only search openDemocracy.net

One Chechen man’s quest for a real education

On this day in 1944, thousands of people in Russia’s North Caucasus were deported to Central Asia. They had few rights in exile — and had to fight every step of the way. RU

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

One Chechen man’s quest for a real education

On this day in 1944, thousands of people in Russia’s North Caucasus were deported to Central Asia. They had few rights in exile — and had to fight every step of the way. RU

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Get oDR emails

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

More from oDR:


Russian protester gets one-year prison sentence for waving his leg in the air (while he was carried off by police)

This week, a Russian activist was prosecuted in a landmark trial that is being used to restrict freedom of assembly — and punish citizens who try to assert it. 

One Chechen man’s quest for a real education

On this day in 1944, thousands of people in Russia’s North Caucasus were deported to Central Asia. They had few rights in exile — and had to fight every step of the way. RU

The prisoner of Yerevan: an American's unfortunate journey back to Armenia

In Armenia, repatriates from the US enjoy comfortable middle-class lives — unless they engage in political activism.

Russian interference in the virtual world is not the problem

If there were no Russian "influence operations" in the virtual world, no disinformation campaign spearheaded by Russian bots and trolls, would the western world look much different today?

Academic freedom in Tajikistan: western researchers need to look at themselves, too

The way people in the west research Central Asia isn’t always the most honest – and this shapes our understanding of academic autonomy.

Academic freedom in Tajikistan: why boycotts and blacklists are the wrong response

A recent call to disengage with educational institutions in this Central Asian state misses crucial points about academia under authoritarian rule.

The growing gap between Ukraine and Russia – and the people trying to bridge it

Ukraine and Russia are mired in a self-perpetuating conflict. Ukrainian and Russian activists recognise the problem, but will they be able to overcome it? RU

The struggle for new blood and the future of Russia’s Left

A new candidate is helping to reinvigorate Russia's left-wing politics ahead of the presidential election, but what space will there be for voices and movements from below?

“Invisible battalion”: how Ukrainian women secured the right to fight on a par with men

For four years, Ukrainian civil society has been fighting in the war against Russia. The war effort came from below – and women are playing an active role. RU

"At the first shock I couldn’t help but groan and shake"

More details emerge around the Russian anarchist case, in which several people were tortured by the security services.

By defending Russian journalist Ali Feruz, we defend ourselves. Now we need to repeat it

The solidarity campaign for Ali Feruz, who faced deportation to Uzbekistan, has been successful. What can we learn from it?

Speaking truth to power is dangerous: the violence perpetrated against Armenian political activists

The women’s protest became dangerous and a threat to the status quo when they questioned and criticized these men’s ability to fulfil their "proper" role. հայերեն 

If Russians are ignoring their upcoming presidential election, what are they talking about?

This year, local issues are the hidden focus of Russia's presidential election. 

This week in Russia: violence and impunity

The echoes of a planned national revolution continue to resound in Russia, as more people are swept up by the security services. 

Ukraine’s blacklists in defence of democracy and national security are doing it no favours

Fresh bans on Russian and Ukrainian cultural production are signs that Ukraine could be losing its hard-won freedom. RU

Let them pray for death: Belarus’ war on drugs

Belarus’ anti-drug campaign is imprisoning thousands of young people on possession charges. But the evidence often doesn’t add up – or warrant such strict sentences.

Svetlana Sidorkina: “Defending the innocent is the most difficult thing of all”

Svetlana Sidorkina, one of Russia’s leading human rights lawyers, talks about how hard the Russian justice system can be to beat. RU

Protest in Russia's paper town

This corner of Karelia is known for two things: its paper mill and its prison. But its residents are fed up with poor quality housing, inefficient public transport and an unresponsive state — and are trying to do something about it. RU

Protecting the environment is becoming a deadly occupation in Russia

Environmental activists in Russia’s North Caucasus are fighting not just for the environment, but their own lives. RU

The symbolic meaning of the presidential elections for Russian liberals

The Sobchak and Navalny campaigns are two very different options for the future of Russia’s democratic movement.

Academic freedom in Tajikistan endangered: what is to be done?

In Tajikistan, academic freedom is severly under threat. But how should the international academic community respond? 

If Paul Day builds a monument to late Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov, the blood of his victims will taint the artist’s work forever

Open letter from Uzbek human rights activists to British sculptor Paul Day, commissioned to commemorate former President. The sculpture is to go outside the Uzbek embassy in Moscow. 

Russia’s car industry, where even the dead work overtime

Once the pride of the Soviet Union, Tolyatti’s car factories are cutting workers and raising production quotas by the year. The cost is all too human.

Nagorno-Karabakh’s militarised social democracy

With flat-rate taxes and sky-high growth rates, some call Nagorno-Karabakh a “Caucasian Tiger”. Meanwhile, money from abroad funds a generous but militaristic social welfare system — maintaining border villages and swelling the army’s ranks.

The rise of Russia’s vice squad

Developments in Russia’s intellectual community confirm that the worst Soviet practices and institutions are being restored. They have no place in Russia today – yet they’ve already become entrenched in it. RU

Torture, Penza, Petersburg

More information on the Russian security services' arrest and torture of anarchists and anti-fa in Petersburg and Penza emerges. 

Azerbaijan’s authoritarianism goes digital

2018 is an election year in Azerbaijan. The authorities may have the streets on lockdown, but the fight against dissent in cyberspace is just beginning.

“Anyone can find themselves in prison, it doesn’t take much courage”

After 13 months in pre-trial detention, Russian historian Yury Dmitriev talks about his prison experience, forgotten cemeteries and forced exiles. RU

Where is Ukraine’s new police force?

Two years ago, the Ukrainian government decided to create a new national police force. But aside from the name, not much has changed. RU

Extremists by any another name: how Karelian pensioners fought against a mining company – and won

Local conflicts in Russia are often written off as paternalistic. But sometimes, people win. RU

What would happen to Russia’s elections if the regional authorities stopped controlling them?

Russia's northern republic of Komi used to be known for its consistently high turnout on election day. But after a corruption investigation felled the region’s leadership, the future of managed elections is unclear here. RU

Why Moldova’s battle against Russian propaganda isn’t what it seems

New legislation banning Russian news from Moldova’s media market seems less about countering disinformation, and more about defending vested interests. RU

Afgan Mukhtarli: behind bars, but not forgotten

Last year, this fearless journalist was abducted from the streets of Tbilisi and wound up in an Azerbaijani jail cell. We need more like him.

 

Russia’s presidential elections: predictable results with an unpredictable aftermath

This March, Russia goes through the motions of yet another (re)election. Here are the contenders, and a few reasons why their contest may just be worth watching.

Russian authorities take aim at anti-fascists in St Petersburg

Extra-judicial means are being used to pressure and detain anti-fascist activists in Russia. 

Syndicate content