Tag Archives: Russia

Cretinous Parliamentarianism

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At the September 18th Russian parliamentary elections, the ruling United Russia party increased its vote to 54%, guaranteeing it a constitutional majority of 343 seats in the 450-member lower chamber. The other parties represented in the previous parliament—Russian Communist Party (13.5%), the Liberal Democratic Party (13.3%), and Fair Russia (6.2%)—will remain there. None of the extra-parliamentary parties such as Yabloko and PARNAS managed to pass the 5% barrier. Perhaps the most telling number, however, was the turnout: 48%, the lowest ever in Russia’s parliamentary history.  The most inappropriate reac ..

Science, Crimea and prison bars: persecution of teachers and researchers

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Note from the LeftEast editors: this article first appeared on Commons Journal. It has been reprinted on LeftEast with the permission of the authors. by Viktoriia Muliavka and Alona Liasheva Translated from the Ukrainian by Valentyna Kolesnik. The use of science and education for political purposes in Ukraine has become the norm. How has it happened and why is it a terrifying trend? The conference in Yalta For Ukrainian teachers, participation in a scientific event in Crimea resulted in dismissals and monitoring by The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU). The annual international applied science conference on Russi ..

Neither NATO, nor Moscow (II)

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Note from the LeftEast editors: The July 8/9 NATO summit in Warsaw was not much more than the usual spectacular propaganda advertisement with which the Atlantic Alliance countries wanted to show the world their strength and their common commitment to “security and peace”. In fact, beyond the usual internal conflicts between members of the Alliance, the summit took no “historic” decisions, reflecting the diplomatic and military choices of these days. We have previously published an article by Ilya Budraitskis who reported on the NATO summit through the eyes of anti-war activists and oppone ..

Neither Moscow, nor NATO: Notes on the NATO summit and the antiwar counter-summit in Warsaw

The main result from this weekend’s NATO summit in Warsaw was the official proclamation of a “containment” strategy toward Russia. So far, the practical consequence of this declaration is modest in military terms—a total of 3,000 foreign troops will be deployed to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Far more important are the politics of this decision. The “Russian threat” is primarily defined as hybrid, that is it’s covert and exists on the borders of war and peace, state policy and social dynamics. The concept of “hybridity” is central in today’s confrontation between Russ ..

The 2016 Russian Elections: Putrefaction as the Laboratory of Life

1st stage of United Russia Party's 15th Congress in Moscow

How do the upcoming Duma elections threaten the regime? Today, it would seem that the upcoming September elections to the State Duma are a cause of growing concern only in the Kremlin. While polls continue to record a low level of public interest in the event, and the tiny number of parties allowed to run in the election wanly prepares to fulfill their usual roles, the president and his entourage are increasingly talking about possible threats. The rationale of radicalization At a recent meeting with activists of the Russian People’s Front, Putin noted that external enemies would preparing ever more provo ..

On Marxism, barbarism, Russia, Greece and more: Interview with Kees van der Pijl

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Kees van der Pijl is a Dutch political scientist who is emeritus professor of international relations at the University of Sussex. He is known for his critical approach to global political economy and has published, amongst others, a trilogy on Modes of Foreign Relations and Political Economy (2007, 2010, 2014); Global Rivalries from the Cold War to Iraq (2006); Transnational Classes and International Relations (1998); and The Making of an Atlantic Ruling Class. Kees van der Pijl was interviewed by George Souvlis and Yulia Yurchenko. Q1: Would you like to present yourself by focusing on the formative experience ..

Putin: First as Farce …

An untitled and undated image of Putin available at http://www.trbimg.com/img-55071a22/turbine/la-fg-putin-appearance-20150316

translated by Maria Brock To be published in Russian in the April issue of the Сеанс magazine. A few days ago came the 16th anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s rule, which is traditionally celebrated by endless fantasies on the theme of ‘Russia after Putin’. This intellectual exercise, which is constantly reproduced by the liberal opposition media, has an obvious therapeutic function: no one believes that it will actually end, and therefore the question of the end of this era, as it is beginning to seem endless, becomes the subject of utopias and anti-utopias. In a similar vein, during the depressive atmo ..

Victoria Lomasko: Russian Truckers Prepare for Nationwide Strike

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Chronicle of a Troubled Time by Victoria Lomasko The Khimki Truckers’ Camp Readies Itself for Nationwide Strike Translated and published by TheRussianReader. Truckers’ camp in Khimki Sergei Vladimirov, a coordinator at the Khimki truckers’ camp: “In the early days, we pushed everybody away and were suspicious of each other. We didn’t know each other yet.” Andrei Bazhutin, another coordinator at the camp: “In the early days, chaos prevailed, but now the guys are like soldiers. We have figured out what ‘newsworthy’ means and how to give interviews, but the demand on us has been such it is like we ..

What Do Russian Leftists Dream About?: A Collective Portrait

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Who are today’s leftists? What’s the problem with liberals and patriots? What are the political goals of the left and how to achieve them? Do leftists want to bring back the USSR?/ dekulakize everybody?/ abolish the difference between the smart and the stupid? What does one need to read/ watch to become leftist? The Furfur magazine published an extensive interview with contemporary Russian leftists, members of the Russian Socialist Movement (RSD): the journalist Sergei Vilkov, the poet Kirill Medvedev, the publicist Ivan Ovsiannikov, the psychoanalyst Vladimir Plotnikov, the historian Alexander Reznik, as wel ..

Russian Truck Drivers on Strike

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by Philippe Alcoy Note of the LeftEast editors: this text was published in French on the 15th of December at Revolution Permanente 2015 and reposted in English by Left Voice two days later. LeftEast reprints the English translation with the permission of the author. The Russian government seeks to impose a new tax, called “Platon,” that charges truckers for each kilometer they drive. In a sector where 80% are private trucks or tiny owners that hold two trucks at most, this new tax is perceived as a threat to living standards or even to their only means of survival. Truckers have been struggling since mid-Nov ..