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The Evictors

Around Moscow, there’s a whole industry of so-called “black creditors” — microfinance institutions (or MFOs) that swindle and seize debtors’ homes. Ivan Golunov’s investigation for Meduza has discovered that almost 500 apartments have been seized from their owners over the past five years without so much as a court order. In fact, this scheme involves more than simply “squeezing” people from their homes. It is possibly part of a wider, international money-laundering system. Here’s Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov on the ins and outs of this industry.

Nashi Website Blocked!

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As a few of us discovered yesterday, the website for the pro-Kremlin youth organization Nashi is blocked for users with non-Russian IP addresses. Entering www.nashi.su into your favorite browser will turn up a “403 Forbidden” error. I’ve had limited success getting around this block using Russian proxy servers. While it happens that some websites and blogs are blocked by some countries (as Nathan Hamm at Registan.net recently discovered), I assume it seems less common that a site will block access to readers outside the host country.

Then again, one wonders if the problem has deeper meaning. According to a report from February a number of Russian nationalist sites have been blocked by the authorities. Hackers have retaliated with targeting pro-Kremlin sites.

 

The websites might also be out of service because of hackers’ back-to-back attacks on behalf of the nationalist and anti-fascist movements in Russia. Websites of the youth Nashi and Molodaia Gvardiia movements had also been out of service for some time.

At the moment the Molodaia Gvardiia site is accessible and working. This brings me to believe that Nashi has blocked access to their own site. Kinda gives a whole new meaning to “Our own.”

If anyone has any additional information or theories, please pass them along.