Foreign Agent

What the Center for Social Policy and Gender Studies in Saratov, Russia, did to get branded a “foreign agent” by a local court: it ran a research project entitled Reexamining Social Policy in the Post-Soviet Space: Ideologies, Actors and Cultures, and it published a book entitled The Critical Analysis of Social Policy in the Post-Soviet Space. Don’t let it happen to you.

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There are more details on this particular case here (in Russian). And here is Wikipedia’s helpful summary of the Russian foreign agent law, and RIA Novosti’s roundup of its own English-language articles on the topic.

Photo: Graffiti (“Foreign agent!”) painted on the wall outside the offices of the human rights group Memorial in Moscow (courtesy of Memorial’s web site).

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The Life and Times of a Russian Lawmaker

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The topsy-turvy life and times of Alexei Zhuravlyov, Russian “lawmaker”:

MOSCOW, November 29 (RAPSI) – A Russian lawmaker said Thursday that the State Duma will throw its weight behind making sure that the Russian language is recognized as an official language of the EU. The drive could become a reality after changes to EU rules allowed citizens to propose adding languages as long as they could collect one million signatures, Defense committee member Alexei Zhuravlyov told a roundtable. Zhuravlyov said the signature-collection drive should not pose any problems as there were large Russian communities in the EU and that the initiative would be [supported] by a federal agency that promotes international cooperation. The proposal was first aired by Russian deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

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MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti) – A bill that proposes stripping gays with children of their parental rights, introduced by Russian lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlyov, has been withdrawn from the parliament, a spokesperson for the lawmaker said Saturday. “Yes, he has indeed withdrawn it,” spokesperson Sofia Cherepanova said, adding that the document would be later revised and again submitted to the Russian State Duma. She said that the author’s position on the matter “remains unchanged.” “Anyway, we are interested in passing the bill,” Cherepanova added. Zhuravlyov, a member of the ruling United Russia party, submitted the bill to the lower house of the Russian parliament in September. However, the proposal has not received any significant public backing.Between 5 and 7 percent of the Russian population are gay, a third of whom have children, Zhuravlyov’s bill claimed, citing unspecified experts. If true, between 2.3 million and 3.3 million Russians could possibly lose their children if the bill was passed.

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Photo © RIA Novosti and Sergey Mamontov