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The growing gap between Ukraine and Russia – and the people trying to bridge it

Ukraine and Russia are mired in a self-perpetuating conflict. Ukrainian and Russian activists recognise the problem, but will they be able to overcome it? RU

The struggle for new blood and the future of Russia’s Left

A new candidate is helping to reinvigorate Russia's left-wing politics ahead of the presidential election, but what space will there be for voices and movements from below?

By defending Russian journalist Ali Feruz, we defend ourselves. Now we need to repeat it

The solidarity campaign for Ali Feruz, who faced deportation to Uzbekistan, has been successful. What can we learn from it?

If Russians are ignoring their upcoming presidential election, what are they talking about?

This year, local issues are the hidden focus of Russia's presidential election. 

Svetlana Sidorkina: “Defending the innocent is the most difficult thing of all”

Svetlana Sidorkina, one of Russia’s leading human rights lawyers, talks about how hard the Russian justice system can be to beat. RU

Protest in Russia's paper town

This corner of Karelia is known for two things: its paper mill and its prison. But its residents are fed up with poor quality housing, inefficient public transport and an unresponsive state — and are trying to do something about it. RU

Protecting the environment is becoming a deadly occupation in Russia

Environmental activists in Russia’s North Caucasus are fighting not just for the environment, but their own lives. RU

Russia’s car industry, where even the dead work overtime

Once the pride of the Soviet Union, Tolyatti’s car factories are cutting workers and raising production quotas by the year. The cost is all too human.

The rise of Russia’s vice squad

Developments in Russia’s intellectual community confirm that the worst Soviet practices and institutions are being restored. They have no place in Russia today – yet they’ve already become entrenched in it. RU

“Anyone can find themselves in prison, it doesn’t take much courage”

After 13 months in pre-trial detention, Russian historian Yury Dmitriev talks about his prison experience, forgotten cemeteries and forced exiles. RU

Extremists by any another name: how Karelian pensioners fought against a mining company – and won

Local conflicts in Russia are often written off as paternalistic. But sometimes, people win. RU

What would happen to Russia’s elections if the regional authorities stopped controlling them?

Russia's northern republic of Komi used to be known for its consistently high turnout on election day. But after a corruption investigation felled the region’s leadership, the future of managed elections is unclear here. RU

Russia’s presidential elections: predictable results with an unpredictable aftermath

This March, Russia goes through the motions of yet another (re)election. Here are the contenders, and a few reasons why their contest may just be worth watching.

The Kremlin as seen from Kobane

While the Kurds once warmed to Moscow, it seems Ankara’s latest military operation in Syrian Kurdistan would have been impossible without the Kremlin’s agreement. 

“I got called in by the KGB. They said there were no LGBT people in Transnistria”

In Transnistria, an unrecognised territory between Moldova and Ukraine, documentary photography is becoming one of the most effective tools for talking about taboo and controversial subjects. RU

Patriotism as a diagnosis

Nine years ago today, Russian activist lawyer Stanislav Markelov was shot dead in central Moscow. We republish the last article he wrote before his death.

Hope for Russia’s hopeless elections

“I’m not participating in this shit” could become the main political slogan at Russia’s upcoming presidential elections. RU

No future in Karabash, one of Russia’s most polluted towns

With its population dropping, this choking copper town in Russia’s Urals is struggling to survive. RU

Union-busting, Russian style

The Russian authorities are using “foreign agent” legislation against MPRA, the closest thing Russia has to an independent trade union. 

“I don’t remember who I am”: diary of detained journalist facing deportation from Russia

For people held in immigration detention, life can quickly turn into despair.

Preparing for and working towards a democratic Russia

How the west should prepare and promote a different future for Russia.

Wake up and smell the ruthenium

Russia’s recent ruthenium scare, which went viral around the globe, brought a serious problem to light: the absence in Russia of proper and transparent monitoring of its environment. 

Arseny Roginsky: Giving Russia its history back

On 18 December, Arseny Roginsky, historian, dissident and one of the founders of Russia’s Memorial society, passed away. He will be sorely missed. RU

Toxic cash: the risks of Russia’s “sovereign civil society” programme

By banning NGOs from receiving foreign funding, the Russian government has forced them to seek financial support at home. But state grants undermine civil society’s independence. RU

The 26 March case: how Russia is cracking down on freedom of assembly

In March 2017, Russia witnessed its largest public protests in years. But investigations into the events of that day are being used to punish participants. RU

The inner lives of queer comrades in early Soviet Russia

At the dawn of Soviet power, LGBT people found a language to express their identity. 

Dollars and desperation: how Russia’s financial crisis hit foreign currency mortgage-holders

Three years on from Russia’s 2014 financial meltdown, people with foreign currency mortgages are still suffering — and are only getting more radical in their struggle. RU

“We have plenty of reasons to protest apart from Platon”

Still angry at a new road tax collection system, Russia’s truck drivers have now been forced to register as a “foreign agent”. So they’re going on strike, again. RU

Igor Yasin: “If there’s no freedom of assembly for LGBT, there’s none for anyone else”

Russian activist Igor Yasin on attitudes towards LGBT in Russia’s regions, why the opposition has a homophobia problem, and how to assert your rights — and still be heard. RU

Free Russia Forum: sanctions and boycotts

Russia’s opposition remains weak and divided — but the latest forum in Vilnius could hint at consolidation down the road. RU

Debt and poverty: the thriving business of high-risk moneylenders in Russia

In Russia, loansharks and payday lenders masquerade as “microfinance” organisations to attract clients. But for many people, short-term loans are a way of life.

Six years of OVD-Info

Hundreds of hours spent on the phone, online and in court — this is what it means to monitor politically-motivated arrests in Russia. 

Humanism is out of fashion

In today’s Russia, why is anti-militaristic speech perceived as a call for historical revisionism? RU

Russian soldiers in Damascus: politics isn’t everything

While politics is the reason for Russian military presence in Syria, the relationship between Russian soldiers and Syrian civilians is not fundamentally about politics. RU

Experts for hire: how independent analysts create crimes for Russian law enforcement

Russian courts’ lack of independent expert evaluations isn’t a localised problem. It represents one of the most important factors in the country’s “conservative turn”. RU

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