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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. The demonstrations of March and April 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.

Dagestan's long-distance truckers are fighting for their rights

Hundreds of truck drivers in Dagestan have joined Russia’s countrywide strike against additional taxation. I spoke to them to find out their demands. Русский

“Young people in Russia today don’t have it easy”

After young people and students took to the streets, education is firmly on the agenda in Russia. An interview with Mikhail Sokolov on the threats to academic freedom and whether one of Russia's leading universities will survive. Русский

Putin's nation-building project offers reconciliation without truth

The Kremlin has resorted to obfuscating the past in the name of national reconciliation.

In St Petersburg, long-distance truck drivers are holding out for victory

Russia’s long-distance truck drivers have started a nationwide strike. But without support from political parties or other groups, how far can they go? Русский

In Russia, 26 March continues

Two weeks after Russia’s anti-corruption protests, activists and participants are still being tried, arrested and intimidated across the country. Русский

St Petersburg: in search of solidarity

Recent months have seen Petersburg residents mobilise themselves to control what happens in their town. This week’s bomb attack reminds us that the city’s solidarity is hard-fought. Русский

Anti-LGBT violence in Chechnya: when filing “official complaints” isn’t an option

The Chechen authorities are conducting a vicious operation against men suspected of being gay. The Kremlin should not only condemn these actions, but the culture of impunity that accompanies them. 

Don't call him Dima: Russia’s anti-corruption protesters face repression

Last Sunday's protests and a nationwide truckers' strike have led to detentions and trials across Russia. Read about them here. Русский

Russia’s prison service is keeping its abuses under lock and key

Despite signs of early change, the cover-up of torture inside Russia’s prison service demands reform. Русский

Russia's latest protests are no child’s play

They’ve been dismissed as a “teenage rebellion”, but the protests that shook Russia recently reveal how the country’s youth is slipping through the state’s fingers. Русский

The European University at St Petersburg: no license to learn?

The European University at St Petersburg has had its education license revoked. What’s next for one of Russia’s top higher education institutions? Русский

Death by Crimea

As long as Russia holds on to the Ukrainian peninsula, it will not and cannot change for the better. Русский

 

Bolotnaya: that spark in their eyes

For many people, the Moscow protests of 2012 were about falling in love – with the promise of freedom, and with each other. But how do you go on living when instead of the government, the barricades fall, and your hopes along with them? Русский

Who will make Russia “great again”?

Russia’s legal-rational establishment has yet to emerge. But the rise of Alexei Navalny demonstrates that when it does, it will inevitably be nationalist.

 

Russia’s “managed thaw”

This week, two political prosecutions in Russia were quashed — to much applause. But it’s too early to talk about positive trends — the authorities are merely changing their tactics.


What the Russian theatre critics won’t tell you

This new Moscow online journal is devoted to theatre. But it’s more like an activist project than a traditional arts magazine. Русский

Convert and love: Russia’s Muslim wives

Russian women marrying Muslim men convert to Islam in the certainty that a shared religion will strengthen their family. Nevertheless, cultural differences often win out — and Russian Muslims’ world remains closed to converts. Русский

Crimea: peninsula of torture

Three years on from Crimea’s annexation by Russia, brutal torture is being used to scare the peninsula into silence and submission.

Listening to Russia’s female migrants

How a new multilingual magazine in St Petersburg is giving a voice to female migrants from Central Asia.

The politics of Russia’s armed forces day

On the symbolism of Defender of the Fatherland Day, a celebration of Russia’s armed forces and de-facto Men’s Day. Русский

Love, North Caucasus style

In the North Caucasus, traditional and modern expectations of relationships are more chequered than a patchwork quilt. Here’s how young couples negotiate them. Русский

Beyond Bolotnaya: the future of Russia’s civil society

Russians are increasingly aware that, instead of waiting for the state’s good graces, they need to take some matters into their own hands. Русский

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