The Sad State of Gay Rights in Russia

At the end of last month, just two days before the infamous May 31st Triumfal’naia Square rally, Russian gay rights activists conducted a small, brief march down Staryi Arbat. Thirty people participated, all of whom, the organizers reported relievedly, “successfully escaped arrest.” The police did close down the road at the end of Arbat, to …

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Oleg Kashin on 'Strategy-31' (Full Translation)

The following is my translation of Oleg Kashin’s firsthand account and private ruminations on the May 31, 2010, opposition rally in Triumfal’naia Square in Moscow. This article was published two days ago in Kommersant’s ‘Vlast’ edition on June 6, 2010. Kashin does an excellent job dissecting the pageantry on all sides of the ‘Strategy-31′ Movement, sparing …

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Russia's Sick Police

The reform of Russia’s Interior Ministry (MVD) produced some news this week in the form of an amusing interview with Rashid Nurgaliev, the ministry’s chief. Nurgaliev called the MVD “the very poorest of current law enforcement agencies” and voiced concerns that many officers are “very deeply sick,” explaining that traffic patrols last 50% longer in …

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The Putin-Shevchuk Commentary Roundup

As expected, figures in the Russian liberal community reacted harshly to Vladimir Putin’s comments in an exchange with Yuri Shevchuk last Saturday. Also unsurprising, journalists unfriendly to the opposition responded as they do by defending the actions of the authorities and questioning the motives of the liberals. All in all, it was another day in …

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