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This week, Russian citizens have been arrested for intolerance towards Cossacks

Our partners at OVD-Info give us the latest on freedom of assembly and political detentions in Russia. 

Karelia: a story of autocracy and resistance

For years, Karelia was a last holdout for Russia’s liberal Yabloko party. But a series of arrests has seen its supporters drummed out of this northern province.

From the boat race to Azerbaijani jails: how dirty gas sells itself to elites

A new report exposes the network of lobbying and hypocrisy that risks locking Europe into decades of unnecessary fossil fuel expansion.

A hyperlink to absurdity

The implementation of the Kremlin’s law on “undesirable organisations” is reaching farcical proportions.

Defending Ukraine’s revolution against Ukraine’s leaders

Leshchenko.pngAs Ukraine’s oligarchic status quo re-asserts its power, the country’s international partners need to step up their support for democracy. RU

 

Russia’s “foreign agents” law is bankrupting campaigners and activists

Ruinous fines levied against Russian NGO heads are destroying the civil sector and pushing campaigners to the brink of survival. RU

Russia: last Sunday’s “revolution” in numbers

This week, the Russian authorities have detained 484 people on the streets. The pretext? A crackdown on an attempted nationalist revolution. 

Manifesto of students and graduates of the European University at St Petersburg

We declare that our university is being persecuted on political grounds. Help us fight back.

“Ukraine’s veterans don’t need sympathy, they need dignity”

Ukraine needs a public conversation about its veterans.

“I’ll definitely go back to Crimea”

Ilmi Umerov, a veteran Crimean Tatar activist, was recently released from Russian custody after facing “separatism” charges. I spoke to him about repressions in Crimea, his plans and the future of the occupied peninsula. RU

What can and can’t be said about the Russian revolution

In Russia today, there’s little consensus on the events of a century ago. But can you have national reconciliation without truth about the Russian Empire’s revolutions? RU

What is Russian influence, anyway?

A new book on Russia’s role in the Balkans demonstrates not just the extent of Moscow’s influence — but also its limits.

Digital sovereignty à la russe

Russia’s digital security doctrine is isolationist and authoritarian. It not only trumps the ​​development of the country, but blocks it. RU

Pyotr Ryabov: “Prison is the ideal model for the state”

Russian anarchist writer Pyotr Ryabov was recently imprisoned and deported from Belarus. I asked him about freedom of assembly, the power of the hunger strike and why history lectures are a threat to authoritarian rule. RU

Artpodgotovka: six days to destroy a movement

This week has seen members of a Russian radical nationalist movement searched, detained and charged with various offences, including terrorism.

Heated debates around domestic violence in Armenia

Civil society includes many NGOs that are not only conservative but are financed by Russia, and seem to be on a mission to impede Armenia from any rapprochement with Europe.  Interview.

Clean hands and empty heads: Transparency International’s new report on Russian theatre

17355012_10155067658762410_1648230893_n.jpgTransparency International-Russia’s recent report on the financial operations of Russia’s state theatres is yet more evidence that the anti-corruption agenda is squeezing out concerns for human rights. RU

 

Syrian refugees in Russia have to fight for their rights

Syrian citizens are fleeing from their war-torn homeland, and some of them have chosen Russia as their country of asylum. But life for them here is also a struggle. RU

Ukraine’s opposition protest: not quite a Maidan, not yet a movement

As the opposition splinters, the line between protest and destabilisation grows thinner in Ukrainian minds.

Welcome to Gdov, where Russia comes to an end

rsz_imageedit_23_5209658525.jpgRussia’s westernmost district is dying out — and with it, hopes for the country’s rebirth. RU

 

“We don’t want to be invisible”: the meaning of Azerbaijan’s LGBT purge

In late September Azerbaijan’s police rounded up and detained dozens of LGBT people. What explains this sudden crackdown?

Andrei Sabinin: “You have to immerse yourself in the lives of strangers”

Andrei Sabinin, a veteran human rights lawyer, explains how the Russian state reacts to civic activism — and why defending human rights is impossible without publicity. RU

Pynya, go away!

This week in Russia there’s been something of everything — arrests, assaults and bannings. But at least three people have been released from prison.

Out of political prison in Uzbekistan, and still an optimist

Erkin Musaev spent 11 years in prison on fabricated charges. As signs of cautious reform emerge in Uzbekistan, this former political prisoner is keen to see real change happen. 

Europäische Universität Sankt Petersburg – “Todsicher”?

Im letzten Monat hat die Russische Bildungsaufsichtsbehörde der Europäischen Universität mitgeteilt, ihr keine neue Lizenz als Bildungseinrichtung zu erteilen. Mit diesem Schritt verdeutlicht Russland ein weiteres Mal, dass das Land auf die Meinung der internationalen Öffentlichkeit keinen Wert mehr legt. English, RU

Revenge by red notice: how Azerbaijan targets its critics abroad

The Azerbaijani authorities are using international criminal warrants to pursue their critics abroad. It looks like they’re getting away with it.

No answers on 2016 attack against international election observers in Georgia

An incident involving international election observers during Georgia's 2016 parliamentary election raised questions that the official investigation is still yet to answer.

Peace-building versus human rights in Ukraine’s Donbas

13654189_1762518223963655_138236124276395719_n.jpgDiplomatic games are being played in and around Ukraine. But officially recognising a Russian invasion is the only way toward peace. RU

 

Vesti: Weapon or casualty in the information war?

The search for Russian influence in Ukraine’s media is an important task. But when the mainstream makes little space for inconvenient facts, who ends up losing?

Estonia’s Narva: caught between two worlds?

An attempt at self-immolation in this Estonian border town is shifting the focus back on geopolitical games between Russia and the EU. RU

Victim of Chechnya’s anti-LGBT purge seeks justice

But will the Russian authorities deliver on their pledges to Investigate?

A response to “Georgian land, Georgian freedom”

We recently published an article arguing in favour of Georgia’s proposed ban on selling agricultural land to foreign buyers. A foreign landowner with several years’ experience in the country’s agricultural sector uses his right of response to argue against the move.

Russia’s ravenous redistribution: the plunder of Sakhalin

Residents of Russia’s far-eastern island of Sakhalin are outraged by Moscow’s abrupt decision to take away regional budget revenues.

How to hide evidence of torture inside Russia’s prison system

In Russia, law enforcement quickly puts pressure on prisoners who come forward about torture inside the prison system. RU

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