Analytics and Interview

On 16 January 2015 late in the evening the website of the Ministry of Justice published a statement that the NGO Committee Against Torture had been added to the register of non-profit organizations designated as ‘foreign agents’.
Tanya Lokshina is the Russia program director at Human Rights Watch and Honorary Participant of International Youth Human Rights Movement: As the crisis in Ukraine escalated this spring, the Kremlin’s vicious crackdown on civil society also escalated. Space for independent civic activity in Russia is shrinking dramatically, but international policymakers and the media have been understandably too distracted to do much about it. Since early spring, it seems as though every week brings a new pernicious law or legislative proposal.
Earlier this year, the correspondent of Youth Human Rights Movement from Germany Jakob Stürmann interviewed Konstantin Baranov, member of the Coordination Council of the International Youth Human Rights Movement. They discussed so called “law against homosexual propaganda” and the overall situation of LGBT in Russia.  

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Oleg Sentsov, Olexander Kolchenko, Hennadiy Afanasiev and Oleksiy Chyrniy have been held in Russian jails for two years already under fabricated charges of ‘terrorism’. We consider it being necessary to express solidarity with those who are persecuted due to their pro-Ukrainian views, civic stand and desire for freedom in Russia-annexed Crimea.
Helsinki Committee of Armenia has published “Human Rights in Armenia 2014” Annual Report. The report reflects on the Right to Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, Torture, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, Political Persecutions, Freedom of Conscience and Religion, The Rights of the Child, Protection of Labor Rights.
«We have a few questions for you,» a border guard told Sinaver Kadyrov, a Crimean Tatar activist, at the Armyansk checkpoint in northern Crimea on Jan. 23. Kadyrov was on his way to Kherson, in southern Ukraine, to fly to Turkey for medical treatment. It was the beginning of an ordeal that ended with a local court expelling him from Crimea, his home of almost 25 years.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority It is time to sit back and reflect.

Mark Twain


Youth Human Rights Movement

NGOs Ask President Putin: What Billion Dollars?


To the President of the Russian Federation, V. V. Putin
11 April 2013

Dear Mr President,

In an interview with the German broadcasting company ARD on 5 April 2013 you said: 'In the Russian Federation there are 654 non-governmental organizations that receive, as has now been discovered, money from abroad…In just the four months since we passed the law on foreign funding, the money paid into the bank accounts of these organizations from abroad…has been 28,300,000,000 roubles – almost one billion dollars. 855,000,000 roubles have come via embassies. These are organizations that are engaged in political activity within the country. Surely our society has the right to know who is receiving this money and for what purposes?’ (http://президент.рф/новости/17808).

We also believe that society has the full right to know what organizations receive support, including support from abroad, what amounts of money are involved and for what purposes this money is given. For this reason we, along with other non-profit organizations, make publicly available on the website of the Ministry of Justice annual reports about our work, including full data about the resources received from abroad. Anyone interested may look at this data. (

But since the figures mentioned in your interview are at least ten times higher than what we understand to be the level of foreign funding of Russian non-profit organizations, we would like to know what these organizations are that receive such large sums of money.

We understand that you may have information from some other kinds of special sources. In the light of the public interest in this question, we urge you to order the immediate publication of a full list of the 654 non-profit organizations, listing the sums of money received by them over the last four months, and for what purposes these sums were received.

List of signatories:

1) Arseny Roginsky, International Memorial Society;

2) Natalya Taubina, Public Verdict Foundation (Moscow);

3) Igor Kalyapin, Committee Against Torture (Nizhny Novgorod);

4) Yury Dzhibladze, Centre for the Development of Democracy & Human Rights (Moscow);

5) Svetlana Gannushkina, Civic Assistance Committee (Moscow);

6) Boris Pustyntsev, Citizens’ Watch (St, Petersburg;

7) Aleksandr Cherkasov, Memorial Human Rights Centre (Moscow);

8) Liliya Shibanova, Golos (Moscow);

9) Svyatoslav Zabelin, International Social-Ecological Union;

10) Aleksei Simonov, Glasnost Defence Foundation (Moscow);

11) Viktor Kogan-Yasny, Right to Life and Civic Dignity (Москва);

