Russia: when does free education have to be paid for?
Primary and secondary education In Russia is supposed to be free, but parents are being forced to pay for all kinds of necessities — from building repairs to expensive textbooks. However, as Oleg Pavlov reports from Tatarstan, some parents have had enough, and they are finding allies in the legal system.
Tatarstan’s new activists
Like many other Russian cities, Kazan, capital of Tatarstan, has seen public protests since December’s rigged parliamentary elections. A particularly striking feature is the youth of many of the protesters and their range of concerns. What they most seem to fear, however, is a government clampdown on the internet, says Oleg Pavlov.
Fishing: Russia’s other civil battlefront
The recent wave of demonstrations against election fraud across Russia were preceded in the spring and autumn by protests from grassroots fishermen’s organisations, who marched to defend their right to fish for free. Authorities soon climbed down from their controversial plans to privatise rivers and lakes, but not before radicalising an estimated 15-20 million amateur fishermen, writes Oleg Pavlov.
Kazan’s white revolution
One of least believable returns in Russia’s disputed elections was a figure that put United Russia’s vote in Tatarstan at nearly 80%. Last Saturday, some 2,000 Tatars braved the cold to demonstrate against the obvious fraud. Authorities were infuriated by their inability to find the "organisers" of this social network-engineered protest, writes Oleg Pavlov
A lesson for Tatarstan's businessmen: go elsewhere
Private business in Tatarstan has been operating for more than 20 years. It has gone through various stages of development, but the government of the republic has become so greedy that for many companies the only solution is to leave, says Oleg Pavlov
The voice of experience: Mintimer Shaimiyev in conversation
Mintimer Shaimiyev served in the government of Tatarstan during Soviet times (1969-91) and was subsequently President of the republic for nearly 20 years. Oleg Pavlov talked to him about the past, the present and the future of his republic, and of Russia.