Recent Posts

Russian Socialists in the Struggle for Democracy

For the past few weeks, protests for fair elections in upcoming municipal polls have become weekly in Moscow and St. Petersburg as thousands have defied authorities to attend unsanctioned rallies. The police crackdown has been particularly harsh in Moscow. Protests on July 27 and August 3 resulted in over 2000 detentions. Images of police in riot gear wrestling citizens to the ground and beating peaceful protesters were reminiscent of the mass protests against election fraud in 2011-2012.

Members of the Russian Socialist Movement, a small Marxist, anti-Stalinist organization active in the Russian left, have been participants in local electoral campaigns and in the protests. Two RSM activists, Valeria Kovelishina and Ilya Budraitskis talk about the Russian Socialist Movement, their electoral work, the protests for democracy in Russia and what they might mean for the future.

Witnessing the Collapse of Communism


Roundtable discussion marking the 30th anniversary of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Participants include Timothy Garton Ash, Bridget Kendall, and Jens Reich.

The Evictors

Around Moscow, there’s a whole industry of so-called “black creditors” — microfinance institutions (or MFOs) that swindle and seize debtors’ homes. Ivan Golunov’s investigation for Meduza has discovered that almost 500 apartments have been seized from their owners over the past five years without so much as a court order. In fact, this scheme involves more than simply “squeezing” people from their homes. It is possibly part of a wider, international money-laundering system. Here’s Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov on the ins and outs of this industry.

Cha-cha-cha-changes

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Alright already. To my utter surprise, many people have asked me why I haven’t posted anything to this blog in a while. I have no real excuse besides the proverbial laziness. Sometimes it is difficult to come up with things to write. Often it is more difficult to actually put things into writing. So here is a promise to my ever so concerned readers (which btw are all friends): I hereby promise that I will be more consistent in my postings.

I have a few things planned for this blog. Not only will I continue posting about my happenings in Russland; I will try to speak a more about my personal (mis)adventures. I also plan on continuing this blog after I return to the US of A in September. I figured the blogging thing has become such a trend that I might as well hop on the bandwagon. I personally find the whole blogging thing fascinating and I will probably comment more on blogging as a phenomenon in the future.

As you can see to your right, I’ve begun listing links to various things. Most are news sources and journals on a leftist nature as well as a few noteworthy blogs. I especially recommend Professor Juan Cole’s Informed Comment and Dahr Jamail’s Iraq Dispatches for news and analysis on the Iraq War. If you are into sex columns and are hankerin’ for some advice, I highly recommend Dan Savage’s Savage Love.

For those readers who can read Russian, I point your mouse to Neprikosnovennyi zapas, a hip Russian political and cultural journal. There is a limited English portion. I encourage all you other non-Russian readers to check it out.

I will expand the link list over time so keep an eye on any changes.

I don’t have much more to say now except thanks for reading and keep reading!