Syrian Revolution Digest: Sunday, 30 December 2012

Syrian Revolution Digest: Sunday, 30 December 2012

Among Other Things!

Syrian Revolution Digest – December 30, 2012 

Everywhere a battle and a massacre, everywhere misery, everywhere hope rebellious, everywhere a birth. Syria may no longer be a country, but it is surely a laboratory for experimenting with human folly and tenacity, among other things.


Today’s Death Toll: 143 (including 10 children and 7 women)

85 in Damascus and Suburbs, 24 in Aleppo (most in Maysar neighborhood), 14 in Hama (7 in Kafranboudeh), 9 in Daraa, 4 in Homs, 3 in Idlib, 2 in Raqqa and 1 in Deir Ezzor.

Points of Random Shelling: 337

26 by warplanes, 7 by Cluster Bombs, 3 by Phosphorus Bombs, and 7 by barrel bombs. Artillery shelling was reported in 125 points, mortar shelling in 114 points and missile shelling in 62 points.

Clashes: 122

Rebels downed 3 jets in Manbej (Aleppo), Eastern Ghoutah (Damascus) and Hama Suburbs. In Raqqah City, they gained control of a gas station in Hamra area after a 3-day siege, meanwhile, 21 members of regime forces defected in the Karama neighborhood. In Qalamoun region, Damascus, rebels liberated the headquarters of the 413th Battalion after fierce clashes with regime loyalists. They also completed their liberation of Regiment 14 and the fuels storage facilities in the city of Nabek, and liberated the suburb of Bahdaliyah. In the town of Zabadani, Damascus, rebels also managed to take control of a number of checkpoints destroying 5 military vehicles in the process. In Daraa, rebels gained control of Al-Gharbi checkpoint in Basr Al-Harir after fierce clashes (LCCs).



Envoy: 2013 could bring 100,000 deaths in Syria

Russia Sends Another Naval Ship to Syria

Israeli crosses border into Syria Kfar Qassem resident said to be mentally unstable crosses border in Golan Heights with apparent aim of urging Assad to stop killing his people


Special Reports

In Syria, What’s Left Behind?
War is in many ways about things that are left behind—people, items, ideas, innocence. It ages children before their time, turns neighbors into enemies (or family), it destroys communities and leaves scars that may or may not show. The confidently authoritarian Syria that existed before March 15, 2011 has eroded, its brutal decades-old secular pan-Arab regime is fighting for its existence. It will likely eventually go the way of other brutal decades-old secular pan-Arab regimes, like Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s Tunisia and Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya, to be replaced by a more religiously conservative, Sunni Muslim power structure of some sort.

Syria Civil War: Gravediggers Have No Time To Wait For The Dead
Gravediggers at the cemetery in the northern Syrian town of Azaz no longer wait for bombs to fall before they break the ground. The dead come too fast… “We know the plane is coming to hit us, so we’re being prepared,” said Abu Sulaiman, one of a few men digging at the Sheikh Saad cemetary. “Massacres are happening. We’re putting every two or three bodies together. We’ve been working and digging since 6 in the morning. We’re going to dig 10 new graves today,” he said.


Video Highlights

Another video showing the massacre of Deir Baalbah, Homs City

Leaked video shows how pro-Assad militias abuse the bodies of dead defectors

In Damascus, rebels in Qalamoun take control of the town of Rankous But in Eastern Ghouta, the regime kept pounding the restive towns: Deir Al-Assafeer , Aqrabah In Jisreen people rush to save relatives and friends from under the rubble , People do the same in Kafar Batna

Along the border with Lebanon, the town of Zabadani continues to be pounded

The pounding of the town of Rastan, Homs, continues ,

In Kafrenboudeh, Hama, people rush to pullout the injured and the dead from under the rubble in the aftermath of an aerial raid on the town , The dead Including children ,

Syrian Revolution Digest: Saturday, 29 December 2012


Syrian Revolution Digest – December 29, 2012 

Russia’s Foreign Minister says Assad insists on staying in power. Indeed, Assad underscored his determination today by having his militias perpetrate a new massacre against 220 residents of Deir Baalbah. Meanwhile, the self-appointed “heroes” and “guardians” of the revolution, the brave men of Jabhat Al-Nusra were busy fighting against immorality in Aleppo City by emptying Arak bottles into the drains of history, the same drains where their ideas will follow one day. As for Russian officials, it is about time they learned some necessary humility and began coping with blowbacks stemming from their idiotic and murderous policies in our region. While so many leftwing and Islamist pundits keep focusing on America’s alleged role in our misery, it is Russia’s all too real role that is now coming into sharp focus. In fact, it is insisting on Assad’s staying in power and backing that up with weapons and vetoes that has cost us so many lives.

