only search openDemocracy.net

Inside Ingushetia’s anti-extremism centre: torture, extortion, murder

Russia’s anti-extremism centres are notorious for their brutal torture. Here are the stories of its victims in Ingushetia, where for the first time, some of the organisation’s operatives face trial for their crimes.

Charting Russia’s most dangerous cities for LGBT people

Here are the towns where it’s dangerous to be gay in Russia. A culture of silence and a law “against propaganda” are keeping them that way. Русский

Walking free in Azerbaijan

It’s easy to celebrate when Azerbaijan’s political prisoners are released. But ensnared by public stigma and personal trauma, what are the chances that they ever find a place for themselves in society?

Putting Russia’s homophobic violence on the map

From what little data we have, it’s clear that homophobic violence in Russia is on the rise. Russia’s LGBT people are victims of ignorance and intolerance — yet the state won’t lift a finger. Russian

In Russia, 26 March continues

Two weeks after Russia’s anti-corruption protests, activists and participants are still being tried, arrested and intimidated across the country. Русский

Anti-LGBT violence in Chechnya: when filing “official complaints” isn’t an option

The Chechen authorities are conducting a vicious operation against men suspected of being gay. The Kremlin should not only condemn these actions, but the culture of impunity that accompanies them. 

Don't call him Dima: Russia’s anti-corruption protesters face repression

Last Sunday's protests and a nationwide truckers' strike have led to detentions and trials across Russia. Read about them here. Русский

Russia’s prison service is keeping its abuses under lock and key

Despite signs of early change, the cover-up of torture inside Russia’s prison service demands reform. Русский

Meet the women at the centre of Ukraine’s resurgent HIV epidemic

Living with HIV in Ukraine is fraught with stigma and discrimination. It’s even harder if you’re a woman.

In Georgia, labour exploitation still pays

In striving for a “business-friendly environment”, the Georgian government is further eroding labour rights. Workers have taken to the streets in response.

Kicking habits, kicking back

In Russia, a punitive Soviet approach to drug users is still in place. But a new generation of activists is ready to challenge it. Русский

Making them pay for Maidan

You can't understand the Kremlin's agenda without examining the situation of political prisoners — and Ukrainian citizens feature heavily in this list. Русский

The victims of Russia’s ultra-conservatism are the Russian people themselves

Russia has decriminalised domestic violence: one step towards “traditional values” means two steps back from international human rights standards

 

The new casualties of Russia’s war on terror

The death of a man imprisoned for allegedly encouraging others to fight for Islamic State has cast light on murky killings dismissed as part of the “war on terror.” 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.

 

What does the future hold for Ukraine's children in care?

Kyiv wants $2 billion from the EU to scrap its Soviet-era orphanages. Русский

This is Karelia: tortured voices from Russia’s prison system

Evidence of how prison officers cooperate with inmates to effect torture and humiliation inside Karelia’s prison system continues to emerge.

Fighting back against Georgia’s war on drugs

Georgia’s draconian laws against narcotics are in the spotlight, as activists take to the streets and demand an end to the criminalisation of drug users.

An Armenian woman’s place is at the protest

Armenia’s female activists are reclaiming space in public life. Can the wives, sisters and muses of protesters ever be seen as protesters themselves? հայերեն  

Release Ilgar Mammadov

As Azerbaijan votes on constitutional amendments today, let’s not forget the country’s political prisoners.

Who owns women’s bodies in Dagestan?

A recent scandal over female genital mutilation reveals how, for Russia’s Muslims, “universal values” are just another instrument of a repressive regime. Русский

The green shoots of Russian grassroots activism (part 2)

Our story on Russia’s grassroots activism continues. From Moscow’s parks to federal highways, ordinary citizens learn the power of protest  and of solidarity.

The green shoots of Russian grassroots activism

What do two Moscow parks and a truck drivers’ trade union have in common? They have been the focus of protests that have shown that the Russian public may be losing its traditional passivity.

In Ukraine, not only heroes deserve justice

A Ukrainian blogger sentenced for his scandalous views on the conflict in the Donbas has just been released. Whatever his shortcomings, Ruslan Kotsaba deserved our solidarity.

Critical thinking at (the) stake: Ukraine’s witch hunt against journalism

In the two years since Ukraine’s Maidan protests, Ukrainian society has become increasingly politically active — with unintended consequences. РусскийУкраїнською

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. 

Ukraine’s displaced people: status unknown



E-Ukraine-UNHCR4_0.jpg

Why are refugees in Ukraine second-class citizens? Русский

 

Georgia: the exiles’ election

Twenty five years after the separatist wars that shook Georgia, 265,000 displaced people still struggle to make ends meet — and their voices heard. 

Breaking the cycle: ending underage marriage in Georgia

Every year, girls across Georgia become wives and mothers before their 18th birthday. How should the country address underage marriages? Русский

 

Russia’s regions: federalism and its discontents

Creating the appearance of stability is the Russian political elite’s primary goal. Yet colonial-like rule over the country’s regions, combined with a lack of civic activity, harms the Kremlin’s legitimacy on the ground. Русский

In Armenia, gender is geopolitical

A wave of homophobia in Armenia is playing on pro-Russian and pro-European sympathies. Gender has become geopolitical, and the LGBT community is fearful.

 

The pitchforks are coming

Farm workers in the depths of southern Russia are hardly a protest constituency, but corruption and corporate raids have pushed them to the brink. They may even take their grievances to Moscow — by tractor. Русский

Fear and loathing in Ukraine: a very “European” protest

GettyImages-463951286.jpg

A new type of mass mobilisation on the streets of Ukraine shows how society is being divided along lines all too familiar to EU citizens.

 

#FreeSavchenko

RIAN_02811358.LR_.ru_.jpg

The sentence against Nadiya Savchenko is absurd. Where do we go from here? Русский

 

Why so secretive?

The Russian authorities are keeping far too many secrets from citizens. Komanda-29 and its founder Ivan Pavlov are fighting back. Русский

Syndicate content