Russia

International pressure fails to halt Chechen tortures

Author: 

Mike Zubrowski

Despite international pressure, the detention and torture of suspected gay men by the Chechen government since late March has continued, and more secret concentration-camp style prisons have been discovered.

Russian LGBT activists are helping to evacuate and assist those persecuted in Chechnya. To tackle the root of the problem requires ending the pervasive homophobia in Chechen society and the authoritarianism of the Chechen state.

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Chechnya: stop anti-gay state killings

Author: 

Mike Zubrowski

Over 100 men suspected of being gay have been rounded up and detained by the Chechen authorities, with many tortured and some killed.

Chechnya has an authoritarian and extremely repressive state presiding over a deeply homophobic society, but this development is shocking even in this context. Some of the suspected gay men were killed in violent raids, whilst others have been kept in secret “concentration-camp style” prisons, where many have been subjected to electric shocks and violent abuse, with some beaten to death.

The conservatism and homophobia in Chechnyan society is linked both to nationalism and to traditional and political Islam.

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Russian Parliament sanctions domestic violence

Author: 

Ann Field

10,000 women in Russia die of domestic violence every year. 40% of all serious violent crime in Russia and over 25% of murders take place in the home. Around 36,000 women are victims of domestic violence every day, and so too are 26,000 children.

These are the official statistics. The real statistics will be far higher. Many women do not report incidents of domestic violence, either for fear of repercussions from their husband or partner, or because complaints are often ignored by the police.

New law decriminalises "modest" violence on the grounds of protecting the "traditional family".

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Trump, Putin and the CIA

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

The CIA’s report to US senators — that Russia intervened in the US presidential election to help the election of Donald Trump — is extraordinary. That’s not just because of the fact that Russia seemingly interfered in an election in the world’s most powerful country, but also because the US intelligence agency chose to make it public.

President Trump could normalise Russia’s annexation of Crimea and back pro-Russian fighters in the east of Ukraine.

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Putin: a model of reactionary politics

Author: 

Anne Field

The report of Britain’s official Owen Inquiry into the 2006 murder of former Russian security service agent Alexander Litvinenko was published on 21 January. It attributed responsibility for the murder to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

The report of Britain’s official Owen Inquiry into the 2006 murder of former Russian security service agent Alexander Litvinenko was published on 21 January. It attributed responsibility for the murder to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

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Syria: continuation and containment of war

Author: 

Simon Nelson

The US Government will deploy a group of special-ops forces to northern Syria to help the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), the multi-ethnic opposition that the US has positively “vetted”, and is now willing to publicly arm and support.

The continuation and containment of the war in Syria now appears to be the main goal of the US and coalition forces.

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US and Russia talk on Syria

Author: 

Simon Nelson

David Cameron, following US policy, is calling for Bashar al-Assad to take part in an transitional arrangement for a “moderate” regime in Syria.

Cameron has not, so he says, changed his view that Assad must to, or that he should be tried for war crimes. But there has been a policy shift.

At the UN General Assembly Russia and the United States agreed to look for a diplomatic end to the Syrian civil war. How long or whether Assad remains in power is the dividing line between the two powers.

At the UN General Assembly Russia and the United States agreed to look for a diplomatic end to the Syrian civil war. How long or whether Assad remains in power is the dividing line between the two powers.

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Class struggle and Marxism in Russia

Viktoria and Sergei, activists in the Workers’ Platform, a Russian Marxist group based in Perm and Kaluga, talked to Solidarity.

Solidarity: what are the conditions like for activists?

Viktoria: In Russia, in the economy, there has been a process of neo-liberal reforms. There is a lot of discontent as the regime puts on pressure and repression. But we are still able to organise workers in independent trade unions.

An interview with Viktoria and Sergei, activists in the Workers’ Platform, a Russian Marxist group based in Perm and Kaluga.

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Europe's far right gather in Russia

Author: 

Dale Street

“The fascists are not in Ukraine, they’re meeting here!”, “Nazis licking Putin’s ass, OMG!” and “We don’t need foreign fascists here, we’ve nowhere to put our own!” read protestors’ placards outside the St. Petersburg Holiday Inn on 22 March.

The hotel was hosting the “International Russian Conservative Forum”, organised by the “Russian National Cultural Centre, The People’s Home”, a flag of convenience for members of the Russian “Motherland” party (Russian-nationalist, far-right and pro-Putin).

The composition, location and themes of a recent conference in St Petersburg underline a growing alliance between Putin and the European far right.

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