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About Elena Godlevskaya

Elena Godlevskaya is a journalist and human rights activist in Oryol and former editor of the independent newspaper Orlovskie Novosti

Articles by Elena Godlevskaya

This week’s front page editor

Clare Sambrook

Clare Sambrook, investigative journalist, co-edits Shine a Light.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Dark blue thread: resisting a sewn-up election

As Putin once more readies himself for the presidency, Elena Godlevskaya surveys the level of opposition in Oryol region. People are starting to wake up, she says, but they aren't entirely sure what to do yet.

Russian regional elections: Oryol's two-horse race

In Western Russia's Red Belt effectively only the Communist Party and 'United Russia' are fielding candidates, often carpetbaggers parachuted in from elsewhere. This enrages local voters who feel themselves disenfranchised, says Elena Godlevskaya

Oryol: when the ‘new nobility’ turned terrorist

The sleepy city of Oryol has erupted in terrorism. Investigations revealed how frustration at the state of Russia led security officers — the new nobility as their former boss calls them — to join the Oryol Partisans. Is this a one off or part of a wider movement?

Poppy seed and mushrooms: Oryol's drug problems

The Oryol Region in central Russia has been fairly successful in dealing with its drug problems, but the approaches need coordinating, says Elena Godlevskaya, and not everyone has an interest in improving the situation

Parroting history

History teaching has fallen victim to politics in Russia. Educational standards are falling and children are not being taught to think. They learn that Russia is great, but not the reasons why. Could this be because it is easier to run a nation of naïve, illiterate people who do not know their history?

Life and death of an independent newspaper in Oryol

In 2004, some local journalists in Oryol founded an independent newspaper ‘for those who want the truth’. Although it sold well, members of staff were subject to threats, bribes, attacks and arson. Still, it lasted four years.

Fleeced. A letter from the Russian provinces

Corruption has always been part of Russian life, and the Oryol region today just offers a rather extreme example, says Elena Godlevskaya. Some of the main perpetrators have been named, but the punishment being meted out to them is a joke.

Life with a Heart Complaint

Life in Oryol has changed little since Ivan Turgenev wrote about it 160 years ago, though the villages he described are disappearing. Earlier this year President Medvedev removed the governor who had been in place for 16 years and some of his officials are now on trial. The resulting snap elections may well benefit the communist party, says Elena Godlevskaya
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