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Three stories

Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov is on permanent hunger strike in Russia’s Far North. Here we republish three short stories by him.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Three stories

Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov is on permanent hunger strike in Russia’s Far North. Here we republish three short stories by him.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

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A weekly roundup of political and social developments in the post-Soviet space.

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Injustice for all: how Azerbaijan’s bar association was reduced to tatters

A strong and independent legal community is the most significant obstacle to the arbitrariness of authoritarian rule.

Georgia’s growing cultural divide: a sign of far-right populism?

One year on since Georgia’s far right publicly announced themselves, how has their agenda developed?

The struggle for freedom of speech in Tajikistan: Khayrullo Mirsaidov and the question of international responsibility

The conviction of a well-known journalist once again raises the question of the international community’s attitude to repressive regimes – and how foreign aid and human rights have been decoupled.

Khayrullo Mirsaidov: the journalist from Tajikistan who received 12 years in prison for his honesty and courage

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 22.38.10.pngThe west cannot preach democracy and free media in Tajikistan while leaving the locals who implement these principles to fend for themselves.



How social media users in Kyrgyzstan are turned into “extremists”

In Kyrgyzstan, social media users are persecuted for sharing their opinions online. It’s easy to find “incitement to hatred” where there is none. RU

In Russia, a spoonful of propaganda helps the pension reform go down

This is how the Kremlin enacts an unpopular economic reform: deny responsibility, declare its inevitability and, yes, distract the public with a popular sporting event.


How the Russian authorities fabricated criminal charges against Crimean farmer Volodymyr Balukh

The prosecution of Volodymyr Balukh, who has been on hunger strike since 19 March, has been a show trial for those who are not prepared to accept the new reality of Russian-occupied Crimea. RU

Soft power under Mirziyoyev: Change and continuity in Uzbekistan’s foreign policy

Much has been made of the new Uzbek leader's openness, but Shavkat Mirziyoyev's rule is rooted in the path set by his predecessor. 

Modernising authoritarianism in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s so-called “spring” is more about upgrading this Central Asian state than providing political freedoms.

This week, the EU should press Ukraine on fundamental rights

As European and Ukrainian leaders gather in Brussels, it's time to highlight the need for further protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Ukraine. 

OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 62: Drugs, hunger strikes, and psychiatry

This week in Russia: there's some good news, and there's some bad news. 

What are Ukraine’s train drivers fighting for?

Ukraine’s rail workers are now entering the second month of their work-to-rule action. I went to a train depot in Kyiv to find out why they're protesting. 

A war for hearts and minds: how Georgian civil society is putting Abkhazia and South Ossetia back on the agenda

Almost 10 years on from the 2008 war, Georgian civil society – both informal and formal – is increasingly engaging in the country’s breakaway territories. RU

Three stories

Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov is on permanent hunger strike in Russia’s Far North. Here we republish three short stories by him. 

No “Velvet Revolution” for Lebanese Armenians

Revolution in Yerevan has stirred the global Armenian diaspora. But how real are the links between political change in the homeland and Armenian communities abroad?

Could new business models make NGOs in the post-Soviet space more representative?

New business models are reshaping relations between the non-profit sector and wider society in post-Soviet countries.

Meet Atsamaz Khadikov, the man leading North Ossetia's quiet struggle for a non-toxic environment

Russia's North Caucasus region is famed for its landscapes and nature. But as this local doctor and activist tells me, there's a lot more going on behind the scenes.

Anti-fascist teenager reveals how Russian security services brutally beat and tortured him

Since October 2017, the FSB have been running a terrorism investigation into Russian anarchists and anti-fascists. But as Alexey Poltavets' experience shows, this case has a violent backstory. 

How real urban planning could address the demographic challenge in Russia’s North Caucasus

As new data shows, birth rates, migration and urban planning in Russia’s North Caucasus affect the region’s politics. RU

How Russia’s security services target Crimean Tatars as “Islamic terrorists”

In the four years since the peninsula’s annexation, Russian security services have become well practiced at prosecuting Crimean Tatars on terrorism charges. RU

Desperately seeking socialism: why the Soviet Union's left-wing dissidents matter today

This new collection of essays seeks to rebalance our understanding of dissent in the late Soviet Union, drawing attention to democratic socialists from the 1950s into the 1980s. 

Fighting patriarchy in Kazakhstan: problems and perspectives

Kazakhstan’s feminist activists thought it would take 10-15 years for gender inequality issues to be resolved. That was 25 years ago. RU

Global capitalism in Central Asia and competing economic imaginaries

For the US, Russia and China, Central Asia is a space of competing economic influences.

Better from a friend or from a bank? Kyrgyzstan between informal and formal financial services

A third of Kyrgyzstan’s GDP sits in informal institutions. I spoke to people who use these systems to find out how it works — and why it’s important.

While everyone’s watching the football, the Russian government is raising the retirement age

Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 15.13.27.pngThis move signals the end of the Russian federal state’s social commitments. RU

 


How this grassroots initiative in St Petersburg is making a World Cup for everyone

Major sporting events speak to people in the language of money, prestige and officialdom. But they can – and must – speak the language of culture, equality and solidarity. RU

What can western states learn from civil society engagement in eastern Europe?

There’s lessons to be learned on populism from new initiatives in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

“Contemporary Ukrainian culture is far less contemporary than one hundred years ago”

As a recent cultural festival in Kyiv shows, generating new languages of internationalism is more important than ever before. RU

The trial continues: Askold Kurov on his visit to Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov

Russian documentarian Askold Kurov recently visited filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who is on hunger strike in Russia. I spoke to him about the role of documentary today, activism and conditions in Russia's Far North. RU

The media who cried wolf: how Eurasia’s autocracies use media for crisis management

Eurasian governments’ use of journalism for crisis agenda management erodes trust in media.

The “safeguarding of morality” in Nizhny Novgorod is turning into an attack on the city’s Protestant community

In this World Cup host city, two students involved in local Protestant life are facing deportation after interference from the security services. RU

A victory for real politics? Chișinău’s mayoral elections in perspective

32714373_1839874162718477_6334540156975972352_n.jpgBy electing a mayor who has consistently promised to fight oligarchic control and corruption, residents of Moldova's capital have voted for the return of politics. 

 

Trading sovereignty: how Ukraine's Pension Fund co-operates with the Russian authorities

By sending official information requests to the Russian authorities, Ukraine's Pension Fund de-facto recognises Russian jurisdiction in occupied Crimea. RU

An appeal to the representatives of countries who are expected to travel to the World Cup football games in Russia

The Russian Federation is holding 70 Ukrainian political prisoners in custody. Many of them have been convicted under torture and using false evidence. 

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