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.

Russian Punk Rock

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Guest:

Alexander Herbert is a graduate student at the University of Chicago working on Modern Russian History. He has been involved with the Russian punk scene extensively for about 4 years and has contributed articles to Razorcake and Maximum Rock ’n’ Roll. Along with his degree work and raising a 1 year old, Alexander has been compiling a collection of interviews, fanzines, lyrics, and records on Russian punk from 1978-2015.

Alexander is looking for a publisher for the English translation of (Proverochnaya Lineyka or Straight Edge’s) Peter’s memoir Exodus. You can find a German article about the book here. If your interested in publishing the book, I can provide Alexander’s contact information.

Music:

Otdel Samoiskoreneniia (Self-Eradication Department), “Voinaya Monarkhiia,” 1983. You can find a remastered version of the album confiscated by the KGB here.

Proverochnaia Lineika (Straight Edge), “Papa,” 2004.

Ricochet, “Cinema Paradiso,” 2011.

Russian Punk Rock Resources

Film

Vladimir Kozlov’s documentary Traces in the Snow on the Siberian Political Punk scene.

Influential Soviet/Russian Bands

Avtomaticheski Udovletvoriteli
Otdel Samoiskoreneniia
Grazhdanskaya Oborona
Obekt Nasmeshek
Narodnoe Opolchenie
Televizor
DDT
Sektor Gaza
Karol i shut
Vibrator
Tarakany
Naiv
Solomennye Enoty
Proverochnaya Lineyka
Zhenskaya Bolezn’ (80s all female punk/metal)
Pincher (contemporary feminist punk)
Minefield
Scrap Monsters
Party Breaker
Hopes and Disasters
East Beat Records
Other bands worth listening to:
Ricochet
Purgen
Brigadny Podryad
Milligan (Izhevsk)
Cretin Boys
Mashnin Band
Till I die
Uchetel Trudna
Smex
What we Feel
Distemper
Spory (Kazan)
Labels, music, journalism sites:
Feddy Begemot’s recording site