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.

William C. Bullitt in the USSR

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on reddit

Guest:

Alexander Etkind is the Mikhail M. Bakhtin Professor of History of Russia-Europe Relations at the European University Institute and the editor, author and co-author of an eclectic list of books, including Warped Mourning: Stories of the Undead in the Land of the Unburied; Internal Colonization: Russia’s Imperial Experience; and Eros of the Impossible: The History of Psychoanalysis in Russia. His most recent book is Roads not Taken: An Intellectual Biography of William C. Bullitt published by Pittsburgh University Press.

Read my review of Roads Not Taken in Bookforum.

Music: 

Bauhaus, “The Man With the X-Ray Eyes,” Mask, 1981