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A Color Revolution or a Working-Class Uprising?: an Interview with Aynur Kurmanov on the Protests in Kazakhstan

LeftEast gratefully acknowledges Zanovo-media, where this article was originally published in Russian. Today all post-Soviet mass-media and TV channels are riveted to the protests that suddenly engulfed Kazakhstan. To some they arouse hope, to others – horror and rejection. There are contradictions and different interpretations of what is happening: righteous people’s protest, clan wrangling, conspiracy […]

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The Conflict between Russia and Ukraine Is Neither Bluff nor Ultimatum

First published in French on December 30 in Révolution Permanente. Translation for LeftVoice by Scott Cooper. Moscow is amassing 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, whose government is seeking to lean on NATO to counter Putin. But even if Russian military intervention is central to that country’s defense, it is a very risky option. Are […]

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How to start a gender transition in Russia

Note from LeftEast editors . We reprint Jeremy Morris article, which appeared on his own Postsocialism website. This is a short post ‘answering’ my own question on Twitter: What is life really like in Russia for transgender people seeking to transition when they interact with the very ‘medical gaze’ of the state? A medical commission […]

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Russia as vanguard: Authoritarian neoliberalism and surveillance capitalism

This article takes up the problem of Russian neoliberalism – how to understand the relationship between the social state and neoliberal economic reforms/governmentality (which often seem contradictory). In turn, this relationship tells us about the alignment of state, digital governance, and capital interests in Russia. Based on long term ethnographic participant observation, my research has […]

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#ЗаЧтоСидитМедведев: Why Was the Russian Poet and Leftist Kirill Medvedev Arrested?

Today is day five of the 10-day sentence Kirill Medvedev, along with Moscow-based urban activists Anastasia Borisyuk and Fyodor Neronov received for “resistance to the lawful demands of police officers.” A week ago, together with a number of concerned citizens, they were inspecting the construction of a premium-class apart-hotel on the historical Sretenka Street, where […]

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Strategies of resistance among queer people in the USSR

Note from LeftEast Editors: This article was originally published in Russian by the DOXA Journal. It was translated from the Russian by Michael Baker and edited by Arina Gundyreva. Today, queer people in Russia are forced to oppose systematic discrimination, occasionally even forcing them into emigration. In the USSR however, with closed borders and absolutely […]

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The Magic Tricks of Russian Elections

Elections in Putin’s Russia are usually predictable and rarely bring out any surprises. Even when the ratings of the ever-incumbent president or his subservient ruling party are down, media propaganda and widespread systemic election fraud ensure they remain in power. As the common saying goes: “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people […]

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Not a single vote for United Russia! RSM statement on the Duma elections & Mikhail Lobanov’s candidacy

Note of LeftEast editors: On the eve of this fall’s parliamentary elections, the room for political manoeuvre before our Russian comrades (and all other opposition forces) has shrunk to a bare minimum. In these circumstances, engagement with other opposition forces in a broad front against the party-state appears the only option. Mikhail Lobanov’s parliamentary candidacy […]

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The political economy of the post-socialist mortality crisis

Surviving and dying are life chances in the most profound sense, a truism that the corona pandemic has powerfully underpinned. Already before the pandemic hit, the declining life expectancy in deindustrialized, rustbelt areas and the accompanying deepening of health inequalities have been signaling the existential crisis of contemporary economic arrangements. Recent research by Ann Case […]

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Call for Solidarity with DOXA

In the early morning of April 14th, 2021, the four editors of the journal DOXA were arrested by Russian authorities. Armen Aramyan, Natasha Tyshkevich, Volodya Metelkin and Alla Gutnikova appeared in court later that day. The purpose of the charges were made clear by the judge – to silence critics – who ordered the editors […]