would guarantee voluntary
financing of capital repairs of blocks of flats by ordinary
citizens. The government had envisaged that the costs of
the capital repairs should lie exclusively on the people.
Also Mitrokhin personally handed to the
Duma Speaker a file with 1,000 signatures against introduction
of mandatory payments for capital repairs and in support
of YABLOKO’s amendment. Other 11 files with 15,000
signatures from people from 36 Russian regions will be sent
to the State Duma Mail Department on Monday...
Searches in the apartments of Sergei Udaltsov
and his parents deepen the political crisis in the country
and reinforce the split between the state and the society.
The campaign of reprisals against Sergei Udaltsov and other
opposition activists resembles as of its scenario Stalin's
trials against "enemies of the people". Starting
with a public denunciation as a very questionable film "Anatomy
of a Protest-2" [depicting opposition activists as
spies or bought up puppets] further under the screams of
lickspittles and “denunciators” from the United
Russia party this campaign has transferred into the phase
of direct reprisals with the prospects of many years of
camp life [for Udaltsov].
Searches in the apartment of a political
opponent to the government in view of his political activities
represents a repressive act of political revenge.
Not sharing Sergei Udaltsov’s political views, I think
it unacceptable to use such methods for "neutralisation"
against any representative of the political opposition.
The YABLOKO party demands to immediately stop this openly
ordered campaign by the investigators against Sergei Udaltsov,
Nicholai Kavkazsky and other people arrested in accordance
with the so-called "Bolotnaya Square protesters case"...
According to the results of voting on October
14, YABLOKO factions will appear in four Russian cities:
Yaroslavl, Pervouralsk, Berezovsky in the Sverdlovsk region
and Elektrogorsk in the Moscow region.
The best result YABLOKO obtained in Pervouralsk - 20.4 per
cent. YABLOKO came second here after the ruling United Russia
with 37 per cent. Konstantin Drigin topping YABLOKO’s
will also get a mandate. Drigin with 35 per cent of the
vote won over Valery Treskin, the ruling party’s candidate,
who got 25 per cent of the vote.
In Yaroslavl, the party has overcome the
5 per cent threashold. The candidates running in single
mandate electoral districts failed to deputies of the Yaroslavl
City Council, however Galina Sokolova came second in her
district with almost 26 per cent of the vote, and another
eight candidates came third in their districts getting from
7 to 19 per cent of the vote.
In the Berezovsky city, the Sverdlovsk region,
6.6 per cent of the electorate voted for YABLOKO, and now
the party will have the right to form a faction in the Council
In Elektrogorsk, the Moscow region, YABLOKO’s candidates
got 9.2 per cent which also means that YABLOKO can form
a faction in the municipal assembly in the city...
According to the preliminary data, YABLOKO’s
list candidates in the elections to the City Duma of Pervouralsk,
the Sverdlovsk Region, received 21 per cent of the vote
and thus came second after the ruling United Russia party
(37 per cent).
YABLOKO’s observers reported to YABLOKO’s call
centre the results from 58 of the 79 district electoral
commissions of Pervouralsk. Just Russia came third with
14.6 per cent of the vote, and the Communist Party came
fourth with 11.7 per cent. Also the Patriots of Russia (9
per cent) and the LDPR (5.7 per cent) overcome the 5 percent
threashold. The list of RPR-PARNAS was supported by 0.8
per cent of the voters. It should be noted that the local
branch of RPR-PARNAS had applied to court so that to withdraw
YABLOKO from the election.
Thus, the YABLOKO party is to get three of the fourteen
mandates distributed among the party lists.
In addition, two YABLOKO’s candidates in the binominal
precincts – Konstantin Drygin and Vitaly Listratkin
- have very good chances to get their mandates. Drygin confidently
wins in his precinct...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin has sent
the first complaint on violations in regional and municipal
elections to Vladimir Churov, Chair of the Central Electoral
Commission, and Yury Chaika, Public Prosecutor General,
demanding to examine the violations identified by observers
and candidates of the YABLOKO during elections in 11 subjects
of the Russian Federation and punish the vote riggers.
The complaint contains information about
the most serious violations in 28 polling stations, such
as ballot stuffing, "carousel" voting, withdrawing
of observers from the polling stations, buying of votes,
The complaint refers to violations in regional elections
in the Krasnodar Territory and municipal elections in the
Maritime Altai territories, Bryansk, Ryazan, Irkutsk, Saratov,
Tula, Moscow and Yaroslavl regions.
In addition, the document runs that observers from “non-administrative”
candidates and parties were not let to over half of the
polling stations in Tatarstan under a pretext that their
papers lacked some stamps...
YABLOKO’s candidates and observes
report multiple violations at the elections to the Krasnodar
Territory Legislative Assembly.
YABLOKO observer filmed Yelena Sluchevskaya,
Chair of Electoral Commission No 4822 (Novopekhovskoye village),
stuffing of packages of ballots. The 18 minute video demonstrates
several episodes of ballot stuffing...
Also stuffing of ballots was recorded at
polling stations No 2230, 2231, and 2228 in Krasnodar. In
Ust-Labinsk Chair of the Electoral Commission stuffed the
rigged ballots at polling station No 5603. YABLOKO’s
commission member was ousted from the room under some pretext...
Dmitry Gutov, YABLOKO’s observer at
polling station No 2054, was beaten when he attempted to
photograph the participants of a “carousel”
who arrived to the polling station by car (No AOBO62, 23).
Dmitry was threatened with murder and the attackers snatched
his press card.
Also “carousel voting” was reported
at polling stations No 2047, 2055,2056, 2215, 2216 and 2213...
Ballot-riggers broke a finger to Ludmila
Yegorova, electoral commission member with an advisory vote
from the YABLOKO party, who prevented ballot stuffing in
the election to the City Duma of Bogoroditsk, the Tula region.
About an hour ago, two young men tried to
stuff a package of ballots to the polling box. Ludmila Yegorova,
YABLOKO’s representative in the electoral commission, managed
to prevent it. There turned out to be 80 fraudulent ballots
in the package: 40 marked for the ruling United Russia and
40 for candidate Fyodorov...
Following announcement of the preliminary
results of the Parliamentary elections in Lithuania, Guy
Verhofstadt made the following statement:
"I am very pleased to acknowledge that Liberal and
Democrats in Lithuania have scored a convincing victory
in the Parliamentary elections. I would like to congratulate
Viktor Uspaskich (ALDE MEP) and his Labour Party (Darbo
partija) that has doubled its support and with 20% of the
vote, as the largest political party is poised to form the
incoming government. This is an excellent result for the
Labour Party that in the opposition party has worked vigorously
and consistently in support of its electorate."
"The Liberal Movement (Lietuvos Respublikos liberalu
sajudis) has got the highest evaluation for the work it
has done in the outgoing government. After 4 years in the
government, taking the lead on difficult and sometimes controversial
areas of public life, the Liberal Movement has further increased
its support. That is both a recognition and an encouragement
to continue promoting liberal agenda in Lithuania."
Regional and municipal elections will take
place in Russia on October 14, 2012. The YABLOKO party nominated
its candidates for the elections in 22 Russian regions.
In the Krasnodar Territory, the list of
candidates to run at elections to the Legislative Assembly
represents a coalition of opposition forces in the region.
Well-known representatives from different democratic parties
and movements, environmentalists, human rights activists,
independent journalists and public figures join together
under the banner "Yabloko - United Democrats of the
Krasnodar Territory". The joint list of candidates
includes: Andrei Rudomakha, Chairman of the Krasnodar branch
of YABLOKO and coordinator of the North Caucasus Environmental
Watch, Yegeny Vitishko, Chair of the Tuapse branch of YABLOKO,
Suren Ghazaryan, member of the North Caucasus Environmental
Watch, Lenid Malyavin, ex Chair of the Krasnodar branch
of the party RPR-PARNAS party, and Dmitry Pupynin, Chairman
of the Krasnodar branch of the Democratic Choice of Russia
movement. The party list totals to 36 candidates...
...According to the Central Electoral Commission,
YABLOKO has registered 600 candidates for elections on October
Reacting to the Nobel peace prize being
awarded to the European Union, Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group
leader in the European Parliament said: "We strongly
welcome the recognition by the Nobel Peace committee of
the contribution that the European Union has made over the
last 70 years to turn a previously war ridden continent
into a peace project...
On October 11, Grigory Yavlinsky visited
Kaliningrad so that to support Alexandra Yakovleva, YABLOKO’s
candidate in the mayoral elections and head of the party
branch in Kaliningrad.
Answering the journalist’s question
how Grigory Yavlinsky accesses the chances of a woman going
into Russian politics, he answered that he came to support
a talented professional rather than a women running against
men in the elections. He also added that speaking about
professional qualities people should be divided into “talented
people and all the other”, rather than men and women.
“Alexandra Yakovleva is a talented person, she has
talents in many fields”, she was even a Soviet film
star but decided to change her brilliant film carrier and
went to a university once again for studying state and municipal
governing. Yavlinsky noted her experience in management
of complex systems (such as large modern airports) and expressed
his certainty that this experience would help Yakovleva
to manage Kaliningrad and to make it a convenient and modern
city, a centre of tourism and investment...
Statement by Sergei Mitrokhin and
Grigory Yavlinsky, October 10, 2012.
The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO
expresses its deep concern with the situation around the
Radio Liberty Russian Service. Mass dismissal of the key
journalists of the Moscow Bureau endangers the very existence
of Radio Liberty as an objective and high-quality media.
The official version about transfer to the
new digital technologies and abolishing of broadcasting
on the medium waves is beyond any criticism.If
this were the real reason, then the Radio Liberty management
would not have fired in the first ranks the staff of the
Radio Liberty web-site, which made the Radio Liberty web-site
one of the most respected and quoted political resources
of the Russian segment of the Internet.
Apparently, this demonstrates a bureaucratic
error turning into a political error. Bureaucrats from mass
media were solving their narrow tasks and did not take into
account the political consequences, which are as follows:
the Russian audience is deprived of the source of information
they have trusted for decades, and it is obvious that the
reputation of the media is, above all, the reputation of
RPR-PARNAS applied to the Supreme Court
of Russia asking to cancel the registration of YABLOKO’s
list of candidates in the election to the Pervouralsk City
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin said that in this way the
Sverdlovsk branch of PARNAS defends the interests of the
ruling United Russia party.
"I have no complaints about PARNAS leaders. We realise
that they are not in control of their regional branches.
But the actions of the Sverdlovsk branch of PARNAS are connected
with their strong dependence on the ruling United Russia,
which uses them in its fight with a very dangerous rival
in the Pervouralsk elections- the YABLOKO party," that
is how Sergei Mitrokhin commented on the situation...
In two recent publications released this
month, prominent liberal MEPs Guy Verhofstadt and Andrew
Duff make the case for a more federal Europe. Last week,
ALDE Group Leader Mr Verhofstadt launched his book ‘For
Europe: a manifesto for a postnational revolution in Europe’
alongside co-author Green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit.“What
we have tried to describe, is what a more federal Europe
means,” Mr Verhofstadt said. “That means more
than a discussion on policy, it means you build a real European
government, a European democracy. “
British Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff,
the ALDE group’s coordinator on constitutional affairs
in the European Parliament, has also launched a new pamphlet
on economic government at the EU level entitled ‘On
governing Europe’. In this pamphlet he reflects on
how the EU has reacted to date in light of the financial
and economic crisis and argues that the lack of a credible
discernible government of the political economy has become
a problem and requires a new sort of federal economic government...
...Wolf Klinz (FDP, Germany) ALDE spokesperson
said: "Recent events have shown that the current legislation
on insider dealing and market manipulation urgently needed
a review. We need to keep pace with market and technological
developments and ensure that new markets, platforms and
instruments are all covered. Markets have become more integrated
and we have observed an increasing tendency of cross-border
market abuse, which has a serious impact not only on market
confidence but also on financial stability and the real
economy. Market integrity needs to be guaranteed. That's
why we proposed to establish functioning cross border surveillance
mechanisms to detect market manipulation taking place across
A motor rally from Izhevsk in Votkinsk,
Udmurtia, organized by the Udmurtian branch of YABLOKO within
the framework of the regional election campaign, has been
detained by traffic police. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
also participates in the rally. According to the police,
the reason for the detention is that the action has not
had a permit from the local authorities. At present Sergei
Mitrokhin is trying to convince the police that the rally
Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe,
September 28, 2012.
A nervous reaction displayed by the Russian
authorities for the PACE resolution on the implementation
of Moscow’s obligations on the democratic development
[of Russia] which has not been promulgated yet, is caused,
according to experts, by two main factors. First, the Kremlin
reorients its foreign policy and foreign economic strategy
from Europe to Eurasia. Secondly, the recent repressive
policies towards the civil society will inevitably affect
[Russia’s] behaviour on the international arena. Alexei
Arbatov, international relations expert and Director of
the Center for International Security of the Russian Academy
of Sciences, talks about this in his interview to the Radio
This is a part of the interview I gave on
Friday to Channel 1 on their request for Sunday night news
on the 20th anniversary of privatization in Russia. The
channel did not show it… It is a pity, as the topic
is important and the fruits of this ill-conceived privatization
have been still affecting our living.
Here comes the answer to the journalist’s
question whether there was any alternative privatization
Yes, there was another programme which I developed. This
programme envisaged that all the money accumulated by people
in the Soviet period had to be used for purchasing of assets.
At that time money in the hands of the population amounted
to about 10 trillion roubles, [this was money] in different
forms including population’s savings in the Savings
Bank that, according to conservative estimates, amounted
to approximately 315 billion roubles. According to the dollar/rouble
rate of 2007, the savings, and not only those kept in the
Savings Bank, but all kinds of savings, including the State
Insurance Bonds and securities, reached, according to the
recent estimates, about 350 - 380 billion roubles. This
is what had been cumulated throughout the Soviet period.
My programme implied that the money should
be spent on the purchase of, as it was called then, the
"means of production" or, as it is today called,
the assets. Then there was a very large imbalance between
the amount of money in hands and the commodity weight. In
fact, the commodity weight reached only 14 kopeks per a
rouble of savings. This means that a person intending to
spend a rouble could find goods only for 14 kopeks. However,
if our privatization programme had been implemented, then
hairdressers’, small shops, trucks, that is, all what
constituted small and medium privatization could have added
to the traditional goods (such as suits, sausage, or whatever
was sold in the Soviet Union then)...
The YABLOKO party has launched a unique
project: now all the government’s purchases of luxury
cars can be tracked in real time at the party
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin in his blog
suggested a public debate which could lead to developing
a norm who of the state servants should have a car, what
the price of such a car can be and how often such a state
servant can replace the old car be a new car.
At present yabloko.ru/auto has published
information on 42 buyers of 145 luxury cars totaling RUR
1.5 bln. Last Friday, the Presidential Administration announced
that it was going to purchase 60 BMW 7 Series, RUR 5 mln
each. Also Oktabrskiy Concert Hall in St.Petersburg is going
to buy a Range Rover for USD 5.5 mln. Among the regional
authorities the most blatant example came from penal colony
? 1 in the Chelyabinsk region. They needed a Land Cruiser
for RUR 3.5 mln...
Following YABLOKO’s inquiries to the
State Duma and the Investigative Committee to conduct a
fair investigation on all the MPs’ businesses (in
view of the recent deprivation by the United Russia faction
of oppositional MP Gennady Gudkov of his mandate under a
pretext of his running a business), Vladimir Zhyrinovsky
LDPR party threatened to YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
of going to court and filing a libel case against Mitrokhin.
In his letter to the State Duma and the Investigative Committee
Mitrokhin had given facts on several United Russia and LDPR
...“I am glad that members of the
LDPR party decided to find out in court who from their faction
was engaged in businesses. We will have more opportunities
to find out the truth in court, as the State Duma Commission
has been working in camera and it is unclear what audits
they have conducted,” Mitrokhin said...
A meeting of YABLOKO’s candidates
to run in the regional and local elections (the voting day
on October 14) with the residents of the Ilsky village,
the Krasnodar Territory, is taking place now. According
to YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin, provocateurs from the
local administration and the police are trying to disrupt
The main issue of the meeting is the discussion
of the situation around environmentally unfriendly Ilsky
refinery, which is a factor of serious pollution in the
area. Expansion of the plant and violation of environmental
standards have led to a sharp increase of morbidity in the
area and growth of the death rate. All this provokes fair
indignation of the local population. The residents of the
area demand that unlawful expansion of refinery should be
candidate Murad Nurmuradov severely beaten in attack
LI News Bulletin, Issue 302, September 27, 2012
Russian lawyer and liberal candidate Murad
Nurmuradov was badly
attacked in the city of Tver on 25 September. Nurmuradov
is one of the top figures on the YABLOKO (Russian United
Democratic Party, LI full member) list of candidates for
elections to the Tver City Duma. According to reports, two
unidentified men in masks and camouflage uniforms entered
Nurmuradov's office and attacked him. This has led to Nurmuradov
being hospitalized with a broken arm and other multiple
injuries, including to his head. In a statement Sergei Mitrokhin,
YABLOKO chair and opposition member of the Moscow City Duma,
said: “Members of the Tver branch of YABLOKO do not
rule out the political causes of the case — an attack
against a principled lawyer attorney and increasingly popular
politician. An open attack against a registered candidate
is a challenge to the city and its residents. We demand
a thoroughly investigation of this case by the law enforcement.
The goal of the crime was clearly intimidation. But they
will not scare us!”
Today, the State Duma Commission on the
audit on the data submitted by MPs on their incomes and
property will consider the case of five more Duma deputies
on the inquiry of YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin. The audit
will be conducted on the cases of four United Russia MPs:
Andrei Skotch, Vasily Tolstopyatov, Grigory Anikeyev, Airat
Khairullin and LDPR’s Vladimir Semyonov...
It would be more difficult of the Duma to
apply double standards in dealing with these cases. "If
the Investigative Committee conducts a careful investigation,
than the circumstances of violations demonstrated by the
United Russia deputies will not differ from the “Gudkov
case” at all,” Mitrokhin said.
The Commission will consider the cases of
nine deputies. Five cases will be considered dealing with
Mitrokhin’s inquiry and four more cases (of "United
Russia" MPs Yelena Nikolayeva, Alexei Knyshev, Vladimir
Pekhtin and Ilya Kostunov) will be considered for on Sergei
The Commission meeting is scheduled for 13:30, it will be
held in camera.
On September 25, 2012, Murad Nurmuradov,
a lawyer and one of the top figures in YABLOKO’s list
of candidates for elections to the Tver City Duma was attacked
Two unidentified men in masks and camouflage
uniforms entered Nurmuradov’s office and severely
beaten him. Nurmuradov was hospitalized with a head injury,
broken arm and other multiple injuries.
According to the results of the audits conducted
by Nurmuradov in seven municipal companies, all seven directors
of these companies were dismissed and personnel changes
in the Tver city administration were underway...
Press service of the Krasnodar YABLOKO,
September 25, 2012.
Candidates from the opposition parties who
will run in the elections to the Legislative Assembly of
the Krasnodar Territory and Municipal Council of the Yeisk
District created a joint Coordinating Council for counteraction
to violations in elections.
Total defiance of the law and constitutional
rights and liberties of the citizens has turned into everyday
practices in Russia. The authorities in Yeisk have already
tried to prevent the candidates from the opposition from
campaigning. The opposition parties decided to join their
efforts in the fight against election fraud and created
a Single Centre for Response to Violations at elections.
On September 23, YABLOKO initiated a meeting
of the opposition. The meeting was attended by the candidates
from the YABLOKO party, the Communist Party, the Just Russia
party, and independent candidates.
The meeting established a Coordinating Council
which should get all information on violations in campaigning
and voting and make decisions on counteracting these violations.
Also it was decided that a joint training of election observers
should be held, and feed-back with members of electoral
commissions should be established...
On Tuesday, Dutch liberal MP Anouchka van
Miltenburg was elected as the new President of the Tweede
Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch Parliament. Before,
Van Miltenburg was Deputy leader of the VVD parliamentary
group. Two other candidates stood in the election, Khadija
Arib (Social Democrats) and Gerard Schouw (ELDR member D66).
VVD Group Leader Stef Blok welcomed her
election: "We're proud Anouchka won the election. The
Parliament will have a tough, fair and cheerful chairwoman.
