On this day in 1944, Allied armies close the Falaise Pocket, trapping tens of thousands of German soldiers, and assuring the liberation of Paris.
Recommended for reading in full:
Will England describes Seeking democracy on the streets of Russia:
Protests in Moscow this summer were ignited when independent candidates for the city council in next month’s elections were stricken from the ballot for various implausible reasons. Demonstrators are calling for a genuine, democratic choice.
The crowds this summer have been younger, more raucous, edgier than in that long-ago time [the ‘90s]. Their clothes look like clothes the world over. They’re jaded, but angry. The police are a lot less sympathetic. Protesters I’ve spoken with are curiously pessimistic, yet committed. Andrei Kolesnikov, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center, told me they don’t expect the government to listen to reason, as that ’60s generation did. They’re looking to force change through numbers.
So where does Russian public opinion stand? Denis Volkov, of the independent Levada polling organization, told me that while support for the protests is strong in Moscow, they haven’t made a substantial impression on the majority of Russians.
Nationwide, nevertheless, support for the authorities has been trending downward. Putin’s party, United Russia, has less than 30 percent support, and some candidates for local office are running away from it.
Matthew Luxmoore reports Teenage Sexual Assault Victim Fights To Break Russia’s Culture Of Victim-Blaming:
“Women are afraid of being blamed — by relatives, by society, and by the state,” she said. “They’re afraid to hear ‘it’s your own fault.'”
Against the backdrop of her arrest and prosecution [for defending herself against an assailant], Ageny has emerged as a prominent advocate for justice for rape and assault victims. She launched a website and the Instagram hashtag …. “it’s not my fault” — under which assault and rape victims are posting their stories and supporting one another.
Ageny is also working to bring attention to resources available to such women and to shed light on what she and others allege is a lack of action and an unsympathetic attitude on the part of state officials.
Her trial is yet to begin, as investigators continue to compile the case. In an interview, Salomatov said Ageny’s main problem is a lack of evidence of her assault. She has no obvious injuries, and no witnesses to summon. It’s her word against the word of her alleged attacker.
“This is the main legal shortcoming in Russia: There’s no clear law on how to defend oneself when the perpetrator has left no physical mark,” Salomatov told RFE/RL.
(This isn’t only a Russian problem.)