Politically active non-profit organizations in Russia that receive financial support from abroad will be classified as “foreign agents” and will be entered into a designated registry. They will be required to submit special reports and will be subject to discretionary audits. According to various estimates, the law will affect about 1,000 organizations, including The Gorbachev Foundation, founded by former Soviet president. The controversial bill alarm human rights activists.
On July 20, a heavily armed 24-year-old man opened fire on an unsuspecting crowd during a midnight screening of Batman: the Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. Twelve were killed and 58 injured in the horrific incident. Suspect James Holmes was arrested on the scene, and criminal proceedings were promptly launched against him. He has been formally charged with 24 counts of first degree murder, 116 counts of attempted first degree murder, one count of explosives possession, and one count of violence in connection with the mass shooting. Pretrial proceedings for the case are currently underway.
Russia has been seeking World Trade Organization (WTO) membership since 1993. The protocol on Russia's joining the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO was signed in Geneva on December 16, 2011. The accession, however, was challenged by some MPs in the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federarion.
Alexander Litvinenko, former KGB agent, fled to Britain in 2000. He was fatally poisoned with radioactive polonium in November 2006. UK officials claim that they have sufficient evidence to charge Russian lawmaker Andrei Lugovoy with murdering the former intelligence officer. Former KGB agent Dmitry Kovtun is another suspect, he was placed on the international wanted list.
Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer for the British investment company Hermitage Capital, was charged with large-scale corporate tax evasion. Shortly before his arrest, Magnitsky claimed to have uncovered a massive fraud in which Moscow tax and police officials had allegedly embezzled $230 million of budget funds. He died in a Moscow pretrial detention center in 2009 after spending nearly a year behind bars. His death sparked a public outcry and drew human rights activists attention. Magnitsky's former partner Ivan Cherkasov is suspected of being involved in over $67 million income tax evasion. Hermitage head William Browder is also a suspect in the case and has been placed on the international wanted list like Cherkasov.
Uncovered several months ago, the high-profile Moscow Region illegal casino scandal incited a major public uproar. Businessman Ivan Nazarov allegedly operated illegal casinos in 15 towns across Moscow Region. According to law enforcement authorities, several high-ranking officials of prosecutor’s offices and the federal Interior Ministry were involved in the casino operation, which generated between $5 million and $10 million in revenue monthly.
Dagir Khasavov, lawyer and an aide to an upper house committee chairman, said in an interview with the REN TV channel that Russia's Muslims will establish their own rules on their territory, and attempts to resist them will lead to bloodshed. The prosecutor's office found the attorney's interview to have signs of extremism.
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has submitted a draft law to parliament on amendments to the Civil Code, the first part of which was adopted 15 years ago. Medvedev believes that the document, which has been in the works for several years, will strengthen the fundamentals of economic life and enhance the investment climate in Russia.