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.

Dima Medvedev, Vblogger

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The Kremlin is getting more media conscious.  Now Dmitri Medvedev is not just President of Russia. He’s also budding vblogger.  Here’s Dima’s first web address complete with English subtitles for all you non-Russian speakers. Ya gotta keep up with those techno savvy kids!

Now if Medvedev could only do something to satiate Russian banks’ and companies’ thirst for liquidity and end those daily stock market closures. Unfortunately, delving into the virtual is not going to pull Russia out of this morass.

Now, you can’t completely blame Dima for his inability to reign in the Russian economy. After all, he just came on the presidential scene a mere seven months ago. Also he’s not alone in the economic woes department. Such is the dark side of globalization. Capital may think globally but it acts locally.

Hello and welcome my dear Dmitri Anatolyevich! Welcome to the desert of really existing capitalism!