Today’s Death Toll: 399 (including more than 20 children and 20 women)

227 in Homs 220 of them were field executed in Deir Baalbah, 62 in Damascus and Suburbs (10 of them in Nashabiya), 40 in Aleppo (13 in Tal Rifaat ), 22 in Deir Ezzor including 15 unidentified bodies, 17 in Daraa, 14 in Hama, 10 in Idlib, and 5 in Raqqa.

Points of Random Shelling: 399

34 by warplanes, 2 points by Phosphorus bomb, 3 by vacuum bombs, 5 by cluster bombs, 152 by heavy caliber artillery, 124 by mortar and 80 by missile and rockets.

Clashes: 112

In Damascus, rebels shelled several military centers inside Mazzeh Military Airport using domestically-manufactured rockets, they also managed to repel an attack by regime forces on the town of Darayya. In Daraa, rebels repelled an attack on the town of Basr Al-Harir (LCCs).

Bassem al-Sayid, son of acting Minister of State, Muhammad Turki Al-Sayid, was martyred on Friday in the town of Sarmada, Idlib, while fighting for the rebel group, Jundullah. His death comes as more and more family members of the official establishment come out against Assad and his lot, including in recent days Assad’s own sister-in-law, Rasha Al-Akhras.



Deadly day in Syria as diplomats talk At least 399 people were killed Saturday, the opposition Local Coordination Committees said… The figure includes 201 people who a captured Syrian soldier said had been executed in Deir Balbah, outside of Homs, after Syrian forces won a battle there, an LCC spokesman said.

Assad’s forces seize Homs district from rebels: activists The army moved into Deir Ba’alba, a neighborhood on the northeastern edge of Homs, they said, leaving the rebels controlling just the central neighborhoods around the old city and the district of Khalidiyah, immediately to the north.

Insisting on Assad’s Exit Will Cost More Lives, Russian Says Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said on Saturday that there was “no possibility” that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria could be persuaded to leave and that the opposition’s insistence on his departure as a precondition for peace talks would only cost “more and more lives of Syrian citizens” — suggesting slender hope for a breakthrough in negotiating an end to a conflict that has already killed more than 40,000… “He has repeatedly said, both publicly and privately, including during his meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi not long ago, that he has no plans to go anywhere, that he will stay in his post until the end, that he will, as he says, protect the Syrian people, Syrian sovereignty and so forth,” Mr. Lavrov said. “There is no possibility of changing this position.”

Syria opposition leader rejects Moscow invitation for peace talks Moaz Alkhatib, whose National Coalition opposition group has been recognized by most Western and Arab states, demands Moscow apologize for supporting Assad’s regime.

Assad is panicking, Russia is frustrated – and Asma’s cousin calls for blood While a vehement letter by a member of Assad’s family spreads across the Arabic web, a resolution for the strife in Syria has no end in sight.

Syria doomed to “hell” without political deal: envoy U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said in Moscow that responsible people inside and outside Syria should “help the Syrians stop their descent into more and more bloodshed, into more and more chaos and perhaps a failed state”.

Syrian refugee influx could break Lebanon and Jordan, UN envoy warns Lakhdar Brahimi said: “If you have a panic in Damascus and if you have 1 million people leaving Damascus in a panic, they can go to only two places, Lebanon and Jordan.” Both those countries could break if faced with half a million refugees, he said on Saturday after meeting the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow. “If the only alternative is really hell or a political process, then we have got, all of us, to work ceaselessly for a political process,” he said.

Syrian airline cancels flight to Aleppo Syria’s national airline canceled a flight to Aleppo on Saturday because of fighting near its international airport, while the United Nations’ top envoy to the country said it faced “hell or a political process” but gave no sign a truce was in sight. The two developments underscored just how far international efforts to end the violence in Syria have fallen behind developments on the ground, more than 21 months into the conflict.

