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Phantom foreign investors for an open new Uzbekistan

A high-profile urban development project in Tashkent is designed to showcase the country for western capital. Our investigation suggests principal investors are from much closer to home.  

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Phantom foreign investors for an open new Uzbekistan

A high-profile urban development project in Tashkent is designed to showcase the country for western capital. Our investigation suggests principal investors are from much closer to home.  

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

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How Russia’s security services try to recruit opposition activists

For Russian law enforcement, informal connections with the opposition can be anything from genuine information-gathering to ticking boxes in their monthly reports.

“They are collecting information on people involved in social activism”: Ukrainian anarchists targeted in series of searches

In December, Ukrainian law enforcement searched a series of activists' homes in connection with a violent assault on a Ukrainian war veteran. Activists believe this is part of a wider campaign against anarchists in Ukraine.

Abnormal normality: Alexander Hug about the present and future of Donbas

What role can civil society play in creating the dialogue necessary to end the war in Donbas? RU

“Electric shock is our way of doing things”

A number of Russian anti-fascists and anarchists have been tortured by the country's security services. The official investigation into this torture is yet to turn up results. Warning: graphic.

After Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov receives an EU prize, what prospects for solidarity?

Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov was recently awarded the annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. This should put more pressure on the EU to rethink their relations to Russia, says Green MEP Rebecca Harms.

Phantom foreign investors for an open new Uzbekistan

A high-profile urban development project in Tashkent is designed to showcase the country for western capital. Our investigation suggests principal investors are from much closer to home. 

Dispossession and urban development in the new Tashkent

A new $1.3 billion development in Uzbekistan’s capital is meant to rebrand this Central Asian state as open for business. But the costs of this project are turning out to be all too human. RU

“Propaganda disintegrates on contact with these things”: Kyiv and Moscow directors on the power of documentary theatre to create dialogue

Documentary theatre makers from Russia and Ukraine recently held a theatre festival in Kyiv. Here, two directors speak on documentary theatre, war and co-participation. RU

“We don’t need the State Department to hold a revolution”

Russian rights defender Svetlana Gannushkina has been defending the rights of refugees and displaced persons for years. Here she talks about the decay of the judicial system in Russia, Chechnya and pessimism. RU

Rough justice in Kyrgyzstan

New data shows that 96% of people who find themselves before a Kyrgyz court receive a guilty verdict (unless they are state officials, that is).

Don’t let Russia leave the Council of Europe

Those who wish to punish the Kremlin for its aggressive actions in Ukraine and elsewhere are missing the target: it is not the Russian government, but the Russian public who will suffer if the country leaves the Council of Europe. 

Crisis in the Azov sea: the fate of Ukraine’s naval personnel in Russia

What happened in the Black Sea on 25 November, and what awaits the Ukrainian personnel held in Russia? RU

“It’s very difficult to investigate anything while the war continues”: Ukrainian human rights activist Yevgen Zakharov on investigating war crimes

Four years since the war in eastern Ukraine started, issues over qualification and investigation of war crimes are coming to the fore. RU

Gay life in Stalin’s Gulag

The sprawling system of Soviet camps contained many untold stories. I spoke to one of the few historians researching the experiences of gay men and lesbians in the Gulag to find out more. RU

Fighting for clean air in Kamianske, Ukraine

This town in eastern Ukraine suffers from serious emissions thanks to its metallurgical plant. But rounds of public negotiations over pollution have revealed what it’s lacking most: accountability. RU

“Renegade research”: hierarchies of knowledge production in Central Asia

For those researching the global south, fieldwork needs to be reimagined as a collaborative process which can help overturn structures of oppression.

What we talk about when we talk about gender in Armenia

As Armenia votes in a new parliament after the revolution earlier this year, it seems the new authorities’ political opponents are uniting in an anti-LGBT campaign.

The Central Asian valley where borders dissolve in grassroots cooperation

Sandwiched between three Central Asian states, people living on all sides of the Ferghana Valley are overcoming securitisation – through everyday cooperation.

The womanly face of war: the agency and visibility of Ukraine’s female soldiers

Women have played an active part in the war in Ukraine’s Donbas. But their role is yet to be recognised on its own terms.

No good choices in Georgia

Georgia’s presidential election has demonstrated, once again, that the country’s two dominant political platforms have little to offer regular citizens. 

How Christian conservatives are trying to influence the media in Ukraine

The Novomedia forum in Kyiv offered an up-close look at the communications strategies of internationally-connected ultra-conservatives.

Hopeless but happy: Azimjon Askarov and the discontents of Kyrgyzstan’s post-2010 order

A new memoir by Kyrgyzstan’s most prominent political prisoner takes readers back to the violence and impunity that followed the country’s 2010 revolution.

In pre-election move, Moldova takes aim at civil society-opposition nexus

As the European Union calls out state capture in Moldova, the authorities in Chișinău are rewriting the rules of the game for civil society and opposition politics. RU

In Chechnya, a partial triumph for international justice

By taking their cases to the European Court of Human Rights, hundreds of Chechen men and women have thwarted the powerful Russian state’s efforts to sweep its abuses in Chechnya under the rug.

The crisis in the Azov Sea

How did this happen and what can we expect further?

Ahead of next year’s presidential elections, Ukraine is being handed a false choice

Working in tandem, Ukraine’s ruling groups are creating an election cycle that will only benefit themselves. RU



How to think about Russia without Putin

“Russia without Putin” is more than a slogan. It’s an analytical claim.

Director Sergei Loznitsa on the conflict in eastern Ukraine: “This is disintegration”

Sergei Loznitsa talks about his new film on the Donbas conflict, societal collapse and the post-Soviet individual. RU

Why Ukraine needs an investigation into the murder of activist Kateryna Handzyuk

Handzyuk's death has led Ukraine’s parliament to create a temporary commission to investigate violent attacks on civic activists. RU

Russian anti-fascist reveals violence, humiliation and threats in pre-trial detention

In Russia, the security services have arrested 11 anarchists and anti-fascists on terrorism charges. Yuly Boyarshinov, a defendant, describes the conditions in pre-trial detention – where prisoners beat, bully and humiliate others in league with investigators.

Could integration help Ukraine’s Roma?

In Ukraine, civil society campaigners are trying to stop discrimination against Roma communities by helping them organise and integrate. RU

Kyrgyzstan survives on money made by migrant workers, but it doesn’t know how to spend it

No country in the world is as dependent on remittances as Kyrgyzstan. But this money is often used by families to survive, and allows the state to avoid its obligations to its citizens. 

One year on from a planned “revolution” in Russia, dozens of people are facing jail time

In November 2017, hundreds of Russian citizens were involved in an apparent attempt to organise a new “revolution” in Russia. Thirty of them are now facing serious charges. 

Russia’s Mediterranean call: from Kerch to Palmyra, but without Constantinople?

How the Russian authorities are justifying the military’s pivot to the south east.

A new tale of migrant struggles in Moscow puts poverty, motherhood and hope on screen

This Russian-Kazakh film explores how people who migrate to Russia are often subject to forces far greater than themselves.

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