Human Rights in Russia week-ending 23 July 2021 - with Alena Vershinina

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This week our guest on the podcast is Alena Vershinina, a journalist and former host of Ekho Moskvy radio who has also previously worked on Nastoyashchee vremya and now is with Radio Svoboda.

The topics discussed in the podcast include: Career - from Lipetsk to Moscow; The difficulties of working as a journalist in Russia; Harassment by the authorities; Trends in modern journalism in Russia; Journalism in the capital and in the provinces; The quality of journalism in modern Russia; Journalism and human rights; Journalists who have left the country; The prosecution of journalists; The ‘foreign agent’ label; Arrests, searches, and seizures of equipment; Comparing Soviet and Russian external broadcasting; The future of Russian journalism.

This podcast is in Russian. You can also listen to the podcast on our website or on SoundCloud, Spotify and iTunes.

The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.

Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: “What is happening in Russia now seemed impossible to us just a year ago,” says Alena Vershinina. “And now everyone is weighing the risks regarding their family members. After all, they seize all the technical equipment they can find during a search, not just what belongs to the journalist. And everyone is now wondering what can happen to your parents or grandparents.” Simon Cosgrove and I spoke with the journalist Alena Vershinina, who we know from Ekho Moskvy, Nastoyashchee vremya, and who now works for Radio Liberty. When I asked her what her prediction for the future would be, Alena said, "We don't even know how we're going to survive the next eight weeks with the Russian elections coming up. Every Friday we wait to see who else will be declared a foreign agent. We don't understand what will happen in three years: we don't even understand what will happen by the end of the year!" "Every move by the state authorities against the journalistic community gets its own answer,” Alena said, during a fascinating conversation. I recommend you listen to the recording to find out what answers intrepid Russian journalists give.

Simon Cosgrove adds: A summary of some of the week’s events in Russia relevant to human rights can be found on our website here.

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