Russia

Pussy Riot release song for Eric Garner

Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina, who were jailed for songs criticising Russian President Vladimir Putin, have released a song and video titled "I Can't Breathe".

The video shows them being buried alive while wearing Russian riot police uniforms. The Guardian said on February 18 that the song is inspired by their recent trip to New York and the death of African American Eric Garner at the hands of an NYPD officer.

Ukraine: Kyiv, Russia sign shakey ceasefire

Leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France emerged from negotiations in Minsk, Belarus on the morning of February 12, after 16 hours of talks, and announced that agreement had been reached for a ceasefire in Ukraine's civil war.

The conflict has divided Ukraine since the overthrow of the unpopular, but democratically elected, president Viktor Yanukovich in February last year.

German relatives of MH17 victims sue Ukraine

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is determined to blame the Russian government for the tragic deaths of 298 civilians, including 38 Australians, when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. Abbott went as far as to threaten to “shirtfront” Russian President Vladimir Putin during the November 15 and 16 G20 Summit in Brisbane.

John Pilger: Breaking the Palestine taboo

“There is a taboo,” said the visionary Edward Said, “on telling the truth about Palestine and the great destructive force behind Israel. Only when this truth is out can any of us be free.”

For many people, the truth is out now. At last, they know. Those once intimidated into silence can't look away now.

Staring at them from their TV, laptop and phone is proof of the barbarism of the Israeli state and the great destructive force of its mentor and provider, the US, the cowardice of European governments, and the collusion of others, such as Canada and Australia, in this epic crime.

NATO stands for bombed out Afghan schools

If you were in Newport and Cardiff in south-east Wales during the first week of September, you might have thought you’d entered a warzone. Instead, it was simply the September 4 and 5 NATO Summit.

As NATO warships drifted ominously into the harbour and US Osprey and Nighthawk helicopters thundered in the sky, above mile after mile of steel fencing, disgruntled residents were left taking to Twitter to complain about their desks shaking at work.

“The amount of helicopters I have heard today makes it sound like we’re at war,” one said.

NATO threatens war over Ukraine

For the West's masters of war, it's a good time to be in Wales. A military alliance that has struggled for years to explain why it still exists, NATO has got a packed agenda for its September 4 and 5 Newport summit.

NATO may not be at the centre of US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron's plans to ramp up intervention in the Middle East and wipe the so-called Islamic state “out of existence”. But after 13 years of bloody occupation of Afghanistan and a calamitous intervention in Libya, the Western alliance has got an enemy that at last seems to fit its bill.

Ukraine: Amid fresh bloodshed, Australia pushes intervention

Malaysian Airlines lost its second Boeing 777 this year on July 17, when flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was apparently hit by a missile over war-torn Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

The incident happened while the Ukrainian army was carrying out a huge land and air offensive to crush breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine, over whose territory the plane was shot down.

Most passengers were Dutch, but 38 Australians were also killed.

Socialist responses to capitalism’s first world war still resonate

One hundred years ago, fighting broke out among the great powers of Europe, launching what has become known as World War I. The brutal conflict, which lasted more than four years, proved to be a decisive turning point for humanity and the socialist movement — its effects still felt strongly today.

'Stop the war in Ukraine!', says regional left conference

Left forces from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus held a two-day anti-war conference near Minsk on June 7 and 8. The conference was organised by participants of internet project “Prasvet” with the support of the Belarus web journal Left.

The aim of the conference was to help coordinate the internationalist, Marxist left forces of three countries under circumstances of military-nationalist hysteria and the outburst of violence and repression in Ukraine.

The undercover effort to tell Lunacharsky's story

A Spy in the Archives
By Sheila Fitzpatrick
Melbourne University Press, 2013
346 pages, $32.99 (pb)

When Sydney University Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick was doing some crafty archival sleuthing as a British PhD student in the late 1960s in Moscow, it was not unexpected that any state guardians might suspect a female spy at work.

Fitzpatrick could see some justification. “Any suspicious archives director who thought I was trying to find out the secrets of Narkompros was dead right”, she notes in Spy in the Archives.

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