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Tag: protest

Bearing witness. Despite repressions and state propaganda, the anti-war movement in Russia continues

As the war in Ukraine continues, questions have been asked as to the internal situation in Russia. Whilst the country’s burgeoning anti-war movement may not live up to outside expectations, its attempts to work around the Kremlin’s restrictions are inspiring new and unique forms of protest.

International critics often view the Russian domestic anti-war movement as helpless and doomed to fail. This might seem true as it does not comply with the West and Ukraine’s main expectation that it will start large-scale street protests capable of overthrowing Vladimir Putin’s regime. What often escapes the world’s attention is that there are no such opportunities for the Russian anti-war movement in the country’s political structure. It must first evolve in more sophisticated, symbolic ways to reach a point of numerical strength over time.

April 25, 2022 - Anna Efimova

Moldova is entering a period of protest in the midst of a pandemic

On December 6th many citizens in Moldova attended protests in order to show their support for President-elect Maia Sandu. This was in response to a new and unofficial coalition in parliament that is now attempting to restrict the new president’s powers and push through a series of controversial laws.

December 9, 2020 - Alexandru Demianenco

A crisis in Georgia’s politics

Georgia’s parliamentary elections are scheduled for October this year, and they will be held in the face of great politico-economic instability. The level of social dissatisfaction is at a record high, but there seems to be no easy alternative to the Georgian Dream.

It would be difficult to find a more telling symbol of Georgia’s continued political tensions than the green fabric that covers the fence surrounding the square around the Georgian parliament building and which has become a billboard for both anti- and pro-government graffiti. The fence was set up in January this year. Officially, it was explained that the fence was erected because of renovation works which were needed to fix the destroyed sections. Yet it is impossible not to have the impression it was meant to halt the continuation of protests that were taking place in front of the parliament.

April 6, 2020 - Mateusz Kubiak

Veterans of the Bosnian War struggle for their rights

For nearly a year, veteran combatants from the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been protesting in front of the government building in Sarajevo, demanding financial aid and access to free medical services. Despite a mass nationwide protest on February 28th, the government has yet to adequately respond. Meanwhile, public support for the protesters continues to increase.

“My name is Amir Sultan, I come from the Sarajevo Canton. At the age of 14, I exchanged a classroom chair for a gun. I joined a special unit, criss-crossed the country and was wounded three times. I survived, but two of my brothers did not.” Seated on an improvised wooden bench outside a tent that he has called home for the past half a year, Sultan recalled the realities of the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina that he fought in: “I gave my all. As a result of the injuries I sustained in combat I am sick and I live with a pacemaker. But, since the war ended, I have not received any assistance from the government, not even one fening.”

April 26, 2018 - Lidia Kurasińska

Russia’s young and restless speak up

Today’s young Russian generation was born in the mid to late 1990s. They grew up with the internet and mobile phones. They witnessed the country grow rich and believed they too would receive the benefits of oil revenue and live happily. But alas it has turned out that the internet is censored, the benefits are gone and they are not going to get much in life.

In early 2017 Alexei Navalny announced that he will run against Vladimir Putin in 2018. In less than a year, he managed to raise, through crowdfunding, 200 million Russian roubles (roughly three million euros), which is an unprecedented amount for a Russian politician. He opened 80 headquarters across the country and organised a series of protest rallies that were attended in March and June 2017 by tens of thousands of people. These demonstrations were the first mass gatherings that swept across Russian provinces (some were organised even in small towns) since the 1990s.

Barriers and restrictions, attempts to discredit the demonstrations, media censorship and attacks by thugs did not deter the protestors. What is more, it was clear, starting with the first March rally, that a large number of the protesters were very young. They were primarily high school students and teenagers. This is a fairly new situation for the protest scene in Russia.

January 2, 2018 - Anastasiia Sergeeva

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