I wish her all the best."
...The Commission did not find “any
grounds for launching an investigation” on the four
deputies. However, YABLOKO had laid claims to three of the
MPs – Demchenko, Reznik and Lebedev – the same
as the claims laid by the Duma to oppositional MP Gennady
“The Duma decided that MPs can set
up new businesses during their term, however, they are not
allowed to change directors of these companies (Ed. Gennady
Gudkov was deprived of his mandate exactly for voting for
a new director of a company set up before his term of office).
This is a clear manifestation of double standards,”
...An inquiry on Adrei Skotch was filed
in July 2012. A person from the Forbes list did not possess
any property or income as of his official income statement.
Skotch explained this discrepancy between the declared and
the real property by transferring his business to his father.
He also added that he lived as a dependant of his father.
YABLOKO insisted that Skotch had to declare the assets allocated
to him by his father.
Coalition "Democratic Petersburg"
will coordinate and conduct mass-scale public actions of
the democratic forces, as well as other events. In the near
future the coalition plans to organise the traditional "March
Against Hatred" which normally takes place in late
October. In addition, the coalition will support the initiatives
and projects of its member organisations.
Also the coalition will continue collection of signatures
for per-term elections to the State Duma and the Legislative
Assembly of St. Petersburg. This work began at the rally
The coalition adopted a special statement on the Democratic
March and a rally that took place on Saturday, September
...Solovyov: Grigory Alexeyevich, we have
been actively discussing the beginning of the political
season here. What is your forecast for this autumn - what
issues will be most important...?
Yavlinsky: ... But speaking about the forecast, it is, unfortunately,
not very difficult. What forecast can be given, if it is
obvious that laws in the country function very relatively?
That court is not independent. That property rights depend
on the power and the power and property have merged into
But more than that, what forecast can be made, if a dramatic
decline of culture, political culture and general culture,
in the country has become an absolute fact?
And it is reflected, for example, in the
structure of [Russia’s] budget. Simply look how much
is allotted on education and how much on health care and
the development of the country, and how much on other directions...
Well, what forecast can you make proceeding from this? Maybe
only for the next two months?
These are strategic issues.
Solovyov: Does this mean that you see the coming disaster?
Yavlinsky: I would say it is a disaster, but large hardships
are definitely ahead...
Kristina Ojuland, ALDE Spokesperson on Russia
and the rapporteur on ‘Magnitsky Law’ for the
European Parliament welcomed broad support from the Foreign
Affairs Committee this morning for her report recommending
to the Council establishing common visa restrictions for
Russian officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case.
This report will now come before the whole European Parliament
for vote in October...
Guy Verhofstadt: "Today's dismisal
of Gennady Gudkov, Member of the State Duma for Just Russia
opposition party demonstrates clearly that in Putin's Russia
there is no space for dissent and opposition. Putin's majority
in the Duma appears to be there for rubberstamping decrees.
That is not in accordance with the norms of a Council of
Europe member state"...
..."The authorities accuse Gennady
Gudkov of acquiring a business when he was an MP. They say
that an MP can not be represented on the board of a commercial
organization. However, if one gets a share in a open liability
company, he or she can not avoid it, - Mitrokhin wrote in
his blog. - If an MP has run such a business for a long
time, and he promptly gave it in trust, than [head of Russian
Investigation Committee] Bastrykin considers that such a
person has not violated the law”.
"I think that such an interpretation of the law seems
too broad. Perhaps it would be wise to clarify the requirements
of the law first, and after punish deputies. But one thing
is clear: if Gudkov is deprived of his mandate, than United
Russia MPs must follow. Otherwise it is a selective enforcement
of the law, " Mitrokhin concluded.
Guy VERHOFSTADT, leader of the Alliance
of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament, congratulates
VVD-leader Mark Rutte, who again won the Dutch elections
last night and D66-leader Alexander Pechtold, after an election
campaign in which Europe played a leading role. "I
warmly congratulate Mark Rutte on achieving the best ever
results for the VVD and Alexander Pechtold on increasing
the number of seats for D66 for the fifth time in a row.
I am looking forward to continue working with them in the
months and years ahead"...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed
condolences to the family and friends of Anatoly Makhnovsky,
Chairman of the Territorial Council of local self-government
for Kudepsta residential district, who suddenly died yesterday.
Makhnovsky, aged 70, died on September 11
about 1 p.m. under unclear circumstances.
According to one of the versions, he was
talking to a local woman at a bus stop, stumbled, fell down,
hit his head and died. However, there is additional information:
two police officers were standing next to him and their
role was unclear. Moreover, a folder with documents on the
disputed Kudepstinskaya thermal plant he had with him during
the accident suddenly disappeared.
It is not ruled out that Makhnovsky’s
death was connected with his fight against the construction
of the Kudepstinskaya thermal plant...
The Penza regional branch of YABLOKO and
the Civil Control movement signed an agreement on the joint
organization of civil control over voting and counting of
votes in the elections to the Legislative Assembly of the
According to Olga Sorokina, Deputy Chair of the Penza branch
of YABLOKO, "The tasks of the party during the pre-election
period and the elections coincide with the aims of the Civil
Control movement, and we will definitely involve members
and supporters of the party, especially its young members
and public activists to the civil control over elections
and counting of votes"...
On September 9, a rally against construction
of a thermal power plant in Kudepsta near Sochi brought
together over 500 residents of Sochi. YABLOKO leader Sergei
Mitrokhin asked the developer to submit the permission documentation.
Local residents oppose the construction of environmentally
hazardous industrial facilities, the operation of which
will result in air pollution, noise and other factors posing
a serious threat to the health of tens of thousands of residents
and holiday-makers in Sochi. Sochi administration and the
Olympstroy company plan to locate the thermal plant in the
centre of a densely populated resort area...
Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the Yabloko
faction in the St. Petersburg’s parliament, proposed
to the largest cable operator in the city to include television
(Rain) into the basic package of TV channels offered to
Grigory Yavlinsky expressed his certainty
that St.Petersburg viewers would be interested in receiving
honest news and discussion programmes, as well as live broadcasts
by the channel, such as had been done by Dozhd from winter
and spring mass-scale rallies in Moscow and on the flooding
in South Russia.
YABLOKO leader also added that audience
would be interested in the views of the leading journalists
of the Dozhd channel, including Leonid Parfyonov, Pavel
Lobkov, Mikhail Kozyrev, Mikhail Fishman, Mikhail Zygar
and Ksenia Sobchak...
Olga Zatomskaya, Judge of a Moscow court
of the first instance, imposed a RUR 2,000 fine of YABLOKO
leader Sergei Mitrokhin for his talking to journalists and
bloggers during the protest action of June 6. The court's
decision bases on a false testimony of witnesses and police.
The party intends to appeal against this decision...
YABLOKO will present its publications at
the 25th Moscow International Book Fair which will take
place on September 5 – 10 at the Exhibition Centre.
On the opening day, September 5, YABLOKO’s authors
will present their books in Hall 75 "A" (reception
hall). The presentation will be attended by the party Chairman
Sergei Mitrokhin, Bureau members Andrei Babushkin, human
rights activist, and Galina Mikhalyova, Gender faction leader,
and Tatyana Ovcharenko, head of the Party School of Active
Citizen. The presentation will begin at 13:00. Visitors
of the Fair can get YABLOKO’s books at stand E70 Hall
"A" any day.
Local electoral commissions of the Tver
region confirmed the receipt of lists of municipal candidates
from “YABLOKO – United Democrats”. The
candidates from the bloc will run in the elections to the
City Duma of Vishny Volochok city and the Legislative Assembly
of Udomelsky District.
In Vishny Volochok the party lost is topped
by Vladimir Tarasov, ex head of a poultry farm. Tarasov
is well-know in the city as a professional in farming and
also in the utilities sector.
Other candidates also represent small businesses.
Young people under 35 constitute 75 per cent of the list
which is regarded as a competitive advantage by the “YABLOKO
– United Democrats” bloc...
YABLOKO’s candidates Alexander and Ekaterina
Baturinets have to face an new obstacle in running in the
elections in Yeisk, the Krasnodar region. They have to compete
against their namesakes (a guard and a shop assistant residing
in a different district) at the Yeisk elections.
The election campaign to the Legislative
Assembly of the Krasnodar region is in full swing - the
elections will take place on October 14. The regional authorities
have been closely observing campaigning by the candidates
from the opposition - the electoral bloc "YABLOKO -
United Democrats". Representatives of YABLOKO, the
Republican Party of Russia (PARNAS), the Democratic Choice,
Solidarnost, and a large number of non-partisan civil society
activists and oppositional public figures are on the list
of candidates from the bloc. The authorities have begun
employing a variety of political strategies to prevent the
oppositional candidates from running in the elections.
Alexander Baturinets from Yeisk is one of the strongest
candidates from the "YABLOKO - United Democrats"
bloc. He is known for the public campaign "Public Protest:
for Yeisk without Oil Terminals". He is also a deputy
in the Yeisk District Council. Baturinets has been named
a leader of the race by public opinion polls being ahead
of a candidate from the ruling United Russia by several
Press Service of St. Petersburg
YABLOKO, August 31, 2012.
On August 31, on the first day of submitting
an application in accordance with the law, the Organisational
Committee "Democratic Petersburg" applied for
conducting of the "March of Millions" on September
15. The public action will consist of a demonstration (a
march) and a rally. The march will begin at 1 p.m., a rally
will be held at 2 p.m. The exact route of the procession
and a place for the rally will be announced later after
obtaining an approval from the city administration.
The demands and slogans of the "March
of Millions" in St. Petersburg will be as follows:
change of the present political regime, fair elections,
protection of human rights, provision of real social equality
and protection of historical part of the city. The organizers
expect that the number of participants in the march will
amount to about five thousand people.
The Organisational Committee "Democratic Petersburg"
was created on August 28 and comprises representatives from
political parties, social, human rights and political organisations,
YABLOKO, the Republican Party of Russia – PARNAS, the Christian
Democrats, the Libertarian Party, the Russian Socialist
Movement, the People's Labour Union of Russian Solidarists,
the Russian Social Democratic Union of the Youth, Student
Action, Vikhod (Exit), the LGBT Initiative, the Women Voters
League, Youth Human Rights Group and the Alliance of Heterosexuals
for the Equality for LGBT...
On August 28 the Electoral Commission of
the Penza region registered YABLOKO’s list of candidates
to run in the elections to the regional Legislative Assembly.
YABLOKO’s list contains 22 candidates. It
is topped by Sergei Oleinik, President of the non-profit
foundation AntiSPID (AntiAIDS). Other top candidates are
Sergei Illiyev, deputy of local self-government, and Yuri
Voblikov, human rights activists.
The elections to the Legislative Assembly
of the Penza region will take place on October 14, 18 regional
deputies will be elected according to the parties lists.
On August 28, 2012, YABLOKO leader Sergei
Mitrokhin met with John Zammit, leader and founder of Alleanza
Liberali, Malta. The meeting was also attended by Galina
Mikhalyova, Deputy Chair of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO
and the Executive Secretary of the Political Committee and
Olga Radayeva, YABLOKO International Secretary.
John Zammit spoke about the current political
situation in Malta and the activities of Alleanza Liberali.
The party was founded in 2006. Today Alleanza Liberali has
an observer status in the ELDR and is going to become a
full member of the ELDR this year. Alleanza Liberali focuses
on fight against corruption, protection of civil rights
and freedoms, including fight against restrictions imposed
on the citizens of Malta by the Catholic Church (e.g. bans
on divorce and abortions). The party has been also active
in education and environmental protection...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin said that
measures scheduled by the regional administration for prevention
of floods in the Krasnodar Territory are insufficient. Yesterday
Governor Alexander Tkachyov announced that regional administration
was going to allot 3 billion rubles for cleaning and deepening
of rivers’ beds, however, he did not say anything
about creation of a system which would alert the population
in case of a coming flood...
...YABLOKO has been demanding resignation
of Alexander Tkachyov who bears full responsibility for
the consequences of the tragic July floods leading to numerous
human victims. The party is seeking a thorough investigation
into the Governor's actions.
North Caucasus Environmetal Watch.
Press Release, August 30, 2012.
Russian authorities have launched a new
criminal probe against environmental activist Suren Gazaryan
after he led an inspection of a public shore near what we
believe is President Vladimir Putin's Black Sea dacha for
violations. The proceedings are an attempt to stop the activist's
efforts to expose illegal palaces built on public funds
or land and cutting off access to a public shore...
Suren Gazaryan is required by police to
attend a session of questioning regarding the alleged death
threat on September 4. He can be kept in custody before
trial which has turned into a common practice for persecution
of Russian opposition activists.
On August 25, YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
held a series of meetings with the residents of Krymsk area
which suffered a terrible
flood in July.
The meetings had to identify the cases of
non-fulfillment by the authorities of their obligations
to the residents who lost their property in the flood. People
reported red tape in getting compensation for lost property
and money for repairs, continuous “losing” by
officials of their documents submitted in order to get a
compensation and small size of compensations insufficient
for repairs. The residents resented such bureaucratic formalism
when people were denied compensation...
The police tried to debar Mitrokhin from
meeting the residents. Also several cars with representatives
of local administration followed YABLOKO leader at the meetings.
At the end Mitrokhin managed to make the local officials
cooperate in the solution of the problems of the Krymsk
to Court: Cancel the verdict on Pussy Riot
LI News Bulletin, Issue 297, August 23, 2012
Commenting on the two year sentence given
to the Russian Pussy Riot punk group, LI 2004 Prize for
Freedom laureate and former leader of Yabloko (LI Full Member),
Grigory Yavlinsky said: “The political protest by
Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevich
has in fact very serious grounds. It is a protest against
election fraud conducted to usurp power, and against censorship
in the media, the lies and corruption, hypocrisy and injustice.
The long term of imprisonment of the girls, forcing the
atmosphere of unforgiveness and vengeance, does much more
harm to the Russian society than their outrage in the temple.”
Yabloko has condemned the controversial trial of the three
members of the Russian band since their arrest on charges
of hooliganism and religious hostility after performing
a protest song against President Vladimir Putin at Moscow's
main Cathedral. Yavlinsky expressed hope that the Russian
High Court will cancel the wrong verdict and set the girls
free as this will correspond both to the interests of the
country and the goals of the Church.
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin applied
to Anatoly Yakunin, head of the Moscow interior, demanding
to conduct official investigation of the lawfulness of policemen’s
actions during detention of Garry Kasparov, Russian opposition
figure and ex World Chess Champion, by Khamovnichesky court
during the Pussy Riot trial. In his
appeal Mitrokhin refers to the documentary
The authors of the documentary filmed the
detention of the ex World Chess Champion. "Obviously,
the police had no reasons to arrest Garry Kasparov,"
Mitrokhin wrote in the letter. Indeed, during a few seconds
before his arrest Garry Kasparov was talking to reporters
and was not breaking the law. Garry
Kasparov was detained by Khamovnichesky in Moscow on August17
during the hearing of the court verdict on the controversial
action by punk band Pussy Riot at the Christ the Savior
In his letter YABLOKO leader also responded
to the initiative of Anton Tsvetkov, head of public organization
"Russian Officers", who had proposed to introduce
criminal liability for non-obeying police. According to
Mitrokhin, another measure should be introduced toughening
the liability for policemen for lying. "First
of all police officers must be punished for lying. In can
tell that when I or my colleagues were brought to a police
department there was not a single case when policemen did
not use lies to achieve their goals. Therefore it is necessary
to introduce a very large penalty for policemen for lying
with their subsequent disqualification from the service,"
Mitrokhin told to Interfax on Tuesday.
...Organizing the lawsuit in the form that
we have the misfortune to watch, the authorities are aiming
This is not good for the country, and it
is harmful to the Church. Intimidation is not the solution.
Perhaps fear may drive the protest depthward for some time,
but it will not disappear, and at some circumstances it
will come to the surface in a much more radical forms that
are more dangerous for the society. This may be compared
with a fire in the peat fields which goes only depthwards
when they are trying to put it out not correctly, and at
hot weather it comes powerfully to the surface as even a
From the legal point of view, the court
should have determined whether the girls’ action had
caused considerable harm to the society and whether their
action had displayed the signs of public danger in the sense
of a criminal law, and base their conclusions not on manipulative
Today YABLOKO activists conducted a series
of pickets for the resignation of Alexander Tkachyov, Governor
of the Krasnodar Territory. The action was held by the Permanent
Mission of the Krasnodar Territory in Moscow. YABLOKO activists
were standing in turn by the Mission with slogans “Tkachyov,
“After the tragic flood in Krymsk,
[South Russia], Tkachyov have to resign. The liability for
the failure to alert the residents of the coming flood lies
directly on the government of the Krasnodar Territory. I
am ready to stand here 24 hours a day until Tkachyov leaves
post,” told Sergei Sokolov, participant of the action
and the deputy of Municipal Council Konkovo...
condemns controversial Pussy Riot Trial
LI News Bulletin, Issue 294, August 2, 2012
Yabloko's leader Sergei Mitrokhin (LI Full
Member, Russia) voiced his concerns that the violation committed
by Pussy Riot members does not constitute grounds for keeping
them in custody. He said: “The developments demonstrate
once again that we can hardly speak about any genuine liberalization
of law-enforcement in Russia. Considering the political
roots of the incident we cannot rule out that such tough
measures are a mere revenge of the authoritarian state who
are using juridical mechanisms as a reprisal instrument
used on personal motives.” In a statement condemning
the arrest of three female members of the Russian band “Pussy
Riot”, Yabloko expressed clear disagreement with the
charges of hooliganism and religious hostility brought against
them, calling on the authorities for their immediate release,
especially since two of them are mothers of small children.
The members of the group were arrested in February after
performing a protest song against President Vladimir Putin
at Moscow's main Cathedral. If convicted the women could
spend up to seven years in prison.
YABLOKO office opened in Novouralsk, Sverdlovsk
Region. Maxim Petlin, head of the Sverdlovsk Region branch
of YABLOKO, Galina Mikhlyova, YABLOKO Bureau member, and
Kirill Gontcharov, leader of the Youth YABLOKO in Moscow,
visited the office.
Vladimir Plyusnin, well-known environmentalist
and chair of the YABLOKO branch in Pervouralsk, greeted
the guests in the new office. Plyusnin told the guests about
the economic and political situation in the city on the
threashold of elections to the local Council on October
YABLOKO’s Regional Conference which
will take place on August 5 has to nominate party candidates
to run in the elections. It is expected that well-known
public figures in the city, businessmen and local party
activists will be included into YABLOKO’s list.
Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander
Tkachyov, his deputies and officials of the regional Emergency
Ministry Department should be included into suspects in
investigation of the causes of flooding in Krymsk, South
Russia. Such a statement was made by YABLOKO leader Sergei
Mitrokhin at today's press conference, which drew up the
first results of YABLOKO's investigation of the causes of
Activists from the North Caucasus Environmental
Watch, Andrei Rudomakha, leader of the Krasnodar branch
of YABLOKO, Yugeny Vitishko, chairman of the Tuapse branch
of YABLOKO and Yugeny Pimkin, resident of Volgograd region
whose son died in a flood in Gelendzhik trying to save people,
also participated in the press-conference. According
to YABLOKO's activists, a natural calamity coupled with
negligence of the governments lead to such a large number
of casualties in Krymsk. No system for public notification
in case of emergency had been created in the region prone
to flooding. Possible negative consequences of economic
activities in the region that may lead to flooding had been
also neglected. The governments learned nothing from the
experience of the disaster in 2002, when a flood in Krymsk
killed 62 people...
In Russland protestieren Bürgerinnen
und Bürger seit Monaten gegen ihre Regierung. Trotz
erheblicher Gegenwehr der Regierungspartei "Einiges
Russland" und obwohl die Polizei gegen die Demonstranten
vorgeht, verstummen die kritischen Stimmen nicht. Die Bevölkerung
ist unzufrieden und Putins überdrüssig –
wie Galina Michaleva während der Russland-Tage der
Uni Bremen berichtete...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin sent an
appeal to the Moscow police chief Anatoly Yakunin asking
disclose the criteria behind awarding gratuitous flats to
the policemen participating in dispersing of a rally at
Bolotnaya Square, Moscow, on May 6...
