Tag Archives: Russia

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 ..

In the Struggle You’ll Earn Your Rights: Russian Socialist Movement’s Statement on the Proposed Constitutional Reforms and the Change of Russian Government

The presidential announcement and the change of government that immediately followed it on January 15th officially inaugurate the much-awaited succession operation, establishing the mechanisms whereby power will be preserved in the hands of the ruling elite. The key element in this operation is the “continuity” within the framework of personal power. That is, in one or another capacity, Putin will preserve the control over decision-making after the expiration of his fourth presidential term. The proposed constitutional amendments offer several possible scenarios of power for him: as the chairman of the State ..

To remember is to fight: the legacy of Russian activist lawyer Stanislav Markelov

LeftEast is publishing this commemorate piece in collaboration with OpenDemocracy-Russia, who have been keeping Markelov’s memory alive in the English public sphere by translating his articles and getting others to write about him. Eleven years ago, this anti-fascist lawyer was murdered on the streets of Moscow. Stanislav Markelov’s legacy remains important to this day. Here we present a selection of his articles and interviews in English. Stanislav Markelov in his words and others’: Introduction: To remember is to fightGiuliano Vivaldi, Thomas RowleyRussia’s trade union movement, 1990s-2000sAlexa ..

The road to the East. Ukrainian workers in Russia after 2014

As a 45-year-old woman scoops up another spoonful of cereal for the three year old child she has professionally taken care of during the past couple of years, she tells me: ‘I’m not a migrant, I’m a gastarbaiter [a derogatory word for a guest worker]. And so I’m underground (podpolnij).’. Ljuba first came to Russia a long time ago – before her place of birth in the Donbass became a ‘non-controlled territory’. Her story, like many others, is fairly standard: she couldn’t sustain herself economically or help other relatives that she had to look after at home. And so, she packed her belongings and ..

Russian Socialists and the Struggle for Democracy

For the past few weeks, protests for fair elections in upcoming municipal polls have become weekly in Moscow and St. Petersburg as thousands have defied authorities to attend unsanctioned rallies. The police crackdown has been particularly harsh in Moscow. Protests on July 27 and August 3 resulted in over 2000 detentions. Images of police in riot gear wrestling citizens to the ground and beating peaceful protesters were reminiscent of the mass protests against election fraud in 2011-2012. LeftEast is happy to share this interview Sean Guillory (of Sean’s Russia Blog fame) conducted with members of the Russi ..

On the brink: why Russia’s healthcare workers are organising

What would happen if Russia’s healthcare system went on strike? Read this OpenDemocracy-Russia interview with healthcare union leader Andrey Konoval to find out. Russia’s public healthcare system is facing significant problems, and staff are coming out as a result. Ambulance teams in Penza region, central Russia, recently called a work-to-rule action, bringing out more than 100 people in support of better wages and conditions, on the heels of asimilar action by Novgorod region ambulance teams. This wave of mobilisation is connected to serious overwork, staff cutbacks and shortages – which have arisen as ..

Austerity Economics Russian Style: “The state never asked you to be born”

Translated by Joseph Livesey For two decades steadily rising living standards and high rates of economic growth have served as the standard explanations for Vladimir Putin’s overwhelming support among Russian voters while a key theme of Russian state propaganda has been the championing of Putin-style “stability” (as opposed to the chaos and poverty of the 1990s) and the unfettered consumption that has been made possible in Russia today. The effectiveness of such propaganda never really depended on the extent to which its depictions of reality were true, as much as it did on confidence in its promise for the ..