Blood spattered on the bricks where Syria bomb falls Blood was spattered on the bricks that littered the area around the bomb site. A child’s teddy bear lay in the wreckage and nearby cars were marked by shrapnel and bullet holes. A bulldozer cleared the heavy rubble while young boys dug through the debris with their hands, hoping to find people still alive amid the broken bed frames and crushed furniture.


Special Reports

‘Til death do us part: Marriage destroyed by war
(CNN) — For the third time, Mahmoud Al-Qassab lowers the body of one of his children into the ground. He steps back as neighbors and relatives shovel dirt over his teenage daughter’s grave. He does not cry or wail. “I thank God this is my third martyr: Ahmed, Abdullah and now her. I thank God, and I will not say anything against his fate,” Mahmoud told an activist filming the small funeral. Just a few months ago, 18-year-old Ayat Al-Qassab sang and danced with her mother and aunts as they dressed the bride in her wedding gown. Now, her shattered and bloodied body lies in a grave below the crumbling, bullet-ridden buildings of Homs… A 120 mm rocket fired into the family home struck Ayat in the head, killing her and her unborn child instantly. Ayat’s father, who was standing nearby, was hit in the shoulder and wounded.

Persona non grata in Beirut
The sudden departure from Beirut of the Syrian interior minister, Mohammad al-Shaar, was a sign of how much has changed in the Syrian-Lebanese relationship. Shaar allegedly took to the skies after being warned by the Lebanese that Interpol might issue an arrest warrant for him, and that Lebanon would have to implement it.

U.S. impotence on Syria
… the crisis is the result of the brutality and ruthlessness of ruler Bashar al-Assad and the family clique around him, and their supporters in Iran and Russia. But it is also reflects a massive failure of Western — and particularly American — leadership, the worst since the Rwandan genocide two decades ago.

Syria’s war creates concern for its neighbor
The more than 40,000 refugees might be tucked into a barbed-wired corner of the high desert, but their arrival – and their country’s turmoil – is being felt all the way to Amman. The effects on Jordan’s economy and on its royal family’s always-precarious grip on power could be serious, especially now, as protests unfurl in a country outraged by the government’s decision to chop fuel subsidies – a necessary action for it to secure $2 billion (1.5 billion euros) in loans from the International Monetary Fund.

To make things clear, leader of the Syrian National Coalition (abbreviated as SOC: Syrian Opposition Coalition, to distinguish it from its predecessor: the Syrian National Council), Moaz Alkhatib, did not reject the Russian government invitation to Moscow outright, he simply laid certain conditions, including: Russian government should offer an apology to the Syrian people for standing by Assad for so long, the Russian government should recognize SOC, and the initial meeting should take place in an Arab country.

To the Russians, this reply smacked of a political lack of experience, but to the Syrians, Alkhatib’s primary audience, this was exactly what they needed to hear. Alkhatib follow up to Moscow’s criticism connected him even more to the larger grassroots and further legitimated his position as a leader. Perhaps, it should be Alkhatib himself who should lead the transitional government as well. Too many changes at the helm of the opposition will only confuse people, and Alkhatib is steadily showing that he can connect to the grassroots. Mr. Alkhatib is himself a technocrat (a chemical engineer) and is such he should be capable of leading a technocratic transitional government.

As for Russian officials, it is about time they learned some necessary humility and began coping with blowbacks stemming from their idiotic and murderous policies in our region. While so many leftwing and Islamist pundits keep focusing on America’s alleged role in our misery, it is Russia’s all too real role that is now coming into sharp focus. In fact, it is insisting on Assad’s staying in power and backing that up with weapons and vetoes that has cost us so many lives.


