Russia

Hit, kicked and bruised: beatings at Russian women’s prison caught on video

 
A Russian prison official has been placed in detention for at least two months after footage of him punching, kicking and pulling the hair of female inmates was leaked online, sparking outrage and calling the country’s penal system into question. Watch the videos…
Contributors

Moscow builds its very first bicycle lane – or is it an obstacle course?

 
Moscow, home to 11.5 million people, recently got its very first bicycle lane. It was proudly inaugurated with much fanfare by city officials this summer to the great excitement of the city’s cyclists. However, their joy was slightly diminished when they realised that it was more like an obstacle course than a way for cyclists to more easily navigate city traffic. Read more and see the photos...

Death by bullying: extreme hazing in Russia's army

 
In August alone, three Russian soldiers committed suicide. According to their families and soldiers’ rights defence groups, these deaths were caused by “dedovshchina,” an extremely brutal form of hazing dating back to the Soviet era which remains common today. Our Observer, a 25-year-old man currently doing his military service, tells us about his harrowing experience. Read more...
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Russian anarchists fight capitalism with fire

 
In Russia, anarchists are increasingly attacking symbols of capitalism and authority by setting them on fire. These arsonists, linked through a secretive network, say they are ready to do whatever it takes to get their message out. We talked to one of them. Read more…
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‘Sexist and ridiculous’: feminists blast Putin’s big-breasted ‘army’

 
You won’t find guns or tanks in Putin’s Army, but you may see a fair amount of bare female flesh. This new Russian activist group is composed exclusively of young women using their looks to lobby for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s re-election as president. The initiative has many other Russian women fuming. Read more…
Contributors

Popular blogger prompts thousands of Russians to clean their city

 
To many Russians, the concept of not littering and recycling waste is totally as foreign as green cheese. After years of environmental neglect by the government and piles of trash littering every streetcorner, a growing number of citizens have decided that they’ve had enough. Using the Internet as a mobilisation tool, they have resolved to clean the country’s streets, parks and rivers. Read more…
 
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Whistleblower officer says Russian troops served dog food

 
A whistleblower in Russia’s security force has released photos and videos of what he says are cans of dog food disguised as beef stew, which were allegedly fed to Interior Ministry troops earlier this year. Read more and watch the videos…
Contributors

Russian youths invent absurd way to by-pass demonstration ban

 
Staging a political demonstration is a particularly difficult feat in Russia where authorities tend to find any number of reasons to ban protests from taking place. As a result, young Russians have come up with an off-beat way to get around the demonstration ban: they stage ‘monstrations’ instead. Read more…
Contributors

Russia gets its first real-life superhero

 
The Russian Web is abuzz with talk about the country’s first real-life superhero: Mstitel (Avenger in Russian), a masked crime-fighter from the south-western Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Real vigilante, or online hoax? Read more…
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