The situation in Russia is getting worse. The hysteria of propaganda against “external and internal enemies” is escalating, as well as pressure on opposition and civil society in general. All opposition rallies in the center of Moscow are now forbidden; organizers of Boris Nemtsov’s murder are protected by the state (while everybody knows that they are people of Putin’s Chechen vassal Ramzan Kadyrov); the TV continues attacks on all critics of the regime, particularly targeting “The 6th May Committee”—which defends those arrested in big anti-Putin demonstrations—as “traitors and foreign agents,” etc. And now the government has launched a new military intervention—in Syria, where Russian rockets are killing opponents of Assad’s regime and civilians under the pretext of “fighting the Islamic State.”
But possibilities of activities are not yet totally destroyed. It is still possible to work with Praxis Research and Educational Center, the Russian Confederation of Labor and Memorial. Now a book on the history of workers and the trade union movement in Russia will be published soon; seminars on the politics of the labor movement and democratic left continue. Plans are also underway for a conference in Tbilisi, on the history of the labor movement and Socialism in Georgia. There may also be a symposium devoted to the anniversary of the anti-war Kienthal conference of 1915.
—Dissident in Russia
October 16, 2015