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What We’re Watching: Russia’s Memorial banned, Switzerland vs EU, Venezuela’s oil rebound (for now)

Memorializing Memorial. Russia’s Supreme Court ordered the liquidation of Memorial International, one of the country’s leading human rights organizations, which for the last 30 years has chronicled abuses committed during the Soviet era, including by the KGB, President Putin’s former employer. The court said the group failed to register foreign funding under a state law that many deem unconstitutional. Meanwhile, Memorial Human Rights Center, an affiliate group that has been documenting political repression in post-Soviet Russia, now faces a separate court hearing that will determine its future. In handing down its verdict, the Supreme Court said that Memorial “creates a false image of the Soviet Union as a terrorist state,” but historians sayS the group, established in 1989, plays a crucial role in documenting what happened to millions who suffered the Gulag forced labor camps, as well as other forms of oppression. Memorial’s lawyers say they will launch an appeal, but we’re not holding our breath for an overturned verdict.

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