Video Highlights

First video from Deir Baalbah, site of a new massacre by pro-Assad militias that claimed the lives of over 22o people by early counts With the assault in Deir Baalbah, the encirclement of restive neighborhoods of Old Homs is now complete, pro-Assad militias intensify the pounding: Khaldiyeh , , ,

Aerial attack on Nashabiyeh in Damascus leaves many dead , A similar attack on Douma leaves many dead as well, including children The raid on Douma The suburb of Saqba was also targeted among other communities of Eastern Ghoutah The town of Yabroud to the north, also comes under attack

Rebels strike the Damascus International Airport with homemade rockets

In Aizaz, Aleppo, locals pull the body of a dead boy from under the rubble in the aftermath of an aerial raid The attack

Collecting the dead in Tal Rifaat, Aleppo ,

In Aleppo City, rebels try to take down a helicopter

Rescuing the children from under the rubble in Karnaz, Hama , The attack as seen from outside the city

U.K. Plans Secret Courts to Hear National Security Matters

By Madeline Schiesser
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

LONDON, United Kingdom – Legislation before Parliament would create a judicial method by which civil courts could hear evidence the government claims is a matter of national security behind closed doors in a “closed material proceedings,” concealed from the public, the media, and even claimants and their lawyers.  Parts of the judgment, pertaining to the national security evidence, would also remain secret.

Parliament is considering controversial legislation to expand when material may be deemed a matter of national security and heard behind closed court doors. (Photo Courtesy of BBC News)

In a small victory for opponents of the legislation, the House of Lords defeated a measure last month that would have allowed ministers to determine what material would be considered a matter of national security.  Instead, the legislation has been amended to grant that power, and thus the power to initiate a closed door proceeding, to judges.

Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan has strongly approved of this amendment, as the first draft of the bill “failed” to preserve the principle of “openness and transparency”.  He further stated that: “Any deviation from this [principle] should only be considered in the most extreme of circumstances and must be accompanied by transparent checks and balances.”

The Justice and Security Bill would allow members of the security services to give evidence to civil courts in secret if a “closed material proceeding” is initiated.  In deciding the appropriateness of such a proceeding, judges would be required to balance any harm from disclosing security information against the open administration of justice, amended language says.  A further amendment also allows either party to request a closed material proceeding.

The bill moved to the House of Commons on December 18, where reading and debate on it began.

Civil liberty groups, however, say that the secret courts could allow government wrongs to go unquestioned.  Furthermore, opponents say that the proposals of the bill would compromise the principle of open justice.

For example, Tory MP Andrew Tyrie wonders whether the bill would hinder extraordinary rendition investigations and “make it more difficult to find out the degree of Britain’s complicity”.  Labour MP Joan Walley questioned whether the Ministry of Defense might use the bill as a shield against suits by “families of armed forces personnel who have been illegally killed or who may have been injured.”

Ken Clarke, minister without portfolio, who is charged with moving the legislation through Parliament, explained that the specific circumstances leading to a suit would determine whether a closed material proceeding would be appropriate.

Prime Minister David Cameron has further given assurances that the secret court hearings would only be needed “in a small number of cases”.

According to a government spokesman, there are currently about 20 civil damages cases where material “relating to national security” is central, and it would be in the interest of all parties for these cases to go to court.  Unfortunately, in the past, some claims were not able to be “properly vindicated” and the case therefore had to settle because “material was necessarily excluded from the court.”

Former director of M15, Baroness Manningham-Buller, has praised the legislation, saying that it would enable British spies to defend themselves against “deeply distressing” allegations of torture.  She said, “We have been judged by many to have been engaged in criminal activities but there have been no prosecutions . . . closed material procedures are a way that the judiciary can make a judgment on the validity of these claims and give a ruling and give judgment.

However, the in addition to appearing to run against the ideas of open justice, the legislation also appears to conflict with international law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, which requires the U.K. to respect the right to a fair and public trial in all civil as well as criminal cases.

Benjamin Ward, Europe and Central Asia division deputy director at Human Rights Watch explained: “Justice when you don’t know the case against you is no justice at all.”

For further information, please see:

BBC News – Judges Should Decide Secret Courts, Government Accepts – 18 December 2012

HRW – UK: Scrap Secret Courts Plan – 18 December 2012

Independent – Government Plans U-turn on ‘Secret Courts’ to Avert Rebellion – 13 December 2012

BBC News – Cameron defends decision to block top civil service appointment – 11 December 2012

BBC News – Government Secret Courts Plans Defeated in Lords – 21 November 2012

Sunnis Protest in Iraq

By Justin Dorman
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

BAGHDAD, Iraq ­ –  For the fourth time this week, tens of thousands of Sunnis flooded the streets of Ramadi, in the Anbar province, to denounce Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the rest of the Shia led government. As a result of the demonstrations, the main trade route to Jordan and Syria was blocked.

