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Just passing by the Kremlin

How a Russian tourist went to look at the Kremlin — and ended up behind bars. 

New US sanctions bill on Russia threatens to further erode Minsk agreement

The diplomatic spat over new US Russia sanctions risks eroding a common US-EU position on Ukraine conflict.

For Russia’s students, the price of protest can be high

Students have featured prominently in Russia’s latest wave of anti-corruption protest, and now they're facing repression as a result. 

Why Moscow will never get a museum of migration

Russian museums tend to avoid the subject of migration at all costs. For curators, it seems the people and history embodied in migration processes are invisible. RU

No home, no work, no family: the difficulties of rehabilitation for Russia’s ex-prisoners

Confiscation of property, slave labour, deceit, despair. What else do Russian ex-cons face when they leave prison?

Inside Ingushetia’s anti-extremism centre: torture, extortion, murder

Russia’s anti-extremism centres are notorious for their brutal torture. Here are the stories of its victims in Ingushetia, where for the first time, some of the organisation’s operatives face trial for their crimes.

Russian authorities take aim at supporters of opposition politician Alexei Navalny

Interference with the Russian opposition's nationwide campaign is reaching new heights.

“They made this man an invalid. Can you imagine how they crippled my soul?”

Torture ruins lives. Here, we present monologues of five women whose husbands and sons were beaten, pressured and crippled by members of the Russian police force. 

Strangers in the village

Despite Russia’s economic woes, labour migrants from Central Asia continue to arrive. And now they seek a better life not only in big cities, but in deserted Russian villages. RU

Punitive psychiatry: how Russian leaders deal with their opponents

As the Russian authorities continue to rachet up on the pressure on civil society and the public sphere, activists, journalists and bloggers are paying the price — through forced psychiatric detention.

“Worse than prison”: Russian political prisoner Alexei Moroshkin on punitive psychiatry

Alexei Moroshkin spent 18 months in compulsory psychiatric detention for his political views. Here’s his story. RU

#FreeMalobrodsky

Russian theatre is fighting for the right to independence and diversity — and showing how to do that beyond political protest. RU

The man in black: interview with Russian anarchist Dmitry Buchenkov

For Russian investigators and judges, it doesn’t matter if you’ve taken part in protest actions or not. Public criticism of the state can serve as a pretext for imprisonment.

Charting Russia’s most dangerous cities for LGBT people

Here are the towns where it’s dangerous to be gay in Russia. A culture of silence and a law “against propaganda” are keeping them that way. Русский

Scaling back on healthcare may start with Russia’s migrants. But it won’t end there

The Russian state has absolved itself from providing social services to migrant workers. Are its own citizens next? RU

A helping hand at Russia’s protests

Volunteer Elizaveta Nesterova talks about helping people arrested at rallies, relations with activists and Russia’s latest wave of protests. Русский

Feared for all the wrong reasons? The workings of Russia’s conservative soft power

Western pundits and policymakers often see Russian influence in terms of the hybrid threat. But the lens of soft power explains more in terms of Russia’s attraction for marginal politicians.

Russian youths are taking to the streets, but let's not over-hype the revolt of the “Putin generation” just yet

If we're going to understand how young people in Russia are becoming more political, we need to ask the right questions before applying our own labels. 

Alexei Navalny's campaign: effective management or grassroots movement?

Russia’s new wave of protest poses a question for those riding it: what kind of movement are they building?

A visa-free for dirty money: transborder corruption, Russia and the west

The endemic corruption of Russian business, politics and law enforcement is spreading to the west  and becoming a global phenomenon. Русский

The revolving door

Signs of a thaw in Russia’s treatment of political prisoners hides the reality of a targeted campaign against active citizens. Русский

My first death threat: the life and times of a Russian ecological activist

Last month, Yaroslav Nikitenko received his first death threat. The veteran campaigner speaks on environmental activism in Russia today.

What can we learn from Russia’s spring of protest?

Russian citizens are fed up. Truckers keep on protesting, and allegations of corruption at the highest levels are drawing crowds. Recent demonstrations teach us that protest could be the only right we’ve got left. Русский

State, society and the individual in the Russian courtroom

One of Russia’s leading human rights lawyers discusses competing realities inside and outside the courtroom. Русский

Reflections of an (older) Pioneer

Remembering what didn’t exist – on the anniversary of the Soviet young pioneers’ organisation. Русский

On shaky ground: Russia’s FSB vs migrant radicalisation

Scrambling to address the growing threat of Islamist terrorism from Central Asia, Russia’s security apparatus is forced to depend on questionable foreign intelligence services.

Putting Russia’s homophobic violence on the map

From what little data we have, it’s clear that homophobic violence in Russia is on the rise. Russia’s LGBT people are victims of ignorance and intolerance — yet the state won’t lift a finger. Russian

Natural birth in Russia: the costs of “keeping it real”

Natural femininity, natural birth, natural products – Russians are increasingly drawn to the concept of “naturalness” in their daily lives. But not many can afford to live by the laws of nature, rather than the laws of the state. Русский

Chechens alienated amidst gay persecutions

News of mass arrests, detentions and murders of LGBT people in Chechnya has spread around the globe. The outrage prompts this Chechen journalist to reflect on his people’s place in the world.

"I don't falsify elections and I don't spread propaganda. But I'm still a teacher, I exist"

As Russian law enforcement turns its steely eye to the country's classrooms, three schoolteachers share their experiences of politics and propaganda. Русский

Russia’s eco-activists: not out of the woods yet

It’s Russia’s Year of Ecology. But as these activists tell us, campaigning on environmental and urban issues is far from a walk in the park. Русский

How can we explain radicalisation among Central Asia’s migrants?

Central Asia isn’t to blame for “exporting terrorism”, but the stigmatising experience of migration could be. Русский, Ўзбекча

“It’s a deeply personal matter”: An interview with Vadim Prokhorov, Boris Nemtsov’s lawyer

For Vadim Prokhorov, lawyer for murdered Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, finding justice is more than a matter of professionalism. Русский

Is the anti-corruption agenda all that it’s cracked up to be?

The fight against corruption is often sold as the pill to end all postsocialist ills. Activists and researchers in Poland, Russia and Ukraine give their views on why we need to challenge it. 

Fighting back, in the back of beyond

Across Russia, active citizens are fighting for their neighbourhoods, livelihoods and against systemic corruption. The moment when these agendas meet will be an important one.

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