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Russia’s rising retirement age: six real stories

The Russian government’s move to raise the retirement age is encountering a lot of public discontent. Here, six Russian citizens tell us why they're against the reform.

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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. 

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. 

Today, the forgotten fear of nuclear war is being reborn — and we have no popular movement against it

The movement for a nuclear free world during the late 1980s was made possible by many. But there are no successors today – and this is dangerous. RU

A new era in US-Uzbekistan relations poses old challenges for the international community

My country is at a crossroads. If it does not reform its governance system to better protect against corruption, it will become mired in crony capitalism. 

Women’s rights in Russia's North Caucasus: between “national traditions” and “ordinary” murders

How the Russian state authorities supports “national traditions” that infringe on the rights of women in the Caucasus. RU

How workers in Ukraine’s metal industry are fighting for wages, rights and democracy

Employees at this foreign-owned steel complex in south-eastern Ukraine are setting an example for workers everywhere. 

Ukrainian socialists in the diaspora: lessons on Cold War solidarity from another era

Throughout the 1970s, a young generation of Ukrainian Canadians worked on solidarity campaigns for political prisoners in the Soviet Union. Challenging states' monopoly on east-west dialogue is still important today. 

How Russian state pressure on regional languages is sparking civic activism in the North Caucasus

New legislation that makes studying minority languages voluntary in Russian schools comes as signs of decreasing usage emerge. RU

Why Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov is on hunger strike

Imprisoned in the Russian Far North, Oleg Sentsov is holding a hunger strike to force the release of 64 Ukrainian political prisoners. 

Russia: three years for a smashed head. A concert broken up. And, once again, torture

The latest in freedom of assembly news from Russia, via OVD-Info. 

Death penalty: Belarus must be accountable to someone

Belarus is the last country in Europe to apply the death penalty. It often does so in secret. 

Restoring faith in Armenia’s criminal justice system

As a new government sets the agenda in Yerevan, it is high time to consider the excessive use of pre-trial detention in politically sensitive trials. 

What’s behind China’s anti-Kazakh campaign?

If you're an ethnic Kazakh or a Kazakh citizen in northwest China, you can face detention on espionage and extremism charges. RU

Impatient dictators: how snap elections shore up authoritarianism in Eurasia

Authoritarian states are using all-too familiar constitutional mechanisms to consolidate power.

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