The Dissident Blog explores russia

Freedom of speech—the Russian way

The king of Chechnya

Russian journalist Alex Tor specializes in Chechnya and Ingushetia in the North Caucasus, which have a history of war and violence. He has, among other things, written about corruption, refugees, and kidnappings. Because of his journalistic work, Tor and his family have been forced into exile.

“The ongoing crackdown on civil society is truly unprecedented”

Russian authorities continue to silence critical voices in the country and portray human rights organizations and foreign forces as bribed lackeys. Tanya Lokshina , program director for Human Rights Watch Russia, has been monitoring human rights developments closely in the country and believes the persecution of the Russian civil society that is going on right now is unprecedented.

Putin's fight for “traditional values”

“Traditional values” may sound like something harmless and old fashioned, until one realises that they are the opposite of the rights that are the foundation of modern democracy.

Notes from the provincial town of N

Anyone who believes that today's Russia is on the wrong track also hopes for political alternatives. However, the Russian opposition has often been fragmented, and how do you protest against a sometimes elusive opponent? The student Vasisualiy Lokhankin ponders over matters such as these in Igor Saveliev’s tragicomic “Revolution Report”.

So here we are

“It is only this generation of 20- and 30-year-olds that are able to write about the conditions here and now, and view the Soviet Union as a purely historical era,” writes critic Natasha Perova elsewhere in this issue. The author Irina Bogatyreva, born in 1982, belongs to this generation.

Day of rage

The poet Kirill Medvedev is today considered to be one of the most promising poets of his generation. He was also one of the activists who openly protested the trial of Pussy Riot last year, when he was arrested for having chanted poetry outside the courtroom.

From the cycle of poems “Cognitive capitalism”

Alexander Skidan (born in 1965) is one of Russia's most critical social poets. His poetry often emanates from the complex interplay between ethics, aesthetics and politics. In this newly written poem, he gives a commentary on the change in our working conditions from industrial to cognitive capitalism.

What is the literary scene in russia like today?

In the past, the state made sure that life was difficult for writers in Russia. However, in contrast to journalists, Russian writers are today freer to write about what they want.


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