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. in 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 Laurence 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.

 

 

The Crimean ‘question’

There are more questions than answers to the Crimean ‘question’.

 

 

Comrade Stalin’s secret prison

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Special Facility No.110 – Stalin’s secret prison – wasn’t in remote Siberia, it was just outside Moscow. на русском языке

 

A free-thinker loses his freedom in Azerbaijan

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On 12 January, Arif Yunus, the distinguished Azerbaijani scholar, will ‘celebrate’ his 60th birthday in a prison cell.

 

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...

 

The ‘return’ of nuclear weapons

sokov_nikolai_crop 65x80.jpgThe current crisis unfolding in Ukraine has brought the issue of nuclear weapons back into sharp focus.

 

Germany and the disinformation politics of the Ukraine crisis

Putin Merkel .jpgLooking at both the historical and current pro-Putin segment of German public discussion, one can identify the target groups and methods of Russian disinformation politics

 

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.

 

Book review: Andrew Wilson, ‘Ukraine Crisis'

Cover Wilson Ukraine Crisis.jpgFor Wilson, two men – Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych – bear the main brunt of responsibility for Ukraine’s crisis.

 

In Belarus, women need not apply

There are 181 occupations from which women in Belarus are banned. The Lukashenka government says this is progress. 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.

 

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

 

Yevtushenkov is no Khodorkovsky

One of Russia’s richest men, the owner of an oil company, has been arrested. There have been inevitable comparisons to Mikhail Khodorkovsky. 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.

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