Latest in "Letters from the Russian provinces"

  • North%20caucasus%20mapjpg.jpg
    Published in: oDR
    Real life: how the Caucasus is feeding itself
    Published on:
    Written by: Mikhail Loginov All articles by Mikhail Loginov

    The nationalist-populist leader of Russia's protest movement Aleksey Navalny has made much of a claim that the Kremlin has been 'feeding' unruly citizens in the North Caucasus at the expense of 'ordinary' Russians. Mikhail Loginov visited a small Karachay village to see whether such a view has any reflection in reality.

  • borshchevik.jpg
    Published in: oDR
    Flowers on a dung heap: markets, politicians and the demise of Russian rural life
    Published on:
    Written by: Roman Yushkov All articles by Roman Yushkov
    Written by: Vassily Moseyev All articles by Vassily Moseyev

    The economic and political transformations of the 1990s onwards have allowed much of the Russian countryside to die a slow death. Roman Yushkov and Vassily Moseyev ventured out of the city to examine the extent of the dilapidation and deterioration of rural life in their native Perm region.

  • 800px-Kuril_Island.jpg
    Published in: oDR
    Another postcard from the edge: life on the Kuril Islands
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    Written by: Ksenya Semenova All articles by Ksenya Semenova

    For many Western readers the Kuril Islands are famous chiefly for being the subject of an post-WWII territorial dispute between USSR/Russia and Japan. Amidst the political wrangling, the Kuril islanders continue to go about their daily lives, reports Ksenya Semyonova, a native of nearby Sakhalin.

  • Fishing_Vladivostok
    Published in: oDR
    Fishing: Russia’s other civil battlefront
    Published on:
    Written by: Oleg Pavlov All articles by Oleg Pavlov

    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.

  • Single_Wowoman_film
    Published in: oDR
    Russian provincial life: to be or not to be…single
    Published on:
    Written by: Elena Strelnikova All articles by Elena Strelnikova

    It’s an age-old adage that things always look greener on the other side of the fence and this is particularly true of married women looking at single women’s life and vice versa. Elena Strelnikova gives a wry account of the problems encountered by single women in the Orenburg Region, where she lives

  • Kazan_Meeting
    Published in: oDR
    Kazan’s white revolution
    Published on:
    Written by: Oleg Pavlov All articles by Oleg Pavlov

    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

  • certificate
    Published in: oDR
    A lesson for Tatarstan's businessmen: go elsewhere
    Published on:
    Written by: Oleg Pavlov All articles by Oleg Pavlov

    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

  • map_3.png
    Published in: oDR
    Postcard from the edge: an election view from Sakhalin
    Published on:
    Written by: Ksenya Semenova All articles by Ksenya Semenova

    The island of Sakhalin, once described by Chekhov as ‘hell’, lies six time-zones removed from Moscow in the Russian Far East. But when it comes to the upcoming elections, the apparent inevitability of victory for the status quo provokes very similar reactions, no matter where you live. Ksenya Semyonova finds her sense of humour becoming ever more desperate.

  • poslednyaya-osen.jpg
    Published in: oDR
    Dark blue thread: resisting a sewn-up election
    Published on:
    Written by: Elena Godlevskaya All articles by Elena Godlevskaya

    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.

  • Perm_map.png
    Published in: oDR
    In the backyard of Russia’s oil paradise
    Published on:
    Written by: Roman Yushkov All articles by Roman Yushkov

    Pavlovo village was once a quiet backwater in the forest-steppe of Perm Region. In 1997, however, ecological disaster struck, with oil and chemicals entering the local river and food chain. The culprits of the catastrophe were both rich and obvious, but justice was a long while in coming, writes Roman Yushkov

  • Police_jail_Orenburg
    Published in: oDR
    Russian regions: doing porridge
    Published on:
    Written by: Elena Strelnikova All articles by Elena Strelnikova

    Life for ex-prisoners is not easy in any country in the world, but there are so few opportunities in provincial Russia that it is hardly surprising a high percentage of the prison population in the Orenburg region are habitual re-offenders, says Elena Strelnikova

  • Grey_House_Tula
    Published in: oDR
    Guns, gingerbread, vodka and sobriety
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    Written by: Mikhail Loginov All articles by Mikhail Loginov

    The city of Tula lies 193 kms south of Moscow. The city is proud of its past, celebrating its links with Lev Tolstoy. The main industry is small arms manufacture, but many people commute weekly to Moscow, where the salaries are considerably higher.

