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NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Debates and articles from across the openDemocracy website that discuss or are relevant to Russia & Eurasia

Troca de favores nas Nações Unidas

O candidato favorito para suceder a Ban Ki-Moon como Secretário Geral da ONU é o Ex primeiro-ministro português António Guterres. Mas o procedimento de eleição continua a ser pouco democrático. English Español 

Horse trading in the UN

The leading candidate to succeed Mr. Ban Ki-Moon as new Secretary General of the UN is former Portuguese PM Antonio Guterres. The election procedure, however, is as undemocratic as ever. Português Español  

Intercambiando favores en las Naciones Unidas

El favorito para suceder a Ban Ki-Moon como Secretario General de la ONU es el ex primer ministro portugués, Antonio Guterres. Pero el proceso de elección sigue siendo poco democrático. Português English 

Papeles de Panamá: "una vieja tradición de la piratería inglesa"

Editores de openDemocracyUK, openDemocracyRussia y DemocraciaAbierta comentan las implicaciones de los "Papeles de Panamá". English

La pobreza mundial: los errores del Nobel de Economía

La pobreza no es un problema individual de falta de recursos que puede resolverse a través de la educación, como defienden Angus Deaton y el Banco Mundial. El problema es la forma en que se distribuyen los recursos. English.

World poverty: the misconceptions of the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics

Poverty is not an individual problem of lack of resources that can be solved through education. The problem is the way in which resources are distributed. Español.

Erdoğan and Putin: unalike likeness

The leaders of Turkey and Russia are often compared. But their differences are more instructive than their similarities.

(This article was first published on 22 November 2014)

Mientras el mundo anda mirando, hay 59,5 millones de desplazados internos en la tierra

Unos 6 millones de colombianos hacen que el segundo país del mundo con más desplazados internos (DIs) por motivos de violencia no esté en Oriente Medio, sino en América Latina. Português. English.

Eastern Ukraine: the humanity behind the headlines

The government in Kyiv, aid organisations and the international community must work together to address the humanitarian crisis created by the fighting in the east.

New security laws could make Turkey into a police state

The latest crackdown on journalists in Turkey is another twist in the spiral into authoritarianism of a state bereft of an effective political oppositionwith 'Putinisation' an increasingly realistic description.

The new cold war Russia (again) won't win

The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, burst the 25th-anniversary balloon of the symbolic end of the cold war by warning of a new one, fed by NATO's eastward expansion. An economically weak USSR lost the last one; a still weaker Russia will lose this one too. 

A new, Eurasian, world order

China and Russia are at the heart of the world's shifting power-balance. But current cooperation between them is likely to give way to tension.

The ultimate conspiracy theory

The National Liberation Movement, led by Yevgeny Fyorodov, a Duma Deputy, believes that Russia has been occupied by the Americans, that the US has been drafting Russia's laws... But the NLM has a plan to save Russia. на русском языке

Azerbaijan challenges Europe's human-rights mettle

As Azerbaijan takes up the six-month chair of the Council of Europe, the deteriorating human-rights situation in the Caucasus state exposes its disregard for its rights obligations and risks further complication by the crisis in Ukraine

Europe freezes, Eurasia pivots

Behind the crisis in Ukraine lie deeper changes that are transforming the global economic and and political order, say Giovanni Bavia & Ernesto Gallo.

The new Russian power bloc

A quarter century after Mikhail Gorbachev supervised the collapse of Europe’s cold-war division, a world of new dividing lines is emerging—with Vladimir Putin playing an active part in inscribing them.

Crimea's referendum: four dangers

The planned vote to transfer Crimea from Ukraine to Russia will plant the seeds of greater conflict in the peninsula.

Ukraine's crisis, the west's trap

The dangerous stand-off with Russia over Ukraine is also a display of the west's skewed perceptions and moral vanities.   

Kleptocracy: final stage of Soviet-style socialism

The tumult in Ukraine marks a wider crisis of the corrupt post-Soviet model. The impact will be felt most acutely in Russia itself, says Krzysztof Bobinski.

