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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.

International Communism and the Spanish Civil War

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Guest:

Lisa Kirschenbaum is a professor of History at West Chester University. Her research explores how people come to represent and understand their life stories as part of history, focusing on the linkages between individual, private lives and the momentous, often traumatic events of Russia’s twentieth century. She is the author of three books: Small Comrades: Revolutionizing Childhood in Soviet Russia, 1917-1932 published by Routledge; The Legacy of the Siege of Leningrad, 1941-1995: Myth, Memories, and Monuments published by Cambridge University Press; and International Communism and the Spanish Civil War: Solidarity and Suspicion also published by Cambridge University Press.

Music:

Woody Guthrie, “Jarama Valley,” 1944.