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.

Crying Sun: The Impact Of War In The Mountains Of Chechnya

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on reddit
Human rights activist Zarema Mukusheva’s documentary Crying Sun: The Impact Of War In The Mountains Of Chechnya is available for viewing on Google video. The 26 minute film, which is the first film produced by Memorial and the US based human rights group Witness, documents the effects of the Chechen war on the village of Zumsoi.In an interview with RFE/RL, Mukusheva said that the film

Especially follow[s] one man [Myahdi Muhayev] — during the war, his 15-year-old brother was abducted by Russian troops. Another brother was also detained, and after very cruel torture, became handicapped. Then our character himself is thrown into jail. After his detention by the federal services, he disappears for several days, and then there is an attempt to accuse him of serious crimes.

The other main character in the film is a schoolteacher in Zumsoi whose father is 103 years old. After everyone abandons the village, she starts to work for a human-rights organization and on the cases of disappeared people.

The film shows the lifestyle of these people, their situation, and how they are treated by the [Russian] military troops. It also shows the environment of the village — which is a result of the war; aerial attacks on the village, mop-up operations, and about how the families, one after another, gradually have to leave the village until the village is finally abandoned.

Shout out to A Step at a Time for bringing attention to it.