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.

A Very Nashi Christmas

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Nashi’s been keeping a list.  There’s no need to check it twice.  They know who’s been naughty and nice. In their own version of a “Komsomol Christmas,” members of the pro-Kremlin group Nashi decided make their own mockery of the holiday.  But unlike their Soviet predecessors, the enemy wasn’t religion but the leaders of “most unfriendly governments” toward Russia.  And which leaders received lumps of coal? According to a poll of its members, none other than Mikhail Saakashvili, Viktor Yushchenko, and George Bush.

The Nashists sent several neckties to Saakashvili “just in case he gets anxious and begins to chew on his wardrobe accessories publicly in the future.”  Yushchenko got a package of coal and logs to keep him warm after Russia turns off the gas.  He also got a reworked Ukrainian flag that combines the US flag, the Ukrainian blue and yellow, and a Nazi swastika. To outgoing US President Bush, Nashi sent a set of world maps with mousetraps to symbolize NATO expansion.  All the presents were to be hand delivered to their respective embassies.

To all my readers, a very Мerry Christmas!