About Ekaterina Loushnikova

Ekaterina Loushnikova is a radio and print journalist based in the city of Kirov.

Articles by Ekaterina Loushnikova

This week's editor

Mariam Ali

Mariam Ali is Associate Editor for openDemocracy's Arab Awakening page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Interview with a murderer

There are currently 59,000 women in Russian penal establishments. For many of them prison is not so much a punishment, more a way of life.

Comrade Stalin’s secret prison

 ЦентрАрхив ФСБ crop.jpg

Special Facility No.110 – Stalin’s secret prison – wasn’t in remote Siberia, it was just outside Moscow. на русском языке


Russians do not want to adopt Russian children

Orphans photo wikipedia.jpgAmericans can no longer adopt Russian children, so now the government is encouraging more Russians to adopt. But without much success.


The Spice of life – and death

The drug of choice for young people in Russia has the innocent name ‘Spice,’ but its effects can be fatal.


The metamorphoses of Nikita Belykh


In the recent regional elections, Governor Nikita Belykh of Kirov Region – the man who used to call Aleksei Navalny his friend – was again running for office.

The lower depths in Russia today

Over a century after Maksim Gorky’s famous play about homeless people – ‘The Lower Depths' – Ekaterina Loushnikova has been looking around her home city of Kirov to see if anything has changed.

Prison or presidency for 'Russia’s Kennedy'?

Charismatic opposition leader Aleksey Navalny is on trial in the provincial capital of Kirov, 900km from Moscow. He is controversially accused of stealing timber worth 16 million roubles in 2009; if found guilty, he will spend his next few years behind bars. Local journalist Ekaterina Loushnikova met some of his supporters and opponents.

Among the convicts: Russian nurses on life in the gulag

In another report from her recent visit to the Vyatlag prison complex in central Russia, Ekaterina Loushnilova is entertained by some of the camp's nurses. They share with her not only cranberry liqueur and pickled mushrooms, but also their vivid experiences of camp life.

Vyatlag: the Gulag then and now

Many of the Soviet Gulag camps are now deserted, but Vyatlag is still in operation, though now most of the prisoners are there for criminal rather than political offences. But as Ekaterina Loushnikova has found, memories of the cruelty and hardship of those terrible years remain.

Prisoner of Bolotnaya square

The ‘March of Millions’ opposition protests in Moscow on May 6 turned into a bloody standoff between demonstrators and riot police. Regional journalist Leonid Kovyazin was one of many arrested still to be released. Ekaterina Loushnikova travelled to a village in Kirov to speak to Leonid’s family, friends and colleagues.


The Gulag doctor

Doctor Leonid Atlashkin spent almost 20 years in the Soviet prison camps. Unlike many, he went there of his own accord as a young doctor in 1953, and just stayed on. He retired a long time ago, but he has his memories, as Ekaterina Loushnikova discovered when she went to see him.

'We’ve a war on here!'

Last month a small village in Kirov region became the unlikely location of serious interethnic violence. More than 100 people took part in a mass brawl, shots were fired and the governor of Kirov region, Nikita Belykh, was compelled to fly in by helicopter. Local correspondent Ekaterina Loushnikova, who made the 350 mile trip by more modest means, uncovers the roots of the conflict.

The last prisoner

Pavel Galitsky spent fifteen years in the brutal labour camps of Kolyma, Siberia. Against the odds, the 100-year old dissident is still alive and Skype'ing, having outlived both his contemporaries and tormentors. He recounts the full horror of his experience to oDR writer Ekaterina Loushnikova.

Outcasts — inmates of the Black Eagle

In Stalin’s time there were nearly a hundred GULag camps in Ivdel. Today, the maximum security penal colony FBU-IK 56 survives in their place. Ekaterina Lushnikova travelled there to speak to the inmates — some of Russia’s most hardened criminals.

The Vyatlag Archipelago

The Kirov Oblast is located about 1,000 km to the northeast of Moscow. It is the largest province in the Volga Federal District - 120,000 sq.km.   Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and a few Monaco principalities would easily fit in this area, but instead of principalities the entire north of the Oblast is occupied by camps. These camps were built under Stalin. However, they started sending people here much earlier - under the Tsar.

This is a poor country...

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