• No new mass protests in Belarus due to harsh repression

    The opposition in Belarus promised a 'hot spring' with new mass protests against Lukashenko. But active repression in the last months precluded that and from 25 till 27 March there were no demonstrations to be seen. It is a failure for the opposition and a seemlingly victory for the regime, but the deep distrust has not disappeared and some day the anger of the people will erupt again.
    by Kamyl Klisinski
  • Arrests and intimidation stopped protests

    Since Alexei Navalny’s arrest upon returning to Russia on the 17th of January, supporters of the opposition leader have made their voices heard in cities around the country. Over 11,000 people were detained as a result of three days of protesting, Russia’s detention centres are fully occupied.
    by Adam Tarasewicz
  • Protests in Khabarovsk show decline of Putinism

    If there is anything the spontaneous outburst of popular anger in the Far-Eastern town of Khabarovsk shows it is the steady decline of Putinism. Arrest a popular governor (Sergey Furgal) for not delivering on election results ánd being more popular than Putin is usual stuff, as are trumped-up charges from a distant past. But not foreseeing the response is a sign of the times.
    by Mark Galeotti
  • Popular vlogger challenges dictator Lukashenka

    Popular vlogger Syarhey Tsikhanouski is becoming a serious opposition force. As president Lukashenka seeks reelection in August, his position is weakening. His dismissal of corona as a 'psychosis' further undermined his power.
    by Tony Wesolowsky
  • Boris Nemtsov: a cross-border troublemaker

    Boris Nemtsov was shot dead on a bridge just opposite the Kremlin 5 years ago. The murder, deemed political, was never solved. Why was Nemtsov killed? Was he lobbying too hard for sanctions against Russian authorities in Washington, wonders research journalist Andrei Soldatov.
    by Andrei Soldatov
  • The old ultra-violence in Moscow solves nothing and everything

    Again an overwhelming police force in Moscow suppressed demonstrations for fair elections. According to our columnist Mark Galeotti, the security forces can easily deal with the small and peaceful civil disobedience. However, the situation also shows the elite's worry about the future. This regime has totally run out of ideas.
  • Teachers struggle with pupils taking part in protests

    Since the anti-corruption protests of 26 March staff and teachers at some Russian schools and universities have held warning

  • Young activists in Russia face an uphill fight for change

    Unlike in the rest of Europe, the Russian middle class is not a motor of change, according to Russian social researchers. It has no