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Russia’s presidential election: a decline in citizen rights

The re-election of Vladimir Putin has been preceded by a significant crackdown on freedom of assembly and rule of law.

There may be no one to vote for in Russia’s elections, but they will be well monitored!

A tussle over election monitors in northwestern Russia reminds us of a simple truth: electoral authoritarianism takes a lot of effort. 

Harassment, detention and torture: Russia’s presidential election is marred by repression

Russian law enforcement and the security services have been given carte blanche to beat, intimidate, torture and fabricate cases before the elections.

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

Surviving imprisonment: does Ukraine need a law for former prisoners from the Donbas conflict?

Ukrainian society has had to face many challenges since 2014. One of them is reintegrating people who have experienced imprisonment and violence. RU

In Kazakhstan, architectural heritage is a path into a forgotten future

In the former capital city of Almaty, the move to catalogue Soviet buildings is an attempt to create an alternative history of one’s own.

Reconstruction and restitution in Tomsk

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

For Eurasia’s activists, no place is a safe haven

Existence of regional safety hubs is key to alleviating Eurasia’s human rights crisis.

Russian activists face prosecution in the run up to the presidential elections

Law enforcement are prosecuting activists left, right and centre ahead of the elections, stigmatising public activity and protest. 

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

What does the flight of a controversial news editor tell us about press freedom in Ukraine?

After the editor-in-chief of a controversial website flees for Vienna, there’s questions to answer – both for Ukraine’s authorities and the editor.

Why are some Ukrainian feminists boycotting the International Women’s Day march in Kyiv?

With increased donations and grants to Ukraine from western countries after Euromaidan, the number of non-governmental organisations have flourished. So have feminist groups. Ukrainian

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

Academic freedom in Tajikistan: critical engagement and solidarity

If academic solidarity and forms of critical engagement with Tajikistan are going to emerge, we must first recognise the primary problem comes from the regime. 

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

“The main thing at that moment, in that situation, was to come out alive”

A recent public action in support of tortured anarchists in the city of Chelyabinsk has led to a backlash. Here, two people reveal how they were tortured by the FSB.

“It’s important not to give into panic”: how I found out my husband was being tortured by the Russian security services

In late January, my husband Viktor Filinkov went missing on route to Petersburg airport. When I found him two days later, he’d been tortured and charged with terrorism.

Russia’s security services have form in fabricating cases against anti-fascists

On the eve of Russia’s presidential elections, a new wave of repressions has begun. This 2011 case demonstrates how these prosecutions are fabricated – and their impacts on real people’s lives. RU

“You should understand: FSB officers always get their way!”: Anti-fascist Viktor Filinkov reveals how he was tortured by Russian security services

On 24 January 2018, I was tortured by the FSB into confessing to terrorism charges. Here is what happened.

“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

A new era of crimes against humanity in Eurasia

A wave of brutal crackdowns on LGBT communities in the post-Soviet space has exposed civil society’s shortcomings — and destroyed lives.

Ukraine’s Orthodox church “conflict” takes to historic Kyiv

The stand-off between Ukraine’s “Moscow church” and patriotic citizens receives a new breath of life in the country’s capital. RU

Anatomy of The Times: how a British newspaper uses Russian propaganda tricks to discredit striking academics

A leading British newspaper is using patchy “evidence”, insinuation and intrigue to vilify the UK university protest. We know these techniques well from our research into Russian propaganda. 

Russian protester gets one-year prison sentence for waving his leg in the air (while he was carried off by police)

This week, a Russian activist was prosecuted in a landmark trial that is being used to restrict freedom of assembly — and punish citizens who try to assert it. 

One Chechen man’s quest for a real education

On this day in 1944, thousands of people in Russia’s North Caucasus were deported to Central Asia. They had few rights in exile — and had to fight every step of the way. RU

The prisoner of Yerevan: an American's unfortunate journey back to Armenia

In Armenia, repatriates from the US enjoy comfortable middle-class lives — unless they engage in political activism.

Russian interference in the virtual world is not the problem

If there were no Russian "influence operations" in the virtual world, no disinformation campaign spearheaded by Russian bots and trolls, would the western world look much different today?

Academic freedom in Tajikistan: western researchers need to look at themselves, too

The way people in the west research Central Asia isn’t always the most honest – and this shapes our understanding of academic autonomy.

Academic freedom in Tajikistan: why boycotts and blacklists are the wrong response

A recent call to disengage with educational institutions in this Central Asian state misses crucial points about academia under authoritarian rule.

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?

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