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how a prize named after Andrei Sakharov is gonna go over with Snowden's landlord, a veteran of the KGB that tormented Andrei Sakharov.
Reportedly, Putin is a fan of Sakharov.
An excerpt some early interview with American "National Public Radio":
Mr. Siegel: On another subject, our listener, Alfred Friendly Jr., sent us this question. He wants to know what influence you believe Andrei Sakharov and other human rights advocates and their supporters in the West had on the course of Soviet and Russian history.
President Putin: I think that was a crucial impact that they provided. It was a fundamental impact that they provided to the Russian history. At different periods, certain periods of time in the life of any nation, there will be people who turn on the light, if you will, and they show a road for the nation to follow. And no doubt Andrei Sakharov was one of those people who turned on the light.
That is, there are no problems whatsoever regarding Sakharov prize for Snowden.
You might also want to check that Putin is a fan of Solzhenitsyn, too -- under Putin, Solzhenitsyn's masterpiece was included into the Russian regular high school curriculum.
"in Putin's Russia, you can be arrested for voicing political dissent"
Proof, or it did not happen.
"they arrest gay people simply for being gay"
Proof, or it did not happen.
"the said citizens are known criminals"
You have clearly misspelled the word "criminals" but I fail to see in which particular way: was it "suspects" or "f**k the due process"?
I am a Russian living in Russia.
No, the RT is not an adequate description of the Russian universe. Rather, it's a reverse side of the American mainstream media -- it runs news (and gains popularity by running news) which aren't covered there. At that point, you should blame your countrymen for watching the RT, rather than the Russians for funding it.
Why do Russians need the RT? When/if crap hits the fan, and all other diplomacy/informational channels are cut, Russia must have the means to broadcast its viewpoint globally.
Like in the game of go, a group lives as long as it has two eyes. Shutting down RT would be seen as suppressing the American dissident voice, so the tactical goal (gaining popularity) support the strategic goal (being a back-up informational channgel if Russia is isolated internationally otherwise).
It's one thing when you talk to your fellow compatriot and it's another thing when you talk to a foreign national. In the latter case you would be well bothered about such things as national prestige and you will be tempted to defend the Government of your country, even if you would bash it when talking to a compatriot.
However, neither of those misguided ideas would emerge had the America stayed off the Russia's shores. May be, the U.S. should just stop funding Russia's NGOs, in order not to irritate Russia's citizens? After all, it's an indisputable fact that the Arab Spring (so hailed in the West) was an economical disaster for the Arab states, which resulted in subsequent political backlashes, as seen in Egypt.
You could try mail.ru -- a good old Russian e-mail provider. POP3 / IMAP are supported:
As long as you do not send or receive top secret U.S. documents, I do not see why you should bother.