  • Oryo_communist_demo
    Published in: oDR
    Russian regional elections: Oryol's two-horse race
    Published on:
    Written by: Elena Godlevskaya All articles by Elena Godlevskaya

    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

  • Dacha.jpg
    Published in: oDR
    Letter from Samara: demolishing history
    Published on:
    Written by: Anna Krasnova All articles by Anna Krasnova

    Land in the centre of Russian cities is expensive and very sought after. No matter if there’s a listed building or a school on it: something can always be arranged to suit the interests of speculative developers, often a fire. Most Russians have experienced the arbitrary decisions of the authorities and Anna Krasnova is no exception.

  • holidaying-composite-2.jpg
    Published in: oDR
    Russian provincial life: down on the farm
    Published on:
    Written by: Elena Strelnikova All articles by Elena Strelnikova

    In any country farming is a hard life, but in Russia the mass exodus to the cities of people of working age has had catastrophic results. Local authority programmes go someway to reversing the flow, but not enough. For many town dwellers the country is only for holidays, says Elena Strelnikova

  • Sevastopol_panorama_vikimedia.jpg
    Published in: oDR
    Sevastopol: past memories, future hopes
    Published on:
    Written by: Mikhail Loginov All articles by Mikhail Loginov

    In the past Soviet citizens would flock to Crimea for their summer holidays. In 1954 Khrushchev handed it over to Ukraine; in 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed and Crimea suddenly became ‘abroad,’ a tricky situation for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Feelings ran high, but have calmed down recently, though memories of the past continue to be hugely important, says Mikhail Loginov

  • Ukrainian football team
    Published in: oDR
    Ukraine's Euro-2012: life as an economic miracle
    Published on:
    Written by: Sergei Zhadan All articles by Sergei Zhadan

    Feted by everyone from politicians to prostitutes, the prospect of co-hosting the Euro 2012 football championships has become something of a substitute national idea for Ukraine. Such a pity, therefore, that it has done nothing to heal the population's deep divisions, or rein in an increasingly corrupt, authoritarian regime.

  • Perm Logo
    Published in: oDR
    In praise of the Little Red Men: cultural revolution in Perm
    Published on:
    Written by: Yelena Fedotova All articles by Yelena Fedotova

    Marat Gelman is a well-known Moscow cultural figure. In 2008 he went to curate the Museum of Contemporary Art in provincial Perm, where his ideas for a cultural revolution have encountered considerable local opposition. Arguments about art soon developed into a fully-fledged political battle, recounts Elena Fedotova

  • Pisforperm.jpeg
    Published in: oDR
    At war with the Little Red Men: a contrarian view
    Published on:
    Written by: Roman Yushkov All articles by Roman Yushkov

    Former spin-doctor and gallery owner Marat Gelman has arrived in Perm with a plan to bring "cultural revolution" to the city. Not all locals are happy with the results of his endeavours, reports Roman Yushkov.

  • Volga_Bridge_Zelenodolsk
    Published in: oDR
    Making waves: the only way to improve Russia’s river fleet
    Published on:
    Written by: Oleg Pavlov All articles by Oleg Pavlov

    The shock of the recent steamer tragedy on the Volga and the huge loss of life all too quickly moved off the front pages, but the condition of the Russian river fleets needs to be kept in the public eye so as to avoid another such disaster, explains Oleg Pavlov

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