YABLOKO sent the inquiry to the Moscow Government
as early as on May 25. The answer received from the officials
ran that the city annually allocated housing to the Interior
Ministry, however, distribution of the flats was carried
out by the ministry...
Today Russia’s Investigative Committee has
detained two more protestors of May 6, including Nikolai
Kavkazsky, ex YABLOKO activist, member of Committee for
The number of persons made liable and the
ways in which the Investigative Committee acts towards the
suspects in violation of the laws during the opposition
march on May 6, clearly demonstrate that the authorities
have been returning to the Stalinist practices of intimidation
and reprisals against active citizens...
On July 23 YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
visited Kolchugin District, Vladimir Region, headed by Alexei
Firsov, member of the YABLOKO party. In March 2011, Alexei
Firsov, leader of the local branch of YABLOKO was elected
head of the Council of Deputies of Kolchugin District. Firsov
won I nthe elections with 29.72 per cent of the vote, YABLOKO’s
party list got 20.56 per cent of the vote at the election.
Mitrokhin began his visit from Kindergarten
No 10. Firsov and kindergarten director told him that opening
of this kindergarten helped to reduce “the queue”
for a place in a kindergarten by 120 kids, however, the
queue had still contained 300 children...
The YABLOKO party made it into the Duma
(legislative assembly) of Kasimov. According to official
data, the party overcame the threashold into the Duma. However,
our real vote, despite of the stuffing of ballots in favour
of the ruling party, is much more.
These elections were a failure for Russian
falsificators. And this is largely due to the work of independent
volunteers – the observers who worked in Kasimov.
YABLOKO expresses its gratitude to all of them and admiration
of their life stance...
Never before had the evidence of crime been
so conclusive. YABLOKO will seek to get all those engaged
in rigging the elections to justice.
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed
his opinion that regional government officials and Alexander
Tkachyov, Governor of the Krasnodar Region and top officials
of the regional department of the Ministry of Emergency
Situations, should be made liable for the negligence resulting
in mass victims during the recent flood in the Krasnodar
In his blog Sergei Mitrokhin analysed the
legal acts related to the prevention of emergencies in the
Krasnodar region and came to the conclusion that regional
authorities did not fulfill the responsibilities entrusted
to them by law.
In particular, Governor Alexander Tkachyov
did not commission any of his deputies to supervise the
implementation of the regulations "A system of warning
and informing of the public about the threat of emergencies".
After publication of the regulations in 2005, the control
over its implementation was entrusted to A. Ivanov, however,
now there is no such a Deputy Governor with such a name.
In addition, for the past seven years the
regional government has not allotted any funds for creation
of a system for alerting citizens about emergencies. This
should have been made from the regional budget, however,
each year, the regulations of 2005 did not contain such
a clause. Also since 2005 they have prolonged the regulations
of 2005 without including a clause on funding of the system.
"In any normal state an official responsible
for such criminal negligence would be immediately dismissed.
Only in Russia such an official can retain his gubernatorial
post for another five years presenting a threat to millions
of people living in the region governed by him," Mirokhin
wrote in his blog.
...MK: Yes, the protest movement was preoccupied
mainly with creativity: a competition of funny banners and
photoshopped pictures. It was too busy with this to think
GY: Because the people who took on the role
of organisers of the protest movement were developing the
form without filling it with content. That is why the rallies
demonstrated an abundance of inventions, funny posters and
performances. But by the spring the main "faces"
of the protest have already partially changed. The new "faces"
have quickly realized that it was necessary to leave the
glamour and creativity – it was a deadlock. They tried
to make camps by the fountain at the Pushkin square, breakthrough
to the Manezh square, put forward incredible demands to
the authorities and socialize at the boulevards. But this
was also development of one form only, without any content,
including the "Occupy Abai" action (Ed. "Occupy
Abai" was a camp in the centre of Moscow by the monument
to Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai Kunanbayev). It was
clear what "Occupy Wall Street" was about. Wall
Street is the personification of the type of living the
"occupants" protest against. And what does "Occupy
Abai" mean? Again, it is an interesting form of protest
but not filled with so much needed political content.
MK: A transition from the ideological to
the physical opposition was a natural development of the
protests. Is not is how they should grow - from coming to
rallies to creation of permanent camps of the dissenting?
from peaceful methods and slogans to violent clashes?
GY: No, it isn't. Because in case of physical
and violent confrontation with the authorities the protest
movement would immediately lose and in general can be even
permanently destroyed. The organisers of rallies must understand
that this is unacceptable. In addition, if you invite people
to an [officially] permitted rally, they should not get
into trouble - people can not be victimized. If one is professionally
engaged in the organisation of mass-scale peaceful protests
and wants precisely this, this can be done. If one has other
goals, than it will be the other way.
MK: Do you think "the other way"
prevailed during protests on May 6?
GY: The desire for exploring "another
heroic way" has been there for all these months. However,
after the first attempt on December 5, this thrust was marginal,
inferior to the general belief in the power of peaceful
mass protests. But the protest did not yield immediate results
as tangible concessions from the government, or provided
a coherent perspective that could have been indicated by
the political leadership. Thus, the lead was taken by the
left, nationalists and supporters of the thesis "you
cannot make an omlette without breaking eggs". The
question of responsibility for the health and lives of people
was either redirected to the government or simply removed
from the agenda. They said that under the current conditions
the true organisers of mass actions were Twitter and FaceBook...
Press Release, photographs by Andrei
Rudomakha, July 19, 2012.
..."There is no doubt that economic
activity of the Private Hunters' Club played a negative
role in the flooding of Armyansky, Sheptalsky and Novoukrainsky
villages," noted EcoWatch experts. These villages located
in the valley of the Psyzh River are outside the influence
of the flood from the Adagum River affecting Krymsk abd
Nizhnebakanskaya and Neverdjayevskaya villages. However,
these three villages were also serely affected. In addition
to destruction and damaging of housing the flood led to
human victims there.
On July 16 YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
demanded from Yury Chaika, Public Prosecutor General, to
bring to justice the officials whose negligence and lack
of action led to flooding of three settlements in the Krymsk
For and on behalf of the YABLOKO party I
am conveying condolences to the relatives and next of kin
of Valiulla Yakupov, head of Educational Department of Spiritual
Directorate of the Muslims of Tatarstan, who was murdered
by criminals. I am also conveying condolences to residents
of Tatarstan and the entire Muslim community of our country.
I wish speedy recovery to Ildus Faizov, Mufti of the Republic
of Tatarstan, who was injured during explosion of his car.
We strongly condemn this crime and demand
from the President of the Russian Federation to take the
investigation of the attack under his personal control.
We hope that the criminals will not escape
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin demanded
from Yury Chaika, Public Prosecutor General, to bring to
justice the officials whose negligence and lack of action
led to flooding of three settlements in the Krymsk district.
Local residents warned the officials and prosecutors about
improper condition of a dam of one water reservoirs, but
received no reply. In the night of July 6-7 the dam burst,
and the flow of water went to the villages.
On July 9 Mitrokhin along with the activists
of the party and the North Caucasus Environmental Watch
held a public inspection of the area around Armyansky and
Sheptalsky villages and Novoukrainsky town...
As early as on March 28 E.Andruhovich, resident
of Armyansky village, applied to the Department of Natural
Resources of the State Environmental Supervision of the
Krasnodar Territory. He complained about improper exploitation
of the forest lake, which created a threat of flooding of
private lands in a flood prone period. A similar application
was sent to Public Prosecutor of the Krasnodar Territory...
Today YABLOKO activists conducted by the
State Duma a series of one-person pickets against the law
on non-profit organisations and the libel law considerably
worsening the situation for civil society activists. YABLOKO
leader Sergei Mitrokhin who also participated in the action
said that the State Duma should concentrate on the creation
of a commission for investigating the causes of the tragic
flood in the Krasnodar Territory, rather than consideration
of reprisals prone amendments to the law on non-profit organisations
and restoring liability for libel as a criminal offense.
YABLOKO activists in turn held a banner
picturing Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Heinrich Himmler,
Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lavrenty Beria and Vladimir Putin with
a subscription "Amendments to the law on non-profit
organisations. Fascists are for it! KGB people are for it!"
Sergei Mitrokhin also participated in a journalists' picket
against the libel law. He drew a placard "No to the
libel law" at site...
...Vitishko: We are working 24 hours a day.
We have made bunks and sleep in turn. I have not slept since
yesterday (laughs). We have about 20 people working here.
Our camp is divided into sectors: sectors for delivery and
provision of food, clothing, electricity, etc. Now the city
is completely de-energized, only we have a generator. People
are continuously coming to charge phones or boil tea.
In the coming days we are planning to examine the streets
we have not visited yet. We will be walking around with
a megaphone, and will look for those who have not received
aid yet. I am afraid there will be such people – there
are many pensioners and elderly in the city who have difficulty
to move independently.
Question: Humanitarian aid is coming to
you from all over the country. How do people respond to
Vitishko: They express their thankfulness.
They asked who we are and where do we come from...
On July 5 - 6 July a natural disaster broke
out in several regions of the Krasnodar Territory. A heavy
flood led to numerous victims among the local residents.
Resort city Gelendzhik and Novorossiysk suffered from the
disaster, however, but the most affected was the Krymsk
In the evening of July 6 YABLOKO and North
Caucasus Environmental Watch activists organized a Public
Aid Centre in Krymsk for providing aid to the residents
of the city and the district. It is located at the address:
Krymsk, Sverdlov street 9/1 (in the building of kindergarten
No 19). Tel: +7 953 116 81 62 (Alexei Mandrigelya), +7 953
074 73 98 (Victoria Zolotaryova from 7.00 a.m. of July 9).
On July 8 a Coordination Centre was opened
in YABLOKO’s office in Krasnodar. Address: Gogol Street
74, Office 20, 2nd Floor, tel: +7 861 275 26 77, +7 861
274 30 58, +7 961 515 69 94 (Igor Kharchenko). The centre
is opened from 9:00 to 22:00.
Aid collection points in St.Petersburg:
St.Petersburg Observers office
Address: Liteyniy 31 (red door in the basement), tel: +7
911 954 9121 (Olga)
The office of Grigory Yavlinsky and YABLOKO supporters.
Address: Mozhayskaya 15, tel.: +7 921 700 2664 (Madina)
from 8:00 to 23:30.
Humanitarian aid collection centre was opened
in YABLOKO’s office in Voronezh. Address: Svobodi
59 bld 5. The first dispatch of the collected aid is scheduled
on July 14-15. Tel: +7 920 210 95 98 (Tatyana Shkred).
Public Aid Centre for the victims of the
flood opened by YABLOKO's activists and EcoWatch in the
North Caucasus the next day after the flood keeps working
in Krymsk. The Centre is situated at Adagumskaya Street
153 in front of the shop Magnit.
Trucks with humanitarian aid arrive here
from different cities of the South Russia. For example,
today Alexei Mirukov, head of the Anapa branch of YABLOKO,
and Victor Krivoshapkin, a civil activist, brought medications
A truck carrying a large tent where the
Centre will be located is on the way from Novorossiysk.
Yet the activists have been working outside day and night.
Local government gave neither a tent nor a room to the volunteers...
Flood victims left without help in Krymsk
are holding a spontaneous rally. People state they may go
to extreme measures such as blocking the main street of
the city so that to draw attention of the government to
Such information has been released by YABLOKO
leader Sergei Mitrokhin who is now in Krymsk. According
to Mitrokhin, it turned out that about 200 residents of
the city (from Chernyshevsky and Lunacharsky streets) waiting
for help for three days already have not got any help from
the authorities, as well as food or fresh water. Their houses
are flooded, but water is not pumped out, and since the
beginning of disaster they have received no assistance whatsoever
from either the administration, or the Emergency Situations
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and Andrei
Rudomakha, head of the Krasnodar branch of YABLOKO, arrived
in Krymsk, the Krasnodar Territory, severely ruined by flood.
They brought a truck with humanitarian aid to the Aid Centre
for victims opened by YABLOKO's activists and the EcoWatch
close to Adagumskaya Street 153 on July 6. This part of
the city was most affected by the flood.
The party members brought to the aid centre
canned food, salt, rice, macaroni, milk, water, tea, baby
food, clothes, shoes, soap, other hygiene aids and medicines.
After their visit to Krymsk YABLOKO activists
and Sergei Mitrokhin plan to go to other affected areas
were help has not arrived yet...
A natural disaster leading to numerous victims
took place in some parts of the Krasnodar Area (southern
Russia) yesterday and today. The YABLOKO party expresses
condoles to the relatives and next of kin of the victims.
Resort city Gelindgik and Novorossiysk suffered from the
disaster, but the most affected was the Krymsk Area with
the highest number of victims. The tragedy was caused by
torrential rains leading to a flood which inundated a large
number of settlements. However, in the case of Krymsk and
Neberdzhayevskeya village the tragedy was caused not only
by weather conditions but also the actions of the authorities
who had not taken the necessary precautions to prevent the
As was found out by the activists of the
Krasnodar branch of YABLOKO, the dramatic lifting of water
in the Krymsk city last night was caused by an emergency
discharge from the Neberdzhayevsky water-storage pond situated
in the mountains above the city. The population was not
alerted about that discharge which became one more reason
for the tragedy...
Press Release, July 6, 2012.
On 6 July activists of the YABLOKO party held a series of
one-person pickets protesting against the amendments giving
a status of a "foreign agent" to a number of Russian
non-profit organisations. The action was held outside the
main entrance to the State Duma which plans to pass the
amendments at first reading.
YABLOKO activists including Sergei Mitrokhin, party leader,
Galina Mikhalyova, YABLOKO Bureau member, and Kirill Gontcharov,
leader of Youth YABLOKO, picketed the State Duma entrance
in turn with a banner "The amendments to the law on
non-profit organisations are way to a fascist state"...
The YABLOKO party is preparing to parliamentary
and presidential elections that may take place any moment.
Such a statement was made by party founder Grigory Yavlinsky
at YABLOKO's congress held in the Moscow region this weekend.
"We fully admit that new elections
may be held not in five or four years, but much earlier,
and this period will depend on the moods of the people and
their attitude to what has been happening in the country,"
said Grigory Yavlinsky.
He also stressed that neither his presidential
campaign, nor YABLOKO's fight for creation of the party
faction in the State Duma did not stop. "In the recent
parliamentary elections, even according to the official
figures, we received a mandate from the 2.5 million voters
who do not want to live in lawlessness, corruption and continuous
lies, and we must live up to this mandate," Yavlinsky
The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO
calls the World Heritage Committee at its forthcoming session,
which will be held in St.Petersburg in late June, to pay
special attention to the critical situation in the field
of preservation of World Natural Heritage Site "The
"The Western Caucasus" based on the Caucasian
Nature Reserve is a unique natural area, that is not only
a national treasure of Russia, but also the natural heritage
of all the mankind. Throughout the period since 1999 up
to the present, when "The Western Caucasus" was
included in the list of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage
Site this object had been endangered by different projects
that could destroy it...
YABLOKO's activists and supporters participated
in demonstration of the opposition in Moscow. Party members
formed a column under the banner "We demand new elections!".
The column was led by party leaders Grigory Yavlinsky, Valery
Borshchyov, Anatoly Golov, Yugeny Bunimovich, Galina Mikhalyova,
leader of the Youth Yabloko Kirill Goncharov and other.
"We participate in today's demonstration
because millions of people do not agree with the policies
pursued by Vladimir Putin, as well as lawlessness [in the
country]. We received a mandate from our voters - and only
according to the official data, there are over two million
of such people ¦µ“ for a continuous political struggle for
a different system: for fair elections, an independent judiciary,
equality before the law and the inviolability of property
rights," Grigory Yavlinsky said to journalists...
In reaction to the protests in Russia today
which saw one hundred thousand people take to the streets
to demand reforms, Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE Leader says the
Russian authorities should take immediate concrete steps
to implement reform...
Kristiina Ojuland, ALDE Spokesperson on
Russia said: "The recent decision by the State Duma
to drastically increase persecution of peaceful protesters
is not in line with European standards and international
practice as authorities claim. There is nothing democratic
about the 200 fold increase in fines for those willing to
express their views freely and peacefully. This boils down
to yet another effort by the authorities to tighten their
grip on power and suppress further fundamental rights of
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin commenting
to the Echo Moskvi radio station the searches in the homes
of Alexei Navalny and other opposition activists noted that
police reprisals also affected YABLOKO¦µ™s activists:
"Our activists are affected, in particular, such psychological
pressure was used against Kirilll Gontcharov, leader of
the Moscow branch of Youth YABLOKO, as police tried to get
into his home yesterday. Now he has to hide. Our activists
also suffer from this impudent police pressure, which is
not connected to any violations and is not based on law.
I believe that after the adoption of amendments to the law
on rallies the country transferred to an open dictatorship
regime. Putin ceased imitating democracy, he abandoned all
his masks. Searches and other police actions are the links
of the same chain."
The 17th Congress of the YABLOKO party will
be held in the Moscow region on June 16 - 17, 2012. The
congress will elect new party leadership and adopt party
programme for 2012 - 2016.
On the first day the congress will listen
to a report by YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and will
elect the party leadership. The delegates have to elect
party Chair, Political Committee members, the Bureau, the
Audit Commission and the party Arbitrage.
On the second day the congress will discuss
the party aims and goals for 2012 ¦µ“ 2016.
About 140 delegates from 72 regional party
branches will take part in the congress...
The YABLOKO party will participate in the
March of the Millions on June 12 where it will protest against
signing by President Putin of the new law on rallies virtually
putting a ban on street actions.
YABLOKO activists will form a column under
the slogan "The law on rallies is a way to a fascist
state". All YABLOKO's previous protest actions were
conducted under this slogan when the draft law was examined
by the State Duma and the Federation Council. Then YABLOKO
protested at all the stages of the legislative process -
by the Duma, the Federation Council and the Kremlin.
YABLOKO activists will bring banners illustrating
the reprisals prone nature of the law: picturing Adolf Hitler,
Benito Mussolini, Heinrich Himmler, Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lavrenty
Beria and Vladimir Putin with a subscription "Fascists
are for it! KGB people are for it!"...
From Ms Maja KOCIJANCIC, Spokesperson of
Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative of the Union for
Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
The EU has noted the adoption of a bill
yesterday by both houses of the Russian Federal Assembly
that significantly increases fines and reinforces other
forms of punishment for violations during public events,
i.e. rallies and demonstrations.
The EU is concerned about the possible implications
of this bill, many of which have already been underlined
by many Russian politicians, journalists and civil society
We understand that the signing of this bill
by the President is still under consideration. We have also
taken note of the President¦µ™s intention to consult further
and hear all views before taking a final decision on this
As a neighbour and as Russia's Strategic
Partner, the EU believes that the recent civic activism
offers a valuable opportunity for the state to engage in
a constructive dialogue with civil society which could bring
benefits to both sides. In our view regulations that discourage
civic engagement are not conducive to achieve this objective.
However, some encouraging reforms have been announced by
the Russian government, and this process should be taken
The EU is concerned by reports that 18 peaceful
protesters, including some prominent Yabloko members, were
arrested during a peaceful demonstration against the new
bill on public rallies outside the State Duma.
The EU recalls Russia's international commitments
as a member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE to guarantee
the freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly.
Press Release, June 9, 2012.
...On June 11, Mitrokhin will participate in the conference
of the regional branch of YABLOKO.
On June 12, he will meet students, political
scientists and other citizens in the conference hall of
hotel Tourist at 11:30. The topic of the meeting is "Omsk
on the threashold of mayoral elections". Address: Str.
Broz Tito, 2.
Then YABLOKO leader will join the rally
in support of Moscow's March of the Millions.
A public inspection on problematic sites
of the city will take place at 15:13: Ptichya Gavan (Birds¦µ™
Harbour) ¦µ“ Zyelyoniy Ostrov (Green Island) - Metro ¦µ“
On June 13 (at 15:00) Sergei Mitrokhin,
Alexander Korotkov, YABLOKO's candidate for mayor of Omsk,
and Tatiana Ovcharenko, renowned expert in the field of
protection of citiznes' rights in the housing and utilities
sector, will participate in the press conference "Challenges
before Omsk on the Threashold of the Mayoral Elections".
The press conference will take place in the press center
of the Komsomolskaya Pravda paper.