Thousands of Sunnis demonstrate in Iraq’s Anbar province. (Photo Courtesy of the Guardian)

These protests come just a week after ten of Rafia al-Issawi’s bodyguards were arrested by troops loyal to Maliki. Issawi is Iraq’s finance minister and is one of the government’s most senior Sunni officials. Issawi actually went to one of these demonstrations and declared to his fellow Sunnis that, “injustice, marginalisation, discrimination and double standards, as well as the politicisation of the judicial system and lack of respect for partnership, law and constitution . . . have all turned our neighbourhoods in Baghdad into huge prisons surrounded by concrete blocks.”

The Sunni people believed that their government officials were being persecuted even before the arrests of Issawi’s bodyguards. Prior to the arrests, Vice-president Tariq al-Hashemi, Iraq’s highest Sunni official, was sentenced to death. He was charged with running hit squads which he claims are fabricated and is currently in Turkey on exile.

Protestors at the rally flew the old Iraqi flag which Saddam’s Baath party introduced and chanted that, “the people want to bring down the regime.”

Issawi stated that, “this sit-in will remain open-ended until the demonstrators’ demands are met, and until the injustice against ends.”

Others, like Sheikh Ali Hatem Sulaiman, the leader of the Dulaimi tribe, say that if the protests demands are not met, they will bring the protests to “the gates of Baghdad.”

Shia analysts have discounted the effects that these protests will have on any upcoming election. While the demonstrations may have earned a national audience; analyst for the Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies, Yahya Qubaisi, maintains that the demands are not national but merely regional.

There is a serious fear that Iraq will erupt into sectarian violence. These events are particularly problematic given the health status of Jalal Talabani. Talabani, Iraq’s Kurdish president, suffered a stroke around the same time which Issawi’s bodyguards were arrested. Talabani has been seen as a unifying figure who could successfully mediate among the Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish.

Political analyst Sabah al-Mukhtar reminded Al Jazeera not to forget that, “we have the Arab Spring. The Iraqis are saying, “if everybody else revolted, why aren’t we revolting against a regime, which is anyway imposed on us by an occupying force in 2003?”

For further information, please see:

Reuters – Iraq Sunni Rallies Gather Steam – 27 December 2012

Al Jazeera – Iraq Sunnis Block Trade Routes in new Protest – 26 December 2012

Guardian – Iraq Protests Signal Growing Tension Between Sunni and Shia Communities – 26 December 2012

New York Times – Iraq: Sunnis Continue Protests Against Prime Minister – 26 December 2012

Putin Plans to Sign U.S. Adoption Ban

By Madeline Schiesser
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

MOSCOW, Russia – Russian President Putin announced Thursday that he intends to sign into law an act that would ban American families from adopting Russian children.  The act is part of several Russian legislative measures in response to the recently passed U.S. Magnitsky Act, which implements sanctions against Russians accused of human rights violations.

A Russian ban on U.S. adoption places children in the middle of a political storm. (Photo Courtesy of Al Jazeera)

The announcement follows passage of the act by the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, unanimously (143 senators present) Wednesday, and by the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, last week in a vote of 441-7.

The ban would terminate the bilateral adoption agreement between Russia and the United States and forbid U.S. adoption agencies from working in Russia, effectively halting adoption of Russian children by US families.

Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Council’s foreign affairs committee, however, has stated that the agreement currently in place binds Russia to notify the U.S. of a halt in adoptions 12 months in advance.

Putin also said he plans to sign a presidential decree to improve Russia’s troubled child welfare system.  Putin said the decree would “chang[e] the procedure of helping orphaned children, children left without parental care, and especially children who are in a disadvantageous situation due to their health problems.”

The legislation is also partly in response to several adoptions in recent years of Russian children by Americans that ended unfortunately.  For example, in 2010, an American woman returned a 7-year-old boy to Russia, saying that he had behavioral problems and that she no longer wanted him.  In 2008, a 21-month-old Russian boy died of heatstroke in July when his American adoptive father accidently left him unattended in a car for nine hours.  The father was later found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.  Some Russian legislators are unofficially calling the adoption ban the Dima Yakovlev Bill in the boy’s honor.

Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Duma’s Foreign Relations Committee, said: “Cases of the death of our children in the United States continue, and cases of not-guilty verdicts; we decided to take this tough decision to deprive Americans of the right to adopt Russian children.’

Last week at a press conference, President Putin, called the bill an “emotional but adequate” reaction to the Magnitsky Act, but expressed his desire to see the exact language of the bill before reaching a final conclusion.  Putin further suggested that the majority of Russians “have a negative attitude toward adoption of our children by foreigners” and would support the ban.  Putin discussed his intent to sign the bill with his senior government officials last Friday.

However, there has also been opposition to the bill.  A petition, signed by 100,000 in opposition to the ban was filed with the Duma.  Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that banning Americans from adopting Russian children would be “wrong.”  Additionally, police have detained protestors both this week and last outside Parliament for protesting the ban.

Said one protestor: “These black mourning ribbons in our opinion symbolize today’s draft law which is useful neither for our children nor our national security and our priorities.”

Ilya Ponomaryov, a state Duma deputy, member of the opposition party A Just Russia, and one of the few legislators to vote against the ban stated directly: “As I’ve said many times: I think this law is absolutely outrageous, amoral, and despicable.”

Education Minister Dmitry Livanov, explained that an “eye-for-an-eye logic” would put at risk children who fail to find adoptive parents in Russia.

Last year, 3,400 Russian children were adopted by foreign families, and of those, 956 – nearly a third – were adopted by Americans, according to official figures.  Eighty-nine of those adopted were disabled children, who often have a lower chance of adoption within Russia.

Due to increased regulations U.S.-Russian adoptions have declined over the past years, however, Russia is still the third largest source of adoptions for the U.S.  Presently, there are about 740,000 children without parental custody in Russia, according to UNICEF.  In the past two decades, American families have adopted more than 60,000 Russian children.

Currently, the adoptions of 46 Russian children to American families would be voided of the bill becomes a law, despite court rulings in some of the cases authorizing the adoptions.

“The children who have been chosen by foreign American parents . . . who were seen, whose paperwork was processed, who came in the sights of American agencies,” said Pavel Astakhov, Russia’s child rights commissioner and a major proponent of the ban, “[t]hey will not be able to go to America, to those who wanted to see them as their adopted children. There is no need to go out and make a tragedy out of it.”

The bill further contains language to outlaw U.S.-funded “nonprofit organizations that engage in political activity” by suspending and freezing their assets if they receive funding from US citizens or organizations or if their leaders or members are Russian citizens who have US passports.  Under the bill, any nongovernmental organization (NGO) that engages in “political” work that “harms Russia’s interests” would be suspended and also have its assets frozen.

In Washington, D.C., State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell expressed the United States’ “concern[]” that “[t]he welfare of children is simply too important to be linked to political aspects of our relationship.”

“What’s particularly concerning here is in this present legislation, what this would do is prevent children from growing up in a family environment of happiness, love, and understanding. That’s the basic premise of our bilateral adoption agreement, it’s something we’ve worked for many months with the Russians on, and so really it’s Russian children who would be harmed by this measure.”

But Margelov, claims the bill is “a natural and a long overdue response [to the U.S. Magnitsky legislation].”  He further stated that “[c]hildren must be placed in Russian families, and this is a cornerstone issue for us.”

For further information, please see:

New York Times – Putin Says He Will Sign Law Barring U.S. Adoptions – 27 December 2012

Al Jazeera – Protesters Arrested Outside Russia Parliament – 26 December 2012

BBC News – Russia’s Upper House Approves Ban on US Adoptions – 26 December 2012

Independent – Anti-US Adoption Bill Unanimously Endorsed in Russia – 26 December 2012

HRW – Russia: Reject Adoption Ban Bill – 21 December 2012

RFE/RL – Russian Duma Approves U.S. Adoption Ban – 21 December 2012

RFE/RL – Russian President Backs U.S. Adoption Ban – 20 December 2012

Al Jazeera – Russian Parliament Supports US Adoption Ban – 19 December 2012