The July 19 murder of a Tatar mufti and the assassination attempt against another have been characterized by Russian federal authorities as terrorism. Tatarstan has witnessed little of the violence against religious leaders common in Muslim-majority republics in Russia's North Caucasus, and President Vladimir Putin said the attacks sent a "serious signal" to authorities. RFE/RL's Russian Service
, Radio Svoboda, covers these events and more.
# Investigators in Russia say five men have been arrested
in connection with the attacks on two Islamic spiritual leaders
in Tatarstan. Daisy Sindelar reports that the brazen attacks, which came on the eve of Ramadan and targeted pro-Kremlin clerics who were staunch opponents of Wahhabism, have raised fears of instability
in a traditionally peaceful part of Russia.
# Russian political humor
has gone viral and the trend is clearly getting under the regime's skin. While there is no doubt that this has all been amusing for journalists, bloggers, and for opposition figures themselves, does the new political humor have any real political impact? Find out in Brian Whitmore's newest podcast
for The Power Vertical.
# Journalists and activists in Russia have honored the human rights advocate Lyudmila Alekseyeva
on the occasion of her 85th birthday. Alekseyeva tells RFE/RL's Russian service, "I am sure that what I lived through during WWII determined the rest of my life."
# Russia has recently introduced controversial new legislation that bans "propagandizing" homosexuality among minors, making it risky for gay activists to speak out
. As their community gets pushed farther into the margins, some gay men and women are choosing to protect their privacy and remain silent rather than face an uphill battle for tolerance. Video by Radio Svoboda's Alexander Gorelik.