I was on a Russian nationalist hit list

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In Moscow City Court, the suspected leader of a far-right terror group with links to the Kremlin stands accused of five murders. I was on their hit list.

 

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.

 

What Armenians are protesting (and what they’re not)

Fresh protests in Yerevan have their roots in a number of deep-rooted domestic issues in Armenian politics. But we make comparisons to other protest movements at our peril.

 

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.

 

Book Review: Mikhail Shishkin, 'Calligraphy Lesson'

‘Only art is capable of creating moments where our “unreal”, mortal time intersects with its “real” counterpart,’ says Shishkin.



The unlikely return of Yulia Tymoshenko

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The success of post-Maidan Ukraine depends on the effectiveness of the ruling coalition. Does Yulia Tymoshenko want to join the party or spoil it?

 

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

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.

 

Slavery in modern Russia

IMG_4441_0.PNGSlavery flourishes in Russian regions where a weak state, low salaries, and corrupt police make it profitable.

 

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.

 

Yelena Mizulina: the creation of a conservative

RIAN_02517983.LR_.ru_.jpgToday, the name Yelena Mizulina is a byword for Russian ultra-conservatism. But her ‘patriotic’ policies have a surprisingly liberal backstory.

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’.

 

The elephant in the room at Riga

Russia was everywhere and nowhere at the recent Eastern Partnership summit in Riga.

 

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.

 

Can feminist art free women from patriarchy in Eastern Europe?

Pic 2.jpgAs post-Soviet states continue their 'conservative turn', feminist artists stand up to address gender injustice in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

 

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.

 

 

The Kremlin's friends, foes and countrymen abroad

4076705.jpgAs Russian nationalism continues to varnish foreign and domestic policy motives, diaspora loyalties take on fresh significance both at home and abroad. 

 

Georgia's puzzled transition

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The disintegration of the Soviet Union has given birth to a new and difficult reality in Georgia.

 

Russia's short-termism in the Middle East

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Is the Ukraine conflict shifting Russia's Middle Eastern policy from real strategy to scoring cheap points?

 

The irreplaceables in Central Asia

924055_0.jpgIn Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, the authorities don’t even have to stuff the ballot boxes, their presidents have done everything they can to appear irreplaceable.

The Russia-Greek alliance has a big local problem

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As separatist forces creep closer to Mariupol, and Greece considers a further alliance with Russia, one group could put this new friendship on hold – Ukraine's Greek community.

Kazakhstan's reluctant leader

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Why does a president-for-life call snap elections?

 

Russian dissidents seek asylum in Kyiv

IMG_9257crop.jpgAs oppression heats up in Russia, post-revolutionary Ukraine is attracting political émigrés from the Russian opposition.

 

Times of war in Russian arts and culture

Garagecrop.jpgIn times of war, what can Russian arts and culture do to withstand interventions by the Russian state? An exhibition at Garage in Moscow could provide an answer.

Book review: Bill Browder, 'Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s No. 1 Enemy'

Tangerines poster (for standfirst).pngWhat they don't teach you at business school: how to go from being the grandson of the leader of the Communist Party of America, to a multi-millionaire in ex-Communist Russia. And back again…

 

What Russian students learn about Russia’s enemies

Conspiracy theories have permeated Russia’s education space, where they are intended not only to shape knowledge but to secure the political loyalty of Russia’s youth.

 

Life behind the blockade in the Donetsk People’s Republic

The closure of the border between Ukraine and the Donetsk People’s Republic has divided communities, leaving people short of food and medicines.

 

How Russia’s opposition learned to stop worrying and love Crimea

Kennedy Avatar crop.jpgA recent statement by a prominent Russian opposition figure is testament to an unpalatable truth: Crimea’s annexation is popular with Russia’s ‘liberal elite.’

 

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.

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.

Moldova's ambiguous European integration

EU:Moldova flag - Yuriy Vlasenko - Shutterstock.jpgThe EU may like to think of Moldova as its ‘star pupil’, but its unconditional support for successive corrupt governments may have lost it the support of the country’s people.

 

Agreement by association: Georgia edges closer to Europe

Georgia’s signing of the Association Agreement with the EU has been welcomed by the country’s people and its elite, but it will likely not be the panacea they hope.

 

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