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Abuse of power? On the trail of China's mystery millions in Kyrgyzstan

For over six months, Kyrgyzstan has been mired in a high-level corruption scandal: a disastrous $386 million project to rebuild Bishkek’s Power Plant, funded by Chinese state funds. RU

What we know about alleged elite corruption under former Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambayev

As Kyrgyzstan’s new regime consolidates power, fresh allegations of corruption by Atambayev loyalists are emerging. 

Are Kyrgyzstan’s glaciers under threat? This ecologist thinks so

The Central Asian state’s Tian Shan mountain range isn’t just home to shrinking glaciers. It’s also the site of an international mining operation.

Kyrgyzstan’s north-south road to corruption

A new investigation reveals another side of Chinese infrastructure projects in Central Asia: elite corruption.

How citizens battling a controversial gold mining project are testing Armenia’s new democracy

Can Armenia’s Velvet Revolution deliver change for communities struggling for their health, livelihoods and futures? ArmenianRU

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. 

Armenia: before the goldrush

A British mining company has struck gold in southern Armenia. What’s in it for the locals? Updated 3 February with reply. Русский

A letter from an inmate of the Southern Gas Corridor

Ilgar_Mammadov.jpgInternational investment in fossil fuel extraction is making me and other Azerbaijani political prisoners hostages to the Aliyev regime.


Principles down the pipeline

News of fresh fossil fuel loans and corruption confirm a harsh truth — European and international institutions continue to actively support the Aliyev regime in Azerbaijan.

The big game: Ulyukaev, Sechin and Russia's neopatrimonial privatisation

15027486_10209769927580892_9076503070551437380_n.jpgThe arrest of a federal minister shows that, in Russia, the government and the country’s largest state company are increasingly turning to force. Русский


In defence of society: an open platform

This manifesto was penned by a group of Russian activists and intellectuals about the current political situation in Russia, and what must be done to change it.

Neoliberalism, mining and Armenia's politics of plunder

The resurgence of fighting with Azerbaijan could hinder progressive mobilisation in Armenia, but recent environmental initiatives reveal the appetite for resistance to the economy of extraction.

The trap of “countering Russia”

Across eastern Europe, US engagement against Russia is having an adverse effect on grassroots protesters – and no easy solution is forthcoming.

Their security, our poverty: militarisation and Lithuania’s new labour code

There are signs that a new movement is emerging against austerity in Lithuania, but it will have to contend with a new militarised nationalism. 

Why is the war in eastern Ukraine still going on?

As trade links resume across the lines of demarcation in Ukraine, and pressure mounts to end the sanctions against Russia, a painful truth emerges: it's not hybrid war, it's hybrid peace. 

Don’t ignore the left! Connections between Europe’s radical left and Russia

Europe’s radical left is connected personally and politically to the Kremlin.

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada: an oligarchs’ club or a real parliament?


A year ago, Ukraine’s president promised to break the oligarchs’ stronghold on power. While this is yet to happen, a new generation of deputies is changing the political atmosphere. Русский

Geopolitics versus the political marketplace: the origins of the war in Ukraine

These two books on the war in Ukraine open up fresh questions into how we interpret the causes of conflict. 

What is causing the conflict in Ukraine?

Understanding the economic roots of rebellion in eastern Ukraine suggests that the resolution to the crisis must address restoring economic and political justice.

The “Moscow Consensus”: Constructing autocracy in post-Soviet Eurasia

Across the former Soviet Union, a new type of authoritarianism has become the default — with commerce, parliaments, military, media and civil society used to consolidate elite economic and political power. 

After the revolution: Tackling 'grand political corruption' in Ukraine

Can civic activists fix Ukraine's entrenched cronyism and corruption?

Central Asia, the Panama Papers and the myth of the periphery

Far from operating in isolation, Central Asia’s elites have been quietly accumulating power with the help of western tax havens. 

Is neoliberalism applicable to Russia? A response to Ilya Matveev

Attempts to call the Putin regime “neoliberal” get one fundamental thing wrong: capitalism doesn’t exist in Russia. Русский

Turning our backs on Ukraine

nybmIlf4.jpgTwo years after the tumultuous events of 2014, Ukraine is falling out of international media — with consequences for Ukraine’s democracy.

Putinism won’t end with a bang, but an arrest warrant

12946.jpgNew charges concerning several leading Russian officials reveal the greatest threat to the Kremlin's hold on power — elite corruption.


Offshore democracy, or Argentina through the looking glass

Exclude the poor from politics on the grounds that they are tempted to misappropriate public funds, and replace them with the rich: this is the project. Español Português

Why the Panama Papers are a feminist issue

Those shifting and hiding their wealth are failing to pay back into the ‘care economy’ - the people who produce and reproduce the workforce of today and tomorrow. Islenska

From Panama, via London, with love


The Panama Papers implicate more than just a few select international leaders. They demonstrate how offshore finance and corrupt leaders in the post-Soviet space thrive off each other.

Panama Papers: "an old tradition of English piracy"

openDemocracy editors respond to the astonishing revelations of the Panama Papers. Español

Havens of the one percent: a video interview with Harold Crooks

Harold Crooks’ film The Price We Pay (2014) explores how tax havens are changing the nature of the modern state. From the Open City Documentary Festival. Archive: July 7, 2015.

Walking the line


Plans for a new Euro-Caspian pipeline will solidify the west's dependence on fossil fuels and authoritarian regimes. This new documentary shows why we should stop and think.

The Sochi Syndrome

Grandiose urban development projects and international mega-events are ideal opportunities for authoritarian leaders to flaunt their power – and provide their associates with lucrative construction contracts.

Dictators without borders

Central Asian dictators close down the space for domestic political opposition. But politics is still present, only it has moved offshore.

Yanukovych, the luxury residence and the money trail that leads to London


European leaders’ decision to boycott Ukraine’s Euro 2012 has highlighted the role of Yanukovych as the new black sheep of Europe. Yet Yanukovych made his own own ‘European choice’  long ago  – it is in there that he squirrels away his family’s fortune, writes Sergii Leshchenko

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