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Is the anti-corruption agenda all that it’s cracked up to be?

The fight against corruption is often sold as the pill to end all postsocialist ills. Activists and researchers in Poland, Russia and Ukraine give their views on why we need to challenge it.

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Bolotnaya: that spark in their eyes

For many people, the Moscow protests of 2012 were about falling in love – with the promise of freedom, and with each other. But how do you go on living when instead of the government, the barricades fall, and your hopes along with them? Русский

Who will make Russia “great again”?

Russia’s legal-rational establishment has yet to emerge. But the rise of Alexei Navalny demonstrates that when it does, it will inevitably be nationalist.

 

Is election observing in Central Asia a lost cause?

Until Central Asia’s autocracies take their numerous commitments to democracy seriously, election observers can’t do their jobs. What can be done? Русский

 

Rostov’s Red Army Faction

Combating terrorism is one of the main responsibilities of a modern state, but in non-democratic states it can take strange forms. Русский

Russia’s “managed thaw”

This week, two political prosecutions in Russia were quashed — to much applause. But it’s too early to talk about positive trends — the authorities are merely changing their tactics.


“Shut up, woman. Your day is 8 March”

What should International Women’s Day mean to contemporary Ukraine?

Հայաստանը «ազգային միասնության» թակարդում

Հայաստանում՝ արտաքին ագրեսիայի պայմաններում հնչող միասնության կոչերը լռեցնում են քննադատությունը և առաջ տանում գործող ռեժիմին սատարող քաղաքականություններ նույնիսկ ընդդիմության շրջանում: English

We have nothing else to sell but our teeth

Fleeing repression under the Kadyrov regime, many Chechens are seeking asylum in Poland. The reception by the Polish authorities is far from welcoming. 

In Russia, propaganda starts in preschool

Militaristic ideas and gender stereotypes can dominate one’s early life in Russia — as public holidays in honour of the country’s military and women show. Русский

Goodbye, Radio Vesti

kalnysh_0.jpgUkraine’s media is caught in a political crossfire. In this situation, everyone loses — journalists, citizens and the country itself. Русский

 

In Kyrgyzstan, it’s revolution, revanche, repeat all over again

Kyrgyzstan’s presidential campaign has started off with the arrest of a main contender for the post. Omurbek Tekebayev’s fate shows the country remains far from democratic. Русский

What the Russian theatre critics won’t tell you

This new Moscow online journal is devoted to theatre. But it’s more like an activist project than a traditional arts magazine. Русский

Convert and love: Russia’s Muslim wives

Russian women marrying Muslim men convert to Islam in the certainty that a shared religion will strengthen their family. Nevertheless, cultural differences often win out — and Russian Muslims’ world remains closed to converts. Русский

Crimea: peninsula of torture

Three years on from Crimea’s annexation by Russia, brutal torture is being used to scare the peninsula into silence and submission.

Listening to Russia’s female migrants

How a new multilingual magazine in St Petersburg is giving a voice to female migrants from Central Asia.

The politics of Russia’s armed forces day

On the symbolism of Defender of the Fatherland Day, a celebration of Russia’s armed forces and de-facto Men’s Day. Русский

Love, North Caucasus style

In the North Caucasus, traditional and modern expectations of relationships are more chequered than a patchwork quilt. Here’s how young couples negotiate them. Русский

Beyond Bolotnaya: the future of Russia’s civil society

Russians are increasingly aware that, instead of waiting for the state’s good graces, they need to take some matters into their own hands. Русский

Grab him by the wallet

The anti-Trump movement in the States can learn a lot from the experiences of Soviet dissidents  in today’s legislative and economic reality, new resistance tactics are essential.


In Georgia, labour exploitation still pays

In striving for a “business-friendly environment”, the Georgian government is further eroding labour rights. Workers have taken to the streets in response.

Putinism as Gaullism

There are limits of defining a regime by the name of its leader, but Putinism has the echoes of post-war France, and of its president.

 

Kicking habits, kicking back

In Russia, a punitive Soviet approach to drug users is still in place. But a new generation of activists is ready to challenge it. Русский

Makhachkala: citizen city

In the capital of Dagestan, a group of citizens has come out to defend a park against a new patriotic museum. So far, they’ve been successful. Русский

The crossing

Life continues across the "neutral zone" between Ukraine's separatist territories and government-controlled areas, but only just.  

Socialist love: from utopia to pragmatism

What we know as love can change fast. In Czechoslovakia, the state’s idea of marriage went from an utopian ideal to a functional arrangement in 20 years flat. Русский

Cold war, hot love

The collapse of the Soviet Union ushered in a revolution of the intimate. To open our series on Romantic regimes, we discuss the trajectories of emotional socialism and emotional capitalism in the post-Soviet context. Русский

Is Europe ready for the Belarus crisis?

A new crisis in the east of Europe may be in the making. Europe should assess how it will act — if and when it erupts.

Anniversary of Aldy Massacre passes in fear and silence

On 5 February 2000, Russian soldiers summarily executed dozens of civilians in the Chechen village of Aldy. Survivors of the massacre have no hope of finding justice, with the authorities doing everything in their power to whitewash this and other tragedies. 

Dreams of Europe: refugees and xenophobia in Russia and Ukraine

Europe’s refugee crisis has affected Russia and Ukraine in different ways — solidifying local hatreds, local hierarchies and varying views of European identity. Русский

Mind the gap between Belarus and Russia

What’s behind the bad blood in today’s Belarusian-Russian relations? Русский

The decorative deputies of the North Caucasus

As a recent scandal in the North Caucasus shows, there are jobs for the boys at all levels of Russia’s power vertical. Русский

Turkmenistan’s electoral denial

trend_luca-anceschi_270415_2_0.jpgOn the eve of another sham election, Turkmenistan’s rulers aren’t taking the need for change seriously. Have they begun to believe their own propaganda?

 

Slapstick and the Soviet avant-garde: an interview with Owen Hatherley

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the Soviet avant-garde looked to Hollywood. We discuss this unlikely story with Owen Hatherley.

Armenia in the trap of “national unity”

In Armenia, calls to remain united in the face of external aggression are shutting down criticism and promoting pro-regime politics, even among the opposition. հայերեն 

Lydian International response to ‘Armenia: before the goldrush’

Lydian International uses their right to reply to Peter Liakhov's article ‘Armenia: before the goldrush’

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