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Tatar President Rustam Minnikhanov

KAZAN, Russia -- Lawmakers in Tatarstan have voted against a bill initiated in Russia's lower chamber of parliament -- the State Duma -- that would abort the title of president currently held by the head of the Russian autonomous republic.

The bill put forward late last month by a group of State Duma lawmakers proposed among other things to replace the title of president or regional administrations with the more generic title of "head."

The measure would only affect Tatar President Rustam Minnikhanov since a 2010 law has already banned the use of the title of president by the heads of Russia's autonomous republics -- with only Tatarstan preserving the right to call its leader "president."

Albert Khabibullin, a member of the Tatarstan State Council, said on October 25 that 82 out of the regional legislature members voted to reject the Duma bill on grounds that it would violate the constitution of the Russian Federation.

Sergei Reznik

MOSCOW -- Noted Russian journalist Sergei Reznik, who specializes in anti-corruption investigations, has been added to the Interior Ministry’s wanted list.

Reznik's name was added to the wanted list over the weekend, local media reported. He is thought to be living outside of Russia.

No details for his placement on the list were provided, though some media reports cited law enforcement sources as saying that Reznik is wanted for the alleged "justification of Nazism." The accusation stems from unspecified social-media posts that appeared on accounts suspected of being connected to him, they added.

In 2013, Reznik, who is from the Rostov region, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on charges of bribery and publicly insulting an official representative of the authorities. Later, he was sentenced to another 18 months in prison after a court found him guilty of false denunciation.

Reznik maintained his innocence and continued to work as an investigative journalist after serving the prison terms.

He says that a total of seven criminal cases have been opened against him with all of the alleged victims being prosecutors, judges, or police officials.

He also claims that over the past year, 15 statements from people in the Krasnodar region were submitted to the police and the prosecutor's office against him and three of his colleagues.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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