Tag Archives: Russia

The crushing of Chechnya’s aspirations for independence: An interview with Tony Wood

The murder of French teacher Samuel Paty earlier this month by a young man of Chechen origin was the occasion for an Islamophobic and xenophobic campaign joined not only by the right but also by left-wing leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Mélenchon has since retracted his stigmatizing references to the “Chechen community,” but not his simplistic characterization of Chechen veterans as “partisans of a religious wars,” an assessment as absurd as it is in line with the official line from Moscow. To bring some nuance to this discussion, Philippe Alcoy interviewed historian Tony Wood, who has worked on Russia for m ..

Progressive Patriotism

Translated from the Russian original on Colta.ru by Maxim Edwards. LeftEast publishes this text not by way of unreserved endorsement but rather in an effort to initiate a debate about leftist strategy. In our editorial discussion at least, it generated plenty of questions: Do we need to limit our imagination of political community to the form of the nation-state? Can we meaningfully expect to control the meaning of the notoriously shape-shifting ideology of nationalism? Hasn’t the progressive patriot niche in Russia been already occupied by forces that are not all that progressive, ranging from the Communis ..

Victory!: the Criminal Case against Russian Socialist Movement Activist Dmitry Morozov Dropped

Translated by Sean Guillory Update from LeftEast editors: The security forces in Izhevsk (the capital of the Udmurt Republic of the Russian Federation) yesterday had second thoughts about launching a criminal case against the co-ordinator of the Russian Socialist Movement Dmitry Morozov (real surname Tsarenko, aged 21). Until that point, the activist had been questioned twice by the Center for Countering Extremism E and the Investigative Committee (CK), which had been trying to accuse him of alternately attempting to set fire to a local United Russia (‘hooliganism”) and “justifying terrorismR ..

Defend Socialists and Environmental Activists in Izhevsk

Demand the politically motivated charges against Dmitriy Tsarenko be dropped! Since late April, Dmitriy Tsarenko (aka Morozov), one of the leaders of the Russian Socialist Movement’s branch in Izhevsk, Udmurtia, has been under increasing pressure from the state apparatus—in particular, from the Interior Ministry’s “Center for Combating Extremism,” often wielded by the authorities against political opponents. On May 15th, the police attempted to charge him with an arson attack on the office of Russia’s ruling United Russia party, and on May 18th, Dmitriy was officially charged with on the ridiculous of ..

Interview with Ilya Budraitskis: Why doesn’t official Russian historical politics need the real Lenin and how is his method relevant at a time of crisis

“The (Russian) state needs a Lenin shorn of his political ideas and real biographies, a Lenin-monument. Whenever he becomes a true Lenin, a rebel and destroyer of the old order, the authorities automatically begin to regard him as a monster.”—says the historian and political theorist Ilya Budraitskis. In this comprehensive interview, conducted in Russian by Marine Voskanian for Business-Online and most generously translated for LeftEast by Sean Guillory, Budraitskis explains how Lenin was a heretic for the socialists of his time, and why demanding greater redistribution doesn’t necessarily mean being a le ..

Putin’s Virus Moment

The current situation in Russia has reached “a perfect storm”: the pandemic here coincided with the collapse of the national currency, as well as the political crisis caused by Vladimir Putin’s proposals to change the Constitution. At a time when every world political leader seeks to show himself as a sovereign capable of declaring a state of emergency and winning the “war” against the virus, Putin demonstrates a complete unwillingness to take responsibility for what is happening. At the national level, the danger of the coronovirus was recognized only a week ago, on March 25, when t ..

How “love what you do” went wrong in an ‘academic sweatshop’ in Siberia

LeftEast reprints Natalia Savelyeva’s article with the permission of OpenDemocracy-Russia. We’re told that we should “do what we love” when it comes to our jobs. But what if loving what you do leads – slowly, imperceptibly – to abuse? In social sciences, a lot of work is dedicated to why people become committed to organisations. The classics, like Erving Goffman or Lewis Coser, claim that organisations can separate an individual – partly or totally, socially and sometimes physically – from her everyday environment and provide her with a new life-world and identity. Other resear ..

What Can We Learn from Vampires and Idiots?

In what follows, we have republished a chapter from Ilya Budraitskis’s new book, Мир, который построил Хантингтон и в котором живем все мы (The World Invented by Huntington in which We All Live. Moscow: Tsiolkovsky, 2020), following a review of the book by Vasily Kuzmin (translated from the Russian by Rossen Djagalov). Many thanks to Giuliano Vivaldi for the translation of Budraitskis’s own text and to the internet journal e-flux, where Vivaldi’s translation first appeared. Kuzmin’s review is available in Russian at the bottom of the page. Vas ..

Call for solidarity: Russian antifascists sentenced to 6- 18 years prison

Note from LeftEast editors: we republish this post which initially appeared on Freedom Co-op’s blog and call for solidarity with the unjustly detained, tortured and convicted comrades. See below what actions you can take to support them. The trial of seven Russian antifascists accused of terrorist offences ended today in Penza, western Russia. Dmitry Pchelintsev recieved 18 years, Ilya Shakursky 16 years, Arman Sagynbaev 6 years, Andrei Chernov 14 years, Vasily Kuksov 9 years, Mikhail Kulkov 10 years and Maxim Ivankin 13 years imprisonment. The Network case has begun in October 2017, when the Russian Federa ..

A Response to Anne Applebaum’s article “The False Romance of Russia”

NOTE from LeftEast Editors: A historical tool of Liberalism is to conflate the left and right as “extreme” to legitimize itself, while obscuring the differences among the positions and goals of left and right. Complementing arguments about the ideological functions of Liberal Antipopulism and pointing back to cold war era ideological uses of the term totalitarianism, Bryan Gigantino here critiques the Liberal conflation of contemporary Russia with Communism, and of left with the right in the US context. In Anne Applebaum’s recent article in the Atlantic, “The False Romance of Russia”, she add ..