New constitution, old faces in Armenia

President Serzh Sargsyan is pushing for constitutional reform. Is it only about staying in power?

 

Would the real Maria Gaidar please stand up

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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

 

Electioneering games in Siberia

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Ahead of local elections later this year, Russia’s newly united opposition is trying its hand in Siberia. But their latest travails in Novosibirsk show what they are up against.

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.

 

Russia's 'derby grrls' are upending gender politics

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As the Russian state continues its conservative turn, could this fringe sport push back against the country’s gender politics?


Azerbaijan's failed rebranding

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No matter how much time and money Azerbaijan’s government spends making ‘friends’ in the west, the country is still characterised by a poor record on human rights.

Samara’s governor takes aim at higher education

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Down in Samara on the Volga river, the city’s higher education institutions are facing cuts and closure. And many people are far from happy.

Mukacheve puts Ukraine to the test

RIAN_02657849.LR_.ru_.jpgAfter a deadly fight between a volunteer battalion and local police over smuggling in the country's western borderlands, Ukraine finds itself at another critical juncture.

Putin’s leaders of the pack

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How has a motorcycle club managed to entangle itself so closely with Russia’s political and religious elite?

 

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.

 

Unpaid wages halt progress at Russia’s flagship space project

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The Russian government is throwing money at its new cosmodrome in the Far East. Its workers, however, have seen very little of it.

 

Russia’s last independent mayor is going down fighting

Galina_Shirshina_speech_stand СС Vladimir Larionov.jpgIn Petrozavodsk, Karelia, the conflict between Russia’s last independent mayor and the governor has turned nasty. The political fallout could reach the Kremlin.

The power of Electric Yerevan

Strong-arm tactics and cynical compromises are yet to send Yerevan's protesters home. Is this the beginning of the end for the politics of old in Armenia?

 

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. на русском языке

 

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.

 

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