Russia’s repressive monument to victims of political repression

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 15.36.17.pngThe Russian state’s recognition of terror victims in marble and concrete is its own form of totalitarianism.

 

The gospel according to the Kremlin

Zhilin crop.jpgThe cost of my fridge has doubled, but it's okay, professional psychologists can explain why I’m not bothered – what we Russians see on TV we believe as gospel. на русском языке

 

In Russia, nobody can be ‘Charlie’

Je suis charlie - Diogo Baptista - demotix_0.jpgRussian reaction to the Charlie Hebdo massacre has been muted, although a massive march in Chechnya defended Islam from the ‘mockers’.

Прощай, Флорида!

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Книга Ричарда Флориды о «Креативном классе» имела неожиданный успех в России, но существовал ли этот класс в стране вообще? in English

 

Speaking to the Russophones

ragozin_picture.jpgWhether the EU likes it or not, millions of its residents belong to the Russophone cultural sphere. But how should we speak to them?

 

Farewell to Florida

1037907.jpgRichard Florida's 2002 book on the ‘creative class’ has had an unexpectedly fervent following in Russia, but did that class ever really exist in Russia? на русском языке

 

Can Ukraine’s divided church help heal the divided country

In hardship, people turn to religion for help. Ukraine today is no exception. But is it the answer to the country’s problems?

 

A new drama in Moscow

Teatr.doc – a pioneer of ‘New Drama’ in Russia – has recently been evicted from its basement home in Moscow. But is it all an act?

 

The high price of democracy in Ukraine

Logo_of_the_Verkhovna_Rada_of_Ukraine.pngUkraine is almost bankrupt. The budget for 2015 is unrealistic. Root and branch reform has stalled. There is a war still going in the east of the country. Where now? На русском языке.

 

The ‘Muslim radicalisation of Central Asia’ is a dangerous myth

RIA:R Mangarasyan Tajikistan 96.jpg Security think-tanks and expert communities in the Western world are perpetuating the dangerous myth that Muslim radicalisation is rife in Central Asia.

Stepford Wives in Chechnya

RIA Tsarnayev Model Crop.jpgChechen women have to be very careful about what they wear because of Ramzan Kadyrov’s ‘virtue campaign.’

 

Israeli Russophones

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In Israel, immigration from Ukraine increased by 110% this year. The Israeli government has described FSU immigration as ‘one of the greatest miracles that happened to the state.’ But what do the immigrants think?

Film Review: 'I Don't Believe in Anarchy' (dir. Natalia Chumakova and Anna Tsyrlina)

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'Everything will be free. Everyone will be fucking high.' Between 1985 and 1990, Yegor Letov and his Siberian punk rock group Grazhdanskaya Oborona (Civil Defence) created some of the most powerful music to come out of the Soviet Union. And had a lot of fun upsetting the KGB...

 

Teaching orthodoxy in Russian schools

Icon CC Denis Dmitrievich Leontyev crop_0.jpgOrthodox ideology is being rushed into the Russian school curriculum – in the interests of nationalism.

 

The ‘kiss of the titans’ in Kazakhstan

Kurmangazy Pushkin Kiss.pngIn Kazakhstan, a local court has ordered compensation to be paid to the ‘victims’ of a poster showing Russian national poet Alexander Pushkin kissing the Kazakh national composer Kurmangazy. на русском языке

 

Kremlinphobia, russophobia and other states of paranoia

Antonova 2 crop.jpgThe Russian government likes to regularly accuse the West of being ‘russophobic.’ They’re right, but not for the reasons they think.

 

The Russian religious versus the hard rockers

BehemothBAND_0.jpgIn Novosibirsk ‘Orthodox activists’ have declared open war not only on rock fans but on the mayor and governor as well. на русском языке

 

What are Russians celebrating when they celebrate National Unity Day?

Russians celebrate National Unity Day on 4 November, but the name masks Russian anxieties about disunity and disintegration.

 

Review: Peter Pomerantsev, ‘Nothing is true and everything is possible’

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Peter Pomerantsev’s Nothing Is True and Everything is Possible presents a Russia with no rules and no certainty in tomorrow, a place where you must live in the moment, because the moment is all you have.

 

What does Russia really want with Abkhazia?

Abkhazia border crossing.jpg Will the new treaty being discussed between Abkhazia and Russia provide a blueprint for cooperation or something more like annexation?

 

Post-election, Ukrainians and Russians face an uncertain future

RIA Pavel Palamarchuk. Vote ru.jpgUkraine’s snap parliamentary elections have once again proved that the mainstream of society rejects the far right – not that the Russian government or media will care.

 

Russians are not bothered by Western sanctions

pic_vaso_crop.jpgSanctions have had a limited effect on the Russian population whose support towards the government’s Ukrainian policy does not seem to be eroding.

 

Moscow’s young Muslims might be tomorrow’s militants

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A recent clash with the police is a sign of the alienation felt by some young men from Moscow’s Muslim community. на русском языке

 

For Generation P, Putin is Russia

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Putin has successfully managed to persuade his fellow citizens that he and Russia are one and the same. на русском языке

 

Down with Lenin!

As they are toppled one after another in cities across the country, statues of Lenin are becoming an endangered species in Ukraine. But Lenin the political symbol is still alive and kicking.

We have made today's Frankenstein with our own hands

Tom Margie crop.jpgWhen communism ended, Russia’s people wanted democracy. Instead, they got the market and neoliberalism. Now, it appears, some of them want revenge.

Review: Zakhar Prilepin’s 'Sankya'

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A cult novel by one of Russia’s most provocative and original writers has just come out in English translation.

 

 

How to be a psychic in Moscow

Russians spend about $30 billion (£18 billion) a year on sorcerers, fortune-tellers, magi, and psychics. Because they want to believe in something…

 

When peace means war

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Moscow's peace march was a demonstration against war, and a declaration of a tacit middle-class war with the Kremlin.

 

Praying to Putin

FederalPressWorldNewsPutin_0.jpgA recent lecture in Moscow asked, ‘Will Putin become God through grace?'

 

Review: Andrey Kurkov, ‘Ukraine Diaries’

History often seems obvious in retrospect; writing a diary catches it as it runs through the fingers. На русском языке

 

 

What the FSB is doing in Russian universities

In Soviet times, the KGB kept a close watch on intellectuals – they might turn out to be dissidents. Today, the FSB still skulks on university corridors…

The five forbidden Russian words on stage and screen

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It is now official: on stage and screen you cannot say: блядь [blyad - slut], хуй [khui - cock], пизда [pizda - cunt], ебать [yebat - fuck], and мудак [mudak - dickhead].

Review: Serhii Plokhy, 'The Last Empire'

When the Soviet Empire collapsed, Ukraine was the key.

 

 

Can Russia stage a comeback in space?

Fifty years ago, the USSR was in the lead in the proxy war that was the space race, but now Russia is better known for rockets that either fail to launch or crash when they do.

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