Russia: Court Extends Detention of Journalist Kurmasheva

    Russia: Court Extends Detention of Journalist Kurmasheva
    Photo: Frédéric Soltan/Corbis via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva had her pre-trial detention extended until February. Kurmasheva is an editor for the US government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Tatar-Bashkir service and is accused of not registering as a “foreign agent” and collecting Russian military information.

    • A court in the city of Kazan extended her detention until Feb. 5 without setting a trial date. RFE/RL acting president Jeffrey Gedmin released a statement confirming the situation and criticizing Kurmasheva’s detention as “unjust” and “politically motivated.”

    The Spin

    Anti-Russia narrative

    Russia continues to show a complete lack of regard for basic human rights as it continues to hold Alsu Kurmasheva as a political hostage. She did absolutely nothing wrong but is being abused for simply existing as an independent journalist in an authoritarian country. Since its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has only dialed up its attack on free speech, and this gross abuse of power must be condemned and stopped. Kurmasheva must be released immediately.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    Western propaganda machines push utter falsehoods about Russia with no interest in telling the truth. The US claims that Russia is engaged in the persecution of American journalists when the fact is that Russia is simply implementing its national laws that require foreign agents to identify themselves. Russian law is crystal clear — RFE/RL is a foreign-funded media outlet that is political in nature, and Alsu Kurmasheva is a political actor who is gathering information on the Russian military.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 10% chance that a post-Putin Russia will substantially democratize within 5 years, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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