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Russia’s gubernatorial elections marred by political pressure

Seventeen Russian regions went to the polls this week. Activists and politicians have, however, been met with significant pressure and restrictions at polling stations. 

Russia’s wild decade: how memories of the 1990s are changing

A time of freedom and survival, memories of Russia’s first post-Soviet decade have come to divide people. The editors of a new collection on the 1990s share their thoughts. RU

Serebrennikov and the attack of the Russian state-security chimera

There’s a chimera coming for Russian theatre – and it’s not corruption, but a bloated state apparatus. RU

Russia’s elections that weren’t

Gubernatorial elections in several Russian regions could have been quite competitive. But with a presidential campaign approaching, the Kremlin can’t even muster the courage for a fair race. RU

Quiz: what kind of Kremlinologist are you?

They come in all shapes and sizes.

The historian who dug too deep

This year isn’t just the centenary of the October Revolution; it also marks 80 years since the start of the Great Terror. In northern Russia, one man is on trial for digging too deep into that Soviet past. RU

The performance artist

Ever since the detention of Pussy Riot five years ago, arrests of artists for non-sanctioned spontaneous performances have become the norm. Katrin Nenasheva was detained five times over the last two years — in particular for her anti-war protests. RU

Russian court acquits journalist Sergei Vilkov of defamation charges

But don’t worry, there’s plenty more bad news.

“It was like hell in miniature”: how Rostov-on-Don lost a whole neighbourhood in one day

A massive fire in the southern city of Rostov has left hundreds homeless, but brought out the best in both the public and the bureaucrats. RU

Moscow's mercenaries reveal the privatisation of Russian geopolitics

Further revelations regarding the role of Russian private military contractors in Syria exposes how, under Putin, “state” and “private” are often one and the same thing.

 

Russia’s surveillance state is giving us a false sense of security

The Russian state’s mass expansion of surveillance online and offline is not making citizens any safer. 

For once, no one charged in Russia's Bolotnaya Square case is officially in prison

That is, if you don’t count psychiatric hospital or house arrest. 

How can Russia’s left work with Navalny?

Across Russia, Alexey Navalny’s anti-corruption campaign is gaining an audience. Can Russia’s left benefit from the political opening he has provided?

Why explaining internal strife in the United States through “Russian influence” is lazy and unhelpful

17884104_10155247241944570_384719725072181536_n.jpgWhen you find yourself doing the same thing Putin and his propaganda machine does, you’re doing something wrong.

 

 

To the victors, the ruins: the challenges of Russia’s reconstruction in Syria

From rebuilt mosques to new oil contracts, Russian firms are cashing in as the Assad regime gains the upper hand in Syria. 

“Honour killings” in Russia’s North Caucasus

When women in the North Caucasus are murdered by their families for “immoral behaviour”, justice is rarely done.  

Five years of Russia’s Foreign Agent law

Russia’s Foreign Agent law has made the existence of many NGOs practically impossible. But solidarity is rising among organisations that are working against these restrictions. RU

“This trial turned out to be unique and dystopian in the Orwellian sense”

This week, Russia’s anti-extremism legislation took another four casualties.

The burning land of Lenin-Aul

In a remote corner of Dagestan, a vicious land dispute has erupted between Avars and Chechens. RU

Alexey Navalny and the moral pillars of democracy

Will the restoration of democratic institutions in Russia usher in a liberal paradise? The answer could very well be “no”.

Dissent in Russia: a festival of disobedience?

What kind of freedom do the latest wave of protesters want? Has a new kind of Russian emerged since the collapse of the USSR? The conclusion of our interview with one of Russia’s leading sociologists, Lev Gudkov. RU

In Russia, sociology isn’t just about figures

Is solidarity possible in Russia? How has the relationship between Russia’s government and its citizens panned out in the last few years? An interview with one of Russia’s leading sociologists, Lev Gudkov. RU

Stop GOK: how residents of Chelyabinsk are resisting plans for a new copper plant

Plans for a new copper mining and enrichment plant outside the Urals town of Chelyabinsk are pitting Russian citizens against regional oligarchs. RU

Four years in prison for utopia

Russia’s fight against "extremism" is a convenient pretext for restricting freedom of expression — and journalist Alexander Sokolov is paying the human cost. RU

Just passing by the Kremlin

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

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

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