Khodorkovsky Calls for Civil Disobedience against Unjust Laws and Putin’s Unjust System

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 27, 2015) Mikhail Khodorkovsky says that Russian citizens are fully entitled not to observe unjust laws imposed not to promote justice but to protect the power of Vladimir Putin, a potentially dramatic development in the relationship between the Russian opposition, the Russian people, and the Kremlin. In a blog post on […]

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Falsification, cover-up and political exploitation of killings of the Maidan protesters from the Volyn Region during the Maidan Massacre

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Ivan Katchanovski – Facebook – August 23, 2015) Ivan Katchanovski teaches at the School of Political Studies and the department of Communication at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of “Cleft Countries: Regional Political Divisions and Cultures in Post-Soviet Ukraine and Moldova” and the co-author of “Historical Dictionary of Ukraine, Second Edition. [Wait for embedded feed of original […]

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Protesters Against Church Construction Gain Rare Victory

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 4, 2015) Long-lasting protests by residents against building a Russian Orthodox church in a park in northeastern Moscow appear to have resulted in a rare victory for public protests after religious officials said late last week they were ready to consider a different location for it. “The Moscow Eparchy is ready […]

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Electric Yerevan and the end of apathy; Electric Yerevan may not have been an Armenian Maidan but activists hope and analysts believe it marks the end of the country’s era of apathy

Armenia Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Monica Ellena in Yerevan – July 27, 2015) The intricate mandala that Lidia painted no longer adorns the boiling tarmac in Marshal Baghramyan Avenue. The whirling white-chalked pattern got washed away as the Armenian police dismantled a nearby makeshift barricade of rubbish bins and pushed away a few hard-core demonstrators, who were camping a […]

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PARNAS supporters holding rally in Novosibirsk over election committee meeting on registering party lists

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

NOVOSIBIRSK. July 27 (Interfax) – The rally permitted by the Novosibirsk mayor’s office of the supporters of the People’s Freedom Party For Russia Without Lawlessness and Corruption (PARNAS) is taking place in front of the Novosibirsk region’s government building on Monday, an Interfax correspondent reported. Five people are declared to participate in the rally, event organizer Vadim Sukhonenko said. “One […]

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Flurry Of Moscow Activism Hints That Mood For Protest Is Very Much Alive

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – MOSCOW, July 26, 2015) Three years into President Vladimir Putin’s third term and a renewed effort to banish conspicuous political dissent in Russia, local protests are bubbling up all over the capital. From weekslong sit-ins to save neighborhood parks to pushback against development plans with ties to the political elite, Muscovites are taking their frustrations to […]

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Authorities Again Threatened by Bolotnaya Square

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – May 12, 2015) Yelena Gremina’s production of “The Bolotnaya Square Case” at Teatr.doc may be the most benign dangerous 65 minutes I have ever witnessed. A contradiction in terms, you say? Not in the land, which, as the great poet Fyodor Tyutchev put it, cannot be understood by mind alone. The fact […]

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Foreign currency protests in Russia – a chance for the opposition?

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

While political demonstrations are on the slide, economic protests are on the rise in Russia. Can the two be united? (opendemocracy.net – Dmitry Florin – April 30, 2015) Dmitry Florin is an independent journalist based in Moscow, Russia. The Russian opposition is a broad church. Just as radical leftists hold their own marches, so do the liberals and the nationalists. […]

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Putin didn’t see partners for dialogue among opposition campaigners in December 2011 – Kudrin

Alexei Kudrin file photo

VLADIVOSTOK. April 26 (Interfax) – Vladimir Putin did not see partners for dialogue among opposition activists who organized rallies “For Fair Elections” in December 2011, said ex-finance minister and leader of the Civil Initiatives Committee Alexei Kudrin. “I talked with him, at length. And I said that I would probably go to the rally on Sakharov Avenue. I won’t speak […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Unpaid Russian Workers Unite in Protest Against Putin

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

After months of frustration with an economy sagging under the weight of international sanctions and falling energy prices, workers across Russia are starting to protest unpaid wages and go on strike, in the first nationwide backlash against President Vladimir V. Putin’s economic policies. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/22/world/europe/russian-workers-take-aim-at-putin-as-economy-exacts-its-toll.html?_r=0

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Domestic political stability in Russia depends on Ukraine – report

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yekaterina Sinelschikova, RBTH – April 6, 2015) A newly published report titled “Between Crimea and the Crisis” puts forward two scenarios of Russia’s future, both of which predict serious domestic upheavals. Everything hinges on the outcome of the Ukrainian conflict. How likely are these scenarios? RBTH investigates. Russia will be swept by moods […]

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NEWSWATCH BBC: Vladimir Putin’s formative German years

