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Tag: protests

Fear as essential

A review of the film Dear Comrades! directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, Russia, 2020.

June 22, 2021 - Anna Efimova

Everyone understands what is happening

The space for freedom is shrinking in Russia. Many see a repetition of 1937 – a period of the most severe Stalinist terror, when government agents, at any moment, could come to any house and throw you in jail. The reason does not matter and it can happen to anyone. Yet still, everyone continues to stand by and stay silent.

On January 17th this year, the return of Alexei Navalny to Russia was being watched by the entire politically-minded society, or at least a large part of it. People across the political spectrum were equally fixated. I know many leftists (or liberals) who were sincerely worried, and many rightists (or conservatives) who rubbed their hands maliciously. All were watching via the internet livestream or traditional media, and some with one eye closed. The arrest of Navalny at Sheremetyevo airport became the starting point not only for street protests and clashes, but for intra-family disputes.

April 11, 2021 - Victoria Odissonova

Farewell, nation!

The symbols and language of the 2020 Belarus protests circumvented the terminological deadlock of Belarusian identity, which for years had been attempted to be explained by national templates. Unconventional actions by the public have revealed a hidden picture of the mentality in Belarus, which has become a huge step towards a post-national future.

The ongoing Belarusian protests in addition to its obvious political aims, also solves a much more important issue. The public is abandoning the national template of self-determination as a civil order. For Belarusians in 2020, so many things have changed. For the first time in more than a quarter century, the authorities in Minsk felt a real danger to their existence and lost control over public opinion.

April 11, 2021 - Anton Saifullayeu

An illegitimate transfer of authority in Kyrgyzstan

Interview with Aida Alymbaeva, a Kyrgyz lecturer and opposition politician. Interview by Charles Fourmi.

December 3, 2020 - Aida Alymbaeva Charles Fourmi

A Belarusian clash of civilizations

It can already be seen that in regards to today’s Belarusians the political and state identity dominates over an ethnic and national identity. The political nation is more adapted to the challenges that have emerged both in Belarus’s near region and around the world. This year’s protests show that for the common cause Belarusians can unite. Unquestionably, this unity is a new quality.

The protests that have been taking place in Belarus for over three months have now become widely covered by international media. Unfortunately, western media reports, in many cases, are not very specific and somewhat biased. Their publishers may opt for nice photographs of demonstrators carrying banners praising freedom and democracy, but do they capture the real changes taking place within Belarusian society?

November 17, 2020 - Maxim Rust

Revolution in Belarus. Surprisingly female?

The unexpected female dimension of the Belarusian opposition has made it fresh, emotional and empowering. These three women who did not give up after the most popular candidates were eliminated from the election race gave people “a last hope for change”. The women were authentic, they told personal stories, talked about love and asked people to believe in themselves.

Inspiring images of the Belarusian revolutionary female trio of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Maria Kalesnikava and Veranika Tsapkala as well as the numerous images of women peacefully protesting after the falsified August election, seem to have reached every corner of the globe. International audiences admired their strength, courage and wholesomeness. The high visibility and important role of women in the mass protests is not unique to Belarus, however.

November 17, 2020 - Olga Dryndova

In Belarus, national solidarity, not nationalism, leads the day

What unites the protestors in Belarus is not a devotion to the purity or glory of their “people”. Rather, it is their common attachment to ideals of popular sovereignty and fundamental rights shared by all citizens. What is happening in Belarus is very much a legacy of the French Revolution, which placed the figure of the oppressed citizen at the heart of the struggle against tyranny.

Protestors raise their nation’s historical red-and-white flag in the streets. Op-eds exult in Belarusian national poetry and history. And everywhere in this tiny ex-Soviet republic, there seems to be a surge of national feeling. For many westerners, who have become accustomed to reading about increasing nationalism in Europe and beyond, it may be tempting to assume that these are the gestures of yet another nationalist movement.

November 17, 2020 - Christian Gibbons

What happens to Belarus after Lukashenka falls?

The current Belarusian transformation looks as if it could be having results similar to those of the 2018 Velvet Revolution in Armenia rather than of the 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine. Yet, the pathological relationship of Moscow’s imperialism towards Russia’s Eastern Slavic “brotherly nations” can mean that Belarus’s future may, in the end, become more similar to Ukraine’s rather than Armenia’s present.

Ukraine and Belarus are two of the culturally and geographically closest nations of Europe. Their Eastern Slavic languages, major Christian-Orthodox churches and peculiar locations between Russia, on the one side, and the European Union (as well as NATO), on the other, are comparable and intertwined. Both are, on one level, very close to the also largely Orthodox and Eastern Slavic Russians.

November 16, 2020 - Andreas Umland

Clan war instead of fighting coronavirus and corruption

Chaos is probably the most accurate word to describe what has been happening recently in Kyrgyzstan. Political pluralism in this Central Asian state is so advanced that the Kyrgyz people find it difficult to understand who is currently seeing eye-to-eye with whom, who is against whom, and who calls the shots.

Nearly a month has passed since the October 4th parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan, but it remains unclear who is actually holding power in the country. There were as many as three individuals claiming the prime minister’s seat. President Sooronbay Jeenbekov announced that “as soon as the situation stabilises” he would be ready to step down. After the resignation of subsequent Supreme Council speakers, two of the deputies argued which one had the right to preside over the Supreme Council (the country’s parliament).

November 16, 2020 - Ludwika Włodek

Kyrgyzstan and Belarus – USSR 2.0 failed

The recent developments in the former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan and Belarus could mean the influence of the Kremlin is weakening.

November 6, 2020 - Maksym Skrypchenko

Bulgaria: 100 days of protests

Questions are being asked after over a hundred days of mass protest in Bulgaria. What has been achieved and what does the future hold?

October 28, 2020 - Radosveta Vassileva

“Together” or separate? The Belarusian political elite after the elections

The ruling elite in Belarus is no longer the monolith that it portrayed itself as a few months ago. There are more and more splits and cracks in its structure, which in the long run may lead to a serious internal crisis. This group is losing its grip on control and even reality.

September 17, 2020 - Maxim Rust

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