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When is an anniversary not an anniversary?

Russia is gearing up for the centennial of its October Revolution, and Ireland has just commemorated the centenary of its Easter Rising. Would their leaders recognise their countries today? Русский

Book review: Neil Kent’s “Crimea: a history”

A new history of Crimea argues for the peninsula’s central importance to Europe — via Russia. The result is misleading.

 

Fighting for recognition: Soviet-Afghan War veterans in Tajikistan

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In Tajikistan, veterans of the Soviet-Afghan War are fighting for recognition, but their government holds them at arm’s length.

 

Russia, Inc.

From “structural reforms” of the 2000s to austerity policies today, neoliberalism has been and remains an organic part of the Putin regime. Русский

How “Operation Liza” failed

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The failure of a recent Russian propaganda campaign in Germany tells us that Kremlin strategists know nothing about the country, nor its sizeable Russian-speaking population. Русский

Review: Arkady Ostrovsky’s ‘The Invention of Russia’

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This new history tells a compelling, if normative, story of how Russia’s journalists and entrepreneurs threw off their former shackles, only to put them back on again.

 

After the ban: a short history of Ukraine’s Communist Party

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You can ban Ukraine’s communists, but you can’t beat them.

 

 

Between dialogue and violence: the North Caucasus's bloody legacy

After Paris, we need to act against radicalisation. Russia's legacy in the North Caucasus tells us how not to. Русский

 

For the Don Cossacks, Russia’s Civil War is not yet over

The commemoration of a massacre of Cossacks by the British Army in Austria 70 years ago has opened a can of worms in their Russian heartland. на русском языке

Living in Islam: Russian Muslims tell their stories

Ten Moscow Muslims speak of faith, joy and attitudes towards Islam in Russia today.

 

Stalin's back

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With new monuments and museums afoot, Russians are warming again to Stalin's legacy. But is there any communist content to post-communist nostalgia? Русский

Ummah: Islam in the post-Soviet world

oDR introduces a new series devoted to reporting and comment on Islamic life in the post-Soviet space. Русский

The Crimean blockade: how Ukraine is losing Crimea for the third time

Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 was not the first time that Ukraine lost the peninsula. In fact, Ukraine has been losing Crimea for 23 years.

Anarchism in Makhno’s homeland: adventures of the red-and-black flag

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Anarchism may be a popular political brand in Ukraine today, but it’s not anarchism as we know it. Русский

 

A house in the country

With Russia’s housing stock in trouble, many people struggle to find a suitable home. For the people of Koltyshevo just outside Moscow, it’s a crumbling manor house.

 

Ukraine’s left: between a swamp and a hard place

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With a new-found reputation for radicalism, Ukrainian politics is in flux. The left, however, are nowhere to be seen.

 

Из Сирии домой - на российский Кавказ

В арабской стране потомки черкесов, вытесненных из царской России после завоевания Кавказа, всегда чувствовали себя гостями. Но историческая родина сирийских беженцев принимает неохотно. English

North Ossetia is rethinking its role as Russia's ‘outpost’ in the Caucasus

From ‘outpost’ to ‘outpostism’ and then to ‘outposter’, North Ossetians are feeling increasingly alienated from the Russian centre.

Anarchism, Russian-style

Kolions.jpgThe village of Kolionovo has a reputation for independent mindedness and upsetting the authorities. Now they’ve created their own currency - the koliony.

 

Remembering Budyonnovsk

I was in Budyonnovsk on 14 June 1995, when Chechen separatists raided the town and took hostages, killing 129. Twenty years later, this town in southern Russia is still known as the 'town of black shawls'. 

The uses and abuses of history

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History is nowadays not only written by the victors, but by anybody who wants to use history for their own ends.

 


Samizdat in Samara

RIAN_00093275.LR_.ru_.jpgValery Pavlukevich, who recently passed away, was a regular contributor to oDR. In his last appearance on these pages, he tells Michael Lawrence about the samizdat scene in his home city of Kuibyshev, now Samara.

A dissident’s tale

One of the grey cardinals of modern Russian politics, Gleb Pavlovsky talks dissent, history and politics in the late-Soviet era.

 

Georgian fiction – in translation at last

Georgia_Mural (MEdwards).pngAt last, we can read what we have been missing – a literature as unpredictable as Georgian politics.

 

Transnistria: West Berlin of the post-Soviet world

How to play hardball: Ukraine's parliament has revoked the agreement between Russia and Ukraine on the movement of Russian troops through Ukrainian territory to Transnistria.

How to bid goodbye to Lenin in Ukraine

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When talking about present day Ukraine and its new 'historical' laws, we need to think beyond ‘identity’ and ‘history’.

 

Happy Independence Day, Georgia!

Since 1991, Georgia has celebrated Independence Day annually on 26 May. But this national holiday only exposes the gap between elites and the people.

 

Book review: Mikhail Elizarov, ‘The Librarian’

Cover_Elizarov_Librarian.pngMikhail Elizarov has written a highly imaginative satire on the dichotomy in the post-Soviet Russian psyche, populated by the detritus of modern Russia.

 

Belarus has an identity crisis

RIAN_00005553.LR_.ru_.jpgAfter two decades of russification, the Belarusian government is rethinking its identity politics.

 

Book review: Hamid Ismailov ‘The Underground’

Cover_Ismailov_TheUnderground.pngIn The Underground, like his mixed-race hero, Hamid Ismailov is looking, above and below ground, for the answer to the question: what is 'Russianness'?

 

Victory Day in Kyiv

IMG_0072.jpgUkraine has a new holiday – 8 May, Day of Remembrance – and a new symbol, the poppy. But 9 May remains, as a reminder of the fact that war is ‘never a pretty story.’

Book review: Rajan Menon and Eugene B. Rumer, ‘Conflict in Ukraine: The Unwinding of the Post–Cold War Order’

Cover_Menon&Rumer Conflict in Ukraine_0.pngTruth may well be the first victim of war, and fair-minded and dispassionate accounts of events in Ukraine are rare.

 

 

How well does Russia speak the language of international law?

Anna Dolidze pic crop.jpgThe language of international law has become another battleground between Russia and the West.

 

In Auschwitz, Poland has outmanoeuvred Russia

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This year, the Poles were determined not to invite the Russians to Auschwitz. And they succeeded. 

 

Why does Russia have so many plane crashes?

_Медведев_на_месте_крушения_Як-42Д- wiki.jpegRussian officials apparently don’t care about their country’s shocking air safety record.

 

 

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