only search openDemocracy.net

Imitation civil society gets ready for Russia’s imitation elections

While the Russian government recruits loyal NGOs as election observers, other organisations refuse to be part of the process. RU

Reconstruction and restitution in Tomsk

How a conflict between the Orthodox church, the authorities and the residents is playing out in this Siberian city.

Russia’s elections: the rise and fall of “dramaturgiya”

The Kremlin is used to scripting election campaigns to the minute. But the 2018 election shows how they’re losing control.

Alexey Navalny’s election boycott reveals the symbolic matrix of Russian politics

Boycotting the Russian presidential elections is the logical extension of the opposition politician’s radical street politics. RU

The Elena Misyurina case: botched procedure or botched investigation?

How and why Russia’s medical community have united in the fight against the country’s Investigative Committee. RU

The first steps towards exonerating Russian Gulag historian Yuri Dmitriyev

This Russian historian spent 13 months in pre-trial detention on fabricated child pornography charges. The latest court proceedings confirm that he’s just as “normal” as the rest of us.

As Russia’s presidential election approaches, apathy is running high

On 18 March, Russians go to the polls to elect a new president (or rather, re-elect the old one). But there’s little enthusiasm around. RU

If Russia’s minorities are excluded from national political life, then why are they the most “loyal” on paper?

By rejecting popular support in Russia’s national republics, you can win more votes than you lose. RU

“Young people gathered to voice a silent reproach”: Dmitry Borisov’s closing statement in court

This Russian activist received a one-year prison sentence for allegedly kicking a police officer during an anti-corruption rally in March 2017. 

“My baby knows how to speed up judges when he needs to”

Recent revelations concerning a Russian oligarch and Russian deputy prime minister demonstrate how friendship, business and politics are intertwined in the Russian state’s influencing operations. RU

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

Syndicate content