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A tale of two revolutions, or “decommunisation”, Ukrainian-style

Ukrainian politicians see their country’s Soviet heritage as a major obstacle on the way to a brave new world. It's a shame they’re using the same revolutionary methods as the communists to deal with it. RU

Don’t give up on democracy in Moldova

MAIA SANDU JPG red.jpgMoldova had high hopes for democratic transition. But with an oligarch at the helm, democracy is under threat on the EU’s border.

 

Closure of the European University at St Petersburg: a dead cert?

The attack on this institution is another example of how Russia has chosen to ignore the international community — and how Putin’s political order is changing. RU, Deutsch

 

Yulia Galyamina: “Party politics has exhausted itself”

Yulia Galyamina is a newly elected municipal councillor in Moscow. I asked her about networked protest, party discipline and her plans for the future. RU

Russia's anti-corruption protests: detentions, detentions, detentions

The pressure on Russian individiuals and organisations involved in anti-corruption rallies continues. 

Afgan Mukhtarli: after the abduction

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 10.jpgMy husband was kidnapped on the streets of Tbilisi and ended up in an Azerbaijani jail cell. Four months on, I’ve got no answers — only more questions.

 

No way out for bloggers in Ukraine’s Donbas

In Ukraine’s occupied Donbas region, bloggers — some of the only reliable sources of information left — are feeling the pressure from all sides. RU

 

Auf der Suche nach dem Anderen: Wen wählten die russischsprachigen Deutschen in den Bundestag?

Die "Alternative für Deutschland" erzielte bei der Bundestagswahl einen historischen Sieg. Welchen Beitrag leisteten "die Russen"? English, RU

Photographing the 20th century

Hungarian artist Peter Puklus talks about his photography book The Epic Love Story of a Warrior, European history of the 20th century, and Marina Tsvetaeva. RU

Sacrificial roosters and offended feelings

What do a film about a Tsar’s mistress, Pussy Riot, the opera Tannhäuser, voodoo magic, and bloggers from Bryansk have in common? They’ve all “offended the feelings of believers”… RU

Russian-Germans and the surprising rise of the AfD

The right-populist AfD party is soon to take its first seats in the Bundestag. What was the role of Germany’s Russians in that unprecedented electoral success? RU, Deutsch

Raiding in Russia’s education system is causing the death of professional education

There is a full-blown struggle for the future of Russian higher education going on. Right now, the professionals are losing. RU

Reasons for arrest: anti-capitalism, separatism and “political hatred”

This week, Russian law enforcement gets inventive as it detains activists across the country.  

Stopping the spin from Azerbaijan’s very special laundromat

osce_budapest_portrait-37.jpgWe all know about Baku’s international efforts to whitewash criticism of human rights abuses. What makes these latest revelations so different?


Meet Tajikistan’s embattled Islamists

Tajikistan is trying to persecute what was once Central Asia’s only legal Islamist party out of existence. But is this really about countering terrorism, or just cracking down on dissent in any form?

Armenia’s parents dream of having sons

Armenia still has one of the world’s highest rates of sex-selective abortions. Here are the mothers’ stories.

The caring state: how Russia’s new babushkas are filling in the welfare gaps

Expectations of babushki taking care of their grandchildren, shaped by the Soviet history of family and economic policies, are hard to implement in a radically different post-socialist context.

Inside Tomsk’s political machine

Tomsk’s recent governor elections, rigged and managed from above, illustrate how the electoral system really works in many Russian regions. RU

A metal pipe for your trouble

The Russian authorities’ campaign against Alexey Navalny is getting violent. 

Chelyabinsk copper plant conflict reaches new (and sad) lows

A copper mining complex in one of Russia’s most polluted regions has been given the go-ahead — and is fraught with intimidation at the local level. RU

Not in my classroom: Russia’s refugee children struggle to get to school

Headteachers in Russia’s schools are turning foreign children away — fearing hefty fines and pressure from the migration services. RU

Uzbekistan’s new leader fails his first test

One year after the death of Islam Karimov, the continued use of forced labour in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields shows how slow the pace of change really is.

 

Georgian land, Georgian freedom

A proposed amendment to Georgia’s constitution would ban the sale of agricultural land to foreign citizens. Is it a necessary evil, or a hollow gesture?

Georgia’s highlanders against hydropower

As the Georgian government moves ahead with its plans for increasing the country’s hydropower capacity, local communities are being sidelined in the process of compensation payments.

Oops! How Moscow’s municipal election turned into a headache for city hall

The unexpected success of independent candidates in Moscow’s recent council elections may be relative — but it's real enough. RU

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

The great return of the past

How does working with and through the past define our present? oDR launches a new series of articles: "Practically about memory". 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

Farewell to Kyrgyzstan’s “island of democracy”

In the run-up to presidential elections on 15 October, Kyrgyzstan’s authorities are intensifying their attacks on journalists and independent media outlets. 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

In Chechnya, a ruthless strongman orders family reunification

Ramzan Kadyrov wants to reunite Chechnya’s divorced couples. His initiative could only put already vulnerable women at grave risk.

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.

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