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

[“Vladimir Putin’s formative German years” – BBC News – Chris Bowlby – Dresden, March 27, 2015] The BBC covers some of Vladimir Putin’s experiences earlier in life, including his first foreign posting as a KGB officer, in East Germany during the collapse of Soviet Communism in eastern Europe. They also explore speculation about the lasting impact of those experiences upon Putin’s perspective towards […]

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Health Care Workers to Hunger-Strike in Protest of Labor Conditions

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – March 24, 2015) Health care workers in central Russia threatened to stage a hunger strike starting Monday to protest what they described as “repercussions” against co-workers who demanded better working conditions and higher salaries at previous protests, media reports said. The hunger strike, planned in Ufa, the capital of Russia’s republic of Bashkortostan, […]

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Putin Sounds the Alarm Over Budding ‘Color Revolutions’ in Russia

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – March 5, 2015) President Vladimir Putin urged Interior Ministry officials on Wednesday to focus on smothering budding color revolutions, thus bolstering the current political climate by reinforcing a widespread fear of domestic enemies, analysts told The Moscow Times. “We see attempts to use so-called ‘color revolution technology,’ ranging from organizing unlawful public […]

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Russians Less Likely to Protest as Their Situation Deteriorates, Urnov Says

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 4, 2015) It is an axiom in most countries that people will protest when their living conditions decline and that assumption underlies current Western policy toward Moscow, but Mark Urnov, one of Russia’s leading political analysts, argues that the situation in Russia is different and that Russians are less rather than […]

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A third of Russians back opposition demands, only 22% believe rallies can be effective – poll

File Photo of Moscow Protest with Riot Police

(Interfax – February 26, 2015) Russians are skeptical about demonstrations and many have not heard about the opposition rally scheduled for March 1 but a considerable part of them back the demands to be made during the March 1 action irrespective of the event per se and its organizers, General Director of the Institute for Priority Regional Projects Nikolai Mironov […]

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More Russians See Potential for Political Protests in Their Country, Poll Shows

Moscow Protest file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – January 23, 2015) The number of Russians who see potential for political protests to break out in their country has more than doubled in the past five months, a new survey showed Friday, though the majority would choose not to participate in them themselves. The survey, published Friday by state-run pollster VTsIOM, […]

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Putin Now has His Storm Troopers and Pogroms Will Surely Follow, Ganapolsky Says

Vladimir Putin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 23, 2014) Putin’s Russia has crossed a Rubicon: it now has sanctioned the Anti-Maidan Movement, a domestic version of Hitler’s storm troopers, and thus created a monster that almost certainly will engage in pogroms against one group or another in the future, according to Moscow commentator Matvey Ganapolsky. Despite Putin’s ratings […]

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Russia Civil Society will Grow like ‘Blade of Grass through Concrete,’ Gontmakher Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 13, 2015) Yevgeny Gontmakher, a prominent Moscow economist and commentator, has invoked one of the most powerful images available about the ways in which the human spirit can overcome ever the harshest and most repressive regimes: “like a blade of grass breaking through concrete.” As anyone who has been on a […]

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Any Russian Protests Ahead Likely to Be About Economic Issues Rather than Political Ones, Experts Say

Moscow Protest file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 5, 2014) Three Russian experts with whom Russkaya planeta spoke say that while declines in the standard of living of many Russians in the coming year as a result of the economic crisis may lead to some protests about economic issues, any such demonstrations are unlikely to focus on high politics.the […]

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From our own correspondent in Moscow: There have been protests in the capital. Could Moscow really go the way of Kyiv – bring down the president and install a less authoritarian government?

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Anna Arutunyan – December 31, 2014) Anna Arutunyan is an independent journalist and author of ‘The Putin Mystique.’ She lives in Moscow. I joined the crowds of people protesting against the sentence handed down to opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg on 30 December. Surrounded by Muscovites preparing for the long New Year’s holiday, we were […]

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Is the protest movement dead? Street politics: Reform agenda loses appeal as pressure on the economy grows.

