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Azerbaijan's Nardaran affair

The Aliyev regime's crackdown on Azerbaijan's Islamic opposition is smoothing the way for further consolidation of power. - free thinking for the world

Azerbaijan's Nardaran affair

The Aliyev regime's crackdown on Azerbaijan's Islamic opposition is smoothing the way for further consolidation of power. - 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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Azerbaijan's Nardaran affair

The Aliyev regime's crackdown on Azerbaijan's Islamic opposition is smoothing the way for further consolidation of power.

Got tagged? Get fined! Russia’s battle against “digital extremism”

In Russia, the fight against online extremism looks good on paper. But look closer and you’ll find many arbitrary and even absurd convictions. Русский

Moscow, August 1991: a world-changing failure

25 years ago, an attempted takeover by communist hardliners led to the Soviet Union's collapse. The reverberations still continue.

Where does the key to political change lie in the post-Soviet space?

Twenty five years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the post-Soviet world is caught in authoritarian stasis. How can grassroots movements find long-term success?

Антиэкстремизм в виртуальной России

За что могут наказать российского пользователя сети? Аналитический центра "Сова" выпустил обзор применения антиэкстремистского законодательства в российском сегменте интернета в 2014 и 2015 годах. English

The last Russian prisoner at Guantánamo Bay does not want to go home

Fourteen years after arriving at Guantánamo, Ravil Mingazov is now due to be released. But returning to Russia could bring harassment, torture and the threat of further imprisonment.

Голоса из 1991: медиа, которых нам не хватает

MK_oDR-1_0_0.jpgТри дня в августе 25 лет назад стали не только неожиданной победой демократии. Они напомнили о том, чем должны быть масс-медиа для жителей страны, которые неожиданно лишились доступа к новостям.

The Usenet coup: how the USSR discovered the internet in 1991

Twenty five years ago this week, government hardliners attempted to take control of the Soviet Union — but failed. These momentous events were documented in detail on the early internet, but have yet to find their place in history. Русский

Путч в юзнете. Зал несостоявшейся славы

Августовские события могли бы стать ключевыми для истории русского интернета и русских медиа в целом. Но ни сами участники событий, ни только что родившееся российское общество не придало этому сюжету большого значения. English

Putin’s incredible shrinking circle

12946.jpgIvanov’s departure leaves few voices able to speak truth to Putin.


A new party for Ukraine’s euro-optimists?

If it is to succeed in a turbulent political environment, the ambitious DemAlliance project must overcome Ukraine's tradition of centering political movements on personalities rather than ideologies.

Over the barriers

Think-tanks, newspapers and state agencies make it their work to ratchet up superpower tension. For Russia and the US, it’s time to transcend these intermediaries and speak face-to-face. Русский

Trumputin: What Russia can teach us about the US election

The Republican presidential nominee and the Russian president may have similarly-minded supporters — but the rise of Trump is bad for everyone, even the Kremlin. 


Azerbaijan’s unconstitutional future

Dominika.jpgAzerbaijan’s new draft constitution is due to be passed by a popular referendum this September. If passed, it will only cement the power of the Aliyev regime.


Папа Римский и религиозная жизнь современной Армении

Карта религиозного Еревана во многом повторяет архитектонику политической картины страны. Это вызывает необходимость вновь вглядываться в расстановку сил: для кого и как устроен город со своими церквями, мечетью и синагогой.

Could crowdfunding – yes, crowdfunding – save journalism in partly free societies?


After the Cold War, our attempts to encourage independent media in transition states didn't have the success we hoped. Could crowdfunding be part of the answer?


The dangers of exposing corruption in Russia’s jails


Campaigner Vladimir Osechkin, who has exposed corruption and torture in Russian prisons, fled the country after being targeted by Russia’s secret police. But life outside Russia hasn't been easy.

Iron fist: Sport as a means to an end in the North Caucasus

As the stories of a Chechen champion and a Dagestani businessman show, sport in the North Caucasus — and Russia in general — is foremost a political tool.

Break the silence on Azerbaijan oil workers’ deaths

Months on from a deadly fire on a Caspian sea oil rig, the Azerbaijani authorities are yet to conduct a full investigation. 

Революцию не покажут по телевидению: чем закончилось противостояние в Ереване

В воскресенье, 31 июля вооруженные люди, две недели удерживавшие здание патрульно-постовой службы в ереванском районе Эребуни, сдались властям. Так закончился кризис, начавшийся 17 июля.

Armenia’s crisis and the legacy of victory

More than 20 years after it ended, Armenia is still experiencing the burden of victory in the war over Nagorno Karabakh. 


Azerbaijan’s post-Soviet memory politics are great at uniting society. Too bad it’s against external enemies. Русский

Coup talk in Ukraine

The war in the east, the rise of paramilitaries and polarised public opinion are feeding fears of a violent seizure of power in Kyiv. Could Ukraine follow in Turkey’s footsteps? 

Наш геноцид. Историческая политика и школьное образование в Азербайджане

Государственная политика памяти, созданная в Азербайджане в 90-е годы, эффективно объединяет общество. И не оставляет места для инакомыслия. English

Confessions of a Kremlin conspiracy theorist

12946.jpgLet's face it: movements inside Russia's power structures often signal exactly what we want them to. 

Putin and Trump’s bad bromance

The recent leak of emails from inside the US Democratic Party have led to allegations that Trump is a Kremlin agent. This is clickbait conspiracy at its best.

Панкисская долина и медиа: невзаимная любовь

Расположенная в Грузии Панкисская долина в последние годы стала ассоциироваться с вооруженным экстремизмом. Однако внимание мирового сообщества к этому региону не только является нежеланным, но и приносит ему вред. English, Georgian

The EU’s lack of unity and strategy is being felt in Azerbaijan

The EU’s inconsistent policy towards its eastern periphery has damaged its standing in Azerbaijan. A number of people who know the country well, including recently released political prisoners, tell me why.

New confirmation of secret detention allegations in Ukraine

Evidence on the use of secret detention by Ukraine’s security services requires further investigation from the authorities.

Kazakhstan: the limits of authoritarian crisis management

Violent attacks on state institutions have shaken the Nazarbayev regime in recent weeks, exposing its fixation with information control over state management.

As Ukraine's women speak up on sexual violence, we must not ignore those affected by conflict

DJ_profile-1.jpgA new campaign is challenging taboos over speaking about sexual violence in Ukraine, but we need to include survivors of conflict violence too.


Russian journalism’s double white lines

A recent leak from a leading Russian media outlet has sparked a bitter debate about censorship and professional ethics, exposing how fragmented Russia’s journalist community truly is. Русский

What does the murder of Pavel Sheremet say about contemporary Ukraine?


Two years after EuroMaidan, Ukraine's culture of impunity remains a deadly threat to freedom of expression.


Двойная сплошная

Запись разговора между новыми руководителями РБК и коллективом журналистов проливает свет не только на внутренний порядок работы российских медиа, но и поднимает вопрос о профессиональной этике. English

“Государство вместо того, чтобы защищать граждан и блюсти закон, занимается ровно противоположным”

Последнее слово на суде новосибирца Дмитрия Петрова, который провел в следственном изоляторе 28 месяцев.

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