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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.

Russia Ranked 117th in Global Peace Index

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How peaceful is your country? Now thanks to the Global Peace Index you can find out. An organization called the Vision of Humanity, which believes that “unless we can achieve a world which is basically peaceful, then the major challenges facing humanity will not be solved,” has released its index of 121 countries according to their “relative peacefulness.”

Here are how some countries ranked:

As for why Russia is ranked near the bottom, here is the breakdown. Here is the rankings for some notable countries: China is ranked 60th, the U.S. 96th, and Iran 97th. There are some countries that are glaringly omitted. Most of West and Central Africa is missing. So is Afghanistan. I would imagine that they would be listed somewhere between Iraq and Sudan.