Moscow Protest file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ilya Krol, Yevgeny Levkovich, special to RBTH – December 16, 2014) Three years ago, Russia witnessed its largest anti-government protests since the early Nineties, with four mass demonstrations in a month, the largest of which drew an estimated 150,000 people to the streets of Moscow. Today, opposition rallies struggle to attract 10,000. President […]

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Moscow Medical Staff Keep Pressure on Authorities With Massive Street Protest

File Photo of Patient in Russian Hospital

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – December 1, 2014) More than a thousand health care workers took to the capital’s streets Sunday to keep the pressure on authorities amid ongoing medical reforms that critics say are being conducted for financial gain over anything else. The reforms, which were initiated by President Vladimir Putin upon his return to the […]

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Moscow Ready to Use Internal Troops against Any Maidan-Like Activity in Russia, Interior Minister Says

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 29, 2014) In words that are clearly intended to intimidate but that may have just the opposite effect by exposing official nervousness, Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev says that Moscow is ready to use its internal troops against any Maidan-like activity in any part of the Russian Federation. The minister told […]

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A Russian Maidan Could Take Place Outside of Moscow

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 11, 2014) The Russian political system is so hyper-centralized and Russian political culture is so Moscow-centric that almost all discussions about radical change in that country focus on the capital city and its residents rather than on the rest of what remains the largest country on earth. But there have been […]

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Health Minister Reaches Out to Medical Workers After Massive Protest

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 5, 2014) Russia’s health minister has promised to consider the demands of Moscow health workers amid ongoing reforms of the capital’s health care system on Monday in the direct aftermath of a thousands-strong street protest, the TASS news agency reported. “The opinions of patients and doctors hold the utmost significance for […]

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National Unity Day March Shows Decline of Anti-Kremlin Nationalism

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – November 5, 2014) Russia marked National Unity Day on Tuesday with a remarkable show of disunity, with three major distinct rallies taking place across Moscow, including the infamous nationalist Russian March. Nationalism in Russia has long been reviled because of its proponents’ penchants for violence and acrid loathing of President Vladimir Putin. […]

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Nationalism in action: the Russian March

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yevgeny Levkovich, special to RBTH – November 3, 2014) Yevgeny Levkovich is a journalist and civil activist. There is more potential than usual for scandal in the Russian March held annually on Nov. 4 as nationalists have split over the situation in Ukraine. The Russian March will take place as usual in Moscow […]

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Business New Europe: Russians march for peace in Ukraine

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Julia Reed in Moscow – October 6, 2014) Et tu, Ukraine? To many Russians, and certainly to most Russian politicians, the issue of Ukraine seems as touchy as the subject of teenagers leaving the nest feels to some parents: what’s wrong with their home? Aren’t they happy with their parents? Why now, at this […]

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Daching: How to Get Beaten Up in the Russian Countryside

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – August 11, 2014) Many extreme sports, from snowboarding to air racing, are known health hazards. But only one can lead to indiscriminate beating, allegations of terrorism, jail and even self-imposed exile – and all you need to do is take a stroll through supposedly public land. Dozens of Russian officials, from President […]

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Moscow Grants Rare Approval to Freedom-of-Assembly Protest

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – Christopher Brennan – May 22, 2014) In an unexpected move, Moscow authorities have reportedly approved a request by controversial political party The Other Russia to hold a freedom-of-assembly rally in the city center this month. Party member Alexander Averin announced via his LiveJournal page on Wednesday that city officials had sanctioned a “Strategy 31” event that the […]

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Interfax: Human Rights Council seeks liability for pursuit over criticism

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

MOSCOW. May 14 (Interfax) – Head of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov said he intended to propose to include a provision in the Criminal Code on liability for pursuit over criticism. “The Soviet Code used to have such an article. Now we have proposed adding it again, however this idea has not been supported. Nevertheless, we will […]

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Public’s Desire to Protest Hits Record Low

Moscow Protest file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – May 14, 2014) Amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and lingering patriotic fervor following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a poll published on Tuesday showed that Russians are more reluctant than ever to participate in political protests. The Levada Center, an independent research organization, found that a record high 85 percent of Russians […]

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Moscow Times: Approved Gay Event in Russia’s Far East Set to Test Tolerance

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – May 9, 2014) Gay rights activist Alexander Yermoshkin said Thursday that local authorities had approved his request to hold a public event against LGBT discrimination on May 17, a move that may see Russia’s controversial anti-gay propaganda law tested. Other gay rights activists, particularly Moscow’s Nikolai Alexeyev, have frequently complained of applications […]

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Pussy Riot Lands in U.S. for Film Premiere

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ali Sar – HOLLYWOOD, April 22, 2014) An image of young women clad in colorful outfits peeping through ski masks while being detained and clobbered by the police has been a part of evening newscasts in the U.S. for some time, most recently during the Sochi Olympics. Casual viewers have little understanding of the motivation […]

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Bill to Toughen Law on Rallies Raises Concerns

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – April 2, 2014) United Russia deputy Alexander Sidyakin late Monday submitted to the State Duma a bill introducing prison terms for repeat violations of a law on public rallies, stirring fears among analysts of a crackdown on the opposition. The move coincided with an effort by prosecutors to block all blogs being […]

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Opposition planned Moscow micro-Maidan in May 2012 – activist

