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.

Who will answer for Natalia Estemirova?

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My translation of Novaya gazeta calling Putin out.

Natalia Estemirova

Ramzan Kadyrov and the unnamed “officials of Chechnya”? They are all one in the same. We remember the names of those who questioned. It’s unknown whether “Kadyrov’s list” was written on down. About which are many rumors. But it has been obvious for a while that there are a number in Moscow, other exotic international capitals, and with a furious speed – in the Caucasus. Last entry on it – was reserved for Natasha.

And nevertheless – someone must answer. Still before killers will stand like Raduev at the prison doors. Some suggest that we don’t have a state.  But we do have a state, and there are even people who know about these high-profile political murders in Russia (everyone) more that others. This person gave the “all clear” for tying Russia to Chechnya.  He thought up a new type of power in the Russian Caucasus. This person claims that human rights activists such as Natalia Estemirova must be “jackals” who beg for scraps at foreign embassies.

Where the jackals, Vladimir Vladimirovich?