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Don’t let Russia leave the Council of Europe

Those who wish to punish the Kremlin for its aggressive actions in Ukraine and elsewhere are missing the target: it is not the Russian government, but the Russian public who will suffer if the country leaves the Council of Europe. 

Gay life in Stalin’s Gulag

The sprawling system of Soviet camps contained many untold stories. I spoke to one of the few historians researching the experiences of gay men and lesbians in the Gulag to find out more. RU

How to think about Russia without Putin

“Russia without Putin” is more than a slogan. It’s an analytical claim.

Director Sergei Loznitsa on the conflict in eastern Ukraine: “This is disintegration”

Sergei Loznitsa talks about his new film on the Donbas conflict, societal collapse and the post-Soviet individual. RU

One year on from a planned “revolution” in Russia, dozens of people are facing jail time

In November 2017, hundreds of Russian citizens were involved in an apparent attempt to organise a new “revolution” in Russia. Thirty of them are now facing serious charges. 

Russia’s Mediterranean call: from Kerch to Palmyra, but without Constantinople?

How the Russian authorities are justifying the military’s pivot to the south east.

A new tale of migrant struggles in Moscow puts poverty, motherhood and hope on screen

This Russian-Kazakh film explores how people who migrate to Russia are often subject to forces far greater than themselves.

Back in the USSR: meet the people calling for the restoration of the Soviet Union

Soviet passport-holders are agitating for a revival of the USSR and a takeover of the British crown. RU

Mimetic power: how Russia pretends to be a normal member of the international community

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When it comes to promoting its influence abroad, the Russian state relies on mimicry and imitation.

 

“Everyone is trying to get me to stop”: Russian student Vyacheslav Kryukov writes diary of his prison hunger-strike

10 people were arrested in Moscow earlier this year on fabricated extremism charges. Vyacheslav Kryukov is one of them — and is now on Day 16 of a hunger strike.

Defeat, disappointment and the glimmer of dictatorship in Russia’s Far East

A regional election has gone badly wrong. Dissecting the Kremlin’s defeat in Primorye shows paths for Russia’s future.

The future of Russia’s one and only LGBT film festival

New legislation will hit independent and controversial cinema in Russia. The organisers of this LGBT film festival are going to keep on fighting for their right to speak on “forbidden” topics. RU

Conspiracy theory has gone mainstream in Russia. But how does it work?

Inside Russia’s conspiracy machine, things are more complicated than they seem. A new book demonstrates the pitfalls of conspiracy thinking.

Will the war in Russia’s North Caucasus ever end?

Over the past 200 years, war and colonisation has defined Russia’s North Caucasus. But in a period of relative calm, significant changes are still underway. RU

The Second Chechen War: Testimony of an Eyewitness

Chechen journalist Abdul Itslayev lived out the Second Chechen War in his native village. Against a backdrop of rocket attacks, murder and robbery, he tried to piece together what, in fact, was happening. RU

Why Russia needs a grassroots campaign against political repression

Political repression is ramping up in Russia, but a network of people ready to stand against it is yet to emerge.

How this DIY magazine is making space for taboo topics in Russia

Under conditions of growing self-censorship, small media can often raise questions avoided by Russia’s national media – but of real concern to readers. RU

Torture, missing evidence and procedural violations: how to make a terrorism case against 21 Russian Muslims

Another trial against Russian “Islamists” results in harsh convictions – this time, 21 of them.

A torture scandal makes Russia pay attention

Graphic footage of a prisoner being tortured has gripped the Russian public. But the lawyer who helped expose this torture needs state protection.

“We can’t let up”: theatre producer Anna Palenchuk on hunger-striking director Oleg Sentsov

Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov is on hunger strike in a prison in Russia’s Far North, but he’s still working on projects. RU

How conservative is the Russian regime?

Russia's intensifying neoliberal policies and the accompanying conservative rhetoric are clear evidence of the prolonged crisis facing the Putin regime. RU

Why Russian prison officers can torture with impunity

Russian courts continue to protect prison service officers accused of torturing and murdering inmates. RU

Hidden motivations: a brutal attack on a Russian Orthodox Church in Chechnya leaves questions unanswered

Allegations of a cover-up and improper qualification of an organised assault on an Orthodox Church in May this year have left space for conspiracy and intrigue.

Russia’s rising retirement age: six real stories

The Russian government’s move to raise the retirement age is encountering a lot of public discontent. Here, six Russian citizens tell us why they're against the reform. 

Can Russia’s opposition come together to fight the Kremlin’s pension reform?

While popular opinion is dead against the Russian government’s continued neoliberal line in social policy, opposition groups are competing for influence and electorate. RU

Abducted and illegally detained: the story of Pavlo Hryb, another Ukrainian prisoner of the Kremlin

After being abducted in Belarus, this Ukrainian citizen is facing terrorism charges in Russia.

Oleh Sentsov, Olexander Kolchenko and the meaning of solidarity

As filmmaker Oleh Sentsov enters Day 71 of his hunger strike to release all Ukrainian political prisoners, it’s worth thinking about how to expand the field of solidarity.

In Russia, a spoonful of propaganda helps the pension reform go down

This is how the Kremlin enacts an unpopular economic reform: deny responsibility, declare its inevitability and, yes, distract the public with a popular sporting event.


Could new business models make NGOs in the post-Soviet space more representative?

New business models are reshaping relations between the non-profit sector and wider society in post-Soviet countries. RU

How Russia’s security services target Crimean Tatars as “Islamic terrorists”

In the four years since the peninsula’s annexation, Russian security services have become well practiced at prosecuting Crimean Tatars on terrorism charges. RU

Desperately seeking socialism: why the Soviet Union's left-wing dissidents matter today

This new collection of essays seeks to rebalance our understanding of dissent in the late Soviet Union, drawing attention to democratic socialists from the 1950s into the 1980s. 

Global capitalism in Central Asia and competing economic imaginaries

For the US, Russia and China, Central Asia is a space of competing economic influences.

While everyone’s watching the football, the Russian government is raising the retirement age

Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 15.13.27.pngThis move signals the end of the Russian federal state’s social commitments. RU

 


How this grassroots initiative in St Petersburg is making a World Cup for everyone

Major sporting events speak to people in the language of money, prestige and officialdom. But they can – and must – speak the language of culture, equality and solidarity. RU

The media who cried wolf: how Eurasia’s autocracies use media for crisis management

Eurasian governments’ use of journalism for crisis agenda management erodes trust in media.

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