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW. March 12 (Interfax) – The convicted Left Front activist, Konstantin Lebedev, who is serving a prison term for organizing the mass disturbances in Moscow in May 6, 2012, told Moscow City Court that he and the other co-accused, Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev – were planning to stage a “micro-Maidan.” “We were prepared for mass disturbances because the micro-Maidan […]

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Protest Crackdowns Illegal, Human Rights Ombudsman Says

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 6, 2014) Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin called crackdowns on unsanctioned opposition protests illegal. According to Russia’s Supreme Court decisions, unauthorized protests were not necessarily illegal, Lukin said, Interfax reported. He added that often the protests pose no disturbance to citizens and that violations should only be pursued when the actions “create a […]

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UKRAINE ONLINE POLL: What would be Ukraine’s best course to follow?

Maidan Square file photo

[poll originally posted in late 2013] We would like to hear your opinion about unfolding events in Ukraine and welcome your participation in the following poll. Visitors can vote for up to three choices, and generally can vote once each day.  There also as an option to “fill in the blank.” After you have made your choice(s) and/or added a […]

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Kremlin to tighten screws in wake of Kiev unrest

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – February 24, 2014) A Moscow court sentenced seven people on Monday to prison terms ranging from one to four years for their roles in protest riots on the city’s Bolotnaya Ploshchad in May 2012, in a ruling seen as an indicator of whether government pressure would increase on the opposition in the […]

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Russians Overwhelmingly Oppose Moscow Intervention in Ukraine but Also Say There Won’t be a Maidan in Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 24, 2014) More than seven out of ten Russians say that Moscow should not intervene in Ukraine, but at the same time, a slightly larger number say that events like those which have taken place in Ukraine are impossible in the Russian Federation, according to results of a new VTsIOM poll. […]

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Unless Kremlin Learns Lessons of Ukraine, a Russian Maidan is Inevitable, Nemtsov Says

cis-europe-370

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 23, 2014) Viktor Yanukovich was “100 percent” responsible for the rise of the popular movement that overthrew him, Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov says, and unless the Kremlin learns the lessons from what has taken place in Ukraine, “a Russian Maidan is inevitable” and it will be the fault of no […]

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Fearing Persecution, Bolotnoye Suspects Flee Abroad

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – February 19, 2014) When a judge delivers a verdict Friday in the high-profile Bolotnoye case, the defendants’ cage will contain eight people. It might have held dozens more if some of the potential suspects had not fled abroad, fearing unfair prosecution in what many observers call a politically motivated trial aimed at […]

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Business New Europe: VTsIOM Poll: Russians appalled by aggressive behavior of Maidan activists

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – February 14, 2014) Russians disapprove of Ukrainian protesters who cast stones and bottles of incendiary liquid at the police, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. 55% of the respondents condemned the aggressive behavior of Ukrainian demonstrators; 26% admitted their dislike for radically minded Ukrainian opposition activists; 15% said they were disappointed and […]

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Ethnic Clashes Replacing Political Protests as Dominant Form of Public Activism in Russia, Pain Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 13, 2014) Ethnic clashes especially in the regions appear to have displaced political protests in Moscow as the dominant form of activism in the Russian Federation, a trend certain to have dangerous consequences given that the authorities are far less concerned about the former than the latter, according to Russia’s leading […]

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Russian Opposition Envies Ukrainians’ Willingness to Face Bullets

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – February 12, 2014) When Russian anti-government activists look over the border at the political standoff in Ukraine, they can not help but feel pangs of envy. While the anti-Kremlin protests that began in late 2011 sputtered and faded over the course of the year, with few tangible results, Ukraine’s Euromaidan movement has […]

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It’s Bolotnaya, But Not As We Know It

iPad file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – February 07, 2014) They’re gearing up to march on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square. Two years ago, protesters rallied there against electoral fraud in the wake of the disputed December 2011 State Duma elections. In May 2012, they clashed with police on the eve of President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration. And, on February 8, […]

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Shadowy Specter Of Russia Hangs Over Rumored ‘Death Squads’ In Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org –  laire Bigg and Daisy Sindelar – February 4, 2014) After being kidnapped on January 22, Dmytro Bulatov says he was kept blindfolded for eight days as his abductors beat him, sliced off part of his ear, drove nails through his hands, and finally left him for dead in a forest. Through the ordeal, he never once […]

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Ukraine Unrest Spreading to Russia? Unlikely

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – January 28, 2014) With violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement in Ukraine showing few signs of diminishing, pro-Kremlin commentators and lawmakers in Russia have issued dramatic warnings about the possibility of unrest spreading across the border. Prominent journalist and television personality Vladimir Solovyov said the clashes in Kiev could inspire terrorists […]

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