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Controversial Charity Wins $200 in Kommersant Suit

Federation, a controversial charity headed by a longtime Kremlin insider, won two defamation lawsuits against the Kommersant newspaper on Tuesday, but the court slashed damages from 2 million rubles to a paltry 6,000.

Federation and its director, Vladislav Kiselyov, had filed three lawsuits, bringing charges against Kommersant, reporter Oleg Kashin and the daily's charity projects manager, Lev Ambinder.

The charity sought 2 million rubles ($69,000) in damages but only won a combined 6,000 rubles ($200) from two suits; the third, against Kashin, was rejected, the Rapsi news service reported. The newspaper will also have to retract the sentence "all foundations are a desecration like Federation," which it published in March.

The newspaper will appeal, a Kommersant lawyer told Interfax.

Kiselyov, who worked at the office for presidential affairs during Vladimir Putin's presidency, has also successfully sued the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper. In addition, he has lawsuits pending against movie star and philanthropist Chulpan Khamatova and rock critic Artemy Troitsky.

In December, Federation staged a star-studded charity event attended by Monica Bellucci, Alain Delon, Mickey Rourke and many others. Prime Minister Putin even sang "Blueberry Hill" on stage.

But in March, the mother of a girl with cancer claimed that Federation never contributed any of the money it raised during the December event to hospitals. The accusation incited a media frenzy.

Federation later said the event was meant to raise awareness about ill Russian children, not raise funds for them. It then went on a donation drive, providing a number of hospitals with medical equipment.

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