12) Natalya Zhukova, Nizhny Novgorod Committee of Soldiers' Mothers;

13) Lidiya Grafova, Forum of Migrants' Organizations;

14) Olga Smitnitskaya, Home Foundation (Kaliningrad);

15) Tamara Dobretsova, In the Name of Life Ecological Movement (Kostroma);

16) Irina Reznikova, Committee of Soldiers' Mothers (Kostroma);

17) Igor Kochetkov, Russian LGBT Network (St. Petersburg);

18) Anna Anisimova, Coming Out (St. Petersburg);

19) Andrei Rudomakha, North Caucasus Environmental Watch (Maikop);

20) Aleksandr Verkhovsky Sova Centre (Moscow);

21) Olga Senova, Friends of the Baltic (St. Petersburg & Leningrad region);

22) Gennady Mingazov, Moscow Region Green Cross;

23) Elena Grishina, Centre for Public Information (Москва);

24) Askhat Kaiumov, Ecological Centre Dront (Nizhny Novgorod);

25) Ivan Pavlov, Freedom of Information Foundation (St. Petersburg);

26) Sergei Valkov, Human Rights Society (Ivanovo);

27) Maria Kanevskaya, Human Rights Resource Centre (St. Petersburg);

28) Viktor Voronkov, Centre for Independent Sociological Studies (St. Petersburg);

29) Dmitry Kraiukhin, Human Rights News Agency CentreRus (Orel);

30) Veronika Katkova, Golos (Orel);

31) Mikhail Pliusnin, Veche Children's Organization (Kirov);

32) Grigory Sverdlin, Nochlezhka (St. Petersburg);

33) Gabdulla Isakaev, For Honest Elections (Kurgan);

34) Galina Kuznetsova, Committee of Soldiers' Mothers (Kurgan);

35) Liudmila Bazarova, Memorial (Kurgan);

36) Nikolai Rybakov, Bellona (St. Petersburg);

37) Galina Arapova, Media Rights Centre (Voronezh);

38) Aleksandr Kalikh, Memorial (Perm);

39) Tatiana Dorutina, Women Voters' League (St. Petersburg);

40) Robert Latypov, Centre for the Support of Youth Democratic Initiatives (Perm);

41) Evgeniya Ivanova, Sudarynya (Taganrog, Rostov region);

42) Dmitry Dubrovsky, The Right to Know (St. Petersburg);

43) Aleksei Kozlov, For Ecological & Social Justice (Voronezh);

44) Viktor Iukevich, Siberian Institute for the Development of the Press (Novosibirsk);

45) Dmitry Makarov, Youth Human Rights Movement (Voronezh);

46) Valdimir Slivyak, Ekozashchita! (Moscow-Kaliningrad);

47) Fedor Kronikovsky, Taiga(Primor region);

48) Mikhail Savva, Southern Regional Resource Centre (Krasnodar);

49) Aigul Sembaeva, German-Russian Exchange (St. Petersburg);

50) Liudmila Alpern, Centre for Criminal Justice Reform (Moscow);

51) Irina Fufaeva, Green World (Nizhny Novgorod);

52) Leonid Grishin, Ural Home (Zarechnyi, Sverdlovsk region);

53) Marina Ostrovskaya, Perspectives (St. Petersburg);

54) Natalya Pevtsova, Caritas St. Petersburg;

55) Natalya Tagiltseva, Nelegalov.Net (Ekaterinburg);

56) Sergei Andreev, Foundation for Social Support and Civic Initiatives (Barnaul);

57) Evgeny Gontmakher, Committee for Civic Initiatives (Moscow);

58) Anna Orlova, Centre for the Development of Non-Commercial Organizations (St. Petersburg)

59) Liudmila Alekseeva, Moscow Helsinki Group;

60) Oleg Sharipkov, Civic Union Foundation (Penza);

61) Elena Panfilova, Transparency International - Russia (Moscow);

62) Pavel Chikov, Agora (Kazan);

63) Anita Soboleva, Lawyers for Constitutional Rights & Freedoms (Moscow)

Additional signatures by representatives of NGOs and members of the public can be added to this open letter to the President via  the website Petitions in Action.