Signing by Russian President Vladimir Putin
of amendments into the law on rallies and the Administrative
Offenses Code toughening punishment for violations during
mass public actions represents an actual ban on street political
actions, said YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin.
"Virtually this represents a ban on
rallies and political actions. Everyone ¦µ“ organizers,
activists and all public persons from all the sides are
under blow," Mitrokhin told Interfax on Friday night.
He also noted that YABLOKO will not hold
street actions against the law in the nearest time.
"Everyone may be sentenced to a slave
labour or a huge fine from now on. I can not call people
to come to a rally realizing that they can be sent to the
galleys from there," the oppositional politician added.
In an unprecedented turn of events, Yabloko
(LI full-member) leader Sergei Mitrokhin, along with 12
activists, was arrested by the police in a peaceful walking
protest against the recently proposed controversial 'law
on rallies.' All of the activists wore T-shirts with the
slogan of the action 'The Law On 'Rallies' is a way to a
fascist state.' The law in question will increase fines
on demonstrators who violate public order. Mitrokhin was
detained in a separate room and his lawyer was not allowed
to visit him or be present for the interrogations by the
state police. According to Mitrokhin, the amendments into
the law on rallies and the Administrative Offences Code
adopted recently by the State Duma are installing a dictatorship
in the country. 'Today the government has signed a verdict
for itself. If the protest cannot be expressed by peaceful
and legal means, then it will find a way out through other
means,' said Mitrokhin. Yabloko's International Officer
Olga Radayeva called the arrests 'absurd' and urged for
the immediate release of the party's leader and activists.
Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin called
for the new law on rallies to be sent back to the State
Duma Committee for revision, while the Council for Human
Rights under the Russian President published an expert assessment
saying that the law violates Russian Constitution, Interfax
reported on June 7.
According to Lukin, "the study of the
law has shown that the document is hasty and contradictory,
lacking a strict concept or clear criteria." "Instead
of developing the procedure for agreeing the terms of public
events and increasing the responsibility of officials for
declining to agree, the focus is on proscriptive and prescriptive
measures," the statement goes on. It warns that this
is "likely to lead to a rise in the number of un-agreed,
radical and sometimes extremist rallies", while the
widely expected future convictions of rally organisers will
"rightly be seen by citizens as unlawful and sometimes
Press Service by the Novosibirsk
branch of YABLOKO, June 7, 2012.
The Novosibirsk regional branch of YABLOKO oraganised a
one-person picket (which does not require prior notification
or obtaining a permission from the authorities) against
toughening of the law on rallies stipulating sharp raising
of fines for violations at rallies and demonstrations. About
ten activists participated in picketing changing each other
in turn for several hours in the centre of the city.
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and 12 activists
of a protest action by the walls of the Kremlin were arrested
only because they refused to obey the police order to take
off their T-shirts. For 40 minutes of YABLOKO¦µ™s and other
civil society activists were walking in Manezhnaya Square
in white T-shirts with inscriptions "The law on rallies
is the way to a fascist state". And only when Sergei
Mitrokhin proposed to walk along Tverskaya Street to the
monument to famous Russian poet Pushkin, the police asked
the activists to take off the T-shirts and on hearing refuses
the police began detentions...
Arrests of protesters have begun at Manaezhnaya
Square in the centre Moscow. YABLOKO activists planned to
begin a protest action in the Alexander Gardens by the Kremlin
wall, however, it was "suddenly" closed an hour
before the action. Therefore it was decided to protest at
the Manegnaya Square nearby.
All the activists wearing T-shirts with
the slogan of the action "The Law "On Rallies"
is a way to a fascist state."
Sergei Mitrokhin and 11 activists (four
girls among them) were taken by police to the patrol wagons...
Press Service by the Volgograd branch
of YABLOKO, June 6, 2012.
People gathered by the President¦µ™s reception
office in Volgograd at 2 p.m. today. The participants of
the gathering were protesting against the adoption of the
law on rallies and were trying to get into Vladimir Putin's
reception office so that to hand in a petition proposing
that the President should veto the bill passed by the State
Duma yesterday. The police arrested six people: Nikolai
Belikov, Sergey Mazanov, Boris Stikhin, Artyom Panenko,
Yulia Vlasenko and Leonid Makhinya. Some of them were YABLOKO
members other represented public movement "For Fair
Elections" and independent media...
According to YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin,
the amendments into the law on rallies and the Administrative
Offences Code adopted yesterday by the State Duma and proved
by the upper chamber of the parliament ¦µ“ the Federation
Council ¦µ“ today are installing dictatorship in the country.
Mitrokhin has made such a statement today by the Federation
Council. Today YABLOKO has conducted a series of one-person
pickets (that do not require a permission from the authorities)
against the adoption of the such amendments.
Activists of the Youth YABLOKO, Sergei Sokolov, municipal
deputy from the YABLOKO party, and Sergei Mitrokhin stood
in turn by the main entrance to the Federation Council with
a placard "The law on rallies is a way towards a fascist
state!" The placard also pictured portraits of Adolf
Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Heinrich Himmler, Felix Dzerzhinsky,
Lavrenty Beria and Vladimir Putin approving the new law.
"Fascists are for it! KGB people are for it!"
ran the placard...
6.06.2012 Ahead of new opposition protests
scheduled for next week, around 20 activists, including
Mr Mitrokhin, leader of Yabloko, protesting against a bill
toughening responsibility for organisation of and participation
in mass rallies were arrested yesterday in Moscow.
The new law has been approved by the Russian
Parliament and is awaiting promulgation by President Putin.
The bill punishes organisers and participants of any mass
public gathering - even those lacking formal attributes
of a political protest - for any acts that perturb the circulation
of pedestrians or vehicles, drastically raising fines from
max. 5000 rubles (120 Euro) to max. 300000 rubles (over
"Participation in mass rallies cannot
be the privilege of the rich. The Monitoring Committee of
the Parliamentary Assembly will certainly be informed of
these worrying developments in Russia. President Putin has
the right not to sign the bill. And I sincerely hope that
he will use this right, taking account of the criticism
voiced by lawyers, civil society and opposition parties,
as well as the demands to engage into public consultations.
Another mechanism available to all member states of the
Council of Europe is the legal opinions of the Venice Commission.
In order to avoid the violation of Council of Europe standards,
it would be appropriate if the Russian authorities requested
such an opinion on the draft law before it comes into force,"
said Anne Brasseur, President of ALDE-PACE.
Strasbourg, 06.06.2012 ¦µ“ The co-rapporteurs
for Russia of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe, Andi Gross (Switzerland,
SOC) and Gy¶¶rgy Frunda (Romania, EPP/CD) today expressed
their serious concern at the adoption by the lower chamber
of the Russian Parliament of a controversial bill designed
to increase fines for orchestrating unauthorised demonstrations.
They called on the upper chamber ¦µ“ which is due to debate
the draft law today ¦µ“ to reject it and called on the President
not to sign it into law.
The law provides that organisers of unsanctioned
protests can be charged up to the equivalent of 39,000 euros
and participants up to 13,000 euros.
"This measure would undermine freedom
of expression and freedom of assembly," said the co-rapporteurs.
"It would symbolise a lost opportunity to strengthen
the democratic process in the Russian Federation as it would
close the window of opportunity opened in the last six months
following the massive demonstrations by the Russian population.
The dynamic activity of society should be used to implement
reforms instead of being suppressed."
The co-rapporteurs said that in their view
fines of a considerably lower value may be imposed on the
organisers of authorised demonstrations or individual participants
in justified cases when the latter cause material damage
or use violence, and they should always be decided by the
courts. "There are well-established democratic standards
in this respect, and they should be followed," they
"The advantages of exercising the right
to freedom of expression outweigh by far any possible disadvantages
caused by those who abuse this right. These advantages considerably
contribute to the development of a pluralistic and democratic
society," the co-rapporteurs concluded.
By Anna Vvedenskaya
Today police have begun arrests among the
participants of walking protests against adoption of the
law restricting the constitutional right to assembly and
protest. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin, Galina Mikhalyova,
Executive Secretary of YABLOKO s Political Committee, Kirill
Gontcharov, leader of the Youth YABLOKO, Sergei Sokolov,
municipal deputy from the YABLOKO party, - 18 people in
total, nine of them are YABLOKO members - are arrested by
the State Duma. The police have also used violence in arresting
several civil activists. At present the police are going
on detaining activists...
At this moment in time all of them are realised but the
are faicing charges of "hooliganism"...
Sir Graham Watson MEP, President and Astrid
Thors MP, Vice-President of the ELDR Party jointly voiced
the concern of European Liberals about the arrests of ELDR
member party Yabloko's activists and other civil society
organisations protesting today against a further limitation
of the right to assembly and to express your opinions freely.
This is particularly disappointing for European Liberals
as this happens only one day after the EU-Russia Summit
where President Vladimir Putin ironically informed the world
is walking freely now" who protested against the
rules regulating mass protests.
"We do agree with European Council President Herman
van Rompuy and Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
that we need to build closer relations with Russia, however,
as a signatory to the Council of Europe, Russia must abide
by European standards of democratic participation for its
citizens if it wants to build a relationship based on shared
values as much as on common interests."
It is not acceptable to fine people for exercising the fundamental
right of assembly on grounds of disrupting public order
as also reported by Human
Russian police earlier today arrested 18
civilian activists just outside the Russian State Duma,
including Sergei Mitrokhin and a number of prominent Yabloko
party members, who had assembled for a peaceful demonstration,
ironically against a proposal for a law which seeks to enforce
tough penalties on civil protesters. The incident occurred
just one day after the EU-Russia summit in St Petersburg
in which issues of democracy and human rights were kept
off the agenda.
"This heavy-handed police intervention against peaceful
protesters shows, with tragic clarity, that Putin now is
trying to crush what remains of civil action. The promises
of reforms from last winter's large-scale demonstrations
were just smokescreens to secure his re-election" said
Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the ALDE Group.
"The lack of any outcome from the EU-Russia summit
on 3rd and 4th of June in St Petersburg shows that the EU
needs a new policy for dealing with Russia, based on objective
criticism and on an insistence that democratic standards
and the rule of law must be respected before Russia can
be regarded as a true strategic partner and move forward
on issues like visa free travel"
"The new legislative proposal that calls for excessive
sanctions against all protesters and today's arrest of Sergei
Mitrokhin and others are clear signs that the Kremlin does
not take into the account the large scale internal and external
criticism over the lack of democracy and rule of law in
Russia. Just last weekend during the EU-Russia Summit, president
Putin indicated that Russia is a country where everybody's
civil rights are guaranteed. Unfortunately the reality continues
to be different. Thus the EU will have to sharpen the way
it deals with Russia and realize that the brutal reality
is far from the marble halls and palaces President Putin
likes to display for visiting EU delegations" said
Kristiina Ojuland, ALDE Group spokesperson on Russia.
The YABLOKO party will continue protesting
against adoption of the law raising penalties on rallies
by the Federation Council and in the Alexander Gardens by
the Kremlin. Two actions will be held in Moscow tomorrow.
At 11:00 activists of the Youth YABLOKO will hold a series
of pickets by the Federation Council, the upper chamber
of the Russian parliament, which has to give its approval
to the law. At 19:00 YABLOKO invites all the people to come
to Alexander Gardens by the Kremlin wall so that to appeal
to President Putin.
It is expected that tomorrow, on June 6,
the Federation Council will consider amendments to the law
on rallies and the Administrative Code, which have been
adopted by the State Duma in the second and third reading
today. At 11 a.m. Youth YABLOKO activists will come to the
Federation Council so that to remind the senators: toughening
of penalties for rallies is a way towards a fascist state.
The activists will hold placards with portraits of dictators
and torturers who would have supported the draft law initiated
by the ruling United Russia party: fascists Adolf Hitler,
Benito Mussolini and Heinrich Himmler, as well as KGB people
Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lavrenty Beria and Vladimir Putin.
As there are not doubts that the Federation
Council will, as usual, support the reactionary amendments,
YABLOKO calls all the people to Alexander Gardens at 19:00
so that to appeal to President Vladimir Putin.
The action in the Alexander Gardens will
take place without any political symbols and placards, so
yet it does not require approvals from the authorities...
Police have begun arrests among the participants
of walking protests against adoption of the law restricting
the constitutional right to assembly and protest. YABLOKO
leader Sergei Mitrokhin, Galina Mikhalyova, Executive Secretary
of YABLOKO¦µ™s Political Committee, Kirill Gontcharov, leader
of the Youth YABLOKO, Sergei Sokolov, municipal deputy from
the YABLOKO party ¦µ“ 18 people in total, nine of them are
YABLOKO members - are arrested by the State Duma. The
police have also used violence in arresting several civil
activists. At present the police are going on detaining
...The proposed amendments would significantly
increase the fines for violating rules for holding public
events and impose various other restrictions that will make
it more difficult and costly for those opposed to government
policies to engage in public protests, Human Rights Watch
said. The proposed amendments increase the maximum penalty
for individuals from 1000 rubles (US$60) to 300,000 rubles
(US$9,000). Penalties for legal entities would reach a maximum
of 1 million rubles (US$30,000)...
On the International Children's Day, June
1, a joint meeting of YABLOKO's Commission on Education
and Children under the Bureau of the party (which resumed
work in May 2012) and Women's (Gender) Faction of YABLOKO
took place in YABLOKO's office in Moscow.
The renovated Commission has considerably
expanded its topics, adding new issues to already existing
direction of work with orphanages, orphans and foster families.
Commission members and party activists discussed
the key problems the party will work at in the field of
education and protection of children. The meeting was monitored
by Vyachslav Glinchikov, Commission Chair and famous educator,
and Galina Mikhalyova, leader of YABLOKO's Women (Gender)
YABLOKO paid tribute to the victims of shooting
in Novocherkassk which took place 50 years ago in 1962.
Activists of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO brought flowers
to the Solovetsky Stone by the KGB/Federal Security Service
building in Lubyanka, Moscow.
On June 2, 1962, the Soviet interior forced
shot peaceful demonstration of workers and other residents
of Novocherkassk. According to the official data, 26 people
were killed. They were secretly buried in other cities of
the region. Later the court sentenced seven "organizers
of mass disorders" to death and 105 people were sentenced
to 10 ¦µ“ 15 years in maximum security penal colonies.
Workers protests took place after raising
of retail prices on food-stuffs (a 25 per cent rise). Simultaneously
the directorate of the plant raised the productivity standards
for workers resulting in the reduction of their wages. The
workers and residents of Novocherkassk went on a demonstration
under the slogans "Meat!", "Bread!"
A mass rally against commercialisation of
education and merger of Moscow schools was held in the centre
of Moscow on the International Children's Day, June 1. About
400 people - teachers, parents, students, initiative groups
of parents, schools and kindergartens, as well as museums
and libraries workers - participated in the rally. The organizers
of the rally were Trade Union Teacher, Public Council "In
Protection of the Education Sphere in Moscow", an initiative
group of students and staff from the Moscow State University,
the Moscow Parents movement and the OkkupaiMoskva movement.
Olga Vlasova, member of YABLOKO Bureau,
post-graduate of the Moscow State University and member
of the Coordination Council Against Merger of Moscow Schools,
made a speech at the rally on behalf of the party. She noted
in her speech that "fraud had already come to schools"...
Statement by the Moscow branch of
the YABLOKO party, June 1, 2012.
The State Duma Commission on construction
of a new parliament's center announced the plans to cut
an apple garden at Kutusovsky prospect in the centre of
Moscow under a construction site.
YABLOKO together with the residents of this
Moscow district have repeatedly repulsed the attacks on
this old unique garden in Moscow.
The intentions of the Duma deputies once
again demonstrate that they are ready to eliminate gardens
and parks worsening living conditions of Muscovites or take
children's playgrounds for the sake of their own comfort.
The Moscow Regional Branch of YABLOKO states
that it and the citizens will spare no effort so that to
defend the apple garden from the deputies...
Early indications show that the Irish people
have backed the European Stability Treaty in a nation-wide
referendum held yesterday. ALDE welcome this result underlining
that the significance of an Irish "Yes" cannot
be underestimated. Saying "No" would have lowered
Ireland's credibility in the financial markets and have
cut Ireland off from ESM funds which would have been disastrous...
Open letter by YABLOKO leader Sergei
Mitrokhin to organisers and participants of street protests,
May 31, 2012
To organisers and participants of street
at Bolotnaya, Sakharov and Pushkin Squares, Chistiye Prudi,
Novy Arbat, the participants of the movements ¦µ´Strategy
31¦µ±, ¦µ´The White Ribbon¦µ±, ¦µ´March of the Millions¦µ±
and other protest actions: Boris Akunin, Dmitry Bykov, Genadi
Gudkov, Dmitry Gudkov,
Eduard Limonov, Alexei Navalny, Sergei Parkhomenko, Vladimir
Lev Ponomarev, Sergei Udaltsov, Yugenia Chirikova and others
Today, on May 31, the day when actions in
protection of Article 31 of the Constitution guaranteeing
RF citizens the right to assemble peacefully, without weapons,
hold rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets are normally
held [in Russia].
On this day, I am turning to you calling
you to pay very close attention to the amendments prepared
by the State Duma to the Administrative Offences Code and
Federal Law No 54 "On Assemblies, Rallies, Demonstrations,
Processions and Pickets". These amendments are prohibitive
and maximally limit the constitutional right of citizens
Not only do they set high penalties [for
the rallies], but also make any form of street activity
impossible and broaden the possibilities for abuse by the
police providing grounds for absurd accusations...
This is most clearly demonstrated by hasty
appointments of governors in a large number of regions.
The "filters" built-in into the nomination of
governors made it virtually impossible to nominate candidates
from the opposition. In addition to the presidential recommendations,
there were adopted extremely tough requirements to collection
of signatures from municipal deputies in support of [nominated]
candidates. A formally possible nomination of alternative
candidates at a time when the vast majority of municipal
deputies are representatives of the ruling party or its
affiliated groups in reality results in the creation of
an insurmountable barrier for the opposition or independent
candidates in entering the election race.
A number of regional legislative assemblies
where the positions of "the United Russia are particularly
unstable hastily pass laws fixing the most stringent of
the proposed regulatory frameworks for the candidates from
Commenting on the unofficial Presidential
election results in Egypt, liberals expressed concern that
two main Presidential candidates, Mohammed Mursi (Muslim
Brotherhood) and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, are
a ¦µ´worst possible scenario¦µ± following the revolution
in the country last year. Mohamed Nosseir, member of the
Political Bureau of FEP, and Mohamed Abbas, Secretary-General
of DFP (LI full member), explained that ¦µ´the results of
the first round of the elections are a clear indication
that the majority of voters do not wish to see the Muslim
brotherhood or the old regime take control again¦µ± as around
9 million Egyptians decided to vote for the alternative
Presidential candidates (Hamdeen Sabbahi and Abuo Al Fotoh).
Nosseir added that the Egyptian political forces that account
for the remaining votes have met on June 28 and decided
to work together which has resulted in submitting a document
that defends and promotes the revolution's demand for an
Egyptian civil state. The opposition is hoping that this
document will be endorsed by the Egyptian intellectuals,
political leaders, and artists, and will eventually become
obligatory for whoever wins the coming election.
A meeting of the residents of the West and
North-West of Moscow who oppose unlawfully seizure of Moscow
beaches will take place in Serebryanniy Bor on Thursday,
May 31. The residents will dismantle un unlawfully erected
On May 28 YABLOKO¦µ™s public inspection
which also included environmentalists and journalists managed
to get inside the fenced territory of the beach. (See
the photo report here.) The guard of the fenced beach
was unable tell the name of the "owner" of the
beach, but said that the place was a "barbecue site"
for Federal Security Service and Interior Ministry officers
and their families...
"The Green Forum: Environmental Problems
in the Political Context" was held on the initiative
of YABLOKO¦µ™s Green Russia faction in the Moscow Region
on May 28, 2012.
Representatives from 64 environmental organizations
from 35 Russian regions from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka participated
in the Forum so that to discuss the political and environmental
situation in Russia.
YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky and the
leaders of the Green Russia faction (Acad. Alexei Yablokov,
Alexander Nikitin and Olga Tsepilova) participated in the
Forum. The discussion was also attended by leaders of environmental
organisations such as Greenpeace Russia, the Russian branch
of the World Wildlife Fund, the International Socio-Ecological
Union, as well as a number of influential regional organisations
such as Dodo, Nizhni Novgorod, Ecodefence, Kaliningrad,
Plotina.Net!, Krasnoyarsk, Bellona, St. Petersburg, Siberian
Ecocentre, Novosibirsk, the Far East Fund for Environmental
Health, Vladivostok, the Kamchatka League of Independent
Experts, the Union of Moscow Environmental Organisations,
the Union of Bashkirian Environmentalists and the Green
Pyotr Ivanchikov, YABLOKO's activist and
organiser of an action against raising of penalties for
rallies, will to stand trial for oragnisation of an action.
After his detention he was held for in a local police department
for four hours (instead of the maximum three hours allowed
by law). He is incriminated "violation of the established
order of oragnisation of a rally" (Article 20.2 of
the Administrative Offences Code).
Ivanchikov is accused that the topic of
the rally differed with the topic agreed upon with the authorities.
YABLOKO had applied for a permission to conduct a rally
stating the topic of urgent elections of the Moscow Mayor,
however, in light of the events of raising penalties for
rallies by the parliament, YABLOKO changed the topic (such
a change is not prohibited by the law)...
A theatrical action against toughening of
penalties for violations at the rallies took place in Novopushkinsky
Garden on May 27. Potential "violators" were implementing
compulsory community services under the sounds of military
marches of Hitler's Germany without waiting for the final
adoption of the draft law toughening the penalties by the
ruling United Russia faction. Half an hour after the start
of the action, its organiser Pyotr Ivanchikov was detained
by police for alleged non-conformity of the declared topic
of the rally with the actual one. "Muscovites complain
about the Nazi marches," a police lieutenant told the
While the protesters were filling Novopushkinsky
Garden, YABLOKO activists wearing prisoners' hats broomed
the pavement under the sounds of military marches from Hitler's
"We want to show that the State Duma
is going to adopt a law natural in a totalitarian state,"
said YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin opening the meeting.
"Under the clamour of possible reduction of fines from
1.5 million roubles to 300,000 roubles, the State Duma adopted
a resolution listing these monstrous amendments," he
Participants of the action demonstrated
disproportionate punishment for "violations" that
would be introduced by the new law. They could have been
convicted to compulsory community services only for wearing
the Guy Fawkes masks. In addition, each of them wore a plaque
innumerating other "aggravating circumstances",
such as "walking across Moscow", "trampling
the grass," and "wearing a white ribbon"...
YABLOKO leader participated in the inauguration
of Yugeny Urlashyov, the Mayor of Yaroslavl, and congratulated
him on taking the office.
Sergei Mitrokhin discussed with the Mayor
the issues of urban economy and the city budget. "We
will try to restore the law on financial foundations of
local self-government developed by YABLOKO and revoked later
by United Russia. If it had worked, then today the Yaroslavl
tax base would have been several times larger,¦µ± he said...
Dr. Sergei Mitrokhin, Chair of the YABLOKO
Dr. Marc Guerrero, ELDR Vice President, CDC Catalonia, Spain
Dr. Astrid Thors, ELDR Vice President
Emil Kirjas, Secretary General of Liberal International
Vladimir Lukin, Russia¦µ™s Ombudsman.
We can overcome the global economic crisis
only changing the present rules of our life and checking
them with such concepts such as trust, morality and the
public good, said Grigory Yavlinsky, member of YABLOKO¦µ™s
Political Committee and Doctor of Economic Sciences.
"There is a substitution of meanings,
when the market economy is viewed at solely as a tool for
deriving profit, manufacturers are not oriented to the real
needs of the people depriving the latter of choice and imposing
what will bring the greatest profit. This is not the post-industrial
economy, but a postmodern world where not only businessmen,
but also experts and politicians are guided only by self-interests
and that is why they can not cope in principle with the
ongoing crisis," Yavlinsky stressed in the debate on
the global economic problems with political philosopher
Prof. Michael Sandel, Harvard University and Diane Coyle,
academic and economist...
On Start the Week Andrew Marr discusses
the relationship between markets and morals with the political
philosopher Michael Sandel. In his latest book, What Money
Can't Buy, Sandel questions the dominance of the financial
markets in our daily lives, in which everything has a price.
But the economist Diane Coyle stands up for her much maligned
profession, and points to the many benefits of a market
economy. The Russian economist Grigory Yavlinksy argues
against viewing the world of money as separate from culture
and society: he believes the financial crisis was merely
a symptom of a wider moral collapse, and that it is time
to examine the way we live.
Producer: Katy Hickman.
The results of the second round of mayoral
elections in Italy last weekend were an outstanding success
for ELDR Vice-President Leoluca Orlando MP. Obtaining about
73% of votes in the city of Palermo election, Orlando becomes
Mayor of Palermo, an office he will be holding for the fourth
time in his life.
¦µ´My election is a response to the wave of anti-politics
in Italy¦µ±, said Orlando commenting on his result. ¦µ´Backed
by my electoral support I will be asking Prime Minister
Monti about his intentions regarding the current dreadful
social question in Italy and particularly in Palermo¦µ±.
The State Duma has been examining amendments
stipulating the raise of penalties for rallies up to 1.5
million roubles. The amendments constitute
another crime buy the ruling Unite Russia party against
A general protest rally against the draft
law will take place on Sunday. The rally has a permission
from the Moscow authorities.
The government has to see that no penalties
will stop us. We are not going to
speak about some abstract democracy. We will say #DumaStop.
We are against the amendments. And we will make them listen
Novopushkinskiy Garden (Pushkinskaya metro
station). Sunday, May 27 at 14:00.
The police released YABLOKO leader Sergei
Mitrokhin without any charge. However, other YABLOKO activists
detained by the State Duma will have to stand before court
"for participation in an unsanctioned picket"...
All the detainees were transported to the
police department and all of them but for Sergei Mitrokhin
were charged with ¦µ´violation of the established order
or organization of a rally¦µ±. The policemen did not set
any charges against Mitrokhin referring to some order.
The activists will stand before court on
May 30. Their cases will be examined by a judge notoriously
famous for her tough sentences to opposition activists.
Several YABLOKO activists were detained
by police during ¦µ´walking protests¦µ± conducted by YABLOKO
by the State Duma this morning. The police detained YABLOKO
Chairman Sergei Mitrokhin and Kirill Gontcharov, leader
of the Youth Yabloko, and three other activists of the party...
...Sergei Mitrokhin called the police actions
be absolute lawlessness, as the activists were detained
at a legal action which did not require a special approval.
" The police actions have proved once again how dangerous
the adoption of the amendments [on raising fines of rallies]
are to all of us," Mitrokhin said. He noted that the
parliament wanted to set impossibly high fines for violations
at the rallies which would deprive people of an opportunity
to peacefully express their views. "This may push people
to an armed rebellion," he said...
Days after the parliamentary elections in
Armenia, the European Liberal Democrats - ELDR (LI cooperating
organisation) held their spring Council meeting in the Armenian
capital Yerevan. Assembled delegates from across Europe
expressed solidarity and support to the Armenian opposition,
led by the Armenian National Movement, which saw recent
return to the Armenian Parliament. ELDR President, Sir Graham
Watson MEP, stressed slow democracy progress in Armenia,
and called for intensified steps to ensure sustainable development
in the country saying: ¦µ´Arguing for gradual development
has always been the subterfuge of the authoritarian leader.
Armenians are perfectly capable of running a fully democratic
society.¦µ± The Council adopted resolutions on Cyprus and
UN Arms Trade Treaty. LI delegation at the Council included
LI VP on the Bureau Abir Al-Sahlani MP, Treasurer Robert
W. Browne, Secretary General Emil Kirjas and Membership
and Policy Officer Robert Wintraecken. Addressing the Council,
Treasurer Robert W. Browne recalled the dialogue between
ELDR and LI Presidents and invited ELDR as a functional
and legally established party to join LI as its Full member.
Tomorrow on May 18, Youth YABLOKO activists
will conduct a series of pickets by the State Duma against
adoption of the law on toughening punishment for violations
at rallies. Kirill Gontcharov, leader of the Youth YABLOKO,
will participate in the action.The
picket will begin at 9:30 a.m.
Tomorrow the Russian parliament will examine
a draft law on the introduction of a fine amounting to RUR
1.5 mln (approximately USD 50,000) for violations at rallies.
The draft law was submitted by the ruling United Russia
deputies and envisages a raise of a maximum fine for the
organizers and participants of mass-scale actions to RUR
On Tuesday, the Duma Committee on Constitutional
Legislation and State Building recommended to adopt the
draft law in the first reading.
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin has forwarded
a letter to President of Russia Vladimir Putin asking him
to take under his personal control the problem of 11 large
families that for various reasons remained homeless.
These are families from different regions
of Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tatarstan, Krasnodar
and the Moscow region. Many of these families have seven
children and more and in some families there are disabled
children. These families have not received child benefits
and other allowances for years...
On Friday 11 May, the ELDR held their Council
meeting in Armenia¦µ™s capital Yerevan, hosted by ELDR member
Armenian National Movement (ANM). The outcome of the parliamentary
elections, in which ANM returns to Parliament, was one of
the issues debated.
ELDR President Sir Graham Watson MEP expressed
concern that important shortcomings in the elections have
been reported - the vanishable ink used, disappeared after
only 25 minutes allowing for some voters to vote several
times. Additionally, the fact that there were 2.5 million
registered voters for a total population of 2.8 is a strong
indication that the results have been inflated.
...Basmanny Court on Tuesday ordered the
camp at Chistiye Prudy closed in response to a lawsuit by
residents of the area around the former camp who complained
of inaction by authorities. (Related article: Court
Orders Protest Camp Dismantled)
Leader of the liberal Yabloko party Sergei
Mitrokhin called the police action illegal in a message
on Twitter, saying he had filed an appeal of the Basmanny
Court decision late Tuesday.
St. Petersburg. May 15. Interfax.ru. Grigory
Yavlinsky, founder of the YABLOKO party and deputy of St.Petersburg
Legislative Assembly, spoke to the participants of the "walking
protests" at the St. Isaac's Square, St.Petersburg.
The [present] "walking protests"
should have a political meaning, they should not happen
just for nothing," he said, adding that the objective
should be victory of democratic forces at elections...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin appealed
against the decision to liquidate the opposition camp in
the garden at Chistiye Prudi boulevard, Moscow.
"I believe that this decision violates
my right to free walking in the garden without time restriction
and at any time," he said.
In addition, Mitrokhin noted that the decision
by the Basmanny Court, Moscow, did not envisage immediate
implementation, as the law stipulates that it should be
implemented only after the decision comes into force, i.e.
after 30 days from the date it was made...
Sergei Mitrokhin, Chairman of the YABLOKO
party, sent an inquiry [to the prosecutors] on verification
of income statements of four members of the Federation Council,
including Rafgat Altynbayev, a member of the Federation
Council from the Government of the Ryazan region.
The 7 News agency asked Oleg Kovalyov, Governor
of the Ryazan region, whether he had known about this fact,
and what he his reaction proceeding from the results of
the audit would be.
¦µ´I know about this inquiry. If the commission detects
violations, then we will consider recalling of the Senator,¦µ±
said the head of the region.
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin demands
from President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Governor of the
Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachyov and Sochi Mayor Anatoly
Pakhomov to immediately stop pulling down blocks of flats
in the center of Sochi (Plastunskaya street 80 and Golenva
Bailiffs and riot police have thrown out
80 families, hoodwinked investors, who lived in these blocks
of flats and have begun pulling down the houses. The houses
are pulled down so that to build a parking for coaches and
buses for the guests of the Olympics for the two weeks of
the Olympic Games in 2014...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and Galina
Mikhalyova, First Deputy Chair of the Moscow YABLOKO, joined
YABLOKO activists who had been visiting the opposition camp
at Chistiye Prudi by Abai Kunanbyev monument all these days.
Mitrokhin and Mikhalyova answered protesters'
questions and even tasted food from the mobile kitchen.
"We support any peaceful protest forms
that do not violate the Russian law and are not connected
with provocations and adventurism," Mitrokhin said.
He added that the scope of mass-scale protests and their
efficiency can only grow only like this.
Mitrokhin also noted that "the government
does not have any motives for violent action against the
"We will be categorically
against any attempts to provoke violence whoever would initiate
these ¦µ“ either the government or the protester,"
A memorial ceremony devoted to the 67th
anniversary of victory in the Second World War took place
at Piskaryovskoye Cemetery, St.Petersburg. Representatives
from the city government, veterans and siege survivors organisations,
delegations from other countries and cities, representatives
of diplomatic corps, different confessions, youth public
organisations and thousands of St.Petersburg residents came
to the cemetery to pay tribute to those who died in the
days long siege of Leningrad.
According to Grigory Yavlinsky, Chair of
the YABLOKO faction in St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly,
who participated in the ceremony, ¦µ´The city has been feeling
the pain from the wounds from the Leningrad siege even decades
past the events¦µ±. Yavlinsky together with other deputies
of the faction and YABLOKO¦µ™s activists laid wreaths and
flowers to the monument to the victims of the siege.
The Piskaryovskoye Cemetery contains 126
collective graves with burials of 420,000 civilians who
died during artillery bombardments, bombings and from hunger
and 70,000 military who defended the city.
YABLOKO¦µ™s delegation laid a wreath and
flowers to the Tomb of Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall.
¦µ´In cherished memory of the heroic liberators¦µ± ran the
inscription on the wreath ribbon.
Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO Chair, and Political
Committee members Alexei Arbatov, Sergei Ivanenko and Grigory
Yavlinsky participated in the ceremony. They wore White
Ribbons, symbols of the winter and spring protest actions
in Russia, together with St.George Ribbons, the symbols
of memory of the victims of the war.
The French presidential election has been
followed with interest throughout Europe. France, a founding
member state, has a weighty influence within the EU. Guy
Verhofstadt, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats
for Europe, welcomes the election results as the President-elect
has made strong commitments to revitalise the European project.
Guy Verhofstadt said: "Nicolas Sarkozy is an energetic
man who has recently directed his energy in taking positions
on the eurozone crisis and on the Schengen area that have
been particularly disappointing and alarming for those in
Europe who, like me, expect more from France"...
Collection of signatures for registration
of Alexander Korotkov, YABLOKO member and ex Vice-Governor,
as a candidate in the mayoral elections in Omsk has finished.
Within ten days only (from April 25 to May
4) YABLOKO collected 14,000 signatures in favour of his
nomination. Now the election headquarters of the candidate
have to select 9,916 signatures required for Korotkov¦µ™s
registration and wil forward them to the Electoral Commission
until May 7.
Alexander Korotkov, ex Vice-Governor of
the Omsk region, was nominated to run for the mayor of Omsk
at YABLOKO¦µ™s Federal Bureau meeting on April 20...
On Friday 11 and Saturday 12 May, European
Liberal Democrats will meet for the ELDR Council in Armenia's
capital Yerevan. On the agenda are topics such as democratisation
and human rights in the southern Caucasus, energy security
for Europe, and liberal policies to tackle climate change
as well as other topical issues.
The ELDR Council will follow parliamentary
elections in Armenia to be held on Sunday 6 May. ELDR member
Armenian National Movement (AMN) will participate on the
list of the biggest opposition alliance, the Armenian National
Congress. AMN Leader Aram Manukyan: "There is a glimmer
of hope that these elections may be different from the previous
The leaders and activists of the YABLOKO
party will pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the
Second World War. Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO Chairman, and
Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO founder and member of Political
Committee, will lay a wreath to the Tomb of Unknown Soldier
by the Kremlin wall on May 8 at 17:20.
On Victory Day of May 9, according to long-term
YABLOKO¦µ™s tradition, Sergei Mitrokhin, Grigory Yavlinsky
and YABLOKO activists will honour the memory of the dead
soldiers at Preobrazhenskoye Cemetery, the largest military
burial in Moscow. The participants of the ceremony will
lay flowers there at 13:30.
Address: Preobrazhenskoye Cemetery, Preobrazhensky
Public Prosecutor General's Office refused
to investigate whether there was a conflict of interests
in the March meeting between President Dmitry Medvedev and
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Italian citizen and businessman
Silvio Berlusconi. Mr.V.Volkov, Asistant to Public Prosecutor
General, informed (in the response to the inquiry by YABLOKO
leader Sergei Mitrokhin) that President and Prime Minister
can not be subject to the prosecutor's investigation. This
contradicts the Law "On Public Prosecutor's Office",
and YABLOKO is preparing a lawsuit...
The noticeable rise of extremism and xenophobia
among youth across Europe brought prominent liberals to
discuss in Moscow, Russia liberal agenda for addressing
this problem. Prominent speakers included Sergei Mitrokhin
and Grigory Yavlinsky, the leader and the presidential candidate
of Yabloko (LI Full member), Trine Skei Grande MP, leader
of Venstre, Norway (LI Full member), Astrid Thors MP of
SFP, Finland (LI Full member) and Marc Guerrero, Vice President
of ELDR (LI cooperating organisation), Angelika Mlinar,
leader of Liberales Forum, Austria and Kerstin Lundgren
MP of Center Party, Sweden (LI Full member). In the welcome
speech LI Secretary General Emil Kirjas pledged for ¦µ´more
opportunities for the young people to participate in decision
making, starting from micro level, including in families
and the local communities. That responsibility must be based
on freedom of expression and dialogue, discussion, debate.¦µ±
LI Treasurer Robert W. Browne spoke on the growth of xenophobia,
street protests and violence in Europe, giving account of
the 2011 London riots. A resolution
was adopted that is likely to be further discussed at the
upcoming LI Congress in Abidjan.
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin in his speech
at the ¦µ´Open Tribune¦µ± meeting criticized the President's
initiative on public television. According to Mitrokhin,
the key problem was the functioning of the state-owned television
"uncontrolled by the society, censored and manipulating
with public opinion¦µ±, rather than absence of public television
Mitrokhin also noted that Presidential Decree
on establishing of public television represented "another
bureaucratic imitation": "public's attention would
be simply switched onto channels functioning of decimeter
frequencies, while the meter channels would remain mouthpieces
He proposed a different mechanism for formation
of the Supervisory Board, which "would create truly
independent television". The Board should include representatives
of various political parties or parliamentary factions.
¦µ´However, there should be an equal number of representatives
from each of the parties, so that to avoid the dominance
of the [ruling] United Russia [party]," stressed Mitrokhin.
...YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin, who
also attended the action, said that the party had been commemorating
the tragic Chernobyl anniversary for many years already.
"Not only we commemorate those who died and express
sympathy for those who got sick in this tragedy, but we
also speak about the danger of the new Rosatom¦µ™s plans,¦µ±
said Sergei Mitrokhin.
He spoke about Rostam¦µ™s plans to build
a nuclear power plant on the border of Novgorod and Vladimir
regions, near the town Murom. The nuclear power plant would
be built on moving karst soils, where an accident may occur
at any time and this would inevitably lead to a disaster
similar to that in Chernobyl. At the same time Sergei Mitrokhin
said that the money for this construction came from the
state budget rather than private investors. "This is
the taxpayers' money, the money of ordinary Russians, teachers,
doctors and people with disabilities. Moreover, Rosatom
builds with our money nuclear plants not only in Russia
but also abroad," Sergei Mitrokhin stressed...
Academician Alexei Yablokov, leader of YABLOKO¦µ™s
Green Russia faction and renowned environmentalist, told
about independent assessments of the Chernobyl disaster
being significantly more pessimistic than the official reports.
"It's millions of deaths and diseases, cancers, premature
aging and diseases of the endocrine system," stressed
According to Yablokov, 43 per cent of toxic
sediments polluted the territory of the former Soviet Union
after the disaster and the rest were spread across the globe.
"Today, Chernobyl sediments can be found in the lakes
of China, the Nile Delta and Japan," he said...
On Thursday, April 26, the anniversary of
the Chernobyl disaster, YABLOKO will conduct a staged action
by the Russian Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) under the
slogan "Save the world from the peaceful atom"...
The action will start at 12:30.
Address: Tretyakovskaya metro station, Bolshaya
Also YABLOKO will hold the same action in
Chelyabinsk, where YABLOKO activists, environmentalists
and civil activists will pay tribute to the memory of liquidators
of the Chernobyl disaster.
The activists will fly 26 balloons symbolizing
26 years since the tragedy.