An Armenian perspective on Khojali

Many civilians were killed in the war between the newly independent states of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. But the disputed period raises larger questions of common suffering, says Gerard Libaridian, adviser to Armenia's president at the time, who reflects on one incident that casts a long shadow.

Why does Putin fear Maidan?

The popular upheaval in Ukraine reveals how the Kremlin thinks, says Carmen Claudín.

Sochi = Syria: boycott the Olympics

The crimes of Bashar al-Assad's regime and its support by Vladimir Putin demand an answer, says Martin Shaw.

A tipping point for Mongolia's democracy?

Sandwiched between the giants of Russia and China, Mongolia is looking to develop its vast mineral wealth. How will this affect one of the most stable democracies in the region, and what will happen to the benefits of development?

Sergey Dvortsevoy, Talented Ripple Master

Sergei Dvortsevoy’s films may have won plaudits internationally, but his uncompromising observational style and ethical stance keep them out of the multiplexes in Russia. Zygmunt Dzieciolowski interviewed this extraordinary director. 

Goodbye Lenin: Tajikistan's new historical narrative

THE CEELBAS DEBATE // Since the collapse of the USSR the Tajik government has striven to establish a new historical narrative. Statues of Lenin may have disappeared, but for many the difficulties of post-Soviet life are a poor substitute for their previous life, says Eleanor Dalgleish

The tale of Boris and Vlad

The death of Boris Berezovsky created a storm of speculation and reminiscences in the world press.  But for most Russians Berezovsky was a forgotten figure, so why the explosion of interest there too? Because it’s a classic Russian fable, thinks Zygmunt Dzieciolowski 

 

Civil society in post-Soviet Europe: seven rules for donors

The west's contribution to building more democratic and open societies in the post-Soviet region leaves much scope for improvement. Orysia Lutsevych draws lessons and offers recommendations to both public and private donors.

Decision time for Central Asia: Russia or China?

Vladimir Putin’s attempts to draw the countries of central Asia into his fledgling Eurasian Union creates a dilemma for some of them: if they take up his offer, they might lose their valuable trading links with China. Li Lifan and Raffaello Pantucci discuss their options.

The fable of the eagle, the dragon and the bear

How will Russia react to China’s rapid ascent as a global power? Will it develop its eastern links to spite the West, or join a USA led attempt to freeze Beijing out? Pavel Salin argues that this is a simplistic view of things and that Moscow may choose a third way.   

An investment wonderland? Reality checks

Since the collapse of the USSR investors have flocked to Russia, tempted by the high rates of return and the Alice in Wonderland atmosphere in Moscow, where everything seems possible. But the Russian business community has rather less faith in the future promised them by their government, says Pavel Usanov

Russian consumerism: market boom chaos

The collapse of the USSR replaced the perennial shortages of goods and services with the problem of low incomes and rising prices. Today management is grossly inefficient, but rampant corruption blocks any moves to improve the situation. People complain, but they still vote as they’re told at elections, says Vladimir Gryaznyevich

Russia: an Oprichnik economy

Owning a business in Russia today is a hazardous affair: each year thousands of companies close after their owners are accused of ‘economic crimes’ and face either prison or protection payments to government officials. Andrey Zaostrovtsev describes a system reminiscent of an equally lawless period in Russia’s past (photo: RIA Novosti Agency).

Whatever happened to Russia’s economic miracle?

The first eight years of the last decade were incredibly successful for Russia’s economy, but the crisis of 2008 hit hard and growth remains decidedly sluggish. Dmitry Travin wonders whether the country’s economy will ever be able to regain the Midas touch.

Scenes from an uprising: the Kopeysk revolt

A mutiny at a prison camp in the Chelyabinsk region of central Russia has just shaken the country. Olesya Gerasimenko is one of the few journalists whom its director allowed into the penal zone, and to date the only one to interview him.

Believing in tears: a snapshot of new Russian documentary cinema

The Sixth London Russian Film Festival, which took place in London earlier this month, introduced 11 new feature films and 7 documentaries to the British public. Masha Karp went to watch the documentaries, hoping to see a true picture of Russia today.

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