Kill or cure?
In Russia, homophobia is not just an attitude, but government policy, with new legislation reinforcing traditional hostility to sexual minorities and violence against gay people as common as ever. Svetlana Reiter discussed the situation with psychologist Vladimir Shakhidzhanian.
Going on empty: interviews with Astrakhan’s hunger protesters
A month ago today, more than twenty people joined ex-candidate Oleg Shein in a hunger strike against disputed mayoral elections in the regional capital city of Astrakhan, south Russia. As the health of those still protesting continues to decline, Svetlana Reiter spoke to two of the strikers to discover what propelled them to such a radical form of protest.
Behind the scenes at the death squads of Chechnya
Formal hostilities may have ceased in Chechnya, but civilians continue to be abducted, tortured and murdered by the authorities in the region. Igor Kalyapin, head of the Committee Against Torture, talks to Svetlana Reiter about the remarkable and dangerous work being done to seek justice for the victims.
Russia's dead end prison system
Russia imprisons a proportion of its citizens higher than any other major country except the US. And with its sky-high rates of re-offending, the penal system serves as a stark reminder of what happens when a society prioritises punishment to the exclusion of rehabilitation. Svetlana Reiter investigates and finds small oases of hope for the future.
Concealed lives: autism in Russia
A diagnosis of autism is difficult for any family; in Russia, it can be shattering. With little hope of integrating into society, and a medical establishment unfit for purpose, a majority of autistic Russians are being condemned to a life in isolation. Dmitry Golubovsky and Svetlana Reiter present a series of personal stories.
Decency, hope, friendship: the real story from Moscow's race riots
On December 11, a group of 15-year-old schoolboys found themselves in the middle of a several thousand strong race riot in central Moscow. The boys, already badly beaten, were rescued by four unarmed OMON [special police force] officers. In contrast to their assailants, the boys and police officers demonstrated heartwarming values of togetherness and camaraderie. Theirs is the real Russia, argue Andrei Loshak and Svetlana Reiter.