From 19 to 22 April, ELDR Vice President
Marc Guerrero was on tour in Ukraine and Russia to support
the activities of the liberal family.
In Kiev, an international ELDR conference
with the local liberal partners from Ukraine, the Future
and the European Youth of Ukraine, was held which focussed
on free market and liberal policies as the best tools for
a democratic and prosperous society. At the event, the Institute
of Democracy and Liberalism (IdeaL) was launched.
In Moscow, Marc Guerrero and ELDR Vice President
Astrid Thors MP were present at the conference "Youth
under threat of Extremism and Xenophobia. A liberal response"
organised by ELDR member YABLOKO.
Leader of the YABLOKO party Sergei Mitrokhin
demands from the Investigative Committee to file a criminal
case against Dagir Khasavov, lawyer promising "to flood
the city [Moscow] with blood" in the REN TV channel,
"unless sharia courts are created in the capital [of
"Muslims do not want to get involved into the judicial
system. You think that we are coming here to Russia as to
some strange place. And we believe that we are at home.
Maybe you are foreigners here, but we are at home. And we
will establish the rules that suit us, whether you like
it or not. Any attempt to stop this will lead to bloodshed.
The second dead lake will be here. We will flood the city
with blood," announced the lawyer and Assistant to
Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy
and Healthcare in the federal television channel. He was
quoted by the Russian News Service...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin doubts that
the acting President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev will be able
to do more for liberalisation of Russia¦µ™s political system
at the Prime Minister post than now.
"I doubt that in his new post he will do more for realisation
[of this] than at present. And he has not done much for
this at the post of the President," Mitrokhin told
...We think that such liberal
response should include the following:
- steady rejection by the society of all
forms of xenophobia and extremism and personality cult,
as well as revival of nazism, Stalinism and fascism; abolishment
of the cult of superiority and crude force, as well as manipulations
with public opinion by means of pseudo historical myths
and conspiracy theories;
- broadening of possibilities for engaging
people in social and political life, provision of free and
fair elections and independence of the judiciary; development
of institutes of democracy and civil society which allow
each citizen to participate in the social and political
life and feel that his or her beliefs, points of view and
interests influence government¦µ™s politics;
- protection of human dignity protection,
person immunity and freedom of individual choice; strengthening
of the secular state principles and freedom of conscience
and rejection of all forms of anti-Semitism;
- conducting policies stimulating maximum
integration and socialisation of people into economic, political
and cultural life of Europe; gradual liquidation of barriers
either in the society or between the states. Creation of
a pan-European visa-free area...
Participants of the conference "Threats
of Extremism and Xenophobia Among Youth: the Liberal Answer"
adopted a resolution where they expressed their deep concern
of noticeable rise of extremism and xenophobia among youth
in almost all European countries.
Nevertheless, "liberal and democratic
forces are capable of tackling these challenges basing their
response on human rights, individual freedoms, respect for
the individual, tolerance and civil and moral responsibility
of each person"...
The European Party Liberal Democrat and
Reform Party (ELDR) and the Russian United Democratic Party
YABLOKO will hold an international conference "Youth
under Threat of Extremism and Xenophobia. A Liberal Response"
on Saturday, April 21.
The conference will be opened by Dr.Sergei
Mitrokhin, Chair of the YABLOKO party, Emil Kirjas, Secretary
General of Liberal International, Dr. Marc Guerrero, ELDR
Vice President, Vladimir Lukin, Russia's Ombudsman and Dr.
Astrid Thors, ELDR Vice President.
About 300 people took part in the rally
"For the freedom of the media! Against the lies and
censorship on TV! The rally was held by the Ostankino TV
centre on April 14. The action began and ended with demonstrations.
A column of YABLOKO activists led by party Chairman Sergei
Mitrokhin marched from the metro station to the site of
the rally despite the ban of the authorities on a march.
In the end of the rally the participants made a ¦µ´present¦µ±
to "Putin's censorship" on its birthday.
April 14 is considered to be the birthday
of Vladimir Putin's censorship on television. At night of
April 13 on April 14, 2001, there was forceful change of
the Board of the key Russian independent private television
Alexander Shishlov, member of Yabloko's
(LI Full member) Bureau and LI Vice-President, was recently
elected as Commissioner for Human Rights in St. Petersburg.
His candidacy was supported by 45 out of a total of 50 deputies
from St. Petersburg's Legislative Assembly. Speaking to
parliamentarians Shishlov promised to focus on protection
of labour rights, the rights of the most vulnerable groups
of population, rights to education, medical care and a healthy
environment. Commenting on his election Shishlov said "A
Commissioner for Human Rights is not just a defender of
those whose rights have been violated. It is a position
that links the society with the government." He also
spoke of his commitment to promoting dialogue and finding
a common ground between public and government agencies and
protecting citizens' rights in such a way as to create "an
atmosphere of cooperation rather than mutual disputes and
misunderstandings." Yabloko's leader Sergei Mitrokhin
about the global impact of the Arab Spring on the Russian
political system at the recently convened 188th Executive
Committee meeting of Liberal International in Barcelona.
The ALDE Group in the European Parliament
has today launched a procedure inside the European Parliament
seeking to establish a common EU list of officials responsible
for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, for the subsequent judicial
cover-up and for the on-going and continuing harassment
of his mother and widow...
On April 4, The Kuibyshevsky District Court
dismissed a complaint on the arrest of YABLOKO member Maria
Kozhevatova arrested for ten days for her participation
in the campaign in defense of the Article 31 (on the freedom
of assembly) of the Russian Constitution.
During the hearings Judge Julia Trofimova
questioned the witness A.Vinovkina, but did not consider
her testimony, stating that "the witness was helping
Kozhevatova¦µ±. Consequently, Kozhevatova will be held in
prison until April 10...
Alexander Shishlov, member of YABLOKO Bureau,
is elected Commissioner for Human Rights in St. Petersburg;
45 deputies of St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly out of
total 50 deputies supported his candidacy.
Speaking to parliamentarians Shishlov promised
to focus on protection of labour rights, the rights of the
most vulnerable groups of population, rights to education,
medical care and a healthy environment.
He also highlighted protection of citizens' political rights
¦µ“ the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, the
right to participate in governing - 'the rights and freedoms
ensuring sustainable development and prosperity of the country
in today's world"...
The local authorities of the North-Western
Administrative District of Moscow denied YABLOKO a permission
to hold a march towards the Ostankino television centre
on April 14. The officials proposed to the organizers to
hold a rally instead. Also they limited the number of participants
from 5,000 (as in YABLOKO¦µ™s application) to 200.
Initially it was planned to hold a march
and a rally. The local authorities did not give any reasons
for not giving a permission for the march...
After the Arab Spring many people turned
their views to Russia. Many people have been asking me if
these developments resemble the Arab Spring. I will try
to answer this question now.
What is the resemblance between Putin's
governance and the ones of the toppled Arab leaders?
There is obviously a lot in common between
the systems that existed in the Arab countries and Vladimir
Putin's system in Russia.
First of all, it is a political monopoly
and long-term governing of one person who is striving for
a life-long rule. Secondly, it is
political dominance of bureaucracy over society, and thirdly,
presence of oligarchic groups (that are groups generating
their profit from merger of government and business). Fourth,
such a system is also characterised by huge corruption penetrating
the entire state system.
These are the common traits between the
Putin's system and the toppled systems in the Arab states.However,
there are also large differences between political systems
in Russia and the Arab states.
Putin's system is more flexible. And it
is aiming at imitation of democracy. For example, it allows
for more elements of the freedom of speech and provides
more space to more or less independent media. Being
more flexible Putin's system is more prepared to meet the
challenges of the Internet than the authocratic Arab regimes...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin believes
that the full restoration of the right to form electoral
blocs will prevent deepening of the political crisis, which
is boosted by mass-scale creation of new parties. He made
such a statement at the meeting of the Federation Council
Committee on Constitutional Legislation. On March 26 the
Committee examined amendments to the new law on political
St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko
introduced candidacy of Alexander Shishlov, YABLOKO Bureau
member, for the post of Human Rights Commissioner in St.Petersburg.
Here comes Alexander Shishlov's statement
in connection with the nomination:
I am grateful to St.Petersburg Governor
for nomination of my candidacy to the post of Human Rights
Commissioner in our great city. I am also grateful to all
who supports my candidacy.
In case I am elected, my activities on the
post of Ombudsman will be based on close cooperation with
civil society institutes, critical and positive interaction
with the governments and local self-governments for fair,
peaceful and lawful solution of a human rights problems
in St. Petersburg. I undertake to be unbiased, impartial
and objective, regardless of personal preferences on the
post of Ombudsman...
The new law on political parties can not
be considered "a victory of common sense" as long
as the electoral law bans creation of electoral blocs. This
statement was made by YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin at
the hearings of the State Duma. It was the third and final
reading of the draft law on liberalization of establishment
of political parties.
"What victory of a common sense can
we speak about if voters get their ballots with dozens or
maybe hundreds of pages innumerating the names of political
parties, or when the voter sees unstructured political area
and a register of absolutely unknown names of political
parties?" Mitrokhin asked deputies of the Duma.
According to Mitrokhin, if the parties are
not allowed to make electoral blocs, they will simply disperse
the votes, and "a huge number of voters will remain
turn out below a 5 per cent threashold" to the Duma,
and thus will get no representation in the parliament...
...Kirill Goncharov, leader of the Moscow
Youth YABLOKO, and his colleagues Gleb Sitnikov and Oleg
Rumyantsev were detained at a protest action against smearing
of the public mass-scale protests against elections fraud
in a film produced and broadcasted by the NTV channel. Goncharov,
Sitnikov, and Rumyantsev were taken to police stations.
According to the police, about 100 people were detained
at the action. about 100 people. Valery Borshchyov, member
of YABLOKO Bureau and head of the Moscow Public Observers'
Commission condemned the police actions...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin who is now
in Novosibirsk on a working visit participated in a series
of pickets in support of the Suren Gazaryan and Viktor Dutlov.
Young activists also joined the action in Novosibirsk.
Solidarity actions with the detained environmentalists
took place all over Russia. In Moscow, the police detained
dozens of picketers, including four members of YABLOKO ¦µ“
Galina Mikhalyova, deputy head of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO,
and activists Maya Zavyalova, Gleb Sitnikov and Oleg Rumyantsev...
..."I am certainly glad that such a
decision was adopted. We know that President Medvedev whom
I handed the documents on Maxim facilitated the adoption
of such a decision. These documents clearly demonstrate
that the case was framed up," Mitrokhin said. He also
added that imprisonment was an "inadequate measure
showing that the case was purely political".
According to Mitrokhin, obvious inability
of Maxim Petlin¦µ™s family to pay such a bail is the vest
evidence that there was corruption in Petlin¦µ™s actions,
and this also another indirect proof that the accusation
in corruption was absurd...
Judicial Board on Criminal Cases of the
Sverdlovsk Regional Court refused to extend arrest for Maxim
Petlin, leader of Ekaterinburg YABLOKO, and granted him
bail amounting to RUR 5 million. Petlin will come out of
prison after the bail will be at the account of the Investigation
Committee of the Russian Federation in the Sverdlovsk region.
Maxim Petlin took an active part in the
fight against illegal construction of a recreational centre
in the place where a city park was. The fight between YABLOKO
and civil activists with the developer - Forum Group - had
loud public resonance. Maxim Petlin was the victim of a
provocation on the part of the Forum Group and was accused
of extorting bribes...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and Galina
Mikhalyova, Executive Secretary of the Political Committee,
had a meeting with Bundestag deputies from the Free Democratic
Party. The German side was represented by Patrick Kurth,
MP, and Serkan Toeren, MP, and Maximilian Spinner, Secretary
of the Political Department of German Embassy.
Deputies of German Parliament were interested
by the progress and assessment of the Russian parliamentary
and presidential elections, growth of public activity in
Russia and prospects of Russia's political development.
The discussion also evolved around the Russia-EU relations
and Germany's role in their improvement. "Visa-free
regime for the Russian citizens to the EU and an anti-ballistic
missile defence system that could be developed jointly with
NATO are the initiatives of our party that we put forward
as early as in 1990s," Sergei Mitrokhin stressed.
Tuapse. On March 14 Suren Gazaryan, environmentalist
and YABLOKO member, and Viktor Dutlov, lawyer, YABLOKO member
and activist of the North Caucasus Environmental Watch,
detained by the country cottage of Governor of the Krasnodar
Territory Tkachyov a day earlier, got ten days of administrative
arrest for "non-obeying to the lawful orders of police".
The judge refused to call the witnesses of the defence,
as well as to consider audio and video recordings proving
innocence of Gazaryan and Dutlov.
On March 13 Gazaryan and his attorney Dutlov
approached the Governor¦µ™s cottage so that to inspect the
"damages" (graffiti) they had allegedly made to
the fence. Such inspection was required for their defence
in court (as they were accused in damaging the fence) and
was sanctioned by the investigator. When activists approached
the fence, the guards came out and put handcuffs on the
activists. Gazaryan was beaten by one of the guards...
Grigory Yavlinsky said that the main objective
of all the opposition forces in Russia should be radical
change in the socio-political system rather than simply
a replacement of top officials. He said this during a meeting
with representatives of the European Parliament's Liberal
Group (ALDE). The sides discussed the political situation
in Russia after the presidential elections and prospects
for further development.
The meeting was held on March 5 in YABLOKO¦µ™s
office. Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the liberals in the European
Parliament and ex Prime Minister of Belgium, Renaldas Vaisbrodas,
Political Adviser, ALDE, Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO Chairman,
Galina Mikhalyova, Executive Secretary of the Political
Council and head of the Gender faction and Olga Radayeva,
YABLOKO's Green Russia faction conducted
a memorial action commemorating the victims of the Fukushima
nuclear disaster. The action was held on the first anniversary
of the disaster on the nuclear power plant.
Environmentalists held pickets in Volgograd,
Petrozavodsk, Sosnoviy Bor, Ulan-Ude, Ufa, Arkhangelsk,
Kostroma, Chita, St. Petersburg and Moscow. The participants
of the actions tried to draw attention of the Russian citizens
to the dangerous consequences of the nuclear industry, and
distributed leaflets "Rosatom, shut down your Fukushimas!"
Sophie in 't Veld, (D66, Netherlands), Parliament's
rapporteur on the annual report on the state of gender equality
in the EU for 2011, is pleased with the result of today's
vote, calling on the Commission to table legislation, including
quotas, by the end of 2012, to increase female participation
in corporate management boards. Measures to combat the lack
of women at the top, both in business and in political decision
making, were discussed during a heated debate in the European
Parliament this week. Progress remains very slow, despite
numerous EU policies aimed at achieving a better gender-balance...
Today YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin have
sent an appeal to the Public Prosecutor Generals' office
asking to check whether there was a conflict of interests
in the recent meeting between President Dmitry Medvedev
and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and Italian citizen and
businessman Silvio Berlusconi.
Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin had a
meeting with Silvio Berlusconi on March 8-9. It should be
also noted that ex Prime Minister of Italy is under investigation
in Italy for a number of criminal cases related to corruption.
Also he does not occupy any government post at present and
is a private person - a billionaire and owner of the FinInvest
Voice of America, 11 March 2012
...Viktor Vasilyev: President Medvedev complained
during his meeting with women (on the eve of the Women's
Day) that in Russia there were very few women in politics.
How can we explain such a situation?
Galina Mikhalyova: The system functions
in such a way. As a rule there are no women in power in
authoritarian regimes, and in democracies there are many
of them on the top. There are special mechanisms encouraging
such a promotion of women. [President] Medvedev was not
going to change anything here. And speaking about Mr Putin,
he does not even have it in his thoughts. He's such a super-macho...
When he was in power, women's problems were not mentioned
Viktor Vasilyev: So, you don't expect any
positive changes in the nearest future, do you?
Galina Mikhalyova: No, there are no positive
changes, while negative changes are obvious. There are few
women in the State Duma. There is no public institution
that would deal with our problems, for example, a Presidential
Council or a council under the Government or a Commissioner
for Women's Rights, as in other countries. Salaries [of
Russian women] consitute two-thirds [from those of men].
In several regions people who have small children have to
go on hunger strike so that to get a place for their child
in a kindergarten. Pregnant women are not paid their benefits
or get fired. But the state argues that it has nothing to
do with this disgrace...
YABLOKO leaders Sergei Mitrokhin and Grigory
Yavlinsky spoke at a rally in Novy Arbat prospect, Moscow.
Sergei Mitrokhin gave his time for the speech to Alexei
Sklyarov, Editor-in-Chief the Pulse television company in
Azov. It is the only independent television company in southern
Russia, however, local authorities began pressing the company
after Alexei Sklyarov headed the League of Voters in Azov.
"We together with the League of Voters
conducted monitoring and control over voting [at elections]
across the country. And once again I would like to state
that the elections of March 4 were rigged. We are not going
to make speeches today, we would like to give the time allotted
for our speeches to a unique person - Alexei Sklyarov. He
is the head of the only free, independent television company
in the southern Russia. His television company has been
attacked because he together with YABLOKO monitored the
elections," Sergei Mitrokhin told to the protesters...
Grigory Yavlinsky addressed the participants
of the rally with n a brief speech, "Friends, I am
glad to meet you again. It is already my sixth speech at
a rally for the past three months. I remember every word
I said. We will accomplish all this. The road is long and
difficult. The victory in the fight will not come soon,
but it will come. Russia will be free. Russia demands changes!"
If I have a chance to speak at the rally
on March 10, I would demanded the following from the authorities:
- release of political prisoners;
- show mercy and pardon those who committed minor offenses;
- stop unlawful prosecution of businessman Alexei Kozlov;
- investigate all the cases of fraud at [parliamentary]
elections of December 4 and [presidential] elections of
March 4, punish the guilty, completely reform the Central
Electoral Commission and dismiss Vladimir Churov, head of
- immediately consider together with the newly emerging
public committees for political reform proposals for the
radical change of the electoral system and to adopt such
We continue fighting for what I and Sergei
Mitrokhin spoke about at the rallies on December 10, December
17, December 24, demonstration of February 4 and on March
- complete replacement of the present closed authoritarian,
oligarchic, inhuman political system and legal removal of
the ruling group headed by Vladimir Putin from governing;
- creation in Russia of a system in which law would be the
same for everybody, property - inviolable and the court
- creation of committees for political reform across the
country, freedom of media from censorship and uniting of
the democratic forces;
- development of a political, economic, moral and personal
ALTERNATIVE to the present regime which would be able to
win in a peaceful and legitimate political struggle...
LI President Hans van Baalen MEP questioned
the democratic character of the Russian Presidential elections
which took place on 5 March 2012. Van Baalen characterised
them as "neither free nor fair like the parliamentary
elections held earlier. Putin rules over a facade democracy.
The institutions are in place but the democratic spirit
is absent. LI, ELDR and ALDE will support the courageous
democratic opposition in Russia which is so much needed
today." Leader Grigory Yavlinsky of Yabloko (LI Full
for a "real political, economic and most importantly,
moral alternative." "We will create this alternative.
We will make them conduct new elections and we will win
those elections," Yavlinsky said. Yabloko Chairman
Sergei Mitrokhin said that Putin won an unfair game. "This
wasn't honest, but cowardice and meanness. It was not only
carousels and stuffing of ballots which brought him victory.
Putin won ousting the only candidate ¦µ” Yavlinsky ¦µ” who
had no fear of criticizing him," Mitrokhin commented.
election-monitoring report concluded that there had
been "no real competition".
MOSCOW, 5 March 2012 ¦µ“ Although candidates
in yesterday's presidential election in the Russian Federation
were able to campaign unhindered, conditions were clearly
skewed in favour of one of the contestants, current Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin, the international observers concluded
in a statement issued today.
The observers noted that all candidates had access to the
media, but the Prime Minister was given a clear advantage
over his competitors in terms of media presence. In addition,
state resources were mobilized at the regional level in
his support. Also, overly restrictive candidate registration
requirements limited genuine competition...
"This election showed a clear winner with an absolute
majority, avoiding a second round. However, voter's choice
was limited, electoral competition lacked fairness and an
impartial referee was missing. Due to increased citizen's
awareness and involvement elections were more lively, better
managed and more seriously observed, whereas structural
improvements in electoral regulation were proposed to Parliament
- but not yet passed," said Tiny Kox, the Head of the
delegation of Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly.
