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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

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

Is liberalism the future for Russia?

For years, ‘liberal’ has been a dirty word in Russia, a shorthand for everything undesirable. Yet state propaganda is having an unexpected side-effect: the rehabilitation of liberalism. 

Four Russias: the new political reality

Uneven modernisation has left its mark on Russia, and the authorities are only too happy to exploit it. What does the future hold for Russia’s regional divide? Русский

Can the North Caucasus adapt to political change?

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Amid a crumbling and fragile system, central and regional elites gear up for a new power struggle in Russia’s North Caucasus.

 

Give back the vote

Against a background of mass protests, Moldova’s parliament has just approved a new government in record time. Русский

 

Can Georgia ditch its surveillance culture?

Mikheil Saakashvili may have left his native Georgia for Odessa, but one particular legacy of his years in power is still strong. Русский


These hills are ours

In Bashkortostan, the hills are alive with the sound of limestone quarrying. Now local civil society is taking on one of Russia’s largest chemical consortia. Русский

The red zone

The system is dehumanising people, and the recent death of an inmate in a southern Russian penal colony is only further proof. Graphic warningРусский

Serial violations: finding new ways to limit freedom of association in Russia

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The first sentences under a new law limiting freedom of association in Russia are coming into effect. Their target? ‘Malicious picket-holders’. Русский

A sudden warning in Dagestan

On 27 July, Russian special forces abducted a senior Dagestan official from his home and transported him to Moscow for investigation. The Dagestani authorities knew nothing about it.

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.

 

Kadyrov and Putin: parallel lives

RIA Kadyrov Putin 2 (c) Aleskei Nikolsku.jpgWhile Vladimir Putin has given Ramzan Kadyrov a free hand in Chechnya, the relationship between Moscow and Grozny is far more complicated than it first appears.

 

The ‘parasite law’ in Belarus

parasite.jpgIn the Soviet Union, anyone without an official job could be charged with ‘parasitism’ and sentenced to internal exile. Now Belarus has revived the idea. на русском языке

Kyrgyzstan's conservatives hold their anti-LGBT rally

Against a background of possible legislation against 'foreign agents' and 'gay propaganda', Sunday's anti-LGBT rally in Bishkek does not bode well for the small Central Asian state.


From emancipation to restraint: violence and gender inequality in Azerbaijan

Passing laws against gender-motivated violence and gender inequality is not the same as putting them into practice.

 

Ukraine’s labour reforms threaten workers' rights

7410485.jpgThe oligarchs have joined forces to railroad a new labour code that strips Ukrainian workers of their already modest rights.

 

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.

Looking after yourself in Siberia

Kurganka.jpg The ‘rationalisation’ of medical and social services in rural Russia has compelled people to acquire new skills in order to survive, but life for the weakest is very hard – and very expensive.

 

The Russian politics of multiculturalism

RIA Aleksei Druzhinin Putin Abkhazia.jpgThe relationship between religion and ethnicity on the one hand, and civic assimilation on the other, is far less harmonious than Putin’s magniloquence asserts.

Interview with a murderer

There are currently 59,000 women in Russian penal establishments. For many of them prison is not so much a punishment, more a way of life. на русском языке

Ukraine’s European integration

If the EU is serious about helping Ukraine, both parties should focus on the country’s most glaring problem, and the Maidan’s principal demands – justice and the rule of law.

Outsourcing sovereignty from Russia to Chechnya

Markedonov pic.jpgJust like in business, the centre of Russia has transferred a range of its functions to a regional political ‘contractor’. But now the tail is starting to wag the dog.

 

A guide to political persecution in Russia

Andrey Stenin - VisualRIAN - Dissident.jpgA raft of new criminal offences allows the government’s opponents to be arrested for just about anything – or nothing.

 

Detaining the president’s daughter

Karimova under house arrest Dore Ryan.jpgA year on from her disappearance from public life, what does the treatment of Gulnara Karimova reveal about Uzbekistan’s rights crisis?

Spymania returns to Russia

Spy cartoon - Shutterstock - Tomacco_0.jpgUnder the ‘new and improved’ law against spying, anyone can be suspected of espionage or treason in Russia. And that's the point. на русском языке

Ukrainian journalist faces 15 years in jail after calls to boycott the draft

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A Ukrainian journalist has been arrested for publishing a video calling on his fellow citizens to boycott mobilisation. He is being charged with treason and espionage.

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

Richard Florida's 2002 book on the "creative class" has found an unexpectedly fervent following in Russia, but did that class ever exist here? Русский


Working in the Gulag

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Russia’s Prison Service, the FSIN, wants to put inmates’ employment on a more businesslike footing, but their working conditions are still more like slave labour.

 

‘Russian passport, please’

Zeveleva pic - rus:us passport.jpgIt is now a criminal offence for Russian citizens not to declare their foreign passports or permanent residence permits. 

 

Educating Russians abroad

 - wiki.jpgIn 2014, the Russian government launched the ‘Global Education’ programme of postgraduate education abroad. But the reaction in Russia has been obstructive and hostile. На русском языке

Journalism has become a form of ‘prostitution’ in Russia

Ria Novosti C Ruslan Krivobok.jpgThe Samara region has one of the highest numbers of media outlets in Russia, but local journalists find it hard to write the truth.

 

Высокая цена демократии в Украине

Logo_of_the_Verkhovna_Rada_of_Ukraine_1.pngУкраина находится на пороге банкротства. Выполнить бюджет на 2015 год практически нереально. Радикальные реформы затягиваются. Война на востоке страны продолжается. Что ожидает Украину в 2015 году? In English

The buckwheat crisis in Russia

buckwheat on shelves.jpgBuckwheat prices in Russian shops are soaring without any apparent reason. Russians are stocking up on this nutritious and usually cheap foodstuff, anticipating the worst is yet to come.

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