Boris Nemtsov: murder in an atmosphere of hate

The death of Boris Nemtsov, in the shadow of the Kremlin, is rooted in the atmosphere of hate which has been building in Russia for the past year. And Nemtsov was quite unlike the man often portrayed.

Шпиономания возвращается в Россию

Spy cartoon - Shutterstock - Tomacco.jpgСогласно «улучшенному» закону о шпионской деятельности, теперь любого человека можно заподозрить в шпионаже и государственной измене. И в этом его смысл.

Armenia’s foreign policy: between dependence and complementarity

oskanian pic_0.jpgThe plight of the weakest member of the Eastern Partnership region – Armenia – should have alerted policymakers to the seriousness of Russia’s intentions in re-asserting its position within ‘its’ near abroad.


The red tape tied around Donbass

Daily life in the Donbass region can be described as follows: ‘If there is a Ukrainian flag, there is life. If there isn’t – you are on your own.’


The ‘bright future’ of Oleg Sentsov

Mike Downey crop.jpgUkrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov has been held in pre-trial detention for almost a year on charges of terrorism – most of it in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison.


The American credibility trap

Kovpak crop.jpgAmerican politicians’ attempts to look ‘credible’ when talking about Russia are hypocritical, self-serving and self-defeating. If they really want Russia to change its policies, they need to act smarter, not tougher.


Re-drawing the map of migration patterns

Migration trends picture - Dbachmann- wiki.pngThe Ukrainian crisis has triggered a redirection of migration patterns in the post-Soviet space, affecting both host countries and suppliers alike.

Russian woman accused of treason for phoning Ukrainian embassy

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A mother of seven is facing charges of treason in the Russian town of Vyazma. Her alleged crime? Phoning the Ukrainian embassy to warn about Russian troop movements.

Armenia's unhappy New Year

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Armenia is now a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. But with the economy in trouble, does membership have any benefits?


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

1037907.jpgRichard Florida's 2002 book on the ‘creative class’ has had an unexpectedly fervent following in Russia, but did that class ever really exist in Russia? на русском языке


The Crimean ‘question’

There are more questions than answers to the Crimean ‘question’.



Can Ukraine’s divided church help heal the divided country

In hardship, people turn to religion for help. Ukraine today is no exception. But is it the answer to the country’s problems?


A new drama in Moscow

Teatr.doc – a pioneer of ‘New Drama’ in Russia – has recently been evicted from its basement home in Moscow. But is it all an act?


The end of the Georgian dream

Parlament_of_Georgia_(Kutaisi)- wiki.jpgGeorgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili's decision on 4 November 2014 to dismiss Defence Minister Irakli Alasania provoked an immediate reaction both in and outside the country.

A free-thinker loses his freedom in Azerbaijan

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On 12 January, Arif Yunus, the distinguished Azerbaijani scholar, will ‘celebrate’ his 60th birthday in a prison cell.


‘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 high price of democracy in Ukraine

Logo_of_the_Verkhovna_Rada_of_Ukraine.pngUkraine is almost bankrupt. The budget for 2015 is unrealistic. Root and branch reform has stalled. There is a war still going in the east of the country. Where now? На русском языке.


Kakha Bendukidze and Georgia’s failed experiment

KakhaBendukidze_wiki.jpgKakha Bendukidze died in November 2014 at the age of 58. Bendukidze directed the whirlwind of economic reform that characterised Georgia from 2004 to 2008-9.


From our own correspondent in Moscow

Kremilin from behind bars by Arseny Bobrovsky.jpgThere have been protests in the capital. Could Moscow really go the way of Kyiv – bring down the president and install a less authoritarian government?


Power struggles inside the Kremlin

Kremlin clock tower_wiki.jpgA behind-the-scenes look at power struggles inside the Kremlin reveals potential scenarios for the future. And a possible new president.



The trials and tribulations of Alexei Navalny


The Russian government is determined to maintain the legal pressure on Alexei Navalny, a trained lawyer and leading opposition activist. But what is the Kremlin afraid of? На русском языке

The ‘Muslim radicalisation of Central Asia’ is a dangerous myth

RIA:R Mangarasyan Tajikistan 96.jpg Security think-tanks and expert communities in the Western world are perpetuating the dangerous myth that Muslim radicalisation is rife in Central Asia.

The kidnap trail to Central Asia

kidnapped activist crop.jpgCentral Asian security services have been abducting their countries’ citizens from Russia to stand trial on trumped-up charges. And the Russian police have been helping them.

The Kremlin has nothing to fear from left-wing opposition

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Russia’s present troubles would suggest that the left-wing opposition finally has a chance to be heard. But how is that possible when so many of them have been in bed with Putin for years …

Уход Путина

Morozov-Aleksandr_medium russ.ru_.jpgДо «черного вторника» 16 декабря вопрос об отставке Путина и досрочных выборах выглядел совершенно безосновательно. Но сейчас необходимо и этот пусть и по-прежнему маловероятный сценарий обсуждать. In English


Putin goes

Morozov-Aleksandr_medium russ.ru_.jpgUntil Black Tuesday on 16 December 2014, 15 years after Vladimir Putin first took power, there were no grounds to suggest he might resign or call snap elections. Now there are. На русском языке


Talking about the rouble, President Putin makes a few phone calls

Romanycheva.jpg Even as the Russian rouble responds to Central Bank intervention, people are taking to the streets in search of imported goods. Meanwhile, President Putin makes a few phone calls.


The rouble crisis in Siberia

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As the rouble collapses, residents of Tomsk have long memories — from Black Tuesday 1994 to Black Tuesday 2014.


Russians do not want to adopt Russian children

Orphans photo wikipedia.jpgAmericans can no longer adopt Russian children, so now the government is encouraging more Russians to adopt. But without much success.


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.


Film Review: 'I Don't Believe in Anarchy' (dir. Natalia Chumakova and Anna Tsyrlina)

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'Everything will be free. Everyone will be fucking high.' Between 1985 and 1990, Yegor Letov and his Siberian punk rock group Grazhdanskaya Oborona (Civil Defence) created some of the most powerful music to come out of the Soviet Union. And had a lot of fun upsetting the KGB...


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