Research notes

Social media in post-Soviet de facto states

Here you find Facebook interest lists and Twitter lists including the pages and public profiles of institutions, news outlets, NGOs as well as public figures related to post-Soviet de facto states. Any Facebook or Twitter user can subscribe to these lists and follow the online activities that appear on these social media and relate to either of the post-Soviet de faco states. Some of these lists gather a considerable number of sources (e.

Post-soviet de facto states official reactions to events in Crimea

Representatives of authorities in all four post-Soviet de facto states issued statements in favour of Crimea’s referendum as an expression of the right to self-determination and declared their hope that this will contribute to a shift in international law. South Ossetia and Transnistria explicitly supported also Crimea’s annexation to the Russian Federation, while Nagorno Karabakh and Abkhazia refrained from doing so, at least for what concerns official statements issued so far.

Random notes on Abkhazia, October 2011

– Coming from Zugdidi, no passport control whatsoever from the Georgian side. Just a man standing near a post. On the way back, I was asked my passport, job title, and, funnily, phone number. – In Gali, roads are in terrible conditions, plenty of potholes, asphalt rarely to be seen. Just out of town, as soon as the Gali districts ends, a good recently asphalted road starts… done just a few months ago.

North Caucasus Youth Forum Mashuk 2010, some random notes

The basic idea of the forum is rather interesting… all participants come from the Federal District of the Northern Caucasus (Stavropolskij Kraj, Karachaj-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan) plus, at least in the original project, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The programme includes training and classes dedicated to “intercultural interaction” that all participants must attend. Basically, participants from different parts of the Russian Caucasus are given a chance to know each other better, to discuss about the stereotypes they have about each other, and so forth.

Notes for an article on Seliger 2010

International youth camp Seliger 2010, July 1 – July 8, Russia. Preliminary notes written on a bus from Seliger to Moscow. Pictures will follow in the next few days. Seliger is the location where in the last couple of years the Russian government, through its Federal agency for youth affairs, has been organizing summer camps for young people from all over Russia. The same location was previously used by the much discussed youth organisation “Nashi”.

Why don’t you like girls? #caucasus #gendercide

Recently, “The Economist” has published a cover story about gendercide, i.e. the practice of selective abortion in order not to have female children. En passant, “The Economist” mentioned that Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are three among the four top countries in the world rankings of countries by sex ratio at birth (male/female). The article mostly focussed on China and India, that are numerically much more important, and didn’t explain why this phenomenon is widespread in the South Caucasus.

A foggy day in Nazran, Ingushetia

It takes about half an hour by mini-bus to get from Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia, to Nazran, Ingushetia. In spite of these, residents of one city apparently scarcely visit the other. Anyway, this is a long story, and I’m not going into that… The first thing one notices approaching Ingushetia is the extremely visible presence of military units. Check points at the border between the two republics. Soldiers with automatic gun machines all along the main road, all in camouflage uniforms with heavy bullet-proof vests, some even with their faced covered with balaclavas.

Entrance to the headquarters of Molodaja Gvardija, youth branch of United Russia

Today I met Marija Kislicyna, “kommissar” of the Russian youth movement Nashi. She’s head of the project “Russia for everybody” (“Rossiya dlya vsekh”), and follows programmes meant to improve relations between different ethnic groups living in Russia. The tagline is that it doesn’t matter if you are Russian, Tatar or Chechen, as long as you’re conscious of being a citizen of Russia. I got some more information about Nashi’s programmes in this field, and I will most probably write more about it at some point.

Nashi organizes a summer camp for 20,000 young people coming from different parts of the northern Caucasus

I was expecting flags, huge billboards, and V.V. Putin posters… no wonder I couldn’t find it! Not even a small sign at the entrance suggesting that there are the headquarters of the youth branch of Russia’s ruling party… Anyway, I’ll come back soon to hear more about their activities in the northern Caucasus…