"There were serious problems from the very start of
this election. The point of elections is that the outcome
should be uncertain. This was not the case in Russia. There
was no real competition and abuse of government resources
ensured that the ultimate winner of the election was never
in doubt," said Tonino Picula, the Special Co-ordinator
to lead the short-term OSCE observer mission and Head of
the delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly...
Over half (44 out of total 86) candidates
nominated and supported by YABLOKO and the Democratic Choice
won municipal elections in Moscow on March 4; whereas 36
of these 44 newly elected deputies of municipal councils
come from YABLOKO and eight people represent the Democratic
Andrei Babushkin, Vice-Chairman of the Moscow
branch of YABLOKO won the race in Otradnoe, Moscow, with
43 per cent of vote and YABLOKO's Zoya Shargatova running
in Dorogomilovo, Moscow, won with 46 per cent of the vote...
Preliminary results have shown that Vladimir
Putin will complete his long-expected return as Russia's
president after polling around 63% in yesterday's election,
thus avoiding the need for a second round. Commenting on
the outcome of the election, ELDR President Sir Graham Watson
MEP stated, "there are wide-spread and seemingly justified
reservations about the extent to which this was a free and
fair contest, not only in the way the procedures were conducted
on the day itself, but in the handling of the process from
the very beginning, including the refusal to register some
Despite much publicised initiatives to make
these elections fair and transparent, such as the installation
of closed circuit television cameras at polling stations,
the electoral process as a whole has been widely condemned
as favoring the Putin campaign from the outset.
Evidence of this stretches back to the refusal by the Russian
Central Electoral Commission to register opposition candidates,
including former YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky on the
grounds of perceived irregularities when in fact political
engineering of the elections was the more likely reason.
On what the future may hold, Sir Graham added that Putin
should not expect the Russian people to blindly accept his
rule. "Vladimir Putin might have got his way in so
far as the outcome of the election is concerned, but the
demonstrations that have taken place since December's parliamentary
elections and the increasing criticism that he is facing
from significant sections of the population and media show
that he will not be in for an easy ride over the next six
years. The extent of ill-feeling towards President Putin
may even cast doubt on his ability to serve the full-term
unless he fundamentally addresses issues related to the
rule of law and the democratic, economic and social development
of Russian society".
YABLOKO leaders Sergei Mitrokhin and Grigory
Yavlinsky spoke at the rally For Fair Elections which took
place at the Pushkin square, Moscow.
Sergei Mitrokhin said that statements made
by Vladimir Churov, head of the Central Electoral Commission,
that elections was fair was a blatant lie. The hot line
organised jointly by YABLOKO and the Voter' League got thousands
of calls from observers and voters on violations.
Mitrokhin also reiterated that the December
slogan "Churov must go!" emerging after parliamentary
elections of December 2011 was still on the agenda. The
participants had unanimously chanted this slogan together
...I am appealing to all the opposition
political leaders who are organising protest actions and
inviting people to join them: if violence takes place during
these days, it will lead to dramatic weakening of the opposition
and will cause a long-lasting setback. It is our responsibility
and our task to avert violence and prevent provocations.
In complex and unpredictable circumstances, in dealing with
the authorities who most often do not want any compromises
on the substance of the matter and who at the same time
possess great experience and traditions of political reprisals,
it is possible to preserve people's trust only by avoiding
and preventing violence in every way and at the same time
advancing steadily toward the goal - peaceful radical transformation
of the authoritarian, inoperative and inhuman political
On the contrary, we should prove to all
our potential supporters that we can be trusted and that
we clearly understand the aims and goals of the democratic
protest movement not as our own self-expression but as the
defence of the interests of citizens who vitally need large-scale,
serious and responsible changes in Russia. Only in this
case will the number of our supporters throughout the country
become ever greater. Only by following this path will we
become responsible spokesmen for the opinion of a significant
section of Russian society...
In Russland wird ein neuer Pr¶¤sident gew¶¤hlt.
Rund 100 Millionen Russen sind aufgerufen ¶±ber ihr neues
Staatsoberhaupt abzustimmen. Aussichtsreichster Kandidat
ist ein alter Bekannter im Amt des Staatspr¶¤sidenten -
Wladimir Putin. Nicht nur deshalb gab es im Vorfeld der
Wahl soviel Trubel wie seit langem nicht mehr. Vor einem
Monat zum Beispiel demonstrierten gleichzeitig mehr als
200.000 Gegner und Anh¶¤nger Putins in Moskau. ¶´ber die
Wahlen und den Kandidaten Putin sprach Nordwestradio-Moderator
Tom Grote mit Galina Michaleva, Politikwissenschaftlerin
und Gastwissenschaftlerin der Forschungssstelle Osteuropa
an der Uni Bremen und Exekutivsekret¶¤rin des Politischen
Komitees und Vorsitzende der Genderfraktion der liberalen
YABLOKO has obtained information that the
Central Electoral Commission has been preparing a letter
to the subordinate commissions demanding not to let journalists
and observers from YABLOKO's paper YABLOKO ROSSII come to
the polling stations...
"Such a decision by the Central Electoral
Commission would mean that the authorities decided to go
for a grand-scale fraud," Mitrokhin said.
According to Mitrokhin, at December parliamentary
elections YABLOKO's observers detected most of the violations
and fraud. If dozens of thousands of YABLOKO's observes
are not allowed to monitor the elections, they will go into
the streets on the next day, March 5.
March 4 marks the date when the people will
vote in Russia: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin plans to assume
the Russian Presidency for the third time. Unlike the first
two times, however, his support is melting on this occasion.
A demand for change is building in the country. More and
more people are no longer prepared to put up with the lies,
corruption, abuses and falsification in the elections.
It is impossible to call what we are witnessing
at present free and fair elections. There are no independent
courts, while the authorities control all national TV channels.
At the same time we can see the administrative pressure
on the mass media and the abuses of electoral commissions
¦µ“ the official voting results have little in common with
the actual expression of will of the electorate.
Political competition on 4 March has been
reduced to simulation ¦µ“ each of the registered ¦µ´opposition¦µ±
candidates to the President embodies a specific segment
of the political system created by Putin. The only candidate,
who represented a democratic alternative to the system ¦µ“
Grigory Yavlinsky, who was nominated by Yabloko ¦µ“ was
not allowed to run in the elections on the pretext of casuistic
chicanery over the quality of the signatures gathered in
...To date 170 Russian citizens who are
currently abroad decided to become observers from the YABLOKO
ROSSII paper helping the YABLOKO party to monitor voting
in the Russian embassies and consulates on March 4...
In addition, the YABLOKO's activists will
control voting in Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Thailand, Australia,
Austria, Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Great Britain, Hungary,
the Netherlands, Israel, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Canada,
Kenya, China, Luxembourg , Morocco, Norway, Poland, Uzbekistan,
Ukraine, Finland, Montenegro, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia,
South Africa and Japan...
Application "I Am an Observer"
is available for downloading on iPhones and iPods from today.
The application was developed by the YABLOKO party jointly
with the Appsolute company specially for observers and electoral
The application contains a simple and clear
interface. It contains instructions for observers, references
to laws, forms for filing complaints, contact information
where to get help, etc.
An authorised observer will receive support
from YABLOKO's "hot line", the Voters¦µ™ League
and the Rosvybory project...
Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO leader, believes
that lowering of a threashold on the number of party members
required for party registration and a ban on electoral blocs
will only lead to fragmentation of the political field and
mutual alienation of the society and the parliament. He
made such a statement in the State Duma today, when Duma
was examining the package of President¦µ™s draft laws targeted
at a political reform. Mitrokhin stressed that the draft
laws on political parties and elections of deputies of the
State Duma can not be examined separately from each other.
According to Mitrokhin, a ban of electoral
blocs will give a "powerful impulse to alienation for
the society from the government", and this on the threashold
of a coming political crisis can lead to something more
than recent mass-scale rallies. "A huge number of votes
will be distributes between small parties and they will
not be able to make it into the Duma, thus a significant
part of the Russian society will not be represented in the
State Duma and will not regard as a body reflecting their
interests," he said...
...He is standing; I'm seated. With every
statement, he lifts off his heels; the man looks down on
me with all his arrogance. "Judging by your visa, the
stated purpose of your visit in Russia does not match your
real activities." "What real activities?"
I dare to ask in return.
He fires back, "You are meeting with
members of the opposition."
Flummoxed, I'm left speechless for a moment.
But I realize he isn¦µ™t kidding. Never in 10 years of reporting
in post-Soviet Russia ¦µ” including during the eight years
I spent living here and covering the war in Chechnya ¦µ”
have the authorities faulted me for something with such
grave consequences. The official says that I¦µ™ll have to
pay a fine, to be determined by the colonel. My visa will
be canceled immediately, and I¦µ™ll be given a transit document
requiring that I leave the country within three days. Not
once is the word "journalist" uttered...
The YABLOKO party supported the Great White
Ring action with an automobile race in the inner part of
the Garden Ring in Moscow.
Several dozens of vehicles participated
in the race. The cars were decorated with stickers "For
Fair Elections", white ribbons (a symbol of fight for
democracy and free and fair elections) and flags with party
Party members made several stops during
the race so that to distribute leaflets calling the democratic
voters to become observers at the forthcoming presidential
elections. Trainings for observers are held daily in the
YABLOKO headquarters. About 5,000 leaflets were distributed
in two hours...
The YABLOKO party will support the Great
White Circle action with an automobile race in the inner
part of the Garden Ring in Moscow. The rally will be held
on Sunday, February 26. A column of cars decorated with
white ribbons (a symbol of fight for democracy and free
and fair elections) and flags with party symbols will start
from the party office at Pyatnitskaya Street...
The participants of the race will make stops
so that to join the chain of people standing shoulder to
shoulder in the Garden Ring protesting against election
fraud and curbing of human rights in Russia.
YABLOKO¦µ™s activists will also distribute
flyers among the participants in the Great White Circle.
The flyers call all the democratic voters to become observers
at the forthcoming presidential elections. YABLOKO launched
trainings for observers on February 20, the trainings will
be conducted until March 2...
Unfortunately we have such a situation in
our country when those who defend their Motherland and celebrate
their professional holiday on February 23 should be defended
from this Motherland.
On February 21 custody for Maxim Petlin,
leader of Ekaterinburg YABLOKO, was extended once again.
At present maxim Petlin, MP of Ekaterinburg
City Parliament and leader of YABLOKO¦µ™s regional branch,
is in the hospital of the detention facility. He has a kidney
problem. Probably his state deteriorated as he was kept
in a prison guards¦µ™ cold room which had no heating.
We are wishing Maxim health and strength.
We hope and wait that soon Maxim will return to his family
and public work. Russia needs such strong and honest people.
Maxim, the Defender of the Motherland holiday
of February 23 is your holiday!..
The Federal Council of YABLOKO which has
to develop party¦µ™s position on voting at the presidential
election of March 4, and the political reform announced
by the President will take place in the Moscow region on
Saturday, March 25.
The Federal Council is a representative
body of the party, it comprises 160 members, namely, Chairman
of the party, members of the Political Committee, the Bureau,
the Audit Commission, party arbitration, heads of regional
branches as well as one delegate from each regional organisation
and YABLOKO faction elected at their conferences...
Pressure on the National Reserve Bank financing
Novaya Gazeta can not be regarded as accidental.
It is a deliberate political persecution on the threashold
of the presidential election of one of the best Russian
printed media which has always demonstrated its honest,
objective and independent position.
The authorities are mortally scared of the society and of
the truth. Therefore, they have launched persecutions against
We demand to immediately cease persecution of Novaya Gazeta
and ensure normal publication of the paper...
Das vorliegende Arbeitspapier untersucht
die Entwicklung des B¶±rgerengagements w¶¤hrend der beiden
Amtsperioden von Pr¶¤sident Putin und in der ersten H¶¤lfte
der Amtszeit von Pr¶¤sident Medwedew.
W¶¤hrend unter Putin von nachlassendem Engagement und einer
Entpolitisierung der Forderungen
der B¶±rger gesprochen werden kann, ist seit dem Amtsantritt
von Medwedew die Anzahl der Aktionen
gewachsen und das politische Niveau gestiegen. Dies wurde
besonders im Jahr 2010 sichtbar, als die
politischen F¶±hrungen von der zentralen bis hinunter zur
lokalen Ebene gezwungen waren, auf lang
anhaltende breite B¶±rgerproteste zu reagieren...
We are publishing an article
by Grigory Yavlinsky which he wrote not in the haste of
the election campaign he was not allowed to participate,
but almost a year ago.* We consider it a programme article
that is why we are publishing it under the rubrics where
we publish articles of presidential candidates...
On February 12, 2012, Russia's environmental
movement The Green decided to once again form an environmental
party. Its first public action was the decision to support
Vladimir Putin's candidacy at the presidential elections
in Russia. Also prior to its self-liquidation this party
had already declared its support to Vladimir Putin. This
party had also supported the decision to import foreign
radioactive waste into Russia. Obviously, the revival of
the party is aiming at supporting the government in their
fight against ecologists, rather than change of antiecological
policies in Russia. The newly released government's report
"On the Situation with Environmental Protection in
the Russian Federation in 2010" confirms that the quality
of environment in Russia has been deteriorating, and respectful
international ratings give Russia one of the lowest ratings
in the world as of the trends of its environmental changes...
A meeting of leaders of registered political
parties with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has just
finished. The key issue of the meeting was discussion of
the political reform. The YABLOKO party was represented
by Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO Chairman, and Sergei Ivanenko,
Political Committee member.
Sergei Mitrokhin handed to President Medvedev
a list of demands put forward by participants of the demonstration
and rally of February 4, including the general resolution
of the rally, the resolution demanding registration of Grigory
Yavlinsky in the presidential election campaign and the
list of political prisoners...
The YABLOKO party begins training of observers
for presidential and municipal elections in its Moscow office.
The first seminar held on Monday evening was held for future
trainers of observers. The event was attended by 25 people.
They will train observers in Moscow and other regions. From
February 20 through to March 2 there will be daily trainings.
The trainings start at 19:00 on weekdays and at 15:00 and
18:00 on weekends...
Not only YABLOKO observers but also observers
(who will get accreditation from the YABLOKO Rossii newspaper)
from other candidates and public projects will be able to
participate in the training. YABLOKO co-operates with all
public projects for elections monitoring, in particular,
YABLOKO will provide them party offices in Moscow and the
Thus, Rosvybory project has begun distribution
of its documentation to its observers in YABLOKO¦µ™s Moscow
office. Observers from Rosvybory receive documents from
the headquarters of presidential candidates. (Note for the
Rosvybory observers: you should come for the documents only
after receipt of a notification that your documents are
YABLOKO also collaborates with the Voters'
League (Liga Izbiratelei). Reception desks of the Voters
League will be opened in YABLOKO¦µ™s offices nationwide
soon. Volunteers will be able to get their accreditation
from the media there after a short training. Collection
of observers' reports within the framework of a joint nationwide
project "Final Summarised Protocol" will be also
conducted in the same YABLOKO offices.
Despite the fact that candidate from the
YABLOKO party at presidential elections Grigory Yavlinsky
was not registered as a presidential candidate, the party
intends to seriously engage in organisation of elections
control. Professionals who trained the party observers who
were acknowledged to be most qualified work in YABLOKO,
they also helped prepare applications to courts in hundreds
of cases of election fraud...
The Federal Migration Service unlawful and
insulting actions against Anne Nivat, French journalist
and writer, create a dangerous precedent. A journalist implementing
her professional duty and never violating Russian laws was
put under surveillance and was expelled from the country
on political grounds ¦µ“ after she had spoken to the opponents
of the present Russian government.
Such actions return us to totalitarian practices,
when the state regarded any oppositional activities and
contacts with foreign press a direct threat to the state
security. This has never happened even in Putin¦µ™s Russia.
However now we have witnessed an attempt to restore such
We regard this as purposeful actions by
the representatives of the state, a reprisals tryout as
a response to the civil activity growth. We demand an immediate
revision of the decision by the Federal Migration Service
on Anne Nivat and offering her an apology at a level of
at least a service head. We demand punishment for those
responsible for abusive actions against Anne Nivat.
If this is not done, the reprisals tryout will pass successfully
into our life.
Grigory Yavlinsky’s Live Journal,
February 14, 2012.
The authorities wish to turn [oppositional]
Echo Moskvi [radio station] into an echo of the [pro-governmental]
Channel One. Replacements in the Board of Directors of this
radio station is a step in this direction. It is a direct
state pressure on the media, and not only on Echo Moskvi.
This is a warning demonstrating to the Russian citizens
what will happen after presidential elections.
This step is made now because the situation
in the country and in the society has been changing. It
is not surprising that the reaction [of the authorities]
is reprisals. The authorities simply have not had any other
experience. And we should be ready to such a reaction.
But the key thing in this situation is that
the movement that has begun in the society can not be halted
by either reprisals or bribing habitual for the authorities...
Prominent French journalist and author Anne
Nivat said Russian immigration authorities forced her to
leave the country where she was working on a book on the
current political situation...
Ms. Nivat said she traveled to Russian provincial
towns where she was meeting, among others, with members
of the opposition. She traveled outside Vladimir to meet
with a local official from the Yabloko party.
She said ten minutes after her return to
a hotel in Vladimir Friday, the immigration officers showed
up at her hotel and took her to their station. ¦µ´They canceled
my one-year multi-entry business visa and gave me a transit
visa, according to which I had three days to leave Russia,¦µ±
Ms. Nivat said that the officers made clear
to her that she had been followed for days¦µ”they mentioned
her meetings with members of the Communist Party and Yabloko
in Petrozavodsk, another provincial town in Russia¦µ™s north...
Activists of the Sverdlovsk region branch
of the YABLOKO party conducted an action "Putin, look,
here are political prisoners¦µ¦" on Friday, February
10. The activists held a many meters banner in front of
the Representation of the President in Ekaterinburg. The
banner contained names of political prisoners from the list
handed to the current President Dmitry Medvedev.
The action represents a reaction of Vladimir
Putin¦µ™s statement during his meeting with political scientists
when he asked them to show him "at least one political
According to YABLOKO activists, the people
from the list were convicted with the help of falsified
evidence, the actual reason for putting them into prison
were their political activities.
Maxim Petlin, leader of the Sverdlovsk branch
of YABLOKO, kept in the pre-trial detention prison now is
also in the list of such political prisoners.
Speaking at a massive opposition rally
in Moscow on behalf of Yabloko (LI full-member) Grigory
Yavlinsky (LI Prize for Freedom laureate) said "They
wish to oust us all from elections. This won't go! This
is our right and we are defending the future of our country."
His statement comes days after the National Electoral Commission
Yavlinsky's registration in the upcoming Presidential elections
declaring 20% of the collected signatures as allegedly "invalid."
Yavlinsky reassured his supporters that the party is going
to stay strong and it will continue to fight for a political
reform in the country so that moral and ethics are the main
force and so that there is no censorship in the mass media.
He also stressed that "life does no end on March 4
[the voting day of presidential elections] or March 5. This
is only the beginning." The nomination of Yavlinsky
had been officially endorsed
by Gorbachev while over 2,000 000 Russian citizens gave
their signatures in support of Yavlinsky's candidature hoping
to have a political alternative.
Grigory Yavlinsky commenting on the decision
of the Supreme Court which upheld the refusal to register
him as a candidate for President, once again emphasized
that he regarded this decision as political and not anyway
related to any litigation or the Central Electoral Commission
He emphasized that the court did not question
the authenticity of the 1,932,112 signatures that had been
found valid by the CEC...
Grigory Yavlinsky’s Live Journal,
February 8, 2012.
...The fact that we demonstrated this nonsense
to everyone in Russia was also part of our work.
Once again I would like to thank all of you who participated
in the collection of signatures, who helped to collect them
and who signed up. Your political position can not be "cancelled",
and eventually it is the most important achievement of this
campaign for collection of voters' signatures...
On Saturday, around 120.000 people marched
through Moscow and participated in the Rally for fair elections.
Supporters of ELDR member YABLOKO held a huge banner "We
demand new elections!"
Yabloko founder Grigory Yavlinsky stated:
"They wish to oust us all from elections. This won't
go! Together we are defending the future of the country,
the Constitution, freedom, life according to the rule of
law rather than arbitrary rule. It is important for us and
we will never surrender!"
