Stories written by Pavol Stracansky

Outdated Approaches Fuelling TB in Russia, Say NGOs

When Veronika Sintsova was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2009, she spent six months in hospital before being discharged and allowed to continue treatment as an outpatient.

Moscow Protest Highlights Litany of Abuses Suffered by Russia’s Drug Users

A protest in Moscow Thursday marking the U.N. International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking has highlighted the ‘torture’ drug users are put through in the Russian criminal justice system.

Siberian Global Warming Meets Lukewarm Reaction in Russia

People in Siberia must prepare to face frequent repeats of recent devastating floods as well as other natural disasters, scientists and ecologists are warning, amid growing evidence of the effects of global warming on one of the world’s most ecologically diverse regions.

Russia May Seek to Emphasise Peace Broker Role in Mideast

As the Palestinian unity government announced June 2 receives a cautious welcome from many world leaders, Russia’s support for the new body is providing the Kremlin with an opportune platform to pursue its foreign policy ambitions and strengthen its domestic ideology.

Showing the West that Russia is Not Alone

Aleksander Mizdrakin is convinced he knows who Russia’s future international partners are – and they’re not in Europe, nor is the United States among them.

Separatist Violence Just One of Ukraine’s Problems

As Ukraine’s president elect Petro Poroshenko prepares to begin his presidency, Ukrainians are hoping he will not forget that separatist violence is just one of a long list of problems he needs to help solve in the country.


Russia: Critics Continue To Attack “Hypocrisy” Over HIV/AIDS

International bodies and local campaign groups have repeatedly criticised Russia for not doing anywhere near enough in terms of providing prevention services or access to medical treatment for HIV/AIDS sufferers. The fourth Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) HIV/AIDS Conference, which finished in Moscow last week, has not put a stop to that criticism.

Kremlin’s International Policies Could Mean Russian Brain Drain

As Russia faces harsh sanctions and growing international isolation over its annexation of Crimea and support of separatists in eastern Ukraine, economists and sociologists are warning that the Kremlin’s international policies may fuel a potentially devastating brain drain.

Russia ‘Liquidating’ Civil Society

NGOs working in Russia are facing more repression in the form of even tighter legislation on foreign funding as part of what some rights activists say is a concerted campaign to “liquidate” civil society in the country.

Uruguay Not a ‘Pirate’

The Uruguayan government has made a controversial move to regulate the production and sale of cannabis. The government believes that this will help in the fight against drug-related crime and in dealing with public health issues.

Russian Law Corners Drug Users

As local authorities prepare to put an end to opioid substitution treatment (OST) programmes in the newly annexed Crimean peninsula, drug users there say they are being forced to choose between a return to addiction and becoming refugees.

Russians Stand Strong Against Sanctions

As the West imposes what have been called the most comprehensive sanctions on Russia since the end of the Cold War, many ordinary Russians say they have no fear of any economic measures the United States or the European Union may take against their country.

Crimea Vote Splits Families

As Crimea prepares to become part of Russia following a referendum which much of the international community says has no legitimacy, families on the peninsula are being forced apart by the political upheaval while others are considering leaving the region.

Divisions Over Drugs Rise

A top level United Nations conference on drugs has highlighted growing divisions between member states on how to move forward in dealing with global drug problems as calls grow for major reforms in approaches to international drug policy.

Russian Repression Sweeps Crimea

Crimea is facing a violent wave of human rights abuses, activists warn, with kidnappings of journalists and rights campaigners, harassment of non-Russian minorities and reports of growing persecution of anyone thought to be sympathising with the pro-European Kiev government.

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