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Union-busting, Russian style

The Russian authorities are using “foreign agent” legislation against MPRA, the closest thing Russia has to an independent trade union. 

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

Why Russia needs the Levada Center

Independent sociological research in Russia is under serious threat. The country’s leading non-governmental polling agency has been labelled a “foreign agent” and may have to close. Русский

Could a union do anything to protect Russian journalists?


Physical attacks and management interference have put Russian journalists' safety — and their ability to work freely — back on the table. A new union will have to survive in an increasingly hostile environment. Русский

Atomic energy and political power in Russia


In Russia, the space for environmental activism and advocacy is changing under increasing state pressure. An interview with one of Russia’s leading ecological organisations about the prospects for anti-nuclear activism today. 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

A law beyond improvement

Defining “political activity” may seem like an academic exercise, but in Russia, it is an existential one.


В поисках «армянского лобби»

Из-за теорий заговора люди становятся покорными, а правители перестают чего-либо бояться. В Азербайджане всех диссидентов считают агентами скрытого «армянского лобби». English

Searching for the ‘Armenian Lobby’

Conspiracies keep the people pliant and rulers fearless. In Azerbaijan, all dissidents are considered to be agents of a shadowy ‘Armenian lobby’. Русский

We need to find the common ground between climate change and civil society

To combat Russia’s industrial polluters, public indifference and limits on NGO activity, we need to link climate change and civil society. Русский


The mountains have ears: legislating against surveillance in Georgia


The late 2000s saw illegal wiretaps and surveillance ramp up in Georgia. New laws to deal with this legacy are yet to truly pay off. на русском языке

‘The convention on refugees: rescind it or carry it out’


Who receives refugee status or temporary asylum in Russia – and how.


The opposition's last mandate

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Deputies of the Pskov regional assembly are attempting to remove a colleague from their ranks—opposition lawmaker and journalist Lev Shlosberg. 

Почему закрылось «окно жизни»?

В Кирове власти закрыли первый в федеральном районе бэби-бокс, существовавший всего несколько дней. in English 


The ‘window of life’ in Kirov

In the Russian city of Kirov, local authorities recently closed down a scheme to rescue unwanted newborn babies after just four days. We speak to the women and priest involved. на русском языке

Hiding in plain sight: Russian ministries online

Government websites have a bad reputation for a reason. In Russia, NGOs have been trying to make them easier to use—all under the rubric of transparency.


'Is your mum a foreign agent?'

Russian NGOs, large and small, are facing closure after the blacklisting of their foreign funders. speaks to some of the organisations affected.

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.


Would the real Maria Gaidar please stand up


Maria Gaidar, Russian opposition politician and daughter of a former prime minister, has found a new job – in Ukraine. What’s it all about?

Как украинцы живут в России в условиях конфликта

Как украинцам живется в стране, в которой постоянно ищут бандеровцев и сторонников Майдана? in English


Ukrainian refugees in Russia receive a mixed welcome

Many people took refuge in Russia after fleeing eastern Ukraine last summer. Their experiences are far from uniform. Русский

Will the patriotic stop list kill Russia’s NGOs?


Since 2012, Russian NGOs receiving funding from abroad have had to register as ‘foreign agents’. A new patriotic stop list might shut funding off forever.

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

The ‘Switzerland of Central Asia’ is not looking very Swiss

Daniele Rumolo.jpgKyrgyzstan, the ‘Switzerland of Central Asia’, has been moving closer to Russia, with perhaps predictable results.


Kyrgyz LBGT attacked on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

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Ahead of elections this autumn, the political drama around LGBT rights in Kyrgyzstan hots up.


The Sakharov Centre in Moscow needs your help

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The Sakharov Centre in Moscow is currently facing unplanned inspections, with threats of closure or registration as a Foreign Agent. 

Russian NGOs need to rethink their strategy

Sakharov memorial .jpgRussia’s voluntary sector, faced with growing government interference, needs to be more open about its aims and operations if it wants more public support.


The sex change commission in Ukraine

Transgender citizens in Ukraine have good reason to think that they are all but invisible. Even the EU is not pushing for inclusiveness; and then there is the sex change commission… на русском языке

Nagorno-Karabakh: a gender inclusive approach to peace

Research suggests that engaging local women in conflict resolution efforts increases the likelihood of violence ending within a year – a theory worth testing in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Samara: ripples from the Ukrainian storm

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Some 5000 people have fled to Samara, from the fighting in Ukraine, but many say they have been victims of Kremlin propaganda.


Praying to Putin

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


Feeding democracy in Slovyansk

5211579_0.jpgLife in Slovyansk is no picnic. Now election candidates think votes can be bought with food parcels. На русском языке


The ecology of sanctions

Remulazz Paper mill in Baikalsk (crop)_0.jpgSanctions against Russian natural resources tycoons will be good for the environment. на русском языке.


Pacifism and patriotism in Russia

Pacifism is incompatible with patriotism in today’s Russia. на русском языке



‘Caviar diplomacy’ hides human rights abuses in Azerbaijan

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In Azerbaijan, prominent human rights defenders are being arrested; and NGOs raided. ‘Caviar diplomacy’ covers it all up.


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