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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.

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.

Anti-Putin screed returned

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Since everyone is afflicted with spymania at the moment, I wanted to make sure this little tidbit of news didn’t go unnoticed.

Well, as I assumed the copies of Putin. The Results. 10 Years seized by St. Petersburg police will be returned.  Reports Ekho Moskvy:

Executive Director of United Civil Front Olga Kurnosova reported to Interfax, a representative of the police have contacted her and said that all the copies would be returned today.

They found no extremism in them whatsoever.

Nah, really?  I could have told them that without even reading the damn thing.  So basically this whole scandal has boiled down to some zealous police minion giving Nemstov and Milov two week’s worth of free advertising.  Good job boys.

Score: Team Solidarity 3 : Putin 0