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Russia’s security services are trying to reform their way out of the shadows

10838229_1015976098430355_7234058766256563378_o.jpgSweeping reforms to Russia’s power ministries show that the FSB has the country’s security monopoly in its sights.

 

Russia’s reluctant elections

The results may be predictable, but Russia’s parliamentary elections hint at the next stage of regime mobilisation.

Goodbye, Bastrykin?

Moscow has a new motto: work a little harder, steal a little less. A big name may have just fallen foul of it.

 

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

A stalemate in Belarus

Two new opposition candidates prepare to take their seats after rigged parliamentary elections in Belarus. As ever, the real losers are ordinary citizens.

Kremlinology: an intervention

Protests and strikes across Russia show that the country’s “silent majority” is becoming louder. But are pundits even listening?

The green shoots of Russian grassroots activism (part 2)

Our story on Russia’s grassroots activism continues. From Moscow’s parks to federal highways, ordinary citizens learn the power of protest  and of solidarity.

The green shoots of Russian grassroots activism

What do two Moscow parks and a truck drivers’ trade union have in common? They have been the focus of protests that have shown that the Russian public may be losing its traditional passivity.

Goodbye Karimov

We don't know whether Uzbekistan's leader is alive or dead. But the system he created will live on.

Who do I call if I want to speak to "pro-Russian forces" in Georgia?

In Georgia, whether you're in opposition or in power, you can always call your opponent an agent of the Kremlin.

Putin’s incredible shrinking circle

12946.jpgIvanov’s departure leaves few voices able to speak truth to Putin.

 

Neoliberalism, mining and Armenia's politics of plunder

The resurgence of fighting with Azerbaijan could hinder progressive mobilisation in Armenia, but recent environmental initiatives reveal the appetite for resistance to the economy of extraction.

Ukraine’s rulers are backing themselves into a corner

As Europe's sanctions resolve against Russia evaporates, Ukraine's domestic political contest is heating up — Kyiv is turning its sights on the constitutional court. 

Depoliticising protests in Armenia

Years of social and environmental protests in Armenia have proven one thing — our demands must be political in nature. Русский

The “Moscow Consensus”: Constructing autocracy in post-Soviet Eurasia

Across the former Soviet Union, a new type of authoritarianism has become the default — with commerce, parliaments, military, media and civil society used to consolidate elite economic and political power. 

Is neoliberalism applicable to Russia? A response to Ilya Matveev

Attempts to call the Putin regime “neoliberal” get one fundamental thing wrong: capitalism doesn’t exist in Russia. Русский

Counting down to Russia’s 2016 Duma Elections

As Russia gears up for a parliamentary elections this autumn, how can the country's embattled opposition and civil society offer a real contest to the Kremlin's "imitation democracy"?

Georgia: the exiles’ election

Twenty five years after the separatist wars that shook Georgia, 265,000 displaced people still struggle to make ends meet — and their voices heard. 

Atomic energy and political power in Russia

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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

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

“Karabakh rules Armenia”

Shots have been fired over Nagorno-Karabakh, and leaders in Baku and Yerevan demand national unity. But behind the patriotic hysteria is a cry for social justice.

In Armenia, gender is geopolitical

A wave of homophobia in Armenia is playing on pro-Russian and pro-European sympathies. Gender has become geopolitical, and the LGBT community is fearful.

 

“EU or bust?” is the wrong question for Ukraine

What was missing in the Dutch referendum on the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine?

 

Moldova’s political tourists

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In Moldova, party allegiances are for sale. MPs are increasingly crossing the floor, and over a quarter of the electorate are now misrepresented by their current parliament.

From Panama, via London, with love

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The Panama Papers implicate more than just a few select international leaders. They demonstrate how offshore finance and corrupt leaders in the post-Soviet space thrive off each other.

Fear and loathing in Ukraine: a very “European” protest

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A new type of mass mobilisation on the streets of Ukraine shows how society is being divided along lines all too familiar to EU citizens.

 

Crimea’s Ukrainian underground

Two years after Crimea became part of the Russian Federation, most traces of Ukrainian culture have effectively disappeared from the peninsula. Русский Українською

A sinless Russian spring

Russia has been celebrating the second anniversary of its annexation of Crimea. Is there any guilt behind the gloating?

 

#FreeSavchenko

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The sentence against Nadiya Savchenko is absurd. Where do we go from here? Русский

 

The Mordovian candidate

As the economic crisis hits Russia’s regions, Samara’s governor is trying to hold on to the kingdom he’s built for himself.

 

Terrorism and Russia’s power vertical

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Russia has been conducting a war on terror for 15 years. No wonder counter-terror is a part of the country’s system of governance. Русский

Meet Anatol Matasaru, Moldova’s one-man Pussy Riot

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Fed up with Moldova’s corruption and inertia, this protest artist is searching for new limits in political art. He now faces prison time for his work.

Russia, Inc.

From “structural reforms” of the 2000s to austerity policies today, neoliberalism has been and remains an organic part of the Putin regime. Русский

Moscow’s authoritarian future

Recent moves against Moscow’s street traders don’t only violate Russia’s Constitution and hurt the economy. They also consolidate the regime’s power. Русский

Moldova’s women in crisis

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Moldova’s economic prospects are bleak. Gender-based discrimination makes them bleaker still for the country’s women.

 

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