Last week in the European Parliament, ELDR
President Sir Graham Watson MEP commented on the decision
of the Russian central electoral commission to block Yavlinsky
from running as a candidate in the 4 March elections: "It
seems to me that this is a politically motivated move."
The Moscow City Court overruled the decision
of Kuntsevsky District Court and declared removal of Aslan
Artsuyev, member of electoral commission from the YABLOKO
party with a deliberative vote, from polling station No
Aslan Artsuyev worked at the parliamentary
elections and was member of the PEC No 2451 with a deliberative
vote, was removed from the polling station 15 minutes before
On Monday Grigory Yavlinsky, founder of
the YABLOKO party, appealed to the Supreme Court against
the decision of the Central Electoral Commission denying
him registration in presidential elections.
Yavlinsky asked in the appeal to revoke
the decision on the denial in registration in the presidential
election campaign and oblige the Central Electoral Commission
to register him in the campaign.
Grigory Yavlinsky ran in presidential elections
twice: in 1996 and 2000. In 1996 he came fourth with 7.34
per cent, and he was third in 2000 with 5.8 per cent. In
2004 and 2008 he did not participate in the presidential
In 2012 he planned to participate in the
presidential elections, however, on January 27 the Central
Electoral Commission officially denied him the registration...
Press Release, Videos, Photographs.
February 4, 2012.
...Grigory Yavlinsky, party founder, spoke
at the rally on behalf of YABLOKO:
"They wish to oust us all from elections.
This won't go! This is our right and we are defending the
future of our country.
We have gathered here so that to see that
there many of us, that we are not alone, that a friend's
shoulder is by your side. We are different, but we all have
three colours in common ¦µ“ the colours of the Russian flag.
All together we are defending the future
of the country, the Constitution, freedom, life according
to laws rather than arbitrary rule. It is important for
us and we will never surrender.
Now the most important thing I would like
to tell you is that life does no end on March 4 [the voting
day of presidential elections] or March 5. This is only
And our opponents and foes will see and
realise - may be they realise - soon that it is a beginning
for us, and an end for them.
This year we will create thousands of committees
for the political reform, join us!
This year we will make them abolish censorship
in the mass media.
This year we will make an extremely important
thing - politically we will really unite.
We will prove that morals and ethics can
be the main force both in politics and in Russia.
We love our country and we will not surrender
it to thieves, fascists, Stalinists or other parasites...
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,
February 4, 2012.
Except from Russian transcript by Radio
14.25. Eugenia Chirikova [ecologist and
head of the Movement in Defence of Khimki Forest] proposes
to vote for a resolution in support of candidacy of Grigory
Yavlinsky on the post of Russian President. "We demand
that the decision of the Central Electoral Commission to
refuse Grigory Yavlinsky registration in the presidential
election campaign should be revoked." "We demand
to immediately register Grigory Yavlinsky candidate on the
post of President of Russia." The rally supports this
resolution with a roar of approval.
14.20. The rally greets YABLOKO founder
Grigory Yavlinsky with applause. Yavlinsky thanks all for
support. "They wish to oust us from elections¦µ¦ This
won't go. We feel a friends¦µ™ shoulder. We are different,
but we all have three colours in common ¦µ“ the colours
of the Russian flag. We defend the future of the country
and the Constitution ¦µ“ we defend them by lawful means¦µ¦
Now the most important thing I would like to tell you is
that life does no end on March 5 [the day after presidential
elections in Russia]. This is only the beginning ¦µ“ for
us and it is an end for them¦µ¦ We will prove that politics
can be moral¦µ¦ For freedom and justice! For our Russia!"
YABLOKO participates in the demonstration
and rally For Fair Elections of February 4. The participants
should gather at 12:00 at Bolshaya Yakimanka (Oktyabrskaya
YABLOKO's activists and supporters form
the second column (out of total six). The demonstrators
should gather by lamp-posts Nos 4 and 5 (out of total nine
numbered lamp posts). You will be able to easily locate
YABLOKO column by YABLOKO flags. Also you will be able to
find information about the location of the column from activists
wearing green YABLOKO uniform jackets.
The demonstration will start at 13:00. The
columns will go along Bolshaya Yakimanka and Maliy Kamenniy
bridge to Bolotnaya square. The rally at Bolotnaya square
will begin at 14:00...
On February 2 - 3, on the threashold of
the march and rally For Fair Elections, YABLOKO activists
will distribute leaflets calling to join the action. Leaflets
will be distributed by seven Moscow metro stations.
Tomorrow YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
(who is also member of the organisational committe of the
action) will be distributing leaflets by Novokuznetskaya
metro station from 3 to 4 p.m.
Picketers will also distribute leaflets
by Pushkinskaya, Arbatskaya, Chistiye Prudi, Mayakovskaya,
Sretenskiy Bulvar, Tretyakovskaya and Novokuznetskaya metro
stations from 4 to 7 p.m.
Also leaflets can be obtained in YABLOKO
Moscow office (Pyatnitskaya ulitsa, 31/2 bldg 2) from 10
a.m. to 8 p.m...
Public prosecutor of Moscow
requires the YABLOKO party to provide information about
the organization, where the web-site server of yabloko.ru
is physically located. Investigators are interested in the
actual location of the organization, its legal address and
contact telephone numbers.
The request of the prosecutor's
office was given to the party this morning. Further, the
information must be provided to Zamoskvoretskaya Interdistrict
Prosecutor's Office as early as 15:00.
The requirements put forward
during the audit were launched upon request to the prosecution
by the Central Electoral Commission¦µ™s chief Vladimir Churov.
The latter appealed to the prosecutors after YABLOKO published
on its website the so-called "Churov list" - a
list of leaders of local electoral commissions, where protocols
of voting were falsified or the observers were removed without
any reason on the parliamentary elections voting day December
...Thus, an observer's protocol (certified
by the Chair of the Precinct Electoral Commission) ran that
the Just Russia party obtained 290 votes (201 vote according
to the Central Electoral Commission). The discrepancy in
votes for Vladimir Zhirinovsky's LDPR party amounted to
32 votes (142 against 108 votes), 15 votes for the Patriots
of Russia (29 against 14 votes), the vote for the Right
Cause was worsened by half (from 14 to 7 votes). However,
the ruling United Russia improved its total vote (from 506
votes on the protocol of the observer to 651 vote, according
to official data of the CEC). The votes for the Communist
Party and YABLOKO remained unchanged.
"Probably, the election committee members thought that
YABLOKO and the Communist Party can go to courts only if
their interests are affected. And they decided to "modify"
the results of other parties," said YABLOKO¦µ™s lawyers.
There are also discrepancies in the numbers of canceled
and absentee ballots...
Fire resulting from an arson fire has completely
destroyed the office of "Vechrniy Krasnokamsk"
weekly this night. The founder and editor-in-chief of the
weekly is Olga Kolokolova, leader of the Perm YABLOKO branch
and deputy of the City Council in Krasnokamsk. Olga believes
that it is a revenge by Yury Chechyotkin, the city Mayor,
for journalists¦µ™ investigation into his embezzlement of
budget funds allocated for housing repairs in the city...
In April 2011, unknown persons assailants
beat Olga Kolokolova¦µ™s father - deputy of the Krasnokamsk
City Duma Arkady Kolokolov. He helped the crew of the "Riphey-Perm"
television company, which investigated the circumstances
of the repairs in the TSZh Parkovoi. The contractor hired
by the managing company providing services for the house
received 4.5 million rubles, but the works were not completed...
Grigory Yavlinsky's Live Journal,
January 29, 2012
...Let us make a simple calculation: the
share of detected defective (void) signatures that were
not included into this category (Code 29) amounted to 16,446
(2.74% of the number of verified signatures totaling 600,000).
The rest was 137,492 (22.91%): "Other violations of
procedural formalities in filing signature sheets, including
signatures of voters whose data were included into signature
sheets not in handwriting (electronic photographs certified
by authorized representatives)." This means that the
main fault found in the signatures by the Central Electoral
Commission lying behind their refusal in my registration
referred NOT TO THE SIGNATURES, BUT TO "OTHER VIOLATIONS
OF PROCEDURAL FORMALITIES IN FILING OF SIGNATURE SHEETS,
including signatures of those voters whose data were included
into signature sheets not in handwriting (electronic photographs
certified by authorized representatives)"...
Days after Yavlinsky's
candidature was endorsed by Gorbachev, the National
Electoral Commission (NEC) declared 20% of the signatures
collected in support of the leader of Yabloko (LI full member)
invalid. Commenting on the incident at a news Conference
Yavlinsky said: 'I consider the decision of the NEC as politically
motivated. They aren't letting me join the race, because
they don't want to allow an alternative - political, economic
and moral.' He also cautioned that such refusal to allow
him to join the race would undermine the vote's legitimacy
and could lead to unrest and instability in the country.
Grigory Yavlinsky needed to collect and submit at least
2,000,000 votes in order to register since he was nominated
by a non-parliamentary party. ALDE-PACE (LI Cooperating
a statement condemning the situation as 'another sign
of the limitation of political competition and expression
in the country.' The group also expressed concern that the
latest developments in Russia severely compromise the possibility
for free and fair presidential elections on 4 March 2012.
Grigory Yavlinsky, former leader of ELDR
member party, YABLOKO, has been officially barred from running
in the upcoming Russian presidential election. The Central
Electoral Commission announced yesterday that Yavlinsky's
candidature is invalid as a result of perceived technical
irregularities in the way the signatures of support, a requirement
for participation in the election, were presented to the
Commenting on the refusal to accept Yavlinsky's
registration for the 4 March election, ELDR Party President,
Sir Graham Watson MEP stated, "this is clearly a politically
motivated move designed to ensure Vladimir Putin has an
easy ride back into the presidency and shows a blatant disregard
of democratic principles and international standards for
free and fair elections.
It seems that Putin and his cronies have learnt nothing
from the protests that have been taking place since last
December's parliamentary elections. This is very worrying
and undermines the authority and legitimacy of the future
Grigory Yavlinsky said that the position taken by the Electoral
Commission denies thousands of people the opportunity to
express their views freely. "Their refusal means that
all the people who do not agree with what has been happening
in Russia, the people who want a different perspective -
an open, democratic, European and modern perspective - will
not be allowed to participate in the elections by means
of this political decision"...
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for
Europe (ALDE) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council
of Europe unanimously condemns the latest developments in
Russia which severely compromise the possibility for free
and fair presidential elections on 4 March 2012...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed
his indignation at the refusal of the Moscow authorities
to coordinate and give a permission to the march scheduled
on February 4. The march continues the actions launched
after parliamentary elections of December 4 that had demonstrated
"The decision of the Moscow Mayor¦µ™s
office provokes tension," Mitrokhin said. "Neither
broad pubic [gathering for the march via Internet] nor we
can agree to the route they proposed to us (from the Luzhniki
Stadium to the Krimskiy bridge)," he noted...
Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO leader and head
of the YABLOKO faction in St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly,
proposed to St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly to create
a commission for investigation of election fraud at parliamentary
elections of December 4, 2011.
19 deputies out of 50 voted for this proposal.
The United Russia and the LDPR factions did not participate
in the voting. Thus, the decision on creation of such a
YABLOKO does not see anything new in today¦µ™s
statements by representatives of the Central Electoral Commission
that the number of defective signatures give them grounds
to refuse Grigory Yavlinsky registration in the presidential
Grigory Yavlinsky and other party leaders
gave assessments of this decision during press-conference
at Interfax yesterday.
However, we expect further escalation of
claims on behalf of the Central Electoral Commission after
organizational committee of the rally scheduled on February
4 adopted a decision on nominating Grigory Yavlinsky presidential
Reacting to news that Grigory Yavlinsky,
from the Russian Democratic Party "Yabloko" is
unlikely to be allowed to register as a candidate for the
Presidency, Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Alliance of
Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) made the following
"By refusing to register Grigory Yavlinsky for the
presidential election the Kremlin removes any glimmer of
hope for an alternative vision for Russia. The Presidential
elections to be held on 4 March 2012 will be another step
backwards for democracy in Russia."
"Russian people have demonstrated their disdain for
the current regime and are demanding change. New State Duma
elections should be held after registration of all opposition
political parties. The European Union should reassess EU
policy on Russia with the prospect of Putin clinging to
power until 2024."
"The President in waiting would be well advised to
heed to people's demands.
Mr. Putin, be aware Spring is coming."
Presidential candidate from the YABLOKO
party Grigory Yavlinsky said that the intention [of the
Central Electoral Commission] to refuse to register him
in the presidential elections campaign was "purely
political" and "did not have anything to do with
signatures and their quality."
"Their refusal means that all the people
who do not agree with what has been happening in Russia,
the people who want a different perspective - an open, democratic,
European and modern perspective ¦µ“ will not be allowed
to participate in the elections by means of this political
decision," Grigory Yavlinsky said at a press conference
This is done for two reasons, Yavlinsky
noted, "Vladimir Putin and the present government fear
the choice that will be made by the part of citizens tired
of stealing, lies and corruption." In addition, "they
are afraid that tens of thousands of observers" whom
YABLOKO planned to send to the polling stations...
In the coming days the verdict of the Central
Electoral Commission (CEC) will be announced: who of the
candidates submitting voters¦µ™ signatures to the CEC will
be registered as presidential candidate. The quality and
authenticity of the signatures have nothing to do with this
[check up by CEC] and registration. It will be Vladimir
Putin who will make the decision on the issue.
My prediction is like this: [oligarch] Mikhail
Prokhorov will be registered, and Grigory Yavlinsky not.
We have learned from The New Times, that the evening on
December 9, Vladimir Putin telephoned Mikhail Prokhorov
and asked him to run for president.
The 9th of December was just the last day of filing the
application for the registration. In the evening the CEC
gave the names of all those who applied and were registered.
Prokhorov was not among them...
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,
January 23, 2012.
Russian opposition Yabloko party founder
Grigory Yavlinsky could be denied registration as a presidential
candidate by Russia¦µ™s Central Election Commission...
"This issue is of a political nature,
absolutely, and the purpose of [denying registration] is
to bar from elections all those people who are discontent
with what is happening in Russia today and who would like
a different future for Russia -- an open, democratic, European,
modern future," Yavlinsky said.
He added that Yabloko plans to register
hundreds or even thousands of observers for the election
and that is also a reason the Kremlin might refuse to register
"This decision is strictly political
and it has nothing to do with the signatures or their quality,"
The nomination of Yabloko's (LI full-member)
Presidential Candidate, Grigory Yavlinsky, has been officially
endorsed by former Soviet president and leader of Perestroyka,
Mikhail Gorbachev. It follows the disputed Russian Duma
elections in December 2011. According to the Russian law,
since Yavlinsky has been nominated by a non-parliamentary
party, he needs to collect and submit at least 2 million
signatures to the Central Electoral Commission in order
to run in the upcoming Presidential elections. The latest
party's press release indicates that the leader of Yabloko
has managed to collect signatures from all Russian regions,
as well as from Russian citizens working and living abroad.
This equates to around 2, 132, 000 votes in just 25 days.
Yavlinsky commented saying "collecting 2 million signatures
is not just a technical procedure. It means that 2 million
people have vowed to support the political alternative that
we represent." A day after Yavlinsky was nominated
as a candidate for the presidential elections,
LI President Hans van Baalen MEP made a telephone call to
Mr. Yavlinsky expressing LI's full support.
YABLOKO will submit to the Central Electoral
Commission voters' signatures for Grigory Yavlinsky's registration
in the presidential election campaign on January 18 at 4
p.m. Files with 2,100,000 voters' signatures will be transported
to the Central Electoral Commission on four minivans. In
total YABLOKO's volunteers managed to collect 2,132,000
voters' signatures in 25 days only (from December 23 to
Address of the Central Electoral Commission:
Bolshoi Cherkasskiy pereulok 9
Accreditation for journalists: tel +7 495 606-13-25.
YABLOKO Chairman Sergei Mitrokhin participated
in the meeting of representatives of the Russian opposition
with new US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.
"I spoke to Ambassador about the need to continue the
dialogue on the problems of joint Russia-US anti-ballistic
missile defence initiated by the YABLOKO party in the end
of 1990s," Mitrokhin told the journalists after the
The YABLOKO party is going to complete creation
of a fund for citizens' donations for organisation of election
monitoring and encourages people to become observers on
the election day March 4.
"Today we are initiation creation of
a special fund, which we are calling the Fund for Promotion
of Public Control over Elections", said Sergei Mitrokhin,
YABLOKO Chairman, a press conference in the Interfax office
2,100,000 people signed up for registration
of Grigory Yavlinsky in the presidential election campaign.
As expected Grigory Yavlinsky's electoral head-quarters
received large quantity of sheets with signatures these
days. Today, on the last day of collection of signatures,
the head-quarters will receive about 100,000 signatures.
According to the law, the number of signatures
submitted to the Central Electoral Commission should not
exceed 2.1 mln. On January 17, the staff of the head-quarters
will pass 2.1 mln signatures to the print shop for binding.
On January 18 the signatures will be submitted to the Central
Ex-President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev
signed up for nomination of Grigory Yavlinsky presidential
candidate. The sheet with Mikhail Gorbachev's signature
was brought by Gorbachev Fund officer to YABLOKO's head-quarters
Collection of signatures for registration in the election
campaign began on December 23 and will go through January
As of yesterday, the Grigory Yavlinsky's electoral head-quarters
disposed of 1.7 mln voters' signatures. YABLOKO activists
hope that the remaining 400,000 signatures will be collected
in the coming days. YABLOKO attracts volunteers (YABLOKO
members and supports, ex-observers at the parliamentary
elections and people who left their telephones within the
framework of the project "The Glasnost Territory")
for collection of signatures. A number of public organisations,
including the staff of the Gorbachev Fund, help YABLOKO
to collect signatures.
As of today, YABLOKO collected over 1.7
mln signatures for registration of Grigory Yavlinsky in
the presidential elect ion campaign. Collection of signatures
will go until January 15, sheets with voters' signatures
have to be filed and prepared for dispatch to the Central
Electoral Commission on January 18.
YABLOKO activists think that they will manage
to collect the remaining 400,000 signatures (as a non-parliamentary
party such as YABLOKO has to submit to the Central Electoral
Commission 2.1 mln signatures for registration of its candidate
in the face). Grigory Yavlinsky's headquarters call all
the supporters of an alternative at presidential elections
to focus on the solution of this task...
Yelena Dubrovina, member of Central Electoral
Commission from the YABLOKO party, voted for introduction
of the issue of resignation of Vladimir Churov, head of
the Central Electoral Commission, into the agenda of the
commission. Most of the commission members (including members
from the Just Russia and Vladimir Zhirinovsky's LDPR) voted
against this proposal...
Only Yelena Dubrovina from YABLOKO and Eugeni
Kolushin from CPRF voted in favour of this proposal. Other
13 commission members, including representative of the Just
Russia Sergei Danilyenko and Oleg Lavrov from LDPR voted
Volunteers are collecting signatures for
registration of Grigory Yavlinsky as candidate for President
of Russia among Russian citizens living or working abroad.
Collection of signatures is held in seven European countries,
the US and Canada. So far, none of other Russian parties
and candidates have attempted to collect signatures of Russian
citizens living or working abroad.
Russian citizens working in the UK, France,
Germany, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, USA and
Canada wrote to YABLOKO with a proposal to collect signatures
among compatriots abroad...
Grigory Yavlinsky's Live Journal,
January 11, 2012
I am offering you this article without any
changes. Today my understanding of the essence of our sociopolitical
crisis and programme for its overcoming are virtually the
same. These ideas result from long work and much reflection.
This is a search for an alternative¦µ¦
LIES AND LEGITIMACY
People take flight
The Russian political regime today, which
emerged after 1991 and was formed over the past decade,
has still not created a modern state.
As a result, we are witnessing today an
unremitting chasm that is deepening and is being transformed
into an insurmountable rift between the authorities and
the people, the state and society.
This is not a temporary credibility gap,
but rather a systematic problem. The high ratings of the
country's leader do not attest to public support for the
powers that be. The vast difference in the public trust
shown in these individuals and all other state institutions
attests to the ultimate instability and fragility of the
entire Russian state construct...