Russia

Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism

Issue section: 
Author: 

Art that attacks the establishment is not new. The Dadaists in Berlin from 1919 held a series of events aimed at the ruling class — they hung from the ceiling carcasses of dead pigs dressed in the uniforms of generals of the German Imperial army; they released a herd of cows among the critics at one of their openings.

Just as the horror at the First World War led to Dada so the current state of Russia has given rise to an art fuelled by anger, Pussy Riot being the most famous.

The Leeds Convention of 1917

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The February Revolution in Russia in 1917 was received enthusiastically by the British working class movement. Within weeks there were massive meetings held across Britain to celebrate the revolution.

The Labour Party, having supported the First World War uncritically since its outbreak in 1914, saw the Russian Provisional Government as an opportunity to reinvigorate the Russian war effort. Meanwhile the left wing of Labour saw in the revolution the hope for the end of the war.

A socialist case for Ukraine

Issue section: 
Issue: 

On the anniversary of the fall of Ukrainian President Yanukovych, which marked the onset of the current conflict, Rob Ferguson and Tomas Tengely-Evans interview Volodymyr Ishchenko in Kiev.

RF: Volodymyr, there is currently a crisis over the ceasefire in the east and the retreat from Debaltseve. What is your judgement of the crisis in the east of Ukraine?

Mismanaged democracy

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Events in Russia have a habit of proving people wrong. The oil boom allowed Vladimir Putin to re-establish a degree of order and to make Russia a "managed democracy". Now it looks more like a mismanaged one as economic crisis has undermined Putin's appeal and made the cronyism and corruption look even less acceptable.

The announcement of the stitch-up that would allow Putin to become president again in 2012 - and probably to stay on to 2024 - was greeted with huge cynicism. But only a few hundred went to a token demonstration in Moscow in September. No one really expected that by December tens of thousands would be protesting against electoral fraud in elections to the Duma (the Russian parliament) that were supposed to be a dry run for the presidential ones next spring.

Kyrgyzstan: at the impasse of imperialism

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The government brought to power by the 2005 Tulip Revolution was itself deposed by a popular uprising last month. This is the latest crisis for the "colour coded" revolutions of the former Soviet Bloc states and signifies another challenge to US expansionism in the region, argues Tim Nelson

A Russian Diary

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Anna Politkovskaya, Harvill Secker, £17.99

Anna Politkovskaya was a journalist who never stopped investigating the abuses of power no matter what the odds. But last October she was shot dead in the lift of her block of flats in Moscow.

There was some publicity in the West for her courageous stand against the Putin leadership, but she was in a media tomb well before the headlines were swamped by the poisoning of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, who seems never to have taken a stand against one authority except for payment by another.

Chechnya

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Tony Wood, Verso, £12.99

A small country is repeatedly invaded by a mighty nuclear power. It takes up arms against the invaders, framing its struggle in terms of Islam. The mighty power brands the resistance as terrorists while using massacres and atrocities to subdue them.

Is this Iraq? Afghanistan? No, it is Chechnya, the tiny Caucasus nation occupied by Russia.

The principled anti-imperialist position on this war ought to be a no-brainer. Yet still it divides the Western left.

Russia: Rising from the East?

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

A few years ago post Communist Russia was commonly dismissed as a basket case, argues Pete Glatter, but today fear of a resurgent Russia is driving a new agenda.

Just how democratic is post-Communist Russia? Why does Russia feel the need to dominate many of its neighbours? And how is Russia positioned in relation to the main imperialist powers? There are all questions that have a habit of recurring. The poisoning in London of the former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, the assassination of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the threats to cut off gas supplies to Georgia and its decision to halt oil exports to Belarus - cutting off supplies to much of Europe - earlier this month, have all put the Russian questions back on the agenda.

Russia: Putin's Place in the New World Order

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Upheavals in the former Soviet Empire have added to Vladimir Putin's headaches.

Vladimir Putin has many things to be grateful for but the situation along Russia's southern borders is not one of them. The so called 'rose revolution' in Georgia in November 2003, the 'orange revolution' in the Ukraine in 2004 and now the 'tulip revolution' in poverty-stricken Kyrgyzstan in 2005 have all complicated his life. When the USSR disintegrated into 15 parts in 1991 the new states around Russia's borders became known in Russia as its 'near abroad'.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Russia